Week 19 - I'm a TRAINER and a DISTRICT LEADER!! (And still a Greenie!)

With my awesome new companion - Elder Short
January 26, 2015
Wow!! My life just got turned upside down overnight this week!   When I went to bed Monday night, I was a junior companion. When I went to bed Tuesday night, I was a Trainer, a Senior Companion, and a District Leader!! So needless to say, I have a lot more stuff I gotta worry about. Nothing too dramatic last week, but this coming week is a little crazy.  I will give my first district meeting tomorrow, and then on Thursday and Friday we are having a mission-wide leadership meeting for all the ZLs, DLs, and trainers. And I have been asked to give a 30-minute training session.  I found out about that and I was like Holy crap haha! So I have been freakin out about that and have spent all my personal studies lately planning for that. Hopefully it goes well on Thursday!!

Meeting Elder Short for the first time!!
So I have a brand new companion!! Elder Short!! He is from Paradise, Utah. He's not-so-Short, though….he is like a couple inches taller than me. And he is awesome!! I am pretty sure he came pre-trained. His testimony is super strong and he is already a great teacher. We are just working on his Spanish. He has good Spanish, but needs me to translate a lot, which is okay. This past week I ended up doing like 80% of the teaching in the lessons, but eventually I want to grow to be equally yoked. But no worries, we will use our language study we have every day very effectively!! They say the best way to learn something is to teach it, so hopefully that is the case with me right now as I teach Elder Short how to teach the gospel as well as the Spanish language. 

The Greenie (me) and his Greenier companion (Elder Short)
We had a great week as far as teaching goes! Elder Short hit the ground running and on his first night in the mission, Juan and Laura chose a date to be baptized….the 28th of February!! It was so exciting. They have both been reading the Book of Mormon a ton, so we had a few great lessons with them this week. They read it and take notes and highlight it, just like we do, its great!!! We were planning to teach them the Restoration the other night when we got there, and they had some questions about 1 Nephi 4, so we actually re-read it with them, and explained it, and that led perfectly into the discussion about them getting baptized!! It was so cool to see how the Spirit guided us and led us so that it could fit into such a perfect lesson. And we also found out that they actually are married, but they just didn’t change their names. So that is a huge relief. 

Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) activity
And then we had dinner with them Saturday night, and after dinner we had a "Noche de Hogar" (Family Home Evening in Spanish) at the church, and they came, and brought a cousin who is like 25 and has 2 kids, and who is also extremely interested!! Noche de Hogar was a great success, and we actually had more investigators than members there. Hermana Noble gave a 20 minute lesson on what FHE is and families, and then we played games.  We split up into adults and ninos, and had two separate games for them, and then at the end we had some family relay races and dessert for everyone. It was awesome!!  Then yesterday Laura and Adrian (their son) came to church and LOVED it. She took notes on EVERYTHING. It was great. I mean I have never seen someone so into all the little details of the classes and stuff. Juan had to work, but he said he would be there next week. So they are at the front of our minds, and please keep them in your prayers!!

We also had dinner with the Familia Lira this week, which was great!! They hadn’t been doing their prayers, but we committed them to start again, and they said they would. So we will see what happens with them. When we went over for dinner, it was Elder Short and I, the Lira family, and like 3 other families from their church, including their pastor!! They were all bombarding me with questions and stuff, and I was the only one who understood what was going on, so it was kinda a crazy experience for me, but we placed a few Libro de Mormons and a bunch of pamphlets that night, so I guess you could call it a success. They were all super nice, and showed quite a bit of interest.

Bird on my back!
One thing that I love about the Spanish language and I find very interesting is that when we pray in Spanish, we use the "Tu" form of all the verbs, when talking to Heavenly Father. In the Spanish Language, people only use the "Tu" form when talking to peers and little kids. Otherwise we always use the "Usted" form of all the verbs. Like when I talk to people on the streets or I teach lessons, we always use "Usted" But when we pray, we use Tu. I find this so interesting, because it shows that Heavenly Father wants to be our peers, and our friends. I know that Heavenly Father is our Father, but he is also our friend, and he wants the best for each one of his children. I absolutely love being a tool in his hands to help out his children, and bring them back closer to him. It is fun to see the change in our investigators as they read the Book of Mormon and get closer to Heavenly Father. I hope that we can all have His Spirit to be with us so that we can learn and grow ourselves.

Thank you guys so much for all of your love and support and letters, I love hearing from all of you!!! I am so lucky to have a great family who supports me as much as you guys do. I love you guys!!!

Love, Elder Todd

Posterity picture...my "dad" (Elder Rivera), my "brother"
(Elder Shepher), and my "son" (Elder Short)
Elder Gomar burning one of his suits the day before he
goes home....it's a mission tradition
Old man wearing a helmet while he's out for a walk...
we got a kick out of this
Elders Hortal and Gomar who went home last transfer :( 

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