Thursday, October 20, 2011
Oh hey fellow participants in this here journey we call life....
So... crazy week. BIG changes and BIG blessings. A week of suprises.... bitter sweet.
First off... i recieved a call from President Pingree on friday. It started out as a normal advise for my district for transfers kind of call... He was worried about a few people and a few assignments but we talked about things and got stuff worked out. I asked about a few of our investigators and some of the problems or issues getting in the way of baptism it was good. Right when i was about to tell him hasta luego he was like.... there is one more thing. I need you to be a Zone Leader. Yep... that was a shock. Im training a new missionary right now and with the new program we were pretty much promised that we would be together for 2 transfers so i was 99 percent sure i was staying... i guess the Lord had a different idea. It was a hard assignment to say yes too... i mean.. i love my greenie companion and we have like 10 baptisms coming up... the area is bumpin. I love the branch, love the people here and was sure i was staying to finally see the fruits of all my hard work come to pass.... i worked sooo hard here. I sort of froze when he said that and really didnt know what to say. I told him he was asking for something really hard... i really wanted to stay to see all this play out. All these people getting baptised know me... i felt like i needed to be there for them. So i explained all of that to him and he was like i need you to do this. We are opening up a new zone (pretty much a mega zone with 2 combined...HUGE) and i need you there to do it. I feel very strongly that this is where you need to be. I know President Pingree and i know he really prays about these things until he receives confirmation from the Lord. So well... i accepted. Ya.. it was hard. My companion will now be in a trio (a group of three missionaries) with the other spanish missionaries in Conroe and they will just combine the areas. The good thing is i really do trust him.. he is an amazing missionary.. still working on spanish obviously but the other spanish missionaries that he will be with will have his back... they are way legit too. So at least im leaving all these people in good hands... still worried about it but the Lord knows what happening way better than i do... as i prayed i just felt him telling me..."Trust Me". So.. i will. Im going to Houston...the city. Gangs... Guns... graffiti... and lots of apartments im i guess im supposed to be leading a mega zone down there. No idea what the Lord was thinking when he made that decision... haha. I just gonna do what ive been best at my whole mission... "Fake it 'till i make it". We will see how that works out.
Anyways... enough of that and right to the good stuff. So... starting with Sandy. Its been a crazy week with her. She changed her own date to sooner... for the 25th of this month. Then the next day she wasn't nearly as excited.... then she got sick... than this than that... Roller Coaster... but finally knowing she was ready just planned for someone to come up for the interview anyway. She did not think she was ready... so nervous. Doubting herself. But we helped her get to church and during one of our classes had her interview. I have never been so nervous for someone on my whole mission... or even longer. I was just waiting outside praying... it was long. i heard bit and pieces but didnt know the verdict... well.... SHE PASSED!!! we were soo stoked. I have never worked harder to help someone with something in my whole life... especially something this important. I was just happy... so happy for her. We were taking her back to class with her little baby and she stoped me right before and was like... i need to tell you something.... i want you to baptise me. So im coming back next sunday to baptise Sandy... Im so stinkin stoked that it all worked out. Now we just got to make it all happen this week. Well.. i only got a few days... just got to keep her strong. Satan works hard in this super important week... got to keep him out of there.
We also had 3 other interviews this week... Diego, Gabby, and Rafael. Dulce Marias kids. There solid... especially Rafael. They all passed and will all be baptised next Sunday also. Im so excited for them. They have all told us they have noticed such a change in there home... They say it just feels good. Thats called the Gospel of Jesus Chirst. Its a good train... get on it. I love that family soo much. The Mom, Dulce Maria, is what you would call one of the elect. Just so excited to be a member of Christs church... telling all her friends... im a mormon. Love it.
Also Consuelo has a date for October 9th to be baptised and Margarit is still moving along to be baptised also on the 9th. More good things. Tons of others on the way...But im leaving, oh well.
Cecilia finally had her appointment with the Lawyer... we worked so hard to make that happen. She just needs to qualify for a few things and she will be divorsed in about 3 months. Praying it all goes smoothly. Now her Boyfriend Luis is getting a lot more interested... i think this might be how it was meant to be.
