Click HERE for official information about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holidays in the Mission

So I guess yesterday was a holday for some reason (the day after the day after christmas, or something like that) so I'm writing you today.
 
So do they normally eat corn tortillas with each meal.  I thought it was flour tortillas you eat with each meal.  Anyway it was fun and delicious.
  • Yea, for the most part they eat corn tortillas with each meal (were in the US though, so they've kind of americanized).  I've only eaten flour tortillas a few times, I think it takes more effort to make.  But if you go to the store in the hispanic food section they should have some flour tortilla mix.  I'm not sure how to make it, but you can give it a try.
So to finish off the rest of the day on Saturday we went over to the Martinez house and had a Christmas dinner.  It was a pretty normal americanized dinner, nor tortillas, beans, rice or anything.  But it tasted really good, and we got stuffed, even to the point of it hurting, but it was all worth it.

o on saturday night we got some snow as well as most of sunday (in total about 6 in.)  And everything her shutdown.  Church was cancelled and everything.  In fact Pres. cotterall sent us a message and told us that we couldn't take the bikes or cars out that day.  So we were stuck in the apartment the ENTIRE DAY...  It was kind of relaxing at first, we ate lunch then I read the Liahona and studied some spanish, but then as the day went on it kind of got looong.  Sometimes it's difficult freezing outside knocking doors for hours on end but I am realizing now that it beats staying inside all day.  

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Family Talks to Elder Jeff on Christmas Morning

We were able to talk toJeff on the phone for about 40 minutes on Christmas morning!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Elder Compton is on YouTube!

Jeff's Mission President posted a video of missionaries singing at Zone Conference.  Click here to see!

Christmas Zone Conference

How did the Christmas party go and did you play the guitar and sing? 
 
  • Well, it turned out that the person that was going to bring a guitar forgot to bring the guitar.  So I didn't get to play.  However, it was kind of a good thing because I never actually would have had a chance to practice witha guitar untill about a half an hour before.  Not to mention the fact that I've only touched a guitar probably 5 times so far on my mission, so it's been a while since I've actually had some practice.
 
Have you been through an ice storm?
 
  • so far no, our mission president left a message with us saying that there might be one coming, but it never came.
 
Did you get your packages yet?  I sent your Birthday presents on Friday so you should get it in a week or two.
 
  • Yep, We've got the tree set up and the presents under the tree ready to be opened.
 
hmmmm...what happened this week...I feel like I just wrote home yesterday.
 
This last saturday we had the ward party for christmas, we had some really good food there.  We ate ham, turkey, rice, tomales, and this sort of pasta (it had macaroni noodles with ham and some sort of sauce, I think it was mayonaise).  And unfortunantly they forgot to put the tortillas out untill the end, so I didn't get to eat turkey with tortillas again.   There were a few people that played some musical numbers and then santa clause came (I got a pix with santa clause also).
 
Oh, yea, we also had our Chrismas Zone conference (There should be a few videos on U-tube)  That was a pretty long, however exciting day.  We had to wake up at 4 am so that we could get there in time because it was a three hour drive out there. For the first half of the conference we talked about the ward mission process as well as our investigators church attendance.  I learned a lot from that which will be usefull and that I'm hoping that we will be able to apply.  We just got a new ward mission leader, so learning about the ward mission process should be able to help us/him as we get missionary work going in the branch.   Actually, kind of a cool story witht that.  After Zone conference I was thinking about how I could talk to the president of the branch to get the ward mission process going in the branch, without impeding on his authority.  We didn't have a copy of it in Spanish so I translated it all into spanish onto a different piece of paper and then on sunday I made copies of it and gave it to him.  Aparently he had talked to one of the missionaries in the past about the ward missionary plan and they were thinking about geting things going with that, but they needed it in spanish, and the missionary had plans to translate it, but he must have been transferred or something when that happened.  So when I brought the ward mission plan translated into Spanish, our Branch president willingly accepted it, and it looks like we should be putting it in place pretty soon.
 
I think I have told you about the less active/part member family that we found a while back.  They seem to be doing awesome right now, it's been kind of hard to get up with them very often, but we did get to teach them this week, and they have been coming to church for the last three weeks and they came to the ward activity on saturday.  The last lesson we had with them, we taught them about the book of mormon and the importance of it.  However we did find out some frustrating news at the end of the lesson, they arent married.  Aghhh...!  This seems to be the unending problem, I sometimes feel like a marrage counselor rather than a missionary.  But anyway, they talked with pres. martinez and it sounds like they're fine with getting married, they just need to find paperwork.
 
We also Taught [investigator] this last week, and the lesson went really well.  We taught him about keeping the sabbath day holy, and the word of wisdom.  We just flew through those two commandmants, because he already knew what they were and he was already living them both.  By the time we had finished teaching all of that we realized that only 20-30 min. had passed, so we decided we might as well go on to something else, so we taught him about the baptismal covenant, which didn't know what that was at first, but he learned quickly.   So from the looks of things he should be ontrack still to be baptized on the 8th of January!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Teaching Pool Exploded

 So I have to ask when you read scriptures from the Book of Mormon are your investigators receptive to the teachings from the B of M?
  • It depends from person to person.  It isn't an uncommon accurance when I pull out a copy of the book of mormon to hear someone say "another testament of Jesus Christ?" then following several various reasons why that's wrong.  But others accept it just fine.  Sometimes it takes them a while to understand that it's not actually the bible (usually that happens when they start reading and see names like nephi, moroni, etc.  Then they get all upset because those arent the names they ususally see in the bible.)   I usually share scriptures from just the Book of Mormon.  In fact I know very few scriptures from the bible that I can use in teaching.  More than anything it's because everyone knows about the bible, the book of mormon is unique to us and is realy the basis for our investigators testimonies.
 Wow, so things are just looking better and better in our area.  It seems like our teaching pool recently has just exploaded with people.  Not only that we've had a lot of new people coming to church on sunday recently.  I think that also because of that we are slowly begining to grow excitement in the members as the see new people at church and get to know them.  So I'm anticipating that things should just continue to get better for now.  Also this last sunday we got a new mission leader, Hermano ponce.  This should be awesome, if we can keep the excitement going in HNO ponce I think that we will be able to see a lot of good things coming from the branch.

Also this next saturday we are having a Christmas party with the branch and Pres. martinez asked if either me or my companion could play a musical number for the party.  So I volonteered to play the guitar.  I have plans to just play a rythm to a few christmas hymns and then sing.  We'll see though, you know how I am about singing in front of people.  Not only that I havn't actually been able to get ahold of a guitar to practice it yet, I'm afraid I might just have to do it imprompt.  I have the chords and everything and they aren't difficult songs but it's still a little nerve racking.  But if I do do it I'll take video...possibly...it depends on how good/bad it is or I might just send pix.

Oh, yea, I'm not sure if I'm exactly sure how to pronounce our last name any more..I think i might be pronouncing it with a spanish accent...so you'll have to help me with that when I call home.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Golden Investigator

What advice would you give to the priest quorum about preparing for a mission?
  • Hmm...where do I start.  STUDY PREACH MY GOSPEL   Go to school (college) before of atleast something anything so that they aren't bumming around the house before their mission, you need to know how to study!  Read your scriptures.
Do you review the missionary handbook regularly on your mission?
  • yea, in fact we read about 4-5 pages out of the missionary handbook every day so that we can read the entire handbook twice in a transfer.
What is your current favorite scripture?
  • Hmmm...That's a really good question, I'm not sure...but we'll say 3 ne 27:19-21 My companion could probably tell you that that is my favorite scripture.  I like it because it teaches about the gospel of Jesus Christ (Faith Repentance Baptism Gift of the Holy Gost, endure to the end all made possible through the atonement) Quick and to the point.  I've had some long winded companions (previously anyway, right now I do about 95% of the teaching), so I have kind of learned how to teach a little more quickly.

