Off to Blackfoot, Idaho

Hey Everyone,

Well, I’m sad to say that after living here for seven months,  I will be transferred. I cannot believe that my time is over here. I will be going to Blackfoot to open a new area in bilingual work. We had a meeting with President Hancock in his office on Tuesday. We discussed what new areas that would be opened in Spanish. They split our area, Elder Ramirez in Lava (bottom half of our area). Elder Ramirez suggested to President Hancock that they open a new area in Blackfoot. We both thought for sure that we would go to the places that we suggested, but President opened them both. He sent me to the place that Ramirez suggested (Blackfoot), and Ramirez to the place that I suggested (Lava). Hopefully both of us were right and there is work for us.

This is a pretty cool story: It goes back about 4 months ago, when Elder Smith and I started teaching the Sedeno family (Lucy and Vito). They were not really progressing, due to their real lack of interest. We taught them once every 2 weeks or so. They both worked every Sunday, and rarely had time to make it to both church and work. We continued teaching them, and then things changed. I was on exchanges with Elder Rush in his English area, when we walked past a yard sale. There were a couple old church books in Spanish, so I started talking to her. Her name is Lili. She is from Mexico and used to be a relief society president and young women’s president and has since fallen away from the church. Elder Gobilard and I started to reactivate her. It turns out that she is a best friend with our investigator Lucy. We started to combine the lessons. As she began to reread the Book of Mormon, she would then bear her testimony to her friend Lucy, the Spirit came back and her circumstances improved in her life. We had a church tour with Vito and Lucy on Saturday night. Lucy joined us. The Spirit was heavily present the entire night as we testified of the Restoration of the Gospel and priesthood. They both willingly accepted to prepare themselves for baptism on the 25th of September. Since we found Lili, there has been such a change in both of them. They both have had a change in their schedule, giving them a majority of their Sundays off so they can attend church, and now Lucy (who was a firm catholic) knows of the truthfulness of the Restored Gospel and accepts its veracity. Lili made it to church yesterday for the first time in over 2 years. It is absolutely amazing to see the way the Lord has guided us to them and helped prepare them for baptism.

I thank you all for your support. I know that as we continue trying to improve, we will one day reach the potential that our King has laid for us.

Love

EA

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Last week in Pocatello

Hey Everyone,
These last couple weeks have been sad. It is weird that I will be leaving here soon, I love poky and the people here are just the best!  I guess I’ll have to move eventually.

A ton of fun things happened this week. One evening, a family invited us for home evening because their mother was visiting from Mexico.  We shared the introduction from the Book of Mormon; our testimonies brought her to tears. She asked us to sign it and she promised she would read it every day. We came back the next day for another lesson, and she promised us that she would meet with missionaries down in Sonora (Mexico). It was a special experience, plus, she taught us how to make tortillas. They were delicious!

We had three investigators come to church yesterday. They are progressing really well. It is really exciting to see these people come from so far away, to so close to baptism! It stinks that I will probably be gone before they get baptized.

There was a cat begging outside of church yesterday that Elder Ramirez and I were chasing around the parking lot. hahaha. Man, I’m going to miss the branch.

Love you and I hope you a good week!

EA

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Local Spanish Festival

Hey Everyone,

This week was awesome! A ton of cool things happened, including a giant hispanic party put on by our branch.  I was in charge  of setting up  Saturday at 8 am and cleanup until 10 pm.  We counted over 500 in attendance from all over eastern Idaho. They all seemed to enjoy themselves. Even a few investigators came and really seemed to have a good time.
We had a really cool experience yesterday with Santiago. Recently, he confessed that he has been struggling and doesn’t feel worthy to go to church.  Yesterday, we planned to go on splits but we needed another person to go with us. We thought to invited Santiago. As it turns out, he was in the middle of making some poor choices, something he wasn’t proud of. He began to think about his daughter, Cali (3 years old), just like we told him to do. He began to cry and pray for  help to get back on track. Two minutes later, we called to ask if he would be interested to go out with us to visit people. It was just like a miracle! His plan is to speak with President Parrish and try to get everything figure out.
We were able to teach a couple really cool lessons this week. We have the McNabbs (ranchers with a lot of immigrant workers) take us up to teach Francisco up in the mountains where he is watching over the cows. The McNabbs are so awesome and very helpful.  I enjoy teaching Francisco.  He is just scared of the answer he may receive when he prays. I think prayers for him would be beneficial.
Thank you all for your support and emails, hope everyone is having a good summer!
Love
EA
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Did we explain ourselves?

Hey Everyone,

 
I ended up having an awesome week! We were able to find more people that recently moved from Mexico.  They are some of the best people to teach, besides a member’s referral, which makes the process so much easier having another person to help the investigator. 
 
I had a pretty cool experience yesterday, Whether it was the gift of tongues or discernment, I’m not really sure,  but it was powerful to me. We were talking a guy, He asked us why we don’t worship The Virgin Mary because  she was both chosen and elected as it says in the scriptures.  We quoted from Alma 7:10 “And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel”.  I then explained we don’t pray to her or receive answers from her. I continued to share how it says in the Bible and Book of Mormon to pray to The Father in the Name of the Son. After which I poorly said  “tiene un poco mas sentido?” ‘does that make a little bit more sense?’ He took it wrongly thinking that I implied my beliefs made more sense than his beliefs, not me clarifying our beliefs. But before he could react, (he was a little drunk and showed signs of getting irritated when we had a scriptural response for every one of his false doctrines) the words came to my mind and I said immediately “nos explicamos bien?” ‘did we explain ourselves ok?’ It was pretty incredible that all of this processed in my head in under half a second because of the spirit guiding my words. He really is “with [us] alway[s]” (Matthew 28:20)
 
I hope that everyone had an awesome week! Stay safe, and take care,
Love,
EA
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“I Love You Virginia”

Hey Everyone,

We had a pretty cool week! We were able to find a bunch of new hispanics in our area, and some of them invited us back.
I have a pretty funny story: We went to a referral’s house. A bunch of guys were hanging out in the basement garage. As we walked in,  we notice this african american guy hanging out with with them. Since they were all speaking spanish, he couldn’t join in on the conversation. He continued drinking beer after beer.  At this point, he was totally hammered.  He became very aggressive and started asking us all these questions. He was cussing me out and getting up in my face. I was trying to distract him while Elder Gobilard set return appointments. I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty scary. He  was 6 ft tall,  probably 250lbs,  totally shredded and yeah, he was extremely aggressive. After I stood up from what I believed in, he mumbled , “man, I love you Virginia, I love you. I love you.”  It was an unique experience. We are gonna go see him again. hahaha
We also found some recent immigrant workers. They arrived from Mexico only two weeks ago.  They don’t speak any English, and they have never spoken with missionaries before. They are very receptive, but they will probably have problems with the word of wisdom though. It is sad to see just how cultural alcohol and cigarettes are for some people. Its like they cant even control the addiction because they just haven’t been educated on the consequences. They invited us to return this week and hopefully will be able to help them out.
I thank you all for your support and prayers, have a good week!
Love
EA
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