Monday, June 21, 2010

One Year Down, One to Go

Monday, June 21, 2010
Hey mom thanks for the package I think that I can safely say that I will be good on snacks for awhile, it doesn't even fit in the cubboards (hope that is right). Dad hope you had a wonderful Father's day. Sorry I couldn't call you but I did send you a card BUT it will get there late I sent it on Saturday haha my bad. Grandma, hope you had a wonderful birthday. Once again sorry I couldn't be there, I will say I was there in spirit though.

Back to the rest of you how are all of you doing? This week has been another hectic one but when is it not? The good news on the other hand is that we finally for a hold of some people/families that we have been trying to get a hold of, so that means more investigators!

Now for how the week went went. Due to the changes in the mission and because my companion is a district leader we had to take some extra dinner appointments to make everyone happy. But that means my stomach has been suffering a little bit. So that was my Monday after p-day, dinner appointments. Fun huh? On Tuesday we picked up Elder Mitillo and Elder Cottrell to do some service for this black lady Asia that is in the Carson. She is moving to Long Beach to help her nephew, who turns out that help her come to the gospel, come back to the church so that is pretty cool and very thoughtful. The rest of the day we went to visit people that are in our area book since we still hadn't caught up and visited everyone that the other missionaries had been visiting. One lady in particular was an interesting one. Luz Ortiz has a looonng teaching record and normally it means that they have problems keeping commitments, or in other words not worth our time. But we decided to visit her because Elder Richins said that most of his baptisms were from looonng teaching records. We figured out why the instant we got there-she loves her cigarettes. As we talked with her she pulled one out and lit it up right in front of us. Interestingly enough she has come to church several times, so we will see if she reads the pamphlet we left her with. Probably not though. Oh well. After that we didn't do much, tracted a little until we got to the Santoyo family! They are awesome. Husband is gay but the mom and the kids are ready. Satan is exactingly obedient at daily contact because every time we are there the husband feels the spirit and says he wants to go to church but the second we leave he changes his mind and goes wacko. This last Sunday they didn't come so we stopped by to see if they needed anything and the husband left when he saw us. So we decided to take the opportunity to talk with the mother and explain the importance of setting the example for her husband. We shared our experiences with turning families into church attending families and promised her that her husband's mind will change if she sets the example and goes to church. She promised next week she would come to church. I have great hopes for that family. Moving off the investigators a little bit, we had another mission devotional, even though it should have been titled President Blackburn's going away party haha. We first met in the chapel that was in the temple and the awesome part was the we were all in white. It was so great to see all of the missionaries from the different zones come in as a mission. We waited there for about 45 minutes because we were waiting for the other zones to get there but once we were all together the temple president came up to speak to us. It was amazing. He asked us to focus a lot on the symbolism of the things that happen in the temple and proceeded to explain the importance of the temple in the restored gospel. There is a reason why only certain people can be presidents of the temple. Then we heard from President and Sister Blackburn and then went through the temple. Afterwards we all ate together and it was a big party. I wish we could have more of those since the mission is small anyways. Hopefully the next mission president will do some more of those. Any who...back to the investigators. We finally got a chance to meet with Guadalupe and her kids. Turns out she is a really nice lady and is just worked like crazy at her work so she hasn't been able to come to church and/or meet with us. After church we went over there to see what was up because she told us that she would be there, but it turned into a blessing. When we went over there her 16 year old daughter, Iselia, 26 year old son, Edgar, and 6 year old niece, Alisia (Edgar's son) were all there. We had an amazing lesson with them about families and the restored gospel. The little girl was bored and went crazy and ended up in her room. As I was teaching the lesson, I don't know why but I started focusing on Edgar only. I wanted to focus on everyone but I couldn't. It turned out to be an amazing lesson and we will be seeing them all on Wednesday and hopefully they will read the pamphlet and pray. I know I'm praying for it because they really need the gospel. Through out the week we did service with Sister Green, where we plucked plums and made jam. It was soo good...mmmm. We went with Mitillo and Cottrell and we will all go again this next Wednesday. I remember now, it was on Tuesday that we went to go pick plums because Mexico was playing and everyone was screaming when they scored. It would be soo sick if Mexico won because they have never won before. Yeah that was my week for the most part. Sounds busy huh?

So as you probably all know I'm now at my hump day, it being tomorrow. It's so crazy to think that a year has gone by, it feels like not a lot of time has gone by. Well that is probably because we do the same thing over and over again but still it doesn't feel like a year has gone by. I'm so thankful that I have gotten the chance to serve and to do the Lord's will. I don't think I was ready but I think that I have finally planted my feet and am able to go about the work with ease. Yes the mission isn't easy but it is so worth it. For all of you who are debating, just go. Take a leap of faith and do it because in the long run it is worth it. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to do this, yes I'm not perfect but I'm good enough. Sister Ludwig emailed me this Sister's list of things that she has learned, being in the same mission as Elder Ludwig, so I decided to do the same.

Things I've Learned so Far:
  1. Simply Juices are EXPENSIVE!
  2. Sales are our best friends
  3. Why people invented the motor vehicle because bikes take too long and are tiring
  4. Happiness comes through obedience, always
  5. Gained a testimony of the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon
  6. How to fix a toilet with tape and a rubber band
  7. To love everyone
  8. To sow
  9. The American society is going too virtual (like virtual gifts...?)
  10. Panda Express' fortune cookies are true doctrine
  11. Koreans can't drive (sorry it's true, biking through Korea town is like Russian roulette or even worse)
  12. There are too many churches
  13. Families are everything
  14. That everything and anything can be related to the gospel
  15. To not ask why I'm asked to do something but to just do it
  16. That creating habits is key to being successful
  17. Half a phone is better than nothing
  18. To laugh
  19. Small and simple things are best
  20. Commitments are the steps towards covenants
  21. American Sign Language, making me trilingual
  22. Sticky notes are great for reminders
  23. Importance of scripture reading
  24. Trials are blessings for the future
  25. Change a bicycle tire
  26. Fix a bicycle chain
  27. Fix bicycle brakes
  28. Get cockroaches out of a microwave
  29. Perform a baptism
  30. Work on a swollen ankle, with the swine flu, with a temperature, and many more sicknesses
  31. Work is hard
  32. Wake up at 6:30 in the morning
  33. Talk with everyone (I'm like my dad now)
  34. Sit through 8 hour meetings with ease
  35. Translate without thinking
  36. PepBoys take FOREVER even if you can do it in 5 minutes
  37. That I have taken a lot of things for granted like having a car, nice cell phone, music, quality food on the table, my parents, friends, TV, computer, free laundry, school, fresh fruit, the gym, soccer, my comfortable bed, pets, waking up at ridiculous hours, Ines, my grandma who volunteered to wash everything for me, nice haircuts, random outings with family and friends, knowing spanish, and I can't think of any else but I'm sure there are more.
  38. Go to bed at 10:30pm
  39. Planning works
  40. The Lord will and does relieve burdens when we trust in Him

Once again I can't believe that a year has flown by but I know that means that this next year will go by even faster, so in other words I'll see you in no time. I love you and miss you all a lot. I'll see you in a jiffy.

Elder Leavell


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