Dear Mom and Dad,
I’m embracing the Christmas Spirit! My companion and I have been jamming out to Christmas music ever since thanksgiving and it really makes you feel good. I never really noticed how cool Andrea Bocelli was until my companion bought his Christmas CD. We have been listening to it every day and I can’t believe how awesome he sings. He sings in 3 different languages and you’ve got to give him props. Well I can say I have followed in Andréa Bocelli’s footsteps as I sang in the Branch choir last Sunday that consisted of like 7 people (the four elders and a couple of sisters ha-ha). We definitely made Andrea proud as we sang Venid Adoremos! I’m not saying that we sounded good but we definitely tried! Chyeah!
Anyway, this Christmas season on my mission has further helped me to realize what the real reason of the season is! I told you about my Boy George right! He is 13 and he is a thug (true hero under God), I passed the sacrament with him last Sunday and he had my back when I didn’t know where to go. He is a recent convert and it was his first time passing the sacrament two Sundays ago. Remember how I told you that the bikes that the mission office gave us were the worst, well when one broke down he let us borrow his bike to ride around on. Not only that, we went to go eat at his house for dinner a couple nights ago and we asked him if he was excited for Christmas! When we asked him what he wanted for Christmas he told us nothing because he wasn’t going to get anything for Christmas, just his little brother. I told the other elders, Hernandez and Rangel about this and we all thought it would be a good idea to get him something real nice for Christmas since he so generously let us borrow his bike to do missionary work! So we all put our money together to get my boy George a brand new Red Wii player. I think it’s a new one that just came out and its pretty sweet G! We’re talking this bad boy has a controller and two games and everything. George will be the only kid on his street with a new Red Wii and that’s what I’m talking about. We all split the money paying $50 each since it was 200 bucks. Anyway, you don’t have to worry about getting me anything for Christmas cause I’ve got all I need. It’s all about George getting hooked up with a new WII. I kinda want to give it to him now but I guess we will have to wait till Christmas. We are gonna secret Santa it and secretly put it in his house without him knowing or give it to his mom or something! Chyeah!
I figured out why missionaries are so happy and why missionaries say it’s the best 2 years of their lives. It’s because we are constantly SERVING!!! When you serve people you feel good, so a missionary feels good all the time. Really everything you do on your mission is service because you’re not doing it for yourself. It is true, when you are in the service of others you are truly in the service of God. You are basically giving up 2 years of your life to serve others, making it a pretty enjoyable experience. You think not having TV or a cell phone or your family nearby would not be that fun, but you are busy 24/7 trying to serve people. We just helped out this member in our Branch with their yard and it was really fun. We had to cut and trim these huge bushes with these little scissors for a couple hours and it was tight. It felt good to see the final result and see how happy the family was when they saw that we did a good job and not a half hearted one.
I’m writing my boy Hardy and he told me that he might get switched to Spanish so that would be tight! We have transfers next week so I don’t know if my companion Elder Hanson is going to leave. He has been in this area for almost 6 months so he might. My companion and I are getting along really well. I know transfers are coming up next week and I hope he doesn't go. I think we just need one more transfer together here in order to really make some differences in people’s lives! I might get switched out too so you never know! Well, whatever happens I’m ready for it!
The President of the Rama is a tight guy, his name is President Andrade and he is from Michoacán Mexico. He has the deepest voice and he reminds me of a BEAR. Anyway, we ate at his house last Sunday and it was tight. He makes fun of me because I look like I should speak Spanish fluently but I don’t. So he is constantly helping me improve. He told me that if I eat hot things, I will be able to speak faster and more fluently. So whenever we go to eat over there he tells me to eat Chili’s on my food, so I do! I don’t really like hot food, but if it will help me learn Spanish quicker, I’m willing to try! Chyeah!
For the last couple days, Tuesday through Thursday, my companion Elder Hansen and Elder Rangel ( elders who have been out for a long time and who are trainers) had to go to a trainers meeting, so me and Elder Hernandez who have been out in the field for 5 weeks teamed up to be the ultimate greenie companionship. It was awesome though because even though we are new we still know what we are supposed to do. Our bikes broke down again so we were on foot for those 3 days covering our huge area (the other elders had to take the car to the meetings) we ran into some really tight people those days and it was fun. We taught this guy named Octavio. His wife just died and when he let us in he was really down. Elder Hernandez and I had the opportunity to teach him the Plan of Salvation and explained to him that he would be able to see his wife again. His face turned from sorrow to hope. We are going to teach him again and I’ll let you know how that goes!
I met Sister Robison’s sister and she is super nice. She offered to make us food whenever we don’t have any, Chyeah!
We went to a middle school to go talk to some adult Hispanics that are trying to learn English as a second language and it was pretty fun. We were able to get a couple phone numbers and we are going to invite them to the play that we will be in this Friday at the church. The play is about the birth of Jesus and what happened in the Americas with Samuel the Lamanite!
Our investigators are doing really well! I have found it easier as my mission has progressed to discern who is interested in hearing the message we share and who is just trying to be nice. Our investigators Enrique and Alma Mendez and progressing really well. We taught them twice this week and they have been reading! They still haven't prayed yet to receive their answer that the book of Mormon is true. When I asked them what they would need to do when they receive their answer, they said change our lives and be baptized. With all of our investigators and potentials, we always let them know why we are there and what we expect of them and it makes it a lot easier both ways.
It kinda stinks because one investigator, Enrique works on Sundays and the only thing keeping us from setting a baptismal date is the fact that he can’t come to church. He did say he is looking for a new job or a solution so I will continue to pray for him! Our Investigator Godofredo had a baptismal date set for the 11th this month but in his baptismal interview, the District Leaders decided he should wait until he has a stronger testimony. I know he knows that the church is true, but I think what drives him to be baptized is the fact that his wife and daughter are members and he wants to be one too.
We have another investigator named Charlie who has a baptismal date for the 25th. He has been listening to the missionaries for over a year but he finally feels ready to be baptized. He is a great guy and it will be awesome to see him get baptized! We also have been teaching this girl we found named Julie. She is awesome and believes that the church is true, but is leaving on vacation for Mexico in a week so we will just have to teach her when she gets back in a month. We also have been teaching this awesome guy and his wife named Elvis and Crystal. Elvis reminds me of my friends back home and he is pretty funny. While we teach him he is always asking us questions like, you guys want popcorn or some soda. We were watching the movie about the Restoration and he would pause it every time he had a question. Then when we explain things to his wife, he just repeats what we say after we say it to her to make it seem like she’s the only one that doesn’t know ha-ha. I don’t know, I thought it was kind of funny. Anyway we talked to them about baptism and they said they would be willing to if they receive their answer.
Some funny things that happened this week... hmmmm. Well, while I was riding my bike a bird flew over me and pooped on my leg! I guess it’s not that funny but what are the chances! Also, watching the movies with Elvis our investigator is pretty funny! He said he is more of a visual learner so we try to watch movies with him and then teach him after the movie. It is pretty funny though because he is always on the move and making comments on the movies. He is 23 and I think we will try to find a member to bring next time so they can get to know each other and then he can have a friend. We also ate at a member of the Branch’s house the other night and he is from Peru and he is so animated when he talks. He speaks so fast and sometimes I can’t understand him, but the fact that he gets up from the dinner table and acts out what he is saying is pretty funny. I love all the members here and I love serving the Lord in Keizer!
Well, I’m glad to be serving the lord and I’ll talk to you next week!