Have you ever wanted fast Sunday dinner every day?
We will get to that later but first, transfers…
I went to the transfer building on Wednesday not knowing where I would
be at the end of the day. I found out there wasn’t going to be as many
changes as I thought. 4 Spanish Elders switched. I went down to the
Phoenix Spanish District with my last companion Elder Clough. The ward
is called Encanto 1st. It is as downtown Phoenix as our mission goes.
To tell you about the number of hispanics in the area, the Spanish
ward covers a smaller area than the english ward. The english ward is
called Maryville. Word is that it has 1200 members. 1000 less active.
And they are still baptizing like crazy in there. That’s the Aps ward.
It is way different than Agua Fría. Not to mention that it is full
bike. It seems like a great ward. It has only been in the mission
since September so not many people know much about it.
I got here and Elder Clough told me that today was the first day of a
40 day fast the ward is doing. Each family will fast for one day
separately. I jokingly said it would have been cool if we corresponded
the dinner calendar and the fast calendar. He looked at me blankly and
said “that is what we did, why?” So for the past week we have been
having a fast Sunday sized dinner every night. I will let you know how
that combats daily biking.
I will talk to you all next week!
This weeks letter might be short. I will try to make up for it with
pictures. We had interviews with President, he drop some hints that I
might be transferred. I’m sure enough I will leave tomorrow morning.
I’m sad to go to love this ward but I’m excited for something new.
This week the ward had an activity for the primary. We went to the
park and the kids played games and we ate hotdogs. It was a lot of fun
but I’m afraid the summer is going to come. I will add some pictures.
We had a couple service projects this week one of which was flame
throwing weeds. It is not as effective as it sounds. On workday Monday
we went to a members house and help them paint some of the chairs.
It’s always important to have service on workday Monday.
We went on exchanges with the district leader this week. His name is
Elder Towel, but for that day he wore his Elder Toalla name tag. He
came to me and I got to teach a couple lessons by myself in Spanish. I
believe the gift of tongues only works when you need it. I sure did
have it this week.
I’ll let you know where and with whom I’m transferred to next week, I
won’t find out until I show up tomorrow. Hope everybody has a great
week, I’ll talk to you on Monday.
Last transfer our zone had more than one baptism per companionship so
President treated us to a trip up to the temple. It is only 15 minutes
away so it wasn’t too big of a trip. It is actually in our area, but
there are no hispanics that live up there so I have been only twice in
6 months. It is always a blessing to be able to make it to the temple.
Plus President payed for McDonalds after and that was chill too.
There were two referrals from the English missionaries that we
followed up on this week. We not only found them and taught them but
also some of their friends and family. That added up to 5 new
investigators. Member referrals made up for 3 more, and we also found
2 street contacting. That adds up to 10, 6 of which were all on Easter
Sunday. That is more than we had from January to March. We are super
excited about that.
Next week P day will be on a Tuesday, due to transfers the day after.
I have every expectation of leaving Agua Fría. I have been here 6
months. I am hoping President drops some hints at interviews tomorrow.
Pray that I get a car over summer.
Hope everyone had a great Easter! Talk to you next week.
P.S. Mom sent color in socks so that what all the pictures are.
This week we decided to to go tract through the only hispanic complex
in our area. When we got to one of the doors there was a Jehovah’s
Witness pamphlet sticking out of the door. That wasn’t too rare so I
grabbed it and shoved it in my pocket. I looked around and mentioned
to my companion that we might have to go get the other three that were
on the neighbors doors. He says to me “you noticed that they are
staring at us right?” I turned around and saw a flock of JWs lurking
30 yards away. So like any good missionary we went up and contacted
one of them. As it turns out he was a much better missionary then we
were because he did most of the talking. After he rattled off 5
different scriptures for why Jesus died on a tree I struggled to find
a phrase in Spanish that conveyed the same amount of attitude as “I
couldn’t care less”. Anyway it was a fun experience.
We did some really good work with the ward this week. This Sunday for
third our the whole ward gathered and President Juchau from the
mission presidency spoke and we revealed the ward mission plan. Bishop
is pretty pumped about it. The ward mission leader decided to create a
calendar where members would come out with us every few days. The
first one was this Thursday. We went with Hermano Rossell and
contacted a referral that the English elders gave us. The man said
that he was a Jehovah’s Witness but he knew that that wasn’t right and
was still looking for the truth.
