Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I am going to to write a 5 page novel Feb. 20

Hola Familia!

me da mucho gusto para escribirles otra vez esta semana. Ustedes me escribieron muy buenas cartas esta semana, y me sentia muy contento leerlas. Esta semana ha sido muy extrana. mucho mas de lo mismo. Despues de nuestra limpieza, pensabamos que habia mucho espacio por nuevos investigadores. Esta semana ha sido un poco dificil, pero tenemos mucho potencial ahora. Me siento que vayamos a tener mucho exito esta proxima semana y especialmente este proximo cambio, aun que tal vez yo no vaya a estar aqui.

Hi family! This week has been really interesting. It's been another kind of interesting week. Each week we think the slump will get over, and then we sit down on sunday night and we're just thinking, dangit. No baptismal dates, no progressing investigators, what happened? But we've been working hard, and we've really got a ton of potential, its just going to be sifting through it. And whenever I get too down, I just have to think of E. He continues to be amazing. This week, he even volunteered to say the prayer in class, and he brought his mom to church! E. has already been taught everything, so we just focus on the BOM, and especially we've realized helping him help his family will keep him going strong. His niece and nephew have been coming to the activities, and they've even starting reading the BOM as well! They're really cool, i love him and his whole family so much, they are the kind of people I will always remember. We're having dinner with them for the first time this week, and we're really excited for that. Everytime we go over, they're cooking something. And friday, they gave us tacos de lengua! they were really good. We saw his sister in law pulling these giant cow tongues out of the pot, and we were kind of grossed out at first, but once they're chopped up, with some pico de gallo and hot sauce, they're amazing. But he continues to do really well, and he's already got almost 60 days clean. Hopefully just 30 more and he'll be ready for baptism! A. and L. are doing well, they feed us every week, and this week, they fed us so much! Two giant plates of meat and beans, followed by cookies, flan, and a bowl of fruit. It was crazy. I was the only one who finished it. I felt like dying afterward, but I felt proud of finishing it. We also have our investigator S., he's doing well, it's hard to teach him because his less active wife always whispers the answers in his ear. It's very hilarious and very frustrating. They actually live right behind the computer shop where we are writing right now! But I know I started this letter off kind of negatively. But man this week ended well. I was feeling pretty down sunday. It's been a tough few weeks, and the worst part is wondering if the lack of success is because of something you're doing wrong or if it's just a test of faith. I was thinking a lot about that, and I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to help me know that I was on the right track. And that day at church, this lady named M. walked up to us, told us she lived in our area, had been going to church for the past two months, and wanted to be baptized! It was amazing. We think she's been going to the other ward and that's why she hasn't talked to us before. It was amazing to get that new progressing investigator who will soon have a baptismal date, and it was even more amazing just realizing how much Heavenly Father loves me. He inspired her to talk to us that day so that I could have that answer to that prayer. It's very humbling, and makes me realize how much more grateful I should be for what I already have. Including a wonderful family like you! I keep our Christmas card in my backpack, and if the circumstances are right in the lesson I like to pull it out and talk about all of you. You really are all amazing, and I am so grateful for all of you. And it's what keeps me going here in the mission. I would definitely not be here without all of you. I just hope you know how much I love all of you, and how grateful I am for everything.

And for my spiritual thought for this week, I read something that caught my attention. In the second to last verse of Jacob, he says they mourned all the days of their lives. But earlier, Nephi, says they lived after the manner of happiness, earlier in 2nd nephi. I was thinking about that, and how Jacob and Nephi had a lot of similar circumstances. And I don't know all the circumstances, things probably did change, but it seemed to me that Nephi was just happy because he wanted to be. Even a prophet has to have a good attitude to be happy. And I realized so much of my happiness, here and always, depends on my attitude. But that's my soapbox for this week, it's been a good week, Me and elder Moore and Elder Clark have been having a great time. Can't wait to write you all next week!

Josh- How was dull rio? It sounds really fun, I've never been to a pilot graduation! How are Kola and Lily doing? I love you bud, have a great week. Try a somersault!

A- Amy you're going to get transferred the same day I am! Our transfers are on the 29th of this month as well! And I don't know why, I just have a feeling I'm leaving the ward. I can't believe I've already been here for almost 6 months, this transfer has been crazy fast! Although your transfer sounds a little more intense. Graduation sounds super fun, along with feeding tons of people! I feel for you. I made breakfast for Elder Moore and Elder clark yesterday. It was stressful. I made them breakfast papusas! With egg, bacon and cheese. They weren't very good. But they have tons of potential. When I get home, I will perfect them. But I love you, tell Cary congrats on his wings, and I'm so proud of him! I tell all the missionaries I meet how cool he is. I mean, a fur real pilot! But I sure love you Yam, good luck with everything!

