February 25, 2013

Email 2/25/13

Hey Folks, man it seems like I haven't written in forever, Two weeks without emailing goes by slow, but it goes by fast at the same time. Mission time is so wierd! So this letter either could be long.. or it could be short We'll have to see haha. We had exchanges with the zone leaders this week, and I was scared to go with Elder Marriott because he's super strict, and I don't know me and him just don't get along the best.. So we went on exchanges last week and it went a lot better then I thought it was going to go! I got a lot of good stuff from him some good ideas on how to contact people, tract, teach a lesson in unity, and set up lessons for members to come along.

We've still been teaching Chris, and he is doing great! He really understands what we teach him and always tells us that we're really good at breaking it down for him. It's always the best when people tell you that, because sometimes we can just ramble on and not even realize that they aren't even understanding the words we're saying so it feels good when people are able to understand and you're able to teach it simply. Everytime we teach Chris the spirit is way strong, I've had lessons like that, but it seems like every lesson we have with him the spirit is way strong. He has a baptismal date of March 16th, but he's not going to be able to make that date because he has been missing church, a lot of things have come up that stopped him from coming, and he also has a leadership position in his church, so we're hoping that we can get him to come next week.

So one of our zone leaders Elder Crozer got the call to be the AP and so he had to leave a few days earlier then when transfers were, leaving Elder Marriott all by himself. So Elder Marriott came into a trio With Elder Monk and I. And I thought it was going to be horrible haha. It actually wasn't that bad. We didn't get much work done, but it was fun. Well we did get work done, just not a bunch of work in our area. We had to do the appointments in our area as well as the appointments in his area so we were constantly running back and forth between areas and stuff like that. We also went to his wards church, and so we went to six hours of church. I love church.. But six hours is way to much for me haha.

Melvina was baptized last Friday the 15th, and it was good! Elder Monk ended up baptizing her and then I confirmed her on Sunday. It was a great baptism like usual the spirit was there really strong, and everything just went really good. After the baptism Billy came up to Me, Elder Monk, Elder Austin, and Elder Escamilla and asked us if we could be his "best men" at his wedding! It was so sweet! It's really an honor to be asked that by anybody, but by somebody we baptized makes it so much sweeter! His wedding isn't until June, so hopefully I'm not too far away if I get transferred.. I'll still be able to get permission to leave my area and go to it though! I'm way pumped for that!

Melvina's Baptism - 2/15/2013

On Saturday we got a text to go help with a car wash that was a fundraiser for these investigators that the sister missionaries are teaching. I guess one of the people they are teaching had a baby, and it passed away at three months old. They don't have enough money to do a funeral or even bury the baby, so we did a car wash. I was already dressed up and I decided I'd just do the car wash in my white shirt and tie haha. When we got there they had a bunch of signs and so I was a sign dancer. Not just any sign dancer though.. I was the best sign dancer ever! haha I've never danced so crazy in my life. I was going absolutely crazy, luckily Some of the elders saw how crazy I was going and they were so kind to take pictures and video, so I have that as a great memory! The sign dancing was getting everybody's attention, but the car wash was still pretty slow, and not a lot of people wanted to pay for one. I had gotten about 10 dollars in tips for my dancing that went to the fundraiser. More people were pulling over to give me money then they were to get a car wash. haha. I decided since all of the signs said something about Baby Isaiah and it being a fundraiser I made a sign that said "What would Jesus do?" And I would hold it at the end of the line of everybody's signs. I only was holding it for about ten minutes, and by that time we had gotten 4 customers in the ten minutes. It was awesome! haha. Unfortunately we had to leave to an appointment so I couldn't hold that sign anymore, but I had a lot of fun, looking like a fool dancing out on the streets of San B, sweating like crazy. I'll send some pictures, but the videos are too big, I'll send my SD card home soon so you can see those videos haha.

Elder Monk & Elder Bell - Sign Dancers
Elder Bell's carwash sign

After our appointment that day we decided we wanted to order a pizza, but didn't know how many to order for 5 elders. We had heard about a place called La Pizza Loca, and they have these giant pizzas for really cheap. We ended up going there and ordering the "La Gigante" pizza combo. It was a thirty two slice pizza, with wings, breadsticks  and a 2-liter soda for under 20 bucks! The pizza was actually a lot better then I thought it was going to be, it being that cheap I thought it was going to taste like cardboard. It was pretty good though, and it filled all five of us!

"La Gigante" pizza

So I had talked a little about transfers in my last letter, or at least I think I did.. Transfers were last week and we got our calls on sunday Morning. Elder Monk is Gonzo, and I am staying in San B! I was really glad to hear that I was staying because there is a lot of good work going on in this area and I didn't want to leave it! My new Companion Is Elder Werner. He's been out on his mission for 18 months, and he is a great guy! He is unfortunately from Provo Utah, so of course he is a BYU fan, but that's okay we still get along haha. He's actually a really nice guy, and we work together really well. He's a hard worker and so it's fun to be with someone that wants to do the work as much as I do. I think this is going to be a really good transfer, I'm really stoked for it. I think I'm going to learn, and grow a lot by having Elder Werner as my companion.

