Monday, March 30, 2015

"Just playing around and eating cake."

"The newlyweds and all of us at the party. (Pati and Cayetano are the ones on the right. Pati has a shirt with like flowers on it and Cayetano has the gray sweatshirt.)"

"Some of the youth from our branch." (Luis and Priscila)

"The youth made me put this on..."

"With the family Torres. We ate dinner with them and watched The Restoration. They're a family of investigators."

"Me and Elder Sanchez"

March 30th, 2015 - Weekly Letter


     Every week I just keep getting more and more proud of my awesome family!  I've grown to love soccer even more in the mission, and I'm so glad that Emma scored 2 GOALS!!!!!!  What an awesome sister right?!?!  So happy for her!  And I'm also SUPER stoked for Jonny boy!!!!!  In just a few more weeks we're going to find out where he's going to go on his mission!!!  Just so many good things are on their way!  And then in just a few days mom and dad are going to have been married for 24 years!!!!!! QUE LOCO!!!!!!  Sometimes I show the pictures I have of the family to investigators and members and companions and such, and every time they think that Emma is like 18.  No, I tell them, only 14....almost 15. In this branch La Junta there are a lot of girls that are 14. Random fact. 

    So this week for us was a really good week!  So on Monday we had a sweet district meeting about David and Goliath.  We related it to the missionary work and got super pumped to work.  Then on Tuesday the assistants came and interviewed our investigators and worked with us all day, and we finally got Aelin´s mom to give permission so that Aelin can be baptized.....but only half way.  She says that Aelin can be baptized but she won't sign the baptism register. She says that we have to wait for her husband to come back to sign it.  He works for two weeks and then comes back for a week, so Aelin and her brother could have been baptized last week, but their dad doesn't come back until this week, so Aelin and Rafael are super stoked for their baptism this week, and we are too!!

    Also we finally got Pati and Cayetano married!!! Man it was soooo cool.  I don't know why, but I just think it's fun to marry people.  It's like when I was in junior high and I was the 'love doctor' and hooked people up together, but now it's for real.  It was fun because I sat them down and told them where they needed to sign and then they had to put fingerprints, and it was just all cool!  Then a few days later we had the party. Tuesday was the official marriage and paper signing, but then we had the party Saturday night. We brought a tres leches cake (three milk cake), and it was soooo good.  We went to the members and invited them, and it was just cool.  Me and Elder Hansen made them be the first ones to cut the was fun!  So yeah, now we are finishing teaching Cayetano the lessons and he's going to get baptized either this weekend or next weekend, whichever we feel is better for him.  

     Other than all of this stuff that happened in our area, there is another little town in my district called Guerrero and there are two missionaries there, so I went down there 2 different days to interview their investigator.  Her name is Karely and is 14.  I got her super excited for baptism the first day, and then two days later came back and she didn't want to get baptized anymore because she was we talked to her some more and got her excited again.  She reminds me a little bit of Emma, so it was pretty easy to talk with her.  I told her she was my sister from Mexico.  So she got baptized yesterday!!! I was really happy for her!  

    So yeah. Then we had mutual again and it was really good. One of our investigators named Alan (14 years old) came and said that he wanted to get baptized in the church, but he didn't come to church yesterday.  We're thinking that in 2 or 3 weeks he and his little brother will get baptized! We're pretty stoked. We worked really hard in March, and we are going to see the fruits of our work in Abril. I'm super excited!!!

     So yeah. Now it's going to be my LAST general conference in the mission. I can't believe it.  I remember my first conference in the was in the MTC.  But I'm super stoked. Me and Elder Hansen put a goal of bringing at least 10 investigators to the conference.  To a normal day of church, our record is 6 at church, and so we're going all out this week to make sure that we bring a bunch to all of the different sessions of conference. We know that if we bring investigators, they will receive answers to their prayers, and so this is a BIG step for us. The conference will help a TON of our investigators gain a testimony of the church. I'm super excited!!!  We're going to get another computer and watch it in English too, so that's good!

