Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Post Valentines wrap up. Actually, he says nothing about Valentines day, but it sounded like a good title

Hey padres y familia,

This week was really blurred. It's getting tough to remember individual days, I guess that's why we have journals.

First of all...Jimmy came to church! 

Jimmy has had many events going on on Sundays and he's tried to come but something would always come up, many times crazy things like taking his daughter to the hospital. He made the added effort this week and came, suit and all! I was asked before the meeting to play the organ so I didn't see him come in but when I heard him introduce himself to a member my face lit up. I made the first church experience very real when I completely and utterly messed up the intro of the first song, so bad that I almost had to stop-you know the kind, flats not sharps. Luckily I didn't freeze up and run out the chapel like I would have liked to do. I don't think they would have appreciated that.

Rewind a few days, we had gotten a text from Jimmy saying they were canceling our visits because he was spliting from Dionne. We drove over and had a really good lesson with him about how we can't always control our situations and decided to fast together. It was amazing. When we finalized our fast he texted us saying that him and Dionne were talking again and things were looking up. He also said he had invited his brother and sister in law to the lesson we were going to have that night. His brother was a guy who when the missionaries would come over to talk to his wife, would hide away because he was angry but didn't want to find out what exactly they believed in. When we finished the lesson he explained to us how Jimmy had persuaded him to come and felt like everything we taught made sense. The video, "Because of Him" really had an impact and invited us to teach his family. 

The thing that stood out to me the most this week about Jimmy was that we all will have super low days, but as Joseph B. Wirthlin said that "Sunday will come" and the sun will shine again. 

I really want to stay here for as long as I can, I feel like everything is clicking together and with added strength we can shift this area into a thriving location for the spirit to be. It's so close and at times I can see where it can and will be. I'm grateful for you guys. 

Elder Bryan

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Back in the low 80's in lovely and historic Buckeye

This week has been quite enjoyable. It's starting to get warm, the
fans are turning back on, water is being delivered to the houses,
'winter' is over. Back to the low 80's for us here in lovely and
historic Buckeye. I try to internalize these memories for when it's
120 and I'm riding bike in north Phoenix.

This week was transfer week and great news! Elder Nistler and I are
staying here! It's really fun being around him since he's from the
country (Medford Oregon to be exact) so all of the saying he has
cracks me up. The game I play is making up sayings and seeing if he
catches it or not. So far so good, especially when I accidentally make
up real quotes.

there are some houses that are hard to feel the spirit in. Others like
Jimmy's you get a little excited waiting for him to answer the door.
It's very easy to see how the Devil is trying his hardest to stop him
and his family from progressing. Sunday morning as they were getting
ready to go to church for the first time, and really the first time
they've been free and not busy with something they'd been planning for
months, their daughter got sick and they decided to take her to urgent
care. Of course they got her checked out just in time for them to miss
any church service. It's always frustrating when things are out of
your control and even more so when Satan swings a low blow like that.
That night we went over and gave Destiny and Jimmy blessings. Jimmy
has been sick since beginning of November and the doctors still don't
know exactly what it is but by tonight will decide whether to do a
biopsy to get down to the answers. He's just a fire though. I'm
excited for when they can come meaning this Sunday because they have a
strong desire and won't let a canonball wound get in the way.  Yay for

I'm getting better at cooking, no longer do I have that unsettling
feeling that what I made has the potential to kill me :) But in
reality I've improved from lunch meat sandwiches with the occasional
crazy experiment to total experiment/healthy things.

The other day we got to do service in the form of playing "why is the
water bill so high?"  Super fun and I got to use some Nursery skills
again! It's great because in a world of palm trees and cacti I have
felt helpless in the doctoring of plants. Everything looks thirsty.
The family was grateful for both of our yard experience as we dug and
looked important moving dirt around and whatnot.

This week was monumental in the spanish side. I made the personal
commitment not to be so shy and hide in what I already know. During
some of our lessons I was pulling out vocab I had only read before.
Felt wonderful! It's strange how when we actually do all we can we
receive more help.

