Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jan 9 - Jan 23. The weeks fly by, even though not fast enough for Ry's mom!

So like 50? Jan. 9

Buenos dias familia! Como estan? espero que todo este bien con ustedes. Hemos tenido una semana muy buena! Comi mucho, trabaje mucho, dormi mucho, y tambien, bautizamos mucho! S. se bautizo ayer! Fue un servicio bonito. Yo tuve mucho estres, porque nuestro lider misonal del barrio no estaba, y yo tuve que hacer mucho, como llenar la pila bautismal, tocar el piano, encontrar personas a decir las oraciones y dar discursos, y cosas asi. me senti que yo tuviera mucha responsibilidad. No me gusto. No hay a nadie que deba confiarme con responsibilidad. Pero, todo fue bueno, y S. es muy feliz ahora. Y yo estoy feliz, porque ella es feliz. y tambien nos dio mucha carne asada con rica salsa picante. Bien rica.

Good day, family! I hope that all is well with you. We have had a great week! I ate a lot, worked a lot, slept a lot, and also, we baptized a lot! S. got baptized yesterday. It was a pretty service. I had a lot of stress, because our ward mission leader wasn't there, and I had a lot to do, like fill the baptismal font, play the piano, find people to say the prayers and give talks, and stuff like that. I felt like I had a lot of responsibility. I didn't like it. Nobody should trust me with responsibility. But, all was well, and S. is very happy now. And I am happy, because she is happy. And she also gave us a lot of carnegie salad with delicious hot salsa. Very tasty.

Good Morning Family!

This week, or the past 4 days since I last wrote have been great! I've actually got a lot to tell you about, in only 4 days! First of all, S. got baptized! The service went really well, and she seems really happy. Elder Moore got to baptize her! He did a great job. I forgot my camera, but I'll try and email some pictures next week. Or just send my memory card home. But it went really well, I was really stressed at the actual service, trying to make sure people were coming and everything was ready, so I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have. But we got to sit down and eat dinner with her and her family later, and that was really cool. I remember the first time I went over to their house, the first lesson I taught her. And it's amazing the progress she's made, and also how close I feel to them after such a short time. They treated us like the guests of honor, it was very touching. And humbling, especially realizing how little I've really done. I've just sat in the lessons, occasionally said something, and then Heavenly Father has done the rest. It's been really cool. And it's stuff like that, that makes it all worth it. That makes it not work. That makes it being a missionary, not doing missionary things. It was a really amazing feeling. We've had some very good finding experiences this week as well. We received a referall, and we were trying to contact it. Elder Moore had a more complete map on him, so he could see it wasn't in our area. I thought it might be. And I just felt we should go check, so we ended up riding up there, even though Elder Moore knew it wasn't there. But as we were riding, we stopped at a stoplight. This guy named J. was there, and he just started talking to us. We found out he was baptized over 20 years ago, but hadn't been to church in at least that long. It was pretty crazy, that Heavenly Father put us there so we would be able to talk to him at just that moment. We set up an appt with him and we'll see what happens with it. Then, we got to the area, and learned that the house of the referral was not in our area. It made perfect sense to go down and visit another investigator we found, E., who was a lot of addiction problems. But I just felt we should tract around there. And we found this really cool guy with tons of questions and said he loved to read and said we could come back. It was a pretty amazing afternoon. We been very inspired this week. And then I accidentally turned down the wrong street and found another really cool guy. It's been a great week.

Also, me and Elder Moore had an awesome conversation yesterday. I can tell my spanish is getting good (or I'm just going crazy) We just finished contacting these two guys, and they didn't have much interest, and as they were talking I just had a very inspired question that they just couldn't answer. It's amazing how the Holy Ghost will just give you what you need to say. And I was talking to Elder Moore afterwards, and I said, I wish we were english missionaries sometimes, then I could talk and understand better, just like with those two guys over there. And then he was really confused, and he didn't get what he was saying. And I got frustrated, cause I had no idea what he was not getting about that. Then, about 4 hours later, I realized why Elder Moore was so confused. It's because I was speaking in spanish the whole time! I am getting to where after lessons I sometimes don't remember if we gave it in english or spanish. That's really cool. I guess I have not been able to really speak and address concerns like that in spanish before, and it just took me by surprise. After that conversation, all I could think about was me and amy's conversation. (48? 50?)

But that has been my week, it's been an awesome one, and I can't wait to talk to you all next week!

Borsh- I hope now that you're back at school, you'll have more to tell me about your week! How's your friends? How's school? how's Kola and Lily? How's mops? are you being nice to her? Have you read anything cool in the Book of Mormon lately? I love you bud, I can't wait to hear from you again next week!

