Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Letter from September 28, 2010

Letter from Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Well...I wasn't really expecting an email from yall today. I thought that I became old news and that my shrine over the fireplace would turn to a Chloe shrine..but I guess ya'll still remember me hahaha

1. I rode a bike about 3 weeks ago. But now, I am just "ridin dirty" around SD haha (that's how you say it here)

2. We have a McDonalds, Jack in the Box is next door, In and Out, and Subway. We usually go to a lot of taco shops, those are the best.

Well it makes me glad to know that no one forgot about me this week with Chloe and Brooke's big day haha. I thought that I was going to be old news, but I guess my family really does love me hahahah. This week has been what I have called the "miracle week". I can already see the smiles on yalls faces, this one is going to be good.

Besides the fact that it is a miracle that me and my comp get along really well, everything else has been miracle after miracle it seems like this week. Not too much happened last week until Sunday. On Sunday, I went to the MCRD and the recruit Gibson came up to me and told me (with a big smile on his face) "you ready to baptize me?" I laughed and we went and did it. Another Elder had a baptism too so it was a dual-baptism which made it even more special. Then, for the first time in a while, me and Elder Guennete had someone at church and she is way excited. Then, yesterday was what we are calling the "MIRACLE DAY" (its a new holiday). Yesterday, we went to one of our investigators house just planning to do a quick lesson before him and his brothers went to work. The family is recently baptized except for 2 of the sons, Oriel (16) and Erwin (14). Oreil didnt want to talk with us (he is not that interested) but Erwin wanted too and so we went down to his patio and talked. We did an object lesson about putting the things of God first in our lives. Elder Guennete bore his testimony and he said something that made me think, he said, "God blesses us when we do the things he wants us to do first." Then the question came to me and I said this, "Erwin, what does God want you to do first in your life?" He looked at me and said, "be baptized." I smiled and said yeah, he does. It was amzaing. 3 weeks ago Erwin did not want to be baptized. But, he told us he had been thinking about it and now he is excited and is getting baptized on the 10th. Also, we got 2 more people with dates for Oct 17. It was one amazing day!

Well everything is going really good here. I just love my mission right now. Everything is just clicking and it seems like I am not even doing anything to deserve this. Its just all the hard work and pereserverance that occurred last transfer is paying off this transfer. When we are happy, we work harder and better. But, yesterday, it was way hot in the 90s all day. So I was draggin a little bit (you know how I work better in the cold hahah) but after that appt with Erwin, it got a lot better!

I love everybody and can't wait to talk with yall in 3 months. It'll be some good converstations. I love yall and cant wait to hear from yall agin. Thanks for everything that yall do!



Letter from September 21, 2010

Letter from Tuesday, September 21, 2010
(This is when Ross found out he had officially become an Uncle!)

DANG!!! I'm Uncle Ross...I was going to give your number too someone too today, I am glad I didn't.

1. Well it feels the same I guess...since I dont get to hold her. Maybe when I see pictures it will be different hahah I hope everything is going good with her and Brooke and Ryan now

2. My new comp is Elder Guennette (Gun-net) from Quebec Canada. He is a way cool guy! He speaks french, english and Spanish. He laughs at my jokes and he cracks me up too...and we are really working well together.

Well, I am an uncle. That's pretty cool. It sounds like everything went smoothly which is way good. Everything here is going great. The day me and Elder Guennette got put together was awesome. He has been known for being really strict and I wasn't too excited when president read our names together, but it has been way fun lately. We laugh and we work hard and we mess around doing it haha he is just a crazy frenchie. Everything seems to be going better. Last week our zone only had 6 people with baptismal dates which is pathetic. So we decided to have a meeting with the DLs. I just flat out asked them, "why do we only have 6 people with a date" It finally came down to having more faith. By the end of the week, we tripled our people with dates to 17, had 2 baptims on sunday and 7 lined up for this week. Things turned around and we are focusing on "keeping our head down and our feet moving." Just like pushing the truck and the sled in football. Thats what I say now,"Great job on the baptism elder (or sister), now just keep your head down and your feet moving and keep tearin it up". Everyone laughs and we are getting along really well.

Well I had another great experience at the the MCRD again this week. I don't know what it is with me and marines, I guess I just get along with people my age. This time his name is Andrew Gibson. He was given to me by another elder and the elder told me to get him baptized asap. I went and talked and before sacrament meeting I told him to read 2 Nephi 31 (baptism and the Doc of Christ). I came back after sacrament meeting and we talked. I asked him if he read it and he did. I asked how he felt about it, he said "those 3 words are just ringing in my head, FOLLOW THOU ME. (v 10). I asked him what he thought that meant. He told me that I needed to follow Christ. So I said, "Gibson, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized next Sunday?" He looked at me and then at verse 10 again and back at me and said, "yeah...I need to be. Let's do it" I almost jumped out my chair, but I stopped and composed myself and said, "Alright, let's get it done." We shared a moment that very few people ever get to share. A moment, like it says in D&C 50:12 or 20 (IDK)..when both of you rejoiced together and were edified by what was happening. I gave him a bro hug and I left, he started to cry so I sat back down. He told me that he was struggling so much and wanted to quit. I told him that he isn't alone and after next week, he would have spiritual strength, mental strength and physical strength. He cried a little bit more, gave me a bro hug and I left again. Never, never, have I felt that way or the way I feel as I tell you the story...

