Hola mi familia y mis amigos,
Well first things first: On both Monday and Tuesday morning, the UPS
man dropped off boxes at our house, which is very unusual for us. The
one on Monday was from the Hughes Family and filled with a box of
delicious barbaque potato chips which we've already eaten nearly half
of. The one on Tuesday was an overnighted package from my Grammie and
filled with a box of homemade chocolate chip cookies (which nearly all
made it without being crushed or broke). Maybe I'll do this mission
thing for a few more years so that I can keep getting goodies like
that :) Thanks a bunch.
Things have been interesting for the past few weeks for us here. We
came into an area where the previous missionaries weren't teaching
anyone so we are starting from scratch, and that has been hard. But
we finally have a family of four that we are teaching. Carina was
someone we met on in the first week here. She and her husband Luis
have been together since they were 14 years old and they know have two
little boys, Pablo, who is 8, and Brian, who is 6ish. In the first
lesson, Carina told us she wants to be baptized because she knows that
the Church is something that will help her family and she feels
peaceful when she talks or thinks about it. But she also said she
doesn't want to be baptized unless her husband wants to do it also.
So for a few weeks we tried to meet him but he was always either
working or already asleep (he works a lot). But on Sunday, we finally
met him and he was super excited to talk with us. Tonight we are
going back and we are going to talk with him about Heavenly Father's
plan for each of us (ask Kevin or write me if you have any questions
Please pray for Luis and Carina that they will be able to be baptized
and start the path towards having an eternal family.
ps. Calling all former missionaries, members of the LDS church, and
anyone else with ideas: We are trying to improve how we work with
members and more specifically how we can help members learn how to
share the Gospel with their families. Please send us ideas and
suggestions on what missionaries can do to help you feel more
comfortable sharing the Gospel.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Hola mi famila y mis amigos,
Well here I am in
now. My new area is much more diverse than Rose Park. Most of the people are not white or hispanic. Most are Nepali, African, Iranian, or any one of another hundred countries or so. It makes finding hispanic people to teach a little more challenging, but we're enjoying meeting all sorts of new people. Mill Creek, Utah
One of the best parts of this new area is the bishop (what we call a pastor) of our ward (congregation). He's 62 and is going through chemotherapy right now because of cancer. Typically a time of life when people sit back and take it easy. But not him. He has the energy and excitement of someone half his age. He told the last missionaries that he would probably be dead were it not for his position as bishop, so he does all he can to keep Heavenly Father happy with the work he's doing.
Please pray that this week we can find people who want to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. We have nearly no people we're teaching right now, so prayers would be wonderful.
Love you all,
ps. Sorry if you sent a letter recently (within two months) and I haven't responded. Love you all.
pps. One of the advantages to serving here in Salt Lake City is that we have the opportunity to watch General Conference (a bi-annual televised broadcast of the Prophet and Apostles and other leaders of the church) live with people we're teaching instead of on tv. But, to do that, we need tickets. So, please talk with your bishops and anyone else you know about getting tickets and then sending them to your favorite missionary in Salt Lake City (or if you know any other missionaries, then send them to me anyways).
Monday, September 10, 2012
Hola mis amigos y mi familia,
Today has been crazy to say the least and I only have 10 minutes of email time today.
I've left Rose Park and I'm now serving in Millcreek.
My new companion is Elder Thevenin from Houston, Texas. He's been out for a total of 5 days.
I love it here and I'm doing wonderful.
My new address is 3632 S 300 E, South Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Thanks to each of you who have sent me ideas of what it is you remember and see in the best missionaries you know.
Love you all,
Monday, September 3, 2012
"Despite the fact that Johnny looks terrible unhappy, I promise he really is happy. A large majority of the hispanic population simply do not enjoy smiling in photos. It is one of the great myteries of the world. If anyone has any enlightment on the subject let me know."
Hola mi familia y mis amigos,
Well on Wednesday we have our next set of transfers (when our mission president tells us if we will be changing to a new area of Salt Lake City), so for the first time in my mission I might be moving out of Rose Park. Don't write any letters this week because I'll probably be changing addresses on Wednesday.
Highlight of the week: the baptism of Maribel.
I can't remember how much I've written about Maribel, so I'm just simply go to give an overview of how her entire life has been preparing her for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Maribel grew up in a Catholic household, similar to probably 90% of the Catholic people that we teach. As a little girl, she developed a great love for the Bible and has studied from it her entire life. During her studies as a teenager, she read the Ten Commandments as found in Exodus 20. When she read the second commandment (verse 4 and 5), she became very confused with the Catholic Church and the worship of Saints and the Virgin Mary. So between that and other parts of the Catholic Church, Maribel decided she didn't believe it was true and left it at that.
Once she moved her to Utah, she learned quickly that "when in Rome, do as the Romans" and began to hide whenever missionaries knocked on the door. (Sorry to break it to you, but as missionaries we knock on doors all day, everyday. We know without a doubt when someone is home and just not answering and when no-one is home).
Not long after moving to Utah, she met her husband Johnny and the two of them have been together for 8 years now.
Four months ago, my companion (Elder Moczygemba) and I went to the house of a women who asked us to visit her. She wasn't home at the time so we decided to knock on the next door neighbor's house as well. A man in his 20s (Johnny) invited us in and after a few minutes of talking, said he wanted to introduce us to his wife.
Maribel came out of hiding in the kitchen and we began to talk with her. We shared to story of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith and invited them to be baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint. She said she wanted to pray about it (which is exactly what we were going to invite her to do anyways) and we set up a return appointment and then left. And for the next two weeks...we couldn't contact them...so we stopped trying.
A month later when Elder Camacho and I were riding out bikes one afternoon, we decided to stop by and see if she was home. She was.
She immediately apologized for not answering the door before and said she was scared of us (who knew that a skinny white guy with a part in his hair was scary). We set up an appointment for the next day and when we came bike, she had a Bible open and was ready to talk with us.
We shared with her the Plan of Salvation (for any questions on that...ask my brother Kevin or send me a letter) and she felt the Spirit testify that what we taught was true (because it is). She told us she wanted to be baptized and then set the 2nd of September as her baptismal date.
Maribel told us multiple times that this Gospel is what she has been searching for her entire life. She has never been happier and now is working with her husband to help him learn of the same truths. She wants more than anything to have an eternal marriage in a Temple of the Lord (none of the "til death do you part" stuff) and begin a family here in this Church.
The Lord prepares people from the moment they are born (actually...even from before that).