Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Love our Visa Waiters!

Elder Ward, Elder Pyne (waiting for a visa to Argentina) and Elder Bassett
Another week, and it's still a great day to be a missionary in the Utah Ogden Mission (that's our mission's motto). We are loving it with our brand new set of 11 visa waiters that showed up yesterday heading to Argentina. Visa waiters never really have gone to zone leaders, but as soon as we found out there were some coming in, we called the assistants and asked if we could have one, ha-ha. So…  Elder Pyne got here yesterday after six weeks in the MTC and is heading to Mendoza Argentina. He is from St. Louis and has been here about 24 hours. He is a really nice guy; we like him a lot. He is excited about missionary work and seems to get along really well in our companionship. He did Rosetta Stone before the mission, so he talks just about as much Spanish as I did when I got out. He did really well with his first contact yesterday, and of course, loves the perks of being a Utah missionary. We went to Sam’s Club today, and a lady walked up and handed us 20 dollars for lunch. That’s always a plus. We went to Olive Garden again last week with the assistants, and someone paid for us so that was a lot more breadsticks as well.

Something AWFUL happened in church on Sunday, though. I saw a lady that recognized me from my first area of the mission. She walked up to me and told me that I looked fat. I said what?! I haven't put on any weight, and she said it looked like I had put on a bunch. I was very offended despite everyone telling me that means I look healthy. This is the same lady that eight months ago told me that I looked like I was 14; so I wasn't exactly happy to see her again either. Then she went and bought us rancheritos and brought it to her house on Sunday, ha-ha. I don't think they quite understand the whole Sabbath-day-holy thing. We thought she planned on making the burritos herself when we called the night before to ask about dinner. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Throwing down your weapons of war

So Elder Ward and I learned an important lesson this week that we would like to share with all of you. If you use dish soap instead of dish detergent in the dishwasher, it will NOT work, and it makes lots of unwanted bubbles on your floor. Just some advice we wanted to throw out there.

So we got a new investigator a lady named Maria. She has a husband and a son and daughter and her grandkids all living with her, but the first lesson was just with her. We just did a quick how to begin teaching type lesson planning to do the restoration with the rest of her family, which unfortunately still hasn’t happened yet. But she loves us probably more than anybody I have met in the mission. She is probably like 60, and before we left, she talked for like ten minutes about how much she loved the spirit we brought and our charisma, and good looks, and the way we dressed, and were educated, and professional. So we have this lady in love with us. She really wants us to come back for one reason or another; hopefully, we can get the rest of her family all together so they can get baptized together.

So, R- has been good. He came to church with us again on Sunday with his crazy son. We have taught him the plan of salvation and the word of wisdom this week. He has problems with everything in the word of wisdom except tea, so I guess you could call this a worst-case scenario. He was pretty surprised to find out we wanted him to quit smoking completely and not just slow down a little bit. He has already replaced coffee with soda, and honestly, I'll take it if that’s the best he can do, and he is down to a "little more" than five a day smoking so we need lots of prayers for him. Teaching him is the funniest thing. He prays in Spanish, but we talk in English. He invents his own adverbs and puts them at the beginning of every sentence. He has perfect English; so it’s not like he has an accent. He just uses his own, invented word choice. The only way to understand his English is just to listen to every other word and figure out what he’s saying. We are pretty happy to be teaching our first Ogdenite. Especially since our area borders J1:the Ogdenite capital. It is the only place in the mission where the English missionaries cover only one ward, and it’s the highest baptizing area in all of Utah. Ogdenites EVERYWHERE.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Life is Great Here

So this week has been great. Elder Ward is definitely my favorite companion of the mission. He is exactly like me...I love serving with me! Elder Ward is the most similar person to me I have ever met besides Dad. It still amazes us that we agree on every single thing..EVERYthing: how to work, obedience, what groceries to buy, never going out to eat, cleanliness. We even have the same weaknesses so we are pushing each other and our pride makes us competitive enough to want to beat each other. We are zone leaders over the Ogden East Zone. We haven't had to deal with anything really, yet as far as zone leader stuff except for a minor issue with a missionary not wanting to work very much anymore since he goes home soon, but that got worked out fine. We used the travelling trainers to take care of it. In our mission, they started doing something called travelling trainers. They are two missionaries that travel full time around the mission going on splits. They have their own car and phone and don't have any area. They don't have to be with a companion so they can drive alone which is kind of weird, but oh well. I'm glad I don't have to do it.

Elder Ward and I are working on charity together, and I am working on humility, too. But we especially need to work on charity with other missionaries and in our teaching. We have both always had good companions that showed love and held us back from being overbearing, but now we just encouraged each other. I couldn’t sleep the night before I got transferred, because I was so excited. Then we went to a lesson together the next day. It was a first lesson, and we pushed kind of too hard to set the date, and they weren’t having it. So we will set it next time, I guess, but we decided at that point we need to tone it down and not be too bold with people and make sure to show them love, too.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"Thank You"

And just like that, transfers are here again. The new 18 year-olds shifted the MTC schedule and made us have a five week transfer. It was of course a very stressful experience as usual leading up to it, but we have almost made it through. So I assumed only being with Elder Cabrera I wasn't going anywhere almost automatically. But we went to the office on Monday morning, and I bumped into Elder Ward. So elder gossip took me off to the side and said he looked into the transfer room and saw that there was a white guy Spanish next to him...which meant me or one other elder. So then the stress began. At 9:50 that night president called and told me that I would go to Jefferson 2nd to be a zone leader with Elder Ward. I am pretty excited. I have been wanting to serve with Elder Ward my whole mission! And I am going back to my greeny area except now I can speak Spanish. I also get the best apartment in the mission! In the bottom floor of our building, we have our own gym, and up the street, we are going to go to the high school everyday to workout. So my new zone leader meeting is tomorrow; then we are booked up with appointments the rest of the day so that is a good sign.

FYI- Elder Ward is a convert from North Carolina. He graduated college in three years, because his parents wouldn’t let him go on a mission until he got a degree. (He is a convert.) He is a fantastic missionary. He is the one who baptized the whole Rubio and Pena family. He was with Phil in the MTC and came out with me.