Friday, February 26, 2016

Staying in H2

Well, we got the email, and it looks like I'm staying right here with Elder Stout. Woohoo! I do love it here! 
     So this week, I finally caught up with my journal writing for the first time the whole transfer! It was also a 6 day week, which was nice. But time isn't really making sense now, anyway. 
     On Wednesday, we had district meeting. I assigned a decent amount, so didn't have to work as hard. It was nice! I learned a lot. I had Elder Stout talk about prayer, Elder Seal talk about how to help investigators progress, and Hna Hofheins talk about how to work in unity with the companion. It was great, actually!
     Later that day, we went to eat with Ana and Juan. Ana is one of Elder Sharp's converts who is awesome, from el Salvador, married to a Mexican, and makes the BEST pupusas! We ate so much! She had to leave early for a meeting, so we got to chat with Juan, who isn't a member. Such a cool guy; comes to church every week, and has a strong testimony. He told us he has some big time grudges to get over before baptism and went really in depth. He gave me a big hug before leaving. Love that guy! 
     I decided I wanted to really help him; even though he doesn't live in my area, it's the sisters'. Pres Hall sent an email on how to control our thoughts. I decided to translate it to Spanish. It took me about 10 hours in total throughout the week, but totally worth it! It felt so good to serve someone so personally. It turned out to be a paper of about 1700 words! I had one of our teenagers in the area read it, and she loved it! I gave her a copy. Spanish is so cool, and I've been so blessed with this gift! 
     Saturday was a super cool day. Really odd sequence of events though. We played basketball in the morning like always, then stayed at the church to help with the cleaning a bit later. After studies later on, we returned to the church to finish typing and printing the paper for Juan. I finished it in good time! Then we headed out and taught 4 lessons, which is pretty good for us; especially having started to do so at 5. We decided to sacrifice dinner for the sake of time, then got fed by two families after. Blessings!
     I got to sing in church yesterday :) I did the same song I sang for the baptism last week, so to some it was no surprise. We did add violin this time, though. Mom told me she got the recording of that, so that's good! I really love singing for other people! It brings the spirit so strongly; to me! 
     I am well and healthy. I love being a missionary, as always. I wouldn't rather be doing anything else! I love you all, and wish you a wonderful week!

-Elder Spjute

Thursday, February 18, 2016

8 Day week over!

We started the day yesterday so hurt that we couldn't do laundry because P-Day got moved haha. Then we got 6 lessons in one day, which rarely happens. So it was good! Happy President's Day!
     I've been behind in my journal writing all transfer, so I write in Spanish occasionally for my Language study. SO much is in Spanish this transfer haha. I hope I never forget what it means. It's cool looking back at how much I have changed, though! 
     Last Monday, we got another baptismal date with a 10 year old kid named Leny, but he didn't come to church, so it unfortunately dropped. We'll be working closely with him.
     So we got a recent time reduction for emails, so this will unfortunately be fairly short. I'll try to adjust pretty quickly. 
     So get this. I gave 5 baptismal interviews this week! For those who don't know, District Leaders give interviews to the investigators who will be baptized that they haven't taught. I had to do 5 of them! Woohoo! It took time, but it was such a win!
     Our district had 4 baptisms this weekend! I'm so proud of these missionaries. They all work so hard! I sang a musical number at the baptism on Sunday. It went well!
     I also did an exchange with the Burmese Zone Leaders. It was alright. I learned more about how I really don't care to act. I'm not sure I could handle being a Zone Leader anymore. Just odd.
     We had a Zone Conference on Wednesday. It was good. It really almost seemed like protocol, though. There was definitely some stuff there I needed to hear, but a lot of the same stuff as usual. I loved the training we got on teaching repentance. It was great :) 
     Things are all going great here! I'm eating well and my hair is thinner than ever. But I love it, and wouldn't change it for the world! I love you all!

