Monday, September 29, 2014
This has been a good week. It´s been a little slow for us because most of our investigators have gone on vacation this week, but we´re still looking for some new prepared people. We know they´re out there somewhere, we've just got to look harder to find them.
Last Monday, we went to Chiclana and played some soccer in the mediodia (midday) heat again and also played a little basketball afterwards. We got back home pretty sweaty, so we hopped in the shower and headed out for a cita with Kevin and Vanesa. We talked about the ten commandments. I know I´ve said it before a lot of times, but they are awesome. I can hardly believe how well they´re progressing. After that we had a cita with Pablo and Rosa and it went pretty well, too.
Kevin and Vanesa also told us that while they are in Madrid they are going to check out what they have to do to get married and also stop by the temple so I´m hoping they had time to. They´re so awesome. I actually just barely received a message from them saying that they were able to visit the temple! YESSS!!!
On Tuesday, I sent Elder Lelegren off with all the other new missionaries in our zone to go to Fuengirola again so they could do their residency stuff. While he was gone, Elder Thia and Elder Richardson stayed with me and we had tons of fun. With them we got to go eat with Vanesa and Kevin and had a super good meal with things from both Colombia and Peru. SO good. After that we had a great lesson about the word of wisdom which always worries me a little before I teach it, but when you have people who are so willing to follow the commandments it´s not a problem at all. I shouldn´t have been worried about them at all. They had a few questions about coffee and tea like most people do, but in the end they committed to live it. After that we got to visit Guillermo and he´s doing really good and looks like he´s taking the steps he needs to to come back to church.
On Wednesday Elder Lelegren got back here and settled in again and Elders Thia and Richardson picked up their companions and went home as well.
This week has been a little slow but we´re still looking hard to find some more elect people. We´ve done a good amount of walking this week, but we've got hope and faith to find some new people next week.
This week we've started to read the Book of Mormon from the beginning as a mission again and I'm loving it. I love the vision of the tree of life so much. The pathway to the tree of life was dark. Surely it wouldn't be easy to find your way through the dark unless you cling to the rod. We must cling to every word that comes from the mouth of the Savior, our Heavenly Father, and of our living prophets and they will lead us straight to exaltation. In our life on earth, we get a taste of the love felt there, and we have to remember it and not be ashamed of it. The pathway may be difficult, but our faith will help us cling tightly to the iron rod.
Not too much else to report this week. I hope you are doing well! Thanks for all the pictures.
Have a great week! Love you!
Monday, September 22, 2014
Hello Everybody! I´ve got my new companion here with me in San Fernando and he´s doing great. We´ve had an amazing and really spiritually full week. The mission is the best thing ever.
Last Tuesday, I headed out to Málaga to pick up my new companion, Elder Lelegren. We had a great meeting with President Deere and it was so awesome to be able to see these new missionaries coming in feeling all of the same things that I was feeling about a year ago when I came into the field. They all looked so excited and ready to serve. When President announced that my companion was going to be Elder Lelegren I ran down and gave him a huge hug and then we took the map picture. Elder Lelegren is awesome and he´s doing really well. He´s from Sandy and he just graduated this year, so he´s just like I was when I came into the mission. He was also on student council at Alta so it´s very possible that I met him before at a luncheon with Alta or something. So far he´s doing really well with his Spanish and he´s surprised me at how well he can understand people here in San Fernando. The province of Cádiz is infamous among missionaries because people talk here with a really weird accent and a lot of them are really hard to understand, but Elder Lelegren is doing great so far. Tuesday was a pretty long day of traveling for both of us, and we finally got back home to San Fernando and met up with Elder Buttars at about 9:20, took his bags back to the apartment, and then got out to work at 9:45 (we have to be home between 10:15-10:45). We hit the street and went straight to some potential investigators Elder Buttars and I contacted like 2 whole months ago and hadn´t been able to get a hold of. We rang their doorbell and they let us right in and we found 2 new investigators there, and Elder Lelegren challenged them to be baptized--in the first 30 minutes of proselyting time in the field. WHAT A MAQUÍNA! Already seeing miracles. What a great way to start off our 12 weeks together. After that, we hurried home and planned and got to be super tired.
