Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Elders Johnson and Matesen

Pre-mission photo with Carson

They wrote us Rysers! Here's what they said:

Aaron: "Things are going great for me here in Surprise. I am still in the same area, going on 9 months (my entire mission). I am perfectly fine with staying in this area for so long. I love the wards and the people we are working with." Aaron's own address is 18001 North 79th Ave. Ste C50, Glendale, AZ 85308

Max: "Chile is amazing and the time is flying by in the mission! I'm loving the mission and although it's a daily fight, we're on the winning side and it has been a huge testimony builder."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Elder Pinnock

Laura combined a few emails to summarize David's Mexican adventures:

I made it! I am finally here in Mexico and I feel good! President Call and his wife are terrific people and I am sure I will learn a lot from them. When I arrived in Mexico we were driving from the airport to the mission home and we got pulled over by the police, it was awesome because President Call said, “How much should I bribe him with?”

My companion is Elder Tun and he's great. He doesn't speak English and is really good with people on the street. I took a shower with a bucket of water (we don't have hot water). I was laughing to myself the entire time because I actually liked doing it. Sometimes we don't even have water in the morning but then I just say, "Who needs baths?". I love the Mexican culture. On Preparation Day we wash our clothes by hand which is also a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I don't mean to brag but I am not too bad at washing clothes with my hands. I think you would loose your mind mom if you saw our home. I love it though, I love everything about this place, Mexico is the best!

I ate fried fish heads yesterday and they were super duper! We have been eating a lot of good food but it is mostly just beans, rice and always tortillas. We always eat with the members here at 2:00 and they are so nice to do it, some of these people have nothing to give but they find some way to get food for us.

This past Sunday I played the piano for the church here (thanks for the simplified hymns mom). I really enjoyed it. Never thought I would enjoy playing the piano.

This past week has been a burner. It is getting hotter and hotter and my sleep has really been suffering. Last Monday I finally lost it and gave myself a buzz and as the picture can testify my companions thought it was a good idea and followed up right behind me to cut their hair. It is kinda funny too, with less hair I have found more strength to work in the sun.

A couple of days ago Elder Tun and I received a referral who lives on the outskirts of town. It took us an hour and a half to walk there, and much to our disappointment they wouldn't answer the door. I guess the referral might have been a bad one. But when we were out there we decided to track a little in the area. I am not going to lie, the area was beautiful, few people and only open fields (without trash). We didn't have much success but I still love talking to people on the street. Later during the week we tried to find one of our investigators that completely fell of the grid. Her name is Ceci and she was coming to church reading a praying and already had an answer to her prayers. She is not at her work, there is no one at her home. It's like she died. I will definitely be praying to find her this week with my companion.

Make sure all you people in America realize that you are all spoiled and that you are also missing out. I wouldn't be anywhere else right now, I love the people, busses, stores, building, I love the dirt! You all are going to have a tuff time getting my back to America in a year and a half. Good luck!

Hang Loose with Elder Menlove

Wow what an amazing week! I don't even know where to begin. First of all, we had a baptism on Saturday! His name is Kiely Kalani Lloyd. It went great! He's a 17 year old and called us last minute wanting to be baptized. We had a beautiful service and he was confirmed on Easter Sunday along with his friend who was baptized 2 weeks ago. I couldn't have asked for a better Easter Weekend.

Saturday night was also the Hanalei Branch Luau! We ate poi, raw fish, kalua turkey, Laulau, Squid Luau, and Coconut cake! One of the branch members, Brother Colburn, is a professional entertainer and he brought his band to play for the event. His daughters did Tahitian and Hula dancing and he did fire-knife dancing as the finale! It was awesome! Easter Sunday was great. We attended the Hanalei Branch and Elder Miller gave a talk. It was an incredible week! We worked our tails off and found 3 new investigators. We have a couple more baptisms scheduled for May so hopefully everything keeps working out well!
Today we woke up at 5 and went fishing. We hiked down to a beautiful area on North Shore Kauai, and caught 10 fish, an octopus, and a sea turtle! The ocotpus was too cool to part with so we put it in the Zone leader's toilet. Hehe.
As a mission, we have been studying the atonement every day this month, and I have learned so much about the Savior's sacrifice. I don't think there is anything else in the world more important for us to have a testimony about. Without it, we have nothing. To me, the atonement is a very personal thing. I love my Savior and i am so grateful for the things that he did for me. It's nice to have a holdiay to celebrate this, even though we should really be celebrating every single day. I have been thinking lately...am i living my life in such a way that i SHOW the Savior my gratitude for it? It's one thing to say we are grateful for the atonement, and another thing to show Him. I am thankful to be on a mission where i can focus on this every single day and strengthen my testimony of Him.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

JJ Ward April 28

Hello hello hello

So this week has been an exciting one. There will be a pretty big change in my missionary life starting tomorrow.

But 1st and foremost, A-Jan got baptized on Sunday! It was so awesome. It was a very simple humble service, but really really nice. At first she seemed a little nervous, but when she was walking down the steps into the font, I could see this peace wash over her, and she new it was the right decision. The entire service was translated by Sis. Hohn, one of the most amazing members ever. Even the confirmation was translated from Chinese to Thai. Even though The brother confirming her only met her that day, he gave a really great blessing. At the end A-Jan got up to bear her simple testimony. She doesn't have a lot of knowledge but she has a really testimony given to her by the spirit, and that is stronger than any knowledge. She went back to Thailand yesterday and will have to wait there for at least one month for a visa renewal, and then she will come back to Hong Kong to help her older sister work, and take care of her troubled son. Sis. Hohn is helping her find a branch in Thailand to attend, it will be so great for A-Jan to hear the gospel untranslated in her own language. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet a A-Jan and play a small role in helping her come to know of the reality of the restoration, this experience was definitely one of the greatest miracles I've experienced on my mission.

Now for the big change. This morning I got a call from President Chan. That always starts your heart beating fast. He has called me to be the new Distribution Coordinator. So tonight I will pack my things, and tomorrow morning the APs will come and pick me up to go to the mission home so I can start training to work in the office... I never thought I would go office. I don't know exactly all that it entails, but I do know that from monday to friday I will be in the mission home doing office work, saturday and sunday are our only days to proselyte, I will no longer be speaking Cantonese I will be serving international and speaking English, I get to drive, I will live in the temple, and I will probably become a District Leader all for at least 4 transfers. So it definitely has it's ups and downs....

I kinda felt like it was coming, but it was still a big suprise when I actually heard President Chan say it himself. So we will see how it goes, I have mixed feelings about it. I had a really short stay in Aberdeen, and I will miss the people we were teaching, especially a couple of the less active members we were making progress with. but, this is what the Lord wants so I'll do it. It'll probably be a tough transition, haha I've never really done office work before, and I haven't taught the gospel in English in a long time. I'm still kind of taking it in. It will be a pretty big change. So I just took time to enjoy P-day today and now it's home to pack and after 9 months I'm leaving Kennedy Town and headed to Kowloon. Missions are full of suprises.

Well this week I read another one of my favorite scriptures in D&C 36:6 "Look to me in EVERY thought, doubt not, fear not." This scripture is a huge faith booster for me. If we focus on Christ, with all of our might mind and strength, there will be no room for doubt, and no reason to fear, because he who is mighty to save has made it possible to overcome all things.

Love you all!!
Elder Ward