Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 88

    This week was a pretty normal week. Our investigator Roy who has been progressing really well was interviewed on Wednesday. Sadly, he did not pass. We went over the interview questions the night before and I told him he did not have to answer any of the more personal questions he didn't want to, because we had a member with us. So all the other questions went well, so it was kind of surprising. But that's okay, he just has some stuff from his past that takes a little longer to repent for, so we talked with President Torres, and he said if he continues to go to church and everything he can be baptized at the end of Oct. So we are looking at Oct 30th for his baptism. Roy is okay with it, we explained the importance of repentance and everything and he's just glad that we're still coming back. 
     Other than that he's doing really well, he's an old man so he listens to the BOM on his phone, we downloaded it for him. He came to church yesterday for the fourth time. It was a really good testimony meeting. We have a few families with lots of problems going on right now. One member is pregnant and her baby is going to have severe heart problems and need surgery after it's born in October, so we fasted for the baby and the family and another family, an older couple, the wife just got diagnosed with pretty serious cancer. So it was a very emotional Sunday, some of the family went and bore their testimonies on trusting in God. It was really powerful, almost made me shed a salty. Our Gospel Principles class's teacher is a really awesome guy, who is really passionate about the Gospel. He is gone pretty often because he's a pilot in the Navy. Anyways, he consistently goes into deep doctrine in the class. Which yeah, is interesting for all the seasoned members, but when we have an investigator who is just trying to figure out if the Book of Mormon is true, it's a little frustrating. This week's topic was about the Atonement, the single most important event in the history of the universe, and we barely talked about it. So we have an appointment with the  teacher on Thursday, and we might just read the introduction of the Gospel Principles book. It says to stay on topic, and follow the lesson, no matter how exciting or interesting other doctrines may be. Hopefully that'll help a little bit. 
      After church the ward had a little workshop on family history work. Roy came to that too,  it was nice. The wifi in the church is never good, but it was okay. He's actually pretty interested in finding out about his ancestors. 
     Elder Stewart and I have been going through the ward directory and finding less actives that we don't know. We met one, named Roy, kinda weird huh? Anyways he has his own little business, like a hobby shop and we met him. We asked him about the church and he told us it was all just a bunch of brainwashing. Schools, churches, everything, is just a bunch of brainwashing. He talked to us about how the US is trying to become a communist country, it was pretty interesting haha. 
      We had zone conference too, it was awesome! After the meeting we were talking about it as a district, and Elder Watts, a greenie, was really quiet. So we asked him what he liked and he said he barely understood anything. Haha I totally forgot how hard meeting were in Spanish in the beginning. It was really sad, so we did our best to explain everything that Pres Torres talked about. He shared a cool story with us,
    There was a man and God commanded him to wake up every morning and climb up this hill, on the top of the hill was a large boulder. He was told to go and push the boulder every day. So he did, he woke up early, pushed the rock as hard as he could and then, at the end of the day, would return to his home. Day after day he pushed the rock, until one day he got discouraged. He said, "I come here every day and push this rock, but I haven't even moved it an inch! God, why have you asked me to do something I cannot do?!" God responded, "You have not understood, I never told you to move the rock, I simply told you to push it. You may not have moved it, but look at your arms, look at your legs, they are strong."  Sometimes we feel as though we are failing in our callings because we are not having the success we expect. We need to trust in the Lord that he has a purpose for everything that happens.
      I thought it was a cool lesson. That's about it though, thanks for emailing me! I love you, have a great week! 

