Sunday, February 18, 2018

Email treinta y ocho

May 1, 2017 
Hey folks! This week was fantastic! An overall update: I am now up around 190 pounds. I don't know if it's muscle from working out everyday or fat from eating a ridiculous amount of food, most likely both. 

Elder Croft sole my iPad while I was asleeep
The good news is that as am physically getting fatter, I feel that I am also spiritually fattening up. Before the mission, studying Gospel material almost felt like a punishment. Now however, it feels more like a privilege. Every time I open the Book of Mormon, Bible, or read from a Conference talk, or read an article on, I just love it! I feel my knowledge and love of the Gospel growing. One of my favorite things to do at night after a hard day’s work is watch the “I'm a Mormon” videos along with some ice cream. I love hearing ordinary people's stories about who they are and how they live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I invite all of you to visit and watch some of these videos, they are very inspiring and very well done. 

Tuesday I conducted District Meeting again. I instructed on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how important covenants are in the Gospel and the conversion process, and I focused specifically on the ordinance of the Sacrament. Basically it goes like this: 

The conversion process begins when an investigator, or when any child of God, feels the Spirit for the first time, which in turns strengthens their faith. That faith then motivates them to make changes that bring their life in closer harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ, to repent. This gives them the desire to follow the example of Jesus Christ, and to do so by being baptized by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God. After baptism, they receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and receive the promise that if they live worthily, they will always have the Holy Ghost. They then begin to endure to the end by continually repeating the same process. 

They continue strengthening their faith, which leads them to continually repent and be more Christ-like. They renew their baptismal commitment to take Christ's name upon them, always remember Him, and keep the commandments that He has given them each week as they worthily take the Sacrament. As they do that, they have the Lord's promise that they will always have His spirit to be with them, which in turn brings the Holy Ghost more into their lives. Then eventually, as they keep on strengthening their faith and repenting and being more like Christ, they enter into the Temple to make sacred covenants with Heavenly Father, which if they obey there are promised blessings, which allows the Spirit to be in their lives and strengthens their faith. It's all a continual process! Our conversion and our devotion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is one continual round! 

Weekly partaking of the Sacrament is SO crucially important. It holds everything together. It's the main reason we go to church every Sunday. If we take the bread and water worthily, it has the very same cleansing effects as baptism, it's like being baptized every single week! I invite you all to remember the importance of the Sacrament and to test it with the reverence it deserves. 

Dad emailed me a little bit ago and told about how he has been focusing on the phrase from the Sacrament prayer "always remember him" and how he can be better at always remembering Jesus Christ. Lately I have been thinking about the same thing. It should not be very hard to do, but for some reason we forget what's more important. We worry more about things that don't matter, such as what others think of us, if so-and-so likes us back or not, or what's on our phone screen. One thing I did to help me be better is I changed the password of my iPad to "rememberhim". It has helped, and also shown me that maybe I have gotten too attached to my iPad. I want to "disconnect" so to speak. 

There's a song I like called "Everything Must Go" by Brandon Heath. It's about a man who sells all of his possessions because he decides he needs to simplify his life and make room for love. I've realized that I sometimes am far too obsessed with materialistic things, and I need to focus more on love. My love for my Savior, for my family, my friends, my investigators, my companions, Ward members, and all of God's children! I want to be more full of love for everyone, regardless of whether or not that love is extended towards me. 

On Wednesday we drove down to Little Rock at 6 in the morning with the Jonesboro Zone Leaders to do exchanges with the Spanish Zone Leaders. They had a Mission Leadership Conference, so we hung out with the other Little Rock Spanish Elders, Elder Santiago (from Puerto Rico), and Elder Merrill (from Logan), in the meantime. We got to go to Downtown Little Rock, which was really cool, we even took pictures at the capitol building! Being in Little Rock with Elder Jorgensen was so much fun, he's probably one of my favorite Elders in the mission. Super down to earth, and an awesome missionary! We had a ton of fun together and laughed our heads off. 

