Monday, January 28, 2013

28 January 2013

ALOHA!

Long time no see eh? Sorry about not sending a letter the past week, there was a holiday or something like that. I also didn't feel like bothering the good people at Best Buy anymore so we just played board games and stuff instead. Plus Elder Cordova has intense board games that last half of the day so we kept pretty busy.

It's hard to think that January is coming to an end already! Thankfully there hasn't been hardly any snow here, that has been a great blessing for us. But it has been bitterly cold here. However, despite the cold we had an amazing week!

Jelyan got baptized! This has been such an awesome miracle in her life as well as in ours. She has changed so much since we first found her on the street (which was E. Christensen's first week in the mission field by the way). She has overcome so many obstacles and progressed so much. It has truly strengthened my testimony of the converting power of the gospel, especially through the Book of Mormon. We noticed that up until she started reading the Book of Mormon on her own, she was just kind of progressing little by little but not by much. Then almost overnight everything changed. She started reading on the way to work (using the gospel library app) and started progressing like crazy. She began to understand the doctrine better and feel the Holy Ghost more in her life. She was happier and could feel the difference when she kept the commandments versus when she didn't.

Now she is on fire and we are hoping to get her a calling in the next couple of weeks. A tender moment for me personally was after her baptismal service. Amid the confusion of people conversing and eating refreshments (we're in Lawrence so of course there are refreshments!) I went up to Jelyan and congratulated her on the baptism. She replied saying,"Thank you for bringing me here." That short sentence carried so much truth and conviction in it that I was taken aback. She understood that her baptism was more than just a requisite for the kingdom of God, but rather that she was entering into the fold of Christ. She was becoming a part of the kingdom of God here on earth, which is only an extension of the Heavenly Kingdom. Needless to say, I was greatly impressed by her inspired comment. No doubt it was spoken by the Holy Ghost.

Something that I have come to understand greatly during my mission is the spiritual progression of the individual. Many times, if not always, we want the answers and results immediately. We want to know how to put the entire puzzle together instead of seeing how each little piece fits in with the others. But unfortunately for some of us patience is a Godly virtue that is needed to fulfill the commandment given in 3 Nephi 12:48. I have realized that we control how fast we progress but that progression is nonetheless gradual. We have to go piece by piece until we finish the entire puzzle.

Now a bigger problem that people have is that they may see a piece of the puzzle that doesn't fit in with the pieces that they have presently and therefore regard it as an error. Or they look at the new piece and decide that neither that piece nor the pieces they have are correct and throw out all of them. They lose sight of the eternal goal and forget the architect that created the puzzle. We need to know that we won't understand everything when we want to and that just because we don't understand it doesn't mean it isn't correct or of God. People think I understand the gospel or the church perfectly, but I don't. I don't understand all that much. But what I do understand I know to be true and I love it. I cherish it and will not throw it out if a weird piece comes into play.

I hope that we all can hold onto those things that we love and look for a better understanding of the things of God. I love you all and miss you, now go out and be a missionary!

Wolverines! (Our district war cry)

Elder Ty Resendez

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

14 January 2013

Hey all you Howlis!

Man this week was crazy! So much happened in the short time that I last wrote to all of you.

So now we have two new missionaries in the district. FYI a district is a group of companionships in the same general area. So there are two companionships in Lawrence and two in Methuen. It's kind of like a ward I guess, and I'm the bishop. A bunch of districts make up a zone (like a stake) and the zones make up the mission. So now as District Leader I'm in charge of getting reports, fixing problems in the areas in my district, teaching the other missionaries on how to better fulfill their potential, and reporting to our zone leaders.

So I have quite a bit on my plate haha. Everyone here says that district leader is the second busiest assignment in the mission, second to assistant to the president. Zone leaders have it pretty easy from what I hear, so Jake I don't want to hear any whining from you. So I'm pretty excited to fix some of the problems that our district has had and to take care of this part of the vineyard, a very fruitful and important part. Thankfully E. Christensen has really stepped up and is no longer a new missionary. He has really helped me to maintain the success in our personal area even with all of the new stuff that I have to take care of. Oh and also, since I'm district leader, everything that happens in my district is my fault haha and President Wilkey makes sure I understand that. So sometimes I have to give a little smack down, or a little piledrive to the face, you know? Just enough to get the point across.

