Follow by Email

Monday, August 26, 2013

SUP CR3W!?

Man I’m pumped. 
Life is good. Like sometimes it’s nice just to have a moment of quiet to inventory your blessings. I was doing that a little bit ago. It’s cool. 
I am blessed beyond belief. 
Thank you to all of you who sent letters, emails, or prayed for me. It helps me to do what I do, and love it!
As missionaries we get to have lots of opportunities that most other people don't -some of them good, others not so much. These opportunities come from people recognizing us as different. For example we walked into a hair salon and a woman asked if we were Mormons. She said she has talked with the missionaries before and likes them, “So respectful and handsome, good people.” As I was reflecting, I thought 1) How did she know? Well because of our dress. 2) Why was she excited to see us? Because of positive experiences in the past with missionaries. Then I thought how cool it would be to be able to be recognized by others as Disciples of Christ without badges and ties, where we really can be an example of the believers and a witness to the doubtful. I dunno. It’s easy for conversations to start up about the gospel because it’s what we look and act like and think about and as I thought, it should be like that even when we are not called to serve full time. That's what I want -people to be able to recognize me as different, and as happy. Idk. I've got 2 years of training wheels (shirt and tie) before I hit the real world again.
Hope that makes some semblance of sense.

MONDAY! I don’t remember if I told you all this but an elder stole my planner on Monday and that crippled me. I've been trying to make lists of things I need to accomplish because I always forget and so I felt really bad because I didn’t get done all I needed to. But it was a good day. That evening we met at the church to do splits... but a member cancelled last minute. That was the last straw for me. Not in like giving up but like the sign that we are pushing the branch too hard and stretching them too thin. From now on we will be doing just two elders and a member. But we had three back to back lessons. First was with the A family. They are so incredible. I really have learned so much from them and they have raised my vision and faith for what this gospel can do. They are so special and the gospel was the fire that the family needed to push them to the next level. It was also interesting that Hno S. (the member we took) really connected with Sister A and was able to respond to her small concerns. Hno S. has lived a tough life, as he will tell you partially because of his circumstances and partially because of his choices. He is just recently active and able to come out with us. He talked about some of his weaknesses and she connected even though her life has been a little more calm and less violent. So that was cool. Then we went to George. We had to rush the lesson because we were late and his understanding suffered because of it. We taught the plan of salvation and he understood everything up till the kingdoms of glory. But we said we'd clear it up Tuesday. Then we ran to Gissel and Amelia and Leo. Apparently Gissel had been teaching the gospel to her sister in law all afternoon. Sierra was pretty interested and when we got there she had a lot of questions and doubts, all of them valid - my favorite was “How can I know that I'm not just convincing myself that I think it's true?” She brought up an example of a hypochondriac. A person tells themselves they are sick for so long that they actually become ill! She said how do we know it's not just like that? Bomb questions. I like it when people ask the hard questions, not because they want to stump people but because they want to find the truth and they are willing to listen and consider the opinions of others. I hope that doesn’t make me sound prideful. I don't have all the answers. But I am seeking and I know someone who does. Amelia was telling us how she and Leo are looking to make some changes. That was cool. That night we started exchanges. So real quick - we've been having nutso car problems all week. Our battery is like 100% dead so every time we turn it off we have to get a jump. A member brought us a self-jump kit that we use. It’s pretty handy. It’s definitely got its money's worth. Don’t worry tomorrow we are getting it fixed. 

