Tuesday, July 30, 2013

This week has flown by, and so has the p-day

A little taste of Hawaii? We went all out today...20 dollars for unlimited sushi and two appetizers. I ate a lot more than just what's in the pictures. Only three of us did it. I have never eaten that much of anything at once in my entire life. This is us eating the last bite. If you don't finish everything you order, you have to pay extra for it.
.best part is we went to the jump park right after. 
(I think he took this picture and sent it just to make his mom feel queasy.)
Today was a pretty good p-day. I am writing at the end of the day which is unusual. So this morning, we hiked a mile and half up to some wind caves. It was just going to be our zone then someone invited an entire other zone, so it was a big group of people. We ran on the way down. It was fun; it reminded me of Camelback. Then we went home and did studies. After that, we went grocery shopping, then ate Japanese food...unlimited sushi. Then straight from there, we went to the jump park (not a good idea to go right after eating unlimited sushi). Now we are here doing emails.... 

So we had one cool experience this week. We were at the end of the night, and I looked at my planner and there was an address scheduled into our night, and I didn't know where it came from. I looked around in our phone and planner and everything and had no idea where it came from, but Elder Salazar had it down too so we went to see who it was, and it was a member. She had been feeling a lot of pain and needed a blessing to be able to go to the temple the next day. So that was cool seeing how the Lord put us there, and we still don't know how it got in our planners. But the best part was her daughter was there, and she said she works at paradise bakery in Logan! She said if we ever come when she is working she will give us a 70 percent discount. Ok well that's not the best part,; but that was pretty awesome I had no idea they had those here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The work is progressing; there's so much to do here.

So last p-day was pretty good. The three Cache Valley zones all ended up going to one park, and we played volleyball, football and ultimate Frisbee. Elder Ward was there, and he is doing very well in Idaho. They had four baptisms last week and have three this weekend and a lot more coming. He has so much work he doesn’t even have time to cover his zebra Spanish work which I would guess the Preston Branch is pretty unhappy about.

The next day we had our first district meeting, and it went fine. There are some young missionaries in my district, so it will be a lot of practicing and role-playing. I went on exchanges for the next two days. The first day, I went with Elder Coronado, and it went ok. We didn't teach at all, but we worked the whole time. The next day I went to Elder Mark in his area. We went to go tracting in the trailers. They have been telling me how their area isn't good enough since we started to find people in ours, and they want to trade and all this stuff. So I was determined to find some work for them in that 24 hours. The first door we knocked was an old man named Ramon. We taught him a lesson, and he accepted a baptismal date and volunteered to come to church. It was the most fun lesson of my whole mission except maybe Robin's law of chastity lesson. So Ramon is deaf; the only way he can hear is if you yell as loud as you can. So we taught him in the front yard the whole first lesson in ten minutes yelling at the top of our lungs. As we approached the first vision, I wondered if he would feel the Spirit since we were yelling and half laughing because he kept saying "what?!, what?! what?!". But we screamed the first vision too and he kind of jolted and said it gives him the chills. We connected it, invited him, and he will get baptized in three weeks. I had so much fun with him; I made sure to schedule their next appointment for the next morning so I could teach him again before we ended exchanges. We found him a fellowshipper and brought him to the lesson, so hopefully that should get them started on some work to do. I hope everything works out with Ramon.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Great Area! Great Companion!

My new son! Elder Salazar originally form Honduras.

Well I am in Logan, Utah...west of Main Street and right in the center of everything. Our branch is called Monte Vista and is very small...not quite as small as Idaho but close. The ward in the past (a year ago) was really good with missionaries. The past year the missionaries haven't worked with the members which made a lot of members really mad at the missionaries. So mainly people have told us to start working with them again which is awesome. There is moderately low trust, but it should shoot up really quick.

OK, I am jumping ahead. I can start with the beginning of the week. So last week about 32 new missionaries came into the mission. We were all (trainers) waiting in the office and as soon as the Spanish ones showed up we said hi, and I was surprised to see Elder Sewell. I had no idea he was coming as a visa waiter in our mission. (He went to Buena Ventura with Elder Banchon.  Elder Banchon was Elder Ward's second companion. That’s in central Ogden between Mt. Lewis and Jefferson 2nd.) So eventually, after some very anxious waiting (I think I was the most excited person there), we all went into the gym and got ready for the meet your trainer meeting. I guess it's just the culture of our mission, but the way we do it is really loud with lots of clapping and cheering. Elder Pali and Elder Graham both used to work at the Polynesian Cultural Center; they get the metal chairs and do the Samoan drum thing that they do as the drumroll. It was a big group, so everyone had lost their voice by the end of it. At the beginning, one of the assistants, Elder Key, came up and said he was excited for me. The night before they had had a testimony meeting with all the greenies, and Elder Key said as soon as Elder Salazar stood up he, president, and the other assistant all wrote my name down. That was the only one they all three agreed on as far as whose companion they should be. So it was definitely what the Lord wanted. Elder Salazar was about the fourth one called up. They did the drumroll and yelled out my name, and I ran up and got him and carried him away, the usual stuff. I guess we are pretty weird. Elder Sewell mentioned, "This is a weird little ritual you have going here." That pretty much sums it up. So after that, we waited for several hours for the shuttle up to Logan.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

DL, white-wash, training, Montevista!

