Hallelujah!!!! June 25
Muy buenos dias familia!
We had a great week this week, because we had an investigator at church this week! Maria Gonzalez came to church! And she really enjoyed it! That was the first investigator we've had in church in over 9 weeks! It was really exciting. Unfortunately, none of her kids came, but that's our goal for this week! It was so exciting when we saw her walk into church. Some of our recent converts offered to pick her up, so it's about 9:30, the meeting is about to start, and nobody has shown up yet. I saw one of the members walk in, but I didn't see her at first. And then she walked in behind her, and it was awesome! We had a really good lesson the friday before, with the members that brought her, and I think that is what made her come, even though her kids didn't. She's been going through a tough time, her husband has some drinking problems, and he's not super cooperative. He actually left the house for a few days right before. But our recent converts, Adan and Maye, have a very, very similar situation. So we brought them, and they talked about the change the gospel made for them, how the husband stopped drinking completely, changed a lot, and especially how much church helps them. It was great. That lesson helped her a lot, and now she finally came to church. And we really feel, that was the first big step. And now it's just a matter of time before her kids start coming, and they all start progressing. We had a lesson with them right afterwards to talk about her church experience, and we ended with a prayer, and she said it, and it was really touching to hear her praying, and asking if her kids could come to church with her. I think her kids felt it as well. It was really awesome. We also have found some great new potential this week, we found a few first lessons with a couple new families, and they seem really promising, and we're excited to see where they go this week as well. This week has been kind of interesting, we haven't had a ton of time working in our area, with zone conferences with elder Johnson and everything. It was a really good conference on thursday. I learned a lot. It always seems the more I learn the more I realize how simple everything is. The gospel is simple, and I just tend to overcomplicate things. It's been a really good week, but nothing too exciting. But I love you all a lot, and I can't wait to hear from you next week! It's already getting close to transfers again, can you believe that?
Mops- You would not even recognize me as the little boy who hates tomato sauce now. Everybody knows me here as a missionary that eats everything. And to be honest, for the most part, enjoys everything too. I've really started to like hot salsa and stuff. Although, I still don't like tomato sauce. And I can't believe there are so many fires. That's really scary. I hope you all stay safe!
Pops- wow. That's weird that you'll be heading to Alabama soon. I hadn't even thought about that. Too bad Redneck Shuffleboard won't be the same. I like your suggestion to sing count your many blessings a little more often, and I've definitely noticed what you were talking about. There are so many people here who have real problems here, and I really don't. I just need to sing with a little bit more bigger and bim!
Kt- I am glad to hear about your bizarre dreams too! I thought I was the only one. Mine have just been involving other missionaries gambling at parties and stuff, not so much the Somali pirates. At least they didn't get the puppies! I would definitely encourage you to invite your friend to dinner with the missionaries! I am sure that it would help her a lot. From what I've seen, the best way to do it would be to plan with the missionaries beforehand, and ask what they hope to accomplish at the dinner, make sure you're on the same page, and then invite her and tell her what the missionaries will do! And don't forget, Heavenly Father will help you! He wants to help her just as much as you do! I'm so proud of you for wanting to help her, it's scary to invite people. But I sure love you Kt, and good luck!
M@- new house! That's crazy. Maybe I'll get a new apartment about the same time! I can't let you catch up. And as for exercise, me and Elder Fisher have just been tossing the frisbee.
B- Overly Exuberant Zerahemnah. That is one of the greatest lines I've ever heard. I will never read that name the same way again. Also, are you seriously taking the Dinosaurs class? I always wanted to. Jealous. I know your key indicators didn't change too much this week, but keep working hard, and invite those members!
A- It makes me so happy to hear that you feed the missionaries every week. They must love you.
Borsh- que paso?
Well, ya se acabo el tiempo, pues, les quiero mucho!
I smell a rat... July 2
La verdad, huelo una rata. Esta semana, nos dimos cuenta que hay ratas en nuestro apartamento. Fue bien triste para nosotors. Ya compramos trampas de pegamento, y esperamos que funcionen bien y maten las ratas. La rata entro en mi mochila, y comio mi naranja! no pude creerlo.
