Tuesday, September 03, 2013

September 3, 2013

Hey family!

Okay first of all before anything, the knife thing. It was an alley with people sitting outside and everything like people’s front doors. You can drive cars in. We were contacting a referral. Then the guy said something and I couldn’t hear him and I asked him if he lived here. He was drunk and walked up to us and said beat it, he didn’t actually pull out the knife. Then the other guy with him told us to leave it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. I am being careful and smart so don’t worry. I know I am not invincible.
(Background info on this: Josh told Gavin that someone pulled a knife on him, he didn’t want me to find out but of course I ended up finding out and freaked out so Josh is clarifying what happened :) It sounded a lot worse in the email he sent to Gavin last week!)

This week has been so hot! 100's all week! Our apartment is soo hot, no AC. But we’re doing fine. We each buy a case of water every week, our tap water tastes gross. Everyone always gives us water at the door. We had a very good week, we now have 5 baptismal dates! 4 on the 22nd of September. But we ended the week frustrated because no one came to church. So we are gonna try harder this week to get them to church. Yesterday was a holiday so I was unable to e-mail, all the libraries were closed. We went and played sports all afternoon so it was super fun, volleyball is actually sweet.  Today I am on exchanges in my area so it’s good, I get to learn alot from other the other Elders.

So about the backpack am I sending it home or not? I have postcards and some sick stickers for all of you too. When does the bag come?

On Saturday I got to go on exchanges with the Zone leaders, I went into their area, in La Puente and all El Monte. I got to drive all day too so I loved it. It’s been good we talked about how on your mission you get to see how the Gospel applies to people’s situations and get edified yourself. Which prepares you for your life and experiences. Everyone we teach has different needs and challenges. And all can be helped by the Atonement. 

On Friday we taught Luis and his mom Josefina. We were about to watch the restoration DVD and the lesson completely changed when she brought up a doubt with baptism. It’s hard for these people to change because for many generations they have their religion, mostly catholic. Anyways she has a bad feeling about it but has such a good feeling when we come over. The lesson really was teaching more about baptism and the atonement and testifying to her, it was forsure my most spiritual lesson I have ever had. It was crazy, I could feel so strong how much heavenly father loves her and wants her to come into the fold. At the end of the lesson she prayed for the new date and if the book of Mormon is true. I know that as she continues to ask and shows her desire to know that God will answer.
My love is really growing for the people here, especially as my Spanish is getting better.

In answer to cars and I-pads, they are taking out alot of our cars, alot of biking and bus passes. And I think we are getting i pads in October, it will feel weird but be such a good tool to use. Latinos love videos. It’s funny because the kids here understand both Spanish and English, but usually speak to their parents in English. The parents understand both pretty much but only really speak Spanish. So the conversations between parents and kids are so funny. The parents speak in Spanish to them and the kids answer in English and it’s all normal.

I’ve been really enjoying my personal studies in the morning, my whole view on prophets and the Book of Mormon has completely changed. Its crazy I can’t get enough of it as odd as it sounds. In our area I think we need to work with the members better, we are trying to set up activities and temple trips which I think will help. There is less than 2 weeks before transfer calls, I could leave, who knows. I am really enjoying it here though. My companion is super good, we work together well, and we spend alot of time with the zone leaders and they’re super fun. But I will go wherever the Lord needs me, hopefully LA haha just kidding. I will send the sweet stickers and post cards!

Thanks for all the emails and pictures I hope everything goes well with school!
Love Elder Garry

Tuesday August 27, 2013

Hey family! 

I loved all the pics dad sent, looks like crypt was fun, it doesn’t look like it was very hot though. Its crazy we just did that hike at the end of last summer. Those Galloway pics are sweet too, did you guys do it all on your own? 

This last week was good! Last week we helped Hermano (brother) Gomez with his house. That returning less active family. He is on fire! We are teaching his bro in law and son and then brother Gomez oldest daughter and boy friend who aren’t members and he has referrals for us. But anyways he has a giant tree that covers his house so we helped him trim it and sweep his roof, it was super hot but good to help him out. It took us like 2 and half hours! The whole family came to church too!

Oh I found out that Snoop Dogg lives in my mission, in a place called chino. I guess he has a big gate and a basketball hoop with a Gold Rim, pretty classic.

On Tuesday we went on exchanges and I was in our area. We had a lesson with one of our investigators Maria (everyone Latina is named Maria). And I had no idea what to teach her. I had been praying alot and we went in and she hadn’t read so we read ch 1 in Nephi and explained more about why we have the book of Mormon. Then it all just came, all in Spanish too, and we talked about the Holy Ghost and what it feels like and how it is how we are able to know truth. We than set a baptismal date for Sept 29th which was sweet it all just happened I had no idea what I was saying. Crazy!
I really do know that when we do everything we can then God will help us with what he would have us do. 

God is like a Boss in a way. You don’t receive a paycheck before you work right. After our work or trial of our faith comes the blessings. This is a concept we have been teaching our investigators. It applies to all of us, if we want a testimony we need to work for it, or an answer to a prayer.

Yesterday was Zone Conference, it was super good! President Beccera just blows our minds every time, I think the greatest teacher I have met. He talked about how there is a new temple video, and we are going in October and he says how amazing it is. He’s like I just want to go to the temple everyday now. So all the missionaries are super excited to go. We did a bunch of role-plays and talked about how to teach Latino people. Before we came were supposed to read Jacob 5 and our Patriarchal Blessings and look for why we were called at this time. I found tons of things in mine that is really strengthening my testimony. 
At the end he was testifying of our calling and how we were reserved and how we need to hasten the work. Very powerful moment. Very spiritual meeting. After zone conference we all just wanted to go find more people to teach!

