Monday, January 31, 2011

First story. Monday was an interesting day after email. We had a fantastic time playing croquet without hoops and did some other things and then went to work in the evening as usual. We got done at about 8:30, so we saw the English elders who were also done and asked if they wanted to go up to this giant lit up cross that is in Fallon to take some pictures and check it out (we had been wanting to hike to it considering that’s not really something you see everywhere). We went up and looked around and took some pictures, some of which I've uploaded, and then walked back to the car. Upon arrival at the car Elder Bowe gets out the keys and goes to turn on the car when he discovers something terrible: while we were on top of the hill, the car key had somehow finagled its way off of the carabiner he had it on. All of the other keys were still on it. Just not the one key we actually needed. So we said a prayer and headed back up to search for the key with flashlights we had. Unfortunately the entire ground was covered in glass, so everything looked like a key. Needless to say we didn’t find it. We had to have the ZLs [zone leaders] come pick us up and bring us back to the appt. The next day we went and looked again for another 2 hours, but didn’t find anything. At this point everyone is getting frustrated that praying didn’t help us find the key. We gave up and called the car missionary, who fortunately loves us, and told him we lost the key. He said seriously? and then told us he was overnighting a new one. Unfortunately the US postal service considers overnight deliveries anything that arrives within 3 days of when it was sent. WOW! That was ridiculous. We finally get the key and go to try it (the car has been at the foot of this hill the whole time) and the car doesn’t start. So we went and got jumper cables and then jumped the car...nothing. Then I realized (having lots of experience with dead batteries) that the headlights could still turn on. No way it’s the battery. So we get out the manual and I tell my comp to look up the safety features for anti theft. Apparently the key has to be specifically programmed to the car to be able to start it. We call the car guy again. He calls the dealer. Dealer tells him that there is possibly a way to program the key that might work. We had to turn the key to the on position for 10 mins, then off for 10 seconds, and then repeat 3 more times. So, while I was taking care of that with Elder Camp, Bowe and Irwin decided to hike up the mountain. As they hiked up just casually talking, Bowe looked down AND what do ya know, the key is right in front of his foot. They run back down and put the key in and the car starts right up. We put the other key in and the car programmed the key because we had just had the right key in. So now we have 2 working keys. Moral of the story: Prayers do get answered...eventually. hahhaha. So we finally have a car again. Needless to say the work was a little slower than normal this week because we had no car. hahahha.

Second story. We were painting a room at this cool family’s house for service when the mom broke a light on accident. Her little 5 year old daughter went and told the dad that the mom broke the light bulb. The mom asked the daughter "why did you have to go tell on me?" and the 5 year old daughter replied "why do you tell on me all of the time? See it would be better if neither of us told on each other." She is 5. Also she speaks perfect Spanish and English. I’m so jealous!

Check out this blog where my brother Tim writes.

Monday, January 24, 2011

January 24, 2011

We taught a lot of lessons this week. Don’t have space to talk about them all. I think all in all we taught 19 lessons. That number will probably keep rising too. There are a lot of people to teach, it’s just none of them can go to church. It makes things difficult. We are working hard in Fernley, and might go from 0 members there to having a Spanish group by the end of next transfer. It’s just a possibility, but at least 4 people have expressed interest in getting baptized and there are others we are teaching there. They are all way cool too. One of them is named Louis. He is super funny and is already doing missionary work even though he isn’t baptized. His sister is a relief society prez in a Spanish ward in Salt Lake, so both he and his sister want to get baptized, but learn more first. We can definitely do that. We are also continuing to teach a large group of kids, a few of which are less active members and the other couple aren’t members. They range in ages from about 13-17. They are all related to members. They are super cool kids and we challenged them all to read 5 pages in the Book of Mormon every day for 100 days. They have started strong and read together, so we will see how that goes.

Zone conference was good as always. Of course President and Sister Black came up, and the Assistants to the President, too. They told me they forgot to tell Sarah that they were coming though, so I didn’t get anything from her this time. Hopefully next month. We talked about using the Book of Mormon in teaching and working with members better. They had the ward mission leader from the student ward in Reno talk to us. He was solid; created some good discussion and had some solid ideas.

I got a package from Logan and Richard! It was pretty sick. I got a picture frame that says “Love” on it, hahaha, a bunch of sweet pictures of us, and a huge bag of Skittles, just like I like it. I miss good old Smash Bros and game nights with unlimited skittles. Those were such good times. Always miss the Jacks. They are da best.

Check out the video of Paris – person, not place.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January 18, 2011

On P-day yesterday we just hung out. It was super warm here – like 60ยบ. Pretty sweet. It is soooo nice! I love it. We went grocery shopping, I made food for the whole apartment (fajitas...chicken, bean, guacamole, onion, green pepper, Tapatios hot sauce, and hot tortillas), we played Guestures, opened up the balcony door and hung out there a bit, just had a chill day.

This week, in Fernley we taught Chayo and Leo and Chayo's sister Lupe. Chayo and Lupe are very accepting and may want to get baptized. Leo (Chayo's husband) is a little more reserved. We brought a member to that, and he did a good job at working to include Leo. We also taught Alma, who does want to get baptized, but can’t come to church, so that’s a problem. She babysits 5 kids on Sundays. We are trying to get her to just bring all of them, but often kids are sick, so it’s hard. Plus she has to get permission from the parents to bring them all to the Mormon church in Fallon...not helpful. We also kind of taught a lady named Bertha. She is very interested and I think we should be able to get her to church and get baptized, but we really need to meet with her sons and teach them, because apparently they are very influential in the community with the kids because they are both very good soccer players.

