Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015 - "I really don't have a clever subject line today..."

Hey everyone! How are ya doing? Good? That's good. I'm doing GREAT!!!!!!!!!! This is going to be short, due to time, but I will try to get everything in there that is important!

This week has been good! We've still been trying to hit up contacting, to really find those choice people that the Lord has prepared. Sometimes it is hard, like this week we didn't find anyone that was interested, but I do know that they all have a better understanding of the church now, and that is also a win in my book. 

Also, Flora is doing great! We have finished all the lessons with her now! Her only problem is she is really not sure about the law of chastity. We've invited her to pray about it and ask God if she can be able to withstand temptations, and we also have been talking a lot of repentance with her. That is her only problem. She hasn't come to church, due to some problems that she had that interflicted with the time block, but I believe that with time, the Lord will help her get to the church. Of that I don't doubt.

As for Francisco, he is on the pathway of baptism for sure! We have been doing frequent checkups, minus this last week where he couldn't because he went out of town, but he has completely left his addictions and he always tells me how good he feels both physically and mentally!He's also been going good with coming to church every week! We'll have to make sure everything is in order, but he already has plans to come to all of the sessions of conference with us, so we are really excited for the huge progress and for the big change of heart that he has made by following the gospel of Jesus Christ. Wow is this work amazing! So many people have changed in so many ways! I can't believe that I can be a part of the process. It's like I am in Cloud 9! :)

We've had some other good times throughout the week, but man the week when so fast I can't really remember everything! I got to play basketball today in a zone meeting so that was fun! But other than that, I don't really have a funny story or anything to tell that comes to mind. Darn. Haha oh well. 

Big shout out to my little brother Jonah who got the Aaronic Priesthood this week! That is so awesome!!!!!!

Well, it was short like I said... but I hope someone enjoys the email! I love you all! I am in 2 Nephi 28 if anyone is reading the Book of Mormon and wants to see where I am at! haha I love you all and I am praying for you all! :) Que Dios les bendiga siempre. :)

Con amor,
Elder Weiss :)

"I love Spongebob."

"The kid is my neighbor, and ya know, when you wear a sombrero... things go to pictures!"

"The things I am holding is a big cheese grater (The big thing with holes) and the other one is a musical instrument that they play in the DR to dance the bachata (The dance of this country... so many people dance bachata)."

"Someone got glasses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
Don't worry, they're fake..."

"After that, our zone activity today was at a place called Brigham Young school... yep that is right. It was made by a member and I am pretty sure they got permission to use that name, but it was pretty cool! First picture is of just me..." 

"...and the other is with someone from my group, Elder Hayes. :) He's a boss!

"And I put like two pictures of me dunking, since we played basketball! haha"

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015 - "I believe in Christ"

Hey everyone! Hope everyone is doing good! It's been only a couple days since I wrote last time, so I will give you an update on what has happened the last couple of days! :)

This week has been amazing! We have had a really good time working with Francisco. He decided to do a fast to help him with his desires to drink. I didn't know about that choice until after church when we talked and he told me that he has felt a great help from the Lord in his desires because of that decision. Wow... that was just so cool to hear that he understands that the Lord can truly help him. He knows Jesus lives. He has been going a week and a half without drinking he tells me. 

A missionary from this ward just got back from his mission, so we have been working a lot with him as well this week. He really wanted to know our investigators to be able to help us out. So that has been great! 

We've been given that challenge I explained on Wednesday to read the Book of Mormon in 100 days. I just finished 1 Nephi today! I believe that reading the Book of Mormon again has really blessed the work that I am doing in my personal life. I am loving the reading! I am really receiving new insights and things I have never noticed before, and I know it's because I am focused in the subjects I am reading. Plus, I am able to apply it in my teaching! It's been a great help. It has definitely blessed me!