Wow, there's a lot to tell you about, we'll see if I can write it all today.


To begin with, I'm going to be fulfilling mom's life long dream today...I'm learning how to make tortillas.  One of the members invited us over to teach us how to make tortillas today.


One of our investigators...or potential investigators that we have been trying to teach for quite some time has now come to church twice, and we taught her last night.  We taught her at the Rosas house last night.  The lesson went really well, we just taught a lesson about the restoration.  We asked her if she would be baptized when she knew that the BOM is true, and that Joseph smith was a prophet (wow, I cant spell prophet anymore), and she said yes, but we werent able to set a specific date with her, but we should be setting a baptismal date with her in the not to far future.

We also Taught [investigator] last night. He has been coming to church for nearly the last month and a half.  We havn't been able to teach him much, though, because he's canceled on us a lot (not to mention the fact that our area is huge, which makes it hard to visit all of our investigetors often.)  But we talked to him about praying about the book of mormon and also reading in the Book of Mormon.  He also prayed at the end of the lesson!  We had taught him two times before and both times he refused to pray, so this was probably the first prayer he had ever said in his life!  Also we set a baptismal date with him for the 8th of january.  He's a little unsure about baptism still, but I think that if we can get him to read and pray, then he'll be a little more certain about it.


I think I told you about the [investigator family] a few weeks a go.  they are a referral from the Rosas family.  We havn't really been able to get up with them recently, but we have plans to teach them this next week.  We'll have to see how it goes though.


This last week we found a pretty awesome family.    The husband has already been baptized.  he got baptized in mexico about ten years ago, but came to the U.S. right after his baptism and hasn't come to church since.   ...oh, yea, we just found them by knocking doors in a trailor park where the Rosas live.  But, The [father's mother] , is an active member of the Branch and aparently has been working with to invite him to come to church.  It is amazing how prepared this family is and and just like they were put in our path.  But we talked to them for a few minutes, because we didn't have too much time, and invited them to church, and they came!   We have plans to teach them this coming wendsday, so I'm pretty excited about that.  A funny side note on that also, the husband is a pretty funny guy, and he told us how in mexico they call missionaries cuervos, which means a crow, because their always dressed up in black suits and look like a crow.  I can only imagen "ya vienen los cuervos, escondamanos de ellos!" [Here come the crows, let's hide from them!]

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Report - Tamales and more Tamales

Hey, how's every thing going
 
So, this last week, of course was thanks giving.  On thanksgiving day we had our weekly planning (when we make plans for the coming week, and it usually takes at least three hours...I know it's long sometimes)  But between that our neighbor who lives in the same building as us (I'll have to send a pix of our apartment, but it's pretty much a big house that has been split up into different sections) but he invited us over for thanksgiving dinner.  However we already had a dinner planned, but we went over there anyway.  Then one of the recent converts (he was baptized just before I got here) called us because he had some tomales for us.  So we now have a bag of about 20 tomales in the fridge.  This member was baptized and then immediately moved out to Raleigh and so far has stayed a pretty solid member.  But he got there right about the time I left, he may have been there a few weeks while I was there, but I didn't ever meet him.  But anyway, I was excited to talk to him, because I have heard absolutely nothing about Raleigh since I left, or about what happened to our investigators.  But he hadn't been there too long and didn't really know much about the investigators I left.  But later on in the day we went to the gonzales house to eat dinner, which was really good.  It was kind of interesting though, it was kind of a mix between american food and mexican food.  We had the turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy with tortillas salsa (salsa made of avacado green tomatoes, and chiles...it was really good) tomales and some sort of lasagna (I'm not sure where the lasagna came from...).  But By the end of the day, not including the food we had already eaten, we brought home 2 1/2 plates of food each and 20 tamales.
 
So a funny story,  yesterday me and elder Ratto were out knocking doors, and when we knock doors, because were the spanish missionaries we try to knock/look in areas/houses that have potential for hispanics, but on ocasion or actually quite often we contact people in english.  Which is what happened yesterday.  But this person had explained to us that she previously had been involved in religion, but had quit going to church, because she had began doing some research and found some things that she believed to have discretited the validity of the bible.  However they were kind of nit picky things, not to mention the fact that we already know that the bible does have a few errors.  But I wanted to share a scripture with her in Ether 12:6 which talks about faith, because I wanted to explain to her how she could obtain faith, but anyway, this is a lot of information which doesn't contribute much to the point of this story, so anyway...  The verse starts out something like "and now I moroni..."   She asked us how to pronounce it, so I told her, but I looked at my companion who was trying not to laugh, and I realized that I had pronounced it in spanish, and also that I couldn't really remember how to pronounce it in english.
 
Ok, one more funny story, but this one is more than just funny, because it was quite a miracle also.  So we went on exchanges with one of our members (brother ahstrome) who is actually american...well, his mom is from el salvador but he never learned any spanish, but he served a mission in argentina, and he speaks REALLY good spanish.  he's been off his mission now por probably 5-10 years, but he said that he has worked really hard to be able to speak spanish every day, and it looks like it's payed off.  Also, he was assigned by the stake president to be a member of the spanish branch to help strengthen it (because usually the spanish branches have mostly converts).  so that is why he's in our branch.  But he is quite an outgoing person.  Our appointment fell through and so we knocked the door of a potential, and after we knocked he began singin silent night in spanish, loud enough so that the people inside could hear, but gradually changing the words to things like "por favor abra la puerta para que vos podamos ensenar.  lo que compartimos vos (he served in argentina so he speaks in vos...) brindara  mucho felizidad"  [Translation:  please open the door so that we can teach you.  That which we share will bring you much happiness] So the person came and answered the door, we later found, though, that he only heard slightly the singing (how sad...)  But we got in and I saw about 3 guitars laying around the trailor, so of course I asked who played, he said that he did so I talked to him about that for a minute or two, and I got to play the guitar!! (don't worry I just played one song for about one minute)  but he went on to tell us that he sang in a musical group before, and somehow the conversation turned into us deciding to sing a hymn, so we sang "que hermosa la manana"  I'm not sure what it is in english ...maybe o how lovely was the morning [Joseph Smith's First Prayer, pg 26]... but we sang that which gave us a great introduction into the restoration, and from there we had an awesome lesson.  and we have plans to teach him this week, so we'll see how it goes.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving - Hmmmm Good Question

What are you doing for Thanksgiving? 
 
Hmm...that's a good question, currently we have plans to teach a couple lessons on thanksgiving, but we currently don't have a dinner (Maybe we'll have to drop a couple of hints with the members or something...)
 
How was zone conference?  Mom noticed a note from sister Cotterell on Missionary Mom's that you had a zone conference this week.
 
We had a zone conference about a week and a half ago, I think I said a little bit about that last week, but this week (yesterday, which is why I didn't write yesterday) we did have a mission tour, where elder packer from the quorum ofthe 70 came and talked to us.  It was really great, we talked a lot about learning how to recognize the promptings of the spirit.  Also presiden't cotterral has been telling us recently that he has a goal for each companionship to baptize at least one person every week, so they talked a lot about that and how we can accomplish that.  It was quite a day too.  because we had to drive to kinson, which took about 3 hrs. too get there, so we had to wake up at 4:30 in the morning to get ready and be there on time.
 
So this last week, it seems like our area has just been exploading with potential. 
 
We have been teaching the family, who I have told you about in my past emails.  After teaching them this last thurs they told us about a family that they knew that might have interest in learning about the gospel, so we wen't over and visited the family right at the end of the lesson.  the name of the Family is and there are 5 children with the mom and dad.  this family had been taught by the missionaries before, but I think that his family has been prepared and it looks like they are going to progress this time.  We invited them to an activity that we had on thursday as well as church which they came to both.
 
