"This ward literally took me in and made me part of their family. It's one of those times where literally everyone knows me. One member told me that missionaries are literally angels that hold the ward together, but you only realize it once they leave....and I just about started crying when she said that."
"I got transferred to an area called La Juanta. It's in a part of Chihuahua called La Sierra. We're in a little town, but like smaller than Camargo. There's pretty much no paved roads, the majority are dirt roads. This is the heart of poverty. I'm also still a district leader, but this time I'm training a new missionary. His name is Elder Hansen and he's from Heber, Utah. He has 5 weeks in the mission, but the training period is 12 weeks, so he still lacks 7 weeks of training....I'm kinda nervous, but really excited. It's kinda dangerous out here so we have to return to the house at 8 every night instead of 9."
"We are with the zone leaders, so there's four of us in the little town, like Camargo...but we live in different houses. The zone leaders are Elder Goldsberry and Elder Walker. We're all Americans, just like Camargo as well."
Friday, February 27, 2015
So maybe my email won't be as long this time, because I wrote just two days ago, but I'll let you all in on the deets!!!
So last week President had told me that I would be having transfers, but it hadn't really hit me yet I guess. In the offices we live a lot differently than normal missionaries, so I was still just enjoying it over there. Days passed, and before I knew it, it was already Sunday. Sunday is when it hit me that I was going.
So we get to Church, and somebody asked me something, I can't remember, and I told them that I was going to have transfers, and then since this ward is literally my family, everyone found out. It was hard because a bunch of them started crying. I was like.....what?????? During the 8 months in Granjas I hadn't really thought that we had all gotten that close, but now that I look back on it, I realize that I love them all so much!!!
So one of the families invited me over to eat some desert at 6, so we did that, which was fun.....but then they started crying too. I was like......sad too. I'd always been fine with transfers...but this time I was legitely sad. The mom of this family told us that as missionaries we're literally angels that bring everyone together, but that nobody realizes it until we leave. But yeah....that whole night was kind of hard, but then the transfers finally came this morning. They came and went fast, and then we had almost a 3 hour bus ride to our area, La Junta. In our zone, La Sierra, we're the closest to Chihuahua. The farthest away are another 2 hours away. But it's awesome, because it's one of the only places in Chihuahua where snow falls. We're just in a little town, and there's four of us here in the town, and the other two are americans too!!! Elder Walker and Elder Goldsberry! I'm already super excited!
But yeah, those are the details. I'm with a new missionary that has 5 weeks in the mission named Elder Hansen from Heber Utah. So I'm going to be District Leader AND trainer. The funny thing is that in my district, we are three different little towns, one of them about a half an hour away and another about an hour away, so that'll be fun with baptism interviews and things like that! But yeah, super stoked!!
This week we have 2 possible baptisms so we're going to work very hard so that they can be baptized this weekend!!! But everything is going good on this side of the world!!
Thanks for everything!! I love you all so much!!! Stay strong and pray for strength to carry on!!!
Saturday, February 21, 2015
So I forgot to tell you guys about a cool lesson I learned this last week. So after I heard about what happened with Emma, I felt prompted to share something about her with the district, so I printed out pictures of her and shared her story with everyone. And then the spirit told me to teach a certain principle from the story. So I emphasized that Emma has to check her sugar level 5 times each day, and at certain times, then I learned there in the moment that to be strong spiritually every day we have to do the same, but spiritually.
We should be checking our spirituality in the morning before we start our day, see how we're doing. Later we should check at about lunch time. Later at dinner time, and then later when we go to bed. The way to check is with prayer, and giving ourselves insulin would be repenting.
I realized that even if our day started out bad, we can make it better, we just have to give ourselves our own "dose of spiritual insulin". Repentance literally means a change of heart, so if we started the day out bad, we can change our heart....or in other words, repent!
I was able to see that we all had better days, and a better week! We all weren't as sad, because if we were, we changed it. We are the ones that decide if we want to be happy or sad each day, and God has given us the "insulin" that we need to get better, it's just up to us if we use it or not. I know that this can help us just as much as missionaries as it can normal members.
I have grown to love to use examples, and this has to be the coolest one!!!!
I love you all!!! Thanks for everything!!!!
