Family and Friends,
Another week has passed her in the great Salt Lake Valley. This week can best be described as a blur of teaching, changing, and running. The week began with an exchange with Elder Salmon, an elder in my district. He was excited to "see for the first time a different missionary work other than his trainer." His trainer, Elder Kulu, is from Oakland California, grew up in Gangs, has a bullet in his arm, likes to break every small rule there is, but testifies very boldly. We taught a lot of people, found three new investigators, and helped three people set a specific date to be baptized. We always find miracles when we're on exchanges! Elder Salmon said he learned a lot from our exchange, which always makes me glad.
The second exchange I did this week (called diversions in Elder Maughan's mission in Mexico) was with my other zone leader Elder Talentino. He came to my area, and we went hard, teaching and finding people. We taught 5 lessons that day, and we were BOLD, denouncing people's old habits and commanding them to repent. It was a great day. Being bold is perfect for some people, and very destructive for others. One man didn't want to pay attention, but we were bold and when he said the closing prayer, he prayed that we would come back again. Another couple, who after hearing the story of the restoration, said we needed to leave after we said once the phrase "other church's baptisms are without authority and don't count." People are very different, and we have to be careful to teach the person, not just a lesson. I learned some great lessons from the Zone Leader's this week that helped me grow as a person.
Right now we have six main investigators. The one getting baptized next week is Yajaira, a 10 year old whose parents didn't want her baptized before for some reason. Two of the others are Edgar and Alan, musicians who didn't come to church this week, but we're still working with them. Juan Alejandre is a very interesting character; every time we sit down for a lesson, he first tries to sell us some Herbalife, telling us the same things each time, and then tells us what he learned from the Book of Mormon, and then says "oh yeah what day am I getting baptized again?" He's a good example of how drugs mess you up when you get to age 50, but he's repenting and will be baptized on the 24th. The last two are a couple; a rare occurrence in the Hispanic community, an actually married couple. The husband came to church, and in the 3rd hour learned by himself that his Catholic baptism was wrong and he that he needed to choose to be baptized. His wife was sick and didn't attend, but I’m hoping the husband (Ramiero) will really commit himself.
Every morning, the district gets together to work out. We have a great time playing different games involving basketball. On p-days we play all sorts of sports together, soccer, speed ball (combo of soccer and basketball) and basketball. We're really uniting ourselves as a district, but I need to motivate some of my elders to get going on working diligently. Elder Swainston describes missionaries as "the best people at wasting time...people at work don't waste time, but somehow missionaries seek to waste time." It's true. Sad, but true when a missionary doesn't have their vision set on bringing their brothers and sisters back to our heavenly father. I'm guilty of this at the beginning of my mission, and how slow the days went. When you lose yourself in the work, suddenly a month has gone by.
I'm so happy to hear that Ben Black got his mission call to Thailand. He's going to excel there, in spirit and physical stature. Where's Preston going on his mission now?
I heard news that the Pope is "retiring" or stepping down from his position. Sounds like he got tired of his job as CEO of a Man's church and decided to relax.
God's church is led by revelation and Prophets. Always has, does today, and always will be.
Church is true, I checked.