Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

I have got a lot to say this week and I hope I can say it all if you know what I mean! Anyway, first things first! I cut the comb over! I know it’s sad to say, because it was looking pretty sweet, but that just ain’t me, so I cut my hair really short again and that’s what I like. On Monday for our Zone activity we went bowling, and that was fun for about 10 minutes. I’m just not a fan of bowling; it’s probably because I’m the worst at it. But it’s all good, I’m just glad that my life and my future doesn’t depend on if I’m good at bowling or not!

I bought the Lord of the Rings soundtrack from the third movie since it is approved in our mission. It’s pretty sweet but I still want to get the 1st and 2nd soundtracks from the Lord of the Rings for Christmas. I tried finding them here on P-day but they don’t sell them, I think I might ask Heather for them for Christmas but if you guys want to get them for me that would be tight too. They are the sound tracks for the movies the Fellowship of the Ring and the Two Towers. Other than that I have everything I want or need. Heather sent me a package the other day that had the coolest stuff ever in it. It had this thing called a squirmel and it looks like a real animal but it’s not. I showed the little kids in the Rama the Squirmel and they love it! We named him Chico.

So I was on an exchange with my boy Elder Rangel from the other area the other day and I learned so much! I learned when you’re teaching people you have to put the ball in their court. As missionaries we are like guides, but it is up to the investigator to do the work to find out if our message is true. We give them the things they need to find out if it’s true, they just need to act! He also told me that we are looking for the elect. We can try to talk people into listening to our message, but unless they want to hear it and find out for themselves, there’s not much we can do. It’s like looking for a blue ball in a pit of red balls. Sure you can get a red ball and paint it blue, but it’s not the same and it will take longer and two years when you think about it really isn't that long.

O yeah, while I was on the exchange with Elder Rangel, he almost got hit by a car while riding bikes and it was crazy. It was an old lady driving and she didn’t see him. But she pressed on the brakes like 4 seconds before taking him out and was about 1 inch away from nailing him. I think that was a miracle for the old ladies reaction time because we all know that an old lady like that doesn’t have that fastest of reflexes! So that was a pretty sweet miracle I saw! I know that God does have Angels watching out for his servants.  I learned a lot from the exchange with Elder Rangel and ever since my companion and I have been putting the ball in everyone’s court.

It snowed here a couple days ago and it was so cold. We aren’t permitted to ride bikes or drive the car when it snows so we had to walk.  We walked forever that day but it was pretty fun because you can contact pretty much anyone you see. While we were walking on the street we met this guy from the Marshall Islands and shared the gospel message with him. He showed us where he was living and he was living with about 10 others from the Islands all in different apartments. We gave them to the English missionaries because they don’t speak Spanish. Well apparently some of them were Mormons that hadn’t found the church and where it was located because they just recently moved here. Well now they have found it and now some of their family members are getting baptized! Chyeah!

It’s pretty sweet to say but I can tell you that I feel I have been guided by the spirit so much this week.  It’s not like a voice telling me to do something, it’s just like a thought that pops into my head and then I act upon it. I’ll give you these two examples and hopefully you can understand them!  One day my companion and I were going to see some investigators Guadalupe and Laureano. Well they weren’t home and then we were like alright what’s plan B? Then I remembered a husband and wife named Orasto y Blanca that we met out on the streets near some apartments a couple weeks ago.  I thought it would be a good idea to go visit them but we didn’t know exactly where they lived. I was like let’s just go knocking over there, and when we did Blanca answered the Door like 5 seconds later. In my head, I was like o snap! Anyway we taught them according to what we felt they needed to hear and Guadalupe said the closing prayer to the lesson. The spirit was really powerful so we extended un compromiso bautismal suave (a smooth baptismal challenge). I will let you know what happens with them later but I thought it was pretty sweet that just an idea in my head could turn into that. Since I don’t believe in coincidence anymore I’m pretty sure it happened for a reason.

