Thursday, September 22, 2011

September Letters

September 20, 2011

Two Sundays ago (9/11) one of the members of the stake presidency asked me if I could help with the translation for stake conference. Usually, I would think about it but I had the prompting just to say yes without thinking. The next week I kind of forgot that I was going to translate until Saturday. So, like I always do, I started cramming. I was on Spanish overload. I was studying anything in Spanish that I could get my hands on. But during all this, the thought was in the back of my mind, "Why did you say yes so

fast?” So Saturday night came around and when I said my personal prayers I pleaded with the Lord to help me the next day and keep me calm and help me to convey the spirit of the message to the Spanish people listening. I felt an overwhelming since of happiness after I prayed and when I got into bed I just knew everything was going to be ok. Then Sunday morning, I started freaking out again and was studying like crazy and right before we left to conference, I asked some elders for a blessing. So we went to conference and we were there for the last part of the English session. I got to hear the stake president's talk and it was about the life Joseph Smith and he was using some words that I had no idea how to translate. After it was over, I went to talk with the member of the stake presidency who asked me to translate and I asked him who I would be translating for and he smiled and told me, the stake president. I was floored. I thought that there was no way I could translate for him. So the meeting started and I was scared the entire time. During the talk before the stake president's I began to pray and before I even started, I heard a voice in my head saying, "Don’t worry Ross, I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. I told you that I would help you, just have confidence." I was like"uh..ok!" So needless to say, I got up and only messed up once in the translation. I was pretty amazed, not in myself, but in the Lord. Afterwards, one of the members of the Spanish Branch came up to me and told me how good I did and he said that while I was translating he felt proud that I was doing it and that I was his missionary. It was an awesome experience that I’ll always remember.

But back to my first question, "Why did I say yes so fast without doubting?" I realized later Sunday afternoon, in a lesson we were having, that the reason that I agreed without thinking was because my Spanish needed to improve. I had kind of become relaxed with my Spanish and not studying it that much. But I learned numerous new words and other things while studying and my Spanish is improving again..pretty cool.

Well that’s about it...hahah pretty crazy week! Thanks for everything! I LOVE YALL!!!!

September 13, 2011

So yeah...I SURVIVED THE SAN DIEGO BLACKOUT OF 2011! Me and my comp left our apartment and the lights where still working. Our fans were all running and everything was good. We got in our car and when we got to the street light, it started blinking. Then we started visiting people, and everyone was saying they had lost power. The we started getting texts from other missionaries saying power was down everywhere...all the way to New Mexico. Some people in our area thought it was the end of the world and that everyone was going to burn hahaha. Pres Clayton sent all the missionaries home early and so we chilled in our apartment basically the entire night. People in our area were going a little crazy, we heard police sirens all night. The little Mexican market by our house was robbed and the police had to come and guard it...that was pretty crazy! the power ended up coming back on at like 130 or so for us. We went to sleep at like 1030 or was pretty hot.

So this week...we had a pretty cool experience with one of our investigators. We talked to her and used to visit her like 2 months ago, but for one reason or another we lost contact. But for the past month or so, I’ve been thinking a lot about her and feeling like we needed to visit her. So we went and saw her last Friday and had a pretty good talk. Then we stopped by yesterday and she told us that she had been praying for help with her family and asking God if He was there and when she was done praying, we knocked on the door (last Friday). She started crying and bore a strong testimony that God does answer prayers and how she knows now that he really does exist and loves her. It was another testimony builder for me to know that God works through us and that even though I had been thinking about her for awhile, God told when I needed to talk to her. It was kind of like him telling me that he was preparing her and that he would let me know when the time was right, and he did....pretty cool.

So yeah, that was basically my week. The lesson I realized this week, was that if we take a step back and allow God to help us in our struggles, we will be able to overcome them a lot easier and we will see the blessings in our struggles. Not that I am struggling with anything major or anything like that, but I’m a missionary, the past 2 years have been a struggle. When I just think about my problems and try to handle them myself, I don’t really learn. But if I ask God to help me understand the lessons to be learned in my problems and challenges, I see the lessons and I see the blessings and understand why I need to go through those trials.

Well I hope everyone is doing good. Tell everybody hi for me and spread the word....ROOS LITTLE IS COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!!! LOVE YOU!!!!!!!

September 6, 2011

We had a good week. Another baptism!!!!haha We went over to our recent convert's house to talk to the mom about how things were going and she said that her boyfriend had left and she wanted to be baptized, but she didn’t know when because she was going through a lot. I told her to talk to our branch pres. and he would help her know what to do. The next night we got a call from Pte Lopez telling us that she was getting baptized on Saturday and that he knew we could handle the rest hahah so yeah, we had another baptism on Saturday and then we had 4 confirmations on Sunday. Overall, pretty good week!

The lesson I remembered this week was that sometimes as members of the church we grow comfortable with the amount of faith that we have. I kind of fell back into the trap of doing the work my way again this past week, but I’m starting to come out of it and put it back into the Lord's hands. That is definitely hard, because he asks a lot. I've been absolutely exhausted some nights and on the way home when I get a prompting to go see someone. It is the Lord's way of saying, "What are you going to do? take the easy way and go home, or take that one little step more and keep going?" It is definitely hard to keep going, but somehow I make it through. When we push ourselves to the edge and then go a little further, the blessings will come and we will be rewarded for our efforts.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Welcome Home...

