I got those two packages you sent me! Oh my goodness they were so sweet! thanks for the shoes and the scarf and all the food and the pictures. I loved the little matching game too about following Jesus Christ! ahh man i can't wait to play it with all the little kids. Haha it was so funny this morning we did a little personal study before coming to email, and the other spanish elders slept over, so while we were studying one of them looked at my bag that had the little matching game in it and was like "hey whats that?". I told him you made it for me and asked if he wanted to play haha! so this morning for the second half of our personal study we just played that matching game with all of us! I admit we could have used our time better, but it was amusing and fun. I already downed the "ensure" as well, those were finished quick :) That sounds super fun to have Jimmy around for a little bit! I imagine it was hard for him to really hang out with everyone cause he would be super stressed. I'm glad to hear that everything went well and he got to hang out with the boys for a little bit. I'm still jealous that he got to go to garden catering ahh i miss that soo much!!
I liked hearing about all the little boys, it sounds like they are doing great! Zach's got good friends and i imagine tyler is super duper busy! I can't believe he's already trying out for travel basketball too. I'm so happy for leon and austin! I knew they were leaving soon, i just didn't know when. I'm so excited for them to be out here doing this. Thank you soo much for your letters this week and packages! seriously i got hooked up with mail :) And i loved hearing about your evening with fran coming over, seriously that made my day just hearing about that, i'm glad that it went smoothly. I owe you guys a huge thankyou for that! Especially you zach man! Okay so this past week was pretty awesome! On tuesday we did another "happy tuesday" (once a transfer) where we do an all day finding day. We had four companionships (thanks to members and another pair of missionaries), and we coverreed west salem, south salem, independenec, monmouth, and four corners. I was in indy and monmouth with elder alderman the GREENIE! haha i was soo pumped but super nervous cause this whole day was spanish finding and we are both fresh out. It literally pumped us up though cause we both knew we would have to step it up. So we had two shifts 11-4 and 6-9. We went out and literally just found apartment complexes with spanish direct tv satelites and knocked doors ha. Our first door we knocked, i did the door approach and we shared a little message on the door how we have a prohpet today just like the prophets in the bible and talked about how families can be together forever, then we asked if we could come back that night and she said yes. Her name is marina and her husbands name is victor. So we were just beaming cause our first door was a success! hahah so we kept going and literally every here we went, we found at least one spanish person that would let us come back for a return appointment. It was insane, we literally prayed everytime we got into the car, and before we got out, so we were just pouring out our hearts to the Lord cause we knew we needed his help more than anything. It was just awesome because for some reason, i was just so mch more bold than i have been in the past. Like i just had so much more confidence because i gave myself the role of "senior comp" and just tried to carry our companioship for the day, and we just worked soo hard. We seriously talked to every spanish person we saw and just ahhh it was such an awesome day. Elder Alderman was sweet too, his spanish acualyl turned out pretty good and he is just a fireball, like he always needs to be doing something so we were just in and out of the car even jsut to knock one door. We had huge succes tht day though, we ended up getting 63 new investigators between all of the companionships! Given, we still have to sift through them a little bit, we increased our teaching pool by huge numbers. It was such an awesome day, and alderman and I got 17 of those people so we felt pretty good about it.
Then the next day, we were super busy with all of our return appointments taht we made. In the evening we set up splits withthe english members too so that we could cover more appointments in the same amount of time, the only problem was that we were doing spanish work, so again, i was super nervous and just had no choice but to kneel down and pray like crazy thatn ight. We had a return appointment with Marina and Victor, the first people we found and jsut taught about joseph smith and the "first discucssion". But i was the only one that could speak spanish since the member with me was english so i taught the whole thing by myself in spanish!!! yikes it was soo crazy!, i honestly can't believe i did it. And the cool thing, was that it was interactive! It wasn't just me lecturing them, they asked qquestions and stuff too. We were there for over an hour!!I honestly walked out and just felt incredible, and so blessed hahah! I needed the help and it was given to me. The same thing happened the next night with the same family. I seriously love these guys they are so aesome. They have really ocol kids that speak english too so the member can talk with them haha! But realyl i just love how in just a few visits you can learn so much about these people. Even personal stuff that they are willing to share with you. You grow and develop a love for them because you know you have something that will help them. So on my first lesson with them, i soft committed them to baptism and they said YES!! and then on the second lesson, i tried to get a date set with them just as a goal to shoot for, but it was pretty tough. I told them it was something just to shoot for, not a final thing that they have to do if they aren't ready. But then she was like well, we have already been baptized. So then we got talking again about the authority to baptize and stuff like that. I felt bad though cause i think i might have offended her just because my spanish it still limited so at times it's hard to "cushion" things and say them in a non-offensive way, but the next night we returned they were fine so i guess there really wasn't anyting wrong. but still, we didn't set a date with them, but they really have the desire to learn. He is always excited to say the prayer to before we leave, he always offers to do it, it's so awesome see him get excited about it and she finally prayed last time too which was incredible! she always refused to haha. They said they are gonna really study in the book of mormon and pray this weekend cause that is realyl the only way they'll know if it's true. So we have high hopes for them, and we are going back tonight!
