Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015 - Living the Dream

This week has been amazing. We have been loving our time here in San Geronimo. 

We have been focusing with Jhonathan and Yesenia all week about their marriage, and we have set a date to get all things ready for the marriage, and its on Saturday, the 30th. They will pay and set up a day to get married for next week, so we are excited, because that means Yesenia will be able to get baptized and Jhonathan will once again be an active member! I actually took some pictures of us as we were looking for their Birth Certificates. It was like an "In the Moment" memory. haha Here is something crazy... This week we were talking about the Book of Mormon with them, and Yesenia tells us that she finished the Book Of Mormon entirely... AND she understood it completely. It took her 10 days! NUTS! Then, after, she prayed and felt the urge to read Doctrine and Covenants... she'll finish soon. Haha But wow, that was so amazing to me! :)

Franklin and Nisa are progressing really well! They are coming with us, as well as Jhonathan and Yesenia, to our President's house tonight to go have a FHE with the President. So that will be fun! But we are really hoping that Franklin and Nisa will decide on getting married so that they can become an eternal family! That is the ultimate goal! :)

We were fed one day at a professional chefs house, who is a member. She cooked us Ribs. :) LIFE IS GOOD. Pics to come! 

Our biggest day was Sunday.... Let me explain why.... WE HAD A BAPTISM!!!!! Esteven got baptized on Sunday, because our bishop wanted to do it that way. His parents showed up and everything. We did it after the block. But this baptism was........... hahahaha memorable.... Here is why: when it was time to baptize Esteven, Elder Porter and Esteven went into the font, but we couldn't open up the font doors. No ones keys were working, because it was jammed! And everyone from church was there, so there were lots of people. We took 15 minutes going at this door. I ran to the other side to see if Elder Porter could open it from the inside, the only thing is Elder Porter couldn't reach, so he had to put a chair in the font... then I notice that Esteven, who remember is only 8, is swimming in the water like it is a pool... so I start saying, "No, don't do that... be patient" and he is just laughing saying "You didn't tell me about the part where I got to swim!" That was like a palm to the face moment, but I laughed. Elder Porter couldn't open the door either from that side. At this point all the members are in the bathroom trying to see the font from the other side, so I run back around to the front, and we get a big guy to jerk at the door, and it opens. I think we broke it..... shhh..... but then we continued the baptism and the rest went well, but it was funny. Haha after the baptism, we were invited to a members to eat, and as we ate they showed us the show called The Saratov Approach, about the two missionaries that get kidnapped and all that. The movie was a straight up tear jerker... Man, but really good. Then we went back to the church after the movie and went on splits with some kids. I went with two kids who are about to go on their mission. It was super fun and I learned some stuff from them. So Sunday was awesome! Hahaha

Today we did something cool! We went and played basketball with two other zones, but we did it at the Olympic Center, where the national teams play! We played on that court and it was super cool. It felt really strange being on a real court again though... But really fun!

I finished Alma this week, and I am now in Helaman. Wow do I love the story of the 2000 sons of Helaman. I like how he calls them his sons because "they are worthy to be called my sons".  Their commitment to the Lord is incredible. They had so much faith. Its like how Alma states, faith is like a seed. And what does S.E.E.D. stand for? To me, SEED stands for Spiritual Exercise Every Day. And the Stripling Warriors did just that. They were always relying on their God to save them, and He did. I love that story!

Anyways, I love you all! Pics are to come! :) And a big Happy Birthday to my sister Sydney this week! She turns 16! I can't believe it!!!! LOVE YOU!

Love you all,
Elder Weiss :)

Mother's Note:  Parker said they will be moving into a new house that has water (even hot water) and electricity all the time and he's super excited!  

Our feast of Ribs and goodness.

Us finding Birth Certificates with Jhonathan and Yesenia.

Baptism of Esteven! :)

How many people did we fit in to this SUV??? ;) LOTS!