We've also been teaching someone named who is the boyfriend of one of the members.  We didn't get to teach him this week, because he was busy, but he came to church this week as well as the activity on saturday.
 
Another potential investigator that we taught about a month and a half ago, came to church on sunday also.  This person, Maria de Jesus, is also a friend of the Rosas (in fact she lives about 3 houses down from them) and she seemes like she has interest, we just havn't been able to get in contact with her for quite some time, but we set up an appointment to visit her this thursday, and she also told us that she wants to come to church from here on out.
 
I Mentioned earlier that we had an activity in the church, we had a thanksgiving dinner.  The food was really quite good....  But I did think it was kind of funny when at the end of the table there was a pile of Tortillas...so we ate a normal Turky thanksgiving dinner with tortillas.
 
I talked earlier about how we have found several new people to teach, and there were a lot of people that came to church.  During all the time that I've been in Fayetville and rayeford we've only gotten at most about 1 person to come to church, in fact in Fayetville, nobody came.  But this week was crazy. <13 investigators at church> Sunday school was quite fun to teach, we had about 11 of us crammed into probably the smallest room in the church.
 
So, I've got some good news.  I can finally roll my R's.
 
I did recieve the package you send me of treats as well as the camera battery.  Muchisimas Gracias!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Getting Chased by Dogs -- Not So Bad Anymore

This week we had a zone conference on thursday.  We talked a lot about helping our investigators make and keep committments and what role that takes in their conversion. It was a pretty good zone conference, and I learned a lot.  I don't know if you've read chapter eleven of preach my gospel, which talks about committments, but it's a really good chapter and has a lot of really good information in it.
 
This last week we got to eat at the Martinez family (the branch presidents house.)  The food was really good, we ate tostados.  and then afterwords we went with them to visit bryan.
 
This week we did a lot of biking, and contacting.  and about the whole being chased by dogs thing.  The dogs don't really bother me anymore.  I still get chased by atleast one dog everyday, but I've found that they just chase you and that's it.  So it doesn't really get me scared anymore...I guess you could say that I've gotten used to it. But it is kind of funny, we've found that if you slam on your back brake, they tend to back of a little bit.
 
We taught the family again this week.  We taught them about tithing.  They were a little hesitant about paying tithing though.  The told us about how they've seen pastors before with their nice house and car, and so their a little bit hesitant to pay tithing, because they don't know where it's going.  So we invited them to pray and think about it and we'll see what they think about it after that.  So let's hope that they can gain a testimony of Tithing. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Area is Redicated for Missionary Work

Has fall come yet? - It's coming,  It's getting colder around here (50's in the day) but the leaves haven't really started to change yet.

Did the Rosas come to church again? - Yes! the Rosa's family is doing awesome!  Were just going to continue teaching them the lessons to help them continue growing their testimonies as well as understanding of the gospel.  Also they have a friend that we may begin teaching, we'll have to wait and see on that, but I am excited for that.

How's doing [investigator 1]?  - [He] is doing good, he kind of bailed on our appointment this week, so we weren't able to visit with him.  However he did come to church this week, and we should teach him tonight.

What about [investigator 2]?  Have you had a chance to teach him yet? - Yea, we taught him this last week, he should have some pretty good potential.  

Yesterday was a pretty exciting day for us.  In the morning we went to church, but there were three wards combined.  Ours, and two other english wards.  It was kind of interesting what they did, the stake president actually rededicated the area (meaning the area of the three wards).  I didn't really understand why completely, but I guess to try to get the missionary work moving a little more.  I got kind of excited, because when I showed up at church they told me that I was going to need to translate, but last minute they had someone else do it, because they wanted the missionaries to sit up on the stand ( I was kind of hoping that I'd get to translate, but o well..)    

After Sacrament meeting we wen't back and did some knocking, we found trailor park (or better said a group of trailor parks) that hadn't been touched by missionaries in a long time.  So we were able to visit with nearly 12-15 people.  Which compared to a normal day we often talk to just a couple hispanics everyday.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lots of Door Knocking

Wow, so thinking back on this week, I'm trying to think of what happened.  We knocked a lot of doors which is for sure, in fact we were only able to teach a total of 2 lessons this week.  However, the good thing is that the family came again as well as an investigator.  I've only been able to teach once, but Elder Loe and Elder walker had taught him a whole bunch before I got here.   So that would probably explain why we haven't been able to get ahold of him.  Be he told us on sunday that from here on out he should have work of on sunday, and we will also be teaching him this coming week (I'm still trying to figure out what to teach him, because like I said I've only seen him twice, at church on sunday as well as during one lesson about 2 months ago.)
 
also this coming week we have plans to teach someone named .  His wife is an active member in the church and he's come to church several times.  I actually thought he was just a member, but finally the branch president told me that we needed to start teaching him.  so we should be able to teach him this wendsday.  So I'm pretty excited for that.
 
this weekend as you know was halloween, and so our mission president told us not to go out knocking doors last night.  He told us that we should "work by appointment" but if we didn't have appointments we shouldn't knock doors.  The appointment we had planned fell through, so we went back to the appartment and ate dinner (which we don't usually have time for on sunday) and had a little bit of extra time, so I studied spanish for a little bit.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Less Active Family Comes to Church Again

- Do the Hispanic people make their own tortillas there?  If so, you should learn how to make them.

Some times, a lot of times they just buy them.  But I've attempted to make them on my own before...key word there would be attempted.

- How are things with the new companion?  They have kept you moving the last little while.

It's going pretty good with my new companion.  Like I said last week, he's only about 3 months out in the field, so I've been doing a lot of the talking now.  Which is great at times, but at other times it's difficult because most the time I understand spanish quite well, but there are still times when I get lost (and I'm sure I will still get lost talking to people in spanish no matter how good at spanish I get, just cause it is a foreign language).  and in this area we are near the military base, which means that  a lot of the hispanics that live here are from puerta rico, because they can serve in the army.  Dad, I'm not sure if you ever got to talk to anyone from puerta rico on your mission, but their accent as well as people from cuba and the dominican republic are quite difficult to understand.  I sometimes wonder if they're not speaking some other language.
- How is the new area going for you.

The new area is going great, well I guess it's not a completely new area, but the fayetville area and Raeford area have been combined.  But we have a HUGE area,  if you look on the map we cover cumberland county, Robinson county, and Hoke county.  and we have about 200 mi to last us through the next week.  We are limited on the miles that we can use each month, so it looks like we will be doing a lot of biking this week.
this last week we've been just trying to figure out the two areas.  I have to learn the new part in Raeford, and Elder Ratto is learning fayetville (not that I really know fayetville very well yet...you know how I am with directions...)
We are now living in the apartment in Raeford which we are working on repainting the apartment.  The walls were pretty bad, so pres. cotterral is allowing us to spend 1-2 hrs everyday to work on that.
This last week we taught this guy named .  I think I probably told you about him last week.  He is a friend of one of the members in fayetville.  or I guess I should say that he is staying with one of the members in fayetville while he goes to school here.  He's studying to become a missionary (which makes things interesting) and he has plans to go back home to guatamala and be an architect, as well as do missionary work for his church.  
Also, the family that I told you about, came to church again!  Sometimes missionary work can be difficult, expecially some of those days where you just knock doors all day long and don't find anyone that wants to listen, but moments like that when you get a family like the Rosas who hadn't gone to church for 5 years, to come again and not only that but two weeks in a row, and it makes everything else worth it.  It gives me hope that some of the people I talk to that may not seem like they want to progress, will eventually make the change.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Less Active Family Comes to Church

I bet that you have really pretty leaves there.  Are the leaves changing?
 
