Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27

district activity, we went to a museum

This week we had a great stake conference that was half by the stake presidency and half by Elder Nash and Elder Pino from the 1st quorum of the 70, sister Wixon, and Elder Holland. They talked a lot about tithing since the area really has a hard time paying their tithig. There were a few great stories told, like one by Elder Holland. He talked about a family in Mongolia who heard from the missionaries forever ago. They didn't know how to read English, and back then the Book of Mormon wasn't translated yet into Mongol. So The missionaries talked about Jesus Christ, adn since they had a different religion, they didn't have a testimony of our Savior. The missionaries translated by hand one verse form the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 11:10, and the family read it and prayed and got their testimony. They were baptized a little after and spent years faithfully in the church even until the Book of Mormon was published in Mongol. I really liked that story because it talked about the power that prayer and the holy ghost have, combined with the Book of Mormon, to strengthen people´s faith in our savior and in the restored gospel.

Elder Nash also told a great story about one time when he went fishing and his dad told him that when the bobber moved, he had to yank on the pole to get the hook in the fish's mouth. He did so and yanked so hard that the fish flew out of the water and landed on the ground behind him. He talked about how sometimes, we may feel as out of context as that fish must have felt in that moment, and the importance of staying in places where we can be strengthened so that that won't happen to us spiritually.

In awesome news Yalissa Rodriguez finally decided to get baptized, and the date is this Saturday, November 1st, at 2PM. I would really be grateful for your prayers this week so that she can arrive fine to her baptism and her confirmation, to make that covenent with God.

In other news, I was finally able to run a 5K this week after a few weeks of working up to it, I'm proud of it because in the mission I can't really push myself that hard to run in case I get too tired to work well the rest of the day. So I did a 5K without pushing myself too hard. Before the mission I pushed myself harder to just run a half mile. I have a friend who wants me to run a half marathon when I'm back, we'll see about that...
Well I love you all and hope you enjoyed your trip to DISNEYLAND without me... no but really I'm not that bitter about it.

Elder Wilson

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20

Well this week we couldn´t go to the beach because we were trying to go as a zone and president Searle didn´t give us permission to all go. I might try again for a couple weeks off because we can go, just the problem was trying to go as a zone.
This week we had interviews with president Searle, always an excellent experience. By some of the questions he was asking, I think I should be getting transferred in November but I´m not sure. Last night we had a fireside for the ward here and President came and spoke with his wife. It was really great. I lot of members went and President really motivated them to keep participating in missionary work. We are going to do a lot of follow-up with some of the things he said to make sure it brings fruits. 

Sometimes I don´t know what to say in my letters because each week is basically the same as the last. But I´ll share a couple great experiences and a couple funny ones. Funny first. On Sunday we went to pass by some guy who promised us that he would go to church with us. When we got there, we saw that he was super drunk. It wasn´t the first time we had seen him like that; in fact we made him promise that he wouldn´t drink that morning. So I just really quickly told him that he couldn´t go with us that day because it isn´t good to go to church drunk. He got super mad at me and started yelling at us about how Jesus came to save sinners and not just perfect people, including he told me that he liked my companion better than me, and a ton of stuff like that. Encounters with drunk people are always kind of funny, but also I felt really sad that he was so much a slave of his addiction that he coudln´t go one morning without drinking to go to church.

Yesterday we had two new people at church, Juan Montero and Edgardo Estrada. When we found Edgardo for the first time, he was just talking to us about how churches these days are all just a business, and that all they care about is making people pay "tithing", which for the people here means give the preacher money for him to keep himself, not use for the church like with real tithing. So anyways, yesterday was a bishopric "special sacrament meeting" and the whole bishopric talked about tithes and offerings, and the importance of always paying them. I was dying the whole time because I could see that Edgardo was just thinking once again a church begging for money haha. So we´ll have to fix that all up this week. The area here is really concerned because a lot of people don´t pay tithing and don´t fast or give offerings, so they added a requirement for baptism that we have to teach a special lesson about tithing and also to less-actives. It really is a special commandment that brings a lot of blessings, and I am glad for the opportunity that I have had to pay tithing.

The good experience for this week was yesterday after church we went out with a recent convert to bring the sacrament to a few people. One was a lady in the ward who is really awesome. When we contact in her block everyone says that they have been to the church before since she has brought them. Now she has problems with her nerves and has a lot of panic attacks. We gave her a blessing. The convert is just a priest and put his hands on her head to give the blessing too and I had to explain that he couldn´t yet haha. But then we went to the hospital where the convert´s mom is sick and we blessed her there. I loved that experience to serve and I felt gratitude for the priesthood.

Well I hope you all enjoyed Disneyland, I´m just a little jealous about it.
Elder Wilson

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6

This week was obviously awesome because of general conference. I loved to hear the words of the apostles and prophet, as well as the other general authorities who spoke. What I want to share about the conference isn't so much what I learned, because I know you all watched it too, but what I felt. First off, I felt very strongly the Spirit which testified to me that Thomas S Monson is God's chosen prophet and that the church is true. Second, I felt gratitude for the atonement and for the opportunity that I heave to be a missionary in His name. I felt love for the people and a huge desire to become better as a missionary. I felt that I need to be a little more diligent and always strive to keep strengthening my testimony, because a testimony isn´t something you have or don't have but something you always strengthen, like charity or virtue or whatever christlike attrubute. And I felt rejuvenated to keep working again in this work.

I saw just about everyone from Ciudadela in the conference, since it's in this same stake. It was great to see Eva Ruiz and Pedro Ascencio, 2 converts from there. Eva is awesome. She told me about how she is the second counselor in the relief society, and sometimes she gives classes. She feels glad for the opportunity to serve and learn, but also humbled because she doesn't know much about the church and she can hardly read. She is getting ready to go to the temple to do her own work and work for her ancestors this december. She has since shared the gospel with a few youth who work in her pizzeria, who also got baptized and were with her at conference.

Pedro is also doing great. He was there with his wife, who he has plans to get sealed to soon, and his brother, his brother's wife, and his brother's daughter, all of whom I taught too and who have since gotten baptized. Pedro is the Elder's quorum president there and is of course super happy in the church. I was almost crying when I saw them all there. I didn't see Pedro at first but he came up to me and gave me a huge hug and dragged me over to his family and told me how they're doing. It was great. Plus of course all the converts and less active members I taught a lot while I was there. Now I just have to plead with President Searle to be able to go eat lunch with them on P-day sometime.

Well I love you all and hope you are doing great. I keep you in my prayers.
Elder Wilson