Tuesday, June 7, 2016

We Had a Baby!

 So, I'd love to say we're training a new missionary, but he's only a mini-missionary. His name is Hugo Campos, and he's staying in our apartment and accompanying Elder Grimes and I for the week :) He's super cool! Totally going on a full time mission later. He's 18, from Chapas Mexico, and lives in Port La Vaca, Texas. That's the second picture.
     The first picture is awesome. Yesterday, about half way through the testimony portion of Sacrament meeting, someone opened the door, and I was coincidentally sitting on the back row. I look over, and it's FAVIO and MILTON! Flippin' awesome! They came to visit me :D So the picture left to right is Milton, Marcos (One of my Kemah investigators), me, Favio, and Hna McMullin. Hna McMullin served in Kemah with me for two transfers, and was there for five in total. She was also stoked to see them. They came to class for an hour and took off. I love those guys so much!
     So much rain... we've been trapped inside several times the past week due to constant rain. We got to take young Hugo on a pretty rainy bike ride yesterday; it went well! He's a trooper.
     So, bad news, there was no Physical Therapy on Friday due to who knows what. Also, I might have thrown my back out that very day doing, once again, who knows what. It hurts so much worse, and it's in a different part of the back, so I can't really do the exercises or stretches that were assigned. Not stoked.
     As I've mentioned, Satan is putting up a lot of walls this transfer. I have had to reach pretty deep down into myself and receive a lot of help from upstairs to push forward with faith, hobble back onto my bike, and keep working. But I sleep with a clear conscience.
     We've been working with Julian, the Argentine whose records got lost, a lot. He's homeless, so a lot of our lessons have been over the phone, which is actually pretty cool. He has a baptismal date for Tuesday the 21st. Pray for him, please!
     So, I love so many people here in the ward! We went to visit the family Olaya, and Hno wasn't there, so we couldn't go in. Hna decided to be amazing anyway, and took us to some of her friends' apartments in the complex, and we taught them with her. I love her so much! As well, the Suarez have been more than pulling their weight on the helping out the missionaries scale. Hna made the best flautas (taquitos) that I'd ever had yesterday. Then, because the elders didn't leave us enough gas in the car, they agreed to drive us to Sugar Land to pick up Hugo! I love them! Arturo spent hours with us this week, and has dedicated SO much to his calling as ward mission leader. He organized Thursday visits in which we would go on exchanges with the members. It was a smashing and recurring success. I love that guy!
     Over all, this ward has won so much of my love! And this district, and this mission, and the Savior. I'm here because of Him. I'm trying to be like Him, and trying to help others come unto Him. I know this church is true, and we all play a big part in it! Member support in missionary work is so important! Member work is missionary work! Stay firm in the faith! To quote President Monson, "May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong." I love you all!

-Elder Spjute

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Sprint Begins

 The first week of the new transfer was really good! Elder Newby, the new guy in the apartment, plays basketball, so makes a good addition :) We're trying to break his seriousness, and we're having fun. I've gotten pretty tight with my companion. We've discovered that we both love Strongbad emails, and have been quoting that a lot! Our unity has to be up because we've got huge goals that we need to achieve! We set a goal for 3 baptisms this transfer, which will be quite the challenge.
     So, long week! A lot has happened! On Tuesday (the day before transfers), the four of us elders and the three hermanas went to our ward mission leader Arturo's apartment for dinner. He and Rafael, his ward missionary room mate bore super strong testimonies, and it was such a melancholy feeling that Elder Seal, one of my best mission friends was leaving. He walked out in tears after hugging them goodbye. Man, saying goodbye the next day was tough for me too. I'll miss him a lot.
     Our weekly planning session on Thursday was really great! We felt the Spirit really strongly, and set super high, but achievable goals.
     Physical Therapy for my back is going well. I'm finally progressing. We found a work out that seems to work pretty well :) I touched my toes after doing it a couple times, for the first time in months!
     Never mind being soaked daily by sweat, we tried to bike on Friday afternoon, which was a bad idea. It was pouring rain, and we got absolutely bathed. Shows how important it is to get members out with us. We could have gotten a much more successful ride!
     On Saturday, we had two HUGE lunches and one big early dinner, and were dying by the end of the day! Fortunately we've developed a plan to work out. If we don't contact 10 new people every day, we have to multiply the number less than 10 by 10 push ups and 10 ab rolls. It's intense!
     Ward Council on Sunday was quite the hiccup. We have been begging for a long time for more visits to be made by ward members for home teaching, visiting teaching, etc. It just doesn't happen. So durring the meeting, our ward mission leader just blew up. He went off on everyone's pride, which needed to happen. But he got shut down by the other leaders with even more pride. It was the saddest thing ever. He left crying. It was all we could do to try to help them see that we really do need more visits. So disappointed in this ward right now. The bishop got there with 5 minutes left in the meeting. Kind of annoying. We're working on humility and patience haha.
     Don't get me wrong, it's tough, but I still love it here, and wouldn't trade it for anything. I love you all, and appreciate your support. Happy Memorial Day!

-Elder Spjute

My old district. :) Love them!