  • Nope, it's still all green here
 
In one of your letters you said you got to eat with the English missionaries.  You said you got to use a knife and fork.  What do you eat with normally?
 
  • use tortillas to eat.  You tear off a piece of the tortilla and make a little spoon with it and scoop up the rice/beans/meat or whatever your eating. 
 
So this week is transfers, and it turns out the whole bike area was only temporary, which is a good thing, this last week was kind of rough.  It was really difficult to be able to effectively work without a car.  The Fayetville area is being closed, so tomorrow I will be going over to raeford, which is the area right next to us.  My companion will be elder Ratto, my current companion is elder Loe and he's being transfered, but I don't know where to.  For right now we'll probably just finish teaching some of the people that we are currently teaching in the Reaford as well as Fayetville area, and then we will move more towards the Raeford area.
 
This last week I think it was tuesday, the cable on my front derailer broke, so I had to get that replaced.  It was kind of interesting though, the cable itself cost $4, but to install it would have cost another $12-15.  So I just decided to install it on my own, and it worked out pretty well, I was able to get the front derailer adjusted fine and everything.
 
This Sunday I was really excited because the came to church.  They are some less actives in the branch that hadn't come for nearly 4-5 years.  We've been teaching them for this entire last transfer and it's been difficult trying to get them to come, but we had a miracle this last tuesday for one of the lessons we had with them.  We had an exchanged that was planning to come with us that day, however he called and canceled about and hour and a half before we needed to leave.  We were on bikes and so it would have not worked out to bike there, because it's about a 30-45 min drive in the car and we would have to take the freeway.  So we called a bunch of people trying to find someone that would be able to come.  We finally got ahold of somebody called brother drann (he served a mission in guatemala).  He came with us and I am certain that he was supposed to be there for the lesson.  We were teaching the family how to have a family home evening, and we were teaching the lesson about the plan of salvation.  In the middle of the lesson, brother drann jumped in and just laid it down about the importance of going to church.  The mom asked if the kids needed to wear dress clothes and we explained to them that at the church we are in God's house, so we should wear the best that we have, but then Brother Drann jumped in again an told them that he would by their kids some church clothes (which he did do.)   I felt like the family in a way wanted to go to church, but kind of felt embarrased to do so because it had been so long since they had gone, and because the boys didn't have church clothes.  But when we had a member there that was supporting them 100% it really helped them gain the confidence to come.
 
So the baptismal date that I told you about, we are still teaching him.  However he has to work on sundays, we talked to him about this, and he said that right now he wouldn't be able to get work of, but there is potential in the future.  We keep working with this guy, and maybe we'll be able to get him to come to church.
 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Back to Bikes!

So this week we had some more training.  I had told you previously that they will be changing the curriculum at the MTC, which is why we had that three day training a while back.  So this week we finished up that training however it was just one day this time.  It was really great, we learned about the role of the spirit in conversion as well as helping our investigators receive revelation through prayer.  I learned a lot from this and these trainings always make me excited to get out and go to work again.

so our area just recently got changed into a bike area, so we are now on bikes, which has been kind of interesting.  Saturday was our first actual day on the bikes and we spent the entire day knocking on doors and we only found one Hispanic to talk to.  So were going to have to think about how we find people and find a better way to do it on bikes.  I guess this could be a good thing, because it will definantly have to build our faith, because just as we were working hard to find Hispanics, and now we'll just have to be a little more creative.

Last night we had a pretty awesome lesson with a former investigator.  We went there with an exchange from the english ward.  It was kind of interesting when the exchange picked us up because previously the english elders had told us that this couple spoke spanish.  But when we got in the car and started talking to them we asked brother praneta if he had learned spanish on his mission or how he had learned it.  He told us that he spoke english on his mission, so then we asked him how he new spanish, and he said he knew a couple words in spanish.  So at this point I was wondering how this was going to work.  So we asked the wife if she spoke spanish, and she said that she spoke a little bit, but not too much.  I didn't really know what to think, because I didn't quite know how it would work if our exchange didn't speak spanish.  But it turns our we got into the lesson and sister praneta started speaking and she sounded like a native, so it worked out fine.  Sorry about that tangent... but anyway, we got in and started teaching the lesson, and the investigator told us a story about a divorce she had and all the ways that she had dealt with the stress.  So me as the missionary I was sitting there wondering how exactly to respond to this, and absolutely no ideas were coming to mind.  I was trying to think of what doctrine I should teach and nothing seemed to fit, but I guess nothing came to mind because I probably wasn't really supposed to say anything at that time because the exchanged jumped in and seemed to respond perfectly to what she was saying.  We didn't get to do much teaching, but it was really nice to have the exchange their because they were able to give our an investigator a lot of love and support that is just kind of difficult to do as a missionary.  were hoping to be able to visit with [her] this coming week, so let's hope that all goes well with it.

We also had a lesson with a guy named martin.  we've taught him about two other times, but this last week we were able to set a baptismal date for the 13 of november.  We've got a lot to teach him still, but he understands the importance of baptism and he knows its something he needs to do, so he should be able to progress.

As far as the family I told you about last week, the appointment fell through, so were working on getting back up with them to reset the appointment.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chased By Dogs

  • Have you been able to watch conference?
Yep, we watched it at the church.
  • Did you get in any of the flooding in NC that we have heard about?  It seems most of it was along the coast but wondered if you saw any or at least got some heavy rain.
Nope, it rained all day last mon. and tuesday but I didn't get to see anything too extreme, kind of dissapointing but I didn't get to see much flooding.
  • Do you need anything?
Nope, as far as I know I think I'm doing good...well actually if you could see if you can find Ryan Hyatt's mission address on facebook or through Dallin's mom, that would be awesome!

Dad, you were saying that you were thinking about buying a spanish copy of preach my gospel.  I sent home an extra copy of that home with that package that I sent home just before I left the MTC that you can have, that was an extra.

So this last week, we spent pretty much the entire weekend at the church.  Conference weekend is always difficult because you almost feel lazy all weekend because we have hardly any time to get out and ...tocar  But either way, conference was great, and I learned a lot from it.

Also last friday I went on exchanges with Elder Ratto, which was pretty fun.  He's being trained right now, so he's still pretty green.  but i enjoyed the exchange and I got to ride my bike again, as tiring as it got some days in raleigh I have gotten to where I miss being able to ride it.  ..oh, yea... I got chased for my first time on my bike by some dogs.  It started out with just one dog, and then he came back with another dog, and they were on both sides of me, about a foot away from my bike.  but it wasn't long until I was flew past Elder Ratto trying to get away from them.  But Elder Ratto must have gotten used to being chased by dogs, because they started to follow him, and I don't think he even flinched.

Last night we found a really awesome family.  We basically just taught them the restoration, like a normal first lesson.  They understood really well the doctrine that we were trying to teach them (which was a miracle because it was by no means because of how we taught them that they learned so well/quickly).  This made me think of a scripture in the BOM, I'm not sure where, but it says something along the lines of that the spirit will carry the message to the heart of a person.  Meaning that the spirit will teach us the things that we need to know, but the person must allow for the message to enter in.  I've seen some lessons where I've felt like I did a really good job at teaching the lesson, but yet the people just don't seem to understand.  And at the same time with lessons like what we taught last night where I didn't necessarily do an amazing job at teaching but yet they understood really well.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Splits With District Leader

 So, I'm trying to think of what we did this week, and it seems that every week it's hard to remember what happened during the week, time passes so quickly that it seems like I wrote you just yesterday.  But I'll see if I can remember a few of the things that happened this week.