We also went back and delivered the bibles that these three 9 year-
olds asked us for at the Hispanic complex. We talked to one of their
moms and she almost died laughing when we told her the story.
For P Day today the district went to a park and cooked up a bunch of
steaks that some members had given to us. We had chips and ice cream
and soda and then went and played volleyball and soccer. It was fun. I
know that a bunch of people took pictures but I don’t have them.
I’ve really enjoyed studying some of the conference talks again. My
favorite that I read over was Elder S Mark Palmer who gave the talk
“Then Jesus Beholding Him Loved Him” One thing that I learned from
this conference was that we all need to work more on developing
Christ-like attributes, or at least I do.
We did some good work finding this week and I am hoping that I can
follow up with some results next Monday!
Friday we had a zone conference. It was really long. There were
discussions on ward leaders, companion inventory, and referring deaf
people. I really enjoyed President’s discussion on faith though. I
feel like a lot of the time faith is hard to talk about because we
think of it as something you just decide to have. He went through the
scriptures and talked about what scriptural evidence we have for faith
being the catalyst for change. Its so important to understand the
phrase “faith unto repentance” I feel like many christian churches
have lost this principle.
One day this week the member we live with came in and ended up
offering to fix these two broken guitars we had in our apartment.
Elder Towle and Elder Huaiquiñir were excited to get them fixed, but
when Brother Lemoine came back he said they weren’t worth repairing…
😦 … so he just bout them two new ones 🙂 The apartment has been
especially musical since then. Brother Lemoine is a homie.
Saturday and Sunday was General Conference. If you haven’t had a
chance to hear the prophet and his apostles speak lately take the time
and ponder their words. Before my mission General Conference was
boring and seemed like it took forever. Its amazing how as your
priorities change so do your interests. I think that is one of the
blessings of the mission.
Every friday our ward gets together and plays volleyball. For the past
couple of weeks one of the youth has been inviting a friend named
Ethan. This Friday Ethan asked us to stop by his house and he told us
he has been thinking about coming to church. We are going to start
teaching him hopefully this week. It is not that unusual to get new
investigators but a member referral who is this solid is 100 times
more likely to progress.
This morning we woke up early and drove a few miles west to the white
tank mountains as a district. It was really fun, mostly because it
wasn’t too hot and there weren’t too many people.
Thanks for all you love and support everyone!
Last week we were graced with the opportunity to go on a spectacular
adventure. A member asked if we could give her a blessing in the
hospital. The morning of the blessing we found out that the hospital
was a good 8 miles out of the mission in downtown Phoenix. We texted
President Griffen and he said it was alright to go. On the way back we
fulfilled Elder Quaresma’s mission-long dream to go see the “tall
Ever since Elder Huaiquiñir came into the ward Chileans have been
appearing out of no where trying to feed us. Last week the Rossel and
Pacheco families fed us Pastel de Choclo and Mate, and of course,
empeñadas. This week the Diaz family fed us Pastel de Papas, and of
course, empañadas. Usually I would welcome this kind of excitement to
feed the missionaries but it really just seems like a reunion of all
the members from the ward that I don’t understand. They are super nice
though and try to slow down and use there s’ when I am around. On top
of that Ezequiel (formally Elder) Rodriguez is visiting the mission
with his family from Argentina. More people with weird accents and
We had a zone meeting this week that was pretty good. When they sent
out the agenda a few days before I realized they had signed me up for
the musical number. After discussing the circumstance we all decided
it would be better for the spirit of the meeting if I didn’t sing. So
Elder Queresma sang as Elder Towle and I accompanied on the uke.
Apparently we did decent because we got signed up for the zone
conference musical number this week too.
We had two non-member service projects this week. The first one was
for an investigator moving things in and out of a storage unit. It was
spring break so we were able to get all the young men to come and
help. The second was a zone service where we picked oranges from
someones orchard. It was fun.
This week was Elder Towle’s year mark so we had a bit of a
celebration. It is scary to think about that when I got here he had
only been out for 7 months.
