Monday, March 30, 2015

Transferred Back to a Prior Area to Continue Helping the Work!

Familia Amezquita in Kemah 
With Jose and Christian Lopez
All the missionaries that have worked with Jose

So, I got transferred back to H4!  It’s so fun to be back!  But also super sad to leave Kemah. This week was super fun because I just got to go around and see everyone that I left before.

The Sierras: I've returned to my familia catracho! (family from Honduras)  It was super cool to see them and how they have progressed since I've been gone. The boys all were excited to show me that they can all tie their own ties now haha.  But Anthony and Jr both pass the sacrament every week, the whole family gets to church early and sits in the front every week, and even their house feels like a good Mormon home when you walk in and talk to them.  And they threw me a huge birthday party yesterday.  They made homemade flautas :) and a huge cake.  They just made a big cake so they could do a pastelazo.  Pretty much its a Hispanic tradition that the birthday person gets their head smashed in the cake. They all have pictures of it so I will have them send them to you probably.

The Diaz:  When I left, we were working on getting their 17-yr-old daughter Paula active.  We worked super hard and by then end she had come to church twice.  I remember Hermana Diaz just crying to us about Paula and how she was making bad decisions and Hermana Diaz just wanted a united, loving family.  Well since then, and with her sister going on a mission, Paula has reactivated and now is super strong.  She goes out with the missionaries all the time and she just recently went with her mom to the General Womens conference and now is thinking about a mission. Plus, she is going to UVU so that she can be around the BYU people and transfer right in. They also made me a birthday cake and chocolate covered strawberries.  :)

The Lopez: The last week I was here (before), Elder Preece and I baptized a kid named Christian Lopez.  While I was gone, his two sisters and his mom were baptized, and Christian has become a gospel scholar.  We were in a lesson and I said we were going to read out of Mosiah 4.  Right away he says, "That's where king Benjamin is talking to his city about how to live, right?"  He did the same thing like 2 other times.  It was awesome! Well this weekend, Christian baptized his dad, Jose.  So cool!  And now the whole family is baptized and the house has a super Mormon feel as well.

Being a missionary is the best!  Now I have to pick up the work where I left off on with the Sierra parents and then Amairani.

Love Elder Lund 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Leaving Kemah!

Our faces every time we smell someone smoking weed, haha!

My ankle as of 2 days ago

Kemal house and all the new ties we got from one of the Sisters' parents
I am leaving Kemah... Dang it!  Kemah is the best.  This week was super different than the past few.  And I forgot to bring my journal so I don’t remember much... but I'll try.

So this week was spring break for all the schools here.  That means that we got a lot of youth out with us all day.  And because of some meetings and a temple trip, we did a bunch of exchanges too!  But we took out a bunch of priests and we ended up talking to the craziest people.  I think it freaked them out a little, haha.  We had one black guy come up to us and say, "You thought you were going to preach to me, but I am going to preach to you instead."  Then he went off on us, haha, and he had crutches but he kept getting on his knees in the middle of the road and praising.  And we had more than a few of those experiences, haha. But they did help us fellowship a lot of youth we were teaching, especially with Selena.

So we meet Selena like 2 weeks ago. We were walking through the neighborhood looking for something to do, and we decided to just pick a few houses and knock the doors.  Knocking random doors is so fun!  But Selena answered and we just started talking to her and teaching her. Turns out she has never been to church and the only religious knowledge she has is that the bible talks about God and Jesus died on a cross.  So we just taught her super basics, and she loved it!  Then we saw her again a few days ago and we committed her to read the Book of Mormon in 3 Nephi when Christ comes.  And we know she is legit because she texted us 10 minutes later and told us that her niece pulled out the bookmark and she wanted to know what she needs to read.  And she told us that she is going to read and pray and when we go back tomorrow, she is just going to let us know if God told her to keep listening to us or not.  So now we just pray and leave it in God's hands...

And just barely, we had a district breakfast.  We always meet somewhere to listen to transfers calls together, and this time we planned to do it at the church and make breakfast too.  So we all helped bring stuff and we made eggs and pancakes.  And the weirdest thing is that none of the sisters here know how to cook so us Elders made it all.  But it was super fun!  And now we are doing our emails because we are going to NASA today as well.  I'll take a bunch of pictures.. .hopefully, haha.

Anyways, Have a good week! Next week I’ll be somewhere new!

