Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015 - Hello

With so much time coming up with subject lines every week, you just begin to give up. But the work is going GREAT!

This week has been great! I was able to finish the Book of Mormon this week for the fourth time in my mission, and decided to do a fast about it. Later, I was reading back on the conference talks of this April and wow, God really does respond to what we are looking for. He is indeed our Father in heaven who loves us and He is answering any question that we are willing to ask with faith. :) So ya, big testimony builder this week about the Book of Mormon. There is no doubt that this book is true words directly from God to the inhabitants of the Americas! :)

So our main focus this week has been Jhonathan and Yesenia. Lets just say that after a lot of....we'll say patience.... and a little bit of "urging"..... they were finally able to pull out all the Birth Certificates that they need to be married! So that is finally behind us! Now, Yesenia should have gone this morning to go pay for the marriage and to set up the date for the actual day of marriage, so later we will be passing by to see when that day is. So, after a long wait, there will be a marriage this week! And there will be a happy couple! hahah :) Ahhhh, it just keeps my faith in the Lord. He's been working with us the whole time, and I just didn't acknowledge it. Good thing there is a repentance process for everything, am I right? :)

Well, June is coming to an end... that was fast.... and now starts July!! Too bad no one celebrates the 4th or the 24th here.... the next holiday here is Christmas. BORING! Nothing from than until now. Lame. haha

So this week we have been contacting a lot, because we felt like there was a need to expand our investigator pool. We met some girls that live together that were pretty receptive to our message. One of them, however, randomly brought up the number of the beast and asked our opinion on that, and from there, the lesson went downhill... but they still invited us back, so the spirit must have touched them somehow. Which is fine by me. :)

You wouldn't believe how much we walk in this area, it is like training for a marathon... but a marathon of preaching gospel principles. We even had a guy chanting and rooting us on in the street!!! or maybe he was just screaming at us to give him 5 pesos so he could go buy a cigarette..... either way, it still gives me an energy boost to keep walking fast, especially when the crazy guy is on your heels. Haha :)

Well, that is all this week. My mind hits a blank on what happened the rest of the week. All I know is that it was GREAT!!!! :)


Elder Weiss

Also, Parker said he's been feeling much better this week and still spoke on being on a Spiritual high from finishing and fasting over the BOM.   We discussed some of our favorite scriptures we've read this week. And we compared how hot it's been between Utah and the DR.  DR wins with 100% humidity that makes you wet just walking outside. :)
"I could be a model."

"The kids of Jhonathan and Yesenia wanted to
 take pictures with me. :)"
They are adorable!

"Pretty area in our area! :)"

"We installed a cool light bulb in our house
 that is like a party machine, so naturally
 I pulled off some classic dance moves..."

"... like "Gentleman by Psy" and all that."

"And me, with the Book of Mormon I just finished...
I made a case for it, for that it looks different. :)"

Disco light bulb-Parker said he wants to bring this home with him. :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015 - Prayers are Answered

Hey everyone!!!! Dios les bendiga! This week has been a little loooonnnggg to be honest. The work is continuing to progress and life is good. I caught some weird type of gripe this week. I am not sick, but I have a horrible sore throat. That's it though. Weird, but eh, it isn't slowing me down!!!!

So Jhonathan and Yesenia should be getting their birth certificates this week, which is all good. We want to help them so much in knowing what we can do to help them truly feel converted as Yesenia is trying to become a member, and Jhonathan is close to reactivation. We have been praying hard for them, and this week we were able to see an answer. A member is willing to help them by going and getting all of their birth certificates they need, and he will take them through all the steps of marriage that they need to do before the actual marriage. That was much needed. The member is a member of the bishopric and lets just say it is nice to have member help. :)

We have another investigator that I have mentioned before, Jennifer, who earlier got in a fight that I wrote about with her boyfriend, and how he was threatening her and all that stuff. Well this week, she took a big step and decided to leave her boyfriend to live with her parents, so that she could keep the commandment of Chastity. She will be moving to Pantoja, which is out of our area, but we are very humbled with the steps and choices she has made and taken. It was an answer to our prayers. We have been praying that she would know what she needs to do to take steps closer to Christ, and she has done just that. We believe we will still be able to baptize her and everything, but I will keep you posted. She has proved how Faith in Christ really changes people. I know she will be eternally blessed for the decision she made.

