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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  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 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