Tuesday, April 4, 2017

I Almost Got...Haha Um... 4/3/17

Hey everyone!

So this week, while my companion and I were riding past downtown to get to our dinner appointment and a lady called us over from across the street. We decided to come over, eager to give out some of the brand-new pass along cards for Prince of Peace. We saw that she had a bottle in one hand so we were a little cautious and when I got within what the Boy Scouts call the "Blood Circle", she threw an arm around me and tried to kiss me! She was maybe 50 years old and drunk so not really my type. She wouldn't let go so I jerked back, out of her death grip and my companion and I took off! We still try and avoid that street.

A few nights later we were teaching one of our investigators who is a really cool guy. He races cars to pass the time and is a mechanic. When we were teaching him, he told us that he really wanted to know about the end of the world, so we told him about the book of Revelations and some passages in the Book of Mormon and D&C. We took his mom's Bible off the counter and flipped open to the book of Revelations and right there, marking the page, was a pass along card with Jesus on it. The last set of missionaries to teach him weren't here when that type of card came out. And we didn't put it there, so he got pretty freaked out- but set a return appointment.

Conference was fantastic!
The talk that really stuck with me was the conversion story of the guy from Argentina, Joaquin E. Costa of the seventy. And they quoted Elder McConkie! Some of my favorite talks were given by him (He's up there with Hugh B. Brown and William R. Bradford). If any of you have not seen Conference or the Prince of Peace video, I would highly recommend it.

 This is Hermano Bernal, our assistant Ward Mission Leader
He fed us enchiladas last night, there were two more pans that we had to eat

And an angry hissing duck

The One With El Accidente De Bici 3/27/17


So this week we taught a couple really cool lessons, and set a baptismal date for one of our investigators... our goal is to see him and his dad baptized and his mom reactivated so we'll see where this trip takes us.

When we were riding back from a lesson on Friday, we rode over some railroad tracks that I didn't see (because it was dark and raining) and my front tire caught and I flew off my bike! My companion tried to help me up and we went back to the apartment. Apparently it looked pretty awesome.

The night before that, we ate dinner with some members at an all-you-can eat sushi buffet place. We weighed ourselves before the trip and after- we gained an average of five pounds! Just on sushi!

Last night we went through all our plans too fast and ended up being done by 8:00 (curfew is 9) and we felt really prompted to say a prayer. We prayed about who to visit and my companion felt really inspired to visit a family that didn't have time for missionaries since I arrived to Stockton. We figured we might as well so we went to their house and knocked on the door and they answered for the first time in months. They invited us in and we had a fantastic lesson! One of the kids described perfectly what it felt like to feel the Holy Ghost when he was telling us about when he prayed about the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was super strong and we set a return appointment for later this week when the whole family has time!

Also we got transfer calls again- Staying in Stockton with Elder Nelson! I'm actually super excited about it.  There are now going to be nine missionaries serving in the spanish ward here. Stockton has the highest amount of hispanics in the mission and we are finally starting to see success here. The sister missionaries just had three baptisms and we have an investigator who will be baptized right after Easter and the people are really opening up.Looks like we have a lot of work to do. And it is starting to get warmer (I got sunburnt the other day!)

Love you guys!

A guy kept coming up to our street and spinning circles over and over

The One With the Long Lost Friend 3/20/17

Hey everyone!

So a little excitement this week, we met a lady on the street last week and she gave us a time to come back and we did with a member and the lesson went terrible! She didn't seem interested. But we felt prompted to go again so we went again with the same member. This time her daughter answered (She's about 25) so we taught her a lesson because the mom was sick, and the lesson went a little better. We set a return appointment and our member told us he couldn't go. While preparing for the lesson, we felt really impressed to take a member with us to teach so we asked the other ward mission counselor to teach with us. This time, the mom, daughter and her boyfriend answered the door. The boyfriend was super interested and then our member walks in... The husband of the mom and the long-lost friend of the member we felt prompted to take with us! They lost contact like seven years ago, before the member was baptized. It was super cool!

We went to the church early on Saturday to fill the baptismal font because there was a baptism and when I was cleaning the water, I slipped, caught myself, but slipped again and my foot landed in the water! So during the entire baptism my leg was soaked and just when it couldn't get better, Elder Jones, my trainer (who finished his mission last November) walks in!

Que tengan buena semana!

Lots of Potential Investigators 3/13/17

Hey everyone,

This week, while we were contacting on Tuesday, a guy comes out and starts to talk to us about what we believe. His shirt and tattoos told us he was part of one of the bigger gangs in Stockton; he swore up and down that he'd read the Book of Mormon and kept asking us really obscure questions... it was pretty obvious that he got all his material from the internet so we were about to leave and then he started telling us stories about how he blew up cars and stuff like that so we listened to some of his stories and then left. The next day we were street contacting and I asked a lady if she had heard of Joseph Smith and faster than lightning she whips a Bible out of nowhere and starts to read scriptures out of it... I don't think she was super interested.

The night after that, we were walking from dinner to an investigator's house. It was dark outside and we were in one of the rougher parts of the city when this guy out of nowhere warns us that no good can come out of being in that part of town and it's not safe. A block further down than that, we met this guy and I felt prompted to start talking to him in Spanish. I did and he gave us a time on Saturday to come by. His name is Juan and when we met up with him on Saturday he told us he used to be taught by missionaries and how he missed what he was taught before. He seemed really interested in hearing from us again so we are going to visit him this week! We met some more potential investigators who really seem to have a lot of potential.

A couple weeks ago, Elder Nelson and I felt prompted to give our progressing investigators, Ruby and Nelson, to the other Elders. The other Elders committed them to getting married and baptized in the next couple weeks! And Roberto, our former investigator who dropped us a week before his baptism, called us and is now being taught by the missionaries again! (He's in the sister's area).

Love you all, have a great week!

The One Where We Repent 3/6/17

Hey everyone! This week we had a zone conference up in Lodi where the theme was repentance. To prepare for the conference they asked us to study repentance in Mosiah 4 through Alma 5, amongst other things. Our mission president led a really good conference where we focused on repentance and how to teach other people how to repent. We did some role plays and some testimonies were shared. The Spirit was really strong and we learned a lot.

The next day, we and the English elders helped this lady move out of her house. Every room had a tray for cat litter, and articles were tossed and unorganized everywhere. The lady insisted on complaining about our rule where we can't go into a house if there's not a man in the house, claiming that "this isn't what she signed up for". Haha needless to say, nobody was thrilled about the situation. The cat loved my companion but hissed at me every time I saw it. One time, when we moved the table out of a room, we had to clear all the junk that was on it, which also had a nice, thin coat of cat litter. I guess some people feel more joy than others when doing service.

So my companion's birthday was on Friday. We had a member whose birthday was the next day, invite us over for his birthday fiesta. We smelled the party before we got there. Right in the front yard they had a grill made out of like a 50 gallon barrel going with asada, pollo mexicano, and a whole bunch of other good stuff cooking. They were so determined to feed us to death that they nearly did the job. At that moment they started Mariachi karaoke and sung happy birthday to my companion! It was a great night.

The weather is finally starting to clear up and I want to get some pictures of Stockton because I could get transferred in three weeks. There's some really cool graffiti that I want to get some pictures of, and some landmarks. I love the fresh fruit here. I think getting used to the produce in Utah will be one of the hardest things when I get home. We get a lot of fruit that people just pluck out of their yards and give to us, the oranges and avocados are fantastic! If it makes you feel better I eat more healthy here than I did at home.

Love you all! Have a great week