Monday, February 15, 2016

SOUL FISHING


Dear Family and Friends,

This week was super interesting and long. It was nicer weather though
so I can't complain at all. But here's my week:

Monday: was P-day. My companion had me running around doing different
things. I was a little frustrated because it was super super cold and
I didn't want to spend P-day doing random things outside. Anyways, we
got home pretty late so I didnt have a huge amount of time to do
laundry. But I got it done anyways!!! That was pretty much my Monday.

Tuesday: we had no lessons but we did lots of finding. We spent like
the entire afternoon just doing some contacting in the Trailer Park.
It's kinda cool to walk to random people and they assume I only speak
English so we when I start talking to them in Spanish, they get caught
off guard and are a little weirded out haha. Anyways, we had a lot of
doors not open to us because people think we're La Migra
(Immigration). The news tell people in Provo/Orem not to open doors to
men in suits. I need them to go back on the air and tell them that
they need to purchase peep holes to see if it's La Migra or
Missionaries. A lot of the people we usually visit aren't opening the
doors too us. They're not even looking through the window they always
use to see who it is!! Anyways, a couple people opened the door to us.
One lady named Virginia opened and told us we are more then welcomed
to come over to her house to talk to her family. She told us that she
would be more than happy to have us over so she can teach us
everything wrong with our church. For a while, she was becoming
hostile and she started speaking louder and coming closer, I began
reaching for my pepper spray (JUST KIDDING). I bore my testimony to
her and how it's blessed my life. She went off on a little tangent on
how I'm brainwashed and know nothing. I bore testimony again and
invited her to have an amazing AND beautiful day. She said no thanks.
OHHHHHHH guess what?! Our Ward hasn't fed us in like two weeks... So
we've planning our own dinners for the past two weeks. It's been
interesting! Most of the dinner appointments have been down in
Vineyard (a two hour walk from where we mostly serve). One family we
ate with was The Fullers. They're an awesome family!!! They both
served Spanish speaking missions. Brother Fuller served in Mexico and
Sister Fuller served in Argentina. Brother Fuller played professional
basketball in Germany as well, I thought that was super cool!! Hahahha
something interesting is that they're teaching their children Spanish.
The way they do that is every dinner they have as a family, they speak
nothing but Spanish. From the looks of it, it seems to be working! The
kids speak darn well!! Then they gave us a ride back to the rest of
our area. We knocked on our lessons and no one answered.... It was
super sad.

Wednesday: we woke up for soccer and I already knew it was going to be
a rough morning. I really don't like waking up almost an hour and half
earlier than I need too. We could easily work out at the house, but my
companion doesn't work unless we go to soccer. It's a little
frustrating but we're working on it. I mean soccer ends up being fun
and all but I get super tired the rest of my day because I do all the
talking but we're working on that too. We had a lesson with Nancy!
Nancy is an interesting person and her family is just as interesting.
But we taught out of The Bible and The Book of Mormon. We left her
with her own copy of both! We also gave her a beautiful picture of
Jesus Christ. When she saw that, the spirit truly touched her heart.
She knew that we are actually representatives of Our Savior Jesus
Christ. It was nice to see the literal smile Jesus brings to everyone.
We spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening trying some new
finding methods. We found them pretty successful!! We received about 5
referrals out of it. Which is amazing for a couple of hours. Within
those couple of hours we were able to contact all of them which was a
miracle!!!!! One brother in specific was from Cuba and was not
interested at all. I mean he was the nicest old guy I've met on my
mission so far. He was about 96 years old but young at heart hahaha.
Later that night we finally had a lesson with the Machuca
Family!!!!!!!!!!!! It's been a while and we've truly missed them. Not
meeting with my investigators for a while makes me kind of sad and I
begin to actually miss them. That love that is talked about when
working with people is something I'm getting now. We had a wonderful
lesson with the Machuca Family......well.....just Brother Machuca.
Sister Machuca isn't completely up for the lessons anymore. She is
enjoying the stuff of the world more than she is spiritual things. She
invites Brother Machucas old friends who weren't a good influence on
him. It makes me sad how it's happening. In the lesson with him, we
taught him about Temples and Family History. As I began to testify
about the blessings from the temple, he began to tear up. We asked
what was he feeling. Without any of us prompting him, he said "El
Espiritú" (The Spirit). It was joy to hear those words come out of his
mouth. He continued and expressed he has family and friends who have
passed without coming to know this gospel. He asked if we can help him
with Family History. It was wonderful to see how The Spirit has been
working with him in his road towards conversion.