This Wednesday we had a district meeting like normal, and afterwords we went to a Chinese buffet to eat lunch.  but just as we were sitting down our district leader asked if I could go on exchanges that day, so we finished eating, went to the apartment, threw a couple of things in my suitcase, and went on exchanges for the day.  I learned a lot from this missionary (elder stewart)  he is a really hard worker, and he knows the gospel really well so when people have questions he knows how to answer their questions.  And he can bike really fast, and he doesn't get worn out very fast.  More than anything what I learned from it is how important study is every morning, in fact since then my personal studies have been a whole lot better (not to say they were bad to begin with because I had good studies before, but in these last couple of days they've really improved, and I've began more and more to look forward to study.)

This last week we taught these two people, and .  We talked a little bit about the gospel of Jesus Christ in relation to the Baptism.  knew that baptism is something that he needs to do, however told us that he had already been baptized in the Catholic church.  We had previously taught him about the apostacy and the restoration, and he even told us that he understood what we were teaching and that the priesthood keys were taken off the earth and that it was restored back through joseph smith, but he still felt like his baptism was valid.  So, that's kind of the point of the lesson where you feel like you just hit a really big brick wall.  So then i asked him if he felt like he had been baptized with the proper authority.  And he told us that he was baptized by the spirit because he said he has seen some of the fruits of the spirit throughout his life.  So then I ran into an even bigger brick wall.  So then at that point I felt more than ever the importance of the book of mormon.  I had listened to the talk by jeffery R Holland that morning about the book of mormon, titled safety for the soul in spanish while we were in the car (we had about a 45 min. car ride) so I listened to it in spanish so that I could practice hearing spanish from a native speaker.  But anyway, Parts of that talk came to my mind and made me realize that in God has always provided "safety for our soul" meaning that he has provided a way that we can know for sure if we are on track.  And for us in these days it's through our testimony of the book of mormon (any questions on that, go read the last paragraph of the introduction.)  But this was a really cool experience, the spirit taught me in the very moment what I needed to know (or, more than anything just drew some connections for me that I hadn't drawn before).  But I don't know if will progress or not, but that was a really cool experience for me.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Translating for Stake Conference

This last weekend we had stake conference.  Me and elder Loe were asked to translate for the Priesthood session as well as the adult session on Saturday afternoon.  Nobody at the priesthood session needed the translation, but there were a few people at the adult session.  So we took turns translating for this session.  We would translate for about 15 min. then switch.  Also Elder stewart and his greenie elder Ratto translated for the session on Sunday, however Elder ratto didn't translate (because he's still a greenie) and so Elder stewart needed a break after the first hour of the session, so I translated for the last 45 min (more or less) of the last session.  I don't know if you ever got to translate on your mission or not dad ( I'm guessing that probably not, because everything was in Spanish in Venezuela, but it's a lot different than just speaking Spanish.  We had this headset that we wore, and we sat outside of the chapel and listened to the speaker and we would speak into the headset and translate as the speaker spoke.  It's really difficult to do, because usually when I speak in Spanish, I think in Spanish also.  I don't really think in English and then translate it to Spanish, but I just think in Spanish to begin with.  Also the grammar in Spanish is different than English, so I have to constantly be thinking about how to phrase whatever the speaker was saying.  And then trying to do all of this in real time is not the easiest thing I've ever done.  However it was a really cool experience.  At the begginning I just said a prayer, basically just begging for the gift of toungs, and then it was really cool, because it seemed like it worked.  I was able to hear what the speaker was saying and the words just seemed to flow out of my mouth.  in fact for these last two transfers I have had a goal to learn 5 new words every day (words that I hear people say or that I read in PMG or the BOM) and then I practice these words (I know 5 words a day doesn't seem like much, but over 3 months it turns into about 300 words, which when you get all the verb conjugations turns it into a lot more words).  This has helped me out with my vocab, but not every word that I learned is a word that actually got added to my vocab, or the words I use everyday.  However while I was translated I was able to kind of retrieve those words and use them to translate.  It was a really cool experience, it is kind of hard to explain how it felt, but it was amazing to know that I was actually being guided as I was translating.

yesterday on sunday we went with the english elders that live with us to eat at one of the members house.  But we ate some reast and potatoes which was really good, but then they decided to play a "joke" on us.  Because when your a missionary you are pretty much expected to eat everything that is put on your plate (and they were very aware of this unwritten rule of conduct.)  So they came out with a brownie that  was about 8 inches square, and a huge pile of ice cream on top of it, thinking that they would just completely over fill us and that we would leave the dinner feeling like we were about to die.  However I am proud to say that I joyfully ate the entire thing and didn't even get close to overstuffed. Ha Ha, they'll have to try harder next time!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Trip to Raleigh Temple

So today was the day that we went to the temple.  It was kind of crazy because today is our Preparation day and in order to go to the temple we had to leave at 8 45 this morning and got back at 3.  So I we don't have much time today to do too much (in fact our personal study was cut short and we don't even get a companion or language study today.)  But just let the boys know (I'm not sure which one I had plans to write this week), but I'll try and get both of them next week.

But, wow, going to a new area is different.  It's a little new having left raleigh where I knew my area like the back of my hand and then coming here to where I pretty much have no idea where I'm at half the time.  I think I may have said this last week, but our area is HUGE,  if you look of the map, we cover all of comberland county.  I thought two hours a day on a bike was a lot, just try two hours in the car every day.  But with our area being so large we are mostly in the car, in fact we only got to pull out our bikes once this last week.

As far as investigators go, I only know of one so far and a few potentials (meaning they've been taught once or twice).  ..it looks like he's been taught just about everything.  The only thing right now holding him back from baptism is that he's on probation, which could take him up to 3 months at least to get off that.  And in order to be baptized you cant be on probation.  So I guess we'll just see how things go with him.
Raleigh Temple with Elder Loe
Sandwiches we made didn't quite cut it
District in Raleigh
FHE with Members
Nightly Trek Up the Stairs

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Transfer to Fayettville

Hey, how are you all doing?

So sorry I haven't been able to write you until today, but mon. was a holiday, tuesday was transfers and we finally had time today to write.

So I've got some news, I know that I had been telling you all along that I would probably be staying in Raleigh for at least another transfer?... well, I'm in Fayetville right now with Elder Loe. I figured that I would have to stay in raleigh for another transfer because elder larsen finished his mission, and I figured that I had to teach my area to someone else for atleast another transfer.  But instead they closed the area.  There were three sets of missionaries in raleigh and now there are two, so The zone leaders in raleigh have taken over all of our investigators.

One really cool thing that happened with our area being closed, is that in every area there is an area book.  We always write down what are called "potentials"  of people we contact.  We write down their name and whatever info we have about them (phone #, address, and info about the contact.) We use this for several reasons, but all basically so that we can get in contact with these people in the future.  I had noticed about two transfers ago that the area book was slightly disorganized (all of the potentials were just listed all in one spot, not really organized into areas.)  With our area being so big it would be very infective to go down the list and passing by the houses of all these people.  So I began, two transfers ago to organize them into specific areas where we often work.  Finally about a week and a half ago, I made the final push to get this done, and then now the area has been handed over to the zone leaders.  So I was glad to have gotten that all finished up just in time so that all the work we spent finding those people won't be in vain.

As far as Fayetville goes, I don't really now much about it yet.  But I do know that it's  huge area, in fact I'm kind of dissapointed, because I might not be able to ride my bike as much.  But that's alright, I didn't come out here to bike.  But we have an appointment today at five where we'll have to drive for about an hour to get there!

But anyway, things went really well this week.  Our last visit with [investigators] , which was on sunday, we commited them to be married.  So The zone leaders will be working with them on that.  [He] still has some doubts about some of our doctrine, but he said that he would be willing to get married so that [she] could be baptized.  So I hope to hear about them soon.