It always makes me so happy to hear that everyone is doing so good! Sounds like it was a pretty exhausting week, but at the same time a pretty blessed week. I'm so glad to hear about how Jon and Emma, and of course mom and dad, are doing!!! I'm super excited for Emma and that she gets to get registered for Westlake here soon! I'm so excited that I get to be there for Emma's Dating years!!! I'm going to have to interview every single boy that wants to take Emma on a date!!! And that will be awesome if Jon serves his mission in August, because then we'll have a few weeks to hang out before he takes off!!!! Wooooooh!!!!!
So my week was cool! We saw a miracle this week! It was amazing! So last Sunday we just went to church like normal, Elder Reynolds and I passed by a few investigators and nobody was there, so we just went to church. When we got there a lady entered in that wasn't a member, so we sat down by her and started talking with her. She was just so happy and excited to be at church. She told us that she had gone about 3 times with one of her friends, but in a different ward, more towards the south of Chihuahua, and she had loved it. So her friend told her that she would have to go to the ward where she lived......which is Granjas. She said that she hadn't gone in almost 2 months, and in those two months she felt really sad, so she decided to come last Sunday, and loved it. Her name is Silian. So Elder Reynolds and I passed by her house on Tuesday to visit her. So we passed by and just got to know her more and what not, and she told us that she had a great desire to follow God more fully. She told us she was willing to do the will of God, so we invited her to baptism, the following Saturday, or in other words, today! She told us that she felt it was a little fast, so we left a chapter with her in the Book of Mormon to read and told her to pray to God and ask Him if it was right for her. We came back the next day, Wednesday, and we asked how she felt and everything, and she said that she had received an answer and wanted to get baptized. Wow, right?! We couldn't believe it at first! And so then we tried to teach lesson 1-The restoration of the Gospel......and she already knew everything. We tried to teach lesson 2-The plan of Salvation.......she already knew everything. She even knew about baptisms for the dead and she also knew and understood the eternal law of Plural marriage. I mean, she knows more than even members know. I guess her friends had talked to her a ton about the church. She has definitely been chosen and prepared by God. Me and Elder Reynolds almost have done nothing. We pretty much just arrived in the end and invited her to baptism. So Yeah!!! Tonight at 6 she's going to be baptized! We're super excited!
So I found out this last week that this Monday, in 2 days, I'm going to have transfers. So this last week I had to stay in the offices a lot to teach Elder Barroteran everything that a financial secretary does. Yesterday I was able to teach him the rest of what he didn't know, and I made all of these files on the computer to organize everything good for him. I also made a bunch of presentations of How-to-do certain things, just in case he forgets. I feel pretty good about leaving him alone now, so let's hope everything goes well. So yeah, I don't really know where I'm going yet, but it's pretty much for sure that I'll be leaving on Monday. I'm nervous, and happy, and excited, and scared......and everything. Transfers are always nerve-wracking.....especially since I've been in the offices for the last 8 months. I still can't believe that I have so much time in the offices.....it passed by SO fast. How crazy. But yeah......so since Monday I'll probably be having changes, today after we write we're going to go to centro and shop and eat churros and what not, and then we're going to eat lunch at Chili's I think. Then we have the baptism later at 6, then if we have time we're going to go eat sushi! I didn't really like sushi, but after the second time of eating it.....I LOVE SUSHI!!!!! So yeah!
But yeah.....so this week was a good week! I'm excited for next week as well!!! Changes are always for the better!!!! So yeah!!! Thanks for all your love and support!!! I hope you all have a great week! LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Wow! What a crazy week it sounds like you all had. It's just weird how much can happen in a week! I just want to thank Emma for the amazing example that she's been for me. Sometimes I think things like why do people that are so pure and innocent have to pass through things like that, and then this quote from Quentin L. Cook comes to my mind, "The refiner's fire is real, and the qualities of character and righteousness that are forged in the furnace of affliction perfect and purify us and prepare us to meet God." And then I realize why.......because afflictions are to help us......to purify....and to qualify us to meet God. How crazy our perspectives could change if we only thought like that more!!!! But I just want to thank Emma for her awesomeness and her amazing example. Throughout her life she will be an amazing example to a lot of people...I just know it!
