Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

It has been a great week! To start off, we actually did not end up having to be in a trio this week. We had interviews with our President this week on Tuesday and he told us he was going to send us a missionary that day, so that night we got Elder Perez, a Dominican. So the house has had four elders the whole week. Also, I had a meeting with all the leader missionaries in the mission on Wednesday, and they really hit hard and being the best of the best we can be at all times to really show the other elders that we can have success in all that we do. President Nuckols shared Alma 43-57 with us, and I loved the chapters. It talks about a great leader, Captain Moroni. To me, he was just a great, obedient missionary. The scriptures are so easily relatable to today and the mission work. The meeting just really got me to want to try that much harder. I guess you could say it relit the fire that much more. 

Elder Millward and I have really been focusing on finding some new investigators this last week. We've been going up and down every alleyway we can find. And let me just say, wow.... there is so much Buenos Aires! Haha we keep finding new twists and turns and places I've never seen. So it has been a good way to get us back up in swing. I feel with Elder Perez in the house is going to help Elder Millward out big time with his Spanish. We've really switched from talking English to Spanish. I feel like it will help him big time. Also, I am grateful for the transfer calls that you gave. I am super excited to work here another transfer! I know there is something big in store, and I am eager to figure out what it is. You never know until you put your shoulder to the wheel, right? :)

We have a couple of investigators that are getting close to being baptized. With a little more preparation, I feel like there will be some strong new members in the ward. Yeni and Nicolas however are still waiting on their Birth Certificates. I feel like Satan is really working hard against them, because he knows that they are so prepared. It's just become a wait against time, but we aren't giving up the faith that they will be married and baptized soon. It's just a test of patience at times. Fransico is still just going really strong. He has completely forgot about his doubts and is really just pushing hard to be more Christlike. He reads all the things we give him and I am still super impressed by his questions. Heavenly Father definitely put him into our path for a reason. At times I feel as though I am learning more from him than he is learning from us. We've also been able to find some really cool people through contacting a lot. You wouldn't believe how many menos activos (less actives) there are!!! I don't get it.... yet at the same time I do. How can someone lose a testimony that was given to them from God? Yet at the same time I understand, because even as I am on the mission, I still at times begin to question myself and our teachings. Satan has a power that he uses to steer us off the path, to get us to let go of the iron rod, but we also have a power, much greater than his, that comes directly from our loving Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father protects us, and through the atonement, Jesus Christ helps clean us, so that we are able to be bearers of that great and glorious power. Something to really consider is that we are children of a King. A King above all kings in the earth. We have a special bloodline, and Satan's followers do not. I feel like for that reason, all those who have lost the faith can easily regain it, because they have the same bloodline that we do. So I am getting really excited to work with some new menos activos. In Spanish "Busca la fe!!!" In English, "find the faith!"

 Also, we are trying to work a lot more closely with the groups in the church, especially the bishopric, to really give our investigators a good support from members, to feel comfortable with the big change they are taking in their lives. It's exciting for me to see such progress in the area. 

Now, to let you know what happened... it is transfer time!!! And we got the call, and I am so happy to say that I have been called to stay here one more transfer and work in Buenos Aires as District Leader! So I will be here until the beginning of March, and I am so ready to give it my all! Love you all, may the Lord bless you in all that you do! Busca tu fe, y guardalo para siempre! :)

Con amor,
Elder Weiss :)

Mother's Note:  I give Parker news of our family and he was thrilled about Pat finding a job!! And when I told him about Andrew finding a job in Wisconsin this was Parker's reply: (from our e-chat)...

Even though I think that is way great that Andrew and Alannah are getting a good job and everything, dang! I was really excited to go home and get to know Andrew!!! I BARELY KNOW HIM! But I know he is awesome! I just wanted to meet him a little more... oh well. haha

Parker said he got a package from Josh and Kelly and how sweet that was and he said this about the pictures...

They sent me pictures of Jaden and I kinda freaked! He's so big from how I remember him! I don't even want to picture how everyone looks until I get home! haha I don't want to freak out quite yet. haha

"I also may have gotten some new shades...."

