Monday, October 25, 2010

Lady from Switzerland

Monday, October 25, 2010
Greetings from the city of Los Angeles! How are you all doing? Hope life has been just splendid and not as eventful as our past week has been. Amazing how things turn out in the mission field. I'm pretty sure I won't have the same experiences that I will have here, granted I know that I will do my very best not to live in the Los Angeles County, but, in general, things here are out of the ordinary.

Where do I begin...well as you all know I'm in the ASL program again and that means teaching deaf people. That is not so, in my case. I have been blessed with the wonderful opportunity to have an additional calling, within my calling, and that is to teach in Spanish. It's awesome. Since many of the deaf live with their families who are hearing, the branch has the responsibility to care for them as well, and being in Los Angeles the likelihood of having them be Latin is about 99.9% haha. It makes an interesting chemistry between my companion and I because I don't end up signing with the deaf, but instead I talk with the family members and help them come closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ. It has been taking some time to be getting used to, and it is still a work in progress, because we both feel the burden since I can't help him a lot and he can't either, but I know that the Lord will bless us with the ability to create a system where we can be patient and willing to serve the Lord with everything we have. Interestingly enough, five out the seven progressing investigators that we have are hearing, so I feel for Elder Tritsch since he doesn't know what is going on. Pray for him that he may gain that addition strength to endure. Alright, as far as the investigators go I would like to first start off with this guy we found trying to contact this deaf lady, Lilia. His name is Noe and is from El Salvador. He is way legit and it was interesting how we found him. As we were trying to contact the deaf lady, who ended not being home, this kid started talking with us saying that he was a member but hadn't gone to church in awhile. As we were talking, Noe showed up and the kid told us that he was the husband of Lilia's cousin so maybe he could help us contact them because we heard the tv. We asked him to help us out, so he went through the back way and got a hold of them. We talked to Lilia's husband and found out that she wasn't home, so we left. As we were leaving, I felt really strongly that I had to go back and talk with Noe. It was weird, but I knew that I had to. We talked to him and set up a return appointment for the next week. Next week came around and he opened up, and started talking about everything that he believed and everything that he had gone through, it was cool, said that he was a prankster back in the day but when he found the gopsel he changed. We walked around to a restaurant and got a drink (never done that before) and started talking about the church and it was a really good lesson. We left him a Restoration pamphlet and Book of Mormon, he called us a couple days ago saying "I have been reading and I like it." I told him that he needed to pray because that is the only way that we can know that this is true and the only way that we can follow what our Heavenly Father wants, otherwise, we won't make it in the long run. Something simple when all the sudden he said "I haven't been baptized, I probably should do that huh?" That took me back but I told him that he first needed his answer and we would go from there. I'm so excited for him. Hopefully he will do whatever is necessary, only thing is that he works on Sunday. The other investigators we have are members of the Guzman family. It's Juan Sr.'s daughter, Cathalina, and her boyfriend, Walter, that have baptismal dates for the 28th. They came to church this past Sunday and it was cool to see them there. They were absorbing everything and luckily we have the privalege to teach them now, since the Zone Leaders gave them to us since I speak spanish. We haven't had a lesson with them yet but they are investigators of ours, so I'm excited for their progress. Other than that there aren't a lot of people. For some reason we haven't been able to contact anyone and it really has been a major bummer. None of the deaf people are ever home when they are usually always home. Goodness. Sometimes I wish agency wasn't a part of the picture but thank God for it! It's alright, it how we learn and progress. It's still a bummer sometimes. Haha.

Now you are all probably wondering about the title that I put and how it pertains to anything in missionary work. Well here is your answer. We were visiting a recent convert, Vitaly, in West Hollywood and couldn't go home for dinner since it was heck of far way so we ate at Chipotle. Thanks Mom & Dad. Well as we were leaving the parking lot, waiting to for the security, this lady in a Mini Cooper ran into us! Not only did she do that but she still was putting the medal to the pedal and moving our car towards the other car. Luckily, we didn't (we were about an inch away from the other car) but now the whole back of the car is messed up. She ended up being from Switzerland, here visiting, but she looked like she had one too many plastic surgeries. To imagine her face, put your hands on the side of your face and pull. Yeah that bad. It was rediculous. Freak. I was pretty mad. Never been in an accident on my mission and I promised myself I wouldn't! Luckily no one was hurt, except for my pride, maybe.

I would like to end with an experience that I was blessed to witness, for I know that it was truly a miracle. We couldn't get into this apartment complex where a member lives and we really needed to get a hold of him, so we decided to pray. Never really done that because well, yeah don't know I guess I was stupid but I know that there is no excuse now. We prayed, outside the door, that someone would come to help open the door for us so we could contact the member and as we were saying (signing) "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen" a man walked up to the door and let us in. I was really in shock, don't know why, but now looking back I'm so very thankful for my Heavenly Father and everything that he has given me to know that this is the Church, the Church that is His and that he blesses us through our obedience to the commandments and are willingness to serve. I'm so thankful that He answers prayers and that He has taken the responsibility to do so and given everything else to His son Jesus Christ to tend to, so that he can focus on our prayers. It truly is a tender mercy of His. I know that it is true and that it works, I know we will get an answer either way. I love it.

I love you all and wish the greatest amount of blessings upon all of you. May the Lord bless you with gratitude for everything you have, I know that it is the greatest virtue of them all. Love and miss you.

Elder Leavell

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