We also met this lady named Mimi who speaks English, so we are going to have to hand her off to the sisters, but we had a cool experience. She is super nice. We met her while we were at a part member family’s house and she came in and talked to us for a bit. We went to her house on Sunday to see her and had an interesting experience. She talked for most of the time. At the end we asked if we could pray with her. She said of course and we were about to pray when she had a super spiritual experience looking into our eyes. She said she could really see our souls and how pure they were. She said she just felt something, some kind of energy, and she said that there was a light with our faces. It was really cool. We are going to introduce her to the sisters and I have faith she will see the same things in them, so it should be really good for her. She will be going to church with them next week I think. It was a really, really cool experience.

We didn’t speak in sacrament meeting yesterday. They told us the wrong day; we will be talking the 5th Sunday.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 10, 2011

The week was a little hectic but pretty good. We had a lot to do and very little time to do it in. We are starting to get adjusted to when people are around and stuff, so that is super helpful. We got all unpacked and everything. It’s a good time. It’s still a work in progress, but it really is coming along.

We spent some time in Fernley. Fernley is technically about 1000 people bigger than Fallon, but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t take the navy base into account. Really they are about the same size, Fallon is probably slightly bigger. It is about half way to Reno, so it becomes a little bit of a suburb for it. There are a lot of Hispanics, but it is hard to find them home. Really we just need referrals from there. We stay at the English elders appt. It is a 4 man appt because there used to be SpanAms there too, but now it just has 2. Yerington used to be covered by Fernley. It has 2 Wards, and then they cover the ward in Silver Springs too. It is not quite the Mormon town that Fallon is, but its still Nevada.

On Sunday, the speakers were easier to understand, especially since it wasn’t testimony meeting. I got just about as much as I do in English, haha. I had a libreta (like a small flip notebook...I don’t know what you'd call that in English other than that) out the whole time and wrote down words that I heard that I don’t know so that I can look them up later. It was a pretty good meeting, but next week will be better...we are speaking. Hahaha. That is going to be quite a challenge for us, but at least we get to write out talks out before hand. Speaking in Spanish off the top of my head is still a little rough for me, though it is getting better fast because it has to.

The best part of the week was probably when we had a lesson with the lady named Claudia. She lives in a trailer park where a couple of members live (kids who converted without their parents actually) who are about 14, 15, and 16, and the 16 (Junior) year old’s best friend (Kevin) is always around. We were in the lesson when Kevin and Junior came in and joined the lesson because Claudia is Junior’s aunt, but everyone there is just one big family anyway. We finished teaching the lesson and started asking who was going to give the closing prayer. I said, "alright, everybody say a metal in Spanish. Plata!" And then Junior said "Oro!" And me and Elder Bowe said oh, ok, and bowed our heads. “Oro” in Spanish both means gold and I pray. What was cool in the end was that Junior was like...”nah, I think Kevin should pray.” Kevin kind of wants to be baptized, but doesn’t have his parents’ permission. Kevin said, "I don’t know how." So Junior taught him how right there! It was great. It was exactly how missionary work should be. Somebody teaching their best friend how to pray. Then Kevin did exactly what Junior told him, which was exactly how we teach it. It was way good. (Look here for more about prayer.)

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3, 2011

The most interesting thing of the first week in Fallon? Probably that it snowed and melted snowed and melted the entire week. The toughest? Since both of the elders working with the Spanish branch here were transferred and we both came in new, trying to figure out where on earth to start when neither of us knows the area, the investigators, or anything about the area really at all. We are still kind of trying to figure out who the missionaries who left were teaching. We spent most of the week going over the area book, calling the elders who were transferred out, searching for places because we don’t know where anything is, and getting stood up by appointments. So, it was pretty interesting. We are really teaching the entire branch plus investigators.

Yesterday was our first Sunday here and we had one of the lowest attendances ever in the Spanish branch. It’s kind of nuts. I couldn’t really understand anything in Elders quorum. It’s hard. Sacrament and Sunday School I did pretty well, but not fantastic. We both have a long way to go. Elder Bowe hasn’t served in a real Spanish area in over 6 months.

My apartment is nice. I still haven’t really finished unpacking; I just got the last of my stuff from Yerington today. I live with Elder Bowe and 2 other missionaries. They are all cool guys. Elder Bowe, is from Pennsylvania; Elder Camp is from Henderson; and Elder Erwin is from Virginia. One of them I was kind of friends with before we came here, plus I was kind of friends with my comp before I came. Good group. So it’s a pretty sweet set up. We play a ton of Phase 10 and solve Rubiks Cubes ... which I can do now, by the way. It’s pretty chill. We also sometimes have double comp study which is super fun and you learn more, but we have to do it in English, so a bit of a trade off.

We leave for Fernley tomorrow where we will do some work, stay the night, drive to Reno Wed morning to exchange our ‘08 Fusion for an ‘11 Malibu, go back to Fernley, hopefully hit a couple of appointments, stay the night, do a little more work in Fernley then drive back to Fallon Thursday afternoon. That is going to be pretty crazy overall, but should be a good time.