Wednesday, November 30, 2011


November 29, 2011

Jose and his sons, who have baptismal dates for December.



The less active family from Oceanside that we found. The second-youngest daughter (lower right) and the dad should also be getting baptized in December.


November 29, 2011

Everything is going amazing here in our little part of the vineyard, with the exception of one thing: Elder Thomas got transferred! No bueno. We were sure that he was going to stay because he is leaving halfway through next transfer (leaving early to go back to BYU), but we got the news on Saturday night that he is getting transferred. We have several baptisms coming up of families that we found together, so we are both sad that he won't be able to be here (he can come back for the baptisms if he gets transferred to an adjacent stake, though). Oh well. Being a missionary helps you learn the lesson over and over that when the Lord tells you to do something, it's best to just do it. Every time you get transferred, you think that it will be easier to say goodbye to everyone the next time you are transferred, but it's never any easier. I'm glad that I get to stay, though, and I'm sure my next companion will be great as well.

This week was amazing, though! We had a great (and unusual) Thanksgiving last Thursday. We were invited to dinner with a family in our area, which was great (turkey cooked in adobado--chile sauce!). We helped serve Thanksgiving dinner at the Salvation Army in the morning, which was fun but a little weird. It's a church, but there wasn't any mention of Christ or the Bible or anything during the dinner (not even an opening prayer). It felt like a public school function. We got to talk to a lot of great people, though, and it really helped me be grateful for the many blessings that I have been blessed with throughout my life.


Thursday, November 24, 2011


November 22, 2011

We ran to the top of a hill in a park near our apartment this morning. We call this one, "Elder Thomas announcing the dawn of the Restoration to slumbering Escondido."

November 22, 2011

Everything is going spectacular here in the Escondido Spanish zone. We have had a great week. It has been quite chilly and rainy (in California, seeing your breath means it's cold...I feel like it will take a while to re-adjust the next time I spend a winter in Provo). Thanksgiving is quickly coming up. Have you ever had a turkey cooked with chile peppers? It's really good. We had a great ward activity on Saturday night for Thanksgiving, and about 400 people showed up. The members really welcomed all the investigators, and everyone had fun. . . .We are definitely not in danger of starving on Thanksgiving--we have had several invitations to dinner and there is a severe risk of more coming today (not to mention one family which threatened to never talk to us again if we didn't eat with them...). Being a missionary can be so hard. We also were able to volunteer to help serve food in the morning at our local Salvation Army with a couple of other missionaries, so that should be a great experience.


November 15, 2011

With Elder Thomas in front of the San Diego temple this morning. If you look closely, you can see the Christmas lights on the palm trees.



November 15, 2011

One of our investigators came to Church this Sunday with four of his five sons, and loved it (his children asked him if they could come every week!). Yesterday, we went by and taught him again, and he told us at the beginning that he had a question. He took off his glasses, sat back, and said "I heard in the Sunday School class about temple work for the dead." (We braced ourselves for the objection/doubt). "My mom and dad passed away a few years ago. Can I help them?" We taught him about the Plan of Salvation and he loved it. The Spirit was so strong. After we finished, we asked him what he could do now to start to have the blessings of God's plan, and he asked us, "What do I have to do to get baptized?" We explained about preparation and repentance, and he asked, "I heard that I would have to give up coffee. Is that true?" We said he would have to, and he said, "Okay. It doesn't matter." He accepted a baptismal date! Helping people understand the doctrine of the Gospel is so powerful. Once you see life from the right perspective, changing and being baptized is obviously the right thing to do! We are grateful to be able to teach someone who is so willing to learn (and who has 5 sons--think about the potential for missionary work in that family!).


November 8, 2011

Greetings from surprisingly cold Escondido! Everything is going amazing. We have been blessed with many miracles and we are learning a lot and having more fun than should be allowed. We are going to have zone conference this Friday and we are excited to learn from President Cook. We have been blessed to find a lot of great people, and the weather has gotten really awesome. It's cold enough at night to see your breath, which means during the day it is sunny but not hot (like 60s or low 70s). Elder Thomas and I have been really striving to improve our Spanish. We realized that it is hard for Spanish speaking missionaries in the United States to imitate a specific accent because the people we teach are all from different parts of Mexico, so we want to try to imitate accents of people from a specific region of Mexico. Hopefully it works--we want to lose our American accents as soon as possible! We have been eating a lot of amazing food, including (for the first time) tortas ahogadas (delicious).