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Monday, March 18, 2013

t-t-t-t-ransfers!

So some orders of business! First we got a letter from the mission, we can email anyone we want and anyone can email us. So that's pretty cool! I already sent my email to Obama asking for a shout out for mormon.org - we'll see how that goes.

Next up - I'm staying here! Elder Crespo is going off to a new Zone and Elder Guzman will be coming here with me! Elder Guzman was in the same district as Elder Ruiz (Cuevas) and was trained by Elder Mendes who took over the Morning Sun ward. Elder Guzman is a great guy. He is a native so hopefully he will help me with my Spanish. It's gonna be crazy! I'm sooo pumped! I'm excited for this upcoming transfer and all the things I can learn from EG. I'll give you the full report next week.
I haven’t had time to read any of the letters I got last week and haven’t gotten any mail yet, but thanks so much for all your love and support; it means the world to me.

SoOoOo. This week. It has been fansooogoodtastic.
Monday was just a pretty normal pday - we emailed and shopped and ran errands and tried to help out the other elders do what they needed and then we finished it off playing sports. I don’t know if I've ever explained the missionary game that we play. It’s called Kanake (can-ack-ee). It’s like ultimate Frisbee but with a football or rugby ball but you can run with it when you catch it. If you get tagged it’s a turn over. It's very simple but its super fun. I love it because if I don’t pay too much attention it's kinda like touch rugby. Monday night we did a family home evening with a few families from the ward and it went pretty well. We talked about keeping the commandments even when it’s easier not to. I am always reminded of how poor some of the people we serve are. When I think about the trials I have had in life I think of - well someone offended me, or I didn't study as hard as I could have, or .... idk I haven’t had too many trials. But these people are POOR and they don’t deserve it! Not to be racist but the hispanic/latino people here work hard. Most of the ones I have met have been such examples of hard work to me. And they struggle like crazy. I have heard story after story of the end of the month rolling around and there isn't enough money to pay the rent and the bills and buy food. But they pay their tithing and things work out. They get a call to work one extra job or they find that the rent price dropped for them. Just things like that. Miracles. It’s incredible. They struggle to make ends meet and with the Lord's blessings, they do. But anyway this family gave us these sandwiches soaked in a kinda of salsa thing. They said "it's not spicy" like 10 times. I could tell they were trying to mess with me the white guy. So I ate it. The whole thing. They had soaked it in hot sauce and put jalapenos inside as well. Good thing I've been training otherwise I don’t think I'd have survived. They all thought for sure I was gonna die. It was a darn tasty sandwich.

On Tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder Alvarez in my area. So it was pretty much a normal day of just trying to find anyone to talk to. It went a little better because it's been getting a little warmer so we found some people out and about and we met some really cool people. One guy offered us jobs at the Four Seasons hotel. That made me feel pretty cool. One of the members we visited gave us some water that was so, so dirty. I got sick within minutes of drinking it. It's crazy that people can drink water like that, it makes me feel so spoiled and so blessed at the same time. 

Wednesday we had our district meeting where E' Slik trained us on how to be better missionaries. I learned a lot. Then we went to do service for a few families in the ward. We moved some really heavy things for one family. Then we went to visit this old woman to help her clean her yard. I swear she couldn't have been taller than 4 feet. I thought she must have been sitting down or something when she first opened the door. It was crazy. But she was really, really, really old and we helped her do some weeding and throw some of her old things (junk) away. After we were done she opened up to us and cried about her son. He has really bad diabetes and she was sad because he has been a "good boy" his whole life and kept the word of wisdom and been a bishop, served a mission all these great things and now he's dying and can’t hardly do anything himself. This woman is like 85 and she's taking care of her 50 year old son. It's pretty sad. But we helped her out and she was so happy. I love seeing people’s faces when we help them. It makes me happy. :) Then a little later we visited a family who told us a bunch of miracle stories, some that I'd heard before and a few from their own missions. It's interesting out here. Most of the returned missionaries marry other returned missionaries. It’s cool. I think that's probably going to be a lot more common with this age change for sisters and elders. Wednesday night we went out with our Elders Quorum to do some visits so that was pretty cool to be able to work with them and visit some of the families that need some help in the ward.

Thursday was cool. A member made us breakfast and then we went to help the stake Relief Society set up for an event they were doing that night. We helped the women out a lot and it made me happy to be able to lighten their burden. Then after we went to Jack-In-the-Box with our Zone Leaders and I saw Brother and Sister Conger who said that they just got back from Salt Lake where they saw Grandma and Grandpa Wilcox in the temple! That's pretty cool. Small world huh? Saturday afternoon we did some service as well. We helped a family move some rocks around. I got crazyyyy bad blisters on my hands from shoveling so many rocks. The base of my fingers is still this nasty cracked bloody mess. I can’t put Band-Aids on it because I move my hands and they fall off and it can’t heal because I use my hands and it rips open again and starts bleeding. It looks pretty nasty. We taught English class which is really fun and then after we stopped by the Relief Society activity to see if they needed any help in putting stuff away. They gave us 50 pieces of cake. 50!

Friday was a great day too! We did our planning and Sister Stephens checked our apartment for cleanliness we got a 10/10 wahoo! Everyone was out partying so we couldn’t find anyone to teach or talk to so on paper it was a slow day, but I loved it. 

Saturday we ate pizza 3 times. A member gave us breakfast - pizza. Then we had a zone activity (unsanctioned of course) and everyone came and scrubbed our floors b/c they have been stained from missionaries living there for so long. A member brought us pizza there. Then we had lunch with a less active family they gave us pizza too. PIZZA! Saturday we talked to 2 very interesting people. The first bashed us for almost a half an hour straight. It was weird. It's hard to explain the story but EC and him were about to fight it was crazy. I tried to get us to leave but both of them wouldn't stop. It was tough because he was practically spitting in our faces and telling us we were going to hell and that we were confused and we weren’t Christians and all this stuff. Sticks and stones man. But it was okay, he said a lot of mean things but it didn’t really get me down at all. Then we had a really good talk with a less active member's daughter. She opened up to us a lot. Three times this week people have said, “hey where have you guys been? When are you going to come back and visit us?” That always makes me feel like I'm doing my job. 

Then Sunday was bomb as usual. We visited a less active woman who told us when we sat down that she knows the scriptures are true and the church is true but the people are not and they offended her. We told her yeah that's exactly right, so you should come back and trust in the Savior and not in imperfect people. She said she does but she just can’t stand the hypocrisy and won’t go back until certain people leave. It was hard, we didn’t argue but we were trying to get her to understand that she is excusing herself from so many blessings because human beings make mistakes. And then she would try to explain that it's not worth it. Then we would try to explain that it isssss worth it. Sounds like an argument, but it was actually a good discussion. She ended up saying that she knew she needed to go to church and she'd wanted to Saturday night but she didn’t get up on Sunday. She says that when she gets back from Mexico she'll go. I think she will.

So that's the week. Written out it sounds boring or slow or idk. But it's not. It's a wonderful adventure. Life is good.
Okay. I've gotta run, I wish I could write more, but I just don’t have the time.
I love you all so much
Sam

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