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.
The first day we went grocery shopping at Sam’s club. We were in the check out line with our stuff, and a lady walks up and hands me a fifty dollar bill to pay for our cart and walks away. Then right before we paid, another lady came up and bought our entire cart with her credit card. So we had a free basket of groceries and a fifty dollar bill. Right then we just knew it would be a great transfer. Life is good! Then we went to Zuppa's, and a guy came and paid for us.
Tomorrow we will be doing a zone study. That's just basically a district meeting for the whole zone to start off the transfer. We are both crazy about obedience, so that’s what we are training on. We are both convinced that if our mission was more focused on obedience and being worthy of the Holy Ghost things would improve a bunch. We are training first on charity, though to emphasize that. There are several missionaries in the zone that don't like me already, because of things that Elder Saldaña has told them, but hopefully I can overcome that.
We had interviews with President Hiers yesterday. Mine was really short as usual. He always asks what do I want to ask him, and I can NEVER think of anything so maybe everyone else just has lots of questions. Elder Ward and I definitely need to work on getting distracted in studies, planning. We get along so well that we start studying and just talk about whatever without realizing it and kill so much time. Planning zone study and district leader training was so hard. Weekly planning was so ineffective; I don't know how we just manage to turn anything into an unrelated conversation. We need to set rules about late night conversations, too; that is killing us. The first night we were in bed by 10:30, but didn’t fall asleep until one, because we were just talking. The only companion I have had to cut back on late night conversations with was Elder Bozarth, who was trained by Elder Ward.
We had mission conference last week from Elder Clayton of the presidency of the seventy. It was good; he started off shaking every single missionary's hand and finding out where they were from. I told him Granite Bay, and he asked if I knew the Trithol’s. I told him yes, and he said that he was from Folsom. That was a cool connection to make. He trained a lot on burying your weapons of war deep in the earth. We have these things as missionaries like music that we refuse to give up. He had a quote that I will never forget. "Your personal conversion is measured by where your weapons are." How deep? Next to your bed, waiting for you at home? or are they completely gone altogether? We are focusing on that in zone study a lot, I think on Thursday.
So Elder Ward got me into running, and I got him into lifting. We work out at the high school, because it’s better than our downstairs gym. I run then we lift together. So my new apartment is so nice. I came in and there was a really good condition men’s warehouse suit in my size and some Johnston and Murphy loafers. So that is pretty awesome.
So Elder Ward and I started to do that purify list thing again: getting rid of things that poke at our Spirit. And we gave a copy to each other so we know how to correct each other. We prayed about our lists and came up with almost the exact same list, I swear we are the same person. Our diet is a LOT of yogurt and toast, marinated chicken, pork, and steak for lunch and an occasional protein shake. Then we get dinner every night...sorry Mom, there are no vegetables there. Jefferson second is good. A lot of the people recognized me. Juana and Ruby are still active, and so I got to see them, too. I was a little worried; I hadn’t been able to contact them, but they are hanging in there. They got evicted last month, but still go to church every week; so the ward is taking very good care of them.
Sorry, I am rushing through this. Elder Ward and I are trying to convince people to play ultimate Frisbee and will probably leave to go play really soon.
One cool thing about working in this area is that I have seen several less actives that I worked with. They weren’t quite active when I left, but I like to think I planted seeds to get them there. We are working with a few people right now. We have a TINY area. It is from 24th to 28th and Jefferson to the mountains, but the Hispanics stop at Harrison. So we have basically six by four blocks. We are tracting all day, every day. Elder Ward taught 22 member lessons last transfer and didn't get one single referral from it, so we are going back to tracting. This area is known as a non-baptizing area for the past couple years but Elder Ward and I are determined to change that. Hopefully we stay together for a good amount of time.
Elder Cabrera is still doing well, he gets angry a lot, and I just found out he has been being mean to Elder Martinez and almost drove over there to his house to talk to him. I guess the zone leaders are having a lot of issues with him. Hopefully he shapes up soon.
One lady we are working with is Karyna. She is in Helaman in the Book of Mormon and discovered she only understands if she prays. She really can’t connect the dots, and it gets frustrating, but with time she will get there. There is a 20-year-old kid named Ray that is pretty cool. We set a date with him yesterday; he just needs to get up and go to church. He is living with a family of members. He is Mexican, but we teach him mostly in English just because he likes it better, but will come to the ward with us of course. That’s like most of the young people here, I still wish it were all Spanish teaching, though. We were tracting for three hours one day and got a call from him to come teach him a lesson. He had been found by Elder Ward tracing last week. He was referred to the English missionaries, but they referred him back to us. He is an Arab guy, but he learned Spanish and lived in a México for a couple years, because he likes talking about God in Spanish better. We taught him a first lesson, set a date and brought him to church the next day. Word of wisdom will come this week.
Ok, well we need to run. I love you all and hope all is well. Life is great here. Keep Elder Cabrera and our investigators in your prayers…and Presdient Hiers.
PS So I have friends emailing me about the new change in rules for emails, but I haven’t heard about it yet. Is it optional for the mission president to do it? or is he just waiting to announce it to us. Maybe my impatience about wanting to know about it is healthy for me or something. Just curious if you heard about it. Oh and so new scriptures coming out. Does that mean we have to go get new scriptures in august?
....and actually I have been dying for chocolate chip cookies or even congo bars lately..(hint hint) cookies keep the best in zip lock bags put in a box wrapped in a brown belt size thirty two…at least that’s what I hear....
And since Jessica asked, "I know you don't want candy- but are you obsessed with the peanut butter eggs like me and dad are? I can't remember." YES..that is the only candy that is ok to send.