Hope you have a lovely week!
Elder Bryan

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Super Bowl and what not. Two weeks worth of emails

First off, I'm grieved about Hammy's passing from this world. Don't worry, I'll find another to send :)

This week was  slower, most of our investigators were sick and on top of that, we had zone conference on Wednesday. We still had some great lessons, Jimmy (well he's always amazing.) He was a helicopter gunner in the military for 20 years and is such a treat. We figured out that his wife who is less active, is the key to getting him to church and committing to baptism. She felt like she would be judged because of the divorce she went through. We had a church tour with them and I found that our concerns people can have about church are usually easy to wash away when we realize the why and how things really are. 

Carlos was doing fantastic but unfortunately he went on the internet to find out about Mormons and what do you know? He found false information which is strange, the internet is always a reliable source. We're going to stop by and try to explain how everything he was talking about is false and what we are actually like. I really hope he can be understanding because he was a very bright and enjoyable hombre 

Monday we got a call from the assistants asking if I could play the hymns for Zone conference. Of course I said "Yes, I can play those songs" when I had never practiced them ever. I think I practiced harder than I had ever in my life, well, at least when I came to my senses and realized what I had agreed to. Proud to say I got it down pretty good and shocked president when I busted open the organ (figuratively) and played them with such faith and prayers. Luckily things didn't crash and burn. Yay!

Elder Nistler and I are jiving pretty nice now. We're at the point where we can say what we feel throughout the week and be totally cool. I really have had great companions and with transfers coming up soon I'm wondering if my streak will end. 

Sunday was a little different. At zone conference President Griffin asked us to keep to a low profile at church and then to stay home unless we had set appointments. While I was on exchanges with the zone leaders who's area is in plain sight of the stadium, we could see the blimps doing circles all day. Sunday night we got together as an apartment and made some scrumptious mexican tacos and veggie pasta mix. Man, I loved having that time to make food and relax. 

This week is going to be awesome. 
Love you guys!!

Oh cool story,

On exchanges with the zone leaders, we were knocking on less active YSA aged doors to see if they still lived there. Things weren't going swell until we stopped at this house Elder Hamilton decided to go to out of the route we had set. When the guy answered he got a little emotional. He told us he was baptized last May in North Phoenix and moved out here soon after so he didn't have any contact with this new ward. He kept saying we answered his prayers and that his testimony was strengthened. He was going to go to the NFL experience but decided to catch up on homework instead which proved to be the best thing because his buddies got in a crash after drinking which could have been fatal for him. He was feeling discouraged and felt like he wasn't being a good Mormon. When he finished talking about all this he expressed a desire to go to the bishop and get things in order so he could get his patriarchal blessing and start working on going on a mission himself since he's 22. That was a really nice moment. Those are the silver linings everyone talks about. Whoo!!

January 26th 2015

Candles are my favorite thing now. Unfortunately things are starting to get warmer so I'll have to hold out with the one I have till it gets chilly again.

On exchanges this week Elder Brown and I were walking up to a former investigator's house in the dark. Elder Brown asked if "this house" was the right one and from the porch we hear an immediate response, "Yes this is". Michael Adams who I had only met once was that guy and honestly scarred me out of my crocs that I don't own. He's such a cool dude and reminds me of Jesse from BB. He explained to us that he wants to get back on track and go to church and do "all that stuff" I was a little cautious but he was completely genuine.  Last night (sunday) we had a lesson in his room, all three of us Indian style sitting on the floor-kinda fun, not going to lie- and we got down to the nitty gritties of what was holding him back from being baptized before. He's changed a lot since I had last saw him and man what a cool dude. He commited to the 7th so wahoo! We're really getting things moving along. I guess the time is right, there really isn't an explanation I can give to why things are different now. I'm also not complaining :).

 It's awesome to see how much Taylor has changed from his baptism. We have some lessons set up with an older man (eric-the member who never was) because he has an impact on him. Pretty sweet! Getting Taylor set up to go with the youth to baptisms for the dead on the 31st is one of my favorite times of the day! Our Verrado ward really does a good job of fellowshipping and welcoming him and Michael into the ward.

My spanish is improving which is always good. I understand how to use some of the tenses a lot better and things aren't so tense when I use one instead of another. 

I heard a quote this week that I'd like to share. "We don't always know what is ahead, but the Lord does"- Neil A Anderson. I love this very short quote because even though I don't know what will happen tomorrow, I know who does and that he loves all of us. It's so cool for me to be here on the Lord's errand. I get to Teach people all day, every day. It's the fantastic!

Thanks for all of the emails and prayers you offer for this work. I feel so blessed and loved. You guys are the beeeeest!