Monday, July 27, 2015

Final Temple Trip and no AC for a Night!

Our little crew of Christian soldiers!
On the ferry
The big City!

This morning we had transfer calls and I found out I'll finish my mission here... sweet!

So last P-day we decided to explore the secret parts of our area and an investigator told us that on another island there is an old military base.  So we drove to the very end of the island and parked our car and got on the ferry.  But these ferries are way different than the ones at balboa, these ones can hold like 60 cars and they have an upper deck where people can stand around the whole boat and look out.  Plus these ones are free!  So we got on the ferry and turns out its like a 30 minute ride, so we just took some pictures, watched the other boats, and fed the seagulls off the back.  And we thought the base would be super close so we didn't bring the car.  But turns out that when we got to the other side, where we thought the base was, it was way far away... :(  So instead we just walked around the jetties for a bit and caught crabs and then came back.  It was pretty fun, but next time we will have to take the car so we can explore more!

But this week, at church and other activities, attendance has doubled!... kinda.  At FHE, we had like 25 people, so after the lesson we had huge games of basketball and soccer.  And Hispanics playing basketball...  it’s pretty intense.  All rules and formalities go right out the window and people just end up tackling each other and just launching the ball towards the hoop.  It was super fun.  Same with soccer and they are all good at soccer.

Then on Wednesday, I think I had the hottest night of my life... We got home and found out that our power had been out all day.  So we lost a bunch of our food and our apartment was 84 degrees.  It was already late enough that we couldn't leave and go stay with the other Elders here.  So we tried to go to sleep but it was super hard.  Finally I got up at 12 and it was 87, so I went and took a 30 minute cold shower.  But because of the humidity and heat, right after getting out of the shower and getting clothes on, you already start to sweat.  But luckily I fell asleep for the rest of the night.  And then the next morning, we did everything at the other Elder's apartment, and by the time we got home from proselyting our power and AC was back on.  Miracle!  It made me love AC soooo much!

Also, I got to go to the departing temple trip.  Because I leave early next transfer and won't be able to go to mine, I went to this one.  I love that in this mission that we are able to have trainings in the temple from the Mission President and Temple President and their wives!  Supposedly in most places, these trainings don't happen.  We are super lucky here!  But it was cool to be with the missionaries that I have known my whole mission.  We had the temple session, then the training in the temple, and then we all went out to lunch at some pizza place!  I'll send a picture of my little crew of Christian soldiers.

And as far as the people we teach, we saw some cool progress this week.  Lately we have been spending a lot of time with Adriana Luevano to help her improve her reading ability.  Just teaching them wasn't doing much.  So when we go by, we sit down with Adriana and read a Dr. Seuss story with her.  It’s been super fun and she always has us do it in crazy voices.  And on Saturday, the grandma came up and was the most sincere I have ever seen her.  She thanked us for trying really hard to help Adriana with her reading because they didn't know how to help her.  It was really neat to see that a little thing we did was helping so much!  

And then we also got to visit with Adriana's parents this week. T hat was a miracle because they work like 100 hours a week each... But we had a good heart-to-heart and helped them to see they needed to come back to God.  Well they all showed up at church!!!!!  Adriana and her little sister, Adriana's parents, and her grandparents!!!!!!!!!  It was so cool!  After church, her mom came up and gave me a hug and told me thanks for helping them come back.  And she said that her work is going to give her a raise and change her schedule, but she is going to tell them that even more important than a raise is getting Sundays off!!!!!!!!!!!!  Hearing that from her was so awesome!

We also got to teach Kayleigh Reyes again.  She’s super prepared!   She read while we were gone! She told us she had a question about what happens after we die... for us missionaries, questions are the best things ever.  They let us know what the person actually wants to learn about and so they will gain a testimony a lot easier.  So we read Alma 40 all about the spirit world and resurrection and the judgment.  After the lesson we asked her what she will do to follow God and live in Paradise.  She told us that she is going to keep reading the Book of Mormon and come to church and eventually be baptized!  The only hold up is that she has soccer tournaments every Sunday for the next 2 weeks. Then she will be able to come and be baptized!  So we are just going to help her to read and pray everyday so that she keeps the testimony she has until she can act on it a lot more.

It was a really good week here on the island!  Hopefully this one will be even better!!!

