Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ammon and Florrencia

I'm Very Tired.
Don't know why. Just one of those days.
It has been good as a District Leader. Lot's of getting and giving people permission for stuff, telling people not to do certain things, trying to be an example to others, and trying to serve other missionaries in any way possible. That last one is my favorite part. I haven't met the family that lives above us. Supposedly the landlady's a really inactive member, but really nice. All I really know of her is that she speaks Chinese all the time, probably because she's from China. :)
I got nothing more for the birthday box. I'll let you all know the details on Skyping next week. Super excited.
The Ice Skating sounds Super Fun. You should feel blessed, Sophie, Mom's never spent that much money on any of your brothers.  ;)
That's good to hear about your interview, Mom. I second Logan's answer of passionate and Savannah's of "Love Mom." Wait, what?? :) I'd probably also say loving and hmmm...supportive. Yeah, that's a good one.
And Mom, if you get that VW bug (which I'm strongly opposed to) you have to let dad get a Black, Two-Striped '79 Mustang. Trato hecho? (Spanish) You're welcome dad.
This week has been one FULL of Miracles. Last Tuesday, we met with one of our Investigators (who has been investigating the church for over a year) and he told us that he received an answer, in a dream (of course, "Spanish people and their dreams" ;) that he needs to be baptized. It was Incredible!!! His name is Leonardo (Leo) and he's from Uruguay. He has Cerebral Palsy, so he's confined to a wheelchair (think of Stephen Hawking, but this man can talk...a lot :) He told us Friday that he's still unsure and wants to wait more, but we're not letting him weasel out of this one. We brought a member and a good friend of his with us, and when he told us he wants to wait, the member basically talked him into waiting until Sunday to make his decision to be baptized in a week. So last Sunday, he finally came back to church (after a few months) and he LOVED IT!! Members basically lined up to come teaching with us, and let me tell you, there's NO way they're letting him not get baptized this Sunday. So I'll send you more pics next Monday. ;)
Funny Story. There's another investigator we're working with. Her name is Angela, English speaking, has an ADORABLE 4-year old daughter named Mirabelle (she calls us "Uncle Flint" and "Uncle Johnson"), and also has some physical disabilities from a car accident she got in a few years ago. She's set on getting baptized in May, so we're super excited for her. Her and her daughter have come once to church, and it was really special because they got to see a baby blessing. BUT, we were over teaching her the other day and she was really hurting from her disabilities so we offered to give her a blessing after the lesson. After we ended, we told Mirabelle "Hey Mirabelle, we're going to give your Mommy a blessing right now, okay?" And then Mirabelle got really scared and started saying "No, I don't want you to give her a blessing. If you give her a blessing she'll grow up like that baby. I don't want my Mom to get bigger. Please don't give my mommy a blessing." Then we we're all trying to explain what a blessing really was, but then she started bawling, saying. "Please don't do this. Don't give my mommy a blessing. Why are you doing this??" Her Mom had to send her into the other room, crying, so we could give her the blessing. In the middle of the blessing, I hear Mirabelle run into the room. I kind of peek, and I watch her as she first sees us giving the blessing, then this look of UTTER BETRAYAL comes upon her face and she starts Bawling. I've never felt so bad to give someone a Priesthood Blessing. On the other hand. Angela felt better the next day. We've haven't seen Mirabelle since, but hopefully we'll have a Family Home Evening with them and another family tonight. Hopefully we're still friends.
Other than that, this week has been good. One thing I've found really hard is being a good example to all of the other missionaries. Especially when they're not looking. One thing President told me is the best thing I can do as a District Leader is be a model missionary with a model area. Something I've been working hard on this week, and I'll continue to work hard on is being Exactly Obedient. We're promised many times in the scriptures that if we are Obedient to God's law and if we're following his Commandments, we need not fear what troubles lay ahead of us; because everything will be alright. I've been trying hard to follow God's Commandments and be an obedient missionary, and it's hard sometimes, but the blessings are numerous. I love you all and hope that life is treating you well. Ciao!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Being a District Leader is pretty fun

Haha. Gross. But that's SUPER sweet that you're graduating NEXT WEEK!!! Party Time. No, I have not been a trainer yet, but I would love that. Being a District Leader is pretty fun. Lots of paperwork, calls, responsibility. The works. Man, I have to be more careful what I say in my emails, now that you're reading them aloud to everyone.
