Monday, October 31, 2016
Hola mi familia!
This week was kind of a fun one. Mostly because I got to go on my first exchange at the beginning. I had a blast on it and I learned so much from him. Mostly how to contact with English people. Because it's basically 80% of the people we find, so we might as well try with them. I learned a lot of how I can improve myself as a teacher. He really knew how to connect with people. I also thought I would send out a menu of what ate that day. Just like I said I would.
Tuesday night- 6 eggs, 10 pieces of pizza, 1 piece of cheesecake, 2 pieces of cake, and 2 helpings of chicken spaghetti. Basically we had one dinner with a member and 2 others with random people that didn't really want to listen but invited us to dinner. So we used it as an opportunity to share our message with them. Haha
Wednesday after district meeting, we went and picked up a teacher in our branch and brought him out tracting with us. We trying to do that with all the boys to get them wanting to go on a mission. But the first door we knocked on really got him used to the mission experience. The guy opened the door and his dog came out and started sniffing us. Then the guy noticed our tags, picked up his dog, said "no thanks I've already had my fair share of mormons" or something like that, and then flipped us off while he slammed the door. The kid was so wide eyed it was hilarious. Elder Webster and I were just laughing at it and he said "now you know why we don't like to tract into white people." Ha. We had a lot of fun with him though. Later that night we had an appointment with Anna and Julia, which we brought a fresh off his mission member with us. So we had basically 3 missionaries there. Luckily we did, because I hadn't spoken very much Spanish since Monday so I couldn't really speak it. It takes a little warming up to it if you go without it for awhile. But the spirit was definitely there during the lesson. With the members help we were able to resolve some of the doubts they had, especially with Julia. I don't remember what day, but we tracted into a woman who said that it's not just to only allow certain people into our temples. But during it I could really feel the spirit helping me know which way to take it. It really did bring scriptures to my memory that fit in perfectly. It was all in English, but it was something that just reassured me that the spirit is the teacher not me. It made me want to work even harder in my studies so that I could have it happen in Spanish.
We possibly helped a less active family get back on the path to the temple. We talked to them about what was keeping them from going and then just taught what blessings will come from following those commandments on top of being sealed for time and all eternity. I really love this family so much and I want them to go to the temple so bad. So we are going to help them in whatever way we can. That's all the spiritual stuff that's happened this week. We are losing contact with David and Julie so that's going to be super sad if they drop us. But we are just going to try to get more creative in how we come in contact with them. I honestly believe if Hispanics didn't have to work so much here, they would all get baptized. That's kinda what we think is happening with David. He has two jobs and just wants to sleep otherwise. It's really a sad reality at how little people can get paid if they aren't full citizens. But they still will work so hard to support their families. That's one thing about Hispanics, they will never give up on their families. I love it. :)
Friday night we had día de la cosecha, or or basically just trunk or treat. There was a ton of games, including Mexican bingo. It was a lot of fun, but the investigators that said they were coming didn't end up coming. But there were a few possible investigators that the members brought that we made sure to meet. No investigators at church so we gotta work on that. But we know there are people here ready to be baptized, we just have to find them. So we pray everywhere we go. But I'm loving it out here!
Monday, October 24, 2016
Hola mi familia!
This week was kind of a blur. Like yesterday I saw we had an appointment with someone. And I thought that it couldn't be yet because she said come back in a week. And then I realized it had been a week! But anyways for the rest of the week.
Monday night we ran into a family that wasn't interested at all. But they were taking groceries in so we helped them out. Then they invited us to stay for dinner. And while the wife, Rosie, was cooking we taught Juan, her husband, most of the restoration. It wasn't anything special and then we started eating. And rosie told us we were coming back every Monday from now on. And she said she would make shrimp for today. Which I'm sad because I'm going on exchanges with my dl so I'm going to miss it! Oh and for the next day if we run into any Hispanics I'm going to have to do it solo because the dl is English speaking. Good luck to me.
Wednesday we had the temple. And I absolutely loved it. I got direct answers to questions I had, one in particular was what date we should ask David and Julie to be baptized. And I got an answer then talked to Elder Webster later and he had the same answer! It was really cool. Then one of the members from the English ward took us to l and l Hawaiian grill. It was soooo good. He said there is a couple in salt lake, so I'm definitely going when I get back. But he spent so much money on the 4 of us.
Thursday and Friday were pretty long because we couldn't find any Spanish speakers. And when we did I hadn't spoken it for so long I couldn't really speak it. But other days when all we are talking to is Hispanics my Spanish is a lot better.
Saturday we had a great lesson with David and Julie again. We brought the wife of our branch mission leader and she absolutely nailed it. She made sure they knew that the Book of Mormon was about their ancestors. We invited them to be baptized but it didn't feel right to set a solid date yet. Next time. But they said they will pray about it and if they feel it's the will of the lord they will.
