Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Teaching Reflections, Part 2

I think what truly made the lesson great was that we had some amazing members with us that could help explain how the gospel has blessed their family.  What they said was just what the family needed to hear.  We were concentrated on getting them to feel the Spirit.  When you forget about yourself, how well you're teaching, and what others may think of you, and you focus completely on what the investigators need (which is the Gospel) and what the Spirit is telling you, it's amazing what difference it makes!  You truly feel the love God has for His children, and you feel the overwhelming desire to help them find the blessings that come from living the commandments of God.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Teaching Reflections

Most of the time, the dad (of the family I mentioned yesterday) is out of town working.  We've talked to him a couple of times before, but this week, we were able to sit down with him.  He's a big jokester, so lessons are usually pretty fun.  This time, we had a member with us as we were teaching the Restoration.  There were a ton of distractions, and I just remember I was contemplating just leaving for the night and trying it another day, but in the end, we stayed and made our way through the lesson.  At the end, we invited him to pray to know it the Joseph Smith story was true.  After he prayed, we asked him how he felt, and with a very sincere smile, he said, "Me siento bonito." or "I feel really good,"  We invited them to church and the whole family came!!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

You Remind Me Of My...Brothers!

We started reteaching one of my favorite families this week!  They are this adorable family!  The boys have identical personalities to my brothers ....I'm serious, their personalities are exactly the same.  It's kind of "crazy", I totally know how to get along with them!

I Love Easter!

This week was truly amazing!  We saw many miracles and felt the Spirit a lot.  I love Easter because it's so much easier for us missionaries to get into people's houses!  It's a special time when we can remember how merciful God has been to us, but really we should be remembering that every week as we take the sacrament!

Monday, April 21, 2014

And For This Week's Proselyting Adventures...

...We got egged!!!

The Spanish)Ward had an Easter Party on Saturday.  It was super fun!  Apparently the missionaries were supposed to help with a game, but nobody ever told us.  So, we just went to have a good time, get to know the members better, and set up times to take them out with us to visit our investigators.

At the party, there was a giant bounce house, hot dogs, and an Easter egg hunt.  I don't know if any of you know much about Latin American Easters, but let me just say, I definitely think they are more fun than American ones!  They have real, painted Easter eggs filled with confetti that they hide.  Then all the kids run and go find all the eggs.  

That's when the fun begins!

As soon as all the eggs are found, there is a huge egg fight.  Everyone runs around cracking eggs on each other's heads.  I got attacked by a ton of little kids!  Needless to say, I was a big, confettied mess by the end of it!

It was a good conversation starter the rest of the day as we were tracting!  As we were walking around, we saw smashed eggs and confetti everywhere!  It's like a community event.  I love Easter!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"Why? Moses 1:39!"

Last Sunday, during sacrament meeting, a member said something really interesting.  He said that the answer to any and every gospel question beginning with "Why?" is "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."  He then gave some examples:

Q: Why should we read the scriptures every day?
A: To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Q: Why must we attend church every Sunday even if we have other things like homework, ball games, etc?
A: To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Q: Why are only men required to have the priesthood?
A: To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Then he said that after we have answered those great questions of the soul, if we can ask ourselves how those things "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man," we will increase tremendously in our understanding of gospel principles.  It was something that really stood out to me.  In the past, I know I have been guilty of complaining about things we "have" to do, but knowing that the reason behind everything we're asked to do really can change our perspective on everything.

I've tried it out, and it works!  It's pretty cool!

Hope all is well back in Utah!  Happy Easter y'all!

Friday, April 18, 2014

General Conference, Part 2

The Assistants to the President brought the "new" vehicle  to us, and they so conveniently left in the CD player a disc with five of the most recent General Conference talks on it!  That was pure gold for us!  It was fantastic because every single one of the talks on there were talks that we had really wanted to hear but we had missed due to technical difficulties in the Spanish session or car troubles that made us arrive late to Conference.  It was perfect!  And we've been enjoying listening to those talks over and over.

I really like the talks by Elder Jeffery R. Holland and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  They both talked about the effort and sacrifices we will have to make to be true disciples of Jesus Christ.  There are many who do not like the message we bring simply because it requires them to work, and I think we all may be guilty of having the same feelings toward something a prophet or apostle has said that may sound too hard or unreasonable.  We may have a list of excuses justifying why we don't have time to do things the prophet asks us, but its important to realize that the progress that comes from taking the challenge is truly what makes us happy.  Without it, we can never become the people God wants us to become.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Which Vehicle is Your Favorite?

Earlier this week, we got a car to use while Jeep Jianie is getting fixed.  I really liked it.  It was a "retired" Toyota Corolla and it was super easy and fun to drive.  It reminded my of my old car from before the mission.  Then, we got a call the next day saying they were selling the car, and so we got a Chevy Malibu.  It is also known as the Mali-boat for its awkward size.  We named our Malibu Mushu from Mulan because we really miss our 2014 Jeep - but at least we can get around without having to ride bikes or walk all day! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Four New Investigators!

We found four new investigators this week - and all of them have baptismal dates!  That's always the best feeling.  Now we need to follow up with them everyday and helping them continue to learn about the gospel.  Two of our new investigators are members of one family.  They already love us!  The first day we met them, the mom introduced us to her kids. She was very proud to tell us that she had taught her little toddler to say some things in English like "Thank you" and "Bye" and "Excuse me!"  It was pretty dang cute.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Very Calm Week!

So this week was a lot more calm than the last few, for which I am very grateful.  You'd be amazed at how much energy planning a wedding and getting rear-ended on the mission takes!  But this week, we were back to normal, every-day proselyting :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

General Conference Thoughts!

