Monday, April 29, 2013

29 April 2013

Happy Birthday Elder (Papa) Smith!

Yes, today is my trainer's birthday! It's a great occasion for all of us to celebrate so go out and buy a cake for yourself. Speaking of Elder Smith, I have some great stories from this past week! First off, this week we had a zone meeting with about 20 or so missionaries, one of which being my dad, Elder Smith. Well Elder Smith and I have had some playful banter as of late which has grown into a sort of competition. I made a joke that he couldn't do pushups and so he challenged me to a push up contest at zone meeting during lunch in front of everyone. I accepted and trained my heart out for it. Then right as we broke for lunch during zone meeting Elder Smith came up to me and asked if I remembered how Rocky 3 ended. It ended with Rocky and Apollo fighting with each other to see who was the better boxer but his point was where they did it. They fought in the gym by themselves, so his point was that a matter such as this should be settled behind closed doors. I consented and then completely DESTROYED him in push ups! 39-26 was the score when he finally gave up and gave me the victory. It was such a wonderful moment, definitely made it into my journal.

Well story #2 has to do with miracles. We send voicemails of miracles to our zone leaders who send them to the entire zone in an effort to pump each other up to do the work. Saturday night we got one of the funniest miracles ever, it was an 8 minute rant from Elder Smith about how they found 12 new investigators and how their area was so much better than ours. He even said that one of the lessons they taught was better than his entire mission, including his time in manchester and all of his former companions and trainees haha. He finally ended it by saying, "and just remember, Zone Damariscotta (his area) is better than Gardiner! Have a good night!" Elder Davis and I were dying from laughter it was so great. We found out the next day that the miracle was completely fake but we still have it on our phone because it's so funny. So I plan on getting him back this week before he dies, I just need to actually find 12 new investigators.

Everything else here is going well. We are pushing forward, we have three people working for baptism and should add another three this coming week. We're super stoked about the work here but it's a bittersweet thing. Our ward is losing a ton of people this summer and the Augusta ward is shrinking too. We think we might end up merging with them, which would be weird. We're also getting sister missionaries to work in here as well soon. There's a lot of stuff going on with not enough time, but that's normal right?

President Wilkey only has one transfer left! It's so hard to see him transitioning everything to the new mission president. We are going to miss him so badly, but it's time for him to go home and rest. Boy does he need rest. He is such a remarkable man. I can't say enough about him. The same goes for Sister Wilkey, she is so great. It's like having two mission presidents because she is equally yolked with president.

Well, transfer calls are this Saturday night and we expect something to happen. But we have no idea what the result might be. Transfers are always a surprise and are stressful. I'd enjoy another stay in Gardiner but I wouldn't be devastated to leave it so I'm kind of on the fence. My comp has been here only one transfer more than I have, so either one of us could go, but I think he will more than I think that I will.

As for college and civilian life, I have no idea what I am going to do. I assume I'll just go back to BYU and find a job. But then there's also BYU-Hawaii and there's always just work for a while. So I don't know what to do right now but suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Well, it's already May, summer is just around the bend. I can't believe how fast this year is going already. If only I could slow down time eh? Then I'd be the most effective missionary ever!

So hey! Send me some pictures/questions/letters/goodies/anything you want! I love anything and everything, but I mainly love you. So just pretend like you care about me, thanks!!

Elder Resendez

P.S. Those pictures of Stephen's marathon were sweet!

Monday, April 22, 2013

22 April 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GEMMA!! (Not like I would know, I haven't even met you after all...)

Aloha!

I've decided that I want to live in Hawaii long enough to give me the ability to start every talk by yelling, Aloooooooohaaaaa! It's a dream of mine that is basically the driving factor in my day to day life. So anyways, this week has been pretty good. We have were trying really hard to find some new investigators and we found 2! Woo! It wasn't as good as we had hoped but we also got 5-6 referrals which is off the hook! We're pumped about that.