But yeah this week was just huge for me cause i felt like it realyl forced me to step up and just not be so afraid. Or rather, not to just always rely on puertas the fluent spanish speaker. it's so easy for me in a discussion to just look to him if i misssomething, and he is kind enough to save me haha. In all seriousness though, i found that i have taken a lot of his teaching techniques with me as i teach. he is a sick teacher too like he just has powerful lessons, and knows the scriptures soo well! i wanna study up more in the bible so i can just have his gospel knowledge of the bible. It was way cool though cause even with the door approaches, i found myself doing things that he did and it was just funny but it was cool too. It was seriously such a good week.
I can't remember if i told you but we were teaching a couple that lives just barely in the portland mission, but they came to our spanish branch and knew the members here and stuff. So we taught them a few times at the church and one time at their house when we weree dropping off some book of mormon cds for them. We made some big progress with them though and had a date for this past weekend that just went by. BUT we talked with the branch president and he said they really arent in our boundaries and so we should give them up to the portland missionaries. I'm not gonna lie we were pretty bummed. We wanted them here and thought they would be more comfortable here anyway so we tried to convice him but he said no we realyl shouldnt. SOO we were bummed but had to give them up to the portland missionaries. The thing is, they were still getting baptized just a week later and we were just bummed we wuoldn't get to interact with them anymore. As we thought about it more, we realized that's what needed to happen. We were just thinking selfishly. It's so easy sometimes when you are reporting numbers all the time to just get cuaght up in the numbers. I always told myself i wouldn't just be shooting to have the highest numbers but that's how i was thinking at the time. I mean we really did build up a relationship with them, but they weren't ours in the first place, we just wanted to get the baptisms. I felt bad though that i was thinking that way. It's hard sometimes just because there are some people that you really do build a strong relationship with that you truly want them to have the gospel or be baptized because you love them. But then there are others that well, you like and you know the gospel will help them out, but it's easier to see those people as numbers just because they aren't as close to your heart. It's a battle i'm having right now, to just have that passion for others to see them as Heavenly Father would see them, and then to do everything to help them because i love them. I don't know, it's just my thoughts lately.
But one funny story before i go, on saturday night we went on splits with the spanish missionaries so i was with alderman again and we went out to a few appointments but everyone cancelled on us UGH! Regardless, we talked with like 5 new people and even got a return appointment. I like how sometimes heavnely father will let people cancel on us just because we need to be in that area at that time. We never would have talked to this coulpe hector and brenda if our appointment didn't cancel on us. Anyway, after the night was over we stopped off at elder Alderman's appartment cause he needed clothes for sunday (they were sleeping over). So we go in and he is grabbing stuff for him and his comp, and then i turn out of his room and look in the family room and then, "WHAT THE CAT?!"., there is a big fluffy cat just chilling in the family room looking around hahah! It was soo funny and we were like petting it and stuff and it was super nice. Then we fed it some tuna (dumb idea i know), and it got super mean ahahha! It was like hissing at us and i even tried to pet it again and it swiped and it my hand hahah! We were freaking out it was like a crazy skitzofrenic cat. Eventually though i got rid of it, while alderman was taking pictures hahah! I would send them to you now but his camera won't work on these computers so il'll just send you a hard copy later. But it was super funny and just a nice way to end the night.
Anyway, that has been my week. It was a big week for me and i feel like i grew, and learned a ton. Now we just gotta help these people that we found realize how important this gospel is for them and their families. I love you all so much and am so grateful for all you support and love and just encouragement, realyl it helps a lot. I love doing this work and honestly i wrote down the date today october 18th and cannot believe how fast this month is going! AHH i guess its' a good sign that i'm staying busy and working hard though. And when people ask me now, i know longer say oh i have only been out in the field for 6 weeks (1transfer), i say oh i have been out 4 months (including the mtc). But that just sounds like a long time, i don't know it'sweird to think it's been that long. Anyway, i love this work, sunday was awesome just because going to church felt especially good this week i don't know why. I gotta run though, keep being awesome and active and looking for missionary opportunities, the members are a huge help when they want to be :) I love you guys!