Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sis. Juarez, Elders Duncan, Biggs, McNeil, Me, Sis. Sosa

This last week was full of experiences, and we were definitely busy!

4/29/14 - Tuesday

Today was definitely one of the craziest days I've had on the mission in a long time. We were on exchanges
(where he and his companion split up and go out with other missionaries) today. I stayed in our area with Elder Bagley (Elder Burgin's companion). We had studies and talked about the exchange focus a bit, then we went and biked over to help the Sanchez family move all of their stuff and furniture. I picked up this massive TV that was really old and super heavy, and I saw Elder Bagley coming over so I thought "cool, maybe he'll help me carry this." Then he proceeded to grab the power cord....and that was it, haha. Love the kid though, he's great! We then starting getting texts and no lie, every single appointment we had set up today cancelled or fell through. Obviously, The Lord had different plans for us today. So we started contacting referrals and new people, had dinner with the Nash and Atwater families, and then we went to visit with Hermano de Alba and Ramon Barboza.  Unfortunately, Hermano Barboza's father passed away today, so he was a little down.  We were riding back home with Hermano Rosas when I got a phone call from somebody in the stake. They called to tell me that Sis. Juarez's (sister missionary in his zone) grandmother had just passed away, and they asked me to tell her since I was her zone leader.  As I was getting this information, we got hit by another car (we were in Hermano Rosa's car), so needless to say it was a pretty stressful few minutes there. No worries, Bagley and I are fine, it wasn't a bad crash it was just kind of unexpected. Hermano Rosa's car is pretty messed up, he'll have to go get the door replaced for sure.  Then we learned that another missionary's mom died in a car accident. So it was kind of a crazy day, lot of sad emotions over the deaths (Sis. Juarez's grandma died in a car accident too), so we'll see what happens with them! It is such a comfort to know that the Plan of Salvation is true though and that families can be reunited again!

4/30/14 - Wednesday

Another busy day! We got up and took some cards around to Sis. Juarez and Ramon Barbosa, then we had District Leader Training meeting. We did some more service (helping the Sanchez family's parents move),
then we had a great visit with Alfonso and others. I'm worn out from moving so much furniture haha, so I'm about to get some sleep!

5/1/14 - Thursday

Wow, it's already May. Craziness! We had the normal morning routine, and then we spent 1 to 4 going around to the different weekly planning sessions and coordinating with the missionaries there. We have an awesome zone, I'm so happy to be serving here. Then we biked over to the Balderas's home. Today is stake temple day since stake conference is this weekend, and we've been working with Pepe Balderas and Levi Silos (his brother-in-law), to get them back active in church. So they've been progressing really well, and we took them to the temple to do baptisms. It was Levi's first time, and Pepe's first time since he was 14 (~10 years ago), so it was such a powerful experience. The Spirit was so strong and it just furthered my testimony that the temple truly is the House of The Lord on Earth.

Pepe, Me, and Levi at the Jordan North Temple

5/2/14 - Friday

Another busy day! We got up, studied, then went to Elder Burgin's district meeting (as Zone Leaders he and his companion rotate to the different districts to observe/evaluate the training), and he did an excellent job! Then, we did our weekly planning, and then left to go help another family move. We didn't have a lot of time, but we wanted to help Sisters Unga and Martinez out (sister training leaders in another zone - they had someone moving near our area). We went and helped with as much of the heavy lifting as we could (beds, mattresses, sofas, fridge, etc.). Then we ran home, changed, and ran off to dinner and visits for the evening with la familia Tierrablanca. It was a busy day, and it's certainly been a week full of service! We love it :)

5/3/14 - Saturday

We got up today, did some studies, and then went and helped the Sanchez family set up their  FamilySearch accounts so they can get started on their family history. We had a meeting with Elders Duke and
Howe to plan the training we're giving at Zone Conference this upcoming Tuesday (as a zone leader, I found out we give training all the time haha). Then, we met some new investigators in the afternoon, had an awesome visit with Alicia Ramirez, then a great dinner with la familia Antonio. Tonight was the Saturday session of Stake Conference, and it was a great meeting. Super spiritual and it was focused on the Hastening of the Work, so we loved it!

5/4/14 - Sunday

Today was a great day! We had the priesthood session of stake conference starting at 7 AM, then the regular session at 10 AM. I got to speak, but my topic was on the joy of missionary work and serving a mission, so it was super laid back and easy to speak on, since I absolutely love my mission! Then, we had a great day visiting people, and it seemed like everywhere we went we had food. We had 6 lessons, and food at 3 of them. Carne asada y chorizo tacos with the  Casteneda family, awesome dinner with las familias Nash y Atwawter, and then tacos sudados (steamed tacos basically) covered with nopales (cactus) with Alfonso. It was legit. Then, the coolest thing ever happened to us. We were going to pick up this kid named Gerardo to come out with us in the evening, and his brother's girlfriend walks up to us and (in Spanish) says, "Hey Elders. I'm ready to receive the discussions and be baptized. I'm not working right now, so whenever you want to start teaching me is good, I'm home all day pretty much." That is a miracle right there! It just goes to show you that The Lord really is preparing the hearts of the people to receive the restored Gospel, I love it! There is so much joy in the Gospel, and the endless possibilities made available because of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, fills me with hope. I'm so thankful for the many blessings in my life, especially my family and friends and the love of my Father in Heaven. I can't put in words how much I've learned on my mission or how thankful I am to be here. It's not easy and I miss y'all so, so much, but I know this is where I need to be right now. Thank you for your continual support. Love y'all!!

haha....nuff said

(From his email to his Aunt Tammy)

Hey Tía Tammy!

We're staying busy! I'm getting settled in, I almost know the majority of the important details for the area. Still learning street names though haha. It really just depends (she asked him how long he would be in his new area),  I know a lot of people that pull one transfer (six weeks) and then get moved and I know some people that pull 9 months in an area, it's kinda random. (well, the Mission President is guided by the Spirit, so it's not random, there's just no set rule).

I can't believe it's already Mother's Day. Speaking of which, Happy Mother's Day Aunt Tammy! I'm so proud to call you my aunt and I wish I could just call y'all too, but we'll see each other before we even know it!

The weather is getting warm which is great! I've determined I'd much rather be burning up and sweating than freezing while out proselyting :)

I love that kindness of the people in this area. The people are so nice and warm and make me feel at home. To be honest with you, the thing from home I wish I could have: soft bed or maybe just the time to go and play sports and workout. I really miss playing frisbee and basketball, but that's okay, I'll be back and playing soon. Sometimes we get to play on Mondays, but it's always dependent on the athleticism of the missionaries (in his area).

Word of the week: Felicidad - happiness. The Gospel and my family give me more happiness than I can put into words!!

Love always,


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