I want to leave y'all with my testimony that God lives, Jesus Christ is our Savior, and his church is back on the earth again. The Church is true, the Book is blue, the bread and water can make you feel new! Love y'all!

Email treinta y siete: Jonesboro is on fire!

April 24, 2017
Hey y'all!
Don't have much time so I'll write the highlights. We said goodbye to Elder Barron on Tuesday, so just like Timone and Pumba, our trio's down to two.  It's been good though, Elder Giles and I had a lot of fun this week.

On Thursday we taught CW Jr in his home. We taught him the Restoration, and everything went very well. We invited him to be baptized and he said yes! Just a few minutes before this, his 11 year old son, C III had walked in the room. After inviting his dad to be baptized, C III piped up and said: "I want to be baptized too!" Well we can certainly do that for ya! We set a baptismal date for May 6th with them. Unfortunately they weren't able to make it to church yesterday so that date will have to be pushed back, but they are super awesome and very prepared.

We came back on Friday so we could teach C III the Restoration. We don't think C Jr understands why he needs to be baptized again however. When we invited him to be baptized, he said yes and that he felt he needed a fresh start because it had been so long since he was last baptized. I then said that he needed to be baptized because only our church has the authority to baptize, and he needs to be baptized by that authority. C Jr then responded by basically saying the same thing again, that it has been a long time and he wants a fresh start. So we will continue working with him, we have an appointment at 6 pm with them tonight.

Hey they have the same top Christmas tree
ornament as we do
Saturday night WE FINALLY TAUGHT L THE RESTORATION. We went to her house, but she
came outside and said she didn't want us to teach her inside because her brother was home and he is very against the church. She said we could just teach her under the arch over her front door. It was pretty cold that day, and we weren't feeling like that would be ideal. Luckily, L lives in our neighborhood, and the G family literally lives right across the street. We knocked on the door and asked if Brother G or C, their returned missionary who got home a week ago from Ghana, were home. They weren't, so we were planning on just teaching her outside. As we were walking away, Cameron pulled in. I nearly cried with joy! As soon as he got out of the car, I gave him a big hug. We went inside, and started talking.

A few minutes later Brother G got home. Brother G served his mission in Argentina 35 years ago, so he still knows a little Spanish, which was a total miracle! His Spanish was a little shaky at first, but towards the end he was really contributing to the lesson! L LOVES to talk, so it was really tough to teach her the whole lesson, but we did it. I had to politely ask her to let me continue about 3 times during the lesson, but it all worked out. She wants to be baptized, the only problem is that the Jehovah's Witnesses have also been visiting her, so she is deciding between the true church and them! She went to their church yesterday, and will be coming to ours next Sunday. Hopefully she will notice the difference!

I am so grateful to be a member of the true church. When I was in high school I never truly appreciated how lucky I was! I'm so grateful for the love that my Heavenly Father has for each one of us! Love y'all! The Church is true, the Book is Blue, let the Gospel of Jesus Christ hold your life together like glue!

Email treinta y seis

April 17, 2017 
A disclaimer for this week’s email: if this email is lame, I accidentally deleted my first draft this morning (blonde moment) so I am writing nearly everything all over again. This happens to be the most stressful thing I've gone through all week. Talking to complete strangers about changing their religion is just fine compared to the panic attack I had after I accidentally hit the delete button. So I am on very limited time, but I hope I can still send a decent email.

A quick humorous update on pants. 6 months of doing wall sits every other morning has brought some visible results. It's a very bitter sweet feeling when you can no longer fit into your favorite pair of jeans, especially when they are the only ones you took with you on the mission. Luckily, I found an extra, much wider pair laying around in the Russellville apartment. Also when I sit down while wearing my suit pants, it suddenly feels like I'm wearing leggings. They should be able to withstand at least another 10 pounds though.