So that's all of my new DL (district leader) stuff. It's fun but very time-consuming. As for our area, Jelyan is doing great! The ward loves her and she's all good to go for Jan 26, but her sister cannot get baptized with her unfortunately. Her parents won't let her, at least not yet. So she will keep coming with Jelyan to church and we'll let the Lord soften their hearts in the meantime.

We also added another baptismal date to our pool, a young woman named Bladys. She has been taught before and knows a lot of the girls in YW's (she's 15 by the way). So we had a lesson last night and brought the YW's president and the laurel's president and had a great lesson. She committed to a date for February 21 and is very serious about getting a testimony about the BOM.

Also, DJ wants to get baptized but he needs to get his Sundays off so he can make it to church. But he's so solid! I love that guy.

And Wanda (Mervyn's sister) is getting baptized the same day as Jelyan, in fact I'll be doing her baptismal interview (that's another DL duty, yes Mal I said duty. I have a lot of duties now, but my favorite is dead guy duty).

It sounds like things are going great back home! I hope they continue to improve, but remember that trials are what make us strong. Keep it up and write me some letters when you get the chance! I'm working on writing letters myself because I have been terrible lately.

Oh, so now in Lawrence there's me, E. Christensen, E. Dorantes, and E. Cordova. E. Cordova is from Ecuador and he has more time in the mission than me. He's from New York but he's a native Spanish speaker from Ecuador. So it's pretty cool to have him here now, we're getting things going!

Well my only thing to say is this: If you are part of a ward council, get your oval chart going. If you don't know what that is, then find out because Elder Perry knows his stuff and he is pushing hardcore for ward councils to use the oval chart. Anyways, stay classy!

Elder Resendez

Sunday, January 13, 2013

7 Jan 2013

Aloha!

Did you know that aloha also means, "I love you." I guess they just use that word for everything in Hawaii.

Well anyways, I hope you all had an amazing new years and made some sweet goals for this next year! My goal is to read the standard works in Spanish! I'm almost done with 2 Nefi already but I started a little early haha. It's going to be a little tough but I'm hoping that it will help me learn even more Spanish. I already understand a lot more than I did just a couple of weeks ago.

Oh and we got transfer calls Saturday night...I survived the cut again! I am staying here with Elder Christensen for one more transfer! Elder Dorantes is staying here too but he's getting a new comp who will be his senior. I also found out that I will be the new District Leader here in Lawrence! It's so nuts! Now I'm super responsible for so much junk that goes on. It was kind of cool cuz my dad (Elder Smith) was the one who called me to tell me that I'd be the next District Leader so we got to bond some more. So now I have a new adventure ahead of me and I really got to step my game up! I always joke with members and people that now that I'm not a junior I need to know what's going on, or at least act like I know what's going on.

So that's what's going on over here right now. Elder Kinyon is dead and we're getting some new people to the district tomorrow. Jelyan and her sister are excited and all set to be baptized January 26 and DJ is good for baptism once he starts getting Sundays off. He has to works Sundays right now and so we challenged him to get them off because he can't be baptized if he never comes to church. It's a tough situation but there's not much that we as missionaries can do about it. So we'll see what happens.

Things are going pretty well over here. Mervin's sister Wanda should be baptized this month so we're looking forward to that among all the other blessings here. At this point I'm a little overwhelmed because of the new responsibilities and stuff but I know that only lasts for a time. Soon it will be cake to me. It also doesn't help that since Elder Kinyon left before the end of the transfer, I had to take a crash course in being the district leader last night haha. I just called up the ZL's and asked them what I was supposed to do and they told me. So my mind is racing pretty fast right now.

I've also been a little under the weather, but just that annoying type of sick where you aren't too sick to go out but you just feel like crap. (Pardon my french, I bet you didn't know I spoke french right?) But it's so not the drama.