Sunday I had my first talk in the field. I had to write it the morning of, and it was super hard because I had a massive migraine. But with a little prayer, I made it through writing and giving it and I think it went pretty well. We missed David and Julie at church so we are going to find out what happened. But other than that, I think thats my week. I'm loving it and I can feel all of your prayers.
Next week pday is from 1-9 here because of Halloween, so that will be fun. I can't believe it's week five of this transfer.
Monday, October 17, 2016
Buenos días mi familia!
This week was really one of those weeks were the days felt like weeks and the week felt like a day.
One of the reasons could be that we had zone conference this week. I really loved it because it taught me what I need to improve on. But it felt like an eternity because it went from 8-4:30. There was a ton of training and sooo many role plays. And if you don't know yet, I hate role plays haha. They expect you to ask inspired questions and have the spirit but it's so hard for me because I know they are just missionaries and not someone who really could use the message. But I still learn from them. :) I guess I will give more details about my companion. (Someone asked for more) He's from Ogden Utah and he turns 20 in 10 days. He's been out for 14.5 months now. His Spanish is really good, which is awesome because it is making mine improve so much. He's kinda quiet, but it's ok we still talk a ton. The only thing that bugs me about him is his driving. The (death) box in our car tells us when we need to fix something about our driving, like our speed. So it says to slow down once you are going 7 over. So instead of going 6 over everywhere, he likes to accelerate as much as he can until it registers it and then he slows down usually to 10 below when it says he's good. He thinks it's faster that way. It's not haha. But really he is awesome and has a great spirit with him. I'm glad he's my trainer. He always asks what I think we should do instead of just making all the decisions. It's awesome. But that is all the stuff I can think about for him. Now for the rest of the week.
This week I really learned what the scriptures meant by "after the trial of your faith". From the start of the week we weren't finding any success. Every single appointment they either cancelled on us or weren't there. Which meant we had to spend most of our time tracting during times when no one is home. The people we could find didn't want to listen. 90% of them said "I already have a church" and would just shut the door and lock it. Sure we found a couple who were nice enough to listen, but they didn't seem interested in what we had to say. But then Friday finally comes around. The beginning of the day is looking the same as the rest of the week, but the last thing we have scheduled is an appointment with one of our solid investigator families.So we knew that it wouldn't fall through. We really tried to find a member to go with us, but no one would answer our calls or texts. So we went anyways. They are from Venezuela and the husband, David, has been living here with the son for a year working. The wife, Julie, just moved here a month ago. What's really awesome is that a week after Julie showed up the branch president married them. And that was before we started teaching them. They also don't drink or smoke so all the things that are usually a problem were already solved before we started teaching them. When we got to their house, we spent a good amount of time just talking to them. But then after a little while, we started with a prayer and began our lesson. And the spirit was so strong during it. We taught the restoration and really focused on the dispensations and priesthood authority. They ended up teaching each other most of the lesson after we would explain some parts. When we got to the point where we asked them to pray about Joseph Smith, David responded with "I don't need to, I already believe that he was a prophet". He said it so convincingly. We still committed him to pray about, but it made me so happy that he could feel the spirit that strong during the lesson. We are going to start to teach them 2 times a week now so we can get them prepared for baptism. We are going to commit them with a solid date this next lesson after we teach the Book of Mormon really solidly and 2 nephi 31, but I have faith that they will say yes. They have gone to church 3 times now, and the first time was the day after our first lesson. Julie didn't go yesterday because she was fixing something at their house, but David did. The only thing we struggle with is David is always falling asleep because of his crazy ours he works. But we have started just asking him a bunch of questions during the lessons to keep him involved. But just that one lesson made the rest of the weeks hardships worth it. On Saturday we had another lesson at the end of the day with a Honduran family. It's a single mom, Anna, and her four children and also Anna's mom, Julia. They have known the church for 10 years now, but the last lessons they had with missionaries was 6 years ago. For some reason they didn't have a teaching record so it was a miracle we found them. Anna has the potential to be baptized really soon. She really understands the restoration and knows there's a need for the priesthood power. Julia on the other hand is going to take awhile. She has been a catholic all her life and is one of those really stubborn ones. She always tries to stump us during our lessons but Anna usually is the one to answer her moms questions. It's really nice because they are questions that would stump us haha. Our goal is to start bringing a member with us every time to help us explain things better and also to convert Anna first. Once we do that we believe that she will be able to convert her mom. But we will see in the coming weeks. But this area could be seeing a few baptisms soon. Maybe not while I'm here, but hopefully it is. Last thing for the week. For dinner last night we had menudo. Which is just a fancy word for cow stomach soup. It's basically the same texture as fat off of meat. But also my mind knew it was stomach. I have a picture of it, but we couldn't finish it. Luckily the member told us that most Hispanics don't even like it, so if we don't like it we don't have to finish it. I also tried some fried pig skin. That I could tolerate more, but still not good. But it was the first experience I've had so far with weird authentic Hispanic food.
