Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2014-04-28: The work is moving forward

Another week down... and this week is the end of the change.  We still have not found out who has changes yet, will find out tonight.  I will have to let you know next week if I get transferred or I am staying here.  

Well, my 19th birthday is coming up and it is pretty crazy that almost a year has passed since I turned 18 and graduated.  I feel old!  But time ticks for everyone, and you just got to go forward and grow.  Enjoy your youth while you can!  Haha well thank you guys for the package, and everyone was teasing me because it was the biggest package they have ever seen an Elder get in the mission... but I really like the selection that you guys put in there!  The smoked salmon and the jerky looked really good, but I am saving those for last!

This week was much better than last week and we are working our tails off here.  To be honest I don't think I would want to live in a concrete jungle like this for the rest of my life.  It is like a maze here, everything is gated and packed, but I like the area.

I was sitting in a few lessons this week and in some of the lessons, we leave the house, and as I reflect back of the things that was said, I think that a few months ago I would not be able to explain what I said in the lesson... or a few months ago I would not be able to give counsel to a person or a couple regarding relationship matters.  We ended up giving marriage counsel for a family which was fun as usual because people don't understand how stupid the reasons that they are fighting.

This week I really enjoyed teaching this boy who is 16 years old, he is a golden investigator.  Even though he is somewhat awkward, we sat there for a good hour and 15 minutes answering his questions about the Book of Mormon and why it is important, etc.  He came to church on Sunday.  We talked to him yesterday and he read his homework and he prayed like we asked him to.  So we will continue to work with him, and I will let you know about the progress next week.

Well, everything is going good here, and the days just fly by.  The mission is preparing for the new mission president to come in.  I think his name is President Crapo or something like that, but there have been huge changes in the mission so far, and all I can say it that there has been some cleaning going on.  

I am glad that the couple in Palencia got married and was baptized!  Hakanson said that he was going to send me pictures, so I will ask him.  I am kind of bummed that I was not there, but oh well, I did my job.

That is cool that Elijah got to do the Harlem Globetrotters stuff!  Keep practicing baseball and get better.

I Love you guys and I hope you guys have a good week!  Haha I will try to do something for my birthday and thank you for everything! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

2014-04-21 Interesting, But Slow Week

Well, this week went by really, really fast, and we worked and it went pretty normal for us here.  We tried to work all week, but it was kind of difficult because all the [members from the other church] and their dogs left town to go to semana santa activities. All the people who stayed in town were the people that had work off and were spending time with their families, so last thing on their minds were letting the gringos talk to them about the church.  So we just did the best we could.

Our investigators decided not to come to church on Sunday, and they are second guessing themselves if they are ready for baptism, but we will continue to work with them... but all is well, and all in all this week was normal... I don't really know what to say because nothing really exciting happened.  We just worked and worked, and it was a little difficult.  

That is good that you guys are doing missionary work, and helping others along the path.  It does not say what happens after people reach the tree in lehi's vision, but I like to envision it as people have ropes and they tie themselves to the tree and go back and help others on the path, and go into the dark to save people.  Stay tied to the gospel or the tree, and go back to help others partake of the joy we have.

Well, thank you guys for everything, I love you all!  Have a good week!

Monday, April 14, 2014

2014-04-14: Things are great.

Hey, well this week went good and everything went kind of normal.  The whole week I have been taking care of the knee {see last week’s letter for the back-story on the knee}, and we are making progress in the area.  I love the area, and the members are cool, and my companions make the days go by so fast.  Time is slowly picking up, and some days especially these past 2 weeks with these guys, I wake up, and before I know it, I am back in the house planning for the next day.  We put some fechas for baptisms for the 26th for some people that we found, so pray for them!  Thursday we had interviews with president, Hna. Watts, the assistentes, and the Olsons a senior missionary couple in the mission.  It went well, and I always love talking with president and Hna. Watts because they always uplift us in the trenches here.  They said that it was good that everything worked out [for my knee], because if not they could not have done anything about it here in the mission.  

Well, I am doing great here, and working hard as usual! I love you guys! and have a good week!

Monday, April 7, 2014

2014-04-07 Challenges and Blessings Abound

Well this past week has been soo, soo crazy and hectic.  Everything was going good up until Thursday.  We were working and some of the people that we found were progressing.  So Elder Mendonca and I were walking down the hill to our house at 6:30 pm on Thursday night, and we see the Zone Leaders, Elder Hughes and Dimaren, walking up to us from our house.  They said that they had been waiting and looking for us for 2 hours straight, because they had some bad news for us.  Some problems came up so we found out that since our area was the newest opened area, they would just close it again, and Mendonca and I would go and cover another area.  

