Sunday, August 30, 2015

Awesome Week (letter from 8/24)

     This was probably one of the fastest weeks of the mission. So crazy! It felt more productive, and just better! It didn't start off that awesome. P-Day last week was a bust. We drove to a stake center about 15 miles away, and no one showed up. Super lame. We realized that we are often really lonely just the two of us. We have no friend elders near by. That is a first in my mission. We were both just kind of sad. 
     On Tuesday, we talked to our branch president, Pres Allred. He's such a stud. He said that from his mission experience, that loneliness is preparing us for marriage haha. He helped us handle it well. I love that guy. 
     On Wednesday, and a few other days this week, we saw Alfredo, the former investigator we picked up the week before. He came to church, and has a baptsimal date for the 5th of September. He's kind of a different guy, but I feel like he could be really prepared! 
     We ate at Panda Express twice this week. Not our best health decision. But it was good :) The second time, Milton, one of my friends here from Guatemala, paid for the meal. He suffers hard-core with depression. It makes me so sad. He told us the only reason he hasn't killed himself is because he knows his mom in Guate needs his help. It's awful! We made him come play soccer with us that night. The branch was having the Friday soccer night like always, and he wasn't going to play because his knee was a little bad. I'm so glad he decided to play though. He had an awesome time. I really love him; it's such a cruddy situation.
     On Saturday, we had a lesson with Favio, my other Guatemalan friend (Milton's best friend). He and Milton are both members. In fact, Milton baptized Favio. So we're convincing Favio that he needs to go on a mission. he felt the Spirit so strongly when we talked about it. I got pretty excited.
     Yesterday was awesome as well. Alfredo came to church. He enjoyed it as well. Elder Sharp and I got to give the surprise Elders Quorum lesson on the Atonement with Elder Holland's talk from the April conference. It went really well.
     Then in the night time, the sisters had a baptism. It was a 18 year old guy named Jorge from Honduras. He's a stud as well. He asked me to baptize him :) Yes, it was awesome. That is my second time getting in the water! It was definitely a spiritual high. And Elder Evans came back to see that baptism. We sang Abide with Me 'Tis Eventide (in Spanish of course). Those singing were me, Elders Sharp, Evans, and Garcia (Evans' companion), and Hermanas McMullin, Hall, and Wood. It sounded SO good! Sounded like we'd actually practiced before ;D We all sang the melody the first verse, then without being told, a bunch of us broke off into harmony the second, third, and fourth verses. It was so cool :D 
     I know this church is true. I'm so happy to be a missionary and a servant of the Lord. I love this gospel and I live it. I invite you all to do the same. I love you all!

-Elder Spjute

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

More pics from 8/3

Me and Rony (inv in my area)

Me and Elder Mehew, who was at transfer meetings

These next two: Me and Elder Mota and Hno Zundel (Elder's Quorum Pres). Dying Kemah House.


Me, Elder Mota, and Hna McMullin

Me on a tram at NASA

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


     This week had some struggles, which get enlarged by the heat and humidity, but nothing too serious. We have been learning a lot as a companionship. All in all, it was just kind of a weird week. 
     On Monday night, we started exchanges. I had Elder Hoyt, a bigger guy serving on Galveston in English, come to me, and Elder Sharp went to the island for a bit in English. The day with him was super slow. No one opened the doors; I later learned that was the pattern for the week -_- Elder Hoyt is an awesome missionary, who is close to the Lord, and dedicated, but he's so socially awkward. I was glad I'm with Elder Sharp and he's more or less normal. But the consecration, in the end, is what matters most! 
     On Wednesday, we had a Zone Conference with four zones, and President Hall. I can't say I learned a ton, because we'd heard it all in MLC and the study we had with Pres. It was a good refresher. It was fun being a Zone Leader for one of those! They made all 8 of us come up and do a role play in front of all the missionaries. That was kind of nerve wracking, but really cool. 
     We met a crazy guy last week named Victor who told us (drunk and high) that there were vampires in the world, and he was one of them, and the complex where he lives gets vampirey at night. He had wet his pants, and his face was blue on half of it. He told us another day, when he was more sober that he was beat up buy a thug, who he and a few of his friends killed later. And he told us that he was hired to kill tons of people. He drinks daily, and refuses whatever we tell him; so we dropped him. But yeah, the vampire thing was kinda interesting. Elder Sharp has a voice recorder he sends back and forth with his parents; he recorded a lot of that conversation. Funny.
     Thursday was a big failure; aka learning experience. We saw two people, and tried everyone. In the old Northwest area and the current North one. We saw a guy named Marc. I'm not a big fan, but Elder Sharp has been friends with him his whole mission. We tried to half teach him a lesson, and half do a role play (let it be known that Marc knows almost everything about Mormons, but isn't a member). It was bad. We didn't get anywhere. We both left frustrated, and kind of angry at each other. After analyzing what happened, we actually learned a lot and strengthened the companionship. Tough day.
     We might have lost an investigator, Rony. He had a date, and is the brother of one of our strongest members, Favio. They live together, and got in a big argument, and are not on speaking terms; as such, Rony doesn't want anything to do with anything that has to do with Favio, including church and soccer on Fridays. We're pretty sad about it. 
     But we did find a prepared guy named Alfredo. Please pray that he will progress (specifically not to have problems with the Law of Chastity). He was a former investigator, and has almost read the whole Book of Mormon. He's pretty cool! He wants to get baptized, and wants to come to church. Could be big!
     We got super nice ties from a reactivating guy, Hno Robles. We've been hanging out with his 26 year old son, Marvin, trying to get him back to church. They came yesterday :D But as we've become better friends, we got sweet ties :) Mine's purple and grey. Pretty nice. 
     Well, I promise I'm learning. And I promise I'm loving it! Have a wonderful week! I love you all,