TUESDAY! I went on exchanges with Elder Borden. We had a miraculous day. It was so full of cool experiences. He is such a good missionary - a good example to me of optimism, diligence, and happiness. In the morning I still didn't get my planner back. Elder Borden made me spam mosubi for lunch and we had a good talk about how to plan and how to set goals we went out and saw Arthur. He was a semi solid investigator and we made the goal of inviting him to be baptized during the lesson. With that in mind we were a little thrown off when he angrily invited us into the house. It was kind of scary to start. He had gone to church for the first time that week and he loved it but he said that he had a scary revelation last night. We sat down and he served us Gatorade and then he started yelling, “YOU JUST WANT ME FOR MY TITHING, RIGHT?” He asked that question like five different ways and he was madddd. He was quoting from the story in the BOM when Nephi breaks his bow and then his brothers are mad. He kept saying, “I'm the one with the broken bow? So you are going to cast me out? Isn't that right?” We helped him understand that in the story Nephi was the good guy and he calmed right down. Elder Borden and I had also set a goal to teach with testimony and that worked wonders. We just told him what we know to be true. It was a cool experience of the Spirit working in him and watching him resolve his own concerns. His countenance did a 180 while we were there with him. It was cool. There were doubts and questions that we couldn't answer but the Spirit did. At the end we invited him to be baptized and he committed to doing so. He was excited! So were we. That day we talked to a couple of cool people on the street and a couple not so cool people. There were two women who said they’d been looking for the missionaries ever since they went to church in Cali. That was neato. Like I said last week or two weeks ago that is our dream to hear the “We've been looking/waiting for you.” Then we knocked a door of a person on one of the lists they had gotten from the ward and a random woman opened the door and was super interested. After we had told her who we are and what we do she said, “Wow! Are you trying to make me cry or something?” She felt the Spirit and we did too. She asked for our card and number. I tried talking to someone who flipped me off and then like two minutes later to someone who threw something at me and said some bad words. Elder Borden and I talked a lot about how we can just tell that these people aren't happy. They just looked and acted angry. We just want to help. A key part of this work is optimism. There is never a reason to be sad. The adversary wants us sad. Then later we had a lesson with a scriptorian named Todd. He has like 5 different bibles and some stuff in Greek and Hebrew to check and cross check and cross cross check. His is a cool story. Kind of like the Wilford Woodruff one. He lived his life until one day he had an epiphany. His prayers were useless unless he believed what he was saying and meant it too. He wasn't acting in harmony with what he believed. So he completely changed his life. He doesn't go to church bc he can’t find one that agrees with the Bible. He says he's open and wants to learn but he can be a little bashy at times. His main issue is that he doesn't believe in prophets anymore. He thinks they stopped at Jesus.  We had a cool lesson about the Book of Mormon to an investigator they have. Funny story - the next day the investigator drops them cause he says he won’t pay tithing. He has other plans with his money. The elders fasted and prayed and then the next day the man says I prayed and realize that I need to repent. They say he wants to be baptized more than ever. Then as we went home we talked with a woman on the street. She started out scared of us but in the end she was asking where our church was and wanted to go. Good day. I love working with elders who work hard and work smart. It's a spiritual work. I gotta pick up the pace.

WEDNESDAY! So in the afternoon the ZLs called and told us to go to the office and pick up my planner. So I was suuuuuper happy to have that back. I have been trying to use it more effectively in order to best fulfill my purpose and it makes a big difference. We taught a good lesson to Gissel. She is so awesome. I realized how hard it must be to be a convert for a moment. I mean I have always kinda known but this made it extra clear. Life it’s tough. Discipleship is not what people are used to. As Elder Maxwell says, “True Christian soldiers are more than weekend warriors.” She wants to do the Lords will and what is right but it’s a confusing world sometimes. That night we again took Gissel to a lesson with George.  (Forgot to say in the Tuesday part -Gissel and EL and Elder Hilliard taught the Plan of Salvation again to George and it was bomb. Gissel just told him bold what it was and what that meant he needed to do. George said, “That makes perfect sense; of course I want to go to the celestial kingdom. These fools (meaning the elders) didn't teach it very well.” So that was exciting to hear about.) So back to Wednesday - We taught about prophets, focusing on 2 Kings 5 - the story of Naaman and Elisha. Gissel was so good in the lesson. It was so cool to look at her and think about where she was when we met her and where she is now teaching others and helping them gain the happiness that she did. It was like the coolest experience of my life. It reminds me of what the Savior said to Peter (well everything reminds me of this, but you know what I mean) “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” That night we also taught Amelia and Leo the Restoration again. We need to make sure that all the gaps are filled in.

THURSDAY! Not much exciting happened until after dinner we taught the A family about the Sabbath day. Man it was cool. We really just talked about ways that they can keep their family strong. It was rein grained in my mind and heart the importance of Sabbath day observance in having close families. The family that prays together stays together. It was spiritual and made me excited to better honor the Sabbath. George bought us pizza. He is so cool. He was showing us all these videos and stuff he's been posting on his facebook page all this Mormon stuff. He makes me laugh. I hope we can keep this fire that he has burning all the way through his life. Those were the two biggest things I guess.

