Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I sound like a Mexican now

This has been a pretty good week. We were tracting, and this man asked us if we wanted to go see his calves. They are everywhere here. I knew you would like to see them.

We went to Big J's finally this week. It's the place that they got the tots from in Napoleon Dynamite...not that great it turns out..haha.

I will give you more info about Elder Ireland. He and I get along really well. We talk too much about worldly things like movies he saw before he left or music that we liked before the mission... so we set goals to get more focused. He is pretty different from me, but we still really like each other. He really likes Elder Senn, too. His Spanish has already improved in a week. He had a pretty heavy guerro accent when he got out, and it only a week it has improved. (…a guerro is a white boy. I sound like a Mexican now, which makes me happy. People occasionally comment on how they like my accent. I still have tons of room to grow, but I am getting good at sounding Mexican-ish.) I spend a lot of language study now just teaching him grammar which kind of makes me review and understand it better, so that is good.

Elder Ireland was a wrestler and musical guy during high school. He likes boy bands and his favorite movie is high school musical.  We are debating this week if listening to Christmas music is appropriate for missionaries...meaning the Michael Buble Christmas album of which he is a huge fan. His girlfriend introduced him to the church, and that’s how he was baptized.

He is a greeny, so obviously he has this natural desire to go tracting, so we have done some of that this week. It usually isn't done here in the normal way by us because of how unproductive it is in town. There are really no Hispanics in town at all; they are all out on the farms which means to tract would be driving from house to house, but we have already covered all the ones close by. So we tracted in town a little bit to get him better at contacting people and just talking to everyone. Not too much practice with Spanish there, so that’s too bad. We tracted our one trailer park (10 trailers) in Franklin, but we have already done that twice. They still aren't interested, but he got to practice a little bit more. It's a different type of work here, lots of driving and seeing members to figure out where Hispanic people live.  Some tracting stories” "I HATE Mormons!” - door slammed…  "This is a Jehovah’s Witness house.” …*ten minutes later* “yes you can send the (English) missionaries by-Success! …lady on the phone while answering the door "Oh no, it’s the elders"...(they say something to her) "oh, don't worry I will"...some lady yelled at her when she was 16 and it’s the church's fault"...no other really interesting ones beyond that..tracting here consists of talking to lots and lots of members.

We had Thanksgiving at the Hatch's house, and it was awesome! We had a competition between them and all their family to see who could gain the most weight, and I got second with like 4.7 pounds (I think?). It was great. There is a police officer in town that asked me to slow down when I first got into this area. I got out of the car one day, and he pulled up next to me and said,  “Slow down in residential areas.” I guess it was a school zone, and I didn’t know it and was going like 30. Anyways, it turns out he is one of the Hatch kids…ha-ha. They started late and then planned on dessert later on…so we didn't get any dessert on Thanksgiving, because I wasn't going to stay for several hours on a proselyting day. I ate plenty though, so I didn't need it, and Jen and Sherm sent me pecan pie, so I had that. It was good to be in their home. Elder Senn and Ireland aren't as social as me, so they just talked to each other, but I talked to lots of people there when they weren't talking to the rest of the family.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Just in from the Weavers!

Terry: "Small world here in Preston, ID. Came to visit my grandparents and of all things needed potatoes and look who we find!"
Mark: "What a great looking missionary! You brought tears to my eyes."
Terry: "No kidding."

What a beautiful sight! At least we know he won't be starving.

I have a new companion!!!

Elder Senn and I got a new companion! His name is Elder Ireland, and he is from Lincoln, CA. He is headed to Mendoza, Argentina which means he knows very well my friend from my MTC district as well as some of my uncles, friends in common in Lincoln, and even a couple people from Antelope. It is kind of cool to have that connection. He will probably be here for a while. Visa's take a while. He is a nice guy; I am happy to be with him. He has been a member a year, and he likes to sing. He wrestled all four years of high school. He has been dating a girl from Peru for four years who will graduate from BYU-Hawaii next year. He understands lots of Spanish, a little more than he speaks, but we will work with him and help him be as prepared as possible once his visa issue works out.  Go pay his parents a visit....neither of them are members of the LDS church, but his mom is taking the lessons!

