Dear Family and Friends,
Ok, transfer calls are next Sunday night. 50% chance of me staying but 100% chance of Sawyer going Zone Leader either here or in Mesa. Also, P-day is weird today only from 10-12. P-day is continued next week from 1pm-9pm since it's Thanksgiving. As such, I won't have time to write anyone today.
We had an awesome week this week! As I said last week, we've cut back on all the little obedience problems we've had and have seen results. The "big" thing we were doing wrong was a couple days a week doing the 6:30am nap. That is, roll out of bed, crawl to living room, take 30 minute nap on ground, get up and get ready. We have been going to the gym every morning which has woken us up quicker and been a good workout as well.
Why was this week awesome? We baptized one into the YSA branch which means in the last 3 weeks we have baptized one person into every unit we cover. But wait, there's more! We found 12 new investigators in the last 8 days, at least one a day, and 5 of them are on date. Three of those five are the family members of our recent convert into the spanish branch. His wife and kids hated us but at the baptism I felt inspired to promise him that whichever of his family members attended the baptism would also get baptized. And now every one of them that attended (wife and 2 of the 3 kids) are on date to get baptized next week. It will be unreal to see him baptize his family 2 weeks after his baptism. Unreal. It has also been inspiring to see their hearts change after his baptism. They are amazed at how he has quit smoking, drinking, and all his other bad habits and has become a family man. He even got his boss to give him Sundays off at work where he worked 7 days a week 12-16 hours a day. Ahhh successsssssssssss!
It was good for other reasons as well. We taught 12 member- present lessons with 8 other lessons (no member present) which equals the standards of excellence for the mission. We have 7 progressing investigators and taught a total of 21 lessons last week, one to a recent convert. Sawyer said this has been the best week of his mission.
Last Monday night we were walking around a sketchy trailer park looking for people. Usually we don't have to go through trailer parks since Mexicans own houses down here but that night we did for whatever reason. We saw this guy in his 20s with a long hoodie and pants way too big for him walking out of a trailer. I walked over to him and said, "hi!" He looked really quickly at us and ran really quickly towards a wall. We were kind of laughing not knowing where he would go when he jumped the 10 foot wall. When he was on top he briefly looked back at me and I said, "We are sharing a message about Jesus Ch.." and then he jumped down the other side and took off running. Classic haha.
That same night we were coming back and ran into some new neighbors. We introduced ourselves and they asked some questions which we answered. He advised us to not walk down a certain street because of some gang activity that had happened. We told him we had just been on that street. He looked carefully at us and said, "Man, I know you guys wouldn't ever do anything to hurt someone, but if you ever have someone bugging you, just tell me." He then proceeded to pull out a giant pistol from his pants and said, "I'm in the Marines. I'm here for ya'll." Yup.
We also had a fun experience with a potential investigator we have, or rather, had. We went over to her house and saw her and her daughter making food in their kitchen. They both looked at us and the mother, our potential investigator, ran away. The daughter walked over and found her Dad and brought him to the door. He told us that Maria, our potential investigator, was out of town. I asked who the other woman was and he said, "oh, that was Maria...I mean Martha!" Busted. We probably won't try back there. He was a terrible liar. haha
I went on exchanges this week to do some English work with one of the zone leaders. English work is a lot different than spanish work. No wonder there is animosity between the two types of missionaries here. For the 8 hours I was with him that day, we spent all but 45 minutes hanging out at members' homes. Those 45 minutes were at a lesson that evening. I was going crazy sitting in the car all day driving from members house to members house. The lesson was a good one though. Their investigator is 15 and going through more than most 15 year olds have or ever should. But it was a good exchange in the end. Met some crazy members who think that a secession is needed since Obama was reelected and one even said we may need a second revolutionary war. I didn't say anything at those houses. We also had a pretty funny experience with two lessons cancelling. One of them called us to cancel and while we were on the phone with him the other lesson left a message cancelling. That was two lessons cancelled within 60 seconds. At least we got notice though. In most of the spanish areas they don't even have telephones and you won't know they've cancelled till after you've arrived.
The Stake Fiesta was a couple of nights ago. There were over 800 people in attendance with dancers and a mariachi band. The dancing group performed at the worldwide competition in South Korea last year and were pretty impressive. Sometimes I think that Latino dancing is just throwing your body in whichever way you can. It's controlled chaos. I would send a video home but they're probably too big (filesize). They gave us spanish missionaries some weird bowtie thing to wear but Sawyer and I just wore it over our shoulders. See pics.
The Marine Corp Air Station is getting F-35's! One landed last week on the 17th. I'll be keeping my eyes open for when they fly. Apparently no civilians knew they were coming in until the minute it landed. Our YSA branch has a lot of people involved in MCAS and it has been fun talking to them about it. Haha Dad just sent me an article about it.
Our baptism this week was a miracle I think. The person we baptized, we'll call him John, we found at 8:45 while walking down a street. Usually OYMs, or street contacts, don't turn into anything. Although the opposite has been true for us. We're about to get 5 baptisms off OYMing. Anyway, we set up a return appointment and he wasn't there. We went back 2 weeks later and taught him the worst lesson in the world. Terrible. Awful. Words cannot express. The spirit just wasn't there. But 2 weeks later he was ready to get baptized. We ended up pushing the baptism back another week for other reasons and he was baptized on Saturday. He was pretty nervous the week before and was thinking about pulling out. The Yuma Zone did a fast that day and the next day for our lesson he said he got his answer and was excited to be baptized. Really cool. There was a big turnout from the YSA branch and this baptism was the first in the branch since the branch is only 2 months old. Hopefully it jump-starts some missionary work.
The Primary program for the Rio Colorado spanish branch was yesterday too. They used a recording on a CD to play the music for the kids to sing to haha. Remember the man we baptized into that branch a few weeks ago? The one whose family is now taking discussions and getting baptized next week? Yeah, them. Well, the 9 year old daughter decided she wanted to be involved in the primary program so she walked up when all the kids did and tried her best to sing the parts. She had never attended the practices. They even gave her a line to read from the podium. I wish you guys could have seen how happy her parents were.
Last night we saw a giant meteor fly across the sky. It was visible for probably 5 seconds, bright white and very slow. We were teaching a guy on the street and we were all awestruck by it.
We actually saw it in a super sketchy neighborhood. As we were walking back to the car we saw this guy ~20 years old. He saw us and started circling around us so we walked towards him. We waved and said hi and he said, "**** you guys, I thought you were someone else! Mormons, right?" He was baptized 6 years ago, has been in jail, but wants to come to Church. What are the chances? He told us that if we hadn't been missionaries, he would have attacked us. I told him half jokingly that we could have taken him. He pulled some brass knuckles out of his pocket and said that we shouldn't be in this neighborhood after dark. Hm.
Thanks Natalia, Grandpa, Mom, Eric, Will, Ian, and Annie for the letters this week! I'll be able to write back on Thursday unless we get signed up for 6 dinners...hopefully that doesn't happen. One is good for me.
Can someone send me the wiki entry on the holy bible?
Thank you all for all you guys do!