Week 87

  Hey Mom! This week went really well. Things actually happened this week so it was fun. I went on a two day exchange in the zone leader's area and it was super fun. They have like the worst area in the mission, not being negative or anything. They are in a tiny tiny town and they have no ward, or branch. They have a group of about 7-10 members. So work there is a little slow and apparently they talk to very few people daily. Which was fun for me, because I'm not scared to yell at people or make everyone uncomfortable, to a certain point. So we walked around and scared some people just pulling up to their house and got quite a few people that said we could come back and share something with them. It was pretty fun. It makes me realize how easy missionary work really is, when you're in an area like that you have to try really hard just to talk with people. I have a pretty good town with a ward of like 130 members, so there's no reason to struggle at all. I learned a lot there and then I came back to my area on Thursday and the elders in my district assumed we had roleplays so they drove the 30miles to Kingsville and called us. Surprise! So we did roleplays, it was pretty fun, and then we went outside and Elder Stewart noticed that a squirrel ran into this tube in the sidewalk, so we trapped it inside. Then we got a box and a broomstick and put the box on one end and poked the broomstick through the tube and trapped the squirrel in the box! It was awesome haha. Elder Watts was the brave one to stick his hands inside and grab it. So we caught a squirrel and we took pictures with it. It pooped everywhere but it was exciting. Then we went to a Mexican taqueria to celebrate. 
       The work is going well, we found a few more investigators, some of which are in a town called Falfurrias which is great because its about 45 minutes away. Its a nice little town, about 5 thousand people, and we have like 25 less active members that live there. Our investigator Roy is doing really well. He came to church this week again, despite the trial that it was to get there. Apparently he had an accident that morning, so it was really nice that he came anyways and didn't use that as an excuse. That's his third time coming to church, and he'll be baptized this next Sunday. It's super cool, he's accepted everything well and quit coffee pretty easily. He found his own substitute for it and everything. He's got some good friends in the church too, so it'll be awesome.
       On Friday night we went to this LA's house to get hair cuts. She said that she was a professional and everything and that she'd cut hair for like 30 years and won awards.. yeah.. she didn't do a good job. So the next day, we decided to take matters into our own hands. We have a pair of clippers at our apartment and I cut my own hair. It was really scary at first, but it turns out its pretty easy to do. It turned out pretty well and so I'll probably cut my own hair from now on, I cut Stewart's too. I just don't really know how to blend hair haha. But that's okay.
       I guess it's easy to write exciting things in a few words, it was a fun week though, thanks for keeping me informed on stuff doing on. Hope you have a great week! Love you!

Week 86

  Hey Mom! This week went really well, there were some funny things that happened. First off, we went to the hospital, which I've been wanting to do with Elder Stewart forever because apparently he faints when they draw blood and I wanted to witness it, he has a really caring and compassionate companion huh? Haha but we went and they drew blood but he didn't faint! I know right!? Sad day, he held it together. That's okay, this week there is a second chance, he has to go in again and get an IV put in for some scans they're going to do. I even had my camera out and recorded it, it would've been awesome.
   We knocked doors the other day and met an interesting 81 year old man who told us everything he possibly could about himself, I'm sure you remember that, working in a nursing home. That's pretty much the mission half of the time. And then told us that he used to give Spanish advise to the missionaries when they didn't know a word or something he'd tell them. So I thought I'd be nice and ask him to translate something. I asked him the difference between two words, and then he looked at me and said, "Dulce Corazon!" which translated means "Sweet heart" and said, "Oh I see, you're after women!" And proceeded to give me a good 5mins of women advise. It was great. I'm a changed man, the ladies will never know what hit em. haha just kidding, don't freak out mom. 
    I found out I still hate spiders. We knocked this door last night and I almost walked into a huge spider web with this giant spider in it. Elder Stewart and I freaked out and held each other on the porch for a few minutes before going on a hunt to find a bug to throw in the web so the spider would eat it. I tried to catch a cockroach but they're super fast and I didn't wanna have to smash it and pick it up, they're all green in the middle. 
     Our investigator Roy came to church again! It was super exciting, he also quit coffee so he can get baptized this month. He's super cool, likes to tell us stories of his life, his whole life. He really enjoyed church, in the beginning of the week we taught himthe book of Mormon and got him reading little by little and in church there was no teacher for his class, so surprise! We got to teach! That's okay though, it went pretty well, we taught about all the standard works. Which was cool for him because he was just starting to grasp the book of Mormon. but he accepted it pretty well.
    We helped an investigator move to a new house here in town, he just needed help with his fridge and washer and dryer. Which would be fine except that the decided that he needed the biggest ones possible. So it was interesting seeing that elder Stewart and I are body builders and all. He has some major doubts about the church and doesn't really feel like investigating much more. but after the move he ordered pizza and he and his dad asked us about our missions and why we were here and plans afterwards, which was good beacsue it gave us a chance to share our testimonies and the spirit was really strong and we could tell that they felt it. They basically just think that we are the best people in the world, which isn't exactly what we were going for, but if that'll get them to talk to missionaries in the future that's fine.
     It was a pretty good week, glad to know that you guys are making progress with the new house and all, hope you guys continue to enjoy Maine! Love you! have a great week!

