Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - This is it!

Well it has been a crazy week! Lots of ups and down! Lets get started!

On Tuesday we worked really hard! We had a ton of appointments. Lots of good lessons. We actually had a lot of new lessons. One of them was a referral that we received from a member. So we went to her friends house and boom, there they were, her and her two daughters. Her name is Angelica, she is about 40ish, and her two daughters are 15 and 10. The lesson went great! We were laughing a lot before the lesson, and they immediately relaxed so that we could smoothly go into our lesson. We taught them the whole restoration of the church. Then, as we finished that, they asked us if we would like some iced tea, so we taught them about the Word of Wisdom, and they committed to obeying it! In the first lesson! But that isn't it! After that, the two daughters say that they want to get baptized, and they want to do it in our church. Angelica, the mom, then says that her friend (the member) is a really great person and she sees something different in her and she too would like to have what she has. So we talked about baptism, and at the end of the lesson committed them to a baptism date for the 21 of November. They all accepted! It was an amazing first lesson! These people are so prepared and I can't believe the miracle! They live in a part of our area that we have never had any investigators, and to see that not only are their fruits, but that they are ready to harvest is incredible to me! Bumped up my spirits for that part of the area real quick! haha

Thursday I went on splits with Elder Nielsen, my first companion in the MTC. It was great! The doctor invited us to lunch for the last time, and we ate pizza with them. In the afternoon we worked hard. I forgot to mention that it was Elder Nielsen's birthday, so at night, we went to his area, and we threw a little party for him at one of the members houses over there! Great way to spend the day! Also, my amazing kid in the mission, Elder Millward, hit a year in the mission on Thursday! Time flies!!!!!

Friday we did splits with the MTC missionaries! I left with Elder Godfrey. It was really fun! We found some new investigators, and it was really fun to be with him. He was a really spiritual elder and I feel like he taught me more than I taught him! At night we taught Angelica again, and she has been keeping her commitment of keeping the Word of Wisdom! Her kids weren't there though, but she says that they are too! And she also said she had plans on going to the church this week! :)

Sunday was church. Sadly Angelica did not show up. But it was a good Sunday. There is never a bad Sunday really. After church we taught Kenya, and she said she is ready for her baptism on the 24 of October. We gave her the rest of the lessons that she is missing to read, and we invited her kids to start listening to our message, and they accepted. So next Sunday we will start teaching the entire family! At night we taught Angelica in her friends house, the member (Her name is Meralice). I cooked them an "attempted Italian pasta, more so american" pasta. I, and they, said it came out really good. But it wasn't Italian. But I tried! We taught them a lesson as we ate, about how Jehovah is Jesus. That wasn't the lesson in mind, but that popped up, and we had to change the lesson so that we could help them understand. It was very spirit led. :) And we saw the red moon at night too. Cool stuff. My pictures all turned out black. But, it was cool to see it with my eyes.

Okay, here is the down of the week! On Monday I wasn't able to go to Barahona, and here is why! In the morning, my companion wanted to work out before leaving. So we have weights in our house, and he put one on his bed. Then he got up and left, came back, and sat down on the bed. That in turn made the weight, which was hanging on the edge of his bed, roll of and land right on his middle toe, and it separated into two. So I had to rush him to Doctor Reagan's office, and Doctor Reagan did an immediate emergency surgery on him. He fractured his toe bone, and cut it literally in two. I have pictures, but I probably won't send them, just because its really gruesome. So that took up the whole day. We didn't get back until about 8 at night, and for that reason I took my P Day today. My companion is not allowed to walk until next Friday. So I will be around the house a lot more on this last week of my mission. I will be trying to leave with the other Elders in my house as much as I can, but I will be taking a lot of care of my companion until I go home, which is good for me. I can get to know him better and I really have gotten close to him from this. I feel a great need to help him. The Lord knows what he is doing. But anyways, we will make this last week of my mission great, no matter what!

Today I went to the Colonial Zone with Elder Nielsen, in the East Mission. It was amazing!!! Super cool! Very beautiful. Lots of Americans too! I even saw a cruise ship! Hahah I actually felt like I was in a tropical island in the beautiful DR, what everyone dreams of being in, and I was there. ALL DAY! It was great! We got a tour, and our tour guide was a member from Buenos Aires, so I was able to catch up with him. We got to go inside the National Cathedral of the Island, and some other really cool places. All very cool! I even saw the oldest street ever in all the Americas! The first street ever built. And I walked on it! SO COOL! So that was my day today!