FRIDAY! We had a really short district meeting about planning. It was good. I know I at least learned a lot. As I was talking with some other mission leaders one pointed out to me a big lack in my training - follow up. I extend a lot of commitments but I never follow up. In the words of this inspiring elder, “It doesn’t matter how good you can train, if you don't follow up like a Chapter 11 rage train, your missionaries won’t do anything.” (Ch11 refers to PMG [Preach My Gospel].) So that's my goal for next transfer, and the end of this one. Follow up on the commitments I have extended. We did some weekly planning. Then I went with another missionary to ARJELIA'S BAPTISM!!!
Arjelia and Sam at her baptism
I was soooo excited for her. I wanted to cry. George drove us up there. In like 15 minutes. From like Henderson to North Las Vegas in 15 is absurd. He was going over 100mph. I saw Elder Chacon and Marquez and I was happy to see them. But man, Arjelia has come a long way and I am so proud of her. I gave a talk and sang in a musical number. George said, “I felt like angels were singing,” and then that night he said, “I liked it. I liked it a lot. I felt like I got touched back there.” George feels the Spirit a lot and its cooool. The A's drove all the way there too. So it was cool to talk with them. 

SATURDAY! I had another baptism for two old investigators. It was cool. I got to see some other missionaries. Both Juan and David gave great testimonies. They have cool conversion stories; another testament that the Lord's hand is in this work and He has a plan for each of his children. We did a little weekly planning and tried to find new people to teach. Not too much luck.

SUNDAY! Highlight of the day! As usual the A family. Hno and Hna were crying after church because they are so excited to get baptized. They are incredible. They told us all these things that they have been thinking and feeling. Luis keeps saying that, “I wanted to go where I could best serve the Lord, and I've found it.” He is such a spiritual man. He understands things so well and lives them. I wanna be more like him. I think he's a future branch president here. He is definitely going to do great things in his service of the Lord. Everyone who meets the family says stuff like they can feel that he is going to be a great leader. I feel it too. Call me crazy. Idc. We did mini splits that afternoon so Elder Clawson could do the interview. Elder Fischer and I went and taught two quick lessons. One was the Restoration and the highlight was when she really internalized what it meant to have a prophet on the earth today and the light came on. She got excited.

That's pretty much the week. Sorry for rambling in some places and not elaborating enough in others.
I love serving the Lord. 
I hope next week I can tell you that I have been blessed with another 6 weeks in Desert Bloom.
We'll see.
I really feel that I have matured as a missionary here. In Montebello I learned the doctrine. In Loz Feliz I learned Christ like attributes. Here I learned missionary skills. It’s been a journey.
And I love every single minute of it.
Just like
I love you all so much
Sam

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bombbb Week!

Hello dearest familia.
Way to go Kate! Cougars 4lyfe! I hope you have as much fun as I did and you work even harder.
Attached is the picture from GISSEL'S BAPTISM!!!!! SO AWESOME.
In the pic from left to right  - me, Kiwi (or Christopher) Sebastian (not the priest that comes out to lessons with us) Gissel, Sofia (Luis' daughter) Luis, Sierra, Amelia, Arseli (Luis' other daughter), Leo, and Elder Ledezma. I love that family so much. Luis and Sierra have the 2 little girls. Everyone thinks they are Gissel's because she always is taking care of them but she's just "auntie"

Sam, Gissel, and Elder Ledezma 
I think most of this email might just be quotes from George. He is so funny and so awesome.