"Wow... its such a weakness of mine. haha"

I cooked Beef strogonaff for some people.
 The guy in green is Nicolas. :)

The girl in pink in this picture is a member.

"Also look! A Coconut Tree!"

My low point. To explain, we were on a rooftop as we were contacting, and lets just say I hit my low point.... I saw air conditioning and satellite and so I went to go steal them... these are the pictures of me in the act.

"Pretty Sunset"

"Our Bishop"

"Our next door neighbors. I got a picture with them at church."

"As we were contacting, we found this really cool place...

...and it has a bunch of ripped bottles
 hanging by string. Really cool. :)"

"More BofM covers I made"

"What I'm doing right now!"

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

Well wow..... lots happened this week, so I am really just going to skim over everything.. haha

To start, remember our investigator Fransico??? Well this week we have really been working hard with him. Thing is though, on Tuesday he was feeling really down. He was telling us how he didn't want to waist our time, that he is a man of the street and he can't change. It was a complete change of character for him... Really strange, but I am so glad we as missionaries were there for him, because we immediately started sharing scriptures and bearing testimony of faith and all that good stuff to try to respark his interest. After talking, he literally said, "wow, I've got some sort of demon in me I swear, I don't know why I feel this way, I know what you say is true. I will try harder to follow God." It was a real blessing that we showed up to his house that day, because he was on his lowest of lows, and we would have lost him, and he is one of our best investigators, so I am so glad we were there to help him, He hasn't missed a week at church ever since we met him, and he is progressing really well now after that setback.

Yeni and Nicolas we are still waiting on for their marriage. They are waiting for a Birth Certificate, so as of right now, we are on hold for that... I'll keep you posted. :)

Also, since we have been working on both sides, I have been working with Elder Alvarez's and Elder Mortensen's investigators as well. We've been teaching a kid called Brian de Jesus this whole week, preparing him for his baptism.. I dunno if I touched this kid in a special way in this short week, but he asked me to do the ordinance for him! So this Saturday, I was able to watch another child of God enter the waters of baptism and make a sacred covenant with their Heavenly Father. And what a neat experience it was to be with him. He is only 11, but I feel a strong feeling that he will stay strong in the gospel, with the help of his parents. His parents are less active, but they have been coming back to church to really show their faith to their son. So that has been great. So Saturday we had a baptism, and it was lovely to be able to lead my first baptism as the Ward Mission Leader. :)

Onto the hard part of the week... We found out this week that Elder Mortensen had to go home to go get his surgery that was long needed. So we were prepping for that... I got to stay in Sunday to be with him.. He was picked up late Sunday night and was taken to the office to sleep there. I believe his plane ride was today, and he should be on the plane now. But let me just say this. I will miss that guy. A lot. Already the house feels different.... I miss him. But I know this was the Lord's plan. And let me be honest, I just saw the best missionary, and the hardest worker I have ever seen leave the mission. And he himself has changed not only the lives of many here in the DR, but also my own life. I will forever be grateful to my Heavenly Father for the chance to get to know him, and I know we will stay long friends. :) But so that all you guys know at home, he was a fantastic missionary, that had to go home for a very good reason. To me, he is a missionary of full time, because he loved who he served. I will miss him. He has changed my opinion on all missionaries that go home early, because I know that it's God's will. God has big things planned for Elder Mortensen. :)

So that is my week... in a nutshell. I know this gospel is true. I love the doctrine, the members, the church, but I truly love Heavenly Father, and my Savior Jesus Christ. They help me out in all that I do and I can only thank them by giving them my best. May God bless all of you. :)

Con mucho amor,
Elder Weiss :)

Mother's Note:  Parker said some more things in "echat" about Elder Mortensen, like how Elder M. gave him his old Van shoes so Parker can keep his legacy alive in the DR (and his mom didn't want him to bring them home. haha) And Parker gave him on of his favorite ties which Elder M. is wearing in some of the pictures below.  Parker said they will be getting transfers on Saturday and up till then they are out teaching as a threesome. He said he's not sure if he'll be transferred, it's up to the Lord. But Elder Alvarez (Elder Mortensen's comp) will get a new companion.  Also, Parker's companion Elder Millward will be done with his training this week.

