Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mon. May 26, 2014 (Memorial Day)

(Mother's Note:  I warned Parker about what I saw on National news about a virus infecting 55,000 plus people of the DR called Chikunguya. It causes severe joint pain, fevers, vomiting and weakness for about a week spread by mosquitoes...also he said they celebrated Mother's Day for the DR yesterday (on Sunday) and they don't celebrate Memorial Day there.)

What a week! I'll get into it, but let me just start off by saying, yes I know there is a new virus going around, especially in the DR called Chiniquicsma or something odd like that. I hear about it alot. The missionaries are taking special care in staying protected. I haven't got it yet. I am fine, and feel great, so just don't worry about me please. I will be fine! On to the week now!

Tuesday - Well what can I say... we contacted a ton. We found two new families to teach that are awesome so far. We walked a lot. It's, as the locals say, "just starting to warm up"....well I walk outside and I start dripping in a matter of seconds. It's hot. That caribbean sun is brutal. and it's not even at the peak. The peak is in August...oh boy... but contacting in the hot sun isn't fun...

Wednesday - So we did more contacting, and we bumped into a member, who came running at us to tell us she was talking to Dominga earlier that day and that she wanted us to come over. So we went over to her house later that night, and she apologized for what happened. Turns out that guy is a cousin of hers, and he was drinking really bad and hates the mormons and she was afraid to confront him when he was drinking, so she didn't come to the door. Concludes my two theries, one: something was wrong. and two: I did see her that day when they all told me she was in the capital. But she is continuing with the lessons now. She told us she will tell us when she feels ready for baptism, so we are now leaving it up to the Lord. He will prepare her when she is ready.

Thursday - We taught our star pupils, Jose and Dilsi. They still are getting their marriage plans ready and are finding the money to get married so that we can baptize Jose. So that is great. They have great faith. It is amazing the change that I see in them. When I got here, he was a stubborn little man and now, he is the most faithful person I have met. We also taught Franklin. He is reading in Jacob 4 right now, he read all of 2 Nephi in one day, and he just has a strong desire. He is getting baptized on the 7th and things are looking good with him. Other cool story, last week I talked a lot about how the adversary was working against us. Well this week as we were working with a member, he told us one of our old investigators, who has all the lessons and knows all the stuff to be baptized, who was, for lack of a better word, a little brat when we first started talking to her. She had told him she now wants to be baptized. So we went and taught her, and my goodness what a change. She has been coming to church with the member family, she is 13 and her name is Katherine. At first.. we thought she would be the same, but she has humbled a lot and she is reading in the book of mormon every day and came out of her way to tell us she wants to be baptized. She now has a goal to be baptized on my birthday, same day as Jose. The 14! What a good birthday that will be. :)

Friday - Nothing happened of big importance... hahaha I now have 7 months in the mission, it was dad's birthday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD, and our new president of the mission came in today!!! Oh and we taught  a really hiumble guy that speaks English named Alex. First lesson, but I feel like he will go far.

Saturday - Contacting, and I sang a song at a activity in the church for all the mothers, and I made the song and played the guitar with it. That was fun. The members won't stop talking about it.... oh well... haha

Sunday - Good sunday we did a lot of work. Taught Jose and Franklin and Katherine again. All are doing the steps necessary to be baptized, so it is really exciting to see. The adversary worked hard last week, but this week the Lord is on our side. :)

Today - Cleaned the house, studied now I am here. hahah

GOOD WEEK. I am happy to be here, I love it and I am studying hard. Don't know what happened to the guy that asked us to pray for him for killing a man. We did pray for him, just prayed he would get what was just for him. But we pray hard. I have learned prayer is possibly the most important thing you can do. Pray every morning and every night at least. Your life will change. I notice the things I pray for are the things that change for the better. The things I leave out are the things that stay the same. Pray for everything. Speak with your heart, and the Lord will bless you. I love you all! Praying for you all! Happy to be here. The mission is amazing and this life has helped me find a better me. :)

Con mucho amor,

Elder Weiss

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Monday, May 19, 2014 (A tough week)

Holy good gravy this week has been a week. That is for sure. I will jump right into it. This will be long....

