c I came home December 15,2010 //

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It is great to be a missionary (02/24/2010)

Why hello everyone. We had another succesfull week. It wasn't one of our best but it is still great to be a missionary. The sun has been out all week long and it has been in the mid-50's. So it has been fun to be out and doing things. Here is an update on some people.

Rafael - You know how I told you about how the mission focuses on 15 people from each ward and we work with them. Well Rafael was one of the guys that we focused on. Well I am not really sure how long Rafael hasn't been to church but it has been a while. He is 69 and a little crazy but an awesome guy. He was baptized about 3 or 4 years ago. We started going over there and the first few times we visited him, he would reluctantly let us in. Well now when we go over he is excited to see us. Then this last Sunday we called him up to remind him about church and he said that he called a guy to give him a ride but the guy wasn't going (well he called a guy that was less-active too). So he asked if we could find him a ride. We did and he showed up for church. After Sacrament meeting I told him it was good to see him here and he said well I want to thank you and my Heavenly Father for getting me here and I am going to keep on coming from now on. Then after church he asked me if I could show him how to donate tithing because he wanted to get donating again. It was awesome. He is an awesome guy.

Jorge- We went over on Saturday and actually sang some hymns with him. He had the hymns on CD playing behind us so it wasn't so bad. We sang a bunch but the one that touched him the most was "I Stand All Amazed", he started crying during the second verse. The spirit was really strong. I guess it is true what D&C 25:12 says that the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me. He was all set to finally come to church on Sunday but his landlord showed up unexpectedly to do some things around the house so he couldn't come. He is an awesome guy. He is so much happier than when we first met him.

Heraldo- We decided to just cover all of the doctrine with him since he has so many questions. It says in "Preach My Gospel" "the study of doctrine will change behavior quicker than the study of behavior will change behavior". So we went and covered the word of wisdom. It went well but he still has his doubts.

We found some other people that I will skim over real quickly until they are progressing more. Maria is a granddaughter of a member that comes and takes care of her. We went and visited them yesterday and Maria's mom (the members daughter was there) and was asking the typical Catholic questions, what do you believe about the Virgin Mary and saints and what not and we explained it to her, Maria said to her mom and I quote "that is true" talking about how we worship Jesus and not his mother "you can believe what you want but that’s the truth, he is our Savior, not her". It was awesome, she had a lot of good questions.

Also last night we had a return appointment with a guy named Carlos. He is a Christian who knows a lot about the Bible but he had a dream the other day that a lady told him that there is a church out there that is perfect and without stain. We shared with him the first lesson and boldly told him that we are the perfect and true church. The spirit was really strong and it was a really good lesson. We have a return appointment Wednesday.

Well I better run but PLEASE keep praying for our investigators. They need it. Have a great week.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another week down (02/16/2010)

So another week down and the time is going way too fast. We were extremely busy this week. We taught a variety of people and had the baptism for Eduardo.

Eduardo’s baptism went really well. Everything went as planned. We wished there were more people there but a lot of people got confused at the time and showed up an hour late. But it is all good. He is baptized and will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday. We went over there on Monday and I asked his mom how he was doing and she said he is way different already. She said he normally just wants to sit at home and watch TV, but yesterday he asked her if he could go to the store with her. She was shocked. He is a great kid that has been coming to mutual and to church and I can see him serving a mission in the next 10 years.

Everyone else is about the same. We were able to get in with Duvi and talk to her. We had a couple of great lessons. On Friday she said she was for sure ready to be baptized on the 28th of February and everything was just fine and dandy. Well then she came to church and left about 5 minutes before Sacrament meeting. The other elders called her because she was going to follow them to the baptism. Well she told them that she couldn't get over the fact that women participated in the services like give prayers and talks and what not because in the Jehovah’s Witness church they don't. Well she said she didn't want us to come over anymore she wasn't really interested anymore. So that was a complete 180 degree turn. We don't know what happened. It was weird. I think we are going to try and get over there and see what really happened.

Well we are somewhat back in the finding mode. We have a lot of good people but they are having trouble taking the next step. Rosa has another daughter named Claudia. We didn't have much contact with her because she was always with her boyfriend. Well her boyfriend just got thrown into jail. So we have been working extremely hard with her of late but her boyfriend is getting out soon. Is it bad to pray for people to stay in jail?

Mom you asked if we work with less-actives or investigators more. More investigators but the mission has this thing where every high priest group, relief society, and elders quorum in each ward select five people they want to focus on. They could be less actives, part member families or investigators. So we have been working with them. We have found a lot of success in this and it is an awesome program if everyone is on board and understands it. It is awesome.

Well on that note I have to go. Have a great week

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

So we got a new e-mail system (02/09/2010)

So we got a new e-mail system. It is powered by Google. I like it a lot better because it has some of the nice features that a regular e-mail has like...auto-save (I tend to need this one a lot). Also it has a lot more space. Plus it tells you when a new e-mail comes in, on the old you had to update to see if new e-mails had come in or not. All of my e-mails were transferred over.

Things are going really well here in Yakima. We are finding a lot of people to teach. We taught 23 lessons last week. The lesson system has changed in our mission. Before, it was if you teach two or more principles, and extend a commitment, it is a lesson. Now you have to have an opening and closing prayer, teach two or more principles and extend a commitment. So we had 23 of those which is really good. President Belnap wants us to teach 20 a week and for the most part a lot of people are struggling with that but he asked us at this last zone conference to put our mind to it and really work towards that.

