Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Great News! Elder Martinez and I are staying!

Diana and her children. Her one-year-old was asleep and missing from this picture.
Diana was baptized this week. Diana's baptism was ok. It was disappointing the turn out; only like 20 people went, because there was a huge snowstorm. And of course, president came and got to see how great of a job we did inviting people to her baptism, ha-ha. But it’s ok; it still went all well. Hermano Rubio got to baptize her, and everyone showed up about 30 minutes late, but at least those 20 people got there at all. There were no issues leading up to it. She is awesome. One lady came up to us on Sunday and said we shouldn’t baptize her, because she saw her at Wal-Mart walking around with her kids and a guy. We explained to the woman that talking to a guy isn't breaking the law of chastity, and she could still get baptized. It's no wonder that so much gossip spreads around in these branches!

WHERE is his coat?

Well, it turns out Utah is a weird place. It rained this week when it was 20 degrees and created an ice storm. I didn't even know those existed, but it’s the first time Utah has had one in over ten years. Basically what happened was all the snow/roads were covered in a layer of ice. So it was just black ice everywhere. Tons of people just stayed in their house all day, because it was hard to walk without slipping. I don't think I met anyone out here that went outside without falling. It was sooo slippery. Even a couple older people in our ward slipped, but no one was hurt so that was good. They are thinking it might happen again in the next couple months. It was funny; you saw lots of people sliding around on the ground in parking lots, because they didn’t want to slip and fall.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Diana is getting baptized on Sunday!

Mom requested icicle pictures. There are thousands of them here.

So we are emailing later today, because we just got to Layton! It's outside of the mission, but we had permission. We were with President Reyna (counselor in mission presidency), and I was talking about how I tried to get my pants tailored and the lady ruined them and cut off the excess fabric so they really can't be fixed. Then I said how the only way to get them fixed was really going to Men’s Warehouse, because they could do it for free. So he called president and asked to take us to Men’s Warehouse in Layton, and we went. I walked in with a Men’s Warehous tie, suit, and jacket, so they really liked me and did the best they could to fix my suit pants right there in about ten minutes. And the manager gave me his card and said they are opening a store up in Ogden and if I ever come buy a suit from him on my mission he will give me some free ties. So that’s cool that we will have one closer. Then Pres Reyna took us out to a place. I think its called Famous Daves. It was bbq...probably the first time I have had bbq on my mission so it was really good.

So Diana Robles has been pretty good. She is getting baptized on Sunday. She has changed a lot since she started meeting with us. She just looks happier and talks about how she doesn’t worry or think about her past anymore and just feels more tranquil (tranquilidad?). She is excited about it. We taught law of chastity and word of wisdom this week to her and she didn’t have any issues. She already has good standards about how to raise her kids and knows this will help her. It’s weird teaching her, because she has pretty much no concerns. We are teaching tithing tonight so hopefully that goes all well. She almost didn’t come to church this week. We were in ward council, and she texted us and said she can’t come. Elder Martinez went straight outside and talked to her and came back and told me that she was babysitting other peoples’ kids and had her own so she couldn’t come. So I wasn't satisfied with that and went outside and called her. Anyways I talked to her a few minutes using a few scriptures, and she ended up getting to church with two car loads full of kids. It was hard to keep them quiet during sacrament, but I don't care…she was there! So that went well. She ended up being really happy that she came.

Still no baby?!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"I am sure I will hear about him again one day."

A mail lady in Ogden, Utah
Taken earlier today. Those are some awesome icicles! 
Well, no more pushups...we just found out the high school is unlocked in the mornings for us! So we are lifting weights again. I am happy. Having an empty gym all to ourselves is really nice, and it gets rid of stress for me. The reason we weren’t allowed to go to gyms is because of girls, tvs, and music. The high school has none of those, so that’s pretty convenient; although, I have gotten more lazy so we just go three days a week to do full body splits...(got to make sure I get in those "morning stretches" on the other days).

