Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014 (Transfers)

Wowzers, has a lot happened this week! I will jump right into it!

Tuesday - Well I got up bright and early and said goodbye to Elder Haag. Boy did we have lots of struggles. It was 10 rough weeks, but I learned a lot, and I am happy for what he taught me. He left to be a new zone leader. Then me and Elder Montoya waited for our new companions. Elder Montoya got one of my best friends in the mission, Elder Peña, from Belice. The kid is amazing, and I freaking love him. He speaks English and English Creole, and we get along way well. I got Elder Quiñonez, who is from Guatemala! My first Latin companion, and I am super excited! We are good good good friends already! I like him a lot! We have no problems! I am the senior companion, because he only has five months in the mission, but he is an amazing kid, and just so open to everything and hates fighting, so we'll be getting along just fine. :) Oh, other cool little story, Elder Hope is in my zone again! He got transfered out here! Cool stuff. Missed that kid!!

Wednesday - We went around and I introduced my new companion to the area and to the members. It was good. He is so lost in the area. It is big, but he will learn!

Thursday - Elder Peña caught the Chinconguya, so I stayed home with him while Elder Montoya and Elder Quiñonez went out to work! I learned lots, I got to study lots and it was fun.

Friday - Just been teaching hard good lessons. I feel the spirit in the lessons really strongly with my new companion. We get along great! Taught a very key lesson with Dominga this week, and it was super needed. Talked about the importance of doing what you say you will do. Turns out she stopped reading the Book of Mormon and we encouraged her to start again.

Saturday - We went to the Reception of Jose and Dilsia. The church did a reception for them to celebrate. Super spiritual. They asked each one of them why they loved one another, and Jose burst into tears, then told me later how much he loves his wife and how grateful he is to be able to be married to her. It was a very happy experience for me. Plus I got cake, bonus!!!!!

Sunday - I got to go with Elder Montoya to another area, called Neyba. It's an hour away from our house, but we taught a class in their church that day, so it was fun to kind of see the other area. Then we came home and worked in our area. Crazy story, when me and Elder Quiñonez were walking home, there are a bunch of bad kids in our area. We walked past a group of them and I saw a gun in their hands. I got nervous, but I walked confidently. As soon as we got out of this open area, we were on our street that has our house, and right behind us I heard gun shots. I booked it to the nearest store, but I turned around to see what happened, and I saw a kid, about my age on the ground, struggling for breath. I watched him take his last breath, then his eyes closed, and he stopped breathing. The kid died. Then I heard the ambulance and I watched these murderers just run away, leaving this kid dead in the  street. It was a sad scene, but I ran back to the safety of my house. When we got inside, I heard more gun shots, and I realized it was two gangs fighting it out, just down the street from our house. They have never been that close to the house, but we were alright. I am once again grateful for my life. It was a close call, but I am okay. I feel sooooo sad for that young boy though. His life was taken from him, cruelly. But that is life here.

Today - Elder Hope came over with his companion and we just chilled at the house and told stories. It was fun! I hit 8 months in my mission today! YIKES! The time flies. But I love it here! :)

It was a great week. I have noticed, without the spirit, it is hard to testify. We need to have the spirit in order to tesitify of truths. I know this gospel is true. With the spirit I feel in every moment, I can testify and have that spirit bear witness of its truth, but without the Holy Ghost at my side, these people will never accept the gospel. Big key factor in being a missionary. I love you all!!!! Hope all is well! May God ever bless you in ever step of your life! I love you all! I pray for you and miss you!!

Elder Weiss
Hazlo justo

It's cantaloupe season!

The Wedding Cake from Jose and Dilsia's reception

Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014 (Birthday and Baptisms!)

May this email serve its full purpose of describing the week, with the least amount of sarcasm as can possibly be rendered, filled in with a soul filling triumph of pure energy of love and perfection.

I have no idea what I just said... on to the week. Hahah

Tuesday - I had my first interview with the new president. He is a really great guy. I just feel connected to him, and his wife reminds me a lot like Grandma Weiss, just super sweet, super nice, and always willing to help out. She also has shorter hair, and she has had problems with her leg before, so I just thought a lot of Grandma as I talked to her. Nice lady though. President told me he can't wait to be able to work really closely with me in the next coming months. 

Wednesday - Great way to start off this day!!! We got to go and watch Jose and Dilsia get married! It was a little bit of an effort. There were lots of papers to be signed, but through it all, I handed over the money, they raised their hands to the square, and were sworn in by law to each other. Beautiful experience. The first marriage I have seen so far, and I have never seen two people so happy. It was amazing. I was so happy for them. Anyways, after that cool experience, we taught a lot of first sitas this day. Sad story is that we have been trying really hard to find more people to teach because for some reason, all of our investigators keep leaving or dropping us. So we are just contacting a lot, trying to find something new, a new spark. It teaches a lot about patience. Just have to be patient until you find that one golden person. And we all know I am one who struggles with patience. Maybe this is the Lord helping me to better understand this priniple?

