Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year, and Happy Birthday to me!

January 4, 2014
         Elder Anderson got me hooked on his rubix cubes and that means that I have been not writing as regularly as I should in my journal this week.  So I have decided to write first thing in the morning.  I have mastered the cubes up to 7, and I am now trying to learn that one.  It is a fun way to keep your mind a little more active in our spare time. Don’t get me wrong, it is not interfering with our studies, planning, or proselyting. 
I went souvenir shopping on p-day.  Taylor warned me that you aren’t given any time, or you don’t have any time at the end of your mission to do this, so I had better work on this a little at a time now. I blew some money on one big thing and one little thing for each of my family members.  It was fun, but also annoying because I was looking and looking for something for my mom and couldn’t find what I was looking for.
We had a great week this week even though it was a holiday week.  I think that I am going to rip out the part of the handbook that says that the holidays are the best time to contact families because they are home.  Yeah, not true.  Well, actually they are home, but they are either drunk, sleeping it off, or hung over.  We are not even allowed to work on new year’s Eve here because it is so crazy. 
         We did have a “special” zone meeting on New Year’s Eve that was announced two days before.  We watched “Ephraim’s Rescue”, or rather we tried to watch it, but due to poor planning we weren’t able to. I did, however, get a bunch of new religious guitar music from some other Elders in my zone and that made me very happy.  I also really liked the training message which was about bearing our testimonies.  He gave us the situation where the person is rejecting us and we just bear our testimony and leave.  Knowing that we will never likely see that person again, we often bear a strong and powerful witness.  Then he asked us, “Why don’t we bear our testimony like that every time?”  That made me think for a while and I decided that I am going to bear my testimony every time as if it the last chance I will ever get.
         The last couple of days we made up for lost holiday time and have been super productive.  W found some new families to teach that were both miracles.  The first family is a family of 5 that we found we found when we were trying to contact some of our recent converts.  We were trying to find a certain road so we stopped to ask directions from this couple.  As we asked for directions we talked to them about the church and they were very interested in learning more. We taught them the next day and the lesson went super well.  They had read the pamphlet that we left with them the day before and had questions for us.  The Mom is getting ready to have surgery on her foot and she told us that she would be to church as soon as she could after her surgery.  She seemed very committed to us and I just feel that this family is a special family.
         Our second family that we found was a result of listening to and acting on the promptings of the spirit.  We passed by their house and I stopped and did an about face and just knew that we needed to teach the family in that house.  So we clapped and contacted them and they actually invited us in.  We got to know them and it turns out that they have already been taught by other missionaries, they have a Book of Mormon, but they recently moved and haven’t had the chance to talk to missionaries since their move.  That was a great experience for me of the importance of listening to the spirit.  I am excited to teach this family and see how it all turns out.
         My 20th birthday was super chill. I almost forgot that it was my birthday.  Absolutely nothing happened.  Last year I baked my own cake, but this year I didn’t feel like doing it.
          This Sunday was kind of frustrating because our ward council meeting was so chaotic.  After the meeting, our ward mission leader pulled us aside for another meeting where he told us that we are not going to get a lot of help from the council, but that he knew of a few families in the ward who would help us and he was going to help us coordinate it.  Poor Elder Dornales was so frustrated by the whole complicated mess that he almost cried. But, we are going to keep working and doing our part and things will work out!  Although none of our investigators came to church on Sunday, we did have 3 less active families that we have been visiting with come to church.  So far, our work with the less active members has been our greatest success.  I am feeling pretty strong and I am happy. 
         Oh, I almost forgot to tell you that I got my return date this week….JUNE 8th…WooHoo!  
Oh yeah, and so apparently one o the ladies in our ward doesn't like giving food to the missionaries and this was how much spagetti she gave to 4 full grown men. Taylor can show you guys how the portions usually are here. Luckily we had leftovers from some other more generous members here.  It is always the same food, spagetti, rice, and beans.

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