Monday, October 27, 2014

Livin the Dream

     So the best thing about P-Day last week was singing with Elder Johnson (English). My mama sent a bunch of music, and I sang 'til it hurt! I know, I know, bad technique haha. It was so good though! He's a kosher singer, but that works for me :) 
     I've had a couple people ask me to tell about our investigators. We have no progressing investigators, sadly. Ivonne, who I've mentioned a few times, can't come to church due to work, so she isn't really going anywhere, and that is frustrating. An older lady named Mariester Villalobos can get baptized as soon as she gets to church, but her family who would drive her has to work most Sundays. There are two girls, Rosalinda and Lisbeth Marquez (12 and 14 y/o) who also could be baptized, but their parents are inactive, and that's tough. There are a few others, but none anywhere near baptism. We work a lot with less actives. 
     On Friday, I got to go on exchanges with Elder LeBlanc. That was great! I needed some time with someone else. I love Elder Rockhill, but occasionally he gets on my nerves. I can always improve on that though, that is a big fault of mine: impatience. Anyways, while on exchanges, we both got flat tires, so that was just dandy. We lost a bunch of time on that, but it was nice being able to talk to Elder LeBlanc when we were walking. 
     On Saturday, we had to fix Reverend Lawson's flat tire. He's this big, black, Pentecostal Reverend who hangs out with us a lot. We're trying to convert him haha. He bought us ice cream from an ice cream truck :) I felt like a little kid again. He's a funny guy. 
     So, ironically, yesterday, I gave a talk on patience haha. It went well, and I guess people liked it. I feel so nervous speaking in Spanish! But all is fine! 
     I hope everyone's week is great! I'm sorry this is short, but I hate to admit, I was in a bit of a foul mood this week. I'll keep working on it, but I wouldn't turn down a prayer or two! I love you all!

-Elder Spjute

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Short Week

Well I know it sounds lame, but this week was rather uneventful. It has been like 5 days since last P-Day. I'm gonna start by giving an outline of a regular day. 6:30- up and out the door for a run. We come back after about 2 miles and finish with a bit of other exercise. 8:00- start personal studies for an hour. 9:00- start companionship studies. 10:00- start 12 week training (because I'm still new.) For this we watch movies, read Preach My Gospel, etc. 11:00 start language training.12:00- start lunch (or on Thursday, start weekly planning which takes about 3-4 hours). 1:00 out on bikes around Galveston, or in car around Texas City, Hitchcock, or La Marque. We have one hour for dinner whenever it is most effectively available. 9:00 (or 9:30 if we have lessons to teach)- in the house and starting planning for the next day. Once we finish planning for the next day, we change into regular clothes, and have personal time until we have to be in bed.10:30- lights off, which means in bed, or praying. 
     Every Thursday, we have dinner at 4:00 with Hna (hermana [sister]) Perez, the daughter of the lady I baptized. She always makes great food! I gave her mom a nice baptism picture with a frame. They put me up on the wall! We have dinner with the Rabago family (the husband is the president of our Lehi Branch) every Sunday. I love them! Sister Rabago sends pictures to my mom. She's like a mom-away-from-Mom. We eat at Cici's once or twice a week when we go to Texas City, La Marque, and Hitchcock.
     We've been doing a lot of reactivation with less actives lately. We have some of the coolest less actives! I love so many of them! There are so many that have to work on Sunday though. Many are very lazy. Some are too prideful offended. Hispanic people can be very easily offended! But if they can tell you love them, it works out well. 
     Our favorite less active families include the Zarate's. They have a pitbull named Gringo who is just awesome! They have young men who come out with us occasionally. They have a lot of cool names in their family: Orbit, Edwin, Gardinia, Oliver, Audie. Then there's the Luevanos. He makes fun of me, but I've learned to love him. He really is funny. There are others, but these are just some of the funnest ones. 
     I wish I had more good stories from this week! Things are all going well. The new English elder here, Elder LeBlanc, who is "troubled" and has been disobedient on his mission, is really cool! He's definitely crazy, but I love him, and he's hilarious! We're doing well in Galveston. The work is a little slow though. I still appreciate the prayers and support in my behalf. I love you all so much!

