Monday, January 25, 2016

To The Grind

Well, I'm proud to say that we're working really hard! A little less proud that almost all of our 5 baptismal dates we had at the beginning of the transfer are dropping. I have faith that the Lord's will will be done, and we will work as hard as necessary to bring it to pass. 
     Jose had a date for the 30th, but we haven't been able to contact him. I still have not met him. 
     Mariela had a date for the 6th. Same case. No contact.
     Juan had a date for the 6th. He is 14 years old. We are teaching him, but he says his parents will not let him get baptized or come to church; we at least know what we're up against! I love it when the investigators just tell you the problem! It's such a huge blessing.
     Cleofas, who is a golden, old lady, has a date for the 6th. I believe she will be baptized then, but she is moving in a week. She will be moving to the area that Elder Stout's last companion, Elder Gilbert just got transferred...
     Elder Stout had a lot of problems with him, and all kinds of disrespect was taking the spirit away. Thus, upon hearing the news of Cleofas' departure, which she told us about on Friday, he became very upset. He said to me, "I just don't see how someone who does the stuff he does can get so many blessings like that. But that's a conversation for another time." We were biking at the time.
     I pulled over before going into the next house. There's a scripture in D&C that blatantly says if ye have not the spirit, ye shall not teach. That, folks, is commandment language. We had a good long chat to help him push his grudge back and get the Spirit again. I figured that since I had gone through a lot of the same stuff, I could help him. We're still working on not talking badly about Elder Gilbert, but it is helping. We felt a lot better afterwards, hugged it out, and went into a really good lesson. 
     My understanding of the Lord and his purpose is flawed, yes, but improving. I love the mission because the gospel and all of its facets are all making sense. Heavenly Father is too good to me.
     Cupertino has a date for the 20th of February. We did a tour of the church with our ward mission leader, Arturo (who is a stud!), on Friday. He loved it, and said he would come to church on Sunday. Now that he knows someone and has been to the building, there isn't much of an excuse. We'll be talking to him later today to figure out why he didn't go. He even told Arturo he'd come when they were talking on the phone before church. Man, sometimes keeping commitments in this culture can be so difficult! 
     On Thursday, we got a text from a less active lady named Efigenia saying she was in the hospital. We went to visit her and give her a blessing. As I called her on the phone, I couldn't understand what had happened. Turns out, she had gotten a spider bite. There was a huge red patch on her lower leg that was swollen; it had gotten a lot better since the bite four days earlier. Crazy stuff. We gave her a blessing then went back out to the car. We realized that the Houston Zoo was right across the street from the parking garage where we were. We took some pictures from the top of the garage. It was pretty cool. Sorry, forgot my camera. 
     Things are good here. I love the ward! There aren't many buddies like there were in Kemah, but there are good people. Elder Stout's pretty proud of the fact that we had a "perfect week" in which we had food appointments every day fromSunday to Sunday. I'm pretty impressed as well haha. 
     I'm still working hard, and I promise I won't stop! This gospel is too good to do so. There is too much in store. I'll quote one of the passed prophets (can't remember which), "my life is like this pair of shoes. To be warn out in service." That is my mission. I live it, and I love it. I love you all, and wish you a great week!

-Elder Spjute

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hello Houston 2

 Well so far, so good in Houston! We bike so much! It's been a struggle getting into enough doors, but all is well! This will be really short; I'm sorry. This library doesn't have many computers, and time is kind of a hassle. 
     I'm living with 3 elders: Stout (my companion), Seal, and Gardner. I've been in the mission longer than all of them combined. I love my district!
     Also, I love the ward here! It's little, but I am getting to know everyone and become their friends, so that's great! We'll probably be having a baptism in a couple weeks! There's a lot of work to do here; we just have to find it.
     There will be a world-wide missionary conference on Wednesday; I'll tell y'all how it went! 
     I'm so happy to be a missionary. I love my mission. I'm working hard, and it feels so good. Thank you all for your support. I love you all,

-Elder Spjute

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Goodbye Beloved Kemah

 Well sports fans, this is it. I received the call from President Hall last night saying that I was no longer going to be a zone leader, but would be serving as a district leader. He let me wait 'til today to read the email to find out where I'm going. I'll be in down town Houston in the Houston 2 Spanish ward. I'm in a biking area. Also, the smallest area in the mission. I'm with my fourth in-field white companion, Elder Stout. So for the next couple days, I get to say the dreaded goodbyes. Wish me luck!
     Important note! P-Day next week will be on the 19th due to MLK day.
     This was a good week! On Tuesday, we had our Zone Meeting in Galveston. That went well. I taught for about 45 minutes. There was a lot of big news, and it didn't all go down great, but it went down! The AP's were at the meeting, which was cool. I like those guys. One of them is Elder Leszynski. I went on exchanges with him right afterwards. I went up to his area. Super nice! Lots of fun, laughter, and learning. I've since gotten a lot better at planning.
     On Wednesday, Elder Romero and I had an awesome day, and found a golden investigator who now has a baptismal date. We found him by knocking doors :D His name is William. High hopes for the guy. We had a few other really good lessons. 
     Later that night, we were planning. It was pretty thorough. We were taking a little while, but it was necessary. Elder Romero got super impatient, and we had a big emergency comp inventory. He told me we needed to be faster, and I told him he needed to act out of love more. 
     The next day, we were studying humility, and he wouldn't talk to me for a good 3/4 of the day. It was a good learning experience for both of us. I think he shows his love in really different ways that I'm just not used to. It was good though. We pulled out of it well, and would keep working well another transfer if we needed to.
     So finally, one of my Chapin (guatemalan) buddies, Rony (Favio's brother) decided to get baptized! I taught him for a while, but he moved out of the area a while ago. Still in the branch, though. He got baptized on Saturday, and there were so many elders that came to see it that had taught him before! Elder Sharp, Evans, Mota, Post, Escobar, and some others. Too cool! I got to confirm him the next day in church :) This is what the gospel is all about, people! 
     I also gave a talk yesterday about missionary work. Pretty simple haha ;) I live it. I love it. My testimony is rock solid, and I will not come home the same person! I love you all,

