Monday, September 13, 2010

West Jordan September 7

4-6 more weeks!?!? well 3-5 now i guess... oh well.... that's what I pretty much figured. I feel more bad for the missionaries in Mexico. They're probably having to shut down areas all over the place if there is 500 visa waiters!!!!! That's so insane!!!! But once we eventually all make it there we're basically going to baptize everyone in Mexico. So make sure you look out for that on the news. "MISSIONARIES BAPTIZE MILLIONS!!!" jaja. well things are going so much better now.  We're going about 100% now. This week has been amazingly succesful!!! We put 3 new people on date for baptism, we taught 7 lessons with a member present, 5 other ones, and picked up 5 new investigators!!!!!! It was a really good week and everyone seems pretty solid. the Lord really does bless according to our worthiness. it's been so much fun! We taught this family, a mom, dad, and their 7 year old son on Monday. They were really interested and their son was too! We told him he had to make sure they read the book of mormon and prayed and he was really excited about that and promised us. What a cool kid! We also taught this other family. They live with a bunch of people but everyone there is pretty much anti except a mom and her daughter. They stayed interested even with a million kids running and screaming and some guy coming in and acting disgusted with us. jaja it was an interesting lesson but they said they wanted to try and continue having us come over. SWEET!! The other investigator was this African guy named Bol or Ben. jaja he speaks in a super thick accent so its hard to understand him but he seemed pretty interested. His wife is a member I guess but she doesn't really know anything about the church but she said she had been baptized so either she's confused or her missionaries a year ago did a bad job. Either way Ben/Bol is now interested and we're meeting with him again today! Nice eh?
So we had a ton of success this week, a ton of new potential, we taught a mutual and got like 10 referrals, and now we're working on trying to find all these new people. jaja but at least we're busy now!
So on Thursday I was doing language study when all of a sudden we got a knock on the door. We never get knocks so I was a little confused, but the other two weren't dressed so they had me answer the door. I opened it and it was two nice ladies and they started reading to me from the bible. I quickly figured out they were Jehovah's witnesses and they quickly figured out I was a missionary. It was pretty awkward. jaja but she handed me their magazine and we actually talked a bit, not about religion though, just about where she was from and stuff. But ya, I thought that was pretty funny.
Then this weeked was super crazy! One of the spanish elders got surgery on his knee on Friday so Saturday night I had to go over to be the companion of the other one while he sat at home and recovered. So I slept over there Saturday night and then Sunday found out that the other spanish elder was doing some tests and had to stay dorment the whole day. BAH! But they prepared well and so all day Sunday while they were sleeping I just read and read, and then when they were awake we had permission to watch movies and play Monopoly and stuff. It was actually really fun. Super lazy but you gotta do what you gotta do. It was a nice break but I was definitely ready to go out and work yesterday. We did go to sacrament in the spanish branch again which was fun, but for the whole day we just read, watched movies, and played games. And I just found out today that I'm going on exchanges again! Me and the other visa waiter in this zone have to go today so one can stay home with the suregeried one while the other goes and does work with the other. So I don't know which one of us was assigned to stay home yet but I really hope it's not me. Sunday was good, but it was too much.
Well I have to go. They said we only get 30 min of email today since it's not pday.  I'm sorry to hear about grandpa. I'll be praying for him. Keep being safe and having a good week. Oh real quick can you get the address for the mission office in Mexico so I can tell people where to write me at? And then when you bring down the medicine and stuff could you bring me a sweater?? Its getting so cold!! Last night we were riding our bikes home and I only have short sleeve shirts and it was ridiculous amounts of cold. I prepped myself for Mexico and now I'm getting Utah autumn. brr..... hopefully I'll leave in the 3 weeks instead of the - 5 weeks. jaja but all in the Lord's time. We're having fun here and focusing on what's really important. A little prayer for the visa wouldn't hurt though. jaja love you guys. Tell Rachelle I'll write her next week when I have more time.