MONDAY! I had that AP exchange like I told you about. It went really well. The APs are really good missionaries, great examples of devoted service. Elder Clawson and I went to work the Bermuda ward and Elder Ledezma and Elder Fischer worked Desert Bloom 2. We started the evening out going to their bishop's house to teach one of their investigators who didn't show up so we just taught the bishop's family instead. It was a good lesson. Just as we were leaving, the investigator showed up, but we had another lesson to get to so he went in to chat with the family and we said we'd come back really fast. The next family wasn’t there but we had some really good street contacts. One family used to go to church but had lost contact a few years ago. She had a glass of wine in her hand and when we started talking to her she was so embarrassed. She kept saying “sorry” and that she know she shouldn't and a bunch of stuff like that. I thought she was going to like start crying. I've never had something like that happen to me before. Then we ran back to the bishop's house and had the lesson with that investigator. It was really good. The bishop of their ward is a really powerful and exciting teacher, personable and sincere too and a little aggressive, but just enough to let you know that this meant everything to him. I want to teach more like him. When he talked about the First Vision he got so into it. He was using his hands and stuff like pretending they were Heavenly Father and Christ. He said maybe 3 times, "God the Father and Jesus Christ came down to him. Can you imagine that? The Almighty God and his Son appeared to a young boy, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, both talking to a 14 year old." But he said it with so much emotion the Spirit was so strong. I was captivated even though I tell that story all the time. Anyway. We then ran to another place and taught a 15 minute lesson to a young mother and her son. Pretty straight forward. She thanked us so many times. Quote from the journal, "There are so many good people who are searching for the truth but they just don’t know where it is. They are blinded by the lights and fads and attitudes of the world." (see D&C 123:12). We had the most incredible contact with a young woman crying on the stairs. After talking with her she said it was no accident that we came when we did. She said she didn't know if she could even be forgiven for the things she had done. She said that she's messed up too much. You could tell that her soul was hungering and thirsting after righteousness, she just needed guidance. We testified of the Atonement and of the hope and faith she could gain from reading the Book of Mormon. She took it from us and clutched it to her chest. All three of us walked away beaming. Then Elder Clawson and I evaluated our exchange and I got some good suggestions for areas of improvement. He has a great way of telling you what you need to work on but doing it in a way where you feel like you can do it and be better. It almost feels good, like another weakness to conquer and not something that is holding you back, if that makes sense. Basically when he tells you weak spots you get excited to improve and not sad that you're not perfect. Idk if that makes sense. Meanwhile George was saying the following in a lesson with EL and EF - "I'm really sad right now.  I was telling all my friends at work that they needed to come over at 7 to listen to you guys but none of them came! It’s too bad they didn't come tonight." Apparently he was preaching to his fellow coworkers all day about the Restoration. One of them turned out to be a member and he rebuked her saying, "You are a member? How come you haven't told us about this stuff before? It's not fair that you know these things and don't tell everyone about them!" Can you imagine? Getting rebuked by an investigator for not fulfilling your baptismal covenant? The Lord is hastening his work. 

TUESDAY! In the morning we taught Gissel about the gift of the Holy Ghost and then Amelia made us lunch. She is so nice. We stopped in on the D. family and had a really good visit with them. Their daughter is struggling because she thinks the world is a horrible place. She says she hates God right now because of all the horrible things He is causing to happen or allowing to happen on the earth. It’s tough when people get like that because they sometimes get to a point where they won’t listen and then consign themselves to sadness, almost like they want to be. It’s too bad that the "mysteries of god" were lost for so long. Society could be so much better if everyone had a proper understanding of deity. Imagine if everyone knew they were children of God and that He loves them! The world would change. But anyway. That night we went to do splits, but one member cancelled so we had to cancel like 3 lessons which was brutallll. But we went to the A's and had an amazing lesson. We taught them the plan of salvation again to review before their baptism. Afterwards he looked at me and said - "It's perfect, it’s a perfect plan." I wanted to cry. Then their son came home from soccer or something and Sister A taught him the plan using the visuals they brought. They are so excited for their baptism. It’s incredible. :) :) :) It warmed my heart. Then that night we started exchanges with Elder Beyer and Elder Andrews. I was with Elder Beyer in the Silverado area. 

