Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Goodbye MO City. Hello Kemah.

  That transfer was crazy! I'm back in the zone of Galveston, but the Kemah area. I've spent the night twice in the Kemah house (4 man apartment). It was so exciting that I'd be going there.  I'm with my fourth Hispanic companion in a row! His name's Elder Mota, and he's from DF (Distrito Federal), Mexico. He went to highschool in Benemerito, the building where I went to the CCM. Super cool! He was in Kemah before I left Galveston (that means this is his 6th transfer here). He's a fantastic missionary, and I'm excited to be with him. I think I'll learn a lot. He started speaking English on the mission, but his English is SO good. He speaks ridiculously fast Spanish too. 
     I'm also in the apartment with Elder Sharp, who was in the CCM with me. We're good buds. He and Elder Mota and I all came to the mission on the same day; kinda crazy. The other one in the house is Elder Evans. He served 10 months in Argentina, then had to go home due to sickness; he's got an Argentine accent which is kinda funny. It's such a funny apartment! I love it!
     So last Tuesday, they told us to stay in for half of the day because we were expecting a tropical storm named Bill. Well long story short, Bill didn't show up where we were. Afterwards, I said goodbye to the Martinez family and the Alvarez family. So darn sad! They've been so good to me in this area! 
     Well, other than that, it's just been a lot of hustle and bustle trying to get to know the area. I'm in a small branch. The branch president is hilarious. Oh, and I met Adam Sippy (sp?) out here. That was kinda random. He graduated from Borah back home as well. 
     I think I stand a chance of getting back into shape in this area. The guys like to wake up early and go work out with a member named Hno Brillones. Also, now that I'm away from Hna Garcia I'll not be eating a ton every other day. Man, Elder Mota is kinda small, but ripped. Like dang. 
     Oh, other cool story. We were outside this apartment complex, and a guy starts yelling to us from his window in the apartment; Elder Mota is kinda friends with everyone. He's super high! And he tells us it too. After a while, he comes out with a few friends and is like, "whatchya got in those backpacks?" We just tell him books and stuff. He laughs, lifts up his shirt, and shows us the gun tucked into his belt and says, "this is the book of life." Yeah. Nice place. 
     Well, wish me luck in Kemah! I love it already :) Love you all,

PS: congratulation to my brother Dan and his wife!
-Elder Spjute

June 16 letter. Last week in Missouri City

Well saddest of the sad, I'm getting transferred from my home in Missouri City. Elder Huaraca is staying to train a greenie! I've already said goodbye to the wonderful Hna Garcia and her daughter Hna Rivas. Man, I'm a cry baby... but so are they! That was rough! But I know I'm going for a good cause! I'm absolutely coming back to visit someday.
     So this week, we've been recouperating from our sickness. Hna Garcia gave us ginger to make into a tea with lemon and honey (also provided by her). I actually loved it! Ginger is jenjibre in Spanish :) Plus I gave Elder Huaraca a blessing on Thursday. I love doing that! I also gave Hna Rivas one yesterday. She'd been a little worried and distracted because she had two bad car experiences this week. One of them being a bad accident. It was such a pleasure to give her the blessing!
     Well about the only other mentionable thing that happened this week is the trip to the temple! So darn mentionable! It was incredible! After teaching Hno Martinez about the temple for the last 5 months, I finally took him through! The session was in Spanish, which I really enjoyed, quite frankly. His wife was crying practically the whole time. She works at the temple in case I hadn't mentioned.
     After the session, we went to the sealing room in which ex-stake president Portillo (amazingly wonderful man) was the sealer! The room was packed, and Elder Huaraca and I were the witnesses. It was such an amazing experience being there with them through all of that! I'll never forget it. 
     I know the temple holds such wonderful blessings. I'm so excited to progress within the temple and keep returning. I love this gospel and have seen such a wonderful effect from it on people's lives. I know I was sent to this mission and this area for a reason. I'm so glad to be a missionary. I love the Lord! The church is true! I love you all,
-Elder Spjute

