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Monday, September 22, 2014

Transfers: God Doesn't Always Work By Our Logic

Comments in ( ) are added by me, Melissa's mom.
Hey Mom!
I'm pretty sure that was my science fair board first. Just saying. I'm pretty sure I painted it and Rachel mooched off my awesomeness.  (I sent her a picture of a visual aid I made for Primary using an old science board)
Aw! Rachel is so gorgeous! I want copies of her pictures! And more pictures of all of you so I can show you off to all my companions and peoples. (referring to one of Rachel's sr portraits)
Hermana D says she's never seen anyone so intense about Primary. I was like, "That's my mom." (I'm really not that intense!)
Candy information: Candy corn, Three Musketeers, anything fruit flavored, yorks, Andes, all that good stuff. (What kind of Halloween candy do you like?)

Soooooooooooooo transfers . . . I should probably fill you guys in on those.
We had a lot of new Spanish missionaries come in this transfer. However, we didn't have enough Spanish areas to put them in. So they made more. They changed Desert Bloom to have three areas instead of just two. Our branch is really small though, but there's a lot of area. So member-wise, it's a little tough. But anyway, we kind of just assumed we would stay in Desert Bloom 1, because that was our area and there is no logical reason for us to change areas. But God doesn't always work by our logic.
We're in Desert Bloom 3 now! Yes, we did get double transferred out, and in, but into the same branch! Yes, we do have to open a new area! Yes, we can visit all of our potentials and formers in three hours! Yes, we are in Anthem aka where all the rich people live aka not the Hispanics! Yes, we did move into an old elders' apartment and have to spend two days cleaning and moving! Yes, I don't understand why I am here! But yes, it's ok, because I'm supposed to be here.
Ya. We had nothing when we got here. No area book, virtually no potentials, our only investigators are the ones that moved into our area with us (an old couple, E and F) and an investigator that we stole from the other elders (O, she's really attached to us). The apartment was super gross. We spend a ton of time cleaning it. And our old apartment. And then we had to move. And buy stuff like, cleaning supplies, new shower curtains (they were supposed to be clear, but they were orange--let's not talk about how disgusting that was), stuff for a traveling area book. We also had to make a map. We are still in search of a map book. (I've decided that I like them better then GPSs. We've been borrowing the elders' GPS since we don't know how to get around, but it's kind of just annoying, so MAP BOOK! Once we find one.) We went nearly insane because we didn't leave the house for like ever. It was quite terrible. Seriously, two days. TWO DAYS! We had a lot of organizing to do.
But get this! You would think we have six missionaries in the branch, but no! We have 7! Elder P got another trainee, he is not only finishing Elder B's training, he is training greenie Elder M! Elder C is also training Elder Cl. Basically, everyone is training. District meeting gets a little crazy. Oh! We also are our own district now. Spanish districts for the win!
One thing that is awesome about the elders who lived in the apartment before us is that they had a wall of white boards. It was their planning room. We call it the command center. I'll send you pictures.
You should send me stamps.
We set O for a baptismal date! We taught her how to pray. She didn't really understand it at first so our member, Hermana S, had her repeat after her like a little kid. She felt the spirit so strong. Then she fed us. Which was interesting. She can't smell or taste, so ya. Not bad, just, bland. But she loves to feed us. She always gives us food.
Anyway. This week wasn't super exciting, but it was. I don't know how to describe it. Someone definitely talked to us for an hour and a half and insulted every religion out there, which contradicting himself multiple times and using multiple examples that didn't make any sense. I swear, he didn't draw breath.
Love,

Hermana Leete


Monday, September 15, 2014

So ya, Life is Awesome.

Hi Dad.

I hear you turned 18 this week. Congratulations. You are now an adult! You now have a lot of new responsibility--use it wisely.

I would tell you about transfers, but we really don't know what's going on. None of it makes sense and all of the new information we have gotten concerning our area and stuff we have heard third-hand and no one has told us anything. So when I figure it out, I'll let you know. 

MILAGROS!

Do you want to know how many people we found this week? Brace yourself--14! We found three families this week! !!!!!!!

I don't even know how to describe this to you. I'm still in shock.

On Tuesday we found the D family. E, the grandfather (I think) we had met when knocking on potential's doors. The person we were looking for had moved, but he spoke Spanish so we talked to him. We set up a time for a blessing contact, but he either wasn't there or not all of his family was, or something. But we went by again and he wasn't there. Anyway. The person we were trying to see wasn't there, so we tried him again, and his son answered the door and let us in. They have a family of 6! We did a blessing contact and set up a return appointment. That was an awkward lesson. The dad wasn't there so we didn't want to teach the Restoration so we just talked about the Book of Mormon. But we have a return appointment. But, like, wow. 

