Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The work

     We moved our P-Day one day due to Memorial day. I hope your extra-long weekend was great :D So last Monday, we had a lesson with the English sisters; they were doing a hand off on this Hispanic family from Cuba for us. Cool! The spirit in the members' house with them was so strong! It felt like it does when I give blessings, like I'm spinning. It's almost overwhelming as to the strength; so amazing!
     I went on exchanges this week with both Elder Holderness (Tuesday) and Elder Mehew (Friday). They are companions, and are both super awesome! We had to do them both because of a correlation the companionship wouldn't be able to go to on Friday; we just split up to have representatives at the meeting from each companionship.
     On Tuesday, we went to a choir practice for the ward Priesthood holders. I recorded each of their parts on their phones for them to listen to and practice. They'd better be practicing! There's another practice tonight. I'll have to play piano because Elder Holderness won't be there. He was playing originally. 
     We had a Zone Conference on Wednesday. President taught a bunch about our purpose and getting rid of anti-responsibilities. I learned a lot. I feel like I'm gonna start taking off soon with converting people.
     I cut my hair again. Still have only touched the top about 3 times on the mission, but I trimmed the sides and back again. I'm getting good! What happens when I like what I do more than what my barber does?
     On Friday night, Elder Mehew and I stayed up until 1:00 talking. He told me a 40 minute humbling story about how he broke his back when he was 15. He was laid up for the most part of a year. He was doing squats in the weight room, and lifted with his back, which separated the bone from the muscle, allowing it to break after a hard swing playing baseball. He left it bad for about 4 months before getting it seriously checked out. It was just a hairline fracture, but left him in bad shape. It's an amazing story. He's such a patient guy. I really love him a lot.
On Thursday, I finished the Book of Mormon for the second time. Nothing too grand, but for me, it is big! I started it over again back in January. As I finished, I felt a strong spiritual confirmation that it was all from God. Such a wonderful book! On other Spiritual levels, we're going to the temple tomorrow with a third of the mission. I'm so excited. We have been studying our true identities, and sacrifice and consecration. I'm expecting to have an amazing time. And then, we'll go with the Martinez family after giving Hno the temple lessons, and do that on the 12th. 
     The work is slow, but good. I hope you are all feeling the love of our wonderful Father in Heaven. This is His church, and the gospel is true. I love you all,

-Elder Spjute

(A note from the editor)
Elder Spjute's actual birthday is the day after Christmas, but our parents decided when he was little to have a "party day"    to celebrate his birthday with a party and presents so he doesn't feel a loss from all the celebrating at Christmas time.  Elder Spjute's party day is on Memorial Day every year. This pic is from his party day on the mission. And yes, he ate the whole thing! Our sister Becky has a party day on July 4th. Her actual birthday is Christmas Day. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Good week

This week was great, but also really sad. On the 31st of January, Elder Figueroa and I went with the bishop to visit Hna Portillo at the hospital and give her a blessing (she's the old stake president's wife). She just passed away last Sunday. Their family asked me to sing If You Could Hie to Kolob for the Funeral this Friday. It was a beautiful service accompanied by many tears. She was a wonderful lady. Everyone who spoke really praised her; it sounds like she's up in Heaven dancing and making friends. What a beautiful service they had. 
     It was just a musically successful week! On Monday, we had a lesson with a nonmember at a members' house, in which we sang a lot of hymns (by we, I mostly mean me haha). I started to get choked up as I was singing The Spirit of God. I could have sworn, I heard others singing with me, but none of the people in the room were. It was a sweet experience.
     We were thinking that if our investigator Agustin didn't come to church this Sunday, we were going to drop him for a while; he totally showed up with his family. It was the best! I was playing with his 5 year old grandkids through all of sacrament meeting trying to keep them quiet. What a handful! But they were so cute! I have a picture to send of me with the granddaughter, Leti; but right now, I can't find my camera cord. So cute. We had dinner with them after church. Hopefully they stay awesome and start to make the changes in their lives that they need. 
     On Wednesday, for the first time in almost 5 months, I left my area for an exchange! I went to the Zone Leader, Elder Steed's area. That was a good time. We went to practice my song for the funeral, and that was a hoot! The lady playing for me was incredible on the piano. We made a recording of a song that she sent to my mom. Super fun!
     I've been growing a lot on the mission. In good ways and in fat ways haha. They say everything is bigger in Texas. That includes Elder Spjute. Nothing to worry too much about, just a couple too many meals with Hna Garcia. I love it here though! I've felt my testimony grow a lot in this area. I know this church is true. I've seen the blessings that come from it, and they are the reason I'm here. I love you all and hope you're week is wonderful,