WEDNESDAY! Our day was totally screwed up because Elder Beyer's bike broke and we had to walk because we couldn’t find another one to use. Their area is very spread out and it was hot, hot, hot so I got a sunburn, but just a little one. We had a couple cool street contacts though. We taught one guy almost the whole plan of salvation right there in a gas station parking lot and another guy the Restoration as he walked to work. So those were two blessings of using our "shubarus, lambrafeetis, and our chevrolegs." At the end of the night we visited a PMF [part member family] and it was so fun. The husband is a non-member and is a really cool guy.  He is just trying to get his life in order.  He was telling us about this salsa he bought, "mango habanero" and how it is like a "piece of hell in your mouth." I told him how I used to love mango habanero salsa and that it was my favorite at "Maria's Comida" his eyes lit up and next thing I knew there was a whole bowl of it for "the tough guy."  He was smack talking so I was eating it with chips and making a show and everything. Finally he says "Well! If you were a real man..." before he could finish what I knew he was going to say I grabbed the bowl and started drinking it! His eyes about popped out of his head. It was pretty spicy. Thursday morning was a tough one. We taught a lesson about prayer and the scriptures. The Spirit was really strong as he bore his testimony of how both had helped him to cut back on his addictions. 

THURSDAY! DM [district meeting] was pretty good. It was about the power of the Spirit in conversion and how to begin teaching. We set a goal after DM to find a new person to teach and we went out to find him. The first house we tried a man opened the door and said something to the effect of "I've been looking for you guys!" That was cool. Then we were going to go to visit a less active family but we decided to change plans at the last minute. We left and then saw a guy who needed his car pushed right outside the apartment complex. We pushed him in and then went to get that LA [less active] to help him with his car! It was kinda cool.  That night we did splits and I got to teach George. We talked about the apostasy and baptism and he loved it. He and Cynthia are set for the 7th of September and they are excited. It was a powerhouse lesson. That night we taught Amelia and Leo about faith and repentance. Brother Taylor (the member who was with me) is so cool.  He is one of those members that has really helped me to be a better missionary. 

FRIDAY! I watched a cool Elder Holland talk in the morning that was super bomb. It was like "Feed my sheep" but it was given in the MTC. Then we went to Amelia and Leo’s and they made us lunch and in return we cleaned part of their carpet. They are super nice. We did a little weekly planning and then went to make the baptismal programs for Saturday. They were pretty clutch. When we taught George that night he was using phrases such as "When I’m a senior couple" and "I wish I could be a missionary" and "I was telling her she should go! Her friends will be here when she gets back!" That was cool. That member at work is like 20 and she doesn’t want to go on a mission because of "friends." George wasn't having that as an excuse. Then at night we taught about forgiveness to Amelia and Leo - Gissel and Kiwi took a big role in testifying. Little by little Kiwi is changing so that's pretty cool. 

SATURDAY! BAPTISM! In the morning we discussed Sister Dalton’s talk from this year’s Young Woman’s Conference. It’s a bomb one if you haven’t read it. Brother Rojas was there and he is another one of my favorite members. He was testifying the whole time. He converted when he was 19 and his whole family disowned him. He went on a mission and no one wrote him. And now he's 29 with a family and super happy. Not to mention he's one of if not the youngest high priests I’ve ever met. Then we taught George about prayer and receiving answers by reading the first half of Enos with him. Then we did a little weekly planning. Then we had Gissel's baptism!!!! It was so awesome.  She invited a lot of her friends. After the ordinance, in her testimony, she said she was excited to come out and teach others with the missionaries and help them to get baptized. That was a really cool moment. That night we saw Edwin! He'd been in Cali for like forever. But we went by and he's doing well, recovering from surgery but still the same ole good kid. His hand looks super nasty. Skin grafts are gross. 

SUNDAY! CONFIRMATION! We had 10 investigators at church to witness Gissel's confirmation. That was cool. George didn’t make it to sacrament meeting so that was sad but he showed up with his family during Gospel Principles and he and his wife loved church again. The kids had a good time too. He made some great comments in elder’s quorum and so did Hermano A. Both talked about how they have felt their hearts change as they have unified more with their family and with God.  After church we had lunch with a member, the sisters, and George and his family. It was an awesome fellowship experience. Almost randomly he said this, "Apostasy is like this. I tell you a secret and then you tell him and he tells her and she tells them and by the time it gets back to me, it’s totally wrong! That's what happened with the apostles. Plus! They got killed. So then no one knew what was happening. That’s why we needed Joseph Smith." Everybody's jaw dropped. He is so cool. 
That just summed up the week. A week of miracles.
Life is good peeps. Real good.
I love you all so much
Sam


Monday, August 12, 2013

Sorry for last week!!!! This week I hope to get more time!