So for me, this last week wasn't too different than any other week. We worked in the offices, and then went out after to work. I didn't get too much time to work outside of the offices because of a few things that I had to do in the offices, but it was a great learning week. I learned a lot from the scriptures and a lot from the daily experiences that I had. I also learned a lot about being humble, and I really realized that in this work, God's work, we can't do it effectively unless we rely on Him.
But yeah.....I'm sorry if this is not a very long email, but I just wanted to tell you how much I love you all!!! It's been a good Valentine's Day, and I just want to thank you guys for it! Thank you all for the continued support and love that you have all given me!
Happy Valentine's Day!
I love you all!!!
Have a great week!
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Sounds like everything has been pretty good....And crazy! There's a lot of cool stuff that has been going on lately!!! That's so cool! When Tanner gets married, make sure to send me pictures and what not!!! I'm also super excited for Jon and Dad to come and pick me up. I'm not exactly sure about details of when they should come.....but I'll figure that out this week. There's a few options though. One option would be that Jon and dad come Saturday night (the 25th) and then they could come home with me the 29th, but we wouldn't know what flight I'll have until about Junish. Or....they could come like the 27th or the 28th and we could stay until Saturday (the 1st). Only thing is that you guys would pay for my ticket and then the church would reimburse it after. So yeah. Is there an option that you guys prefer??? Just make sure that Dad brushes up on his Spanish ;) haha
So yeah! This week has been pretty normal! It wasn't a bad week either, but it was just one of those good ole weeks! It definitely started out good! On Monday Elder Reynolds and I had a really good district meeting! It helped a ton because the sisters just seemed mad the whole week before, and so they talked to us and now it's all chill again! We talked about Unity, and I learned a lot of things that I hadn't known before....or maybe hadn't realized before. Like when we think about it, if it weren't for the perfect unity of God, Christ, and the Holy Ghost, the Plan of Salvation wouldn't be possible. So if the unity of them made is possible the Salvation, then imagine what we can do in the mission if we have unity?? Imagine what a family can do if they have perfect unity? I had never really studied unity before, but now I see that it is key to have success!
So the rest of the week wasn't really too exciting until yesterday, Friday. So Elder Barroteran, Elder Nava, and I went with President to Parral yesterday because he was having a meeting with the missionaries there. When we got there president told us to buy burritos for all of the missionaries, so we went looking and ended up buying 90 burritos. I've never bought so many in my life. I've never even Seen so many in my life. But we did it and it was pretty cool! People thought we were crazy holding 90 burritos walking around Parral.
So then after we finished in Parral I had to go to Jimenez to buy a washer and a dryer for the old couple missionaries, because their's broke. Elder Nava forgot stuff on the bus which is kinda of sad, but funny at the same time. Then we went to this store called Coppel to buy the washer and dryer and it was weird. So we we're going to buy the washer and dryer and then we went to look for an iron because ours broke, and then when we went to pay this girl started yelling at us and pointed to me and told me to come. I was like....ok what's going on, and elder Nava told me to go see what was going on. She grabbed my arm and brought me over to one of her friends and told me that she wanted to talk to me, and I looked back at Elder Nava and he was just like, go for it. (he's crazy) And so I started talking to this girl, and come to find out that she was pretty much the same age as us, so then obviously we all knew why she wanted to talk to me, because all of her friends started giggling. So what's the best thing to do?? Contact her. So I just told her I was a missionary and everything and asked for her address, and obviously she gave it to me, and she told me to pass by on this next Wednesday, but since it's not my area I just passed the reference to the missionaries there in Jimenez. The whole time this was going on Elder Nava and Elder Barroteran were a few isles away and were just laughing the whole time, but busting out laughing, so while I was trying to contact her seriously I couldn't do it very well because they were making me laugh. But it was just SUPER AWKWARD......like that has never happened to me before in the mission, but I just felt awkward. But poor girl.....she's probably thinking that I'll be passing by on Wednesday, but really it's going to be other missionaries. She's going to get baptized though! So yeah.....that was my awkward experience for the week. Then after we got that all done we took a bus back to Chihuahua and ended up getting back at 1 in the morning....so I'm a tad bit tired, but everything's good!
So thanks for everything!!! I'll probably be transferred the first week of March. Still lack 3 weeks!!! Gonna make every week count!!! But yeah, thanks for the continued support and love!!!
Love you all so much! Have a great week!!!!!