Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Letter from June 29, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Where in the World is Elder Little...not in Imperial Beach.

Well you probably are wondering by now where I am if Im not in IB...

Well..On the day of transfers, me and Elder Gunnell went to our training meeting and President asked me how it was packing..of course I said, "IDK..ask Elder Gunnell, he packed." President looked at his transfer list and then at me and smiled and said, "somebody messed up...you are leaving and Elder Gunell is staying." After the shock wore off, we started the meeting and he asked the question, "how many of you are district leaders. Everyone raised their hands but me, and then president looked at me again and said "Elder Little, raise your hand." So yes, your son, who is in his 3rd transfer, only 5 months into the mission..is white-wash training and is the District Leader of a ward in San Diego, barrio 20. My proselyting area is City Heights, so yall can look that up again. It is definately not IB...its a pretty rough place. A lot of cholos and mexicans..which are quickly becoming my favorite people in the world hahah.

I really like it though. I have heard nothing but good things about this ward and I am surrounded by great missionaries. After the transfer meeting I talked with President Donaldson and asked for a blessing..in the blessing he said that although the other missinoaries in my district have more experience, you are more prepared to lead the district and have success. We he said that I remembered what my patriarchal blessing said about me coming to this world fully prepared to carry out my mission here on earth and at times I dont feel like I am, but the Lord has blessed me with so many miracles I can't even begin to name them. On our second day, we got a call from Sister Smith (the one who went to A&M) and she said that she had a referral for me. I took it down and she said the lady wants to get baptized! After I got off the phone, I got down on my knees and thanked my Heavenly Father for the miracle we had just recieved. I truly am gaining a testimony of the power of the Lord and how he wants us to have success. When people flip us off, cuss at us, its not a test of the Lord to see if we will keep going, it is Satan trying to get us to stop. But the Lord picks us up when we fall, sometimes when we go knock doors or when we are riding on the street, I literally feel like a third person is there and let me tell you, there is no greater feeling in the world than to know that there truly is a third person riding with us, talking with us, teaching with us, and finding with us. The holy ghost is everywhere and if we pray for his guidance and for his love, we will feel it in times of need.

Well, now more about my son. His name is Elder Avalos and he is very humble. He is from New Jersey and comes from a rough up bringing. He was born in Compton and then his mom and dad went to New Jersey. His mom is from Guatemala and dad from Honduras. He speaks spanish, but english was his first language. He has a lot of personal challenges, but with all of these challenges, he made it out here on a mission and was the 1st in his family to do so. I have only known him for a few days, but I love him so much already. He is a big guy and he has a hard time on his bike with me (btw, i am at 25 lbs lost) but I always go back and push him along. I am always encouaraging him and he is always willing to do what I say and do it with a smile. He is truly, I think, my favorite companion. I could not have asked for a better one. He loves everyone and he is just awesome. But, he doesnt get a lot of support. He doesn't recieve a lot of mail. So mom, could you send him some mail, maybe a package or a letter every now and then. I really think that would make his day. And I know that you would be more than willing to help. As I write this, I am almost crying. I feel now that the spirit is testifying to me that we are supposed to be together at this time and in this place. He is going to learn from me, but I am going to learn how to be a better person from him. he is always encouraging me when an appointment falls through and always talking about having faith. He is amazing...alright mom and dad, stop crying now.

Well that is about all for this week. Thank you for everything! I truly felt your prayers this week, thank your for them and remember, if you send him something, you will get a letter back from your newest grandson haha

Thanks mom and dad for everything, I hope you feel my love as much as I feel yours.

Con much amor

Elder Little

p.s. we were buying grocerys and they came and asked if they could call our moms, i was the first to say yes!
This is in response to my mom's story she emailed to Ross...."So, as I'm leaving church Sunday, I check my phone and see that I have a voicemail. I listen to it and it is this sweet lady Pam, from Utah, telling me that she was vacationing in California and was in a Wal Mart in Chula Vista and ran into an Elder Little (my heart beats double time and tears flow at this point). She proceeded to tell me that she had a wonderful conversation with you and that you look good and are having success, recently had six baptisms, and shared that it was so fun to visit with you for a few minutes! OMG!!! Talk about a Tender Mercy from the Lord. To know that a stranger had seen and talked to my son and was so thoughtful to call and share that with me. Really, though we aren't strangers in the gospel are we--we are all brothers and sisters of an eternal family. Heavenly Father can't be everywhere so he often blesses us through the hands of another person. I was the recipient of this wonderful blessing. I called her back later in the day and got! her voicemail and expressed my heartfelt gratitude to her. I think she surely is or has been the mother of a missionary. Tell me about how this all transpired--was it your P Day or were you dressed in your missionary attire and they recognized you as missionaries????"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Letter from June 22, 2010

Letter from Elder Little, 6/22/10

Yes another earthquake. Me and Elder Gunnell had just finished planning, he was in the bathroom and I was lifting. I felt the bench start to shake and then heard the walls shaking. I threw down the weight and Elder Gunnell was just in the bathroom yelling, "are you serious?" It wasn't too bad but one of the elders in our apartment complex freaked out and was almost crying. The one on easter was worse.

