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Raymondville, Texas

Raymondville, Texas

Monday, April 26, 2010

Loving Brownsville!

April 26, 2010

Whats up everybody!

Wow this was a really weird week. I got sick on Friday night. My stomach was just torn up. It lasted till about lunch time on Saturday. It was tough and it affected how hard I worked on Saturday but oh well, I got over it. We worked pretty hard and me and my comp are starting to get along better. I can’t wait to see what happens at transfers next week. We'll see where we all end up. We are working with some cool people right now tho. We have Rubin and Christian, who are the gangsta teenagers. They almost went to our stake super Saturday thing but ended up not going for some reason and then didn’t go to church either. It might be cus we taught them the word of wisdom haha. But hopefully we can get them baptized. Then we got this guy Alfredo, he’s super cool when he’s not drunk. We had super super awesome lessons with him and set a bap date with him. He’s a funny guy. I like invited him to be baptized, and he just nodded his head and put out his hand to shake mine, it was cool. Then he gave me a hug after the lesson, the spirit was super strong, the Holy Ghost was totally guiding that lessons cus my Spanish was really flowin that time.

Oh yea and before that lesson his daughter came out, who is like 25, and he was like "do you think my daughter is pretty?" and I was like well, we cant say yes or no. and my comp didn’t know what he said cus it was in Spanish and he just nodded his head haha. It was funny cus she is actually really pretty. Then he said something like oh well would you want to marry her? And the daughter was like yea cant you have like 7 wives? hahah so I got to explain that to her in Spanish. It was fun.

We're also teaching a guy who knows the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet, but he cant go to church. So we're going to keep working with him and try to get him to at least come to Sacrament. He is a really cool guy tho, named Geraldo. Then we got this kid Giovani. We started teaching him my first week him cus he was outside with his dad and his dad called us over and told us to talk to him. So we have been teaching him and he is really progressing, prays really well now, reads sometimes, just wont get up for church. We're giving him a chance tho cus hes only 13.

So we had interviews this week with Pres Miller. Before I was going in we were outside chattin and there was this CES guy there and I guess he emailed you dad. He called this other missionaries seminary teacher and the missionary got to talk to him so that was cool. Anyway, right when I got into my interview P Mills was like "You have no idea how much good you are doing for your companion!" and went on about that. It was prettty cool. He didn't even sit in front of me, he sat next to me, it was kinda weird but cool I guess. He is such a good guy, I’m gonna miss him a lot. I guess our new MPs name is Elder Trainer or something like that and he’s a lawyer. We'll see how that goes.

I played some ball this week. We were walking through a park and I was talking to these teenage kids and I was like "who’s the best here" and then "cool can you dunk?" obviously I knew what I was doing haha. So I through a couple down for them and it was cool. I can still get up sometimes. I think we're going to play today, Alburt our investigator wants to play. Oh yea Alburt is Daniels dad, he’s been coming to church for the last 3 or 4 weeks now so that’s cool.

I think I’m gonna send you guys a bunch of my pictures that I printed out, and then you can scan them or whatever and then send them back. I think that would be cool. Anyway I’m pretty sure I’m going to be calling for more that 45 minutes on Mothers Day. I’m excited for that!! Well I think that’s about it. I love you guys a lot and can’t wait to get some letters this week.


Elder Given

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Baptism in Brownsville!!

April 19, 2010

Hi Family!

Wow we had an amazing week. We had a baptism! It was this kid Daniel that we have been teaching. He's 11 and way cool. Earlier in the week he decided he wanted to get baptized, so we got him interviewed, and he was good to go. His parents were happy and it was awesome. Then they call us Fri night and tell us they want to wait until next week so we were like whatever that works. But then we went by Sat and talked about why its important and stuff and they called us again that night and they said that he wanted to do it Sunday now. So we did it and it was awesome. We had my comp do it, cus it was his first baptism, and Daniel thought i was too tall to baptize him hahah. It was cool cus it finally got my companion excited about missionary work. That kid has been tough to handle but we're doing it.

This area is amazing. We had 5 people at church. They are all gonna get baptized hopefully. We got our 17 year old "gangstas" again which was cool. This guy Alfredo came. We taught him 3 times this week and for 2 of them he was drunk. But luckily we got him when he was sober on Saturday and he promised he would go to church and sure enough he did! It was my first pure Spanish investigator I've ever taught. I got a email from Elder Brandley saying Raymonville is going to be a ward soon!!! How cool is that. I love that place. Oh yea and the other guy that came to church is Alburt, who is Daniels dad. He is way cool, and even said the closing prayer in the baptism. And he played ball with us last p-day. It was so much fun, he's alright. There are a couple elders who can play so it was a lot of fun. I was stoked to get him there. I dunked on one of the zone leaders hahah, it was a sick (cool) dunk too.

So I am almost done with Alma in the Spanish BoM. I'm reading like 20 pages a day now so I'll be done a week from Friday. I love reading it, its helped a lot. Oh yea and I got the package, thanks, I've got a couple cinnamon roles left haha. And I think I got all the letters. Hopefully I'll have time to write back. We've been super busy on our PDays lately. The weather was pretty crazy this week, lost of thunder and lighting and rain. It was sucky for the bike elders but it was fun for us haha. MY KNEE IS FINE! It wasnt for like 2 weeks tho haha. Ill tell you about it when I get home hahahah.

Cool, well I think that's about it. We had a really really really good week and we are going to be having some more baptisms in the next months or so, so thats excited. We have just been working hard and whatnot. I love you guys a lot and cant wait to hear more about whats going on at home.


