Hola Familia y Amigos,
You may be wondering why there was no email yesterday. I did not get my visa, we just couldn't get a computer because every library was closed for the Holiday. But I am alive and well.
I hope all of you had fantastic Holidays. Happy New Year!!!
I have had a FANTASTIC week. Probably the best of my Mission. The Monzon family, Armando and Denis, (from Guatemala and only visiting family here) are getting baptized on Saturday! They are so ready and so full of faith. We found them because they came to Utah visiting his sister who is an active member in the branch. We met them just before Christmas at our Branch party. They agreed to meet with us and quickly progressed. They are so amazing and it has been incredible to see them find the joy of the gospel and have the desire to start anew and follow Christ.
For district meeting we learned about how to find people and talking to everyone. Then we went out and mixed up the companionships to practice this finding people. I was with Hna. Marin my first companion and we had a really cool contact with a recent convert. Her daughter was preparing for baptism and her husband was preparing to be the one to baptize her. I was trying to figure out what we could invite them to do and we talked about reading scriptures, something they were not doing so good at. So we invited them to read their scriptures every night. I love these moments, because everyone needs help with something--even members. I have felt the spirit guide me many times to know what they need help improving at.
We got permission to take some investigators to Salt Lake City to see the lights and everything, so we went on Wednesday. It was soooo much fun (but not as good as the first time I went. Nothing could top that!!!!). But it was fun to experience it with investigators. We went to the family history museum, watched a really sweet movie about the importance of families. I may or may not have teared up.... We also watched the Joseph Smith restoration movie. It was a good trip.
We found some people this week too. We found a Spanish speaking man who said he knew about the church and would listen to us and maybe he should be Mormon one day. Then we found a family that speaks a language I have never heard of, and they are all members except for the Grandma. But the mom said she knew enough English to translate so we are going to teach the Grandma.
We also had a lesson with a less active boy and his non-member family that we have been trying to meet with since the beginning of last transfer. We taught about the importance of scriptures, church, and prayer. The boy was baptized at 8 and is 12 now. His parents have been on and off investigating for years. It was really good to meet with them though because they told us what their problem was. They really like the teachings and pretty much believe it is true, but like a lot of people they got offended and stopped going and then people kind of stopped visiting them. But hopefully we can help them see what is really important.
Hna Marcum, my companion, hit her one year mark this week. To celebrate we went to Cold Stone and then that night she burnt one of her sweaters. Apparently there is a missionary tradition to burn something on your one year mark. Most Elders burn a suit and sisters a shirt or skirt. I think it an interesting tradition, that I doubt I would participate in, but it was fun to watch her sweater burn.
We had a cool contact with a lady this week who wasn't that interested but we commited her to read the Book of Mormon intro and restoration pamphlet. It was a cool contact because, whether any good comes from it or not, I just felt like I knew what I was doing and I knew what I needed to say. It was easy to talk to her and get to know her, but it was also easy to transition to the gospel and thoughts of what to say would pop in my head. I don't always have that, but it is something I am going to strive for.
New years eve was weird. I went to bed at 10:30. It has to be the first time in YEARS that I haven't stayed up for the new year. Oh well, I need the sleep.
We had a really cool contact this week from a sweet old couple. They were English, and in their 80's so it was fun to learn about their lives. They had met in the same mission as young people and then served 5 other ones all around the world together. They were sooooo cute. The best part was when she started talking about her family. She started talking about her brother and how he used to be a football coach and his name was Lavell. Yes people, I met Lavell Edward’s sister!
I got excited and started talking about how much I love football and how as a BYU student I have been to the Lavell Edwards Stadium. Her husband must have seen my excitement because he left and soon returned. I was talking to her and didn't see what he brought with him, but all of a sudden....I was holding a football. But not just any football. A football that Lavell Edwards had signed! Oh man I was in HEAVEN. All I could think was that the Lord really loves me. What a random but completely awesome tender mercy. At a time when I normally would be watching football with my family, but couldn't, at least I got to hold an autographed football for a few minutes. Not gonna lie, it was kind of hard to hand it back to him :) And it was funny because i asked Hna. Marcum if she wanted to hold it. She just looks at it, looks at me, and says, "No."
So it has been quite the week! I have had some really incredible experiences. I love my mission and I love all that I am experiencing and learning.
I have a testimony of prayer. I have been really trying to improve my prayers this week and have had some wonderful experiences. I know that He is there and that He listens to us. Anyone can pray in any situation. God is our Father in Heaven and he wants to hear from us so that he can help us. Don't ever shut Him out. Prayer is a good way to develop your relationship with Him. You will learn how He speaks to you and grow closer to Him. He can comfort you and let you know that everything is going to be okay. He can give you the strength to do what He expects of you. That is what He has done for me this week.
Well, I love you all! Have a fantastic week, and make it great! Remember who you are and who you can become!