I love you all! I hope you all enjoy General Conference this week! Next week I may not right much, but just remember I am thinking about you all a lot! Love you! :)

Elder Weiss

"Doctor and Sister Reagan"

Surgery on his Companion's Toe

View of the Santo Domingo Temple as they left the Doctor's

I assume this is part of the Colonial Zone

In the National Cathedral of the Island

This is the Emblem on the Dominican Republic Flag

This is an old Hospital that's broken down

Before his mission Parker called his Dad
"Papi" many times. :)

A Knight inside the Cathedral

Elder Weiss pointing to Barahona, part of his mission.

Elder Weiss being himself. (Or he's looking for the Holy Ghost.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015 - Rainy Days

Hey everyone! Hope everyone is happy and healthy! 

This week has been fantastic. The beginning of this week was full of rains. I think all the tropical storm notices finally showed up, because this was some hard rainstorms! Literally, we had streets full of water. It was like crossing rivers. And because of all the rain, I actually caught a little bit of a flu. Nothing serious, a little cough. But still annoying. And I was using an umbrella the whole time! But I still got soaked, because every car that passed by our side splashed water from the "river street" onto us. And if we tried to block that with our umbrellas, the rain would soak us from above. So it was a lose lose situation, but we had a lot of fun with it and we were laughing a lot. Actually, due to the rain, lots of people invited us into their houses, and we were able to give "rain forced lessons" that actually turned out to be a success! 

A couple of awesome stories! First off, on Friday we got to do exchanges with the new missionaries from the MTC again! I got to leave with Elder Robinson, from Colorado. He was great! Really cool guy! We got along great from the get go, and as the work began, all of our appointments were just firing us left and right. So we began contacting, and I told him to take the lead and take us to the golden investigators hidden in the area. Well, he took us to a house that seemed to be run down. But we knocked, and a man, Hugo Quezada, came out and greeted us. His house is actually really nice on the inside. Very well kept up, and the man is a successful man! He is a Jehovah's Witness and didn't seem interested in our message as we first started talking. But then, the topic came up up about who really is Jehovah, and as we shared our belief with the scriptures, he realized that what we were saying to him was true. So he asked us to keep coming back and to prove to him that what we are teaching is true. I am really excited, because the area where he lives has always been a hard area to find new investigators, but now that he is listening to the lessons, we can have him invited friends and neighbors, and the area will begin to flourish. Big blessing for that area.

We have been focused a lot with Kenya this week. She has been progressing a lot, and we have felt a big influence of the spirit that we need to set up a baptismal date with her for the 10th of October. We were going to do it yesterday, but she wasn't home. So we are hoping to do it this week. She was the only one of all of our investigators to show up to the church this week, but as she was there, we started talking about the Liahona, and FHE. She was really interested in the Liahona, and really wants to start doing FHE, but she can only do them on Sundays. So next Sunday we will be doing one with her! Also, she has already promised to come to all 4 sessions of General Conference. I know in due time, she will make the big step of baptism, whether I am here or not. And I am ever so excited for her. 

We are working hard, I am loving the work, and we are having lots of fun in the meantime. Funny story for the week: As I was contacting with Elder Robinson, we contacted a house that in the front had a car with bullet holes all on the back and a flat tire from what appears to be a shotgun. Well we didn't see it as we walked up to the door, so we introduce ourselves to the people and this old man, like 74 years old says "Don't you know I am a super gangster? Did you not see my car? I am dangerous man. Don't mess with me." I laughed, then I saw his car and got silent. I was actually kinda nervous. Then the old man laughed and said "No I am kidding. Someone robbed me, and shot my tire so I couldn't follow them." Then he laughed like it wasn't a big deal. So I just said, "Well.... now what?" And we all laughed. He still didn't want to hear our message though, but a funny story.

Love you all! Next week I will be in Barahona on Monday, so I am not sure if I will be able to write on Monday, but we will see! Thanks for all your support!
Elder Weiss :)

More from Elder Weiss: If you don't hear from me on Monday, I will get on on Tuesday because I will also be going to a place called the Zona Colonial with the President. Its in the East Mission, and he gives those that are going home the opportunity to see one of the tourist areas before going home, and after that I will get on if I don't get on Monday.

MTC child. Elder Robinson and I."

"I am a Model. My companion caught me modeling..."

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015 -Progress and Happiness

This week has been absolutely amazing. I have loved every moment. Let me just hit the big things!

Well, we did lots of contacting this week, and we were able to get some help from members by going on splits. We also got lots of referrals due to members wanting to visit friends with us. It turned out to be a week of miracles for that because all the people that we met in this week have turned out to be very serious investigators, and a couple have already made commitments of reading the Book of Mormon and praying about Joseph Smith. Big steps, since this area has been struggling with the amount of people that actually want to hear our message!