Another investigator, Ofilia, who I have mentioned before, is also slowly  getting closer to her baptism. She says she wants to know for sure that this is true. She is a bit older, like 50 or 60, but she wants to know that once she makes the decision of baptism, she will never leave the church. We pass by constantly and we see huge improvements in her testimony every time. She is making big changes every time we see her. :)

I know prayers are answered. That was part of my testimony that was strengthened this week. Especially while reading the Book of Mormon. I was able to read 3rd Nephi, 4th Nephi, Mormon, and Ether this week. And wow, God answers prayer. All my doubts and personal questions were answered in scripture. That also shows the importance of reading the scriptures. It helps us receive answers. I know that as we pray, God listens to us, and He will answer if we are humble enough to hear the answer from the Holy Ghost. This gospel is amazing. Being a missionary is amazing, and I love being here, teaching this true gospel with everyone I can. My hope is that we all continue to spiritually grow and to do as the Lord would want us to do. 

Love you all! Keep the faith! :)

Elder Weiss :)

Mother's Note: I mentioned how hot Utah is now and asked how it is there and if he had plans later that night...

Parker wrote: I am dying, but I am used to the suffering. ITS HOT. :)

We don't have plans. I have to go to the CCM tomorrow to go renew a temporary VISA until I go home. Also, they say I will be getting my flight plans next week, so I will be able to tell you exactly what time I will be home. CRAZY HUH??????

He also commented on Ryan and Alysha's move (where and how it went) and all the marriages/engagements in our ward and that he likes the new house he's in and that everything is working and he also commented on his health that he really is feeling okay and it's just his throat hurting.  

I can't believe we'll know his flight plan next week! This mama's excited!! (We talked about not getting too trunky as well. Keep focusing on the work and service!)  Thank you everyone for all your love and support of Elder Weiss!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015 - Am I really 20?

Thank you so much to everyone for all the birthday wishes!!! I truly appreciate them!

This week has been super crazy!!!

On Tuesday, my companion got to go to the east mission with the President, so I went on an exchange with Elder Nielsen, who was my first companion in the CCM. Wow, what a difference there is in how we were then, to now! We both speak Spanish, but I feel like we are more mature and just.... different spiritually. It was a really fun day with him.

On Wednesday we worked a normal day, but it was difficult. No one was home, and we spent a lot of time contacting. I did climb a tree though, so success on that one.

On Thursday we received a miracle. We were called by our office elders and they told us to get ready to move!!! So guess what, WE MOVED!!! We left our horrible house, and got everything into the new one! It took all day! From 8 in the morning until 1 in the morning. It was a big day. But it was like going from outer darkness into the celestial kingdom. We all are super happy. The new apartment, and when I say new I mean new... we are the first ones to live in it, are super clean and have HOT WATER. Am I in the states??? Only downside is that there are tons of bugs... TONS OF MOSQUITOES. And there are really big red ants that hurt like crazy when they bite. Thank goodness from Mosquito nets. :) And cockroaches, like always, are huge and nasty in this country. So ya. But I will send some pictures of that awesome new house.

Next big day was Sunday. My birthday!!!! It was a really good day! The members shared a lot of love with me and I felt awesome! I least this year I didn't have the chikonguya on my birthday! hahaha I can't believe I am twenty!!!! And wow..... time is just flying by! Cool story, after leaving a meeting in the afternoon, we met a man, who showed up to the church, named Julio. He was in need of someone, and began talking to us. We sat listening to him in the church parking lot for about and hour, and we shared that we are not alone, and that God loves all of us. He was struggling to understand that God always has a plan for all of us. Sadly, he doesn't live in our area, but we sent his directions to the missionaries in his area so he can continue to listen. Very sad man, I felt like there was so much this message could help him with, so he left happier. We joked around with him a bit to cheer up his spirits, and he left. I had to give him a hug though. Very nice man. I hope he gets help. :)

Today we played basketball at a church in a different area, and it has the court INSIDE the building! The only one in our mission like that!!! HOLY COW, I swear I am in the states sometimes. hahaha

Anyways, this week we weren't able to work a lot, with the whole moving situation. We are still waiting on a couple of things, like mirrors and they are putting in curtains in our house, but ya. It was an amazing week, and I am grateful that I was here to spend another birthday with the Dominican people. :) May God bless you all. I love you all!!! :)

Con amor,
Elder Weiss :)

Mother's Note:  I asked if  Jhonathon or Yesenia had their marriage license yet and they're still waiting.

Parker watched all the videos we made of everyone wishing him a Happy Birthday.  He said this about it...
I saw all the videos! I loved them! Everyone is so different, yet so the same! haha :)

 And even got to go on Facebook for a minute to read what people posted there for his birthday. I know it meant a lot to him and he said he got a lot of emails with Birthday Wishes as well. (Thank you all for doing that!)
Here is what he told me he did on Sunday for his Birthday...