(Ooh boy, you guys are going to love this translation:
Really, I do smell a rat. This week, we realized that there are rats in our apartment. It was very sad for us. We already bought glue traps, and we're hoping they work well and kill the rats. One rat already got into my backpack and ate my orange. I couldn't believe it.)
Buenas Tardes familia!
It has been another wonderful week here in Willowbrook. So wonderful, that I'm really hoping that I stay here another transfer! We have transfers on wednesday, and boy am I surprised. This transfer has just flown by. It's been crazy. We've been working really hard and having some awesome things happening, and now the transfer is over. I give myself a 50/50 chance. I can't even predict what's going to happen with this transfer. but our week was so good, because maria and her family are really progressing now! We've been teaching them for over 3 months, it's been kind of an interesting situation, it was so hard to get everyone together, so we've taught individual lessons to different members of the family, most to the mom, but since we started praying with them, it's made a huge difference. Last week, they were fighting, and the husband wasn't even at the house. But this week, Maria came with her husband! They came together! And they both seemed to really enjoy it. Their kids didn't come yet, but we had a lesson right after church, and taught about the sabbath day to the whole family! 8 kids and the parents. We were only missing one of the kids. And it went really well. We have a church tour with them tomorrow, and we hope that will help the kids get more excited about going to church. It was a miracle that Maria and her husband came at all yesterday. We had dinner with them the night before, but it went a little late, and we weren't able to teach much, so we told them we'd stop by in the morning and wake them up for church. So we stopped by at 8:30, and the house looks dead. Door closed, dead quiet. We were just like, "oh man, are you serious." So we go up, and start knocking the door. And we knocked loud. And called them twice. And nothing. And I was getting frustrated. And sad. It seems everytime we get someone progressing something like this happening. and we realized, there is no way they can not hear this. they must be avoiding us. But we knocked, real loud, one last time, and then I felt I should say something. So I said buenos dias. And then one of their littler kids opened the door! And he said he woke up, but he was scared. And this was the miracle. He said he heard us say this is the missionaries. And we never said that. We were definitely praying for help, and there was the answer. Heavenly Father gave him a little nudge so he would open the door. And the Maria was dead asleep. But her son woke her up, and after thinking for a second, she said she was going to church. Even if she had to go to church alone. It was cool. We didn't even really say much, we just said we passed by to wake her up for church, and then the Spirit nudged her so she knew she had to go to church. It was really cool. And then her and her husband, Cristobal, came, and it was like the lessons were tailored for them. It seemed to me, exactly the lessons they needed to hear. And they seemed to enjoy it, lots of members greeted them, and Maria seemed to really enjoy Relief Society. She even signed up on our dinner calendar! It was awesome. Definitely the highlight of the week. And they're a lot of the reason I want to stay. they know me pretty well, and they really like me. And we told them we had transfers this week, and we might get moved, and the little boys almost started crying. It was really touching. They're such an awesome family, and if they keep moving the way they are, I could see them all getting baptized within the near future. So we're really excited about them. And that's really what I've been focusing a lot on the week. Seeing the way their family has changed has been amazing. I don't think they've really noticed it, but their family has changed a lot since we started teaching them. It really has built my testimony on the power of the Spirit. That through small and simple things, just like praying as a family, there has been a lot more love and happiness in their house. We've done the best we can as missionaries to bring the Spirit into their house, and that's what has made the difference. It's a very interesting paradox, that my efforts don't really do much, but at the same time they're so important. The good things wouldn't happen the same way if we weren't trying our best, but at the same time we're not doing most of the work. It's really comforting actually, realizing that most of the work isn't really done by me. But that's been my week, and I love you all a lot! Have a good week!
Borsh- I hope you're having a good time in Alabama! Make sure you drink lots of yoohoos, and light lots of fireworks for me!
A- Yay for Bama! Thanks for taking the time to write me, even when your gate changed. I still can't really believe you and Cary are going to move all the way up to Spokane, that's crazy. Also, did I ever tell you the sad story here? You talked about your DC. President Baker has asked us not to drink caffeinated drinks anymore, so I haven't had any coke or anything in a few months. It's so weird. But it's alright, it definitely helps me sleep better. I hope you have a fun time in Bama!
B- whoo. With key indicators like that, it's only a matter of time before you have real progressing investigator with a date. Especially with those member presents planned. Keep up the good work. I can't believe you taught the Lesson 1 as well. That's bold.