A-mmmmm. Cheesecake. Email me some ok? I keep not having time to make those cookies you sent me, and it's making me sad. I also realized, I don't have a cookie sheet. Which makes it harder. but I will, and I will decorate them and make them beautiful. Also, I had some really delicious carne asada last night. It was so good. With grilled chilies and onions, and salsa de chile de arbol, it was so good. but bad news. I've inexplicably gotten fat this week. I don't know what happened. I still ride my bike, eat about the same, but somehow, my pants are tighter. This is not good news. I need to ride my bike harder and exercise more. because the eating won't stop. Also, I can't believe Cary gets his assignment soon! I'm already getting anxious about this next transfer, I can't even imagine how you and Cary feel. It's like an uber-transfar. Also, that's crazy that you have a gun. I can't e'en b'lee dat. Also, tell Abby and Cary hi!

B- I love your spiritual thought from a christmas carol B. It's so true. We've been dealing with some addiction problems this week, and knowing that they are not beyond hope is something incredible. They've been struggling their wholes lives with this, but they are still not beyond hope. It's truly the good news of the gospel. Also, I can't wait to get a little C's with you again. The mission time is feeling super weird right now. I feel like i'll be going home tomorrow, but at the same time, it feels forever away. Time is only going faster though. Keep up the good work with your studies! (my shtudies!)

KT- I am very sad to hear about the lack of sweatervests in your new class. But at least there is one with a suit, that makes it better. and I'm glad ellie is continuing to be adorable! You sending me something in bulgarian reminded me of an awesome experience me and elder moore had. We went to this musem wednesday for p-day (really boring, all they had was paintings and statues.) but as we were there, we ended up talking to this security guard. Who told us he knew 14 languages and was a russian emigrant. But the best part, I don't know if this was just an english mistake or what, but he said, "at 16, I was killed by the KGB" Me and Elder Moore almost started laughing right there. We still don't know what he meant. But say hi to todd and Ellie for me, and I hope Todd learns to eat fast soon!

M@- I just needed to tell you this. Thanks to my helmet, I know have a permanent bell. Also, I accidentally said, Elder Phone, do you have the moore? Luckily he didn't hear me. But I still laughed. Love you Matt!

Pops- You're so right pops. As I'm getting closer to my 6 month mark, the mission really is just getting better. I am starting to enjoy it more, and feeling more like myself during it. It's getting much better. I'm glad Kola and Lily didn't wear Elenore out completely! I can't wait to see some pictures of big Lily soon! You think she'll be bigger than Kola?

Mops-I sure love you momma! And I'm very impressed with your restraint. I hope it keeps up! Also, remember how all these years, you've told me to make sure I check the oven after I use it? It didn't take. I cooked a pot pie for lunch, and then me and Elder Moore got back about 9 at night, and our apartment felt like a sauna. We were confused, and then we discovered I left the oven on! I felt very smart about that. But thanks for your letters mops, I sure love you, and can you believe I'll hit 6 months this week? I really can't. I'm gonba be home before you know it. the time is really starting to go faster here. This transfer has flown by. But I'm all out of time, but I love you all, and I will write you next week!

We have two progrestigating investigators! Jan. 16

Buenos dias familia! It is so great to hear from you all today! You all wrote awesome letters, and all the other missionaries kept asking me why I was giggling the whole time. Because you guys are hilarious, that's why! Also, I am hilarious. I keep saying progrestigating this week! I think it's a cross between progressing and investigating, but I'm not really sure. But this has been a very interesting week for me and elder Moore. I had my first sick day on my mission! I just woke up wednesday, and I felt completely terrible! I think I just caught the 24 hour bug, because I woke up, felt terrible, went to a couple appointments, and then I ended up getting a fever and throwing up! It was fun. And also, Elder Moore got a great experience. He got to teach the Book of Mormon class all by himself that night! In spanish! He did great. I'm so proud of him, only 2 transfers and already teaching a BOM class in spanish. But this week has been interesting. It's been kind of a hard week, we've had tons of appointments fall through, and not a lot of visible success. But it's been good, all the same. Our newest progressing investigator, E., we just randomly tracted into him while trying to contact a former, and he loves the church. He really wants to be a part of it. He's got a few very difficult addictions, but we're working with him on those. He's doing great, and he's been clean for 24 days right now! He's really making a lot of progress, and it's honestly amazing to see. I have a lot of hope for him, and it's incredible the difference the gospel makes. Because, the only thing I've ever been addicted to is peanut butter m&m's. I don't know how to help him. But by doing what it says in Preach my Gospel, visiting him, as he is trying to come closer to Christ, he's getting over it. I know I'm really not doing much, i'm just grateful I get to be a part of helping him. That's been the biggest news of the week, oh, and before I forget, S. got confirmed yesterday! The bishop did it, and it went really well! we've got a lot of potential in our area, we've got tons of potentials, we'll just see this week what happens, and who becomes real investigators!

