Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lots of teaching, mega lesson & possible transfer coming :(

letter home - written September 19, 2013

Howdy Familia!
I hope you guys are doing well. This week has been awesome. I went on exchanges yesterday with Elder Benson, one of my zone leaders. He is an awesome missionary, I really learned a lot and had a great time with him. We handed out 4 Books of Mormon which was so cool. He really taught me a lot about 'OMYing' (open your mouth) and how to approach people and having a normal conversation and making a smooth transition into a gospel topic. He taught me that it's all about the questions you ask, then you discern what part of the gospel to introduce to them. It was a great learning experience, he is really awesome at it. It also was really neat talking about our background. He grew up in Rexburg, Idaho where it is like 90% LDS. It is really neat, I think we are all born where we are supposed to be. He was telling me about experiences he had that could only happen in a place like that, and it is the same for me. I think basically having mostly nonmember friends growing up has taught me to really see the differences and blessings that the gospel brings families. It was a really interesting conversation. But anyways, we also had a lesson with one of his investigators that was probably the most powerful one I have been in. It was amazing. The investigator is on date (committed to baptize on certain date) and has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith. We went into the lesson just to talk about the first half of the restoration up to the First Vision. Not quite a lesson really, just a quick message to feel the Spirit but as we learned more about her Elder Benson knew some of the details but not all of them we ended up teaching a lot more. She has a stressful life, she was abandoned by her parents, ( I think they both are in jail) works two jobs, and goes to school. She is about 20 years old, first year taking college classes. She just needs a lot of help, so we ended up talking about the atonement and how we aren't on our own in this life, the Savior is with us every step of the way. That he knows how we feel exactly so we can turn to him for anything. It was very powerful, a great lesson. I have one more experience that I would like to write about. We had an insane lesson with Jonathan last night. We weren't able to see him for a while, we were afraid he was losing interest. It was just because he has been working a ton. He works for a company that builds pools for neighborhoods or personal back yards. It is really hard work and most of their business is in Glendale or Phoenix so he has to be picked up at 4am and doesn't get home until 8pm. He finally had a free evening last night. He was on date for the 29th but we had all the commandments to teach him so we were thinking of moving it back. First we asked him to bear his testimony of what he does know. He knows that the Book of Mormon is true, he knows Joseph Smith is a prophet and that baptism is what the Lord wants for him. So since we felt he was ready, we explained this is gonna take some work but the 29th could still happen. He was excited that it still was a possibility. So in a 2 hour lesson we taught the law of chastity, the word of wisdom, the ten commandments, tithing, following the prophet and the commandment of baptism in one lesson. I had no idea that it was possible! He took it all great, committed to them all, and is totally gonna be ready on the 29th. I'm so excited for him. His faith is incredible. I can't believe transfers are a week away. I'm probably headed to an English speaking area, which will be tough to leave all of these investigators and members I have grown to love. Hope you guys have a great week! Talk to ya on Monday. Love ya!
Elder Mountain

Weekly email - September 23, 2013

Hey family great to hear from you guys!!! Thanks for that video of Solo, Ali, that was really cool to see, I'm sure he is having a blast. Glad Albert got his letter too, miss that guy. I sent a letter on Saturday, maybe today or tomorrow it will come. This week has been a great one, a lot of work. I can't believe we are already starting the last week of the transfer already. It'll be tough to leave the area if I get moved out, which I probably will from the sounds of it. But anyways, it was a great week. Alfonso came to church and brought his son, his two step sons, and his mother in law and they were really interested! We had to move his date back because he works a ton and Sunday is his only day off, but he still is committed to be baptized. He is one of the hardest workers I have ever met. It was an interesting week with Jonathan. He also works a lot, and we hadn't had a lesson in 4 or 5 days and his date was apporaching so we asked him is this something you want to work towards? He bore a really powerful testimony and said he will do what it takes. So, then we taught all of the commandments in a cazy two hour power lesson. We taught everything from law of chastity to tithing to keeping the sabath day holy to the word of wisdom. It was quite the lesson. We taught all that so he could still be baptized on the 29th, but he had to work on sunday so it is going to be moved back a week as well. But he his solid, a strong testimony. just getting him to church is the hard part at this point. He really wants to go, he just doesn't want to loose his job by asking for days off. We also had a great week with Jose. He also is pretty much good to go we are just working through giving up alcohol. This week we learned at church on Sunday he made it a whole week without any at all! that was so awesome to hear. We are going to put him on date next lesson for sure. We haven't taught the family yet, the friends that are members are going to set up a FHE and we will come and teach. That should be this week. We got three more new investigators. One lady who has a ton of mormon friends in the ward and is curious, her name is Liz. We have an appointment with her this week. Another lady named Carmen who was a referal from some English  speaking elders who gave her a Book of Mormon. It took forever to catch her home but we had a great lesson with her last week and have a return appointment tonight. The other one is a guy who moved to Queen Creek from Mesa who has a wife who is a member and he has been taking the lessons and is on date for December. We have a lot of people to teach for sure! It's great to see the progress, see what the gospel can do in people's lives. I gotta tell you guys about a sandwich I make all the time that I think you guys would like, its so good. Make an avacado sandwich but add pepperjack cheese and bacon and a bunch of turkey sandwich meat. Then put it on a George Forman to melt the cheese and toast it. It's soooo good. That with some grits are pretty tasty. The people here feed us really, really well. They are so nice too, some of the friendliest people I have ever met, even just people on the street will talk to us and tell us "we are men of God" and leave us with a funny laugh or joke. They are just really friendly. Oh I forgot, two sisters from Brazil have started coming to our ward because they can understand Spanish better than English so I was able to talk some Portuguese with them, which was really cool. Kinda hard though. I hadn't heard Portuguese in a while, I was a bit rusty, haha. It has been really nice weather wise here. It's still like 89 degrees but because its so dry it feels much cooler. Summer will be in full swing once I get to Brazil so I'll enjoy it while I can, haha. If you guys want a laugh, read a chapter or two in your thick southern accent and replace 'ye' with 'ya'll'. My roomies got a kick out of that, haha. Have a super week!!! Eu muito amo voces, tem otimo semana!
Elder Mountain
                                                  Nice pic of the Arizona night sky!

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