Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Choirs of Angels & the Scraped Up Knee

Monday: Shopping, laundry, studies, and a haircut! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, today is PDay! I got a nice haircut from a young man in the branch for free! Instead of what I did last time, pay $20 at the salon place at Walmart only to have her cut my neck and not tell me. Yes, now I have a blood stain on my collar. Anyway, today we played sand volleyball on some really hot and rough sand! I dove and scraped up my knee, nothing new. After volleyball we had dinner with some members. It was their son's birthday and the had family over. We got started late and had to leave fairly quickly to make our next appointment, only for it to fall through. We grabbed Andrew, a young man that just put in his mission papers, and tried to see Daniel and Maneli but they weren't home. We then went to see Oscar, the less active young man, and we read from the Book of Mormon with him. I am very proud that I can read really well in Spanish! Then the members that we had dinner with invited us over for some cake :)

Tuesday: Played ultimate frisbee in the morning and I dove and slid and it was awesome but my knee opened up... It was still awesome. Don't worry, there is a good reason I am talking about this. We then had a mission leadership conference call to follow up from our big meeting. Lunch, then went to visit contact some potentials we had found last week. We went to see a former investigator and he wasn't very interested but his grandparents, the Z's, now seemed to be. We showed them a video called, "Because of Him" at http://www.mormon.org/becauseofhim . It is really amazing and I invite you all to watch it! So we showed them that and asked how Christ has played a role in their lives. She shared that he son was doing bad things and she kept praying and he finally came around and wanted to become better. A mighty turn around and change of heart. We then shared the story of Alma praying for his son, Alma the younger, to stop persecuting the church. We shared the scriptures about that experience and how the prayers of the parents were answered. Alma the younger was visited by an angel and then from there went to serve God faithfully for the rest of his life. We then visited a very elderly member of the branch named Hno Martinez. He is kind of losing his mind but we had a nice conversation and visit with him, his daughter, and son-in-law. Then we had a lesson with a woman named Mercedes. We sat outside and shared a short message with her and talked about our purpose as missionaries. We had dinner at the apartment then we went and did some finding/tracting. We met a ton of people! From 6 to 8pm we taught 5 lessons! It was awesome and a great miracle because we knocked on like 7 trailers. Some became new investigators and we are working with them to help them progress. We then were able to stop by and teach Daniel and Maneli and share a short message with them. Maneli is really close to having her baby and was having some contractions during our lesson. They were too far apart and off and on. Today was a great day and I felt accomplished as we went to bed. 

Wednesday: Sports as a district for 30 minutes. Ultimate frisbee again! I did slide and re-scrape my knee. Studies then we had district meeting. We all went to a great little Mexican place called Tacos Mirasol. We then visited Hno Enriquez, a great member in the branch, and talked with him about member missionary work. He gave us cookies. We had a pass off lesson set up and it fell through. We went to find some less active then met with Hno Baca, the previous branch president. He gave us a ton of useful information about the people we had on our list! We then had a great carne asada dinner with the Renteria family. We all sang for the dinner message. We then brought Jose Renteria with us to go to our next lesson. We taught Arnulfo, a man we met yesterday, the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on his doorstep. After, we had Miguel Lopez, Miguelito, come with us to visit the Z's from yesterday. We had a nice lesson with them on their patio. It was a nice smooth lesson and their friend Ari was there. She had lots of good questions. We talk about what our church is like. We talked about how the congregation sings the hymns. They then asked us to sing. We were a little nervous but we sang, in Spanish, "Israel, Israel God is Calling." IT WAS AMAZING!!! I was honestly nervous to turn around because I thought I would see angels standing behind us singing. It was amazing! As I looked around, I could tell that their hearts were touched. We were then able to bear powerful testimony of our message. We then visited a less active family. They are having some family issues and asked us for advice. We said to follow the gospel together. Read the scriptures together, pray together, and go to church together. We then had the Assistants to the President, the AP's, stay at our apartment in preparation for our exchange the next day. 