West Jordan August 30

Another crazy speedy fast week here so salt lake!! I didn't get transferred and neither did my companions so that was nice. This week wasn't very successful either like last week but I appreciate it because I learned so many things. I've been praying so hard for a change of heart because missionary work takes complete focus and really becoming a new person. I hate how cliche it is but I really have started gaining my real testimony here. It's nowhere near a solid testimony or anything of that sort but its coming. I feel new desires every day to try and do things better and give up little things here and there. I realized if I'm going to be here for two years I mine as well do it right jaja. But really the Lord deserves all of his children to do their best especially on missions. Because we're given a lot more rules here but its just more opportunities to receive promised blessings and to grow in the gospel. That's where testimony comes from is living the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's not just another church or religion, its really the principles of life. Everything we do is bigger than just the LDS church, it's literally the steps that God follows and wants us to follow to receive eternal happiness. Its so cool and the more we live by it the stronger we become converted and the more we realize how much better we have to do. That's why we are constantly growing. The more we know the more we realize we need to improve!!! jaja so I've been praying about all these things and kind of having a hard time because as a companionship we're not very motivated or converted I guess to the work. It's really been discouraging for me but I've really just wanted to improve anywhere I can. I started reading through Preach My Gospel to find answers every morning before personal study and found something I really like. So Saturday night after getting home from another rough day I asked if we could talk about some things as a companionship. So instead of being a jerk and just preaching to them I though it'd be good if we read through this part in PMG. It's on page 5 I think and its how to know you've been a successful missionary. And it lists like 8 things. We read through all of those things and just talked about them and about how we can improve and set a bunch of goals. It was cool how you said that dad in the email because we took about an hour and just set goals of ways we can improve. It was so good!!! We've been doing pretty well so far and we're really trying to be exactly obedient and being more diligent. I hope that motivation will stay in the companionship and so we can continue to improve and work harder and harder every day. So I'm praying things won't fall back and we can continue to support each other and make an awesome companionship!
That was pretty much the week. Nothing happened, just a lot of dropped appointments and knocking doors. Things will get better though!!! The Lord will give us opportunities to help his children as long as we're praying for them and are worthy of the opportunity. So soon! We've got a ton of pontential especially in one ward. So if things work out then they're going to have to split the ward!!!!! jaja so we're excited for this week.
So I was reading through the ensign this month and read through an article about the MOTAB!! It was really cool and they said they have this new cd out of the past 100 years of recordings and stuff. Mom do you get the hook ups on that? cuz if you do I really want it. I've been listening to MOTAB pretty much all the time now and I love it now. Probably just cuz you're in it but its actually really good music especially for missionary work. I used to hate it but its cool how your desires change as your focus changes. PAOW!
jaja so ya that'd be cool if you could get that.
Oh one thing I forgot to mention this week. Yesterday as we were leaving one ward (because since we cover a whole stake we go to 3 wards every Sunday. I'm never complaing about 3 hours of church again!) the spanish branch was starting sacrament. I saw the spanish elders in there and wanted to attend the meeting so we did a quick exchange and I went to the spanish branch sacrament and meetings!!! First one ever!!! It was so cool. I was surprised how much I actually understood and it was just a really good time. I had a huge headache after but I didn't care cuz it was nice to get some spanish. I miss the MTC having spanish ALL THE TIME. So that was nice. I also found out this week that I'm now 165 lbs!!!! holy sheesh. I went to the MTC at like 178 I think... I'd probably be even more skinny if I didn't eat so much here. Just being out riding bikes all day is good for you I guess. jaja so I wonder how much more I'll lose in Mexico eating less and getting parasites... jaja
speaking of Mexico... Dad you really heard that people are leaving from the MTC now!?!??!?!?!??!?!??!?!??!?!??!?!?!?!?! thats so sweet!!!!!!!!!!!! We haven't heard anything at all but thats really good news. I want to go so bad!!!! Especially after the spanish branch yesterday. I don't know how soon we'll be able to get out of here though. There's 60 visa waiters in this mission and about the same in every other mission. That is so crazy!!! So I don't know how fast they'll be able to ship us out with there being almost 200 Elders waiting to go to Mexico. Poor Mexico not having any missionaries come down. Joe said they had to shut an area down because they had visa problems so I bet in Mexico they're having to shut down areas all over the place. But we'll get there in good time. Just gotta keep being patient. But so if I'm here next week still I'll email Tues since monday is labor day and the library will be closed.
Well congrats on you anniversary!!! Sorry I'm a bad son and forgot Dad's birthday and your anniversary!!! Sheesh... You don't have to pick me up at the airport if you don't want.. jaja but that sounded like an awesome weekend! And I did get the package. thanks so much for dropping that off. That thing from Tate was awesome! I can't believe he comes home in like a month!!! so weird!!! time flies. So 21 years eh!?!?! gracious... that's a long time.... you've been married longer than I've been alive! naturally... but still. Crazy! jaja
Sorry Dad you lost your golf tournament but those are a couple cool prizes.. Thats way sweet! One of our potential investiagtors is a big italian golfer and he told me to tell you to look out for some new golf bags coming out soon. He's getting into this business with his brother making really nice golf bags called black clover I think. The prototype he showed me looked really sweet so keep your eye out for them.
