Saturday, January 25, 2014

Letter 17: Power of Prayer

Dear Mom and family,
Glad to hear that the New York trip went well! I can imagine you and Trevor just had  blast. The weather here is fine! Its humid though so it always feels a lot hotter. It's perfect for beach days! Walking around in a tie and pants all day...not so much ;) hahah but after about 6 o clock is hits a good temperature. Could be worse im sure. We don't have any problem setting commitments for baptism, that's really the easy part, the hard part is that the people never want to keep their commitments to  attend church, read, and pray. The three simple things that they NEED to do in order to gain a testimony and be baptized. They are always "too busy" with work or the beach, things like that, or they just prefer to sleep in on Sundays. So at times, its a little frustrating, but all the same, we are teaching people and we're having success. We've been reactivating a lot of less active and inactive families which I love. The area is pretty great, although we have changes not this week but next! So who knows what will happen then. Yes I did get the ring! although..I have to buy glue because the black band was half way off when I opened it. But once its fixed ill be wearing it. I haven't every really had a CTR ring but I'm excited to wear it. Little reminders like that make all the difference. Oh and yes I like my zone leaders, one of them is still Elder Faught, and the other Elder Bessey.
I go in on Thursday to complete my tooth, or at least the root canal. And then I might have one more visit after that for the crown. Who knows, dentists here are weird. But hopefully all goes well and it will be taken care of soon!

I feel like I've been able to feel the spirit more in my day to day life. Actually I had a few little, but interesting experiences this past week. We were down at our church after our coordination meeting and had about 20 minutes to make it home as we were waiting for a taxi. Time kept passing and we were getting closer to 10 o clock. I said I pray and about 10 seconds later a guy pulls up who is a member and offers us a ride. He drove us all the way to our house and we made it. And then yesterday we were yet again waiting the taxi with 2 other members to go to church. Again we were getting pretty behind and so I said a prayer again so that all four of us could get there in time and as I looked up there came pulling in a taxi with all 4 seats open. The driver asked where we were going, gave us a discount, AND drove us all the way to the church (we usually have to walk up this giant hill). Small things like this are testimonies that God really is looking after us as his children, and that when we pray with faith, even for the small and simple things, we will be answered. Something that I have learned with prayer, is that in reality we are praying in the name of Jesus Christ. A lot of times our prayers go unanswered because we are praying for things that aren't entirely righteous. But we have sincere desires for good and are willing to act on the answer we get, then He will answer us. I always thought that having the spirit would just automatically come as a missionary. Its doesn't work like that, we have to build and strengthen our relationship daily with the spirit. Its hard sometimes, but it will be worth it. That's a really neat experience about the church you two visited. Its crazy how sometimes you can just feel the spirit so strong. You should watch on Youtube, there is a segment Modelos de luz, by David a Bednar, you will have to translate that. it means patterns of light, i think. Haha. But it talks about how and when we receive revelation.

Alright well, this week was really good. Here are your funny stories for this one.
There were a few cars that slowed way down just so they could stare...I now truly know how it feels to be a foreigner haha. There was a car that kept driving by yesterday yelling "que rico". As we were walking I got told "super lindo" haha and then got Justin Beiber a few more times. We taught this family for the first time and their daughter who is like 11 or so asked for a picture because I looked like someone from big time rush. And stuff like this is starting to become normal. My comp just laughs haha. Its pretty funny, I'm getting a haircut today though.
Also we were eating at an investigators house and they came out with salad and a whole pile of tomatoes for us to eat...I was about to die, so I said that I couldn't eat tomatoes because they make me sick (which is true!) and they piled them all onto my companions plate hahahah, I about died laughing at the table but I barely held it in. Oh geez..his face was just like (...what....) haha. We are getting along a lot better now, so that's good!

Anyway I love you guys and hope you have a great week!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Letter 16: Hopeful investigators

