Category Archives: general
Well, we made lived through the end of the world, and things are more or less the same. BUT, it’s the end of another year, and now each of us have this opportunity to change a little bit for the better, and make resolutions, which is a wonderful tradition by the way. It’s a time where we’re all accustomed to making new goals, or resetting some goals we didn’t quite meet this year. But when you get right down to it, it’s essentially a tradition of repentance. Committing yourself to change a little bit, whether it be in fitness, in character, in dedication, in family life, etc. The only unfortunate part is the second or third week in January, when resolutions are forgotten and we fall back into our routines, and the atmosphere of the Holiday Spirit is largely forgotten. This year, let us think of our resolutions not merely as goals or resolutions, but as repentance. I hope that in doing so, our New Years’ repentance might stick a little bit longer and be of a lot more worth to each and every one of us.
In other news, talking to my family was lovely!! We went to Bishop Leiva’s house and hung out with him while the other missionaries skyped/called their families. Everyone there said I came out sad, but I didn’t notice it. I guess I miss my family more than I thought I did… I was so glad to see Chris there, doing well and looking better than ever! The only ones missing were Nathan and Katie, but they sent me a sweet Christmas package with lots of awesome inside, so I guess it’s alright. I miss you guys, though!!
In other other news, I’m going to the temple Wednesday!!!!!!! I’m so excited! Every month, zone leaders go to a meeting and we learn how to help our zones, and what counsel President Becerra has for the mission, and we bring it back to our zones and learn a bunch. But THIS month, we’re going to do it in the temple!! =D We have to wake up stinkin early, but it’s totally worth it! I love going to the temple, and I’m super grateful for the opportunity to go and do a session there again. How wonderful!!
My how, time flies… I love you all and haven’t forgotten about any of you!
I’m gonna be talking to my family tomorrow!!!!! YAAAY! We had a baptismal service for Danny, and it was small but nice. I don’t have much time, so I’ll be brief. So my companion has been trying to get me to open a present before Christmas for weeks now, and I never budged. But Latinos all think that Christmas in the 24th, so I had to open the present that a member family gave us because we were right there with them. It was a ballin winter hat! I gotta go, but I’ll talk to you tomorrowwwww!
Happy Christmas (Harry)!
The Christmas parties were fun this week. The mission party was nice, the spiritually-sided talents were loads better than those more “fun.” It was bomb. I also really want to learn the piano now. So much power you can send forth through music. Sister Poulton tossed out a wicked piano solo that blew my mind.
But the work continues, and our ward Christmas shindig was pretty successful. We got a ton of people there, and the food was pretty good, and the dancing was tempting and fun to watch. There’s this new ‘gundam style’ dance that’s taking over the jovenes and it’s pretty lame, BUT watching the bishop’s wife do it with her son was stinkin’ hilarious! But the Sisteres spent half the party trying to steal our investigators! Oh, I don’t know if I told you we have 2 sister missionaries in our ward for a bit. Hermana Wilcox (yes, the daughter of Brad Wilcox) and Hermana Ramsay. They’re waiting to go to Spain together.
Pictures!! One is of Michael after his superfantastic baptism!!! another is of Richard and his lovely fiancee, and step-son-to-be. The other is my companion, Elder Crossley. He’s pretty cool, I guess.
So I feel like Christmas kind of already happened. We got our presents at the mission party (at least the ones that have already arrived), and we put them under our tree. Which is actually the Mexican flag. But I’m excited to skype home with my folks!! It’ll be good to see their faces after a year. Man, that’s weird. But I guess it’s cool. Still loads to learn and so far to grow!
I miss you and I’ll talk to you soon!
So this Friday, I hit my year mark. They’re throwing a party for us! But they’re disguising it under a Christmas theme so the other missionaries don’t feel bad.
Fletcher ward is pretty cool. The members are pretty spanglish, and the bishop is a stud. They LOVE feeding us. We have a meal everyday, sometimes two. I fear for what will happen on Christmas. I’m up in the Glendale area now, and I met my first Armenians the other day. They cut in front of me in line at the post office when I was trying to send a package to my little sister. It’s a totally different feel over here, but it’s good. They just put sister missionaries in the ward, too, so all of the members are freaking out and forgetting about us. Haha, but I’ve met a couple of super cool families and people, and a part-member family is gonna teach us to make fish pupusas soon because he had a dream about it. It’s pretty cool hanging around a bunch of Mannassehnites.
My first Sunday here, we had 4 confirmations in our area, a cool family with 4 kids. The littlest girl, Angie, is stinkin adorable! I love little kids! Probably because they’re all tiny celestial kingdom candidates. But I’m getting a little sick, got a runny nose and a sore neck. But it’s all good. My companion is hilarious, and we have loads of fun together. He’s from Alpine, Utah, and he actually knows my MTC companion! Also, he got a wedding invitation in June or so from the fiancee of Hermano Wilkes, my MTC teacher!!! Super small world! But I’m excited for everything here. We’ve got two parties coming up, so that’ll be fun.
Hullo, friends and family! I got transferred after the most hectic day on the planet from Belvedere 2 Ward to Fletcher Ward, which is up in Glendale and goes all the way down to Chinatown. Elder Coffey is going to be working with my good old friend Elder Parker, and I’m with the fabulous Elder Crossley. He’s a red-head too, but it’s more on the brown side.
Firstly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ABBY!!!! You’re now a young woman! That’s crazy, a whole dozen of years in the world! I hope it was fantastic!