B- Your week sounds super fun! I remember days like that. Maybe not quite like that. But still close. With the new training program, they have 2 hours comp study, and sometimes that's enough for me. But Enrique is still amazing. He really is, and he continues to love everything, he hasn't flagged at all. And he said ever since we gave him a blessing, he hasn't even been tempted to use drugs. it's pretty amazing. Well I hope that we both have more exciting weeks, and I love you B!

Kt- I really like what you said, That Heavenly Father is holding the 99 back so we can focus on the 1. There's so many people here, that's its really easy to always focus on new people and not focus on just the ones who need it most. Also, I can't even imagine todd as a softie. no way. When I see Ellie, I will not be a softie. We will be doing scripture study every day, and I will never even take her to the park, or buy her ice cream, or anything. Ellie sure sounds adorable, even if she was all cranky this week. I hope she feels better this week!

M@- I am indeed still in a trio, and unless Elder Clark gets his visa in this next week I still will be til the next transfer. But President Baker said they won't keep the trios for the next transfer. I've actually really liked it, it keeps it interesting. We laugh a lot more, it's harder to get down with three people. Your weekend and valentines day sounds great, all I did was interrupt other peoples romantic celebrations! that was fun. But I hope you have a great week, tell Lauren I say hi!

Mops- That speedway sounds super fun. You might have to take me there sometime! Thanks for your letter mops, I am unfortunately running out of time, but I sure love you!

Pops-That story about Kathy rawlins is amazing. It does my heart good hearing about you and mops helping the missionaries, because members make or break an area. I never realized how important having members were. I didn't even realize that we had a ward mission leader before I left. I hope everything continues to go well with her!

I love you all, have a great week!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Jan 30 through Feb 13

Usted es bien fuerte y gordo Jan. 30

Buenos dias familia! El titulo de mi carta esta semana es una experiencia bien chistosa que yo tuve con E. anoche. hablabamos con el, y el dijo que el es bien fuerte, y yo trate de decir guapo, pero dije gordo. Elder Moore rio bastante, y yo estaba muy embarazado, (broma, me avergonce mucho). Pero, E. rio tambien, y todo salio bien. Entonces, yo he tenido una semana bien interestante, pero, estuvo muy bien.

Good day, family! The title of my letter this week is a very funny experience I had with E. last night. We were talking with him, and he said he was very strong, and I tried to say he was handsome, but I said fat. Elder Moore laughed a lot, and I was very pregnant (joking, I was very embarrassed). But E. laughed as well, so everything worked out OK. So, I've had a very interesting week, but it was all good. (I loved his 'Nemo' joke, by the way.)

Good Morning Family!

It's another great week over here in L.A. 6th, sun is shining, birds are singing, Missionaries are tracting, the tank is clean...The tank is clean!

But it's been a good week. We've had some interesting experiences. First of all, I've had my first experience being chased by a dog in a dark alley. That was quite exciting. Me and Elder Moore accidentally turned down an alley, (we thought it would go through), rode down to the end, and then these two bull dogs just came out of nowhere, and we booked it on our bikes, and they chased us right out that alley. That was really interesting. Also, I learned how to make Papusas for real! Me and Elder Moore had a dinner, and the hermana taught us how to do every stage of papusa making! It was awesome. And me and elder Moore had an awesome idea. Papusas are mostly beans and cheese, but we had an idea to make breakfast papusas! With egg, bacon, and cheese. We're going to try that out on sunday morning and see how it goes! I feel like it's been forever since I've written, and that I've got so many things to tell you all about, but at the same time I can't believe this week is already over! And so is january! That's what I really can't believe. It's crazy.

