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Mission

¡Bienvenidos!

First of all, I’d like to welcome all of you Utahns (and others currently residing in Utah) into our time zone. It’s a pleasure to have you join us. I hope that all of you are enjoying your extra rest.

Anyway, on to other stuff. This week we had the baptism of Margarito, which was absolutely awesome. I’ve been teaching him from the beginning, so it was incredible to see the entire process and the changes that have taken place in his life. Another great thing is that his wife, who came to his baptism, has agreed now to take the lessons. Anyway, life is great.

We also drove to Holbrook this week, which is about 2 hours away, in the middle of nowhere. (Though they do have an interstate) That was for Zone Conference, which was good fun. The drive to and from was absolutely stunning, in the morning there was fog all over. Anyway, it was pretty. But about 45 minutes from Holbrook, there becomes a complete lack of trees, and it’s really pretty ugly there.

Yesterday in Sacrament Meeting we had 8 investigators, with a total of 33 people. Needless to say, it was pretty great to see all those people there, and it was a great thing to have that many people there. After church we took some investigators down to the Visitors’ Center by the Mesa Temple to watch the Joseph Smith movie.

Anyway, this week has been great. I hope that all of you are enjoying life, and taking full advantage of the gospel blessings that we have. The gospel is true!

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Mission

Happy Birthday to Somebody!

(I don’t know what the title has to do with anything. It was my attempt at being random.)

The latest news from the wonderful State of Arizona:(regarding me, of course)

So, guess what? Last night we were with an investigator. Actually, a really awesome investigator who does a lot for us. He’s been investigating the Church for about 5 years now, and we’ve had a baptismal date set since when I got here. About a week ago we asked him to really sincerely pray about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Throughout the week we met with him and he told us that he had prayed, but not yet received an answer.

Last night we were visiting him and talking to him about the importance of having the Gospel in our lives and also of the problems that come, even after we are baptized. Near the end of the lesson he was really quiet and thoughtful. We asked him to say the closing prayer, and he took about 2 minutes to start that. He started out thanking the Lord for his blessings. Then he paused, and said, “Thank you, Lord, for your presence here tonight.” Then he paused again, for quite awhile, and said again, “Thank you, Lord, for your presence.” He then thanked the Lord for the answer to his prayer. It was an incredible experience.

After he finished the prayer, he quickly stood up and went in to the bathroom to wipe his eyes. All three of us had wet eyes. He came back out and gave us big hugs, then thanked us multiple times for being there. He also told us that after he is baptized he wants to go to the temple to be baptized for his grandfather.

It was the type of experience that every missionary lives for.

This week we also had another investigator’s baptismal interview, which was great. He’s set for baptism this upcoming Saturday. Then we have one more baptism each of the next 2 Saturdays. We’re super-excited for all of it. The other 2 baptisms have been delayed for a little while, we’ll see what happens with that.

My shoulder is still giving me some problems, but I talked to a doctor here in one of the wards and he gave me some exercises to do. Hopefully they’ll help to strengthen it enough that I won’t have to see a specialist. Anyway… Enough of that.

We also found a name for our awesome truck this week. I came up with it as we were getting back to the apartment one night… It’s Kami. Yup. It’s an awesome name. She’s an awesome truck. It fits.

Anyway, that’s pretty much the highlights of the week. Pretty cool, eh? Life is good, the Church is true.

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Mission

The Weekly Update

This week has been pretty dang good, except for one rather big thing. On Saturday morning we were playing basketball in the church during our personal exercise. I reached up to block the ball, and… Guess what!? My left shoulder dislocated! Yeah, super exciting. It wasn’t your regular pop-out and back in type of dislocation, either. It stayed out and I was walking up to the entrance to the hospital when it popped back in.

We’ll have to see what happens with that. Anyway, other than that, it really was a supreme week. While the life of the members here is really still like a soap-opera, they have been making a lot of progress with it. We’ve talked to our investigator with a baptismal date who was involved in the whole thing, and he’s realized that he needs to repent, and he is willing to do so. Also, both he and his wife agree that their marriage is improving. So, that’s spectacular.

On Saturday morning, we were given a beautiful new truck. A 2007 Chevy Colorado. It had a whole 106 miles on it when we got it, the majority of them from the trip up from the mission home. Anyway, it’s super-cool, and very much more fun to drive than our old Malibu. We’ve been trying to find a name for it, so far we have Shayla or Jamie. Anyway, minor details… *wink, wink*

But yeah, we’ve got 5 baptismal dates set. One of them is likely do stop, because he’s having some serious problems with the word of wisdom. But we’ve got at least 3 that are pretty secure. I’m super-excited.