-Elder Spjute

Monday, February 8, 2016

One Member More

That's right, our church is one member stronger! Elder Stout had his first baptism on Saturday with Cleofas. It was such a wonderful baptismal service! We'd been working super hard this week to make sure she was prepared because up until last week, we thought she was going to move. We taught her all she needed to hear, the toughest of which was the Word of Wisdom. She has been and every day coffee drinker all her life. When we told her about the Word of Wisdom, she had to live it for a whole week before being baptized. She quit coffee right then and there! I'm so dang proud of her! She's also seriously the sweetest woman! Dang. 
     We were stressing so badly before the service started! We didn't have anyone to preside, and had to make some big phone calls. It worked out beautifully, though! Cleofas even brough refreshments to her own baptism! She brought a huge pot of some of the best tamales I've ever had. And Mexican tamales are usually thin, little things. Hers were huge and filling! What a night. Yours truly performed the confirmation in Sacrament meeting yesterday. It was definitely a spiritual two days! 
     This was a good week in total! I went on an exchange with Elder Seal...who I live with. It was pretty funny, I was only away from my companion for about 4 hours at a time haha. Elder Seal has been out for 5 months like Elder Stout. He has caught on super well. Really proud of him. 
     The pictures are from the baptism and a service project we did with Bishop Ortiz. He's in the middle. He is from Honduras. Really good guy. We moved all the junk in the background.
     We've really been purifying our area this week. And by that, I mean we've dropped a couple investigators and gotten dropped by others. As well, we are going through our ward list to find out who still lives where it says they live. So far, we've eliminated quite a few people. It helps not having such a cluttered proselyting area. But we are nearly starting from scratch.
     A few simple prayers for us to get things moving would be great! We are working hard. The baptism was a huge blessing. There's no such thing as a bad area. The members are great, and I'm getting to know them pretty quickly, I feel. We just might need to change our tactics. If we work through the members, it's always better. Our own efforts don't always provide like we want. But we're moving!
     Things are going well here! I love my companion. We're trying to get his Spanish a little better haha. But we have fun, and we feel the Spirit a lot. I feel your love and prayers, and am more grateful than you can imagine. Thank you so much! Have a wonderful week. I'll talk to you next Tuesday, due to President's day. I love you all!

-Elder Spjute

Monday, February 1, 2016


  Well this was a big week! First things first, I love the family Olaya. They are Colombian and SO cool! They fed us 3 times this week! We went Monday for a family home evening, Tuesday because they signed up for it, and Friday because they were supposed to feed the other elders and they had to bail. Each time, they invited a less active friend or nonmember friend over. Such awesome missionaries! 
     As always, we are struggling with our investigators keeping commitments. Like Cupertino. He just doesn't
come to church! Ah! He's so close to taking off. Cleofas is doing great, and will NOT be moving yet :) Her new apartment is not ready, therefore, she will stay here for another month and be baptized here :D Yay! We found a less active family while going through the ward list. It turns out they want to come back, and have a 10 year old son that needs to be baptized. Blessings! One of the nights we ate with the Olayas, they had a nonmember neighbor over named Rocio. We've been visiting her a little bit, and she actually asked us where the church was without us bringing it up! And she's been praying after we taught her how. Good stuff!
     We had quarterly interviews with President Hall on Wednesday. They went really well. I feel like he paid much more attention to me than to what he wanted to talk about, or had planned for, That was very much appreciated. I feel good. I feel like I'm at my mission's prime. It was a positive interview, followed by a good District meeting. I put a focus on being Christlike and not talking bad about others (Alma 5:26,29-31). It really brought the Spirit well, I believe.
     Then, oh man, Elder Russel M. Nelson came to visit the mission! 
     On Wednesday, I got a text from Sis Mecham, the mission health lady who is always in charge of music stuff. She asked if I wanted to be in a musical group to do a number at the conference. Then she asked if I would take charge of the rehearsals because she left to New York. Oh man! I loved it! There were 6 elders singing (one of which was Elder Seal, who lives with me. I volunteered him haha), Hna Goodey on piano (I sang with her playing a ton in Missouri City), and Hna Hofheins on violin (she's in my district). We sang a song called Come Unto Christ (no, not the efy version, a better one). It was such a spiritual opportunity to sing in front of an Apostle! He even went in front of the pulpit to watch us. We practiced 2 days before he got here, then performed it on Saturday. Everyone there got to shake his hand. He pronounced my name right the first try!! No looks of confusion or anything! 
     His talk was incredible. He is such a spiritual giant. So humble. So funny. Just a good man. Wow. I was inspired. He had a big focus on family history, and working with members, and so much. ALL 3 Houston missions were there in our mission's biggest stake center. There were about 20 stake presidents and their wives, and the temple president and his wife. It was truly amazing.
     As you can read, I've been well spiritually fed. I love my mission. I love you all, and hope all is well. Have a wonderful week,

-Elder Spjute 

In the Office
These are from the zoo last week that we saw from that parking garage

This was Elders Romero, Favio, Milton, and me at Panda Express before I left.

The view from the top of that parking garage.