Unfortunately there isn't a whole lot to write about this week. We just hit the pavement and got to work. I've had a spiritual awakening again, those are good right? I've decided that everyone, including myself (especially myself) needs to be off the fence. There's no use standing on the fence when it comes to the gospel. You either live it or you dont. You can't be perfect but you can be improving. So either improve as best you can or just forget about it. Complacency, apathy and procrastination have no place in the gospel. I was also thinking of Samuel the Lamanite and how he stood on the wall to testify to the people. He put himself out there, outside of comfort and convenience, outside of safety and security. He did it because he understood the gospel. He knew it wasnt just a good idea or a reasonable philosophy. He knew it was true and he put himself out there, apart from the world and everything else. He was a true missionary. I have really taken to heart the idea of standing on the wall of testimony, not caring about what fears or doubts or trials that may be headed straight for you. Samuel did his part and left unscathed because he had the faith to stand firm, not to cower or flinch or hide. In the gospel we need to be firm and faithful. We need to stand for what we know, and if we don't know it we need to find out. This is eternal life, the plan and purpose for our creation. So don't treat it like a sunday only thing, or something to live in convenience or something to put off until later. In seminary we went through a period (thanks to Elder Lewis) where everyone gave an insight from Romans 1:16. Now anytime I read that scripture I think of Treyson getting everyone to use that as their insight and it makes me laugh. But it's a great scripture. We shouldn't be ashamed yet many and most of us are. So as us missionaries like to do I am going to be blunt and say, get over yourself. This is too important for you to get in the way. Make the gospel your life and your life will be joy. That is God's work and glory after all. (Moses 1:39)

I love you all and hope you make it a great week! Go and watch some conference, it's good for you!

Elder Resendez

Monday, April 8, 2013

8 April 2013

Hey Hey Hey!

What a crazy week! I feel like one of the Nephites from 3 Nephi when Christ visits and teaches the people of the Americas. They could only handle so much correction, reflection, and teaching. This week started off with a trip to Manchester for a training meeting that just blew my mind. Then we went right to an exchange with the zone leaders which taught me even more. Then we capped off the week with 10 hours of conference filled with revelation and insights. I was waiting for someone to tell me to take a day off to rest and reflect on what had been taught, but no such direction was given.

One of the greatest insights I received was, "In order to make a difference in the world around you, you must first make a change in yourself." Much too often I seek for ways to change my environment, or the people around me to fit my perception of the world and how it should be. But the gospel is meant to change the heart and nature of the man which in turn changes his environment for the better. A lot of times we can make the change by being more obedient, serving more and just plainly doing more. But we must also become something more if we are to make a complete change and the way to do so is taught by (my favorite man) King Benjamin. We are taught to put off the natural man and become a saint through the atonement of Christ. A study from chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel shows us further the way to make this change. And for me it came in the form of Charity. Mormon (my other favorite) puts it so well in Moroni 7, that we must pray with all the energy of heart for that changing power of charity. More specifically I found that my change must come in my attitude. I need to be more optimistic by refraining from negative comments and thoughts. Imagine that! Me, a missionary, needs to stop having negative thoughts! But, don't missionaries just dream of ponies and scriptures all day long?? Well, ponies are nice, and ponytas are nicer but reality begs to differ. So I decided to have my companion call me out any time that I voice a negative thought or comment so I can have more charity. I just love conference takeaways! If you don't have any sweet takeaways then I challenge and admonish you to watch it again and look for some.

There wasn't too much normal proselytizing time here in Gardiner this past week but we did find out that Zack and Tawny (the cool DnDers) are moving in 2 weeks to Arkansas. It's very unfortunate but there's nothing we can do except refer them to the elders down there. Also, Josh is doing great! He couldn't watch conference because he was at his mom's house but we will get to see him this week which is awesome. I can't wait until he gets baptized and serves a mission. He'll be a great missionary, I can already tell.

So I didn't pull any April fool's day pranks but I did put my comps gummy vitamin on a mousetrap this morning. I thought I would get him for sure....but alas, he got away. Maybe next time I'll put it on the floor next to his bed so I get him as he gets up in the morning...Well I love you all and hope you had a great weekend. Remember...obedience brings blessings, but EXACT obedience brings miracles!