Another sweet experience happened the other day as well with thoughts and promptings from the Spirit. Elder Hansen and I were driving along going to see an investigator, then I thought, yo man, let’s go see Julie (an investigator we have). He was like alright, since he’s always down to do something we feel prompted to do. Anyway, we knocked on her door and asked her how she was doing and everything. She told us that her sister was coming down from Washington to see her later that day and that she just joined the church a year ago. I was like that’s tight, can we stop buy later today and teach you a lesson with your sister here. She said that would be cool and we came back later to teach her. We brought Mario with us (our ward mission leader who went to high school with her back in the day). Anyway, the lesson went really well and she came to church yesterday with her sister. She said she really liked it and we have an appointment with her Tuesday so I’ll let you know how that goes. I just think that’s awesome how when you are trying to live your life in accordance with how the Lord wants you He blesses you with the promptings of the Holy Ghost! Chyeah!

It’s funny to think about it like this G, because you usually think that the really quiet, calm, never laughing missionaries that only think about the scriptures 24/7 would  receive promptings because that’s what people think about when they think about the A grade missionaries. But I haven’t really changed who I am and I feel like I am being blessed every day too.  I never lose sight of what my purpose is here and what I need to do, but I am having a great time while doing it. You always hear about those missionaries who can’t have fun because they feel like they can’t say what’s on their minds or be themselves.  I am so grateful that I can be myself and that Heavenly Father still loves me enough to guide me with the Spirit.

THANKSGIVING WAS SO TIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t know where to begin with Thanksgiving man except to say that it was awesome. We were treated like rock stars by the members in the Rama. But let me explain to you why. So we decided to make cookies for the members in the Branch that have helped us so much in our missionary efforts. So we have about 90 members in the Rama so we had to make a sufficient amount for all of them. So we made about 260 cookies for the members in the Rama and plastic wrapped them and left them little notes with the cookies. Then we went and had thanksgiving dinner with the Rivera's and it was so good. Then we went back to our place to get the cookies and then drove around to the member’s houses to give them out to them. Anyway, we would always just go to give them the cookies and try to leave because we had so many to deliver but the families would always invite us in and it felt like they were chanting for us as we entered into their homes ha-ha. It was pretty sweet because it was a feeling I haven’t experienced here yet. Each house that we entered we were greeted by high fives and handshakes and given food ha-ha. One house we entered was fairly small but packed with about 30 family members that were so nice. Anyway, Thanksgiving was tight and it was a good experience I will always remember.

That’s pretty much this week, it was a great week and I’m ready for the next one.

Peace out G

Monday, November 22, 2010

Keizer Oregon Week Three

November 22, 2010

Dear Familia,

I don’t even know where to start because you already know I have too much to say and just an hour isn't enough time to write about all the awesome experiences I’ve been having in the mission field. But I’m going to tell you as much as I can and just keep on going from there.

First of all, thank you for that awesome package you sent me! The mangos, beef jerky and everything in there were awesome! I like those handkerchiefs you sent me as well. I have never really been a handkerchief kind of guy, but I guess I can start rockin them, especially when it’s real cold outside and I’ve got a runny nose! Those loafer slippers you got me are sick. I want to wear them with my suit but it wouldn’t be that professional! Please thank the members of the Ward who wrote me as their letters were awesome too; it’s good to know that people enjoy the experiences I’m having on my mission! Mom, thanks for sending me those letters in Spanish! I can understand every word in your letters now and reading Spanish isn't difficult anymore because if you don’t know some words, you can usually get the gist of it from the rest of the sentence!

