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Mission

Lady Burglars?

Well, hello again, everyone!

This week brought with it some rather interesting experiences, I must admit. On Thursday, I believe, we were riding our lovely bikes along the road when we saw 3 ladies come around the corner. The weird thing is that they were all running, but weren’t in running clothes, and certainly didn’t look like runners. That, and the lady in back was talking on her cell phone. But, you know, I didn’t think too much into it. That is, until the lady on the cell phone asked us if we had a cell phone. Well, we answered no. Directly after that, she asked us to follow the ladies in front of her, because they had just been robbing her house. Anyway, so we started following the other two ladies, who really weren’t going fast, since they weren’t in the best of shape.

But you know, what can we really do to stop them? I mean, we can’t hold them down by force or anything… Anyway, so we kept following them, but the lady behind was falling further and further behind, and we had no way to communicate with the police. Anyway, after the ladies figured that they couldn’t get away from us, they dropped everything that they were carrying, and kept on going. After awhile, we gave up following them, because they weren’t stopping, and it didn’t look like they were carrying anything else.

Anyway, we spent the next couple of hours talking to the police and whatnot, almost all of whom were members. The lady that had been robbed was also a member. But yeah, that was exciting. I just wish that we would’ve done more.

But yeah, fun stuff going on here! We’ve made some good progress here in the branch, and it looks like we should have at least a couple of baptismal dates by next week. There’s a bunch of people here who have been prepared in the last little while.

Actually, one of the dates that we should be setting is with a little 9-year old girl. Her mom is less-active, and she’s been taught almost everything, just that she hasn’t wanted to go to church because her mom wasn’t going. So, due to the help of an awesome member here, they’ve started going to church! Anyway, she’s excited, and all that we really need to do is set a date with her!

But yeah, life is good!

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Mission

Happy New Year!

This week I decided one thing: During my pre-mission life, I didn’t move around enough. I’m not saying that I regret not moving, but I do believe that I’m making up for it now. You see, I moved (this morning, actually) to my third area (not including the MTC). It’s pretty exciting, I guess. Though I have to admit that I didn’t expect to only be in Phoenix for 6 weeks. So, here I am in wonderful Mesa, but on a bike this time!

Actually, I’m pretty excited about that whole thing. Our area is small enough to deserve a bike, and it will give me a good opportunity to exercise more. Our area is actually only 2 miles across, and round about 1 mile high. So, yeah. Puny.

My new companion is from Venezuela, Elder Monta?

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Mission

Happy Day!

This week has once again been rather enjoyable. Of course, it was Christmas, so that was always a good thing.

As far as the work goes, this week we had some great things happen. We committed one lady to prepare to be baptized, after reading 3 Nephi 11 (Where Christ visits the Americas and talks about Baptism) and talking about the importance of Baptism with her. She asked us how she can prepare for it, and we were more than happy to give her an answer.

The same night, we were found (That’s right, we didn’t do the finding) by a man who recently moved here from Houston, who has been investigating the church with his entire family for 4 years. He (and his family) want to be baptized, and he told us so straight up. The one thing holding them back is a legal marriage. They have 3 children and have been together for 12 years, they just haven’t actually been legally married. So, we’re getting to work on that.

But yeah, there’s exciting stuff going on here!

Other than that, we spent part of the day on Christmas going around in shorts and flip-flops, because it was nearly 70 degrees. That was very exciting. We also enjoyed very much talking with our families, of course. Last night we worked at the temple lights, and they were very, very busy. They had a concert by a Stake Choir from Tempe, and it was extremely impressive, at least for what it was.

But yeah, that’s round about it! I hope that you all have a Happy New Year!

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Mission

¡Feliz Navidad!

This week has been pretty fun. We’ve been keeping plenty busy with everything.

On Saturday we had our Branch Christmas party, which really was a lot of fun. We had worked on decorations for it for the 3 weeks before, because it was going to be ‘Navidad en Belen’ or ‘Christmas in Bethlehem.’ Anyway, it was good fun. The decorations all ended up looking really neat, too. There was good food and some fun entertainment, as well. They had a giant pinata (not quite Bethlehem-ish, but hey…) that exploded rather spectacularly.