But we've had some really awesome experiences this week. Me and Elder Moore were riding to an appointment, we saw a lady unloading groceries, stopped, threw down our bikes and offered to help. And she said we could! This was a big deal. Latinos will never let us help them. They can be carrying a refrigerator by themselves, you offer to help, and they just say, no estoy bien. But we helped her, started talking to her a little bit, and invited her to church. And this week, she came, and she even brought a friend! She loved it, and we're really hoping she will go somewhere. We also had an amazing lesson with a less active family. We had dinner with them, and then, we started teaching them the plan of salvation. And I've never had people pay more attention to us in a lesson. It was awesome. We taught it, and they started firing off the questions. The Spirit was really strong in that lesson, and it was amazing, knowing that that lesson was exactly what they needed that night. Lessons like that are what make me love being a missionary. I got out of it afterward, and I was just amazed that I get to have that opportunity to go in peoples houses and teach them. It's really amazing. We also had a great lesson with E. He's been doing incredibly well, he's been clean ever since we started teaching him, and he came to church yesterday, with his suit and tie, he looked like a bishop. I think Heavenly Father has a very special plan for him, I'm really excited to see what it is. He loves everything, he reads everything, loves church, and he's just amazing. He had a hard day on saturday, he said he really was tempted. We were teaching about the WoW, and there is a page in that pamphlet about addiction recovery, and one suggestion is to give a blessing. Me and Elder Moore both felt inspired to offer him a blessing. I sometimes get nervous about doing blessings, I'm still not very confident about them, but I gave him the blessings, and I didn't even feel particularly inspired, but afterwards, he said, I needed that. And he said he felt so much better, and it really made a difference to him. It was pretty amazing. Incredibly amazing that I, with God's help, can really help people here. I've been learning a lot about listening to the Spirit this week, I've had some really amazing spiritual experiences on my mission, but I'm learning a lot more about how to recognize it when it's quieter. When it's just subtle enough, that if you're not paying attention, you lose it. And the more I learn about it, the more I realize just how much God is involved in every part of my life. Every minute of every day. It's amazing. And I learn more and more, how i can't do anything without His help. It's very humbling, but also very strengthening, realizing it's not all up to me. I've also learned a lot about the scripture, 2nd nephi 28:30. God gives us a little by little. My mission has not been easy for me in the slightest. It's definitely been the hardest 6 months of my life. There's been a lot of days where I was not sure if I could keep going. But little by little, Heavenly Father is really teaching me to trust him, and to trust that He knows where He wants me to be, and what He wants me to be. And I'm so grateful that he hasn't solved all my problems like I've wanted Him to, but he's given me just enough to keep going, so I could learn for myself. I know He is watching over me, and all of you too. Every day, my testimony of that just gets stronger and stronger. And I know how much he loves me, because the fact that He hasn't let me stop. Sometimes, He's kept me going despite all of my best efforts to give up. And I'm so grateful for that.

I'm also really grateful for all of your amazing letters, I'm sorry I don't have more time today, but know I enjoyed every single one of your letters, and can't wait to hear from you all next week! (especially Amy, you could have switched Air force Bases 3 times since the last time I heard from you! I love you all so much, and I know that the gospel is true! And I'm so grateful I can live with you all forever, because of it. And I know that I can. Love you!

KT- Ellie-fant! I love it! It's amazing!

squash-thanks for the pictures!

Oh boy! 3 A.M.! Feb 6

Buenas tardes la famila reichman (richman? rechman? riceman? oh...elder!) Ha sido una semana buena en L.A. 6th. hemos tenido una semana un poco dificil, un poco duro, pero por lo general estuvo muy bien. muchas de nuestras buenas citas nos cancelaron, y hemos tocado muchas puertas y hemos hablado con tantas personas. Me siento que hayamos trabajado muy duro, y por eso, me siento bien, solo no hemos visto el fruto de nuestros labores mucho esta semana. Pero, esta bien, y vamos a seguir trabajando duro y eficazmente y tendremos mucho exito esta proxima semana!

Good afternoon Reichman family! It's been a good week in L.A. 6th. We've had a week that was a little difficult, a little hard, but generally it was very good. A lot of our appointments canceled on us, and we've knocked a lot of doors, and we've talked to many people. i feel like we've worked very hard, and for this, I feel good. Only we haven't seen the fruit of our labors much this week. But, it's OK, and we are going to continue working hard and effectively and we will have a lot of success this next week!

Hi familia!