Saying Goodbye to Elder Monk
(pictures with Elder Werner forthcoming)

We've still been teaching Don and Kayla, and they are still on track for their baptism on March 8th. Dons Girlfriend is getting a hip replacement surgery sometime soon and so he might have to postpone his baptism until after that happens. We're hoping that it won't happen until after his baptism, because he wants to be there for her, and help her learn to walk again, and so it could be a while before he got baptized. Don is an awesome guy, I've really grown to love him. He's about 70 years old and had gotten in a car crash and broke his glasses so he couldn't read from the book of Mormon. They recently got him a new pair of glasses and he has been reading from it a lot. He said to his family. "Have you read this whole book before? Well you should because it's true!" He says he knows it's true and he feels the spirit when he reads it. It's awesome in his prayers he talks to god just like he was on the phone with him (Which isn't a bad thing, I think it's awesome) But he usually says something like "I'm glad the Elders were able to come over today and talk about the Book of Mormon. I know that book is true and I'm.. I'm gonna read all of it. It might take me a while, But I'm gonna do it!" Don is just an awesome guy. He doesn't like to wear a shirt and he's got a pretty big beer belly, it's so funny he'll like set food on the top of his stomach and use it as a table, or he'll just sit there the whole lesson without a shirt on rubbing his belly hahaha.

Don the Investigator

Some big news came in Friday night, The San Bernardino mission will be shut down on July first.... For the creation of two new missions! Currently there is the San Bernardino mission, and the Riverside Mission. What they're going to do is put Redlands, and San B into one mission. They'll call that the California Redlands Mission, and our mission right now (With a couple areas cut out going to the Redlands Mission) Will be called the California Rancho Cucamonga mission. The Riverside Mission will still be there with some of it's areas a part of the Redlands mission. The cool thing about this all is there will be twice as many missionaries covering the areas out here. The field is white and ready to harvest for sure! I'm excited to see how this new mission will go, and where I'll end up going. If I'm in San Bernardino at that time of transfers I think it's June 25th. If I stay in San B or if I'm in Rialto, or Fontana I'll be apart of the Redlands Mission. If I'm somewhere in Rancho, Hesperia, Apple Valley, Etc. Then I'll be serving in the Rancho Cucamonga mission. It's kinda crazy thinking about it all and If I leave the mission, I won't ever have the chance to be transferred back around the same area so I couldn't visit people I had taught before. I hope that paragraph made sense because I rambled on forever there haha.

Elder Werner and I have been tracting a lot trying to find some new investigators, I usually hate tracting, but it isn't too bad, I'm starting to like it! We've had a lot of fun tracting and talking to a bunch of the crazy people out here in San B. We haven't had a lot of new investigators, but we have quite a bit of potentials that we're hoping to teach. We actually have a potential family. We got a referral for them and went over and talked to them it's a family of six, and we're going to teach them tomorrow. Hopefully that goes well and we can pick them up as new gators and get them baptized! I've always wanted to convert a family, I hope this will be them!

Don has been reading the Book of Mormon a lot and we went over this week and read along with him making sure he was understanding and everything. It was way funny, we would read two verses each except for Don. He would always read like four or five verses. Elder Werner would be right after him and he would always start reading after Don had read two verses but Don would keep going and just cut Elder Werner off. One of the times that it was Dons turn to read, he read like 7 verses and then on the 8th one he cut off Elder Werner again and then stopped half way inbetween the verse and said okay, you can read now. hahah it was so hard to not laugh! He just decided he'd be done at the end of a sentance, instead of at the end of a verse. I don't even think he realized it either. Don is just awesome, He sat by me at church and he was singing along in sacrament meeting. He isn't much of a singer, he would just read the words. I'm fine with that becasue none of our investigators will ever sing, they'll just open the book and read along while everybody else sings. He even tried singing along in elders quorum. We didn't have any hymn books and he didn't know the words so he went along with it and mumbled the whole song, pretending like he knew the words. It was awesome. I had the hardest time keeping myself from laughing.

Elder Werner plays the guitar, and I decided that I'm going to start playing too! haha. He has taught me a few cords, and so I practice a lot at night, and during lunch hour and any other personal time we have. It's really hard, a lot harder then I thought it was going to be! I can now slowly play amazing grace, it sounds pretty bad though. Hopefully I'll be able to stick with it and practice a lot so I can be some guitar master! I just want to write a bunch of songs. The thing that kind of sucks about starting to play is holding down the strings on the guitar can start to hurt your fingers, so if you play too much, your fingers start hurting. I can already start feeling that my fingers are going to be callased! Oh well.

Well sorry my letter should have been like twice as long as this one is since I missed emailing last week. But nothing too new is happening out here. Thanks for the prayers and support, it really means a lot. I've been having a rough time lately, and it really does mean a lot to me. Have a great week everyone.

Elder Bell

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