Week 31 - Life is GOOD!

Rivera and Gutierrez both go home this next transfer...
I probably saw them for the last time as missionaries! :(
April 20, 2015
Hey guys!!

Life is awesome here in Cold Springs. Elder Krey, my new companion, is awesome. We are having a blast together. He is a convert to the church – he joined about 4 years ago, and so he has a very powerful conversion story. I love when he shares it with the people we talk to everyday. He is from Clinton, UT and is the oldest of 3. I don’t know if I mentioned before, but we entered the field together, which is fun. He was best friends with an Elder that I was in the MTC with, who was in another district in our zone. He is a theatre fanatic, and did all sorts of plays and stuff. He is hilarious. He sings in the shower and all that good stuff.  Its great – we are having lots of fun together.

With Elder Choi at transfer meeting
Dad asked how transfers here in our mission work, so I thought I would explain a little. So the last week and a half of each transfer, President and the two Assistants get together and plan and figure out where everyone is going and who their companion will be and who has cars and all that good stuff. Then the last Sunday of the transfer they email the Zone Leaders the plans for the coming transfer. Then us, as Zone Leaders, go and print up those plans Sunday night, look over them, and figure out where everyone in our zone is going. On Sunday night, we give everyone in our zone a call and let them know if they are staying, or if they are going. If they are being transferred then we let them know where they will be living, who their new companion is, and what area/ward they will be in. They then have Monday (P-day) to pack if they are moving, and Tuesday we have transfer meeting.  It’s fun to be a zone leader and be a part of all of it. Or at least I enjoy it!!

Me and my homie Elder Nieves!!
Dad, you also mentioned in your letter to me that you are so grateful for the Elders that came to our house and challenged us to set a goal to have one baptism as a family in the year 2013. I remember the Elder too, I could have sworn it was Elder Capt. But you can ask the elders serving in the ward right now to check the records and ask who was serving in the ward in the winter of 2013. Every area book should have the history of the area at least that far. But I remember very much that night when they left us that challenge. Because of that, we have been leaving the same challenge with each family we have dinner with. I can only hope and pray that each family will take it seriously and set that as a goal. I remember the Elder said that if every member of the church has that goal, then in one year the church will double in size in one year. So we have been sharing that message with everyone, in hopes they will be able to see the same success we saw!!

So we found a new family two weeks ago and we had a good lesson with them this past Thursday. It was kinda interesting, because when we met the dad (Jared) on the street, he was very nice. But after talking to him a little, he gave us a decent amount of pushback when it came to prophets and the priesthood. But we left him with a Book of Mormon, and a Restoration pamphlet and he told us we could stop by anytime when we see his car in the driveway. So like a few days later, he called us, and said he had a few questions and wanted us to come over. I was shocked because its only the second time ever that an investigator or a potential investigator has called us first! So I was thrilled.

Elder Talbot....reminds me a lot of my friend,
Chris Miller from back home
We went over last Thursday, and he was super nice. He has 4 kids and one on the way, so a really young family. We sat down and first thing he said basically was, "would you be alright if I record this?" I instantly was kinda like uhhhh I guess, but was super sketched out. I had all these thoughts like "uh-oh, here we go, he is going to bash us and quiz us and make us twist our words, and then it will be all over the Internet and all this stuff." But he just had about 10 or so sincere questions, and he read up to 1 Nephi 7 and had lots of good questions. We were able to answer the questions to the best of our ability, and we were careful not to trip ourselves up. But by the end of the lesson, those skeptical thoughts went away and we were able to really feel the Spirit and testify about the Book of Mormon. We were actually able to teach quite a bit, just by answering his questions. We have another appointment with him this Thursday, and President Hermansen is going to be coming with us because he wants to come and see how we teach.  So with President there, we won’t be as worried about tripping up ourselves. We are planning to teach the whole message of the Restoration to him, with President as our third companion for the evening. (The pressure will be on with President as we go into a tougher lesson, but oh well!!)

With Elder Gutierrez
We did some service for a part member family this week...and let me tell you it was the grossest thing I have ever seen. We helped clean up their house and it was incredible how bad it was. I will send pictures next week, but just imagine never doing any dishes and letting them pile up with old grease and food from months ago on it.  Instead of using a garbage can with garbage bags, they just have a huge pile of old food and trash in the middle of the kitchen. And then imagine like 1,000,000 flies EVERYWHERE. It was gross. I almost threw up a number of times. Elder Krey pulled out this bag of broccoli and showed it to me...and then after further examination I learned that it was actually bread that was so old and moldy it looked just like broccoli..... (So Mom and Dad – today at Wal-Mart, I bought a few supplies to help us clean up some more this week, like some plastic gloves and a candle and stuff so that’s what that was about...it is literally SO bad.)

The 4 Stooges...we hung out with these Elders a lot during
this last transfer...on P-days and such
The other day we were talking to an older guy on the street who I think was a little intoxicated, and he was pretty nice, not super interested, but we asked him for his phone number and he said, "Dude I don’t know my number, I don’t ever call myself!"  Krey and I just cracked up when he said that.

Well guys, I LOVE being a missionary. At transfer meeting, as the out-going missionaries who were going home bore their testimonies, the thought came to me that I am SO glad that I am not going home. Even though I miss you guys dearly and think about you regularly, I am so grateful for this chance that I have to be a full-time representative of our Savior. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else for these two years. But just because I don’t want to come home doesn’t mean I don’t love you guys, because I do!! And I miss you all like crazy!!

Well I hope you all have a great week!!! I love you!

Elder Richmandawg
Me and Elder Talbot 
With Elders Rivera and Gutierrez

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