Still alive and doing well here, no sickness or anything yet, all has been great! I don't have very much time to write today because we got a call last night that Elder Lewis has special changes, so I will have a new companion this afternoon. It is really weird that they would transfer out a trainer halfway through a change, but it might be because Elder Lewis has been here over 6 months so he would have been leaving this change anyways but now I will get to spend almost my whole time with my new companion, so hopefully he is cool, it is weird because I feel like we just started to work really well and click together and now there is a new companion. Also, I am really scared because I am in charge of like knowing the people from the area now and how to get around which is not something I was planning on.
All in all, we had an awesome week though. Thursday we do a planning session for the whole week and I had the impressions to look at the old investigators and menos activos and we were able to put in our schedule to go and try and contact a lot of people because right before I got here they had a big baptism and so now most of the lessons we teach are to actives and recent converts so we need to be teaching more investigators and less actives so that went really well and everyday we have been trying really hard to contact all of those people! It was perfect because Wednesday I was feeling a little homesick again but then that got me reexcited on Thursday and I am doing awesome again, and am so excited to get to work.
Our main investigators are Ana, Susena, Maria & Carlos, and Gabrielle. Ana has a really hard time understanding the lessons so we take like 3 appointments to teach each lesson, but she has been able to retain more and more each time and it is definitely because of the spirit! Her siblings were baptized right before I got here. Our problem with her is that she doesn't want to go to church because she doesn't understand it, we were supposed to baptize her next saturday but you have to go to church 5 time before you can be baptized so we will have to push that back:( Then Susena is brand new and she is golden! She came to us asking about all these things that are in the bible and why aren't thy in the Catholic church and how she thinks she should have a personal relationship with God, and boom we have all her answers! She was the first person I got to ask to be baptized and she said yes! Only problem is her husband is very anti-religion and is an alcoholic so we will see how this goes week by week. Next Maria and Carlos, Maria loves the gospel and has already almost read half the Book of Mormon in just a few short weeks but Carlos is less sure. We were able to share the story about Alma 32 and the growing of faith with him, and I really home that helps because I think that like it says in Alma 32:21 he thinks he needs to know 100% but faith is about taking that first step and believing that what you've been feeling is right! Then there is Gabrielle who like Susena and Maria is just perfect! But, her boyfriend just got out of jail so they can't be married until he is off parole, and she can't be baptized while they are living together and not married:( so I might not see much progression there!
Okay, the food this last week was so good!!! I love the food here, I can't even really describe it, but pretty much we start every meal with like a soup, then we have like tomato rice with vegatables in it, some incredible meat dish with a savory sauce and tortillas! Then we drink like limeade or fruit punch pretty much is the best way to describe it, and have like fruit with cream for dessert! And I am not sick yet! Haha
We have been spending a lot of time with the menos activos, and it is so hard to get them to come to church because apparantly its part of the culture here that you don't need to fulfill your commitments so people say yes to things we ask just to avoid confrontation with no plan of doing it! The culture is very different here, it seems like about 50% of the people have children before the turn 18, it is incredible how many people my age or just a little older already have famililes, it is sad, but they are so happy too! It really reminds me of kind of a run down Rome here. There is no way of differentiating what is in a building just by looking at it, and most people like run businesss right out of there houses, and it's a lot like that, just not as touristy! Also, it is really cold here in the mornings and the nights becasue we are up in the mountains, but then it is tough to dress because the sun really heats up the afternoons! One of the pictures is my cuate (dude/bro/man) Javiercito! He is a recent convert and Ana's brother, he comes with us to teach all the time, he is 15 and he is going to serve his mission in Seattle I know it! Oh also there is this cool thing called pouch apparently where the church like delivers mail. So I can like send a letter to any other missionary without postage, it will just get delivered so that's cool, and also they just take normal letters back to the US, so I need a lot of US forever stamps so that I can send letters, I only have one left! That's all for this week, I love and miss you all!!!
So scriptures for this week:Dad John 5:19 thanks for your example!Mom 3 John 1:11, everything good is of God!Sam Proverbs 4:3 keep priorities in line, everything will get better, it is the knowledge that matters!Jake- Dueteronomy 31:6-8 The Lord is always there for you!Max Ephesians 6:1-2 Mom and Dad know best always remember that!
Thanks everyone for your prayers, I can really feel it! Please pray this week for Oscar, ok??I was craving chicken and rice the other day so bad! We need to have it as soon as I get back! Did you send out my email to the list I sent you last week, because I didn't see it in the sent folder? Also, thanks for uploading those pictures so far, have you gone back and uploaded the ones from these emails yet? Thanks for all the sports updates! That sucks for Utah, glad the hawks won! And serves Lebron right!! Work sounds so awesome, thanks fo rkeeping me updated about it, I talk to a ton of people down here about it. Thanks for sending me things to study each week too, the one last week helped a ton, and I know that they are inspired thanks!! Thanks for telling me about Bro C, I really miss him, and hope that things are going well with him too. I do experience that all the time, we sometimes can't figure out what to teach someone so we don't plan anything and the spirit directs an awesome lesson! I am glad Sister Nelson gave such a good talk, that will be me in no time!! We don't live with the zone leaders, but they are in the same ward as us so we split it, and we eat all our meals together with the ward memebrs so we know them really well! He was actually from Spring City so close by but not right in Manti! Except for all the hills we have to walk up I love my area, the members are so nice, and help me out so much! I am glad that work is going so well mom, that is the absolute perfect job fo ryou! The Allen's will still love yall I promise, i know that it will be more fun with the Gutkes anyway! Thanks for all that you do for me and have done for me! So if you could send me like 10 crappy value village ties because apparantly it is a thing here to give your companion kind of a joke tie when they get transferred so that would be nice to have, just send me old wearable ties that don't cost much or we already have to give to them. And then with the music and talks just pick out some of your favorites! THe music can be anything that doens't distract from the spirit so like Les Mis and Disney and hymns and stuff as long as they aren't like romantic are all good! Make sure like praise to the man, come thy fount, if I could hie to Kolob, I can go the distance (Hercules) and stuff like that is on there! THen like look up just good talks and download them for me! I think there was a lot of good talks given at BYU that you can find somewhere or something! THen just some really cheap speakers that have the USB plug, I heard there was some that look like a Coke can, but idk if they have a USB or anything. THanks so much and I love and miss you sooosososo much!! If you can't do any of those for any reason, no big dea!! Thanks!