-Elder Spjute

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Finally P-day

    Yeah, 9 days in between P-Day is really hard. I was all out of clean clothes. We were almost out of food. It was chaotic haha. But nonetheless, I love it here so much! I've found especially this week that as I pray about specific people, I feel more connected with them, and can figure out how to help them most efficiently. I have been building a much stronger relationship with my Father in Heaven, and encourage everyone else to continue to do the same! 
     I'm almost finished with my second journal! This one I started the day after I opened my mission call. It is really cool to read through entries and see how far I've come. It is most inspiring when I can see the pattern of reliance on the Lord. As I put more in the Lord's hands, somehow, I am blessed more. You'd think it would be based on personal effort, but I testify that it is not! If we concentrate our efforts on our Savior, service, and relying on our Heavenly Father, things will more often work out. 
     I've heard a lot of people talk about the weather. Let me just tell you now that you are lucky not to have Galveston weather. We had like 2 days this week under 80 degrees. I'm still sweatin like a banshee! 
     So Elder Rockhill and I were told not to go to transfer meetings because the third companion we were going to get went to a different companionship. I was actually kinda bummed because that might have helped to relieve some of the two-man pressure. HOWEVER, I met the guy that would have been it on Sunday when we stayed the night in Houston in preparation for the meeting with a 70 named Elder Schwitzer the next day. The kid was a mess! His name is Elder Bets. He's so darn negative! I had previously prayed a little upset at why the transfer didn't go through. After meeting the guy, I've been praying with gratitude! May i never be that guy...
     So Elder Stoker got transferred from the English companionship, and that was really sad. His replacement is a big guy named Elder LeBlanc. He was a bit of a trouble missionary, so we were all a little scared, but he's actually really funny, and I've enjoyed him since he's been here. 
     Miracle!: After a fast by the zone for specific investigators, our investigator, Ivonne, got another co-worker so that she can come to church on Sundays now! So great! :D 
     I've grown to love Hispanic food. This could be to my downfall... I'll have to keep working out a lot! But man, real tamales are incredible! There's a Salvadorian dish called pupusas that are soooo good and so cheap at the restaurant that Ivonne works at. We get discounts :) 
     I've been really music and October trunky. I miss those things so much! I'm hoping this desire for a beautiful fall will pass soon haha. All in all though, I really love it here!
     We stayed the night Sunday at Elder Rockhill's old area in Houston. I got to see and hang out with Elder Sharp from the CCM. It was a good time! The next day was a Zone Conference with that 70. It was really inspiring. It helped me see the missionary work from a new, more Christ-centered perspective. 
     I hope everything is going well back home and wherever y'all are! I love you so much, and this gospel! The church is true! No doubt about it!

-Elder Spjute

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Weekly Report

So this week was awesome! First off, I want to let everyone know that my P- Day next week will be on Wednesday, due to a meeting with a member of the quorum of the 70 on Monday. He's gonna talk to us for a while that day, so we'll be in Houston. Next, I wanted to thank everyone who has had a hand in my success out here. I feel very blessed, and know that I couldn't do this without your prayers. Keep 'em coming, please!
     Who loved conference!? I DID! It was incredible! My questions beforehand were on the subject of faith. I waited the whole weekend, and Elder Scott answered them all in the very last session! So cool. My favorite talk, however was Elder Christoffersen. So dang powerful! There were definitely a lot of good lessons learned this weekend. I encourage you all to reread the talks! Invite others to learn from them too! We got to watch the conference in the chapel. So cool!
     So my BIG challenge for EVERYONE this week: go see the movie Meet The Mormons in theaters on the 10th. I've had the special opportunity to see it with 4 different zones in a zone meeting this Tuesday! It was amazing! You must show this to everyone! It is for all people! It shows the lives of 6 different LDS people, and is really incredible. 
     Later that Tuesday, i got a flat on my bike, and this guy rides by on a bike with a pump on the front! What a deal! He was from Guatemala, and said he'd meet with us. That is definitely a miracle :) 
     I went on exchanges this week with Elder Johnson, the other English Elder. He's the funniest guy out here. We had such a blast! He also cooks like a boss. We had a great time! We put our bikes in 1st gear and pedaled like crazy. Everyone who drove by giggled a little. Felt great! 
     We had a zone fast this week for a bunch of different investigators with problems. It was definitely a Spiritual experience. I highly encourage those to anyone who needs a little help, or just needs to get closer to Heavenly Father. 
     After our fast, we went to the temple!!! Elder Rockhill and I went with investigator Ivonne, her sister/recent convert Nathaly, and their mom. It felt like a family road trip! It's nice being able to understand more and more Spanish. I love it a lot! That was such a Spiritual high! Nathaly was able to be baptized for her grandmother. Poor Ivonne had to wait in the car, but it was worth it! We just gotta get her baptized, then we can go again with her! We got home an hour and 15 minutes late, repented, and slept hard before conference.
     I'm very grateful for all of the families that feed us here! I'm trying not to put on weight haha. The moral of the story is, be generous and loving, and it will come back to bless you! Yesterday, the coolest guy, Hno. Tellez, took us to Sugar Land, and we got to go to a friend of Elder Rockhill's baptism. Great people here! I keep praying for people to see the importance of this work!
     We had transfer calls this morning. Elder Stoker (English) is leaving. So sad. I'm really sure that Elder Rockhill is about to become ZL. I gotta go. I love you all tons! The church is true!

-Elder Spjute

Elder Spjute's district on the ferry

Houston temple

We're with investigator Ivonne (skinny), her sister Nathaly (recent convert), and their mom Hna. Idiaquez. So cool!