Responding: It rained a lot this week but no floods. Nothing abnormal. I don't think the rain from the east coast makes it all the way here. We've survived. It's actually super hot right now. I'm kind of sweaty, in case you were wondering.
What kind of tacos? All kinds. Tacos de Barbacoa, de Chorizo, de Arrachera, de lengua (tongue), de cabeza (other weird parts of the head), etc. You'll have to look up these words in English because I don't know them.
We called S and we'll have to start hopefully this week. His friend that brought him to the activity told us that he's had problems with his wife lately, so he really needs help. We haven't seen C in a while. He sent us a message on Tuesday saying that he's going to be busy working all week, but his member friends have seen him and have been challenging to baptism in our absence, so that's good.
I'm pretty sure the whole zone went to the activity mom, and yes, we all brought investigators. It was amazing.
It started raining again.
We had a good week. We found a few sweet new investigators. One of them is M, who works in an ice cream shop. One day while it was raining super hard we went in for a moment to take out our umbrella, and we started talking to him. He lived in California for 14 years and has just been back 1 year. He is married and has 3 kids-18, 15, and 9. He was super interested when we taught him the restoration and when we invited him to be baptized he said "of course!" The struggle is going to be that he works on Sundays and hasn't been able to go to church. But he's cool and he gives us free ice cream bars every time we go over.
We found another awesome family. It's a single mom and her three kids. Her name is B, and she has a 17 year old daughter named I and a 13 year old son named C and a 4 year old daughter who's name escapes me. The kids are really great--when we told them about mutual they got really excited, so we're going to see if we can get them to go this week. B is nice, but didn't seem so convinced when we invited her to be baptized. It was one of those "well, let us read and pray and we'll see." But we're confident that if her kids gain testimonies, she will too. Just like the N family in A.
We taught J the restoration this week and he loved it. He is super excited for general conference and accepted a baptismal date for. Yes! We're going to try teaching the rest of his family this week. His wife is awesome and has already listened to us before, and he has 2 sons who are married and live there with their wives and another son that's 10. Potential.
T was great. The stake leaders didn't go with us this time, just Elder T and I working with their branch president and Brother C that went with me last time. We split up and I went with C, without really having a plan. We went back to visit E and B, the investigators we found last time. They're great. We read 3rd Nephi 11 with them and they loved it. They're super excited to read the Book of Mormon and since that chapter talks about baptism so much, they started saying, "oh, wow, we need to get baptized!" So I said "Oh what the heck!" and put a baptismal date with them for. Hopefully we'll be able to go back often enough to get them ready. We also visited a less active grandma named C, who told me that she doesn't go to church just because she's lazy. She said she would go on Sunday. We also asked E who else listened to the missionaries before they took them out and she gave us a bunch of referrals. We contacted a few of them and everyone seems to have a great impression of the missionaries there. It's really great to see. Also, the members have a really good culture of work. When the missionaries come, everyone gets out and preaches with them, even though there's only like 6 active members. So if we can bring more people into activity and baptize a few more while keeping that culture, this branch is going to grow super fast. We were going to go on Sunday also, but the member of the High Council who was going to take us was sick and couldn't go. But I think we are going to go this week again.
Did I mention that they're branch president is blind? I don't know how he does it, but he guided Elder T through the whole town visiting less actives. He really is incredible. He's got such a great, humble spirit about him and is really making a difference, despite all that's against him. They should make a movie about him some day.
You're probably asking yourselves what's up with the subject line of this email--A Kiss from A Rose, Sort of. Well, Saturday night after getting back from T, we were walking back to our apartment at night and this drunk guy on a bike stopped us by the side of the road asking for money. Elder V told him to get out of the road so they wouldn't run him over and asked him where he lived. He said in a really drunk voice "where did you find me?" So Elder V asked him again "where do you live?" "Where did you find me?" And just then he turned and saw me for the first time. He did a double take and said "Wow, you're really handsome!" then grabbed me by the ears and pulled me in for the kiss! He was about 3 inches from my face with his mouth wide open before I realized that yes, this is really happening and escaped as fast as I could. His breath smelled horrible and he only had about 3 rotten teeth. Elder V was laughing so hard he couldn't stay standing. And he kept laughing the whole bus ride home. It was kind of funny I guess, even though it was one of the more traumatizing experiences of my entire life.
That's it for this week. It's the last week of the transfer, so who knows what will happen. Probably nothing, but we'll see. I love you all! Have a great week!
September 30th 2013
Aloha! It's been nice and sunny the last few days and its starting to look like the hurricanes have finally passed. We'll see if it's not raining when I finish this email. I hope you're all enjoying the cold. I know I wouldn't be. But we can't all serve our missions in the promised land, can we?
