Monday, April 27, 2015

Super Week! The Sierras get Baptized!

Hello! This week was super tiring, but super worth it!  I'll just go through the days for y'all.

Monday:  We had a super slow P-day.  For some reason we had to stay at the office all day, so I just surfed around Mormon channel for a long time and then we went and played some basketball in our pros clothes.  Plus, that night we put up a bunch of flyers for our English Class.  We put them all over the place:  grocery stores, auto shops... even a Catholic Virgin Mary store!

Tuesday:  We spent a lot of time waiting today.  First we woke up early to do an exchange in the city so we had to take some time to drive all the way there and go in and out of rush our traffic. Then we had district meeting.  It was super good.  We focused on being bold and teaching with authority, but it went on for like 2 hours... Ran home and we made some bomb eggs with bacon, ham, green pepper, eggs, and chunky salsa, then wrapped in a home-cooked tortilla!  But we had to scarf it down and run to our appointment at Firestone to fix our flat tire.  Well that took 3 hours... but at least in between, we walked to the church and did family history.  And from there we went to a doctors appointment for the Elder that we were on exchanges with… And that took another 3 hours... at least we got three extra hours of study time!  But for dinner, we found a Potbelly's!  Like the sandwich place we ate in DC, it was so good!  And to end the day, we taught English class!  It was so fun!  Especially to hear all the Hispanics pronounce English words. 

Wednesday:  This day we taught a bunch of lessons. We taught a 9 year old the Word of Wisdom.  Too bad we also had to pass her off to other missionaries even though we taught her everything.  Hopefully we can go to her baptism!  Then we ate chicken covered in verde sauce with a Guatemalan member.  She also made us some guayaba juice followed by a homemade cinnamon and coconut popsicle... delicioso!  Then we found the coolest kid!  His name is Elmer.  He works at a custom auto shop, skates, cuffs his pants, and has super long hair with shaved sides... and he puts it in a man bun, haha.  But he is not interested at all :( too bad. And we did splits, so me and Elder Tate taught the Bonillas with President Ashton. Talk about nerves!  I was so nervous because I would teach and he would just stare at me and evaluate me. But the lesson went super well and that’s all that matters!

Thursday: We didn’t do too much today.  We started with weekly planning and when it came time to talk about how our companionship is doing, we went to Sonic to have happy hour slushes and make it more enjoyable.  And for some reason, I thought the chocolate slush would taste super good. Well let me tell you that that was a horrible mistake.  It was so nasty!  Tasted like lemonade with a few drops of chocolate syrup in it.  I wonder who thought of that one?  Then we taught the coolest lesson with the Sierras.  We read about Moroni's standard of liberty and then had them make there own.  We had Anthony put on one of Elder Tate’s shirts and then rip it off in the middle of the lesson.  Then everyone wrote on it their personal reasons to fight and stay strong in the gospel.  Finally we put it on a broom stick and just took a bunch of pictures, haha.  They can put it right next to their Planchas de Sierra (plates of sierra).

Friday:  Elder Wells’ Birthday!  We celebrated both of our birthdays by making the cake that you sent me.  Then I got to see RM Nick Johnson!  He came back for the baptism.  It was super cool to catch up with him.  Today we taught a lesson in which he dropped himself in front of us.  In the lesson he said "Some people are prepared to receive the truth, and I just don't think I am ready..." It was super funny because he isn’t the smartest guy around so he didn’t mean it like that, but it was easy for us because we only teach prepared people.

Saturday:  We saw a lot of covenants being made!  Started the day by going to the temple with Hermano Melgar as he took out his endowments.  He should be sealed in the coming month! Then we rushed home for the Sierras baptism!  It was so perfect!  No problems with the font or the jumpsuits or who will play piano or anything.  And they felt like completely new people after. It’s so cool to see all of them members now!  There were so many people and missionaries there to support, that we couldn’t even fit.  We filled the whole room with chairs, and then a bunch standing in the back, and then more standing out in the hall!  And afterwards they had a rager: Bounce house, crazy music, a bunch of food, and a bunch of people. Definitely not a place for missionaries. So we just went in, said hi and bye to everyone, then left.

Sunday:  They got confirmed!  One big happy family!  And at night, we found Amairani again! Long story short, she has changed a bunch.  She says she has forgot a lot of what she has felt before, and doesn’t know if she is ready to come back.  But we know she is, so we committed her to pray about IF she should come back and investigate again.  So hopefully she will read in the Book of Mormon (she agreed to read one verse) and felt something.  We are going back on Tuesday to see how it all went.

So our week was super fun!  A lot more stuff happened too, but I kind of got lazy at the end because I have been writing this for a while now ;). It’s weeks like these that make me so happy to be a missionary.  Especially because when we first me the Sierras, their family had so many problems and they were hanging on by threads.  Now they are all baptized, have plans to get married in 4 months, and get to be sealed in the temple in a year!  Hope your week was just as good!