While contacting this week, we found a girl named Flora. She lives alone and she seemed to be somewhat interested in our message. We set a time to go back, and we decided to try and do every lesson with her with a member present. We've had three lessons with her, but I truly believe this woman was prepared by God. We stay in these lessons for about an hour, but it's because she reads the entire folleto every time, and she understands. The first time we went back she had read the whole Restoration and had so many good questions, and so we were able to have the member give her a Book of Mormon, which really made a bond in between the two ladies. After that, we went back in two days and she had read all of the Plan of Salvation, and although she was a little confused, we knew it was more important to stay with her just a little bit longer than usual so that she could understand the doctrine. Then on Saturday we went back and she had read all the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and was in 1 Nephi 6, asking questions like why Nephi killed Laban and all that! But we once again were with another member, and she helped us out to explain the importance of the stories in the B o M and in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She is a wonderful investigator, and I really feel like she was put in our path for a reason. We have given her a baptismal date for the 13th of June, but we are starting to debate on if we should put it closer because of how fast she is progressing! She couldn't come to church due to a problem she had with one of her kids, because she is divorced and lives with just her mom, so she has to take care of three small kids alone, but we are hoping that the members that have come with us to visit her will help us out in getting her to church. We're going to coordinate that with the members during the week.

Anyways, that was our big ending to the week! haha It's super great being here, and I love being a part of this work. Teaching these people is so amazing, and I am so glad that I can be here. 

This work is true and it is from God. We've been given new cards to give out, called El vive, or in English, He lives. I testify that Jesus lives today and works with us. I have received personal revelation of that in my life, and part of that happened this week. I do not doubt it. Jesus lives and directs the church. I encourages you all to share that Jesus lives. We're coming close to Easter! It's the perfect time to do it! I love you all and like always, I am praying for you! Estoy orando para ustedes!

May the Lord bless you all!
Elder Weiss :)
This might be a duplicate picture from Wednesday's blog but I couldn't remember if I posted it.
Just some cute puppies!

Mother's note: I responded in E-chat to Parker to the above email and told him how I was reading in 2 Nephi about the Atonement and the difference between Sin and Transgression and told him what I had learned. This was his response:

Mom... why are you and me always on the same flow? We had personal revelation this week about the difference between sin and transgression. I had a question because transgression isn't when someone doesn't have a knowledge of something, nor is it the fact that someone doesn't have a choice. The difference is a covenant. Why? Adam knew that is was wrong to eat of the fruit, as well as did Eve. They knew it was sin, and it was indeed a sin. But for them it was a transgression. So the reason it was transgression for them at that time was because they were under no covenants. They got their covenants after taking the fruit. What does it say in our baptismal covenant? To always keep the commandments, so before making that covenant, all we do when we sin is we brake a commandment, but that is it. So it is a transgression. Now when we make a covenant and we sin, not only do we brake a commandment, but we also brake a covenant. That is the difference between sin and transgression. We literally talked about this last night. I think that is nuts. Holy cow. But that is how it is. So for the kids that aren't baptized yet but their parents are? The parents take the sins of the kids until they are baptized. You know why? Like it says D&C 88, the fathers take on the sins of the children until they are accountable. Now when the child gets baptized, that is when they make sin. But James 4:17 tells us that if we don't know something is sin, it doesn't fall upon us. It says sin is on those who know what is right and don't do it. So if a new commandment comes out that we don't know about, and we learn about it, we aren't in sin. Now if we keep going with what we were doing, and it brakes that new commandment, then sin falls upon us. But that is okay, that is why we have the atonement. So you and me, regardless of what happens, are always sinning, not transgressing, because we are under covenant. Only those who aren't under covenant are the ones who transgress. So wow... pretty nuts how we both thought of that this week.

Some boxing gloves, because we are boss....

And Elder Millward and I being us. :)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 -Jeffrey R. Holland, Temple Trip, and the Work of the Lord.... Full Week and a Half!!!

To start off, I would like to thank the Relief Society in the ward that sent me some valentine's cards! They were awesome! I really appreciated them! Also to all the other cards that I got this week. I always read them! And they are always appreciated! So thank you! :)

You are going to have to forgive me.... It's been a week and a half, and lots of stuff has happened.... I don't know if I will be able to remember every little detail, but I will go over the big stuff!

To start, Elder Millward and I have set up two more baptismal dates! One with a young man we are teaching, named Bryli, and the other one is Francisco!! That is right, Francisco told us he feels like he is ready and he will try everything he can to be baptized! They are both set up for the 11th of April! The work is still pushing forward here! We also found a golden investigator, named Flora, this last week. She has read all about the restoration and already has a book of mormon and she really likes our message! She lives alone with her kids, and she really has interest in knowing if the church is true!

