Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas!

 I know this isn't what you want to hear for the last email before Christmas, but this will be a short one due to complications of time. I'm finally starting to get over my cold. This is faster than normal, so I'm convinced it's a blessing from the Lord! 
     Highlights of the week-
     Monday, Rony, Favio's brother, not a member, gave me a bottle of cold medicine :) Champ!
     My voice was gone on Monday, and I was worried because i had to give the big discourse in Zone Meeting on Tuesday. After much prayer and faith, my talking voice came out just fine for the meeting, and my talk was great! I spoke on our purpose, or the Doctrine of Christ. It was pretty neat. Elder Romero gave a talk on obedience. It was kind of a spanking to the zone. I'm disappointed in how necessary it was. The elders of the zone had gotten out of controll; I didn't even know before just how bad. 
     So when Pres called to talk about the meeting afterwards, he had this big potential picture for the future, and I honestly got overwhelmed because this zone is not close. And I've been feeling a little under the weather on my faith. Especially in that people can change their nature. I'm not going to lie. While on the phone, a manly tear rolled down my cheek. I felt like the blind leading the blind. After we hung up, I said a prayer begging for peace, and it came. Man, did it come. The Lord is so good to me! 
     the next day, we went on exchanges. It was different. We both went to Galveston with the Spanish Elders. We were together for a lot of it just to see what they're doing together. But we split up, and I was with Elder Juarez, and Elder Romero with Elder Huaraca. I was the only white guy! Crazy! haha. That's what the picture was from. I never thought I'd get to take another picture right there in that apartment. It was a good exchange. We visited together Hna Perez who had gone less active since her mom passed away. We had a saving lesson, and gave her a blessing. It was inspiring seeing her change. Then, with Elder Juarez, we saw the Rivera family. I love them! We pulled up on our bikes, and Janitzy (one of my 29 year old friends) is sitting in the car with her boyfriend Emanuel. She sees me and yells, "Elder Spjute!" It was pretty cool :) I love being remembered. She wants me to come back for her wedding in December. I may just have to ;) 
     There's an older lady in the branch, love her to death! We went to go visit here, uninvited on Saturday, and her husband was there. He's not a member, but he just sat and argued at us. I felt so bad for not asking her if we could come over. She said, things were a little different on Sunday morning with him. I love this lady so much; her name's Hna Rosales. I know that Heavenly Father will bless her SO much for her patience with him.
     Yesterday was the Christmas program in Church. I couldn't sing all the verses of Silent Night. I choked up haha. It was a very sweet spirit that one felt there. I love the holidays. I love you all, and wish you the Merriest of Christmases!

-Elder Spjute



Monday, December 14, 2015

Raging Cold!

 No people, not the weather. The weather is still in the 80's occasionally. On Friday while we were planning, out of nowhere, I felt my throat start to get a li'l sore. I had a bad feeling about it, though. By Saturday morning, it was a pretty intense throat pain. Sunday, add congestion and plugged ears. Sunday after choir practice (the elders quorum and relief society are singing in church next week), the voice was gone almost completely. I took an hour and a half nap due to my body's demands; that was beautiful! Sunday night, add a little chest cold to it and some minor coughing. As of now, my voice is slowly making a come back. I hope I can sing by next week!
     So far, things are good with Elder Romero! Funny story. This week, in our personal time right before bed one night, he was watching a video about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon on our DVD player. As it ends on a Spiritual note, he closes the DVD player and with a straight face says slowly, "the Book of the Mormons." I laughed pretty hard. It's funny because in his Hispanic accent, that about what you'd expect to hear from an investigator haha.
     We're obedient. We work efficiently. We're doing well. 
     Side note: one of my new favorite Hispanic food traditions is corn on the cob with mayonnaise and Valentina hot sauce. So good :)
     I entertained Elder Phillippi on an exchange here in Kemah on Wednesday. Elder Romero went to Galveston in English for the day with Elder Abner. I told Elder Phillippi that if he and I combined our age and Elder Abner and Romero combined their age, they'd be 15 years older than us haha. They're old!
     On Thursday, we went to Sugar Land for a conference. They had Elder Hill and Ex San Diego Mission Pres Lee Donaldson come speak to us. It was pretty cool. They talked about how we must always be focused on the Doctrine of Christ. That is our purpose. Invite and help people to have faith, repent, be baptized, and endure to the end. They also showed us how to plan more effectively. Quite frankly, I didn't get all of it. It was really confusing. There were also parts that I strait up disagreed with. But for the most part, it brought the Spirit, and I learned. 
     I did however have to face the reality that I don't have enough faith that the Lord will change the hearts of the people here. It is something I'm struggling with. I struggle with the Hispanic culture. There are too many people that will not keep their commitments even after we've completely laid out the doctrine in front of them. I love them so much, and want their salvation, but man, it can be hard. So, that's something I'm facing for now. 
     Well, we're working hard! We have some investigators with a lot of potential. Please pray, if you would, for Cesar Agosto. He's learning a lot, and just needs to come to church a bit and accept a date. Thank you once more for your support. I hope the holiday season is treating you all well. I wish you good health. Really good health. And I love you all!