I told you how we have had to do a car share now. We have the car for two days and then the bikes for 2 days! It’s not too bad and the companionship that we are doing the car share with, Elder Rangel y Hernandez are tight. We have been able to become better friends because we get to see each other every day. We eat dinner every night at the homes of different members of the branch. It’s always my companion and me and the other Elders because our two companionships cover the entire Keizer Branch. I’ve got to go into more depth about our bike situation because it seems like we aren’t having the best of luck with bikes! The Mission home let us borrow some of the bikes that Elders that are going home just leave behind. So basically we got 2 of the crappiest bikes ever to ride around on. Hah-hah. The brakes don’t work on mine and I have to use my feet to stop like Fred Flintstone and the other bikes handle bars fell off while my companion was riding it. Then during the week, one of the tires blew, and my bike's chain broke so we had to borrow bikes from some kids in the branch. I have this sweet BMX bike which is really tiny that I’m riding around that I got from this 13 year old named Jorge. We have just been having a lot of problems with the bikes but then yesterday during our PEC meeting with the Branch President a lot of people in the Branch found out about our struggles and have offered to let us use their nice bikes! Chyeah!

Something kind of cool that happened the other day is we had to ride our bikes in the rain for 3 hours. We got merked by the rain and everything we were wearing got drenched! But it was cool because I realized while I was riding in the cold rain, who cares, it’s just rain! CHYEAH! It wasn’t too bad because I just sang songs while I rode my bike. Also, when people see you and you wave to them, they think, how can this kid be having a good time, he is soaking wet. Then I think to myself, it’s not that bad, at least I’m not walking.

Do you remember what I told you about the Americans that were really interested? Well we stopped by their house and were ready to share the message we prepared! Well the mom said she was really sick and asked us to come back tomorrow and we said that was cool. As we were walking to the door, the Dad, who we had never met before walked into the room. As I was saying see you all tomorrow and about to introduce myself to him he said, " You don’t have to worry about coming back tomorrow, we aren’t interested!” It kind of stunk because he kind of spoke for everyone in the house even though they wanted to find out more. Well, we are going to go back and try to talk to him. I’ll let you know how that goes too!

DOG, but don’t even play, you might think I’m sounding like a Debbie Downer with all these problems but I’m not. I love every minute of my mission. I haven’t ever had more fun than I am having right now! I actually welcome these problems we have been having just because they spice things up and make you grateful for when things are going smooth! CHYEAH!

We just had our first apartment clean check and we got a Gold star because it was really clean! Chyeah!

Something that is kind of funny is every dream I have at night, I’m a missionary now. Like no matter what the circumstance, I am always in a white shirt and a tie. So when I am having a crazy dream and do something bad, illegal or something, I feel really bad, until I wake up and realize with relief that it was all just a dream!

Well, last P-day we all went to the Goodwill where you can buy things by the pound! It was pretty cool and we were in search of some ties for cheap but we didn’t find any. Even better, we did find a guy named Amansio that previously had a baptismal date set but then moved. He’s just moved back in the area so we are starting to teach him again and prepare him for baptism. I’ll let you know how that goes in the future!

The temple in Portland is just amazing. We got to go there last Thursday and it was so sweet. As I was in the temple the spirit was so strong! As I was walking around, I was thinking about how awesome it would be to get married in the Portland Oregon temple. I want to if it’s cool with my future wife. Anyway, the temple here is just amazingly beautiful!

I had my first companion exchange and it was tight. I learned a lot of things from Elder Montigue! I learned that you have to ask inspired questions when you go and teach people, you just don’t go and teach a lesson. After all, you are teaching people and not just lessons. I also learned that if people aren’t interested, don’t fret, just keep on looking, because there are people out there that are ready to hear the message of the restored gospel. I also ate pork and beans on top of pasta at Montigue’s apartment and it was pretty good. It was all they had; it reminded me of my Tuna and Chile recipe over noodles at BYUI. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.

O man, this is where the biggest thing I learned this week comes into play! I was asked to share my testimony in sacrament meeting yesterday and I was really nervous because my Spanish isn’t fluent yet. But I realized that I don’t need to worry about it and put my faith in the Lord and he will help me out. I mean I have been studying Spanish every day and speaking it as much as possible, so I have done my part. So I put it into the Lords hands and went up in front of the Rama and words just came out. Everyone said I spoke really good I just need to work on my accent because I still sound like a gringo! Chyeah. Anyway Spanish is coming along really well, I can understand everything that people say and can say what I want to say. I can see the Lords hand immensely just because my Spanish has progressed so much just in this short amount of time and I am so grateful!