On Wednesday we found some more people. 6 more to be exact. First was M, she's a former. We taught her lesson 1, we already did a blessing contact with her. The next person was H and M1 and their two kids (we think one is 8 and the other is younger). We just did a blessing contact and have a return appointment. But they are looking for the truth. Then there is M2 and her family. She's a former, but we think her husband is a member who might go to an English ward. But, two or her or her husband's parents are staying there for a bit. So ya. Awesome!

On Saturday we taught a part member family, the M3 family. The husband is a less active but wants to go back to church for his kids. He respects his wife's religion, which is good. We are going to go back and "practice our lessons" with them. Probably. Maybe we won't have to be so sly about it.

On Sunday O walked into church. She came last Sunday too (never talked to missionaries before) and we tried to contact her this week, but it didn't work out. But, we have an appointment set up with her.

So ya. That's how we found our new investigators. Don't get me wrong, we've been praying and fasting for this, but it's not like we found some fantastic new way to find.

If you haven't heard, there's a movie coming out, it's called Meet The Mormons. WATCH IT. I'm so excited for it. It comes out October 10 as a general release in the movie theaters. It's a documentary about six people that are Mormons. Nothing preachy, but it'll be great. Invite your friends. Go see it yourself. Spread the word! In like focus groups, testing things, nonmembers who watched it said that they wanted to learn more, that if a Mormon knocked on their door they would let them in. If enough people go see it in theaters, we can get it on Netflix. 80% of homes in American have Netflix. We want this on Netflix! So watch it! Spread the word! I'm so excited! Think of the missionary opportunities! We only get to see it if we go with an investigator and we don't pay for ourselves. So the problem is finding an investigator who speaks enough English to go.

So ya. Life is awesome. 

Love,


Hermana Leete

Monday, September 8, 2014

This Week Has Been Great!

Yo.

Ya! I ran into Amy at a fireside yesterday. I was walking out, looking for my investigators (who didn't show) when she was like, "Are you Kevin's sister?" I was like ya! It took me a moment to remember who she was, I recognized her, but I was like "Where do I know you from . . ." (inwardly, of course) but I had to run away really fast because Hermana D kept on walking I was like, "I gotta go, my companion . . ." Super awkward. But I got to talk to her afterward. She wanted to make sure that I was ok and had everything I needed. She's super nice. She said she saw on Facebook that I was there. So ya. That was fun! She's not in my branch (cause it's a Spanish branch) but I don't know where she lives or what stake she's in. But she probably doesn't live too far away.

Rachel's old. That's weird. I hope school is treating her well. It was weird when school started over here, there's more traffic after school, more teenagers out and about, school zones. Weird.

I talked to a Jehovah's Witness this week. We were walking to our car when a lady says, "hey you!" (she was in her car) and she asked us why we were all dressed up. Then she asked if our religion was the same as the Amish. So ya, we answered some questions. It was interesting.

Alex Boye did a fireside last Sunday (where I met Amy at). It was a "Why I Believe" fireside where converts talk about their conversion. He sang a song and told us his story. He's super funny. It was cool to hear his story. We were told that there was going to be Spanish translation so we invited K and E, but there wasn't translation, and they didn't come. So we were left sitting there with Brother B and his wife. It was sad. We had their fellowshippers and everything! But whateves, we'll get them to church next week. It's hard, because they work on Sundays. They work during our branch and E has to work really early in the morning so it's hard for them to go to night church because it's far away and late. UUGGGGGHHHH. It's gonna change though. I know it will.

El, M, and F are our other family we are teaching. They are pretty cool. They haven't kept any commitments yet, but they like listening to us. But don't worry, we'll get them to see the importance of commitments!

They are going to change our area soon. They are going to put another set of Elders. Which is awesome. Except we will lose like six of our investigators. Sad. :(

This is what I wrote to the mission president. Maybe it'll be more interesting. I've already ran out of things to say:

This week has been great! We're teaching a family and they are so prepared. So prepared, in fact, that Satan is trying very hard to keep them from learning with us. Every time we go over, something happens that prevents us from teaching for a while. Someone comes to the door, their gas stops working, a dog gets dropped off, their DVD player won't work and will only play the video in English. But that doesn't stop us! They really want to learn and change their lives, and we are going to do all we can to help them do so.

