Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What a trip. We just got back from a Costco trip. SO intense. And we went out and bought some Christmas gear at a super cheap store. I got a sweet Canada hoodie, a sweater, and a Canada t-shirt. They're sweet souveniers.
To correct your story, Mother, her name is Sister Jordahn Nabhan. She's the only Sister I've sang a duet with (that is home). And I wasn't her Zone Leader. I'm still not a Zone Leader, but my Zone Leaders right now are trying really hard to make me one. We'll see.Yeah Mom!! Sleepin' in the car. Love it!! Sophie's Victory really doesn't surprise me. What will surprise me is when someone beats her and takes the Ice Queen (or Princess) off of her throne. ;) Love you Soph!! Halloween sounds fun. I want to see pictures of Micah as the future President. Haha. Sad but true.
AW LOGAN!!! You Should have gone with the cake answer!!! So much better than those silly puns. Too many puns. Or you should have gone with Micah's idea. Haha. Watch her come to school and hit you because she was so upset that she didn't flip over the box. Heehee.
Good choice Skyler. One of the best things you could have chosen to learn. I want to learn all the instruments in the world!! Why not?? Also good choice on "Let it Be."
Have fun, Dad, competing in the Special Olympics. I know you'll show all those Autism patients whose got the real mental illness!! (thumbs up emogi) ;)
Yeah, you've left me home alone many times. Logan is trustable. pssst. Logan, send me pictures on how the party goes. DON'T LET THEM GO IN MY OLD ROOM!!! OR TOUCH MY INSTRUMENTS!!!! I mean...shhh don't let them touch my instruments. What the heck is the Billster doing?? 850 bucks for San Francisco?? If you're flying planes, GO TO NEW YORK!!! It would be SO GOOD!!!
Well, my week was absolutely wonderful. Tuesday and Wednesday we decided to try something new for our area (due to some personal revelation), so I cooked a few dozen batches of chocolate chip cookies and we went around to a lot of the less actives in our ward (which there are a LOT) and gave them the cookies. Now as a missionary, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually slump days. But these were some of the best Tuesdays and Wednesdays I've ever had. We saw many miracles, ran into many potentiel investigators, got to know a lot of ward members, and blessed many people with delicious treats.
On Thursday, we had a big missionary meeting where on of my good friends (Elder Brett Babbel) and I got paired up to give an instruction. It went really well: we popped balloons, spoke different languages, cracked jokes, it was great. Later in the meeting I was interviewed by Presidnet Shields. The interview was very short: Mainly talking about my sickly companion and I learned that I can now play my instruments whenever I want, as long as it doesn't intefere with the work. SWEET STUFF!!! Later that day, we had a surpirse appointment in which we ended up getting two new solid people to teach and baptise. Then we flew to two dinner appointments (with less-active members). It was NUTS!! We had like NO time, but with the Lords hand, we got to each appointment and ate two dinners.
Friday, we helped with a baptism in our ward. Very nice.
Saturday, we had a Venezuelan Chinese woman walk into our English classes (born in China, raised in Venezuela). And her Spanish was far better than her Chinese, so we're teaching her now. Woo hoo!! Never thought I'd baptize a Chinese Woman on my mission.
Sunday was great, because I got the sacrament.
Monday was Canadian Thanksgiving and we celebrated HARD!!! Our first meal appointment was with a Dominican Family that always feeds us on Mondays. We had a huge lunch, played Mormon Charades, watched video performances of "The Prayer," and the 12 Step Videos. It was super fun. Then, my companions and I went on a walk in the brisk weather, through a park, putting up fliers to advertise our English Classes. Quite nice. Then, at 7, all the missionaries met up at the Sifuentes (the Mexicans that always feed us on Sunday), for a HUGE Thanksgiving Dinner. It was DELICIOUS!!! A HUGE Turkey. Mexican Food. I brought 2 liters of Chocolate Milk. IN A GALLON!!! I FOUND MILK (CHOCLATE AND WHITE) IN A GALLON HERE!!! I'm never drinking bagged milk again!!!!!!
All in all, it was a wonderful Thanksgiving. And all the good food gave me terrible heart burn. :)
I know I should probably say something about Giving Thanks, but I want to talk about something else. Fine! I'm grateful for my whole life. My life is honestly perfect. Absolutely perfect. BUT! I want to talk about Personal Revelation. During this last Conference, and through lots of missionary meetings, and through some intense personal prayers; God gave me a lot of personal revelation on how to make my area better, and like I mentioned above, IT WORKED!! I can testify that when we receive suggestions from God, DO IT!!! You may not know or understand how it'll work, but it will. Because God knows. Elder Lawrence's General Conference talk from a couple Conferences ago gives many great examples of that (if mine's not good enough for you ;). Well, I love you all and hope you're enjoying milk in Gallons, because I AM!!!! Chao!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

What a Week!!
