Monday, September 29, 2014

Tons of Mosquitos & Gnats!!

Me and my hump day pride
I'm still hipster
So in Port we have a nursing home and we usually go there once a week to see a couple members and others that want to learn about Christ.  This week was super rad!  We saw a member named Frank.  He has a big burly beard and a crazy eye, but he hasn’t lost his mind yet. We were able to talk to him for a long time about his stories of fixing old cars and learning how to be a mechanic and stuff.  One time, his apartment complex got mad at him for fixing up cars outside, so he disassembled his 1932 ford roadster and then reassembled it inside his living room so he could play with it there!  Haha, just imagine going to someone’s house and there is a full-size car in their front room.  But he convinced me to take some night courses on mechanic stuff when I get home so I too can play around with cars.  I think it would be super cool to one-day drive around in a car that I built by myself.

We also saw a lady named Sis Carter.  She is just super funny and super bored so she dresses up everyday in her old fancy clothes and hats and jewelry.  We usually just talk to her about how she is disappointed in her kids for not doing what she wants and we usually end up laughing the whole time at her old sense of humor.  But also this week, we met a girl named Mabel.  We were walking down the hall and she called us to come inside.  So we did and she said that she had seen a program about Joseph Smith on TV and believes he is a true prophet and wants to learn more.  It was super cool.  So we taught her and gave her a Book of Mormon and she is excited to read it.  But I’m not exactly sure how sane she is so we shall see this week.

And the mosquitoes here keep growing.  I counted today and on my arms from the elbow down I have 73 bites!  But I think I’ve gotten used to them because they don’t itch much.  But there were an insane number of gnats last night. We were biking around and you could just feel them hit you and go in your nose and your ears and eyes.  It was crazy!  Then we would stop at a house and our white shirts were speckled because of the 40 or so dead gnats on us.  I woke up this morning and I went to wipe my eye boogers and instead of just that, I found 2 more gnats in the corner of my eye.  It was super weird...

And this week we have started working a lot with a less-active named Jesse. Over the last little bit we helped him find a job and be more stable to support his family and his house that is only 3/4 built.  We are trying to get him to come to church and have the goal to go to the temple because he really likes the idea of helping the dead.  The only problem is he comes to church only when he is not high, which is like once a transfer.  But last time we talked to him he told us all about how he invites everyone like crazy to come to church and to Christ. He has invited in the past week like 2 gas station attendants, an old lady on the street, someone at the store, and a friend who came by while we were teaching him.  He would be the greatest missionary!  We just need to convince him that he shouldn’t invite people to come to church when he doesn’t even go himself.

Love, Elder Lund

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hailey Gets Baptized!

At Hailey's Baptism
Brother Jordan in his party shirt
Mustache fun
Port Lavaca
Hello horse
So this week Hailey was baptized!  It was super cool!  We had it at 3:30pm on a Wednesday, haha, but she wanted it right after school.  And her mom came too and said she felt the spirit. Plus Hailey said she felt really good after and as well as when she got the Holy Ghost yesterday.

Here on the mish, you always get to the church early to set up and fill the font. Well I’m pretty sure that no matter how early you arrive, you will be busy doing things up until it actually starts.  Like we got there 3 hours early because we thought the font took 3 hours to fill, but nope, it only takes 30 min.  But we also set up the chairs and made brownies and found a video to play and other stuff.  It seemed like right as we finished preparing, something would go wrong and we would spend more time at the church.  But it all worked out great.  And afterwards, we had brownies and everyone kept asking why they ended up so perfectly chewy and good.  To be honest I have no idea. We made them in the church’s ancient oven and then forgot to set a timer so we just took them out when we could smell them.  But somehow in all of that they turned out delicious. Also this week we finished the Book Of Mormon with her, well the kids one that is.  She loved it!

We also have kept working with Dominique.  It gets frustrating sometimes because she knows its all true but she also thinks the Catholic church is true, which makes no sense because they are so different.  We think she doesn’t want to leave the Catholic church because she has been going to it all her life and has been working towards her confirmation for 8 or so years and now she is about to get it. I don’t know.  But she said that if she could feel the spirit more at church, it would help her progress towards baptism.  So we fasted with her for a day to be able to do so. Which was really cool because she actually sacrificed and went the whole day without food or water when everyone was offering it to her.  But then she didn’t come to church and it’s pretty hard to feel the spirit at church if you don’t go… so... But we are working with her slowly.

Elder Lund

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Tractor Bucket List Item Finally Happens!

Me and some meat

Our ghetto car

A Comp Selfie

Good ole Port Lavaca

Our chicken and cous cous dinner

Well the news of the week is that Haley did not get baptized. I don’t think it was her time. We tried to rush it all in a week, but it was too soon. We did teach her every day this week and she believes in everything.  She has a testimony and she also passed her interview so she is ready, but she did not come to church. She has been to church 3 times, but not since we have been teaching her. We probably want her to come to church again to show that she is fully committed before she gets baptized.  We are going to continue seeing her a lot and help her to come to church and mutual this week.

We had the craziest day this week, probably one of the craziest of my whole mission. So we decided to go to Palacios (which is like 35 miles away so we do it about once a week).  Well we drove the whole thing with the passenger window down.  Last week Elder Steed rolled down the window and it didn’t roll up so it was down for about 5 days.  And during the drive, it started to rain.  And this wasn't no ordinary shower!  I’ve never seen it rain so hard!  While driving, I couldn’t see the road for about 13 and a half seconds. It was super scary.  And during the storm, Elder steed held up a towel to the open window to try and keep the rain out.  It worked a little.  

