November 7, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
Woodburn is the best and things are going great out here. We just got back from a Zone Activity where the two Spanish zones in the mission met up and we played soccer. I was able to see my boy Elder W and he greeted me by saying, " Elder P, we’re still going to BYUI right?!?!?!" ha-ha. I haven’t seen Elder W since I left the coast but it was a good reunion. I also met up with my second companion Elder W and it was good to see him. His voice has gotten even deeper from the last time I saw him ha-ha! Man I love elder W! I’m really glad to hear things are going good back home. I really want to write Oscar and my other Chilean amigos so this email will be a little shorter.
Life is good and the work is really progressing here in Woodburn. O and A were baptized two weeks ago and last Sunday O received the Aaronic Priesthood. What a blessing it has been to see and experience the change the gospel has brought to O and his wife. We have got to get O a white shirt and tie so he looks official for when he passes the sacrament. We are definitely taking Elder C. S G’s advice and spending half of our time with the less active members in the Branch. We are seeing the fruits of our labors as people are making commitments to come back to church and come closer to their Heavenly Father. We also have a baptism this Sunday of B and her daughter D. It is going to be a great baptismal service and it has been a blessing to see their lives change by making the decision to follow their Savior Jesus Christ. We have other investigators progressing and as we set our new goals, I know Heavenly Father will guide us to his elect.
Elder B is the man and things are going great. I’m trying to find opportunities to serve him but he is pretty neat and tidy so it’s hard to find things I can do for him. Anyway, things are going great and it would be awesome to serve another transfer with him as I know it would help this area to grow further more!
Well, I have a pretty spiritual experience I would like to share with you guys. We have been going to teach this family for the last couple of weeks and something really cool happened. Every time we stop by to teach, all the kids gather around and get ready to listen. We invite everyone to attend, but my main boy M (the brother of our investigator) hasn’t been feeling it for the last couple of weeks. Instead of joining in the lesson he will just chill in his room and say bye to us when we leave. Well last week we were teaching the family about Joseph Smith and answering the question that Joseph smith had, which church is the true church of Jesus Christ. As we were teaching about that principle, M rolls out of his room and starts telling us that it’s too confusing to understand and that he just doesn’t get it. As soon as M rolled into the room, everyone started cheering and hooting, because M had finally gotten fired up and decided to participate. After things calmed down and the excitement settled, we asked M to take a seat. He agreed and from there we explained the great apostasy and the vision that Joseph Smith received of the Father and the Son. We testified of the truthfulness of the first vision and asked them to pray about it. I could see the Holy Ghost working on M and he accepted the invitation to say the closing prayer. M is the man and has been joining our lessons ever since. From this experience I have learned to a higher degree that people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. So many experiences on my mission, I have seen that people have got a wall up, and the only way to break that down is with love and support. It’s no wonder why knocking can be so ineffective. At the door you have about 20 seconds to break down their wall and gain their trust. It took us about 4 weeks to gain M’s trust and now he is deciding to take the lessons. I am grateful for these kinds of experiences on my mission and it brought me so much joy to see M get up that day and get involved, even though he was throwing some defensive hay makers (metaphorically) at the beginning, Chyeah!
I love you guys and thanks for the support you’re giving me. I know that this church is true and I’m glad to be a part of the gathering of Israel in the last days.