Monday, July 8, 2013

July 1st & July 8th 2013 Letters with photos

Two more weeks and I'm no longer the center of attention.  Haha!  That's good, Timo deserves it for once.  You're going to LOVE the mission!!!  Sounds like it was a super special week for all of you, and it's only going to get more and more exciting.  I hardly even remember the last few weeks before I left...but whatever.  

I also had an awesome week.  Tuesday and Wednesday I went to the Zone Leader's area with Elder D, who is from Chicago and he's 6´6.  He also has 8 transfers in his area and is going home in August, so it's looking like he'll end his mission with one year in P.  It was super fun. I love splits because I always learn a ton.  Also, their area is pretty cool.  It's the whole businessy section of G centro.  Good times.  

Friday I had to do my first baptismal interview because the sisters also had a baptism on Saturday.  Their investigator's named G.  She's 37, single, and showed up at the church during the Saturday session of stake conference a week ago wanting to know more.  A nice little gift for obedience, I think.  I was kind of nervous.  But it went well.  Very spiritual experience.  She was super excited and super ready to get baptized.  L also had her interview that night and passed, so we started with the preparations for Saturday.  We had 2 baptismal services, G at 1 and L at 7.  They were both super spiritual and ended with the recently baptized member crying her eyes out.  About 40-ish people went to the L's baptism--we couldn't fit everybody in the room with the baptismal font, but since there was a stake dance going on in the Chapel, we couldn't do it there.  Among those 40 people were 6 investigators, 2 from the other elders here in E, 1 that the sisters from another ward in the zone brought, L's niece's husband, who lives in a different ward here in the same stake, and 2 from our area.  1 was Lupe's sister, D, who has listened to the missionaries for a long time but never has wanted to get baptized.  Now she does.  But she works in the afternoons, and because of that we wont be able to visit her until Wednesday, because yesterday we had church, today was P-Day, and tomorrow we have District meeting.  We were worried that the excitement would wear off between now and then, but the cool thing about this area is that there are a bunch of returned missionaries here, so we sent one returned sister missionary to visit her today, who called us this morning and said that she had taught her the restoration and that she's super excited.  She even left her with an assignment in the Book of Mormon.  Yes!  Tomorrow our ward mission leader, J, is going to go visit her and put a baptismal date.  Love this ward.  

Anyways, back to the baptism.  The other investigator is a 17 year old girl named A, who's boyfriend is on a mission right now.  She's listened to the missionaries before, but never got baptized.  We saw her teaching record and called her this week, but she told us she didn't have time.  But it all just worked out perfectly, because the music from the stake dance was super loud during the baptism, so Elder T and I left for a second to tell them to turn it down, when a young man from our ward comes walking down the hall with a girl.  We stopped to talked to him and the girl abruptly asked me if I had called her that week.  When she told me she was A, I said yes and invited them in to the baptism.  They were at the stake dance and were just about to leave, so it worked out just perfectly.  We're going to try and visit her later this week.  

Baptism of L
Elder D baptized L, but since she has arthritis and can't bend over that well, he had her sit in a chair and just tipped it backwards to baptize her.  It was kind of cool.  Taking advantage of the fact that there were 6 investigators there, I taught the restoration to the crowd while Elder D and L were changing.  It was sweet!  I think a lot of people are going to get baptized as a result of this baptismal service, because it just went perfectly.  The other messages were really great, and it was really spiritual.  To finish it off, we did a musical number with our assistant ward mission leader, J.  He is literally the best guitarist I have ever met in my life, so he and I played a little guitar duet and we sang "Come Thou Fount" in a mixture of English and Spanish.  Coolest musical number at a baptism that I've ever seen, if I do say so myself.  Then to top it off, one of the members who came had brought a basketload of tostadas with ceviche (look this up on the internet if you want to know what it is, I couldn't tell you in English--a seafood dish).  It was delicious.  One of the best nights of my life!

Good news, L showed up for her confirmation.  The ward is super excited to help us and we've started to gain their confidence.  Everything really seems to be going well.

By the way, we climbed up a volcano today and took pictures of ALL of G
On top of a volcano on P-day, The volcano itself is decently ugly, but here's the view from above.

It's officially enormous.  I love this city!

Love you all!  Enjoy your last few weeks of Timo while you can!  Prepare yourself well!  

Elder Pew

Photo:  Another advantage of this area:  baptismal pictures outside the temple.  Awesome!  Look at all those members that came to support us!!!
Elder Pew with a young man who lives in Mexico where Elder Pew is currently serving  but he attended high school in the states, at Lone Peak High School where Timo (Elder Pew's brother was his TA!) Small world!  See last letter in June.

Seriously laughing my head off with almost every letter I read this week.  Thanks!!!  

That's cool that it was the fourth of July.  I didn't even remember.  The Mexicans had to remind me!!!  I'm becoming one of them.  My Independence Day is September 16th.  That's the kind of weird reality we missionaries live in.  But don't worry Timo, I don't think it'll be possible to forget the 4th of July in Texas.  

It's not hot anymore.  It's officially rain season!!!  It rains every day now for a few hours at least, and the rest of the time it's cloudy and nice out.  And everything's green again, like when I first got here.  I love this place!

We had a decent week.  We keep getting referrals but they usually aren't interested.  But whatever.  Keep trying, I guess.

We had a super sweet lesson with L .  She didn't come to church and her sister didn't either.  So we went over after church, and decided we should talk to them about sacrifice, which is not one of the lessons in Preach My Gospel, but we felt like it was what they needed to hear.  So we did, mixed in with the sacrament, and I learned SO MUCH in that lesson.  (The whole thing was based off of Luke 22, which I had studied in my personal study the day before.  To put emphasis in what I said to Timo)  It was super cool. I now understand how the sacrament is essential to help us progress as people, and the better thing is that L and her family does too!  We committed them to think of something in their lives that they can sacrifice to God, and then to come to church with that in mind on Sunday when they take of the sacrament.  And then to think of a new one for the next week.  I think it'll go well.   

Packed up and ready to go
I never told you that we moved out of our house.  We're living in an apartment now, but we have been living without a fridge, stove, hot water, beds, a fan, and chairs.  Fun stuff.  The other day we went to the mission offices to pick up all our stuff, and the photo attached is our form of transport.  We made it intact, miraculously.  

Note about the other picture:  Yes that is a real snake.  

Elder Pew and a snake, what the???
Yesterday were transfers.  No changes in the district, as expected.  But some unexpected news from S:  They took out Elder A and his companion and sent an Elder who goes home in December to train and be the new branch president.  So that will be good.  

Today we went to a Golden-Corral type restaurant.  Yep, in G.  It's called Sirloin Stockade.  It was amazing!  We went as a whole district, plus two other sisters from another ward in this zone.  It was way fun and we were all laughing hysterically the whole time.  I love this district a lot.

I'm loving my life, and I'm super pumped for Timo join me in the mission!!!  Don't cry too much, it all seems kind of ridiculous to me now :).  Thanks for everything!  Have a great week!!!