January 31, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
I found out some pretty sweet stuff this week about serving others and how you have to approach service and what not to do! It hit me one day while we were on splits with the English Elders knocking complexes. I was with my boy Elder Jackson and we did not have to much luck as everyone we ran into was a Jehovah Witness but one door we knocked was this great big guy. He was like what do you guys want, and I said," We are sharing a message sir!" He looked at us with a mean look on his face, but all of a sudden he smiled and was like, dang it, I can’t pull it off, come on inside. When we got inside, his whole family was together chillen and I was like what’s going on. He then said he was Mormon and was trying to mess with us. Anyway, after talking with him for a while he told us that he served a mission in South Africa. I asked him what he wishes he could do if he could go back and he told me that he would have liked to be a little more like Ammon and do some more service for the community. Just like Ammon served the Lamanites and had to chop off a few arms. Anyway, it got me thinking, I need to do some more service, and look for it. I need to serve the community, anyone that I see that needs help, I'm going to step up and help them. So anyway, his mission was probably a little different than mine so service opportunities are a little harder to find than probably in Africa. Anyway I started to look for service but I didn’t know where to go. I went to the Chamber of Commerce, Library, police station, city capitol, other Church's, and asked how I can help the community. But everywhere I went you had to fill out like a bunch of forms and all I’m trying to do is help clean someone’s yard of lift something, not fill out forms and do taxes. Anyway I have been asking the Lord for service opportunities so I can be like Ammon! So after the day I met that guy that reminded me to be like Ammon, we were driving down the road and I saw an Asian guy trimming some bushes in his yard. We waved to him and he waved backed. Then I was then like, " Elder White, let’s go help that guy out in his yard." So we pulled to a stop and got out of the car!" As we walked up to the man he had fear in his eyes. He said," Go away you guys, YOU scare me!" Then I said," Sir, we just want to help you, can we trim these bushes!" He was like I don't speak English, go away!" I guess he didn’t understand us and just thought we were two guys getting out of our car after he waved to us. He was really scared and I felt bad that we had scared him. So we have had to take another approach into service when we see someone that needs help, we can’t just pull over after people see us drive by and get out with our big black jackets and leather gloves cause people will think we are the Mafia or something. So what we do now is just roll down the window and ask people if they need help, it works a lot better. The other day I had to climb a roof to get a 50 cent ball off the roof for some neighborhood children. It was pretty tight as they cheered me on, as I stood on my companions shoulders and shimmied up the roof. Service is so much fun and that’s what we are trying to do all day every day, in any form possible. I know good will come from it as we forget ourselves and further look for ways to help others.
I had a companion exchange with my Boy Elder Rangel and we tore it up. Elder Rangel and I just click and so does our teaching together. We taught a few lessons on that companion exchange and it was pretty powerful as the Lord really does put the words in your mouth when you need them! During the exchange we went to Presidente Andrade’s house and did some service chopping some wood.
I gave a talk yesterday about the second articulo de fe and it went really well. My Spanish is getting really good as I have put my faith in the Lord and not in myself. I don’t know if I told you this logic or my way of thinking of why I just don’t wake up in the morning fluent. If I was to wake up fluent tomorrow or became fluent at the MTC, what would I have learned? But I have experienced through trial and error and learned from my mistakes. I relate it to this life. You can say, why is this life so hard, why can’t I just wake up tomorrow perfect and be exalted. The reason is because you would have learned nothing. That's why we are here on this earth, to learn and progress and follow Jesus Christ. If we didn’t have to learn or experience from trial and error, there really would be no reason for this life on earth. So when I think, why I am not completely fluent yet, it’s because I have to learn and grow and exercise my faith. So really I think the gift of tongues for missionaries is just giving missionaries the gift to learn the language incredibly fast, something you couldn't do without the Lords help.
I told you how my girl Maria Ceja is the best and she just got back from Mexico. She is about 80 years old and while she is talking, she will all of a sudden start whispering like she has got a secret to tell. So when she starts whispering, I just sit on the edge of my seat and lean in to hear what she’s got to say ha-ha. Well she just continues to surprise me and some awesome things have happened with my girl. We were teaching her in a lesson last week and as we were talking about the 12 apostles she just busted out singing a song about Pedro (Peter). At first I didn't know what was going on but then I just decided to go with it and I started to clap my hands and hum along with her beautiful voice. She told us she loves to sing and I told her that we sing at church. She was so excited when I told her that and she wanted to go. Well the day before Sunday, we called her to see if she could make it to church but she didn't answer. So Sunday we were sitting in class and all of a sudden I got a call from this random number. When I answered, it was my girl Maria Ceja telling me that she was ready to go to church. So we called Mario Hijo and went to go pick her up. She loved church; especially the singing and she told me she really felt good. On the ride home she couldn't stop singing so we started to make requests. She truly is a good singer and she sang us some songs about Boots, Obama, and the Weather.
Well family, this week was good and I love it out here.