Also we met somebody [new].  He was an old investigator, but we talked to him, and he was interested.  We met with him twice this week, and on Saturday, the second visit, we set a baptismal date for October 9.  So I hope I get to hear more about that soon.

So the hurricane that you mentioned...was a failure...I pretty much felt about 2 drops of rain and the wind blew at about 2 mph.  Hurricane Erl got scared and backed out so we didn't actually get hit by it.  Kind of disappointing, I was hoping that we'd get to see a hurricane, but I guess not this time around.

So, next week I believe we have a temple trip, so I won't be emailing until probably weds. again.  Just thought I'd give you a heads up.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Carne Asada BBQ

This last week we've taught [investigators] several times.  We were actually in exchanges on Tuesday when we had and appointment with them last and so I didn't get to go visit with them, but it sounded like it went really well.  

On thing that was really cool is that [our investigators] invited us over for dinner yesterday to eat Carne de asada (pretty much steak, but a lot better.)  It was a lot of fun, and it was really nice of them to do for them, especially considering how nice of a meal they cooked for us.

Also the members are helping us out like crazy with this family.  We talked to the Mia family a few days ago to arrange to have a lesson at their house this sunday which had and it went quite well.  Also we got out of sacrament meeting and the Romero family came up to us and said that they invited the family over for family home evening tonight (monday night) and that we were invited if we wanted to come.  It's really nice to be able to teach them and then just be the "flies on the wall" as the members do the rest of the work, because really, we can be there to teach them and invite them to keep the commandments, but it's when we have the support of the members that they actually have a friend to help support them.

That's pretty much all the excitment that went on this week.  Other than this, we just did a lot of knocking doors.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bike Crash! Jeff Is Okay

NOTE:  See the picture from the training at the end of this post.

How are things going for you all this week?  sounds like the trip to colorado was a lot of fun and salem days sounds like fun (as normal).

We had a three day training this week during tues-thurs from about 9 am - 4 pm every day.  Their changing what they teach at the MTC starting next may, and so they are beginning training us out in the field right now so that we can be ready for the new missionaries that will start coming in around may.  It's still using preach my gospel, it's just focused more on teaching by the spirit more, and "teaching people, not lessons".  We learned a lot about how to introduce and start a lesson, and then how to ask questions to find out what needs people have.  It was all really good what we learned and I think it will really help to make me a better missionary if I can apply what we've learned, it's just a lot harder said than done, but I guess I'll just stick with it and give it some time.  We were pretty much told that at first when we begin to try and teach in this way we will "crash and burn" which indeed has happened, but we just need to stick with it, because it is far better then the way we were teaching before.

This last week we taught [two investigators] a couple of times.  We're trying to encourage them to read in the book of mormon and to pray about it.  [She] has been doing this and is progressing quite well, however [he] seems to be apposed to the book of mormon and we just cant seem to get him to read it.  He'll read all the footnotes from the book of mormon in the bible, but he won't actually read the book of mormon.  So we need to talk to him and try and figure out why he doesn't want to read.  We would really like to move on with them, because [hse] is progressing, but it's kind of hard when [he] isn't.  


So I had a pretty awesome crash on my bike this week.  It was a pretty cool crash, however I'm still puzzled about how it happened.  I was just riding out of the parking lot from our apartment and I saw a car in front of me, so I decided to begin slowing down.  I grabbed the front break, which isn't abnormal, but I guess I just wasn't ready for it, but next thing I knew I was flying over the handle bars.  So somehow (I'm not sure how I actually landed because it all happened so quick) but I tucked and rolled and ended up on my back as my bike gently landed on top of me.  My companion told me that as I was upside down, because he was behind me, so I had to be upside down for him to see that my eyes were as "wide as saucers" as he told me.  However, don't worry mom, I stood right up and didn't get hurt at all.  but nonetheless, I'm still confused about how it all happened.

So last week I told you that we were going to learn how to make papusa for our pday activity.  It was a lot of fun, and they taste really good.  However, Sis hernandez, who taught us how to make them made it look a lot easier then it actually is.  She could make about three in the time it took us to make one, and they looked a whole lot better than ours.  It took some pix from that, and I'll probably be making a cd from a bunch of the pix that I have, but you'll probably have to wait about a week and a half, because I'll have to drop it off today and pick it up next week.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Elder Compton Put on Weight?

Hey, how are things going for you guys?  Sounds/looks like your having a lot of fun in colorado.  How long are you going to be there for?  Did you take the raft/bikes?

this last week we got to teach [investigator family].  Things are going quite well with them.  We taught them the word of wisdom on friday (because if you remember, they couldn't come to church last sunday because of a hangover...) but they committed to live the word of wisdom and even let us take all the coffee out of the house.  Which by the way nothing feels better than being able to throw away a container of coffee, just by understanding what kind of commitment their making by allowing us to do that.  We also taught them yesterday and talked to them about a baptismal date, however they were a little unsure about that, so we're going to allow them to study and pray about that a little bit, and hopefully they can have a baptismal date by the time I write home next week.  also this last friday we brought some ties over to let them wear to church and taught them how to tie a tie.  However it was kind of interesting trying to teach them how to tie a tie in spanish (it's not exactly the everyday vocab.)

We also had zone conference this week where we talked a lot about using the spirit as we teach lessons.  We learned a lot about asking questions through the promptings of the spirit.  One thing I've found is that people don't learn if you just teach them the information, they learn better through the scriptures and asking them questions to make them figure things out for themselves.

So, I've got some good news!  In these last 3-4 months I've put on about 7-10 lbs! I'm pretty sure that's record breaking for me, however I'm not sure exactly were it's going, but I think it's all in my legs from the average of 1 1/2 hours on the bike everyday.

I'm excited for today, because we talked to one of the members who is probably going to teach us how to cook paposa today, so I'll have to tell you how that goes next week.

Fun Activity

Note:  We were on vacation for the past two letters without internet access so didn't get things posted.  Here they are a little late.

This last week we had an activity with the branch that was centered around the plan of salvation.  We just recently (as in 3 months ago) got a new ward mission leader.  ...he just returned home from his mission about four months ago, but he made this activity to try to spark missionary work in the branch.  For the activity we started in the room in the church that is between the gym and the chapel.  We played it out like we were on an airplane.  One of the members acted as the pilot and talked into the microphone in the chapel which went into the gym, and he welcomed us onto the plane.  The after a minute or two he told us that there were a few problems with the plane and that we were going to crash.  So we turned of the lights and made some noises like we were crashing and then we came into the "spirit world".  Me and another elder, explained the spirit world, resurection, and judgment.  then we had three other rooms in the church that were decorated to look like the three kingdoms of glory.  The Telestial kingdom was in the basement and we put glow in the dark stars up.  The Terrestrial kingdom had was in the primary room and we had a cut out moon to show that this kingdom had the glory of the moon.  And then for the celestial kingdom we put white sheets all over the chairs, and covered the walls with white paper and put a picture of the temple up and also blew up a bunch of white balloons and put them on the floor.  It was a pretty fun activity, one of the other elders took pixs of the activity, so I am planning on sending a few pictures home from this (See pictures below).

A few people have asked me if I'm going to be transferred soon.  And to answer that, I have no Idea, but I'll tell you what I do know.  Transfers were last Tuesday, so I will for sure be staying in the area for at least until the end of august.  However, that is when elder Larsen finishes his mission, so he will have to leave the area.  So the only options out there would be for me to stay for at least another transfer to show somebody the area.  Or the whitewash the area, meaning that there would be two new people to the area that don't know the area.  So in other words I could be here for another month, or another 2 and a half months.  But either way, I'm loving it out here.  Because there is so much member support, and so many people to talk to out here.

