Thursday, August 29, 2013

Two letters August 19th & 26th

August 19th

Transfer day and...I'm in a trio.  Elder D and I are still together but we got a new companion today, Elder V.  He's got 18 months, he's from P, and I met him in Ciudad G where we were in the same zone for my first transfer in S.  He's cool.  I'm still district leader, but Elder V is also senior companion--who knows how that works.  I kind of don't think we'll last very long like one of us will probably be training once someone gets their visa and makes it to Mexico...but we'll see what happens.  It'll be an interesting experience but we're excited.  As for the rest of the district, Elder M and Elder T are staying together, Sister L went to V, and Sister L, who was just across the street in a different ward in the same stake for the last two transfers, is here now with Sister B.  So that'll be fun since we're already all basically best friends.  

When we went to the offices to pick up Elder V, I saw everyone.  Elder R is going to C...but I don't remember with who.  R is going to be with someone who was in my zone the last few transfers.  Elder J is still in T, his child is going to be with Elder D in T (a teeny little branch in the same zone as S), Elder E is zone leader now, Elder B finally escaped from A, and Elder A is in his house.  Don't ask.  It was pretty fun. 

Keeping up with the S flashbacks:  We had a lesson at the temple on Saturday Morning.  As we went walking up to the temple, I saw a green mini-van pulling out of the parking lot way too full of people all screaming as if Justin Bieber had just walked by.  Upon further examination, I realized it was everybody from S who were just leaving from their monthly temple trip.  I didn't get to stop to talk to them but MAN were they screaming when they all saw me!  And then on Sunday, Elder Q (who took my place in S) had to come to the offices because he ended his mission that day.  And since he was here before and we live close to the offices, he called us to see if we could find someone to give him a ride from the bus station to the mission office.  And I guess he was with J at the time, because before I knew it I was talking with my convert!!!  It sounds like he's doing great.  He's still active and everything and he's learning how to play the guitar I gave him when I left.  That was a nice surprise.  I was half-worried they were going to transfer me back there after all these strange ocurrences.  Some day I'll have to go back and visit.  

Yes, E's sister is a member.  

This week we found some awesome investigators again.  A member family gave us the referral of their neighbors, so they took us over to meet them and they let us right in!  Their names are C and C.  He told us that he was in prison in the US 9 years ago and while he was there he started to read the Bible and became converted to Christianity.  (When they say Christianity here, they're talking about any religion that's not the Catholic Church or the Jehovah's witnesses).  He got baptized in some church, but he's not active.  His wife is Catholic and they have a little 2 year old girl.  We had two great lessons with them this week, but for some odd reason they didn't come to church.  We also found a new investigator named C.  He's about 55 years old, lives alone, and absolutely loved the message of the restoration.  He couldn't come to church, but he committed to come to the activity this Saturday (plane crash) and begged us to not forget about him and to come back and visit.  If you insist.  Also, we contacted an older lady named M that one of the members knows, and she invited us over to her house Saturday.  We got there and her daughter and son-in-law were also there.  They live within the boundaries of the Guadalajara east mission, but we taught the restoration to everyone there and I think we were there more for them than for M.  They understood everything--the son-in-law even explained to his wife that the Pope can't really have authority from God because he was chosen by other men!  Finally someone who gets it!  So we're going to pass that reference on and I'm excited to know what happens with them some day.  

M disappeared this week.  The member that introduced us to him saw him on Thursday and said that he had told her that he wanted us to go over Friday because he needed help (he's alcoholic) but he wasn't home.

Basically, we're super excited for this transfer because we're going to have a lot of success.  The activity this Saturday should be sweet, and we still have a bunch of referrals to contact this week.  Pray that the investigators go to church this week!

I'm out of time, but I love you all!  Have a great first day of school tomorrow!!  Adios!

Elder Pew

August 26th, 2013

Where to begin?  Basically, being in a threesome is a big party.  We've realized that there are so many advantages to having two companions instead of one.  Plus, how many members of the first presidency are there?  3.  How many members of the Godhead are there?  3.  How many sons did Alma have?  3.  How many times did the Nephites here the voice of God before Christ descended among them?  3.  How long was Christ's earthly ministry?  3 years.  How long was he in the tomb?  3 days.  How many testaments of Christ are there?  3.  How many books are in the triple combination?  3.  How many prophets have been named Joseph Smith?  3. How many Israelites ended up in Gideon's army? 300.  How many years will President Wagner serve as mission president?  3.  It's just a more spiritually powerful number.