Parker also said a very beautiful thing to me (mom) which I will share- to show you all what a sweet boy I have. :)
YOU ARE THE BEST MOM EVER!!! Holy cow do I miss you! You have helped me so much in my life, and I see it more and more every day. We have a neighbor, who is great! Her name is Hermana Taveras, and she always talks about when you guys come here she wants to meet you and all this stuff. But I always see her helping her kids, and I just think, wow, I remember that mom did that for me all the time. How I miss that. I dunno, I just keep seeing more and more things that you constantly are doing for me. So remember, I am grateful for you! Keep up on your New Year's Resolutions! I know you can do it! I know working out sucks, I am in my program, but it is totally worth it!!! So keep on chugging! haha Love you big time mom!

You are the best. :)
Parker :)

Eating some spaghetti at a member's house.

Brian's Baptism!

I don't know who the gril is with Parker and Elder Alvarez. I think
these pictures were sent to Kerry with explanations cause I didn't see them. :)

I made some cases on my
 neighbor's Book of mormon and Bible..

 I felt really proud, so here are some photos. I should make a business.. haha

Mom's note: I told Parker he inherited my scrapbooking gene...

Parker said this after my comment:
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh mom, that was awesome! hahah

The baptism of Brian de Jesus. :)

Add caption

Elder Mortensen and I (and Elder Millward in the back hahaha) only a few moments before he left to go to the office.

Oh and to Mom, This picture of Elder Mortensen alone... don't know if you remember getting me that tie long ago... it's been my favorite tie and I have kept it sacred from many people that have wanted it... but I am happy to say that the tie has found the best owner it could have.... :) Elder Mortensen now has my favorite tie. :)

Elder Alvarez and I made burgers for our zone today during a zone activity! Just like Five Guys! :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015 Big week! Crazy week! AND I LOVE IT!!

Where to start! The week has been crazy! 

Tuesday I stayed home with Elder Mortensen in the house. The other two had a real good day! But Elder Mortensen chilled. haha

Wednesday I left with Elder Millward, my companion, and the day went really well. We are working in both areas, and most of this day was in our area!!! We actually met someone knew, her name is Chamela. She is a college student and she is really curious about our message. She is actually really awesome. She calls me Elder Bacano, which is Dominican slang for Elder Awesome. Hardly anyone can pronounce my name... so I have been pegged with plenty of nicknames. Anyways, Chamela is really cool. We also met another really cool girl, named Juliana. She is 14, but she has kind of a crazy story... I will explain that in a second.

Thursday I left with Elder Alvarez, and our first appointment was with Juliana, who we just met the day before. She is a special girl. She looks American... Her dad is from one of the islands near here, but her mom is Dominican. She speaks only Spanish, and like I said, she is 14. Now, her dad has pulled himself out of her life, and she doesn't live with her mom. She actually lives with her friend, who is 16 and a less active that we are also teaching. But Juliana has had some serious problems with abandonment and separation issues... for that, she relies a lot on others. Her big problem is this: At her young age, she is already "married"... or in Dominican terms "living together freely" or basically without being married legally... and she is "married" to a 26 year old. They live together, and it is difficult for her. It was a very surprising thing to hear, because you just don't really expect that.... but we will continue to work with her. I can tell she needs the gospel in her life. She is really eager to learn too. She is actually listening to the Jehovah's Witnesses right now too, so we invite her to pray to find out that out of the two messages, which one is God's true church. You can really just tell she is looking for God in her life.

