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!