-Elder Spjute

This was the rainbow that hit yesterday. :)


Also, we had our branch Christmas party. This is Elder Romero and Luis, and some little kids. Luis and we were the three wise men.



Thursday, December 10, 2015

Just Some Long Lost Photos

Hey Everyone,

We recently found some pictures of Elder Spjute that may or may not have made it onto the blog. They were taken around the middle of this past June. Whenever we get to see pictures of him, it makes us happy, so we figured it would make the rest of the world happy too. [CAUTION: There are a couple bloody pictures. Nothing obscene, but if there is a really queasy somebody out there, I've added those last.] Thank you all so much for your continued support of Elder Spjute. He appreciates it, and we, his family, are grateful for all the additional prayers in his behalf. Merry Christmas, and enjoy. 

This post brought to you by the California sister.

                          Hno. Rodriguez and his daughter.

Then the happy couple.


Us on train tracks.



My toe wound from the nail. :)









Monday, December 7, 2015

Transfers

 The pics are of me and good ol' Cap'n Mehew at transfer meeting :) So Elder Sharp is gone. Elder Leszynski, my second in-field companion, is the new AP (cool!). I'm chillin' with my 5th Hispanic companion, Elder Romero. He is 26, a convert of 6 years, and has been in the states for 10 years. He's from El Salvador, but has been living in Corpus Christi. He teaches amazingly, which is nice. I love not having to worry about my companion's Spanish! He's also really obedient; that will help me. 
     We've had a pretty decent week! Sorry, this will be a very short email. Elder Sharp and I had kind of a rough end to the companionship. Elder Romero is learning the area, so I've kinda been taking him to meet everyone!
     Even with transfers, we still managed to have 20 sit-down lessons, which is pretty impressive, honestly. We will be working very hard this transfer. I'm ready to baptize again. 
     I got a phone call last night from the mission health lady, Sis Mecham, who told me she needed me to come to choir this morning. That means driving up to Sugar Land for a practice for the Christmas conference on the 22nd. I told her I'd do it if I could take Elder Mehew. So I did :) And it was fun :) My voice is not used to singing like that any more! I'll have to work it back up to it. 
     Please pray that this companionship will be happy and productive. Thank you all so much. I love you, and hope your December is going fantastically! 

