I'm out of time! My branch was split this week! Out of the 51 people in sacrament meeting last week, only about 21 will be staying. Our entire leadership in the branch was released and will be going to a different unit. Also.....I'm being transferred out! My curse is running true! Out of the 4 areas I have been in, there have been changes in the branch presidency 3 of them, and I always leave right after they change. haha
I'll let you all know where I'm going next week! I spent all day in pep boys working on our car, so I'll explain more next time! Love you all!
Good morning, afternoon, evening, birthday, etc. everybody! It has been a wonderful week here in Brawley, California! First, to answer some of my dad's questions:
1. My eye is doing great! I'm not sure if it really "scabbed over" but it did start to bruise, and is only slightly red today. It looks normal!!!!! YEAH!!! No more alien volcano growth!!! I've been wearing my glasses this past week, and I started putting my contacts in at night on Sunday, but it's all still a little fuzzy. Give me two more days and I'll be as good as new.
2. Elder Rodriguez is the greatest. He loves this work and is the least dramatic person ever. His mellowness compliments my craziness rather nicely, and we are always cracking up at the funny things we do all day. He goes home in December, so this might be his last area (which would mean that we would have three transfers together! Cross your fingers!). There are a totally of 8 companionships in our zone, 5 of elders and 3 of hermanas (each of the three main cities have 2 Spanish companionships [1 of elders and 1 of hermanas] and then there are two English companionships [1 covers Brawley and the small outskirts of towns and the other covers El Centro]). I hope that made sense.
This past week I went on two exchanges! Elder Sharp in my district, and Elder Aguirre down in El Centro! Elder Aguirre and his companion double cover English and Spanish because they have an "English ward with a dependent Spanish branch" (basically just means both languages are spoken in the same ward....don't ask questions) and I got to see a glimpse of what it was like to double cover. Let's just say I have never had so much food shoved at me in my whole life. I think I was fed 4 times, and I was only there for like 18 hours! CRAZY!!!
Miracle! Last Monday, we parked our car by a member's home in Calipatria (la familia Chabolla who are a super sweet older couple), when we saw a lady trying to open the fence to her house. We went to go talk to her, and Hna. Chabolla came out to talk to all of us, and long story short the lady was a close friend whose son was going through some hard medical problems. We went straightaway to her house down the street and gave him a blessing. Long story short, the friend, Ernestina, now has a new curiosity in the church, and we teach her twice a week in the Chabolla's house! It is the perfect teaching situation and she is the sweetest lady you'll ever meet!
Love you all! Hope you all have a great week! Make something great happen!
Our goodbye lunch to Hermana Gallagher today! It's her last pday with us. She's the one on the far right! She was in my same zone when I started my mission in Sweetwater!
Hey world, sorry this is going to be super short. A few hours ago I had an operation on my eye (I had an infected stye thing.....it was nasty!) and I'm writing this in the car and not feeling the greatest. Thus, this will be short.
And yeah I just decided I'm done. I love you all, you have my love, etc. etc. keep me in your prayers. Yes I'm wearing an eye patch, and yes I fully intend to use that to contact people. I've been working on my pirate voice all day long. I will send home pictures. Have a great week! Before shot. People were always asking me, "Do you know you have something on your eye?"........nah somehow that alien volcano escaped me......yes I noticed
This week I had the opportunity to feel like an office missionary. We had a few meetings that we had to plan for, prepare, and then do a whole bunch of work for. The worst part was that the meeting that took up the most work was canceled :( But it was ok because we should be having it sometime this week, so we are all ready. Each night we had about two hours in our area, and we were flying to appointments, and it felt very literally. There are almost no cars on the road as we travel from Brawley, to Westmorland, to Calipatria, and back, so we get moving real fast. Too much driving, not enough teaching. But we did find some cool people! And we are really emphasizing working with the members this month, and so we are already seeing some cool miracles from that. This week sacrament started with forty members, but by the time it ended there were about sixty. We are going to see that number explode! Last week Elder Rodriguez and I were able to go to a meeting in San Diego, which was a blast because that means ROAD TRIP! Haha but for real we spent over four hours just in the car, which is a ton in this mission, but it was so fun. We listened to some awesome talks and had a blast. More fun info about us missionaries here in Brawley. So in our Spanish branch there are two sets of missionaries, the Hermanas and us. Hermana Gallagher is from Colorado and Hermana Lopez is from Utah (but her family is from Mexico) and they are the best! Also in our district are Elders Sharp and Searle, who cover the English work in our area. Elder Sharp is from Australia and is training Elder Searle from American Fork, Utah. The six of us have way too much fun, including morning workouts, district meetings, and switching from bikes to cars and so forth. It's great to be surrounded by positive, upbeat missionaries who are always there for you! One of the talks we heard on the way to San Diego was titled "The Inconvenient Messiah" by Jeffrey R. Holland. This talk just blew my mind away. He talks a lot about the temptations that Christ had, and how He could have made it so easy for himself if He had chosen to, but instead he chose the "inconvenient way" and followed the will of His Father. Sometimes we have to do things that are "inconvenient" like go to church, read our scriptures every day, visit someone who is sick, etc. but the blessings we receive when we do these things far outweigh any inconvenience it may have caused. I love this gospel and I love sharing it! Go out and make something happen today! Be a walking miracle for someone today!