     So just wanted to remind you all to bring questions to General Conference.  I know that whatever kind of question that we bring, God, through the prophet and his apostles and those that are going to speak, Will answer our questions, and help us get to know Christ more.

    Thanks for everything!!! Thanks for your love and support.  4 more months from yesterday.....deep breaths.  Gonna dominate these last four months!!! 

Love you all so much, and miss you all as well! Have a great week!!!! And Happy Easter next weekend!!!!!

-Elder Loveless

Monday, March 16, 2015

"Our plan with our investigator that is smoking and doing drugs."

"Pic with this little girl that was in the hair cut store."

March 16th, 2015 - Weekly Letter


    Wow what a crazy week!!!!!  I love the weeks where there are lots of pictures!!!  That always means that it's a great week!  Tanner getting married, Taylor Manwill's homecoming talk, Jon's senior prom.  That's all so awesome! Tell Tanner congrats from me!!!!  Can't wait to see him again in a few months!!!  But yeah!!! I don't know about you guys over there in Utah, but this last week was FREEZING cold.  Actually, this morning it was snowing a little bit. Like not enough to stick, but it was snowing just a tad.  I thought it was so cool!  The first time seeing snow in these 18 months!!!  It was a cold week, but it was a good week.

    So last Monday was the only somewhat warm day, and it was good because we had a zone activity and we played soccer, which was super awesome.  Monday we didn't do more than that and have a zone meeting, and the zone meeting really did change me.  We talked about making sacrifices, a sacrifice meaning something that is good that helps us progress and that brings us out of our comfort zone.  So I started making sacrifices, and I'll tell you a little bit later, but we saw a ton of blessings. My testimony really grew about sacrifices.

    So then on Wednesday and Thursday we went out all day with some of the youth members and had a lot of success. This is when I started to see the blessings of the sacrifices that I was making.  We literally just walked around with them and went to visits, but they pretty much guided us throughout the day, showing us to their cousins and friends, a lot of them having already gone to church and wanting to be baptized, but little things happened and made it so they couldn't be baptized, things that now aren't a problem.

     Also we were talking to this one sister that gave us lunch on Wednesday last week, and she is a great lady.  She is kind of old, but has SO much family. She has like 10 children, something like that, and then like 40 something grandchildren, then like 11 great grandchildren as well.  So we were talking to her, and literally pretty much all of her family are members, only like 3 or 4 aren't.  So that's the first plus. And then after, she told us how like None of them are active anymore, so we made a goal with her, that we were going to bring ALL of them to church again.  And she got so happy. It made me so happy to see her.  I love that feeling, the feeling you get when you get the desire to do something for someone to make them happy and because it's the right thing to do!  So we've been going around a lot and we're getting that family together! It's awesome!  And then we also found out that one of the ladies isn't married to her boyfriend, but the boyfriend will be baptized when they get married, so the assistants today are going to bring us the marriage papers and we're going to get them married!!!! YEAH!!!!  Their names are Patti and Cayetano.  He's so cool, he told us that he wants to be baptized so bad.  So we're going to marry them this week, and we're shooting for his baptism on the 28th of this month.

     Also me and Elder Hansen were out contacting, and there were a bunch of kids playing soccer, so we went in and played with them for a little bit and then contacted all of them. Oh the creative ways we can contact!  It was super fun.....I have gotten so bad at running during the mission, my heart just won't do it very well, but my skills in soccer have increased a lot. It's such a fun sport!!!

