Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015 - First week in San Geronimo

Parker's new companion from San Diego...Elder Porter.
This week has been a crazy yet, amazing week! :) 

Starting on Tuesday, I left Buenos Aires, and I went to my new chapel. There, I actually didn't go to my new home right away. I had to help the Assistants pack and unpack luggages of the people going home all day, so I spent all day with Elder Merrill, one of the assistants, while Elder Porter stayed at the chapel and made sure everything ran smooth there. He stayed there with Elder Peña, the other assistant. But it was super fun. We ran too and fro all day, and about 6 or 7 at night, I finally was able to go to my new home. Let me be honest... the house we live in is big, but it really sucks. There is always light, which is nice, but there is no water. Ever... We are in the process of finding a new one soon though, so let's hope! But the area is awesome! It is a very rich and nice area. Very clean, not that loud. Nice big streets. And best of all, everyone is friendly. It's very "States-feely". I like it a lot, other than our horrible house. Literally, I got to the home, and this thing is old. Missionaries have lived in it for 20 years or more, and well, my first day I broke three doors..... Great... Good start Elder Weiss. Hahah It was funny! But my companion, Elder Porter, is an awesome guy! He is from San Diego, California. He is 22 years old, and he has about 21 months in the mission, so we will probably be together until he goes home, which is fine by me, because we get along super well! He is just like all my friends at home! Also, I live with two other people. It used to be six in this house, but now its only four! Elder Hasler, from Las Vegas, Nevada and Elder Zúñiga from Costa Rica! They are both awesome and make life great!

Being Zone Leader has been really fun! We are always doing stuff so we never really have time to waste, but the days are going by fast due to that! haha I like it a lot! I have lots to learn still, but it is really fun so far!
We have a couple of awesome prepared people here. We have a family of a man, named Jonathan who is a less active man for a long time, and his wife who is our investigator. They are really progressing, and Jonathan is almost reactivated, and his wife really wants to be baptized. She got an answer from prayer that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and so she is really wanted to learn. They just need to be married, but we have talked to the ward about how they can help, and we already have plans to help us so that they can get married. We also teach a lot of people, but I forget their names.... haha I am still new here. And this area is HUGE! So I will be lost for a while! haha

I have loved my time here in San Geronimo so far, and I am really excited to serve! I am over about 18 or 20 missionaries ( They told me 28, but about 8 were taken out when I got here, due to our mission getting smaller ) and it has been great so far! Actually, Elder Nielsen, my companion from the MTC is in my zone and is one of the district leaders, so we get to talk a lot now and catch up which has been awesome! Anyways, I love it here and I am super excited for what is ahead! I love you all! Have a great week! I am praying for you all! :)

Elder Weiss :)

Mother's note: I told Parker the family was voting on my sister's pregnancy on if it's a boy or girl. Here's his vote:  WOW. What a week! I put in my vote that Alysha and Ryan have a girl! :)
Also, here's what Parker said about his new cousin's baby blessing:  Josh has a boss baby with a boss baby blessing. Sweet! haha

On a fun side note- Parker's dad Kerry got a text Sunday night from our Bishop. His kids went to Haiti right before Parker's mission. The text he sent had a couple pictures of Parker with some guy we didn't know and his text said his daughter is FB friends with this guy who lives in the DR (he was their guide in Haiti) and he is now in Parker's ward. The guy told Parker to friend him on FB and he saw that the Maynes were mutual friends of theirs and asked how he knew them. Pretty cool huh. What a small world!  

Attached are some pictures of our big yet crappy house. haha :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015 -Vamos a ver quien entiende....

Well, this week has been yet another amazing week! :)

Well, we have really been making tracks in the ground this week. WE WORKED LIKE CRAZY!!! We visited so many people. Our main focus for the week has been attending church and the true importance of church. We got about 10 or so people to 100% promise to come to church this week, which was a really good!