Love Elder Lund

Monday, March 16, 2015

Meeting Some Great New Families

Dinner outside because there wasn't a 3rd man 
Every neighborhood has a little bayou like this behind it that floods when it rains.
Classic walking and talking
This week, we met a couple really cool new people.  First is the Zundels. He just got assigned from the English ward to be our Elders Quorum President. That’s what happens when you are a strong member that speaks Spanish, haha.  But they are awesome!  They had us over and he cooked us some of the best BBQ I have ever had.  He made ribs with his homemade sauce and we also had BBQed corn and veggies. He told us how to make the ribs and gave me the basic sauce recipe so we can try it out when I get home :)  But he loves collecting old stuff and she is a professional ballet dancer. So their house is super old school with big chandeliers and mirrors and lots of wood and stuff.  Then he has a bunch of old signs and photos and vintage cameras all over.  And they have a super cool library with a bunch of classics and history and gospel books.

We also met the Velez family. They live in our area but have been attending the Pasadena ward.  It’s the ward that steals all of our members because its bigger and stronger, but outside the mission. Well, we found them outside and it turns out that they have been feeling like they should attend their own ward.  The only problem is that they are fluent in English and Spanish so that means they can drive 10 minutes to a strong English ward…or drive 40 to a Spanish branch that is barely held together by our Presidency...  We will see what happens with them.

Also, the same lady in my second picture, Hna Amezquita, she usually feeds us the best food ever. Haha it always looks gross but tastes really good.  Well this week was a little different.  She made us fish soup.  And in my soup, I had a whole fish tail. It was like 8 inches long with the fins and scales and everything.  It tasted pretty weird too, haha.  Not super gross, but just weird and super duper fishy.  Plus, I had the whole spine so I was constantly pulling out all the bones and they were almost needle thin, clear, and only an inch or less long.  It was the most deadly dinner ever! haha. 

But we did have a 4-ward chili cook-off this week. Too bad the judges were racist and only English members won... But our Kemah House (what we call our 4-man apartment) chili was pretty dang good too.  It should have at least placed. Oh well, we will come back perfected next year!

And I don’t know if I told you about David Martinez, the guy whose wife was in a coma…  If not, I can explain more about him next week… But we started teaching his son, David Jr. but he never has time so we teach him little 5 minute lessons. So far we have taught parts of the plan of salvation, restoration, and the atonement.  Hopefully we can keep doing our little lessons but start to teach him everyday.  That would be perfect.  People that get taught almost daily are the ones that end up joining the church. 

It’s cool that y'all (Texas is changin me, haha) were able to support Yevi in the areas where her family couldn’t.  That’s super cool that she had such a good mission.  Sometimes I get super down because I feel like its coming to an end and I don’t feel like I have become the "successful, spiritual giant missionary."  Especially since I left Houston 4, it’s been super hard.  My numbers are always super low and I haven’t had anyone progress since Hailey.  But I keep working super hard, harder than ever.  I am trying to be more obedient than ever and study harder and harder.  I feel like I have been trying a lot… and not seeing results. The hardest thing is that I don’t know what we can do differently.  I’ll pray a lot this week and see what can change but prayer has also been hard recently too, just hard to focus. 

I remember that last Saturday it all hit me.  I finally realized that I have less than 6 months left and I have a lot more to do and I don’t want to waste any more time, and I just cried for like 5 minutes.  First time I have ever cried on my mission.  But it was really good for me because it made me have more desire to get to work and hold nothing back. So as soon as I figure out what else I’m missing, we will be in business!

Hope you all had a good week as well!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Preaching from the Rooftops and Twisting My Ankle

Our Galveston Zone
Hobbling around on a twisted ankle
Acting like truly disabled
Swapped crutches for a walker with this friend
Pueblo, the guy we taught on a roof!
Typical truck in Texas, look how it compares to the school bus behind it.

So this week, President Ashton focused a lot on the fact that we are not using the Book of Mormon enough and its true.  You can never involve the Book of Mormon too much.  And because the prepared people should accept the Book of Mormon almost right away, he wants us to teach with it more than the Bible.  And that is hard because in this area everyone knows and only accepts the bible, but usually when they say that they want everything to come from the bible all they really want to do is bash us!  So this should help us save some time.  I also realized that the most success I have ever had on my mission came when we were reading the Book of Mormon with everyone all the time.  So we are going to start doing that again.