MONDAY - So to explain what happened, electricity left, and I had to leave! That is why the  skype session ended midway during my prayer! Sorry! But when we left it rained so hard that day, literally every street was a river. It was a mess. And you better believe I worked in that. I didn't have my umbrella either (WOOPS) So I just took it like a man. hahaha

TUESDAY - We got in contact with a guy that we haven't seen in a while. Julio Cesar. He told us to stop by around 5 this day, so we went with a member. He used to be a pastor in another church, and he has read the Book of Mormon twice, and Jesus the Christ, but never got baptized. He sounded like he had a change of heart, but when we got there he just started going off on us. He was telling us we are evil because we didn't give him 10 pesos (about 6 cents) to go get some sugar for his tea, which we can't give out money because it is sacred. We tried to explain why and he just went off on us. It got to a point where I felt scared and helpless.... I will be honest. I can't explain it, but I saw something inside his eyes. My companion and the member did too. It was not the Julio Cesar we knew that was talking. My companion then stopped him from talking and bore the hardest and most pure testimony I have ever heard in my life. The spirit was so strong, and he just looked around, and said "I need help, don't I?" Very humbling experience. Satan has a lot of power over the people that allow him to enter. We are going to try to help him this week.

WEDNESDAY - So we tried passing by Dominga's who is going to get baptized this Saturday. She wasn't there. But hey, all is good. There is more time. We got fired by everyone, so we went to check up on a new investigator, who is right now learning about the Plan of Salvation. When we got to her house, her brother Victor was there, but she was not. So he had a question. He told us that she said to him that The Fall of Adam and Eve was a good and necessary thing, and he wanted to know why. As we tried explaining it, you could tell he wasn't accepting, and he was trying to fight us. This guy has always been way chill and awesome, but I felt the same way as with Julio Cesar. Helpless. We ended that before it got to far and left. We asked him to pray and he shot us down. Said he wouldn't do it. Can't help him if he can't pray.

THURSDAY - We had a meeting as a district. We played dress up, because we were awesome, and I dressed up as Gadianton! The robber! Super fun. Unimportant though. We once again passed by Dominga's and she had "left for the capital"......so ya...... don't know what to say. But we worked hard. Had good success. People started listening. I may have gotten a little heat stroke, but its gone now. But we worked hard.

FRIDAY - Pretty basic day, until night time. We passed by one more time to Dominga's, and I saw her walk through the house, and she saw me. So now I know she is home. Then a man, who we have never seen before, and is super drunk at the time, comes to the door and tells us she is in the capital and isn't home. Lies to my face. So I start asking to talk to one of the daughters, and he then tells me she doesn't want to talk to us anymore, and that if I don't leave he is going to hurt someone. So we left, and I didn't feel right, and my companion didn't either. Then we saw this guy leave. So we wrote her a note and put that in the door that said call us if there is something going on, but we will stop passing by until you contact us. She hasn't called.

SATURDAY - So obviously, the baptism didn't happen. I honestly feel like we've lost her as an investigator too, which is sad.... but there is nothing I can do. So we just contacted a lot all day and tried everything we could to find more people to teach. We found a family who seems really interested. We also taught Jose, Manuel, and Franklin all throughout the week and they still have a huge desire to become a member. However Franklin told us he couldn't come to church because he had to go to the hospital because he really really wanted to attend but they couldn't change the time. But ya, that was Saturday! Lots of walking around really!

SUNDAY - Church was good. Again I wore a suit to church because one of the Elder's in my house is leaving and asked me too. So ya.... After that though we went contacting all day. As we were walking home, a guy came up and said "Do you guys know how to pray?" We were like, duh. Then he asked us to pray for him because the police were looking for him because he killed a man. Again, got the same feeling.... and it was the same feeling like when I got robbed. I will be honest, I think he was loaded. But we stayed calm and told him we would pray for him and he left. We were not harmed, nothing was taken. It just scared me and my companion a little. Man was Satan working against us this week! But, moving on, at night the transfer calls came. Elder Serrano is leaving, and I am staying with Elder Haag for another transfer. But I know the situation in the house will get better, because Elder Serrano is a lot of the problem! But that is what happened, so me and Elder Haag will work hard together for another six weeks!

