Monday, June 12, 2017

Coincidences 6/5/17

Hey everyone!

This week, my companion and I were looking for former investigators. When we knocked on this one door, a lady answered who turned out to be a member that just moved here from Mexico and hasn't been able to find a chapel here. The family that she lives with used to be taught by missionaries about ten years ago and were excited to talk to missionaries again. We only had a 20 minute lesson but the entire family went to church yesterday and they loved it!

In the same complex, we found another member who has not let missionaries in the door in almost a year. They invited us in and we had an incredible lesson. He couldn't come to church because he works two full time jobs (1 picking in the fields and another in a factory), but he is going to try to get work changed so he could come again.

Yesterday, a member came up to us and asked if he could go teaching with us. We told him about one family that lives in a trailer park way out in the empty parts of Tracy. He told us he wanted to still go so we went about twenty minutes outside the city to this trailer park. We knocked on the wrong trailer but the guy answered and invited us in. It turns out he is also a less active member and he was thinking about the missionaries that taught him right when we knocked on the door. He's a really awesome guy and we're going to start working with him a lot more now.

Love you all! Have a great week!

The One With the General Authority 5/29/17

Hey everyone!

So last Monday we had a mission conference with Elder Weatherford T. Clayton which took up most the day. The conference was awesome! He taught us some really cool stuff about the Restoration and about prayer.

The rest of the week was pretty normal, but yesterday I gave my first talk in sacrament meeting. It was about missionary work. Later, after the talk, three or four members of the ward come up to me and said "Elder, I didn't know you speak Spanish". Some of those members I have had lessons with, I guess I just looked different or something.

We then went to one of our investigators houses and he was having a party. He invited us in and gave us probably some of the best food I've had in my life. We had a really good lesson and the Spirit was really strong.

Nothing much else happened last week. Hope you all have a great Memorial day!

The One With the Yelling 5/22/17

Hey everybody!

So this week, my companion and decided to walk to all of our visits because it seemed like a nice day. We started walking and when we got like a mile away from our apartment, it started to get a little warmer. We knocked on the first couple doors without answer and walked to the next neighborhood to try some of the other potential investigators. At the first house we saw some family members playing outside. We started talking to the dad and the only thing he said was "We're Catholic" which I'm pretty sure means "not interested" but we really couldn't tell.

After that, we stopped by this park which had a bathroom and drinking fountain so my companion started to inhale water from the drinking fountain while I used the restroom. I heard some shouting outside and when I got out the door, this huge group of homeless people that wasn't there before were yelling at each other, and when we walked by, they were super nice to us but when we passed they went back to yelling- pretty weird.

My companion's name is Elder Gifford and he's super cool. The new apartment is awesome- two bed two bath and easily twice as big as the last one in Stockton. Tracy's pretty cool- it's a richer area so most of the Hispanic people here are pretty Americanized. It's really just a quiet, calm little town so pretty cool. There's no taco trucks which is a pretty tough adjustment but I think I'm getting used to it. To be honest, I really miss Stockton. I may go back one day, but until then, I'm just going to try and work hard here. The ward's pretty cool. No one in the ward can play the piano so they do all the music off someone's phone.

Love you all! Have a great week!!

Panda Attack 5/15/17

Hey everyone!

This week was pretty exciting, they moved me out of Stockton after 9 months and put me in Tracy, one of the quietest and wealthiest cities in the mission. The work here is a little slower than my previous area but it's still pretty cool. My new companion is a pretty cool guy, he's from Utah and has the exact same amount of time here on the mission.

So yesterday for lunch, we went to a member's house. When we walked in and I introduced myself she looked a little confused and asked "Where are the other Elders?" She had made enough food for four missionaries. We told her that it was just the two of us, which was awesome because of all the food. So we had to eat all this food (which was super good) but at the end of it, when my companion and I were about to die, she brought out this huge pan of flan, which is like a really dense cake. The food was amazing, but we pretty much had to roll out of the trailer park.

So Friday night, a member gave us gift cards to Panda Express because she got called to work unexpectedly and couldn’t feed us dinner. We went there and loaded up because we were hungry. When we finished we realized we were late to sports night so we rushed over there because some less active members and investigators showed up. We were doing pretty good at first, but then we got super bad cramps which made us lose. By the end of the night we were lying on the floor and gasping for air. We decided that if we have Panda again next week, we'll probably take it a little more easy for sports night.

Love you all have a great week!

Flooding the Earth With the Book of Mormon 5/8/17

So this week I have been reflecting a lot on the Book of Mormon, and how much power the prophets of the church seem to generate when they testify of the power of the Book of Mormon. I also thought about how much power it seems to give us when we read its words and follow its counsel.

That being said,

This week was a pretty good week. We taught some of our investigators on Tuesday and had a really powerful lesson. It was a pretty bad day for all three of them but the Spirit was still there. This week was really hot- like in the 90's all week! It was also Cinco de Mayo this Friday and it was crazy! Lots of parties and even two neighboring houses had two huge parties with live bands at each house that were pretty much competing.

Yesterday we visited some less active members, which resulted in them feeding us tacos. My companion is gluten free, which usually isn't a problem in Spanish work but the members gave each of us a huge, custard filled donut. Just as we gave each other the "oh no" look (because turning down food in the Escobar household is pretty much a sin) - a miracle happened- their water jug out of nowhere burst and they ran over to stop water from flooding on their floor. Then my companion looked at me and said "eat!". So I stuffed the massive, dense donut in my mouth after being filled with tacos. I finished the first one and went to work with the second one. I finished the second one right as they finished. It was pretty much a miracle.

One more thing- transfer calls were last night and I am being moved to Manteca with another companion after six months with Elder Nelson! And nine in Stockton. I'll miss Stockton a lot but I'm super excited to see what Manteca has to offer.

Love you guys!!

our bikes

watching a Cinco de Mayo parade from the park

the tail end of the parade