November 22, 2010
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.