But yesterday was a great day, although hectic, as I mentioned before. We had 2 baptisms scheduled, but then the Christmas devotional happened, and we had to change the time. A bunch of elders came together to help us out because there was so much going on, with dinner, and with running back home to get baptismal clothing, preparing the font and the service and UGH it was a mess. It started a half-hour late, and Michael almost didn’t show up because we changed the time on him last minute. But MAN, was that an awesome baptismal service! A ton of people showed up to support Richard and Michael, and the Spirit was felt in abundance as these two young men started there journey toward Christ. We had some time for people to give testimonies, and Shane (Richard’s fiancee’s son) got up and bore a sweet, powerful testimony. It was the most incredible thing ever uttered by a 13 year-old. Richard has been a long, hard process for the Lord to work on, but he finally did it! In the words of Shane: “He did it! Now we can go to the temple!” This Gospel is so pure and so simple. Even a 13 year old child can understand the eternal significance of making covenants with the Lord. Even a 14 year-old boy could be called as the prophet to bring an end to an age of spiritual darkness. In giving the talk about the Holy Ghost (since Lillian was too overcome with emotion to do so), I testified that this is what it’s all about. Moments like that. Christ suffered infinitely for all of our sins so that we could experience moments like the one we shared last night. I wish so badly that all of you could’ve been there too, but it’s not necessary. You can make moments like that happen in your life. Last night, I saw what Christmas is really all about. My wish this year is that all of you can feel some measure of what I felt last night. There is no greater gift.
Like I said last night, this is real. This Gospel is real. There is no adecuate substitute. My love for the Savior grew immensely last night. And it happened because I finally forgot about myself for once and did something good for someone else. If you want to see the blessings of the Gospel, if you’re waiting for an answer, if you want to experience the joy that so many profess to feel, if you feel like Heavenly Father has forgotten you, firstly I testify to you with all of my heart and soul that He has not, and secondly I invite you to bless the lives of others. That is the most sure way to see the Atonement in action. If you want evidence that this church really is true, go and live it by giving the blessings to someone else. Let them feel the peace and joy and love of the Savior, and you will feel it burn within you. I thought I knew the Gospel. Now I know the Savior more. And if I lacked this before, I can’t wait for what more I don’t know I lack yet.
I love you all dearly, as does the Savior.
PS, Pictures to come. Also, Abby, you’re birthday present is gonna be on it’s way soon. The post office was closed saturday =(
Thanksgiving was good. We had 2 turkeys, ham, cheesy potatoes and mashed potatoes, vegetables (and yes, mom I did eat some), gravy, pineapple upside-down cake, fruit tart, pumpkin pie, horchata and lemonade. There was also some crab there, but it looked scary so I didn’t eat it. Man, was it delicious!! The lovely Rosales family shared their home with us, and we felt very comfortable and really at home away from home. ‘Twas magnificent!
That morning, we also played soccer against another ward in our zone. This game is an annual thing, and whoever wins gets to keep the giant trophy in the Bishop’s office all year long. They’ve beaten us for the last 2 years running, but this time we beat them 4-2! My companion, Elder Coffey made the final goal. And one of the points scored against us was scored by a member of our own team hahaha. And our goaly was a superstar!! Guess who it was? Remember the last email about the huge family getting baptized? It was the dad of that family! Man, he was on fire!! It was beautiful how he played. It was a lot of fun, and we got some investigators there, and they helped us out a lot. It was a bomb experience. Boy, do Latinos love their soccer!
Things are really picking up, Work-wise, in our area as well as around the zone. Be ready for some baptismal pictures! We’ve got a couple of friends making their way towards baptism, and we’re stoked for them.
Just one final thought to close: the power of a righteous woman is incredible. It can change the heart of the most wicked of men in an instant. Changes that have been in the works for years can suddenly be made in days. Choose well whom you will marry, for it will largely determine your eternal fate.
I love and miss you all!
So the Sunday before last was super cool. Elders Flores and Blanchard, who are studs, had one baptism planned. President Becerra came to interview the investigators they had been waiting on for a long time, the ones who had the baby recently. (By the way, I was fooled with the rest of them all. He was just making a joke. They only had one little baby girl. But it’s still wonderful!) So President interviewed all of them, and told us after he was done that they were going to get baptized that day. All of us freaked out! It was crazy.
So at 7 p.m. that night, we arrived at the stake center, and only the ward mission leader and his wife were there in the room. We were worried. After the standard 10 minutes or so that the entire Latino world waits until they actually show up, the room was full. The service was beautiful, and it was incredible to see a literal crowd of people, even though it was small, waiting to enter into the waters of baptism and be washed clean of all of their past sins and start their lives over as members of the Church of Jesus Christ. The Spirit was powerful that night.
Then, this Sunday, when they were all to be confirmed, their car battery was dead. Sacrament meeting had already started and we had pretty much given up all hope that they would be able to come and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost this week. Meanwhile, these faithful recent converts thought to pray. They offered a quick family prayer, turned the key in the ignition and the car started up. They were confirmed immediately after the Sacrament was passed. Another miracle. And an interesting little tidbit: the theme of Sacrament meeting? Family prayer. How marvellous and mysterious are the ways of God!
I am so grateful for the help of the Lord in his Work. We can’t do anything without it. Elders Blanchard and Flores get that, and that’s why they wrought miracles. The Work is real.