Buenos Dias! Como han estado ustedes? Esta semana salió bien para
nosotros y yo viernes tuve mi día de mi primer seis meses! Órale!
Good morning! How have y’all been? This week went well for us, and on
Friday I hit my first six month mark!
So this week was actually pretty good. Last Monday we had transfers,
and before transfers we decided to go get some golf clubs from
Goodwill and go to a driving range here. I figured that I might as
well practice for when I get back and go on the PGA tour. Augusta
National here I come.
On Tuesday we meet with an investigator that we have been working with
for a while. He’s an older guy named Jose and he has trouble reading
and understanding, but he has a deep desire to learn about the gospel.
He works everyday but Tuesday, so it’s really hard for us to get
lessons with him and it’s almost impossible for him to come to church.
We promised him that if he would make an effort to try and read and
pray this week, and if he prayed specifically for the Lords help to
help him get work off on Sunday’s, he would get it. We are going to go
back and see him tomorrow!
Wednesday we had district meeting for the new district. It’s super
weird changing districts and switching people, because right as soon
as you get used to somebody, they leave. Plus, my new/former
companion, Elder Mugleston, is the district leader, so he’s got all
the responsibility for the district and he has to do a lot of stuff
for the district that before, we had never had to do as a
companionship. But it’s going to be a good transfer and I’m excited.
Thursday we didn’t do much, but we had weekly planning. Before this
week, we had kinda sluffed weekly planning, and placed it as a thing
of naught, but this week I was reading in Preach My Gospel about it
and it’s REALLY important to do it and do it right. So, since I
decided I was going to be more obedient and better this transfer, I
went through each step of weekly planning that it says in PMG and we
hashed everything out very deliberately and it really helped us a lot
to prepare for this week, and to hopefully get a lot done this week.
Thursday night was super interesting! So we have been working with
this guy named Nyth. He was a referral given to us by the wife of our
branch mission leader because he was a former piano student of hers.
He is half Filipino and half Native American and he is a blacksmith
that makes swords and stuff. He used to be a Seventh Day Adventist,
but he got kicked out of their church for asking too many questions
and challenging too many of their doctrines. He is very open minded
and very analytical and he’s a great guy, but he has a lot of
questions and doubts. So we had a lesson with him and his fiancé at
our branch mission leaders home, and we were there for two and a half
hours trying to answer his questions and change his doubts and help
him grow his faith. It was a very long and challenging lesson, and we
walked away tired, but I know that the Spirit was helping us. And I
know he has his agency to accept or reject the happy message of the
restoration, but I know that we did what we could to try, and we were
lead and guided by the spirit.
To add insult to injury, that night when we were physically exhausted
and ready to go home, as I was about to unlock the door to the
apartment, I dropped the keys. So, I squatted down to grab them, and I
heard a loud popping sound and my pants that were once tight, were no
longer tight. I had ripped my pants. And it was depressing. Everybody
made fun of me. Luckily, I ripped only busted the stitching on the
seam on the butt, so I should be able to re-sew it pretty easily.
Friday was my six month mark! That morning we went and did service for
the homeless shelter like we do every Friday, putting food boxes
together, sorting food and accepting donations and stuff. So we worked
there for a couple hours then we came back and got dressed and went
tracting for a bit. After that, we went to celebrate six months with
the other missionaries in our zone that came out with me. Elder
Wilcock, Elder Hansen, Sister Hudson and I, all came out together so
we decided to celebrate. So, on the mission we have traditions. And
one of the traditions is that when you hit different milestones on
your mission, you have to burn something, and the traditional burning
item for six months is a tie. So, the four of us got together with our
companions and we decided to all burn a tie together (Sister Hudson
burned a scarf). We went to a members house that has some land and we
went out back to burn our stuff. It was raining pretty hard, so we
figured it was appropriate for Oregon. It was a lot of fun to
celebrate it all together, but afterwards all my clothes smelled like
That night, we went over to Miriam’s house for dinner. She always
makes THE BEST Mexican food ever and she has taught me how to cook
some things. Also, so had her birthday earlier in the week on Tuesday,
but was going to have her party on Saturday, so we helped her make her
cake. So the traditional celebration cake for Hispanics is tres leches
cake, which directly translates to three milks. Basically, it’s made
by making a layer of cake, injecting that cake with evaporated milk,
frosting it with heavy whipping cream, putting some fruit (in this
case, durazno, which are peaches), frosting it again, putting another
layer of cake, injecting it again so it’s moist, and frosting the
whole thing. So we ended up making a really moist, almost sopping,
milk cake. And it was the biggest pain in the rear to make.
