Monday, October 31, 2011
It was quite a white week for us. We a family get baptized on Saturday, and two individuals get baptized yesterday. It's truly incredible to see how far they have come since the first time we ever met them. They all have a VERY strong conviction that these things are true, and that they are in a good path. The only problem now is that we have a lot fewer people to teach. We're looking at about 3-4 more people to get baptized this next month, but after that, we have pretty much nothing. Time to get out and FIND FIND FIND again.
We had a pretty cool experience this week (besides all the baptisms). One day we were headed back to our house to pick up our area book that we had forgotten, and we drove by a park. I've been kinda getting excited about talking to people lately, and getting myself in some really awesome awkward situations, and I saw 3 people sitting on a park bench a few hundred feet away from where we were. I mentioned it to my companions and told them that we were going to pass by there and go talk to them after grabbing the area book. He thought I was lying, or joking around about the people, but I was serious. After stopping at the house, we turned around and went back over in that direction. As we got closer, I saw 3 people walking down the sidewalk towards us (we were driving). I warned Elder Arroyo that I was about to stop, and that he was about to have to talk to the people, and I proceeded to roll down his window (He wasn't very happy about that). We stopped next to them, and started talking. There were 2 Hispanic guys, and 1 Hispanic girl. I'm guessing they were all about 16 years old. We asked them if they'd ever talked to missionaries before, and the girl said excitedly "Yeah I'm a member! I've even got my CTR ring" *she then showed us her CTR ring* We then talked t the guys, asked if we could stop by sometime to talk with them. One of them really wasn't excited at all, but the other was so-so. We got his address, and an appointment, then I looked at the girl and said "So you're going to be there to right" "Of course!" she said. We talked to that girl again at church, and she said she's going to make sure that the kid shows up to the appointment :D I guess we'll see on Tuesday.
The other day the Spanish ward had a primary Halloween costume party, and everybody showed up in FORCE! Let me tell you, when you tell Latinos to dress up, they don't hold back. I think that was possibly the best Halloween party I've ever seen in my entire life!
This work is incredible, and best of all, it's incredibly fun right now. We've been working really hard, and I gotta say, it's a whole lot better than not working hard.
All of the people who got baptized this weekend got their testimonies through the Book of Mormon, and the examples of the members. Therefore: Read the Book of Mormon, get a testimony, and be an example. If you do that, you'll change people's lives.
Love to all!
Monday, October 24, 2011
What an incredible week! It appears that we are going to have 5 baptisms this next weekend!!!!! RIDICULOUS! We were only planning on having 4, but then something crazy happened. Let me explain. Yesterday (Sunday) after church, we had planned for one of our investigators to have his baptismal interview about 15 minutes after church ended. So we were there talking with him, saying goodbye to our other investigators, and just kinda waiting. Anyway, the guy who was going to do the interview showed up, and our investigator went in to his interview. While he was in the middle of his interview we got a phone call from one of our investigators named Manuel. Now, a little bit about Manuel: My first Sunday here in Payson, he as invited to come to church, and decided to finally come. So we showed up, and there was someone there waiting to point him out to us. We went up and talked to him, asked him if we could stop by and talk to him about what we believe sometime, and he basically said "not really." Well, for some reason or another, he kept coming back to church, let us start teaching him, and even went to General Conference in Salt Lake! We taught him pretty much everything, and asked the baptismal questions, but he didn't think he was ready yet to make that step to get baptized. Well, he called us while the other investigator was getting interviewed and asked my companion, "can I get a Baptismal Interview" (I hink we'd told him that the other investigator was going through his baptismal interview). My companion told him to wait just a second, and looked at me confused. He told me "Manuel said he wants to know if he can get a baptismal interview" I then got confused, and replied back to him: "Ask him why". At that point, he passed me the phone, and I asked Manuel, "You want a baptismal interview?" He said "Yes" I asked him, "Now?" "Yes" I then asked, "Well do you want to get baptized on saturday?" He said "Yeah, that would be for this saturday." At this point, I believe my brain exploded. We told him yes, and he showed up 5 minutes later, had his baptismal interview, passed it, and he's going to get baptized this weekend!!!! I'm still not sure I've recovered from my brain explosion. I must admit, I've heard stories like this happening before, but I never really expected it would happen to me.
Besides that, we've got a family getting baptized this week. They have really changed. It's been incredible to see how much they've soaked everything up like sponges. One of the daughters who had the biggest doubts in the beginning has changed completely. She's started reading the Book of Mormon about a week or two ago, and she's about to finish first Nephi! CRAZY!
