Hola hola! It is nice to have another monday morning to write you guys. I loved getting your letters in the mail from when you were at tahoe it sounded like soo much fun and it would've been great to be there with you :) You guys were makin me jealous with all the snow that's down there. It's one thing to snowboard in it and another to go knock doors in it hah!
I'm so glad to hear that daniel got his job at new skin! I have been prayin for him especially this week that he would find something so that is great! And zach got his volleyball thing all set up? man that is soo cool and what a cool thing for zach to have set it all up! I was bummed to hear about tylers ending to the season but i bet he's getting better for sure and it sounds like he is turning into goliath and i'm gonna come home like a little tiny david that's like half his size. All in all i loved hearing from you guys and it sounds like things are going well. I'm excited to hear how tylers baseball season goes and zach's volleyball.
Thanks for the letter too mom it was a nice thought. The whole thing about parenting was kind of a new thought that i never thought of with the people we're teaching. I feel like i would be a horribl parent because when our investigators aren't doing very well i get soo depressed. Something i gota work on big time. Like this week, we have been getting a lot of trials and we know it's for our own good but it's hard to keep that perspective all the time.
Good news, the ramirez family is doing a little bit better. We talked with jose and alma and for now things are going better. ALma is totally in but Jose is saying these lame excuses for not coming to church and stuff. He did some stupid things and now he says he is afraid to go back. He says he doesn't feel worthy to go to church and stuff. Which, i'm glad he takes it seriously but i can't tell if it's just a cop out to not go or if he is actually serious ya know? but we'll assume the best and do what work we can with them.
On wednesday we had our mission president's interviews. We went over some cool scriptures in mosiah 23 and 24. There is a ton of sweet stuff in there but the gist of it was that they couldn't pray or else they would die and just how the Lord helped them in their trial. He didn't take away the afflictions that they had or just o zap and kill all the bad guys, but he allowed them to haev their trial but he gave them the strength to bear it up with ease and made it "light upon their shoulders". Then at the end it says he did this that they would learn to submit CHEERFULLY and with PATIENCE to all the will of the lord, then they could be witnesses of him thereafter. The cheerfulness and patience is what i needed to hear. I want to have the faith to be seeing success constantly, always. I know we have that potential, the field is WHITE all ready to harvest, not brown all ready to be planted. And wihle i know not everyone we talk to is gonna be baptized right now, we are struggling to find anyone that is ready. We have been doing more finding than i've ever had to do in my mission and i can't help but think sometimes that i'm doing something wrong. I know the Lord is giving us this time for a reason and maybe it's beacuse we need to learn to be cheerful in our affliction and patient, but sometimes i wonder if we aren't finding because we lack faith or something. I don't know but we are determined to be happy, and find the elect :)
Our missino president is aewsome thouhg, very down to business and motivating but you can tell he has such a love for each of his missionaries, i love the guy.
This week, although we don't have a ton of people to teach, we saw some cool little miracles. We scoped out all these houses with a "dish 500 satellite" on top of the house because generally the dish 500 channels include spanish ones so often times those houses are spanish people. So we have this huge long street with a good number of dish 500's and we go knock them all. We talked to NOBODY the whole street all the way to the end. So we get to the end and are like dang, let's go back now. As we are walking back we see that one of the houses we knocked before had another car in the driveway and so we turned and were like okay "one more door". And so we knock it and this teenage girl answers smiling and we asked if her parents were there. She grabs her dad and he comes over looking all angry. He is one of those that just kind of has a natural frown on his face. We give him our little deal on the doorstep (oh and we have ruben with us the recent convert). We share a little message and then he pauses when we ask if we can come in. He kind of looks up at the sky, still frowning, and then says "pasen" and we go inside!!! ahh it was so nice after a long day of finding. HA we were kind of freaking out cause we had had no luck today. We sit down and the girl is super happy i don't know why but it was great and so anything thing we said was making her super happy and the guys wife, carmen, was super nice and came over and talked to us too. So after some small talk, we turn off the tv and ask if we can share ourl ittle message. We shared the restoration of the gospel and got them pretty into it. But at first the wife was like totally into it and her husband mariano, was not having any of it. He was answering questions and stuff but still had his frownie face on :( .Elder Gomez and i felt great though about thisl esson, we had taught with unity, we felt the spirit so strongly, and it just felt great. Then at the end when we talked about the first vision of joseph smith, Mariano's eyes never left mine as i shared it with them. And then when we talked about the book of mormon, we see a smile crack on his face. And so we asked him, mariano how do you feel right now? and he pauses and his wife looks at him with a smile, and he says "mejor". That was it, just one word, which means "better". I don't know what was wrong before but it was so powerful when he said that he spirit was so strong in that lesson and it was such a blessing to have that time to sit down with them. Now they didn't come to church and when we tried to see them again, they were busy and working and so we are hoping to see them tonioght. But it was cool to see one the way the Lord works, and how he gives us those small doses of the spirit to keep us going and to completely rejuvenate our faith and cheer :)
Then that same evening, we had an appointment at 6:00. So we go over to these apartment complexes and go knock on the door of this lady, or so we thought. This guy francisco answers and says that the lady we were looking for didn't live there and so we say well we are missionaries...and he's like guys hold on, it's cold outside, why don't you just come in". hahah! so we go in and have another aewsome lesson with him and his wife. It was such a miracle and they happened one right after another. SO cool! We did end up teaching him again, but during the week he has a hard time being home and so now we have to wait all the way until friday to see him again, but that's okay, well make it all work.
We have been going through former investiagtors and old potentials and trying to pick up anybody that is ready for the gospel. We have been tracting a ton and not just to tract, but we desperately need to find some people. Our branch is splitting next week which is nuts and stressful, but good news, we have a family that is going to the temple on the 19th of march to be sealed!!!! how awesome is that! And we just got two more melchizedek priesthood holders for our branch, which i can't remember if i told you but one of them, Hector Sandoval, asked me to give it to him and it kind of took me by surprise but it just made my day and it was realyl cool experience for us both. So our branch is growing and although it will lose a few members, i think it will be a good opportunity to create a stronger foundation. Some of our branch leaders don't totally know their responsibilities and it hurts the members cause they look to their leaders who don't know everything to do, so we are meeting with our branch president this week to figure something out to start it off right. Lots of good things but lots of stress too :) but you know what, it's all worth it! I love being a missionary and elder gomez and i are always telling each other that. I can't even remember what it was like sometimes to be a "normal boy" but what i do know now is the "awesomeness" of waking up every morning and putting that tag on my shirt with Jesus Christ's name on it, and a big "ELDER" in front of mine. I love what i'm doing and i'm getting more confidence and learning how to deal with my trials with the Lord's help. I'm trying to be teachable.
That's my letter this week thouhg. Oh and with the parley p pratt book, you can send samoas and tagalongs if you want/ if there's room to send them. That would be nice :)
Say hello to the bostons for me and that's so awesome to hear the singles ward is growing with 2 more baptisms! I love you guys so much y la iglesia es verdadera! Elder Gomez me esta ayudando mucho con mi espanol y me siento mas confianza cada dia. Pero tambien he encontrado, la importancia del espiritu en mis abilidades de hablar la idioma. Hay veces caundo estamos platicando de algo que no se enfoca totalmente en la obra y perdimos el espiritu un pocito, y he visto la diferencia caundo me siento el espiritu muy fuerte, hablo mejor y tengo mas confianza que el Senor me ayudara. El espiritu es la clave de esta obra :D
les quiero familia!!!