We are working with the ward to start to implement a new ward mission
plan. We are super excited. This ward is great and there is so much
potential of working with members.
Love you all. Until next week!
We had a district service on Wednesday for one of the Sisters’
investigators. We all pulled weeds for like two hours. Afterwards she
made us lunch. It’s amazing how many weeds 10 missionaries can pull out
of the rocks. I think pulling weeds about accounts for 3/4 of our
District meeting was fun. Sister Christley gave a discussion on
improving our morning workouts. So naturally we had a push up
competition. I lost. It was a good time.
Not much happened again this week. Luckily my companion isn’t sick
anymore. So he decided to make his pelvis lopsided and misplace two
vertebrae. So he has been wobbling in and out of bed since Saturday.
Tomorrow is transfers. Our apartment is staying the same so that is
pretty cool. Elder Huaiquiñir will be my first companion that I stay
with for more than one transfer apart from my trainer. As long as we
stay healthy it should be a great transfer!
There is not much to report on this week. Elder Huaiquiñir came down
with a cold on Tuesday and is just starting to show signs of clearing
up today. That means we have been confined to our apartment for almost
a good week. All this sickness has given me a lot more time to study.
I’ve really been reflecting on my personal relationship with God and
how I can improve it.
We had a zone activity today where we went to a park (it had grass!)
and played frisbee and soccer and had a picnic. It was a lot of fun.
We don’t often get together with the other districts because Surprise
is a good half hour from Peoria. It was a ton of fun.
Despite all that the highlight of my week has got to be ice cream.
Arizona has Blue Bell! I mentioned that it tastes like home and my
roommate was nervous, I assured him that it wasn’t a problem because
now that we have Blue Bell there is no reason to want to go home!
I did promise you all pictures from a baptism but I’m afraid the best I
can do is pictures from a baptismal interview. Long story short it is
going to have to be rescheduled. I hope that comes sooner rather than
On Saturday we, along with about 70 other missionaries, attended a
service project called Peoria Pride. The city organized the project
where they pick one street in the city and all the volunteers work on
all the houses to make them look good. I painted all the trim on a
house. It was taking me quite a while to go up, paint, go down, move
the ladder and repeat. That is until Elder Amyda shimmied up there and
just painted with two limbs hanging off the roof. So many things that
we can learn from the Zone leader.
This week we had the baptismal interview for Joseph Y. He is a
youth of a returning less active family. We have been working with
them for a long time so we are really excited. Elder Clough will get
to come back for to the area for the baptism so that will be cool. It
will be on Sunday.
Today a sister from one of the English wards (shout out Sister Bosen- I
know you are reading this) took a few missionaries a spring training
game for the mariners. The ballpark is probably less than 5 minutes
away from our house. It was a lot of fun, despite being cold and wet.
I feel like one of the benefits to serving in Arizona should be a lack
of rain, but I don’t make the rules.
This transfer the zone already has more than one baptism per
companionship which means that sometime soon president will be taking
us to the temple. We are all super excited for that.
I’m telling you worrying about peoples’ salvation is exhausting. Why can’t they just come to church and love all the commandments already? Is it that hard!?
Thanks for all your emails! I will let you know how the baptism goes next week!
This week we had zone conference. My highlight was near the end when
President Griffen showed us one of the mission president’s training
videos (which featured President and Sister Smith!) It talked all
about how youth are most receptive to the gospel and how young
converts grow up to be the leaders of the church. After the video the
APs had all the missionaries that were converts share their stories.
My favorite was my zone leader’s, Elder Amyda. He talked about how he
was one of the first ones from his island off the coast of Micronesia
to accept the gospel, and how after he did he brought almost a dozen
of his friends into the church. During his mission his mom got
baptized and started one of the first Micronesian branches in the
states. All the stories got us really excited to start to work with
our youth more.
A few days ago my mom stopped by when we weren’t here and dropped off
some ice cream and cookies. Our apartment had ice cream for breakfast
this morning, and lunch…. I would make some joke about how this is
why 4 eighteen year olds shouldn’t live together but I think I can
recall doing this at home.
I didn’t take any good pictures this week so here is a picture of my
little brother. Have a great week!