On Saturday there was a baptism for the other two Elders in our house, of a young girl called Genesis. It's nice to see that the whole District is having success!!! :)

Now, onto the part that I know lots want to hear.... On Thursday, bright and early, we left to San Geronimo to listen to Jeffrey R. Holland! I had to go early because I was part of the missionary choir. We did a quick practice before he showed up. I got to sit in the front row ( a little perk of being in the choir ). I liked to call it the spitzone, it's like the splash zone in SeaWorld, just better. haha Anyways, it was amazing. As he walked in we all stood up and it was silent. I was thinking "Is this real? Could this be happening?" So crazy! Remember, everyone in our entire mission was there. Thats 236 or so missionaries! It's the first time in our mission's history that all missionaries have been in the same spot! It was amazing!!! As Elder Holland sat down, the meeting began. We sang a hymn and then prayed, and after the prayer, President Nuckols announced that after the missionary choir sings, Jeffrey R. Holland would take over. So we all got up, and we got to sing in front of Jeffrey R. Holland. Wow. Just wow. I have sent a video of what we sang, but we did it a million times better in front of Elder Holland. When we finished, our President turned around in his seat and mouthed "wow." and gave us a big thumbs up. Jeffrey R. Holland also turned around with tears in his eyes and smiled at us. What a feeling. We all sat down in the spitzone to listen to Elder Holland. He got up and the first thing he said in the pulpit was, "That was the best missionary choir I have ever heard in my entire life.... and I've been doing this a long time." Those words will forever remain in my memory. What an honor and a statement. I kinda melted at that point. Then he personally asked to shake every missionaries hand, so one by one we all got up to shake his hand. He looked me in the eye when I got to him and said, "Hi Elder, what is your name?" I stated my name and told him I was from Riverton Utah and he smiled and said "It's a great honor to meet you. Welcome." Something so short, yet so sincere.... Wow... after we all shook his hand he began his talk, but he walked through us as he spoke, he wasn't at the pulpit, he was in the aisles and right in our faces. Many times he literally was at my side. He hit some amazing points. I'll write down some of the things he said but his main topics was the mission and the Book of Mormon.

The first thing he said is that "you don't have that right to defile the name missionary!" he also later said "if you plan on going home, being the same person as when you were when you left, you can't. When you signed the paper and sent it back to President Monson, that was you signing to the fact that you won't be the same. You can't be the same. The mission is real life, don't say you want to go back to real life. THIS IS REAL LIFE." He spoke with great power and told us he wants us to realize how important the Book of Mormon is. He asked if we realized that the Book of Mormon is a sign, and that like it says in Revelations 14:6-7 is talking about Moroni coming to Joseph Smith and giving him the restored gospel in a book. That was a sign! Then he asked why we thought we put Moroni on the temples and not Jesus? It's because Moroni was the sign of the restoration of the church! He put so much emphasis on stuff I had never even thought about before, it was amazing. Then he explained how Jesus Christ is the cornerstone, but the Book of Mormon is the keystone. We need both. They work hand in hand. Jesus works, and the Book of Mormon secures. It was beautiful how he worded it. He brought up that he has read the Book of Mormon more than 100 times, and every time he does, he starts with a new clean book, marks it up with a certain principle, for example repentance, and when he finishes he gives it away to someone. That struck my President so much that as a mission we have a goal of reading the Book of Mormon in 100 days, marking a certain principle and then after finishing, giving it away to someone. It was a really neat idea, and I have already started! :) Also, he told us we are all apostles, with a lower case a. That is what we are called to be, because an apostle testifies of Christ. Then he said a joke that he was a capital a Apostle because he has keys that we don't have and he told us not to write our families saying "Mom, Dad, Jeffrey R. Holland called me as an Apostle!" because that would be bad. hahahaha! :) He is actually a really funny guy. He made lots of jokes. Maybe that is why he is one of my favorite apostles? Makes jokes, but he is still very serious. Anyways, Jeffrey R. Holland kept explaining many things, but he always tied it to his testimony, that he knew the church has to be true. It also gave me a reassurance.... I know this church is true. I can't deny it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the earth. That I know. I can't and I won't deny that. Ever. As Elder Holland finished his talk and we ended in prayer, he walked away, but he blew a big kiss to us and said in a loud firm voice, "Work hard." I have never felt a real love quitel like he gave us in that moment. It was a love that was directly from God that was coming through him. It's like the love I feel when I am with my family, so sincere and perfect. I will never forget it.

