Thursday, August 30, 2012

I KNOW that there are people that ARE ready to be baptized, that are prepared and waiting, and that I need to find them.


Well. Its been another week. Don't know what to tell ya.

Tuesday we went to a training meeting that was insanely insanely long. We were at the Naperville stake center from about 9:30 am to 4 pm. It was cool, got to learn a lot of good stuff. and see some friends. But it was also weird because of all of the people I didn't know. I guess I'm to the point that I'm so old in the mission and been in the same spot for so long that I don't know anyone. Nearly all of my friends have died, or are dying within the next few transfers. Its pretty depressing.

Thursday we went on exchanges. Millie went to the loop, and I got Hermana de Leon for the day. It was pretty cool. Hermana de Leon is from Guatemala and we spoke nearly only Spanish, which was sweet. We also were able to find some people I've been looking for for a while with no success. Two part member less active families, and thus picked up some new investigators. Hopefully the return appointments we made with them for this week will all go through! We're really struggling with finding new people to teach. But, we still are not lacking in appointments. The only thing is that we are kind of just teaching a bunch of people who are progressing slowly. Still progressing, but not quite ready for baptism. And I KNOW that there are people that ARE ready to be baptized, that are prepared and waiting, and that I need to find them. Unfortunately I just haven't been told how to find them yet. Still working on that. 

This weekend there was a cool azteca festival in Maywood, which is in our area. We went there to try to make some contacts, and ate some delicious food and saw some sweet dancing in the process. And then afterward we went to a birthday party for Cynthia and Alex- some of the Salgado grandkids. It was a fun night. Lots of food. Jumping in a bounce house. Pinatas. Lots of crying and hurt kids from too much birthday, getting crushed in the bounce house, and getting whacked with the bat from the pinata.  And we still managed to have some good gospel conversations. :) Hermana Salgado's sister in law says she wants to come to the lessons. :)

Thats so crazy that Madi is home. I can't believe it. Also it freaks me out cos that means I go home soon. But not that soon. Really far away still actually. Like so far away we really shouldn't even be thinking about it. Basically its almost like I'm never coming home.

Well. . .  I have nothing else to say. So I guess I'll send you some more pictures!

Les Quiero,

mas fotos

bowling. in pros. Ridiculous


azteca festival.

la virgen is always watching. . .
a festival pina colada!
bounce house fun

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I'm starting to get worried about getting transferred in a couple of weeks, and it will just rip my heart out to leave these families. This is my ward! I can't leave. But I probably will. . . :(


Another week.

Every week when I sit down for emails I really have no idea what to say. Like really, every week is pretty similar. I don't know what to tell you. What you want to hear, or don't want to hear. I mean really. I get up, do studies. and then we have appointments. And a lot of our appointments are regular, weekly things. . . monday: p-day, dinner at the sosa's. Tuesday: salgado, garcia, flores, quinonez. Wednesday: district meeting, armenta. Thursday: weekly planning, salgado, junta, garcia. Friday: imelda, esmerelda. Saturday: Gonzalez. Sunday: church, Rivera. And then the inbetween is just the other people we are able to make apointments with and finding. But never anything super exciting.

So I don't know what to tell you. Things are going well. We're trying to build up our teaching pool, but haven't had much success. We are really busy with our regular appointments too, and always seem to have something to do, which is good- But we just haven't managed to find any new investigators for a while. We work a lot with less active members, part member families, and recent converts. During my mission this is where I've seen the most investigators come from, from these families and their friends- but right now it looks like I'm going to need to figure out a different method to find people to teach. Its just a matter of figuring out whats effective and not just busy work, without real results.