    The youth activity was alright, but it was really cold outside and we didn't know what to do........Any ideas for fun youth activities that incorporate all ages of youth?????  That would be great.  But yeah. So then Sunday rolled around and it was awesome!  So church starts at 10, but me and Elder Hansen left at 7:30 to pass by investigators and wake them up, because we had I think 22 names yesterday to pass by for.  So we did that, and at the end we didn't have anybody with us. So we get to church, late, like at 10:30, luckily before they had started the sacrament, and there were 2 investigators in church. Soon after arrived another. Then later arrived 3 more.  It was such a miracle, because we had so much faith and hope that at least somebody was going to come out of those 22 people, and 6 ended up coming, and that is really good for these small branches out here in La Sierra.  I also realized that this was partly due to the sacrifices we had made.  God saw our desire, and He blessed us.  We can say things all we want, but until we act and show God that we truly have a desire, he doesn't bless us. Why would He?  But yeah. It was a good week, also with contacts. We got a lot this week as well. I just am so happy now, and I know it's because we are working hard. As we are working and constantly talking with people time flies by SO fast. These last 3 weeks here in La Junta really have been the fastest weeks for me in the mission! I love it so much.  I am going to finish the mission running hard!  I don't want any regrets, because we have 2 years to do it, and an eternity to think about it!

    Thanks for all the love and support!  Hope you all have a great week.  LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!! Have fun at work and school!!!!!! Do good things!!!!

-Elder Loveless


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"Pics of the youth activity we had. There were only like 6 the week before, but we bumped it up to about 15. We just invited every kid we saw!!!"

"Burning a pair of pants for the 18 month mark. (Don't worry, they were a pair that were destroyed.)"

March 9th, 2015 - Weekly Letter


     Sounds like everything's going good for the Loveless fam!!  In the offices it was a little bit different, but since I've been out working again, writing you guys is so much better, and means a lot more to me, especially after a good week of work.  I'm so happy for Emma and that she made the soccer team. Every once in a while when we play soccer with the youth and just play around here, I remember the awesome experiences I had while playing soccer in junior and high school!  That and snowboarding are the two activities that I miss doing most.  And I'm also super excited for Jon's prom this year!  I remember my senior prom...or in other words my only prom....and I loved it! So go have fun Jonny boy!!!!!

    So this last week was really cool!  Last Sunday, not yesterday but the Sunday before, me and Elder Hansen realized that we needed to find new investigators.  Before I got here they had quite a few investigators, but like none of them were progressing and Elder Hansen didn't know the rest, so we pretty much dropped all of them except for like 5 or 6, and then what better way to get new investigators???  Contacting.  We put a goal of 50 contacts for the whole week. A contact is when we talk with somebody on the street or at their house who we have never known before and getting them to accept having us come back and them giving us their address.   So we had a goal of 50.....and last night we got home with 46.  We were so close, and yet we were still a little bummed.  But we ended up doing this because to achieve converts, you have to have somebody to teach, and the best way to get new people to teach is to contact.  I guess here in La Sierra the missionaries have never really contacted much, but Elder Hansen and I are changing that. We figured there are missionaries that wait for success to come, and there are the missionaries that make success happen, and we wanted to be missionaries that make success happen, obviously with the help of the Lord.  So that's what we did.  It had never clicked before....I kinda just waited for success to come, but I realize now that the Lord is hastening His work, we can't just wait, we have to work. I have less than 5 months left, and I have to give it my all!!!  And I love it because Elder Hansen just loves working hard and talking with everybody as well!!  

    Something else that was cool that I learned as well was that we aren't going to be judged as a missionary for how many baptisms we achieve, but we are going to be judged for how many times we invited others to come unto Christ.  People have their agency, so forcing them to be baptized is not going to help in the end, but as we invite everyone to come to Christ, obviously there are going to be those that do accept us, and that progress until Salvation.

    So we are thinking that this is going to be a good week because we got somebody to tell us that this next Saturday he would be baptized. His name is Rafael, so we're going to work with him real hard. Also, the one girl that her mom didn't want to give her permission to get baptized is really close to giving her permission. We're thinking that she might get baptized this week too. We're going to work on exact obedience so that the Lord will help us with these two people!

