c I came home December 15,2010 //

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hey! You're back! (09/29/2009)

That’s what I have heard a lot of lately. "Hey I know you." It has been fun coming back and seeing everyone again. We have hit the ground running as well. Elder Viera said that last transfer they really didn't work as well as he would like. So we talked it over and said we were really going to get things moving here.

Elder Viera is really fun. He is a talker but it is good. He really knows his gospel and is a good teacher. I think we go well together. I may have told you this before but Elder Viera is a rapper. Like he has an album out. He has rapped different things and he is pretty good. I am enjoying him. He is a nice guy and enjoys being with people. Hopefully I can learn a few things in that aspect.

Well, I don't know if you remember the Solis family. We had started teaching them right when I left Toppenish in July. We went over last night and had a good lesson. Their biggest hang up is the Sabbath day. They feel it is on Saturday. We told them to pray about it and we will do the same and next week we will discuss it. Hopefully we can show them that Christ fulfilled the Law of Moses which changed the Sabbath to the first day of the week. Their whole church is based on one thing. The Sabbath being on Saturday.

We have been teaching other people but not very much. We are still trying to get things together. We are trying to get the people I was teaching before and some he was teaching. I don't know if you know but Elder Viera actually started his mission here so we have both come back. He served here from February of 2008 to June of 2008 and then came back in July. He also served with Elder Flint when he was here the first time.

Well I better run. Have a good week.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It’s like Deja Vous all over again (09/22/2009)

So we received a call on Saturday morning. This is how the call went (NO peeking down to the bottom to see what happened.)

ME: Hello, this is Elder Bair
President Belnap: Good morning, this is President Belnap. How are you Elder Bair?
M: Good, how are you President.
PMB: Good. Elder Bair I am going to transfer you next week. Now before I go on, I want to tell you something. I hate transferring Elders and I don't want to transfer you Elder Bair because I feel like you have really liked it up there in Connell.
M: Okay president
PMB: Well, let me tell you where I am transferring you. Elder Bair I am transferring you to Toppenish with Elder Viera. How do you feel about that Elder Bair?
M: Well, I am definitely sad to leave here but I have been in Toppenish so I at least know what it is like. And I know this is not from man it is from the Lord
PMB: (pausing for a second, I think he forgot I had worked there already) Okay, well I am glad you are okay with it, now can I talk to your companion?

I thought you might want to hear how a transfer call is. (PMB stands for Paul Manning Belnap. That’s how he signs all of his letters and texts so that’s what we call him when we are talking about him).

So I am headed back to Toppenish. I am very VERY sad to leave Connell. But by the same token I really liked Toppenish so I am happy that that’s where I am headed. President Whitby told me he would come get me if the Rodriquez family got baptized so hopefully that is soon and I am able to witness or be a part of that.

Speaking of the Rodriquez family. Last Wednesday they called and tried to cancel their appointment because they were sick but we wouldn't let them. We went with President Whitby and talked about the Branch President and Priesthood blessings. Then we gave all of them that were sick blessings, Alejandra (Mom), Jennifer(5), Jayson(3), and Allison(8 months). Then Carla(8) wanted one as well so we gave her one and then Alfonzo (Dad) as well. The spirit during that time was so powerful. When President Whitby was blessing Jayson I could just feel something. I just kept picturing him serving a mission. It was amazing. Then when I gave Jennifer her blessing I could really feel something special, not to mention we had a tough time holding our composure because she was so wiggly we had to follow her head with our hands. But it was awesome. That family is really really special.

Well I better go. Take care. I hope you still have the Toppenish address. If not I will get it to you next week. I have to go buy another suitcase today. I have accumulated a lot of stuff from Missionaries leaving things. I should probably de-junk a little as well. Take care.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another transfer come and gone (09/15/2009)

I can't believe another transfer has come and gone. The calls will come Saturday. We are expecting Elder Mendez to leave but who knows. I could get transferred again or we could stay together. Who knows?

Some updates on the investigators. We had a regional stake conference on Sunday and Elder Nelson and President Monson spoke. We actually had a lot of people go. I guess stake conference isn't a big thing for the Hispanic folks here in Washington. Alfonso Rodriquez came with two of his daughters. Alejandra Rodriquez did not come because their three-year-old son was sick. I thought it was just like life-long LDS Families that when a kid gets sick, one parent stays home and the other takes the rest to church. So they are doing well. They still don't have a date for baptism but they are currently praying for which date they should.

Samuel didn't come to church but we are about half-way done with the lessons. He is still set to be baptized on the 4th of October.

There is another man/kid (he is 20 years old) named Victor. Victor works with Hno. Gutierrez who is in the branch presidency. I guess one day at work they were teasing Hno. Gutierrez about paying tithing and he just bore his testimony to them. Then later Victor came up and said I want to go to your church. He has been coming for about a month and a half. We taught him the first lesson and it went really well. We are going back tonight to teach him again.

This is mainly for Dad and Scott but there is a train that goes through Connell. I have found that anytime I have time to watch the train I am always counting the cars. Something I picked up from my father and older brother.

The other day I was walking through Wal-Mart when I saw a Wii. I was wandering what happened to our Wii? Where is it stationed?

Another observation that I have had is that I have been taller than two of my companions and shorter than the other two. The weird thing is the two I was taller than were the gringos and the two I was shorter than were Hispanics. I thought that was a little backwards because I don't run into very many Hispanics who are taller than I am.