The people we are teaching right now that are the closest to baptism are the Armenta's. Hermana Armenta is a member, but her husband and two daughters are not. Her husband isn't interested really in converting, is fine listening to what we have and likes it, but wants to stay Catholic. But the girls, Patty (22) and Alex (19) say they do want to be baptized, once they know more. They are also really hesitant to set a baptismal date, because they don't want to set one that they won't be ready for. It doesn't matter how many times we reassure them that if they 're not ready, we can change it- they won't set it. So we're teaching them right now and then once we've taught them all they need, I guess we'll baptize them. We are currently working with them to try to get answers to their prayers about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. Alex isn't sure if she's gotten an answer from praying or not, and Patty hasn't prayed specifically to know if its true. Its slow going, but they have good intentions- just aren't on the same schedule as we are. :) They are great though. I really like them. \

Leslie is doing great. We gave her and her cousin Cynthia (who is 10 but her mom won't let her get baptized) triples with personal notes inside each of them and they loved it. They both have started reading and brought their books to church super proud of them. We finished reading the children's Book of Mormon with them, so yesterday we had a party to celebrate. The party was really just watching the Testaments and eating popcorn, but the word party excited them. :) We watched it with their grandma, Hna Salgado- who is a recent convert of about 6 months. At the end she and Leslie were both crying, and it was really special. Then our next appointment cancelled, so we stayed a little longer and Hermana Milliron practiced teaching the Plan of Salvation. I love that family so much. I'm starting to get worried about getting transferred in a couple of weeks, and it will just rip my heart out to leave these families. This is my ward! I can't leave. But I probably will. . . :(

Imelda is still having a lot of pain in her legs. She had to cancel our appointment on Friday because she had a doctor appointment, but the medicine still wasn't helping by Sunday so she didn't make it to church. Its pretty sad, since the day I knocked on the door she hasn't missed a day of church until these last few weeks with her pain. I know she really wants to be there, but she just can't make it.

Wednesday night we had a mini adventure. We had an appointment with Stephanie at 6, and the Elders from the Chicago 2nd ward were going to come with us. So we met up with the Elders and headed over to Steph's. . . but she wasn't there yet. She was held up at the Bishop's house helping is wife with something. So we told her not to worry about it, we'd go grab something to eat and she said she'd let us know when she was home and that she'd hurry. So we eat. . and she's still not home. So we head over to a park to wait for her. At the park there is a pond, with a little bridge that goes out into it. So we're chilling on this bridge, talking, waiting for Steph. And I dropped the keys in the pond. Like an idiot. And its a disgusting dirty pond and we have no idea how deep it is and its already dark so we can't even see into the pond at all. so the elders go over and try to employ the help of some people fishing. while I stand there freaking out and feeling like an idiot. The fisherman tell us the only thing to do is get in and try to find the keys. So Elder Derby jumps on the chance to get in the pond, and in his full pros he jumps on in. Luckily it was only up to his upper thighs, and he found the keys. But. . it was an exciting night for all of us. And Steph ended up not being able to meet with us anyway. 

Well. I think thats about all of the stories I've got for you this week. This week should be full of the same. Hopefully with less key disasters. Tomorrow Millie and I are going to Naperville for some super long training meeting. Its from 10 am to 2 pm. And I am so not exciting. But it'll be good to see some other missionaries than usual I guess, all of the zone leaders and trainers and greenies should be there.

Love you all! Hope going back to school goes well, and that you have fun!

les quiero,


my cityyyy

rainy day on the pier

Hermana Salgado

Karlita and Leslie

Karla teaching us her version of the Plan :)

me if i were bald, also rainy day at the pier

kombucha drink. its disgusting

missionary work calls for some serious planning. even more planning for pday,
which is what we're doing here. :)

love these girls

Monday, August 13, 2012

This week has been good! Leslie got baptized! And it may have very well been the best day of my mission to date.