Well, off I go. Enjoy the week ahead!

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Mission

Hola Again!

How’s life? I hope that it’s all going well. This week hasn’t been horribly exciting,really. It has been starting to get chilly during the morning and night here. We played some sand volleyball this morning, and my feet are still cold.

We set another couple of baptismal dates this week, so we’ve got a total of five set for next transfer (that starts tomorrow). We’re really excited. Two of them are a couple that isn’t married yet, so we’re probably actually going to have them married and baptized on the same day. They’re really neat, and the girl has been reading all that she can from the Book of Mormon.

We also have a date set with a neat little man named Margarito. He’s super-excited about the gospel, and he’s been inviting the entire branch to his baptism. He’s so neat, and he will be a very powerful asset to the branch.

As to other things, really not much has happened. We’ve had more drama, with members having marital problems and other various stuff… Sometimes it really seems like a Soap-opera here. We try not to be involved, but with so few members, the news always gets around to us. And, the members all look to us for suggestions.

But yeah, that’s really some of the most exciting stuff going on. Both my companion and I are staying here for next transfer. Well, actually, the only missionary in our district that is being transferred is one of the Zone Leaders. So, there isn’t much change going on there.

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Mission

The Weekly Report

This week has been good. We’ve got a few more baptismal dates set, which is great. We’ve been working hard and getting a lot done.

As to really new, exciting, and fun stuff… I’m afraid there hasn’t been too much. We had to have our car in the shop yesterday, but we’ve got it back now, so we only had to use bikes for a couple of hours. The Sisters that live in the apartment above us had one of their investigators give them some rattlesnake to eat, so they in turn gave some to us. Elder Barrios had a really hard time eating it, it was pretty fun to watch. Like before, it still tastes just like chicken. There really isn’t enough meat on it to make it worth eating, but it’s always fun to say that you’ve eaten rattlesnake.

Conference was awesome! I absolutely loved it, and I’m sad that it’s over already. Only 10 hours…. 🙁 Anyway, it all works out. I watched 1 1/2 sessions in Spanish, and I actually got most of it. The translators are really easy to understand, because they speak extremely clearly, unlike the Mexicans and Elder Barrios. One of my favorite parts, or one thing that I remember most clearly, was when Elder Baxter pointed out that the Wise man built on the rock… But that didn’t mean that the storms didn’t come. He had built his foundation in Christ, but still had to weather the storm. He just didn’t fall, because he was built in the right place. It’s a good reminder to all of us that we still will experience trials.

Ok, I can’t think of anything else super-exciting… So I’ll wrap it up. Enjoy everybody, good luck with school and whatnot!

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Mission

Hey Everybody!

I’ve decided to not write as much to all of you now, because I’m sure that not all of you want to receive a novel about my weekly experiences. (Unless, of course, you’re my mother.)

Anyway, this week has been pretty good. We’ve been able to help resolve some of the issues that we were having previously, so that’s been great.

This week we chose to delay our P-day until Tuesday so that we could go to the temple, so I’m actually in Mesa right now. We went to the temple this morning, which was absolutely great! As we were leaving I saw my MTC companion and his companion, so I greeted them, but we didn’t get a chance to talk. But it was still good to see him.

On the way down from Payson today we were riding with our Zone Leaders, who both feel the need for some serious speed. We came up over a hill, and, yup… You guessed it, there was a Cop. Elder Bailey (The Zone leader who was driving) hit the brakes but it was way too late. The cop pulled us over, and, luckily for Elder Bailey, was a member. So, Elder Bailey got off with a warning, even though… Get this… He had been going 26 MPH over the speed limit… Yeah, that’s right. He was going 91 in a 65 zone.

Also, Yesterday we had an encounter with some Drunk Mexicans, who, I have to say, were pretty hilarious. When we told them that beer was bad, they told us that we couldn’t possibly know because we hadn’t tried it. They said that there was absolutely no way to know that something was bad unless you personally had tried it. Of course, they didn’t like it when I pointed out that I didn’t have to jump off a cliff to know that it was bad… Anyway, they were pretty hilarious, and their complete lack of reason made it even more funny.

So, yeah… That’s it. Sorry, I still wrote a lot…

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Mission

Inactivity and Baptism

I??

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Mission

Another Update from Arizona

Here’s the next update… But for those of you who don’t know, if you send an email back then I add a personal message at the top the next week!