-Elder Spjute

Monday, August 17, 2015

I Love Kemah (letter from 8/17)

     So things are all going well here! I'm a little behind on my journaling, and with how fast stuff goes, I'm gonna try to remember the good from the week. Bear with me! 
     On Monday, I was kinda having a rough day, and my companion is a stud. I'm not the kind of person that likes to take a lot of time for myself; he saw I was struggling, and we talked it out, made some changes in the companionship, and built up our relationship. I remember reading in a talk that the scripture that says roughly remembered, "if ye have not my Spirit, ye shall not teach." Shall not is commandment language. That means if the companionship isn't in tune with the Spirit, that's the first thing to do is fix it. That was a good experience. I feel like I say the word experience a lot. I have so many good experiences here!
     On Tuesday, we met a less active named Marvin. He's such a stud! He wants to come back to church and change his life around :) We hung out with him, and now he's a great friend. He'll start progressing soon. His dad is reactivating as well :) We made Marvin get Meet the Mormons; he just went and did it. Such a stud!
     On Tuesday, we ate with Hna Amezquita, and talked with her daughter who lost 40 pounds in the last 4 weeks. She just got a gastric sleeve, which cuts off access to most of her stomach. It's incredible! She looks so much better than when I got here :) So happy for her. 
     On Thursday, we went to Sugar Land to have a study with President with six or so other Zone Leaders to prepare us for Zone Conference this coming Wednesday. It was pretty cool. I have a much greater appreciation for the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ now. It is such and incredibly powerful message. We shared it in English (for possibly my first time) at a family's house who invited us to eat with them. It was a powerful spiritual experience. 
     On Fridays, we play soccer with everyone who wants to come; usually about 20 people. It's generally just fun and not that competitive. This Friday, Jorge, one of the sisters' investigators who will be baptized in 6 days, invited his team to come play. They. Were. SO. Good. It was them against our Kemah group, and we got our hinies handed to us. But we actually kept up way better than I thought we would. It was a lot of heavy action playing. Jorge was easily the best player. Pretty fun.
     We got frozen yogurt with Milton, one of the recent-sih converts. He's one of my best non-missionary friends on the mission. He's been struggling a lot with depression, and we just had a good chat. He wants to go on a mission, but things are crazy with his life and family right now. It is so much harder being illegal too. I feel bad for him. It will work out though!
     Last experience! We had a lesson with our investigator, Rony in the chapel. We took Jorge (soon to be baptized), and had a sweet Atonement lesson. The Spirit was so strong! He should be baptized the week after Jorge. And then Jorge right after asked me to baptize him, so that's a plus! That'll be my second time in the water. Stoked! 
     I've been growing in love and charity lately. I love Kemah so much, and I owe a lot of that love to Elder Mota. He was such a missionary convert. He started with big mission struggles, and now loves it and everyone in it. I love this gospel and my area more than ever. I'm so happy to be here. I love you all, and hope you have wonderful weeks!

-Elder Spjute
Me and Elder not-so-Sharp  :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Back in Kemah

     Well, I spent Monday and Tuesday and the first part of Wednesday saying goodbye to everyone in the area with Elder Mota. So did Elder Evans in his area with Elder Sharp. My goodbies were all in vain, though! We got to the transfer meeting on Wednesday (which was a lot of fun; I sat by Elder Mehew, who is one of my Missouri City friends), and they announced that I was going back to Kemah with Elder Sharp, and they were going to combine our two areas! Crazy! 
     I'd also gotten a phone call from President on Tuesday saying I was going to be a Zone Leader this transfer. They put all of the Zone Leaders in companionships. Elder Sharp and I are the Galveston Zone Leaders; and since we're the only Elders in the Kemah area, he's the District Leader as well. I'll miss that responsibility, but Zone Leader should be fun too! The craziest part is that I was good friends with Elder Sharp in the CCM, and told him our first day in Texas that I had received the revelation that I was going to be companions with him haha. 
     Elder Mota went to Missouri City with Elder Holderness. There's now 3 Hispanics in that district; crazy! Mota, Huaraca, and Grimaldo (Huaraca's son). [ex-elder] Riley Rockhill came to visit, and drove up in a new, blue 370Z Nissan. He's so worldly haha. But he's doing good. It got up to 105 this Wednesday. Gross.
     Elder Sharp and I have been getting to know both of our areas. It's been a fun and stressful process. I like it; I'm glad to stay here in Kemah :) 
     Two Spiritual Highs from the week. The first was MLC (mission leadership council). It was a few hour long meeting with all the Zone Leaders, APs, Sister Training Leaders, and President Hall and his wife. It was incredible. We didn't learn anything too new, but we covered a lot of really good points of how to have better success in the zones. I'm really excited to put it all into practice with exchanges, OYMing (open your mouth), and other essentials we discussed. The Spirit was really powerful.
     The other one was an OYM that we had contacting this English speaking guy yesterday named Kendall. He was a stud! Covered in tattoos, and smoking, but absolutely loved the message we gave. The whole time, I was thinking about the book Our Search For Happiness by M. Russell Ballard. He talks about missionaries contacting this guy who looks completely opposite from what you'd think a member of the church would be, but he completely turns his life around. It was a great experience. At one point, Kendall asked us if we were happy. I felt so honest as I testified that yes; the gospel makes me SO happy! 
     I know it's true! I've felt it. I love it. I know my Savior lives, and this is His work. I have a testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel. I love you all, and hope with all sincerity that you can feel the same happiness. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

-Elder Spjute