Sunday, July 14, 2013

8 July 2013

Dear people,

Time is FLYING. I'm a little worried since I've never stayed with a companion longer than 12 weeks and we both want to stay here and together for a while longer. There's a lot more to do.

This week I saw the Tesla sedan. The name escapes me... Model C or something? Pretty cool. 

We had a pretty awesome experience this week with our two soon-to-be-married investigators. We have been trying really hard to get them reading and to really pay attention to what they read. Well this past week they read a chapter in 1st Nephi and we read 8 of the verses afterwards to refresh their memory then stopped. Right as we stopped the husband said, "but wait, verse x was great because ______" and he went off on how he learned a ton from that one verse and how it really made him think. We were so happy to see he had really gotten something out of it! And then they told us three people they had invited to meet with us! They're doing missionary work and they're not even members yet! We are going by them this week. They were on date for next week and everything looked good for baptism but at the last minute yesterday they didn't go to church. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. That's the worst. We went to the temple with them this past week and watched the exhibit of "God's Plan." It was awesome and the spirit bore powerful testimony to them. On the drive back we asked them what they learned and they named off some of the parts of the Proclamation and how they want to implement it in their future family life. Sweet. We just need to get them back on track.

In Arizona we don't need to use irons because the sun irons them for us. No, seriously. Elder Diaz had a pretty wrinkly shirt and after two hours on the bikes it was pressed perfectly. 

This week we met President Toone! OH MY GOODNESS HE IS A GIANT. We had a 45 minute mini-meeting with him that was really cool. He walked in and gave us a hug and made me feel smaller than I've ever felt in my life. His wife is probably 5'5". He's 5'24". First impressions were all positive. We did an exercise where we introduced our companions to him and his wife and said one thing we loved about them. There was a tender spirit in the room. It was most powerful one the Senior couple husband tried to explain what he loved about his "eternal companion" and choked up and stood there for about 30 seconds trying to find the words and swallow the emotion. Something President Toone said that I liked was that, "I can never fill the spot that President Howes filled. I was called to be President Toone, not President Howes." It seems like a very smooth transition and we're all very excited. 

President Toone told us a cool story too. In his interview with President Eyring, he was told, "Brother Toone, you were on the list to go the Pacific Islands next year but we need you now." He served his mission in the Pacific Islands. So now he's in just-as-beautiful Arizona.

The only sad news is that he didn't approve polyester ties. This week, after 6 months of hanging in my closet unused, I finally packed up my polyester ties and they'll be arriving home this next week. I've waited 6 months to hear that they were approved but when he said no that was that and now they're gone. It was hard to pack them up. Pictures don't show emotion.
Inline image 1

There's something else in that box. A backpack. Backpacks are now against church policy for missionaries. If we want to carry things we are 'encouraged to buy a shoulder bag.' I don't know how we'll drink, ride bikes or whatever, but right hand to the square. Family, you'll notice the backpack is brand new. I fought Camelbak's warranty department for a new one because the last one was dying. I went through so many people to get them to send me one for free and the day it arrived was the day the policy was passed. :( Enjoy.

A member gave me a shoulder bag. Inline image 2
It sounds just like a guitar.

I left a plastic bottle of peanuts in the car the other day and when I came back the top had exploded off (3" away) and the grooves had melted away. They still tasted good!

We had a sweet lesson with one of our investigators this week. We knocked on the door and she answered and her first words were, "I got my answer and this isn't for me." I said, "Can you go grab your copy of the Book of Mormon and we'll sit down and talk for a bit?" She left and Elder Diaz asked me what we should do. I felt that we should just ignore it and teach her something and told him. So we did. At the end of the lesson her words were, "can you come back tomorrow?" YUP! She is on date for the 20th of July. It's cool to feel guided like that and just see everything change when you listen to the spirit. Jokingly afterward I told Elder Diaz that my mission has taught me how to ignore people. We didn't talk once in that lesson about why she wanted to drop us but rather focused on the Book of Mormon.

Apparently by 18 months the Church wants to globalize their new technology initiative. The missions that are piloting the Ipads and iPhones will get them first. That's us! I'm expecting within 4 months to have iPads and iPhones mission-wide. They're pretty restricted and the mission president has complete access to anything done at all on them and they are monitored daily. 

Roland, your wedding invitation arrived. Congrats! 

I decided this week that my IQ is slipping. We were talking to an English person I just started talking in Spanish and he looked at me really confused. The same happened with a Spanish person later that day. I can't spell anymore and I can never think of the right word in English that I want to say. Noooooooooooooo.

We had a pretty cool miracle this past few weeks. We were visiting a member who just started working on Sundays because his work is crazy. We told him we would fast with him to get another job so that he could go to church on Sundays. We did, he did and bam he got a new job that pays more that allows him to have Sundays off. 

The thunderstorms are coming. We saw some awesome storms this past week. It's super hot and it has been humid as well. 

We went on exchanges this last week with the zone leaders. We biked 4 miles to visit a trailerpark and on the way back Elder Egbert's tire popped. We walked two miles and then I asked him, "is your faith sufficient for a miracle?" He said yes, I said mine wasn't (jokingly), and then a member pulled over and fixed it for him. Woops hahaha

We are working really hard with one of our investigators to help her get an answer to her prayer. She reads, prays, and went to church but still says she struggles. Yesterday we had a landmark lesson with her where she said she thinks she isn't getting an answer because she's holding on to her past out of fear. We've been praying a lot to know her concern and now we just need to help her realize it's not a bad thing to learn more. It helped to grow my testimony that as we walk in faith, putting our trust in the Lord and holding nothing back, he does guide us and he guides us to a better place. Every time. The spirit was really strong and she is starting to recognize it. We're excited!

Oh and before I forget, I taught Elder Diaz how the US Government works this past week. It was July 4th and he asked me so for the first time in many months I talked about politics. I read him the Constitution and Declaration of Independence haha. Someone in Yuma gave them to me as a joke. I carried it in my suit pocket for like 4 months waiting for one of the missionaries to say something so that I could just pull it out and read a quote from. It would have been so funny but no one ever did :/ So I put it in my suitcase for the next 5 months and finally pulled it out last week.

Thanks for the letters Roland, Mark, Eric, Will, and Mom!

It was a fun week and we have better ones to come! Love you all!

Con mucho amor,

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