Tuesday, June 14, 2016

One More Week

We are about a week away, so this last email was short.  Lloyd has two baptisms scheduled for this Saturday, so he's going out with a bang.  He's still working hard and doing well.  He's complaining about walking up and down the hills so much that his feet and legs hurt.  But he's doing well.

We are having an open house for him on Saturday, June 25, from 6-8.  Come on over and say hello to him.  He'll be speaking in church the next day.  Our church is at 10:30 in the Reston building, right off of Fairfax County Parkway. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Last Fast and Testimony Meeting

Well, I am doing really well. I don’t know if you experienced it on the mission, but sometimes you get a little complacent with the spirit, kind of not always elevating the feeling of the spirit, kind of feeling normal. Well, thankfully, this Sunday was fast Sunday, and it went really well. I fasted (wow, I know), and I got to give my testimony, it was really awesome. Since it was my last fast and testimony meeting in Panama, I felt that I had to share. So it was really awesome. Then, we went and taught a less active, because he had been reactivating, but has since fallen away, he is 16, and is the only one of his family who is a little bit active. So we went and were talking to him, and it was really... normal. We were trying to reach him, but he was talking about how other people receive all the blessings, even if they don’t go to church, and he feels that he isn’t receiving any blessings. Well, we weren’t really reaching him, nothing that we were saying was really making an impact, it was always followed by him saying "but..". So I had the impression of sharing with him the last talk by McConkie, about the healing power of Gethsemane. It was really awesome. He was a little distracted in the beginning, but then he was just listening to the talk. Afterwards, we went outside, and he was almost crying, and so was my companion, because this is the talk that gave my companion his testimony. And the spirit was really strong, and it was awesome. So we told him to pray as soon as we left, and he would know that God was listening to him. It was really awesome.

And on Saturday we had a baptism, a lady named Argelis, she is really awesome. She lives on the other side of a mountain, kinda, and still comes to church. She lives in a plywood house, and always wants to go church, it’s awesome. And yesterday, well, one of our baptisms, so a recent convert, was taken to jail because he was hanging out with his idiot friends huffing glue, apparently, and was taken to jail. He got out today, so yeahhhhh. But he says he wasn’t huffing glue. So, we are trusting him. And my companion told me that the recent converts’ family are drug dealers, sooooooo. Yeah. Which is weird, because they live in a tiiiinyyyy house. And we were supposed to have another baptism, but the lady disappeared for four days. Well, apparently she went off drinking and went to partttaaayyy. Apparently this is the first time she has had alcohol. So we had to postpone her baptism for my last Saturday here. She looks like she wants to repent, though, so that is a good sign.

Everything is going good, we are working hard, and tomorrow we are going to the temple, I am going to buy a book of Mormon in Portuguese, because I am thinking of after the mission trying to learn it, because it is so close to Spanish, and I heard that there is a great app called duolingo which is apparently really good for learning languages. So yup!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Mothers Day Phone Call

So we got to talk to Lloyd for Mothers' Day, which was really awesome.  He goes to a members house with Internet and we get to do Skype so we can see him.  He looks really good and he's really growing up. 

He's starting to get nervous about coming home, which is actually good.  It means that he has been putting himself into his mission and really focusing on working hard and working with the people of Panama.  It will be overwhelming to him when he gets home.  First, he will experience the loss of his mission and he really won't know what to do with himself.  That will be a big change.  I remember when I came home from my mission and the second I got off the plane it hit me that I was home and I wanted to go back.  The second is that he has been in very poor and humble places and coming home will be a shock.  We tend to forget how blessed we are to live in a wonderful country and we are used to so many things that others don't.  Things like hot water, carpeting, electricity that always works, etc.  He says he can't wait to feel carpet again. 

I think Lloyd is enjoying being a Zone Leader.  He does a lot to encourage the other missionaries, which is really good.  Leadership in the church is much more about serving others than telling them what to do and I think he has discovered that.  He makes brownies, cake, treats and other things to motivate the missionaries.  He makes it fun and that's important. 

He's getting along good with his companion.  He said that at first he wasn't sure because he had heard things about him, but they are doing well and get along good.  They work hard.

It's amazing to hear him talk in Spanish.  While talking to us, occasionally someone will talk to him and he will respond and he's very fast!  It's fun to see that.  If he keeps his language skills it will help him in life.  I wish I knew a second language.

Well, only another month and Lloyd comes home.

Zone Stuff

Note:  this past week we had a change in our ward and Bishop Buhler was released as Bishop.  He’s been the bishop for about five years and was the Bishop that interviewed Lloyd for his mission.  So I shared the news with him and this is his reaction.

What?!. That kinda sucks, Brody was awesome. This will certainly be interesting. And well, it sucks, I dont want to come home, it kinda sucks like that. But hey, what can I do. Wow. I guess in two years a lot happens. And thank you for taking care of everything for me, it means a lot. Because it means I can just freak out about my ward and investigators, haha.

Today was cool, we played soccer and capture the flag as a zone. It’s kind of funny, I am spoiling my zone a lot. I make them brownies and cake, I buy them chocolate or stuff like that, which honestly no other zone leader did for me, and I wanted to help them to relax on their only day off. And today I bought them pizza, haha. I feel bad for my comp and the future ZL here, because they are going to be used to getting treats from me that they might rebel against them, haha.

But this week was good, we worked hard and I died, got the flu pretty bad. But we are progressing pretty well with a few investigators that we are sure are going to get baptized. Just working hard and taking care of the zone, it’s pretty awesome. Love you tons, thanks for everything!


Haha, the mission has actually made me a bit crazier. But this week was pretty cool. I went on divisions with a new guy, and it was good. We were walking around and started talking to this lady who spoke a little of English, and she invited us inside to talk to her. So we started talking and we taught the lesson, and I gave my testimony after. Well, then she said that everyone can see angels, because the lord loves us! Ok. Then she tells us that she has seen an angel. Really? Yup, and that she was at an evangelical camp, and there were 70 pastors going around and preaching and all that jazz. Well, evangelicals around here are kind of obsessed with the whole oil anointing deal. So she says that her hair was drenched in oil, and I alllllllllllllmost said "you needed to take a shower". Took a lot of willpower to not say that. Well, then she says that there was an angel floating on a platform, and it had wings and a trumpet and was flinging oil everywhere, probably would put BP to shame. 

And another day we were going around contacting, and this guy invites us inside, and started to talk to us about his life, and how he used drugs and alcohol and his life was horrible, and now he has quit drugs and has quit drinking, and wants to start coming to church, so that is going to be pretty awesome to be able to teach him. We also had a pretty cool experience because we helped carry a guy’s bag full of liquor bottles, and then we started to teach him. It was a good lesson, and he told us about his brother, who when he was arrested, the police hit him so bad that he lost his eye, and is now suing the city for 500,000 dollars. You could buy a whooooole lot of alcohol with that, haha.