February 22, 2011
Dear family and friends,
Yo, what’s going on? This week has been pretty crazy and full of some sweet experiences. I’ll try to fill you in on all that has happened and how things are going down here in Keizer Oregon.
I have to tell you something guys, you know how I told you that I have been struggling with pride out here and people telling me what to do and what to work on? Well the Lord has helped me improve on this problem as I have come unto him in pray. Like it says in Ether 12:27, if you come to the Lord with your weaknesses, he will make them strengths. Well I have seen the Lord make this a strength for me as I had an experience this week. At District meeting, one of the Elders in our district called me aside and told me something I need to work on. Before my mission, I would have told him, “Hey buddy, how bout you back up and mind your own business...” But as he told me what I needed to work on, I heard him out and tried to understand where he was coming from. I didn’t get angry or think in my head," Does this guy think he is better than me?" I just stood there and listened and accepted what he said. It is truly a 180 degree turn around I have seen so far as I didn’t even want to talk about him behind his back afterward ha-ha. The Lord has truly helped me make this weakness a strength as this is something I have been struggling with since the beginning of my mission, taking criticism and people telling me what I need to do.
This week we had the opportunity to go to the Portland Temple and it was so awesome. I love the house of the Lord and that temple is absolutely beautiful. A cool experience happened with the temple and me asking the Lord for help again in my prayers. The day before we were supposed to go to the temple I was really sick. I felt pretty bad and I didn’t want to go to the temple feeling bad because it would be hard to concentrate and focus on the spirit. So, that night I prayed and asked Heavenly Father if I could just be healthy for the short time I would be at the temple. The morning of the temple I woke up completely fine and didn’t feel sick at all. After an amazing experience at the temple, on the drive home I started feeling pretty bad again ha-ha. I’m still recovering from being sick now ha-ha but it is really cool that He answered my prayer as it is something that helped me to get closer to the Lord.
We have also been trying to build trust with the people that live in this area and that is exactly what I want. I want people to know that I love them and they can call me for whatever they need. It has been a pretty good experience getting to know people and show them that we really do care. I’ll give you some examples of what I mean. My main man Mario Papa was really sick this past week. My companion Elder White and I were eating dinner with the Goesch family and then I got a call from Mario papa. He asked us to come over so I told him we would be right on our way. As soon as we got there we saw Presidente Andrade (His Brother ) and then Mario lying sick in bed. He asked us if we could give him a blessing and we were glad to do so. I was grateful that Mario would call me when he needed help. Another experience that happened is when one of our investigators needed us ha-ha. After waking up at 6:30am, I got a call from our investigator named Jose. He was like, “Guys, I really need your help, I left for work like an hour ago and I forgot that I left the stove on! My Senora is in the house sleeping and I’m afraid the house is going to burn down. She doesn't have a phone and I need you guys to go over there and tell her to turn it off." So at like 6:40 in the morning we drove over there and informed his Senora that the stove was on. She turned it off and our work was done. It was pretty cool, because after we teach anyone, we give them our number and tell them to call us if they need anything, so I guess he remembered what we said. I just think it’s cool people give us a call when they need something, you feel me?
Last week I told you about Amancio and how we might have to drop him because he’s pretty old and he forgets most of what we tell him. Well, one day we stopped by this week and he told us that he has been reading a lot in the Book of Mormon and believes it’s true. He believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet as well. I wish I had a tape recorder with me so I could play back what he said when he forgets ha-ha. Well, he is going to get an operation on his eyes tomorrow so we will pass by again and see how he is holding up.
Remember how I told you that my boy David was getting baptized! Well, since the Elders in the other area in Keizer and we are so close I have been able to get to know David pretty well. He was baptized last Friday and he asked me to give a talk at his baptism. I gave a talk about baptism and the covenants we make with our Heavenly Father. It was a pretty cool experience and David is the man. He is 20 and he wants to serve a mission as soon as possible. Anyway, David reminds me of my friends from back home and that's why he and I have become pretty good friends.
We do have funny things happen out here all the time and recording them helps me remember that the Lord must have a sense of humor too. Well, we went to go see an investigator this week at like one in the afternoon. When we knocked, this drunken guy answered the door and we asked him if Luis and Lorena were there. He said," I’m going to get them back for what they did to me, just you watch!" Elder White and I just stood there as we watched this guy go from apartment to apartment banging on peoples walls. Lorena came to the door and I asked her what he was doing. She told me that he always does this. Anyways, while we were talking to Lorena, the guy came over and was like," Hey, I’m going with them to church on Sunday." We went back later that week to check on him and he still really did want to go to church. It’s true that you can’t judge anyone and people do want to change.
I’ll tell you something kind of funny. One night we didn’t have a dinner appointment and all I had at the apartment was a can of Bushes baked beans. I ate the whole can by myself G, 6 servings of beans. To be honest, I never want to have another can of those Beans again, but it was a learning experience.
Give my love to everyone,