[Letter dated 11.10.10]
It's been another week here in the Salt Lake City Mission. This week has had its ups and downs.
First off, Elder Coulston and I have a new companion!! His name is Elder Gomez and he is straight from Spain. He went to the MTC for two months to learn English and now he is here. This is his first time in the United States. So, he is learning English and I am learning Spanish. We're having fun together. Naturally, since he's from Spain, one of the first things I asked him is "So do you like Pau Gasol?"....And of course he said yes..."Ohhh Pau Gasol is my hero" hahaha. Also Elder Coulston and I told him not to get to discouraged with English because once he gets it down no girl will be able to resist him because he will be able to do an Antonio Banderas accent. We've been practicing with him all week..."I'm Puss....In Boots". He'll get it eventually haha. Oh, and for those that aren't familiar with Spanish, People in Spain speak in a different kind of Spanish. they say z's and c's like "th" so it's almost like they are talking with a lisp. So Elder Gomez is pronounced Elder Gometh. They also talk in vosotros form, which is not used anywhere else that speaks Spanish. It's like saying "you all" in a very casual and informal way. And they also have different words for some things. So its cool to listen to him talk sometimes haha. [The picture shows Elder Gomez and Elder Coulston with Elder Fifita in the background].So, weather update. It was warm, like 70 degrees, last week. On Monday, the clouds came in, it got windy and cold. Monday night, it snowed. And since then, it has been pretty chilly with a light snow/rain every now and then. But don't worry, I'll be fine. Elder Coulston is going to let me borrow a coat so I don't have to buy one, because the second I buy one I will get a call saying my Visa is here. Speaking of which, still no news. Trust me it will be the headline of my email as soon as I hear anything about it though. I really don't think it will be much longer. My guess is about two weeks which would put me at the 9-week mark here in Salt Lake. But, I will just have to wait and see. And my understanding is that as soon as I get it I will leave, I don't think they would have me stay the rest of the transfer, especially since I am in a 3-some so it wouldn't mess anything up if I left.
Ok, now for the work. This week as I said before had its ups and downs. First off, the downs. Mary de la Paz, who we had on date for this weekend, MOVED. She moved about 15 minutes away into the South mission and we asked her if she wanted missionaries to visit her down there and she said that she didn't have time. It was a real bummer, because we know how much this gospel can help her out in her life. Also, Felix and Sandra seem to be going downhill. We've talked to them about separating so they can be baptized and they didn't want to do it. Also, now it seems that they are not so sure they want to get married anymore, because they have been fighting a lot lately. But at the same time they don't want to stop living together...doesn't make any sense to me. To add more fuel to the fire, Sandra answered the door the other night with some alcohol in her hand… They seemed a little bit better last night but still not great. We just have to keep working. Another thing, EVERYONE canceled on us on Sunday and didn't go to church. We had 5 or 6 people that all said they were coming and we planned to stop by to get a ride and they all canceled or weren't home.
Ok, now that I've been through all the bads, we'll talk about the goods. We have two couples--Jesus & Rocio and Carlos & Roxanna. We went by them both with Elder Dahyle last night. I can't remember if I've told you about him yet or not. He is a Senior Missionary that has been working here in Salt Lake with Latino People for 11 years. When he meets with couples, he reads the Proclamation on the Family with them, and then asks them what God is telling them to do. He tells them that they cannot receive all the necessary blessings in their families without marriage and he promises them blessings if they get married. Then he asks for their ID's so he can start filling out the applications with them. He is bold and he is straightforward. He doesn't beat around the bush at all. And that is why he is successful and why we bring him with us. Both couples last night filled out their applications with him and we are planning and going down to the marriage office tomorrow with them to get their marriage licenses, and then we will make plans for their weddings. So that is very exciting.So something pretty cool happened on Monday. We got to go do service at the temple and we were there from 1-4. We cleaned pretty much. We got to go to the 5th floor of the Salt Lake temple which is a huge room where they have devotionals and stuff. We also got to go look at the James E. Talmadge room, which is where he wrote Jesus the Christ, so that was a pretty neat experience.
So, I think that's all for the week. You will see that I have included some pictures. Cassandra sent me a Halloween package full of A LOT of baked goods and candy and, as you can see, some little Halloween costumes. So we took some pictures so I hope you enjoy.
So yeah, that's about it for the week. I love and miss all of you. I love being a missionary and I love the work. We had some trials this week, but as it says in Ether 12:6, you receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. I know that as we continue to work hard, no matter what trials come our way, we will be able to work through them and in the end find success. We receive blessings when we do what the Lord has asked. He promises us blessings and He is bound when we do what he says, he will bless us. He's perfect so he's going to hold up his end of the deal. We just have to make sure that we are always holding up our end by keeping his commandments. When we do that, and strive to be like Him everyday, we will find so much more happiness and peace in our lives because the blessings will start pouring in. I know that this Gospel is true and I know that Jesus is the Christ. It is only through Him that we can be saved, and there is no other way. There is only one way to return back to him, as it says in the Bible in Ephesians 4:5 there is only one faith and one baptism. There are not multiple ways. There is only one. And I can testify to you that the only way is through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ which is found in its fullness in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
I love being a missionary and I miss and Love you all, have a great week.
And this is my joy (Alma 29:9)