The last big thing was going to the temple today. Wow, it is amazing to me to see how many new things I learn every time I go. And what a big blessing to be in the House of the Lord. I wish I could go more. I'm going to spend a lot of time in the temple when I go home. I love it so much! :)

This week has been amazing. As you can tell, my faith is full, and I love the work! Man is the mission amazing. I bear testimony that this Church is true. That God loves all of us and is guiding us down the path to eternal life. I also testify without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and the most correct book on the earth. It is a sign of God's true church on earth, and it is the way that we can have the fulness of the gospel. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. :)

I love you all and I miss you all. I am praying for you! :)

Con amor, 
Elder Weiss :)

From my (Heather) personal email from Parker: 

I will write a lot about Jeffrey R Holland in the big email. I took great notes, but let me just say, that man has such a testimony. WOW. I swear, after I heard him, I lost all my faith... because faith is something that you believe on... I don't believe anymore about the mission or anything like that... I KNOW. My faith left and it was replaced with the solid fact that I know these things are true. I've known it my whole life. I mean wow, the church is true and the mission is perfect and WOW. I am so glad he came. I already knew all of this before, but his little talk he did with us just pulled out that little chance of "maybe..." and replaced it with "It is true." Wow... I will explain more in the big email!

Mother's Note: This email chat was on Jonah's (Parker's lil' bro's) birthday and he wrote to Jonah personally and talked to him about getting the Priesthood and how special that is and wished him a Happy Birthday.   

I shared with Parker about the comment he made that Elder Holland said that was the best men's choir he's heard, and that I know he heard David Archuleta in the MTC choir before David's mission, so that means Parker sings better than David Archuleta by default. hahaha  Parker said David is a better singer though. :)

I took these pictures just for Jonah,
 its my "tight white pants song" pictures. (From Jimmy Fallon) Also, the jacket I am wearing was a built from
 scratch Jacket I made. What can I say... I love jackets... haha

I forgot to mention, Elder Millward and I got a text
 from our President this week. It definitely made me feel good!

Some friends from our Jeffrey R. Holland conference! Including Elder Haag, and old comp, and Elder Schoenfeld from my group! As well as some other awesome Elders!

Sorry, they wouldn't let us take pictures of Jeffrey R. Holland! haha

Funny Story about my phone...

These are pictures of the night where I accidentally dropped my phone in a small alleyway between our house and the neighbor's house. The alleyway is no bigger than my fingers in width........ Took us two hours to fish it out.... 

including a makeshift pole and all sorts of wacky stuff. But we did get it, and although it was nasty, it is clean and still functioning! haha

Here are some pictures of streets we walk down all the time.

Elder Hope and I at the Temple once again!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015 "Maybe the best week of my Mission."

M.O.M, D.A.D, Y.O.U. A.R.E. A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

Hey everyone! Hope everyone is doing well! 

The subject line, although true in every aspect, has a deeper meaning to it. Although, lets not forget that my mom and dad and the rest of my family are super awesome. Haha... But its an abbreviation for something:

"Month On Month, Day After Day, Years Of Undeniable And Remarkable Energy, And Wonderful Experiences. Solely On Missions. Exceptional."

Okay, so it wasn't that cool... but you get the point. :)

This week may be the best week of my mission. I am not sure, but it was amazing. I am going to skip some regular stuff, such as a couple of appointments and other little things throughout the week. 

Wednesday morning Elder Millward and I got to go to a wedding!!!!!!!!! It was for Yeni and Nicolas!!!!!! Yes! They finally got married! It was remarkable! I took a video and got tons of photos! Those are soon to come. But it went beautifully! 

Friday night we were preparing Yoel, Yeni and Nicolas for their baptism the next day. Also, I've had some sort of thing in my throat since Barahona. Like a whole year. I didn't know what it was, so I went to a member's dentist office to see if she could help me. Well, let's just say I had a little surgery.... She went way into my throat to get this thing out. She said it was some sort of build up that is common and happens to everyone, just because I haven't been to a dentist in a while to get it out. She got it out in like 5 minutes and all is well. It was just annoying because I could feel it in my throat, but it never hurt. Well now it is gone! :)