Everything is going great! I love my mission again! I am glad to hear popa is doing better..tell him I said, "portate bien" (I can't think of the english phrase but it means something like act good". Well I promise I will get that letter in the mail this week. I love you so much!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Letter from August 31, 2010

Letter from Tuesday, August 31, 2010

1. Well my area is directly east of San Diego. The earthquake happened at night and Elder Mendoza woke up and freaked a little bit. I just kept sleeping. I woke up for a second because I thought I hit my alarm clock off, but it was the shaking that knocked it off.

2. I am back to 1 o'clock church. They do the wierd stuff here. Sacrament meeting is last. Also, I work at the MCRD (Marine Corps Recruiting Depot) in the mornings from 730-11. I will tell you more about that later in the letter but just know, it is the most spiritually intense situation I have ever been in.

3. We have dinner appointments but not many. Elder mendoza doesnt like them because they take too much time. I kind of like it that way..I'm gaining weight, but without appointments, I don't eat as much.

Well I just can't keep it in any longer. I had another baptism this week. This is probably the most special one because it is mine. No I am not being prideful or anything like that, but I solo taught this guy, so it means more to me. It was just me and the Spirit.

You are probably wondering what that is all about. At the MCRD there is an LDS branch where we work and go to church on Sundays. There are a lot of members who are in the marine boot camp, and they love to bring their non-member platoon members. These guys are amazing. Really, when it comes down to it, the recruits are looking for something to hold on to, some solace, a break from a man yelling in their face every minute of every day breaking them down. So as missionaries, that's what we give them. Now I want to tell you about this special recruit, Marc Mandel.

I met Marc my second week at the MCRD. Right away I knew he was special. He came up to me and asked if he could talk to me. We sat down and he told he wanted to get baptized and wanted me to help him do that. So I was like, "Well Marc, I can definitely help you do that." We talked more and it turns out that Marc is married to a member and he grew up in St George. He knows pretty much everything about the church. So we set a date to be baptized the following week. The recruits go up north cali to do training, but they have a branch up there to so he was going to be baptized there. I went the next week not expecting to see Marc, but I was walking aroung looking for someone to talk to when I saw him sitting down reading his Book of Mormon. I went and said, "Marc, what are you doing here bro?" He told me that his DI(Drill instructor) didn't see him pass part of his physical test, so he got dropped and had to stay another week. He told me that it was the hardest thing he ever has gone through. He couldn't even talk to his wife when he called and told her he had to stay another week because he was in tears. This guy really loves his family and wants to get back to them, but because he didn't pass his test, he has to stay another week. He said he felt like going home. So I was sitting there listening and then asked, "So why didn't you Marc, what turned things around?" He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "I did like you told me. I prayed." Mom and dad, this kid prayed for a straight hour and he said," I just opened up my heart and told everything to the Lord. I just pleaded with him to help me. And the next day when I woke up, everything made sense. I knew everything was true. I wasn't mad or sad, I was determined. Determined to do everything I could to get back to my wife." When he was telling me this, I almost started crying. So I talked to him about getting baptized before church, and he said he wanted to wait for his friend to do it up north next week, because he had already passed his test and everything was good to go. So I talked with him some more after church, gave him a hug and told him I would see him in 3 weeks. So this past Sunday(8/29) we went to the MCRD like usual. When I got out of the car, another elder came running up to me and said, "Mandel is here! He wants to get baptized right now!" I ran inside and found him. He had the biggest smile on his face. I asked him again, "What the heck Mandel, what are you doing here." He got an ear infection so he got dropped again. He said after that happened he was sitting, taking the last fire watch on top of one of the buildings and he was praying and told God, "God, if that spotlight out in the distance that is spinning around stops on me, I will get baptized tommorrow and do everything you want me to do." He said he looked up and saw it spinning and then it stopped. It stopped right on him and then he knew, he had to get baptized. So we got it done that day. He was baptized, confirmed and recieved the preisthood all in one day.

Mom and Dad, this story is evidence of just how much the church is true. These marines are the most humble people I have ever met. They just are looking for something to hold on to and the Lord gives them the gospel for comfort. I will always have a bond with Mandel and he told me he wants to hang out once we BOTH get done with our missions. He wants to go on a couples mission with his wife when he is older.

I love yall so much and I can hear your prayers every day. They truly mean a lot to me and they leep me going. Thanks for everything that you do. I sent a package to dad the other day with some stuff, I hope he got it. Thanks for everything and I LOVE YALL!!