Recently we found two new investigators.  They actually came to church last sunday which was really exciting.  We've taught them twice now, they have a lot of questions (which is a good thing) however if were not careful the lessons with them can turn out really long.  But I'm excited for them and I think they have some potential. 

This last week we talked with the [member] family.  They are members that are from Argentina.  I asked them what kind of food they eat there, or what kind of food sharee will be fed out there.  However there's not too much of a trend of the kind of food they eat out there, at least from what I saw.  It's kind of different from what most hispanic food is like however she will still eat a lot of rice and probably beans.  However one thing that I found interesting is that they don't use tortillas in argentina.  In fact the first time that HNO Quintero saw a tortilla he used it as a coaster for his cup.

One thing I've found out on the mission, is that the members are extremely important in missionary work.  Looking back at all the investigators we've had, the ones that have started to progress either were referrals from the members or we brought members to visit them from the very beginning.  So...now the big question, what have you guys been doing to help the missionary program back at home/what do you plan to do?

Monday, July 26, 2010

3 Flats in 3 Days

This last week did a lot of knocking doors again.  I did however get to go on exchanges with one of the Zone leaders, Elder north.  It was quite enjoyable and I got to spend the day in a car rather than on bikes, which was a nice break.  It's kind of funny that after every exchange that we go on, whoever comes to our area is really tired by the end of the day because of the amount of biking we do, but me and elder larsen have pretty well adjusted to the biking.  (we have a lot of biking in our area, and the temperature has been in the upper 90's this week, sometimes even above 100.  And with the heat index, meaning how the temperature feels with the heat,  some days it was at 110)

This last week we got someone to come to church!  which was a miracle because it's been nearly a month and a half since any investigators have come to church.  We were actually on exchanges with a member and we had two appointments that fell through so we were just knocking doors with a member and found a family that showed some interest and HNO Milla invited him to come to church and he came yesterday.  WE also got to teach them yesterday.  It was a good lesson, a long lesson, but it went well.

So this last week we got 3 flat tires in a row (meaning in 3 consecutive days).  I know that is crazy, but I'm going to buy new tubes today and a patch kit so we should be ready to go next week.  I'm trying to decide if we get a lot of flat tires because we ride to far on the side of the rode, or just because we ride a lot in general.

So, yea that's pretty much my week, not too much exciting going on, but I'm sure enjoying out here!
And I think mom asked me this a while ago, about tornados, don't worry, I havn't seen any around here, and i don't think I will.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Golf Pictures

How's everything going for you guy's?  Sounds like a pretty crazy camp out you when on dad.  Tell sharee congrats on going through the temple!

This last week we set a baptismal date!  I wouldn't say it's the most solid baptismal date in the world, but atleast it's something.  We are still working on getting him to come to church, pray and read in the book of mormon, but were hoping that he'll come around.

With [sister investigator], were still working with her.  We had plans to teach her this last Saturday, but we were about an hour late, because we had arranged for a member to come on exchanges with us and he was confused on what time we were leaving at and he picked us up a little late so we weren't able to visit with [sister investigator] and her husband, but nonetheless, Nora is still excited about what were teaching.  We just need to get her husband on board.

So i finished the Book of Mormon this week!  I started it in the MTC in english and after about a month in the field I switched to Spanish when I was in about alma 15 more or less.

This last week some of the other elders in the branch had a baptism.  So this last thursday elder [zone leader] did the interviews.  one of the members, HNO Romero, brought one of the investigators to the interview so while Elder [zone leader]was in the interview I talked to HNO Romero.  I taught him a little bit of english and he taught me a little bit of spanish.  I found out that he played a little bit of guitar, so I had him teach me some of the vocab for the guitar.  I learned all the parts of the guitar.

This last week, with the same member (hno romero) we ate dinner with them.  His wife sells food every friday and saturday night.  She cooks food at her house and people come and buy food.  So we came early and the fed us some food.  I ate a torta.  Dad, did you ever eat torta's on your mission?  or has anyone ever had one before?  I'd probably say it's one of my favorite meals I've eaten so far.  But I had Hermana Romero teach me how to make a torta.  It was actually pretty easy, it's kind of a sandwich with some special kind of cheese, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, meet (we put some sort of roast beef on it that was more finely chopped up in to small pieces), beans, mayonnaise, and chili (chili as in more of a hot sauce kind of thing...)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Biking Story

Hey, how are things going for you guys?

This week, once again we did a lot of contacting.  We were only able to teach 5 lessons.  I'm not sure why were not able to find anyone to teach, I keep thinking the work is going to pick up but it just doesn't seem like it's picking up too quickly.

However we were able to teach a lesson to [Sister N], one of the people we taught a couple of weeks ago.  We stopped by her house because it had been a couple of weeks since we had had contact with her.  She was there and invited us in to teach her.  She apologized for not calling us or visiting with us for a while.  She committed to try and follow better the "word of God" as she explained it to us.  The only problem is that her husband (I forgot how to phrase this in English, but el no esta en acuerdo con lo que estamos ensenando a su esposa) [he is not in agreement with what we are teaching his wife].   So we're going to visit with her and her husband this coming Tuesday and we'll hope that we can get something figured out.  She really wanted to come to church this Sunday but for some reason didn't, so we'll have to visit with her and figure out why she didn't come.

So here's a funny story.  We were biking out to the area where we were going to knock doors and we saw this Hispanic on a bike in front of us, so we went to catch up to him so that we could talk to him.  He was on the sidewalk so I was on the side of the rode, so I pulled up on the side of him and tried to wave him down and get him to stop, but I'm not sure if he realized I was there.  So I passed him and there was a little pull out on the side of the rode where I stopped and waved at him and yelled "hey hermano"  but he still didn't stop.  So [elder L] pulled ahead and rode along side him trying to get his attention, but he still didn't stop.  We ended up following him for about a mile or two but he never stopped.  It was kind of funny though because me and [elder L] were sitting down on our bikes keeping our normal pace, but he was standing up on his bike peddling as hard as he could but yet kept the same pace.  I think we kind of intimidated him.  I'm not sure why....

Recently we've found that all the places that we know of that are highly populated with [Spanish speaking people] have all been knocked out pretty well.  So we decided to look for some new places...e.  We rode out to a spot out by nightdale which was about and 45 min-1 hr bike ride out there.  we had never been there before but we saw a trailer park out there that we thought we might go check out.  We had planned to spend the entire afternoon out there.  But it turned out that there were only about 15 trailers in the trailer park and all the hispanics were out working, but we talked to 3 other english people.  It was kinda funny, we talked to this [guy] who was rolling up this cigarette right in front of us.  So we finished knocking this trailer park and had an extra 1 1/2 extra of time and we were in an area that we don't know very well and about a half hour bike ride to the closest area in our area to knock.  so, that kinda made our day hard, because an hour and a half to work in our area isn't enough time because we half to ride for a half hour to get to anywhere  so we only had about a half hour to work.  So yea, that's our story about how we didn't plan very well, I've learned several times (the hard way) what happens when I don't plan very well.

This week I got to go on exchanges again with [elder ].  It was a lot of fun and I got to go to there area where I didn't have to be the person in charge/or the only one who really knows the area.  Also that day we got to ride in the car and the temperature got up to 105 F that day.  The elder that took my spot was quite grateful that they have a full time car after that exchange.

So yea, that's about my week.  It's going great out here, and even though the work is going slow, I'm enjoying it, and I've learned a lot out here.  I'm pretty sure there's nothing I'd rather be doing right now other than out her serving a mission!