I shared a message at dinner last night with the Ramirez family. They are so awesome and Javier, the 1st counselor in the Rama, reminds me exactly of Mom’s nephew Mauricio! Anyway, I shared a message about how in 1st Nephi chapter 15 how all Nephi’s brothers are murmuring because they didn’t understand the dream and things their father had said. Then when Nephi asks them, have you asked God yourself, they said no because he would not make these things known unto them. Then Nephi’s like come on guys, are you serious. I don’t know, that’s how I interpret it, it’s when we don’t understand something or wonder why something is, all we have to do is pray and ask God. It’s that simple. It might not always be the answer we are expecting but just don’t sit around and murmur or wonder why, get up and do something about it, like ask God.

By the way, my shirts that I have are holding up well and I have everything I need. I think I am going to buy the Dark Knight and the Lord of the Rings soundtracks because we are allowed to listen to them on our mission! If you can will you tell Heath Haws, Brandon Goldenshoe, Chris Woodhouse, Zack Nelson, and Will Pascet I would like to hear from them as I want to see how my boys from BYUI are holding up.

But for real, I love you guys and the mission is truly awesome! I’m sorry to say but I’m not home sick one bit and I won’t be coming home anytime soon. I am not counting down the days until I get back home and I’m here to serve and am going to serve with all that I can serve with until it’s time to go.

Peace out!


Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010

Hey Mom and Dad,

Did you get my pictures?

By the way, I don’t know if I told you this but I found a plastic bag in our apartment that contained what I have been dreaming about my whole mission. In the plastic grocery bag was about 20 of the ugliest ties you have ever seen!!!!  I WAS SO EXCITED!  I asked Elder Hansen if they were his and they weren’t so they are all mine. I now have like 35 ties and most of them are from like the 80s, so it’s tight.

I really don't know where to begin.  The mission has been so awesome even though I've only been out for 2 weeks. You know one thing that kind of stinks is when you have an appointment with an investigator or potential investigator and they are not there.  I have been told that this can happen a lot so there is no need to worry about it. As long as I’m out there doing my best to spread the word of God, I’m doing my part, Chyeah!

Anyway, I'm going to try and tell you everything that happened this week, the good and the bad. Our investigators Filomeno and Ema have been throwing us curve balls. When we have the opportunity to teach them, I feel like they sincerely want to change and be baptized. But then when we have an appointment the next day they aren't there and they usually don't call us to let us now.  It seems the only time we are able to teach them is when we catch them when they are at home. It seems that Ema is more prepared to be baptized than Filomeno but I’m just not sure. We had a baptismal date set for Ema this Friday but she didn't go to church this Sunday and missed her baptismal interview. It kind of stinks because she is so close but then she goes and does something like this. When she shares her testimony with us, it is so strong, but I think there might be something else going on here. We have been teaching a couple of other investigators as well. We challenge them to read the Book of Mormon but when we come back for the next appointment, most of them haven’t read anything. To me it seems that most of them believe it could be true, but don’t want to change their lives because they are already comfortable. It’s kind of hard to share your testimony and feel the spirit so strong in a room, then the next time you see them, to see that they haven't made much of a change. Anyway, the people we have been teaching are really awesome, I just want them all to know that this message isn't just so they can have some more knowledge or think it’s cool. I want them to know that if they know this message is true, and the Book of Mormon is true, then the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth, there is a Prophet on the earth today, and that some changes are necessary in order to follow Christ’s example.

My companion is the man! Elder Hansen and I are working our best to meet all the needs of our investigators. We haven't had any problems or fights, and our goals are in unison. We just want to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone that is willing to hear it. It has been really hard to get from place to place now though because we are in a car share. So instead of being able to make it to everyone we want to see during the day, we only get to see a few.