 Tuesday was an awesome day. We biked all over Jonesboro, and talked to a bunch of people. We found a Puerto Rican barber named C who is from Mississippi and is way cool. We knocked on his door and he opened up wearing a giant apron. We asked if he was cooking and he said that he was cutting hair and told us to come in. Turns out the whole front part of his apartment is an in home barbershop! We talked to him as he cut this kid's hair for a few minutes. After his customer left, we taught him about the Book of Mormon. He seemed really interested and he wants to know more, he is just a very busy man. He cuts hair at home and also works nights for another job, all while going to cosmetology school so he can get licensed to open up his own barbershop downtown.

While heading back to the apartment, I got to race a train on my bike...and I almost won. Well, I kept up with for about 15 seconds. I have no idea how fast I got up to, but that train was hauling and I was on flat ground, so I consider that an accomplishment. I guess those wall sits are paying off.

Role playing at Zone Conference
Wednesday we had Zone Conference in Searcy, and I learned many things. A funny story is that in
Zone Meetings and Conferences, they always have the District leaders present their District's numbers for the past 6 weeks and talk about them. The thing is that the Zone Leaders are the ones who compile all the numbers and so basically they have us talk about statistics that we had no idea about on the spot. When I went up I felt like saying "Well...I myself, just like the rest of you have never seen this chart before in my life and had no idea what our numbers for the past six weeks were...until about 5 seconds just take a look and you and I will both learn something new..."

Almost out of time so I'll cut to the chase. Due to an Elder tearing his ACL and going home, Elder Barron is getting emergency transferred to Batesville Arkansas. I had fun serving with him for 3 weeks, and I'll miss him. I don't know what I'll do without my Instagram buddy. Also one of the Sisters in my District went home today for medical reasons, so between that and watching Elder Croft finish out his last transfer, it feels like I'm watching everyone go home...

I want to finish with my testimony that Jesus Christ is our Savior, what a wonderful opportunity we had yesterday to celebrate his triumphant victory over death, in remembrance that through him we all will conquer death. He truly can give us peace in this life and eternal life in the the life to come! I am so grateful for him!

The Church is true, the Book is Blue, our investigator IA is going to be baptized in June!
PS: Mom, Jenn, Abbie, Clara, and Benjamin- thank y'all so much for the Easter basket!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Email treinta y cinco: 19 years and counting

 April 10, 2017
Howdy folks!
Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes, emails, packages, and letters!  You helped make my first birthday away from home a good one!  A special shoutout goes to my wonderful sister
SHANNON for sending me Dominos pizza!  Another shoutout goes to my wonderful mother for sending a box full of food (very needed) and BYU gear (can never have too much of that either).

So I'll start off by telling about what we did this morning. Brother Bobby Lorimer owns a textbook and apparel store for Arkansas State University, so we stopped and got some free stuff. I walked out with $95 worth of free clothes, mostly because I nabbed a sweet $70 sweatshirt. I love free stuff! Ward members here really love to spoil the missionaries. I can't complain.

Last Monday we had a pretty crazy experience. We were in Walmart towards the end of P-day because we still hadn't gotten shopping done, when an inactive, recent convert came named B came up and talked to us and told us about how she had fallen away from the church and all the struggles she has been going through. She has gone through some pretty heavy stuff in her life.  It was pretty heart breaking to listen to. She started crying in the middle of Walmart while talking to us and said: "Every time I hit rock bottom, you guys (missionaries) just show up. I felt something telling me that I really needed to come up and talk to y'all." We told her to go back to her apartment, wait for us to put our groceries away, and we would be right over to talk to her. We had a really long discussion with her and how we can help her come back to the church and turn her life around and finally find peace again. I thought that she felt the Spirit really strong, she promised she would come to church this Sunday and we set up an appointment to see her Saturday night. To be continued later on in this email.