Love Elder Lund 

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Rains Came Down and the Floods Came Up!

Certified for CPR and to teach English!


So all the cool little non-investigator stuff that happened this week:

I was doing family history work (by the way, its impossible because so much of it is already done by other family that I just end up getting frustrated the whole time), and I found a line filled with Scottish royalty and it went back all the way to the year 80 AD!  And a guy named King Geowolf of Troy!  What happened to the days when people had cool powerful names??

We did service at a Home Depot-style thrift store.  Like a thrift store for house supplies.  We showed up and they just told us to go to the warehouse and just find something to do, haha.  The people there never even work!  One guy would organize a few things and then just go sit and lay down somewhere for 20 minutes.  But we just went back and started organized and cleaning things because we didn't know what else we could do.  But it was super fun!  And we did it because the church wants us to do random acts of service for the community now.

I made super bomb pico at the Sierras house!

I learned how to solve a Rubik’s cube.  It’s actually super easy!  Just 20ish minutes of memorizing like 4 formulas and then when you do them, it solves itself!  Now I can solve one in like 4 minutes.  But I am still practicing.

We got a flat tire in our truck.  We ended up getting a bungee chord all the way in our tire!  But it was me and a Burmese Elder, Elder Simram (BTW he lives in Ryan Conk’s mission!), and we changed it in only 8 minutes! And it took so long just because neither of us had done it on a Tacoma before so it was a little different.

And let me tell you about the rain that fell this week!  I didn't even know there was this much water in the whole world.  So in most rainstorms, you can walk from your house to your car and just be wet on your shoulders, but here you look like you went swimming after walking to your car.  Maybe it’s because the drops here are the size of mandarin oranges!  It sounded like big things of hail as we drove around.  But it rained like this for a couple hours 3 nights this week. One of the nights, all the streets were flooding and all the cars that weren't trucks or SUVs couldn't drive down half the streets.  At one point, there was a big puddle and all the small cars couldn't get through so they were trying to back up, well there was just no way, so we just turfed it over the big grass median and got around. Truck power!!  And I know some missionaries that would drive until it got too deep, put the car in neutral and shut it off, then get out and push it until they got to drive-able conditions and could drive again!  And they would leap frog like this all the way home, haha.  Anyways, crazy rain and flooding, with the sickest lightning I have ever seen!

But on the spiritual side, the Sierras are for sure getting baptized this Saturday!  Jose just can't smoke till then.  And Satan is working really hard with them right now so we just need to keep praying for that and see them every day to help strengthen them.  So looks like we are going to have some long prayers in this companionship this week!

We also have been teaching Jose Bonilla a lot this week.  He is reading the Book of Mormon well, but still hasn't got the answer he is looking for and won't commit to baptism.  And his dad came in for one of the lessons randomly and never said a word, and then showed up to church on Sunday!  It was so random because he came but his son, who we teach, didn’t.  Well right when we walked in the chapel, we showed him to one member and the member just took him and sat next to him and completely became his best friend.  It was so cool!  Especially because it was one of those members who I have never even talked to before so I never even thought to ask him.  But Jose Bonilla Sr. could only stay for Sacrament meeting so we will have to go by and ask him what he thought about it. 

Also, with Hermana Marquez.  She loves to learn but never commits to anything, its always a maybe.  But she usually does it anyways.  And we couldn't teach her this week because she was super busy and stressed but we did find out that she quit smoking!  The reason: it costs the family too much money to buy her cigarettes.  So maybe that is why she is so stressed, because she quit smoking cold turkey, haha.

It was a fun week for sure. Please pray everyday for the Sierras and I will send pictures next week!

Elder Lund

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Sierra's Accept the Invite for Baptism!

Me giving CPR

The famous Lakewood Church

This week I became certified to teach English and to do CPR!  So on Wednesday, this lady from the stake came to teach us about the Daily Dose program.  It’s a program that consists of 50 mini lessons to help small groups learn English.  Supposedly, missionaries are having a lot of success with it.  And it’s crazy because you aren't really allowed to talk about the gospel if you teach in a public place, but I guess people just come up afterward and just want to learn about the church we represent. Well, get ready for unexpected success over here in Htown.

Also, on Saturday we went up to Rice University to help the American Heart Association.  BTW, being on a college campus can make one super trunky, haha.  Especially when right next to the field house, people are playing intermural soccer and rugby.  But we got there and they had us take the 20 minute class to be certified.  Pictures will be included.  We learned how to #1 Tap and Shout to see if they need CPR, #2 Tell someone to call 911, and #3 perform CPR hard and fast.  Plus we got to keep the little, blow-up, mini-Anne dolls.  Then after the class we got some free t-shirts and then helped others sign up and take the class.  It was super fun! …and broke up the week a little bit.