Yesterday (Sunday, that is) we went to a Mission President’s fireside here, where I met up with my MTC companion. It turns out his area is only a 20 minute drive from my area. Anyway, we talked quite a bit, and it was good to see him there. I really enjoyed it. (I know, it’s not anywhere near as exciting for any of you)

And, this morning, we climbed a ‘mountain’ here in Phoenix, called Camelback. It’s supposedly pretty famous around here. I think that there are a ton of people who climb it every morning. Anyway, while climbing, we met a 70-year old man and started to talk to him. He told us a little about the mountain, and told us that he has written a book about it. So, we kept talking to him, and we got around to the fact that we’re missionaries. Then he told us (we didn’t have our tags on at the time) that he was a member and everything. Anyway, he was a really neat man.

But yeah, it was good fun to do that.

Anyway, I hope that everyone is ready for Christmas! I’m not. I’m hoping to get ready soon, and send something to all of you. (You probably won’t get it until after Christmas, though).

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Mission

Happy 11th of December!

Why hello, everybody!

I’d like to report that though we used the Air Conditioning this week (Yeah, in December), the work is progressing very well. This week we managed to teach 24 total lessons, a great leap from last week. The best part is that the members here are really starting to help us, especially with giving us referrals and going out with us to teach. It’s really superb to have their help.

I’d also like to report that I now have a Christmas tree in the apartment. Though it is an inflatable one, it still helps to being the Christmas Spirit. Of course, so does Christmas music. But yeah, it’s good stuff.

So, in other words, the work is really going well now here. The one problem is that not much other interesting stuff happened. I mean… We drove around, taught lots of lessons, and… And… Well, we did help get ready for the Branch Christmas party this upcoming weekend…

Oh, yeah! We had our Interviews with Pres. Watson (The Mission President) this week, and the training that we had otherwise was really awesome. It was completely different than any other meeting that I’ve ever had, but it was very edifying.

But yeah, that’s round about all of it. Everybody, enjoy your week! Hopefully I’ll have more exciting stuff to write about next week. Well, let’s hope it’s not too weird…

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Mission

O Está, Todo Bien

Well, hey everybody! Yeah, Phoenix is still unnaturally hot for this time of year, but hey. I couldn’t expect anything else, now could I? It certainly won’t feel like Christmas this year, with Palm Trees and 65-degree weather. But maybe that’s a good thing. If it was too much like Christmas at home, I might get homesick. (Who knows, I might anyway!)

But yeah, this week has been good. The work here is a lot slower than it was in Payson. It’s kind of surprising, since here we have probably 15x the Spanish-speaking population that we had in Payson, but it’s still slow. We only taught 9 lessons this week…

Anyway, there’s tons of work to do… Tons.

But on the other hand, we had some great blessings this week, as well. We were able to set 2 baptismal dates with people who already have strong testimonies. One of them should be on the 16th, the other on the 6th of January. It’s really a blessing since there hasn’t been a baptism here for round about 6 months.

As far as the threesome here goes, it’s getting better. The apartment is still a tight squeeze, but I’m getting more used to it. I guess the biggest thing now is that neither of my companions are into keeping stuff very clean. I know it may sound surprising, but I spent much of my mealtime (mostly lunch) cleaning up the apartment.

But yeah, that’s how stuff is going here. It’s pretty good fun. Oh, yeah! I drive every day. That’s jolly good fun. Or, at least, I enjoy it. It’s rather similar to driving in Salt Lake.

We also went to the Christmas lights at the Temple this week. Holy Cow! They’re so pretty. I mean, seriously… They’re awesome. I ran into a Sister from my MTC District there, and she’s actually on her way home today for medical reasons. She said they couldn’t figure out what they were. But anyway, that was interesting to hear. She said that she’s coming back out as soon as they’re fixed. So, yeah. We’ll see what happens there.

Anyway, such is life. Enjoy, everyone!

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Mission

The Warm Winds of Change

I’m sorry to say that my chances of seeing snow this year were greatly decreased this past week. I was sitting in my apartment with my good old companion there when we received a call. Now, usually that’s not abnormal. As missionaries, our phones ring quite often. I picked up the phone and was rather surprised to hear the voice of our Mission President. Now mind you, this was the day after transfers, so I supposed that I’d be perfectly safe in Payson for the next 6 weeks, at the very least.

Now, what Pres. Watson said really did scare me. He said, “Elder, we have a situation that we NEVER like to have happen…” Now, at this point, I sincerely believed that he was going to tell me that my Dad had died, or something of similar magnitude. Luckily, he just asked me next if I was willing to be transferred. Well, what could I say? “No, President, I’d really like to stay here. But thanks anyway for the offer!” Truthfully, I don’t think that would work very well.