HOT DANG LOGAN!! Too hot. Are they good cookies?? One thing I learned in my many years of cookie receiving is that the quality of the girl depends on the quality of the cookie. ;) Don't tell Mom I said that. But yeah, when a girl gives you cookies, she's basically confessing her love to you. TRUST ME!
Well this week has been very different. Everything's super different now. I'm in a car area, we live in someone's basement, we're working with English speaking people, I'm a District Leader. The Mississauga area is super sweet. It's a TON cleaner than the city and there's a bunch of sweet places and restaurants here we can go to. The ward is an English Ward, which is super weird for me. I've basically already met all the Spanish people in the ward and everyone had already known that I can sing and play the piano. Word of me had spread even before I was assigned to go there. Typical.
So this last Monday, we said goodbye to Jose Manuel and the crew. They took us to an Italian Restaurant, then afterwards we went and had Franklin's Baptismal Interview. Tuesday was transfers, so we said goodbye to all the departing missionaries, including Elder Cox, and went to our new areas. Last Friday, we had a big Zone Meeting where I saw Abigail again (for now we are in the same Zone) and we had our last interviews with President Clayton. I won't tell you all the details of mine, but I'll say there's not a lot of people who can say they've received a personal blessing from a General Authority. :) Actually, now that I think of it, there probably are. :| Nevertheless, it was really cool.
Saturday night, we got permission to go to Franklin's baptism, which was SO GOOD. It was really funny because I had only been gone from the area for 4 days, and when I walked into the room, a bunch of members attacked me saying "We Missed You So Much!!" I was like, "I've only been gone for like 4 days, and none of those days were a Sunday." But it was good to be able to say goodbye to all of them. The baptism went great!! Of course, I was automatically assigned to be the pianist and accompany the musical number, even though I wasn't even meant to be there. But it was super cool to see Jay (who we baptized) baptize his father. Unforgettable Memories.
This week, I have been pondering a lot the scripture Alma 26:11-12. It's a very personal scripture to me (for more than one reason ;) It's very humbling, but at the same time comforting. Many of us are given incredible talents and skills in life, but we must remember that all these things are given to us by God. He is our true source of power and talent,and through him, all things are possible. There were many talks last conference that expounded on that very well. I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week!! Ciao!!

Monday, April 11, 2016


My Dearest Family and Friends,

This past week has been quite a pleasant one. Indeed, it has had an abundance of exquisite happenings and memories. One of my most delightful memories is JOSE MANUEL GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!! YEEEAAAAHHHH BUDDY!!!! Oh, but the week gets better. Read on.
So yeah, it snowed here. It's been snowing about every other day. LOVE IT! Yes, tell them to wait. And no, I will not be a plumber. I just don't have a good enough Plumber's...Talent. Yeah, that one. ;) Oh, also, if it's not too late. We found "Glorious," so you don't need to send that. And if you're sending any flags, it would be cool to get some that reminds me of the people I work with and of home ex. Spain, South Korea, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil etc. Logan! That's Sick! The Organ is honestly one of my favorite instruments. Just get the feet down. It's weird because I know two people here that have hurt their ankles too; and my ankles starting hurting a lot yesterday. Maybe we have some weird Brotherly connection. Strange?!?! But last Sunday, my ankles hurt a ton and I was playing terribly on the Organ Pedals, but I honestly had no care so I just kept messing up. Funny Stuff. But, if you want to get really good on the Organ. Memorize the sounds of all the pipes. Then experiment with them. I'm trying to do that here. We can have a Organ-Off when I get back. Ha ha. I told your joke already and I got others to laugh. Depending on the P-day, usually we wash our clothes, shop, email, then either play sports, music, go to a Hindu Temple, go downtown, or do something Super awesome. Like last P-Day.
Last Monday, Elder Cox and I decided to sally our way up the CN TOWER. It was STUPENDOUS! Totally worth it. It's really cool to look over the Promised Land and see where you have served and the places you've gone too. It makes you feel really big. So now I can cross off three of the tallest buildings in the world: The CN Tower, The Space Needle, and The Sears Tower. Pictures will follow.
