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Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Hey family! So I'm here at the Library in Raymondville Texas! I love it! Its so great here. So basicly our town is tiny and is kinda like that town on the movie "Cars". It has a main road that goes through it, but then a freeway was made around it so now there is like no one here. But the people who are here are great. We can talk to basicly anyone, I haven't had one door slammed in my face yet haha.
The Branch here is pretty crazy, but the members are great. There are some really really awesome families. Its funny there are two families with like 4 little kids and they all love missionaries. They drew us pictures and stuff. It was so cool. They always see me and yell GIVEN! But surprisingly we speak a TON of English. We teach about 75 percent of our lessons in English. I dont really like it, but whatever. This is supposed to be one of the more spanish areas, and I guess one of the most dangerous haha. We've had 3 meals with members and they were all pretty good. Probably because I'm always starving. We haven't gotten to shop for food yet, so we've been eating our comps food, which isn't much. Oh yea so my comp is Elder Horton, and he and his comp, Elder Hernandez were here for 2 transfers before us and were doing really well, so they split them and made them both trainers, sooo me and Elder Brandley are here. My comp is the District Leader so we get the car. Its actually been pretty cool the last couple days tho, only like 80-85 haha. It really gets hot tho but I still love it. I just don't like all the bugs. I got bug bites allllllll over my legs. Oh and the kids here are crazy, like the teenagers. Basicly they have nothing better to do then drink, do drugs and do other things. Its not good. Drugs are really easy to come by but we had to teach this 12 year old kid about the word of wisdom and really worry if he would keep it. I still love the people tho. They're really nice and whatnot.
Surprisingly I haven't had any tacos yet. Had some really good spaghetti tho! Ive tried a bunch of stuff but nothing has really been terrible, except some beans I had yesterday but whatever.
My companion is great. He is a super hard worker and is gonna be a great trainer for me. He follows the spirit really well. Hes from St. George and has a scholarship to play soccer at the U of U when he gets back. We basicly do anything and everything to get our investigators to church. We were calling people at like 730 yesterday and aranging rides and stuff. We had 3 people at church so not bad. The branch is soooo different then ours. There is 1 priest, actually 2 now after our baptism, and that's all the young men, like 3 young women and just a bunch of random people. I'd say like 40 percent of the people actually wore church clothes. Maybe even less. Most people had jeans on. And we got a new branch president who is a recent convert and is really gonna help our work. The last one was way worn out and didn't really care about missionary work, I guess he was Brach Presidente for like 10 years! They need us to do like everything at church. We and the branch president, run the place. I bore my testimony in Spanish yesterday. We think the branch might be changed to English soon. Also hopefully it will be a ward before I leave!
Oh yea so we had a baptism yesterday, pretty cool. He is a 16 year old kid names George and he almost didnt get baptized. We had to get consent from his parents cus hes under 18 but his parents live in another city outside our area and they dont have a car, but we ended up being aloud to have his older brother sign it so it all worked out.
Our ward mission leader is a great guy. His name is Brother Abby, one of the few white people here, and he will do anything for us. He bought us food our first two nights here and gives the other Elders and bikes rides all the time. He really does his calling well and cares about the work. Our house is really nice. We have one room that we all sleep in, we have 2 study rooms, a living room, and a nice kitchen. We just need to fill that kitchen with some food haha. I heard we might be losing our house tho cus the owner might be selling it so that would suck. We've commited 4 people to be baptized since I've been here! We had a legit one yesterday, he is seriously so prepared and hopefully his wife and son will be too. I have a really good feeling about him.
I've been sleeping really well, I basicly pass out at night, and my bed is long enough and really comfortable. We made a goal to have 20 contacts a day and we've been really living up to that. We actually had 31 one day. Im pretty comfortable talking to people now so thats good. There are so insane dogs here tho. They like run out infront of cars and bark at them. We almost hit on yesterday! They always basicly try to attack our car! So stupid but whatever. I havnt gotten 1 letter since Ive been here which really sucks. Tyler tell my friends to write me haha. Give them the address I gave mom. Actually here it is again: 204 Alamo St. Raymondville, TX 78580. I need some letters. I only have like 45 minutes to email and only to family so yea. We are about to go shopping at Wal-mart soon! I'm starving, I had watermelon for breakfast haha. Well let me know how everything is going. Sounds like Coach K might actually do a good job. Hows school going for everyone? Cassidy hows volleyball? WEll I think thats about it. I love you guys and am loving it here! I'm happy and slowly learning Spanish. Love, Elder Given
If you would like to contact Elder Given please write him at:
Elder Jeff Given
200 West La Vista Ave
McAllen, TX 78501
To learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, click on Elder Given's picture.
The Articles of Faith
The Articles of Faith outline 13 basic points of belief of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Prophet Joseph Smith first wrote them in a letter to John Wentworth, a newspaper editor, in response to Mr. Wentworth's request to know what members of the Church believed. They were subsequently published in Church periodicals. They are now regarded as scripture and included in the Pearl of Great Price. THE ARTICLES OF FAITH OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS History of the Church, Vol. 4, pp. 535—541 1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. 2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression. 3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. 4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. 5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. 6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth. 7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth. 8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. 9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. 10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. 11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. 12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. 13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. -Joseph Smith
For more information about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, see: http://lds.org/.