Thursday - So we taught Elizabeth today. She is still unsure about the whole marriage thing, but we are working with it. She is slowly getting more open to the idea. We taught Yoledi too, who is our star 14 year old. She is now reading in Alma, and I think she may understand this gospel better than I do. But as I explained before, sad things happen.... she is leaving to go live in the capital until September, so she too is now gone. We are now down to four people to teach. Elizabeth, Dominga, Yanei, and Manuel. It is just hard, but just means MORE CONTACTING!

Friday - My companion caught the chinconguya, so we stayed home the entire day. I just studied a ton. I felt bad, it was his first time ever being sick on his mission.

Saturday - What an amazing birthday it was!! I had a fever, but that didn't stop me from going to the baptisms!! Jose was baptized, and so was Katherine! They were so prepared! It was so fun to watch them grow and learn. I was honored to be able to baptize Jose. Good day. After the baptism though, I got really bad in my health. I ached all over, couldn't eat, and had a horrible fever. You guessed it, I got the chinconguya. Let me just tell you, this is the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. It was not fun. But, hey, life moves on!

Sunday - Yep, still had the chinconguya. But I did go to church, but then I stayed home that whole day. Lots of water and juices.

Today - Still have the chinconguya. The fever has left but I still ache. But I am fine! I am living!

Hard week to work, but that is okay! You work with what you got! I am happy I had the experiences that I did this week! I learned a lot! It was a good week! I am 19 now (crazy) and ya. Life is good! May the Lord continually bless you all! I am praying for you all! And to dad, Happy late Father's day!!

Elder Weiss

(Parker's reply to his mom's separate letter...we sent him pictures that showed us celebrating in honor of his birthday).

Sounds like a fun week! The pictures rock! I like them a lot! Dad seems to be rocking his "I'm better than all of you" face with the sign and the french fry. hahaha It was a good week. Can I just say I miss Goodpapa really bad right now? An adjustment would be heavenly right now because I am in a lot of pain (READ WEEKLY EMAIL TO UNDERSTAND) I love you mom! Glad you guys celebrated in a fun manner! Sounds fun! I had a good time! Anyways, my companion is leaving. We got transfers, and he is done here so I will be getting a new companion tomorrow. So ya! Love you mom!

Elder Weiss

(Mom's reply...)
Love you too. Real quick, you can stretch (hang) over the back of a couch upside down and that might do a smaller type adjustment. Or have your comp do it like Goodpapa taught you how to help me. Try to find Aleve, that helps aches. Excited to hear about your new companion too. Wish we could talk more. Love you so much. I'll pray for your health too this week.  Hugs!

(Parker's sarcastic reply..LOL...)

Thanks mom! If I had a couch I would do that, but we don't have couches, because we AREN'T AMERICAN MISSIONARIES. Hahahaha Love you! Hugs and such!

Elder Awesome
I mean Elder Super cool
I mean Elder Weiss

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday, June 9, 2014 (Had a Baptism!)

What an amazing week it has been! I will jump into it!

Tuesday - Oh man what a day it was. We just taught and taught and taught. We had so many appointments with all of our investigators. But a key one was with Franklin. He had read all the way to Mosiah in one day, and he was in 2 Nephi 3. So wow. The guy is just so prepared for baptism it hurts.

Wednesday - Good day. One of our investigators, Yoledi, who is 14, decided she wanted to try to beat us in reading the Book of Mormon. I am currently in Mosiah, and she was in the first chapter of Second Nephi. She got all excited and said that she would "easily win". She is a very prepared girl, despite her age. We had a question for her, and she could perfectly explain Moses' Law to back up her theory. She knows a lot about gospel things. It's exciting to see the Youth involved too.

Thursday - We taught good old Katherine today, who will be getting baptized on my birthday! She is prepared too, and she is only 12. She doesn't understand completely the first time, but she definitely works hard to find out.

Friday - Okay, so we have been working really hard towards getting Jose and Dilsia married so that he can get baptized on the 14th, my birthday. He was looking for a way to find money so that he could pay his marriage, but it wasn't working, but he desperately desired to find money, and if he could find some, to pay back the debt he owed. I prayed long and hard about the situation and decided I should help in the cause and be the debtor. So I pulled out the 2000 pesos which I think is like 40 bucks, so that he could set up his marriage. He has promised me he will pay me back and signed a hand written contract to do so. It was fair to him, because there would be no interest, I just want the money back that I gave away, no more, no less. And also, I would be helping him with that. So then we went down to the marriage office, and they will be getting married this Wednesday. I will be the one personally handing over the money so that I know it is going to the marriage. I feel like this is my way of helping in his path to baptism. I went on an intercambio with Elder Paulino this day, or a fake transfer you could say, and we gave the baptismal interview to Franklin!