M@- I bet your 4th of July will be even busier than mine! We have transfers, but we also can't work that night. So it's going to be an interesting day. They have a mormon night for the LA soccer team, and we're trying to convince president to let us go. I don't think he will. Also, I got a little off-tropic the other day. I don't know what I was trying to say, but it made me even less focused because I started laughing.
Kt-Squee! I can't wait to see Ellie at the lake! she's going to love it!
Mops-I got the 4th of July package, I love it! Thanks momma!
Pops-It does seem to take forever to find the buoys every year. Not trying to pat myself on the back, but I think i was the one who usually found them. I hope it's a good year in Bama, theres a fireworks stand right next to my apartment, and I always think of Pappy cutting the deals when I see it.
Love you all, happy 4th of July!
I made it quickly and quietly, with no loud music or flash dancing July 9
I did indeed make it, with no loud music or flashdancing! I made it to Hidden Falls, L.A.! In case you can't tell by the UP allusions, I am staying in Shady Oaks! I mean, Willowbrook. Me and Elder fisher will be staying together for at least one more transfer here! and we're both happy about it. We get along well, and we are excited to see the fruits of our labors here. We have had a pretty good week here. We had a pretty exciting 4th of July, which meant we bought Bobo's burgers and cleaned our apartment! We weren't allowed to be out of our apartment past 7 o clock, but i did spend a while watching the fireworks out the window. And they were pretty good. People are just shooting mortars off in the streets, and at least twice I saw them explode on the ground and make everyone run and start all the car alarms. It was funny. And during our apartment clean, we did not find the mouse. But we did find a leather jacket, which was equally exciting. We have been so far unsuccessful in finding our mouse. He cleaned our traps two nights in a row, but we bought some new ones today, and we think we'll get him now. As far as work goes this week, it went well. We have tons of investigators we taught this week, who are right on the verge of becoming very solid progressing investigators, i think we will see a lot of them making progress this week. Maria gonzalez and her family, unfortunately did not come to church this week. We had a lesson at the church with all the little boys and the dad, it went well, to try and get them accustomed to it, and it went really well, but they called us yesterday morning and told us they weren't coming. It was disappointing, but we did have some very good things happen yesterday. We had a baptismal service in the ward, and it was for the guy that i had to fail in his baptismal interview a few weeks ago, so for me, that was very exciting to see him finally get there. And we also had one of our investigators, guadelupe, come to the service as well. And she seemed to really like it, and we went by afterwards and talked to her son, his wife, and her grandson, and we invited them all to come to church as well, and that was pretty awesome. I'm pretty excited about them. I think she will really start progressing now, and hopefully her family as well. So that was our week. I am glad to hear everyone had a good week, and I look forward to hearing from you all next week!
Mops- yay for driving! I opened my package today, I couldn't stand to wait til next ,onday, and thank you very much! I think you would be proud of me, for our 4th of July here, I made Elder fisher sing battle hymn of the republic and the star spangled banner with me as we watched fireworks. It was actually a very nice night.
Pops-Yay for fireworks! I'm glad Bama went well again this year, and I hope you're not too sore for work!
Kt- new counters! That's so exciting. I can't wait to see pictures of Ellie!
M@- I am glad all your wisdom was able to help the Wray family in need, although I was expecting you to say a lot more of go to sleep, it'll feel better in the morning. I am so proud of Lauren for finally revealing her hidden zelda talent as well
B- Well it sounds like your investigator (s) are going almost as well as mine! I can't even believe that. That's so close to me, it would drive me crazy. But we'll see what happens, love you B!
A- I do actually like avocados now. hey and guess what, i bought baking chocolate today, and I'm making oreo truffles tonight!
J- I hope you have fun driving! Sounds like a good year at the lake!
Well, sorry family, I'm running out of time for today, but I love you all, and can't wait to hear from you next week!
I am mocusly fostering today... July 16
Buenas Tardes Familia!