-Elder Spjute



Monday, November 30, 2015

Into December We Go

So for the week roundup. How was everyone's Thanksgiving? Awesome? Still full? We are! We've been eating so much really good food lately. fortunately, I don't struggle too much with working out in the mornings. 
     Wanna hear something sad but kinda funny? On Tuesday, we had our district meeting that Elder Sharp had actually planned out pretty well. We get there, and ALL four of the sister missionaries were sick. Two of them with flu like symptoms, and the other two with whatever. Elder Sharp and I are rejoicing that we haven't gotten sick yet :) Immune system of steel! 
     On Wednesday, we went to go visit a new investigator whose neighbors are inactive members. He wasn't home, but his neighbors were, and they were out on their front porch, which has a roof over it, and they were burning these cardboard crates to smoke away the mosquitoes, We talked for 5 minutes, and smelled like a campfire for the rest of the night. We ate at Whataburger, which was delicious, but a horrible choice haha. I remember eating at Whataburger in San Antonio when Dan graduated from baisic training. Kinda a funny coincidence. 
     Thanksgiving started out so hot! Probably about 80 degrees. Dang. Then it got a little breezy and cooled off. It's been nice and chilly and foggy/cloudy since. We ended up only eating with two different people. One of them was the Campo family. That was great! So much good food; most of it being American :D Then, we ate at night time with Marc. He cooks incredibly. It's ridiculous. 
     That same day, we had a great lesson with our investigator Marcos. He struggles with a drinking problem. We had a good Atonement lesson with him. Our recent convert, Alfredo, helped us teach. Ho-ly cow! Alfredo teaches better than Elder Sharp! Haha. He understands doctrine that quite frankly, baffles me how smart he is! He explained accurate, true doctrine in the lesson, and kind of left Elder Sharp and I with mouths agape. Stud!
     We're trying to work a lot with the zone by helping them be excited for the work. As for the key indicators (the numbers we receive from each area which indicates the success their having), our district is the only one out of the three in the zone that is consistently decent. We know people are just too complacent, so we're trying to help them realize their purpose. Here's hoping for results! 
     Funny story for the week: Marc gave us a styrofoam box with some kind of food to open in the apartment. We were expecting pie or some kind of junk food. As we joked around, we got silent as it sat on the counter, Elder Sharp opening it. When we saw that they were chicken salad filled croissants, we both gasped simultaneously. We looked at each other in shock of the good fortune. Then we busted up laughing. 
     I got to teach for the third hour yesterday for fifth Sunday. It was a cool experience! We watched a 20 minute video of the Restoration, then I had people split up into groups and discuss the question "How has this experience changed your life?" After getting the groups' answers, I asked them how they could share the blessings with others. Really spiritual hour. 
     I'll be working hard this transfer with my new companion. Pray for him :) I love you all. May December treat you all well!

-Elder Spjute 

Pictures-The first one is with Elder Sharp, Nefito, Dalila, Omar, Nefi, and I. We took this in case one of us would leave before seeing them again. The second is with the Campo family, with which, we ate Thanksgiving dinner.



Monday, November 16, 2015

Temple Happiness!

 It's beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving. The branch just had our Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday. It was pretty decent. I seriously love this branch so much! I love how much they all dance at the end of our activities. So many of them are so good! 
     Lots of good little highlights for this week, so it might seem a little scattered. Bear with me!
     On Monday, we went to see one of our Less Actives, a 13 year old named Nefito (Nefi's son and Dalila's almost step-son). He gets angry with his 9 year old almost step-brother, Omar. We had a lesson about how to control it, and the spirit was so powerful. This goofy, innocent 13 year old had an intense lesson, and started to cry during the closing prayer. It was so cool. He's such a good kid.
     Later on, we went to Marc's for dinner. He's the one who I used to not like much due to his lack of progression, and manipulation demeanor. He's learning a lot, which is cool. So something interesting happened. He told me I was going to be a bishop. Then he said, "you want to know how I know? Because I've seen it." He has told us a lot of things that point to him having the gift of visions. He told me he has three times received the knowledge from God, the second time being in a dream. he told me some other interesting specific stuff as well; a decent amount of it tying in to my Patriarchal blessing. Kinda odd. Not entirely sure what to make of it. Anyway...
     On Tuesday, we had Zone Conference, which took from 7:45 in the morning to about 4:30 in the afternoon. It was great. It's all about working with the members. I encourage and beg you all to do your part as missionaries in this church. Only we are full-time missionaries, but according to Pres David O. McKay, we are all responsible to be missionaries. 
     Gio, one of the Less Actives, works at a jeweler shop, and took two of my broken watches that broke in the first or second transfer of my mission, and returned them in great shape and free of charge. Yay! 
     Our neighbor Joe has been bringing us pumpkin flavored stuff to try all the time. It's super funny and really nice. We've had pumpkin spice glazed doughnuts, pop tarts, chips, and more. It cracks me up. He's such a good guy. He's been struggling hardcore since his wife passed away last year. We chat with him a lot and give him hugs every now and then. He's like our crazy uncle we never had haha. 
     On Thursday, we saw this stroke victim, Fredi, a recent convert who can only say yes or no. After a good lesson, he started trying to say something. When we asked him what it was, he would do the usual and respond with yes or no. When we mentioned church, he got so happy, and just beamed. It was pretty cool. Gave me goosebumps. We have to get him rides to church for obvious reasons. 
     Later, we had a lesson with Dalila and Nefi. She is the smartest investigator I have ever taught. She explained to us how she is a little afraid of knowledge because she knows that if she doesn't follow up with what she knows she should do, she condemns herself. Who gets that as an investigator?! So smart. Let it be known that before she met the missionaries some 6 months ago, she hardly knew anything about the gospel. I mean anything. We have such high hopes for them. We've fasted twice for them to get married and do what they're supposed to. Unfortunately, they didn't come to church yesterday, but we're working on it!
     Temple trip on Saturday was the week's Spiritual High! We went with Hna Silva for her first endowment session. So cool! President Allred (branch pres) took all the missionaries in the branch (the 6 of us in the district). It was a Spanish session. So awesome. I got some good revelation, and just loved it. 
     Yesterday, Hnas Johnson and Reeder had a baptism with a 50 year old lady named Lettie. I got to sing Come thou Fount in Spanish with piano and violin accompaniment. It was originally just a version for the instruments, but we added the voice part on about 10 minutes before the baptismal program. It went super well. I miss singing! 
     That's about all I've got for this week. I love you all. Have a wonderful week!