Saturday was the most beautiful day ever. 6 o'clock hit quickly, and everyone showed up for the baptism. It was a white night, there were so many people dressed in white to baptize. We had a member that was going to baptize Yoel, Elder Millward was going to baptize Nicolas, I was going to baptize Yeni, and another member was going to baptize a little girl that was going to be a ward baptism. So we had tons of people in white! Funny thing though, I couldn't find my white pants, so I had to steal some from the church's lost and found, and man were they tight around the waist. I couldn't do them up! hahah So ya, anyways, after a long long wait, Yeni and Nicolas were finally baptized on Saturday! My first full family in the mission to be baptized! And, Yoel, who will be going on a mission in a couple of years was also baptized!!! What a true blessing. I have never felt so happy in my life. Doctrine And Covenants isn't kidding when it says how great show be your joy if you bring one soul unto me. Yeni and Nicolas have been so patient as well. They really understood the baptism, and it was very hard not to cry as I looked at them afterwards and said, "guys, its done. You made it." They will be strong members forever, as well as Yoel, and I can't help but look at them now and see them in the future, heading to the temple, to be sealed together for time and all eternity. A whole generation will follow them. :) I am happy happy happy. :)  Now, throughout the whole week, I have been telling people that it is my time to leave. Six months here, I started taking pictures with everyone and saying goodbye. Well, when we got back home, we waited for the transfer calls. We got them and the news is.... ME QUEDO. Or in English, I am staying!!!!! I couldn't believe it! I will be staying here to work another transfer with Elder Millward! The President wrote us saying we are doing such a good job, he couldn't separate us! haha So that is that! It's going to be a couple awkward days saying hello again to people that thought I was leaving, but I am more than happy to stay and continue working! Looks like the Lord has other plans for me! So I will be staying until about the 18th of April here. WOW! We'll be working hard, and I can't wait! So that is the news, I stay! :) I am still District Leader, and I am still loving it here! Only funny thing is I have a bunch of pictures of people... because I thought I was leaving, and now, I am not! Oh well, more pictures for me! :)

I know this church is true. It brings a happiness out of this world to be preaching the gospel and seeing children of God enter into the waters of Baptism. I love this work, and the people I am teaching I love even more. I know that this church is the true church of Christ here on the earth. We had a crazy man preach to us as we were on the street, telling us we are evil and making people fall away from God, and I still stand with even a stronger testimony that this Church is the true church. As I testified to him, I testify now that God loves all of His children, and for that reason, He sent Jesus Christ to suffer for us, like in John 3:16, and that because of that sufferage, Jesus is our Savior and the head of this beautiful and perfect church. Of this I testify in our Savior's name, Jesus Christ, amen. 

Love you all! :) You are all amazing! Just to let you know, I will be getting on next week on Wednesday due to the fact that we are going to the temple next Wednesday, so it switched our P-Day, but it will be great because that is Jonah's birthday!!!! :) Happy early birthday Jonah! I will tell you next week as well! :) Love you all!

Con amor,
Elder Weiss :)

Marriage of Nicholas and Yeni!!

Baptism of Yeni, Nicholas and Yoel

Mother's Note:  I had to ask how he lost his white pants. This was his reply:

No I know where my pants are mom! I sent them to go get re-tailored because they are too big around the waist for me now and the guy couldn't get them finished before the baptism. But it's okay, I am getting them tomorrow. I remembered where they are because he just called me to say that he finished them haha so I found them! I forgot I gave them to him. haha

I also asked Parker if he drew those doodles-(Pic. Below). Parker wrote:

I wish I drew those pictures! No, that is Elder Alvarez, that is his talent! But I am trying to learn and do stuff like that. But they are sweet! haha :)

I knew my Sister Alysha and her husband Ryan were going to send an email about their big announcement and told Parker to tell me when he "hears" any news so I know he knows...he wrote:

I hear that Alysha is pregnant!!!! WOW!

We're all excited for them!  We didn't get to chat much longer because he came online late due to power outages.

This Book of Mormon is in a language called Tagalog! I have no idea how it got in our church, but it was cool, so there is a couple pictures. (Filipino language). 

 The scripture is my favorite scripture, Mosiah 4:9. 

"A dog and I!"  (I told Parker it look's like Aunt Tracie's deceased dog Lenny and Parker said this dog's name is Lucie--pretty close.

"My throat surgery!!"
(I asked Parker about this because this was the 1st we had ever heard of any throat problems but he didn't answer me.)