It was wonderful to hear from you all! In case you are wondering at my title, it is not inapropriate, I just had a really great brentism this week. I tried to say I was mostly focusing during comp study, but instead I said that. It was pretty good. It has been a good week here in Willowbrook! Maria and her family have still been struggling this week, they unfortunately didn't make it to church this week, it's just really hard to teach them all and find them at home. Well nigh impossible. To this point, we have not had a lesson with everyone together. We're a little saddened about them, but we're going to keep trying and help them progress this week. We had an awesome week with Guadelupe though! We had a lesson with her tuesday, and she said going to the baptismal service "me dio muchas ganas de bautizarme". So we have a date set for August 5th with her and her grandson! They're doing really well, they both came to church, and then we went over afterward and taught a lesson, and taught her son and daughter-in-law (who is actually a less active members), and commited them to keep the sabbath day holy. So we really have a lot of hope that they will all come to church this next week, and the son will have desires to start learning too. We're really excited about them, they're doing really well. Guadelupe is really awesome too. She's so nice, and she really loves learning about the gospel. And she feels good everytime. When she went to the baptismal service, and after church as well, she said she feels so much peace there that she falls asleep when she gets home. It's really cool, seeing the difference that it makes to someone who has never felt that before. She also doesn't have very good eyesight, but she's been praying that Heavenly Father will help her read the Book of Mormon, and everytime we come over she's read. It started with just a verse or two, but now she's been progressing to where she reads almost half a chapter. It's been amazing to see her faith that Heavenly Father will help her, and also how Heavenly Father has been helping her to read the BOM. We actually had one of the best weeks I've had in Willowbrook since I got here. The most lessons for sure. We've got so much potential here, it keeps me awake at night thinking about it sometimes. If everything keeps going well, we could really see a lot of people progressing in the future. We also had one of the more frustrating experiences I've had. We brought a member to a lesson with one of our families we felt had a lot of potential, and the member pretty much destroyed the lesson. We had a lesson plan, but as soon as we got in there, the member pretty much talked for 45 minutes straight and lectured the investigator about how he needed to read scriptures more and be a better father. It was so frustrating. The Spirit was not there, the investigator pretty much kicked us out at the end, and we could not figure out how to interrupt him and gain control of the lesson. Needless to say, we were not happy after the lesson. But, asi es la vida. We left them with Book of mormons, so hopefully they'll start reading. But all in all, it was a really good week.
Mops- I can't believe Keller is leaving. That's so weird. almost as weird as the fact that Garrett Williams will be here in the mission soon. Thanks for sending the card for me, you helped a lot! Also, we have not caught the rat/mouse. We're not sure which. It somehow broke one of our traps, and we are not sure how to catch it now. Good news is, we bought some glue traps, and we know they work. We were trying to see if it was coming into our room where we sleep, and so we put the traps in the doorway. Bad news, after planning, the lights weren't on, and I walked right into one of the glue traps! two nights in a row. Elder Fisher was very sympathetic. When he could stop laughing. But now both my pairs of black shoes have a little more traction than they used to. Thanks for praying every week that our investigators will come to church, I know that it has been helping us! I love you mops!
Pops- I'm glad life has been returning to normal, I hope work wasn't too busy. I'm glad the dogs were happy to see everyone as well. I hope you have a good week this week as well!
Kt- I love you!
m@- ya tengo muchas canas. Soy viejito. It's pretty weird. You were right, I keep having people ask me, cuanto tiempo le falta a Usted elder? We're not giving up on Maria just yet, but we're trying to decide how aggressive we should be and how much we should keep teaching them. But no matter what, we've sowed some good seeds with them. as long as one day they get baptized, I will be happy. Good luck with your move!
B- oh man. Your key indicators will be off the charts this week. Lots of member presents. you might even have an investigator at church. Keep up the good work B! Although, don't rush it. Sometimes they have to wait a year before they are ready. But you'll know when the time is right. also, you will be so proud of me. I pulled a you. Me and elder Fisher were in our apartment, and due to some poor judgement, I somehow ended up jumping over my bed. I cleared it, but didn't land so well. all the sudden, my ankle crumpled! So, I had a pretty good ankle roll this week. It even bruised up and everything. It wasn't quite as bad as Borders, but it was close. I love you B, have a good week!
A- That's so weird that Keller is leaving on a mission. It's weird how the Reeves family has changed since i've left, I won't even recognize them. I hope you're taking good care of Kola for me, and eating unhealthy things! I ate almost all my Oreo truffles this week. I am fat. I also ate a ton of carne asada. I love it. Have a good week Yam!
