Monday, February 7, 2011

Flashes from the Past

Monday, February 7, 2011
Dang...I can't believe that another week has flown by, seriously it's scary how fast time is flying by right now and that means less and less time that I have on the mission. No bueno. I think the more time that has gone by it has made me more grateful for the time that I've had to serve others, but that also means the desire to stay has also increased. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to serve, there is truly no other place that I would rather be. This week has been crazy with seeing people that I hadn't seen in awhile and it was great to see them all again. I hope that all of you are enjoying whatever all of you are doing and that you are happy. We are so very blessed to be living in these times where the gospel of Jesus Christ is among us where we can receive blessings that go into the eternities.

The biggest news that I want to share with all of you is that we had the opportunity to see the Blackburns last Friday. I was so excited. We were with the Zone Leaders and they said that I was like a little kid at the candy store. Haha. I probably was. But for reals it was awesome to get to see them again. They are people that I look up to as parents. They look the same, just a little more refreshed (probably well rested) but they still have the same spirit. It was awesome. President Blackburn when he saw me and my companion gave us a HUGE hug and we spent some time catching up. Sister Blackburn wanted to give us hugs too but she didn't. Gosh I miss them so much, even though they were hard on us, they helped us become what we are today: more humble servants of the Lord. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to serve under them. They are the best and I would guess that every missionary would say that about every Mission President but I don't care, the Blackburns are the best. Can't wait to see them after the mission. Anyways on Monday we had dinner with the Hunters and then had FHE with them. It was great. I think that was the first FHE that I have had that was good and not disorganized. You could tell that all the kids were used to it and that they had been doing it for a long time. It was awesome to see that they looked forward to it instead of how I have always seen it, dragging the kids to participate. Oh well. After that we got a call from Bonnie Hiriade saying that she needed to move again. She has moved 3 times in the past month but she is going to back to Sacramento to take care of her mom. It was sort of odd because it was a spur of the moment decision, she had literally decided that morning. But she is a widow so that means we have to do it, at least in my book. I'm not sure if I mentioned Jennifer last week but she is one of our investigators that is somewhat progressing. She is on probation till the end of the year but she said that she could probably end it sooner since she didn't serve a full parole either. She is this real alternative lady who had some drug problems in the past but I think that she hit a time in her life where it finally hit her what she needed to be doing, which lead her to the gospel. It awesome teaching her since she absorbs it like a sponge and tries to apply it that same day. Looking at her you might not thinking that she would be so willing to do anything gospel related but she is just awesome. The only things that I could say are "problems" are, of course, her probation and her smoking and coffee issues. She is trying really hard and said that she has made a ton of progress in getting off of those things so that is good progress, at least. These members she lives with got her some product "Smoke Away" I think and they said that the husband used it and by day 3 he was off of smoking and had no cravings. So the only thing is getting her to commit to using it and we are shooting for Tuesday because that is her Anniversary of being sober from drugs and alcohol. We should be having a party for that so that will be cool. We have high hopes for her. After we dropped by Jennifer's place we went over into the canyon and visited this lady Susan Swenson. Now, a little side note, she is pretty famous in the mission for talking centuries and at first I didn't believe it but were they right. We were there for almost 3 hours and 1 1/2 she was talking. We tried getting out but she said "You didn't give me at least 3 hours...the other missionaries always planned for that." Now we know why. She is this sweet widow that lives in the middle of no where and recently she has had some surgeries so we got to go over there. She has chickens and they are about to have little chicks so that makes it a lot better. Hopefully they will hatch soon. Funny story she said that last year she had some chicks but the hawks ate them haha. Too bad. But I think the more interesting fact is that she has a HUGE dog. Think it's a great palmeranian but it is the size of a pony I think. For reals. It's big. So this week we also had the opportunity to go to the retirement home and wheel the older people around. Got the worst guy. Now I don't like to judge but this guy was crude like no other. I'm not going to quote anything that he says because it's not cool. What made things worse is that we went to the Farmer's Market and he was taking things to eat, saying it was samples. Haha. You should have seen some of the faces that they were giving. Priceless. Finally had to take him back because it was getting bad but an experience none the less. Haha. On Saturday we went to go visit some of the UCLA Ward members thinking most of them would be home since they didn't have class. It was great. We met a couple rad couples like the Cordons, Richs and the Marianos. and two of them are going to give us some referrals! They were all way nice and willing to help out. Something to mention about the Marianos is that they know the Toolsons. It was so cool talking with them about some good friends of mine. Apparently they grew up together so it was epic. We didn't have anyone at church that we had planned on going but we had a little miracle happen during church. The Aldens, from the UCLA Ward, brought a friend that they had mentioned to us to church. It was so rad. So thankful for the tender mercies that our Heavenly Father gives us on a daily basis. Sebastian is big into music and so am I. So I think we will get along. Excited to have another investigator at the UCLA Ward. That ward is sick.

Well I got to go. Talked a little too much. Hope all is well. Love and miss all of you. Till next week.

Elder Leavell

Elder Buzelli is going home.

Everyone meet Dickins


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