I almost had a mental breakdown this week. I was reading the last talk by President Uchtdorf, and I thought for a second, “Do I really want to be an accountant, or do I just think that will get me lot of money?” The rest of that day I stressed about what I want to be when I grow up. It only lasted a day though, now I am focused again and just decided that I can worry about that in eighteen months. The thought that ran through my head was maybe I can just do business and then start some local gyms or something since that’s something I would have an interest in. Then I realized that gyms are like a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah and are such a worldly place. I guess it’s good that I don't have to worry about that for a while...not that I don't want to be an accountant...but I just realized I wasn’t sure yet and you know me, I have to have everything all set and planned out. 

So I learned that my Spanish isn't as good as I thought it was. Elder Simonsen went home this week, and they had a farewell dinner for him with like 20 people from our ward. When there are ten Hispanic ladies all screaming across the dinner table at once, I can't understand one word that anyone is saying; man they can really get hyper. It was a really cool experience. We all went around at the end, and everyone said something about Elder Simonsen. I know I have talked about him before, but basically the stuff people talked about was how he is awesome for being one of four members in Greenland. What I said was how in my first transfer I was down once, and he told me more or less to suck it up and remember my purpose, and that I am here to serve. Then I said how we as members of the church talk about the pioneers with such reverence and respect, and we have the honor to know a pioneer personally. So everyone went around and said they loved how quiet, humble, and powerful he was as a missionary, and then it got to be Kevin’s turn to speak. Kevin is in the ward. He is a fifteen-year-old kid and is the definition of obnoxious; he is hilarious all the missionaries love him, but I feel so bad for any of his church leaders. So it got to him, who has never taken anything seriously in his life, and he started to cry, which surprised everyone. There was a picture of Elder Simonsen’s family sitting on the table (none are members...they think he is going to school right now in the US). Kevin just basically said, "Well everyone said what needed to be said, but no one really said the obvious (this is where he started crying)...The first thing you need to do when you get home is baptize that family." So Elder Simonsen is home now and bringing the gospel to Greenland for the first time. Hopefully by starting with his parents. I am sure I will hear about him again one day.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Utah is COLD!

Utah is COLD! We have been biking all week, sliding around all over the ice.

Elder Bozarth and Elder Shumway
OK, so quick summary of our companionships this week. We started the week with eight missionaries in the ward: five of them in our apartment, the other three-our zone leaders. Last week Elder Jones went home to get some health issues settled before going back out in six more months. Elder Shumway and Elder Bozarth (Spain visa waiters) were sent to Westpoint in the English work because of another missionary that went home. There were a couple other missionaries that went home early so this has been a crazy week. One of our zone leaders goes home after serving 26 months (there's only like two planes a year that travel to his home) back to Greenland. So just like that, we will only have four serving in Mount Lewis Alpha and Omega. Alpha and Sigma areas combined into just the Alpha area, and Elder Martinez and I are covering both (sigma and alpha).

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Another new area, but not for long!

My new companion, Elder Bozarth, a visa waiter headed to Spain.

First week in Mt. Lewis Alpha!

It has been a slow week. Christmas feels like it was so long ago. Christmas was kind of just a bad day for everyone. We all got our calls over with then just felt depressed all day. But we made up for it by going for Costco the next day for our half p-day. I just went for it and got muffins and an ice cream bar; since Jessica suggested it, I thought it would be appropriate. We had like five meals on Christmas. I didn't eat for the first two, because my stomach was bugging me so much about calling home, and then didn’t eat much at the last few. We played games at Pres Reyna (counselor in mission pres) during the night, then went home and went to bed early.

Kind of weird to skype your family. It's weird, because it feels like you just talked to them yesterday, but then you hang up and you realize it will be months before it happens again. All of us felt like it slowed us and down this week, and we are ready to take it up a notch with the new year.

I made some resolutions and that was cool since it’s the only full year I will ever have in the mission field. Anyone want to give me another new year’s resolution? I know that sounds weird, but I made one extra bullet point by accident, and I have to fill it.