    Also we have this investigator named Luis that smokes cigarettes and marijuana, but primarily marijuana.  He wants to change so bad, because when he prays he always pleads to God to help him get over his addictions, and so we're helping him out with that.  We have a month plan to stop smoking, and so far he's doing good. We bought a big poster board today, and we are going to write his plan on it and put it up in his house.  He wants to get baptized so bad to get the remission of his sins, and so we put the goal for his baptism for the 4th of April.  We're hoping in another 2 weeks he's not smoking anymore and that he goes for at least a week without smoking so that he can be baptized. He's going to do it, and every time we call him or pass by he is so excited to stop. When we told him that he could stop in a month, he didn't believe it, but then we got him to realize that it wasn't us that was helping him, but it was God.

    Also the first week in La Junta there were only 6 youth that went to the youth activity, and we only had 1 at church, and it was a blessing because we didn't even invite her.  But this week we had about 17 at the activity and 4 investigators at church.  It was just a testimony to Elder Hansen and me that we can be the ones that make the change, we just have to put our hearts and minds to it.  So we're planning on having even more this next week!  I know we can do it, and we are going to do it. I've never been so pumped to work.  While I was in the offices you guys sent me the quote from President Hinckley that says, 'Forget yourself and go to work' and every time I see it I do it.  We just have to forget ourselves and go to work.  This is not our's the Lord's work.....and now that I have less than 5 months left, I have realized that time flies by WAY too fast. 

    I'm so happy to be a missionary and for the opportunity to serve here in La Junta. Thanks for all of your support and love!! Have a great week, and I love you all!!!!

 -Elder Loveless

March 5th, 2015 - Meeting in Cuahutemoc

Monday, March 2, 2015

"On the way up to the ranch."

"On my stallion - oh yeah!!!"

"Me and one of the zone leaders, Elder Walker."

"How my area looks a little bit."

March 2nd, 2015 - Weekly Letter


          Wow! What a bunch of awesome stuff you all did this last week!  I'm so happy to hear that you all are doing so good!  It always makes me so happy to hear that!  Sounds like there's been a lot of love in the air!  Bunch of marriages!  That's so cool!  And also I'm just so jealous of Emma, and being able to go to the temple with all of her friends!  A year and a half away from the temple is hard sometimes....I miss going to the temple so much!  But yeah! I'm so excited for you all!  Makes me happy to see that everything is going good!  

          So let's see what happened with me this last week.

          So Monday not really much happened.  Like I told you guys last week, we just took the day as our P-day to finish up everything that we had to do.  

          Tuesday was good. Now that I am training we stay in the house until 12 every day for our studies.  For my language study I just read the Book of Mormon a little bit more in Spanish! I love it!  So even though we stay in a little bit longer, it's good because I have learned more every day!  So on Tuesday we just worked like normal, Elder Hansen showed me around town.  Then at about 8:00 we took a bus to a little town to the southwest called San Juanito.  This town, San Juanito, is the only one in the whole mission that has a missionary as the branch president, so that's kinda cool.  But we went down to do a baptismal interview the next day-Wednesday.