It was supposed to sort of be confidential that i was leaving because were supposed to find out on Tuesday but i told Sandy and well i didnt think it through and we had a branch party and well... now everyone knows. They asked me to bear my testimony in Church and the whole 9 yards... it was hard. Cecilia started crying... i had to hold back tears, haha. She prayed in one of the classes and thanked our Heavenly Father for me because i brought her the gospel... Man. Best paycheck i could have ever got. Sandy almost started crying and well... im sad to leave. I love these people. Its amazing how much this gospel can change these so called strangers lives.... and now i can say there some of my closest friends. Love this branch. Worked my tail off to help it grow... even had missionary meetings with all the members so that they could start to help make their little branch into a Ward... i guess its not a little branch anymore. We had a Fiesta Latina on saturday... Way fun and so good for all the investigators we brought. Everyone brought food from the different countries (Mexico, Honduras, Puerto Rico....ect)... so good. I love food. Especially this food. Not to good on the body but whatever.
Anywho... wow, long email. Lots of random stuff. Lots of stuff happening. I dont know how this next week is going to turn out... probably really busy. To whoever read this whole thing you must really care about me. Thanks. haha. Yall have a nice one.
Another week has gone by like dust in the wind again. Speaking of dust, this week has been super windy and dusty which has made my shirt collars the dirtiest they have ever been.
Anyway, this week has been really neat. We helped the other missionaries with two baptisms this past Sunday and we are excited because we should be having one baptism this week too. Guillermina is doing great and is super excited to be baptized, she is the perfect investigator. We have found some good new people too. We had to drop a few people this past week too because they just don’t do anything. It’s sad that they just won’t progress in the gospel.
The members are great to work with. Brother Marcos fell off a ladder and landed on his head and has this huge gash with stitches and everything. The stitches were done terribly. He has a hard time remembering stuff. We visited him a couple of times this week but he forgets that we even visit him. He has a good attitude about everything though and we call him Carlos just to make him think he has forgotten his name. The doctors say that the brain problem is only temporary and that he should be as good as new in a few weeks.
I love being a missionary, you get to serve people and do good things all day. Teaching, finding, sweating, studying, serving and praying a ton. It all seems way too normal now and I am really scared to even think about where I am going to be in a year from now. I don’t think I will be able to stop being a missionary without feeling sick inside. It is kinda scary how life can change.
UPDATE i LOVE yOU ALL!!
Well whats up everyone I just want you to know I miss you all and love you all ha! This week was one for the record books of elder Treyden Johnson. Elder Kuliker from the quorum of the 70 came to our mission for a mission tour, and It was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. On sunday night we had only a few zone leaders meet with elder K and our misssion president at the mission home. Elder K had such a spirit about him where I just felt at peace, not scared like I didnt know everything about the work or my zone, but just at peace. I felt the saviour's love through him and I really found out he is a representative of Jesus Christ, and even he is trying his hardest. We talked about simple things like just getting our investigators to kneel in prayer with us every lesson and having them say it. Something so simple you think every missionary would do this. We found out less then half of our missionaries do this, so now we know what to do. We are just focusing on the basics, having our investigators pray, read, and go to church. I felt the spirit so strongly mainly because of the Elder K's love and being with my mission president again. Sometimes we all feel we aren't doing enough, or we feel a weight on our shoulders, but we need not to worry. If we are trying our very hardest and living right the lord will do the rest. Its so simple how we can feel the spirit everyday and everyting will be ok, is my kneeling pray twice a day, read the book of mormon, and church once a week. I know that to be true. We then had an awesome zone conference with our zone the capitol zone and the albany zone, and my good friend from SLC elder Pututoa is the zone leader there. He went to east highschool, and we spent a lot of time together building each other up and talking about salt lake city ha. The zone conference was great, and I learned many new things to implement into the work. That night we had a lesson with Betty Q who did have a baptismal date, and told us she wanted to hold off. I remembered what Elder K said and we had her kneel in prayer with us and just ask God what to do right then and there. The spirit testified to her, and it was the best lesson I have ever had. We just taught very simply and clearly and that is where the spirit does the rest.