My Final Burn as Jim Rome would put it, or my last note, or my ending message for today is how to teach Hispanics to become Mormons. Yeah we can baptize many because they are so humble and have the blood of Israel in them but how do we get them to live their lives in accordance to Mormonism. They aren’t breaking any major commandments or anything like that. It is just not knowing that the bishop is in charge of the Priests Quorum or that the keys to the Deacons Quorum are given to the 12-year-old Deacons Quorum president not the adult leader. It’s little things like that. As President Whitby put it, a man I greatly admire, when he goes after the one lost sheep, the 99 are trying to get out and no one is there to help him keep them in. Anyone that is Hispanic and really wants to grow in this gospel learns English and goes to the ward. So how do we get the others to stay in the fold instead of trying to get out? Those are my thoughts. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

Well, I better run. Que les vaya bien!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Brrr (09/08/2009)

Well the weather has been awesome here. Last Wednesday I was sweating so bad that when this little girl was hitting my back for some reason she kept saying its wet, its wet. I thought if you only knew what it was. But it has progressively gotten better until this morning we walked out and it was very cold with the temperature reading 47°. It has been very nice with the daytime highs in the 70's. It is supposed to warm back up here soon though.

The wedding happened on Saturday. It was awesome. It was very short, just we two missionaries, the bride and groom and president Whitby and his wife. It lasted all of 10 minutes. The groom was very very nervous. I think he was expecting it to be some big thing but it was very simple and very awesome. We are going over tomorrow to talk to them about baptism. They haven’t been coming to church because they always say if God is willing we will go. This means, we want to go but if anything comes up, we won’t. So we need to work on that.

So about four weeks ago or so, we went on double exchanges with some kids in the ward. I went with this one kid and we were driving and I told him to stop so we could talk to this lady named Bertha who was out in her garage. She was grinding up corn to make tamales and after talking to her we found out that she is a member of the church. She is from Texas and is up here living with her daughter for the summer to pick fruit. She said that her daughter and her husband are members too but they don't go to church, and she has her two sons up here, ages 12 and 10. The 12 year old, Luis is a member but has not been ordained to the priesthood, and the 10 year old, Samuel, has not been baptized. She said she has been wanting to get her kids back to church and wanting us to come over but she hasn't done anything about it because she felt it wasn't her house so she didn't want to just invite us over. So she told us who she is living with and her son-in-law’s parents are active members in the branch and so we talked to them to have the lessons at her house. So everything is great. We head up there and the active lady said that her son and daughter-in-law said that we could do it at their house, they live right next door. So we go over there and have an awesome lesson, with participation from everyone. Samuel is going to be baptized on the 4th of October and Luis is going to get the priesthood the same day. They all came to church this Sunday. All because one mom/mother-in-law had a desire to go back to church, the Lord made it all happen. (Sorry if this story was so confusing.)

Well right now they just finished picking peaches and nectarines so all of the pickers just keep a box to themselves and give us some. I have never tasted such juicy, sweet peaches in my life. They are so good but they go rotten quickly. So we have to eat them fast, fine by me!

This weekend Elder Waldo came back to visit. I don't know if I have mentioned him. He is actually from Arizona and his parents live by Matt’s parents. Elder Waldo said he was going to visit you guys in December when he is home from BYU-Idaho. I don't know if that will happen or not though.

Well the other day Elder Mendez mentioned how he couldn't believe how well I remember things. I have been thinking about that a lot and I have decided that I can remember situations very well. I just can't remember all of the details. Like that one time when you (mom) took me visiting teaching and that lady gave me a pill.

Well I better run. Keep up the good work.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pictures (September 2009)

With Elder Mendez at our "home" in Connell, Washington.

A family in the branch at Connell, Washington

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Another Talk in church (09/02/2009)

I had to give another talk in church on Sunday. That was the 9th talk I have given on my mission. Five of which have been in Spanish. This was in English, in the Basin City 1st ward. They had some ward business to take care of so Elder Mendez and I had 10 minutes together. We had planned on 10 minutes each so we had to shorten our material. My topic was on missionary work. I shared the story of Grace and how she would tell the boys with their ears pierced that they were naughty. That got a roar out of the congregation. Then yesterday we had interviews with President Belnap (that’s why I didn't e-mail yesterday) and he told me that President Montierth (that is the stake president of the Pasco stake who was in attendance) called him up on Monday and told him that I did a good job. President Belnap told me thank you for representing the mission well. I just gave a talk. I don't know about representing the mission. But whatever.

So lat P-day we went to the Branch President’s house of the Basin City Branch. He is awesome. He reminds me a lot of Chad, red head and always cracking jokes. But anyway we went and he showed us around his farm on four-wheelers. They also have their own cow where they get their milk so right before we left, I was able to milk a cow. It was definitely interesting, but at least I can say I have done it.

Veronica is doing well. She had to be out of her apartment by the 31st of August and by her baptism (which was the 23rd) she had nowhere to go. But in the last week or so she was able to find a new house and is moving in on Thursday. The blessings of the Gospel are already pouring in on her.

I have a random question. Does the ward still pass out envelopes with the address of the missionaries? I have never gotten one of those. I didn't know if they still did it or what. Just a random question.

Well to close I would like to share a very personal and sacred story. I wrestled with the thought of sharing it but I decided I should.

I have talked about the Rodriquez family before. They are the ones that needed to get married before they get baptized. Saturday night I couldn't really sleep for whatever reason and I was thinking about them, hoping they would go to church the next day. I decided to kneel down and pray for them right then. As I was praying I felt the impression to fast for them starting then. So I got back in bed and fell asleep. I got up in the morning and started fasting. We got to church and guess who was there, the Rodriquez family. All dressed up, looking great. So after a few words, we have our meeting with President Whitby and he said that they had pulled him aside and she said we don't want to get rings right now, we just need to get married. It was awesome. So they are getting married this Saturday at 6:00. We still need your prayers though so we can commit them to baptism and help them along that path. Sister Rodriquez is so excited to be sealed together as a family.