We went to the temple on Friday! Amazing experience and exactly what I needed. First time I went without Elder Hope though, that was strange..... but it was a great experience, and I felt an overwhelming peace, something that I was really needing. I love the blessings we get from the temple. 

On Saturday we had a big "Leave With the Elders" day. Its when all the members of the ward leave with us to go visit and contact. Our goal was to invite everyone we met and taught to church for our Ward Conference. So after contacting for a couple hours and inviting every single investigator we have to come to church, we successfully met 15 new people that accepted our invitations, and we had about 30 members leave with us. This is a big step for our ward, because they don't normally leave with us due to their jobs or schedules. But I felt a different spirit with the members testifying of the truth of this gospel. 

On Sunday we had our Ward Conference. We had 7 investigators show up and 6 less actives. It proved to me how the hard work really did pay off. I have never worked so hard and so closely to the leaders in my mission before. We were literally calling the bishop and his councelors every night to keep them informed on what was happening. After seeing the results, we have decided to continue doing that. The Lord will bring the blessings when we do the work. Of that I am sure. After church, we were invited over to eat with a member who made us some amazing Cordon Blue. Good stuff, and FUNERAL POTATOS! Holy Utah!!!!!! So Utah! I loved it! Also, at night, we visited a member who has a big tree in her backyard that was full of bats! So I took pictures of bats as they flew right about my head and all around me. Check that one off the checklist. :)

So here is some cool doctrine I learned this week. I watched a movie called "The Moutain of the Lord", approved by the prophet and apostles. Great movie, made by the church. At the end it talks about how Utah originally was going to be named Deseret, but a man came up with the word Utah, coming from the Ute indians. The prophet at the time received revelation that that should be the name of the state and so it stuck. Now why was that a revelation?? Because the word Utah translates to "atop the mountains". Now, in Isaiah and also 2 Nephi, we read how Zion is to be built "atop the mountains" and that all will flow into this great place. So what is it referring to? Most think its the temple of Salt Lake, which is true in a part, but it is actually Utah in its whole! Which means, one day in the future, everyone will gather to Utah. CRAZY!!!!!! 

So great week overall. Sorry I wasn't so detailed about every little lesson we did. Each lesson was a first lesson, where we went over a basic overview of the restoration of our church. But by next week I hope to share some great stories of these people that are making great sacrifices to learn about the gospel and change to obey the standards of God. I love you all! Time is winding down ever so quickly. But I am loving every moment. I hope I can keep putting my shoulder to the wheel every step of the way!

Elder Weiss
Mother's Note: While we were chatting online my sister sent everyone an email announcing she gave birth to her baby girl. Parker was so excited he got to see a picture of his new cousin at the same time we all did!  Perfect timing! :)

Sunset and I

Sunset over the city

Random pic's.

Elder Weiss and Catmull together again
at the Santo Domingo Temple

A failed attempt at a jumping picture! Elder Catmull,
Weiss, Hermana's Hansen, Balls,& Black, Elders
Campbell, Stephens and Unruh-outside of pic.

The picture of the bats! (Ick)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Monday, September 7, 2015 - You are a leader

So wow, great week. We had a lot of work. We taught plenty of lessons. Like, I don't even remember how to separate the days.... its all just a big giant blur. Like as if all of it happened in one day... haha 

Wednesday we had a meeting for all the leaders of our mission. Super good meeting. We really focused on what it meant to be a leader, and how to better our situation. Then we had a Leader Council, which is usually only done between Zone Leaders, but they included all the leaders of the mission this time. It reminded me a lot of the time I was a zone leader (I know it wasn't too long ago) and it was just powerful. In the meeting, President Nuckols shared an amazing quote from Russell M. Nelson. It says "If your actions make others strive to do more, dream more, try more, or be more, you are a leader."  I love that. Be the difference, be a leader. It really struck me to try harder and to make my actions my words. Make others do more off of my example. Even crazier, our Priesthood lesson on Sunday was about being a leader. Maybe the Lord was trying to tell me something? In my meeting for leaders, President Nuckols asked me to get up and bear my testimony in front of all the other leaders, since I am going home, and to bear testimony about my mission, and the change it has made for me. I swear, I could have stayed up there all day talking, but I kept it short and sweet. But I think that was the first time it really hit me how close everything is. I mean. wow..... a year ago, seeing someone do that, I thought, WOW... that day will never come for me. Well, it came and went. But anyways, I guess my spiritual message this week is that we all need to strive to be better leaders. Because everyone is a leader. With or without the title. We are leading others down the path of Christ every single moment of every single day, whether we know it or not. So be a leader. You are a leader.

