Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Charles got baptized

So this week Charles got baptized!!!! Finally, !!!!!! Charles is only the second person that I have been there on the day that we met and then also there on the day that he got baptized. The first was John, who is also amazing! So we spent a good portion of the week getting things ready for that. They interview and speakers and all of that good stuff. Our WML was out of town this weekend too so that added to the fun. 

This week was also Pope Day! That's right, the Pope came to town! Well, actually he came to Juarez, but you know, close enough. I was expecting honestly it to be a bigger hindrance for us than it was, but really it just meant the people were all inside watching the Pope on tv and got mad when we came to their door. So pretty much just like any Sunday when a football game is on.  

We had a really cool experience this week when we went to go see a recent convert that just moved into our ward. She lives in an apartment complex that has a big "no soliciting" sign in the front of it. As we were leaving the complex a lady come out from the office and starts following us. I was pretty sure she was going to yell at us for "soliciting in her complex" aka walking through it, but actually she asked us if we had an extra copy of The Book of Mormon. Her brother is a member and told her to look into it! So we gave her one of course and are planning to meet with her later. 

We're still meeting with Tina and Molly and they're doing alright, although both of them need their dates pushed back. One of Judi's struggles with the Word of Wisdom is that she gets really bad migraines and drinks coffee to get rid of them. That's why she started even drinking it in the first place. So we're not quite sure what to do about that. If you have any ideas, we'd be glad to hear them. Molly is the same old stuff. Crazy family life and trying to work things out with her dad. But we're going over later this week and we'll see how it goes. 

We also had a good lesson with Tina who lives out in Chappy. She really asks a lot of good questions and thinks about what it is that we're saying. And when we brought up baptism she said "I'm glad you mentioned that because I do want to get baptized. I've always known that I needed to." Of course we still have a way to go before she gets there but, it's pretty great! Oh and it was also Sister Dummar's birthday this week. So we of course told as many people as possible. It reminded me of when it was always Sister Bowen's birthday. 

This morning we listened to President Uchtdorf's talk about the forget me not's where he talks about the difference between a good and a foolish sacrifice. This is something that I've thought about before so hopefully I haven't talked to you about it already, but I was reminded of it this morning. He says that somethings are obviously good to sacrifice for and some things obviously not so much. I was thinking though about how a lot of the time, if somethings is a good or a foolish sacrifice is up to us. Take a mission for example. The sacrifice has already been made, but if it's a good sacrifice or a bad one or not is up to me, the things that I choose to do, the way I spend my time and thoughts and attitude. Getting an education is a sacrifice, and if it's a good or a bad one or not is up to you. What you choose to study, how diligent you are about it, and what you choose to do with what you study. In so many instances what the sacrifice becomes is up to us. Another talks says it similarly. He talks about how Christ says that Heavenly Father only gives bread, and fish and eggs, and not serpents and scorpions. So, Heavenly Father only gives us good things. But, with our actions and our attitudes, we can turn those good things into bad things. Especially if the good thing he gives us, isn't the thing we want or the thing we expect. So ask yourself when you are in a position of sacrifice, is this a good or bad sacrifice? Or if the sacrifice has already been made, am I going to make it a good one or a bad one? 

So anyway, hopefully you all are doing well and have an amazing week!



Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Hello friends, not a whole lot of excitement I feel like this week to report. I guess that's a good thing though because it means that I might actually get to finish writing this to you without having to rush. I guess the biggest missionary things is transfers. And the verdict is.... #diesouth! Ha, I'm still here in Hondo Pass going on transfer #5 and at least 8 months in El Paso before I leave. If I ever do that is. It's a good place though and good things are really starting to happen here though so I'm excited. This time for transfers the district all met at our apartment and our District Leader gave everyone a candle. If you left, he blew out your candle. He had way too much fun with it but it was fun and different. Only one person from the district left though so it was a little anticlimactic. I was really surprised though how few changes there are going to be in the district/zone, especially considering the new stake that we're in but hey, it's fine with me. 
In other exciting news, we went with Charles to a baptism in Spanish this last weekend. Since only 1st ward and us speak English almost all of the baptisms are in Spanish. Despite only being able to understand every other word it was pretty great, and I think that he liked it. When we asked him what he thought he said "Well, the water will be cold and I need to bring a change of clothes." Um... yes... I guess so? Ha, he is doing well though so I'm excited to be able to be here for his baptism in a few weeks. 

Speaking of Spanish, we had exchanges this week and I got to go to Rio Grande. It was kind of fun to be back over on the West side. Don't tell our friends here in the North East but the west side is the best side! The north east has freak weather. Like yesterday when it was 70 in the morning and sunny and snowing in the afternoon. How does that work? 

We were able to pick up a really cool new investigator this week named Erika. is interested in the gospel has had a rough and interesting past, but she seems really eager and open to learn, which is awesome of course! I'm excited to be able to work with her more. 

At dinner the other day our ward mission leader and his wife were telling us about the possible places that they might be sent to by the army and they said "Hey, you're from Washington. do you know a place called Marysville?" Ha, yes, yes I do. So they might end up living there or in Everett. I've never heard of someone going to Marysville because of the military but who knows! So, if the Maenhardts end up in your ward you people back home say hi and know that we hung out first in El Paso. 

Other exciting news of the week, we had some authentic Jamaican food. It was pretty good; I have to say that I am a fan. I saw on the menu that you can get ox tail there so maybe I'll try that some time. The member that took us, who is originally from Jamaica said that Ox tail is only good if you have someone who really knows how to cook it right so... there you go I guess. 

This week I have been studying a lot from last year’s Relief Society and Priesthood book because I realized that I have it but never really read it so now I am. Anyway, today I was reading about "follow the prophet". One of the things it said is that the most important prophet is the one who is alive today. And to beware of people who would put a dead prophet over a living one. He also goes on to talk about how people praise the prophets of old but mentally or emotionally reject or crucify the current one. We see that a lot of course with people who don't believe in prophets but I think that if we are not careful we can also see it in ourselves. A prophet tells people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. And if they say something that we maybe don't like or pricks us in the heart, maybe we should consider 1 Nephi 16: 2-3  "wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center. And now my brethren, if ye were righteous and were willing to hearken to the truth, and give heed unto it, that ye might walk uprightly before God, then ye would not murmur because of the truth.Now, does that mean that you are a terrible person if you are doing something wrong? Or if you don't agree exactly the second you hear some council? I certainly hope not because otherwise I'm a pretty bad person. But it is important to remember who knows best? You? Or Heavenly Father's servant (btw, probably not you in case you were wondering)?

 Something that really called me to consider my attitude towards the prophet was when Elder Bennett was talking to us about inviting to baptism. I asked what to do when you invite someone and they freak out and don't let you meet with them again. He talked a lot about why it's important and how to do it and all of that but at the end of the day the bottom line was this. The call to invite others to be baptized at the first lesson the majority of the time and no later than the second lesson the rest of the time comes from the prophet. If you don't support that principle, you don't support his council. Sorry, that's just the truth. Now, does it always "logically" make sense? The way that it appears to our natural eyes? No. But neither does tithing, or fasting, or so many other commandments that don't 'add up" if we scientifically analyze them. But they are true, and they are from God. And as we do them and do his will, we will be blessing, including being blessed to understand why. So, when you have a fork in the road ask yourself, who knows best? Anyway, sorry for the ramble. And lest you think I am contradicting myself by my last ramble about scripture study, prophets say to study the scriptures so there! Ha, just don't put them above the living one =D 

Anyway, I hope you all have an amazing week!