We found these in a member's house haha  

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Week 85

     Hey! This was a good week too, nothing crazy but was a good week. Yeah, my knee is doing a lot better already, it's weird, it doesn't take that long to heal anymore, just a few weeks. It's almost back to normal, we played basketball yesterday and it didn't bother me too much.
     This week elder Stewart and I have realized how much we love the food here in Texas. On Monday we were biking around and passed some guys sitting down, and I felt like we should go talk to them. So being so incredibly in tune with the spirit, we biked on past them, until it nagged at me enough to go back. So we went over, and they were really nice, invited us to come and sit with them at their picnic table outside their house. They were some old dudes and one of the guy's handicapped son. We sat there and talked with them about their day, of course they had all had a long day of work and were just relaxing and drinking a few beers. And they had these hugggee lemons! Like they were the size of volleyballs. It was crazy! They gave us one but we forgot it there when we left, sad day. They were really nice and gave us bbq, that is what started this rant haha. Every bbq here in Texas is like the best thing ever. The bbq here is soo good. Everybody has their own "secret recipe". And theyre all super generous, so many times we'll just be biking by and some random guy will give us a bunch of food.
    We helped a member of ours move, the one from Brazil. But they moved like 100 ft down the road to a different apartment. So it really was nothing. And then we ate pizza with them. Apparently in Brazil on pizza they put ketchup and mayonnaise on it. We tried it, it's actually not too bad. I love going to their house, I don't know why but the fact that we can barely talk to each other is super fun. They had a friend over and we watched the restoration video with him and it went really well. 
     We helped another member move! Also, just moved back to his old house. It's way out in the middle of no where. And when we got their there was this big stuffed dog, and he is an old dude so I figured he doesn't use it. So I asked him if he wanted it, and he said no and he gave it to us. Haha we named him Beethoven. This week was Elder Horne's birthday, an elder in my district, so we baked him a cake and the dog was his birthday present. It's like bigger than he is. It was pretty cool, we did it during our zone activity yesterday and everyone thought we went out and bought it, but nah, we're just poor missionaries.
      I guess we did a lot of service this week, we helped an older couple move a safe into their house, which was really heavy but we had a dolly so it wasn't too bad. But the old couple are like the perfect couple. He's an old Texan with a big ole mustache and a great accent. And she also is a sweet old Texan lady who's super sweet. And they're super cute together, they took us to get pizza afterwards and he walked her to her door and closed the door and held her hand to the car and all this stuff, it was super cool. I love seeing old couples like that. And they have awesome stories because he was a US marshal for a long time and went through segregation and all that. 
       During a lesson with an investigator he told us that he wasn't really feeling super good about the church and all, and didn't feel like he wanted to come back. Which was sad, and we talked about it and why we do what we do as a church. And in the middle of our discussion he asked me what I wanted to do for work after the mission. And I told him that I've always wanted to go into the medical field, and he told me I should go into sales haha. Which was cool I guess, I don't think he really understood the point of us being there, we're not selling a product but.. yeah haha.
      We had a little old man come to church with us this week, we met him while knocking on doors, which is a new rule of the mission, we have to knock doors for at least an hour a day. Which is super weird for me because my whole mission I've been told it's a waste of time, but that's what our mission president told us to do so we're doing it. Anyways we helped this old guy (Roy) to trim his plants and mow the yard and all, and he came to church on Sunday, he really liked it and we're going over to talk with him today.
          Was a good week this week, hope everyone is doing well, have a great week, Love you!