We're working hard to get members out with us. It's hard because they work and can only come out on certain days are certain times. But we're trying. It's also hard when they cancel on us last minute or when our investigator flakes out on us. But it's ok. It'll get better.

So ya. I hope all is well. Keep being awesome. Feed the missionaries! (But don't be offended if they don't eat a ton, sometimes you just have a small stomach. Like me. But I have to eat it all. Or they get offended. And then dessert. And occasionally seconds. It's all fantastic. It's just a lot. And we thought we ate a ton . . .)

Love ya!


Hermana Leete

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Week of Miracles

Hey guys!

You definitely won't have a lawn by her (Rachel's) birthday. She's going to be an adult really soon! That's crazy! She's making me feel old. But I'm not really that old. Not at all. Sometimes people won't listen to us because we're so young and we don't know everything. The other day someone told us we can't be right because we don't know how they found the original cross. Basil and all that stuff. He was Greek. I don't know why that would matter. 

One of the blessings of learning a language is that you have a different spirit with you. Everything I say is really sincere, because it's hard for me to speak, and so I mean everything I say. It's a labored, slow effort. And people can tell that, they can feel that. I don't lie in Spanish, because I can't lie, I don't know how to say that stuff. Everything is from the heart. That's partially why I'm so quite around the members, because when they are talking about random stuff, I don't reply, it takes too much effort and they don't have the patience for me to struggle it out. It's not important enough for me to put forth that effort to try and speak. But it's obvious in a lesson. Why would I go out, learn a new language where I clearly am struggling, to teach people lies? It doesn't make sense. The people also really appreciate it. They appreciate that I am trying to learn their language, especially since I'm in the US, to teach to them so that they can understand it better. It's great. They love it.

This week was a week of miracles. We found two families! That's five new investigators! Both of them were actually referrals. I think I already told you about the one referral from an English member. If I didn't, tell me and I'll tell you the story.

We had been trying to get in contact with K and E for like two weeks now. They were never home and it seemed like they had family home, so we waited and tried again. We got to set up an appointment and Brother B (the member who gave the referral) was able to come. We just did a blessing contact, talked to them a bit and said a prayer with them. When I asked (in Spanish of course) "If Christ was here, what would you ask him?" E started to cry. She said they wanted a change of heart and to know the truth. She said when I spoke, she felt something. We were able to tell them that we had the truth. We said a prayer, and set up a return appointment. We also gave them the Restoration pamphlet to read. We'll get to teach them on Wednesday. They are so prepared! I think they really want to know the truth and are really interesting and excited for us to come back. K said like three times, "Wednesday at 6, right?" They had no hesitation letting us in, they were waiting and excited. I'm so happy we get to teach them.

The other referral was from the English missionaries, her name is El. We came by and did a blessing contact last week, so this week it was the first lesson. Two of her kids were there too! We got to teach them all, and Hermana L (a member) was there too, she was amazing! She answered all of the daughter's questions. She seemed really interested, she asked a lot of questions (like, what about saints? <-- we get that one a lot) but they were sincere questions, she just wanted to know. We have a return appointment set up. (F is the son, he's like 14, the daughter is in her 20s I think.) AWESOME! The spirit was so strong. It was a little sad, because (this was Saturday) we had appointments every single hour and a member for every hour, but one appointment cancelled, the other ones weren't at home. But we had members out with us! It's a little hard, because we only had three member present lessons, but if all had gone well, we would have had like 8 or 9. But we're trying! We keep on asking members to come out, and we try and do all we can to have appointments set up.

We biked on Saturday. We just went around for like am hour in the morning to street contact people. I'm so glad I don't have to bike all the time. It was so hot, even in the morning. This week has been like 110 all week. It's been bad. Yay for cars!

We're working hard. But we're super blessed. Like yesterday, we were trying to find where a referral lived, and we were stuck outside a gated community and some elders rode by (on their bikes!) We tried to wave them over, but they didn't see. But they came back! And they happened to be the exact elders who gave us the referral. It turns out that the referral lives in the West mission, but without them, we might not have found that out. Oh! One of the elders I met at EFY like three years ago. Cool, huh?

Life is good. The Church is true, the book is blue. Read it, live it, love it, share it. Love ya guys!

Hermana Leete


P.S. Hermana D and I have been trying to find all the state's license plates. Most of them have a saying on them, like Washington's is "The Evergreen State" so we've been writing them down. We kinda get creepy at times. Like when we take a picture of it while we are driving so we can zoom in on it to read the saying. But it's a lot of fun! We're got like 13 states!
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