Wednesday morning we had to go drop Elder Buttars off at the train station which was pretty hard. Elder Buttars was a great companion and we worked really hard together and I´ve learned a ton with him. We´ve made some awesome memories together though, and I´ll always remember them.
This week we also got to visit with Kevin and Vanesa again. They are so amazing. They´re doing perfect on keeping commitments and they really search the scriptures we leave them and talk about them together. This week we talked a little about the law of chastity because they have to get married and they´re definitely willing to but it´s going to be a bit of a process because they are from two different countries living in a county that isn´t their own, so they´re going to try and check stuff out regarding marriage but they really have pure desires and are really humble people. It´s so great to see people dig into the scriptures like that.
This weekend was Stake Conference for our stake and it was SO GOOD. The meetings were some of the most spiritual ones I´ve ever been in. Right after I gave my talk in Priesthood meeting, President Morales gave an amazing talk about missionary work and making sacrifices. His talks were so inspired and so full of the Spirit. On Sunday he talked about the mercy of Christ for us and how there is nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ. I took some good notes of things that came to mind.
One of the things that impacted me most was when he talked about a missionary that came back home and said that he had lost his testimony. He didn´t know if Joseph Smith was a Prophet or not, if the church was true or even if God existed. The most important word in the scriptures is "remember". "Remember, and perish not". We must remember our testimonies and do everything we can to keep them lit brightly, and we must also remember that the mercy of our Savior is infinite. Christ understands that sometimes we stray, and we mess up, but there is always a way back through His mercy. He is more merciful than we know and something that President Morales said that really hit me was that when we appear before Christ on the day of our final judgement day, we will all be surprised at how merciful He is with us. I testify of the mercy of Christ. know it´s real because I have felt it. It is available to all of us and he is constantly offering. The voice of the good shepherd has, does, and always will be calling us. We just have to listen and follow Him.
Thanks for the pictures and everything! Have a great week!
Friday, September 19, 2014
Monday, September 15, 2014
This week has been CRAZY. I feel like I´ve been running around everywhere this week, and I´ve been pretty tired all week, but it´s been a lot of fun as well. Here´s the highlights.
Last Monday, we went to Jerez for our P day and played some good old American football with the zone and played water balloon volleyball too which was pretty fun. It was fun to run around again because we haven´t played any serious sports for quite a while.
Tuesday was awesome! That morning I hopped on a train to Málaga for Trainer´s Training and it was awesome. I got to travel and everything with Elder Farrell so that was great. The meeting we had with President was great and the Spirit was really strong. We talked about the examples we have to give to these new missionaries who have given their names to be full time servants of the Lord. This whole week there have been a few times when I feel a little worried about training because our area hasn´t been doing so hot, but every single time I get the impression that I´m not going to be alone in it. We are never really alone in life, but it´s been really comforting to know that in this moment while I´m getting ready to receive a new companion. President Deere also talked a lot about how training a missionary is a lot like having a child, so looks like I´m going to be a dad! ;) Later that night we went back to the office Elders Piso and left early in the morning to get back home.
This week we´ve been teaching Kevin and Vanesa again and they are progressing REALLY well. These are some of the most receptive people I´ve seen for a long time. They´re keeping all of their commitments right now, which is a great sign. Tonight we´re planning on setting a fecha bautismal and maybe a date for them to get married as well because right now they´re living together without being married. But so far they´re doing awesome and things are looking really good for the. They came to church this Sunday too! :)
On Friday, we had a really great District Meeting about bearing testimony, verifying commitments, and repentance, and it was one of the most spiritual meetings we´ve had. After the meeting, The Guffey´s, a senior couple that is working on the base in Rota came and made waffles for us. They are really sweet people and they wanted to organize all of it before the missionaries here got transferred. I´ll attach a picture of it.
