Thursday, February 26, 2015

Selective obedience brings selective blessings

     Sorry, y'all, I'm running low on time. But I'll pack in as much as I can! I want you all to know that I'm doing well, and I love and miss all of you.
     No complaints that are too big, this week! It was just a little slow again. We didn't do well getting the members out with us, and we felt the repercussions. Alejandro, the investigator that came to our Valentine's day party, church, and a baptism, accepted a date for the first of March!!! however, seeing as he missed church yesterday, and we still have a ton to teach him, we might push it back a week. He's just a little strapped for time.
     We went out to eat twice with Bishop Martin this week. He's such a stud. We called him and told him we had no one to feed us one night (he made us promise to if that happened), and we went out to Chinese food! I'm definitely not as in shape as I was when I first got to Missouri City!
     On Friday, we had a Zone training, given by President, and the Assistants to the president. That was soooo good! It answered all my questions and problems! It gave us OYMing (open your mouth) ideas, how to invite people to do stuff ideas, and more. I've decided after multiple blatant promptings, that I need to do more to be strictly obedient... yes, that means even hand signaling on the bikes... difficult! But, I'm expecting blessings! I can't do that without it. President explained that selective obedience not only brings selective blessings, but suffering! I don't want that. This applies to the commandments as well, people. ALL of them!
     We had a disturbing lesson with our investigator Alphonso (the one who is super slow in the head, and had killed 3 people). Turns out he has killed many people. He told us he used to be the devil, and enjoyed it. He would tell us about how he would torture people, then when it stopped being "fun," he'd shoot them in the head. Yeah, not looking at him the same anymore. Also, he would tell us he used to go to his old church to pick up girls. He got pretty graphic. Then, our ward mission leader's wife said he was very rude when they drove him to stuff. He's definitely dropped!
     I have been growing in my testimony. Slowly, but surely! I know this gospel is true! I live it, and I love it! I love everyone who is supporting me as well! Thank you!

-Elder Spjute

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Lord is Good

     Happy late Valentine's Day! And Happy Presidents (?) Day! We're not entirely sure why, but we really saw an outpouring of blessings this week! That was very much needed! We made sure to put a lot of emphasis this week on getting members out to teach with us. If you are a member, and have some time, I would highly suggest going out with the misisonaries for a little bit! It helps and is a blessing to everyone that participates!
     So after transfers, my son, Elder Havens is in my area! So weird. Yeah, he's still not as humble as we thought he'd be... Oh dear haha.
     Last Monday, we met this guy named Fermin, who was a referral from the sisters. That spirit we felt there was one of the worst yet haha. He'd been a Satanist for 3 years, and a robber, and a meth addict, and we didn't like it one bit. Fortunately, a little later in the week, he called and said he wanted to stay Satanist because Satan freed one of his friends from prison. We decided it definitely wasn't the Lord that did it, and we dropped him!
     Elder Figueroa and I got a prayer answered on Tuesday that was a miracle :) We didn't know what to do with our time, and we were starting to get bummed out because of it. We decided to pray and ask the Lord where to go. After the prayer, I felt we should go north, Elder Figueroa felt south, so we compromised and went east to a guy named Cesar's house. It was such an awesome message! We really think he could get baptized. We'll be praying for him. It was a Christmas Miracle!
     Wednesday was pretty great as well! We did a few hours of service for an investigator named Javier, and when we finished, we played catch with a baseball. I hadn't done that in years! Later that night, Elder Figueroa and I went on splits with some ward members and got a few member present lessons out of it. That was super fun. I feel like we have seen a lot of results from our efforts in that field!
     We had a Valentines party on Friday that was really cool. I love this ward so much. The members are the best around :) It was just a good time. One of the investigators that showed up to the party was invited by a member. He came to church this Sunday, and now really wants to be baptized; his name's Alejandro. Stud!
     I got to sing at an 8 y/o member named Kimberly's baptism yesterday. I sang I Need Thee Every Hour (in Spanish) with Sister Price, one of the missionaries. It went really well. It was a very spiritual baptism. I love this ward!!
     Just a plethora of blessings :) I'm grateful for my Savior making all of these blessings possible! You know that everything we enjoy, every blessing we receive, is all because He went through the Atonement for us? Well it is! And I know it! I know this church is true with all my heart! I love you all,