The other Man who's getting baptized also has an incredible story, but I don't have time to share it now.
The Book is Blue, the word is True, and even you can know it know it to.
Miracles: They happen, go find them. If you're not looking for miracles, you're wasting your time.
Monday, October 17, 2011
For some reason, it this week seemed both really long, and really short all at the same time. Elder Nunez is now safely in Panama, which is pretty strange. This is the first time that any of my companions in the mission have finished and gone home. It's strange. It's also strange to think that in 3-4 days I'm going to be HALFWAY. Craziness.
I've been learning a lot about patience and humility lately. (once again). I'm obviously trying to do the best that I can, and I've come a long way, but there are still a lot of things that I need to change about myself if I ever even want to THINK about being perfect (Matt 5:48 I think).
You know what is probably the most incredible thing about being a missionary? seeing the changes made in people, and seeing when they really come to have their own testimony. We're teaching a family right now, and everybody except the oldest daughter in the family decided they wanted to be baptized and started coming to church, and doing everything possible to achieve that goal. Since that point, the oldest daughter got interested. She is really smart, and really focused. She really thinks about things, and I love it! So one day we came, and she had read the pamphlets that we had left the family, and she had a few questions about it. So then we invited her to read the Book of Mormon, and when we came back 2 days later, she had read the first 10 chapters, and she's still going strong. You know what the best part about that is though? Not only is she starting to love the things of the church, but she told us straight up that she's really noticed a difference in her life. She actually feels different. She says she's starting to love the Book of Mormon, and she's finding things in there that appear to be there just for her! INCREDIBLE! I'm excited for her, and her family. They are truly an example to me!
Well, Unfortunately, we have a crazy day today, and I have to go, but I just want to conclude with my testimony that this gospel really can change lives for the better! Everyone can find in the Book of Mormon the little "Pearls of truth" that our investigator is finding right now. LOVE IT!
Monday, October 10, 2011
This transfer is coming to a close! It's been a very, very, very unique transfer, but pretty incredible. I've learned a LOT, and realized how far I really still have to go to become a "perfect missionary." Once again, humility has become a major topic for me. I have a feeling I'm going to have to be working on that through the rest of my mission.
Another strange thing I've been noticing lately, My ability to spell in English is going DOWN, DOWN, DOWN. I've been having a lot of moments lately where I simply don't remember how to spell words in English any more. I may have to go study English again when I get back from my mission. Who knows?
Another thing, I've been thinking more and more about learning different languages when I get home. It would be truly incredible to be able to speak 3, 4, or even 5 languages! We'll see what happens.
Ok, news about this next transfer: Elder Nunez is finishing his mission in 2 days and going back to Panama; Elder Arroyo is still waiting for his Visa to Argentina; We're getting Elder Bosch as our new companion. He's about 3-4 1/2 months away from finishing his mission from what I've heard; and lastly, I've been called as district leader. It looks like this is going to be a pretty incredible transfer.
Miracles from this week:
About a month ago, we went and visited a less active member for some reason, and then we for some reason offered to help her with a bunch of projects that she wanted to get done in her back-yard. (It may or may not be because she is from El Salvador, and offered to make us pupousas if we would help her). Anyways, we helped her out, and lost contact with her for a while. Randomly the other night, my companion decided we should stop by, so there we went. When we got there, someone we didn't know answered the door, and as it turns out, it was the sister of the lady we knew who lived there. She just barely moved here from El Salvador (Yes she already agreed to make me pupousas) and she wants to be baptized! From what she says, her whole purpose in moving here to Utah was to go to church.
Unfortunately that's the only one I have time for this week, but it seems like for the last couple weeks, we've just been in the right place, at exactly the right time. A lot of the time, missionaries get referrals for people, go there, and then those people get baptized, but this week, it's been all about just being in the right place when the people pass by. Pretty incredible stuff!
I just want to end with my testimony about this work. I don't see honestly how it would be possible, or how it could possibly function if it were not true. Like many people have said, "If this work weren't true, the 19 year olds preaching the word to all the world, would have ruined it a long time ago, but somehow, the work progresses every single day.” I have seen this gospel change lives. Just in the last month I have seen people who are going down terrible paths, and were even planning on doing even more terrible things THE NEXT DAY, who when they heard the voice of God through his servants (The missionaries), gave up everything he had, and followed. The stories taught in the Old Testament, New Testament, and Book of Mormon are not just stories of people in the past, they are examples of how we CAN and SHOULD be. People say sometimes that Prophets are things of past, and there is no revelation, but that is not true. Just like I have seen people "Leave their nets and follow Jesus Christ" I know that the other examples and stories from the scriptures are not just stories and examples, they are TRUTH, and we should look for that light and truth wherever we can find it. Miracles exist: FACT. Revelation Exists: FACT. Prophets exist today just as in times of old: FACT. I am preaching the word of God, the same gospel Jesus himself preached during his earthly reign: FACT. If you want proof about the things about God, read his Biographies: (Bible and Book of Mormon).