Dearest mother and family,
My tooth feels much better! However..the dentists work a little differently here, originally I was supposed to go in for 3 visits with JUST the root canal, and then later the crown. But the dentist was awesome and spoke some English. He got most of it done and my next visit will finish the root canal. I don't go in until the 23rd because he went on vacation (of course) but there is a temporary filling on it right now and it doesn't hurt. So all is well. I paid the first like 300 dollars or so, the rest will be next time. But yeah, all is well on the dental front! We have to travel to La Serena Integra Medica each time. Its about a 30 minute drive. 
Yes I finally got the package! And let me just say thank you so much! Those sweaters will be great for when it starts to cool down and the shirts/sweats are awesome! I think what I liked the best though was the letters from everyone. It was so good to read them all and just feel so loved. Oh and side note, what the heck?? When did Brock get such good handwriting?? haha. Also the treats were delicious, and yes...they're already gone. I couldn't help it. 
This year our mission reached 931 baptisms! A little short of our goal, so no, I don't think we will be going to the temple. Our new goal this year is 1200 baptisms as a mission. That's a lot, but I'm sure its reachable as well. Things are going well with my companion as well. Just have to adapt some and learn to deal with some things. But overall he's good and we get along. I now just wear my earplugs in the morning while I study too. Not only because of that but we live right by a construction zone and its really loud. So I just put them in and study. 
Yes we actually found 10 new investigators this week! The statistic is for about every 18 investigators we get a baptism. But we found 2 families and we're excited to be working with them. Last night we had once (mini dinner) with our investigator Ernesto and his girlfriend Victoria and their son Benjamin. Benjamin in 3 years old and Ernesto is 32, not sure about her. But they're so great! Ernesto makes me laugh, hes just a funny guy. They're both really interested and Ernesto said he wants to be baptized. The obstacle will be to get him to stop smoking and to come to church..haha. It was funny because a week ago we taught him for the first time and he leans back in his chair, thinks, and then says yeah...I think Ill be ready to be baptized next week. Hahaha it was great but there are some things he needs to stop doing first and again, he needs to attend church at least 3 times. So our goal is for the 2nd of February and we are hoping his girlfriend will as well! The area we are in is a good one, the people are friendly and we find new people without too much difficulty! 
Juan is good! He didn't come to church though and he hasn't been reading, so we are working with him to get him excited and animated. No he hasn't rapped for us yet, but soon! He has a great heart, its just hard for him to read and hes a little lazy haha. Nothing he cant overcome!
Hahah no worries mom, ill be sure to tell him. Yeah we go a buy little things for home, but we are hardly ever home so we don't buy a ton. I usually buy cereal and stuff for quesadillas..stuff like that (: We live right by a store called Santa Isabel, and its like a Walmart more or less. Or sometimes if im hungry at night ill buy an empanada or something like that. So all is well in the food area. That pasta you made sounds HEAVENLY, I cant wait to have your cooking again! Seriously, we ate subway today because we had to go to La Serana so Elder Holmes could change his address in his passport/carnet and we ate their. Oh my gosh, I got the meatball marinara and it just tasted like America. It was such a blissful experience, you don't even know! Haha every day we eat pasta, or chicken. The majority of the time its food like that. And so simple things like Subway are just fantastic. 
Yeah send them as soon as possible! If you want to send treats go for it! (I'm never opposed to that) haha, but if its too expensive the letters are just fine!

Well I'm super glad to hear you're all doing well and happy! That's exciting about your trip this week! Take lots of pictures! Ill send some right now as well. I love you so much!! Thank you for your prayers and thoughts, I feel the strength from them. I have the best family in the world!
Have a great week! Be safe!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Letter 15: Missing Crown

Dear Mom and Family,
It is finally the New Year! We spent it with a dinner with some members and then back to the pension. Really calm, it was good! But I agree with you completely, I'm hoping for no accidents as well and that every stays healthy!
Well as for accidents that one already kinda failed..with my tooth and all. But from here on out! 
No my companion does not really laugh and my jokes, but hey, not much I can do. Actually, when I found out my tooth was going to cost so much he literally laughed. Ahhh, sometimes I just cant help but shake my head at him. I feel like this anger build up inside towards him sometimes, and I really have to put it away or think about something else. Well anger is a strong word...but annoyance. He got mad at me because I rolled up my sleeves on my shirt because it was really hot (which isn't against the rules) and told me I should call the zone leaders and ask. I told him yeah, I will tonight then. He then handed me the phone and I just looked at him..then called to save us an argument. No one answered. Its just little things like that that bug me. But hey, he's a really good guy and is out here doing what the Lord wants. ate my treats?!?! hahah No just kidding, that's okay! I'm excited to read the letters from Daniel, and the YW. That's super thoughtful of them to do that. Probably it will get here at the beginning of February. And I think I will be getting my package from you this Wednesday, here's to hoping!

This week has been good! We have been meeting all the members, teaching inactives and less actives and finding new people to teach! There is a ton of dust in this area too, our pants always are dirty at the end of the day. But we were teaching this less active member names Rosa (who is super awesome!) and her non member dad the other day. The lesson went really well and she is going to attend church again. The dad and I talked a ton about Columbia and mexico and the drug trade between them and the states...not sure how we got on that topic. But we tied it in with the lesson!
Then Rosa told me I looked like James Dean...haha, oh and that rapper Juan, said Justin Beiber again..ridiculous. 
Its crazy how much American music they play here! We always here it in the collectivos (taxis) and in every store. Its pretty funny. For example the other day we heard Beat it, and jitterbug, both from Zoolander. It made me laugh. 

Well I'm out of time guys! Ill write more next week I promise. I love you all so stinkin much! I'm glad to hear you're doing so well and I pray for you all every single day. Enjoy your week!