Monday, August 3, 2009

2009_08_03 Week 18 Valencia Mom

Hey! How is it going? Things are going good here. We are working hard and doing good. I have been a little bit down lately. I think more than anything else is that Skyler got married and now I am getting that feeling fall is coming. I can feel it and fall brings hunting. I think that is one of the things that I am missing most right now. I am trying to stay focused in the work, but sometimes it gets hard.

We have two people that have baptism dates. We have Isabel Cuello and we have another investigator, Dexy. She is 21. She just turned 21 the day before I did and she wants to be baptized. So we are working with her and she has given us lots of references. In the past two weeks she introduced us to her friend and her family (a family with 12 kids). We are teaching them. There are five or six of the kids that have been listening to us, but they are all older 21, 19, 16, 15, so it is a little bit harder to teach because they all have different schedules and you know how young people are. Sometimes they just don´t want to listen. But it is cool. We had a Family Home Evening in the church Friday and she came and brought one of her friends. He is really cool. He has read all of the Book of Mormon, but from a scholar point of view, not as a religious point of view. So it is cool. We need to go visit him in his house. The thing is our Bishop wants us to work in Valencia, but we are getting a ton of references from Dexy for people that live in The Mana, so we are trying to work with the people that we have while trying to expand our teaching pool to include the people in The Mana.

Yesterday we went and taught Dexy in The Mana. There is a park in the middle of the town. We have been meeting her in the park and teaching her there. We had a really cool experience yesterday. We were teaching her about baptism. She wanted to know what she needed to do to be baptized, so we told her she needed to come to church and that before the baptism she needed to have an interview. And she asked us what they would ask her in the interview, so I pulled out my agenda and turned to the page that has the baptism questions on it and gave it to her to read. And she started reading it question for question and answering as she went. It was cool, but the cool part was when we got to the part about tithing. Elder Castañeda was explaining and I noticed that there was a man listening to what we were teaching. After about a minute of explaining, Elder Castañeda was explaining that we pay ten percent, but Dexy didn´t understand it very well. In this moment, the man that had been listening bursted into the lesson and started to teach about tithing. He taught her what ten percent was so that she could understand. After that he started to "machetear" (This is a word that we use in Spanish. Imagine that he had a machete in his hand and he was using it on her.) He started to say that women that dress inappropriately are sinning and that when men have inappropriate thoughts it is their sin and a bunch of things. So we quickly changed the subject, asked him where he was from, if he knew anyone Mormon and a bunch of other things. And then we gave him a pamphlet and luckily the bus pulled up and he left to take the bus. But the thing is that what he taught, we had been teaching her earlier about modesty. She wasn´t dressed immodestly or anything, but he was pretty harsh. But, we continued with the lesson as if nothing had happened, but the good thing was that Dexy understood what tithing is. But when we got there, Dexy introduced us to another friend, but she had to leave before we could teach. But we did invite her to the actividad that we are going to have this week. They are doing a talent show and each group has to present something. It should be cool.

We are working really hard and we are starting to have success. It seems like we always seem to find people that want to be baptised right before the change. Well, I will let you know next week what is happening with the changes, if I´m going or if I get to stay here to have some baptisms, but we will see.

Hi Curtis,

It is good to hear from you. Dexy sounds like a golden prospect. I hope it works out for you well and that you are able to continue to teach her friends and family. I hope for that reason that you are not transferred, but the Lord will decide. Maybe it will help that we fasted for you. I am glad there is nothing seriously the matter. Tell Satan to get lost and don't worry about Skyler. Things will work out for you when you get home. Right now, you need to be hunting for converts rather than ducks, elk and deer. That will be more important for your salvation in the long run.

I wish Skyler were off in Japan teaching the gospel like you, but we don't know why things happen as they do. I hope someday he is able to serve a mission. It seems strange that his Patriarchal Blessing would talk about a mission, and then he would be unable to go, but maybe that means it will be a blessing for a later time. I am glad he is not sitting home sulking or wasting his time. He is doing great things with this insurance business and if that makes him happy, I guess it is good.

What happened with the Jewish guy you were teaching?

With Moshe, he works a lot. We can’t leave the house until ten in the morning, right? Well he starts working in Quevedo at nine, his first job. Then he goes to his second job after that at three. Then he comes here to Valencia and starts his third job at six thirty and leaves the third job at ten. We have to be in the house at 9 or 9 thirty, the latest, so we can’t teach him during the week.

On the weekend, Saturday, that is his Domingo, so we can visit him Saturdays, but I don´t think he is very faithful to his holy day, because he goes out and about and that is not what he said that he should do. But I give him the benefit of the doubt that maybe he is going for a walk or to visit someone. I don´t know, but Saturday, we were doing service in the church, Elder Castañeda and me. I had my machete and we were trimming the plants in the flowerbeds. It is a ground cover plant and it was sticking out into the side walk and didn´t look very good, so I was going along with my machete cutting the plant so that it was even and Elder Castañeda was behind pulling all of the plant that I had cut out and putting it in a trash bag.

While we were working on this, Moshe passed and the first thing he asked us if we could work. I told him that we could, that it is Saturday, but then I laughingly told him that since our day of rest is Sunday that we could work on Saturday. I kept working, but he stayed there with me and was asking me a bunch of questions. It was really cool. The Lord really does help you when you need it. I haven’t studied the scriptures in English in just about ten months, so I couldn´t remember the scriptures very well, but the thing was, he asked me several questions and I, while working without stopping to think, was able to quote scriptures that I am pretty sure that I have never memorized in English, but I quoted them in English. It was really cool.

He had a few doubts, but I was able to help him understand what we believe and how he can know that the church is the correct church. It really was cool to be able to talk with him like that. I spent about an hour and a half teaching while I was working. It was so cool. The Lord really will give us the words we need in the right moment. I don´t think that Moshe is ready to be baptized, but he wants to keep learning, so I am going to keep teaching until I leave and hopefully what I have taught will one day have effect and he will be baptised.

I got another package last week. that makes three for my birthday and four for my Hump Day. Thankyou so much, but so you know, I now have four bottles of Maple Syrup Extract and I have used about half of a bottle, so I don´t need any more for a while, ok. But thank you for sending me more jerkey. I will tell you that I haven´t been eating much jerkey, because there isn´t much in the house. Because I open the package right and put the jerkey in the fridge and then when I go to get a piece there isn´t any in the fridge and my companion doesn´t know what happened to it or so he says, but that is all right. He really loves jerkey, so he has been eating just about all that I have received.

Could you do me a favor though? Can you send me a few temple recommend holders that have the picture of different temples in the states??? Elder Castañeda wants some, so if you can send them that would be really cool. And if I am not here when I get them I can send them through the pouch so he can have them.

Thank you for everything and thank you for your prayers and your fasting. I have felt the help in the work and in my excitement for the work, but I gotta go. It is late and we have appointments, so I will talk to you next week and let you know what happens with the transfers. And tell the family and the friends hi and sorry that I haven´t written them. Next week, I will, Ok? Bye.

Thanks Curtis. Wonderful letters today and thanks for saying thank you. It means a lot. We will keep praying for you as always. Any specific temples he wants?

Love always,

I just asked him and he said that whatever ones that I think are cool. So see if you can find the Salt Lake Temple, Ogden, and Logan. There is one in Washington that is really cool, one in California, I think the San Diego, but I could be wrong and the Washington DC temple and if there are a few other cool ones that you feel that would be cool. Thank you so much! I love you! Bye.

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