Monday, February 28, 2011

Pday at the Beach

Hi family! This week was kind of different from the past few and honestly it was kind of long but nonetheless, a good week. After the craziness of last week, for some reason our teaching pool just dissappeared. We had some potentials that looked promising but it seemed like any potential investigator turned out to be a bust and they werent' interested. On monday of last week we did go to the coast and i actually have some cool pictures to send you from that trip. It was so much fun! AFter though, we went on splits with the zone leaders. It was so much fun and i learned a lot and i don't know what it was but it helped me get some confidence too. Like i said, i do'nt know why but i just felt more confident and even this week, it was kind of a reflection week since we didn't have a ton of people toteach and i think in that reflection i also got some confidence.

Wednesday was snowy freezing cold and of course we planned some finding on that day :) so we went out knocking doors doing a "window of heaven" and we were looking for spanish people becasue we were outside of our english boundaries. We were kind of being annoying at first and worryig about how cold it was and then like 15 minutes into knocking we are like, "why are we such girls?!" (no offense to women :)) but then we just made it more fun and had a good time. unfortubatly we did not find anybody new in the time that we were finding. But we were talking to everybody and that is something that i've always struggled with is just opening my mouth sometimes. But this week was definitely better.
Thursday we had a few appointmets fall through and even our backups fell through and since we were out in independence we ended up doing some more finding. Actually what we did though is go around and spot the spanish apartments in the area for a half hour so that in later and future days we could better prepare those areas to receive the gospel with windows of heaven or doing splits and hitting them up. So we actually foudn a ton of spanish areas that we didn't know about before and honestly that is the hardest thing about working in indy and monmouth is just finding them and where theyre at.
Friday we had ditrict meeting and it went pretty good. I actually got to teach most of it this time cause i tried to prepare a cool little lesson about sacrifices and offerings. We all make sacrifices by being missionaries but those who truly succeed are those that add to their offering. It's not always about what we are giving to the lord, but what we are holding back. It was pretty cool adn i thought it was edifyig and i gues our point was to lift the morale of our districts because they have been down the past few weeks. I think it helped too because everybody is doing work right now setting dates and baptizing people. It w\as a slow start to the transfer but is picking up now. I feel like it was kind of the opposite for our companionship thoguh haha cause we started off with 2 baptisms and now are just looking for anyuone to teach. After district meeting we went and visited a bunch of former investigators from the area book. during weekly planning we just harvested through the whole thing and found anybody that looked or soudned promising based on past meetings with other missionaries and made a huge list to go visit them. We saw about 2/3 of them this past week and not too much came from it unfortunatly. But we still got some names and i know that someone in there is going to be ready. Even if it is the last one we see, someone is ready.

But also on friday we were going to play volleyball with the spanish branch. It is something the other spanish elders started and is getting some good turn out so we are doing that now on friday nights. But the bad thing was, that the Ramirez family who are usually the ones getting excited about it couldn't come. And we had been trying all week to go see them and visit them, elder gomez and i wrote a song even for the 10 year old girl's birthday but they are always "doing something". We were just getting nervous about it all and even on friday night nobody could get a hold of them. So they couldn't make it and something is up with them that ill tell you about in a sec.

Saturday went pretty well. We went home teahing with our spanish branch members so they could see how it goes but even the turn out there wasn't great and some of our appointments even fell through. But it ended up being a huge blessing because Juan Rodriguez te first counselor and Ruben Chavez the guy that was baptized last week came out with us and we just did splits and went finding for like 2 and a half hours! it was a long time i know but we have nobody to teach! It was such a cool thing though to see RUben ot with us. We were in this little apartment complex and there were these two spanish kids skateboarding and so i went to go "OYM" them or talk to them. while we are talking, ruben hangs back and then i skated with the kids for a second and talked with them and they said we could come back another day when their mom was home. SO i was like ok cool! Then i go back with Ruben and say ok lets do these and he says, oh it's ok i already did that one. HAH while i was talking with these kids he kept knocking doors by himsself ha it was soo sweet! Ruben was awesome and he actually knew where a ton of spanish people lived in indy so we are definityl bringing him with us more. Then when we were all wrapped up and ready to go eat lunch we decided to go knock these two more doors in the complex and the last one we knocked ended up letting us in. His name was Rolando and we taught him the first lesson and gave him a book of mormon. While he is very strong in his current beliefs, it was really cool and a blessing as to our attitude to just knock a few more doors. We went after lunch back here to westy (west salem) and visited more formers and did some finding and then went to the adult session of stake conference because there was elder rizzenmay of the 70 there! IT was awesome to hear him speak and the spirit was so strong and i got revelation and inspiration that i needed. We have been in good spirits this whole week despite all the finding that we've had to do, but his talk was very edifying and uplifting it was what i needed for sure. He talked about "knocking one more door". And it can be applied ot missionary work or even everyday life. Just exherting that little extra to give it a little bit more, often times can be the difference between good results and great. Then he talked about "critical moments" And kind of tied it into a mission story and knocking one more door. We have many critical moments in our life and often times the decision that we make in those instances has the influence to affect us much farther down the line. It was just a great talk and the guy spoke so powerfully.