-Elder Spjute
ps:
One picture is of Elder Sharp and I, Yessika Silve, Hna Amezquita, Hna Menendez, then Hnas Ralston and Hall of our district. The other picture is all the same minus the sister missionaries. ]




Monday, November 9, 2015

Livin' La Vida Loca

So far, so good with Kemah! Today is actually not our P-Day. We got permission to email and shop today, but we're taking our P-Day on Saturday to go to the temple with a member in our area who is taking out her endowment. We're so excited! Let's see what I can conjure up for an email.
     We went to Chuck E Cheese for dinner once with a member haha. That was different! I love playing Skii-ball :) 
     We spent a lot of time with Marc, the guy that Elder Sharp is really good friends with. I didn't like that at first, but he actually started progressing this week. He's struggled all of his life with understanding why we need a Christ. He is very advanced in thinking, and his logic just didn't click until this week. He read His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox, and it made the wheels start spinning. He fed us a couple times this week. On Monday, he spent over $100 on dinner. Dang. He and his parents are loaded. 
     I did a service project with Elder Yancey, when we were on exchanges this week. We helped a guy raise his deck outside of his trailer. It was a huge, heavy project. It was fun though, and the guy's wife fed us a ton of really good food. She made albundigos (meat balls) which reminded me a lot of Mom's. That was cool.
     Spiritual High of the week: Dalila and Nefi. So Elder Sharp and I have been thinking about how to capitalize on the lesson they heard in Gospel Principles on Law of Chastity. We spent a whole companionship study figuring out how to convince them that it's time to get married, stop living in sin, and get Dalila and Omar baptized. The lesson we had with them later that night was SO powerful. Accompanied by so much prayer. So spiritual. Such a divine intervention. We didn't want to pressure them in front of the kids. Omar was asleep! Nefito doesn't speak Spanish. It worked out perfectly! Dalila was in tears and said she needed this for her family. Nefi has to make the decision now. He's worried because he's had 2 divorces, and doesn't want to mess things up. We fasted for them, and are praying all the time for them. Some prayers in their behalf would be greatly appreciated. 
     I'm so sorry this email is so short. It wasn't a crazy week, and we have limited time today. But know that I love you all tons! Have a great week, and enjoy fall!

