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.
So we made a discovery yesterday about our area. There is a 50’s burger and shake place up the street from our house that is free for missionaries; worst thing ever to discover the day before you leave. I guess other missionaries from other areas have been going there for a while, and we didn’t even know it. (You aren’t allowed to go to hookups outside your area).
So the greatest part of this week was when Dad’s package got here. Two brand new alloy energel pens. I can't even tell you how great it feels to use those. I feel just like dad. This is big; a guy just came up to me, and I told him I have been out just under a year, and he said I am an old timer. That’s the first time I have been called that…weird.
Elder Cabrera has been good this week. I really was praying hard for opportunities to struggle with him so I could choose to love him despite opposition. So those tough spots came, and I pulled through and tried to be humble with him. In return, he was very humble with me and showed a lot of love towards me this week. I think we were successful in the short time we had together as companions. So, Elder Cabrera will be finishing being trained by Elder Morales (came out with me) despite his constant remarks that he doesn’t need to be trained, ha-ha.
We are in the ward choir which has been fun. I am the bass section and the teacher for the soprano’s section. The other elders are tenors even though they don’t know how to sing. Elder Shaw helped them, but he left on Sunday. I sing the bass part with one other guy that doesn’t really know how to sing parts. To help the sopranos (there is two of them, and I am sorry to be harsh, but they never hit even one of the notes) I stand behind them and sing really loud for them to follow me during practice. It is pretty awful. But I am getting transferred, so the choir lady won't be very happy next week. The song they picked is ‘The Morning Breaks’ That soprano part goes up to an F so I don't know why they picked that. When I am singing behind them, I have to drop it an octave. This is funny, because I can't even really sing, but I am the best they have. It shows how great the selection they have really is. It’s really hard not to laugh while we are there.
We had a few lessons this week, and Jorge didn't show up to church for the first time in months. He is just getting stubborn now and doesn’t feel like not drinking or changing what he knows he needs to change. So we do have a story with him this week actually. So we went into his house to teach him another lesson at nighttime. Jorge (Miguel’s dad) was sniffling a lot and had a hoody on and was kind of acting weird. So we sat down, and he did a repeat of the second time we talked to him. He got really defensive and rude and said he didn’t want to change, and he was catholic and would always be that way. The complete opposite of the really spiritual lesson we had with him last week. The first time we taught him this same thing happened. He said he wanted to be baptized, and the second time we saw him he got defensive and angry. His lessons are bipolar and go back and forth like that, but I wasn’t going to let this happen all over again where we had to drop him after such a good first lesson. So Elder Cabrera started to apologize and say it’s ok and all that stuff, and I just cut him off and asked Jorge why he was changing around so much. And then I told him about how he had done this before. One second he wants to get baptized, and the next he is in a bad mood. He kept lying and denying what he said. Finally I told him that he couldn’t deny that he felt the Spirit last time, and he just got really quiet. I was pretty bold with him and asked him why he wasn’t worthy to be baptized (I usually am not that nosy, but I felt like I needed to), and he said it was personal things that he was doing (at this point he is still defensive and angryish). So I said he didn’t need to tell us (his nine years old son Miguel was there), and that we were going to help him stop whatever it was he was doing. So we taught him repentance from Alma 36, and he was crying by the end of it as the Spirit kind of worked on him. Anyways, we ended inviting him to repent of what it was he was doing. The way he was acting at the beginning, it’s pretty obvious it’s drugs or something, but anyways we have tried to go back and follow up, and he has been avoiding us. The new elders will have to figure that out, but we did have a good lesson with him, and he is starting to get closer to Christ. I think he is just scared to make the big step and doesn’t feel confident he is capable. He didn’t come to church, because he wanted to go to Catholic Church for the day to see how he feels about that. I hope he progresses, but after talking to his sister he has a LOT of things he needs to clear up in his life and past before he can get baptized, but he is on the right track.
So we went to correlation on Wednesday night like normal and then had a to wait about 45 minutes and were way too far from our area to go back, so we played volleyball with the young men and a couple non-members. The young men are really prideful (the priests) about how they can beat anyone at anything so the four of us missionaries waiting and another young single adult destroyed them three games in a row. It made the teachers really happy to see the priests lose. Maybe that’s not the most Christ like way to build member trust, but the parents watching were all entertained, and we had fun too, ha-ha. So I went on splits to Huntsville this week and was with Elder Totten. He is a good missionary. I just loved being in Huntsville again. The zone leaders, Elder Henderson (other district leader), and I got together to make everyone in our zone a binder with some favorite talks and all the mission trainings we have received all compiled in one place. They included a lot of trainings from the older missionaries, and we organized them into three sections:
· Work hard
· Expect miracles
· Be obedient
The WEB goes together to stand for the main idea "web" so the front of the binder has a spider web to "catch" all of the trainings we are getting and hold them in the web. It is designed to simplify mission life...right under the spider web in all caps is written "SIMPLIFY." (I am ready to change to a marketing major). It started little; then we went all out with it to help the members of our zone. By that point, we knew we needed to run it by president so the four of us went to his office to ok it with him before giving it out. After some revisions, he wants to get a copy for everyone in the whole mission. Next week the four of us will present it in zone leader council. So that will be cool; it was a fun project. I think it will help out the zone to have easy access to all of the trainings. I was iffy about putting in old trainings, because I think it kind of stops president from being able to make changes, but president said it was fine, so I guess he is ok with it!
So there is one guy I remembered this week taking the sacrament. He is a tall old man in his 70's in Antelope. Growing up, he sat in the front row of the back section on the left side. I hope I get to see him one day. I always was the one to give him the sacrament, and every time, he would look down and whisper, “Thank you.” I always assumed he was talking to me. This week while taking the sacrament a flood of memories seeing him say, “Thank you,” made me realize he probably wasn’t talking to the kid handing him the tray. It was a special experience to remember him and how grateful he was for the atonement. I will need to go back and find him one day. I have no idea what his name is, or if he is even still there or around at all; he was pretty old. Either way, I will see him again one day and thank him for the lesson he taught me while I was sitting in sacrament as a missionary.
So anyways I will update you next week on how the new area is. Love you all and hope that you are doing well!
PS Mom and Dad, itsounds like you're having an awesome trip with some different food! Thinking of everyone wanting a picture with Dad and Uncle David made me laugh.
|Elder Martinez and I with the zone leaders, Elders Norton and Lindsay|