Thursday, February 23, 2017

Email veintiocho: Hello Jonesboro

February 20, 2017
Hey y'all :)
Week one in Jonesboro has been good. Here are some of the things I have learned about my companions:

Elder Giles, our greenie, is quite the character. Like me he is tall skinny and blonde. He reminds me a lot of Andrew McMullin, now Elder McMullin. He has a dorky sense of humor that is pretty hilarious. He loves playing with lady bugs, eating tootie fruities with chocolate milk, and yelling. I feel that sums him up pretty well. Elder Spencer is the calming force in our companionship. He is a little guy, only 5'6", a little quieter and always super calm. He hardly ever yells, and when he talks he has a soft tone to his voice. He and Elder Giles are pretty much polar opposites, but they get along super well.

the new trio
Tuesday we went to go see our top investigator X, who is 14 years old and lives with her Grandpa, Y. Y had been inactive in the Church for over 50 years until Elder Anaya and Elder Sweeten had gone and visited him two transfers ago. He now attends church every week again and brings X and her little brother Jacob. X was sick and so we didn't get to see her Tuesday, and so we visited with Y. He told us about how he has restarted reading the Old Testament from the beginning and hopes to finish it in the next year, he sure loves his scriptures! He told us about the "cotton pickin' Blackbirds" that poop all over his pickup truck. Here's a direct quote from the conversation: "once the weather gets a lil less nasty, every one of em cotton pickin' Blackbirds 'll be dead when I get out there with my b-b gun." Gotta love the South, and old people.

Tuesday night we played soccer at the Church with Brother Gutierrez and his nonmember friends. It was 3 on 3 on the basketball court, and it was super fun. I hadn't played soccer in forever and at first I was pretty awful, but towards the end I was re living the glory days of coed rec soccer. I even scored the game winning goal for the last game against some Mexicans, so I think that's not too shabby.

Wednesday we went and saw our top Hispanic investigator Z. He loves everything about the church and the Gospel but doesn't want to come to church because he was falsely accused of a crime about a year ago and is afraid people will judge him. It was really nice to speak Spanish again, up until then we hadn't been able to talk to many Hispanics.

Wednesday night we went to the church for the Book of Mormon class. A lot of people came and it went really well. I also got to meet a lot of the youth who were there for mutual. The Jonesboro Ward is very strong, the people have a lot of faith, and love the missionaries.

Thursday we went and saw X, she was still sick, but was able to meet with us. She is very smart, and always has homework because she is taking all pre AP courses. She had a baptismal date this last Saturday but we all agreed she is not ready. We taught her about the Holy Ghost, and what the Holy Ghost does for us. We asked her if she had ever had a good feeling while meeting with us, and she wasn't sure. So we just invited her to pray, and ask Heavenly Father if he is there and pay attention to how she felt. After the lesson, Y came outside and told us about the struggles X is having with her parents.

It makes me so sad that a 14 year old girl has to go through things like that. She's only 14 and she is constantly stressed because of school, and very tired, and meanwhile not feeling very loved because
she doesn't know if God is real or if he loves her and she doesn't feel loved by her parents either. It makes me realize how good of a childhood I had. I had two loving parents who always made sure I knew I was loved.

a lesson last night wtih an awesome family
Our Ward Mission Leaders name is Hermano Montoya, who is from Mexico. The Montoya family is incredible. Their son Ben is a senior in high school, and wears a future missionary tag to church and when he comes to teach with us. I wish I was more like him when I was home. Ben came with us to teach Z Friday, and he bore an amazing testimony.

A comment on living quarters: we have a house. And it is awesome. Lots of space, lots of food, comfy couches, good stuff. I feel blessed. I'll send pics next week. I've started re reading the New Testament and the Sermon on the Mount blows me away! I love the Saviors New Testament teachings! To me it is a testimony that our Savior has high expectations for us, he doesn't want us to just live the minimum law, he wants us to magnify in all that we do!

That's all for this week, love y'all! The Church is true, the Book is blue, Jonesboro is awesome, and that's the truth!

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