We got the call from the ZLs this morning, Elder Gunnell is leaving and I am staying, which will mean another transfer in the branch. Also, it means that I, YOUR YOUNGEST CHILD, WILL BE HAVING THE FIRST CHILD IN THE FAMILY. YEP, I AM TRAINING THIS TRANSFER. hahahah it is crazy! I am full of all kinds of emotion..excited/nervous/stoked/scared hahah all wrapped into one. But the thought hit me right after we got the call that the Lord doesn't give us anything that we can't handle. it is going to be tough, but I think this transfer I have been prepared for it. Its going to be a good transfer!

Well...this week was pretty good. Our baptism that we have lined up works all the time and we are stuggling to find her. But we are going to keep trying, and we will be successful.

If I could pick a scriptue to describe this week, it would be, "faith without works is dead." This week my faith has been tried alot. ON Sunday, I taught Gospel Principles in Spanish. It was over the Holy Ghost. It went pretty good, but i had to have faith that the Lord would help me and he definitely did. the class participated and I think it went pretty well. And yesterday, i gave a blessing...in spanish. No idea what i was doing. Elder Gunnell helped me through the fist part but when i got to the blessing, the words just came to me. It was truly the mopst spiritual experience i have had on my mission. MY faith was tested this week, but when faith is tested and exercised, faith is grown.

For your lesson mom, you could use the good samaritan story...or you could use the story when the pharisees brought the adultress to christ and he said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone." I really like that one. To me, it shows how important it is not to judge others. Everyone has stuggles in life and everyone messes up. But no one should judge others for their sturggles when inside, they are stuggling just as much. I really like the principle of "Judge not, lest ye be not judge" it makes a lot of sense. everyone has challenges in life, but the Savior and His Gospel can help everyone, not matter how big it is.

Well that is about all that happened this week. I have been trying to see if i need anything around the apartment and noticed that i dont have a framed pic of the family, and i thought that might be nice to have. Also, i could always take some ties if anyone wants to give me some.

Thanks for all that yall do for me! It really does me alot...im sorry that i cant write and thank everyone, but i truly am grateful for the family that i do have. Tell everyone hi for me. I love yall!

con much amor

Elder Little

Monday, June 21, 2010

Letter from 6/15/10

Letter from Elder Little, June 15, 2010

que aunda familia? (Sorry, thats my slang spanish haha)

Lets get to those questions:

1. My health is good, I continue to lose weight, and now I can slip out of almost all my pants without un buttoning them haha...I just want to keep going though haha..My comps health this week hasnt been too good, but i will get to that later.

2. Well my interview with pres. donaldson was...interesting, very interesting.....but i will tell you more about that in the email haha (love the suspense)

Alright the week. This week was not very good at all. Tuesday night, Elder Gunnell got really sick. The flu...so we had to take it easy all week. The good thing was that Elder Hanks and Naylor's license expired, so we had the car all week, so we still got to go see people and I drove all around and stuff. The World Cup is killing us, everyone plans their schedule around the games, so our mornings aren't very eventful. The whole city shut down for the Mexico game...there was no one anywhere when we first started out. Everyone went to Tijuana to watch the game..craziness. So yeah, this week was not very good, we didnt have anyone at church, but all things consisdered with the sickness and everything, it was ok. Then Sunday, Elder hanks and Naylor had 3 baptisms so president came down and attended. As we were going back to the chapel after the ordinances were performed, Me, Elder Gunnell and president were walking back and President asked to speak with me alone for a minute. i was like, "what the heck did I do? I dont remember doing anything wrong? Am I getting ET(Emergency transfered)" So we go outside and he says,"Elder Little, I have been thinking about you a lot lately. And i have an idea that I want to run by you." So i said, "ok, lets here it. haha" and he said, "we have a lot of spanish speaking missionaries coming in this transfer and next transfer that our native speakers. And so i want people to train them that now how we do things here in San Diego, because how we do things here is a lot different than thy do them in the MTC. So, do you think that you would be able to be the leader of an area and train a new missionary if he already knew how to speak spanish?" I was floored..and I think he could tell because he said, "I have the upmost confidence in you, Elder Little. you are one of the best missionaries we have seen in awhile. And this is the beginning of some big plans that I have for you Elder Little." So of course I said that I could do it. I told him, "Well President, it was tough at the beginning of the transfer leading the area because I relied on Elder Nelson too much. But the more that I relied on the Lord, the more I learned. I learned a lot President. So, if that is what you want and what the Lord wants, then that i what I will do." he smiled and said, " you can do it Elder LIttle. I dont know if it will be this transfer or next, but dont get comfortable." !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WOW!!!!!!! 3 transfers in and i might already be training. That is crazy. But I know that it is nothing that I can not handle without the help of the Lord.