Saturday morning we had SPC which is stake presidency counsel and we
had breakfast with the stake leaders and talked to them about what we
can do for each of our areas. Despite it being at 7oclock in the
morning, it was a good meeting and we talked with the stake president,
President Brady, about how we can improve our Spanish areas. He is an
awesome guy and I’m super glad to be working with him. After SPC we
went to go do service for a place that gets donated bikes, fixes them
up, then gives them to homeless people or kids that need bikes.
Originally, only one set of elders were invited to help, but they
basically invited all the missionaries in the stake and the guy that
runs the bike shop was super overwhelmed and started getting emotional
when we all showed up because he had never had so many volunteers
before. We did all the work he had for us and he was telling us that
that had had some work piling up and they weren’t expecting to get it
all done for another couple weeks, but we got everything done he
needed. He was super grateful and told us that if we ever needed a
bike to let him know and he would get us a nice bike for free. I love
doing service because I love the joy it brings people to know that
we’re here to help and to give back and that we care. Mosiah 2:17
says: “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom;
that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow
beings ye are only in the service of your God.” I believe that will
all my heart. I know that through our service, we were able to bless
so many lives, more than we even know, and that makes me feel good.
After we had service, we went tracting for a bit, then we went over to
Miriam’s for her party. Their was like a million little kids there,
who were the kids of the friends she invited over. We ate pasole,
which is a soup made from corn and then we had the cake we made and
dang it was good. The effort was totally worth it.
Sunday we had a regional stake conference where Elder Grow, Sister
Oscarson, Elder Hamula and Elder Renlund spoke. It was a great
conference and I learned a lot of things. Elder Grow talked about the
patterns of faith we need to follow in this life to emulate the
Savior’s example and remain true to the faith. He talked about how we
can apply the “Sunday school answers” of reading, prayer and scripture
study better to help us in life. Sister Oscarson talked about how we
need to ALWAYS maintain our standards and become true disciples of
Christ. True disciples have the integrity to always do what they’re
supposed to, and not just do what they’re supposed to on Sunday’s.
Elder Hamula talked about how we need to “fear not” and be comforted
because if we remain faithful to the Lord, everything will be alright.
Last but not least, Elder Renlund spoke to us about how everything we
do in the church or any knowledge we have, goes beck to the
Restoration and how we can apply the restoration and the first vision
to explain our doctrine. We can’t explain doctrine we have, without
first establishing the idea of modern revelation through the first
vision. Overall, it was a great conference, and I’m so grateful to
have been edified by a living apostle and other general authorities of
the church. I know they are men and women called by God to lead us and
guide us, and they truly do receive revelation and inspiration from
After the conference, I made chilaquiles, which Miriam taught me how
to make and I brought them over to her to see how I did and to see how
it went. She made fun of me because even though I put two jalapeños,
they weren’t spicy. I’ll get it next time.
Yesterday afternoon we went to Mollala to celebrate the birthday party
of our branch president’s daughter and it was awesome. We ate ham and
turkey with beans and tortillas and salsa. I’m convinced that you can
make just about any white people food Hispanic if you add beans and
tortillas and really spicy salsa. Then we had tres leches cake again,
but it wasn’t as good, because I didn’t make it 😉
But this week was good and I have learned a lot as I’ve been striving
to improve and get better! I’m so grateful to be a missionary and to
be serving the Lord!
Six months, baby!