I had a really great day on friday. We were practicing teaching during our district meeting, and I just had a feeling of how I should teach the other elder, and he said he really liked it, and that was what he wanted to do for his investigator. It was really amazing. We also had a lesson with enrique that night, and he was telling us just a little bit about what the addictions do to him. I was just imagining that, imagining what it would feel like, and then I imagined what Christ would feel like taking that on himself. How much harder it would be for him, because He was perfect. And as we were teaching, I knew that he really did take it upon Him. He took every pain of E., and He's already paid for it. It was really amazing, to realize how little I truly comprehend the Atonement. Just that tiny little part, I understand a little bit better now. It's amazing. Well, can you all believe it's 6 months? Time is really starting to do weird things now. It's starting to go fast, and I'm really starting to enjoy it more as well. But I'm out of time, but I love you all, and I know that this church is true, and that Christ really did suffer for all of us. And more than anything, it's never too late to realize that. Have a great week, and I'll write you soon! P.S. transfers are this week, so we'll see what happens! I think I'll be staying here with Elder Moore. But we'll see!

Borsh-That is awesome that Bro D. is your teacher. I'm jealous of that. I'm glad to hear Kola and Lily are still adorable, and that they get along so well! I hope you have a great week bud!

B-2 dates? I'm so proud of you B. way to go! I can't believe you're playing for the BYu team! that's crazy. They're really good. And really fast. And I do get a lot of compliments on spanish actually, most people are surprised when they find out I've only been out 6 months.

m@-That's so crazy the Rich's know President Baker! He is great. I love him, but I don't get too much interaction with him, he is a busy man. also, I can't believe you're taking the GRE! that's crazy. good luck!

Lauren-Our teaching pool is slowly growing! It's going great, and we were all really sad about the mission home. It was quite the fire, I saw videos of it.

Kt-Please promise me Ellie will love me more than the ceiling fan when I get home. Please? I sure love you KT, and I'm so happy for you and Ellie! And I'm so glad she's sleeping more too!

A- I'm expecting a much longer list of delicious things this next week. I can't believe you are running another half mararthon. you are crazy.

Mops- transfers this week! We'll see what happens. And as for your questions, we get fed by members every night. Sometimes two or three times a night. And me and Elder Moore eat pasta roni every day pretty much, we don't cook much.

Pops- I can't believe you know elder cornish! His talk is one of my very favorite this conference, I read it a lot. It's awesome.

Well, that's my week family, it's been a good one, and we'll see where I'm writing you from next week! I love you all!

Transfers! Jan. 23

Buenas tardes (originally spelled tarders) familia! Pops escribio que el sentia bien inteligente porque el podia entender todo mi espanol la semana pasada. Entonces, yo voy a escribir completamente en espanol hoy. broma, yo no puedo. bueno, creo que yo puedo, pero me cuesta demasiado tiempo para hacerlo. yo he enviado algunos fotos con esta carta, de S. a su servicio bautismal, y tambien, yo compre un nuevo diario, y cuando recibi mi calendario de ustedes, me di cuenta que los dos son opuestos. yo voy a escribir en ingles ahora.

Good evening, family! Pops wrote that he felt very smart because he could understand all my Spanish lat week. So, I'm going to write completely in Spanish today. Joking, I can't. Well, I think I could, but it would take too much time to do it. I've sent some photos with this letter, of S. at her baptismal service, and also, I bought a new journal, and when I received my calendar from you guys, I realized that the two are opposites (?). And I'm going to write in English now.

Hi family! I hope everything is going well with all of you! It's been a good week here in......