If there is one thing I learned this week is that the adversary is oh so real. His power over people is scary, but he only can overpower people that allow him to. But I learned a more important thing this week: The power of the Lord is greater. When we had conflict and I felt Satan's presence, it was always a testimony or some power of the Lord that ended that. Whenever I felt scared, I came to peace with the power of the Lord. Turn to him. He will help in all things.

I love you all! Dad, have a great birthday this week! You are all amazing and I love you sooooo much!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Weiss :)

A Gadianton Robber!

One of my (mom's) favorite pictures so far!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014 (Skype with Parker for Mother's Day)

We were able to Skype with Parker for Mother's Day! In the D.R. they could only get computer access on Monday so we Skyped with him today. We checked out of school and came home from work so we could all see him! It was great to hear and see him.The computer he was using had trouble with the sound so he had to wear headphones to hear us and us to hear him. He looked and sounded great!!

Parker updated us on the investigators he's met and having 3 upcoming baptisms. One for this Saturday, one on the 7th and one on his birthday, June 14th. He's had great success. All that hard work and tracting has led them to some great people.  He mentioned how he's getting along with his conmpanions and there might be some changes coming next week. He has seen a poisonous centipede as thick as his arm and a spider as big as two tarantulas. He's eaten chicken feet which is considered a delicacy. (Ick) and also ate dog. He thought it was chicken and when they told him it was a dog he felt horrible!. "The poor dog." he said. A woman tried to get him to eat rat but he couldn't do it.

He send pictures. The ones from the beach were from today. (Monday). He was excited to be able to go to the beach. While sitting on the rock the waves splashed him and he got a bit wet, but that's all the water he was able to enjoy. :)  He also liked the little cave there. Yesterday he and his companion, Elder Haag went to church in their full suits in honor of Mother's Day. They dressed up for us mom's even though it was super hot yesterday. The members were very impressed because no one ever wears their full suits. (Unless it's their last week before they go home for good...they were asked that too.) What a sweet gesture!  We talked more about personal things and then he bore his testimony and gave us a challenge to read our scriptures and pray together. At the end he prayed in Spanish which was amazing!

In the picture with the Mother's day sign is Parker, Elder Haag, (standing on left), Elder Montoya, (standing on right) and Elder Serrano kneeling on right.




Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

What a week it has been!!! I will explain it all way fast! But to explain a couple of things first, let me write this....

We have been teaching Dominga, of about 50 years of age. She has dropped her fecha now twice on us. She keeps saying she isn´t ready. One thing I have learned on my mission, the adversary is real, and he is working hard against us. It is so hard to find new people to teach or to walk around all day and just contact and to see no results. But, I do it with a smile and it all works out. I hope and pray Dominga will be ready for the wonderful convenant she can make. 

We found a man in a wheelchair while contacting, the one I have mentioned before... Let me explain the story: As we started to talk to him, we realized his wheelchair is from the church!! We thought for sure he was a less active member, but turns out he just found the wheelchair, and he has always wondered what church was the church he was represented. He may very well be the most prepared person I have met to hear this gospel. His name is Franklin, and we have already gave him a fecha for the6th of June. He will be an awesome member. He is temporarily paralized from the waist down, hence the wheelchair, but he is awesome. I love him. He visited church this last week and bust into tears telling me that this is the church he has been searching for. If all goes well, he will be another amazing member of this church. 

Remember, the blessings will come. I have been put on my knees many times during my time here. The burden seems to hard to bare, but I know that the only person that can bare it, is my Saviour. The blessings will come. Seek his guidance and stay obedient, and you will see the blessings pass by day by day. Its such a blessing I have to be on my mission. I wouldn´t trade this for the world! Keeping you all in my prayers! 