So. 
It’s been a good week although I felt bad all week bc my email was so short!
First and foremost we have a baptism this Saturday! Gissel is going to get baptized and I am so, so happy. We talk about this with her so much. The changes she's made since we met her. She went from being sassy and opposed to everything to now wanting to be baptized and wanting to do all these things. She said the other day that she wanted to come out to lessons with us after she gets baptized!!! It's cool. Her complete turnaround was all hinged on her true desire and a humble, sincere prayer.

Ugh. I've gotta go fast.
MONDAY! - We taught some good lessons.

TUESDAY! We taught Gissel this morning which went really well. She was having a lot of doubts. She was saying that she knew she was going to break the commandments again. We really just talked to her. Asked her what she wanted and what we could do to help her. It was kinda of scary at the start because it was kind of a make or break lesson. And it was a make. She committed to doing this. It was awesome. She was telling us all the changes she’s seen in herself and in how other people treat her. She is happier and that makes us happy. She committed to take things that separate her from God out of her life. That was cool. We took a member out that night who is new to the ward and he loved going out with us. He thanked us a lot which was cool. He was telling us about all the things he wanted to do to share the gospel. Then that night we started exchanges and that went well. I went with Elder Hilliard and we had a bomb evening. We talked a lot. We talked about mostly how a lot of people think that a mission is about gaining the cool experiences and a lot of other people say it’s about serving the people. We came to the conclusion that it’s all about the Lord, not us nor the people we serve.

WEDNESDAY! It was such a good day. We made some bomb spam mosubi for lunch. We visited a ton of people in EH's area. It was a full day. Some guy from El Salvador wasn’t happy to see us until I spoke to him in Spanish and that was cool. He ended up giving us a tour of his house. He had a lot of cool religious artifacts. He wasn’t interested but we left on a good note. That night we had a cool experience. We were teaching one of their eternigators (for like 3 years) and Elder Hilliard and I made the goal to commit him to be baptized. If he wouldn’t commit they were going to think about dropping him. We prayed about it and then went in there. The lesson went completely perfect. This had been a guy who hadn’t kept commitments or anything but between their last visits he had read 1/2 the Book of Mormon. He bore his testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and of the Book of Mormon (“there is no way anyone could have made this book up. You just can’t write something like this”). That was cool. Then EH invited him to be baptized. Next month he will be. It’s crazy how things like that work out. Miracles. The Lord definitely has His hand in His work. 

THURSDAY! We had district meeting today about accountability, desires, and goals. It was good. We watched “Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration” today with Gissel. It was awesome. It’s such a good movie. I’ve only seen it 2 or 3 times and it’s so bomb. I wish everyone in the world could watch it. That night we went to do splits but 2 members cancelled on us. So we were kind of left with nothing. We scrambled and found 2 people who would come with us for a little bit. So that was bomb. I got to go and teach the A's. I LOVE THEM! It’s so bomb to be able to teach a family like that. They are set to be baptized the Saturday after next (just the mom and dad.) The kids will probably get baptized next month. They are so ready. They know the church is true and want to get baptized. It’s crazy to think about Hermano A's doubts that are now completely answered. We taught Amelia and Leo that night about Moroni 7:6-10 because Leo was asking a lot about sacrifice. He says if you don’t want to do it, don’t do it! God doesn’t want to force you. So we read from the Book of Mormon about how he’s right. 

FRIDAY! We went over the bapt. interview questions [with Gissel]. It was exciting to help prepare her. We had a good visit with Martha. It's just a waiting game for her. She's going to get baptized. October will be here eventually, we just have to keep helping her to be ready. That night we taught Andres. He is so, so cute. He said some funny things. We were talking about God. I asked him who God is and he said, “He is our Father in Heaven and he is a spirit.” I said “A spirit?” He looked at me and threw his arms up and said, “Well I don’t know! You’re supposed to be teaching me!!!” We all laughed so hard. Later he asked, “How long do we have to wait in the spirit world? I hope it’s only like 5 minutes, max.” We started that night an exchange with the ZLs. Me and Elder Fafuata were in my area. We had a good talk. We did stay up too late though. He's from New Zealand.

