Monday, November 6, 2017

The One Where We Are Looking for Jose 11/6/17

Hey everyone!

So last night we were supposed to have an appointment with a man named Jose. We rode our bikes to what we thought was his house and knocked on the door. Another man answered and we told him we were looking for Jose and he replied that Jose had just moved out a month ago. This was clearly the wrong house but we taught the man at the door anyway. We decided that it must have been the house next door, so we knocked on that one and a short, young man answered and when we explained we were looking for Jose he replied "Oh, my younger brother, he's not here right now". The Jose we were looking for was a grandfather, so this was also the wrong Jose but we taught that guy also and we followed a similar pattern for the next few houses, not ever finding Jose but meeting a lot of potentials. For those of you serving Spanish speaking missions, asking for Jose is usually a pretty good door approach!

So after that we went by another investigator's house (whose name is also Jose), and had a great lesson with him about the Book of Mormon.  I asked him if I could read something from his Bible that he had on his table and the page I opened to had a huge picture of the Virgin Mary, which was ironic because I read James 10 with him, which talks about how there is only one Shepherd, but different flocks.

The rest of the week we spent in meetings, which was really good but my companion and I were excited to find Jose at the end of it.

Hope you all have a great week!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Biggie Biggie Biggie, Can't You See? 10/30/17

Hey everyone!

So this week we have been focusing on involving the Lord a lot more in finding and teaching. These past couple weeks we haven't found anyone to teach. Our biggest problem has been people not willing to accept the Book of Mormon because it isn't about the Virgin Guadalupe. We met a guy the other day who told us that the three members of the godhead are: Jehovah, Jesus Christ, and the Virgin Mary. It's pretty sad but there are a lot of people that just won't part from the  traditions of their fathers. We have our work cut out for us!  Even though people don’t want to hear our message, we get offered a lot of bottled water. A lot of people don't trust the tap water here so they buy bottles and we get offered them pretty often. On top of that we get lots of cans of coke and bottles of sangria whenever we eat out at the taco truck, which is pretty sweet.

So my companion and I agreed that we were being prideful and that is why we weren't finding so we repented and made a goal to be on our knees as a companionship about twenty times daily. And the Lord has allowed us to find some more people to teach. This week we were blessed to have found ten new investigators, one of which is a family where the husband was baptized years ago and has since gone less active. His records aren't even in the ward yet but we are going to help that whole family hopefully become members.

While I was studying the other day, our neighbors were playing a certain song from a certain rap artist that I will not name, needless to say it was a little distracting because the music was shaking the walls, and it was worse because it was a song that I may have used to listen to before the mission (which I have repented of since then). The song ended pretty much right when study time ended which sounded about right with how things like that go with me but it was alright.

We got transfer calls last night and it looks like I am staying in Stockton again and with a new companion that was already serving in this area, which is pretty nice.

Love you all! Happy Halloween!

The One With the Food Rescue Mission 10/23/17

Hey everyone!

This week was pretty good. We visited a less active member who I haven't seen in about six months and he recently had a gnarly trucking accident. No brain damage, which is good but he has a crazy scar that goes from one side of his head to the other. He was happy to see us and we got to meet a lot of his family.

We had dinner with a member earlier this week and we met at the church to get our food. We waited for almost an hour after the time she told us to meet at her at the church. She called us and told us that we have to pick up the food from her all the way across town. My companion and I looked at each other because we didn't have miles on our car but a silent agreement went between us that it was well worth it, so we went to pick up the food and came all the way back to the church building where the other Elders and we ate very well.

We were able to teach one of our investigators this week that we haven't seen in a long time, we left him with a chapter to read and he read the next few chapters after that in the Book of Mormon. We read with him and we are trying to get him to come to church.

Besides that we just had a lot of meetings, but this next week should be a lot more exciting!

Love you all!

The One With the Mayans 10/9/17

Hey everyone!

While we were looking for a referral we knocked on someone's door and a man answered, he wasn't who we were looking for but we asked if we could share a message anyway. We were getting to know him and his family, and the guy and his wife started speaking another language, which threw us off. We asked them about it and they were speaking Mayan! I didn't know that was still a spoken language but they speak it more than Spanish, which makes teaching something of a struggle.

