Monday, December 13, 2010

We Be Ballin & Recycling

Monday, December 13, 2010
Another great opportunity all of you have to listen, well read, what I have to say. It's awesome huh? Haha. Anyways enough with the gloating, this week has been a good week for the most part but I think I'm even more excited for the week to come. There are going to be some many firsts this next week, so stay tuned till next week. Hope you are all doing well and that you are all enjoying life. Remember to smile, always.

Walter and Cathalina are doing great still. They are still on to get married on the 18th and baptized the next day, the 19th. We are all really excited for them and are hoping that everything goes smoothly that they can really enjoy a new life, per say at the commence of a new year. It is pretty noticeable that they are really nervous trying to get everything ready for this upcoming weekend, so we are trying to help as best as we can but we can only do so much. But I think the greatest news about them is not really about them but about their daughter, Janelle. She is almost 1 1/2 and so being away from mom during the rest of church hasn't been the easiest for her, but that finally changed this last Sunday. Noted, she did cry for about 15 minutes when her Mom dropped her off at the Nursery but it stopped, maybe she was just tired by then haha. Either way she started to enjoy it and then Mom and Dad stopped by the Nursery and once again she started crying. Luckily it was almost time to go by then but it was a great step forward for the little one. She does cry a lot, I must say. Oh and some other news. We have been collecting water bottles, cans, and glass bottles, over the past few months hoping to make some money for the wedding of Walter and Cathalina. We stuffed the trunk of our car, proud like no other only to be disappointed. We though for sure we would get at least $20 and we didn't even get half of it. Just $8. Haha. It was a first for me, never done that before. But I have to make one comment- To all of you who do that for a living, props, don't know how you do it haha. Seriously. Apart from that we don't really have any new investigators. It's really hard trying to find new investigators in the ASL program but I know that if we remain diligent and faithful that the Lord will supply us with more blessings and we will be more able to receive those blessings since we will be even more on the same page as Him. It has been a little difficult just driving around all day compared when I was on my bike and busy all day, every day. Makes me wish I hadn't taken that opportunity for granted and even more I never would have thought that I would love to go back on my bike. That is for sure. Jesus and Gilberto came to church again. Gilberto left right before we could talk with him, it was strange. Jesus is doing great. We took him to the Visitor's Center on Saturday. It was an adventure trying to find him, took about 30 minutes walking through The Grove which is a shopping center since there is about 5 Starbucks in a 1 mile square radius. Rediculous. The Visitor's Center went great. There were a ton of people there. Probably around 500 to 600 and there was a great feeling there. One of peace and love for one another. I had to interpret for Jesus and Elder Tritsch and we were there for about 3 hours. My head was hurting so bad after, it was hard for me to think. It was funny because everyone was staring at me since I had be infront and right next to Sisters translating but it was a really good experience for me, it showed me that I'm not that incapable anymore. Thanks to Elder Tritsch being deaf, it has put me in a position to sign and really practice. I'm very thankful for him. We haven't been able to get a hold of Juan Puentas after the funeral. We are pretty worried for him, especially since this is the second death in his family and he is a gangster. He has come a long way and the last thing that we need to happen is that he goes to the same place where his wife is, jail. I can't imagine how hard that would be to lose a child but I do know that we can receive healing through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Elder Kearon, Of the Seventy, said it best, "Not one of you has thrown away your last chance. You can change, you can come back, you can claim mercy. Come unto the only One who can heal, and you will find peace." I know that the atonement is real and that it can heal. I have seen and have felt the mercy and peace one finds after feeling a weight upon ones shoulders. It's awful and so not worth it. Satan has the knack to make sin look good but it is baloney. It is just like the scriptures say-hallow, burdensome, evil, brings chains upon us, and any other word like it. I have seen more and more how Heavenly Father looks at me when I make a mistake and veer off the path. It is so disappointing. Every time I think of making a mistake and even more when I make a mistake I think of the sorrow and sadness and especially the guilt that I have caused others to feel. It is terribly. I wish I could be like the Lamanites, from the Book of Mormon, who were converted by Alma and resist evil to the point that they had disposition to do no evil and "they buried their weapons of war" even when the Lamanites came to destroy them because of their faith. That is my wish for everyone, as it is my wish to become the same as they were, for they were truly Christ-like.

I want you all to know that I love being a missionary, I love sharing the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ with all those who live in the city of Los Angeles. We are "the angels" sent from our Heavenly Father to bring about His work "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" and all who hearken unto the message that we bear will receive blessings, even blessings that go into the eternities. I love the Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon. I know that they both testify of the divinity of the Savior, our all, and they witness unto us that He is the Christ. They have much power to bring the lives of others unto Christ, even us as missionaries. I know that there is a living prophet on the earth today. He is chosen by God to be a type of mouthpiece for the Almighty, another way that we, His children, may communicate and receive guidance for our lives. They witness of the divine as well. I know it for I have heard it. There is no greater joy that I have received than knowing, not only believing, that the atonement is real. His mercy and grace make us whole, when we exercise faith unto repentance and by diligently obeying the commandments to the best of our abilities. Our Heavenly Father has promised and bestowed much upon our individual heads to grant us all the gifts to walk through this mortal life and all we must do is look unto Him, just as the Jews did with the golden serpent. It truly is that simple, we must not be fooled to think that more is required.

I love you all, friends, family, and all those who may read this. I miss you all as well and hope nothing but the best for you. May the Lord guide you and remember to smile everyday and look at the glass half full not half empty. Till next week.

Elder Leavell

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