This week has been good! Leslie got baptized! And it may have very well been the best day of my mission to date. It was of course super stressful getting ready for it, because i just freak out before baptisms. But all turned out well.  First to tell you about the stressful parts:  nothing out of the ordinary luckily, just the regular trying to figure out who the heck is going to talk at this baptism, and how am I going to make this program. Luckily I got people to help me out with the talks, and then the Elders went over to a members house on Tuesday to make the program. Only problem? The member didn't believe me with how the kids names are spelled for our special musical number and she changed the spelling. . . So Saturday morning we got to remake the program. And then I had to figure out how the Elders on bikes from Chicago that got permission to attend were going to get there. . . So I had to run all over freaking Illinois on Saturday- and somehow attend a birthday party, and get the font running, and make a fruit salad. Buttttt luckily, everything was taken care of, everyone showed up on time, and it was an awesome baptism. I easily felt the spirit more in this baptism than any other. Leslie was soooo excited, and looked so pretty in her new dress her mom bought her. I stood back in the bathroom and watched from the steps with her mom when she got baptized, and she was just sooo happy. I asked Benita, the mom, how she felt and she said something incredible. Benita has never been interested in learning about the church, nor does she show more interest now- but when I asked how she felt she said, "emocionante. Por un momentito querria que seria yo."  or- "emotional. For a moment, i wanted that it could be me."  WHAT!? Spirit punch to the heart. danggg.  and then after Leslie was done changing, she and her cousins and her sister sang I am like a star shining brightly and I am a child of God. And it was AWESOME.

Afterwards we all went to their house and ate a ton of food and had a pinata and it was the best.night.ever.

The rest of the week was also good. I mean, mostly we were busy prepping for the baptism. But, we also got to visit a less active member, who's son just died and got to listen to her tell us how sad she is and try my best to help comfort her when i really had no idea what to say. And we also got miraculously let into an apartment that you need to be buzzed into- but none of the buzzers work, and find another less active member and talk to her.

Sad news. Imelda, who got baptized in June hasn't been able to come to church the last two weeks because her knees are hurting her so badly. She hasn't missed a day since I first knocked on her door until now. And when we visited her we could really see how much pain she was in. Its so sad. But we got her a blessing yesterday, and she's going to the doctor this week. SO hopefully all will turn out well.

This week coming up has a lot of finding planned! Pray for us that we see some miracles!

I'm glad you had a blast camping! I'm only a little jealous though. :)

Les Quiero Muchisimo,


Leslie's Baptism!

the bean

so much food all the time

china town

but wait! there's more!


Leslie's super tacky/awesome cake

bounce house! its a must at a mexican party

me and karla

pinata fun

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Well turns out their friends were actually a pastor and a self proclaimed prophetess. So. . . yeah. Interesting is an understatement.


Another week here in the good ol' Illinois Chicago Mission. . .  and I still feel like I have nothing new or exciting to tell you. . .

Well. We are planning a baptism for this coming Saturday. Leslie passed her baptism interview yesterday and is super excited to get baptized! Her mom even bought her a new dress for the baptism, which is a good sign, because so far she hasn't seemed interested in it at all. She also miraculously has this whole next week off, so we will actually be able to talk to her and get the necessary information for the paperwork.

We had an interesting appointment with Carla and Berto on Wednesday. . . We called to confirm the appointment and they gave us a different address to go to, and that they wanted us to meet some of their friends.  Well turns out their friends were actually a pastor and a self proclaimed prophetess.  So. . . yeah. Interesting is an understatement. It was Millie's first experience with a pastor in an appointment, and it actually went surprisingly well. I refuse to Bible Bash. So we just shared what we had, testified, listened to their stuff, and left.  But, I think we probably won't be seing Carla and Berto so much anymore. . .

This last week I also decided it was probably time to teach Millie how to tract. I know that most people when they think about missionary work think about tracting. .  but that is definitely not how I do it. I mean its not bad, but there are just so many more effective ways to find people. But we ended up having an hour that would be good to do it, and I needed to teach Millie how- so we prayed about where to go, and then spent an hour knocking doors! Nothing super exciting happened. Its just noteworthy cos I haven't actually set aside a time for knocking doors since Rockford.

So I know that most people think of tracting when they think of missions. But how many of you think of going to funerals? Because Millie and I are now professional funeral goers. Apparently people in Westchester die a lot. And I'm the only one anyone can think of that can play the piano for miles around apparently. So I'm now a professional funeral piano player.

Okay, really we've only been to two lately- both members from the ward. But still. More than I've been to my whole mission. More than Millie's been to her whole life!

So yeah. thats about it this week. Hope you are all having a blast camping! Send me some fun pictures!

Love you all!

Les Quiero,


relaxing after a hard day of missionary work

china town!

family photo!