January 5, 2015, This week of Miracles

Hi mom

I'm going to start by talking about some of my investigators today.

Yes S* back on track. We are taking all our lessons to read with her, or answer questions she gets from her reading, when she reads. She likes to find weird books about the Bible and feels like she needs to read everything in the Bible before the Book of Mormon. She's right, reading the Bible is good, but right now she needs to read the Book of Mormon. 

A* didn't get baptized this week :( half our fault half his. He wasn't at a few of our lessons and we hadn't quite taught him everything, so he wasn't prepared. But he only has lesson five, the Laws and Ordinances, and we've already started them. He is happening on the 11th, HIs and Christopher's Birthday. Happy Birthday Chris;)

Time for our miracles. We started the week by running to Familia C*, they're a family of four who I found with Elder Buck on splits because we had to many appointments and not enough time (best problem ever!!!) The dad is from, I'm not sure, I want to say Guatemala but I'm not sure, and the mom is from, get this, Puebla, Mexico. I didn't even have to leave the country to find one. Take that Jason. The dad wasn't home so they couldn't meet, but the mom seems real solid. 

Next we had exchanges with Elder Rangel, the district leader, and his trainee (we don't use the term Greenie here) Elder Gutierrez. He's a native speaker and is super huge. Hight wise, he's smaller, but I wouldn't want to get into a street fight with him. He also knows a lot about eating healthy. The exchange went really good, I was with Elder Rangel in their area and Elder Gutierrez came here. I hate leaving my area because I never know what is going on, but I love to get to know new people and see new places. I don't know how I'm going to take my first transfer out of here. I left the exchange with a goal to Consecrate every hour of the day to the Lord while on my mission. That means that if I'm studying that's all I do, or finding, that's my only thought and focus. Best part is that the day after was new years, so I could make resolutions off of the exchange. 

That night, the 31st, Elder Gonzalez and I went finding in a new apartment complex (new because I'd never touched it before). We touched a few doors and weren't having much success, but we kept going and found a family of five. They're all teens, but they look like the youngest is maybe 19, and two of them already have a little kid. It's a pair of brothers and a pair of sisters and they are dating each other (one brother with one sister and the other with the other). We taught them the Restoration and set up a return appointment for two day latter. They didn't keep the appointment, in fact they locked the door on us, but it could have been the Dad, so we're going to try and call to set something up.

The day after, New Years, we didn't do much than plan. It was weekly planning and I hate being in the apartment all day, but it was cool to set goals on New Years. V* wasn't able to meet, so we lost a day with A*, but her husband (boyfriend) is starting to listen now too. We are focusing on A*, so it's almost all in English, and we are teaching the last lesson so he's getting it in reverse and in a language he doesn't really know, but he is in the room for all the lessons and he often comments that we should do it in English so he can understand it. That is good. They're starting to think about marriage too, so it's super nice.

Friday was super nice. We found most of the day, because we didn't have anything planned. S* asked us if we could come and teach her early this day, so we taught her at four and she asked us to do the same the day after if she didn't have to work. We told her yes, if we had time. She looked at my planner and saw it was completely empty, but that didn't last. We filled up the planner with in the few hours we had until dinner. We also had ZTM (Zone Training Meeting), our monthly meeting as a zone. We talked about what we want to be, as a zone, for the year of 2015. We had a lot of things, one was speaking Spanish entre los otros misioneros (between the other missionaries). 

The next day we had most of our appointments drop. We wanted to have seven other lessons, but we only had two, both with our investigators. But we found a member family that goes to the wrong ward. We set up a lesson with them for Sunday, the last one, at five and hopefully a dinner too, because it was fast Sunday. We taught S* at four and committed her to fast and we started teaching the laws and ordinances to A*. We also got back in contact with Familia A*

Sunday was really long. we started with church, they didn't change the time, so it's still at 9 o'clock. After church we taught A* and V* a short lesson about service and then we walked home to do studies. we then started going around to our many appointments. We went to a potential. He was drunk so he told us not to teach him today, but we set up a return appointment. We then ran by the part-member family. Yes the family we found yesterday was a part-member family. The wife isn't a member but acts like it, and the husband is a less active member who's trying to come back. They only need to start coming to Van Nuys and they'd be set for baptism and re-activation, but his mom goes to Arleta, so they like to go there. They also fed us dinner, and it was sooooo good. We set up a return appointment for the same time this week and they're going to feed us again. She is really friendly and I think you'd love her mom, she said she couldn't hide from us, she'd have to ask us in to eat.

I over ate last night, so I didn't lose any weight, but I've changed my goal to 2 pounds a week so I can get back on track.

Spanish wasn't half bad. we did 5 out of seven.

S* took us to Costco again today and we bought food to feed an army for two months, if it was an army of two starving teenagers. All I need to do now is show self control.

 I've got to go write Jason now, so I'll just say good buy and apologize for no picture today, I forgot my camera in the apartment.


Elder Blanding