Monday, May 26, 2014

The City of Angels

Well, I was thinking about writing to Connelly to tell him I got transferred to L.A. Its kind of funny to think we are serving in two cities with the same name. 

I really like this place. It is really awesome! There are some moments where it feels like I am walking up in the Avenues in Salt Lake, just the Latino version. The ward here is really great. They had ward conference this week and had a lot of fun activities. They are very good people. I am really excited to work here. My friend Elder H is here as well and it is fun to be in the same house as him. There are six missionaries in our house and one bathroom, so the mornings can be a little difficult sometimes. It has been really sunny here as well, which makes me happy. It’s like typical fall weather. We live in one of the best houses in the mission and it is pretty nice. We have two couches, which is amazing, even though they are kind of nasty. It is nice to have somewhere to sit that is comfortable.  I really like the city where I am serving. It is fun to have kind of a new atmosphere to work. 

I got an e-mail from the Branch President of my first area in Santa Juana. He told me that one of the people that we had been teaching there had be baptized. He was so kind to thank me for all of my work there. When I first arrived there were 28 people that attended Church in the branch. Last week they had 64 members, a total of 88 with leadership attend their branch conference. It is so exciting to be a part of this great work and to celebrate the goodness it brings into all of our lives.

The gospel is true!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Leaving Loncoche

Hey family it has been a crazy week. 

I am just going to tell you about the last few days.

Friday we had a great devotional with President Martinez where he talked about success in life after the mission. Then we had a brief interview with him. It was basically our last personal interaction with him. He is an incredible man and has been an amazing mission president. I am so grateful for him!

Saturday we attempted to have a pancake breakfast. Everything worked out and we were able to get a lot of young, less-active members and some investigators to come play soccer. They all had a good time. Right after Elder C and Elder H had baptism for a nice older lady they have been teaching. Then we went to the adult session of the district conference where I enjoyed President Martinez´s talk about foreordination in the work of salvation. 

Sunday we had district conference and President Martinez shared some great thoughts about not looking back and how to overcome Satan. He said the Lord doesn´t care where we were, only where we are and where we are focused on getting. We were able to get a bus to take the members of the branch to the district center so that was good and we had good attendance. 

I am getting transferred today to my first ward and I am excited about that, but will miss Loncoche as well. My new companion is Elder M and I have heard good things from my two previous companions who were with him before they were with me. I have heard a lot of good things about the new sector.

Love you all and am so happy about all of the great things you are doing!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day

Picture with one of my good friends, Elder A from Peru. A really great, humble guy.

You guys are so wonderful. It felt so good to talk to you yesterday on Mother’s Day! These moments are so special. I cannot believe how blessed I am to have the family that I have. What a wonderful life. Talking to you all really helped me re-gain perspective and made me determined to be an even better missionary. Thank you for your examples and I hope that I can be a better example for each of you. I really feel like I have new motivation to press forward even when it is tough and I am really excited to be heading into this next phase of the mission. I feel like I understand things better and know what I need to do. I am determined to go forward with all the faith in the world and never doubt or fear or worry. I know that the Church is true and that when we come to Christ we really do feel peace. I am learning a lot, mostly how to love even more and give even more! Keep going. You guys are the best! Love you tons!

Beautiful Chile

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Praying and Teaching

This week was great! Definitely my best week in the mission. I feel like I am beginning to re-develop the mentality I had my senior year of football, where I just plow ahead and continue improving, not sweating the small mistakes. I was a lot happier this week as I did that.

Today we made cinnamon rolls with the nicest sister in the ward. I will be skyping from her house next week so you will get to meet her. Also, mom, could you send me an apple pie recipe to give her? She is fantastic. She suffers from some disabilities and has been in a wheel chair her whole life. She has always wanted to have children and the missionaries have kind of been her children, because she couldn’t have her own. We also made cookies for a less active sister in the ward but they don’t have chocolate chips here and the chocolate bar we used kind of melted into the cookie batter. So that was interesting. It all worked out. They tasted okay in the end.

We are chipping away at the less active member list, as well as old investigators. We have some great investigators now. There is a young couple who told us they want to be baptized. We are also teaching a nice young man; he has two daughters and also is really humble. His wife hasn’t shown too much interest yet though. We are also teaching a nice wood carver who has conversed with missionaries in the past. He is like a character out of a book. I will tell you about him this week. We are also teaching another guy, and an 18 year old and his mother. Many of them have expressed a desire to be baptized, but none have come to church yet.

I have been thinking a lot about prayer this morning because my prayers have gotten a little sloppy lately. I love the section on prayer in chapter 4 of Preach My Gospel. I also loved the talk I listened to this morning by Elder Bednar. “Pray Always”, it is awesome. He talks about how the earth was created spiritually before physically and how in our morning prayer we can create our day spiritually before it really happens.

I love you all tons and can’t wait to talk on Mother’s Day. I am praying for you!