I'm glad everything is going great back home and that you all enjoyed conference. Wow, good work Logan on the accompanying job. That's super sweet. Where and what exactly are you doing?? And good work on the lady slaying. I have no idea who Olivia is though. Send me a pic of her or her social security number or something. I want to KNOW who's taking my bro on a date. I'm already suspicious with the stereotypical way she asked you "Of all the fish in the sea." Hot dang though that she asked you two months early. That just shows that e'rybody wants to get dibs on you early. It makes you feel real special when you have to tell multiple girls "No" to dances because you've already got a date. Answering her though...just write "yes" on a big rock and shatter her bedroom window with it, then run. No. I don't know, you could always ask her in a way that correlates with stuff she likes: Music, dancing, Fashion, World of Warcraft (Whatever she's into). Or use my cake idea, where you put a paper IN the cake saying "Look at bottom of plate" and there's a paper taped there that says "No." I mean "Yes." Whatever you want to do.
I hope all goes well with Halloween and the wings and what not.
Well, this week has actually seemed really long, but it's a good long. On Wednesday, we had District Meeting, and the only other new person in the District is the Grandson of Elder Ballard the Apostle, Elder Ballard. He's fun and really normal, so that's good. It was funny to see him get all excited when his Grandpa got up to talk. And it was funnier when we had him and Elder Monson (President Monson's great nephew, another missionary in our area) shake hands. Wednesday and Thursday I was able to go on exchanges with my black Zone Leader, Elder Paul. He's from Haiti and speaks 5 languages and is going home in 5 weeks so he's SUPER trunky. The exchanges were a lot of fun. I drove, a lot, Downtown. And we taught a few lessons in Portuguese. I was quite impressed with myself. I feel like my Portuguese right now is as good as my Spanish was when I began the mission. Jacare. We then ended Thursday by having a sleepover with Elder Babbel and Ballard, because we were going to the temple the next morning.
Then, the next morning, we went to the temple ;) It was quite nice. Afterwards, a lot of missionaries were greeting and saying goodbye outside of the temple. One of the sister missionaries told me Abigail was looking for me, but she had a meeting she had to go, so we didn't get to see each other. Bummer. But I got to see a lot of old friends and what not. After the temple, a bunch of us missionaries decided to go to Smokes to get some Poutine, and I was so hungry that I decided to try and eat a whole Wow Size again. Along with Elder Valliere. About 9/10ths of the way through the Poutine I felt like I was about to throw up, and almost did, but Elder Babbel, being the good friend he was, told me to take a short break, buy another drink, and then motivated me through the rest of the Poutine, and after four failed attempts, I finished it. Accomplishment!!! My body hurt so bad after that and I had to cleanse the next morning to clean out my system. :) Worth it?? I say yes.
Saturday was a great day. It started out by me going on another quick exchange with Zone Leader Paul and driving a lot more. Then we got back to our chapel RIGHT as Conference started. All of Conference on Saturday was great, and exhausting. I've been so tired this week even though all I've really done is drive around a lot and sit down and watch Conference. Weird stuff.
Sunday was also great watching Conference. For the second session, we went to a member's house and ate dinner with them afterwards. It was very nice.
One of my absolute favorite things was the GREENIE POWER!!! Many of the new Seventy Members that we got last Conference gave some of the most powerful talks. Although, Elder Weatherfold T. Clayton didn't speak, I was still very impressed with them all. Two of my favorite talks were by Elder W Mark Basset on obtaining knowledge through the Holy Ghost, and by Elder K Brett Nattress on Mothers and Children. Mom, you really are an angel (I have to say that, you're my Mom ;). But really, you've worked miracles to get me where I'm at right now and you're continuing to work miracles to help support the family. Another thing I really got out of the talk was one of the purposes of parenthood. My favorite quote, that always brings tears to my eyes was when Elder Nattress was talking about how incredible it would be to have your kids turn to you and say "Mom, Dad, it's really Him." THAT! is the purpose of parenthood: to have your children be able to receive their own testimony of Jesus Christ and his restored church. Parents are crucial to helping their children receive the testimonies that will get them through life and into the Celestial Kingdom in the next life. I know I'm not a parent yet, but I'm excited to be time. ;) I hope you all enjoyed conference and if you didn't watch it. WATCH IT!!!!! Nough said. I love you all. Chao!!!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ABIGAIL!!!! or sister allred.