Borsh- What is minecraft? And there's a Halo 4 coming out? Man, i feel old. If it's not advertised on the sides of buses, i do not know about it. Although, are you going to see Batman this week? the posters look pretty cool. have a good week buddy, i love you!
I love you family, have a good week!
I don’t want everyone to think I’m a nutball... Jul 23
Family, thank you so much for the letters this week. I cannot tell you how loved they made me feel, and how much they helped me. I've said it before, but I'll say it again, so often, I receive answers to my prayers through your letters, and I'm so grateful for how much you do to help me. they helped me so much. And as for my title, they made me a little teary here in the internet cafe, so I hope nobody thinks i'm a nutball. Especially my companions. Companions, you say? what companions? well, this has been a very crazy little week. Not a week that has been very condusive to relaxation, quite the opposite rather. But, despite the craziness, I've seen Heavenly Fathers hand in it all. When President Baker announced it, I knew it was Heavenly Father working in His strange ways to help me. So, this week started off normal. Tuesday, I went on exchanges, just like normal. It was really good, and then at night, right before we were about to go to bed, we got a voicemail from our zone leaders. And they said we had a secret meeting with President the next day in the morning. the whole zone thought it was a joke at first, but it was actually real. We get there the next morning, and President tells us a story about his mission, about how he was called to Chile, but because of visa problems, got reassigned to Argentina. And then he said, i tell you this story because we are going to invite some of you to consider a change in your assignments. I thought for sure we were all getting switched to the Long Beach Mission or something. But we all stayed in the mission, he just made some other changes. So, our zone is probably the most dangerous zone in the mission. Especially in the Watts area. And because of rising crime and other circumstances, I'm not actually sure what, we are avoiding the Watts area now. We can't go in it after 7, and we are no longer allowed to actively proselyte there during the day. We can visit people, but we can't knock doors or street contact or anything. Which was pretty interesting for me and Elder Fisher, because that includes the top half of our area. So what happened, we had 5 companionships in our ward, but they took out 2. and gave us parts of the other areas. And now i'm in a 3-some! It's mid transfer, so they had to put some threesomes. It's pretty good though. I don't know exactly what's going to happen this transfer, but i am confident that Heavenly Father knows what I need, even if sometimes I don't like how long term it is. But it's been really good, I've enjoyed the threesome. And please keep praying for me, I'm really not too worried about my safety, we are careful, I think it's more of a pre-caution. But thanks for all you do, I can't tell you all how much i love you, and thanks for all you do for me! Sorry about the shortness of the letter, but it's all I got today! Love you!
Ford, you’re turning into a penguin. Stop it. July 30
Goodness gracious family!
I feel like you all are turning into penguins. So stop it. And before I lose you all, I am saying is that things keep changing at home! They are supposed to stay the same! You all are crazy. But those were some very exciting emails!
Things have been chugging along over here. We've had a very busy semana, what with the new areas and everything. Our area grew a lot. Well, kind of. We can't really work in half of it anymore, so it that sense it got smaller, but they added a ton more. It probably about double in size. And with all the members to visit, investigators to teach, it's been crazy. Probably the most appointments this week than I've had any other week in my mission. Our trio has been working well. We get along well, and it's been kind of nice having another companion who is not still in training, so a little less stressful in that area. We are still in the same apartment and everything, but we now have a bunk bed in there! And we did some nice rearranging in the interior to accomodate everyone, it looks really nice. Could use some new paint though. And I think we finally got rid of our furry friend, the rat. So it's been nice. We've had a pretty good week. we hit a new high in Willowbrook for lessons with members and investigators at church this week! At least since I've been here. That was exciting. We had 3 investigators at church this week! Guadelupe is still doing awesome. She came to church with her daughter-in-law, who is less active, they enjoyed it, and she is right on track to get baptized on August 12th! So we should have at least one baptism this transfer, I am very very happy and excited about that. She's awesome, and it's pretty cool to see how much the gospel is helping her. We also have two other investigators at church, Cruz and Jessica, who are investigator we inherited from other missionaries, and they are family of a family in the ward, and they are doing pretty well. We have so much potential for good