Friday, March 28, 2014

March 24, 2013, Brunswick

Hna. Sevilla, Elvin, Andrea, Bishop, Daniela, Me at TEXAS Roadhouse for my birthday.


For whoso findeth me findeth life.      Proverbs 8:35

Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people i know are those who lose themselves in the service of others. By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.

-Gordon B. Hinckley

That is a quote from "Stand A Little Taller", a book by President Hinckley, with daily thoughts and scriptures. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven.

This week was really great because we FOUND 3 brothers, ages 18-25, from Oaxaca that want to listen and learn. Omar, the 25-year-old, as really excited about us coming back and teaching them. We talked with them about the importance about 1 true church and how that church was restored by a prophet named Joseph Smith, an instrument in the hands of the Lord. We're gonna go see them on Wednesday, I'll let you know how it goes. 

ALSO, found Antonio again (from Honduras, has a ROUGH life) and Elder Wood and two other elders (I was at a meeting) taught him about the gospel. He's going to start weekly visits with us and wants to come to church. MIRACLE.

Went on an exchange on Friday AND Saturday. Friday I went to Perth Amboy again, but this time with Elder Mull. We worked HARD. I had a cool, somewhat ironic experience with one of the investigators in Perth Amboy named Chino. 

Chino is from Mexico, but was raised here in Jersey. He's bearded, drives a BMW, and is the most changed person I've ever met. He picked up E. Mull and I at the end of our night, around 8:30. I opened the back door of his car and was exposed to some bouncy rap music. I ducked my head into the car, sat down, and closed the door. I caught a glimpse of Chino's face in the rear-view mirror. He was wearing a long sleeve thermal shirt, leaned back casually in his seat, one hand on the wheel, Tupac's "My Town" blazing at a high level. And for some strange reason, I felt the Spirit really strong telling me that THIS was a good man. His heart was pure. He stuck his hand back and shook mine, cooly introduced himself, and jetted off into the traffic. As we drove he talked about the impact that music had on his life, that it made him feel more different than anything else. That night, we taught his friend Angel, and he acted as the fellowshipper, as the member present. He testified about the Restored gospel to Angel. He's not even a member, he's working on it, but MAN, I can't tell you how I felt just listening to this man bearing his testimony of Heavenly Father, and the Restored Gospel. I laid in bed that night and just PONDERED on how we can change through Christ. 

The next day, Elder Jester and I went on an exchange in his area (which is actually my area, just working in ENGLISH). We worked like monsters. It felt like pure therapy, especially because I've been feeling a little trapped recently with not being able to be out and work to our full potential, (E. Wood's health problems, etc). So we talked to literally EVERYONE that we could have, and I remember following every single prompting that came to me. THAT IS SUCCESS AS A MISSIONARY.

Then on Sunday, we visited ZELIA, a Brazilian recent convert. She's hilarious. 72-years-old and always smiling and hugging us. She LOVES the Book of Mormon and always gives us Vanilla ice cream when we visit her. She just barely got home from Brazil. I'm leaning PORTUGUESE with her, it's rad.

That's about it for this week. This morning Elder Aspinall and I JAMMED some folk music and and sang out guts out until another elder came in and told us that that was BURIED music, so we stopped.


ps - I actually wrote letters last week for the first time in about 7 months. TAN I wrote you one, but I  need more stamps (you know, those sketchy foreign ones?)

Elder Pacheco (my grandson) in my apartment
Mateando on P-Day mornings
Birthday picture (with a VANILLA BEAN, courtesy of E. Wood)
Me and Elder Wood
Me, Hermana Marsela, S. Schwendiman
Me lighting the candles on Sister Schwendiman's cake at our birthday party.
Hector Hernandez and I in his backyard. It's just a field and a forest. It's awesome.

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