My Mission President wanted me to tell him in my weekly letter if anything funny has happened to me during the past week.   Well, I kind of forgot how loud sacrament meetings can be.  Compared to the MTC, the sacrament meeting last Sunday was like a Rock Concert. There were kids going nuts everywhere and I could barely hear anything, the same with Stake Conference too. But I guess that is how it goes when you have a lot of little kids in the Branch. Something else funny that happened was a guy thought we were gang members at his door and was about to take us out. He was like who are you guys and what do you want, I said, we are sharing a message about God, do you have two minutes for us to ask you some questions? He started laughing and I thought he was about to start hating on us for being missionaries. He then said," Oh, you guys are wearing ties!" And I was like yup. Then he said, “Oh my gosh, I’m sorry, I thought you guys were gang members but then I saw that you have ties on, I was about to take you guys out. Then I said, well it is a good thing you didn’t, then I asked him if we could share our message and he said no. Well I guess that was pretty funny but other than that nothing much else happened.  I guess all in all it was a pretty exciting week!!!!!!!!

I have to go but I will tell you a sweet story that happened the other day! We were knocking doors and we stumbled upon this white house. A girl answered the door and we asked her if she had two minutes for a quick message. After we shared the message with her in the doorway  we asked her if she was interested in hearing more and she said yeah and let us in. In the house were a couple of college aged people, one guy with tattoos all over and there was a baby in a cradle. By their outward appearance it seemed like these people could care less about our message but there is no need to judge. After we started sharing the message, people from all over the house started to come in to the living room to listen to our message about the restoration. They were all so excited to here our message and everyone was participating. When we offered to end with a prayer, they all gathered in the living room and folded their arms. One guy that was there started calling more people in to listen to the prayer. About 6 people were in the room and they were all waiting to listen to the prayer. It was cool just because at first look, it seemed like they didn’t want to listen, but by the end they were all listening. They are English speaking so we have to give them to the English speaking Elders as a referral but it was good teaching them. I will see the other Elders tonight and pass them off so they can follow up in the future. 

Love you guys,

Peace out!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Week One Review

November 8, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

Mom and Dad, that’s so tight that you guys have been married for 29 years. I can’t wait to be married one day and have someone to hang out with that is always cool and chill. They say the harder you work on your mission the hotter your wife will be! Well I hope that's true because I tried to work my butt off this week and it payed off! CHYEAH! All thanks to the Lords help of course!!!!!!

When I first got here they told me they are trying something new out in the field! In the MTC you had a set schedule where you had to wake up at 6:30am and that was the time. But here in my mission they say that “He who is compelled in all things in a slothful servant”. So we have been waking up at 6:15am, exercising, eating breakfast and getting ready by 7:15. Then we have an extra 45 minutes to study on top of the time we already have to study. The week before I got here, Elder Kikuchi of the Seventy promised our mission that if they keep this early schedule routine, it will show the Lord that we are fully committed to His work. Then in return, the Lord will bless us with more baptisms and success. Well, I decided to take Elder Kikuchi up on his promise and followed the morning schedule exactly getting up at 6:15am every day and doing my best to get ready before 7:15am instead of 8am which is in the white handbook. Guess what? It all paid off as my first week here we were able to teach 18 lessons which is a lot here in Oregon. My companion, Elder Hanson said “that’s double his highest lessons taught in one week”. We have challenged many people to be baptized and now have 3 people with a baptismal date set for the 19th and the 21st of November. I really hope they go through with the lessons and don’t bail out as I’ve heard a lot of people do.