We started teaching a family that has been taught by missionaries on and off for about a year now and they finally went to church for the first time on Sunday since they started being taught. It was a really cool experience for them to participate in testimony meeting and for them to feel the spirit. We had a lesson with them earlier in the week where they fed us dinner and really showed a lot more interest than before, it was really cool to see how their hearts are being softened.

Yesterday, as we were pulling out of church, some members asked us if we wanted to eat lunch with them. We had dinner in a couple hours so we said yes. We went down to their house and on the way, were telling us about this huge barbecue that they had the day before. They tried to feed us all the leftovers, pretty much almost killed us, and we went from there to pick up the other missionaries and headed down to dinner and the first thing the wife said when we walked in was "oh Elders, I hope you're hungry" and she fed us a ton of food also!

I am very excited for this week. We found out our investigator who was going to get baptized took a vacation to Mexico, we thought she was ignoring us but she invited us to come by later this week, just out of the blue! We have some appointments set up that seem promising.

Sorry this is a shorter letter, love you all, have a great week!

The One With the Dates (Fruit) 10/2/17

Hey everyone!

This week was pretty cool, while we were contacting the other day, I tried to say hi to an Asian lady who was herding fruit on her driveway. Not sure what the purpose of it was but she gave us a handful each of what I'm pretty sure are dates, they didn't taste very good but we were appreciative of it anyway.

We went on exchanges and I went with the two Tongans in the trio, haha it was a lot of fun but they ate a lot. They tried to teach me a little bit of Tongan but I'm just not made to speak Tongan so I'll  just stick to working on Spanish.

Not much else happened this week, I've been getting over being sick and then we had conference. Conference was amazing! I think one of my favorite talks was the one by Elder Anderson about how conference talks are made. Something I really focused on was taking notes of the speakers teaching doctrine and promising blessings.

Love you all! Hope you enjoyed conference!

The One With Olive Garden 9/25/17

So this week was pretty crazy. We had dinner set up with a less active member who we didn't know very well. She told us that dinner would definitely be super early and then hung up. We painfully waited throughout the day, feeling too afraid to eat lunch right before a big meal. By the time 6 o'clock hit, pain won over courtesy, and we went to work and made a giant pot of pasta and sauce. We decided she was ignoring us, because she wasn't answering her phone, so we made enough food to make up for the calories that we usually get between lunch and dinner. When we finished cooking, we got a call from the sister. "Sorry the meeting took longer than I thought" she said "I'll meet you at Olive Garden". With a look of frustration and disgust towards the giant pot of pasta we just made, we told her we would love to go to Olive Garden.

We got lost twice on the way over there, but when we finally made it, we had a wonderful dinner as we learned about this sister. She is from Spain and her husband Ireland. She was baptized when she was young and hasn't gone to church in a long time. Her husband is very devoutly Catholic but we invited ourselves to fix her yard and some repairs at her house so hopefully we will meet him and start to build a relationship; he seems like a really cool guy.

I'm super excited for General Conference, hope you all have a great week! I love you all!

The One With the First Week of the Transfer 9/18/17

Hey everyone!

So this week we were able to meet with one of the investigators we have been working with and set a baptismal date. The lesson was super powerful and spiritual. At the end of the lesson, she asked us if we knew her brother, who turns out to be a recent convert that the other Spanish Elders have been working with. It was super cool and we are hoping that her baptism will help him become reactivated and enjoy the blessings of the sacrament once again. In the same area a few days later, we were just walking down the street when we felt impressed to talk to a man who looked really busy. We used a pretty classic "Hola!" to get his attention, and he replied with an equally classic "Hey, what's up". I felt like I still needed to talk to him in Spanish so I did and he looked really surprised, but started to talk back to us in Spanish. We had a really good conversation and it turns out he almost got baptized about seven years ago, but his wife wouldn't let him and they left everything to come to the United States. We had a great conversation, left him with a Book of Mormon, and set a return appointment.

Last Monday, we got a really desperate call from one of the Peruvian members (I love Peruvians), saying that she had some food left over from a Peruvian festival in Sacramento, and that if we didn't come over immediately, it would go to waste. It just happened to be our hour for dinner so we dutifully dropped everything, threw on our bags, and ran to go help this member with this very serious problem. She gave us pacha manca, which is goat cooked in the ground with banana leaves and spices from Lima. She was grateful for our help and we were grateful to be of service. We shared a spiritual message with her and went to go teach.

Hope everyone has a great week! Love you all!