Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Scottie and Jordan Arenas!

Hola mi Familia!


Pretty cool P-Day (preparation day) today, we went downtown to the Family History center in SLC (Salt Lake City). It was nice to hear from y'all and see that you had a great past week. I definitely appreciate being able to keep up with all of you. Oh and Aaron Patel, if you're reading this, please know that Peyton Manning is greater than Tom Brady. Fact. He's a champion haha. After email we went over to the Gateway mall to find some lunch with elders Murray and Paraza, and guess who I saw? Jordan Arenas! I heard someone yell Scottie and I almost didn't even turn around because nobody has called me that in almost 4 months, and he was just there grabbing some food! He actually lives pretty close by, hopefully I can run into him some time again. I've always looked up to him, and he told me I speak Spanish like a Mexican haha, he served in Argentina so our accents are definitely different. We ate lunch at this place called Z'Tejas (I got a black and bleu burger) and then we caught a ride back to Magna. We did a little grocery shopping and then we visited with Dixon Bautista and the Salinas Family. The Salinas family gave us arroz con leche y pan dulce too, so that was an awesome end to the night. I feel like I'm still tired from General Conference weekend, so I'm gonna be heading to bed now.

Busy day today! We got up and were doing our studies and got the call that our flu shots were today at 1 at the Peachwood building (our mission office, over in the Eastern end of West Valley). Burgin (Elder Burgin, his companion) and I decided to bike all the way over there for fun, it's about a 9 mile ride there, but it's pretty flat so that was appreciated. We got the shots (some of the elders were super scared of the needles, I was laughing pretty hard. I'm glad I've always been cool with shots) and hopefully that'll keep me safe throughout this winter. Then we rode the 9 miles back to Magna, but the wind had picked up and that definitely made it more challenging! We stopped at McDonald's for a quick snack and this crazy worker was giving Elder Burgin the hardest time for no reason at all. Super weird! We worked on planning for La Hispanidad (the upcoming Hispanic cultural event we're going to be having on the 25th) and then we went to eat dinner with the Zone Leaders, Elders Terry and Bragg. We left and did a power hour in the Parkside ward tonight, where all of the missionaries team up with a member and then we go around and try to meet everyone in the ward and see if we can do any service or stop by and chat for a while. It's a great way to explode the work and help the members get involved too. So it was a busy day, my legs are a little sore, no lie, but it was a fun day.

Fun day today! We went on exchanges (where a companionship splits up so that they can team up with another set of missionaries in the area) starting at noon, so I went with Elder Bragg into his area and Elder Terry went with Burgin into our area. Bragg is from Austin, Texas and he's a funny guy, he's only got about 2 months left so that's pretty crazy! We all ate french toast that Terry made us for lunch and then Bragg and I spent the afternoon walking around and visiting families in his wards, just trying to get to know the people a bit since he's new (to that particular area). We had spaghetti again for dinner haha, the English (non-Hispanic) wards don't vary too much. We then went around and visited some more people from the ward and the lesson they had planned cancelled which was kinda lame but that's alright, we still had a productive night. I'm staying at the zone leader's place tonight and it is janky! They have 3 plates total! And only 2 spoons, 2 forks, 2 knives. It's hilarious. They also don't have a shower head, it's just this one stream of water coming out of the wall. It's pretty funny, I guess I'm spoiled from our place!

We started the day off with a nice 6:30am jog. Elder Bragg let me borrow a hoodie which was cool because it was super cold outside haha, like 39 I believe. We came back and ate, showered, studied, and then went back to our apartments. That walk was less than perfect...mostly because it was like 42 and raining the entire time, and we had to walk 2 miles! But I had that big coat that repels water pretty well so we were all smiles. I cooked us all lunch today since Terry did it yesterday: lime-paprika chicken, black beans, and rice. And I made some salsa to go with it, it was pretty solid. Then we had weekly planning and Elder Bragg needed to borrow my bike because his was messed up and as zone leaders they have to travel around the zone and see how everyone is doing. Burgin and I then walked over towards the house where we were meeting the zl's (zone leaders)  for dinner and Elder Bragg just had this hilarious look on his face. I asked him what was wrong and he was pushing my bike and just goes "HERE"S YOUR CHARIOT OF FIRE!" hahaha. Apparently, while they were riding down 84, which is all downhill, and my front brakes just freaked out and locked up on him....sending him flying over the handlebars....and into a giant puddle of muddy water on the side of the road hahahaha. Elder Terry was like yeah, I just heard something and turned around and Bragg was just sitting in a puddle of water. So funny. After a pizza dinner we went to teach Dixon Bautista. We were sitting outside teaching him, and his mom has always been a little cold towards us, I don't know why. But suddenly she just comes out and is like "Would you like to come inside?" She's never let us inside before, so I was super excited. Then she asked if we wanted to eat dinner with their family! That's huge, because it was a great time to build a relationship of trust and get to know the family, and if a Hispanic family invites you to eat with them, you've got their trust. It was a real blessing. Then we went to our correlation meeting and that was that. Another tiring but successful day.