Tuesday I directed my first District as a District Leader. I talked about the importance of Diligence,
one of the attributes of Christ. In my instruction, I served a paragraph from an email of my buddy Elder Alex Jimenez, who is serving his mission in Argentina right now.

"I had a really simple, but really nice experience this week. We were contacting outside, and I hadn't brought my jacket, cause we left in a hurry (fool), when it started to drizzle. No biggie, we kept contacting. Then, all the sudden, it started pouring! We had nowhere to go, just contacts, and it was pouring! We had been working for hours, and there was a member who lived close, so we decided we were going to go to his house and pass the rain. As we were walking, soaked to the bones, a quiet thought came to my mind that said "Jesucristo would stay out here if he was looking for you" I stopped in my tracks, and in the middle of the pouring rain, I said "Hey, I know this is crazy, but let's just keep contacting. The Savior would do it for us". So we did. We continued contacting in the rain. The people still shut their doors in our faces, but I ended up feeling really good, because I had a chance to show Heavenly Father that I love Him. So that was a really cool experience that I had this week."

The District really liked that story, I also shared portions from President Eyring's Priesthood session address from 2010 October Conference, "Act in All Diligence." I also shared parts of be the Fourth Missionary, and one of my personal favorite quotes: "The only promised result of hard work is joy!" I truly have gained a testimony of that statement. The most miserable times of my mission have been when I was putting in my worst effort, and the best moments of my mission are when I give everything!

The super funny thing about sharing Elder Jimenez's story is a couple days later THE EXACT SAME THING happened to us! We got caught out in the rain while finding, and it was COLD, but we stayed out and kept looking, because Christ would do it for us. Then we FINALLY found a Hispanic. We were about to see the fruits of our diligence! Then she rejected us, and we were back out in the cold rain in short sleeve white shirts. And I loved it! It was so weird. I felt so happy, even though we had made literally no progress, I knew that I had gone out, and put my love for Jesus Christ over my own will, and I couldn't stop smiling!

Right after District meeting I went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. I went with Elder Croft. Elder Croft is from Pocatello Idaho, and goes home in four weeks, but is doing very well at not be trunky. He is very enthusiastic and quite hyperactive. We had 3 hours of solid finding where we literally talked to everything that moved! People are fun. We got yelled at by the mail man because we tried to give him a card. It was a fun exchange. Teaching only Spanish has been tough, because we are always finding or contacting, because our teaching pool is smaller than our District.

Saturday, my birthday, was a good time. We all actually ended up sleeping through our alarms, and so we woke up at 7:30, late for a service project that started at 7. It was a nice birthday present to get to accidentally sleep in. We threw on jeans and zipped on over to Brother Brent Rougeau's house to help him clear his yard of leaves. Brother Rougeau probably has the thickest southern accent that I ever did hear. He is also the Ward Seminary teacher, so it's a pretty hilarious combination. He is super redneck (self-proclaimed), wears cowboy boots to church and has 5 different tractors in his back yard, and is one of the funniest people I have met on the mission. If he had a daughter my age I'd marry her just to have him as a Father in law! He knows a TON about the scriptures and we had a deep doctrine discussion after we finished the service about the importance of sealings in the temple.

After that, the rest of the day was pretty normal, we got out and did a lot of finding, talked to lots of people, got the same old excuses of being busy. Then at 6 we had dinner at Bishop R's house. At my request we had chicken alfredo, garlic bread, and Oreo ice cream cake. It was glorious. I love the Rich family, they weren't a bad replacement for birthday dinner at home.

Yesterday we had 3 solid lessons at it was fun, I'm out of time, but I love y'all!

The Church is true, the Book is blue, mom just so you know I'm wearing that BYU shirt that I got from you!

Email treinta cuatro: una nueva época

April 3, 2017 
Howdy folks!