Friday I stayed with Elder Mortensen, and we actually left at night to go and get his MRI. The Assistants picked us up around 5 30, and we got to the hospital around 7, due to traffic. We paid and all that, then we had to wait for a bit, so Elder McEwan, one of the assistants, and I left to go get some food because we all hadn't ate. Let me just say, the car ride was a blast. I really like Elder McEwan. He is a real cool guy and we get along great! So it was fun to talk to him! We actually contacted a couple of people as we were getting our food, so it was good in the end. Always good to share our message with everyone. That has really become a big goal of mine, to open my mouth and talk to everyone. To not be afraid of anyone, regardless of looks or feelings. Some of the scariest looking people have turned out to be the most prepared and special in my mission. The Lord is just proving to me time and time again that everyone can be prepared for the gospel. You just have to speak. Anywho, we got back to the hospital, our food was soggy, and we had to wait for Elder Mortensen. He finished around 10 30, and we headed home. Didn't get home until about 11. So a long night! But apparently a member left with the other two for the whole day, so it looks like our Mission Plan is coming along slowly but surely!!!

Saturday was good! I left with Elder Millward again, and the day was proving to be a challenge... but we pushed on. We got fired a lot, but we were still trying to find the moments to teach. So we went to a members house, la Familia De La Rosa, and we were spending some time with them. Their father is a less active member, and they also have a recent convert that lives there too. So we are there quite a bit teaching them... but they weren't there that time, so we were kinda just talking, and time was going by.. we were thinking about leaving, but for some reason, I felt like we should stay... soon enough, Nairoby, one of the daughters, got a text from her husband who isn't a member, asking tons of questions about the church by text... so we were able to answer his questions by text.... weird how technology can be such a powerful source... Also, one of the brothers, Wascar, had questions about Paradise and Spirit Prison, so it turned into an amazing lesson by the end. And to finish it off, they made us Spaghetti... can't argue with that! :)

Sunday was good at church! We actually met an old missionary! He served here like 5 years ago and he was visiting! Crazy thing, we have some of his old ties! They are still in the mission! SO CRAZY! The legacy continues for him! hahah Anyways, we ate at our bishops house for lunch, and then, right as we were about to leave, it started to rain... then stopped suddenly... as we were leaving the house, they're steps are tile... so we were being careful of Elder Mortensen with his foot... Well he didn't fall, but Elder Alvarez did! And he felt real bad pain in his back. He landed right on it... He fell down like 5 steps... I'll be honest, it was really funny... but I felt really bad... Then as soon as we got home, a huge migraine hit me, and so we all ended up staying in yesterday. But the week has been a great week. I'm hoping that all goes well for this next week.

Life has been stressful recently, not going to lie. But I am so grateful for prayer, and for that beautiful gift to talk to my Heavenly Father and express my true feelings to him. I know that He is helping me and guiding me on his path. Ya, at times it is really hard, but I can feel the helping hand of my Savior and my Heavenly Father each pushing me forward, even when I feel like I can't keep going. I am so grateful to be where I am and to work every day for the Lord. It's just what I need in my life right now. May the Lord bless you in all your efforts. :)

Con amor,
Elder Weiss :)
"I just really love these pillows" haha

Sunday Lunch

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015 (HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!!!! 2015 IS HERE!!!!)

Happy New Years to all!!! It has been a great end to 2014, and a beautiful beginning to 2015!! Let me begin!

The week has been a little slow due to the situation of people in our home. Elder Mortensen is currently on the "resting roster" which means one of us has to stay in the house with him every day, so we switch off every day on who stays, and who works. But the work has been amazing nonetheless.

Our investigators are on fire right now. They are doing way good! I will give a brief explanation of what is going on with each investigator.

Yeni and Nicolas: They are coming and attending church every week. We are just waiting on Nicolas to get his Birth Certificate, and as soon as he gets that, they will be getting married! Once they are married, they will be baptized that next Saturday. But they have progressed substantially. As we go to their house, they always share their testimony with us about how they know the church is true. We actually passed by the day we had put their  "baptismal goal", which was the 27th, and Yeni told us how she would have loved to have entered the waters of baptism that day and how sad she was that they still aren't truly clean. It was very humbling to see her true desire to follow Christ's example. I know for them it isn't just a thing to do, or a bath as some believe, but they really see the deep covenant they are about to take, and I hope and pray each day that Nicolas' paper shows up, so that they can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Fransico: What a great guy. This week we only passed by once, but his questions were phenomenal, or however that is spelled. He asked some deep questions, that really show his overall desire to know if what we are teaching is true. He also came to the church yesterday, and he was confused about who Joseph Smith is, so we have set up a time tomorrow to go and watch the Restoration video with him. His desire to know amazes me. He tells me that he is a man of little faith, but as we talk, I see more faith and desire to know in him than I have seen in a long time. He studies hard, prays with a real intent and desire to know, and listens so closely to every single word we say. He soaks in gospel doctrine, and just like a sponge, he expands his knowledge. He has a baptismal date in February, but he, if he continues progressing as he is, could be baptized very very soon.