So we rushed around and said goodbye to people, and packed our bags.  We didn't really get to go to sleep, and at 7 in the morning Friday a taxi came to take us to our areas.  Mendonca's new area is in Zona 6 and mine is in Villas de Alameda, a 20-minute walk from Alameda where I was.  I am in a trio now, and my new comps are Elder Cox from Saint George Utah, and Elder Carlos Perez from Mexico.  And I have to admit, and it might sound a little wierd, but living with 2 other guys is pretty fun... I like the area, and we have found people to teach in just the few days that we have been here.  I don't know what the difference in the area was, because it is not that far away, but it is much better here.  The house is small, but area is good.  But to be honest, I kind of liked the challenge in the last area.

Saturday and Sunday were spent all day watching conference, and I really enjoyed the sessions.  I wish I had paid more attention to conference before the mission, but I learned a lot from the sessions.  I really liked all the talks, and some of them spoke out to me a lot.  

Today was the craziest day of all though.  We woke up and we went to the capilla (church) to play volleyball for pday.  Everything was going good, until I jumped... when I landed my left knee popped, and I hit the ground.  I was so sure I tore something, and I could not walk on it.  I was pissed and like usual turned to my anger like I always do if I let myself and I went and was sitting by myself in the chapel.  I could not bend it or strengthen it.   All I could think was I am going home.   I was crying and the next few minutes changed my testimony and all of the doubts or lack of faith I had into pure faith.  

The Zone Leaders came in and asked if I wanted a blessing, and I said okay, and this kid that had just gotten his papers and is getting ready to go on a mission comes into the room.  He quotes some scriptures about trials, and he looks me in the eye and says do you have the faith to be healed, and I didn't really respond because I was beat.  He said according to our faith and your faith you can be healed.  So I limped over into the office of the bishop with the help of the Zone Leaders, and they gave me a blessing.  And after I stood and walked.  Any doubt I had in my testimony left, and now I am grateful for all that I have, for every moment of my life, and for the blessings of the priesthood.  A miracle was performed according to faith, and I can walk and I was so surprised and amazed, I am still pondering those moments in my head right now.  Given my knee still hurts a little, but it is better than not being able to walk.  I will put on the brace, and do what I can.  But yeah, I was more scared and worried to go home than the leg.  I guess I will not be playing from here on out just to be careful...

Well I love you guys, and Have a good week!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2014-04-01: Every Day is A Turning Point

Hey guys, sorry I didn't write yesterday... mom was probably freaking out, but we found out this past week that it was our turn to go to the temple.  So yesterday we just worked like normal, and today in the morning we went to the temple.  It was good, and I had a good day.

So this past week has been a little slow for me, but I am getting used to the area, and what we are up against here.  Just to answer some of your questions, we rent the second floor and roof, from a family that owns this 3 floor house.  The bottom floor is where they live and we have the whole second floor and roof.  The house is really big, and the other pair of elders in our district from the other part of town come over and we cook together and have BBQ and stuff together some nights.  The family that owns the house has a comedor (restaurant) business in the day, and sometimes we buy lunch from her.  The Relief Society president has a washing machine and she washes the clothes for us. We are going to watch conference in the stake center.  

Well as I said the week was okay and I am trying to face the problems.  Tuesday morning I woke up and just showered and started studying.  I have no will to exercise in the morning, and I still sometimes wake up going straight to the shower, and then studying.  Just to take my mind off of the problems, I try to fill it with stuff that will actually get me thinking about better things.  

This week we did better... knocked on 350+ doors and got 4 new investigators.  That is amazing huh... but in reality that is what the week was.  We focused ourselves on trying to find new people to teach, and we found the 4 people by knocking on doors, and a few others from part member families.  We are setting goals for the area, and starting small.  Our goal is to find the members that will actually help us.  The youth of the ward actually are very helpful.  Sometimes the youth come with us when we go out to teach lessons.

All in all these past 2 1/2 weeks here has taught me more about myself, the church, members, and people in general.  You can't depend on any other people because when you put your trust in the flesh you get nothing.  I have grown to trust myself, and work harder as well as take on more responsibility.  The church is true.  There are good people here, as well as everywhere in the world... but are very few.  And until we change and eliminate the natural man within us, we will never be anything.

I am working, and I am determined.  I love the area, and even though there is negativity, evil, and pure depression radiating and surrounding this area, I will try my very best!  EVERY DAY IS A TURNING POINT IN MY LIFE.  I can choose to step into the ring and take a shot at victory. Victory over myself, the day, and the challenges that I face... Or not even try, and live life as one big regret.  BUT I choose to step in that ring and take a shot at victory.  It will be a challenge but I will keep trying every day of my life.

Well, I will keep chugging along, and keep working hard to help this area!  I love you guys!  Have a good week!  I will talk to you next Monday!