I have realized that if you do something by yourself and you do it for yourself, ten the Lord's hand will not be in it and you won't succeed. That is why some missionaries have problems I think. They come out here to recieve the glory of baptizing people and going home and being praised, but they struggle because nothing you do out here is for yourself, it is for the Lord.

So yeah, it looks like I might have the first grandchild in the family hahaha little missionary joke, you probably didn't get it haha

Well,,that it really it. Oh, yeah we have some good investigators right now. Wee had a couple of good experiences with them, but we are tryiing to find more. Luz is good, we had dinner with her and her family last night, they want to go to the temple soon, so we are working to reactivate her brother, he really likes us and we got him to church for the first time in a while. So keep him in your prayers..thanks for everything!

I love yall and love the prayers and mail i get. Elder Hochkiss talked to me today when we picked up the new car. He said, "Elder Little, you are the kind of person that I hated in the navy. Every week, you get 10 things in the mail hahahah" I love it so keep them coming!! Thanks for everything and que tengan buen dia!

Con muchisimo amor


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Letter from June 1, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Well lets start with some of those famous questions.

1) Yes I did. I got some money and a giftcard from Thomas and Kelly and then some money and a magnet from Marty and Janna and Alex. It was awesome! I haven't picked up mail yet this week.

2) haha well it turns out that I had more fun here at a Memorial Day then back home hahaha. We had a bar BQ in the park, or I guess in spanish its called a "carne asada". We had some members come and we cooked carne asada tacos and a bunch of other stuff, it was way fun.

3) We have president interviews once a transfer. I think mine will be next week probably.

Alright, this week was pretty good. Jesus changed his mind again and doesn't want to get baptized anymore. After we walked out of the cita, i wasn't that upset. I remembered what you and dad said that he had the power to choose for himself and that all i could do was help him. I felt like I did everything I could do to help him and I think thats why I wasn't upset.

This week was MTE (Missionary Training Exchanges). It's one of the pilot programs here we are doing for the qoroum of the 12 and the missionary department. It was 3 days of training in the morning with President Donaldson and then we went out and practiced. My comp went on exchanges with Elder Hanks and Naylor and I went with another english missionary. That was weird! The training was on how to become more united and how allow the missionary purpose to burn within our hearts. Some things I took away from it were:

-Baptism is the key to every gift we get from God. Before we recieve the GIFT of the Holy Ghost, we have to be baptized. Before we recieve the GIFT of making convenios (sorry idk how to spell it in english anymore) in the temple, we have to be baptized. Baptism is the gate to eternal life.

-As missionaries, we are also special witnesses of Jesus Christ. Elder Holland tolds us (a week before I got to the mission) that we are apostles (with a small "a") and we have more power in our pinky than other ministers have in their body(just like Elder Holland). But something that really took me away and the spirit testified of the truthfulness to me was that, as a missionary, I have the ability to unleash the power of the Godhead on my investigators. Pretty big responsibility huh?

Being with a english only comp this week was weird. I figured out that it is a lot easier to say things in english but it is also a lot easier to go deep in english. The guy i was with started talking about "pre-existence ordinances" that had to be performed. I was like, "but the important thing is that you know that you have a purpose in this life and that if you follow the commandments and do what God wants you to do, you will be able to feel his love and be able to take part in His gospel." wow, that kid. But it was also scary/fun that i was teaching in spanish by myself for most of the week. The kid i was with didnt speak any spanish so i was OMO. It was fun and i think i learned a lot of spanish and how importnat it is to take seriously the promise Pres. Hinckley gave missionaries when he said, "The a missionary gets on his knees every morning, and pleads with the Lord to loosen his tongue and speak through him, he will find more enthusiasm for the work and know of the love that His Father in Heaven has for him." Pretty powerful.

Well that is really all that happened this week. Today we went and played tennis and then went to play golf and now we are emailing and then we are going to play laser tag with some other elders haha. busy day

Well i love yall sooo much and i thank you for helping me get where i am and yes mom, I am about my father's business.


your son