Conference was fantastic!  We had a blast watching it at church.  I really liked Elder M Russell Ballard's talk about missionary work.  I think we can apply a lot of the techniques he shared in our area.  I also really liked Elder D. Todd Christofferson's talk. I love conference!  This was my third and last conference in the mission field, and like always, it was much needed!
I hope you all take the time to read over the talks often.  Y'all are lucky because you can access them at any time during the week on the internet.  We as missionaries have to wait awhile :( 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Well, I thought I had nothing interesting to write about this week....


First off, contrary to rumors in the mission office, both me and my companion are perfectly okay.  We may be a little sore, but we're good :)

Second, it was not my fault!

Third, our poor Jeep Jiannie is at the car hospital right now :( for awhile....like 3-4 weeks  :(

So long story short, we were in a rear-end collision on Saturday night after conference.  We stopped at a stoplight and a guy in a truck hauling a big boat wasn't able to stop in time due to the weight of his vehicle and the wet roads.  But we're all good!  The members are taking very good care of us!  And we have another (old) car.

The car got quite a bit of damage for just being a rear-end collision.  It was really sad it being a new car and all, but what can you do?  That's life!

Interior View

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Miscellaneous Pictures!

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Rattlesnake Territory

A US aircraft carrier that came by our little town!

A Wedding and Two Baptisms! I Love Being a Missionary!

A favorite couple of ours got married on Friday!   :)

The wedding ceremony was beautiful!  We had a lot of help from some wonderful members who have developed a strong friendship with the couple over the last few weeks.  They helped us enormously to plan and put together the perfect wedding.  A member from the Spanish Ward made the cake.  The groom bought the flowers and we, with some help from a ward member, made the bouquet.

Then, on Sunday, the bride got baptized.  Everything went smoothly.  It was a wonderful baptism and the spirit was so strong.  I am so grateful I had the privilege to be there.  The groom bore his testimony in sacrament meeting.
On top of all that, we had another baptism in the Spanish Ward.  The son of a member was baptized.  

I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know all of these absolutely amazing people!  They are incredible.  I love them soooooooooooo much!  It was truly one of the best weekends of my entire life.
We could not have done it without all the help we received.  The members truly played their part very well.  They took the "new bride"  under their wing and made her feel worth a million bucks.  The timing of everything was perfect.  In reality, we as missionaries did very little and that's how it should be. :)
I love being a missionary!  :D
Among other events this week:
  • General Conference this weekend!  So stoked!
  • I got proposed to --- long story, super awkward
  • I got to watch the Women's Conference  :)
  • One of the young members decided to make a service club and went around the neighborhood asking people if they needed help with anything.  One lady accepted their offer to cut the grass.  They didn't know how to use a lawnmower so they used scissors!  hahaha it was pretty funny!

Anyway, as you can tell, it's been a fantastic week!  Crazy busy, but super great!
I've learned a lot.  We saw a lot of miracles in preparation for these two miracles.  I'm grateful to have played just a small role in them.  I think everyone should serve a mission.  It's more fun than going to Disneyland!

Fun Adventures!

The mission is full of fun adventures!  I ran into my first wild tarantula!  It was actually quite traumatizing!  We spotted it still a ways away just meandering across the road and hurried to get a picture then we ran off!  I was on edge the entire night after that.  Any little sound made me jump.  I hate spiders.  The wind blew a bag against the fence next to us, and both my companion and I jumped so high just as a car was passing!  It was so embarrassing haha :)

We ate some raw, fresh caught oysters!  This guy who we met a few weeks ago gave them to us.  He even cracked them open right in front of us!  They were super good especially with hot sauce and lime on them!  We later learned it probably wasn't the best idea to eat them.  #1 it was raw.  #2 there was an oil spill in Galveston.....Well, it's been four days and we're still not dead, so I figure we got lucky!   Don't worry, I'll never do anything like that again!  ;)

We also ate some fresh caught crab.  Did you know they're blue before they are cooked???  A member made it for us.  They were tiny and hard to eat.  We had to break the shell open with our teeth then suck out the meat from the legs.  It was quite fun!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Continue to Send Prayers!

Down here in South Texas, things are going great!  We would really appreciate your continued prayers for us and especially for our investigators!  Also don't forget to pray for the missionaries in your own ward!  They need it too! :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Faith and Prayer Work!

We once again taught Gospel Principles in the Spanish Ward.  The lesson was supposed to be on the Atonement, but we decided to teach about faith.  It went really good.  A long-time member shared a story about how she had a knife that she loved to use for cooking because it was sharp and could just get the job done, but one day, it had fallen into a box that she had thrown away.  She looked everywhere for it for 3 or 4 days then finally decided to pray about it.  She then had the thought to check in the box she had thrown away.  She thought that would be ridiculous, but she decided to follow the prompting and she found it.  She kept saying it was a silly story, but we were able to use it and analyze it to show what she did to exercise her faith and what God did to answer her prayers.  It was a reoccurring theme throughout the lesson that we used to teach that a huge part of having faith is acting and not just praying and waiting for something to happen.  She had to get down on her knees and pray then follow the inspiration she received....the knife didn't just appear before her.  It was a really good lesson.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


We had a miracle happen this week.  We had an area goal of two baptisms for the month of March.  We have one that has been planned from the end of April, and we were really struggling to get the second one.  A member in our area has child who had not yet been baptized, due to not having permission from the other parent..  We and the child's "member" parent fasted so the other parent would give permission for the baptism.  Then on Sunday, we were told the permission paper had been signed and the child is going to be baptized in the very near future!!! :)  I'm so excited!