Basketball arena!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015 - Yo amo a mi barrio. :)

A veces, no quiero hablar ingles... pero, casi nadie me va a entender en español..... jaja

Hello everyone!!!! Life is great! Thanks for all the support you give me!! I am loving this area, let me tell you. Life is great here! :)

Last week our bishop informed us of a eight year old that wants to be baptized. He just turned eight and has been coming to the church for a year and a half with his sister. His parents aren't members, so he falls under the mission! So we started teaching him all this week! His name is Esteven and he is a great kid. He is really smart and we have lots of fun teaching him. It's fun to teach a younger kid. They seem more excited. haha :) But we also are teaching his mom and dad, who have agreed to support him in his baptism! So in two weeks Esteven is going to be baptized, so we teach him every day! He's already reading in the Book of Mormon which to me is really impressive from an eight year old. This kid, although small, has lots of faith!!!!

Jhonathan and Yisenia, The Matta Family, are still going strong. They have saved up a little bit of money, so we are hoping to see some progress with the marriage now that they have started to save. The ward and members are really helping us out. We've had FHE with them every single week. Like tonight, we'll be going to our bishops to do one at his house with them. I will keep you all informed on them! :)

We have another couple we are teaching. But they are not like ordinary dominicans. They don't live together, and they believe in being boyfriend and girlfriend until marriage. Hallelujah!!!! They are amazing! They are both about 35, and the man, Franklin, is super tall and plays basketball, so we get along really well. But he is the most humble and nice man you'll ever meet. His girlfriend, Nisa is also very nice and they are both very curious in the message. We gave them a Book of Mormon to read and when we went back, they had a huge list of questions for us. Just goes to show their desire to know. They say they'll be coming to church this week, so we are hoping that is true! We want them to get married though, because they are awesome! Also, we played basketball with Franklin and some other missionaries today, so we are building up that trust. He is a great guy!

I did an exchange this week with the other missionaries in our house and it was super fun. I left with Elder Hasler. Their area is a bit poorer, but it was really cool to get to know their area. Plus, I met a guy who was on a hammock playing a guitar, and he let me take a picture... so ya, that was sick. :) Anyways, it was a fun day to be with Elder Hasler. He is a great missionary!

On Sunday Elder Porter and I gave talks in our ward. I feel like it went well, but you never know. If the people were listening, then they might of felt the spirit! :) Jhonathan and Yisenia came to church so ya, they rock. :)

Today we played basketball and went to the mall, and then ate with a member. Now I am writing, so that has been my day! Pictures to come of the week! :) I love you all and thank you so much for all your support! :)

Elder Weiss :)

A picture of Manuel, a member, and I!

That hammock and guitar. Paradise. :)

Also, I got a trophy for being an awesome missionary. Go me. :) 

The cool grafitti where we played basketball today!
 "Yo amo a mi barrio" means "I love my neighborhood".

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015 - Mother's Day

Hey everyone! First let me just say a HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY JESSICA!!!!! Wow, 22!!!!! I can't believe how old you are! I would sing to you, but that is too cliche. hahah

Let me just say it has been one roller coaster of a week. Wow.... Ups and downs, feeling queasy at times, and then at the very end of the ride, saying "Lets go again! Lets go again!" haha but really, this week has been crazy!

To start off, we had a very exciting Tuesday! And by exciting, I mean like really weird. It was just a lot of meetings. We met with the Stake President and our Mission President and gave a report of all of the missionaries and the wards and how well they are working together. It was actually a very fun meeting and I had a lot of fun because I learn a lot about how the Presidency of each stake actually really cares and plans for each individual ward. It was very neat and it gave me a lot more respect for stake leaders. These guys don't sleep!

On Wednesday we had a way fun day because we left with a young teenager from our ward named Manual! He is 16 and he has a big heart! He's really funny and it was really fun to be with him all day! Actually, we had a day of success! We met up with the Matta Family (Jhonathan and Yisenia), and they have made plans of getting married, and also of keeping the Word of Wisdom. But even better than that, Yisenia has made the decision that she wants to get baptized! :) Jhonathan is already a member, but he is less active, but he has decided to come back and make mends with God as he says. But they are progressing SUBSTANTIALLY. They have both received an answer to prayer about the Book of Mormon and they know that it is the true word of God, and that is the key to conversion. We see a true change in them every time that we visit. After our day of work, Manual bought us some pizza and we feasted like champions. It was amazing! I've never enjoyed pizza so much. Haha!

