I'll be a little bit brief due to sending all those pictures i've realized I need to take more pictures of what's going on it's just that i've never been a picture guy but i'll make sure i'll get more to send home to y'all!
These last couple days have been some of the craziest of my mission. Friday and Saturday we were driving all over for interviews with investigators of other missionaries and making up the work for not being able to work in our own area for 3 days. We're still working on contacting a bunch of refferalls from the Cavasos Family.
The 3 day trainings were very uplifting and it was exciting to work with Elder Hill again. I actually worked with one of our assistants.
The mission has a huge focus on receiving referrals. We got to share our experience we had with receiving 18 referrals from the Cavazos family in front of the missions leaders. We now have the standard hiked up to receiving 25 referrals in a week!! pretty big but that's what the focus is. We saw a huge miracle in our own area we were talking with a guy Saturday night that was working on his house. He wasn't at all interested but we started bombing him with who do you know questions (such as someone who's had a death in the family, struggling with drugs, moved in, had a baby) and he reffered us to a buddy of his that's mom passed away recently we went to the house he let us right in shared lpart of the plan of salvation and he accepted the invitation of baptism so i have a testimony that we are very blessed as we listen and apply the council from our spiritual leaders and respecting there keys and authority. Lots of great principles to learn on the mission i'm blessed to be a missionary and receive these blessings.
Thanks for the e-mails from Sam and Saren it was good to hear from you both i'll make sure to get back to you next week. Love you all take care.
Gracias para su carta hoy dia y por las noticias del mundo. Well the week was good. We have been doing well and the weather has gotten a lot better it's in the 70's with a slight breeze so it's perfect weather now it should be heating up and getting into the 90's soon but we'll see how it goes.
Well our investigador that came through and decided to get baptized decided not to do it ... she also didnt' come to church and has been feeling really uneasy. She has some family opposition and wouldn't decide to tell her kids anything about the baptism and wouldn't want to do it without their consent so she is kinda in limbo and feels like we've been pushing her but that's what were here to do in a loving way so she decided she wants to get baptized on the 2nd of March instead so that was a little bit of a bummer but she'll come around. We on the other hand had a different investigator come to church who really really enjoyed it and found out one of her old high school friends attends church so that was pretty exciting to see unravel so she's looking at getting baptized in about 2 weeks.
We have had a really big focus this last week about getting refferals in the mission our Mission President has the leaders report to the assistants how many we receive each day. So we were at a members home with a 17 and 19 year old in the middle of no where ville or in other words Petronilla population 200. And it's a little city I've tried to work before but it's literally almost impossible to go in there blind and we have no formers or potentials there or hardly any members. But this family was talking with us about their friends and they didn't know where any of them lived so we offered to drive them around with us in the truck to get all of the addresses about an hour later we had received 18 refferalls (quality member refferals with descriptions and already built friendships) to people all across this little rancho city type place (almost like West Weber without any surrounding cities). Next Friday we have plans to contact all these refferals with them and we're going to go on splits with some members in order to do so for about 4 hours. Number wise and statistically speaking about 1 and every 3 member refferals gets baptized so we're pretty excited about our odds right now. So thank you to all those members who freely give refferals to the missionaries it can really make our calling a lot easier. What a blessing to have a truck to be able to drive members around with us it's great that the church has the resources to support us on our missions with such great finding tools.
These following 3 days we will be in McAllen during a 3 day leadership conference it'll be exciting, it'll be a great opportunity to learn and receive trainings on how to be abetter missionary and to help others learn and grow as missionaries. I really wish the missionaries would have helped me do missionary work or at least understood how easy it is to do so as members you just need the mentality and the willingness to pop the question on people or invite them to a family home evening or event at the church. I'd just like to invite you all to work on having that family home evening I'd talked to you about and invite nonmembers/all of Heston's friends and make it a fun little event you can't go wrong with that. An interesting story one of my companions shared with me that was that his dad and his old mission companion were eating lunch together somewhere and they noticed the waitress struggled speaking in English the both of them learned Spanish on their missions and started speaking to them and they told her how they learned and asked her why she wasn't a member..... the waitress responded I don't know no one has ever asked and I've never went to church. A couple weeks later she was baptized by some missionaries after being reffered by the retired missionries or should I say the still proselyting missionaries. But as we have the gospel on our mind it will give us opportunity to make it out of our mouths to those we speak with throughout the day.