Monday after getting back to Jonesboro and getting settled in, we went to an FHE with the R family. Last transfer, my very first day in Jonesboro, we had dinner with the R family. I had mentioned during the dinner that I went to BYU before the mission and Brother R went off about how much he hates BYU. I thought to myself: "really, I thought I left all the BYU hate behind in Utah." Afterwards, he said: "I hope you didn't take that personally." If I'm honest, I definitely took it
personally!  But I decided to get over myself and go into the FHE with an open mind. We had a good lesson, and he ended up giving us a referral.  The moral of the story is sometimes people say things that tempt you to instantly judge them, but always keep an open mind, and as that jewelry commercial says, an open heart, and love will always find it's way inside.

 We left the R family with an invitation to invite someone to watch General Conference, and then their 13 year old daughter dropped an invitation of her own on us to not say anything negative for a week. We didn't do so well on that, haha.  I'm going to keep trying though, and also (my parents will love this) I'm trying to eliminate all fake swear words such as dang it, shoot, freak, frick, fetch, and crap from my vocabulary. It's so hard dang it!

 Wednesday, we hit the pavement, and had a good long day of finding. It was pretty awesome, because we found an apartment building of almost all Hispanics.  We talked to a white guy named Scroggin (no joke), taught an awesome guy named Martrell and talked about the Book of Mormon and season three of The Flash. That night we went to Book of Mormon class and had a homeless guy walk in during the middle of the class and start eating McDonalds.

 One morning during personal study I felt inspired to read Like a Broken Vessel by Elder Holland, and I don't think I've cried that much during personal study before. Elder Holland talks about those who suffer from major depression, but I felt that talk was speaking directly to me. There have been times on the mission where I have literally felt hopeless. After reading that talk, I felt Heavenly Father's love so powerfully. This is my favorite paragraph:

  • "So how do you best respond when mental or emotional challenges confront you or those you love? Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend. As President Monson said to the Relief Society sisters so movingly last Saturday evening: “That love never changes. … It is there for you when you are sad or happy,  discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve [it]. It is simply always there.” Never, ever doubt that, and never harden your heart. Faithfully pursue the time-tested devotional practices that bring the Spirit of the Lord into your life. Seek the counsel of those who hold keys for your spiritual well-being. Ask for and cherish priesthood blessings. Take the sacrament every week, and hold fast to the perfecting promises of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Believe in miracles. I have seen so many of them come when every other indication would say that hope was lost. Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon, or fully, or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead." 

If any of you feel hopeless or unloved, I invite you to read the rest of this talk. I bear witness that God loves us, even enough to let us hurt from time to time, because he knows what we can become if we turn to His perfect Son.

 On Friday we had weekly planning, and we weekly planned until FIVE PM!  It took almost all the day, but it was probably the best weekly planning session I've ever been in because we talked so in depth about our investigators and how we can help them, and also how we can improve our comp unity.  Elder Giles and I talked to each other for a while, neither of us have any problems with Elder Barron yet because he's new, haha.  Last transfer I chastised Elder Giles a lot over a lot of little things, and that caused a lot of tension.  I decided that I need to change and increase my love and humility so that I can be a better companion.

All three of us are very motivated to work our tails off this transfer. We all decided that we are going to to change the Spanish companionship to pure Spanish, not English and Spanish, so we dropped or referred all of our English speaking investigators. Ahora vamos a llegar a la calle y trabajar durísimo por el Señor.

 General Conference deserves it's own email. There's something about Saturday morning sessions that make me bawl my eyes out. What really touched me was how Elder Renlund compared sin to a disease afflicting a sheep. The Savior, our Good Shepherd does not hate us because we sin, but because He loves us so perfectly He wants to rid us of that sin so that we can be whole. 

I hope you all feel just how perfectly God loves you, because when you feel His love, you will never be the same. The Church is true, the Book is blue, never forget that your Savior loves you!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Email: treinta y trés: Day one in Memphis

March 27, 2017
This was a pretty fantastic week! It was little bit slow because we didn't have a car, but we didn't have to bike as much because some members helped us out.

