Monday, August 16, 2010

You Know You Love It

Monday, August 16, 2010

Well, well, well it's another p-day so that means another week finished in the mission. Woo Hoo! Haha I actually don't want it to end, I think that this week I have seen the love I have for the people grow even more, despite us not seeing much success. I hope that you have enjoyed your summer vacation and that you enjoy what's left of it. I'll get to enjoy it next summer.

As I said last week, we had a TON of meetings and so we were literally in our area for 5 hours a day. It was terrible. The First Presidency is making a couple of changes, they aren't really changes from all the meetings I've seen but they are putting more emphasis on teaching by the spirit and listening. Regrettably there isn't much I can say, and next week will be the same because we have more trainings, but there is some good news. Gerardo finally had a baptismal date for the 29th.Way pumped for that because I haven't had a baptism in a long time and there truly isn't anything better to witness than seeing a baptism of someone that has changed their life to live in accordance with the standards of our Heavenly Father. We haven't been able to motivate his wife yet, she seems really aloof about the idea but we are confident that after we take them to the visitors center, that is now finished!,things will change. Hopefully she won't bail like she usually does. If not we will baptized Gerardo and we know she will shortly turn around after that. I'm thankful for their love of Heavenly Father, there is really no other way that people listen to us without that love. Otto,has fallen off the radar and we haven't been able to talk to him since the baptism. It is a big bummer because he was extremely prepared to make that first step but apparently he wasn't. Everything happens fora reason, that's for sure. We are teaching another person that we found off tracting. Her name is Francie, she is Catholic, and her family is from Mexico. We talked to her about eternal families, at her door, and the way that our Heavenly Father has given us to accomplish that. We left her with a pamphlet The Family: A Proclamation to The World. We didn't think too much of it but when we went back for the return appointment she was there and had read it. It was sick. I wish everyone would that over here. The cool thing is that she is engaged and is going to get married in November, so she said that it would be something really important to her. Hopefully we will get to talk with the fiancé soon, we have seen him and he seems pretty cool.

SO I have had a couple of interesting experiences on my mission the past two weeks, ones that I cannot forget and so I'm going to write them down here. Hopefully no one gets offended, I'm not making fun, they are just, well, interesting and normal experiences while serving here in Los Angeles. The first one happened about a week and a half ago while we were tracting right next to our apartment. We didn't have time to travel to Wilmington, where are the spanish is, so we decided to tract some of the english areas that right next to our apartment. Lo and behold someone was there at the door, as if were waiting for us to knock on her door. We started talking to her about the things we have in common and tried to get to know her, when all of the sudden she went off on some of the experiences she has had over the past couple weeks. She said that her Sister that had a tumor in her spine was sick and the doctors had no idea what they could do to help her. They were going to try a risky surgery but she could have ended up paralyzed. This lady was out of town when she received word of her sister, so the instant she received word she went to her knees to pray. She had told us that she has a literal connection with the Lord and that he talks to her in the same way a normal conversation is with people. For example, He would say "hello," "what's up?," etc. This time the Lord appeared to her in a dream and she saw what was a TV screen with the Lord standing right next to her sister when all of the sudden a red laser came out of His hand and the tumor disappeared. Now I don't doubt that the Lord had His hand in the healing of her sister, I know that He did, and I don't doubt that if the Lord wanted to shoot a laser out of His hand He could. But for me I see the Lord doing it a different way, sort of the way He did it in the scriptures by commanding the body to do as He told, like "arise" or "be healed." To me it would have been a little freaky to see that. Now onto the next story, we did temple service this past week and it went great. I was with Elder Ellott, who has only one arm (fell out of a truck when he was 4) and there was an interesting experience about that. As we were given assignments we were sent to the kitchen to help clean. When we got there, an old man came up to Elder Ellott and said "where is your arm?" He responded, "I fell out of a truck at the age of 4 and I have to remove it." The old man said, "So you mean you don't have it?" JAWS OPEN. I think that was the most awkward moment I have been in on my mission, but that's not all. The old man continued and said that the walls needed to be cleaned and he said, "I don't think you can help me with that because you only have one arm" and that's when I stepped in and said "I think he is more capable than me sir." Ha then he said "that's not the question that I asked." It was so funny and so awkward at the same time. I couldn't believe that was happening. He finally said, "well alright if you need anything...anything, I mean it, call for us and we will help you" and then he turned to me and said,"AH you have two arms I need you to do some two armed work" RIGHT INFRONT OF ELDER ELLOTT. Haha. Funny thing was that I had to move some plates and then clean the area where they were. I felt so bad for him because I know that it is already tough just walking around, let alone, getting comments from people who just don't understand. The amazing thing is that Elder Ellott has worked so hard and has done everything, literally everything that a "two armed person" can do. He was the best player at baseball in the state of Utah and is the best basketball player in the mission. It's great to see that courage and strength in other people, especially when things get tough for us because all we have to do is look and see that we don't have it as bad.

I love you all, I'm sorry that I don't have too much to say because of all the meetings but I hope that you have a wonderful week. Remember to be happy and always have your chin up because everything will be ok.

Elder Leavell

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