Monday, August 20, 2012

Greetings and Salutations!                 13 Aug 2012
Well things here have been back and forth again. We have had to battle our missionary labors against the Castle Valley Pageant again. Let's just say that the Castle Valley Pageant won a lot of the days. So we have been really trying to work to the best of our abilities, but it is hard to find people to teach when everyone is at a community event. It makes me wonder what the missionaries do up there when there is a football game or a basketball game?

We have had some highs and lows this week. I will start with the highs and end with the lows. We have had some really good lessons, when we could get them. We had one with a lady named America. I have mentioned her before, so we had some lessons last week with her and it just seemed that she wasn't too excited to be baptized or anything like that. So we had a lesson just talking about the blessings of baptism and the example that should could be for her family. We shared with her Doctrine and Covenants 31:1-2, and it really hit home with her. So she is completely ready to be baptized. She is going to California this week to visit some family, and is going to get married, and when she returns we should have her baptism!!!! I am super excited. I have taught her the whole time I have been in this area, and Elder Noriega taught her before as well, so it is definitely nice to know that our efforts are paying off.

We also had a really good lesson with a guy named Shorty. He is an old Vietnam vet, and has a lot of questions. We have really been talking a lot with him about war and forgiveness. He has a lot of questions from the 10 Commandments, with one of the being "thou shalt not kill". He feels that he has betrayed that commandment, so we found some examples of times where God has said that when we fight for our land, families, freedom, etc. that is of God. So we finally got down to his deeper concern, which is really how to know if he has been truly forgiven or not. So now we got to put in some more studying to find an answer to his question. He is really close to accepting all these things, which just got to keep up with him and to make sure he is praying and going to church.

We also had another good meeting with David. We unfortunately had to change his baptismal date. He was supposed to be getting baptized at the end of this week, but he couldn't get the time off. So we set it up for the 1st of September. He said that he is all in on this one and will not change it again. So we reviewed the things that he needs to do to be ready for his baptism, and one of those is to give up chewing. We then said he should start now and just give us his can of chew. He looked at us for a little while, and then he pulls out his can and say, "you are right. Here you go gentlemen." So I know that he is going to experience trials over the next couple of weeks, but he will be so blessed for his sacrifices. I can definitely say that I have developed true charity for that man!

Like I said before, the Pageant kind of made things a little slow for us. But it is over now and has produced some really good things. The last couple of nights, we knew quite a few people that we have been trying to visit that went up there. So we are hoping that their hearts were softened to be able to receive the message that we carry. I definitely am still sleep deprived from these two weeks, but I guess I can just gain it all back later.

Well now onto to some of the lows. This week we have experienced more rejection then ever. We have gone to so many houses and talked to so many people, but they just wouldn't even give us the time of day to talk to them. I just wish that people would understand that even though we are missionaries, we are still normal people. We still have feelings and emotions just as everyone does. People really don't understand how hard it is for us to go on a mission and then to have people not even listen to us, hurts. If they only knew how much this message could really bless their lives, but they don't even give it a chance. It has been frustrating to see that happen a lot in the last couple of weeks. But we just keep on moving and knocking on some more doors. I know that the Lord has someone prepared here somewhere, we just have to put in the work and find them.

We were able to speak yesterday in the Orangeville 2nd Ward. It was pretty good. We talked about missionary work. Elder Noriega and I took different approaches to try and help that ward be more missionary minded. I think it worked for the most part. I am happy to know that I can help others. After we spoke, there just many people that kept coming up to us and thanking us for what we said. It just made me realize how great the blessings are that I have received since I have been on my mission. I know that I truly was sent to this mission for a reason. I know that I have learned things here in Utah that I could have never learned anywhere else. My mission has set up a foundation for the rest of my life, and for that I am eternally grateful for my decision to come on my mission. I know that anyone who will go on a mission and is willing to put in the time and sacrifice will reap the same blessings and rewards.

Well it is good to hear the Pops went through his treatments again and that he is released from the hospital. I hope he can recover well. I am really surprised to hear about Joli! It was a shock for me, but I will definitely add her onto the list of people that I am praying for constantly. Life is full of ups and downs, but that is why we are here. We are here to learn from these constant battles in our lives! I am so grateful for the trials and challenges that I have lived through, they have helped me become who I truly am! Well I am grateful for all of you! Take care! Until next time.....

Live it, Love it, Preach it!
de tu hijo amado!

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