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Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013

I had an awesome week full of miracles!!!!  These people are all new investigators we found and are going to meet with regularly.

On the 24th we were just doing some finding and street contacting and we weren't having any success. I suggested that we say a prayer. I prayed that we would be able to find some new investigators to teach. We found this kid on the street a few minutes later who wasn't interested, but said to try his friend’s house. We went to his friend’s apartment and his dad answered and let us right in. Their family is from El Salvador and he doesn't speak very good English. He (Jose) said he knows that God sent us because he is having really bad family troubles. His wife won’t talk to him and might leave him and his son won’t listen to him. We taught him and his 8 year old daughter Ashley. We taught them the first lesson and they accepted it and said they would read the Book of Mormon and pray. He also said he would come to church. He hasn't done any of those yet and is having trouble keeping his commitments, but he also committed to be baptized! We are probably going to turn him over to the Spanish elders.

It’s a similar story with this guy: We prayed to find someone and ran into a 25 year old guy from Peru named Jorge. He was really excited to talk and learn more. He is looking for a "spiritual connection" right now. He is really friendly, but he has some strange beliefs. He thinks that aliens helped a "supreme creator" to create us. He also said he wants to have an out of body experience to "find himself". He thinks being a hippy and doing some drugs will help him with that. Then we told him about Joseph Smith.  He is really willing to listen and accept our message, but it will take some work to get him where he needs to be.

We also prayed for this one: After saying a prayer we turned around and a lady was walking her dog. Elder Littledike recognized her and started talking to her like an old friend. Turns out he taught her and her family in his first transfer of his mission. He says they would have been baptized if it wasn't for her husband. The crazy part is that they just moved here from the area that Elder Littledike taught them before. Maybe that’s why he was sent here again.

Then yesterday we were not having much success, so we prayed. At the third house we knock on a guy opens the door and says "You guys are probably here for my wife." Then he said she wasn't there but let us right in. We both looked at each other like "What is going on!?" He starts talking about how his wife usually takes the lessons and he hasn't listened in before, so he’s thinking we came to his house on purpose. We just go with it and keep talking like we know who he is. We teach the first lesson and commit him to read and pray. Then right before the prayer Elder Littledike says "Sorry, I completely spaced your name" and so he tells us his name is Matt. We pray and leave still not knowing what was going on (haha).

Elder Miles with the new mission transportation!?

Just some more stuff about the area: Pretty much every other license plate is customized. The best one I've seen so far said "4 Narnia". There are tons of really nice cars too. I've never seen so many BMW's and Mercedes. There are tons of all black Camaros too that are pretty sweet. Also everyone owns at least one dog, sometimes two or three. We talk to tons of people out walking their dogs, which is pretty distracting cause they are trying to deal with the dog and listen. Then if the dog craps the person grabs it with the baggy and we get to smell it the whole time we talk to them. There are bike/jogging trails that go all over the place. We use them to get around, but it bugs me how they go up and down and curve side to side cause it doubles the distance we have to ride. 

There are so many people from different cultures. I've met people from so many South American countries. The Middle East and India are the most common. It’s rained a couple days this week for awhile. I have a wind breaker jacket that I wear, but that’s only good for about 20 minutes then it gets soaked through. The gnats are super annoying too and they fly all around our heads and faces while we are teaching.

The members in the ward here are awesome and we have a dinner almost every night. They also give us lots of food to take back to the apartment for later. Last night we had dinner with the Gunderson family. We get talking and they say they know some people in Cedar Hills. Then later they say something about how they know Jason Buck. Turns out the dad (Brian Gunderson) played at Ricks with Coach McGeary and Jason Buck. He played safety on the team. He also knows Gary Gardner from when he coached there and said he was trying to recruit him to play basketball. Brother Gunderson also knows Coach Gardner’s son and even dropped him off at Gary's house once, so he’s been to our neighborhood before.

The 4 Elders in the apartment

Some funny stories from the week: Some guy gets out of his car and says to get off his property before we can even talk. Then we start talking and he just says "This is private property get off". Yesterday some guy answered the door and just said no to everything we said, was super rude, then slammed the door. Other people just ignore us as they walk past. Others come look out the window, we make eye contact, and then they close the blinds and walk away.  I don’t really mind it much though (haha). Lots of people tell us they are just fine with their religion or are already saved and don’t need help. We met this guy who was out fixing his car. He was wearing a do-rag, black boots and huge red shorts. He was also short, chubby, and white. He grew up in the ghetto and talked like he was from the inner city (haha). He also was a huge bible guy and kept throwing bible verses at us.

I got letters from Kurt and Shaun this week, but I don’t have their emails. Thanks to them for writing me! It’s great to hear about how things are going. Also Shaun shared a really good scripture about missionary work that I really like (D&C 18:10,15-16). I haven’t had a chance to see any national monuments or go to DC yet. We can go every other transfer (a transfer is 6 weeks). Also we can go to the temple every other transfer.

If you didn't catch it, I've had some very cool experiences with prayer and my faith has grown every day. It is so amazing how we find some people and there is no way it is by accident. Heavenly Father directs us to who we need to meet, even if we don’t know it at the time. I've been reading a lot about faith and it really does require action. We can’t just believe something will happen. We have to go out and do something to allow it to happen! I love the time we get to study in the morning. It really flies by and I wish I had more time.

 It’s time to go ball it up on the street court in our apartment complex and throw a football around. Our football is a crappy rubber one that has a beer company logo on it and says "Please drink responsibly" (haha).

Love you so much!

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