Hellllo everyone and happppppy Christmas! What a wonderful time of the year this is. I'm not saying it should be the happiest but if you haven’t been too happy lately now is the time to start. You have every excuse to sport that dashing smile of yours all month long. And after that, why hide that light under a bushel?? Keep it out for the whole New Year! It will make you and those around you much happier. I promise.
So I’ll just go over every day for you all then. If anyone hates this format let me know and I’ll change it... soonish ;)
Monday. Monday Elder Bennett was sick on Monday. Like super sick. So that changed up the whole course of the day, kind of. It made me super sad to see him in so much pain. So we did all the Pday stuff but we like had to push Elder Bennett in the shopping cart because he was too weak to walk :(. So after the normal course of Pday was taken, we went home to rest but while Elder Talmage stayed home and napped with Elder Bennett I went with Elders Campbell and Sherwood and Sisters Fernandez and Franco to hike. We didn’t go very far, but it was fun and super pretty. We could see across the whole valley and when we stopped talking, it was completely silent. A blessing I haven’t had in a veryyyy long time. What a blessing it was to just sit and look out over this great city. I'm so lucky to be serving a mission especially in such a great place with such amazing people. Funny how getting away from it for a moment helped remind me. Life works in mysterious ways. After that, they dropped me off at home and we spent the evening studying and coaxing Elder Bennett to drink!
Tuesday we went on exchanges with Montebello North [a mission area in Sam’s district] and Elder Bennett went with Elder Chacon and E'T and I were super lucky to have Elder Johnson with us. He is such a fun loving, cheerful, and god-fearing man (I’m using the scriptural definition of fear here, but I'm pretty sure that he is smart enough to be afraid of the Big Man, too). We had an action-packed day planned but things got thrown off because E'B didn’t have enough strength to bike until later in the afternoon, so we had to move some lessons around. So then after the exchange the three of us went to contact some referrals but they were not home. Dinner was like 5 miles away, so we talked to some people on our way out there. After dinner we tried to go to all our lessons, but all three cancelled which almost! made me sad, so instead we went to visit some less active families. I goaded E'T into using his hidden Spanish skills and he was bomb. He got one family to promise to come back to church right then and there. It was really cool. He shared a powerful scripture and then talked about how they were not receiving all the blessings that our Father in Heaven wanted for them. They said that they could feel that too. That was a full day but not a lot to write about.
Wednesday was weeeeird but another great day. In the morning E'J and I drove E'T to the University (of Las Vegas). It was cool to get to drive again, but being on a college campus like that was horrrrrible for my focus that day. It was full of young people doing their thing. Some of them just waking up (we got there at like 11am), others running to and from classes, others proving to me that BYU isn't the only place with PDA problems (and in fact, BYU wasn’t quite as bad because they were way more modest), and there was just that sense of excitement all around. Elder Johnson and I talked about it all the time we were waiting for the other missionaries to pick up E'T. It's hard to explain what it was like there. Later, after dropping off the car, some member randomly gave us some tamales, which were delicious. But. While biking home and eating simultaneously my back wheel of my bike popped off and I was ejected from the bike and hit the wall and lost all the innards to my tamale and I got scraped up pretty bad. But it was super funny. Luckily I knew what I needed to do to fix it, so we weren’t just stranded. Elder Johnson almost wet himself, I think. Exchanges ended that afternoon and Elder Bennett and I went to go visit a Cuban woman who needed a blessing. She lives in our area but refuses to let Elders into her house which is a problem because sisters cant really give blessings.... but she finally let us in. We visited with her for a while and got to know her and talked about a chapter from the Book of Mormon and the faith it takes to read and follow the things we learn. It was a powerful time for us to bear our testimony of the Book of Mormon, and it was what she wanted to hear as well. Faith is such a beautiful topic. And it encompasses everything from hope to power. Faith in Jesus Christ is really everything. With it I have seen so many people change. Those who are kept from the truth only need to fully understand that it is in faith in our Savior that they will find it. Anyway. Then we gave her a powerful blessing. When she tried to thank us, neither of us could understand her. Her Cuban accent was tough but through tears it was impossible. When we did understand her, she invited us back to eat dinner. I'm pumped for it. Hopefully, I'm still here in central. Dinner that night was straight authentic Mexican, beans, rice, food poisoning, meat and all. But I didn’t know about the food poisoning until Thursday. After dinner I went to go on splits with the Zone Leaders because they needed help working in their area, so Elder Shreve and I went to visit a lot of his investigators. It was cool to be able use my English for a change.
Thursday. That was a tough day. Talmage and I were soooooo sick. In his words, "that cheese really jacked us up." We had district meeting, which was pretty good. Elder Bennett trained us in the ways of missionary stuff and then we went home and I spent the rest of the day walking the line between my bed and the toilet. In retrospect I don’t think Talmage or I ate that day.... That night we tried to go out to a lesson with Salvador. We got all suited up and took our
Pepto and took what seemed like the hardest bike ride of my life. But we got in there ready for Elder Bennett to carry us through, because Talmage and I were dying. We had prayed for the ability not to vomit over our investigator and we didn’t. So that was a blessing. On top of all the other blessings we already had! I'm going to be perfectly honest though, the lessons was about 2 steps less than average. But he knew that we are only human and sometimes get super duper sick. So no harm, no foul.
Friday was a day. We got to go to the temple, because Elder Talmage is new, so that was cool. Twice in a transfer is crazy lucky. Some missionaries only get to go 2 times in a year. We are so blessed. It's incredible. But we expended all our energy not dying during the session so Elder Talmage and I went home after that and slept. It was crazy how tired we were.
Saturday... The day started with a breakfast at the stake president’s house. It was nice to meet with him and discuss the status of our wards and all the work that is going on within. After that we made programs for a baptism. Then we did what is called a district blitz. Our whole district and the zone leaders went to Elder Chacon's area to work it for 3 hours. We started with a prayer for miracles and they were seen. We talked to so many people. So many. We visited a large bunch of less active families who all seemed like they were just waiting for someone to invite them back to church. And we found so many others who seemed like they were waiting for us to come teach them. It was cool. Super cool. Montebello movin' mountains! Then we had a lesson with one of our newer investigators and 'set' her for baptism before the end of the year. All 4 of us were super excited.
Sunday. Normal Sunday. There was a member baptism that I had to play the piano for. It went way better than I expected. But it was definitely something I haven’t done for a while. Like a long while. Bishop said I had been hiding my talent and I think now he wants me to play in Sacrament [meeting], hopefully I get transferred before he remembers. Just joking. I'd love that opportunity to serve.
And that brings us to now.
I hope that is good enough. I wish I had more time.
Aight peeps. Love you all so much.
Stay safe, stay warm, stay classy.