Elder Resendez

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Passover!

Shalom Shabbat!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Easter, or more appropriately an enjoyable Passover week which doesn't end until tomorrow. So that means keep looking for treats! From reading Jesus the Christ I have seen the significance of the Jewish holidays and how they relate to present day Christianity and it's super cool. So I now officially celebrate the Passover, but I just call it Easter for convenience and also for candy.

So I have a miracle that I forgot to tell all of you! The other day I was looking at my suits and thinking to myself, "Self. Your suits are really getting quite dirty. This winter has not been very kind to them and you are on the verge of looking homeless. You might consider buying a new suit sometime." Well within 24 hours of that enlightening interaction I looked at my suits again but this time I saw something different. So I pulled back my group of clothes and looked into the dark and scary corner of my closet and I saw a clean pressed suit! It's dark with pin stripes and it somehow fits perfectly. At first I thought it must be my comps, but there's no way because his stuff is on the other side of the closet. Plus if it was his then he would recognize it on my body. Then I thought, maybe I'm just imagining it (which I really hope isn't the case because that would mean I'm emailing in the Maine Capitol Library without any clothing on) but that didn't seem to be the case either. So I just chalked it up as a miracle and expressed my gratitude. I really don't know how it happened but I can't deny the suit that's on me right now so I know it happened. The moral of the story is to never be afraid to believe. Yes, you may quote me on that.

Back to missionary work! We set a date this week! We set a date with a cool kid named Josh. He is working towards the first of June and he's doing amazing. In fact he showed us yesterday at church where he had been reading in the Book of Mormon. He found out that when Nephi talks about the Lamb of God, he is referring to Christ. He was so excited about finding that that he couldn't wait to show us. We are also super close to setting two more dates with these two awesome kids named Haley and Dylan. They're ever so close but their parents need to offer some more help, so that's where the focus of our work will be. But Gardiner is picking up! We have seen many blessings and miracles lately and I attribute all of them to the Passover. They are like Christmas miracles, but Passover Miracles. If you don't understand why, don't worry. I'll explain when I get home.

Easter was pretty sweet for us. On Thursday everyone had on their cranky pants and one kid tried to hit me with a cup of water. But he throws like a sissy so he missed. Yes, I did feel like Samuel the Lamanite for a second. Actually, the crankiness got so bad that there was a knife fight out in the front of a grocery store. That kind of stuff just doesn't happen here in Gardiner so everyone was freaking out for a day.

Then on Saturday everyone got super nice and happy. They were honking at us, and waving at us, and telling us to keep up the good work. I felt like I was in Utah for a while from the love we were getting. Then we had Easter dinner with a cool member family, but it made me miss Lawrence. White people are so stiff when it comes to meals and parties. I felt out of place eating with them because they were all prim and proper. I made a facetious comment during dinner and they didn't seem to appreciate it too much. They weren't mad but they didn't laugh either. It was really funny, Elder Davis and I laughed about it later.

So ya, when the missionaries come to eat, feel free to be normal and cool with them. But please, keep the Spirit! You can be cool and have the Spirit at the same time. Stiffness isn't a fruit of the Spirit, at least it isn't in Galatians. But then we made an Easter bunny house out of sugar cookie. Instead of making a house, we decided to make a mess. And it was a lot of fun. I didn't get any pictures but it was fun so you'll just have to trust me.

Hey Mom! Thank you for the birthday package! It was the bomb! I really loved the card, seriously it was the best part. But I haven't gotten the Easter thing yet so I'll keep looking. But I'm going to be in Manchester for 2 days cuz I'm in trouble so I'll tell Elder Davis to look for it. But I will give you a preemptive thank you! And no, I'm not really in trouble. It was a joke. And probably a bad one, sorry. I hope you all had a wonderful Passover week and I hope to hear from you soon! Remember to keep the commandments and watch general conference with a question in mind!

Elder Resendez

P.S. Yes actually, that is a sabbath greeting that a hispanic member taught us, and yes the spelling is incorrect.