Other fun things that happened: I gave a Peruvian named Misselle a sour warhead.  It was the funniest thing ever!  I guess they don't have sour there and she wasn't used to it.  She looked exactly like the person on the package.  Like a cartoon person tasting something sour and their whole face shrinks together, haha.  Also, we went to knock a door and a crazed white little dog flew around the corner and started attacking the gate.  She was chewing holes straight through it!  So Elder Tate manned up and started to open the gate.  But right when we stepped inside, the dog ran away.  So we thought we were good... until I tried to touch a brick wall with my foot.  Man, that thing jumped like 4 feet!  And then just latched on to my shoe.  So the only thing I could think of was just to kick it in the mouth. Well then it ran away.  But it left some big teeth marks on my shoe, haha.

As far as investigators go, the Sierras are progressing along really nicely. This week they had interviews with President Ashton and passed!  They can get baptized now on April 25!  And Jose has to stop smoking so we brought him a lot of cinnamon gum, grapefruit juice, vitamin C, and things to keep him busy.  He should be set.  He has already gone 3 days and still strong.  And they have to be baptized on the 25th because the have told the whole ward and Elder Johnson is coming back for it.  So they can’t really back out now.  And to help them live the law of chastity, Jose is going to sleep every night at his mom’s house down the street.  This is because they can't get married yet.  Supposedly he is going to get residency in 4 months, and until then he has to stay single or else he loses his spot in line.  We tried so many legal things this week to make it work another way but this is still his best option to quick residency.  And if he doesn’t get it in 4 months then he is just going to get married and start the process over again.  It’s going to be a big test of their faith but we all know that God will bless them greatly for making the decision to be baptized.

We also are teaching Jasmine.  She is the grand daughter of our 2nd Counselor.  She loves learning and wants to come to church and be baptized!  Just one little hiccup.  On the weekends she goes to her parent’s house and they live outside the mission up in the Woodlands...  So pretty much she can never come to church or get baptized here.  But we see her all the time during the week when she stays here so we are the only ones that can teach her.  So we are not quite sure what we are going to do, but we talked to some people and they are currently figuring out all the technicalities of how and where she can be baptized so I'll get back to y'all later. 

We also met a cool new kid named Jose Bonilla.  He is a friend of Gisselle Sierra and 20 years old.  We have taught him a few times and he is super legit.  He wouldn't accept a baptismal date, but he is searching.  We left him to read in the BOM and pray and he said he has felt something, so he’s getting there.  We just need to get him to church and he should be solid!

Thanks for your support, hope you have a good week!

Elder Lund

Monday, April 6, 2015

General Conference and Temple Work

With Elders Tate and Beveridge
At the Temple with Alfredo and Diazes
Celebrating my Birthday!

General Conference was so rad!  Way too much revelation acquired.  And we had delicious breakfasts before both of them.  On Saturday we ate frozen jelly beans in the car while we ran around to wake people up.  But on Sunday, we went over to the Diazes, all of us missionaries.  She made us eggs, bacon, cinnamon rolls, pancakes, donuts, and muffins.  It was so much food!  I was fighting falling asleep the whole time!  Tough one. 

And we did get a bunch of people to conference!  The Sierras watched it at home, same with the Lopez family.  Then we got the Marquezes to come, well the mom and daughter that is.  The Marquez family: the dad is a less active of many years, the mom has been studying hard core with the missionaries for about 6 months now but won’t commit to anything, the daughter is 15 and does whatever the mom will let her do (poor child), and we have only talked to the 17 year old son a few times.  But they came to conference and the mom said she really loved the music!  She didn’t say too much about the speakers but there were a lot of really good talks for her.

Then we also got the Torres family to come to a session. The 22 year old less active daughter Yuri  has lived here for 2ish years.  Then her whole less active family happened to be here on vacation when we found them. So we got them all to come watch conference before they had to go home (today). They loved it and all want to go back to church again in Peru. Especially so their 10 year old son can grow up in the church because he knew nothing.

Also this week, we went to the temple with Alfredo Valdez.  When I was here the first time, he was the biggest punk ever and always told us he doesn’t need church because "he doesn’t sin."  Whatever!  Well since I was gone, he got baptized and we went and did baptisms for the first time. And guess who took us... the Diazes, my favorite Columbians!  And after the temple we went to Sonic for summer of shakes and then had step races on Hermana Diaz’s Nike fit band.  We could never figure out how it worked so it was mostly luck.  Half the time we would do it for 15 seconds and not get a single step!  But I was the champion with 124 in 15 seconds!

Yes, I got your package.  We have sooo much candy in our apartment right now.  I put it all in the freezer because our AC broke and the apartment is 82 degrees.... inferno. 

In the picture I am with Elder Tate (brown hair).  He is from Orem, Utah.  He has been out one more transfer than I and a super consecrated missionary.  Then Elder Beveridge is from Ogden, Utah.  He has been out for 7 months and is probably the nicest person ever.

Fun week!

Elder Lund