Thursday: We played sports again and I slid, again. Therefore, re-scrape once again. We did studies and then we had an appointment with Ari, the woman from Wednesday night. We visited her with a young man from the branch. The AP, nor the young man, spoke Spanish. I was basically solo... Although, Ari did understand English surprisingly well! Definitely a miracle! The AP and the young man were both able to testify of our message. I did aid in minor translation. We then grouped back up at our apartment and had a training to be better leaders. We then visited a less active young man with the Young Mens leader. I had never met the kid before! He is super cool and we will now be working very closely with him. We had a dinner at home then for the first night of our soccer finding activity! It went really well! Our branch mission leader really loves soccer so he was fully invested. He also coaches a 10 year old team. Boys from his team were there, along with some young men from the branch. It was a ton of fun! I scored some great goals! But, I did re-scrape my knee. I took a shower when we got home. My knee was 1/3 flesh, 1/3 dirt, and 1/3 grass. 

Friday: Sports, and a re-scrape again. Studies were great! I love spending time everyday studying the scriptures. I started a new focused Book of Mormon Study. My topic is the Missionary Purpose: Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. We then gave a blessing to Hermana Beatty. She has been sick for a bit. We then came back home and hunkered down and did weekly planning. It is really intense now! We spent like 4 hours and we still haven't finished! We didn't have a dinner... It was a struggle because I didn't have many options... We then saw Daniel and Maneli with our branch mission leader. Before the lesson, we met up with him at a gas station. While we were waiting we saw a lightning storm in the distance. It was so cool to see the lightning. I took a video so I could get the stills of the strikes. Then a dust storm hit! It hit again as we were walking into Daniel and Maneli's house! We had a great and powerful lesson about prayer, fasting, and paying tithing. We then went back home and exchanged with the other Elders in Deming. 

Saturday: We did play sports this morning. I took one of Elder Tyler's CLEAN socks that he left behind and created a sleeve to hold a piece of gauze for my knee. It worked super well! And I made this super awesome dive catch, I layed out! Elder Cunningham joined me in my area for the day and we had a good time. It was tough though. After studies and a training, we tried to see potentials, less actives, and investigators. Nothing stuck. It was an empty day. A member did take us to a restaurant which was nice but we didn't have a lesson. After dinner, we did have our first lesson of the day with Daniel and Maneli. It was also really powerful as we talked about the talk, "Music of the Gospel." Daniel is reading the Book of Mormon! Maneli really wants to be baptized but she doesn't want to do it without Daniel. 

Sunday: Last meeting in Columbus. No one has been showing up and it puts too much stress on our branch to have a group down there. The members in Columbus will have to drive up to Deming, just like before the time of the group. Church was awesome! The primary kids and the youth shared thoughts about fathers! Elder Elton and I taught in the 3rd hour in Priesthood. We talked about the importance of the Spirit and how we can invite the Spirit in our lives, and how to have him be our constant companion. We then gave a blessing to a less active father, he is having a surgery. We then went to have dinner with the Quintana family! I had some goat and it was really good! We had a nice talk about fathers, about the branch, then they thanked us for being good missionaries. I love that family! We then stopped by to check up on Daniel and Maneli. We went with the Hermanas and together we sang the hymn, "Lead, Kindly Light." 

Monday: We got up early and drove 2 hours to Benson, AZ. We had a half mission conference with Elder Corbridge from the Quorum of the 70. He gave a great training and I learned a ton! It was about keeping a focus in teaching. Having a planned destination and route. It was very helpful! It was from 9-5. We then drove 2 hours home, with the time zone change not in our favor. We stopped by the Quintana's house because they had dinner for us. There was also a little ward activity there so we stopped by for a minute then had to turn in for the night. 

This week was really awesome! Thank you so much for all the prayers and support!

Elder Dallin Baker

P.S. My knee is healing now :)

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