-Elder Spjute

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy Halloween

This was a pretty cool week :) First off, the pictures attached are of our neighbor Joe. He's kind of a crazy guy, as you can tell by the lazy eye. He's so cool though. He really warmed up to Elder Sharp and me (he's got one of Elder Sharp's extra name tags). He's so NOT even close to LDS haha. He has all kinds of Word of Wisdom problems, and just doesn't really believe in God due to his wife's death a year ago. Poor guy. We love him. We do stuff for each other all the time.
     Update on Dalila and Nefi: we don't really want to baptize Omar until his mom marries Nefi. When we passed by on Wednesday, she told us she really wanted to marry him and start her eternal family. Awesome! We just gotta get Nefi on board. We just helped them move into a different apartment, still together, so we're hoping that means yes!
     On Thursday, half the mission went to the mission office for a Zone Conference with Elder Lawrence E Corbridge of the 70 talk to us. It was a good conference, but was so long! It started up at 9, and ended at 4. He did a nice job, but talked a little too monotone. Staying awake was a bit of a struggle. I'll go into detail on what he talked about in a minute. He spoke again at Stake Conference on Friday and Sunday
     I sang If You Could Hie to Kolob at the Zone Conference. It went pretty well. No complaints. Except that I wish I looked up more from the podium. I thought it was funny how many people would say, "Elder Spjute, I didn't know you sing!" I would just think to myself, wait, you don't really know anything about me haha. Kinda funny. 
     We had MLC (mission leadership council) at the end of the Conference. As Zone Leaders, this is one of the couple things we get to do that's different. In the meeting, we just discuss with the other ZLs, Sister training leaders, APs, and President (and Elder Corbridge) what we need to do to help the mission. Very broad. That's about all we do that's different other than lead Zone Meetings, do exchanges, and make ministering phone calls a couple nights a week. 
     Friday was the adult session of Stake Conference. I must say, that was possibly the best meeting I've ever been to. Holy cow! At the beginning, Elder Corbridge said, "the brethren told me we should do the meeting on Saturday. I said I realize it's a Pagan holiday, but are we gonna make the parents miss out on Halloween? They told me I'd have to get creative. I responded, probably foolishly, should we come in costume? And so here we are, meeting on Friday!" 
     The stake choir is AMAZING. About 40 people, and they sound like Motab. I'm not kidding! The director is incredible. Right at the start of the meeting, we all sang Let us all press on, and it was so loud and powerful and harmonic. I was blown away. Then, the choir opened afterwards singing With songs of praise. Oh my word. I couldn't stop smiling for about 5 minutes! That helped an already amazing meeting become incredible. President and Sis Hall spoke together about family council, and nailed it. The stake president spoke on Sabbath Day observance, and nailed it. Then the stake patriarch bore a testimony on making the best of our time, and nailed it. Elder Corbridge spoke way more enthusiastically and nailed it. He took up the majority of the time. He spoke about how the Spirit is the Power of God. It's what we all want, and it's the biggest gift that God can give us in this life. It was a very powerful message. The choir finished up with Abide with me, 'Tis eventide. 
     The meeting on Sunday was very similar. It wasn't as powerful, but it was still very nice. Highlight was the choir. At the end, they sang Motab's big version of I Believe in Christ. It blew me away. I mean, wow! 
     Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. I love you all, and don't worry, I'm staying afloat in all the rain here. Have a wonderful week! The church is true!

