Tuesday, March 8, 2016

we got to go to the Albuquerque temple yesterday

Well friends, I know that you're not going to believe this but, I don't have a lot of time! So sorry if this ends up a little short. This week we had some fun events. One of which was our poor little car being the victim of a hit and run. We weren't in the car when it happened but someone smashed out bumper and then took off. Don't worry though, we used our detective skills to find them again (we were just across the street and saw it happen) and get their plates and file a police report. And that was 3 hours of pure fun, let me tell you! It actually wasn't that bad, it just took a long time. 

In happier news, we got to go to the Albuquerque temple yesterday. which was great! We get to go twice a year, usually after conference, so we were surprised that it was this early but hey, I'm not going to complain. And going up to Albuquerque from El Paso is always a full day trip since it's 4 hours one way. We got all of our planning done though so it was still productive, don't you worry (because I know that you were all so worried right?)! It's always nice to be able to go up as well because the whole mission goes on the same day, so often you get to see other friends who are serving in different areas. Unfortunately for me though, I owed one Elder some Mentos and I brought them all the way up from El Paso to give to him but I didn't see him there. So naturally I had to eat them on the way back. 

I think that I told you all that we have been focusing more on part member families and unbaptized children of record here in the mission. This week we received three new investigators from it. All of them are children who have a member parent but haven't been baptized themselves. Teaching kids helps us to remember how to be simple, but it's always cool to see how easily they get it, and really how simple the gospel really can be. 

Something else that I've really enjoyed this week have been Charles' new member lessons. He is teaching them to us and we are being "investigators", which is really fun. It's like an enjoyable role play, and it's good to be able to see his growth and understanding. His wife has even "secretly" been listening in and last week she told us that she wants to read The Book of Mormon! So we'll see where that goes. 

We met with James again this week, and he is still doing really well. He is very honest in his questions, which is nice. Often times, people ask the same questions he does but without the intent to understand, just as an attack. 

Which brings me to what I've been thinking about this week. I've been reading over my journal and something we talked about in one of the Sunday meetings in the MTC has been on my mind. We talked about when Christ goes to the temple and reads the scripture that talks about the coming of Christ and says "this day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears." Saying in essence, I am the messiah. Well, the people had a freak out, yell blasphemy, and decided to stone him. And he leaves of course and goes somewhere else to talk to other people. The lesson to learn though is that what Christ said was true, he was the messiah, and just because it was different from what the Jews were expecting, didn't make it any less true. If they had opened their hearts and listened and learned from what he had to say, they would have been enlightened and found a lot more, peace, happiness and certainly spiritual understanding. But instead they get angry, defensive, refuse to consider other options, and literally try to kill the messenger. Now, obviously we can apply this to investigators, and people that we as missionaries meet on the street, but more importantly, we should apply it to ourselves. When we hear something that doesn't quite fit in exactly with everything that we already believe, especially something spiritual, do we stop, think, open our hearts and try and learn? Or do we get defensive, justify, and get rid of or try to "kill" what we are hearing? Sometimes, what we are hearing will be wrong, and if we are calm and rational about it, we will learn and understand that. But sometimes, it will be right and true. And just because it's different from what we think or think we know, doesn't make it any less true. And we may be denying us of further peace, happiness and understanding. Anyway, something to mull over.   

Well, I hope you all are doing amazing and talk to you soon! 



p.s. A quote from our bishop this week when talking about fast and testimony meetings. "I just figured eventually that this was the Lord's true church. He wants these weird people in it just like he wants the normal ones." 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

one cool experience

Well friends, I'm not sure that I have anything really all that exciting to report this week. Honestly, really just the regular stuff. I am considering getting color contacts though. We had a lesson with one new investigator this week who we promptly dropped after, when he sent us a text telling us how much he had fallen in love with my eyes. Yeah... I wish that was the only time that has happened. I think that's probably #4. Just as a word of caution, when someone starts complimenting your eyes, especially someone you don't know, just leave. It's just going to go down from there. But hey, I haven't been called or asked to participate in prostitution for a good month now so things are looking up I guess! 

We did have one cool experience this week where we tracked into a guy who invited us to come in right there and teach him. He seems like a really cool guy so that was pretty nice. We've also been working with Charles more this week with his new member lessons. They're pretty fun because he teaches us and we pretend to not know what he's talking about.

We also got to take Shirley to a baptism this week. She has been doing really well, which is awesome, especially considering her situations. She is living with her son and daughter in law and her son is deploying later this week. Her daughter in law won't let us in the house though so we always have to meet somewhere else. She has a lot of determination though and said "If we have to meet on the driveway, that's fine with me!". At the baptism she also gave Elder Montoya a hug and his reaction was pretty funny.   

This week I have been considering how everything Heavenly Father does is for our benefit. And if we don't understand now, we will in time. We were watching Prophet of the Restoration and it was talking about all of Joseph Smith's children who have died. I was thinking about how of course that was tragic and from our perspective it seems unfair, and like he was being punished, or at least not blessed or something. I thought though, that there is that thing about parents being able to raise children who have died during the millennium. Joseph Smith had a crazy life. Perhaps, his children were allowed to die, so that he would be able to raise them later during a happier and more peaceful time. I mean, obviously I don't know, but, when we take the time to really stop and think about things that seem unkind or unfair, we find possible positive reason. And even when we don't, we can take what we know about God, that he is our loving Heavenly Father, that really does want and only do what is best for us and exercise the faith to know that it will all work out in the end.  

Anyway, hope you all have a good week.