Well, I feel like I'm rambling at this point which means I need to be quiet so I'll leave you all now. Just know that I love you! Yes, you. I know you think I'm talking about someone else but I'm not. I'm talking about you. So aloha to you.

Aloha!
Elder Ty Resendez

P.S. A member named Hno. Loaiza said something pretty cool yesterday. He told us that when most people cry for those who are departing and rejoice for those who are being born that we should do almost the opposite. Those who are departing are going to a state of rest while those who are entering the world are just getting to the "war" as he called it. Those who have died have finished their course here and we should rejoice for them. And for those being born, we need to realize the importance of their roles and ours in their development. Cool stuff, anyways bye!

Happy New Years!

Howzit!?

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and is doing something fun tonight to celebrate the new year. I know that we'll be in at 8 and probably asleep by 930 haha so make sure to do something wicked awesome (and safe) for me!

For Christmas we ate a ton, mostly on the 24th but then we had two more dinners the 25th. Calling home was super great, it's weird to think I only will do that one more time! Time to step my game up! But it sounds like things are going well back home so that makes me smile.

Elder Kinyon goes home this Friday, he leaves a few days before the transfer ends because they're going to start school the next week so we will be in a trio once he leaves. That means I'll be in my 4th trio and I'll be leading it this time. So with Elder Kinyon leaving everybody wants to feed us now so we have like 6 meal appointments over the next 4 days. Not too shabby if I say so myself.

Thank you to everyone for the gifts/cards you sent me, they're very much appreciated. I love Christmas because it's an excuse for me to hear from people and to see how they're doing.

So this past Saturday we had Hermano Paniagua's baptism! He was so nervous for it but he did it like a champ! He should get the Aaronic Priesthood next Sunday and keep moving from there. It's so amazing, a miracle really, to see how far he has come. His wife was so happy Saturday at the baptism and on Sunday when he was confirmed. His kids were super excited too. They wouldn't leave his side the whole time. Kike (Quique) Barillas, the ward mission leader was the one who baptized Hno Paniagua. Kike is the funniest guy ever. This picture of him kind of shows his humor becuase he's always goofy but puts on a serious face. Oh and Hno Paniagua is the one standing next to E. Christensen. I love all of the gifts I received but I must say that that baptism was the best gift of them all, nothing could beat it. Plus, Chris Cabrera, the young men's leader here who is 24 and super tight was sealed last thursday to his wife. They got married before she was baptized and over the last 3 years she has learned about the gospel and prepared to get sealed so it just barely happened so we had a party for them as well. This week was so amazing! Just writing all of these things makes me realize all of the blessing and miracles we just saw. Count your many blessings right?

Also at the ward party this past Saturday (dec 22) we performed for everyone. We sang and danced to "Los pastores a belen" by David Archuleta and the MOTAB. The problem is that our music was terrible due to the primary stereo we had to use but it was still funny. I'll try to get a video of it somehow. Also, a family from the ward performed Gundham style (or however you spell it) at the party and it was sooooooo funny! I had never heard of it before so it made it even funnier. I was able to get a video of that one so maybe one day you'll get to see it.

Also, our next baptism is jan 13 for DJ, Norma's husband. He read the entire Book of Mormon so fast that we had to get him all of the standard works and a gospel principles book to keep him studying. He's doing great but his store just opened so he has to work most Sundays so we're working to fix that. That's our only problem with him. Also, Elias was all set to be baptized until we found out that he's on probation for the next 3 years. And until he's off of that he can't get baptized, the repentance process you know? So please pray that he stays with the gospel and shows his faith until the day that he can make that covenant. It reminds me of the story in the Book of Mormon of the people who gain testimonies but cannot be baptized because none of them have the authority to do it so they stay active in the gospel until the day that they can find someone with that authority. We hope to share that story with him to help him understand.

Well, I think that's about all I can think of. Yes I'm at Best Buy again. And I'll be here again in January because of MLK day haha so I hope they get used to us. Thank you for all the love and support that give me, remember that Christ lives! Read the scriptures daily, especially the Book of Mormon. Like the story from spring conference 2012, if you haven't read the Book of Mormon, you should! It's a great book! I love you all!

Elder Ty Resendez