So Ignacia...lots of news on her. I will start with district meeting. We talked about going back to basics: basic spirit sandwich, why we are there, and committing people to baptism. Our zone leaders told us they had prayed about a promise; they said if we updated our area books every night, we would each have a miracle baptism by the end of the transfer. We set three baptismal dates that day…well kind of. The first one was Ignacia. We had already been doing our area books everyday so the miracles came quick when we agreed to keep doing it. We taught a lesson to Igancia just about baptism and the answer to her prayer. She had kept her reading commitment and felt the Spirit testify of its truthfulness. She was convinced that’s exactly what it was. She used to live in Orem with her four kids. Her husband left her and her kids for another woman; this is pretty recent. She had very bad depression and wanted to leave her kids. In her head, she was convinced that leaving her kids would be better for them, because she just wasn't a good mom and didn't know what to do. So she left...and I don't know how far away...but at some point a voice told her to go back to her kids. The voice said that her kids wouldn't be better off without her, and that they needed her. Then the voice told her to move to Preston with her brother. That was about four weeks ago. She is getting baptized either this week or next.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ignacia came to church!

Hello everyone,
It has been a cold week. The highest it has been is probably 35 all week which is different for Elder Senn since it never gets below 50 in Panama. It only snowed for one day, and then it has slowly melted, so there is just some on people's lawns. For the most part, it is just cold!

We found a member that gave us two space heaters to use, because our heater only works when it wants to. Lately it has been fine, so we are staying plenty warm. I forgot about the most important Christmas thing. I asked for ties for Christmas...and I understand how picky I am ha-ha… so a Ross gift card is just as good as ties, because that’s all I would buy there, and they have really nice ties for like ten dollars...just another idea. Another idea: cheese slicer (cutting cheese with a knife is the worst thing in the world...it NEVER cuts the way I want it to)...and measuring cups, but not a lot...just a teaspoon, fourth cup, third cup and cup. I probably won't use them that often, but those are just the things missionary apartments don't typically have. One other thing, Mom: a type of hair gel. It’s called "short sexy hair"…stop laughing...it’s good stuff.

Mom, I'm trying to keep up with answering letters. Writing letters is the worst thing in the world but getting them is the best thing in the world.  I do get a lot of letters…not really as much this transfer, but last transfer I was getting one or two letters everyday, and all the missionaries at the office didn't like me, because both times I went in for transfers to the office, I had between eight and ten letters plus a package. Ha-ha. I am blessed with good friends and family.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Missionary Sighting

I ran into this great looking group of missionaries at New York Deli sandwich shop in Preston, ID.  From left to right: Elder Totten, Elder Goodrick, Elder Senn, Elder Bassett, Elder Heinz, Elder Avalos.  (Hope I got everyone in the right order!)  They all say "hi" and they look good!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I'm learning

The best zone in the world!
Sorry, still no snow..it actually got warmer this week...Christmas picture will be soon I hope,
and we are not getting transferred tomorrow.
OK, I will start with a report from Elder Falabella and the mission conference he did. There was a big push for family history, no surprise there. The problem is that I have no idea how to do family history to help people out, and at this point, I can't exactly learn it since I am busy with other things. I will see how it goes. But can y'all send out a pedigree chart that I can carry around? I should have one already, but they want us all to have one to show people, and it would be nice to have…just like four generations or even five if you can do that. Thanks.

He talked a little bit about obedience, not as much as I would expect. President Hiers gave a lot of training on loving our investigators, companions, and stuff like that. Elder Falabella gave a huge push for a refocus in this mission on working with the dad's first like Ammon did. Ammon really only converted one person, but then look at the result. That gave me a change of mind with the Sanchez family. Rather than focus on her so much, I will focus on him as the head of the house. Hopefully things will fall into place. But we haven't had anything with them this week, because they cancelled. It's frustrating sometimes how slow having one lesson a week or less can be, but that’s all people say they have time for.

As you can see, I did not send you any baptism pictures. The Padilla family cancelled. They want to wait for their daughter to come down to see the baptism, and they don't know when she can. It is a good excuse, but they have had good excuses for several months. And on top of that, we haven't gotten in touch with them, because they have dropped every lesson and didn't come to church. We went an hour before and reminded them, and they said yes they would go and then didn't. I wasn't very happy, and I don't know what to do with them right now. They say they want to get baptized really soon, and he means it, but she is only hindering his progress and continues to make him wait. Any advice on how to handle that? Hopefully it will get straightened out this week, and we can set a date when all their family can be there, and she will agree not to cancel. I was pretty firm that this isn't something she can cancel last minute last time when we spoke, but I guess it didn't have an effect.