Hello Everyone,

Ross sent us the following email this past week:

Elder Little,

It is with a tinge of sadness that I tell you that your release date has been officially changed to Dec. 20. I know it's the best thing for you, but we will certainly miss you. Now, get back to work!! :)

Pres. Clayton

We look forward to welcoming Ross home and are very happy that he will be home for Christmas. We appreciate your prayers and support in Ross’ behalf and wanted you to share in our excitement. We have encouraged Ross to stay focused and to “keep his head down and his feet moving” over the next three months—a phrase coined by Ross’ high school football coach, Coach Byrd.

We love you all!

Martha & Gordon

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

August Letters...

August 9, 2011

I'm feeling a lot better. (Ross was hospitalized this week with food poisoning.) I still don't know what caused it. I've given up trying to know. It was kind of like that time when we came back from Mexico when I was sick, but more intense.

Well this week was great. We had two surprise baptisms hahah. Do you remember Maricela? Me and Elder Guennete baptized her back in November? Her son turned 9 last Monday and we went and talked to Maricela and her son, Edward. We met with them on Saturday and we asked Eddie when he wanted to be baptized and he said, "ASAP. Tomorrow!" The other was the daughter of Maricela's friend, who is also a member. She had a date for this past weekend, but she was gettin cold feet but then she decided to do it haha it was pretty cool.

Also, things are really picking up in our area. We found a lot of good people, and the next few months are going to be really successful if we work hard and follow God.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go one exchanges with the elders that work at the SD Institute. It brought back some good times haha. What they do over there is just be at the Institute all day and talk with everybody who walks in. Its pretty cool. Kids from school walk in that need help, or just random people walk in. And then last night we went to the FHE.,....they play softball.....and all I could do was killed me!!! haha but it was a lot of fun.

Right now, I think I’m in the time of my mission where I feel the most grind. I just feel worn out. I realized the other day that I’ve been doing this for over 18 months now and if you think about it, that’s a long time. Its taught me a lot, but its been hard. I've been getting the urge to complain a lot lately but I know I can’t complain. So if you could just pray for extra hard this would be great, especially with the news of my friend from high school dying. He wasn't like a great friend or anything, but I always kind of admired him in HS. He was in my 5th and 6th grade homeroom class and we had a lot of classes together in high school. Its tough. Thanks for everything!!


August 22, 2011

Things are going good. Sorry my emails have been so short lately. Nothing has really changed. We went to the temple last week, that was fun. Then on Thursday the Recent Converts in the branch went to do baptism and they called us to go and do the confirmations but it turns out they didn't need us, so Pres. Lopez, our Branch President, took my companionship and the other companionship of elders out to dinner and we talked about the branch. With our 2 baptisms this next weekend, we will have reached the branch's yearly baptismal goal of 35. So we have to set some new goals and start working on some plans to reach those. Oh, something that you will like to hear. In the branch, we don't have a piano player, so after 3 months of singing acapella, I told the branch music lady that I would learn how to play the piano again and start playing for the branch. So last Sunday was my first Sunday to play. It went well. Only a few mistakes, but I haven't played for any group of people since I played in PH when I was like 14. So hopefully by the time I get home, I'll be able to play everything hahah.

Thanks for everything. I guess its crunch time! 4 month to go....the time has gone by fast and these next 4 months are going to fly! I LOVE YALL!!!!!!


August 30, 2011

What are your living conditions like—is it an apartment or house?
Right now, we live in a little house. It’s got one bedroom, one bathroom, a living room and a small kitchen. But, our lease is up and the senior missionary in charge of housing told us we could look for a new one. We found a nice one with a few of downtown and the ocean....and we are getting it! Missionaries in the future will love me for getting this apartment. It’s how I will leave my legacy on the mission haha

Is poverty or gang activity the most prevalent in your area?
Probably equal. We see a lot of things everyday. A LOT. In downtown, there is a lot of homeless people that just set up their little tents on the sidewalk. Around our apartment, there is probably more gangs than anything else. But they all like us, they don’t mess with Jesus.

Not too much to report on this week. It seems like the longer I'm out on a mission, the less I have to say. hahaha. Sorry! I'm just keeping my head down right now haha We had another baptism this past weekend. Ignacio Garcia. He is a stud. He called the mission office because he wanted to talk to missionaries. He didn't have a problem with anything. He drank coffee everyday for the past 20 years, and he just dropped the habit like that. It took him 1 day to stop. And he hasn't touched it since. It just goes to say that Heavenly Father prepares His children. It is comforting to me to know that Heavenly Father trusts me enough to let me have these experiences and teach his children. It's way cool. I've been thinking a lot about all the spiritual experiences I’ve had over the past 19 months. I've been blessed a ton and I'm starting to see and put into practice all the lessons I've learned. The most important lesson I've learned is humility. In order to have success, you have to be humble enough to let the Lord teach you until he knows you are ready to do what he wants you to do. It's kind of like the brother of Jared. He trained the brother of Jared and then allowed him to figure some things out on his own and then was blessed for his efforts. Humility is key. It is something that I have learned by serving around our branch president, Pte Lopez. He is one of the most humble men I have ever met. He loves everyone he talks to and is willing to do anything to help anyone. In Branch council on Sunday, he trained the branch leadership on how to be a good leader. I threw out that in order to be a good leader, you have to humble. Then for the rest of the training, he talked about humility and told the branch leaders that in order to a good leader, you have to be a good follower. So true. Well that’s it for this week. Things really haven't changed. I figure that the rest of my emails will be me sharing a little bit about my week, and sharing different lessons that I’ve learned. Well that’s all I’ve got for this week. I LOVE YOU!!!! Ross