This month I am really focusing on understanding the Doc of Christ better and relying on the spirit. And I have seen a change so far. Our planning is different and our prayers for it as well, its all Gods work. 

Today I think a member is taking us to arbys in Azua haha I guess the zone leaders really want to go. I would rather take advantage of the ride and go hiking but one day. I guess there are some sweet hikes here.

I am so grateful to be here in this mission have these experiences. Before I would have good ones like at church or seminary but those feelings would go away and it was apart of me all the time. Here it happens all the time and my motivation from doing missionary work is changing from out of duty to love. 

I hope you all have a super good week, last week of summer right? 
Love Elder Garry

P.s here is some pics of us eating at bills, every Thursday! Don’t worry that morning we ran 3 miles!

Me with the free pop

Me making fun of elder Ingram

Sunday, June 23, 2013

June 17, 2013

Hey family! 

So this week we set 2 more baptism dates! Its crazy! So we have 4 now. We are teaching a lot. Saturday and Sunday night kinda sucked because every block had a party and there was drunk Mexicans everywhere asking us to say prayers with them. Pretty classic but we couldn’t find anyone that wanted to talk. Too many parties with jumpers its crazy like every street, blasting Mexican music. I guess for Dia de el Padre. (Father’s day)

So on Tuesday I went to North El Monte on exchanges and in the morning we did Zumba with the west elders. If you don’t know what zumba is look it up, it was soo funny. We were dancing with a bunch of fat Mexican moms and old Asian ladies. It was a "finding activity" I guess but we were dancing and working out. We were the only boys and white people. It was like Mexican music and that gangnam style song and stuff. It Felt super weird but pretty fun I guess. I wish I filmed it, you'd cry laughing. North El Monte is nicer, alot of Asians. It is harder to find Spanish people so we drove around alot looking. I am glad my area is all Spanish, its sweet.

Wednesday we went to this burger place called Bills just off Santa Anita I think or valley maybe on maxon. It was super good only dollar burgers and they’re huge. I wonder If Rich knows it?

My Spanish is slowly improving still and I am starting to be able to have normal conversations with people instead of just gospel stuff, its hard though. Especially because I am not just thrown into it. We teach in English sometimes and with other elders. Its not completely Mexico.

We are really focusing on getting our investigators to do 3 things: pray, read the book of Mormon and come to church. That’s what you need to do to gain and strengthen your testimony. If you don’t do that then you can lose your testimony so easy, it is scary, it has happened to lots of less actives we teach. We taught one guy the plan of salvation yesterday and he started crying after a bit because he had forgotten everything and felt so bad but was so happy we came by for him. I couldn't tell if he was sad or happy? 

We played soccer on Saturday for a ward activity it was super fun, the locals are so good at it. It was hot, I soaked myself in the water fountain. 
Yesterday we had lots of investigators come to church so we were very happy about that.

Thanks for the pictures! Looks like Gav is loving my shirts. He has some sick vans on and those stance socks. The Mexican kids wear them here too. Everyday we get a comment about how nice our bikes are or if we want to trade. I did a 180 on my rode bike, probably a bad idea because it could break, I am not gonna do it again. 

I got the 2 packages! Thank you so much, the basketball hoop is sweet and I have soo much candy now! I am never hungry because we have so many beans and tortillas. 

Anyways I hope you get my memory card soon! I sent it last Monday.

Love Elder Garry!

Monday June 10, 2013

Hey family! Good to hear from you! Sounds like Aidan is killing it in Basketball, I remember the tournaments I had in Lethbridge, they were soo fun, don’t worry we lost too I think. The only big tournament we won was provincials in Saskatchewan a long time ago. 

This week was crazy. Super good, we set 2 baptismal dates, taught 17 lessons and got 7 new investigators! That’s super good, the standard of excellence here is 3 new investigators a week. We are always teaching, rarely do we tract, its awesome. I counted the lessons I taught, so far its 70.  It doesn’t feel like that but it is. That’s including less actives. Yesterday was my first stake conference in Spanish, this mission has 2 Spanish stakes its crazy! I think we are the only mission that does. My Spanish is getting better too.  Each week gets a bit easier and not as frustrating. 

My funny story for the week:  all the pipes in our complex backed up and so crap and junk came up through the tub and toilet all over the floor and even a bit on the carpet, it was so gross, we came home for language study and lunch at 1:00 and it smelt so bad. It’s all good now, our place is pretty old and ghetto. I took a video of it that I will send today, my memory card. Yeah so there was crap all in the tub and floor, classic El Monte. But don’t worry nothing got wrecked. 

I went on exchanges with my district leader to El Monte north, their place is so nice, they have a pool. We taught a part member family the restoration and it was an incredible lesson. I new exactly what to say and bore testimony of it and we committed him to a baptismal date in July. He said yes and offered the closing prayer and started bawling. The spirit was so strong and he knew what he was doing was right, that family will be so blessed. I wish I could share the full story but the point is it wasn’t me it was all the spirit and I don’t know what we said, but I felt the spirit soo strong in the closing prayer. 

We are also teaching a few guys my age, they are super fun to teach. I didn’t get to do that in Vancouver because it was for the singles ward. I am so blessed in this mission to be teaching so many people, I guess I am in one of the best areas for Spanish. 

Sounds like the rain stopped there maybe? I saw a picture of gav on our mini ramp, looks like its fun. When do Aidan and Aaron finish school? 

Well I think that’s all I have to say, it is sweet how I am more happy then frustrated, the language is hard its only been 4 weeks, with time I will get it and speak my mind. 

Love Elder Garry!