Monday, December 30, 2013

Week 8 of the Fort Lauderdale, FL experience

So it's going pretty good here where I am, I have like three minutes to do this e-mail.

 I found out today that I'm going to be staying in the states for at least another two transfers, hopefully it all works out well. It turns out that now I need to acquire an FBI clearance, and that takes a while. It's going to be taken care of here in the mission though, I'm pretty sure that it's just a bunch of paperwork. I'm staying pumped and ready to go to Brazil.

Also, today we had a pretty sweet time. We drove an hour to wellington so that we could play volleyball and storm the castle. We had a lot of fun playing volleyball, and storm the castle was crazy awesome. We set up a bunch of chairs and then put up tables sideways and a few chalkboards in the church gym and had an epic Nerf gun war. Needless to say, it was awesome. We also got to shop at Walmart in wellington, which is much better than shopping at Winn-dixie. Everything that you can buy at Winn-dixie is twice the price of everything at 
Walmart! So if it says bogo there, it actually means that you are buying something at the regular price that something would be. There's just a ridiculous monopoly here just because Winn-dixie is the only grocery store around. And the quality of the food is terrible too. But I won't get into that.
I was at a member's house for dinner, and we found out that he likes cool different stuff. And we found these laying around his living room. Super Cool!
This past Christmas was pretty cool, thanks everyone for sending me cool things and letters. Everyone that was staying in the apartment woke up at 6:00 instead of 6:30. Needless to say, I was pretty grumpy for half an hour because I need my beauty sleep. But we were able to have an amazing Christmas out here in the mission field in Belle Glade! There were some cool members that had us over for lunch and an early supper also. Suuuupper good!

Well, I guess that I'll e-mail y'all next week!

Week 7 of the Fort Lauderdale, FL experience

So... Christmas is just around the corner and the holiday spirit is out the wadzoo! There are lots of people that go all out for decorating their yards and  houses in lights and inflatable things. It looks very colorful. The best yards are generally the Latinos. They put so many lights out. They pretty much dress their trailers in lights.

This week was actually pretty boring. We taught a lot of people and were pretty busy for the week. Only the usual escapades, such as destroying fruit and batting things into the cane fields (we live in the middle of cane fields) This past week we were destroying heads of lettuce. It's interesting that whenever you hit them with a bat, they EXPLODE. they go all over. They basically get shredded and go every direction. Maybe I'll experiment with other random things and see what happens! :)

There however was a miracle that happened this past week. Elder Pa. and I were contacting people on Thursday evening and decided to stop by at this one apartment building. We contacted this woman and she accepted going to church, a follow up appointment, and being baptized. We said we would call her and try to stop by later for a return appointment. We went on splits that same night and I went to see precious 2 hours after we contacted her. The Member I was with was a childhood friend of her mother's and helped her to know that this experience wasn't by chance and that now is the time to change her life. It was a super powerful lesson! She then came to a ward activity that Saturday night and then came to church!

Just letting y'all know, I'm super excited for this holiday season and even though as a missionary, the huge regular Christmas doesn't happen, I'm super pumped! I'd just like to send a thanks to everyone that has helped me to get to who and where I am today.

Ate mais! or Ate Logo!

So we made covers for our planners so that they would last a lot longer and not get destroyed. It's really cool and makes the planners look super duper nice.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Week 6 of the Fort Lauderdale, FL experience

This week is transfers week, so we have proselyting Mondays. We have p-day on Tuesdays. The reason why is so that people don't get trunky and stop working as hard. So it's a p-day the day before transfers. This week was a pretty uneventful week in Belle Glade. There is only one really good story. Me breaking something.
So we were doing service at a home, cleaning things up. I unscrewed a hose from an outside spigot and then screwed on a yellow two way spigot (it divides it into 2 streams of water instead of just the one). And while I was screwing on the yellow thing, I hear a snap and hear water gushing. The pipe broke! It wasn't the pipe connected to the spigot, but one further down. I'm assuming that it was old, brittle, and cheap pvc. This was in a trailer that wasn't up to code, so it was an adventure putting it all back together. First off, I go with Elder Pa., My companion to the hardware store and buy stuff to fix it with. We fix it, return a few hours later to turn on the water, turn it on, and see that another pipe was broken! We have to 'til Monday, because this was on Saturday and the hardware stores were closed by the time we realized that the second pipe was broken. Anyways, this piping is way off code, it's cpvc and electrical pvc for the cold water. Elder Pa. and I didn't realize it, bought regular pvc fittings, checked it out, and then saw that it was all cpvc for cold water and that cpvc and pvc don't fit together. We wasted two hours, then went and got cpvc and fixed the pipe. Yay! Thankfully the people were nice about it. Hopefully one of them will go to church with us!
We saw Christmas devotional, it was amazing and helped us to get into the spirit of Christmas.
And this is a kid of one of the recent converts in the ward, She's suuuuuper tiny. Normal for her height, but skin and bone. Anyways, we were helping them put up laundry and "pinned her to the clothesline." You can't see the clothes pins, but they are there.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 5 of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida Experience!