My day yesterday was just like any other missionary day. Lots of meetings... being Sunday..... that was a downer. But a couple members did little things for me, like made me natural smoothies, or gave me a tiny bit of cake that they had saved in the fridge... haha but it is the thought that counts. Even though those things happen any other day, I was very thankful for that. Oh, Manuel, the kid who always leaves to work with us bought me a tie and gave it to me. That was really nice of him! So ya. That was my day. Oh, actually, at lunchtime we ate with a member, and she let us watch this movie called Home. Some Disney movie, but I really liked it a lot!!!! We'll have to watch it again of course when it isn't in Spanish, but hey, that was cool. And my President called me and him and his wife sang for me a birthday song. SO I WASN'T FORGOTTEN. So ya, that was my celebration! :) I am 20!!!!

Picture time!

"I'm on a tricycle!"

"Climbing a tree"

New House! Hanging up the Drapery Rods...just need drapes now.

Parker's bed is the white net on the right. Parker always chooses the right. (mom joke haha)

Parker's home made weights. The cans are filled with cement. 

Look at that beautiful Hot water heater!

"The Sandwich is my Birthday sandwich!"

"It was really good!"

A tall guy-Parker didn't tell us who he is.

"Playing basketball at the church with the indoor court."

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Monday June 8, 2015 - Wai mi Mai

Wow, what a week! Thank you to everyone who always send their love and support. It is much appreciated!

To start, I am sure you all think I am in a new house by now and want to know how it is. Well, we haven't moved...... something came up, so we are still waiting... maybe this week?

With Jhonathan and Yesenia, we are still waiting on their marriage. This week they still didn't have everything ready for the marriage, like to pay for it and such, so we are hopefully going to pay for that this week.

Franklin and Nisa are still learning really well. Franklin has a date for baptism, and his kid, and they are both progressing a ton. However, we haven't talked to Nisa in a while, so we are unaware of her. We pray lots for her and we are hoping she will be able to set apart more time to listen to us throughout this week.

Our President came to our house this week to Weekly Plan with us, and it was super fun and also, very affective. We learned a lot from him and he helped us really focus in finding new people to teach. He kept asking us how we can use the people we are teaching to find new people to teach and how to ask referrals from everyone. Something I have never really focused on, but it was a great idea. Hopefully it will help us to find new people!

So this week we had an activity at the church. It was for Mother's Day, since Mother's Day here was just last week. Jhonathan and Yesenia went, and all the mothers were pampered with a full salon treatment, free of charge. You better believe Yesenia liked that. The rest of us all sat in another room and listened to music. They were playing all the new music from the states. Wow, everything sounds so different. I felt a strong urge to dance... I almost broke. I miss dancing. Haha 

Everyone has been so helpful in this ward. We get lots of people to leave with us, but also, we have lots of people feed us, which I believe is super important. Members get so many blessings from feeding missionaries, trust me. Haha :) I had tacos this week for the first time in a year and a half. Wow, how I miss Mexican food. :)

Funny story, because I love funny stories. At the activity we had, one of the fathers began to do a speech for the ladies once that had finished their salon stuff. But he started it with a song. He is really, and I mean really, tone deaf. He is older, but he was singing his heart out. Everyone was forcing a smile, and clapping along, and he finished this really long, off note to finish the chorus. He took in a huge breath, as if he was going to start the second verse, but another member in front of us shouts "Well sung!!!" And starts clapping really hard. We all begin clapping and screaming and the man just stands there dumbfounded, like a look of "I wasn't done." So they cut him off cold in his song. Later he comes up to us and says, "Ya, I was so good, they didn't want to keep hearing the sound of angels singing." HAHAHAHAHAHA my companion and I died... first that they cut him off, but his remark after was awesome! hahaha!

Onto a spiritual thought. Our Mission President sent me in my personal email a part of a quote that the church shared during the funeral of L. Tom Perry. It says “Obedience is a choice. It is a choice between our own limited knowledge and power and God’s unlimited wisdom and omniscience”  I love that quote. It really is profound. To me, it means that everything we do, whether to follow the rules that are set and the commandments, or not, is our choice. If we choose to do what is asked, we are showing to God that His rules are our ultimate goals to complete. When we disobey, we are following our knowledge, and we aren't accepting God's hand in our lives. But when we choose to obey, we are allowing God to direct us and do what we should. It refers me to Mosiah 4:9, where it says that God comprehends all that man does not comprehend. He knows what is best for us. It gives me a bigger desire to obey, so that God can direct me on the right path, on His path.