Questions Answered

  • How are your 3 investigators coming?  We pray for you and the people you are teaching every night as a family.
Their comming good...well...all three of them got jobs and were trying to get back in contact with them.  People are so busy here, so at times it's difficult to find time to teach them.
  • Did you get your derailer adjusted?  Is the bike holding up  well?   I expect you have put a number of miles on it already.
I think so, I didn't get it last week, but I think I got it this week.  It's a little harder on the mission to work on my bike, because before the mission, like you know I would spend hours messing around with my bike, But stuff like that doesn't really interest most missionaries.  But I think I was able to get it fixed.  It's not perfect but it's better.
  • Do you read your Spanish scriptures mostly or your English?  Are you getting where you understand the language of the scriptures pretty good?
Yea, I've actually been studying in spanish for the last 3 months almost.  And yea, I pretty much understand almost everything.  Not perfectly, I sometimes have to pull out the dictionary or my english scriptures.  And as far as preach my gospel, I was reading that in spanish before I left the MTC.
  • Did we tell you that they are building a temple in Payson?  I am sure that we did but I kind of forgot if I ever mentioned it.  Right now it is a field of winter wheat.  Not really sure when they will start.
Yea, you told me that.  i'm excited!  I hope they get started on that soon so that It will be finished when i get home.

  • Are you still getting a lot of Mexican food? 
Yea, well...hispanic food anyway.  I've eaten a variety of diffirent kinds of food.  However nonetheless, there is usually a common theme of rice, beans, chicken, and tortillas.  But we've eaten with members almost every day this last week which was really good, because we hardly ate the food we bought last week.  So this week I bought a cantalope, 2 lbs of strawberries, 2 lbs of peaches, 2 lbs of bannanas, 2 mangos, and I still have half a watermelon.  so I'm planning to make a bunch of aqua de whatever fruit I want to throw in (aka throw it in the blender and make juice).  I'm pretty sure the aqua that the hispanics make is my favorite food.
  •  I think you were my big milk drinker.  Do you get to drink it much there.
Milk is a little more expensive here (2.88 this week)  so I only drink about 1 gallon of milk.  I wish I could drink more, but it's difficult (I'm usually out of milk by friday or saturday)

So this week I got to go on exchanges with an elder [Elder V]  he's a little verdicito ( I still am too, but he's only 3 weeks out).  And don't be decieved by his name, he is hispanic but doesn't speak spanish.  So it was a lot of fun being the "senor companion" for the day.  I think he also became a little more grateful for the car that he has in his area...we did a little more biking than what he is used to.

We've had a hard time recently trying to find investigators to teach.  It seems like right now it's the middle of the summer and so there's a lot of work to do and so it's really hard to catch peoples attention because their so busy.  But my mission president referred me to a page in Preach my gospel that says that our success is measured by our desire to fulfill our purpose, or invite others to come unto christ.  So I guess I'll just keep pushing forward and I'm sure we'll find somebody soon.

Just one tip as your buying clothes for sharee.  I remember with me, you guys refused to go cheap on the stuff we bought which was a good idea.  The mission is rough on your clothes/equipment.  Some of the missionaries that go cheap end up probably spending more money because they have to continually replace their clothes.  But as far as me, all my stuff has held up quite well.

One more question.  Maybe you could see if their are by chance any mt biking trails within Raleigh.  preferably withing my area which if you look at my area, we work below the road "buffaloe"  to the east of "Raleigh Blvd/skycrest (both names are the same rode just at different parts of the rode)" and over in the towns zebulon, and nightdale.  I'm just looking for something else to do on preparation day besides basketball.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Investigators

Letter 1


How's it going?
  
To answer your questions for the fourth of july, I'm not sure exactly what we'll do.  My companion said that last year they had to be back by 6 o clock.  So I'm guessing that's what we'll do also...probably just hang around the apartment, I'm not exactly sure on that.

So one thing that i would like to clear up, I'm sure that dad understands this, but I've recieved a couple of letters from a few people asking me if I'm fluent in spanish yet.  So this question is very relative question, I'm not exactly sure what fluent means, because although I may become more and more sufficient in the language throughout my mission, it's still a foreign language.  But just to clear up any concerns, the spanish is coming just fine, I understand what's going on about 90% of the time during lessons, and it's still a little difficult during normal conversation, but it's coming good and I have no idea what fluent means.

So I'm not sure is any of you knew this, but the world cup has been going on these last couple weeks, which means about every other day there's about 2-3 hours of the day that are really hard to talk to people or to get into houses.  It's been pretty fun though because you can start a conversation with just about anyone just by talking about the world cup.  Sharee might be excited to know that argentina won a pretty big game yesterday against mexico.  although we had two people that wanted to come to church yesterday but wouldn't because they wanted to watch the game.

This week has been really nice, because like I said last week we got a new meal cordinator who is really magnifying her calling.  We've had meals just about every night this week.  this has worked out really good, because we normally just have to eat a big lunch from 10 30-11 30 and the take sandwiches with us, or else we would have to spend half hour-45 min to get back to the apartment to eat.  But since the members live in our area, dinner is a lot closer with them.

One of the people that we ate with this week was the quinteros and they are from argentina.  I told them that sharee got called to serve her mission there, and told them which mission it was.  They were excited to hear that, you could tell that they are quite proud to be from argentina.

So it looks like we might have a few people added to our teaching pool now, we taught 3 people this week that showed a lot of interest.  

We knocked [invesigator 1] door and she said that she has a sister in Honduras that is a member, we talked to her about a few things and then set a time to come back.  When we had come back the second time she had read the pamphlet we gave her, and had looked at a bunch of stuff on mormon.org.  We were dissapointed though, because her husband wasn't home when we came by, and we can't teach girls unless there is a man in the house, but she showed a lot of interest so we left a book of mormon with her and set up another appointement with her and brought a member with us the second time.  The lesson we had with the member went really good, she had a lot of questions, but the questions she had were only because she wanted to know if what we had to share was true.

[Investigator 2] we taught last night (it was the third time we taught her, but it seemed like things just clicked with her this time.)  She had some doubts about the book of mormon, but we resolved those and taught her how she could pray to know if it is true.  She also had some doubts about baptism, be cause she had already been baptized in the catholic church, we explained the authority to her and then told her that we would let her pray about the book of mormon and our church to see if she needed to be baptized again only this time by proper authority.  She said the closing prayer and we could tell by the way she prayed that she had a sincere desire to find out if our church was true.

[Investigator 3], was someone also that we just recently met.  He's been pretty much begging us to teach him how to pray, which is usually the opposite.  One day we stopped by his house, because we were in the area and on of our appointments fell through and we wanted to set up another.  We were kind of short on time because it was about 8 oclock and we were about 45 min away from our apartment.  But he was asking us and wanted so badly for us to come help him pray.  So we did, we taught a really short lesson, and we got home just on time (with about 30 sec. to spare), but it all turned out well.

So, yea, that's our investigators, there all pretty new, but were hoping that they'll start to progress.




Letter 2


One more thing, I finish my email a little bit early.  But last p-day we went golfing.  One of the members in the english ward let us go golfing for free.  it was pretty, cool though, because the course we went on was really nice.  However, I'd have to say (this was my first time golfing) I just don't understand this sport...it was a lot of sitting around and not doing much of anything.  Also we had to wear a button up polo shirt, so we all went to a tjmax and bought a shirt...I just don't understand this whole idea, you wear gym shorts/bike shorts/etc so that you can perform better...But why do you wear a button up shirt for golfing?

But yea, I've got pix from that, I'll have to send those home sometime.  It was kindof a change from the normal p-day (basketball)  but as you can see from my earlier letter, I'll probably be fixing my bike today, I think my compainion has several things to fix on his also.

que tenga una buena dia