On Friday, we started the day off with a lovely trip to the temple. We watched the oldest Temple Video that morning. SCORE!! Check that one off the list. The acting IS very different. But I still loved it all. Later that day, we baptized JOSE!!! The service went really well. I gave a talk on Baptism and Jose and I played guitars while I sang "Hallelujah" in Spanish. After the baptism. our Ward Mission Leader whisked us away to Jay's House (our last Baptism) where we learned that his dad wants to get baptized THIS SATURDAY!!! It was an incredible miracle because we've been working with the dad a lot and he knows the church is true, he was just REALLY reluctant to commit to a baptismal date. Then it happened. Miracles.
On Saturday, I was asked to perform a musical number for Zone Council. I had been preparing a Big Musical Number where I quoted the whole "The Living Christ" by memorization, while accompanying myself with background music, then I sang and played the song "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" (not the hymn version). For Zone Council, I cut it down and quoted half of "The Living Christ" and performed the song. I started crying right off the bat, the Spirit was SUPER strong. Supposedly I did really well. A video will follow. Later that night, we had a Musical Easter Activity. I accompanied a missionary choir, our Relief Society Choir, and at the Last Second, someone showed me some music and ask me if I could accompany them. So I did. It was easy. ;) Also, I performed my "The Living Christ" musical number. It went alright. My hymnbook closed at one point and I had to improvise a little and the microphone kept slowly dropping down. But I did it. And then something strange happened...I went down and sat in my seat and I looked around and saw everyone standing up. I was SO confused. I was thinking "Is it time for an intermission or something??" Then it occurred to me that everyone was giving me a Silent Standing Ovation, in the chapel. It was super cool. According to everyone, I did phenomenally. Pretty cool I guess. ;)
SO. Now the time you've all been waiting for. We got Transfer Calls last night. We were thinking that I was going to leave as well as Elder Cox, but the whole ward kept saying that I wasn't. So we got the call...and...I AM LEAVING!!! I'm going to a city called Mississauga with Elder Johnson!!! My first companion in the mission field!! And And And. GUESS WHAT?? I am going to be a District Leader!!! I'm SUPER Excited!!! It's a car area (I'm not driving!!) and it's a Zebra Area (meaning we work with Spanish and English people), but you better believe I'm going to baptize all the Spanish People there. I'm just jealous for the new Elders coming into our area. Baptism this Saturday. LUCKY!!! But I'M PUMPED OUT OF MY MIND!!! And And And. I'm going to be in the same Zone as ABIGAIL!!! So we'll see each other a lot more. But today, I'm finishing my work in Black Creek by going to an Italian Restaurant with Estefany and Jose and we're having the Baptismal Interview for Franklin.
So one thing really cool I learned this week, that I wish to share, is about the Light of Christ. Now, we know that the Light of Christ is "knowledge," or the knowledge between good and evil. We read in Moroni 7:16 that the "Spirit (or Light) of Christ is given to every men." I had the question that, in this dark world, can the Light of Christ be diminished and ultimately put out in someone's life. We live in a world where children are being raised in broken, battered, and distorted families. And a question I had was can a child be raised thinking that wrong things are right?? I took this question to the University of God "the Temple." During the session, my thoughts were brought to the Creation of the Earth. Christ created the Sun to give us light by day, and the Stars to give us light by night. There is NEVER a time where the world is not receiving light. EXCEPT. When Jesus Christ was crucified. The world was covered with darkness for 3 days. I made this comparison to the Light of Christ in our lives. No matter what we're taught, shown, forced, into our minds. We will ALWAYS have the Light of Christ in us. Unless Christ dies. And Christ will NEVER AGAIN die. He's resurrected, perfect, and Almighty. Remember that. ;) I love you all and hope your lives are going wonderfully.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Oh Blanco Navidad, Sueño,
That's Spanish for "I'm Dreaming of A White Christmas." And a white Christmas it is. Ontario received a huge snow storm yesterday/today, and we got about a foot or more of snow. So it's winter again. Maybe I'll get snow on my Birthday. That would be Fantastic!! Speaking of Birthday, the only other things I could think of is maybe getting the Piano Music for "Glorious" sent again because I have misplaced it, and I think in my Big Gray Box there is a Pan Pipe. I wouldn't mind having that sent because it's a big thing down here for Ecuadorians and that would be cool to learn. Oh, and Guitar Picks, because I lost mine and I'm too lazy to buy a new one :) Good luck with your talk Mom. Just think of giving that lesson, but in another Language!! Haha. Just talk about really deep Doctrine, like Progression within The Kingdoms of Glory or something, or how Moroni dedicated the grounds of the Manti Temple, or how Ancient Egyptians have ceremonies similar to our Endowments. I could talk about those things for hours. LOGAN!!! GO ON A DATE!!! Did you not listen to the half of the conference talks that were about Eternal Families?? Start preparing for one now!!! GO ON DATES!!! Have a fun Spring Break kiddos. How was Escalante?? Haha. My first reaction to the video was "Aww. I want to be there when I become and uncle." Then I was like "Okay, good. They'll just have to wait 7 months to actually make that announcement. Then I'll be there when they have the baby." Funny Stuff.