It's been an interesting week. We've had tons of missed appointments, zone conference, tons of tracting and street contacting, trying to contact referalls, all that good missionary stuff! First of all, E. is continuing to do awesome! He's been clean ever since we met him, but unfortunately we won't be getting baptized anytime soon, President Baker wants him to wait for at least 3 months, because he had some pretty strong addictions and he wants to make sure he's truly left them. But he's doing great, he loves church, and this sunday, he just turned to us and said, "I can't wait to serve in the church here. maybe I'll be sitting up on the stand someday." He's so awesome. And once he's a member, I could see it. I feel Heavenly Father has a big plan for this ward, because all 3 companionships in the ward have been finding and baptizing some of the coolest people, who are really going to strengthen the ward. (also, did I tell you that M. got called as a ward missionary? It was one of the coolest things ever on saturday, seeing her walk into coordination meeting with her own copy of Preach my Gospel. She's so awesome, and it's really, really awesome to be able to continue to see her and work with her, even though I left the area.) We've also got a really awesome couple, named A. and L., he's been investigating for over a year now, and they're ready to be baptized, they just have to wait for probation and marriage problems to be baptized. And the grocery lady, C., we were unfortunately unable to see her this week, she was working a ton (work is the enemy of missionary work here, that's all anybody does), she wasn't able to make it to church yesterday either, but we have an appointment with her tomorrow that should be awesome. And we have a less active named R., and we are teaching her husband S. right now, and he's doing great as well. They gave us seviche on saturday, and Elder Moore almost died. He hates seafood, and seviche had shrimp, snails, octopus and oysters in it. I didn't even enjoy it that much, but Elder Moore was dying. and I wasn't laughing at all. I was very compassionate and caring. It was a very interesting dish, mostly just seeing little octopus legs covered in suckers all over. But that's about it for our investigators. We've been contacting a lot, and planning on dropping most of our area book this next week I think. but we'll see what happens. Also, this week, we had Zone conference! It was great. I love zone conference and district meetings and stuff. Just kind of a little break for a while. And President Baker gave an awesome talk about obedience. Most the time, when the President talks about obedience, we figure it will just be him telling us to be more obedient, but he talked about the difference between being obedient and being willingly obedient. That really, really hit me. I've been very obedient in my mission, but not very willingly most the time. And because of that, I've seen awesome blessings, but I haven't really been in the place that I could enjoy them the way I want to. And President Baker said, the real reason we are obedient is because we love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and we are grateful for what they do for us. I've been thinking a lot about that recently, and it's really helping me to put things in focus. It's helping me want to be obedient, rather than setting a list of rules that if I break, it means i'm a terrible missionary. It's been great to feel that change, to feel myself slowly starting to be obedient because I want to, rather than stressing out every second about whether or not I'm being obedient enough. And it brings the Spirit more into my life, I''ve noticed my biggest obstacle to feeling the spirit is worrying about and stressing, not from not being obedient enough. But I know my Heavenly Father loves me, and I'm slowly starting to feel that more and more in my life.

It's been an interesting week, I've learned a lot, and I'm really excited for this next week! I can't wait to hear from you all again, and I love you all so much, and I hope you have an awesome week!


J-i can't believe you got a snowday

B- I have tons of sisters in my zone because most the sisters in the mission work in the visitors center, and they split the VC sisters between the Westwood and Marina zones. I actually really like having sisters, for the most part they're pretty awesome. they give awesome tours as well in the VC, so you definitely want to be friends with them.

Kt- I could really use some moccasins as well! I bought some cheap slippers cause my apartment floor is gross, but it's just not the same!

M@- I love president monsons abundant life! we're gonna share it tonight at an FHE with Angel and Luz! Also, Papusas are from El Salvador primarily. And We didnt get to try the breakfast papusas, we forgot it was fast sunday, but this week for sure.

Mops-obedience is hard. I really liked your thoughts about obedience, it's been something I've been thinking about a lot as well! Also I got the package, I loved it! Your letters make me tear up all the time, but they're awesome! I love you so much Momma, and you should send me a hand picture! I'd love it.

Pops-Thanks for sending that text to Amy! I really appreciate it. I sure love you Pops, thanks for your great example to me, and sorry I don't have more time! I wish I could have seen Kola and Lilly in the snow, that sounds adorable and hilarious.

los tres amigos! Feb. 13

Hola Familia!