Love you guys! Have fun!

Elder Lund

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pray for our Branch!

We found Sergio again!!  It was the best thing ever!  We were teaching his dad and Sergio just walked out and sat down with us.  It was like a dream come true!  The only problem was that we were already 30 minutes late to a meeting so we couldn't stay long.  But hopefully we can be able to see him more often now.  It seems like all the excitement he had before is gone now...  He hasn't read or prayed since we saw him last.  But that will change soon!!

We met some super cool people this week while we just biked around.  One guy we found, turned out to be a recent convert, but he dropped the church right after he was baptized for some reason.  But he is super cool!  He just moved here and is planning to open a surf shop on Seawall.  So we gave him our number and he said he might call us so that we could help him set it up.  We also met a guy who is gutting his house.  We helped him move a bunch of cabinets into his house.  And then, because we ended up moving like 2 big trailers worth of cabinets, he tried to pay us and was super persistent about it.  Eventually we convinced him that instead of paying us with money, he could just call us one day and teach us how to fix houses.  So hopefully now we have two super sweet service projects in the future.  The only problem is that they are both out of our area and not Spanish... so its kinda hard to check up on them when we have no real purpose...

And we got to serve in the community garden on Wednesday morning.  It was super fun!  In the middle of downtown, there is a whole block were people can just garden.  We helped this lady weed around her watermelon plants.  Too bad we didn't get to eat any watermelon :(  We all got super sunburnt though.  Now I am all pealy, haha

Moody gardens was super sweet!  We went first to the rainforest pyramid.  It’s a 10-story green house and inside is just full of ponds and streams and huge trees and jungle plants all over.  And then it is just filled with all types of birds flying around.  There are even some giant parrots just chillin.  Then all the ponds are full of crazy weird fish and turtles and rays, etc.  And cruising around in the trees are sloths and some little monkeys, haha.  And then there are rooms inside with other exhibits of animals and things that are in cages or exhibits, like lizards and snakes and frogs.  So they build a path that goes around and crisscrosses the whole pyramid going up and down and all over.  And then every once in a while there are other animals like jungle cats and komodo dragons and bats and they are in the middle of the rainforest too but just have nets around them so they can't get out.  It was so sweet! We also went to the aquarium pyramid too.  It was like any giant aquarium, just full of fish and sharks and rays and turtles and all other marine life all over.  I got a bunch of pictures to send.

Finally, just one request before I wrap up.  The Galveston Spanish branch needs prayers.  We are really struggling and if we can't help more people be more active and committed to the gospel and church, then they could shut down the branch and just make us part of the English Ward.  That would make it really hard for our members that come now to still want to go to a church where they have to receive translation.  So pray for the branch and for the members.  And pray that all the missionaries and leaders will know what to do in order to help the branch move forward.

Thank you so much!  Love you guys!

Elder Lund

Monday, July 13, 2015

After 16 Years, Reunited With My Old Preschool Buddy!

Slack-lining for FHE
Hurricane-destroyed docks on the ocean
Holy cow, it has been so hot these past few days!  At some points through the day we see ourselves in the mirror and I have no idea why these people even let us in!  We come in their houses sweatier then ever and just disgusting and they invite us to sit on their nice couches... I just think that some people must have a lot of charity, haha!

This week I broke out my slackline again.  It’s been a while since I have used it so it was super fun!  We did it as missionaries on Pday and then we did it with some of the youth here for FHE.  I'll send some pictures.

And then I went on an exchange back up to Kemah!  Haha, the best part about having been in this zone 3 times is that I know members in pretty much every area, so it’s always a party when we do exchanges and I get to "go back for a day!"  But guess who my companion was?  Elder Evans! It was like a prophecy being fulfilled.  After not having seen each other since preschool, after about 16 years, we are back together!  I'll have to get a picture of that too and then we can compare it to preschool days, haha.  But while in Kemah I got to see a bunch of the members at the English class.  It was super fun!

So Sergio: We still haven't been able to contact him... We don't know what happened.  But on the bright side, once when we went to see him, only his dad was home.  But his dad, who never wanted to talk before, invited us in and we were able to talk to him about prayer and how its such a blessing. Well, he said we can come back to teach him, so hopefully when we teach the dad, we can find Sergio at home too.