Elder Spjute

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bigger and bolder

     Helllllo everyone! I'd like to tell you that I had an extremely life-changing week, but for the most part, it was just bits of improvement. You know the promise where the Lord says we'll be faced with our weaknesses when we try to humble ourselves before Him? It's in Ether 12. Yeah, I have seen a bit of that. As I've been learning about the spirit of prophecy and revelation, which is the guidance every missionary needs, I've been trying to become better at repenting and being humble. As such, I've realized that my attitude needs a bit of an adjustment(again)! But rather than just trying to shove the problems causing the frustration away, I've learned some benefit to confronting them.
     For example, our district leader, Elder Whicker (or Whittacre as we call him), has been a bit of a tool, for lack of a better word. He shows no trust in the district, and Elder Figueroa and I have gotten a little upset over it... for a whole transfer. Last night, while we were on the phone with him, he was giving us a load, and I was tired of him unrightly trying to correct us, and I laid into him. I may have been slightly too riled up at points, but I, along with Elder Figueroa, let him have it. 
     When we had asked him to go out of our area to a church building close by to have dinner with some members who'd invited us for an activity, he almost said no. His 'leadership' goes to his head too often. When we'd gotten home late after an incredible lesson, we had to tell him. Rather than asking us why, he went straight to blaming us and pointing out the rules. We were more or less, fed up. After the talk on the phone last night, he told us he'd try to change. We'll hold him to that.
     So transfers are today, and I'll be staying here another one with Elder Figueroa! Sweet :D While the work may be slow and we don't have too many progressing investigators, I do love him, and we get along like two peas in a pod. It's the greatest. 
     I have had more singing opportunities here than I have in the whole rest of my mission! I sang If You Could Hie To Kolob again in Sacrament Meeting yesterday! This time in Spanish. That was awesome. I got some really nice compliments.
     There is a lady in our ward and area named Hna. Garcia who feeds us (TONS) every Tuesday and Thursday. My email subject is partly because of her! She is seriously the nicest lady ever; she tells us she loves us with all her heart every day we're there. But man, I might be getting a little larger due to her food. It is healthy, don't get me wrong, but sooo much!
     Everything else in the week just made sense. Not too much new stuff, but a long, workfull, week. I love you all, and hope you have a great week; the church is true!

Feb 2nd letter- One week of growing, down

     Well don't let the subject ^ fool ya, I'm still having a great time on the mission, but I've been put up against some struggles this week. But I'm still doing well, Elder Figueroa and I are still funny, and the church is still true, so it's all great! 
     I learned this week that colds are racist. Haha Elder Figueroa caught his cold last week from a Hispanic family, but I never got it. And their mom never got it because she's white. Bishop Martin (a gringo) is married to a Guatemalan, and they don't catch each others' colds. But their kids get both of theirs haha. It's funny.
     On Wednesday, we had an interesting day. We got interrogated by a 7 year old on her front steps about what we were going to teach them (Plan of Salvation). She asked, "people die in all different ways, so what's God's plan for them?"...let me remind you she's 7! We just explained the Plan in a couple easy sentences. Kinda funny and cute.
     Later that night, we met one of the most interesting guys ever, named Poncho (Alfonso). He told us his whole life story. He crossed the big river to get into the states... pretty common. He used to be a drug dealer. Once, he got into a gang fight, and got shot three times. He showed us the wounds in his leg (which broke his femur, by the way), his stomach, and the back of his head! Before he blacked out, he shot and killed three people! He woke up in a morgue after having been dead for 6 hours! how crazy is that! His memory is pretty slow now, but he seems sincere and repentant. He came to church yesterday, and loved it!
     On Thursday, we got a call saying we had a re-baptism that needed to happen in our area because the records got lost. We got so excited! This would have helped for our goal of 60 baptisms. Long story short, it didn't work out, and we were bummed. We unfortunately did not reach our goal of 60 baptisms, but got to 46. We have changed the number to 50 for February, and I ask your help in praying for it. Thank you so much!
    We went to a hospital this week to give a blessing to President Portillo's (our stake president's) wife. She has had cancer for the past 20 years, and it hit really hard a few days ago, and she's been hospitalized. She probably doesn't have too long left. After seeing how much pain her husband was in over it, we broke down pretty hard. I made Elder Figueroa give the blessing haha because Bishop Martin and I would have been too blubbery. They are a wonderful family, and it's sad that they have to go through what they are. I'm so glad I know how our Heavenly Father's eternal plan works. He is awesome!
      I have a really good friend from Galveston, Elder Johnson, who is going home in a week, and I'm a little bummed that I won't get to see him. It's crazy, when I got here, he was barely an old missionary! Time is flyin'!
     I know the church is true, and this mission is changing me bit by bit. I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!

-Elder Spjute