things to happen in our area in the next few weeks, I am excited. Maria and her family are kind of dropping off, that has been heart-breaking for me. She is fairly open with what bothers me, and it is heart breaking to know exactly what she needs, and then to see her not doing it, or losing faith that it will help her. It's been really sad to see them, I feel we may have to drop them in the near future if they don't start progressing more. But we will keep working with them, and it'll all work out. I have been doing pretty well this week, it has been a lot of stress going on, but I just keep plugging on, just like I have been. Also, we had our July BBQ today for p-day, that was great. I really enjoyed seeing President Baker in his baseball hat, shirt and tie, and apron, grilling hamburgers. It's been a good p-day, and we've got a really good day planned for today. I think it'll be a good next week. I've had a good week, with lots of good experiences. When I'm not stressed, and I think a little clearer, I realize really how grateful I already am for the things I've learned on my mission, and I realize how grateful I will be the rest of my life for what I've learned and will yet learn. It's been really cool this week, I feel like my teaching has gotten a lot better. And it's amazing that a year ago, I had no idea how to teach with the Spirit in spanish. But now, it's amazing to see how the Spirit guides the lesson as we teach people, and I think the most amazing thing that ever happens is realizing that the Spirit spoke through me to help someone else. I am really grateful to be on my mission, and I'm very grateful for the support I receive from everybody, I know I would not have been able to make it without your prayers and support and love (and letters!). But I know that the gospel is true, and that Heavenly Father loves me. And that he loves everyone around me. But one of the biggest things I've learned is, is how much Heavenly Father loves me. how much He does to help me, even when I feel completely abandoned and completely unworthy of help. It's pretty amazing. But I love you all, and I hope you have an awesome week! and no more suprises! Happy August!
Borsh- way to go with that paycheck Borsh! I hope you tell Paul I say hi. I hope you keep enjoying your summer, and I can't wait to hear from you next week! (do something really exciting this week and tell me all about it!)
A- Garret Williams went into the MTC? that's crazy. he will be here at the end of next transfer! I would love to be his companion, that'd be so cool! I tell everyone I see that he's coming to the mission, it's going to be fun when he gets here. It sounds like you've had a great week this week! Are you and the family still being healthy? I'm sure not. Somehow, we accidentally scheduled 3 dinners for wednesday.... I like you spiritual car analogy. It can be easy to just do the things to keep the car running. Many times, I've thought back, and just realized, what did I just do with my hour of studying the scriptures? but I've also realized, really studying the scriptures and finding answers is like one of the coolest things ever. for reals. But I hope you have a good week, and keep your car happy!
B- well well welll... I have to say, your progress is astounding. Some awesome fellowshipping this past week, and then you're already making plans for an interview (not to mention having them meet the bishop). Sounds like things are moving along nicely towards a date here! I cannot even believe you, you stinker. Well, turns out my prediction was right. and if you don't remember it, ask KT. Also, I'm proud of you. You did pal, you're winning! Love you B!
m@- me gusto tu chart mucho. fue algo bien bonito. espero que todo este bien con ustedes, y esten difrutando tu nueva casa. dile hi a lauren para mi. estoy practicando mi "tu" form. tu vas a cumplir 28 anos (pretend there is a tilde) este ano (otra vez)? No puedo creerlo. Pues, que bien. Ten cuidado de orgullo, tu salvacion es en juego. yo quise citar eso para usted. pues, tengan una buena semana! les quiero!
Pops- conocio mi amigo L. Tom Perry? para usted, voy a hablar en espanol tambien. chiste! I can't believe you met Elder Perry. And I can't believe he was so clsoe and didn't even stop by and say hi. the nerve. I would love you read your talk, especially if it involves a story about 14-ers. Nobody here understands what a 14-er is, they think what they have here are mountains. A mountain, they call it a mountain....Thanks for your letter pops, and I hope you have a great week! love you!
Mops-thank you very much for the package Momma! I am very excited to write in my new journals. You wouldn't believe it, but journal writing has suffered a lot for me on my mission. There is just so much to do. but I intend to remedy said situation asap. I hope you've had an awesome week as well, and that's crazy that Logan got married. I feel he just got home from his mission. And lowell is turning in his papers? I can't wait to hear where he goes. Thanks for all you do Momma!
I love you all, have a good week!
Also, have you been keeping up-to-date on mormon messages? we watch them sometimes with members, and they are awesome! You should watch them all!