-Elder Spjute



Monday, October 26, 2015

The Rains Came Down

 First things first, don't worry about me. Hurricane Patricia didn't really do much to us. We got a ton of rain on Saturdayand Sunday, but nothing too exciting. I appreciate all of the prayers, and am safe; no worries! I was happy to be in a car this week!
     So this week, I've been playing around with the electric keyboard we have in the apartment. I've been learning to play The Entertainer. There's a setting that teaches you to play songs that it has on it. It's pretty fun :) I do that for a little bit during some of the free time.
     This week, we met more with some Venezuelan kids we met, Carlos and Alejandro. They're 18 and 20, and super cool kids. We taught Carlos, and are working on getting them to come to soccer on Friday. These two really perk our interests. We desire their salvation. That's been something I've noticed more and wanted more of in the mission is desires of others' salvation. Righteous desire, right?
     During Spanish study, I usually read the Book of Mormon in Spanish for a while, and will sometimes work on other stuff. Since being here in Kemah, I've read about 300 pages in Spanish :) I love it! I'm to the point where I understand pretty much all that I read. It's just a matter of time. Super cool.
     We went to our branch's Trunk or Treat, in which we were joined by one of the English wards as well. It was pretty fun :) I absolutely love Halloween. It's just so fun, and jovial. The first picture is of Alfredo, E. Sharp, Milton, Favio, Marcos, Luis, and me. They were all at the Trunk or Treat, so we decided it was a good time for a picture. Lots of fun. One of our members dressed up as Luigi and his little 3 year old dressed up as Mario. It was pretty cute. So darn fun!
     The other picture, is us with Edgar Moreno, and his dad (also Edgar Moreno). We eat with them on Sundays. They're an awesome family :).
     So let me tell you all how yesterday was such an awesome Sunday. We had some extra time in the church building due to our branch council ending early. In that time between that and Sacrament meeting, one of the English wards has choir practice. Of course I went and joined in ;) It was so fun! It kind of tested my sight reading, which was kinda rusty haha. I loved that! Me and the other guy singing base were just joking the whole time, and singing it up! 
     Next, we were kinda sad that like 5 minutes after when we were supposed to start, there was only about 20 people in the chapel. By the end of the meeting, EVERYONE we really wanted to be there was there! We had visited with a less active named Nacho the night before and invited him and his wife and kids to church. They actually came! And then Nefi, Nefito, and Dalila came as well!! YES! And Alfredo came, and Milton, and wow! Just everyone :) And Hna Moreno, the mom who cooks for us on Sundays, gave a wonderful talk on repentance. It was so good! 
     Now, Elder Sharp and I have been pondering about how we were going to go about teaching the Law of Chastity to Nefi and Dalila because they're living together with his son and her son, and they aren't married. Well guess what the lesson was in Gospel Doctrine.That's right, Law of Chastity, which Hna Moreno taught, as well. It was incredible! The Lord definitely set that one up. Dalila totally got it as well, she was crying after some videos we watched. It was seriously one of the best Sundays on the mission. Holy cow! We gave Nefi a blessing afterwards because he was feeling a little worried, and he threw out his back. 
     It was also convenient that they were there because we had an appointment set up for Nefito, who is 13, and got into some bad stuff, to talk with branch Pres. Allred. It worked out! The Lord is so good to us!
     This Thursday, we're having a Zone Conference in which Elder Corbridge of the 70 is coming to visit us. I was asked to sing for that. I had hoped to sing a cool song about the Savior that I had in my repertoire, but it looks like I'm doing If You Could Hie to Kolob again. I'm fine with the song, but it's not like it's ridiculously spiritual, ya know. Should be good, though. Wish me luck!
     I'll say it again, the Lord is too good to me. I love this mission so much. I am feeling myself grow now, and can't deny it. This gospel is so true. I have a cemented testimony in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I love it! I know this gospel blesses lives. I see it every day. I love you all, and thank you so much for your continued support! Happy Halloween!

-Elder Spjute



Monday, October 19, 2015

Stayin in Kemah

Well today is the start of transfer 4 here in Kemah for me. I'll also be staying with Elder Sharp for our third one together. I'm happy about it. I really love the people here. Also, we have some people in the branch going through the temple this transfer, so hopefully we'll get to go with them.
     On that note, I love the temple!! Last week, after P-Day, we packed up, and drove to Sugar Land, where we stayed the night with a member family named the Wolstens. Bro. Wolsten served a mission in southern Texas, and has retained his Spanish pretty well! They were such an amazing family (well a couple. An older couple). We chatted for a bit, then went to bed. We woke up the next morning at 4:00 and headed to the temple :)
     The temple is a magical place :) As a guy described it in a talk in the English ward yesterday, it's like the time capsule on Dragon Ball Z. The heroes go in, and train for a year or two, then when the leave the capsule, only a day had gone by, so they can defeat the bad guys. We go into the temple and are so hugely spiritually strengthened, that we come out with so much power over the bad! It was a cool talk...
     So our focus questions as a mission were what do I expect/want for my life/mission? The answers I got were for the mission, I want a greater desire for the salvation of those around me; for my life, I want to be eternally married, and make the best of every situation with my wife. That was kind of a trunky question. President Hall and his wife, embracing, talked about how we should be looking forward to that, and how it's the most important thing we'll ever do, etc. Kind of an interesting prompt for missionaries. My personal questions were What is my true identity, and how has the mission changed me? Answers: I am a representative of Jesus Christ, and the father of my world that I receive the power to create along with my sealing to my wife. Kinda cool. And The changes of the mission: I'm going to the temple. I'm closer to the Lord, and can continue to learn about him, bringing me more of His spirit, and making me a better person. It was a good temple trip :) 
     We did a lot of service this week, including painting at the Campo's house. They are a Colombian family in the branch. Hna Campo's parents, the Gonzales, live with them. We painted their bathroom, and a shed in their back yard, which they'd turned into a kitchen. Later in the week, we went over to their house for a Halloween party. That was awesome! The whole family dressed up. It was a hoot! There was great food and lots of dancing and Hispanic music. We also saw a lady there named Patricia, who I'd met with Elder Mota. The Campos had her over a long time ago for a family home evening with Elder Mota and me. Turns out she's getting baptized pretty soon in the Texas Houston East Mission :D SO COOL! 
     On Thursday, we were eating at a cheap Chinese place called Lucky Wok, when halfway through the meal, Elder Sharp reads a text and says, "Don't eat!" The next lesson we had in a half hour was going to include a dinner. We received plenty of grace to finish the food at the appointment haha. It later turned into a great Sabbath day lesson! Unfortunately, they didn't come to church. But there were a few cool people that came to church! We got a new investigator from one of our members bringing her boyfriend. He's a super cool guy :) Here's hoping he's golden.
     Well I hope you're all having a wonderful day and week. The gospel is true! I love you all!

