Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Letters from July 15th and 22nd

July 15th, 2013 Letter

Somebody asked me if I was from South America this week, because of my accent.  These Colombians and Peruvians (he has had 2 Peruvian comps and 1 from Colombia) have really gotten to me...

Responding to things I have yet to respond to:  Erin's ENGAGED?!!! (his cousin) Congratulations!!!  No I hadn't heard.  That's great.  Muchas felicidades.  

I love Mexico, in case you were wondering.  I'm really, really in love with this country.  

Can you tell I have nothing to write about today?

This week, we had a lot more success with less actives than what we had been having.  They've been letting us into their houses and listening to us and everything, and 7 came to church this Sunday.  Which was great.  Also, L was there again, which was comforting.  Her sister still is working on Sundays, so we'll see what we can do there, but hopefully she'll get baptized this transfer.  As far as investigators go, things are still pretty slow.  But we have referrals to contact still and I am sure we will find someone who wants to listen this week.  A few extra prayers would be nice.  Thanks!

Today we went to the Parque Metropolitano, it's basically Central Park but in G.  We rented a quatricycle.  What? Yeah.  It was awesome. 

We did have a cool teaching experience this week:  We had everything fall through one day.  We ended up near our apartment so we decided to knock the door of a family we had already met there who had already listened to the missionaries because they are friends with some members who live in the same apartment.  ( I am aware that was a run-on sentence, but my English is really just struggling right now.)  Anyways, the 21 year old son opened the door.  His name is E and he has arthritis (coincidence? I think not).  He let us in and we started talking to him.  He didn't seem super interested--since he'd already listened to the missionaries and rejected them once.  But we kept talking and just had the impression to find something he would be interested in.  It was way cool to see how the Spirit guided the conversation, and we were able to discover that he was really, genuinely interested in finding out about what happens after we die.  So we told him the answer was in the Book of Mormon and left him with Alma 40-41 to read.  We then used that to make a little bridge to the restoration, challenge him to pray to know the Book of Mormon is true and be baptized on August 4th, and he accepted!!!  It was way cool, and it really impressed me to see how the Spirit had really changed his desires in less than an hour of talking to him!  We haven't seen him since then, but hey, it was a cool experience, and we're going to keep looking for him.  He'd can't avoid us that long since he lives 2 floors under us...

One day this week, it rained so hard I couldn't see anything.  I looked out the window and everything was just white.  I'd never seen anything like it.  

Timo, hang in there!!!  Be like a little sponge in the MTC--it's lots of information in so little time!  Be focused and do what you are supposed to but have fun while you're doing it.  It's always hard to find that balance in the MTC, but you'll get there.  The mission field is great!!  You'll love it!!!

Oh!  More good news!  Elder A was able to baptize J before he left S.  FINALLY!  Always makes me happy to see people I taught get baptized after I leave the area.  

The church is true!  I love you all!  Have a great week.  Be excellent to each other.  Party on dudes!!!

Elder Pew

July 22nd 2013

Sounds like you all had quite a week.  That`s good.  Enjoy your summer.  

Good to hear that Timo's having a blast in the MTC.  I can't imagine only being there for 2 weeks before being shipped off to the field.  The Lord has a lot of confidence in this new generation of missionaries, and in the ones who will be their trainers.  

Let's just say that all the hard things I went through in S are paying off.  There is definitely a reason why it happened, and why I'm district leader here right now.  I've been able to help a lot of people who are going through things I've already gone through.  The church is true!

We had a great week.  It started with an epic district class on Tuesday.  I felt like I had to be a little bit President Wagner-like in calling us to repentance for a loss of focus.  It went really well, and gave fruits.  We were able to contact a basketload of referrals from members this week, and we finally found some people who wanted to listen!  Meet our new investigators:

A:  A guy who sells tacos.  We taught him the Restoration right there behind his taco stand while his assistant was packing up for the day.  He has 3 kids, a wife, and seems pretty great.  He was super interested in the Book of Mormon, and accepted a baptismal date for August 10th super easily, on the condition that he receives an answer that Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Book of Mormon is true.  

C and J:  C was a referral from the same member who introduced us to A, and the lesson with her was going really, REALLY well until her husband, J, showed up, interrupted us midsentence, asked questions to try to trick us.  But we answered all his questions--unfortunately he didn't like all the answers, and by the time he had finished his wife had already left to open the shoe store they own, so we are going to go back with her to this week to see what happens, because she seemed golden.  

G:  Actually the same G we were teaching the first few weeks I was here, but we finally found her again and she's still super cool.  She doesn't have a job right now, so she told us she'll have more time to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know it is true.  Also, she has a little pug dog that always has his tongue sticking out, even when his mouth's closed.  He's the funniest looking creature I have ever seen.  

S:  7 year old kid who turns 8 next week.  Lives with his mom and his grandparents.  His mom isn't a member, but his grandparents are and they take him to church every week.  Since his parents aren't members, he counts as a convert and has to listen to the missionary lessons and pass a baptismal interview with a missionary before being baptized.  So he's basically just a free baptism that we'll have on August 3rd.  

We're still teaching D, L's sister, and we had some cool experiences with her this week.  We taught her about the plan of Salvation, and it really stuck in her mind the idea that "nothing impure can dwell in the presence of God." (Alma 40:26...I think)  She asked us how she can become pure.  We explained to her that through faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost she could be clean from all her sins.  She told us she didn't really feel ready to be baptized.  We said that's ok, because baptism's step three.  We asked her if she had faith, she said yes, we explained that the next step is repentance, and then she'll be ready for baptism.  I don't know what it was about this lesson, but the Doctrine of Christ finally just clicked in her mind.  She understands now that she needs to repent so that she can get baptized.  And thus we see that when people really understand the Doctrine of Christ and what it means to them, they progress a lot faster.

We had another lesson with her that went really great.  We had left her with the Introduction to the Book of Mormon to read, and when she told us she hadn't read it, we read it with her.  At the end of the lesson, we invited her to kneel down right then and ask God if the Book of Mormon was true.  She got her answer!!!  She sat there in silence for about 2 minutes after the prayer, and she told us that she felt an overwhelming peace, like she could forget everything else that was going on in her life and just feel God's presence.  It was sweet.  The catch:  She needs to find a new job, because where she is working, she doesn't have a day off during the week, so she's working on sundays.  That's this week's project.  

Best news of the week:  I have parasites!!!  In our interviews, Sister Wagner told us the symptoms of parasites, and I had almost all of them.  My stomach has been hurting me almost every time I eat, and food goes through me way too fast.  So she gave me a pill for it, and said if I really have a parasite, they'll get a little resistent to the pill and I'll get sick.  I took the pill yesterday and today I woke up with a hurricane in my stomach!  So I'll be living off straight up guavas until my little friends have all left.  Cool, right?  I still love Mexico.

That's it for this week!  Thanks for all your prayers!  Good luck this week, Timo!!!  I love you all!

Elder Pew