Two of the people we are teaching are named Filomeno y Ema who are getting baptized the 19th are great people. Filomeno is a great big Mexican guy with a booming deep voice and Ema is a tiny little women. They are so awesome and have told us about a lot of trials they are having in their lives. They don’t have that much money, but have fed us what they have when we come over which is awesome because they are so humble. The other guy with a baptismal date is Jose Arias. He is awesome and came with us to church last Sunday. The first lesson we had with him we challenged him to be baptized and he accepted immediately. He expressed to us that he wants to make a change in his life and this is the way to do it. We have many investigators that we have found; some seem so ready to listen to the words of the restored gospel.

One guy and his wife that we visited last night are the best. His name is Enrique and his wife is named Alma. Enrique is so tight and he is rocking a gangster Ponytail. He told us that he used to roll with a rough crowd and did some bad things. Now he wants to change because he knows that isn’t the way to go and he has 3 little daughters. The spirit is so strong at his place when we go and teach him because I know he wants to come closer to Christ. I testified to him that this is the change that he needs to make and that through baptism, all will be made clean. So many of our investigators are true G's.

Maria Ceja is an awesome lady who lives in a trailer park. She really dislikes her neighbor’s pets because she says they treat them like real people. So we will be teaching Maria out on her porch, and I will be in the middle of sharing my testimony or a thought and then a neighbor will walk by walking the dog. I will be right in the middle of my testimony and she will interrupt me and point out the dog and the neighbor. Then she will go on a rant about the pets for a couple of minutes, and I will listen because it’s pretty funny. I can’t understand what she is saying the whole time, so when she stops to take a breath I will say a poco? (Really), or en serio? (Seriously), so she thinks I know what she’s talking about. Then she will go on, but she is awesome and I love to talk to her and teach her the lessons.

I bought an SD card and I’m sending the other one home in the mail!! It has 443 pictures so save them all!

I think there are two Spanish Branches here in the Keizer Stake. Yup, Spanish Elders get a chance to be District and Zone leaders too! The mission has split up the Spanish and English Elders so we are completely separate. At our District meetings, it is only Spanish Elders. We have a lot of Spanish members in our Branch, about 80. It is so amazing because we get fed every night by the Branch members, they are the best. The food they make is so awesome too!!! We don’t really interact with the people from the English wards. I did find out that as a part of the mission I am in, that all Spanish speaking Elders get to serve 6 months speaking English because there are so many Spanish Elders. It’s all good though, so it doesn’t matter. I just hope I can retain my Spanish?

Keep me updated on the Pope wrestling! How are the Jazz doing? Is the Miami Heat dominating the NBA?

The pillow you sent me rocks, thanks so much!!!

I made it a personal goal to talk to everyone I see because if the Lord puts someone in my path He wants me to teach, then I need to go up and talk to them! Do you know what kind of stinks though? When you have an appointment and you go and they are not there. I have learned something through this experience though. As long as you are doing your best, not sitting around wasting time, but continually trying to find people to teach, the Lord will know you’re doing the best you can. Also if people don’t accept your message, there is nothing that you can do about it, all you can do is share the gospel and let the Spirit work on them. If they still say no even though they feel something, you did what you could. I experienced that the other day as I was teaching this family that let us in after knocking on their door. The spirit was so strong, but then when we asked them to read what we had for them they said no, we left sad but I then realized, we did what we could, it’s up to them to accept it or not.

I have so much more that I would like to say but all the Elders are balling in the Gym and I want to play basketball too. I’m writing this email on a computer at the church! We have a pull up bar at our apartment and I'm knocking out like 30 in a row. I’m getting a little thick but not fat! I weigh 165 now but I think its solid muscle............... CHYEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve gotta roll!

Peace out!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

1st Letter From Oregon!

November 2, 2010

Dear Mom, Dad and Friends,

The Mission Field is bumpin Amazing!!!!

I have loved every minute of the past 2 day’s haha. Well I have so much to say and I can probably say it now because we have more than 30 minutes to email unlike at the MTC. So I will start out with what happened my final week of the MTC and what I did.