My companion was sick on Friday and Saturday, which kept us inside and not able to work. :(

We got lots of referrals this week, due to being persistent. We asked everyone we talked to for a referral. Even contacts on the street. It was great. It actually really worked! First time I had ever tried that in the mission. We will definitely keep doing that throughout this week as well. One referral we got was the mother of a less active girl we teach. Now we teach them both. The mother has a baptismal date set up, and the less active girl, named Ana, should be reactivated by next week! :) Shows the true power of God in all things. :) 

I will be going to the temple this Friday. I am so excited. All the many blessings that come from the temple.... I am lacking that! I need some temple blessings! :)

Love you all, sorry this email isn't so detailed of every lesson I taught... its just like I said earlier.. its all a blur. hahah and I don't have my journal with me... so next week will be better. Love you all! Thanks for all your support!

Elder Weiss :)

Mother's note: I asked Parker if they had any other bad weather or storms last week and he said they have not. He also said his health is good even though his companion was sick. 

Here are a couple of Dominican things.

"this is how light posts look in the DR. Lots of wires...." 

"A big nest of the nation's National Bird.
These nests and birds are EVERYWHERE."

"Some Sunset Pictures"

"Nature is Beautiful."

"And a bush I like. Pretty Bush."

" a house that is really nice that I liked."

"Pictures of all of us that are almost finishing."

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015 - It's Starting

So really great week!!!!!

On Tuesday was transfer day. Some of my best friends in the mission left, including Elder Hope, or should I say Mike Hope, now that he is home. Hahah weird.... I actually met his parents at the MTC. Very nice people. I never got to say an actual goodbye to Elder Hope. He just kind of waved at me as I drove away with one of the Office Elders to take luggage of the people who were leaving back to the MTC where they were going to sleep that night. That was the last time I saw him. But, I'll see him again real soon. :) So crazy part of the day, the new assistant is from Costa Rica, and although he knows how to drive, he is afraid of driving a pick up truck, especially when its full of luggage, and we had one more load to take to the MTC, and I was assigned as his companion at the time, so he threw me the keys and said, you are driving. I was like "Are you nuts?? In this crazy country? No way. Its almost been two years since I last drove." He said, "Well, too bad. Get in." So ya, I drove for the first time in two years! And it was a truck, full of luggage, driving in the crazy streets of the DR where there really are no street laws. Ya..... it was a fun experience, but I never want to do that again. But cool to say I did it. Check that off the bucket list. haha

Wednesday was a great day! Now I live with 3 Latins, so its all  Spanish from here on out! Its been fun though. It helps me keep learning. So we visited with Nicauris and Rosa, and asked if they had been praying. Nicauris told us that she had received an answer that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. So now both her, and Rosa, have felt the spirit touch their hearts and testify of the truth of the message. So what more could we do, but give them a baptismal date?? And we did just that! And they accepted. Even though we've been struggling to find someone receptive to our message, the Lord still finds ways to help us in the work. 

Friday they sent out tropical storm warnings and I got tons of calls of preparation from the mission, and in short, we stayed home all day. Oh, and the electricity left at about 1 in the afternoon, and didn't show up again until 9 at night.... on Saturday. So all our meat and food in the fridge went bad and ya. Thanks tropical storm Erica.... I sure appreciated that. The storm was cool though. Lots of rain, and wind.

Saturday I had to do a couple of baptismal interviews for the Elders and Sisters in my district. Then in the evening we went to a baptism of the Sisters. It was really neat. They were able to help a 94 year old man come to know of the gospel's truth.

Sunday I got to sing in the Stake Choir in a meeting for young single adults. A Supreme Court Judge from the US came and talked. And he is a member. He talked about the Atonement in such a way it left me wondering if I really ever did understand the Atonement. It made me amazed in the sacrifice that Jesus did for all of us. I truly love Him. He suffered for us. He died for us. He loves us. Can we even comprehend what he did???? The talk I heard left me completely grateful for God allowing His Son to die and to take upon Himself the sins of all the world. Amazing.

Well, that was my week! First week of this transfer went by too quickly.... I can't believe it. Anyways, I love you all, and thank you so much for all your support! :)

Con amor,
Elder Weiss :)

This is all Parker said additionally about the Tropical Storm Erika:  We had to stay inside on Friday for a huge tropical storm. It broke the fence around our church, because a huge tree fell on it. The winds were way strong. But since that day, nothing.
"The one and only picture I took all week......
a selfie, of course."

"Here is my sexy selfie for the week.
 Snagged this at church. haha"
I call this. 'The Smulder'