Thursday: it was a rough day because everyone began cancelling on us,
one by one. We realized that those were all of our lessons and dinner
canceled for today. We went into a church building and began making
calls and emails to different people. We couldn't find a dinner, but
we did find a good amount of families to visit that day and other days
that week. Later that night, we had a lesson with the Valdez Family.
It's a Part Active family. The wife goes to church and husband
doesn't. As we began talking with the husband, he just kept saying
"Si, yo se" (yes, I know). As we were wrapping up, we weren't
completely sure if he understood everything. We felt prompted to show
him a video. We asked if we could share the video before we left, they
said yes. (The video had nothing to do with the lesson). As he began
to pay closer attention to the video, he kept nodding his head and
saying "si, si, si" (yes, yes, yes). As the video finished, he told us
that the video is exactly what he needed to hear. As we left, all we
can do is thank the spirit for guiding us during that lesson.

Friday: we did weekly planning...... SOOOOOOOOOOO LONG. But something
happened during weekly planning....!!!!!! We were doing it at one of
the millions of church buildings. We were working and a man named
Wayne walks in and said I'm looking for the missionaries. We were
like, hey that's us!!!! We invited him to have a seat and we began
talking to him. He told us his life story and he has been living a
rough life. Currently, he is living out of a storage shed near Provo.
He said he needs to change his life and he knows that the LDS church
is here to help. We shared a brief message with him and took down his
information to give it to the missionaries in that area. As we
continued planning, we realized that one Golden Family we're working
with got tickets for the temple and I felt prompted that we should go.
My companion said he didn't want to go. So I knelt down and asked God
if we should go and almost immediately I received the answer that we
MUST go. I was not going to deny the response. We began calling to see
who could take us........everyone said no. I thought of everyone
except one family. The Acosta Family!!!! (Their daughter is serving in
Glenmont) we contacted them and they were more than happy to take us!
They took us there AND back, even bought us Chick Fil A on our way
back. But about the temple. The family got there late. We thought they
weren't going to show up, but something comforted me and said they
were coming. We saw them and went up to them and they immediately
began asking questions. This is the Solis Family from Mexico.
Alejandro, Rocio, and their son Alejandro. They also brought
relatives! Rocio's mom and sister came. As we began talking (the ice
was already broken from a super cheesy Spanish joke I said about a
turkey) they began asking about different things about the temple and
the church. As we entered the little theater (to watch a brief
explanation of temples) they began asking questions that started off
like this "If I joined your church..." Hahaha it was super nice to see
them consider it. As we went through the temple, all of them were in
complete awe. The little 7 year old boy said "I like Gods House". Just
comes to show someone even as young as him and be impacted by the
spirit in the temple. After the tour they immediately said this is
what they have been looking for a while and asked when could we come
to their home to talk more about these things. We have an appointment
with them this week! So excited :)

Saturday: Sunday and Saturday was a blur.......sorry!!!!! I remember
more of Sunday then Saturday. But I do remember someone sticking up
their middle finger at us while we were walking out of a church
building.

Sunday: VALENTINES DAY. Everyone cancelled except Angel... Oh and by
the way, Angel won't be baptized this Saturday :((((( we only met with
him once sooo we don't want to rush the next lessons.

Thank you all for you constant support and for your prayers. I truly
feel the love not only from Our Heavenly Father, but also from my
family and friends. I read a talk this week that has really been a
testimony booster for the restored gospel. It's called "The
Restoration of All Things" by President James E. Faust. This talk
isn't super long, but it is super power. Being a missionary, we teach
people The Restoration quite a bit. This talk has helped me understand
how better explain the basic principles. Many people nowadays are
pretty confused and doubtful about our early Church history. Please
help our lost brothers and sisters understand these basic principles.
Once they understand, they can receive more fully the blessings that
God has reserved for them. I can testify to you all today that I KNOW,
with all my heart might mind and soul, that The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints is a restoration of the original Church
established by Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry. In the
Children Songbook, there is a song called "Tell Me the Stories of
Jesus". The first verse goes like this: "Tell me the stories of Jesus
I love to hear, Things I would ask him to tell me if he were here.
Scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea, Stories of Jesus, tell them
to me". It is my testimony that I know that The Savior has opened a
door to offer us mercy and a greater life. I believe in the
Resurrection. It is real to me, not just a story or a symbol or
something like it. As the song says, "...Stories of Jesus, tell them
to me", we should share this wonderful message of Jesus Christ to
everyone. Everyone deserves the blessings that came from knowing Our
Savior Christ.