Also congrats on your calling. The new duty to god stuff sounds sweet! There's a big problem out here with young men not getting through high school and all the bad influences and everyone is going innactive. HUGE PROBLEM. like its more than 50%. So it's important that we have good leaders and influence to go out of their way to help the youth in the ward and be there for them when other people aren't.
I'm sorry Rachelle that you didn't get to sing. But you'll get chances, especially if you keep trying to develop your talents. Voice lessons sound like an awesome idea!! Hopefully they'll be able to change the musical week so you can try out. That'd be super sweet! Dang vacations getting in the way of everything... jaja
Mom I have been able to play piano since I've been here a lot. I play for district meetings and zone meetings and for the baptisms we've had and that's I think. But ya a lot of opportunites since I've been here. I love knowing music and being able to just play whenever. So yes. Thank you. =)
Well thats the email for today. I'm having a really good time and learning so many good lessons here. I'm glad we haven't been succesful and I'm glad we haven't been a perfect companionship because its through those trials that we learn the most if we don't have a bad attitude. I would like to have some success eventually but it'll come in good time... all part of the plan.
Well have another awesome week at school and being busy and everything again! Tell Hunter and Jordan I love them and then Tate too when he gets home.
I was going to try and send some pics today on the email but it didn't work again so I think I'll just send home my memory card. But when you send it back make sure its not in an envelope because they go through some scanner thing and they get ripped out I guess. A lot of missionaries have lost their memory cards doing that. So I think I'll send it home in some package or possibly a cd. I'm not sure yet. I'll figure something out today. Maybe I'll just put everything onto a cd and leave the cd here at the house because I have a couple other things I'm going to leave here. Then maybe you could pick them up or something. It'd probably be cheaper than mailing it home. So ya that's what I'll do. I've heard when I finally get to go to Mexico they'll call me and give me less than 24 hr heads up so I won't have time to make any plans. So when I leave I'll put everything in a box by the side door where you left the bag. Yup that'll work! It's like we're mobsters or something making plans and leaving packages in secret spots. jaja
Oh and by the way the house is gross not because of me. It was disgusting the first day I walked in and I've been slowly trying to make improvements. But I pretty much figure it'll be worse in Mexico so I'm just trying to get used to uncomfortable houses and dirty bathrooms and stuff. jaja missions are fun...
Welp! I'll talk to you next Tues or perhaps at the airport if I get the special phone call this week. jaja have fun this week, be safe, work hard at school, read your scriptures, don't talk to strangers, and listen to your parents. You too mom and dad.
Love you guys!!!!!
Elder Florence

West Jordan August 23

I loved your emails!!!!!!! That sounded like the bestest most craziest funnest week ever! jaja Mom you tried a gainer!?!?!??! or at least thought about it... jaja that's insane! What a great mom. That's so cool. Just don't die, or break your back. Your week sounded so fun though! Lagoon, sleepovers, cabins, rivers, and all sorts of fun stuff! Awesome! That's so cool. I'm glad you got to have a lot of fun before school started again. I can't believe it starts Wednesday!!! Time goes by so quick. Thanks for all the info too. It's really fun to hear about everything and all the news and stuff. It sounds like things are going to be really different when I get home with mom becoming a gymnast and dad redoing the cabin all the little childs going on big roller coasters, Savannah becoming a bow hunter, Matthem getting the priesthood, Rachelle getting jobs and driving in a year and a half... Holy gracious!!!! but that's what life is. Change. So hooray! jaja
I ended up finding the brownies and stuff. Thanks so much for the picture savannah. I hung it up on the wall. The brownies were... yummy....   ........ jaja. But ya I got all that stuff and the rest of the letters too. We get mail every monday. the zone leaders pick it up so I did get your letters and stuff last week which was really nice. But anything you send during the week I'll usually get by Monday. I have no idea how it'll work in Mexico but at least for here thats how it goes. 
Thanks for getting the medicine mom. I really don't need anything. just the pills too I guess.
