Monday, November 22, 2010

Three Languages in One Lesson...IT CAN BE DONE!

Monday, November 22, 2010
Howdy there partners? How has life been treating all of you? Over here in California we have lovely blue skies (just like Vegas skies without the heat) with little to no clouds. But for some greater news, we had some football action in our mission's Turkey Bowl today. It was fun getting to see everyone from the other zones but it was even funner feeling the intensity of a football game. Our Zone won both of the games making us the champions of the Turkey Bowl in our region, so we be ballin. Anyways there isn't too much to report since I was on the computer just this last Wednesday but some interesting things have happened in this short period of time.

Once again we had a Mission Training on Friday from 9AM to 3PM and every time we go to those meetings they kill me. But it was still none the less a good meeting where I learned how to better help the people of Los Angeles. Unfortunately, it takes up the whole day pretty much so not a whole lot can happen on those days. Anyways we went to go visit Vitaly, a recent convert, that got baptized before I got in the area. He's great. Very funny and outgoing for a deaf person. The only bad party is where he lives, West Hollywood. As we were leaving we went down Santa Monica Blvd and that is where Sodom and Gomorrah is pretty well established. Saw some gay clubs and that was, well, not cool. But that is why we are here to help people come to know that there is a greater happiness found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Glad to know what my purpose is-to help people be better. The cool thing about that day though wasn't even the lessons we taught but the progression that was made with two of the coolest investigators that we are teaching right now, Walter and Cathalina. I think that I fell more in love with Walter and Cathalina that day. Since they wanted postpone their wedding till after the New Year, we took the opportunity to invite them to fast so that they could receive a testimony that it works. We told them that we would fast lunch and dinner on Friday and that we would all get on our knees at 12 (noon) on the dot so that we could start the fast. I called them to remind them about the fast and they told me that they were "pigging out" before so that Cathalina could make "milk" (Walter's comment haha) to feed the kids. So then we started. Later on that night the text us, "Elder Leavell we r sorry but we cant keep up with the fasting cuzz we are really hungry is it possible that we could close the fasting." After talking things through they then said, "By the time we end please have something for us to eat will stay strong." At this point I was pretty content and left things at that then suddenly I got a text saying "No!!! "I'm hungry"' haha so I called them to see what was up and that is when they told me the coolest thing ever. They said that they were driving when it hit noon and that they remembered the commitment they had made, so they pulled over and kneeled inside the car and offered a prayer to start the fast! How cool is that?! I was so excited and proud of them for taking the courage to test the law of fasting so they could receive an answer to their prayers and concerns for themselves. I know that if we were to all show this great amount of faith that the gates of heaven will open and I know that they have been opened for them because of their faithfulness. It was so awesome to hear that and I know that when a missionary hears those words that it makes their day. Then the next day before the Thanksgiving party with the Deaf Branch, Elder Western and I took the opportunity to teach them and share our thoughts about what had happened the day before. It went really well, despite the lack of planning and how we are not companions. We listened to the talk given by President Monson (you should all listen to it!) during General Conference called "The Three R's of Choice." After listening to the talk we asked them what they had felt during the fast and what they feel they should do about the wedding date. Ending up saying that they still didn't know but I felt like they did. So I told them, just like from the story from that talk, "Why are you so worried? You already know what the answer is." They looked at each other and said that they felt that Walter's mother should be there. Wish they would have told me that before but I'm glad that it came out. We committed them to ask her when she would be back and so forth, they agreed. The Thanksgiving party went great, about 70 people showed up. I was hanging out with Walter and Cathalina the entire time and we had a good time. We ate so much! At least I did, but I think that the food tasted a whole lot better since I had fasted for a full day. So worth it though.

Then for the mother load of all lessons. The reason for the title. On Saturday we went to go visit Olswando and his family. They are so awesome but OH MY GOODNESS was my head hurting after the lesson. The parents speak Spanish, the kids understand English better, and Olswando is hard-of-hearing. It was the awesomeist lesson ever though! We taught them about the Restoration and the Dad was crying by the end and said that he would do everything in his power to get his family to church the following Sunday, since he had prior arrangements this Sunday. They are so great! At the beginning they were saying how they were Catholic but then when the spirit came into the room everything changed. I know that we are representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ and that we bear the Holy message that would wish to bestow to all. I love serving a mission and I wish I could do this forever, but I can't.

The coolest thing happened at Church though. Two new people that we had never seen walked into church and sat down. Gilberto and Jesus. They are so awesome, partially because they are Latin but, also, because they just walked in. It's amazing how the Lord blesses us because of our work and obedience, but most of all because of our faith that He will provide. I'm so amazed at how this is a true principle in the gospel of Jesus Christ of whom the Bible and the Book of Mormon testify of. It's so amazing to see all the references to the Savior, the Redeemer, and the Almighty in Holy writ. I know with all my heart that those books witness of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and profess to the world, as do we, that the only that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father, of whom the Savior has fulfilled His will, is through Jesus Christ and His atonement for all mankind. That is the gospel of Jesus Christ, a message of hope to all. I love this gospel and I love that I have the blessed opportunity to serve Him, the Almighty. May the Lord bless you all and all your endeavors. I love and miss you all. Till Next week.

Elder Leavell

P.S. Thanks for all the letters everyone. Keep the coming!


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