L.A. 6th! Kudos to Matthew (chocolate chip kind), and to me, for guessing correctly! I'm staying here in L.A. 6th for another transfer with Elder Moore! I'm glad to still be here, I definitely feel like there's more work for me here. I'm excited to work here for another transfer. It's fun to be in an area long enough that I can walk down a street and say, "hey, I knocked that door." " a potential lives there" and stuff like that. Also, fun extra for this transfer, the district leader area changed again, and it's now in Jefferson park, so this week I get to go on splits back in my first area! It's gonna be fun to be back in that area for a day, and I don't think I ever told you all about this guy me and Elder Watkins contacted named F. We contacted him late one night, he didn't seem too interested, but we came back, he seemed to have more interest, and the other missionaries kept going back, and him and his family should all be getting baptized really soon! It's pretty crazy. It makes me really realize how important the small things are, and makes me realy grateful I listened to the Spirit that night and decided to contact him. I remember the night we contacted him really well, and I'm so grateful I did. Me and Elder Moore have had an interesting week. We've had a lot of our appointments fall through, but we've been having a lot of success just contacting. We had a really good day on saturday, I think it was one of the days in my mission where I've felt most guided by the Spirit. It was interesting, I've had some really miraculous finding experiences on my mission, and it wasn't like that, but it still felt just as guided, just in a quieter way. We found a lot of people at just the right time it seemed like. Including this black minister named R. P., who took out his phone and called for a Book of Mormon as we were standing there. That was so cool. We also had a pretty amazing lesson with Y. this week. most of Y.'s family is less active, really only her and her grandpa are active, faithful, members. But her uncle happened to be sitting with us, he's actually served a mission, but then has been less active for the past 10 years. We've talked to him a little bit, and we've invited him to come back to church and to sit in our lessons with us. But we was sitting there, and he was actually sick, and me and Elder Moore ended up giving him a blessing, and he just started crying, and saying how much he missed feeling the Spirit, and how he wanted it back. Then the whole family just started hugging each other, and the Spirit was really strong. And then, the next day at church, seeing him walk back into the chapel with Y. was one of the best feelings I've had on my mission. And he told us, thanks to you guys, I'm coming back to church, and I'm going to make my life right. It was really amazing, and it made me really feel like I'd been successful. Although I really don't feel like I do much. It was amazing, and amazing to see that after all this time, he still recognized what was missing, and he wanted it back. That was a testimony builder to me as well, seeing how much the church really does bless our lives, even though a lot of times we get so used to it that it can be hard to see, and sometimes we don't see it til it's gone.

But it's been a good week, and me and Elder Moore are really hoping to get some good progrestigating investigators this week. I love you all, thank you so much for your prayers, and love, and letters, and all you do to make me feel loved and missed. It really means a lot to me, and I couldn't do it without all of your support!

J- ah Skyrim is cool? There is a giant billboard for it that I always see on the freeway, and it always makes we want to play it. I'm jealous. That's really fun that you got to spend the weekend with Harris, that's great. Is school still going well? What classes are you taking this semester? Are you getting ready to start ultimate frisbee again? I hope so, then you can beat B. Well I love you g-borsh, have a great week!

B- You're going to be in such good shape when I get home. And I will be roughly the size and shape of a young killer whale, I think. And then you will have to teach me all your new frisbee skills. I'm so glad about your new Home teaching assignment. thats the kind of calling I want after my mission. Being in this ward here has really taught me how important that is. Mostly the lack of it here. There are so many less actives here in this ward that could have been avoided if people had done their home teaching. It's really sad, but it's a huge testimony to me of how inspired home teaching is. You've got such an important calling! no pressure, but everything depends on you. Just jk-ing B. Love you!

Kt-Woohoo! You almost exercised? 3 times? thats fantastic! I am already getting excited about your package. I can't imagine what it is. The way you described it, I'm imaging you're sending Ellie in a box of puppies. But whatever it is, I am sure I will squee, and I will love it! Ellie sounds so adorable, and I can understand her sleeve problem. I hate wearing long sleeve shirts here. Short sleeves are the way to go. Unfortunately, no sleeves are frowned upon. but I love you Kt, thanks for your awesome letters, they make me laugh every week, and I love hearing about all your little everyday things, they make me giggle all the time. I lvoe you sister!

M@- haha, find progrestigating investigators. I should send that in to Brother Bott. I'm sure he'd use it. I'm so glad to hear your GRE studying is going so well, I'm so proud of you.

Lauren- Thanks for the quote Lauren! I love it. That's a really applicable quote for me, it can be really hard for me to do that. I have the same problem you do, just focus on what I still have to do in the future, instead of enjoying what I'm doing now.

Mops- I've heard that about the Sacrament too, and I've also wondered about it. I've heard it enough times, and from enough sources, that I think it is true. It's something I've thought a lot about too, and the more I've thought about it, the more it seems to make sense to me and to help me understand more about the sacrament.

P.S. I got your package today! I still need to call about the credit card, and i got the shirt and calendar! I thought for sure I would make it in the calendar this year, but I guess not. There's always next year!

Pops-Ah did you tell Emily and Jessica hi for me? if you see Jessica again, remind her she promised to write me at least 2 letters while I was gone. I think you should come travel and be the high council speaker here. We have notoriously boring sacrament meetings here, with an average of one speaker per meeting. It's rough.

Well, I'm all out of time, but I love you family, and I can't wait to hear from you all again next week! Have a great week!

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