This past week I was quite the adventure. Example:

I was on splits with a member and we were trying to see people on a street that we had set appointments up on. And no one was home or answering doors. After 20 minutes, we go back to the member's car. I try thinking of someone that we can see right then, and no one comes to mind. I then ask him if there's anyone on the home teaching list that needs to be seen. I'm giving up here. But I'm still flipping through my planner, trying to see if there's someone we can see. Then I'm like let's go see H.. We walk to her house and walk past her while she's going to throw something away. I didn't recognize her here. We knock on her door and her kid walks over and deadbolts the door. She gets back and I ask her if she's H., and she says yes and the she tries to get back in and her door is locked! 
This is basically what it looks like where I am right now, just less blurry b/c I'm traveling in a car. The city that we're in [has about] 17000 people. So pretty small.
She tries to get her daughter to try and unlock it for like 5 minutes and she finally gets in. While this is all going on, we're trying to help her out. Anyways, it turns out that her daughter was trying to unlock it the wrong way.  and have a great lesson and she accepts going to church and baptism. The next day we're on exchanges, and I'm with Elder E.. We try and find her and she's not at home! And I start thinking that that's not her name. H.. H. lives across from where this is. Then the next day Elder Pa. and I see her in the parking lot and we find out what her name is and start talking to her. We then leave and I get back with Elder Pa. and we talk about it, and then we realize that H. lives else where and that I talked to a complete stranger like we had contacted her before. (We knew her) But I had never seen or talked to her in my life! Ok, recap: I walked into a strangers home, no previous contact before and somehow she accepted going to church and being baptized. Thankfully it all worked out and nothing bad happened from it.

This super awesome guy that we're teaching right now is part of a local family business, and they cut, pack and deliver produce all over Florida and sometimes go up to places like Chicago. So we see him this past Saturday and we got 12 heads of lettuce from this guy! 12 large heads of lettuce, cut right off that same morning! So much vegetableness! So you know how they say that things taste a lot better when they're fresh? Well, if you have some fresh fruit of something that you don't like, then when it's fresh it just accentuates the taste that you don't really like. So the lettuce is amazing on burgers, like the best I've ever had. But there is no way that I can just eat it plain. It just tastes like lettuce that is more lettucey. Oh, and this is some foreshadowing for next week, we might try and eat a head of lettuce each, (there are 4 elders in my apartment) and see who can eat the most or finish it off.

Oh, and I ended up getting that suit. It's pretty fly. And it's only like 74 with the tailoring and this guy is way sweet too that's selling it. He basically sells for way cheaper than everyone else (he makes less profit but he sells a lot) and he has tons of suits. And he invited The Elders that are in Belle Glade to stop by and go with him next year to Palestine. Way cool. Too bad I can't go, but who knows, maybe after my mission, something could happen there.

It's been real. Really awesome. Well, until next week, have fun!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 4 of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida Experience!

So this week was wayyyyyyyy cool! We had tons good experiences talking to new investigators. but I don't have much time. So I'll keep the letter short by keeping the sections short. so I guess I'll let your Imagination run wild.
Thanksgiving was pretty good, and thanksgiving means lots of food! we had two meals and then got to go and proselyte. Needless to say, a turkey coma was coming on. It was ... exciting, to say the least.

So last night we took a bat and started hitting things into the cane field. (there's a sugar cane field basically surrounding our neighborhood) we had quite a bit of fun. Carrots, apples, other random things that had gone bad or dropped on the floor. And, thankfully I had played baseball for two seasons, so I was able to hit the objects with quite good accuracy. 

This past holiday, Elder Pa. and I were able to find some great people at home that want to learn more of the gospel. It's really awesome to be able to share my testimony with people every day and be able to help them to learn more about Christ.

And, this past week we struck out on having anyone at sacrament. It was a little disappointing, but I know that we'll do better next week. Well, I'll make sure to have more stuff next week!

and here are some things that I thought y'all might like to hear about from my first few experiences in Florida.

So when I got here in Fort Lauderdale, I was greeted by sweet, sweet humidity. It was sooooo nice! I missed it so much even though it was only 6 weeks! It was nice. And I was also greeted by the Mission President, President Anderson, his wife, and the 3 AP's. The first day I got here I was super nervous, but the people here all seemed super awesome. So we got off the plane, saw the president, then went to the hotel to put our stuff away, ate dinner at the mission home, and then went back to the hotel.
We then proceeded to go to transfers the next day and then I went to Belle Glade, y'all know the rest of the story.
So I would say that the most valuable advice that I was able to receive before I came out here are three things:

Love the people,
Love the people,
Love the people.
A quote from Uncle Joe. Because If you love the people, then everything else will just fall back into place.
and a quick testimony.

I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is the church of God. It was restored in these latter days. I love this church and want to help other people to come unto Christ because of the love I've felt in my life and my personal testimony of the rightness of the church. The church was organized and set up by a prophet of God who was acting for God. I've gained a personal testimony that God exists and that he wants the best for us. I also know that this is the restored church and that Joseph Smith did indeed see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. And I know that he translated the Book of Mormon, which is the word of God, written by prophets in the Americas.
Rex-quan-do pants in Napoleon Dynamite
Elder White