Also, Elder Mota and me found ourselves with a full day and almost nothing to do. So being me and hating to be stuck in a car, we went and explored our area on foot for a couple of hours.  It was super fun!!  We talked to everyone everywhere!  People sitting on their porch, talking to others, playing sports, arguing with spouses, even running and biking.  And the one that tops them all was a guy on his roof.  We were walking by and we saw a man on a roof so we walked to his house and asked if he needed any help.  He said no.  Then Elder Mota asked if he could go on the roof and see how to fix one so he could learn.  He was fine with it haha so we climbed up the ladder to meet him on the roof.  He showed us a few things but then we tried to secretly teach him the restoration.  Well after a few minutes he caught on and said he had to get back to work so he kicked us off :(  But for a while we were ‘preaching the gospel from the roof tops’ …literally.  So thrift!

Also this week, we finally had a lesson with a guy we have been trying to track down for a month or so.  His name is David Martinez.  Turns out he repairs cruise ships so he is always traveling.  Now he is in the Bahamas for 2 weeks.  Anyways, we went in and he just opened right up to us, all about how his wife just got out of a 3 month coma and is recovering way better than the doctors said and also about how his daughter died when she was 4.  Good thing we had a super cool member with us!  He just started testifying about the plan of salvation and how God always works miracles and wants us to be happy.  David loved it!  He said that while he is gone we can go by and teach his wife and sons whenever we want!  His family should be super solid, especially if we keep bringing this member, Hno Vargas.

But the biggest news this week, well I don’t think its very big but you might, is that while I was balling super hard Saturday morning while playing basketball with some English members, I rolled my ankle super badly.  I died... I couldn’t put any weight on it all day.  But I just kept on with the day and we did all of our studies.  By about 10:30, I was done for.  It hurt super bad and it hadn’t swollen or changed colors at all so everyone thought it might have been a break.  So we went to Dr. Floyds and he did some X-rays and turns out it’s just a high ankle sprain and then something to do with my ligaments, but I was distracted when he said that so I can’t remember.  All he did was wrap it and then told me to stay off it for 5 days and it will be completely healed in a few weeks.  Bummer.  So that night, the mission doctor lady brought me some crutches and then on Sunday, an English member saw me, went home, and came back and brought me a boot!  So now I just hobble around on my boot and crutches!  Here are some pictures. In one of them, me and a member of my branch switched. he has my crutches and I have his walker, haha

Monday, March 2, 2015

Shed Building and Cold Weather in Houston!

At a Guatemalan restaurant for our friend Milton's Birthday

Then new shed

Ripping the roof off the old shed

This week was freezing!  Houston has the weirdest weather.  38 one day and then 77 the next.  Or it can have that change just in a few hours.  One morning we had breakfast planned with a member and when we got there, we found out the other man in the branch was not coming, haha.  So we had to eat her eggs and tamales outside and it was like 35 degrees!  We froze!

The service project for the Campos is coming along. We put up three walls, a roof, and painted all of it.  All we have left is the front wall and door, and some shelves inside.  I’ll send a picture, but it was taken a couple days ago and we have done some more work since then.

Also, I will probably be starting a business in a few weeks… I will be an IBO for ACN energy.  I should be making 6 figures in a year or so. Hopefully with this, I won’t even have to pay for schooling or waste time going to school.  Haha, just kidding.  We talked to a man about the church for a while and then he invited us to come to a business presentation in his house.  He said that if we listened to him, he would listen to us.  And pretty much it was just a couple people trying to get us and a few others to become salesmen in this ACN company. Too bad I am a little busy right now, haha.  But I did get his card just in case ;)  Maybe when I get home I'll sign on and sell the deals to everyone in the ward that owns their own companies and houses, and then just retire on the revenue I get from that. It could be a nice cushion while I have my real job.  I think he just wants us to sell product so he also can make revenue on all of our customers. 

As far as our high hopes for our area…this week we found a super cool kid named Jessi.  He is the son of a referral we got.  When we knocked the door, he said we could find his dad another day and then was about to shut the door.  But I wasn't in the mood to go a whole day without teaching our own lesson (because right after that we had a couple meetings) so I just asked him if he knew who God is and from there we ended up teaching him the restoration in his doorway.  He is super cool!  And somehow he already believes that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ!  Righteous.  We have a lesson with him this week and we will probably just plan his baptism...

Elder Lund