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Monday, January 21, 2013

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Remember that Mr. Rogers song from forever ago? That was cool. When I get home I wanna listen to it, all I can remember is that I liked it.

So. This was another great week. They are all so great which is cool.
Time is super short this week. So the email is going to be super short. SORRY! 
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. 

Jeez. Lemme just blab for a second. I love serving. I am quite happy to be alive. Life is supposed to be happy. If you're not happy, repent. And I say that because I love ya’ll.

What a great week this has been.  I think, if I remember, I will report on interesting things I studied in personal study. I have been studying a lot about the atonement and specifically grace, or, as Elder Bednar calls it “the redeeming and enabling powers” in case you all were interested.

I'll begin with Lunes. - Pday was pretty normal. We did all the usual stuff and I had a little time to write some letters, which was sick. But I only had a little bit of time which was the pits because I didn’t get to write as many letters as I wanted to or needed to. I just need to be more disciplined and less distracted. I also should try to write around other missionaries. But point is a few of you lucky people got letters this week. They were short, but it felt good to write to you guys :). After the course of our pday events we went to dinner at the Shwenke family’s house. We made spring rolls there, which was super cool. It was fun, easy and ridiculously delicious. Then we had some more Hawaiian food. That night we met with one of our investigators and had a great lesson. His wife is a recent convert and she told her conversion story which was really, really great. We tried to involve their kids but it didn't work out too well. The three oldest boys are all members but are not interested hardly at all. One of them who used to be super active said to me in the middle of the lesson, "you say all that like it’s a fact, but it's only your opinion. You can’t really know those things." I don’t want to say that because he disagrees with me he is wrong, but it made me sad to hear him talk like that. Especially after talking with the Bishop about how active and involved he used to be.


Martes was Zone Training meeting. So we had 4ish hours of training from our zone leaders. From a non-missionary perspective it sounds really long and boring but it is actually awesome. I learned a lot as always and as always came away excited to be an even better missionary than I was before. Paying attention is important! Then we had a lesson with our strongest investigator, Norma. She's great. But she is struggling because her husband is holding her back. She wants to be baptized but she wants to do it as a family and her husband is dragging his feet. And from his friend in the church we found out a bunch more about why he is so ... passive. Sigh. Choose the right all the time even when it’s the harder thing to do. It will make you and your family happier. But the lesson was good. Everyone felt the spirit. Quick note about their daughter, they call her gordita and she is about 3 inches shy of being wider than she is tall. That night we had dinner with the Bishop of our Spanish ward. He is 29, 2 kids, a full time job and he's a bishop. That man works really, really, hard. Great guy. Oh freak! Tuesday night we met Hector. It was such an amazing experience. We were in a sketchier part of our area trying to talk to some former investigators because our area book is a mess. As we were walking we struck up conversation with a man getting into his car. He had a beer in one hand and a black and mild in the other. He was gruff, but surprisingly interested. So we talked. And talked. He swore a lot and was pissed about his life. He was sick of everything that was happening in his life. He had a friend a while back that "found Jesus" in prison. He said that before he had thought of God as the weak way out of things but now he says he thinks it’s the right way. I wanted to give him a huge hug. He deserved it. So we talked to him outside and then he invited us into his home and we taught him and his two young boys a lesson. When he came home they both ran to him and gave him hugs. He later explained to us that they always act like that when they see him because they never know when he will come home when he leaves. He told us last year he was in and out of prison and his kids hardly got to see him. He told us that he wanted to change the way his life was going to be better for them. Perfect ey? He was English so we had to refer him to other elders but my fingers are crossed and I pray so bad that he listens and does what the elders invite him to do. It will change his life, and his family's, forever. He needs it and those boys need him to have it. Ugh, I’ve gotta move on but it was a great lesson/contact.


Miercoles working backwards we tried to visit some less actives at night. Before that we visited the Jenk's family. It was bomb. We went to share a message with them and had a great time. We showed a clip of the district DVD and then they invited us to be a part of their family scripture study. It was bomb. Then we talked with Brother Jenks about the ward and he gave us referrals and people to talk to. He's the high priest group leader at 38 and is a sharp guy. And he has to be cause remember this is the English ward with all the heavy hitters: temple prez, patriarch, etc. Before that we went to have a lesson with a former investigator but she flaked so we talked with a member nearby. He was old and had dementia, which was really sad. When I shook his hand he grabbed it and held on and didn’t let go for more than 10 minutes. Elder Crespo had to save me by wiggling his fingers into the handshake and then the old man held his hand for even longer. We were there for about 50 minutes and one of us was holding the man’s hand the entire time. It was so sad, but he was so happy to have someone to talk to and it made me happy to be there for him. I couldn’t understand anything he said. It was like he was speaking a different language and for all I know he was. When he let go finally we left. For dinner we had a super simple.... rice beans and chicken but it was bomb. Before that we stopped in a random member’s house and the little boy was like following us around and saying "Elder! Elder! Elder!" It’s cute and flooring how much people look up to us. I never feel worthy. I am representing Jesus Christ. Wow. What a calling. I wish all missionaries understood what that meant. I don’t feel worthy of it sometimes, and the love of members and children? You'd think I was the Savior himself. It's great. But humbling.


Moving on. Jueves was a great day. We stopped in on some members and had a nice visit with them. The husband served in Michigan in ‘79 so we talked about home, which was cool to be able to connect with someone who loves the mitten as much as I do. We visited with the rest of the family and they were fun. It makes me happy when people like me. Even when I feel like I don’t deserve it. We had a lesson with one of our investigators. He always says he needs to be baptized, he just is scared. I think he said that verbatim. And he doesn’t really wanna commit. He's close, but the biggest hurdle is still ahead. Fear (the opposite of faith). His family needs him. We also did service and coordination so it was a fairly full day.

Viernes was Elder Mayo's "I’ve been 20 for a month now" day. Fun fact hahaa. We went to visit an investigator in our English ward and she dropped us, which was too bad. Then later we had a good talk with a Jehovah’s Witness, I learned a little more about what they believe. Good people. They might get more crap than we do though hahaha. Then as EC and I were leaving that lesson we saw the temple president and the patriarch crossing in front of the stake presidents house (They were both on walks with their wives. It was cute!). Pretty funny. That’s our English ward for you. Oh yeah and the temple was like right behind the house. Then we visited a less active member (later) who wants to go on a mission and is really excited about it. 
Sorry its short.

Sabado we returned the ridiculous amount of Christmas decorations that have been in our house. We had like lighthouses and trains and other crazy stuff. Like a tree and lights and all this stuff. But the member finally had time to open his garage for us. We had 2 lessons flake which was sad. Good member visit with a man in the Spanish ward and he told us a bunch of Spanish riddles and gave us referrals! For dinner we had pizza and stuff. I decided to put some guacamole on my piazza and it was delicious and next thing I knew all three of the little boys in the family were doing it too. The mom laughed and laughed and laughed. She said it reminded her of her mission when people would mimic her. (See above statement about feeling weird that people look to me so much.)

Domingo was the Sabbath. Great day, got to go to both wards.  We had a dinner with a family that has 13 foster kids at home right now. It was a party. Then we visited some people. Then we got together with a few other missionaries to practice a musical number. I am singing, again. They wanted me to do the solo but I'm too embarrassed to sing at zone conference tomorrow. Idk why they'd ask meee......
kkk that’s all the time I have
I love you all so much!!!!
Love,
Sam

sorry its short.

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