Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hey Family.

Well lets start with some questions:

1) We get our mail from the zone leaders. They pick it up at the mission office and then they bring it to a meeting place wherever they choose.

2) We get dinner appts, just not very many. We have a standing dinner appt with a family every Sunday, but other than that we take it how we can get it. We eat a lot at home. Turkey sandwiches, mac and cheese, and last night I had a can of corn hahah. Since we are new we are still trying to get to know the members but we will start getting more appt soon.

3) Church starts at 1. I like it because I get a full study time before ward coordination. Then I am at church from 10-430, then we go work for an hour, go eat, and then go back out and work till 9 or so. I'm getting better on the bike, no more wrecks (I just knocked on wood) and I've actually lost like 10 pounds so far riding around. We usually ride between 5-10 miles a day, its good exercise.

Well lets go to the week now. Let's start with Carlos. Carlos is doing pretty well. We had an appt with him at Carl's Jr. on Tuesday and that went really well. We talked about the importance of hearing God's word and talked to him about church. We asked him if he wanted to come on a church tour and he said that he would love to. We left, and he called like an hour later and said that he had found the church and that he was excited to go inside. We were stoked, because he went to find the church meant he really wanted to go. We took him on the church tour the next day, Wednesday, and he really liked it. We explained the sacrament to him and he asked about the wine and we told him we used water. He said, "It doesn't matter what you use I guess, what really matters is the symbolism of it and the importance." WOW. Then we gave him a Book of Mormon and told him that this is a gift from his Heavenly Father and that it could answer any questions that he has. He said that he would read it. We are a little discouraged, because he didn't come to church (he went to LA to see his mom) and he hasn't been answering his phone, but we will keep trying.

Yesterday at church was great. We had talked to a lot of new people this week (we picked up 12 new investigators this week) but we didn't ask any of them to come to church. We weren't expecting anyone to come, but it turns out that we had 3 people walk off the street. One came with his mom and his mom said that he wants to get baptized so he can baptize his son. ( SCORE) and then another one came with his wife. His wife is a member and he hadn't come in 2 years before yesterday, we went and talked to him last night and he said that he would love for us to come by again.

One more thing. This week, me and Elder Nelson decided that we wanted to spice contacting up a little bit. We decided that it would be a good idea to do a Book of Mormon drop. So, I went to the upstairs apartment and Nelson stayed downstairs. He was going to knock on the door and when he said, "Tengo un regalo de Dios para usted" I was going to drop the L de M down to him like it was coming from God. Everything was in place, and I was about to drop it, but the door I was standing in front of (the upstairs apartment) opened. I turned around and they were looking at me. All I said was, "hey how are yall today?" Turns out, the guy I talked to was baptized a long time ago and that his wife was catholic, but they didn't go a lot. He wants his kids in the church and we have an appt to talk to him and his wife on Wednesday night. And, by the way, we did the BOM drop for real and it worked. We have an appt with them tonight hahaha.

This is all the good stuff that I am telling you, but we do have our struggles. Every weekend, most of our investigators go to Tijuana for the weekend and that makes it tough to work. Also, we are still trying to get members to work with us, but they won't. We are at a loss as to what to do. Dad, if you have any suggestions, send them our way. The work is tough out here, it's not all success, but, every time we leave our apartment, we pray the Lord will help us find those people who are prepared and willing to listen to our message and we do find those people. It's all about praying. I say at least 5 prayers everyday before we leave our apartment at 1130 and then throughout the day, I'm praying all day. The Lord has blessed me so much with safety. The other day I was riding at it was raining. I was cold and just wanted to give up and to top it off, We were about to hit the biggest hill in IB to climb. So I said a prayer and just asked Heavenly Father to help me get home and give me the strength to get up this hill. All of the sudden, I could hear your voice mom. Like at football games and pep rallys. "Go Ross! You can do it!" that's all I could hear. So I put my head down, and away I went. I soon passed my comp who was way ahead of me and before I knew it I was home. I thank the Lord everyday for the help he gives me and I can definitely see his hand in all things.

My Spanish is coming along well. I'm starting to understand the gist of converstations. And our ward mission leader, he is from TJ, told E. Nelson that he was impressed with my spanish. He said it in spanish to him right in front of me so when I laughed, he knew I understood him.

Well everything is going great here. We are just trying to get that first baptism to really get the area going. If yall could send me the address to the Duke Athletic Office that would be great. Nelson sent coach K a letter and he got a reply back with a signed picture. So I am going to try. I am going to tell him that im a missionary for my churcha and that i got a lot of my work ethic from reading his book. Its worth a shot. I hope everyone is doing good. Tell them that i am fine, and ill try to write some today and this week

les amo

Elder Little

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hola Familia!

Que tal? Everything is going great here in IB. I guess I'll start first by answering your questions.

1. President thinks it is best if everything is sent to the mission office. We move around a lot here so he doesn't want have to forward mail places. We pick up the mail on P-Days, so I'll get whatever was sent to me today. I know it doesn't sound to good, but I've realized that not thinking about mail during the week is kind of a blessing. I don't worry about me not getting letters because I dont know if I am or not, so it helps me stay focused and it makes p days that much better.