-Elder Spjute

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Happy Mothers Day

     So for today, my one of a kind, best, amazing mother gets a [day late] shout out. Mama, I love you so much! Thank you for raising me to the missionary and young man I am. I loved seeing you and the family yesterday; I'll never forget it! 
     So this week! I won't have too much to write, seeing as the family has already heard a decent amount from me recently.
     The good thing about being in a biking area is obviously the exercise. The other good thing is the lack of restraint on how much I sing out loud :D I can sing at the top of my lungs, and due to being on a highway, no one will hear me :) It's great! Also, I can take that time, about 30-40 minutes for a really good prayer. It's just great.
     This Wednesday, we had transfer meeting, which we had to take the other elders to due to their lack of car. I got to see Elder Rockhill, my trainer, for his last transfer meeting before he goes home. It was cool catching up to all my friends there. So many cool kids. Elder McKinley got replaced by a kid who had already been in that area. Kinda rare. Elder Huaraca and I are just plugging along.
     Haha one funny highlight: on Thursday, this guy in a truck called us over, obviously drunk; but we went and said hi anyway. All he said was, "I want you to read my chapter 91."  In Spanish, obviously. We had just established that it was Psalm 91 that he wanted before he had to drive off. Crazy thing is that the next day, we totally saw him again randomly cutting someone's lawn. Still drunk as a skunk, he asked us again, and we read the psalm. It was interesting, but not that interesting haha. Kinda funny. 
     On Saturday, we played volleyball with the youth from the ward after having a short lesson. It was a fun experience. After a few minutes, this group of Indians (from India) came to play against us, which was funny. It was a good time, and a decent missionary experience. 
     Well I love you all, and hope all is going well. Have a wonderful week. The church is true!

-Elder Spjute

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I'm staying!

     Well today is transfer calls day. We went to Denny's as a district to hear who is going to leave from the area. I'm staying here with Elder Huaraca. Elder McKinley, Elder Mehew's comp is leaving, and so is Hna Price, who I've sung with a couple times. Should be a decent next transfer. 
     So Tuesday night, we had dinner with Hna Garcia. We told her not to feed us a ton because we had a lunch earlier in the day, so she gave us two sandwiches. It was perfect! Then, she brought out a 1.4 liter or so tub of ice cream. We ate all of it as to not have to carry it home on our bikes. After that, we were so full! Gees! She gave us a watermelon and a big bag of fruit, which Elder Huaraca stuffed in his backpack, and we biked 6 miles home. Yeah, it was intense. And it got pretty cold that night too, which was nice :)
     On Wednesday, we had interviews with President. They went really well. I spent about 20 minutes with him. I started to teach him the Atonement lesson, and he told me it was perfect. Also, he told me my Spanish was really good. Why thank you! He also told me that I should speak more English with Elder Huaraca because he needs to learn. We talked about how I need to figure out what is frustrating me (mostly with Elder Huaraca), and fix it. We've been working on it.
     For the rest of the day, I went on exchanges with Elder McKinley. We caught Alejandro probably drunk, hanging out with some interesting friends, with a cigarette in his hand. Lovely.
     On Thursday, Hna Garcia forced us to take a lot of money to help the missionaries with the bikes (because Elder McKinley had a flat, and they were walking). I gave that to Bishop, because it's a rule that we don't handle other people's money. But she is such a saint! She's totally going to heaven!
     Friday was crazy! We did like 7 hours of service for this black woman, who Elder Figueroa and I helped out back in January. She was moving. We had a meeting with the zone in the middle of the day. It was definitely pretty humbling. I just feel like I don't really know what I'm doing haha. But it doesn't change a whole lot. I just got more instruction, I guess. After a pretty stressful day, we had a good Correlation meeting at our Ward Mission Leader's house. I love them! Also, I love Elders Mehew and McKinley. They make my patience possible haha. 
     But really, I do love this church! And I wouldn't give up this service for nothing! Don't worry, that is grammatically correct in Spanish, at least. Have a wonderful week. I love you all!

-Elder Spjute