Love to all!
Monday, October 3, 2011
This week was CONFERENCE WEEK! How incredible was that?! As always, I had a couple questions that I was looking for answers to when I went to the chapel to watch the first session, and before the conference had even gone 10 minutes, they'd already all been answered! That was incredible! I hope all of you got a chance to watch at least some of it, because it was incredible! Who knew that after 5 two hour sessions I would be sitting there all sad that it was already over.
President Monson announced the construction of ANOTHER PROVO TEMPLE! What?!?!?! That's so incredible! And it's right in downtown Provo. When they announced that, I basically started exploding inside (and outside). I hope I get to see that temple completed before I finish my mission. I kinda doubt they'll put it up that fast, but you never know.
In other news, something incredible happened yesterday! About 4 months ago, we were teaching a family, then randomly we showed up to their house for an appointment, and they had moved out overnight! We were pretty sad, but there was pretty much nothing that we could do. A couple days later, went to one of our recent convert's house, and were talking with them, when all of a sudden, in walked this investigator that had moved out on us. Apparently they had moved into the other half of that house! From there, they had to move out about a month and a half later (Once again in a hurry) and we weren't able to get any more information than that they were moving to Payson. Well, yesterday I saw them! We were driving down the road, running a little bit late for an appointment, and there they were driving down that same road going the other way. BLEW MY MIND. I was sure they'd packed up and moved out by then to another place, but nope, they're here in Payson. They saw me as well and all started waving. Unfortunately, we were running late and didn't have time to stop, but I'm sure we'll see them some time again soon. :D Plus, one of their little girls (She's about 9 years old I think) read the entire "Stories of the Book of Mormon" book, and I promised her I'd give her a butterfinger bar, but I wasn't able to get it to her before they moved out. Now maybe I'll get that chance.
Besides that, we were planning on having two baptisms this next weekend, but one of them has been postponed for sure until at least the end of this month, and the other is in danger of the same. It's crazy how Satan works. He's pretty much trying to destroy the family of this girl who wants to get baptized, but we're prayerfully optimistic that she'll be able to push through all the hard times (and believe me, they've got some hard times right now).
So I finally got to do the 72 oz snow cone challenge! It was pretty insane! I got about 3/4 the way done. I don't think I picked my flavors very well, because I got to this one flavor, and it wasn't that it was cold, or that I had a brain freeze, but simply just that I didn't want anymore of that flavor in my mouth AT ALL. But I think I did pretty respectfully. When I got past about the first 10-15 oz, I got a massive brain freeze, and I started crying! My eyes just started going for it! That was quite an experience. Maybe I'll try it again before I get transferred.....or maybe not.
Another crazy story from this week. We got a referral for a Manuel Ruiz, and that he wanted a Book of Mormon in both English and Spanish. My companion went there to go contact him, and ran in to his dad. Apparently his dad right now is REALLY interested. We went there and taught him for the first time, and he was basically already telling us that he know's the church is true. He knows about certain points of doctrine, and for some reason just feels that they are right. We taught them some basics, set up an appointment, left some things for them to do before our next appointment, and we're going back TODAY to see how much they did and how much they really want to learn. I'm guessing they are really going to put their own time in to progress.
Besides that my companion had a pretty incredible experience when we were on splits, with one of our investigators who just up and decided that he wants to be baptized, and it changing his life COMPLETELY in order to do so. It's incredible what the gospel can do to help people.
In any case, I just want you all to know that I know that this church is true, and I know it in the same way that Peter found out, and that is through revelation through the Holy Ghost. (see Matt 16:15-19ish) "And blessed art thou, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto you, but my father which is in heaven.....and upon this rock (The rock of revelation) will I build my church" This is what I'm doing here as a missionary. I am helping to build the church of God through the power of revelation. That is the only way to know FOR SURE if things are true, as Jesus said himself. If flesh and blood (People) tell us something, it might not be true, but when God tells us through the Holy Ghost, we can know FOR SURE that the things are true.
Hope all is well in p-town. Lots of rain? Multi-colored trees? Enjoy it for me!