Any way my big tall canadian comp is going home next week, I might get a homie for a companion elder Nigeren who is a short skier like me. I wonder if we are meant to be haha? But we have three baptisms coming up, life is great, its raining a lot, the zone is great, and today we are going to a driving range to hit some golf balls!! haha Ok love you all, and Im sorry if this email was very sloppy, i was hustling! Love Elder J
Didn't you just love conference. Oh man i loved it so much it was great, we watched it with a ton of people... On monday we went to silver falls a little out of Salem.. We went with our really good friend skylar coombs from the singles ward, it was awesome! That night we were in our shirts and ties and we helped some member paint this non member ladies home. We tried not to get paint on us ahah, and we taught this lady the gospel. Guess what? She said she wants to join the church ha how bout that huh? Sweeeeet. Zone leader council was long and kinda fun yesterday, from 9 am to 6 pm in eugene. A lot of instruction, lunch, an activity, talking, testimonies, and talking to president and sister young... Times are great, im healthy and went running this morning, eating good, clothes are haggard and im an old missionary now haha. Well I miss and love you, live right, pray, give service, pay tithing, spread the gospel! k love you so much
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Well this week was rather great, we were able to teach a sum of 42 lessons and were able to find 19 new people to teach. 42 is the alltime misison record for lessons taught in a week. The prior record was 41 which was set by Elder Jimenez(the one who wrote Johanna) and his companion Elder Ramirez, and the record before that was set by Elder Rhead and I at 40. I know its not about numbers or anything like that but its just quite interesting to see how the mission level can raise.The best part of it all is that we had tons of fun while doing so. Well one of the miracles that we had this week happened yesterday. Well sunday morning we did splits to go and pick up investigators, Elder Harris picked up Mercy, who will be baptized this weekend, well when they got to church, Elder Harris and the accompaning member where teaching her and they asked her if it be alright to announce her baptism on saturday, she said, yeah about that. She went on to explain that she was thinking of delaying her baptism because of problems that she has been having with her boyfriend and how he is just not too great of a man to her so things where left at that for the moment. I had no clue what was going on because i had shown up late because the investigator that i had gone to pic up was a bit slow. So i came into the sacrament meeting a few minutes late and there where no seats next to Elder Harris the member and the investigator they had brought so i sat down with the member who accompanied me and some other people. So during the last part of sacrament meeting her 2 year old son fell and smashed his head on the wall and was about to start screaming so my companion to save things grabbed the child and ran him out to the hall so that he wouldn´t shout in the meeting (the mother is on crutches so thats why he grabbed the child), all this happened in a split second so i hadnt even realized it yet. Well she than started getting up and I saw that my companion was leaving the meeting so I followed aswell. When I got out in the hall turns out there was a member there so Elder Harris had handed the child to him and was coming to go get the mother and I. So finally we where all in the hallway and the child was just yelling his guts out. After a few moments he calmed down again, well we started talking and found it a right moment to go and show her the baptismal font, the member that was in the hallway accompanied us. Well when we showed her the font, we had a great lesson with her talked about the blessing the Holy Ghost is to us in our lives and the blessings we can benefit from by having this gift. Well sacrament was ending and we had to get her to class and so we decided to take her into a room and finish with a prayer and have her ask God what to do. We went to a room and vefore we started praying i felt inspired to tell her to ask God those specific things and to promise her that if she did so, and listened, she would recieve and answer to her prayers before the church meetings where over. So she prayed and we parted to our corresponding classroom, she stayed in the guarderia with her son so that he can get used to the other children there and the teachers. Well after that second hour we went to Elders Quorum and we did our "missionary minute" which is a time they give us to tell what is going on, have a member share their testimony of when they have helped us in the week and ask members for times of avelability. After our missionary minute we went back to our seats and than i looked out in the hallway and i saw a spanish lady there looking at things in the hall. I didnt recongnize her so I told my companion and we went out and talke to her and gave her a tour of the chapel. Well after that we decided to scare the little kids in the guarderia and see how Mercy was doing and so we went to the window outside and looked into the guarderia and said boo, the children laughed and Mercy came to the window to talk. She told us she had talked to her boyfriend on the phone and had told him some things and well she had felt good about it. She said she had sort of gotten an answer, she felt she was on the path. So my companion said, Mercy, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized this weekend? and she said yes. To me that was the biggest miracle and it involved other little miracles to make that big one happen, I truly am glad to be able to have the spirit with us and guide us and tell us the things we must say and promise the things we must promise if necessary. Trully there are lots of miracles happening everyday and I am greatful to see and be part of them they help me grow stronger and stronger day by day. Sorry this story was so long, now i dont have time to report on anything else but hope all is well.
Much love Elder Estrada #1
oh there is a photo included, its the tribute to the virgin, this whole past week was fiestas here to her.