Elder Richard G. Scott came and spoke at a devotional and it blew my mind! It was so great listening to an apostle of the Lord and feeling of the Spirit that he brought to the room. It was amazing as he shared spiritual experiences he has had throughout his life with us. Everyone received a paper that he was giving out that had about 30 different quotes or advice on how to live your life and stuff, it was great! He extended many blessings to us that I know will bless me while I'm out in the field. He ended his talk and said, “I know Jesus Christ’s lives and then after a pause he said “I Know Jesus Christ." Then he walked away from the pulpit after he said those things. That was so amazing to hear, there is no doubt in my mind that Jesus Christ lives and I am reminded of it every day I am out here. Richard G. Scott is a G!

After that talk my District and I had a long district meeting about how awesome it was. Anyway, the MTC was a good time and around Saturday I started to pack up. I had my last day of Gym time were I balled on the Courts. My Spanish has improved so much and I know the only reason it has is because I have received so much help from my Heavenly Father. I taught my class a lesson about humility and it went really well. I said goodbye to all my teachers and got pictures with them. I’m going to miss them a lot since they taught me so much during these 9 weeks.

Sunday was my last day at the MTC and it was amazing. My district sang Placentero Nos Trabajar in Sacrament meeting and it sounded really good. After Sacrament meeting I got a bunch of pictures with my friends that I am going to miss that are going to different missions. It was kind of sad but a good thing at the same time as we know we are all moving on to bigger and better things than the MTC. That night I sang with my district for a final time and said goodbye to the Hermanas and it was sad. I’m going to miss them. Then some of my boys came to my class and took pictures with me and it was good to feel loved. Then I went to the room were my friend Elder Boyack opened up his bottle of Sparkling Cider and we toasted to the Good times in the MTC. Then all my friends came and said goodbye to me and I got a video of them. My camera is so full of pictures and videos; I think I already have over 500 pictures! Anyway ill send the card home soon since I just bought another memory card!

I mentioned on our phone call Monday that I didn’t have enough room in my bags for all of my stuff, so I had to ask Elder Sainsbury and Elder Olsen, “The Scroungers”, and they lived up to their name by giving me a nice carry on suit case to pack the rest of my things. Anyway, my companions in the MTC were so great! Elder Riches and Elder Larson really helped me to learn and grow. Elder Riches is so awesome, check out what he did for me. While all my friends were coming up and saying goodbye to me, Elder Riches packed the rest of my stuff into my luggage and weighed it for me! When I was done getting pictures and saying goodbye to everyone I came back to find that all of my stuff was packed and ready to go! Elder Riches really had my back and I’m going to miss that G! After all that, Elder Smith, Sainsbury, Boyack and Olsen all gave me ties! They were all sweet ties and I’m wearing one right now from Elder Boyack.

I woke up in the morning and got ready for the flight to Portland. On the flight I was sitting next to another missionary that was trying to talk to this girl from Portland. This girl was totally just arguing and you could tell that she didn’t want to listen. Well the other missionary just kept talking and it was pretty lame. When I run into anyone that just wants to argue I will try to remember this situation and just share my testimony and leave.

The Field is truly white and already to harvest! After I met my new companion and trainer, Elder Hansen, who is a true G, we went to go eat at a local member’s house. We are serving in Keizer, Oregon and it is amazing. It’s really crazy because this place is basically just like Mexico. Everyone around here is Hispanic and I won’t have any trouble speaking Spanish all the time! My companions Spanish is amazing and he is helping me to improve tons. After dinner, we went and taught Filomeno y Ema and the lesson was so powerful! I bore my testimony and shared some messages with them. We challenged Ema to be baptized and she accepted! We are having the baptism in 2 weeks. Filomeno has a problem with the word of wisdom and smoking but we will help him with it so he can be baptized too. I have been so humbled since I have gotten here. After that we went and taught a guy named Enrique, the lesson went really well and we will return and see him again this week. It’s only been a day but it has been amazing! I can’t wait to see how the next two years turns out!

Well, I have to go to a dinner appointment but I’ll talk to you next week!

I love you and keep it real!