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Monday, June 18, 2018

West Bank, Tracting, Gators/Crabbing

Hey everyone how’s life?

Things are going well over here in the West Bank. It is for sure the blessed bank, just looking at our meal calendar alone proves that. I am starting to see how missionaries in Utah feel, since here we cover more than one branch. We cover both Spanish and English work, so we have to go to both branch’s meetings and we get to get fed by both of them. I mean I guess it isn’t as intense as the Utah missions where they cover like 10 wards, but still. I’m loving it over here, the people are awesome, the district it awesome, and doing Spanish and English work is keeping us pretty busy, which I love! Haha one of the anti-perks of covering two wards is the fact that this Sunday when we came in, they had had one of their speakers cancel on them in both the Spanish and English ward; so that meant I had to come up with two talks on the spot to share since they thought choosing the new guy was a good idea.

This week has been the start of the building phase for this area. It had been closed down for around 3 weeks last transfer from missionaries going home a little early for school. But we are back at it, and we are tracting a ton. For the first few days here we didn’t have much success tracting. We would talk to people and they would either not be interested, or they would tell us to come back later. But eventually we found a super awesome trailer park full of Hispanics that let us in and teach a few of them. One was named N and he is pretty new from Honduras.  Apparently he had the missionaries visiting him down there, so it was pretty lucky for us to run into him again up here. We are planning on teaching him more and trying to bring him to church. We also met a man named I, he was pretty cool and we talked to him about the restoration and how it can help solve some of the problems in this world, and some of the questions people have. We had an awesome lesson with him, and by the end he was asking where the church was and told us he wanted to come and worship with us there.  That was super awesome! 

We also ran into a few Cajuns that were fun to talk to.  It was the first time Elder Hansen has met a true blooded Cajun, so it was a fun and new experience for him. 

This morning we had a fun time going and crabbing. For those of you who don’t know - you catch crabs by tying a chicken thigh to a rope, and dropping it into one of the bayous down here. You wait until you feel the crabs tugging on it and you pull them up. So we did that for 2.5 hours hours this morning and had a lot of success with it. We probably caught like 6 or 7 crabs each.  We even had a Cajun man come and give us some that he had caught, since he could obviously tell it was our first time crabbing. But one side effect of throwing chicken into the water is that it attracts other animals as well. Just like shark to chum, we had a few gators that started swimming  pretty close to the dock while we were crabbing. Some of us would distract them and try to scare them away, while the others were crabbing. And then at the end of the whole fiasco we had a guy come talk to us that had friends that are in the business of giving swamp tours down here; those guys will just play with gators during the tours and they will touch them and all that jazz. He grabbed one of the chickens and lured a gator in right to the dock and started feeding it. We were all so close to it we could have touched it (and I might have actually touched it...... don’t tell my mom! 😉) it was crazy!

But yeah that is what has been going on down here. I hope y’all have an awesome week!

June 12, 2018 --6 weeks to go

Hey everyone! This week has been a little bit crazy

First of all we are at the end of Elder Johnson’s mission and he is going to be flying home on Thursday, and I will be entering my last 6 weeks until I go home! It is crazy how fast that is coming! And to top it all off I am getting moved to a new area for my last transfer, so we will be turning over all of our investigators to the Metairie Spanish guys. I’ll be heading over to the West Bank with Elder Hansen to finish off the mission. But I am excited because I will still be in a Spanish ward, so that will be awesome! 

Another fun update this week is that K and her family are continuing to read the Book of Mormon and I think things are going to go really well with them in this transfer. I just hope she can find a way to make it to church, because that is all she needs to get her and her family ready to be baptized, so everyone pray for K that she will be able to get work off to come to church, or that she will be able to find a new job that gives her Sunday’s off. It’s sad every time we go over because she really wants to come to church, but it is hard to get anything to go your way as a Hispanic working in the states. Again keep her and her family in your prayers

I had a good experience this last Saturday on exchanges with Elder Cannon. I was able to spend part of the day down in Kenner with him. It was an interesting one. We knocked a bunch of doors and got bashed a few , but we also met a lot of good people. One of my favorites was one lady we talked to who when we did our little spill at the door, she kind of sighed, rolled her eyes and then said we could give her a short message. So we jumped right into it and for some reason we started with Joseph Smith’s story right away, instead of talking about prophets and all of that before. We told her about how Joseph realized there should only be one true church on the earth since Christ only established one true church, and then we went through his whole search for truth and first vision. It was awesome to watch how she changed right before our eyes as we talked. She went from being annoyed and uninterested, to listening attentively  and drinking in the story. By the end, after we testified, she told us she for sure wants us to come back and talk to her more about our church and everything. It is amazing to see how the spirit can change someone in the blink of an eye when they hear about what God has for them.

Haha and then this morning we had some fun times exploring an abandoned factory that is a stones throw away from our apartment. It was way fun and a little sketchy. We walked around in some of the old dark rooms that had no windows, and the only light was from our phones. It was an awesome time, and it was really cool to explore it even if sometimes we thought we might die in the dark haha. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Apenas hablamos el miercoles

Hey everyone, how’s life?

Congrats to everyone who has graduated this year from high school! And I hope everyone has a nice summer.

I just barely emailed this last Wednesday, so there is not much to report for the last few days.  But here are some quick bullet points in things that have happened:

•We had some good lessons with K and her family, where we got to read the Book of Mormon with them a little bit and testify of it. I love how they were all able to really see how much it teaches about Christ, and how it supports and clarifies the Bible. 

•We got fed some really good Honduran soup that had palatano in it; so that was super delicious. I hadn't had soup like that since being in Metairie around a year and half ago!

•We had some other lessons with some of our other investigators and met some new Spanish families we are excited to start teaching.

 •We have entered the last full week of the transfer, which means that in 10 days Elder Johnson will be flying home to California, and I'll be starting my last transfer, crazy how fast time goes by! 

One fun thing that happened this Sunday is that someone in the English ward bought a whole table full of chocolate covered things, and chocolate bats, and said people could have them. So everyone in the building was walking around with a bunch of snacks and all the kids were getting hyper after swiping some chocolate bars when their moms weren't looking, haha it was a very entertaining Sunday.

One thing that I wanted to throw in is something I was reading about in my personal study. I was studying the story of king David and Saul and I saw something that I never really saw before. There was a lot of times when Saul was trying to kill David, and David ended up getting the upper hand and sparing Saul’s life (Like when Saul fell asleep in the same cave David was hiding in). In doing this, and being righteous David helped influence Saul for good, and Saul stopped some of his wicked actions. It made me think a bit about the story of Ammon sparing King Lamoni’s fathers life helped him see how much Ammon loved his son Lamoni and  influence both him and many of the Lamanites to come to Christ. These are two examples of how our Christ Like actions, and our good works can help others around us gain or strengthen their testimonies. Of course our actions don't have to be as dramatic as these two stories, but I have a firm testimony that if we are striving to be Christlike by forgiving others, doing small acts of kindness, and sharing our testimonies, we can help influence all those who are around us for the better. I have seen how people's actions can do this many times on my mission.

Anyways that us all for now, I love you all and I will talk to you next week (: