June 12, 2012Querido Familia,
“I’M TRAINING” y estoy súper animado! I’m pumped because it’s my first time training and Elder W will probably be my last companion on the mission! I can tell already he is a hard worker and he’s got the fire. He is from Arizona and stands about 6'3 so he towers over everyone in the Branch including me ha-ha and we are going to have a great time together. I was pretty excited to get the phone call from the assistants asking me to train and I’m glad that the Lord trusts me and has given me this opportunity. I have always wanted to train and with Elder W’s fire, I know we are going to work super hard. Last week was great and Elder T went out strong without even thinking about what he is going to do when he gets home. We worked hard and he showed me a great example of how to be dedicated to the work until the end and I know I am going to follow his example and give it all I got and return with no regrets.
I’m so excited and happy to have the opportunity to serve with Elder W. He is a great kid with a strong testimony and he is ready to work hard. He got up this morning with me right on time at 5:50 AM and was ready to work out. I know he brings a fire with him and a great desire to serve the Lord. We are going to do our best to help the investigators we have to enter into the waters of baptism! We had 8 investigators at church again and the Branch is really growing. We are trying to set dates with the people that have been going to church and help them to gain testimonies of the restored gospel. The thing is that we are equally focusing on the members in the Branch as just a little while ago half of them were less active. There is a lot of work to do out here but I know that the Lord is blessing us. We are truly seeing the fruits of our labors as we have been working with the less active. Their friends and families are coming back to church and now we have many investigators to help. Baptism is always a big step for our investigators but as we help them to be converted to the gospel by reading in the Book of Mormon, I know they will have the desire to do the Lords will. I’m just so grateful to the Lord for the many blessings we are seeing here and I just hope that we can work effectively enough to help all those in need. The Gospel is true and it’s my desire to help all those strengthen their testimonies of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. I know that as a district, we are growing and out areas are improving. We are focusing more on our church attendance and the Elders are telling me that the attendance at church is growing. As we look at the true growth, we can see in sacrament meeting how many are committed to keeping the Sabbath day holy and renewing their covenants.
Things are going great and I had a great time with Elder T his last week in the mission field! I’m pretty excited about having my first greenie and I’ll explain a little bit about what happened yesterday. I wanted him to be able to remember his first day on the mission so I planned some cool stuff to do his first day out. G and J (G’s cousin) took Elder T and me to the transfer meeting. We rolled in style as J has a pretty sick Cadillac Escalade truck. I waited there anxiously for the arrival of the new missionaries in the room with the rest of the trainers. When President M called out my name and the name of my new companion Elder W, I couldn’t contain the excitement and gave him a big hug. I handed him a diaper that I got from J’s car (she’s got a baby) and told him he would need it with all the Mexican food he will be eating on his mission. He thought that was pretty funny but I told him it wasn’t a joke ja-ja. After the meeting, I said goodbye to all my boys that were heading home like Elders T, H, R and my Pops, Elder H. I’m going to miss my Pops Elder H as he taught me so much. He was a great example of humility and love! I got a picture with my pops and all of his posterity (people that he trained)!
The whole experience was cool but I still wanted to show my new companion what the Spanish mission in the OPM was all about so I took him to the center of all the action in WOODBURN! We went to the famous taco truck and I ordered him two tacos de tripa y de buche. I told him not to ask what it was until after he ate it all and he ate it like a champ. I then told him it was pork guts and cow stomach and he was still cool with it ha-ha. I ate the tacos with him and I really do like them. My son is ready to roll and already half Mexican at heart. Church was awesome and we had the amazing privilege of blessing the baby of D, one of our investigators. She is the sister of E C, una hermana who was baptized while I was in Woodburn. We are working with her and her 5 children and it was a great experience. It was pretty cool to stand in the circle and I can see that little baby on a mission one day. We are seeing a ton of miracles as the members are becoming more involved in the missionary work. We brought a family of investigators to church and some members invited them to eat over at their house after church. It was a fun night as we all ate together and the investigator family truly felt fellowshipped.
Instead of taking it little by little, I decided to immerse Elder W in the Hispanic culture. We were also going to go pick strawberries in the field that a member owns but we will save that for next week. Elder W speaks Spanish fairly well for his first day in the mission field and yesterday we set the goal to speak only Spanish from here on out! He’s pumped to serve and has got a huge fire to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, he’ll be a great missionary. I’m excited for this time we have together and I will do my best to help him learn everything he needs to know before I leave. Well, I could go on and on because last week was so awesome and we are seeing so many miracles daily but I have got to go. I love you guys and I’m glad to hear that the Lord is blessing your lives there at home as well. I know this church is true and it’s our duty to share that truth with the world!!