Anyway, the thing is that they had one more Spanish-speaking missionary come from the MTC this past transfer than they had expected. So, they had to find a trainer for him. They decided that Elder Barrios (My companion there in Payson) was the one to do the job. So, I got moved to a threesome down here in wonderful, unnaturally hot Phoenix. I’m not joking, either. It’s unnaturally hot here. It’s the first place that I’ve ever been where we have the Air Conditioning running at the end of November.

Anyway, that’s really exciting. We’re here in the Paradise Valley area of Phoenix, which is actually pretty nice. We have a massive area here, so we have a car. We actually have an almost brand-new Toyota Corolla, which isn’t a bad car. Anyway, good stuff. I still miss Kami, though.

I did get to spend Thanksgiving there in Payson, though. That was good stuff. We had dinner at the homes of three different families – two of which were English-speaking. It was a good day, though I also had to spend most of it packing and saying goodbye to people. We left early on Friday morning to make the transfer.

As far as life here goes, it’s really packed in our apartment. I went from completely having my own bathroom to sharing with two other people. The worst part is that the past missionaries (including my companions now) aren’t the cleanest people. So, I’ve been working on cleaning up the apartment whenever I have a minute to do so. The Branch here has round about 80 active members, so we actually meet in the Chapel, not the Relief Society room. They’re a good branch, though I hear that we’ve got work to do as far as getting them to help us.

Anyway, that’s most of what’s been going on here. There’s a ton of work to do here, so we’ve got to work hard.

Oh, yeah… I have one companion directly from the heart of Mexico City, who is nearly done with his mission. He goes home in February. My other companion is 6 weeks behind me. He’s from the Seattle area, and he’s a good guy. He has more trouble with Spanish, but I feel that we’ll both be able to help each other.

So, yeah. That’s the update. Super-long this week.

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Mission

Happy Day of the Turkey!

This week has been great. I’ve still been a little bit sick on and off, but I think that it’s finally completely going away now. At least I haven’t thrown up since last week.

This past Saturday was the baptism of Andres Valencia, who if I haven’t told you already, had been investigating the church for about 5 years. It was really a great experience, and though much of his family wasn’t able to make it, we had 3 past missionaries from the area come for it. His confirmation was great, and he’s already a strong member. He might actually move to Utah in the near future so that his wife can be nearer to her family.

Our good friend Margarito, who was baptized something like a month ago also received the Priesthood yesterday, and actually helped pass the sacrament right after. It was great to see him being able to help with that. We just hope that his wife can get out of working on Sundays so that she can come to church.

We got the news on transfers this week, and both E. Barrios and I are staying here, so we’re together for another transfer. That means that we both get to be here for Thanksgiving and Christmas! That will be good fun. I’m excited, because we’ll probably be seeing some good snow up here. I must admit, after I got my call, I didn’t expect to see much (if any) snow during my mission.

Anyway, I’d best be going. Everybody have a good Thanksgiving!

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Mission

Haldo!

This week has been pretty exciting. We went to the temple in Snowflake this morning, and though it’s a puny temple, it’s really beautiful. It was a really good experience.

Last night I was up most of the night throwing up, which really wasn’t fun. I’m exhausted right now, but at least starting to feel better.

We’ve been busy, and yesterday we did exchanges. This time, I stayed in our area with an English-speaking elder. So I was on my own as far as the language goes. It was a great experience, and I’m not doing so bad with it. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m making plenty of progress.

I’ve also learned this week that I’m still allergic to cats. I went to dinner at some members’ house, and they had two cats. By the end of dinner I was having trouble breathing and all. It was pretty exciting, I tell ya.

Well, yeah. That’s about it as far as the exciting stuff goes.

Everybody enjoy your week!

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Mission

Boom!

Sorry it’s going to be short, but we’re short on time this week. We’ve got our Zone Activity today, and I can’t really skip out on that. Anyway, this week has been good.

We only had one investigator at Sacrament Meeting this week, but it all works out. We taught more member lessons than ever before, which is so awesome! People are so much more likely to accept the gospel when they are taught with a member there.

We also had the baptism of Joanna on Saturday, and I actually did the confirmation. That was exciting, as I’m still definately not the best in Spanish, but it went smoothly enough. At least I didn’t mess up in the important parts.

Halloween was great as well. We had a giant Stake activity, where we had a ton of investigators show up. E. Barrios and I judged the pumpkin-carving contest, and all in all, it was great fun.

Well, yeah. I’ve got to be off now. I love all of you!