February 11, 2013

Email 2/11/13

Hiya!:) haha I guess everybody mentioned something about my introduction to my letter last week, sorry I don't have anything good like that this week! Things are going pretty good! Everything is about the same here out in San-B.. Transfers are coming up this next Tuesday, hopefully I'll stay! Elder Monk is thinking he'll leave since it will be like 9 months that he's been in this area. I hope at least one of us will be able to stay because the work in our area is starting to go really well, and there are tons of people with the potential to be baptized that we've worked with.

Billy is still a stud, haha. Last week we saw him a couple of times and the first time we saw him, he had told us he had started reading the Book of Mormon and he can't read.. So we asked how he was reading it and he got this app on his phone that reads it to him and he just follows along and listens to it. On the first day he had read/listened all the way up to 1 Nephi chapter 17! He was talking about what he had learned, and was saying some new words I had never heard him say before, it was pretty sweet! It was like there was a new Billy from just reading/listening to the Book of Mormon that day.

We were tracting Magnolia street this week, (Magnolia is a place you do not want to be at after dark, straight up ghetto) and we came across this gated house, and the gate was locked and they had a beware of dog sign, and also these huge crosses in their yard, like wooden stakes, I would say about at least 4 feet tall. We decided we would skip that house, and the gate was locked anyways so we couldn't do anything about that. On our way back down the street, a guy came out and started laughing at us, so we just ignored him and kept walking, then he called us to come over. So we started walking over there and he had this wrench in his hand, I thought we were going to brawl! But he was really nice, he said he was a member he got baptized 25 years ago and fell away a couple years after his baptism. We were about to head to dinner and so we couldn't stay and teach him then, but our after dinner appointment fell through and so we went back. (After hearing a couple of gun shots that lesson, we now know not to go back there at night,,) But we shared a message with him and got to know him better. His name is Ralph, and he is a character! He is so goofy and funny. He would call his son Chris out randomly when he wouldn't know the word for something, or just the most random things. Anyways, His son Chris way nice kid, he kind of chilled out there after Ralph kept calling him outside to answer questions. We weren't talking much about the gospel but Chris was just chillin out there with us. He knew we were from some kind of church, but didn't really know what we believed and stuff like that. So he asked if we were Christian and we told him yes. He said the church he goes to now sells food and drinks during the service, and he wanted to know whether or not that was right, so I went over and talked to him and talked about how we weren't really in the place to say whether or not it was right, because we don't know what the proceeds are going to, But I told him that Jesus taught in the Bible that priestcraft is bad. And from there the spirit took off, I went on to teach him the restoration or the summary in about 2 minutes and it was awesome, I don't even remember what I said. I just told him about how Jesus Christs church was back on this earth and there is evidence in the Book of Mormon. I don't really remember what else was said, but it was the best contact I've ever made with somebody, usually when we street contact, I'll talk about something and then when they respond I'll let Monk take over because I'll get stuck or something, this was the first one I've done all by myself and it went so great! I'm a big boy now! haha.

We went back over to teach Chris a couple days later, and it was the best lesson me and Elder Monk have ever taught together. We were working together so well, transitioning topics back and forth, bearing testimony frequently, and we used A lot of scriptures from the Bible that were really helpful with Chris because he knows the Bible pretty well. It was the best lesson we've taught so far, the spirit was so strong. I don't really remember what was said, but that's the best, because when you don't remember what you were saying, that means that the Holy Ghost was talking through you, and it wasn't just you talking. When we introduced the Book of Mormon too him, we explained really well that it doesn't replace the Bible it's another Testament, and they work hand in hand, Considering how the Bible can be translated so many different ways, it's like a door, with only one door hinge. You can swing it so many different directions, (Why people translate it or find so many different meanings, and why there are so many religions.) But as soon as you place the second door hinge on that door (The Book of Mormon) you can only swing it one way and one direction, not misinterpreting anything. He was so excited to read it, and actually said that he felt like it was true just from us talking about it and him not reading anything at all from it! He said "This is exactly what I've been searching for, I wish I would have known about this book a long time ago! I really appreciate you guys coming out here and sharing this with me and other people, I hope to someday go out and do the same as you guys." After that we committed him to baptism, and it was just the best lesson ever! Nothing went wrong, and after teaching this guy the first lesson he told us he wishes someday he can serve a mission! It was so crazy!! Unfortunately, he's already had children, but it was really cool to hear somebody you just taught the first lesson say they want to serve someday!

Melvina is getting baptized this Friday, but unfortunately Billy won't be able to baptize her because they went out of town this weekend and he wasn't presented in front of the ward, and he missed his interview and stuff like that, but he really wanted to, it's sad knowing he can't, We had a pretty sweet lesson with her this week, and then went over the baptismal interview questions with her. The best thing she said this week, and I just want to write this on a big piece of paper and hang it up on my wall! haha she said "I've fallen in love with your guys' church, I've fallen in love with the truth." Boom! haha I just got the chills! It was so sweet! She has so much faith, and I know she'll make a good addition to the ward family. Our ward is awesome, The bishop and everybody. I wouldn't mind moving to this ward after my mission.. Until I realize that it's San Bernardino and then that cancels out the sweetness of the ward haha.

It's actually pretty scary here. Especially right now, there is a guy they are looking for. They call him the "Cop Killer" he is an old cop, and I guess he's going around and killing other cops. He wasn't doing that here in San-B but that is where they lost him after they were chasing him, so we have a guy that has a lot of skills with a gun running around, hiding where we knock door to door. Every night the Ghetto bird (A helicopter that searches for people with its spotlight) looks for him, and it's hard sometimes when we are teaching a lesson and the light shines right outside the peoples front yard, and they freak out and think that the cop killer is by them. Total spirit killer! I'm sure that this guy is somewhere out of the country by now, and everybody is freaking out about it. It's fun to play along. I'm not afraid of him, I'm an adult. Haha just kidding, I'm scared but I doubt he's even in this town anymore.

We were able to go do baptisms for the dead this Saturday with our ward and that was sweet. The Redlands temple is way pretty, and their baptismal font is so cool! Last time we went there, I baptized and the other elders did confirmations, so this time I let them do the baptizing and I helped with Confirmations. It was really cool, I love the temple so much! After that we went out to In-n-Out burger and that was a lot of fun. We all got the 4x4 burgers because we're men and we like to do manly stuff like that. This newly ordained deacon that is tiny he's like way small compared to the other kids, pounded down 2 4x4 cheese burgers and a shake! Now that is manly! haha.

I guess the only other cool thing that happened this week, besides some of the awesome letters I got! :) We have been teaching Don and Kayla this week, and they have a baptismal date for the 9th of March and I'm thinking they'll definitely be ready for that by then! One of the days we were over there, their cousin was over, and he was giving them a hard time and heckling them about them being baptized saying like that's so dumb! Who would want to be baptized? And both Kayla and Don chewed him out and were yelling at him saying they wanted to be baptized, and why they needed to be baptized and all of that stuff, it was so awesome to see them stand up for the church and stuff like that!

The library is closed next Monday because of President's Day and so If I can't write next week, I'll talk to you guys in two weeks!

Elder Landon Bell

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