Monday, August 19, 2013

Week 1 post MTC

So the time that I have had here (all 5 days) has been amazing. We have taught so many lessons. I am part of a trio again. Just like i was in the MTC. My companions are Elder Valdez and Elder Robinson. Elder Valdez is my trainer, he has been out for 21 months and is going to finish his mission training me. Elder Robinson has another week left until he goes home. So we really are only a trio for the first 2 weeks of my mission. The Wednesday that I got here we taught 2 lessons that night. Thursday we had 3 lessons. Then Friday we had 2. Saturday we went and knocked on doors. We found a less active man who had been thinking about coming back to church and had gone online to and was looking at the website when we showed up. My companion was prompted to stop and knock on his door. So we did and it turns out his 2 children aren't baptized so we are going to call him this week and try to set up a time when we can go and teach his kids and his wife. As far as the week goes it went really well. The members here are awesome. They really help us out. Some wards are better then others, but the help is remarkable. Of the 5 days i have been here i have paid for 1 meal. And that was at mcdonalds, but it was half price so i am not complaining. A lot of the restaurants around here are owned by members. So they are either free for missionaries or discounted. And the only reason i mention that is because I am so grateful for their support and generosity. It really makes this work a lot easier. Yesterday (Sunday) was amazing. We went to 3 sacrament meetings and spoke in 2 of them. The first meeting was at the Spanish branch. We also had a meeting with the Stake presidency and 2 correlation meetings. One with all the Ward mission leaders in the stake and the other with the YSA ward missionaries. But the truly amazing part was the second sacrament meeting we spoke in. There was a returned missionary that had been back for 4 days that was giving his homecoming talk. He took most of the time, which was fine. We got up and bore some quick testimonies, about 5 minutes each. After sacrament got over, one of the members in the ward came up to Elder Robinson and told him that there was someone in the foyer who wanted to talk to him. So we went out in the foyer and there was a young woman there who was just crying. She said that while we were bearing our testimonies that she just became overwhelmed and felt like she needed to talk to us. She then asked for a blessing. So we gave her one. After the blessing her mother, younger sister, the three of us, and her sat down and started talking. She told us how she hasn't been to a church in over 7 years. She is 21 and has been through some really really difficult things. She then told us that she has been sober for the last 6 days and that if we had met her one week ago she would have slammed the door in out face. So we talked with them for about an hour and then had to get to our appointments. We taught another 4 lessons yesterday. There are so many people who have a sincere desire to learn. It is amazing how the Lord prepares people. And how no matter who we are or what we do that no matter what, the Lord still loves each and every single one of us. He prepares all of us. And when we are ready he will mold us into who he wants us to be. The Lord placed us specifically in that ward yesterday, and prepared angelika to meet us. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to see these miracles here in this mission. I will keep you updated and send more pictures.

 I know that this is the Lords work, that we are his servants, and that he prepares a way for all to obey and keep his commandments. He will support us so long as we are faithful and obedient. I know that this is His work and He will bless us. I know this is the restored church of Jesus Christ. I love you all!

-Elder Valentine

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