Monday, August 25, 2008

A New Member With Her Proud Missionaries

A Beautiful Baptism & Elder Carreon's First Confirmation in Spanish

A Rumor and More Rain

Dear Family & Friends:
This week was made even more interesting by some speculation around the mission. Supposedly, for next transfer's Zone Conference, Elder Dallen Oaks (from the Council of the Twelve in Salt Lake) might come down! It was definitely one of those through-the-grapevine type stories (we heard it from the District Leader who heard it from the Zone Leaders who heard it from the APs...) so we'll see what happens. That would be really exciting though!
It has been raining like crazy here these past few days, and it really started coming down hard yesterday during church. One of the companionships in our District baptized 5 people yesterday!!! The Spanish Ward down here is having crazy amounts of success, almost a baptismal service every week.
The English ward is still kind of slow. We just recently got a new ward mission leader, and he has been in the ward since the ward was formed so he knows almost everyone on the roster. We have lots of ideas for him, and we have been seeing a lot of success lately. Our two recent converts have been trying to work with another family member, and we just got a call this morning that she had promised them she would come to church this Sunday. They have also been talking to their friends a lot about the church and they have this one friend that seems interested. They invited her to hear the lessons, so we are going over to teach her. The new members are so awesome, and the daughter talks about how she wants to go on a mission next year (she turns 21 and hits a year as a member in the same month, so she could go).
Things down here are going great so far and hopefully they will continue to grow. Mom, I was wondering: I have a copy of the "New Oxford English-to Spanish Picture Dictionary." I heard that the same company makes flash cards to go along with the dictionary and if so, I was wondering if you could send them to me! Thanks a lot!

Love, Ryan

Monday, August 18, 2008

Elders Carreon & Gish in the Rain

Transfers & a Dog Attack Day

Hello to all,
This week was a very interesting one!
On Monday, we were riding our bikes, and my companion's tire exploded. He had been having a lot of problems with his bike lately, and this was the culmination. Luckily we were right in front of Wal-Mart, so we were able to get him the stuff he needed to repair it.
Tuesday was exciting because we got to find out about transfers. We knew that we were definitely going to have at least one change because Elder To'o was leaving. I think I jinxed the whole thing because I was like, "That would be lame if transfers were really boring and nothing happened!" and then five minutes later we recieved a phone call saying that there was going to be no changes within our district. So now I have had 2 companions in a row for 3 transfers, and for both of them, I'm the only companion that they have had for 3 transfers.
Wednesday was sad because Elder To'o left for the mission office to then go home. He seemed pretty bummed out, but I know he really wanted to see his family again.
Thursday was dog attack day! We went over to see some members in the morning and this big slobbery dog comes out of nowhere and starts jumping all over my companion and drooling all over him and chewing on his back pack and stuff. I just sat back and laughed. Then we had this other dog follow us like 5 blocks and bark at us the whole way. Later, we were with some other members standing in the driveway and this dog comes bolting out of their house and starts jumping all over my companion, so I tried to sneakily back away so it wouldn't jump on me, but it noticed and it came racing toward me. I backed up faster and tripped, and it jumped all over me as I was on the ground.
Saturday and Sunday were pretty crazy. We got pulled over by this guy on Saturday who said, "Hey have I talked to you before?" and I said "No." He said, "Well, can we chat for a bit?" We humored him, but if there is one thing that I've learned as a missionary, it's that if people inivite you into their house or want to chat with you before you've said anything to them, it's bad. This was no exception. Turns out he was a very active member of his church and wanted to argue with us using his scriptures. So we talked for a few minutes and bore our testimonies and rode away.
On Sunday we were telling this story to some other Elders in our district, and it turns out that they met the same guy a few days earlier. I guess he must be going around trying to bash with all of the LDS missionaries or something. I also got a bunch of mail on Sunday, and it turns out that Kelli McCoy (from Arcadia Ward and Arcadia High) is getting married in a week or so. I also got a package and some other letters and stuff so thanks everyone! Please keep the missionaries in your prayers. Have a great week!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Elder To'o (2nd from left, back row) is finishing his mission this week

Typical Street in Brownsville

A Thousand Pounds of Ties

Hello to Family & Friends:

On Tuesday we went over to a member's house and they have this little poodle type dog, and it was running around and on the couch and stuff. I guess my companion didn't notice it, because when he went to sit on the couch, he sat right on it. It was pretty funny.
On Monday the Zone Leaders bought a 1,000 pound bale of ties for $17, and so on Wednesday night they dropped off all these bags of ties for us to have. Most of them weren't any good, but we found some awesome ones in there!
On Friday the ward mission leader in Spanish ward invited us to the church and he and his family made us this huge meal of BBQ and stuff. It was super good!
This Wednesday is transfers again, and we don't find out until tomorrow who stays and who goes. I think I'm going to stay and get a new companion, but we'll see what happens.
Supposedly it is supposed to rain a lot this week, we don't really have access to weather forecast or anything (maybe you could email me the 10-day forecast in your emails or something!). I'm sad that this transfer is ending because Elder To'o is finished with his mission and is going home, but I'm also excited to see what new changes there will be. Only 2 transfers until I've been out a year! That's so crazy to think about. Anyways, take care and tell everyone that I say hi!

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Missionary Moment

It's a Small, Small World

Hello to all

Last week I received an email from the father of one of my Zone leaders, Elder Davich. He said that he was looking up Hurricane Dolly on the web and came across my blog. He said the he was surprised to find out that Ron Bean was my grandfather, because 10 years ago it was that same Ron Bean that had helped bring him and his son (my Zone Leader) into the gospel. What a small, small world!
This week was kind of a slow week and we worked extra hard to find people to teach, but thus is the life of a missionary.
We had our interviews with Mission President Miller on Friday. My interview went really well. He is an awesome man, and is really inspired on how to lead us.
On Saturday we were riding our bikes, and when we went to lock them up my companion was like "oh no!" It turns out that when he hopped off his bike, he ripped his pants! Luckily we only had like 45 minutes until we were going to be at home.
Sunday, our newest convert was confirmed. She is super strong and now wants to share the gospel with everyone. It's amazing how the Restored Gospel changes people. Just in the few weeks that we have been teaching her family, I have definitely seen a change in her and her daughter's countenance. They are both super happy!
This transfer had flown by, and now we have transfers in only a week and a half. I'll let you know if I stay in Brownsville or move to another area of the mission.

Love, Ryan