This Wednesday we found out the reason Elder V is here.  Sister Wagner called and told me that Elder V suffers from serious migrains and that lately they have been getting worse.  He was knocked flat three days the week before they transferred him here.  He's been to the hospital 2 times before but they haven't found anything wrong with him.  So she told me I had to take him to a Neurologist as fast as possible to try and get all this sorted out. So that day we went to the hospital (which is about 40 minutes from our area) and they told him to go to a radiation clinic to have some studies done on his brain.  So we set up an appointment for Thursday morning at 8 am.  We got horribly lost trying to find the stinking clinic, so we ended up getting there at about 9 am.  We were on the right bus and everything, but we got mixed up and ended up late--long story.  They told us they wouldn't be able to fit us in that day, but we took advantage of the fact that we were there and asked them if they accepted our mission insurance.  They said no and that his studies would cost 5,200 pesos (which is WAY more than what we had on hand) so we wouldn't have been able to pay for it anyways.  So we had to go from there all the way to the mission office (which is close to our area, about 1 hour from the clinic) to pick up money so we could go back Friday.  Friday morning we made it on time, he got in and they took a bunch of pictures of his brain.  Then they told us to take them back to the doctor at the hospital so that he could analyze them to find out what was wrong.  So we went back to the hospital and the doctor said that he had some inflammation in his brain that was causing the problem.  He prescribed him a 1 year treatment of pills that make him super tired, and after 2 hours of waiting for them to give us the pills, we gave up and went home, deciding to go back for them Saturday.  As you can imagine, our area kind of suffered from all the travelling.  But this week should be back to normal.  

Despite the madness, we were able to see C twice this week.  He's started to read the Book of Mormon and is doing really great.  He even came to church on Sunday and looks like he'll be pretty prepared for his baptism on the 7th.  Yes!

Saturday was a special day.  There's a little town about 40 minutes outside of Guadalajara called T, which is, coincidentally, the T capital of the world.  There is a tiny little branch of about 6 active members there, and it belongs to our stake.  There haven't been missionaries there for about 2 years, but the stake presidency has been working a lot with the branch to help it grow.  On Saturday, they organized an activity to go visit some less active members in T, and they asked President Wagner if they could bring four missionaries from the stake with them.  And I was one of those lucky four!!!  I went with Elder B, our new zone leader (who knows Marci Johnson, a friend from high school, by the way), Sister L and Sister H, along with about 12 different stake leaders.  The drive there was beautiful.  Full of little agave plants, a little bluish plant that they use to make T.  Also, there were lots of really tall, big green mountains and I was loving it.  Tequila is a sweet little town.  It's a little bit bigger than S, and it's super classy.  It just felt good from the moment we got there.  We had a little devotional with the members of the branch and then they divided us into 5 or six little groups and assigned us a less active to visit.  I was put with a Canadian member of the high council here, the Stake President's son, and a member from Tequila.  We went to the house where we were assigned, and the lady who answered the door told us that the person we were looking for was her daughter, who had gotten married and moved to another part of town.  But she let us right in and told us that she had also listened to the missionaries, but lost track of the church when they left.  Her name is E.  So we decided to take the opportunity to teach her family the restoration.  Her son and her maid also listened to us, and it was a very spiritual lesson.  At the end, they all accepted the invitation to go to church and to get baptized.  It was incredible!  Afterwards, we still had a little bit of time, so they gave us her daughter's address and we went and visited her.  She was also super awesome and told us that she's going to start going to church again.  When we all got back to their little house of prayer, we heard similar stories from the other groups.  Between the 4 missionaries that went, we found 10 new investigators who are willing to be baptized and a bunch of less actives who are ready to come back to church.  It was such an amazing experience to see how the Lord has prepared His children to receive the Gospel in that part of his vineyard, and I was so grateful to have been a part of it.  I hope there are missionaries there soon.  

We got home just in time to set up for the activity.  It went super well--we had only planned on doing 2 rounds of plane crashes but we ended up having to do 4!!!  Also, a member in our area brought a family of investigators that we're going to start teaching this week.  I don't have much more time to explain it, but some day I'll show you the pictures and videos.  It was sweet.

I'm out of time, but I love you all!!!! Have an excellent week!

Elder Pew