-Elder Spjute

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy Belated New Year

I'd like to share some of my resolutions for this year. I will read the Book of Mormon in Spanish once more before coming home. I will get fit before coming home by utilizing Free Lettics, a workout program I was in to earlier in the mission, and Elder Spjute's Fit Into His Pants Plan. Should be good. I will read scriptures or other personal doctrinal study for at least 30 minutes every day. For the rest of my life. There are some others, but those were some of the ones I wanted to be held accountable for!
     It was a good week! For the first half, I ate horribly. For the second half, not so much haha. Welcome 2016. On Tuesday, I got to teach in District meeting about setting goals based off of the email President Hall sent out. It was a cool assignment. I enjoyed it :) I learned a lot! Such as: our hearts (emotional support/stamina) must be in our goals. We must plan with our goals. We should ask the Lord to confirm and support our goals. 
     So, Milton is a stud. We took him out for about 7 hours on Thursday, and after visiting the wife of his home teaching companion, he decided to call him up and schedule their appointments for later that night so they could get it done before the month ended. Yep, he's a stud. It greatly inspired one of his families, the father of which is active, and set a goal to do all of his visits this year. Great!
     On New Years eve, we had to be inside at 7, so we did weekly planning. It was good! I can work pretty well usually with Elder Romero. Sometimes we have some weird experiences where we just don't click, and our teaching is a little off, but for the most part it's good. I'm just trying to make him love people. He's kind of closed off emotionally. He is an incredible teacher, but he lacks true love, one of the biggest and best attributes of Christ.
     We had an MLC on Friday. Guess what? We just got permission to tract!! We're a tracting mission. Which is great because I've seen many demonstrations of it working! Should be interesting. Also, we're not doing transfer meetings anymore. That's really sad. I'd grown to love those. We'll know on Monday where we're going and who we're going with or if we stay. That will be the big news next week! I want to stay and sometimes I really want to go. I'm not sure. We'll see what the Lord has in store. 
     Things are good. We're working hard. The Lord is too good to us. Keep praying for us, please. I love you all!

-Elder Spjute

And There Goes Christmas

What a week! So last Monday, I got to spend the night in Sugar Land on exchanges with Elder Mehew for the Christmas Conference. I love Elder Mehew! We had such a blast. We had a choir practice, and spent the night in some Chinese Elders' apartment. The next morning, we got there early to practice again, and the conference started at 8. What a conference!
     Elder Mehew and 5 other guys and me got volunteered to learn and sing O Come, O Come Emmanuel; which went well :) The choir did really well. Ex-temple pres Crane and his wife came and spoke, and did a really nice job. Pres Hall also gave a wonderful talk. All about Christ's love and the Father's love for us. Really decent. I love the mission! I love all the good food we ate. We also got to watch Insideout, a newer Disney movie. It was a special treat with Pres Hall's permission. So much fun. 
     Our white handbook tells us that holidays are some of the best times for proselyting, and tells us to work hard these days. However, this week, an unusually large amount of people we tried to visit wouldn't open the door. That's kind of a Hispanic thing. They just don't think it's a big deal. Totally a patience tester. But we have taught a few good lessons this week. 
     On the 24th, we had a family night with all the youth (18-26) and the familia Malacara. That's a big party night in Hispanic culture and seeing as these youth are away from all their families, we thought it would be great to throw a little spiritual party. They loved it :) We ate a lot.
     Christmas was awesome! We ate a ton! Again! I wanted to thank all of you that sent me cards or gifts. They are SO appreciated. I love you all. And of course, I got to skype with my family, and that was so fun! Just a good day, full of love. Christmas on the mission has a really special feeling. I woke up on Christmas morning, and knelt down and wished Heavenly Father a merry Christmas. I think He appreciated it! 
     The next day, I completed my second decade! I'm now 20, and it's weird. But it was a good birthday. That's two years I've missed the Hispanic tradition of getting your face smashed into a birthday cake. Can't say I'm too sad about that ;) 
     Well, folks, the Gospel is true. I live it. and I love it! I love you all!

-Elder Spjute

I finished the Spanish Book of Mormon this week. :)

This is Hna Johnson. She came into the mission at the same time, and was born on Galveston with me. She goes home today. It was bitter sweet. She's like my twin sister!
Elder Mehew and I and the elders in the Chinese area

Us and our Christmas

The district

Family Home Evening