Saturday - Had a really cool experience. A bird landed on my shoe and chilled for a bit. That was cool. But the REAL cool experience is that Franklin was baptized!!!!!!!!!! It was a baptism I will never forget. He is still paralyzed from the waist down, so I got to help with the baptism. So me, my companion, and a member, all got to be in the font with him to help in fulfill this sacred covenant. It was cool. The other two missionaries who live with us also had a baptism. It was just a super happy day. :)

Sunday - Franklin was confirmed a member, and received the priesthood, and was ordained a priest. Super amazing to just see the change in him. I love it. I am so happy I was here to help be a guide in his journey. He will be an amazing member. Pictures to come, I promise! haha

Today - We just cleaned the house big time. Our mission president is coming to our house tomorrow to inspect it, so we DEEP CLEANED. It was fun. Like they say here, if you aren't dirty, the house isn't clean. If you are dirty, the house is clean, and you move on to the next project. Hahaha good little rule to live by.

I am so happy to be a part of this great work. This gospel is amazing. I have seen it bless a man's life this week, and I plan on seeing this same joy twice on my birthday. Am I excited to be 19? It is a little strange.... but am I excited for the baptisms? OH YES. I have seen this gospel change lives, including mine. I am proud of the decision I made to come on my mission. It may not be easy, but boy is it worth it. Les amo mucho!!!!!!

Con Amor,
Elder Weiss
Jacob 1:19 - How to fulfill a calling.
Franklin's Baptism!

A large moth
Parker received his Birthday Package!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014

Its been quite a week here in Barahona, so I will get right to it!

Tuesday - We have been working really hard with José and Dilsi with their marriage. We have been talking a lot about sacrifices with them. They have been setting apart a lot of money for their marriage. It is just a blessing to see the fruits of their labors taking place. Although, their son, Manuel, is getting prepared to receive a goal for baptism too. He understands the doctrine, and he has just been awesome.

Wednesday - Happy birthday to Sydney!! Hope the day was fabulous!!!! It was a good day here! Very hot as usual here, and just super fun! :) Did a lot of work with Katherine this day, preparing her for her baptism on the fourteenth. She understands so much about the gospel now, it amazes me! I am so happy to see her outstanding growth, from being a little bit of a brat at times, to becoming completely humbled by the Lord. Really amazing.

Thursday - We had a big zone conference this day. So, woke up at 5 to leave and go to a conference that lasted all day. Our new mission president is finally here! He is awesome! From California, 6´4 and just super down to earth happy guy. I like him a lot, and I feel a very special bond with him. I feel like he will help me a lot in my mission. But that was my fun Thursday.

Friday - We did a lot of contacting. It was hard, because the heat hit good and hard..... I got a little bit of heat stroke because my companion likes to run to appointments, and well, I have to stick with him.... not fun to do in the blazing heat, when I am already pouring sweat, but hey... do what the Lord and my companion wants, right? Hard day of contacting, but worth it. We also went and visited Franklin to talk about his baptism coming up on the 7th. I will explain what happened with him in the next day....

Saturday - I did my first and ever home teaching as a missionary. I went on splits with the Priesthood Quorum Elder to help him with his home teaching, while his companion went home teaching with my companion. Very fun. He is the happiest person I have ever met... Why? His happiness comes from the gospel. He puts all his faith in the gospel and he loves his life. He´s been divorced. Lots of people have done horrible things to him, like lied, stolen, cheated on him. But he always is laughing and smiling, because he knows his church is the true church. Big lesson I learned with him. Other thing I learned this day. When me and Elder Haag got back together, we visited Franklin again, who caught the chikunguya, which is really bad stuff. This was Friday, We gave him a priesthood blessing, telling him that he would be able to come to church with the faith he had. Then he told us, on Saturday when we passed y again, as soon as we left, he felt fine, got hungry, sat up and ate for the first time in three days. The sickness just left his body. The power of the priesthood is real. I bare witness of its divine power, and how it has helped others in their lives.

Sunday - We had 5 investigators at church, which is part of what I was fasting for. I fasted really hard and skipped on three meals. I wanted blessings. Hahaha but boy was I hungry. The rest of the day we visited members and we had a meeting with all the presidents of the quorums and groups in the church. One thing I must say...never gossip about the people you are trying to help. Find solutions to help them, not to talk bad about them. Big problem here.

Today - Had a big zone party thing. It was fun. I played basketball! That's all we did. Whoopee!

I love you all. This church is true. It was an exciting week, and I have learned a lot. I am reading in Jacob 5 right now. Anyone who can pass me in a week, well...... they will get a special photo that I will send. Challenge... hahah I challenge you all to read in the Book Of Mormon every day and pray every morning and every night. It has blessed my life. Love you all! Praying for you all, every day! Keep doing all the good things in life. Hazlo justo!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Weiss