Thursday we had yet another great day! As always! I mean man, we had a lot of good days.... haha Anyways, the big thing that happened in our day was that we took Jhonathan and Yisenia to a FHE with Presidente Navarro, who is part of the stake presidency in our ward. He let us watch "Only a Stonecutter." That short movie always hits home to me, but it really had a different meaning to me this time. I never realized that after John breaks his leg, as he continued to labor, there is one part where his child is walking by the temple as he is working on the outside, and his son looks up and yells "Father! I love you!" That hit home to me, because there was a true love in the family. That is a love that isn't from living together every day, that love comes from a true understanding of the importance of both the gospel, and the family. I reflected on that for quite some time. I know that Jhonathan and Yisenia also really liked it. I don't know if you can tell or not, but we are really focusing in on them! We want to make sure that their conversion is true, and the best experience they can have!

Friday was one of the down days of the week. I was feeling a little sick, but I worked through the sniffing and headache. Bad thing was, no one was home.... so we walked around all day and only visited with one person, Jennifer, who is doing a lot better from the last time we saw her. Sounds like she has worked things out with her husband and everything is going well for her now. So that brought joy through the suffering. :) Oh and the fact that it was Jess's birthday, so I kept a smile on for you. :)

Saturday I felt a lot better. We had our first zone meeting in this area and it went really well! We talked about obedience and we also talked about focusing in our investigators. I was actually asked by our President's Wife, Sister Nuckols, to sing in a trio with two other missionaries from our zone for a zone conference coming up on the 14th, so we practiced that a little bit after the meeting. The rest of the day we just punched the pavement. Like we literally got on our knees and punched the ground. Why? Because we are that awesome. 

Sunday we went to church, and it was awesome. We had four investigators at church and two less actives, two of them being Jhonathan and Yisenia. We are definitely seeing the blessings of the Lord in this area! We are also planning on seeing a new house in the near future (hallelujah)!!!! Maybe next week or so we will be moved into a new house and then life will just go super great! Although it has been really annoying and tedious going to all sorts of houses and having arguing Dominicans tell you that we are white, so we must pay more than Dominicans pay to live in a house and dumb things like that. It makes the stress just step up a little bit. But I love that about the mission. I have really found a control in the stress level of all things. Like I have found my yin to the yang and all that. I knkow there is stress in my life, but I can't feel it, nor do I really notice it. It is kinda nice. I definitely feel like that is the Lord helping me so that I can complete my tasks as a missionary!

Oh, A big late Happy Mother's Day to all mothers and future mothers! I hope the day was amazing for you! It was amazing to be able to talk to my family and I hope they know how much I truly love them and how grateful I am for their support. Love you all! I love the work of the Lord! :) It is beautiful and perfect! I testify that this is the true gospel and church of Jesus Christ in the world today. And with that, I end! :)

Con mucho amor,
Elder Weiss :)

Mother's Note:  We Skyped with Parker on Sunday for Mother's Day and his Mission President said they could still send emails on their P-day (today). So that was awesome. Some highlights of the Skype:  Seeing him look well and with meat on his bones!  Listening to him speak Spanish. Meeting the kind members that shared their home and computers to him. He sang a Mother's Day song in his Adam Levine voice. It was awesome and I wish I had the foresight to have recorded it! Meeting his new companion (very briefly as he was skyping with his family too) and just shooting the breeze.

He said he was really cold in the chapel and wanted a blanket cause he was shivering and his comp. said, "Dude, it's 74 degrees in here. That's not cold!"  So Parker laughed that when he comes home in October he'll be layering the coats on. haha  (He used to wear shorts and t-shirts all winter here).
It was amazing to Skype with him! The next time we'll see him will be at the airport!!!!!!

 Pictures of when we had pizza to celebrate Elder Zúñiga's birthday!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Monday, May 4, 2015 - Lot's to do in San Geromino

What a crazy week! Lots of stuff has happened! Who knew that I would love this area so much!