On our April Fools Day, we had Jose Manuel and Esefany's Wedding!!!! We were a little worried it was on April 1st, and very worried when Jose Manuel showed up 15 minutes late to it. But it all happened. It's been a crazy week because we helped them move a few days before the wedding and we set up all the decorations the night before. For the wedding, I played the "Wedding March" on the Organ, in the Chapel, and it was Super Sweet. It was really cool because most of the people there were not members (and Hispanic) and we had the ceremony done in English and Spanish. Later we had their reception in the Gym, where there was dinner, dancing (I danced a little) (just not with girls :( but we had curfew, so we left before they cut the cake. They saved some for us though, so no worries there.
After the wedding, Elder Cox and I went home and celebrated with Milkshakes then I went into the bathroom to clean up before bed. I twisted the hot faucet just a little to hard, on the sink, and POP!!!!! It came right off...and ANOTHER geyser of boiling water came right out. It was THE FREEZING URINAL SHOWER ALL OVER AGAIN!!!! I yelled for Elder Cox to get the superintendent and I tried unsuccessfully to keep the gushing water in the sink, because this time, our bathroom's drain was the room underneath us (which we did get a complain about). Eventually they shut the water off and they're having a plumber come by a fix it tomorrow. I think there's a subconscious feeling inside of me that really wants to go swimming, so instead of breaking the rules, I break things that shoot out water.
On a happier note, this weekend Jose's going to get baptized, then the Tuesday after that, Elder Cox goes home and we'll see what happens to me (I think I'm getting transferred, but some people think I'm going to stay here and train).
Conference was ABSOLUTELY incredible!!! A few weeks ago, I decided to memorize the Family Proclamation and the Living Christ (I was inspired by the girl you told me about, Mom) and I'm pretty sure the purpose of this General Conference was to quote the WHOLE Family Proclamation, but separated into different talks. I think they succeeded. 2/3rds of the Conference Talks were on either Family or Temples. I Loved all the talks on Temples (Probably Elder Cooks the most) and also Elder Snow's talk where he talked about the hymn "How Firm a Foundation." Also, I prepared myself to be a father and a husband in a few good years. It's so good to here and see all the General Authorities during Conference, and oh look. Who is that?? Our Mission President is at Conference?? Oh?? He's being called as a General Authority of the Seventy?? Interesting. And THEN all the missionaries freak out. So yeah. That happened. What's happening is that he'll be Mission President until July 1, and then he'll go on to bigger and better things (just kidding ;) and President Shields will be coming in. So much for all that sucking up I did to President Clayton, I'll have to start it all over again. ;)
Obviously, we can see through our church leaders that the family is one of the most important things in this Gospel. The world is hitting the family on all sides and a strong nuclear family is something hard to come by these days. The words of the prophets are not to be taken lightly. THEY ARE DOCTRINE. These are the words that God would say to us if he were on this Earth. Elder Ballard isn't suggesting to us that we should have Family Councils many times a week; God is TELLING us that Family Councils are one of the best ways to protect our family in these days of tribulations. You don't find much an appreciation for General Conference until you realize that it is DOCTRINE for our days (Equivalent to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and all the rest of the Standard Works). I didn't realize that until a little while ago. And now I LOVE it. And I hope you all LOVE it too. I love you all and hope life is treating you all well. Ciao!!