I love you all! Have an amazing week!!!!!!



Love,

Monday, February 1, 2016

HELLO WORLD


Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been long and short. Kinda sounds weird but it's true.
Weeks feel like days and days feel like weeks. It's pretty funny!!
Here's my week:

Monday: we had a Zone Activity where we went and made thank you cards
for a senior couple missionary that were released this past month.
They were wonderful!! So we passed by and dropped it off for them.

Tuesday: we had exchanges!!! I went on exchanges with the District
Leader's companion, Elder Campbell. He's super awesome! He went to
Damascus High School!! Like we're both from MCPS. During that day, we
had crazy things happen. The first thing was a weird lady opened the
door while we tracting and started mumbling and then slammed the door!
(First time on Elder Campbell's mission). After that, we found a
Portuguese lady and so I started teaching her in the broken Portuguese
I know, and with fill in's of Spanish. She accepted the invitation to
learn more so now the Portuguese Missionaries are working with her.
Later that night, we ran to a group of bible bashers in the trailer
park who just had no mercy. They were going at it! We kinda just bore
testimony and then left. It was intense! After that, we went to some
apartments and ran into a guy who is from Ireland. He just went off on
a huge tangent about how he knows the mysteries of God. That no one
else in the world except him and a few others, actually understand the
Book of Mormon. He said he knows Joseph Smith is a prophet and that
the Book of Mormon is true and that the gospel is true but he's less
active. There was more said but he had no respect for the sacredness
of somethings he mentioned. I was annoyed. But after that, we ran into
some of the nicest Jehovah's Witnesses ever. They were soooooo nice!
We even gave them a Book of Mormon. But we haven't seen them since :/

Wednesday: we had a long cold day but it was still fun! We started
teaching someone named Juan. And Juan doesn't know anything about
religion. Like he knows who God is and who Jesus Christ who but he
doesn't know what role they take in his life. It's really like
teaching a baby. We realized how much he doesn't know but he's really
willing to learn about the gospel and how to strengthen his
relationship with Christ.

Thursday: we spent the first half of the day in DTM and after that, we
did some planning and then I went to my dentist appointment. Yes I'm
okay! I was just having some pain in my mouth. They just realized that
something was off soooo they fixed it and that's that :) oh and they
gave me some mouthwash to help cure a cut that I got from my retainer.
Soooooo that whole visit was 106 dollars!!!!!!!!!!!!! But because I'm
a missionary........they only charged me for the mouthwash which was
like 15 dollars! :) blessings from serving in Utah.

Friday: we had an awesome weekly planning session with snacks and lots
of phone calls. We're becoming super busy! It's crazy.............
Hahahaha but this area really needs a car. Later that night, we met
with the Peña family and talked about their situation. But it came to
our attention that Corina, the non member 9 year old, is leaving for
Chile for an entire year!!!!!! Ahhhhhh it's so crazy. That was the
person we were going to baptized the 20th of February :(((((( that's
okay though, I'm sure more will come!

SaturdaySaturday was a blur but I do remember teaching a lot of
people who said "I'm Catholic and I don't need your cult." We were
like wowwwwwwwwww. Then we asked when was the last time they went to
church and one said "The Christmas of '99"........ Hahaha I thought
that was kinda funny :)

Sunday: we had a good lesson in Priesthood about Tithing and Fast
Offerings. They're soooooo important for the church and I think people
are truly realizing the importance of these two things. Later that
night, we taught an Argentine family who have a thick accent and I
kinda wondered if it was really Spanish.......hahaha but they're less
active but they're on their way back to full fellowship :) also, we
taught the Amaya family, well just brother Amaya. The wife went to
pick something up from her moms house. But as we finished the lesson,
Brother Amaya told us that if it wasn't for us visiting them these
last couple weeks, they wouldn't really have found a reason to come
back to church and renew their covenants. It was super moving :')


I love you all and I truly hope you all have a great and marvelous
week!!!!! Go to church, read the Book of Mormon and pray daily :)