Monday, October 1, 2012

October 1, 2012

Hola Todos!  So much to write.  Such a good week.

Well, let's just dive right into things.  So last Monday we had a family night with G, Hna S and her family, and the ward missionaries.  It went super well.  We watched the Restoration movie and the Spirit was really strong.  G almost cried.  Then we had a little testimony meeting about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  It was really great.  She told us she does believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true and that she feels like she received answers to her prayers about those two things.  Sweet!  Then we taught everyone there how to play Ninja Destruction.  Obviously I dominated.  Each time we played it got down to me and Elder Heath in the finals and I won 2 times and he won 1.  He told me he's never been beaten in his entire mission, so judging by that, I'm going to assume I'm the best Ninja Destruction player in Guadalajara.  But yeah, it went really well.  Unfortunately, she went on a vacation with her family for the rest of the week and we haven't seen her since.  But we are going with her again tomorrow and I really hope she's still excited and remembers her testimony.  

Remember M from last week?  He's great.  We had about 3 lessons with him this week. We taught the restoration and he understood it pretty well.  We left him Moroni 10 to read and he read it about 5 times before we came back!  He's progressing really well.  We put a goal for him to be baptized on the 13th of October and he said he would prepare for that date.  

We had a lesson with C on Tuesday about the Plan of Salvation.  He is really brilliant and understands everything we tell him.  But we left him with a pamphlet of the Law of Chastity to read and couldn't find him the rest of the week after that.  Huh.  Finally, we got a hold of him Saturday (he doesn't have a cell phone or a house phone so it's a little hard) and he seemed to be doing well.  He didn't have a lot of time to talk to us though, but he seemed happy and he said he's been reading the Book of Mormon every day.  He didn't come to church this Sunday, which also worried us, but his friend Hno L went to visit him after sacrament meeting and said he was really great with him.  He received him really well and still seems to be motivated to change.  So we're not giving up on him.  

We've been going back with that inactive member with the 4 kids.  They are the V family.  The kids are really great and love it when we come over, and E (their dad) says he knows he needs to come back to church, but it's been hard for him to get over there.  Also, the mom still really doesn't want anything.  She's nice though, and it's no problem with her if we teach/baptize her children.  So we are going to keep working with them and try to reactivate the dad so he can baptize his kids.  Pray especially for them, please!

So a few weeks ago we ran into this guy named E.  His dad had been listening to the missionaries before and almost got baptized, and we saw his records in the area book and decided to go see if we could teach him.  His dad wasn't there, but E was, so we talked to him only to find out that he's GOLDEN!  He told us he was coming to church and that he wanted to get rid of bad, worldly desires that he has.  But then he disappeared.  He didn't come to church, and we couldn't find him in his dad's house or his mom's for the next 2 weeks or so.  But this week we finally found him!  It turns out that he switched jobs and works on Sunday now and has a whole different schedule, but he still wants to keep listening to us and he is trying to change his schedule so he can go to church.  Also, he read the entire Restoration pamphlet that we gave him and understands it perfectly.  He even wrote down all the key words that he learned like "priesthood" and "apostasy."  Super Awesome!  He's about 23, has a nice pirate goatee and shiny earrings and looks a lot like Jack Sparrow.  Love the guy.  I hope he really does put in his effort so he can go to church.  

This week we also went with a referral from our former ward mission leader, Hno H.  The guy's name is G.  He actually used to live in Ogden (yes, I robbed him from Elder Plowman and Elder Woodward's mission).  What was he doing there?  Oh, don't worry, just working construction on LDS chapels!  So he really has good feelings for the church and it's members.  He never went to a church meeting back then, though.  About a year ago he had a stroke and it paralyzed the left side of his body, and he's just now getting to the point where he can walk and move his left hand.  But that experience made him want to come closer to God and to change and become a better person, so he's super willing to listen to us.  His wife even accepted the baptismal challenge even though she told us at the beginning of the lesson that she goes to mass every Sunday in the Catholic Church.  That's what the Spirit does to people.  Unfortunately, when we tried to go back with them, G was at therapy and his wife was feeling extra Catholic that day and didn't want to listen to us anymore.  But we're going to go back with her husband this week sometime. 

