2011 January 31
Wow, you've got good timing with sending off your letters! I got on the computer like two minutes after you sent off your email haha.
So, I feel like I write some really long emails and your eyes are probably bleeding after scrolling through so much text, so I apologize for that haha. Anyways, here's the excitement from this week:
Monday was transfer day, and, like I said, nothing too exciting happened. They opened up Gervais again, which basically divides the Woodburn area in half, which will definitely make president Pister happy. Other than that, we didn't do anything exciting on P-day.
I do, however, want to tell you about how I've started to lose weight haha. I call it the "mate diet". Just so you know, mate is pronounced "mawtay"-- not "mait" haha. It's an herb that's really popular in Argentina, and it's pretty sweet. It's basically like a pick-me-up that's not against the word of wisdom haha. The nicest thing about it is that it kills your appetite and doesn't make you crash later like when you drink caffeine. Basically, I've been drinking it every morning for the last two weeks, and it's helping a lot. Aside from that we're also running every morning, so I'm dropping weight in a hurry. I'm already back down to about 200 pounds...thank goodness haha. All my clothes fit just about how they did when I started!
Now for the excitement on Tuesday... There was nothing of real importance that happened aside from one interesting contact we had. We were knocking in that complex where we met Craig Young, and we ran into this guy whose name was... ah crap I don't remember. Anyways, to make a long story short, we found out he's from Lebanon and is here living in a cheap apartment to buy expensive cars here and sell them to people back in his country for a LOT more than he buys them here.... pretty rad business at least from my point of view. Then we got on the subject of religion and he told us that he's a muslim and that he lives with a Jewish roommate....!? Anyways, it's sweet because he says that he respects all religions and wants to become familiarized with all of them so that he can make an informed decision about it. He told us about the Quran and how it relates to the bible, and then we talked to him about the book of mormon, and he totally accepted it and wanted to read it. Pretty cool, eh?
Wednesday was a day of solid knocking and nothing too important happened.
Thursday we were really excited for because we had seven appointments set up and all were going to be with a member. Everybody likes stacking up an epic day once in a while (or a normal day if you're in Woodburn). Anyways, the day turned out to be epic all right... an epic FAIL! ALL of our appointments minus one fell though, so we knocked, knocked, knocked, knocked haha. The one bright spot is that after one failed appointment, we went with hermano Muniz and found out that one of our potential investigators is one of his good friends that he had lost contact with for a long time. We ended up teaching him and having a good lesson... hopefully we can get him progressing!
One thing that I really liked about my personal study that I had that morning was something that I read in the book of Mormon from Mosiah 23 which was a good preface to the day we had haha. This is the part of the book where Alma (the older) and his people begin to prosper and are receiving a lot of blessings because they're obeying the commandments. But, this is what it says in verses 21 and 22:
21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.
22 Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people
I feel like my patience was definitely tried and that we received a little chastening, but it still turned out okay because we found a new person to teach and met some new potential investigators.
Okay, now for friday. Friday we had zone leader council where we met together to discuss the future of the mission and the legacy or "culture" that we want to leave behind. It was really interesting to see that from the english elders' perspective, all the things that they thought up were negative... it was pretty sad. I guess that the english mission culture has gone to pot because.. well... they're not obedient for the most part and pretty worthless. Maybe I shouldn't say that, but the truth hurts. Things in the spanish mission are going well... especially for how young all of the misionaries are. I'm excited to see how things will be for the "rising generation" here in the spanish mission. All of the elders are obedient, they're working hard, and they're finding people to teach and baptize. I love it.
After the zone leader coun(sel/cil... I don't know which one to use!), we got back in time for dinner with a spanish member where she destroyed us with tostadas... I had like five, and then she gave us dessert. It wouldn't have been so bad, but we had fasted to start the zone leader... meeting (I'll just avoid the word completely haha) so that we could be more in tune with the spirit, so my stomach had shrunk. Anyways, so so she trashed us with food, and then we were supposed to go play soccer afterwards with a neighboring branch. To make a long story short, I puked my guts out before we started and then was fine to play soccer for a good hour and a half haha.
Saturday, we finally found time to do our planning . We also had a great lesson with a guy named Mario who lives with hermano Muniz... he really wants to change his life, so we're stoked to be able to help him do so! :-)
Sunday... oh Sunday... It started out like a normal day, but ended up being pretty interesting. Hermano Ambriz had been selected to give a talk and they let him know two weeks in advance, and he showed up for sacrament and everything, but this is what happened: Right after they finished with the sacrament and the first person asked to talk started speaking, he walked out of the room and asked me to follow him, so I did. Then he says, "hey, I have to go. Here's a talk by president Monson about gratitude. Read it for me, okay?" I kinda flipped out and said "whAAAAAAAT!?!?!? NO! GIVE YOUR TALK! WHY do you have to leave!?" He said he was sorry and that he had to go, then turned around and left. Long story short, I got thrown under the bus and had to give an impromptu 15 minute talk on gratitude haha... lovely, right? It's okay though... it was a good opportunity for me :-). Other than that, my time is running out, so here's what I want you all to do... look up the talk by D. Todd Cristofferson entitled "give us this day our daily bread" it's awesome.
I love you all and I hope things are going well. Have a great week!