I think that's the week!
Monday, October 10, 2016
Hola mi familia!
This week has been awesome.
It started off great right after pday was over. We went out to an area right near our apartment because we only had a couple more hours. But we found like 6 new investigators! I really have learned that time is precious out here. My companion and I make sure that we are out finding or teaching until the very last minute every night. Something Wednesday night really clicked. We started the day really not finding anyone home and finding people who weren't interested at all. But then after dinner we were finding people left and right. I also haven't talked or taught better since I've been out. It felt so good. I really could see the gift of tongues at work. I was so grateful for that. Then Friday I got my first flat! Haha, I think it was something before I got it. Because when I first got the bike it was flat and when we pumped it up it would go up but not really hold pressure. So it was a really slow leak. But I got a new tube and it's working great now. Also that night we were going to an appointment and we went to the address it had. But it was somehow wrong, even though I double check all of them before we leave. But it was really good because we found this girl who lives on her own with her 1 year old. She had been robbed earlier that day, and lost all of her money for her baby and bills. So she was having a terrible day. But we came by and talked to her and she seemed interested in what we had to say. So we will see where that goes. Then right after we found where the appointment was supposed to be and the person was barely pulling up. So we would have missed her as well if we had gotten there on time. The lesson went really well and we referred her to the sisters in the area. It kinda sucks to have to do that because we come to love them in the first couple lessons but because they speak English we have to refer them. But this was just a lesson of how god has weird ways of making miracles come about. We will see how both of them turn out:) Saturday was a little sad. Every appointment we had fell through. And we also got dropped by two investigators. One of them told us her husband didn't want us coming back, because we were elders. He was fine with the hermanas coming over before us. She was really close to baptism, so it was really disappointing. We also ran into some baptists that were so scared of us. They had been taught we were devils or something. It was actually kinda funny. But the good things about Saturday. I got to ride 14 miles on my bike, so that will keep me from getting fat. And at about 8 we met this really cool baptist. He talked with us for about 45 minutes. One of the things he said was "who am I to say you guys are wrong. One day we could be walking up to the gates of heaven and we see each other and remember each other. Then you walk up and go straight through and I'm stuck outside. We will just have to wait till that day. But until then I'm going to respect all" it was refreshing. He had a lot of wisdom, but also some crazy things. Like he said he saw the second coming in day dreams 3 different times. They were weird stories, but he fully believes they were signs. Sunday was relaxing. Because we got to go to church which took up most of the day. But it was also tiring because I had to focus really hard to know what was being said. Something I liked that I learned during priesthood was that there is two purposes to the refiners fire. One is to make us better after. But the other is to see if we are pure gold or fools gold. It's god's way of seeing if we are really all that we appear to be on the outside. Because through trials we show who we really are. I really liked that lesson Side note for Emilie, we have a Honduran investigator right now. I think of you every time we teach her.
Monday, October 3, 2016
Hola mi familia!
This week has been crazy and awesome! I'll start off with where I'm at. I'm in a town called hermitage. It's right outside Nashville. I'm about 10 minutes away from the airport. This is the second best Spanish area after providence. Because that area is a ward. But the member help here is amazing. Last night was the first time we didn't have a member going out with us. We are also fed every night. The food is so good. I'm going to get fat so fast here, haha. My companion is elder Webster. He's been out for 14 months now. His last area he was in, he was there for 8 months. He's awesome at helping answering my questions about the language and forcing me to talk sometimes. The language is coming along pretty well, I don't talk very much yet but I am able to understand most of what's being said. It's hard sometimes because the people here are from all the Hispanic countries. The
majority are from Mexico so they are way easier to understand.
Oh I almost forgot! I finished the Book of Mormon the Friday before I left the mtc. I read 65 pages that day. I enjoyed it so much. Now for the lessons I learned this past week. I've learned to love tracting. That's pretty much all we did last week. It was the first thing we did when we got here. We found 4 new investigators just in those few hours. We have spent a lot of time meeting all the current investigators, so that ate up most of our time. We sat last night for a couple hours last night talking to an eternigator(met the missionaries 2 years ago) as she told us about her life. I was able to follow pretty well. She has read the bom multiple times and knows it's true. So we don't know what's holding her back but we will find out next visit. One of the nights we got back to the apartment 30 minutes early so we decided to knock some doors. It wasn't looking very good until the last door. We found a guy who is looking for a church with the right feeling. He seemed very interested in what we had to say. He's an English speaker so we can only teach him one lesson but it really taught me the importance of using all of our time. We were able to get an entire family of investigators to come to the Sunday afternoon session. It was so amazing especially because we had just met them. They really seemed to love it. I loved watching the general conference as a missionary. I got so much more out of it than I ever had before. That's all I can think of right now. But I'm allowed to email until 6 here so if you have any questions or anyone wants to email back and forth I'm available.