Wednesday, July 15, 2015

When you're going from 93 to 103, it's really not that big of a difference.

Hello from Mexico!! Oh, I mean, El Paso, Texas! It's kind of like the same thing though, you can literally see Mexico from here and everything is in English and Spanish. Speaking of which, I am trying to learn a little bit of Spanish stat to help me out around here. Any advice bilingual friends?

 So this week has been a bit crazy. Last Tuesday I went to three transfer meetings. The first one was at 7 in the morning, when I found out that I was going south. After that we all got in a van and drove 4 hours down to Las Cruces where I went to another transfer meeting and found out I was going south again. So five our us got into a truck and drove another hour to El Paso where I went to another transfer meeting and found my new companion. I also found out that I'm back up training this transfer, which means I either did a good job last time or a bad job, ha I'm not sure which. Sister Bowen is great though, especially for only being 6 weeks out! So I think things will go well.

 We cover the UTEP University ward, which as you probably guessed is YSA. Our ward boundaries are huge! We have 2,000 miles a month! We cover three zones and two stakes. It's actually pretty similar to the boundaries of the Armar YSA ward but its crazy that two people cover that alone, one of which has only been out for 6 weeks and the other one who just got here a week ago! Our ward also covers the army base here Ft. Bliss, and so our ward is probably 40% military, 40% university students and 20% just other YSA's. It's an interesting mix but I like it. It's actually really fun to be able to work with and teach people your own age and when YSA's say that they'll do something they usually actually do it! Oh, I also use the word ward generously. We technically are but we probably have about 75 active members. And, it's even more transient than a regular YSA ward because of the school and the base but, I think that things will be good. They're also not afraid to invite or talk to their friends about the gospel. We've already had like 10 referrals since I've been here, which is more probably than we had all of last transfer! But, every ward has it's strengths and weaknesses. We don't get fed a whole lot and usually when we do it's pizza or Chipotle or something. And it's hard to get member presents because they are always studying or out doing something. But, I have a good feeling about this place.

 Also, don't listen to the crazy people that tell you it's so hot that it will melt your face down in El Paso. It's only about 10 degrees hotter and honestly, when you're going from 93 to 103, it's really not that big of a difference.

 This week we picked up two new investigators, one of whom is doing great! He was actually given to us by a friend of his in Utah, who somehow found our number and called us. After getting lost at FT. Bliss (it's fine, it's just a military base, no one looks at you weird when you're wandering around...) we had a fantastic first lesson with him. When we told him about the apostasy he said "Oh! So that's where all of the other Christian churches came from!" Yep! Didn't even have to explain that. And he even came to church on Sunday! Ha, I felt kind of bad though because our Gospel Principles lesson was on the Gathering of Israel, which can not only be kind of confusing but also is all about missionary work, and then the third hour lesson was on temples. When we asked him how he liked it after he told us "I was super confused. I thought I was in a temple this whole time but I guess not." So, bummer, but now we have more things to talk about right?

  I also really like whenever we get the chance to teach military because they totally get authority and how if you don't have that authority, it doesn't matter what you do, it's pointless.

 We also had some great contacting experiences this week. Who knew that such a thing was possible right? We went to try and contact a referral who wasn't home but we decided to talk to his neighbors instead. It took us two hours to finish the street because of how many people wanted to talk to us and we were able to pass off 5 referrals. So that was pretty cool.

 As far as a spiritual thought goes, I read something in Deuteronomy today that I have been thinking about. It's chapter 8 verses 3, 17 and 18. Which is similar to Mosiah Chapter 2 verses 21-26. It talks about how we are nothing compared to God, how He is the one that gives us everything, even our bodies and our breath. And yet the only thing that He asks of us is that we keep His commandments, which He has only given us in the first place so that we will have guidance, find happiness, and be able to become more like Him. How incredibly selfless is that! There is a quote by Elder Maxwell that says "Consecration is the only surrender that is also a victory." It comes from the talk Settle This in Your Hearts", (which I will admit that I haven't read, I saw the quote at the beginning of "The John Tanner Story" but it looks good so you should all ready it). All Heavenly Father wants for us is what's best for us. We don't always believe it but it is always true, and He promises that if we ask Him, He will confirm that to us. My goal is to always believe what He wants is what I want too, and then to act on it.

 Well, I hope you all are doing great! Talk to you soon!

 Love, April

PS the picture is a random tree we saw. Yep, this is Texas.

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