Pretty solid day today. Elder Burgin gave a good district meeting about teaching people not just lessons (focusing on them and not just rushing through things) and then we all went out to El Habenero as a district. Then we did exchanges again, just for the day though. Elder Nielson came with me into our area, and he doesn't speak any Spanish, so I did pretty much all of the talking. We taught Jesus in the afternoon and then went by this referral. The person we were looking for no longer lived there, but a very kind Hermana Gomez did, and she gave us papusa's and carne asada! Delicious, delicious food! We had a dinner set up already and it was like 5ish so we biked about 2 miles with no hands again, thankfully it was almost all downhill cause I was carrying all the food she gave us. We had pizza with the zl's at an English (non-Hispanic, I love how he calls all non-Hispanic families “English”!) family again and then we dropped our bikes off and Hermano Tomas Carrasco came out with us on visits. We had a great lesson with Ricardo Pacheko and then went to go visit Hermana Herrera. She had just started cleaning her giant fish tank, like a 50 gallon one, so we offered to help her. We siphoned all the water out, cleaned the rocks, refilled it and then replaced the fish. She was extremely grateful and it was pretty heavy work, so if we hadn't been able to help her, it would have taken her forever to do it by herself. Then we got to share a spiritual thought with her and we re-exchanged (met up with their original companions). Burgin and I headed back to the apartment, changed, and it's time for sleep.

Today was a good day. We got up and did the regular morning routine, and then Andrew came over! Haha, he's such a bro. Then Elder Burgin and I went and made the flyers for our big upcoming cultural celebration, La Hispanidad! We have been meaning to get them made for a while, we've just been super busy! Now we have them and can start passing them out to everyone we see. We went and ate dinner with the ZL's haha. It's crazy, we've had nothing but spaghetti and pizza this entire week. I miss hispanic food. We had an awesome lesson with Dixon tonight about the restoration of the church and the funniest thing was that as we were leaving, his mom had been in the other room (we didn't really know that). As she waved good bye, we saw that she had the restoration pamphlet in her hand and had been reading along as we taught in the other room. Such progress! We had a cool lesson with Jason and Angelica where they taught us about faith (something to help them get more involved in the lessons) and then we gave Jason a blessing for his leg - he's got nerve damage that bugs him like crazy. I'm pretty tired.

Today was awesome! We had a ton of people come to church with us today: William, Dixon Bautista, y la familia Sandoval: Judith, Anjuar, Edwin, Leslie, Kenya, y Kiara! It was so exciting, and church was super crazy because we were trying to help everyone find the right class and all that and everyone was like "Elderitos!!!!!" and wanted to talk. Ahhh! But it was a super successful day, and I was very happy. After church we had a branch council meeting and then we went back to the apartment and scrounged up some lunch. We baked some cookies and took them over to Freddy Carrasco as a thank you for helping us out with rides to and from conference, and when we went to leave it was raining pretty good so he loaned us some umbrellas. Super cool of him. We made some afternoon visits and ate dinner with the ZL's for the last time: the family finally broke the streak of pizza and spaghetti! We had these burrito things that were pretty good, super Americanized but pretty good! Then we were walking around in the cold rain all night, making some visits and finalizing some plans for la Hispanidad. Jean Barboza gave us a ride back to our place (which was cool because his house is about 2.5 miles away from ours) and we stopped by Freddy's to drop off his umbrellas. He traded us the umbrellas for some fresh-made empanadas, so it was a great night. Now I'm gonna try and do some cleaning and then pass out and get some sleep. Can't wait to get your email tomorrow!
Hola,  How are y'all today?!?!
I love you all so much and I'm so glad I got to communicate with you all and hear how everything is going. Please have a great week and know you're always in my thoughts and prayers. I love y'all and I can't wait to get your email next week :) Next week, my P-Day will be on Tuesday, not Monday. Weird schedule next week, just a heads up!
My bike is fine haha, we're off bikes for the year pretty much though. We can't ride them once snow starts and it's looking kinda rainy for the next couple of weeks until snow, so we'll all probably be a walking mission for the next good while!

Love always,

(From his email to his Aunt Tammy):
The air temp is dropping here too, and yesterday it rained which was super lame but no worries, I've got a jacket and scarf and I stayed mostly dry and warm :) Transfers are pretty much just finding a member with a truck and having them help us move all our stuff about. We don't bring mattresses along but we do bring all our sheets and blankets and pillows, which does take up an entire suitcase haha.
No issues this week, but one of the coolest things was that we had 6 investigators come to church! That was amazing! New word/phrase: la luz sobre el monte: the light upon the mountain basically. We can all strive to be good examples to those around us in our daily lives, even with just little actions. It's something I'm trying to do, be a good example, just as Christ was :)

I love you Tía Tammy, y espero que tenga una buena semana!


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