May you all be blessed and receive further guidance from the Lord as we choose to follow his commandments and accept His guidance in our lives. :)

Con amor,
Elder Weiss :)

Mother's Note:  Parker and I were e-chatting about how he has 4 months left on his mission and he said June is when he got his mission call and so we're at that same 4 month waiting point. 2 years ago was waiting to go on his mission in October and now it's 4 months waiting to come home. Crazy!

We also got to talk to him for about 20 minutes on Tuesday because he and Elder Porter had to help the Mission President with some computer stuff. Which is good because we weren't thinking...but on Sunday June 14th it's Parker's birthday!!!  

We forgot to give him Birthday wishes on Monday so Tuesday he was smothered with emails and pictures wishing him a Happy Birthday this Sunday! :)

That cake was full of ice cream and cake. 

They bought it thinking my birthday was this last saturday.... oops. ;)

"Us at the activity"  (I like the photobomb guy in the back)

"A painting of Zeus on a building!"

"Us with tacos"

(Funny thing Parker said, "I miss Mexican Food so much,
those tacos were so good."  we all laughed back here in Utah
because we thought that was his main diet. Rice and beans. haha)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Monday, June 1, 2015 - The start of Transfer 2 in San Geronimo

Hey people! Hope all is going well. You are all in my prayers!!!!

Well, my first transfer here in San Geronimo has come to an end, and we are now in the start of my second transfer here! And what a surprise I got! haha First off, all this week we were working really hard, especially in El Claret, the farthest part of our area. We have been contacting a ton over there to try to find more people to teach in that part. We met a couple people, but they weren't interested at all. We had a couple ladies tell us that they were "Catholics" and couldn't listen to our message. We said thanks and went to the door next to theirs, but they thought we had left, so we hear inside the house them saying, "We told them we were Catholics, and they bought it! hahaha!" Then they walked outside again and we were still there, and we just waved. The girl looked at us and said.... "so ya...... I am sure you heard that... but we are still not interested." hahahahah! To me in was funny! The things people make up to not hear our message. But we were also able to find a couple of actually interested people, which is exciting!!

As for Jhonathan and Yesenia, they are still missing a couple of their Birth Certificates, so we are still waiting to pay for the wedding. So their wedding could happen either this week, or sometime during the next week. :)

Franklin and Nisa are going really well in their studies. Actually this week, we talked about baptism with them and invited them to be baptized on the first week of July, and the both accepted. Actually the spirit that we had in that moment was so powerful, we all just took a moment of silence. It was amazing. The power of God is soooo real, I can't even exaggerate that. God works in such amazing ways.

My companion, Elder Porter is in his last transfer, which means I will be with him until he goes back home, and I am really excited to be his last companion. We have been having lots of fun and getting along great. We are definitely helping each other out to see our strong points, and to fix our weak points. It's going beautiful. :)

Well, the crazy news I got at transfers is that, with Elder Zúñiga leaving our house, the President called me and asked me to be the District Leader over the district of the four elders in our house, and also the four sisters in our district. So I get to do that, and be a Zone Leader. It will be a new challenge, but I am really excited for it. The President keeps saying he really likes my energy. I guess I still haven't lost that hyperactiveness! hahaha

I am really excited for the new transfer. We will work hard. And plus, we will be moving into a new house this Friday, so our crappy house will finally be out of our lives!!!! And I can not even begin to explain how happy we all are for that. ITS A MIRACLE!

Oh, I saw Meet The Mormons this week with a member. It was really good. The movie has a special spirit to it. Also, I have finished Helaman and I am now in 3 Nephi. I love the Book Of Mormon. The stories can be applied in so many different ways! Bueno, que Dios les bendiga en todo sus esfuerzos. Haz lo justo siempre!!!! Les quiero mucho!!!

Elder Weiss :)

Mother's Note:  I thought the girl's claiming to be Catholic was funny so I asked Parker what was the best excuse he's heard that he can remember. This is what he said:

Ummmmm best excuse I have heard was that they didn't know how to speak american. and I said, good, we speak spanish, and she said, ya, but I don't speak your language. Then I said, then how are you responding to what I say? You obviously understand. And she responded saying, I don't understand at all. So then I just looked at her, and in english I said, well have a good day then, and she responded saying, thanks you too. So ya, she totally spoke english as well..... I was just like.... SO THEN? hahah

The Elder's and Sister's in Parker's District

I think Parker likes his mission. :)