That reichman family group is pretty nifty there! Thank you Matt for setting that up! Well, we've had a very interesting week this week. It's been another kind of discouraging week. We did our weekly planning on thursday, and just dumped out our area book. But good news is, there is now plenty of room for people who will progress! We've had a lot of people who just weren't going anywhere fast, so we decided to drop most of them and concentrate on finding new people. We kept a few people, mostly E., A. and L., S., and a couple other people. E. is still doing awesome. He now has 52 days clean, and we have taught him everything! He's agreed to everything, and has even started paying his tithing! His obedience has been very inspiring to me. I always get nervous teaching some of the commandments, but in essence, when we were talking about tithing, he said, "I know the church is true, and I have to go 100% or nothing." So he's doing great. And he always talks to people on the street, at his job, his family, teaching them everything we teach him. He's so amazing. I really can't wait to see where he's at in a few years. He's so cool. A. and L. are also doing great, we have an FHE with them and another family in the ward today, and I'm excited for that, they went to a baptismal service this sunday, and they both seemed to really like it, and I'm also really excited to see where they end up in a few years. S.....we've had some interesting lessons. His wife sits there and whispers the answers to questions in his ear, but he still just says what he thinks we want to hear. It's really weird, but also kind of hilarious. But we've had a few cool things happen this week. First, I got to go on splits with my brother! Elder Watkins trained Elder Gonzalez right before me, and now Elder Gonzalez is my District leader, and he's awesome. He's a great missionary. It's kind of interesting, his parents are Colombian, so we actually went in the MTC the same day, but he was only there 3 weeks, and we go home together. But it was really fun, and we found this really cool new family, and I'm so excited for our lesson with them tomorrow. Also, biggest news of the week, is I'm now a grandpa! Kind of. I'm not really sure how the whole relationship works here, but me and Elder Moore are training! We got a call from President Baker during one of our appointments, and he told us he was going to give us a visa waiter! So we now have Elder Clark working with us in L.A. 6th! Me and Elder Moore are starting to train him, we're not really sure how long he'll be with us, but he's great. He's going to Cuernavaca, Mexico, once he gets his visa. And a really interesting thing, Elder Clark was in the same district in the MTC as I was, District 44-E, with Hermano Gillon! He took the place of the group after me. It's kind of interesting. But It's been really interesting having him, me and Elder Moore are both training him, and it's really weird having responsibility over them both. Elder Moore already knows everything, but technically I'm still senior companion, and if nobody knows what to do or they need to make a decision, I'm the one they look to and I have the final say in what we do. It's weird. Especially because I hate making decisions. I'm terrible at it. Also, we had the craziest lesson this week! We got a referral this week that was actually supposed to go to the english elders, but we didn't know it at the time, and we tried to contact them. We knocked the door, and a guy with a strange accent opened the door. Closed it for a second, and then invited us in. We realized that his accent was not spanish. But we got in, and he told us he was french. And turns out there were 4 different people in the house speaking like 4 different languages! All in all, during the course of the lesson, there was portugese, spanish, french, italian and english. We would talk in spanish to the one guy who had a high school spanish education, and then they would all talk amongst themselves in French. It was crazy! and even crazier, one of them was a blind black guy, who turns out to be a famous french fashion designer! It was so crazy. His name was Mason Ewing, I'm sure you could look him up. It was crazy. And they invited us back for dinner, they really liked us, but we can't because the english elders are already teaching them! It was a crazy night. It's been interesting, I hope this week things start to pick up again. But I love you all, and I can't wait to hear from you next week! And Happy Valentines day!

J-haha, I loved the Mario analogy. Except you typed Marco. Mops sent me mario candy for Christmas, and one of them came in a coin box, and I keep my quarters in it for laundry. It's great. Your snow cave sounds great, I haven't even seen snow in about a year, so I can't even remember what thats like! Also Pops told me you woke up at 5:30 and started packing up, and then had to get out your sleeping bag again when you realized it was still early. I didn't laugh at all. But I love you buddy, and go have an exciting week this week! Seize the day! Especially if it involves dressing up like Mario

B- hooray for singles awareness day! That's so awesome that you taught your elders quorum the my little buttercup dance. I am so jealous. and I wish I could see that video. I can't wait to see it when I do get back! Also, your tests sound gross. i am really glad I don't have tests like that. Although, when I think about it, my day every day is kind of a test of what I studied that morning. But at least they are not in the testing center!

Yam-AAHH!!! i still can't believe Cary is going to be a pilot. That is so crazy. That is going to be so cool when you get to break his wings! I'm surprised you didn't break them right then and there when he called you fat! Oh man. That story killed me. I LQTM-ed. I'm really glad, for Cary's sake, that he was talking to Abby, and not you. Also, your weekend sounds delicious. I wish you would email me some cookies. but guess what! I'm going to make the cookies you sent me, and we are going to decorate them for the FHE tonight! And it's going to be great!

M@-I had a great brentism this week. I was trying to say papusas are filled with beans and cheese, and I accidentally said beas and cheens! Elder Moore died. It was hilarious, and our investigators had no idea what we were laughing about.

Kt-your anniversary sounds great!

Mops-Guess what? I found something about your questions a couple weeks ago. In true to the faith, ( a gospel reference), it talks about how the sacrament means we are clean again. I was really excited when I found it! But thanks for your awesome letters Mops, I love you!

Pops-The snow caves sound great. Also, I saw a lot of asian people this week for some reason, and I kept almost talking to them in spanish. I know understand why Mexico is so hard for you.

But that;s all the time I have, but I love you all, and I can't wait to hear from you next week!