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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 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 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.