Edurado is doing really well. He will be baptized this Saturday. He is learning and understanding. Rosa is also doing really well. We have committed them to start reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning as a family. She seemed really excited to do that.

Duvi is having her struggles. We have moved her baptismal date back to the 28th of February. She has a lot of doubts and problems but she says she knows the church is true.

Herraldo still has his doubts. We have based his doubts down to the fact that he doesn't believe that God has a body of flesh in bones....therefore; Joseph Smith could not see God. So we are working with him on that right now.

Jorge has a lot of problems going on in his family right now. He is a good guy but at times it seems his mind is preoccupied with other things and he not letting the spirit touch his heart. I know he is happier when we leave but I don’t know if he recognizes that.

We are also teaching two guys named Jose and Miguel. They are roommates and are both really good guys. Jose ordered a video from the MTC and we went by and watched it with him and Miguel. Then we went back and taught them the first lesson. They were both really interested. Miguel knows the branch president here. They said they have been searching for a church and feel this is a good one. I think they will be able to progress and hopefully reach the waters of baptism. They actually live with a less active family who is a brother to Miguel. So that would be nice to get them all back and going to church.

We have also four more new investigators since we last spoke. There names are Margarita, Maria, Jared and Evudarado. They are all really nice and hopefully are able to progress. I will give more details on the ones that are doing well. One thing is Jared and Evudarado are brothers. After our lesson we left and walked one way down the street and then we were walking back and we saw Evudarado reading the Book of Mormon. That was an awesome feeling.

One other thing that I would like to point out, that I believe just my immediate family will understand ... and the person to find it the most interesting is Stacy. (Of course). I have discovered that I have a mental clock like dad. I wake up 2 minutes before the alarm goes off everyday. I just thought I was just used to getting up at that time, but here, we have to get up at 6 to get ready and go to church on Sunday, and I get up at 5:58. It is cool. Just thought I would let you know.

Have a great week

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

This whole having the spirit thing is awesome (02/02/2010)

Well transfers have come and gone and I am really enjoying my time with Elder Urbina. We both seem to be on the same page and both have an extreme desire to work hard and be good. Here are some of the things that we have been doing

Wednesday, we had transfers and one of the first things we did was go to Duvi's house. We talked to her about lesson number three which is essentially the 4th Article of Faith, repentance, baptism, light of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. It went really well, the spirit was really strong and we committed her to baptism on the 21st of February. She hesitated at first saying it was too soon but the spirit helped us be bolder and resolve her doubts. She is a really good lady who wants to know the truth.

Then later that night we stopped over at Rosa's house so Elder Urbina could get to know her. Well Eduardo (her son) was there and was actually paying attention. He usually zones in and out. Then Rosa said that he had told her that he wanted to be baptized. We set a date for the 14th of February. He is really doing well. He came to mutual for the first time on Thursday and really enjoyed it.

Then Friday night we had an appointment with Herraldo. We went in with a motive that we weren't going to just talk religion. We were going to teach the doctrine and help him realize that we wanted him to be baptized, and if he is not interested in that then we are going to have to stop meeting him. We told him that if you have no desire to know if this church is true or not, then we are wasting our time and more importantly yours. He whole-heartedly agreed. We also read 1 Nephi 14 with him about the Church of God and the church of the devil. It was really good. We told him we are preaching that we are the only true church here on the earth today. We committed him to read 2 Nephi 31 about baptism and we would talk about his prayers to know if the church is true and if he needs to be baptized. We are going to talk to him tonight about what happened.

We found another family. They were taught here in about September but they were dropped for not keeping commitments. We saw their name in our Area book and decided to go over and see how they were doing. Their last name is Pimintel. So we went over and they let us right in. We taught the 1st lesson, left and the spirit was really strong. Then we went last night and read with them 1 Nephi 8 about Lehi's dream. We have decided that we aren't going to move on until they have a testimony about the Book of Mormon. So we will just read it with them and hopefully they will read it on their own so they can know that it is true. President Benson once said that we need Book of Mormon converts.

Also last night we went to Jorge’s house. We showed up and he was quite angry because of something that happened in the bank. A very minor thing. A little background on Jorge. He is from Guatemala and is 59 years old. When he was 6 years old he was living on the streets, he took his first alcoholic drink when he was 8 and was an alcoholic by age 8. He has tried to stop drinking for many years but became sober and has been for 7 years now. He is a great guy, but he feels that God does not want to forgive him of his sins because he says his life is so crappy now that God is punishing him. Well before we even saw him that day we decided to read with him from Alma 7 about Christ suffering for us and 2 Nephi 31 about how Christ was baptized and He was perfect and how important it was for us to be baptized to be cleansed of our sins. Well, as you remember, he was pretty irritated with himself and God when we walked in, but we stuck to our game plan and by the end he was crying. He had realized that God really did love him and how much He really had. We committed him to pray if he should be baptized on the 28th of February. He said he would and we are going back on Thursday to see how it went.

I am so grateful for the spirit accompanying us in our visits so we can have so much success. I contribute most of this to my wonderful parents who lovingly told me that I needed to get my rear in gear. It breaks my heart that I was too ignorant the first year of my mission to figure this out, but I am grateful I have when I have. I am excited to go out and work and talk to everyone. This gospel really is true and the blessings are apparent in our everyday lives.