2. Hahah after writing that last week i knew your were going to ask that. There are 3 sets of missionaries serving in the Otay Rio Branch. It stretches from the border (which is only like 10 miles away) to Chula Vista. Me and Elder Nelson cover the bottom half of Imperial Beach (in case you want to look it up its from Dairy Mart St all the way to the ocean and all the way up to like the 5) and 2 elders cover from Dairy Mart to the border and up a ways and then we have 2 sisters that cover the rest. President likes having us here because we are on the verge of making the Rama a Barrio. So no we don't live together.

3. The living accomadations are fine. We both have a bed and we a bathroom with a shower and a toilet. We have an oven and a microwave and a refrigerador. We have got it all, just not the nice stuff. haha but I like it. It works and it gets the job done, so that's all that matters.

Well let's get to the email. This week had its ups and downs. haha literally. I crashed my bike this week. I was going down hill and just shootin it... going way fast because there is a speed gun at the end and I wanted to see how fast I could get it. I hit a bump and hit some dirt and then over corrected and hit the side of the sidewalk and lost it. It was pretty fun. I hit the ground and rolled. Don't worry mom, I'm not hurt. The worst I got was a scrape on my elbow and a dirty white shirt. But now I'm more careful hahaha. I had to go to the bike shop for lights not for that though haha.

So now it is story time. We were at Carl's Jr. getting dinner and I was filling up my cup and this guy was staring at my name tag. So I went and asked how he was doing and he said he was good and asked why my tag said Jesucristo. I said that I was a missionary for la iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias and we were in the area sharing a message about Jesus Christ and families. He said that was great and then went and sat down. But then I got a feeling to go and talk to him more. I told him we were out giving away free DVDs about Christ and asked if he wanted one. He said he would but he didn't have a dvd player. I said that was ok and told him I could bring one and we could watch it together. He liked that idea and we set up an appt to come back. (this was my first solo contact!) So we went and saw him on Wednesday night. We were having a terrible day but I had a feeling this was going to be good. We pull up to the address he gave us and it was a tire shop. I was devestated. We rode around back and I saw a truck with a camper on it and so we went and knocked on the camper nobody came.....So I got the urge to go check Carl's JR. and see if he was there. Sure enough, there was Carlos sitting eating his dinner. He saw me and yelled, "My friend! My friend! Come sit and eat with me!" So we stayed till he was done eating and then went back to his truck. We set up a card table and chairs and watched Finding Faith in Christ on his lap top. He then proceeded to tell us his life story about how he divoreced his wife but it has been a blessing and about how he knows God loves him and Christ does too, but he feels like they have a plan for him and he doesn't know where to find it. We told him that we could tell him what God's plan is for him and he said that would be great. When we were closing up, he looked at me and said, "The other day was one of the worst days I had had in a while. I didn't have any friends here. But then you came and talked to me, and now, now I have a true friend. You are an answer to my prayers." I almost gave him a hug. The holy ghost prompted me to talk to him and I did. Elder Nelson has been out for 21 months and said he has never seen a person so prepared like Carlos. This is what missionary work is all about. I know that once Carlos gets baptized, me and Elder Nelson will begin to have more success. I love it.

Well, I guess I need to wrap up my novel. I will write a letter and tell you about church and about life in San Diego. I love yall and pray for yall every day. Thanks for everything!!!!

Elder Little

p.s. Tell everyone I'm sorry I haven't written lately. I was way busy this past week, but ill try to get some this week.

Monday, April 5, 2010

First letter from Cali!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Below is Ross's first letter home from California. In case you didn't hear on the news, the Earthquake in Mexico was felt in the San Diego area so Ross got his first earthquake experience! He is in Imperial Beach, CA which is in the top 10 of best climates in America...nice weather pretty much all day, every day, year round. Must be nice!

Mom and Dad - guessed right. I am in Imperial Beach CA and loving every minute of it. It is right down by the boarder, probably a 15 minute drive and yeah, i did feel the earthquake. It was crazy i was sitting in some other elders car and it started to shake and i thought they weere jumping on it and when i got out they were yellin and the ground was moving. It was CRAZY!!! CA is awesome. The weather is great and everything is going awesome.

I am on a bike and i've only crashed 4 times, so you'll pronbably be getting a hospital bill soon....haha just kidding, no wrecks yet (knock on wood). In fact, me and my comp are "whitewashing" an area. They took the old elders out and put me and my comp in. So we are still trying to get used to the area and everything. We didn't have an area book but we have been riding around like crazy and we are having success. We decided that the best way to do things was to reactivate members of the branch there and get them to help us with missionary work. So far, so good. We are working with one member who has 11 other people living with him hahaha its great. The people are way nice here. As we ride around town, people wave and honk and ask us how we are doing. Well, atleast i think thats what they are saying. The language is still a big barrier. I'm trying hard to speak, but i cant understand what they are saying haha but it is getting better.

My companions name is Elder Nelson. He's from idaho falls, idaho and he is a great guy. He is way nice and he is a DUKE fan, which just makes things better. He like Texas A&M and thinks its awesome that i went there before i came out. He is a way hard worker and loves the people. If i can love the people half as much as he does, ill be fine.

How about Conference? I felt every talk in preisthood session was directed at me. I went in with the question of, "what can i do to be a better missionary and learn the language?" yeah, uchtdorf answered all of them haha. But, i felt all the rest of the conference was directed toward the families. It was wierd not watching it without yall, but it was still good. I dont have a lot of time, but i wrote a 4 page letter and am putting in the mail today.

The mission president told us to only give the mission address as our "address" so keep sending it to the office. Hope yall are doing great. Les Amo

Elder Little
IMperial Beach Otay Rio Branch