After district meeting on Friday, I went on an intercambio to Cádiz with Elder Queirolo and had a great time. Cádiz is a super awesome city and I got to see a lot more of it walking through the Elder´s area. It´s awesome. I forgot to take my camera out with me, but next time I go, I´ll get some pictures.
This is my last time with Elder Buttars and the truth is that I´m going to miss him a lot. I´ve learned so much from his diligence and hard work. He´s heading off to the other side of the mission but we´ve become really good friends and I´m sure I´ll be seeing him around.
Elder Queirolo gave a really great talk this week about bearing pure testimony. It really stood out to me this week because I think it´s something we look over a lot. Some times we just want to show people all the logic chains of why our church is true, but what really converts the people is the Spirit, and when we testify, we invite Him. Preach My Gospel says:
"For your testimony to have convincing power, you must be sincere. Powerful testimony is not dependent on eloquence or the volume of your voice but on the conviction of your heart."
We need to do this more often. We do not testify to impress, but to convert. We testify to show other people what we know and help them see that they can have the same peace we do. In district meeting we also talked about how the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. Every one of us is of great worth in
God´s eyes, including those of His children who have not yet been able to hear His gospel, or those who have strayed from it. As a full time worker in the vineyard of the Lord, I have a greater opportunity to do this work than I ever will in the rest of my life.
"And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father..." (D&C 15:6)
I hope I can keep that vision the rest of the time I have left here that is going by so fast.
Thanks for sending the pictures. I love seeing those. If you see Sara again tell her I say hello.
Love you all and have a great week! This is another crazy week coming up so I´m sure I´ll have some good things to report on next week.
Con cariño, (love)
The other picture is with Elder Farrell and Hermana Brooke Anderson. She went to high school with Elder Farrell and I and she left for the mission about 3 or 4 days after Elder Farrell and I got our calls and now she´s going home. HOOOOLLLY COOOOOWW.
Monday, September 8, 2014
This week has been pretty great. We've done quite a bit of walking around and have had a few days of almost nothing, but those are the kind of days that I like to call "opposition days" because without the hard, long days, there wouldn't be awesome, miraculous days. ;)
This week we had a pretty good appointment with our investigators Luis and Loli. They´re really good people and live in a pretty humble home. The other day they we went to their home and taught about the Restoration. The lesson went really well and they understood well. They´re not married so we´ll have to see what we can do about that. We set another cita with them later in the week, but they went to the beach. Fall is going to be very welcome whenever it starts. The beach is making things complicated here.
As for Victor, we haven´t really been able to talk with him. As soon as we started getting serious talking about baptism, he just kind of backed off because I think he got a little scared, and he´s not keeping his commitments at all either. We've been trying to keep up with him and we've passed by a few times to check up on him, but for now he´s kind of lost interest. We did what we should have with him and we talked about baptism in our very first visit and set a fecha in the second visit. In our mission right now, we are inviting EVERYONE to be baptized in the first visit and setting baptismal dates with EVERYONE no later than the second visit.
This week we have found some solid new investigators, though. We've been doing a lot of investigation with our ward list and our area book and we ended up finding Rosa. She is the mother of a missionary named Victor who got baptized a while ago. We had a great cita with her and brought Nicolas and María with us. The lesson was really good, but she kept trying to put up a little barrier between her and us and she would keep saying things like " YOUR religion" "YOUR church" and things like that. She told us that she was a woman of "little faith" but I think she was a little more interested than she wanted us to think she was. We´re going to be working with her and I’m going to see if I can get her son´s information so we can work with her a little better. We were also able to find a couple named Kevin and Vanesa. Kevin is from Colombia and Vanesa is from Perú. Last night, we had a really good lesson with them and they accepted the soft baptismal invitation so it looks like we could have some real progression there. I´ll let you know more about them later.
I received a call from President Deere this week and he told me that I´m going to be training next transfer so that´s going to be really exciting. It’s going to be great. I´m heading to Málaga tomorrow to go to a training for trainers and then I´ll go back the week after to pick him up. I´m praying for him, and I hope I´ll be able to fit the job of a good trainer.