To start, we are teaching an awesome family. They are the Matta Family, it consists of Jhonathan, the father, who was baptized at 11 but didn't keep going to church and is now less active, Yisenia, the mother who is not a member, and their three daughters. They are awesome and are progressing a ton. They keep coming to church and we just set them a goal this week to get married on the 30th of May so that Yisenia and their oldest daughter can get baptized on the 6th of June, and they accepted! These guys are really prepared. They always have tons of questions for us, so we always come ready with answers... or at least try to!

Another person we teach is named Angel. He is an older man, like 76. He read the Book of Mormon in 4 weeks.... and marked it up tons! He now is almost finished with D&C which we gave him when I first got here. This man has received an answer to his prayers, the only thing he needs to do is get married, and his "wife" doesn't want to. So we are kinda in a stand still with him... but he is still showing lots of faith and comes to church each week despite the circumstances.

The last person I will talk about is named Jennifer, and she is about 26. She has gotten an answer about the church that it is true. She lives humbly in a house that has one room, that is it. She lives with her boyfriend and her two children. We talked this week about how she feels about getting married and she told us that she isn't sure if he is the one, so we told her that if that is the case, they should separate so that she can fulfill the commandment of the Law of Chastity. Well, yesterday we passed by and she was very sad. Crying actually. We changed lesson plans and went immediately to listen mode. Turns out she prayed and God told her this man isn't for her, so she told him, and this man threatened her that if she leaves he will take everything from her, the house, her money everything. But she was very strong and told us that she will leave, and he won't do anything, because God would protect her. We respected her a lot to confront him in order to keep the commandments of God, and well, we pray a lot that all will go well for her in these next couple of days.

A funny story to finish! We were teaching another investigator this week that is a little flojo, or basically not in it to win it. As we were teaching her, her niece, about 17 years old, came in and started to fix one of the other girls hair. I noticed she had on earrings that have the Air Jordan logo, so I made the comment, "I like your Jordan earrings." She then responded, "Thanks, they Jordan's are my favorite basketball team." Keeping a straight face, although dying inside, I kept going with it... "Ya, a great team! How are they doing right now?" She responds, "Winning, like always!" Then my companion chimes in with a funny remark, "Ya, I love that team. They've got Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson Jordan, Michael Buble Jordan, they are set for the finals!" That's when we lost it. I was in tears, but it gets better! The girl looks at us as says, "Don't worry, when I find out they win, I will let you know. They won last year, you know!" So that does it. The Air Jordan logo is actually for a basketball team called The Jordan's. Hahaha

Also, I now officially have a year and a half in the mission ( I am a little late, I know) So I burnt a pair of really old, ripped and crappy pants as tradition... Photos to come! Also, we have an awesome Sister in this ward that loves to feed the missionaries, so we spent a night with her having a barbecue with some amazing hot dogs. It reminds me of home! haha But the members here are all amazing and I definitely am trying to fulfill my roll as both a missionary and a Zone Leader. It is fun but challenging, but it gives new light to the mission so I love it a lot!

Our week is full of fun and I am loving it here in my new area! We might be getting a new house in 2 weeks so lets keep those fingers crossed! Anyways, for all of you to know, next week I will be writing on Sunday because it is Mother's Day, so don't expect anything on Monday! Love you all! May God continue to bless you all! I know this gospel is true and it is amazing to share that with so many people! Love you all, and I pray for you all! :)

Con Cariño,
Elder Weiss :)

Mother's Note:  I wanted to know how the new area was and the water situation. Here's Parker's reply:
I love the area here and it is great! All is super good here. The members and all that are awesome! I am currently writing the big email! haha but I love it here!

I am fine, just to let you know! And we drink water out of purified 6 gallon bottles in our house that we get from the supermarkets on the street. So we never drink out of the tap or anything. We get water here every tuesday and Saturday, so we fill up a ton of tanks and stuff with water to last us while no water runs through the pipes. Bucket showers and flushing the toilet with buckets! WOOHOO!

Burning a pair of pants to celebrate 18 months!

"Elder Zuniga from Costa Rica who lives with us."

Pictures of our BBQ with Hot Dogs.