Monday, September 21, 2009

The Bamboo 9-1-2009 (Received 9/1/2009)

Hola Family and friends,

I want to apologize for writing you a day late this week, but I have a good reason. Our pday was on Tuesday this week instead of Monday -- so that’s why. Just so you know for in the future, every transfer our p-day will be moved back a day. I am not sure why that is but that’s just the way that is, so yeah. Anywho, that is the reason why our pday this week was on Tuesday. We have transfers tomorrow. Me and Elder Blandon are both staying in San Sebastian for another transfer and I am pumped. I am excited because I will get to keep working with these awesome people and I will get to keep working with Elder Blandon. He is teaching me so much more about the gospel and Spanish. So staying should be great. I’m also really glad because the ward here in San Sebastian is just awesome! They love the work so much and they are willing to help us with whatever . . . so I am really excited to work with them for another 6 weeks.

This week was a good solid week with a lot of travel. Thank you for your letters mom and dad, it was great to hear from you. I’m glad that all is going wel. Good luck with your test dad, you are going to do great.

Anywho I don’t have a lot of time to write again so this letter might be a bit shorter then the others. Like I said, this week was full of travel. We had a basketball tournament with the youth on Saturday in Cabo Rojo which was fun. Holy cow! The people in Puerto Rico sure love their basketball. It was kind of intense and I feel bad because we played with the San Sebastian team and I didn't play very well. But that’s OK, I am not here to play basketball. We also went to do interviews with the president yesterday and that is where the name for this week's email comes from.

On the way back to San Sebastian yesterday we were driving through the mountains. A tropical storm rolled through. It was kind of crazy. The wind was blowing so hard and it was raining so hard that we could barely see where we were driving. Luckily I wasn’t driving because I think I would’ve been a little too freaked out to drive but it was still a little scary. Anywho the mountain road we were driving on has bamboo all along the roads and bamboo isn’t the strongest wood, so a lot of it falls during these storms. We got to a point where we were in the middle of the storm and also in the middle of the bamboo forest. It was near the end of the forest and bamboo started falling on the road. Luckily we were able to drive right through and luckily no bamboo trees hit our car. It really was a miracle and you have no idea how protected we were. I know that the Lord loves His missionaries and that He wants us to be safe. We were totally protected yesterday. It was awesome.

Anywho, because we did so much traveling this week I don’t have very many awesome spiritual stories. But I am still a missionary which means that I have a few :) yay! The first one is about our new friend Carmen. She is a lady who called Salt Lake because her brother got a pass along card. Carmen was baptized a few years ago in a town close to ours and moved away and forgot about the church. She has now returned. But what was so cool is that she lives about 2 hours away from us and she is totally wanting to get back into the church and the gospel, and it’s all for her kids. This lady is so amazing, We visited her the first day and her house is basically one room with 2 bunkbeds for her 3 kids, a fridge, an oven, and big bed for her. The floor is cement with cracks in it the couches are old and worn and totally broken. The bathroom has no door and it opens up to the other room (I know because I just couldn’t hold it our first visit ;) Anywho, this lady is so into the gospel. We gave her a Book of Mormon to start reading again and she read the first chapter and marked and annotated almost every single verse.

We came back for another visit and her kids were there. She told us that she wants her kids to start learning about God and Jesus and that they need to be baptized into His true church. We gave them both their own Book of Mormon and their eyes got huge. The 14 year-old boy said he loves wrestling and he showed us his Nacho Libre masks. When we gave him this Book of Mormon his eyes lit up and he just sat and stared at it. It was Christmas for these kids and it was so neat to see that they cared about this book. They knew it was special even though they didn’t really know what it was. I am so pumped to get back out there and teach them again. I can’t wait until I have more awesome stories to tell you about them.

My next story comes from contacting. I love contacting! It’s so fun. It’s a time that I get to use and practice my Spanish and practice talking with the people here. But it is also a time that I can use to find the people that the Lord has prepared for us. We often do find those special people, but we also find those who hate the church and won't listen to the truth. We went down the street contacting one day and we came upon a house with a lady sitting on her porch hugging her Bible. She invited us in with a smirk on her face thinking she was about to prove the Mormon Church, God’s Church, to be false. Me and Elder Blandon both prayed for help to know what to say to this lady. We sang a hymn to invite the spirit and prayed and began to teach. We taught the first lesson and we got to the main scripture, Ephesians 2:20, which says that the church that Christ established was built upon apostles and prophets and Himself, Jesus Christ. We asked her to read the scripture in her Bible and when she read it, she slammed the Bible closed and, with a deer in the headlights look, said “faith is all you need.” Elder Blandon and I stopped the lesson right there and told her that we would pass by another day.

This is one of the biggest problems that I see. People don’t want to change. This lady knew that there was more. But she didn’t want to be wrong. It’s hard to see this. Our message is a message of joy and hope, of the gospel of Jesus Christ. People have a chance to know the truth through the spirit but a lot of people just deny the promptings and witness. It’s hard to see but it’s nice to have other experiences like Carmen to keep us going. Also it is awesome to get letters and know that there are angels thinking and praying for me every day. Thank you for your prayers and your support. You have no idea how much it means to me.

My scripture this week comes from 1 Nephi chapter 16 verse 28. This is when Nephi breaks his bow and the Lord tells them to look at the Liahona. They are shocked when they find that it works according to their diligence and faithfulness in heeding the words of the Liahona. It is the same with the spirit in our lives. If we don’t give diligence and faithfulness to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the spirit won’t continue to give us those promptings. We are here to serve one another and to help each other grow. Everyone is a child of God and everyone needs help. If you are prompted to help someone, say Hi, share the gospel message, or even just smile . . . do it! It’s the spirit prompting you and the more you follow the spirit the more you will feel His loving influence in your life.

I love you all and I miss you more then you can know. This week was especially hard because of yesterday. I realized that school started for BYU yesterday and it made me sad to think that I wouldn’t be there to support my friends and my family. I hope all is going well with school and I want you to know that my prayers and my thoughts are with you all. Good luck and work hard!

Thanks for all you do and for all of your love and support. You have no idea what kind of a effect a 1-page letter can have. They seriously mean the world to me so thank you. I love you all and I pray for you every night and morning! I hope that all is going well. Let me know if you have any questions or if you need anything and I will try and help the best that I can OK?

I love you all! Stay strong!

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