Well I now have a new companion. haha he came early before transfers. Elder Hill got called to be a 3rd assistant to the mission president and I received a new zone leader named Elder Bassett he's from Utah and is a great guy he's got a lot of love and I'm excited to have him up here in the great zone of Sinton.
It has continued to be pretty chilly this last week we've had a couple days in the high 50's or 60's but there's been some 30's it could have snowed one day when it was jumping from 30 to 35 but the coldness is nothing it's the humidity that makes it go to the bone it feels more like in the teens to me. haha but i'm living and surviving it should be getting a lot better.
We had quite the miracle with a lady we've been teaching just the other night. She moved into the ward about 2 weeks ago and we've been teaching her and we've been throwing members at her right and left so she hasn't came to church yet but she knows more than half the relief society already. She has been investigating the church for about 2-3 years now or at least attending and was engaged to a member to be married but the guy passed away about 2 weeks before the wedding. She's 78 years old and is such a spiritual lady you can feel the presense of the spirit with her so strong and everyone loves her and her stories........ So we were working on her to accept a date and be baptized she received answers that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true but she's already been baptized 2-3 times which includes the Jordan River once. So we had an FHE with the bishop at his house Sunday night and him and another member from Corpus that is this lady's close friend helped us teach a lesson and she got her answer that she wanted to be baptized she wanted to do it in April on a specific date that ment something special to her but the members helped us a ton and taught clear doctine on acting as soon as possible rather than pushing it off and she agreed and the lord prompted me to ask her about the following week (BTW we had planned to share a scriptue in msh 18 vs 8-11, as soon as the doubt came up for april the member sister rich shared those specific verses and asked her the same question we were about to on "what would impede you from being baptized if this is your desire" it was crazy the spirit must have shown her our lesson plan. haha we told her that the lord really wanted her to hear that scripture tonight because we had planned that very verse.) and she said yes...... following question was "Who can baptize me can I choose?" we said yeah so she asked if she could make a call and she calls up her adopted son in Corpus and he started crying at the news and he started spreading the news over there, Bishop made some calls to get it all planned, The other member Sis. Rich starts planning a potluck. And we start making calls to let our members know! It was such a spiritual experience to be there and to see how quick the spirit can make things happen..... At the end of the lesson Bishop thanked us and Joyce and said as he teared up "Thanks Joyce you were an answer to my prayers... I had prayed to have a missionary experience and I got it with you" The spirit was flaming by this point and tears were shed and we are now planning on a baptism this Sunday! So moral of the story when missionaries and members work together and are unified the spirit becomes the real teacher and the lord's purposes and plans become fulfilled.
Members homes are like home field advantage when we get an investigator in a members home they instantly feel the spirit. Joyce herself said those words and said she knew she'd be ready to be baptized as soon as she entered in the home.
Invitation: Host an FHE with the sister missionaries investigators or.... still host an FHE and invite as many less active or non members to the house for the fhe and have a fun little object lesson and teach a gospel principle so the spirit can testify to those that come that there homes can be the same as ours with the spirit there.
Well sounds like there's quite a lot of big news back home another marriage I've missed, congrats to Annelise. But that's good news about college i'm breathing a sigh of relief.....
This week was a crazy one we've had a lot of things go down and a lot of miracles. The family that we had just baptized had some personal problems go on within the family and now have been debating on moving to Oklahoma or staying here in Texas and so me and Elder Hill have been heart broken if we're going to have to see them leave but it'll be ok if the lord has that in his will so we gathered them up one night and had a little pow wow and got the oppurtunity for them to seek revelation on what they should do and it was a very great opportunity to feel the spirit working with them there they all knelt down and the father asked the questions and they were all deciding as a family what to do after the council. The revelation I received is that it wasn't my revealtion to receive but that the family was going to be able to handle either decision as long as they were as unified as possible.