On Tuesday we had District Meeting.

On Thursday we had exchanges with the Spanish Zone Leaders. Elder Spencer went down to Little Rock, and Elder Sweeten came up to Jonesboro, but he didn't get here till 6 pm. So Elder Giles and I spent most of the day together. After studies for some reason I was feeling pretty down and not very motivated as we were preparing to leave the apartment, so I talked to Elder Giles about it. He told me "let's make today fun then." So we set out on our bikes and got to work. We talked to people outside, and had a bunch of fun. We gave a bunch of little kids Book of Mormons and talked to their mom. I laughed when this little kid asked to see our "Bible", so we gave him a Book of Mormon. He opens it, and says "Oh this is a good Bible!" 

People here usually just refer to the Book of Mormon as the Mormon Bible, so we almost always have to explain that we believe in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and that one happened in Israel and the other happened in America, and so that's how they are different. 

The mom told us to come back. Afterwards, we biked to a Hispanic neighborhood and talked to a guy named R, and we will visit him this Thursday. Then we biked across town a bit to visit our investigator C S. C S is pretty cool. He has overcome drug addictions and now is trying to quit smoking. Unfortunately C S wasn't there, so we talked to this lady who lives in the same house as him named S. She told us to come to her church on Wednesday, haha. We told her maybe (most likely not, I mean I feel as missionaries we have the right to use the busy excuse), and gave her a Book of Mormon. 

When Elder Sweeten arrived we went to dinner with the M family, who is probably my favorite family in the Ward. They are from Mexico, and their oldest son B is a senior in high school and also 18. We have become pretty good friends, he is such a good kid. I wish I would have been more like him in high school. I was kinda a punk back home, but I'm grateful I've changed at least a little bit. If anyone is prepared to serve a mission, B is. He always teaches really well when he comes to teach with us. Afterwards we went and visited our investigator F. F loves the missionaries but doesn't want to come to church because of personal issues. He has fear of being judged. Elder Sweeten tried to commit him to baptism, he said he wants to take the investigation process slowly, but we are working with him still.

So Saturday morning we had a service project. We helped put in doors and baseboards in a house with the Priest Quorum. It was fun work, but a lot of people came, so sometimes we just stood around because everyone was already doing all the work. 

Saturday night we got transfer news. Elder Spencer will heading to Memphis South, and I will be staying here in Jonesboro with Elder Giles! Elder Barron will be joining us from Memphis East!

I got a call last night that I will be the District Leader, I didn't exactly feel ready to be in a leadership position, but I'm humbled and grateful to serve in my calling. I hope I can be an example and serve with charity. It's pretty funny because Elder Barron and I communicated a bunch through Instagram and text up until he left a transfer before me, and now I'm serving with him! Pretty cool stuff.

I have learned a lot about the plan of salvation and and the importances of "opposition in all things" as it says in 2 Nephi 2:11. During personal study, I wrote out each Christ-like attribute with a "I cannot...if I never..." statement. For example, I wrote: "I cannot increase my faith if I never have doubt" "I cannot increase my love if it is never difficult to be loving" "I cannot be diligent if I never feel the urge to be slothful" "I cannot be wise if I never have the urge to do something stupid!". It really opened my eyes and changed my attitude about my trials on the mission. I want to have the courage to embrace the refiners fire with gratitude and submission, knowing that the Lord is helping me become who I am meant to be.

That's all I got for now. 

The Church is true, the Book is blue, excited to baptize with the Jonesboro crew!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Email: treinta y dos

March 20, 2017
Howdy folks!

I don't really remember anything up to Wednesday, so we will start there! Wednesday we drove down to North Little Rock for Spanish Zone Conference, for all the Spanish missionaries on the Arkansas side of the mission. It was really fun to see Elder Sotomarino and Elder Toomer again. The Zone Leaders talked about the importance of using the Book of Mormon in finding, and also how to improve language studies.