Just had to shout out to my cousin in the Mish. I feel bad, I should have called her. Haha. There's a member, Jimmy, who has all the missionaries' phone numbers and sometimes I invite him to come teaching with us and I tell him to call her so I can talk to her. Haha. Nothing wrong with that right?? No. I'm glad you're feeling better now, Mom. And yeah, I doubt Elder Arnold will speak again so soon. He was so nice and gentle during Conference. If only people could meet the real him. :) Woot Woot!!! Those shirts look SWEET!!! I was a little bummed because I did play beater for Hufflepuff back in Hogwarts and I saw that Savannah is getting the Beater Jersey, BUT I was team captain for that team also, so all is well. I'M PUMPED for that though. Super Trunky. And MAN! The Claytons are hosting the CTM Reunion?!?! And I checked the sign up list and already recognized a bunch of names. MORE TRUNKY! AND you want' to know when I'm coming home?? Sheesh!! Ya tryin' ta kill mee?? Well, because I got an extra week added on to my mission, it should Thursday, August 3rd. I know President Shields has the authority to change it if I have to leave early for school or what not. But honestly, I just want to get exactly 2 years in. A 2 year mission. July 29th 2015 to July 29th, 2017. If anyone tries to send me home before that, I'll tell them to take a hike. Oooohhhh. A Puertorrican Christmas. What fun.
Oh yes. We got transfer calls last night. Elder Staheli, my companion, is pulling an "Elder Flint" and going from Chritstie North to Black Creek Central. And I and Elder Valliere are staying here!! AND! my first son (trainee) is coming to serve with us in a trio. Yipee! I'm SO old. I'm like a father having to babysit his two sons. :| All I know is that I'm going to be wiped after this next transfer. I thought one of them was a handful....   BUT! I'm happy to be staying here in Toronto. I'm going to really try to be a better example this transfer and help out my two trainees.
Well this week was pretty nuts. To give an example, it's POURING rain right now. LOVE IT!!
Actually, to be frank. This week was pretty below par for me. But I saw a lot of other peoples' lives blessed. So that makes me happy. One of my favorite families in the ward just had a new baby, so I was able to see it and hold and tickle it (kidding, that's illegal for missionaries) yesterday. But it was quite cute. Along with that, I made another Chocolate Cheesecake for the Birthday of Elder Paul, my Haitian Zone Leader that speaks five different langauges. I also helped a lot of families out doing Family History work. I've decided that I'm going to have three automatic callings when I get home: Family History Consultant, Ward Organist, and Bishop. jeje ;) I had lots of good Hispanic Food (I made Tostones with this giant deep-fryer we have in our apartment. Tostones are fried green plantains, SUPER GOOD). Other fun things that happened this week is finally we had an investigator come to church last Sunday, and we were able to meet a lot of interesting people. And let me tell you, there's a lot of interesting people in Toronto. A story?? Fine, I'll tell you one.
So, one of the other Spanish Missionaries in Toronto is Elder Babbel. He is one of my favorite missionaries and my brother by birth (mission birth). For the longest time he'd always say, "I'm Lucy." In the girliest, high, girly voice (for an example, have Dad say it :). One day I asked Elder Babbel who "Lucy" is. He told me "he" is a transvestite (or a man that dresses and acts like a woman) from El Salvador, that one sent in a referral for the missionaries to come over, basically so "he" could flirt with them and probably other things (luckily they fled quickly). So yesterday, a woman from Salt Lake City called us to give us an online referral. We were excited because as Spanish missionaries, we don't get online referrals AND we had gotten another one a few days ago which turned out to be super solid. The lady on the phone was describing this lady who just asked for a visit from the missionaries and her name was Lucy Hernandez. She then gave us her phone number and address. My first thought was, "Lucy" isn't really a Spanish name, then my next thought was the Holy Ghost impersonating Elder Babbel saying "I'm Lucy." So I immediately called Elder Babbel and asked him what THE Lucy's last name was and he said he thinks it was "Hernandez." So we all started freaking out. Elder Babbel said he'd call her because he'd know his voice right off the bat. So he calls him and it goes straight to voice mail. Then Lucy calls Elder Babbel back and Elder Babbel makes the mistake of saying, "Hello, this is the Missionaries." Lucy then says, "Hello," then Elder Babbel hangs up the phone because he knows it's him. "Lucy," now knowing it's a missionary's number, calls him back like a dozen times and leaves a couple of voice mails talking about how he wants the handsome Elders to come over to his house and all this crap. AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Crazy stuff!! The adventures we have in Toronto.
Well on a happier note. One thing I have been talking about with a lot of people is the reason for church and church attendance. One of our solid members told us that he feels like his testimony deteriorates while at church because he's not in what he calls the "elite" group of members and people sometimes say mean things about others at church. When he said that, I thought, "Who Cares?! Church isn't about socialization, it's about the Sacrament!!" Luckily after talking with the Bishop, the member came this last Sunday. And later this week, I was talking with an older woman on the Subway and she told me that church is all about socialization and she doesn't need that anymore. I paused and thought. Then I said "Although socialization is a plus, our church focuses on Ordinances and Covenants, or ways we can come close to God and make it back to Heaven." And it's true. But sometimes we need to realize that. We need to realize that church is not about meeting our group of friends and forming cliques, but "everything we do in this church is to help people get to the temple" (quote from an apostle). Everything. It's all for Salvation. Not Popularity. I LOVE our church because it is so focused on Eternal Life. It really is the goal for everyone. I Love you all and hope to see you all in the Celestial Kingdom. :) Chao!!