Elder GIven

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Brownsville...A letter to his Mission President

April 12, 2010

Dear Family,

Wow that totally stinks that my memory card was stolen out of my letter. I definitely didn’t have any tape on it. Someone jacked it. Stupid Brownsville postal service. I’m mad. There were some sweet pictures on there. Like all the way back from Christmas! So dumb. At least I printed a bunch of them. I guess I'll send you all my photo things next time I send a package. Speaking of that I do want to send one soon cus I have some ties I want to send home and a tape hopefully soon. Guess what. I’m bout to go play some basketball after this! Im so stinking excited!!! Its gonna be fun. Hey so I'm gonna paste in my letter to president cus its got some cool stuff in it that I don’t feel like typing again.

Hey President,

We had a pretty good week this week. I learned a lot from Zone Conference and started doing my best to apply it right away. I have been focusing on asking good questions and really getting the investigators to tell me their testimonies that they already have. We ended up with 163 contacts and 13 new investigators. The Lord blessed us this week and we were able to find some cool people who had the desire to go to church and actually did it. It's amazing what happens when you focus on church basically all week. One of the best lessons we had this week was with a recent convert. His name is Eliseo and he was baptized in January and has been struggling with his testimony. So we talked with him Sunday evening and honestly as soon as we started talking I felt the Holy Ghost guiding everything I said. Basically we ended up going over Moroni 10:3-5, and I had him read it and then asked him how will we know if the Book of Mormon is true, and he said he didn't know. So I had him read it again and then asked the same question, and he said by the Holy Ghost, and I said exactly. Then he was confused on how the Holy Ghost would feel and didn't really know, so we pulled out Galatians 5:22-23 and read that with him. He still didn't get it because he thought he would see all those things in his life if it was true, so we explained that if he felt any of those feelings then it was the Holy Ghost testifying that it was true. And then it clicked. It all made sense for him and he was like I get it now! So then I asked him to pray right then and there about the Book of Mormon. So he did and while he was praying I was praying so hard that he would feel the Spirit, and as he finished his prayer, the Spirit was so strong. I asked him how he felt and he said he felt really good and peaceful, and I asked him what that meant and he said it means that the Book of Mormon is true. The Spirit was so strong, there was no denying the truth of the Book. I am so grateful for my testimony and for the witness that God has given me and now my testimony has grown that God will truly answer every ones prayers. It was an awesome experience.

Elder Sibbett and I made a goal this week to finish el Libro de Mormon before Mothers day. When we made the goal I was in Mosiah and he was in 2nd Nephi. So we are really going to be working at that, reading the necessary amount of pages every day in order to finish on time. We really want to improve our Spanish and we know that is the best thing we can do to help it. I can already see my Spanish improving. The Lord has truly blessed me with the Gift of Tongues and I am so grateful for it. As for companionship unity, it's going alright. I am really trying hard to get along with Elder...., but I am going to be honest it is really difficult sometimes. Usually we get along, its just sometimes he doesn't want to do what he know he needs to, or just has a bad attitude about it, and I just don't deal with his complaining. I basically tell him to "man up" and lets go work. It irritates him but I do it with good intentions. He just doesn't like doing things that he thinks don't matter like studying or planning or waking up on time. If he doesn't care about it, he won't do it. So I'm just trying to be an example to him and only tell him what to do when in completely necessary. Other than those few times we do get along pretty well. I will continue to work on it and do my best.

-Elder Given

So yep that’s a little of what happened this week. That’s the longest letter I’ve ever written him by far but I thought they were good things to tell him. So yea I guess there is a promise by Gordon B. Hinckley that if you read the BOM in you mission language then you will basicly be able to say what you need to. So I’m gonna power through it. I read like 15-20 pages a day (cus its longer en Espanol like 624 pages) I decided in like June or July I’m gonna read the whole BOM in English and Spanish in one month. Its gonne be sweet. I love that book. Its true. We had 5 investigators at church this week so that was cool. So Thursday night we taught this 17 year old kid named Christian, not even at his house, it was at his friends house. Basicly we taught him why he needs to go to church and gave him a really solid commitment, and sure enough, he went! and he brought his friend named Rubin. The guys at church were telling us that they are like the biggest gangtas in the school!!! hahah I love my ghetto people. So we're gonna keep working with them and get em in the wata. This other family came, its the Branch Pres's daughters family. So the 10 year old kid is hopefully getting baptized this sat. and eventually his dad too. We found out the parents arent married. Oh yea and so the kid is 10, guess how old the dad is. Okay you obviously have no idea, but I thought he was like 28ish, HES 22 YEARS OLD!!!!!! And he has a 10 year old. Gross. kinda crazy. He might be playin ball with us today tho.

So elder Holden is bugging me right now so I’m gonna write about him, cus he’s reading this haha. He fell super hard on his bike last night and messed up his shoulder, hopefully he gets put in the office. hahah jk that would be terrible. So hopefully I get some letters soon, I’ve been letterless for a while. Oh yea we had Zone Conf this week and I talked to Elder Guillen. JOE AND ANDROMEDA ARE GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so excited! I guess Joe was supposed to be this week and they are idk about Andy. I love Raymondville, that place was awesome.

One of our investigators is trying to talk me into watching new moon with him haha. Not gonna happen tho obviously. Good to hear Bishop read my letter, did he do it in Sacrament meeting? The weather hasnt actually been too bad, just a little raining and thundery but the temp has been really nice. We've been working hard and the Lord is blessing us for it. This transfer is already half over which is crazy. Time is starting to go by faster and faster. Well I think that’s all I got for this week. Nothing too exciting. I love you guys a lot and cant wait to get some mail.


Elder Given