We headed back to Jonesboro afterwards because we had an important lesson with Lucia that night. When we got to her house no one answered, so we called her and she said she was still working. That was kinda frustrating, because we had Zone Conference the next morning, and we could have just stayed the night in North Little Rock. So we headed back to the house to do training for Elder Giles, and called it a night because we had zero others plans for that day.

Thursday morning we got up at 5:30 for the second straight day, and got a ride from Calvin Rawlins to North Little Rock. Calvin got home from his mission in Virginia about 7 weeks ago. He is a champ. He was an AP there, and you can tell. When he drove us, he wore a suit, brought his scriptures and Preach My Gospel, and sat through all of Zone Conference with us. He loved it! He's such a great guy and you can really tell that he was an incredible missionary. He misses the mission like crazy. Erinn, you have my full permission to date this guy. In fact, I'm going to try to make this happen.

Zone Conference was incredible. President Wakolo, something about that man just makes me emotional, I think I've cried every time he's spoken. I have a deep love for that man, and I have felt his love so powerfully. He has helped me get through so much.

During Zone Conference, two marriage counselors from LDS family services came and talked about comp unity. They were super funny, and I learned a ton of things that will help me with my companions, and definitely with my future marriage! So because of the mission I just might avoid being in the doghouse a couple times  😂

After Zone Conference Elder York had an exchange with the AP's, and so Elder Taleni headed back to Jonesboro with us. Elder Taleni is the man. He is from Samoa, and has a full ride scholarship to play football at BYU. He actually has never played football before in his life, but he was a star rugby player, and BYU scouts saw some potential. Thursday night I got to see some of that potential. We had basketball night at the church, and usually about 20 black kids show up, and most of them are pretty good, as you can imagine. Elder Taleni told me beforehand that he wasn't very good and had never played before the mission. Elder Taleni is very modest. He was by far the best athlete in that gym. He can shoot, dribble, and dunk like Lebron. Every black kid went nuts as they watched all 240 pounds of muscle get up and throw it down. He balled everyone up. He told me afterwards a couple kids in Memphis taught him how to play basketball at the start of his mission. He also told me that in high school he jumped 6'6" for high jump. At 240 pounds. That's just not fair. I feel like BYU Football will be in good hands.

Yesterday between church meetings, eating, and studies, we weren't able to get out working until 5, and our car only had 3 miles left on it because we forgot to fill it up Saturday night, so we were on bikes. We rode clear to the other side of town for 45 minutes to visit a less active who wasn't home, so we biked to a nearby potential investigator named Rosi. She wasn't there, but her husband, Isaac, was, so we taught him a quick lesson outside because we caught him just as he pulled in. He was very nice and seemed happy to see us. They met with missionaries before a couple years ago, so we are very excited to see them again!

As we were heading back we saw a giant dead gopher in the road, so we decided to stop and take pictures, as we were doing this, three kids also riding bikes came up to us and started talking to us. We talked to them for a little bit and asked them if they knew any Hispanics that lived close by. The youngest one then told us to follow them and he would show us where all the Mexicans lived, so we went and they showed us a couple houses. The youngest kid, Jackson, asked me if I played basketball, and I said yes. He asked me if I was good, and I said: "I dunno let's play." This kid is around 10 years old and he starts talking some mad smack. So I played him one on one, no mercy. I guess you could say it was a lesson on humility😉 We played ball with the kids for a little bit, gave them pass along cards. We then went and tried a less active, and by that time we had to head back home.

This morning we went to a giant park called Craighead Park, or something like that. It has a lake, some sand volleyball, and a cool jogging path. I realized how much I miss swimming. Every time I'm around a lake I just want to jump in. I think when I get home I deserve a nice trip to Bear Lake. Well that about wraps it up!
The Church is true, the Book is blue, and so is Bear Lake too