May 23, 2016
Voice Recordings #1:
Hey Mom, It sounds pretty crazy that they changed the ward boundaries. I was reading your letter. It sounds like they divided the ward but there are still a lot of people. That's a pretty big ward. Here in the coast, I don't think there is any ward with more than 220 going to church. In fact, 220 is the max, probably the biggest ward. 520 sounds crazy! How weird that all of the young men's leaders went to the other ward. That's cool and sad all at the same time. And, where's Mason creek? I've never heard of that before, is that a new neighborhood? I know we have Nickel Creek and Bishop's street with a couple of creeks...I can't remember the name (Bittercreek, Daisy Creek), but I've never heard of Mason Creek. That's kind of funny. Too bad I can't be in that ward. Ha!
This week was pretty good. We've been working a lot with a great family. The father is named Dairo Mendoza, and his wife Anyela. He was a less active member on our ward list, and she is a new investigator. Their family has been progressing really well. They've come to church the last two weeks. Anyela has been reading the Book of Mormon a lot and asking about the BofM in her prayers. Every lesson has been really awesome. We have been working on getting them friends in the ward. This week we had a FHE on Friday with another family that just got sealed in the ward. We talked about families, temples, eternal marriage, and they both got super excited. We are going to try to get them to another FHE and do all we can to help her keep progressing. We are working toward her baptismal date. If they can get married in time, they can get baptized the 28th of next month. They are our big goal this transfer.
We went with the Elder's Quorum President to their house this week, and he got really excited about Dairo. We were on divisions, and when we walked out of their house, he said to me, "That looks like my next 1st counselor. We've got to get him activated!" He was super excited.
This week, while we were sitting in Sacrament Meeting, there was a talk that someone gave that had a really cool story. I thought I would share it with you guys.
It was about a man that lived in the time of the Savior. He heard that the Savior had come, and that he was living in Jerusalem. The man decided that what he wanted to do was to go and see the Savior. So he left his house and started down the road. Along the way, he found out that one of his friends had been put in prison. So he decided to take a little detour to a neighboring town, and stop to see his friend. After visiting him, he headed on down the road, toward Jerusalem. Soon he got word that his family was in trouble, they were out of food, and starving. So he decided to go find his family and help them. He found food, he found clothes for them, and he helped them get what they need.
Along the road further, he found another friend in need, and decided to stop and help. As he was nearing the end of his journey, he got word that the Savior had been crucified, and had died. He was so close to seeing him, and now he was too late. So he sat down on the road and began to cry. It had been his goal, to get to Jerusalem to see the Savior, and now he was too late. It was his life goal to see the Savior and thank him for what he had done. His dream was crushed.
As he was crying on the side of the road, he heard a voice say, "Thank you." He looked up and saw no one. But he heard the voice again say, "Thank you for coming to me when I was in prison. Thank you for feeding me when I was hungry. Thank you for clothing me when I was naked. Thank you for helping me in my time of need." He asked the voice who it was, and it responded as the Savior.
It teaches us in Luke--"As much as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Sometimes in this life we go looking for things that are grand or far away for service, because we feel like we have to do something big. But the Lord has blessed everyone with his own house, his own family, his own church, and there are ways to serve right where you are--because that's where God needs you. God puts us in our families because we need one another. And he puts us in the area we are in, because that is where we need to serve. Every place has it's own needs, it's own problems. We just need to look and see what's around us. We don't have to go far to find ways to serve, and people who need us. We can start with our own house, our own ward, and find ways to help. God even has work for us to do in our own tiny ward boundaries. There are still people who need the gospel, who need our help. If we decide to work where we are at, we can serve the Lord. There's no greater work then service. The grass is never greener on the other side of the fence. God has put you where you are for a reason.
Mom, you have always found ways to serve people that are around you. You have always been a great example of service. Thank you so much for that example. I hope you guys will reach out and find those who still need to hear the gospel. They are all around you. God works in tiny ways, always pay attention.
Let me know about all the changes that take place with the new Mason Creek Ward. That's still crazy.
I sure love you guys. I hope you have a great week.
Voice Recordings #2:
Hey, so here's another story from this week. We've been teaching a family we found from the ward list. We've been working hard to comb through our big huge ward list. We went to Loperana, where the sisters are serving. They have been having a lot of trouble finding people to teach, so we took out their ward list and decided to help them. We decided to do an "invasion." All the missionaries that are serving in the whole stake came to their area with a bunch of youth, and a bunch of members from their ward, and the sisters divided up the ward list into sections with a bunch of addresses and directions. For the whole day, we all went to look up a bunch of people. We had a lot of success with that. It was awesome!
We have been doing the same thing in our own ward, finding lost people from the ward list. We found a family named, Ayala. There is a boy named Harold-18, he's super awesome. The first time we went there, we stood in the doorway and both Harold and his sister saw us and smiled really big. so we said, "Can we come in?" The missionaries had baptized their older sister years ago, so they recognized us, and knew we were from the church.
Since that first visit, Harold has been progressing a ton! It's like he has a big sticker on his forehead that says, "Baptize me!" He does whatever we tell him to do. We say, read the Book of Mormon, and he does. He has completed every single homework assignment we have given him. He was come to church twice now. And this week we have gone over there with different members. Harold is a really amazing artist. There is another artist in the ward, the Young Men's President. His name is Melvin Lance. He's actually a professional artist. So we took him to meet Harold. He invited him to lunch today to see his office.
We also invited Harold to the single's ward dance. They did something really funny. Everyone had to wear a certain color t-shirt to the dance. Green if you're single, Yellow if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, and Red if you're engaged or married. We invited him to go, and we tried really hard to get a friend to take him. There's a returned missionary that is really cool. She got back 5-6 years ago from her mission, and is engaged, but her boyfriend lives in Bogota. He actually served his mission here. Anyway, since she has time, she helps us visit people. So she took Harold to the single's dance. Ha! He also went to the last YMs activity, and church. And we'll be doing a FHE activity with him tomorrow. He's progressing a ton, and doing so well. The Lord always works in tiny ways. If we follow the little promptings, we always find the people who are ready and prepared.
Sure love you! Hope you have a great week!