But with all the people we had before, most of them have fallen off the bandwagon, so we have had to focus on finding more people, which is always super fun because you just make it a goal to find and talk to as many people as possible!  We got to talk to some sweet people this week! Not many people here on the island want to accept the gospel, but we did find a few that said we can come back!  We'll see what happens...

I’ve realized that most of the people that I have baptized, in fact almost all, have come from referrals from members, less actives, and recent converts. And we made up a plan in which we are going to focus a lot of time on helping strengthen about 5 specific less actives and converts that are semi active as well.  We are just going by for about 15 minutes every day to read with them in the Book of Mormon.  And this way, they will start feeling the Spirit every day and they will choose themselves to become stronger members.  They all agree to it because we are only there for 15 minutes and they get to kick us out if we are there any longer.  So it should work out super good!  Hopefully we will see the "fruits" of it this week or next.

And today we are going to Moody Gardens!  It’s Galveston's biggest tourist attraction and we have a member that scored all the missionaries free tickets.  They have 3 big pyramids and we are going to one that is a giant rainforest and another that is a big aquarium!  Should be super sweet!

Love you guys!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Meeting President Hall and his family

This week started out with one of those moments when you think "I never would have thought I would be doing this as a missionary..."  Let me explain:  We were in a suped-up charger, driving to an island, holding all kinds of BBQ on our lap, and talking about protein powder and pre-work-out to a little hispter and his apostate brother (who has a pony tail down to the middle of his back, a dirty moustache, and more tattoos than all of the THSM missionaries combined)!  Translation: we were getting a ride home from a member kid and his less active brother after we were at his birthday BBQ.  I love having moments like this...

This week I started reading The Power of the Everyday Missionary.  It’s part of the stake mission plan here so all the missionaries have permission to read it.  It’s awesome!  The whole book is pretty much just about how to be a member missionary in normal life.  It’s all super easy stuff that everyone can do and it’s full of stories and personal experiences so its not super boring.  I recommend it to everyone who has some extra time to read a little!

So baptizing Adriana is going to be super hard!  Before, her parents wouldn't let her because the lessons took away from her time to do home work.  But now that summer school is over... The only problem, any time we start talking about church in front of her parents they leave because they know that baptism will come up. The dad is so rad and I talked about soccer with him for such a long time, but right when church came up he left.  So we are just going to love them super hard and just have a lot of faith! 

We met President Hall and his family!  They are so cool!  They made a little bio movie and y'all can watch it on  And they made that facebook page so you can follow it as they post pictures and stuff.  He will be a fun Mission President.  President Ashton was like apostle status, but President Hall is more like the cool Bishop or Stake President status.  And because he loves to run and do sports, he said that he and his wife will randomly go around and work out with missionaries in the mornings.  So to all those that don't do anything, they will get a good wake up call, haha!  Too bad I will probably only see him 2 times before I go home: my interview next week and my departing interview.  But when he teaches us, he seems like he has done this whole Mission President thing before.  He knows exactly what missionaries need and he knows the little tricks to motivate and teach missionaries.

Sergio: everything was going super good for his baptism and then he texted us Saturday night... Turns out he just feels like is all going super fast and wants some more time.  No big deal, we will just keep working with him.  But he also said he wants some space… well, if he gets too much space, then Satan has room to move right in, so we got to find the perfect balance.  Keep him in your prayers!!

The Reyes family: they are moving along slow and steady but making progress.  We had a couple really solid lessons with them this week about the restoration and the Book of Mormon.  They felt the spirit super strong so hopefully they will keep moving forward.  The hardest part will just be getting them to church.  They always say they will come but never do, so we will have to figure some things out.  Hopefully, if we just get them some good friends at church it will all work out...

And the rest of the week was filled in with a few service projects, dealing with tourist traffic for the 4th of July, and trying to find some new people.  The 4th was just a normal day, we were too busy to watch any fireworks. But we saw them on the drive back to the island.  I recently noticed that we are having some good work off the island, but it gets hard when we don't have the miles to go there all the time.  So we have been trying to get more work here on the island.  We end up just finding cool English people, teaching them on the street, and then passing them off to the English Elders.  But this week things are going to change! We are going to find some golden families that speak Spanish!  So just you wait to here about it next week.

Love Elder Lund

PS:  I ate a pig’s foot fried in whipped egg whites...