-Elder Spjute


The Temple


                                                                       The District


                                                                The Galveston Zone

Elder Sharp and Me

Hair yesterday

                                                                           Hair today

Halloween Party at the Campo's (Hno. Gonzales, Hna. Campo's dad, is the pregnant lady)






10/12 Temple Trip Tomorrow!

So today at the end of the day, we'll be driving to Sugar Land, where we'll stay with some members there and sleep over. Then in the morning, we'll head to the temple with about half the mission. I'm so excited! We're taking two questions: What are my expectations for my mission/life? and one personal one. The one I chose being 'How have I changed and how will I stay changed from before the mission? Should be really cool!

     So last Monday night, we had a roast dinner with our neighbor, Joe. It was SO good. Man! He's a stud. Not a member, or really interested in the church (due to love of alcohol, pot, and cigarettes), but he's a stud. We've convinced him to dress up as a missionary for Halloween, though haha :D 

     Later, I started an exchange in my area with Elder Tautu, one of the APs. He's new to the AP office as of this transfer. Elder Sharp went to Houston 4 (up north-ish) with Elder Tittle, the other AP. It was way fun. Elder Tautu is a down to earth, funny guy. We were in the same district for my first transfer in Missouri City. It was a good time.

     We had interviews with Pres Hall on Wednesday. They were very rushed, and felt very impersonal, seeing as he taught the whole 10 minutes, and taught everyone the same thing. Elder Sharp and I left more than a little disappointed. We know he means well, but it is rough when you expect a lot, and you only have those interviews every quarter of a year. 

     After a quick visit with Nefi (he's less active, 40, and living with his girlfriend and his 13 year old son and her 9 year old son. She and her son are taking the lessons), he invited us over for tacos hecho a la hodureno. So Honduran tacos are exactly like Mexican flautas. It was delicious. Afterwards, we had a bomb Atonement lesson. So good! We just need to have a solid Law of Chastity lesson, get them hitched, and get her and her son baptized!

     I'm fairly glad that we are in a car area. It's still usually in the mid 90s outside. Gosh.

     My favorite family award goes to the Campos. They are from Columbia, and the grandma (I call her abuelita, which means grandma) and daughter cook so dang well! They are also the nicest peole you'll ever meet. And they do missionary work, and are a wonderful example of a gospel-centered family. I love being on a mission to see the examples of how and how not to live your life. 

     I'm so happy I have the gospel in my life! I love it so much! It is the only source of eternal happiness. I hope you all have a wonderful week. I love you all!

 

-Elder Spjute

10/5 pick-chaws

This was a cake at a birthday party we encountered :) And this was in a magazine that our neighbor Joe gave us from Rhode Island. I laughed pretty hard. 







10/5 Uh-thuh pick-chaws

This is Elder Phillippi. We went on an exchange. This is where we meet up with the other Elders. It's a gigantic gas station called Buc-ees.


10/5 Conference is Awesome

   All that loved conference, say "I." I! Favorite talk was Elder Robert D. Hales. It was just wonderful. I loved how he encouraged us to avoid temptation rather than go through it as a plane avoids storms when possible. Just inspiring. And I love our prophet. He's in my prayers. 

     So last Monday, we left the apartment on time, but hungry. We decided to try the Caoba's house (some members in our area). By the grace of God, they were having a party, and fed us to our heart's delight! Yay :D The Lord is good. 

