Sunday, January 20, 2013

Week 11 (December 17, 2012)

Hey ya'll! How is everything is snowy Utah?? I saw a picture that Cari sent me of all the snow. That's a weird concept to me right now that there could be snow. It is still in like the 60's here. I am loving every minute of it. But it doesn't really feel as much like Christmas without it. But it is okay cause I know it's snowing in Utah. Haha. I heard that Jordan had her baby on Monday night! Congrats Jordan! Am so happy to hear everything went okay. Has Rachel recieved her mission call yet? I want to know when it comes! :) That is so exciting!

So last week I went on my first exchange and I went to San Angelo and stayed with one of our Zone Leaders. It was fun to be in a big city and to kinda get that feel again. It was super fun cause we got to go to the college campus and try to do some work there. But everyone did their best to avoid us. It was funny but dissapointing to see when we were walking up to someone, for them to see us and pull out some headphones and turn the music up. That was hard but I got to see the humor in it and laughed to myself. We tried a number of ways to get people to talk to us (one of them being a game of pool in the student center) but none of them really worked. The Elder that I was with, his name is Elder Rydalch from Oakly Utah. He is English so I didn't get to use any Spanish but I learned a ton from him on how to talk to people so that they will be more willing to listen to us and what we have to say. So that was definitely a good experience for me. Then the best part about being in the city was that in the morning before we started our day we were able to go to the church and play basketball! Ahh it felt soooooo good to go and play again. But I must admit that I was super rusty and couldn't do much but I was just happy to be playing agian. When I got back to good 'ol Big Lake we went to work on trying to find more people. We haven't really had too much success. We might make it into someones home and set a return appointment, but the return appointment is usually punched and we don't get another shot at them. But we keep our heads up and looking for the ones who have been prepared for us to find and teach.

We went back to Manny's house to talk to him on Friday to see how he was doing and if he was reading in the Book of Mormon. He said that he hadn't and he was too busy cause he went and visted his kids that week and had just got back into town that day. So instead of teaching him the second lesson we decided to sit down and read the Book of Mormon with him. It was a great experience where the spirit was able to testify of what we were teaching him. He struggles with the concept that Joseph Smith was a Prophet. So we taught him that the Book of Mormon is evidence that he really was a prophet and the gospel has been restored. When we finished teaching him we tried to get him to pray but he wouldn't do it! He was bound and determined not to pray. We taught him everything we could on how to pray, why we pray, what we pray for, things like that. He was super funny about it. We committed him to read and pray and he said he would. We also asked him to come to church with us and he said that he would do his best to make it. Then yesterday at church as we were walking in, we see Manny driving up in his truck! We were so happy to see him there. He was excited and very calm about the whole thing.

We also have been blessed for our work here with another investigator that I don't think I have talked about yet. His name is Roman. We started teaching him earlier this week as a referral from the branch presidents daughter. We taught him the first two lessons (lesson 2 being last night). He is very humble and accepting of everything we have to say. At the end of the lesson I was prompted to invite him to be baptized. He accepted and will be baptized this Saturday! He has already attended Church two times (which is the requirement here) and is super willing and committed. We are soo happy and excited for him to enter into the covenant and enjoy the blessings that we enjoy as members of the church.

 So I will have a "White Christmas" even though we probably wont have snow. :) That was pretty much the highlight of my week. But then yesterday we were reminded of our challenge that our Branch President gave us to translate Sacrament meeting for him. So in probably two weeks we will start doing that. So all I ask is your prayers that I will be able to learn enough to be able to do that.

The work is great. It has been a very special Christmas season for me to focus 100% on my savior. I know he lives, I know he came to earth to fulfill all righteousness. That is why we have this wonderful season. So many blessings come from having him at the very center of our lives. I challenge all of you to do that this Christmas season. Merry Christmas! Les quiero. :D

Elder KP

Week 10 (December 10, 2012)

Another week gone! How is everyone doing? What is the weather like in Utah? I never thought I would say this..... but I kinda miss the snow. It is a weird December for me. This past week it was like 85 degrees and just hot! I couldn't believe it! It was a Christmas Miracle for me. Hahaha. Gotta love Texas. This really is God's country. I was really so afraid that it was going to be as ugly as everyone made it sound like but it is absolutely beautiful! Ah the sunsets are just amazing, the landscape is endless, everything about Texas is awesome. I can see why the people here have so much pride for their state! The people are soooooo amazing too. We have met some of the nicest people on the planet here. We have so much left over food in our fridge it is incredible. We have this funny old couple that are kinda like our "parents". They feed us and take care of us and just love us like we are their own kids. It makes it hard sometimes to want to go out and work but we still do it.

We are still teaching the Martinez family. They are super solid and have real desires to come closer to God as a family. We had a particularly good appointment where they invited us over to eat and then right after we shared with them a great video on christmas and it kinda talked about the restoration too. It was awesome cause at the end we were asking questions about it and then all of a sudden the Dad asked, "who is Joseph Smith?" Talk about a blessing. We scheduled a return appointment and talked a ton about him and the Book of Mormon. So if things keep going the way they have been and they keep keeping committments, we may have a "white" Christmas, even though we may not have any snow.

We were also going through the area book and ran acrossed the name of this guy and we wanted to go visit him. We'll call him Manny. He is this super funny old guy that doesn't speak and English and always has a wad in that is so big you cannot see his fron two teeth. Haha he is such a charicter. I guess he has been seeing missionaries for quite a while because he showed us this papmphlet that was roughly "lesson 1" and it was black and white. I have no idea how long ago that was but he has definitely seen missionaries for quite a while. But he has a sincere desire to learn more and come closer to Jesus Christ. So hopefully we will see some progress in him.

Other than that the work is kinda slow. We are trying not to move too quickly because we could easily talk to ever person in this town in a week and a half. So we are being a little conservative on the finding but we are doing our best to make sure that it is still being guided by the spirit. We are working a lot with the members of the branch and trying to get the members that are less active to come to church. We had one family show up yesterday so that was great. Church here is crazy. It is so funny I think. We have probably anywhere from 15-25 people every week. Technically it is an english branch but about 60 percent of them can only speak spanish. So when we sing it is half english and half spanish. It is so funny to listen to!! But the members are so faithful and trying so hard that the spirit is everywhere. I love that feeling so much. Our branch president usually has to translate so that everyone can understand what is being said. It is kinda embarassing for him so he asked us if we would start translating. Neither of us are very good at Spanish but we told him that we are going to study hard and in maybe two weeks we will start translating. So that is what I am working towards. Hopefully it will come!

A slight clarification on my adress too that my dad brought up. My adress is 711 N Texas Avenue Big Lake Texas, 76932. I didn't include that so sorry. All is well I am loving it here so much. And with it being the Christmas season I can focus better now than I have been able to ever on the Savior. It has been such a blessing. Don't forget what the true meaning of Christmas is! Keep Him centered and everything else will be inhanced by infinity ;).

Has Rachel recieved her mission call? How about Jordan and the baby? How are they doing? Hope to hear from y'all some time this week. Les quiero.

Elder KP