Well, we got there and went straight to the Jordans. They are an older couple in our branch. So we got there and ate some food (she cooks super good!  Like picture perfect grandma cooking). Then we went to help Brother Jordan mow his huge yard.  So elder steed jumped on the riding lawn mower and started eating up the grass.  Then brother Jordan goes... "Who wants to drive the tractor?"  Umm… I do! Ever since I’ve been in Texas it’s been my dream to drive a tractor! So I got in his huge blue tractor and then I found out it has a clutch so that was pretty fun, haha.  But I drove it around the yard and used the bucket to pick up the grass, talk about a dream come true!  But then it started raining again so we had to put it all away, and I didn’t have time to get a picture. And then later that night we found out it’s against the rules to use machinery and vehicles like riding lawn mowers or tractors...

But after the Jordans we went to Baltazars and helped him fix a flat tire. Well I broke his tire iron in the process but then we just used ours.  Afterwards we drove all around town looking for a new tire and got it put back on.  Then he said he wanted to take us for a ride in his turquoise Ford mini van.  He ended up taking us all around the city, but its ok because we taught him the plan of salvation in the car. 

Then we left Palacios so we could get back for Haley's interview…but she didn’t show up.  So we had to race around until we found her.  But we did and got her a ride to the interview.  Well the interview was like an hour long... It was a nail bitter just waiting outside, but we were able to talk to President Centeno's (the mission 1st counselor) son.  He is usually closed off, but he was super cool.  We talked all about how he plays a million instruments and he wants to develop robots for the military.  It was a cool conversation. Then she got out off the interview and passed!  So we all celebrated by eating choco tacos. It’s super weird, no one has heard of them here, but Elder Lund is changing things up.  

Then Haley’s mom wasn’t there and she doesn’t have a phone, so we started to walk from the church to her house.  It’s probably like 6 miles.  Well we got halfway and out of nowhere, Mr. Floyd shows up! (He’s the crazy old guy who made us brisket).  Well he creeped out Haley I think, but he did give us a ride to her house and then home.   He is super cool.

But pretty much those three things took up our whole day, and just in person it was quite a day. Trust me, I lived it.  Anyways, besides that we just did missionary stuff and I’ve been telling you about that for a while now so...that’s all for now folks!

Elder Lund

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mosquitos, Conference and Upcoming Baptism

Me and my boy David on his Bday.  It was a wrestling party.
Huge Texas Rain Cloud.
Part of the mosquito slaughter.
We had a lot going on this week and so we did not have as much time to do some good old-fashioned proselyting. The biggest time taker was Stake Conference.  Here’s the story.  We left Saturday at 5 with Pete Baldera, a member in our branch. It was an hour and a half long drive so we had plenty of time to talk. We were able to talk to him about his conversion and how he overcame his alcoholism and chain smoking.  He is super funny and talks in Spanglish so it was really enjoyable with all of his stories.

Then the meeting was probably the best Stake Conference I have ever been to. President Money (the young 2nd counselor) spoke first and shared stories about his experiences with the youth.  Kinda like if Bishop Galland spoke. Then Pres. and Sis. Ashton did a combined question and answer/mission preparation talk. Usually I hate it when couples speak together but because it wasn’t a talk, just testimonies basically, it was super good.  And finally President Bond spoke and he doesn’t look like a guy who would be a good speaker but he is super good. He is the kind of guy who can get down to anyone’s level and relate everything to you.

In the meeting, President Ashton challenged the whole stake to read at least some part of the Book of Mormon daily. Even if you study the bible one day, you need to somehow get in the Book of Mormon a little bit.  And Pres Bond challenged us to pray daily as well. They said that if we start missing days of prayer and scriptures (even if it is just one), we start to forget our spiritual language and it makes it a lot harder to be open to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.  So I challenge you to do the same, and pray at least once a day personally, and then to read a little something in the Book of Mormon daily.  Watch out because I will be following up.

After the meeting, we went and spent the night at the Bay City Elders’ apartment. The apartment usually has two people but that night we had six. It was sweet!  We roasted marshmallows in their fireplace and made homemade ice cream. Sleepovers are always fun as a missionary, haha but they almost never happen.

Also this week it has rained every morning.  And you know what rain brings? Humidity and mosquitoes!  Ugh! they were terrible this week. Every time we get back in the car, we spend 5 minutes killing the 15 or more mosquitoes that got in with us! Our skin looks like we have chicken pox because we have so many bites.  And if you scratch them, your arm goes from a chicken pox outbreak to ground beef looking... But its ok, I got some bug spray and it kinda helps.

Also this week, a member made us pineapple upside down cake!  Before I thought that stuff was only in movies and the Land of Oz or something. I never knew it was real!  It was pretty good.

Update with Haley: She could potentially be baptized on Sunday!  We are going over today to talk about it and help her see that it is really close.  Pretty much all that needs to happen is we have to teach her at least 3 more lessons, she cannot drink her green tea this week, and she has to finish the Book of Mormon and pray about it. The lessons part shouldn’t be any problem. The tea, we gave her herbal tea so she just has to remember to drink that and we should be good. As for the Book of Mormon, we gave her a children’s one and as of a few days ago she was halfway done.  She doesn’t want to pray about it until she finishes it.  So if she really reads she can get an answer in time.  But pray for her for sure.  She is super prepared and can do it but everything just needs to work out smoothly. Hopefully by next email, she will be baptized!

But that’s all for me,

Elder Lund