Oh but before this adult session, we talked with the other spanish misionaries, who said they went to go see a family they are teaching and guess who is there, the RAMIREZ family. they are teaching this guy lacero who got to be good friends with Jose ramirez. When they showed up they were both soo drunk and Jose was embarrassed so he didn't talk to anyone and lacero wasn't even making sense. It was just ugly. Then we tried to get in touch with jose and he wouldn't talk to us and their phones were off and there was no way of communicating. THen on sunday he finally texts us back and says sorry and he doesn't know what's gonna happen know he has just been "bad". We talked to alma too on saturday, or rather the other elders did, and she said that jose might be leaving and just going to california. Ahh there is so much going crazy with them. Jose said he would talk to us today after he wakes up and he said maybe in the evening time, so now we are just waiting ready to go whenever he calls to go see him and fix this dang thing. It's just hard because they live on the other side of the bridge in south salem, where it's not technically elder gomez and my area but the spanish people that live over there still come to the branch. And so the ramirez are our recent converts but our mission president asked that we stop working in each others areas and stay on our sides of the bridge unless going on exchanges or something. So occasionally we make a swap and ill go with one of the other elders or something to see the ramirez but in all these problems with the ramirez it's hard to know whether we need to be there or let the other elders do it. It just kills me because i love these people and i want to see them so bad but elder gomez says that they aren't our area and president has asked us to stay separate and so i am just struggling with knowing what to do. I do not want jose to leave his family that owuld be the worst thing ever but he is just being so odd right now and he got back into drinking and just hings are going nuts. SUPER stressful right now.
With that though, we had stake conference on sunday which was awesome and the member of the 70 spoke again and talked about the atonement and missionary work and all this stuff that again was just soo powerful! I actually got to interpret one of the talks too which was a crazy rush and an awesome experience!! holy cow it was so fun but so scary and even if i didn't get everything right, i felt like i got the speakers point across and it was a really cool feeling. That actually was like my highlight of stake conference haha! But it was a great meeting and a lot of it was on member missionary work which i think is what our english ward needs right now big time. they need to get more active with the work adn we need to help them see that.

Also another stress that is coming down is our spanish branch leaders. I don't want to soudn like a downer but we only had our first counselor come to our home teaching meeting on saturday when it was supposed to be for all th hometeachers in the branch. Our brnahc president showed up for like 10 minutes and then left before we even went out to go hometeach. And our second counselor honestly doesn't come to activities. hah man i feel like a laman and lemuel missionary right now and i don't mean to be, it's just there is so much stuff going on right now and on top of it, we are still trying everything to just find people to teach. It's like the branch members come to us for every question that they have which is great because we want to help them but at some point the leaders, in the branch presidency or the auxiliary leaders, need to know what's going on and not point the members to us. It's like they will ask someone in the branch presidency what they need to do in a certain calling and they say oh are you with the elders? they can explain it to you. HAH man i think it comes down to us though. We can sit hear and say oh this is what needs to change but we gotta do something. I think we are just gonna meet with president murray and talk to him about everything (our branch president). It's just like we don't want to feellike we are trelling them how to do their job because no one wants to be told what to do and honestly mybe there is more to everything that we don't completely understand. But, with that leadership stuff, and the ramirez family, and the branch split that's coming up, there is so much going on right now in my head holy smokes. But elder gomez is stepping up huge and taking on a lot of responsibility which is helpnig a ton and honestly the elder is awesome. You wouldn't know he's only been out 2 months, he really is great. We have our little ups and downs but at the end of the day we end up laughing together no matter what we are passing through so that's good.
Ahhh well that is my week and really amidst all this we are focusing really hard on staying in good spirits we know that discouragement is satan's way of beating us. And right now we can't afford to fall into that hole. I really do love this work, i feel like it's getting to the point where i don't really remember life being another way. LIke i have memories of course, but this, what i'm doing, is like the normal thing. And i think sometimes that is what gets me frustrated too with members or something cause sometimes i forget that members have responsibility too apart form just sharing the gospel.

Oh and mom i meant to ask you, could you send me the autobiography of parley p pratt. I have two copies i think in my room at home and they are little red books i think with gold pages like the scriptures. If you could send that to me if you find it, that would be awesome!! and i did get a gps so thankyou for allowing me to do that and I also got a letter fomr austin white who sounds great! It made my day when i got his letter and what was even better was that i got a letter from an elder Jordan lewis who i met at bYU who is now out on his mission!!! I was so excited to hear that he made it out hear i tried to get his adress but never could and now to know that he is out on his mission, it just made me soo happy! He was like my best bud at BYu and i'm so excited for him to be out now. He is going to buenos aires argentina. Isn't that where taylor larson is? I can't remember exactly. But my time is up here i'm just gonna send you some pics real quick! love you guys soo much!! Thankyou for hte support and the love, you guys behind me makes life sooo much easier! ANd i'm soo happy to hear about jimmy and katie picking their school! I bet that is a huge stress relief. I was also sorry to hear they got robbed though that soudns so scary. I felt aweful to hear that. I will be prayin for you guys, daniel and emily too, i know that could use it :) Again, i love you guys so much! THis work is crazy stressful but super rewarding and there is nothing like feeling the spirit and KNOWING that in that instant, Heavenly Father was talking to you. I love you and the Lord
Elder Edwards

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