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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). 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.