Skipping ahead a little bit.... because I know there are some people wondering what happened to me at transfer time... Well, Saturday afternoon I got a call.... I have been called to go to San Geronimo (pronounced Hey-row-knee-mow) and I will be going as a zone leader! The President personally called and asked me to take the call. I am honored and I am excited to be a zone leader! My area is literally right next to the area I am in now. Like there are little taxi cars that will take you from my church here in Buenos Aires all the way to the church where I will be serving. I'm really close so all the members have been happy to know that I am still pretty close by. :) My new companion will be Elder Porter. I don't remember where he is from but I have met him and we are good friends already. He has more time than I do in the mission, and I am pretty sure I will be his companion until he goes home, but I am really excited to be close by. Actually, I am in the area where all missionaries come for transfers. That is the chapel that everyone knows in the mission, so I am in a famous area in that sense. I will be in charge of 26 missionaries, 20 Elders and 6 sisters. It's going to be a new experience! I'm sad to say goodbye to everyone, and to Elder Millward, but I know I am so close I will see them frequently. Also every transfer I have to open the church for everyone, so I will see tons of people every transfer change. So that is cool. So really the end of the week I was just saying goodbye and taking pictures. I have said goodbye to everyone already and well, after being here seven months, I feel ready and happy for the work I have done here. I feel ready to leave and I know Elder Millward will keep up the good work in the area, and he'll keep me in touch of everything. 

Sunday we had 8 investigators show up to church, and 7 less actives! It was a true blessing! They got to hear me give my last talk in this area! It went well. I talked about covenants, and well... I took lots of pictures afterward. I even wore my suit for my last Sunday here! Am I nuts or what? 

Buenos Aires is a blessed area and will definitely keep progressing. I am super excited for all my converts here, because they are in good hands. I will miss it, but I have more work to do! :)

Short and sweet... but that was literally the big thing of the week! Love you all! You are all in my prayers! :)

Elder Weiss :)

Mother's Note:  Of course I had to ask more questions about his apartment and how many Elder's share it with him etc.  He moves in on Tuesday (today) so he didn't know too much. Here's the info he told me...

I hear the apartment there has hot water and is one of the nicest in our mission, so i am stoked about that, if it is true! haha and there are 6 missionaries living there, so that will be pretty cool! :)

These pictures are of people in his ward and of food and of a pit bull dog. The Elder's wore their suits for their last time in the area and Elder Alvarez is going home.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015 - Memories for a lifetime!

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing good. It seems so! haha

This week has been great! We are pushing ourselves to our full limit. This week that we are in now marks the last week of this transfer, so we are really pushing for this area so that by the end of the transfer, this area is still just full of investigators. It is pretty sure that I will be leaving here, but I will found that out on Saturday and let you all know Monday.

I really can't remember much of the whole week, other than one big thing. Saturday, one of my favorite people, Francisco, got baptized!!!!! It was soooo spiritual! A man that has gone from so many trials, to becoming a fully changed man by the Atonement of Christ. I had the beautiful opportunity of doing the ordinance for him. As we were in the water together, Francisco started to say a silent pray before his baptism. That moment was so powerful. As I sat there waiting for him to finish, I looked up and saw all the members staring at this faithful man, giving thanks to God for this big moment in his life. It was silent. He finished and was baptized. I gave him a big hug. I was full of the spirit. Francisco truly understands what he did, and he was cleaned of all sin. He was so happy. I wish you all could have seen it! He even brought his mom and sister so they could see this amazing moment in his life. Then on Sunday, he was confirmed the Holy Ghost, then later bore his testimony in testimony meeting. I was so happy to be there with him from day one, and to see his big change of heart. He will stay strong in the church, that I know. 

We had six people come to church this week, and it was really a blessing. We've been trying to get a lot of new investigators to the church and a couple were able to show up Sunday. BLESSINGS!

I found an amazing scripture in my studies this week. Mosiah 12:9. It talks about applying the scriptures to our lives. The Book of Mormon is an amazing book. It's for our times and I definitely see myself applying the principles day in and day out! :)

This is short, due to my lost memory of the week. Thank goodness I write in my journal every day! haha but I didn't bring it today. But, to close, I am very happy! I have figured out how to have a true happiness in life. It's by following the Gospel of Jesus Christ and applying the principles, and sharing these truths with everyone we know. That is why I am so happy all the time. :) 

I love you all and I continue to pray for you all! May God bless you in all your days!

Elder Weiss :)

"A cool area we found while tracting."

"A zone meeting we had."


"Most importantly Francisco's Baptism!!!!!!!!!"

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Monday, April 6, 2015 - La Semana Santa y Conferencia General :) :)

Hey everyone! Hope all is well and that everyone had a great Easter and Conference Weekend!!

In this country, there is no easter, it is called Semana Santa, or Holy Week. And it lasts ALL WEEK LONG. But they celebrate by drinking and partying... not really what you would expect on "Holy Week"... maybe by "holy" they meant it in the way as "Holy cow, you drink a ton" week. I'm not sure. I'll look into that!