My testimony has truly grown on the doctrine of fasting and it's something that our misison president has been driving home for his entire stay here. That through faith, fasting, praying, and good works we can see the miracles we're looking for and that we can have our prayers answered. This past Sunday we had the opportunity for both of the things we fasted for fullfilled. We had a member bring her niece to church and we our working on baptism with her and we receied a refferal from Corpus that has already been to church for weeks that lives in our area but hadn't been taught. I would highly suggest that next family home evening the doctrine of fasting gets taught and that you seek the scriptures to support your teachings there is a great chapter in Isaiah 58 ? that drives home the promised blessings of the fast if you'd like to give that a look.
This past Saturday we had the oppurtunity to put new shingles on the house in which we live in. We had a decent turn out from the ward and the four of us had to work on it but we shingled the whole thing from about 8 till 5:30 and we only took about a 30 min. break to eat lunch. But I now feel pretty comfortable in putting shingles on roofs. I'm glad that I've gotten to learn a few trades on our own house and the mission house in Robstown. The most important lesson that I've learned from it all is the echoing words of my father "This is why you go to School". It's nice to know how to do it but it's not the job for me. But I will say I still remember how to swing a hammer and balance on a roof. haha
But that's basically it, I love being a missionary and I celebrated my sister mark last Saturday by putting on a new roof so that's how we do it in southern Texas. The zone is going to be celebrating by having a little barbacue for the month of January.
Hey thanks for the e-mail this week it was a good one... I appreciate you not getting trunky in the e-mail thanks for that!
But I'm going to need to write a letter to Heston about Girlfriends......jk but that's funny to hear about Heston make sure you give him the dating talk and any other talks that a young man would need. haha
This week was a great one we've really been working hard with the members and taking them out to lessons with us and making sure we're visiting them often to help them do some missionary work or what not. This week we had 9 confirmations in the sacrament meeting at the Robstown ward for the family we had helped be baptized and the family some other elders had taught so it was quite the sight to see there was only one speaker that talked for about 15 minutes. haha and then there was 6 people that received the Aaronic Priesthood in Opening Excercises. So half of church was spent in a priesthood circle. I can tell I've been getting pretty soft after getting the shakes in my arms during the priesthood blessings. haha so it was great it gave a big boost to the ward we're very excited about all the things going on and our zone baptized 10 to end the month which is something that's never happened in our little zone up here on all the records that we have so what a big miracle! The lord continues to bless more and more people it's so great to be involved in channeling the love the lord has to others. We almost get the chance to be mirrors on the mission to reflect the love that our saviour has for everyone every day the people just need to open the window to let it all come in and drench them spiritualy!
But I hope you all have a great week and continue to support, refer, and offer your house to the missionaries that serve in the ward and help them to have success in fellowshipping those that they teach. Love you all have a great week! Thanks for all your love and support to me.
Pues speaking of Ogden I was wondering how the Ogden temple is coming along in it's reconstroction and if that'll be my first stop when I get home or not.
But this was a great week we had some baptisms! We helped Trey Garza get baptized a 15 year old and the rest of a different family which was Nick, Adam, Bobbie, Savannah, and Jose Pena. We helped the young mens double in size and then the ones we have baptized have helped the ward reactivate a family because they knew the kids that were in the family and they invited them to mutual and church. The Pena family has been helping us out a lot lately so far we have been teaching their in laws and we've had some good time balling it up with their friends at mutual and on P-days so we've been using our talents. The other little girl that was baptized by her step father has also been doing really well we're still teaching a few different members in that family so we've just tapped into some gold mines for finding lately. haha but the ward has been doing great and have had an increase of excitement to do missionary work. We had close to 100 people at the baptismal service so it was well supported and the newly baptized converts have been well known and well received by the ward.
Things have been really fun up here so far I've really come to love working with members up here it's so mucho fun and so easier to do the lord's work when we have everyone involved in it so I've been impressed with the coordinated efforts that the ward has been doing lately so we've received lots of blessings as we've worked as a team.
As for me my spanish is getting a bit worse... But my study habits have been getting a lot better because I have to study a lot harder to retain my spanish up here becuase we just never speak it other than in the companionship.haha but we've have been getting fed well and have been getting taken care of Elder Hill has been gung hoe about excercising in the mornings so we have been getting up a little eariler and doing sprints, or jogging or playing basketball I've been enjoying it I gotta get in shape myself. But that's basically it i've loved the work and I don't want to leave it ever in my life. Please support your local missionaries in any way you can. A refferal is worth a lot more than dinner I'll just let you know that!