M.  She's progressing really well and everything, but she's scared to get baptized so soon.  She needs to forgive someone for something that she's been holding on to almost her whole life, and doesn't think she can do it by the 13th.  I think we are going to whip out the don't procrastinate the day of your repentance scripture on her today.  We are having a massive family night with her, hopefully her family, B and her family, the B family (members who live nearby, Hno B is the 2nd counselor in the bishopric and he's the greatest), and a 16 named F who also lives right by her. I hope it goes really well.

Saturday we were walking down the street and saw this guy sitting outside of his house.  We both felt like we needed to talk to him.  Of course, he let us right in.  His name is I.  He's about 48 years old and he opened right up to us.  He's having some problems in his family right now and wants to fix them.  He is very smart and asks us lots of questions to make sure he is understanding.  He prayed at the end of the lesson and started crying!  He felt God's love really strong I think for the first time in his life.  That's the third time this has happened on my mission.  Anyways, he's really great.  He said he would come to sacrament meeting the next day even though he was going to be super busy.  Awesome!

That same night we went with the N family.  We taught them about Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end.  We also asked them about their testimonies.  They all feel like they have seen changes and have become better people since listening to us, and C said he has seen so much of a change in his wife that he wants to try harder to have the same experience she's been having!  And their 11 year old son M prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true and felt a strong confirmation that it is!  And they accepted a baptismal date for the 13th!  After all that, we watched "Finding Faith in Christ" and everyone was about to cry.  They are so GREAT!!!  I love seeing how happy people are when they are following the Savior.  

Then came Sunday.  The big test to see if our week of work (and fasting on Saturday) would pay off.  We went to pick up I in the morning.  Not only did he come one day after meeting us, he paid for our bus ride to the church!  Then, who should we see walking up to the door but the N family!  I kind of freaked out a little bit inside!  It was one of the happiest moments of my mission.  4 investigators all walking in!  Wow, so great!  Then, M shows up with our Elders quorum president.  6 investigators in the chapel.  I was still a little sad that M and C didn't make it, but hey.  Fasting works.  That's all I really need to say.  

Oh, by the way, I gave a talk in sacrament meeting about prophets to try and get people excited for conference.  I think it was good.  I also played the piano.  Well, I always do.  Except this time, after my talk, a 10 year old girl walked up to me and asked if she could play the closing hymn, "We thank Thee O God For a Prophet."  I said yes and she did pretty good.  Crazy.  I think everyone who came to church had a good experience, so that was great.  The members were really, really good about making them feel welcome.

So, mom, I bought a backpack last week.  Probably should have told you that.  I just couldn't wait, the broken one was bugging me too much.  It's given me new life!  It was about 40 dollars, it's Nike, and it has all the features I need and seems pretty sturdy.  So I don't know what you want to do with the other one you bought me, if you want to just return it or hold on to it and see if I need a replacement before my 2 years is up or if you want to save it for Timo for his mission.  Sorry.  I hope your toe feels better! 

Dad, I'm glad that old guy from the yardsale was still alive.  And that BYU dominated so much!  That's sounds like it would have been a fun one to go to.  Also, your Jim Gaffigan quote from last week was inspired, because we went to McDonald's for P-Day last Monday!  Big Mac's have never tasted so good.

Timo - Sounds like you had a good time at homecoming and that flag football has been fun also, even though your losing.  At least you guys have the Spirit when you play, thanks to Chappy.  I laughed for about an hour about that.

Emily - I am super jealous of your Harry Potter week.  Who won the Quidditch cup?  Why weren't you student body vice president when I was in Jr. High?  Also, I am excited to hear Roses in December.  Keep taking good care of Wife, Ethel, and Optimus Prime.  

Izak - 9!  Wow!  Keep dominating!  That's really awesome!

Micah - I'm glad your team is still undefeated.  Good luck this Tuesday!

Zane - I hope you are cheering loud for BYU for me.  Keep being a pompeeface! 

Gwen - That's fun that you got to see the Avengers.  I haven't eaten any apples here, but I have had apple soda and apple yogurt.  They have fruit here called tuna.  What?  But it doesn't taste or look like tuna, thank goodness.  It's like a little cactus thing with this weird, tasty green fruit inside.  

Well, everyone, that's about all.  Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes!

-Elder Pew