     On Tuesday, we packed in the car with the League City Zone Leaders and headed to Sugar Land for our monthly MLC (mission leadership council). Those are always great. It was a bit more basic than usual, though. President Hall hit hard on Following up to help Keep Commitments, and the blessing of Repentance. 

     We always have Zone Meeting the Friday after, so we went to Galveston for that. Seeing as we wanted the Sister Training Leaders in the zone to teach Repentance, and Elder Sharp was teaching the other principle, I had to come up with something different to teach. I decided the day before that I'd talk about conversion. It lasted about 20 minutes, and was awesome! The Spirit was so strong; I totally received the help I needed to do that! I mentioned how we needed to be consecrated on the mission and endure to the end to be fully converted to the Gospel. If we only have one convert on the mission, we need to make it ourselves. 

     We also threw in an exchange into the busy schedule. I was here in Kemah with Elder Phillippi, a new, English-speaking elder from Idaho, and Elder Sharp went to Texas City with Elder Walker. I got to teach solo a bunch, and it was kinda nice haha. I made sure we saw a few people who speak English :) We took Alfredo, our recent convert, out teaching with us, and he did amazingly! He testified well about the prophets and the mission of Jesus Christ in a street contact we made. So proud of him. He loved conference yesterday too. Yay!

     If I could ask for prayers, please pray for Milton and Alfredo. They are both struggling and battling their own demons. They just need some help. Thank you all :) I know the gospel is true. As we heard several times this weekend, the Atonement is perfect. It can save us all, and offers all the help we need. I love the gospel, and love all of you for your support. Have a wonderful week!

 

-Elder Spjute

Saturday, October 3, 2015

9/28 Another Good Week

     So here's your funny Hispanic fact of the day. Columbians and some Salvadorians will point with their face rather than their fingers. They raise their eyebrows and stick out their lips at whatever they're pointing at. Like if you ask who they want to say the prayer, they'll do that. I always laugh a little.
     One breakthrough I had (again) this week is that prayer is such a huge blessing! On Sundays, I like to sacrifice things (habits, un-Christ-like attributes, etc) while partaking of the Sacrament. I decided last Sunday to sacrifice my lazy prayers. All throughout the week, I prayed with much more sincerity and care. I seemed to be happier, and closer to the Lord as I felt His Spirit more strongly. I'll continue working for that.
     On that note, who's excited for General Conference?! ME! I'm so excited to see what happens with all the new callings, seeing as we're down 3 good men. I invite you all to open your heart and minds as you go into watching the sessions.
     Last Monday, Elder Sharp told me I was giving a presentation on how to have faith to find people for the District Meeting the next day. I went about 20 out of 15 minutes, and really enjoyed it. I'm starting to like public speaking, which is a first. I came to the conclusion that we all have the faith; it just needs to be recognized and acted upon. That being said, we found about 5 new people this week; I'll let you know how it goes.
     Alfredo is progressing along nicely. We hope to go to the temple with him in a couple weekends. He had to work yesterday, unfortunately, so he didn't receive the priesthood. However, Jorge, the sisters' guy who I baptized, asked me to ordain him, so I got to do that for the first time. That was something special. I love Jorge; he's such a stud! 
     So there's this Hispanic dish called mole (pronounced Moh-leh) that I generally am not a big fan of. It's this black sauce made with burnt tortillas over chicken eaten with tortillas. We had some on Wednesday that was super good! The quality of food really depends on who cooks it. You can usually rely on people who have given you good food, but every now and then, you get surprised with something nearly un-stomachable. But fortunately, I'm good at eating...that's also unfortunate haha. We've gotta step up the exercises to make up.
     On Friday night, I went on exchanges with a Tongan elder  named Elder Heitonga. He is my height, but he's the most ripped person I've ever met in person. His stomach is tiny, and his arms and chest are gigantic! We had an intense hour and a half work out in the morning. Yeah, he's serious. It was a fun exchange. It was actually part of my old area from back when I was in Galveston, but it was in English, so we didn't see any of the same people. He's a goof ball, though. He learned all of his English on the mission, seeing as he came right from Tonga. 
     I know that this work is the work of the Lord. There are so many people that give up so much to come on missions. I've been given so much to help me get here, and I'm so grateful. I know that whoever is reading this has helped me on my journey, and I say thank you to each of you. I love you all. Have a fantastic week full of inspiration!

-Elder Spjute