SATURDAY! Today was a bombbb day. We had like 5 lessons so we were really busy. We taught Percy in the morning. Hno. Retis cried when he bore his testimony. That was a powerful experience. Percy committed to be baptized in September. We had another good lesson with Andres about prophets. We helped Amelia and Leo prepare for a big meal they had to cook tonight for some big police station party. I guess they got hired to cater? Idk. I cut like 35 radishes by the end I was doing it pretty well. Who eats radishes these days? EF and I had really positive conversations all day. I felt spiritually recharged by the end of the day. I was happy and excited and ready to do even better. I love elders who work hard and focus.  Dinner was super good - empenadas which reminded me of Jacob. We got to see Simon! He’s an I[investigator] who is married to a LA [less active]. He’s so cool and his baby is so big! I love that family. I can explain more about them in 2 years when I get back. That night we had to end the exchange early and then we went to George’s and invited him to church. It was a long lesson but he committed. He's the best.

SUNDAY! So we woke up and saw a text from George in the middle of the night. It was a link to a youtube video and the words “can you explain this?” My heart dropped. I almost started crying. My mind instantly went to Carolina from months ago. Same situation. She super firmly commits to come to church and then she gets anti-ed. So I texted George. No response. I prayed allllll morning. We got to Branch Council and nothing. I was sooo scared. Sacrament meeting starts and no George. I was so sad. BUT THEN (you all knew what was coming haahha) 3rd verse of the Sacrament hymn, IN WALKS GEORGE!!!! I WAS SO HAPPY. I was fist bumping in my brain alll day. He cried during Sacrament meeting. All during the classes he was making comments and lovvvving it. He downloaded the gospel principles app on his phone and thought it was the coolest thing ever. Then he loved priesthood too. After church he said to us, “You know what? Every time you come over, and while I was here, I felt something. I feel like I’m part of a family, like this is my family.” He had tears in his eyes and he told us he loved it and he loved us. I wanted to cry too. It was so cool. He went home quick to tell his wife and kids about how awesome it was. That night we visited with Amelia and Leo and then we later went and taught George and his wife about prayer. He said like 5 times, “Next week I’ll be there for sure. Tired, but I’ll be there.” He said he felt happy all day after going to church, “Like something was lifted off of my shoulders.” What a way to end the week. 

Sorry the letter is short. It’s been a powerful week.
I got to talk to Elder Slik today. I love him. He is such a good example.
I also get to go on exchanges with the APs tonight for a few hours. I’m pumped. Hopefully I can get some good suggestions from them.
Aight.
No more time.
I love you all so much!
Sam

Monday, August 5, 2013

My life is good. Reallll good.

I have like no time. I was expecting to have time to write but they are going to kick me off. 
Sigh.... I waited all day oh well! What can I do?
AWESOME WEEK.
We taught 20 lessons with members present this week. Incredible. Like a huge accomplishment. Things are really moving forward.
I’m happy, healthy, and doing well.
Uhhhhh a highlight from the week was last night - we took out a member and we went to teach an investigator. He invited us in and went to go put a shirt on. The member turned to us and said, “I don’t know why, but I just feel like when he gets baptized he will be a young mens leader.” We told him that he should share that with the inv[estigator]. So we are teaching this lesson and the inv. starts telling us all these (what he called) signs that were sent from God. When we first street contacted him, he said he felt something. The other day he needed help and we called to see how he was doing right after and other stuff like that so that was cool. He said, “I didn't even need to pray. God’s been telling me this is the right path since the day I saw you.” Then the member told him what he felt and what a YM leader is and the inv.'s face just dropped. He said, “My dad is a preacher and I don’t want to be a preacher but I’ve always wanted to be a preacher to young kids. That's exactly what I've always dreamed about!” That was cool. The Spirit was so strong and he was getting pretty emotional. It was powerful.

I’m so, so sorry that I don’t have more time.
It’s a little annoying sometimes because I try to help others and sometimes I get short changed… but it’s okay.
Next week!
I love you all so much.
Sam