Monday, January 26, 2015

Letter #80

The conference with Elder Oaks was awesome! You would think apostles are very uptight strict people but man, Elder Oaks is hilarious! I've never seen a man have more fun doing what he has been called of God to do than Elder Oaks last Saturday. It definitely helped me learn a lot about enjoying everything that you do and getting the most out of it.  Not to forget Elder Robbins and Elder Wright also gave really good talks and spoke a lot about change and how change is required of everyone, especially us a Latter Day Saints. 
Elder Iman and I are doing great! This week we didn't have a lot of time to work in our area. The conference was Saturday morning and we went down and got to spend the night in McAllen because Sunday morning we also had Stake Conference. It was fun! Its been a pretty long time since I've been in an apartment with more than two elders haha. Im kinda exiled out in Roma. After that I worked down in McAllen for the rest of Sunday night and until later I'll be here working with Elder Knighton from Maine! He's great. 
Last night we had a couple really powerful lessons in the stake presidents home. President Chandler. We had dinner with him and his family and after that, his son brought his friend over and we taught him the restoration. It was awesome. The spirit was so strong, especially because we were in the home of a member with members who loved and cared for the young man we were teaching. After that, the stake presidents daughter brought a friend over and we taught her about the plan of salvation. That was also really cool. Its great to see what a great example the Stake President and his family are of missionary work. A great leader leads by example. Back to back lessons in the stake presidents home, I wish everyday was like that!
We don't have any investigators as of right now. We are just trying to get things up and running through our members and hopefully we can start finding some good people for the end of February and into March! Time is flying a lot faster than I would like it to haha.
Sorry for no pictures! I don't have my camera cord on me, but I'll take some good ones this week and I'll send some next p day!
Love you guys!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Letter #79

Transfer news! I'm staying here in Roma! I'm not too surprised at all but I'm stoked to be here again. My new companion is Elder Iman. He's pretty cool. He goes home in about 2 months. So... that'll be interesting. I've never had a comp that has been so close to going home. Hopefully he holds together well haha.
This past week we had interviews with President Maluenda. It was great! Its always good learning from that spiritual giant. Cool fun fact, President Maluenda has actually lost like 45 lbs in the last couple months! He took all of the general conference talks pretty seriously, especially the one by Elder Jorg Klebignat and the part about taking care of yourself physically. He really is a great example of a leader, of one who leads by example.
This week we are focusing on pure member work! I kinda figured out that we are struggling so much because we are finding all these investigators off the streets and they have no connection to members whatsoever! So when we show up to second lessons, they bail out and we never see them again. Now I'm not saying that you cant find prepared people off the streets, because trust me, I've found and baptized my fair share, but it is so much easier and more reliable when you find investigators through members, that way they have that support right from the start and they are actually willing to come and feel comfortable at church. Elder Iman and I made some super deep plans this morning on what we are going to do and how we are going to do it to get this plan up and running and I cant wait to start seeing these miracles!
This weekend we are having another huge mission tour and Elder Oaks will be coming to speak to us! Its going to be awesome. Then on Sunday, we have our stake conference and Elder Oaks and Elder Robinson of the 70 will be speaking. This weekend is going to be pretty gnarly.  I'm pretty stoked.

My view across the border into Mexico.

Downtown Roma

Elder Iman

Monday, January 12, 2015

Letter #78

Whats up!

So transfers are tomorrow! But..... we still haven't gotten any news as to where anyone is going and who is staying and what not, so I guess I will have to let you guys in on the news next week. Or mom, I'm sure you can hunt it down somehow. ;)

I loved this transfer, I've loved every transfer but this transfer has been pretty hard. I came into a pretty dang successful district and I felt like I kinda screwed it up. Because the months of December and January we have not had a lot of success. We haven't been finding at all, the people we do find, flake off super quick and this branch isn't all that there yet to give us the support that we hope for.  I was listening to a really great talk by Elder Holland, its called Missionary Work and The Atonement. This sums it up a lot better than I can:

"Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?
You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary."

Maybe right now, I'm just spending those few moments in Gethsemane. Its hard, its tough, but something good is gonna come out of it, I know it. I know the atonement is real. I can't count the amount of times I've knelt down and prayed at night and felt that love that Jesus Christ has for me. I love my mission. It has changed my life. The amount of good times exceeds that of the amount of tough times, but its through the tough that we learn the most.
Love you all!
Elder Brian 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Letter #77

Happy New Year!

Its been a good start to the new year. Frozen was good. Its good to finally see the movie that ever kid in the street talks about and sings down here. Then at 12:00 everyone shoots their guns up in the air for like 2 minutes straight. It sounded like a war was going on outside.

This is the last week of the transfer. This transfer has gone by so fast its unreal. I feel like I just got to Roma. Most likely I'm staying, which is good! But anything could happen, especially in the mission field. Time is just flying by and cant even keep track of everything. It gets pretty stressful at times.

This week we found a lot of new people to teach. There are 7 of them. Ill probably let you guys know how they progress a little further down the road, cause a lot of them we might not be teaching by next week haha. That's just how the teaching goes down here in the Texas McAllen mission.

Love you guys!

Elder Brian