This week we have done a lot of contacting every day to try to find more people to teach and we have found a little bit of promise. Things are looking up in the area for us. Not a lot happened day by day that I can remember. On Sunday I had 3 hours worth of church and 3 hours worth of meetings... WOOPEE. But hey, people are gettting prepared to hear this gopsel, so I am happy about that! That is all for this week! I love you all!  :)

Haz lo justo,
Elder Weiss

Friday, May 2, 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

WHAT A WEEK. I´m jumping right into it. :)

Tuesday - Basic day. Had a bunch of sitas or as they say it in english,
appointments. So ya, lots of our investigators have lost desire to do
anything, so we gave them little harsher lesson about the importance of
doing your part and we decided as a companionship if they don't come of
Sunday to church that we have to leave them, because they just arent
progressing. So that was this day. Just a lot of those.

Wednesday - Okay so Tuesday night all the other Elders from our zone came
to sleep in our house, because Wednesday morning we had to be up and in a
bus to drive for two hours to go have a conference with the president and a
bunch of other zones, like regular. So at 7 in the morning we were on a bus
and we didnt get to the other chapel until 9 30. Shows how far away we are
from civilization. Rocked though. More sleep. ;) But when we got there, we
could tell something was up. Our President leaves in May, that is when his
mission finishes, but at this conference, we found out, in a very sudden
way, that he is leaving this week. So like, this Tuesday, our President is
done. It was a very very sad meeting, but chocked full of the spirit. It
was so strong. I have gotten really close to our President here. But hey, I
hope one day I will talk to him again. So ya, big shocker day for that one.
We couldn´t work today either because we got home so late, so ya, oh well!

Thursday - Worked hard. We talked to Dominga about being prepared for her
date for baptism on the 3rd. She told us that she isn´t ready right now. .
. . so sad, but we changed her date for the 17th of May, and we are
preparing her harder than ever for that. We know she knows its all true,
she just has to take the jump of faith.

Friday - To be honest, we contacted a lot this day. Our new investigator
Franklin, is temporarily paralyzed from the waist down, and he just may be
the most prepared person for this gospel I have ever met. He told us he
wants to be baptized in the one true church, the Church of Christ, but he
hasnt found it yet. He listens to us very intently and when we finished
teaching the Restoration to him, he told us "This is it. This is the church
I have been searching for." Powerful spìrit. Amazing man. We are working
really hard with him. Another girl we met this day seems to be prepared as
well. Her name is Elizabeth, and she understands a lot. So we´ll see how it
goes with her-

Saturday - We started a special fast for our investigators this day. It was
good. We worked way hard. We had 9 sitas (appointments) and 22 contacts
just this day. Sadly though, as we were walking, it was really dark, and I
ate it hard in the night. I got soooo torn up on my hand. IT HURT. But don't
worry. I am fine and cleaned it really well. I´ll send a picture. Hahaha

Sunday - We had 4 investigators at church, including Dominga and Elizabeth,
our new investigator. So that was great! They learned a lot I believe. We
also had a ton of meetings so we couldn´t do a lot today. But it was
awesome to have a lot of interest this week. However, we did end up
dropping 4 of the investigators that showed no interest. The desire is
gone. Sad, but we can't force people to choose the right.

Well that was my week. Short and sweet. Mom, I will be calling via Skype on
Mother´s Day, so I will explain more as time winds down to that, but I just
wanted you to be aware that you´ll get to see this good looking kid again.
And by good looking, I mean moderately decent looking, or even ugly man....
You choose. But you will see me! Hahah I love you all! Keep studying the
scriptures. Thing I learned this week: People are ALWAYS watching and
learning from your example. It doesn't matter who it is. We are the ones who
are here to set the example for what we stand for as a church. Let's not
waist the opportunity to let someone know about the gospel just because
they think we act a certain way. Let them know, with power, that we are
Mormons, and we do have a message that can bless their lives forever.

Con mucho amor,
Les quiero,
Elder Weiss