The week was of course challenging with all the drunks and crazy people. Our lessons and stuff were hard, and most people weren't home. But we did get a lot of habichuelas con dulces which is a sweet everyone makes this week. Translated it means "beans and sweets" because you know, Dominicans can't not have beans... but suprisingly it does taste really sweet and amazing. I got the recipe, so I'll be making it for sure at home, no worries!

I'm going to jump to the end of the week. This weekend was great! Wow did I love conference! I definitely got a big message out of what the talks were about. I really liked one from Dieter F. Uchtdorf where he said "there are things we count, that don't really count (or matter), but there are things we don't count, that really really do count." It was great!

Francisco had his baptismal interview on Saturday before the first session of conference, and he passed!  Then he came to conference and he loved it! He said he feels really good and on a spiritual high, which is amazing right before his baptism! He will be baptized this Saturday if all goes well this week! He had his interview and passed, so all looks good. His baptism will be at 6:30 due to the ward leaving to the temple and not getting back until late, we set it 30 minutes later than usual. I am so excited and so happy to be a part of this great work and see amazing people like Francisco making big changes in their lives and being baptized! What a big blessing! 

I want to write some quotes down of some of the notes I jotted down during conference. I noticed the big focus was on marriage and family, and also enduring to the end as a family! It was great all together! But here are some of my favorite quotes:

"To 'hang in there' is not a prinicple of the gospel" - Kevin W. Pearson

"Stay close to the tree." - Kevin W. Pearson

"Don't hold off the day of eternal marriage" - Joseph W. Sitati

"Temples help us overcome temptation and trial." - Thomas S. Monson

"Love, and wait," - Brent H. Nielson

"Is our point in life to take a leap of faith and fall slowly, gritting the sand in our fingertips? The answer is NO." - Jeffrey R. Holland

"You can not earn your way to heaven.... salvation is not bought with the currency of obedience, it is bought by the blood of the Son of Man," Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"What sign do I want to give God?" - Russell M. Nelson

"The hope of the Lord is that all married couples are sealed.... marriage is the key to happiness." - Boyd K. Packer

There were many great talks, but what Kevin W. Pearson and Jeffrey R. Holland said really hit me in a different way. I loved all of conference and there were many blessings that came in my personal life from listening to the prophet and apostles and other general authorities of the church. I add my witness and testimony to their's that Christ lives. He was resurrected on that beautiful first easter morning, and he did give us the chance to live with our Father for all eternity as a family. I know that the Atonement is the key to save all of us from the fall, but we must endure, try, and help others to get on the path. That is why the missionary work is so important. I testify that God and Jesus Christ are working amongst us today. God's hand is in all things. These things I know, and I do testify of them in the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior and Redeemer, amen.

Elder Weiss :)

Mother's Note:  I asked Parker what he though about getting a new Temple built in Haiti (they share the Island with Dominican Republic)  Here is his response:

Haiti is getting a temple! I screamed when I heard that! haha that is sooooo cool! It will be a big blessing for this area as well! :)

I then asked if he had heard anything or if Elder Holland mentioned anything about letting missionaries back into Haiti...as I understood it they had pulled all the missionaries out of Haiti for safety reasons. Parker said...

There are missionaries in Haiti, but they are natives. All haitians. They haven't said anything about it....  

Parker also mentioned he is reading Mosiah now and really likes Mosiah 4:9. He mentioned a few other insights he liked from Conference too...And made mention of his new niece Cambria (we sent him pictures)...

Cambria is super cute! I can't wait to play with her and all that stuff. Babies are awesome. I thought it was cool how they focused so much on marriage and the family in conference. The Lord is trying to send a message. Conference was fantastic. Of course one of my favorites was Jeffrey R. Holland, it was just a great talk, but I really liked Kevin W. Pearson's talk about "stay close to the tree" as in the tree of life in Lehi's dream. He talked very well and it hit me strong. Dieter F. Uchtdorf also had two very good talks. Suprisingly, all of them spoke to me in a special way, so they were are good. WOW! All good.

Another view (no I don't need glasses...just stylin-I gave these to a girl in my ward after)

Steak lunch I made-mmm

Watching Conference

All the Missionaries in my mission (Santo Domingo West)

Elder Holland with some other missionaries-proof he was here.

Elder Holland's writing how Jesus in the Keystone