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Monday, April 1, 2013

HE LIVES ALL GLORY TO HIS NAME

Okkkkayyy!!! Hey everyone thanks! I love knowing that you all are supporting me and praying for me. I can feel it. This work isn’t possible without support.

Monday was a great day. We had a fun p-day running errands and doing all that kind of stuff. We ate a fantastic dinner at the Schwenke's. Sister made us lava-lavas. I've worn mine every day. “Pants? We don’t wear pants in this town, we just walk around in our MANLY SKIRTS”! It's nice. Dad - it reminds me of the beginning of the 4th Harry Potter. Afterwards we went to go see Marlon and we read the scriptures with him and he showed us his coin collection. He works housekeeping at a casino so he has some sick coins from all around the world.

Tuesday was a good day too! Elder Guzman was pretty sick so we spent most of the day indoors. He rested and I watched the District DVDs and studied Preach My Gospel and the scriptures.  When Elder Guzman was feeling a little better we did a service project and I caught a gecko! So that was pretty cool. Then EG was feeling sick so we had to come back. So it was a short day but it was pretty cool because we got to do a lot of good things.

Wednesday was district meeting which is always bomb. We then had to drive the Elders around all afternoon which was kinda crazy. But we got to teach a lesson to Aliaha which went well. She's so smart and has gospel knowledge well beyond her age. After that we had dinner, then we had a meeting with the Bishop about Aliaha, then we taught English class, which I love. We tried as a district to practice a musical number but then we decided that we sounded too bad... so we didn’t do it. 

Thursday Elder Guzman was sick again really bad so we spent most of the day resting. Late in the afternoon we got to go teach Aliaha and get her ready to be baptized. She needs a righteous example so bad in her life. I can see and feel that not having a stable mother is taking its toll. She doesn’t have a role model set out to look to so she has to look outside, in the media and in magazines and stuff like that and it is warping her idea of what is important and what is valuable. It was interesting. The Word of Wisdom was a struggle for her because she had decided to drink as a 9 year old girl because that's what she saw everyone else doing. It's absolutely crazy. The bad example of her mom and the lack of a mother figure now in her life is hurting her. I can’t really explain it very well. I guess I am just trying to highlight the importance of being a good example. It can make a world of difference. The influence of a righteous mother can work miracles (see Alma 56). Sorry for my senseless ranting. BUT TO ALL OF YOU THAT ARE IN A POSITION TO INFLUENCE OTHERS, MAKE SURE YOU ARE A POSITIVE INFLUENCE. YOU NEVER KNOW WHO IS WATCHING. Be worthy of the reverence that little children have for you. Grrrrrrrr. And don’t do drugs. We had our coordination meeting as well with Hno Villalpando. He gets it. That man knows what he is supposed to be doing and he does everything in his power to do it. It's an honor to get to work with so many wonderful saints every day. He's a good example to me. Then we ate dinner and went to English class. Afterwards EG felt sick so a member gave us jello and chicken broth and crackers. People are just too nice.

Friday was pretty cool. We had "Spanish Conference". It was basically just a zone conference but for only the Spanish missionaries. It was 8 hours and it was really good and helped direct us on how we should adapt out teaching and acting for the different culture. I got to see a lot of other missionaries which was cool, like Elder Bennett and Elder Yockey and Elder Chacon and Elder Nonu and others. I learned a lot from that day. They asked me to speak. I was pretty intimidated but I did a really good job. I was humbled and honored which is a better way to put it than intimidated. Someone said I speak like a mini-Elder Holland and that I got everyone pumped, that made me feel super good. A lot of people talked to me about the things I said which made me feel important. I don’t think I've blushed that much in a long, long time. Then after we went and brought Elder Slik to do a baptismal interview for Aliaha. In teaching the law of chastity I taught her a song – “Stop! Don’t touch me there! This is my no-no square!” Hand movements and all. She loved it and did it all the time. She was laughing for like the whole rest of the interview after she sang it to Elder Slik. After that we went to Dominga's house to read the Book of Mormon with her. She is trying so hard to learn everything and to be good. It’s a pleasure to help people who are trying to help themselves. And because of her desires she is learning a lot. Then we met with Hno Villalpando to finish up preparing for the baptism. 
Aliaha's baptism - Elder Anderson, Elder Guzman and Elder Shreve
 Saturday was sick. We had Aliaha's baptism at noon. Then we had lunch at the V's. He is such a great guy, he is going through horrible, horrible things and he copes by serving us and serving others. Kinda like the Savior. We fallen men selfishly turn inward when things get tough, but the Savior never did. He always served others no matter how hard it was, or how hurt he was. Like when Peter cuts the guys ear off? The Savior heals him. For me that is amazing. Jesus had just finished (just started) suffering for the sins, and afflictions, and the pains of all mankind. It wouldn't have been a sin if he didn't heal this dudes ear. But he wouldn't have been perfect. He helped and comforted and healed a man who was there to kill and torture him. He wasn't thinking about himself, or his pain, he was looking out for others. Selfless when he had every reason to be selfish. Disciples turn outward, others turn inward. It's hard to write about. You get the point. Hno V is a great guy, an example to the believers. Then we went on exchanges so EG and EAlvarez could go to a baptism in Henderson. Elder Slik and I walked around and talked to some cool people and then went to a baptism for that little girl whose mom we found like a month or 2 ago. Idk if y’all remember, but I sure do. Kit-kat got baptized! I felt awesome to have helped her get baptized and to have helped her mom come back to church. Seeing the change in just this short time and seeing the ward embrace them both with open arms has been wonderful. Then we biked (the other elders took the car) which was good. I love biking. Dinner was fun and afterwards we were doing service, helping this person fix her garage door and move some heavy stuff around we found some pretty funny stuff and took a few pictures. (I hate my double chin ... stupid fat hobbitses) The tie I am wearing in the baptism picture I gave it to an investigator of the zone leaders. He said he liked it and he was pretty sad so I just took it right off and gave it to him. It made me feel pretty good hahaah.
Elder Alvarez, Elder Anderson, Elder Slik, Elder Guzman
Elder Anderson and Elder Guzman
 Sunday! Sunday was Easter! EG was sick again so we couldn’t go to church or to confirm Aliaha but all went well. I studied for most of the day. It was good. I learned a lot. He was feeling a little better right before dinner so we went out and street contacted and talked to two very prepared people (who live out of our area). It was awesome to talk to him. It was a couple and the man had a bunch of questions that we were able to answer by testifying of the Restoration. Then the woman had questions that we were able to answer by teaching them the Plan of Salvation. They were loving it and wanting to know more. They asked us when we could come back (which is like the best thing a missionary can hear, other than, “when can I be baptized”). It was so sick. EG is a great guy.

That was the week! Sorry it's rushed but I don’t have too much time! 
Again and as always I love you all so much!
Love,
Sam

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