August 26, 2013

So my new companion is named Elder Mendoza (if I knew more I would tell you). He is from Ecuador and has been in the mission for a year. We have gotten along fine so far. He doesn't speak English so it has been a little different in that I can't ask him to translate anything for me if I don't understand but that doesn't happen very often anymore. 

This transfer was really weird. My trainer (Elder Swenson) also trained just before I got here. The elder he trained is named Elder Dena and he has 6 months in the mission. The weird part about the transfers is that Elder Dena is now a Zone Leader.... he skipped District Leader and went straight to Zone Leader after just 6 months. I am willing to bet that he is the youngest (least time in the mission) Zone Leader in the history of the Mission!! Who knows maybe this will be a new trend in the mission very young Zone Leaders that were never District Leaders. I know this wasn't a fluke because another elder with the same time and in the same situation is also a new Zone Leader. It was just really weird.

I think it is awesome that you all had fun at Long Beach and at Grandma's. Yes the 15th birthday is huge in Mexican culture. it is their equivalent of our "Sweet 16." It is OK if you don't go next year but when I get home we ARE going. Even if it is only for a day or two.

So this week was interesting because we wern't able to get as much work in as we whould have liked. We had transfers on Tuesday, a training for the District Leaders on Friday and Saturday and Sunday was our stake conference. Therefore we really only had about 5 hours ever day (or less) to work. It sucked. We still managed to get a fair amount of work done but we could have gotten a lot more done. The good thing is that I got to listen to the mission president twice this week. He always speaks in our transfer meeting and he also spoke in the pristhood session on stake conference. Every time I hear him speak I am more sure that he is inspired.

Wo this week's experience is about a crazy guy. I think I am up to about 4 or 5 crazy guy encounters now. This one we were walking to an appointment and he half stopped us and we half stopped him (we had some time so we were looking for opportunities to contact). He went off for about 5 or 10 minuets about how Jesus has saved him and how he used to be a drug addict and alcoholic (for 15 years). We tried to say a few things but he just kept on talking. Every time we said almost anything about either The Restoration, Prophets, or the Book of Mormon, Ee would just quote some obscure scripture in Revelation and say that we were wrong. Also every time we said anything about doing anything he would just "quote" the Bible how it says that we are only saved though Grace and not Works. The Bible never says that. The closest it comes is in Acts which says " But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they." This doesn't say we will be saved ONLY though grace just that it is through the grace of Jesus we are saved. If we look up more scriptures we can see that we can only obtain the grace of Jesus though works. I just hate it when they don't listen. 

See you all in a year and a half.

Elder Blanding

 Elder Blanding being goofy. 

Elder Blanding being goofy.