Thursday, January 12, 2012

Transfers . . . Cedar City welcomes a new companion!

Buenos dia mis amigos y padres!        9 January 2012

Well I hope this week has been as good for you as it has been for me. I am still enjoying my time here in Cedar City. It is a really good area and it has been pretty good for me to learn and grow. This week was pretty solid with a lot of positive things happening. We are looking forward to the future with a lot of optimism. There are some things that are still difficult, but that is part of a mission and part of life.
I will start off with talking about my new companion, Elder Pedersen. I originally said it was Elder Pederson, but it is with an E, not an O. He is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is pretty cool. He is very diligent and is a very hard worker, so we won’t have any problems there. It was pretty difficult to get used to his accent though. Now I am starting to understand it all, but he has a different accent, and he speaks really really fast. If I am not paying attention to everything he is saying, I won’t understand it. I like to make fun of his accent and try and imitate him. He always just laughs and shakes his head at me. 
It has been an adjustment to have a different companion. I was with Elder Castro for 3 months, so we were just accustomed to each other. We both had the same knowledge of the area, the people we were teaching and visiting. Now it is hard for me to try and explain everything about the area to Elder Pedersen. I feel like I am repeating myself, but I just to have patience with him and everything will turn out okay. We are pretty similar in personality. We are both pretty sarcastic, so that is something that we are trying to work on together. It may be a struggle because we are so much alike!
There is just so many things this week that happened. With transfers and having half of the zone leave for somewhere else, I have been a little overwhelmed with everything. Another thing is that Elder Pedersen has never been a district leader or zone leader before, so I am having to teach him everything that we are supposed to do in leadership. He is learning pretty quickly and he seems to understanding the point of it all.
We did have a huge miracle this week! There is a lady named Kathy that we have been trying to visit since the first part of November. We never were able to catch up with her consistently. We would usually see her about once every 2-3 weeks. We went over just to see if she had gotten home from her holiday vacation to Arizona, and we caught her at home. The miracle part is she invited us in, and then started talking about how she had been thinking a lot about this upcoming year and what she needed to do to grow and become her best self. Ultimately she said that she came to the conclusion that she needed to get baptized! Well I was super excited and amazed, and then she said that she wanted to do it on the 16th of January! So that gave us like a week and a half to teach her everything that we need to before she can get baptized. I was like, alright, we can make that happen. We met with her every day for the last 3 days and we will still meet with her every day just so she can make her goal of being baptized on the 16th. The Lord truly is preparing the hearts of the people who will receive the Gospel.  We are still striving to find the "elect". Elder Pedersen has high hopes, so I am fine with that.
The crazy thing here has been the weather. Since Christmas, it has been in about the 50s or 60s. So we have going around with short sleeves during the day, and just sweaters or jackets in the evening. Well that all changed on Saturday. We went into a meeting when it was about 40 outside, and then an hour and a half later we walked outside to snow just dumping down. It hasn’t been snowing today or yesterday, but it is super windy and super cold. I don’t think it has gotten over 35 since Saturday. Burrrrr!
Another cool little story about the power of testimony. I had forgotten how powerful testimonies can be in Sacrament meeting. I hadn’t borne my testimony in a Sacrament meeting in about 3 or 4 months, so I felt I needed to do it. I didn’t say anything too crazy, but I just shared my story on how I gained my testimony. Then after the meeting I was standing by the door, and everyone just kept coming up to me and saying thank you. It wasn’t because my testimony was special or different, but it was just able to touch the hearts of the people at that time. That is why it is so essential to testify in our lessons. The people can feel the power of our testimonies. We need to be willing to share it at any moment or any time. The craziest part came after the meeting. The Stake President for that stake, President Orton, came up and was talking to me about my story a little bit, and he asked about my father. (I had shared a little bit about how my father was diagnosed with cancer about 4 months before my mission.) Then he gave me a really nice compliment. He said "I have been around and met a lot of missionaries, and you are one of the best I have seen. You have a great spirit about you." Well I don’t really feel worthy to receive a compliment like that, but he is a really good guy, and very genuine, so I guess I will just take it. He showed me that he was really personable and was truly a disciple of Christ.
NEWS FROM HOME: Well Mom, I am glad that you had a good chat with Sandi. I am glad that you are enjoying the friendship of others and that is what life is about.  I am glad that Pops got out and went to a basketball game. How did it turn out? (Burbank Won against Connell!) I I am glad that people are still asking about me, it shows that they really care. I am glad to have the support of everyone back at home! 
Well I love you all, and wish you the best of luck in this new year!

Live it, Love it, Preach it!  les amo muchismo!     hagan su mejor!     ELDER D

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