Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July 8, 2008 -- Greetings from Swampland

This last week was quite a crazy one for me. As you know, last Friday was the 4th of July. Our mission president directed that each zone should have a "lock down" in a church building from 5 to 11 pm, and watch certain approved movies. It was fun to be with my zone and to be able to watch National Treasure 2 and Prince Caspian, but I would rather have approved books (like Rough Stone Rolling). It was very fun, though.

Because my companions are the Zone Leaders, we got home at around 11:30. My feet were hurting, so I immediately took my shoes off when I entered the apartment. As soon as I stepped on the carpet, my socks were soaked through with water, and I heard a squishing sound after each step I or my companions took. I guess the water heater of the apartment above us exploded, causing over 60 gallons of water to go down through the walls and spread out over our apartment. So a lot of our weekend was spent moving. We are all settled in to our new apartment now, in the same complex, but accross the stream from our old one. I'm glad we were able to stay in Fairway, because that is where almost all of our work is.

I told you last time that I wish I could tell you in detail about everyone I am teaching, but I can't becasue of time. I thought, however, that you might be interested in a general summary. There are many various interesting people here that I have taught, and many more that I have heard about. The following is a list of people that I have either taught personally or have heard of succesfully being taught in this mission:

- Polygamists (require an interview with an apostle before baptism)
- Muslims (require special permission to teach)
- a former witch (she is a very nice recent convert who is now preparing to enter the temple in September).
- homosexuals
- people who struggle with every kind of word of wisdom problem
- a man who commited [attempted?] homicide and spent several years in prison
- people from El Salvador, Guatamala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Chile, and Peru
- extreme anti-mormons
- and many more.

Last Wednesday I had my first Zone Conference. It was great. My president is a wonderful man named President Laney. He is a great teacher. This conference we focused on the importance of families, and I learned a lot. In fact, this evening we are teaching a special
lesson on eternal families to a young family of investigators who recently arrived from Mexico. In this mission we are very blessed to be able to go to the temple once a week on our preparation day. I love it! Today my companions and I did sealings (this is the second time I've done so.) I love all the ordinances of the temple, they are all beautiful and spiritually powerful, but I have to say that sealings are my favorite. Every time I go I feel grateful for Mom and Dad and their decision to be sealed in the temple, thereby giving me so many blessing. (I also sometimes think about doing it with my future wife someday, but I try not to think about things like that right now.)

I only have a few minutes left, but I want to tell you a little bit about a golden family we found last week. We were tracting, and came accross a less active family we didn't know about. They are the Sunigra family and are from Guatamala. Brother Sunigra is a collector and his house is like a museum of suits of armor and model airplanes. Anyway, they have an 11 year old daughter, Leslie, who isn't baptized, but she asked us if she could get baptized. They also have a grandmother living with them, Dona Tancho (dona is pronounced donya), who replied "not yet" when we asked her if she is a member. A lot of the time missionary work is hard and seemingly fruitless, but every once in a while you get a family like this that recharges you. I love
this work.

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