This week we had Zone Meeting and we got to hear the last testimonies of a few great missionaries that are going home this transfer. Some of them have been my greatest examples here and I look up to them a ton. It’s crazy that they´re heading home. One of them shared a scripture from Moroni 7 that said:
3 Wherefore, I would speak unto you that are of the church, that are the peaceable followers of Christ, and that have obtained a sufficient hope by which ye can enter into the rest of the Lord, from this time henceforth until ye shall rest with him in heaven.
4 And now my brethren, I judge these things of you because of your peaceable walk with the children of men.
5 For I remember the word of God which saith by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also.
I love that scripture so much. As Christ's disciples, we must be peaceable among the people around us. We need to love as Christ loves and learn of Him. Without that vital attribute of charity, there is no way we can become like our Loving Savior. Later in Moroni 7, we learn how we should obtain His charity and how we will know if we have obtained it
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.
I testify that one day, we will truly see Him as He is, and we will be able to see if we have become like Him or not. I hope in that day to be able to see that at least a part of Christ has developed in me and that I have come to be like Him by following in His steps. When we develop charity, we will become more true, more faithful followers of our Lord and Redeemer.
That's all for this week. Love you all and have a great week!
"Por sus frutos, les conoceréis" ("By their fruits ye shall know them")
Monday, September 1, 2014
This has been a really great week! Here´s how it went.
Preparation Day In Cadiz
Last Pday we went to Cádiz and played some soccer with the missionaries from Chiclana and Cádiz on this awesome little court that´s close to the coast and it's right next to the big wall that surrounds Cádiz. We played soccer in the middle of the hottest part of the day but it was still tons of fun. After that, we went out to look at the water and I got some good pictures of the coast. That afternoon when we came back to San Fernando, we found a new investigator named Loli who is the wife of a guy we were teaching before who kind of flaked out on us. We had a really short lesson with her but it was really good.
Tuesday was really great. We had our interviews with President Deere which is always a great experience for everybody. We got to talk a little bit about the area and our work here. Things have been a little tough lately, because Elder Buttars and I have been working really hard and we´re not really seeing much progression in our area. He gave us some great suggestions about how we can help our members get involved in the work and we´re gonna give it a whirl. He always has a few inspired and motivating words for us. Right after we had our interviews, we had to run to catch a train to Cádiz again because I got to do another baptismal interview with a woman named Cloti. It went great and I loved it as always. I LOVE hearing about people´s conversions and seeing their desires to follow the Savior.
On Wednesday, we had a special training meeting with President and he talked to us about finding the faith to FIND new investigators. In the beginning of chapter 9 in Preach My Gospel, there is a promise. it says that the Lord is preparing people in every area, and that either he will lead us to them, or lead them to us. He prepares people through the Holy Ghost and the ministering of angels, and he does it one by one. The people are out there, it´s just up to us to find them.
That night, the Cádiz Elders called me and told me that they had an investigator that wanted to get baptized the next day so she could get baptized on the same day as Cloti because they are good friends, so the next morning, we headed to Cádiz again for another interview. :) We had a little extra time between trains, so we went to see the sunset while we waited, and that´s how I got the sweet pictures.
This morning I was reading a cool article in the Liahona called "Act Upon this Land as if For Years" that was really good. It talks a lot about trusting in the Lord´s timing. I really like this quote from Elder Uchtdorf
“Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future experience. Often we can’t see the Lord’s hand in our lives until long after trials have passed. Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future opportunity, understanding, and happiness.”
That is the truth. There have been a lot of times in my life where I haven´t understood the Lord´s plan for me, but looking back, His hand is clearly visible to me. We must believe in our Heavenly Father and trust that His planning is the best planning there is. Our lives are full of experiences and trials that are for our personal growth. Maybe sometimes we wonder too often when the trial will be over, when we´ll find new investigators, or how long we´ll have to wait for a blessing that we feel that we need. We need to trust Him and in His promises to us. (Mosiah 4:9)
Love you and hope you have a great week!