Monday, June 8, 2015

Holy Service Batman

     Yeah, I think Elder Huaraca and I had a combined total of 71 service hours this week. We're getting pretty beat haha. The lame thing is that I've been super sick for about a week now. He just caught the cold, and is getting into it. Some prayers on our health's behalf would be much appreciated.
     So last Tuesday, we went to Hna Garcia's with Elders Holderness and Mehew. We all got stuffed, and Elder Holderness was all but moaning. Elder Mehew asked Hna Garcia with this evil grin, "Hermana, tiene helado? Porque mi companero lo quiere." (do you have any ice cream? Because my companion wants it.) She said no, but she'd go buy it for us. When we tried to explain we were kidding, she wouldn't take it. She got a phone call from Hna Alvarez, and she told her to bring ice cream over. She said, "I have 10 missionaries here, and I'll block the doors til you get here!" I about died laughing.
     It's been a painful, amazing service process. We've been scratching out linoleum, ripping out wood flooring (LOTS of it), tearing out the dry wall three feet and lower, and more. We've been working around camera crews and junk a ton. American Red Cross and All Hands have been working with us a bunch as well. I've had everything from dehydration muscle cramps to blisters on the hands to stepping on a nail.
     On Thursday, Elder Huaraca and I had been working in a room for 30 minutes when I stepped on the nail. It just went into my big toe. It wasn't even that bad, but as soon as I could take my shoe off, my front two toes were covered in blood. That was cute. I patched it up and went back to work.
     So this Friday will be our P-Day. We'll cut it a little short to make up for emailing today. We are going to the temple on Friday with the Martinez family. Along with Elder Figueroa and Elder Huaraca, we taught Hno the temple lessons, and they were awesome enough to plan a date to go that we could come. They've got 6 return missionaries coming to see the sealing
:) I'm so excited! I'll send pictures next week, hopefully. I love you all!

-Elder Spjute

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Service X10

If your wondering why I moved P-Day, it's because of the ridiculous Houston weather. I'm sure you've heard a little about the flooding going on because of the torrential rain. And have y'all heard about the tornado? Yeah, lots of work and service!
     So for starters, we went to the temple last week. SO AWESOME! Oh man, it was such an amazing and crazy experience. So from the beginning... we got up at 4:00 with plans to leave around 4:45 because the session started at 6:30, and we had a longish drive to Houston. Elder Holderness was in shotgun with Elder Huaraca and Mehew in back. At first, the gps was taking us a weird, fewest-miles rout, so we switched it to fastest time. After a little while, we took a wrong turn, on the freeway I'd never driven. After the 15 minute correction, we got back on, and I was stressing. I'd probably never live in Houston at least because the freeway systems are ridiculous.
   After driving for about half the trip, it started to rain. Hard. I'm talking rain like I'd never driven in before, or quite possibly, seen before. I could barely see the car in front of me, and we were going about 35 on a 55. I was SO stressed out! At about 6:20, we got to the neighborhood street that leads to the temple in about 3 miles. The street's called Cypresswood, and it was flooding. I drove through some pretty deep water. We had texted President telling hem we'd be cutting it close. We got to a half-mile from the temple and saw a missionary car stuck in a puddle in front of us. Right then, President called us and told us to turn back and go home. He said he didn't want us driving on Cypresswood.
     After obeying the Spirit, we decided we couldn't turn back because the road had gotten worse. We took a  neighborhood street and ended up there at the temple at 6:45. We missed the session, and were bummed, but were stoked to see the majestic temple. We had a training/class discussion with President that was awesome, and the best session afterwards that he let us go to. It was the best thing ever. I love the temple! And after we were so happy there in the temple, we walked out to a beautiful day, and you could barely tell it was ever raining!
     However, others were seriously affected by all the flooding this week. This Thursday, we spent the day helping herd kids in this rescue center. We definitely were forced to brake the rule of no holding/tickling kids.
     Friday, the mission helped the city with removing people's carpets that were destroyed. That and furniture. So sad. So much destruction. But man, you feel good doing what Jesus would do. This week, we did about 24 hours of service each, and I felt like it was more missionary work than I'd done in a long time.
     Saturday, we had stake conferences, in which we were out of the rain in a building. They were all really great conferences! Great speakers. I heard L. Tom Perry passed away. So sad! He'll be greatly missed.
     On Sunday, and Yesterday, we translated for Red Cross at a tornado site. People's apartments were destroyed, and we helped them to get financial support they needed. It was so fun, very humbling, and a wonderful experience talking to so many amazing people. I love this mission. I ask for your prayers on behalf of all those who are suffering the effects of the weather. Thank you all. I love you, and have a great week!

-Elder Spjute

Isn't she the cutest thing? Her name's Leti (Leticia). She's one of our investigators' daughters.

                                               Me and Elder Holderness at the thrift store