DL, white-wash, training, Montevista. It's in the middle of Logan and known as the best area of the mission. I get my son and head out tomorrow. I have mixed feelings. I will miss being a zone leader because of the great companions and all that other stuff. I am nervous about training.  I'm sure it will all work out. I will do my best! I'm sure it will all turn out great. Please pray hard for me...I need it this transfer.

Back row..red shirt is elder barnes..then elder torres..elder gray is next to him then the insanity picture is elder gancho..the blue shirt brown guy is visa waiter elder ruiz..elder plowman is right in front of them..
front row is elder harper..he is awesome..he will be going zone leader in clinton north.then elder macpherson...he will be one of the the ap buddies..(one of the guys that is just serving with the ap's but isn't an ap)...then elder jorgensen who will be going dl..then elder young who is going to huntsville, then me, the elder kelley..then sister lolofie and sister tsifnay
So it is finally time for me to train again.  I am pretty excited. Montevista will be a good area. I am splitting it with another missionary named Elder Coronado and the visa waiter that he will get. It is a two English stake area and is supposed to be really good, but I don't know much about it. It covers a lot of area, and the car just got taken out to be given to another missionary that accidentally stabbed himself in the leg with a ninja sword. So we will be walking/riding bikes/taking the bus. I am praying hard for my son that he is ready to work hard and things go differently than last time. I will be a district leader, too, over the other ones in my ward and two other sets of missionaries. One of the sets is Elder Sutherland who is going home next transfer. He will be with a visa waiter and Elder Ward's son, Elder Larsen. Then there are also a set of English sisters in my district which is too bad, because now I can't do district meetings in Spanish. I have some really good zone leaders. Elder Ward got switched to the English program to be the Idaho zone leader. (At the last minute, they decided to keep just the Preston area...everything north of Utah went to another mission.) Elder Plowman got a Hispanic companion that has been English his whole mission. His name is Elder Escobar, and he is one of the highest baptizing missionaries in the mission. So the assistants told us that they are sending him to Spanish to show us how to baptize since Spanish numbers are so low compared to English. I don't if they realized how disrespectful that was, but we are kind of used to those comments. There are a lot of good changes happening in the mission including two new zones. They still haven't switched any Spanish people to English which is too bad. Elder Senn was just called to be a district leader in Alpha. They finally split Omega into thirds which is really good; that has needed to happen for a while.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Vanessa was baptized

So this week has been a really good. I will start it off just on the full report/story of Vanessa. So she was all set to get baptized all week. We had Liz talk to her boss and make sure that she could go to the baptism on Saturday at three. We set everything up and showed up two hours early on Saturday to make sure everything is good. It turns out Liz never talked to her boss, and she had to work at three. So I guess her boss just assigns them hours the day before, and Liz is too scared to ask for another shift, and she wouldn't let us try to talk to him either. The toughest thing is that she didn't really care too much that she would be missing her daughter’s baptism. So we decided to meet them at their house at two, have them follow us to the church, get Vanessa changed, take some pictures, then take the little kids to the babysitter. That was the plan. So we show up at two at their house, and the van is gone, and no one is home. So of course this couldn’t' happen without maximum stress levels. So I was the one driving at this point, and we start calling Liz and driving around hoping to see her car. She doesn't know where the church is, so she couldn't have gone there. Finally, after a couple minutes, she calls us back, "I'm at 30th and Patterson." So we drive as fast as we can over there and can't find her. We call her, and she says, “Now I am at 33rd and Washington.” So we go there, and she isn't there. So at this point she is driving around trying to tell us to come find her but refuses to park and wait for some reason. So for ten minutes we drive around a four by three block area searching for her and finally find her pulling out. We pulled up next to her and had her pull over. Then she followed us to the church building. I guess that at the last minute she decided to go shopping for some new shoes right before the baptism…of course. We took the pictures, then Vanessa stayed, and everyone else left. Unfortunately, Vanessa couldn't get her older brother who was sleeping at home or her cousins to come, so it was just her and a few ward members. But we did get the laurel president to speak; she is cool. We got a couple people there after inviting most of the ward over the phone. So we got all that done, and Vanessa was happy even if she was nervous before. The next day is when she would be getting confirmed.

Liz is the one on the left. Vanessa is in white. The little kids from left to right are Chuckie, Gorda, and Dickies...at least that's what everyone calls them. Their real names are Yareli, Jalene, and Yandel (not sure on the spellings of those names). Keep praying for Liz. She needs a lot of help. Vanessa is doing well, though. I think she will keep herself going.