          So on Wednesday we woke up and left the house at 8:00 am because the investigator that I was going to do the interview with lived in a little Ranch about 3 hours away from the main town.  So we started our Journey.  So here's me, thinking that I am in the same shape that I was in before the mission and in the beginning of my mission.  But what I forgot was that I was in the offices for 8 months.  So we start walking, but obviously really fast so that we make it there the fastest we can.  In San Juanito we can hitch hike for rides, but only if it is a truck where we can sit in the bed of it. So on the way up we got two rides, but they didn't go very far, so we only cut off about 30 minutes.  So we finally get there and I was kind of tired, but not so bad. But when we got there Elder Solorzano, one of the missionaries in San Juanito, told me that we were going to have to do whatever the guy that lived there wanted us to do, or else he would get offended. So we got there and had a horse ready for us to ride.  It was pretty awesome. I have like never rode a horse, so that was crazy.  It's really not as hard as you think.....but maybe that's just because the horse was a little horse.  More like a pony.  So then after that we went to a place close buy and we played a game he likes to play, see who could hold the cows tail the longest.  At this point I just thought this was the craziest little Mexican guy.....just living out there in the middle of nowhere, losing his mind.  But so we did that and then he was like, we’re going to climb a mountain. When I heard that, my legs just started already giving out, but sure enough we climbed his mountain in his backyard that was a good 2 more hours of hiking....but it was hard.  By the time we get down his wife had some beans and tortillas for that was good.  But at that point I could barely move my legs.  But we ate the food, and then I interviewed the wife. The guy was already a member, but his wife not yet. So I talked with her, helped her with a few doubts, and we got her to gain the desire to be baptized.  I know for a fact that it wasn't me though....but it was the Lord, through me. I could not have been able to do it alone because I could barely think because I was sooo tired and in so much pain.  But it all worked out, and she got baptized Saturday.  But so after all of that, the husband taught us how to use the lasso, and so we practiced with his dog, then after that it was time to head back.  At the start I was just praying that a truck would pass by, because about just a half hour of walking my legs could barely do it.......but a truck never passed by and we walked the 3 hours back to San Juanito.  So when we got back they had one more visit before returning home and so we went. Only about 20 minutes sitting down, but I couldn't get up after. My legs and feet hurt so bad that I couldn't stand up, let alone walk back to their apartment.  But we did it........we finally got back, and I think I got to know a little bit more of Christ's love for us.  I did all of that just so a lady could get baptized.  I learned that in order to have success, we have to show God that we want it.  So that was awesome....till the next day.....when I couldn't walk.

          So on Thursday was a zone meeting. That was good!  We talked about having more courage.  I liked it a lot!

          On Friday, I couldn't walk very well, but I did my best and just hobbled around La Junta.  I realized that the people here just love to talk....because we only got about 4 lessons in because they just kept talking and talking.  

          On Saturday I was with one of the zone leaders, Elder Walker, because Elder Goldsberry, our other zone leader, took Elder Hansen to Chihuahua because they had to do some stuff over there.  So we just worked and worked.  Also, there's like no youth leaders in this branch, so we do mutual with the youth. So on Saturday we taught the youth a little gospel principle and then we played some volleyball and basketball.  There were only about 6 that came, but they're all so cool. I love them all already!

          Sunday was also good!  But I realized that the members of the branch are just nut cases. They're cool, but they're all just different.  We only had about 30 at church yesterday, and then we had ward counsel after, and there was just all of them sucking on their suckers.....and I was thinking that it was odd. They're all a little bit older, but they all act like little kids.  And then our Branch President actually comes up from Cuauhtemoc because there's not anyone capable of being Branch President in La junta.  But it was a really fun day at church....and then for lunch the member had us help her make the food. We made these cool tortilla things called Gorditas. SUPER GOOD!  All the members pretty much just give us beans and meat though.  It's a really poor place....but I love it!

          So yeah, that's been my crazy but awesome week.  I love training Elder Hansen. He's just so funny.  He still doesn't know Spanish so when he talks sometimes it just makes me laugh. Not because I'm making fun of him, but just because he's that type of guy. He's super relax and cool! We've had a blast so far.  Like we'll be talking about something completely different, and then he’ll invite the person to be baptized.  Then he starts to speak Spanish but doesn't know what more to say, so he tells me what he wanted to say. I love it! It's just a crazy adventure every day!

          We have some pretty cool investigators, but there's just something really sad. We have a little girl named Ailin who wants to be baptized. Her dad says it's fine, but her mom, no.  So we've just been super sad, because she always tells us, "Please convince my mom! Please, please, please!" So we've been really working with her mom but have come to no success. We’re going to fast probably and do all we can to help her. But yeah....everything’s good so far in La Junta!!!!

          Also, I saw that the latest I have to accept BYU is May 1st, so I'm going to pray a bit and look at my options, and then I'll come to a decision in the next few weeks, but thanks for everything mom, and fam!!!  Thanks for helping me get to this point in my life!!!! I love you all sooooo much!


Hope you all have a great week!!!! Take care and do your best in everything!!!!


-Elder Loveless