While I’ve been making progress with the language, this week had some other challenges involved. Yesterday we found out that one of our investigators won’t be able to be baptized this Saturday, like we had planned. She’s having some problems, but she’s eager to get them fixed, so that’s really good.

So, we still have the one baptism this Saturday, of a really awesome blind lady named Petra. She’s super-difficult to understand, but she’s soooo eager and ready for baptism. We also had one investigator ask us (not so kindly, especially since he was drunk at the time) to not come back, because he thought that we had been talking bad about him behind his back (of course we hadn’t been). That was pretty exciting.

We only had the investigators with Baptismal dates show up to Sacrament meeting, which was kind of depressing, but hey, there’s always next week! I also gave a talk yesterday in Sacrament Meeting. I only fumbled for words a few times, and it really went pretty well. I didn’t have much time to prepare, but it was only a 10 minute talk, so I managed well enough.

We got our car back, so now we can go visit the people who live further out of town now, as opposed to being limited to the main town area. Let’s see… What else happened this week?

Oh, yeah! I got some strange fungal infection thingy on my hand and all, and it was all red and spreading, and making my skin fall off and everything, but I got that fixed. We talked to one of the Bishops here who is also a doctor, and he gave me a prescription for it, so now it’s mostly better. The best part, though, is that the cream stuff smells like maple syrup! It’s pretty awesome.

My cooking is much more reliable than the MTC food, though I have a lot less variety. I’m sure that eventually I’ll get tired of noodles with Marinara sauce on them… (But that is really good)

Ok, I don’t really know what else to say, so I’ll stop there. But hey, life is great, the church is true, and all of you are supreme! (Especially the ones who wrote me back *wink, wink*)

Categories
Mission

¡Hola from Arizona!

Plenty of exciting stuff has been happening here in Arizona. I got here a week ago, and now I’m in a little town called Payson, about an hour and a half north of Mesa. It’s nice and cool, and there are actually trees here.

It’s really nice, and we had a car, at least for the first 2 days… It’s actually a very interesting story. On Wednesday night of last week, we were helping a recent convert, Pablo, find work. We parked in his trailer park and went with him. 20 minutes later, we came back to find our car in the middle of road. We saw distinct tracks where our car had been dragged about 30 feet.

The man who lived in the trailer that we had parked in front of had come home, and he had decided that it was HIS parking spot, so he hooked our car up and dragged it out of his spot. Now, this would have been all fine and dandy, except that he totally messed up one of the back right-hand tire. It was turned about 20 degrees to the left, which made the car very, very unstable. So, we called the police and filed a report and everything, and eventually got the car in to be repaired. In the mean time, we’re on bikes!

But the car is supposed to be repaired today, hopefully, and if it costs more than $250 and the man who dragged the car refuses to pay for the repairs, then he may be put in jail… We’ll have to see, because the Church doesn’t want to have him put in jail.

Anyway, enough about that. The work is going well here in Payson. The Spanish branch only has 25 or so members, but we’ve got 3 investigators with baptismal dates. Two of them are for the 16th of Sept, and one is for the 7th of Nov.

I’m having tons of trouble actually understanding the people, it really takes some focus. They don’t have any trouble understanding me, but it doesn’t help if I can’t tell what they’re saying. My companion, Elder Barrios, is from Chile, and his accent is so different from my MTC teachers’ accents, that it’s really hard to understand him.

But hey, I’m making progress. As long as I stay focused and don’t let my mind wander, I do ok.

The people here are all really nice, and they’re understanding, but they hardly ever talk to me. My companion does most of the talking, and they hardly ever directly ask me questions, and when they do, they try to ask them in English…

No surprise, the vast majority of them don’t live in nice houses. Actually, few of them live in houses. Most of them are in really, really worn down trailers. It’s definitely a change from what I’m used to.

The English members are willing to help lots of the time, and we’ve got some English members assigned to help in the branch, so they help to fellowship people, and they also give us food sometimes. The other members give us food when they can, but there are so few of them that much of the time we’re left to make our own food.

The authentic Mexican food is definitely different from what we get in restaurants. It’s usually pretty good, but it involves a lot of corn tortillas, which I’m not the biggest fan of… I’m picky, and I like flour ones more. Ok, ok… I’ll stop complaining.

Well, ok.. I don’t want to waste everybody’s time by going on and blabbing and whatnot… But feel free to write me back, there aren’t many restrictions on my email usage.