Alright so now for the week!!! This week was insane. Friday we had zone conference which went from 8 to 4. ALLLLL DAAAAYYYY.... but it was really good so I can't complain. They're teaching a lot of cool new things and really making the missionary work bar go up even more. It's getting really intense but really cool at the same time. It's all about just teaching by the spirit and nothing else. Because even though we don't have discussions anymore a lot of missionaries get into the same habit of just teaching lessons the same way. So they're teaching us the doctrine in depth, but then teaching us that we take all that knowledge and simplify it and teach it to investigators as the spirit directs. It's so crazy!!!! But Friday night we had the opportunity to start applying that. We taught Frank the guy who just got out of prison. We didn't plan anything so we just went over and started talking. Just by listening to what he was saying I felt like we should just teach him about a change of heart and what that means. It was a really good discussion and we ended up teaching him the gospel of Jesus Christ and committed him to baptism. We couldn't set a date though because he's probably going to be on parole after the pretrial thing he was talking about. We're not allowed to baptize people on parole but I like it better because now our goal isn't a baptism, it's keeping this guy strong. So we really emphasized a change of heart and becoming a new person and told him the importance of church and scripture. He said he didn't feel comfortable at church because he had no clothing. So I let him borrow some of my stuff and he showed up yesterday!!!! He only stayed for sacrament but it was awesome! So that was fun but the rest of the week was straight awful. Tuesday afternoon we were out working and Elder Herrera and I got a flat tire. So we went around to members houses trying to fix them but to no success. So we had to go all the way which is way out of our area which took up a lot of time. Then we couldn't get anything to work. We wasted an hour trying to fix these stupid bikes because everything kept going wrong. So we didn't end up getting out till 5!!!!!! So we went to dinner and after dinner our other lesson feel through, so that night we had nothing. But So Wednesday we had hopes for though cuz we had potential for like six lessons that day!!!! So the day started and our 1st appointment dropped. Then our second. Then we got two more flat tires but no time to fix them. So we just walked our bikes. Then it started to rain. Then pour. We were soaking wet, my pants got all muddy and ruined, our tires were flat and then our next appointment fell through. We then had time to fix our bikes and have a quick correlation with a ward mission leader. After we went to our dinner which was a nice dry break, but during dinner got 2 phone calls informing us that 2 other appointments we had scheduled for that night cancelled. So we had hopes for 1 left. After dinner we went over there and he wasn't home. So we just did some tracting and went home. Then thursday, the same thing happened basically. All appointment except one dropped and more tires popped. All in all we had 7 flat tires and 9 dropped appointments over three days. Awful. But it was one of those expeirences that you learn a ton from. I can't explain everything I learned but even though we had no success and a ton of other things go wrong, it was still a good week. I learned so much of the value of missionary work plus like a thousand other things. After zone confernce Friday we ended up having a decent end of the week. We were really able to apply the principles and things started improving. But we still didn't have a lot of success. Most of our potential is gone but it's ok becauss now we're going to work even harder to try and get it back. This weekend also ended nice with some service that we did. We ended up finishing off the cement stuff Sister Brown sent you pictures of and we got to wax a bus!!!! jaja this guy in one of the wards owns a day care and so we helped him wax one of the buses. That was really fun. Then to thank us he took us to Wendy's. In the bus!!! jaja it was a lot of fun. We were out there for two hours rubbing turtle wax into this big yellow bus. That was some good times. Then that night we stopped by this members house and she loaded us up with stuff from their garden. We have a fridge full of cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, eggs, plus a ton of chicken they gave us too. So sweet!! That's one nice thing about a mission in Utah. Members hook you up. jaja I love vegetables now. I used to hate all that stuff but now I can eat tomatoes straight. I love it.
Also this week the zone leaders house flooded so they and their visa waiter are staying in our house too. Its crazy. We have 6 of us in there now sharing one shower and a washer. It's been fun though. They keep us straight and they speak spanish so I'm doing language study with them now which makes it so much easier. After a certain point you just have to hear how people talk because especially in Mexican spanish its all idioms, manners of speech, and just the style of talking. You just have to hear it and get used to it. So thats hard right now but it'll come quickly when I get to Mexico, one day when I go there. jaja I saw James again at zone conference. He's still here!!! He's been here 8 or 9 weeks now. sheesh... but he said a bunch of people from his district have gotten visas and things are picking up. So hopefully sometime soon. But we heard there's been a lot more killings in Chihuahua and Tijuana and stuff so that could possible hold it back. I'm not sure. Transfers are this week so I might get put somewhere else. Hopefully Mexico but we'll see. jaja
So I've officially been on my mission over 3 months now!!! My 3 month mark was Thursday. Sweet! then to celebrate we got asked to speak in church yesterday. jaja it was actually really fun. My first talk as a missionary. I spoke on receiving forgiveness and I think it went pretty good. It ended up being a really good expierence.
Well that was it pretty much for the week. I'm glad you guys are having a lot of fun at camps and all the other crazy stuff you've been doing. Have a fun time starting school this week!!! Be safe and don't be lazy and do all your homework and work hard on the piano. jaja (good job mom not being a nazi anymore jaja chiste) but thats awesome. A lot of cool things coming up! I love you guys and miss you a ton. Be safe and read your scriptures every day =)
Love Elder Florence