[Email dated 12/2/10…sorry a little slow to get these posted!!!]
Sorry the email is later this week. On Monday the AP's (Assistant to the President) decided to move P-Day to Thursday this week because there were leadership meetings for a lot of the missionaries on Tuesday and Wednesday. So that is why you didn't get an email yesterday, but don't worry everything is fine here in Salt Lake. [Gee, was it the frantic emails I sent when his email didn’t arrive by 5 pm on Wednesday, then hurriedly turning on the news to see if there had been a natural disaster in Salt Lake that I didn’t know about…? I know he’s fine, but I did have just that little gnawing fear when I didn’t hear from him.]
So this week was a good one. We had Thanksgiving on Thursday. We played sports in the Stake Center in the morning as a zone. It started off with football, then we moved to volleyball and then later we played dodgeball, so it was a good morning of sports with the zone. Then we did our shopping and wrote some letters and then President Winn picked us up for dinner. We ate at the mission home with about 8 other missionaries, along with some of the Winn family. It was very good. Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, stuffing, cinnamon rolls and all the other usual stuff. Elder Gomez enjoyed his first Thanksgiving, he said it was "muy guay" or cool (pronounced "why"). Also we found out that President Winn is a Laker fan, which made him instantly like 100x cooler than he already is ahha.
As we had planned, we had 3 baptisms on Saturday. In the morning we baptized Yamel and Brittany into the English ward. I got to perform my first baptism!! I baptized Brittany who is 10 years old and is a very sweet, humble little girl. The whole program was in English though, so I still have yet to do a baptism in Spanish but it was definitely a great experience. And at night at 7:00 we baptized Jesus R, who is a hilarious 11-year old kid, frankly a giant for his age. He looks very out of place in Primary haha. Elder Gomez baptized him, so he got to do his first baptism as well. I gave a short little talk at the baptism (Spanish) about the Holy Ghost, and it went great. Based on that alone, I can tell that my Spanish is definitely improving, even if it doesn't seem like it a lot of the time. But yeah, it was a great Saturday.
On Sunday, they were all confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost in Sacrament meeting. I confirmed Brittany in English and Elder Coulston confirmed Yamel in English and Elder Gomez confirmed Jesus in Spanish. Remembering my 1st confirmation, doing it in English is a lot easier haha.
On Sunday, it also snowed ALL day. No joke. When we left the house to make some visits before church, at 8:00 am, it was snowing, and it was still snowing when we went to bed. All in all, we got about a foot of snow I would say. It's still on the ground and its definitely not too much fun to walk around in haha.
The last two days, Elder Coulston has had leadership meetings all morning until dinner, so its just been me and Elder Gomez working in the area. We've been having a lot of fun haha. We have a fun time communicating to each other since I don't know Spanish to well yet and he doesn't know English too well yet. We've been trying to find new people and we've been doing a lot of contacting because we need some new people to teach, because our teaching pool is getting pretty low again.
I had a neat experience contacting the other day that I would like to share. We were walking around at around 11:30 in the morning trying to contact some people in the street. Elder Gomez and I came across a lady shoveling snow in her front yard. Naturally, we offered to help, but she said she was OK. We just got to know her and asked her where she was from and stuff like that. We started to talk to her a little bit about what we do as missionaries, and she told us she has her religion and she's not interested. We talked to her for a little bit more and gave her a Christmas DVD called Joy to the World and invited her to watch it with her family. She accepted the DVD and thanked us but again told us she wasn’t interested and that she has her religion and she's not going to change. Ok, we said. Before we left, I remembered that our leaders have told us over and over again to ask for referrals from everyone. So before we walked away, I asked her if she knows anyone that, especially in the Christmas season, would be interested in learning a little bit more about Jesus Christ. She looked at me and broke down in tears. She told me her grandson needs Jesus Christ in his life. 3 Years ago on Nov 27, his father (her son) was killed and around Christmas her grandson, just feels alone and doesn't know what to do. She wants him to learn about Jesus Christ to help him out. I testified to her that Jesus Christ can help her grandson out. He has experienced everything that we have. He died for our sins and he knows each and every one of us perfectly. Through Jesus Christ and his gospel, her grandson can be relieved of that pain in his life and he can know that he will see his father again after this life, I know it without a doubt. I felt the spirit so strongly and she did too. What a great blessing it is to know about Jesus Christ and everything he has done for us, and to be able to share that with other people like her grandson who really need the gospel in their lives right now.
I know that this gospel is true, or else I definitely wouldn't be walking around in the freezing cold with snow everywhere haha. The only reason I would ever do that is because I know that it is true and I want to help people receive those blessings that are waiting for them in the Gospel and through Jesus Christ.
I love being a missionary, and have a great week!!!
And this is my joy (alma 29:9)