Ana Peña: Ana is a less active we are working with. On Saturday we passed by her house, and we gave a lesson about goals, seeing as it is a new year. She explained a new goal she has. She wants to read one page a day out of the Book of Mormon. It was an amazing goal, and we have given her a chart to track her reading, so we hope that as we go back we will be able to read with her and help her understand what she is reading. She is coming to the church regularly, her only reason for still being less active is that she needs to get married. We are working with that. But we can see her attitude for the church has changed drastically, and in a good way.

Familia Capayan: I don't think I have ever mentioned this family before, but just briefly, I will say that they were less actives as well, but as of this week, they are officially full active members again, and the mother now has a calling in the church. They weren't inactive by any means, they were just a little iffy on coming to church every week, but now they are coming every week. But the cool thing, is that my companion and I have been inviting her to prepare to enter the temple and receive the blessings for receiving her endowments, and I am really pleased to say that she has accepted that decision, and is planning on going to the temple in the near future, which is real exciting!

So those our a few of our most progressing investigators. We do have one sad news though. This week we had to drop our investigator Miguelangel, who played tennis with us. He didn't see eye to eye with us and had a lot of "apostasy".... for example... when we went to tell him we couldn't pass by anymore, he told us we were nuts because the book Joseph Smith wrote isn't true because, as he said "Joseph took it to a professor that was the professor in the area that validated all things if they were from God or not, and the professor did not validate the book that Joseph brought." So basically told us that Joseph took the Gold Plates, which was forbidden to be shown to anyone unless God directed otherwise, to a random professor that said if something was from God or not, and this "professor" guy said no. That is what he believed. I felt a very weird feeling. I knew I had to stand for what I knew and I felt the need to do it. So I very bluntly stated "Well brother, the story you just told me is completely false. 100% incorrect." I bore a solid witness, as well as my companion, that Joseph was a prophet of God. I had to protect the truths that I know are true. I felt a big feeling of companionship, both from my companion, but also from the Holy Ghost. I know we spoke with the spirit in that situation. He did not accept, and we left it at that, with a solid witness of the truth. I felt happy that we did what we did. We stand up for truths, not beliefs. God has manifested all the things I know by the Holy Spirit that they are indeed true. It is not my belief... it is a truth that I know. I know it, and I will stand as a witness, defending those truths of God until the day I die. 

I have received a new calling in the ward! I am now our Ward Mission Leader! It is going to be a new experience, but I am ready to give it my all!

Onto New Years! We celebrated very minorly.... haha.... we stayed in the house. I stayed up until 12, and a couple fireworks went off and I took some pictures. Then, I switched out my calender with the new 2015 one. My "Black Year" is over, and 2015 has begun! The celebration in our house lasted like 5 minutes, then we all hit the sack! 

Once again, I hope Mom had a good birthday on Saturday! I love you lots!!!! :) You are gorgeous and still the best mom ever. :) May all your birthday wishes come true!

I love the gospel! This church is true, and I can't wait to preach this gospel throughout the new year! Que Dios les bendiga!!! :)

Con mucho amor,
Elder Weiss :)

 Just a couple of selfies... haha

This girl is leaving to go on her mission tomorrow to Mexico!
She'll be a great missionary!

 Me changing out my calendar! :) Hello 2015!

The moment the new year came!!!

Elder Mortensen and I got carved machetes,
 made out of wood. From Elder Alvarez! Super cool!

More Selfies! With Elder's Mortensen, Millward and Alvarez