Thursday, June 27, 2013

June 24, 2013, Passaic, NJ

Dear Family and friends,

I think I'm getting sick. Total bummer. I have woken up the past few days with a cough, sore throat, and a constant head and stomach ache. I HATE being sick. It makes me super angry and I just wanna punch and kick stuff (sometimes I do but then it makes my head feel like someone is beating it with a Chinese gong and I have to stop). I think I got sick from going on an exchange with the Caldwell Elders. They have a super nice apartment with central AC and it was turned down to about 50 degrees (63 actually) and I was shivering during studies. Come on guys! I've been getting used to 90 degrees with high humidity and then I get thrown into that?? Other than that, everything is going pretty well. I'm obviously maintaining a high happiness level and continuing to work.

This week was pretty good but a little weird. Yesterday we got to work with Gus, the Colombian second counselor of the Passaic branch, in working with and sorting the tithing and I almost had a hard attack because I thought I threw somebody's check in the shredder. But I didn't so everything was alright. It was pretty hilarious how stressed I instantly got when I thought I did. 
We've been meeting with our investigator Jose Ramirez, a Dominican guy with a thin wispy beard on his cheeks and chin. He's the most studied person I've ever met when it comes to the Bible. He studies it for about 6 hours a day. The only problem is he creates all of his own religious and theological theories about God and the Bible, which really just confuses him. He wants to be baptized, but he refuses to go to the Gospel Principles class, and won't say whether he believes Joseph Smith was a Prophet or whether the Book of Mormon is true. He's been asking and asking, but we think he might lack a little sincerity. We love him and want him to progress so we're working very closely with him to see what he's willing to do. His baptismal date is next week, June 30th.

We went to the temple again on Friday. It was amazing; I feel like I received TONS of revelation. I love the temple because I feel, because of it, I am 100% committed to the gospel. I feel like it gave me a greater knowledge of MYSELF specifically, the reasons why I exist and what I must do to live the gospel to the best of my abilities. 

Spanish is coming along super great. I can't help but LOVE speaking Spanish all the time. This week, two different people asked me if I was from Mexico and Colombia. Awesome. Nothing like unintentional compliments to boost my confidence. We had an activity on Saturday night in the chapel where we watched some church videos and discussed them and then ate fruit and soda afterward. As the missionaries and the members were mingling, I was pretending to talk like a Dominican and Jose (our investigator) starting laughing and demanding that I do more impressions of accents. So I tried to do Peruvian, and Hno Cruz (a short little Peruvian man) came up to me and started laughing so hard he was almost crying, and then I did Colombian, and then they wanted to hear a Southern American accent (Lydia, I NEEDED you there). I got like 3-4 people to be totally busting up. It was hilarious.

Did anyone else see that "Work of Salvation" leadership broadcast last night? AMAZING. I am constantly astounded with the church's media productions. The gospel is true. Jesus Christ is our Savior.


Kent: When do you leave again? Tell me when you go through the temple.
Tanner: HOw do you FEEEEEEL? Gaaah man I can't believe you're leaving so soon.
Chris: What have you been up to?? I'll try and write you a quick letter today. Sorry it's been so loooong. (But you're not KING.... not yet...)
Bayley: mission call?????
Parents: wow, Dad, I think this is the first week in my entire mission that I have't got an email from you. Love you. MOM: how is everything going? I saw awesome photos of you guys camping a while ago. Looked awesome. Love you tons.
BEKAH: SOrrry it's been so long since I've written you. I've been swamped... You're my favorite I'll writ eyou sooooooon.
Jaezo: are you leaving soon? Email me, brobro.

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