This was a great week. We've found a bunch of awesome investigators and we've got a few new prospects also. Remember B? We almost convinced her to let her son C go on a young men's campout that they had this Friday and Saturday, but it looked like it was going to rain so she said no. But we're going to invite him to mutual this week along with his sister N. They're awesome. Also, while revising our area book, we found a few old sheets of future investigators. We decided to go visit everyone on the list to see what would happen, and we found a new investigator named A. She was a referral from the old mission president, President S. She said the missionaries only went 1 or 2 times to visit them and she doesn't know why they stopped going. She has 2 teenage kids and already basically lives like a Mormon--she reads the Bible and does family prayer with them as much as she can. She is also super interested in going to church, but she couldn't go this week because she twisted her ankle and has been on crutches. But she'll be there in General conference this Sunday!
Also, a few weeks back we met a new member named A in church. He's 22 and was baptized about a year ago. He found out about the church through a friend in a different stake, so he's always gone to her ward even though he lives here in our area. He came a few Sundays ago because he was running late and wasn't going to make it to the other church where he normally goes. So we asked him for his address and went to visit him. It turns out that he's the only member in his family. His sister is interested. Her name is F, she's 18, and she's way awesome. We taught her the restoration this week and it went really well. The only problem is that her mom is not going to be very supportive. Also, she works on Sundays. But her brother's great and will help her progress.
We still haven't been able to teach S. He asked us to help him find a place to stay, so we've been working on that. His member friend brought him to church this week, and he seemed to enjoy it. Poor guy. We're going to have a lesson with him this Thursday or Friday, and I really hope we can help him.
Our ward mission leader got married last week and hasn't really had a whole lot of time to help us the last little while, and it really has been hard. But he's back now and ready to go to work! He talked to the stake president about doing the Plane Crash activity again but as a whole stake and he gave him the green light! So we're going to start planning it.
On Thursday I started feeling really sick. After lunch I could barely stand up, so we went home for a little bit to rest, and it got so bad that we couldn´t go back to work for the rest of the day. I had a fever of about 100, my nose was really runny and I just felt weak. That night it got worse. I couldn't sleep, and I started to cough and have congestion in my chest. We ended up staying in the house all day Friday also. Sister Wagner told me that it was just a virus and all I could do was treat the symptoms and wait it out. So that's what I did. I've been taking cold medicine (basically dayquil) and cough syrup and it seemed to help. Saturday I was finally feeling a little better, so we went to work and everything, but I was still really weak and felt pretty awful. But I was just glad to not be in the house anymore. This was the first time in my mission I'd been so sick that I couldn't go out and work. Nothing like a bad cold to make you count your blessings. Anyways, because of all that we didn't get to go to T this week. Sunday my fever went away but I still was feeling pretty nasty. But don't worry, today I feel great. Just a runny nose. I'm excited to finally be able to give everything again.
Today were transfers and I'm staying here with Elder V for one more at least. We're thinking he'll probably end his mission training here in this area, and since he's only got two transfers left after this one, this is probably my last transfer here. But it's going to be a good one! Man it has gone by so fast. The only change in our district was that Elder M is going to V to train and open an area, and Elder T is going to be training here. We're pumped.
The package still hasn't made it to me but it's probably sitting in the office waiting. Maybe I'll get it tomorrow.
Have a great week everyone! I love you!
October 7th, 2013
This week everyone we found last week decided to stop listening to us, other than F. We had a nice lesson with her and she's still not convinced, but at least she listens. She didn't make it to conference because she works on Sundays, but whatever. We are completely out of ideas on how to find new investigators, but we're going to keep working and see what happens. We tried straight up contacting one day but it doesn't work here. If we contact 15 people, only one of them will live in our area, and the chances are even slimmer that they want us to come over to teach them. The members all tell us that they've already talked to everyone they know, and they´ve all rejected. In most of their cases I know they're telling the truth. We've been asking ourselves why there are 6 missionaries in this ward, because the last two transfers all three areas have been about like this, but there's some inspired reason behind it. There's hardly even work to do with less actives. There are only 8 in our area, and only 2 let us come over. Surprisingly, almost all the members in this ward are already active. Which is great, but it leaves us feeling a little useless sometimes, especially when we don't have investigators. But something's got to come around. Just to prove that this IS the true church and that it IS the Lord's work. Because Elder V and I couldn't turn this around alone.
Conference was great. Favorite talks: Pres. Uchtdorf in Priesthood session, President MonsonMorning, Terence Vinson Saturday afternoon, and Elder Ballard Saturday afternoon. It just gets better every time. The church is so true.
I've got to go now. No, I haven't got that package. Still waiting. Sorry this letter's a little short, but what we really need is some good soccer to get us more motivated. Just like President Uchtdorf said, "Sometimes we think that because we've fallen in the past, our destiny is to fall. But our life isn't defined by how many times we fall, but how many times we get back up." We're going to get up. NOW!
Have a great week everyone! I love you all!