Elder Dahl Here are some fun cures that we too while bowling today! Included are the shot of me totally winning the game (not prideful or anything), our zone picture, and the Brawley District!
I'm absolutely positive that about 3 minutes ago I remembered everything I was going to write....and now my mind is blank. I will just start writing and hopefully something engaging will come.
We didn't get to do a lot of biking this last week because Elder Rodriguez's bike broke and we had a member fix it (Sorry Dad, I have failed you. I can't do diddlysquat when it comes to bike repairs). But it worked out ok because we didn't really stay in Brawley much. We had to travel up to Westmorland and Calipatria (two of the little towns about 20 minutes away from Brawley) a lot this week. We found this super awesome family and we had some really spiritual lessons this past week.....and then the members that have been visiting them with us told us that they were baptized into another church this past Sunday.....and on Monday we had a lesson and everything and committed them to be baptized.....awkward. haha Well I guess you win some and you lose some. We can't decide if we should keep on teaching them or not ;)
Also, JESUS WAS BAPTIZED!!!!! No, I'm not talking about the account in Matthew 3, I'm talking about the 12 year-old wonder named Jesus Velasquez! Him and his dad are so awesome, and are so happy to be members of the church! Another kind of awkward moment- they had to leave church after sacrament meeting on Sunday because Jesus' older brother was getting baptized in another church that he and his mom go to.....again, you win some and you lose some :) haha to say the least we have had some interesting experiences this past week.
We have a family that lives in the middle of a date farm, and their daughter works in the Westmorland Date Shake, which is a little store that sells all sorts of weird things, but mostly just date shakes. I have a new found love. How come nobody ever told me that dates were super delicious!?
This week I have been thinking a lot about leaving our comfort zones. There are so many people out there that just won't listen to our message because they are "good where they're at." Applying this to myself, how many opportunities have I passed up because I was too afraid to leave my comfort zone? Who isn't really nervous or even scared of change/the unknown? There is a series of short videos by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles called "Patterns of Life" where he describes how sometimes we feel like we are surrounded in a mist of fog, and we can't see in any directions. He explains how we want an immediately flash of light, or an absolute knowledge of where we are going or what we should be doing. But the Holy Ghost almost never works like that. Normally our path is lighted just enough ahead to take a few steps, and then another few steps, and so forth. We don't even recognize that it's the Holy Ghost until we've taken those first few steps and try it out! That has been our focus this week- following the Holy Ghost. It's hard, but our path is already made for us by a loving Heavenly Father, who is guiding us little by little. Hope that made sense!
I love you all! Have a great week!
1. Loving that date shake! And they gave them to us for free!!!!!
2. This guy just came waltzing into the Laundrymat this morning. Coolest ride in town.
3. For some dumb reason we decided to eat here...the only restaurant in Westmorland.....notice how there are no people eating here with us....there's a reason for that. Gross tacos!!!!!
4. How many people live here again? And what the what is that a river? The farmers are super good at irrigation systems here!
4. Me and my beastly companion! Elder Rodriguez is a stud!
5. I got sad and hid in the cabinet....oh the weird things we do...
6. This is Hermana Chabolla! Is an a super awesome member that lives up in Calipatria and has chickens and a turkey! I love it here!
7. Chicken Selfie!
8. Elder Rodriguez cleaning out the cockroaches from the baptismal font....yeah it's gross.
9. I saw my friend, Sister Sommers, was reppin the "abandoned shopping cart" look, so I decided to follow suit!