Opera House

Monday, June 6, 2011

4 June 2011 email

4 June 2011
Como Estan chicos. Como fue su semana? Espanol is muy dificil para mi. Pero yo tengo fe que yo puedo hablar y entender espanol en mi mision. Lo siento por no accentos in esta parafo. No puedo type en espanol tambien.
I liked it that mom told me to memorize a testimony. I was like, “Wow; Mom thinks I am horrible at Spanish.”  Just to let you know, I can bear testimony, I can say a prayer, I can ask simple questions, I can understand about 60% of what is going on now.  I’m just not improving as much as I would like in speaking and it’s because I don't speak too much. So I will be speaking with my companion only in Spanish from now on.  And also, I need to force myself to speak in Spanish at people’s homes.  But the hardest time to speak Spanish is with investigators.  
Speaking of investigators we have 3 more new ones last week.  We have been tearing it up in the Spanish ward.  We have gotten 3 new investigators only in one week.  We had only one new investigator in 3 months previous in the Spanish ward.  So we are now on fire.  We are teaching heaps of lessons now, so now I’m stressing with lessons; before I only had to worry about spiritual thoughts but now I need to worry about lessons.  So I am studying heaps on the lessons again like I did in the MTC. It’s challenging on what to study, 3 hours seems like a lot of time but it really isn't that much. But at least I’m improving in understanding the language. I  can hear and understand better.  Especially my companion. I can understand him real well.  He speaks well but he speaks with a simple vocabulary and with a gringo accent, so I can understand him very clearly.  So that helps a lot.
Elder Gardner and I are getting along well; we are having a fun time even though we are only two of us in the big as flat.  But we have a miracle investigator though.  This 45-50 year old El Salvadorian women came to church about 4 weeks ago.  She came with some members who were her friends.  In our ward we have sacrament meeting at the end so we saw her and met here at sacrament.  We tried to set a time up but she left before it ended.  Then the next week she came to gospel principles and we taught her about the Book of Mormon and gave her one.  We tried setting up a time with her that week for an appointment but she was busy and said to set one up with her the next week.  So then she came to church the next week but she was ill, we gave her a blessing and then she left early so we couldn't set an appointment up for her.  Then this last Sunday she came and Elder Gardner and I taught her the restoration in a classroom in the church.  We asked about the Book of Mormon and she said she has read the Intro like 4 times and has read the Book of Mormon up to Alma 5.  We were amazed.  I have yet to have an investigator read that much of the Book of Mormon, especially in only 2 weeks; most members don't get the far in their life!  And she thought that prophets made sense and she saw how there was a falling away of the priesthood and the church and why Joseph Smith needed to be called to restore the church.  It all made sense to her and she loved it.  She is GOLDEN AS!!!  Next lesson we are going to teach her about prayer and how to come to know that it is true and probably set a baptismal date with her.  So that’s awesome.  She also knows everyone in the church which is basically perfect.  She seems solid as and ready hopefully all goes well with her.  
So we are tearing it up as we like to say it. Also my weight has maintained this week. I have gained no pounds and I think lost a few.  But it’s hard to do this.  When I was told in my last letter to maintain my weight or lose it I was shocked.  Dad told me to not worry about it and stop complaining and just gained the "lord's pounds" so I was like well dad's right I shouldn't care if I gain weight; I could just lose it after Spanish ward or when I get back home.  But then last week dad was like, HOLY CRAP, LOSE LOSE LOSE.  No jk but mom and dad threw it down that I need to lose weight so now I am conscience of it.  I am trying to eat better at home.  I'm TRYING to say no at member’s homes.  I say trying because one time I said I was done after two plates I said, "Estoy Satisfecho hermana," and the family said to me what’s wrong with me and told me to eat more.  I have never been so full in my life at that house. Apparently they made enough food for 3 missionaries because they thought we would still have 3 of us but there were only 2 so they had heaps of food.  But I realized some homes don't mind if I don't finish their food others on the other hand will take offense.  And I when I stop eating there they tell me to eat more and more.  But I will also start doing some more exercises probably start jump roping and giving that a try.  But this was the first week that I didn't gain any weight in the Spanish ward.
Hey Jon have you ever had Completos in Chile? They are pretty good. And I have never had  potatoes with the Chileans over here so I don't know why you had so many but I have not yet met a Chilean de sur parte de Chile.  I always tell members about how my sister went to Italy, my brother went to Chile, (I tell this to the Chileans a lot to make conversation), that my dad went to the Philippines.  They always ask me if Jon still knows Spanish and if he taught me a little of it and I always say he forgot his Spanish and he never taught me jack.  But Jon did do my Spanish homework onetime and I still got a B.  Must show how much he learned in Chile, lol.  I heard that Italians and Spanish can kind of understand each other, not too well, but get the jest of it.
Well we went finding for 2 hours a day for 5 days of the week, so we were obedient this week.  We had some funny things go down during tracting.  I called a guy a “ma'am”.  Elder Gardner called a women “sir”.  I said the weirdest phrase; I said, "well the worth of every soul is great, mister."  When I said mister I started laughing and just walked away.  
I like to put in sly remarks to people who aren't interested.  When I give my door approach and they say they aren't interested, I then say, "Well would you know someone nearby who would love to be with their family forever and have eternal happiness?"   They usually always say no though, but I want them to see what they are missing before they reject us.  
Also we got bashed again yesterday.  This time around I kept my cool.  I have learned every response from Baptist, and Non-Donom's that no one can out bash me.  I know bashing isn't effective at all but when they clearly won't accept the gospel and they throw down on Mormons and are rude about, it’s in my nature to throw a few stones back.  Like one time a Baptist told me all I need to do is believe in Jesus and I will be saved.  So I told him then all the Mormons in the world are saved then according to his standards.  But then he told me we weren't and that we are trying too much for our salvation.  So I just threw a few scriptures at him and told him “why would a father punish his son if he is trying to hard?” and then just left.  I stopped bashing now, but before in Freshwater and Summerhill it got to my head.  I know it’s ineffective but it gets my blood pumping at times.  But we also encountered some weird people as well.  Also last transfer we were teaching a member in Spanish and I thought we were finished with the lesson, so I came in right after Elder Gardner spoke and told him to read, pray, and go to church and said it in the name of Jesus Christ amen.  But then Alvarado and Gardner started to talk some more and they told me afterwards that the lesson got sidetrack and they were talking about a problem he had in his life.  I felt stupid.  I can just imagine what the member was thinking.  So that was funny.  But that was a while ago.
Elder Gardner is now the District leader as well so that’s cool. I also got interviews with President Simmons on the 21st.  Oh yeah, my B-day ends on the last day of next transfers.  So that can be cool.  Oh did you know that I also teach English families that are Latino descent or their parents speak Spanish?  Well I do well with those families and I have built a lot of trust and friendship with those members.  I’m having fun, it’s hard with Spanish but I’m enjoying the work and having a fun time. Well I got to go.
I love you guys and take care. Be safe and in the words of mom and dad, “Remember who you are.”
te amo
Elder Monson

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