Hey I´m so so so sorry that I don´t have time to write a whole bunch. I am in the Capital right now because I had to come to pick up my new companion. Just so you know a little bit. Elder Paredes and I had a wonderful last week together. We had a lot of unity and we were able to truly learn to love one another. He´s being transfered back to the capital and I truly hope that he can find succes likle we´ve been able to have in Azua. My new companions name is Elder Perez and I hear he´s Dominican! So it sounds like it´ll be a lot of fun a learning expereince but a good one. I´ll do my best to write more next week. I want you all to know how much I truly love you all and for all of the birthday packages that I have gotten. I´ll also send pictures next week. Have a great week and again sorry its so short this week.
Como me enseñó mi papa de la misión "Hay la viuda"
¿Cómo están mi queridos amigos y familia? I´ve missed you all and I´m ever so grateful for every letter email and loving thought and prayer that has been sent my way. I know you all are busy and I know that the mail system sometimes is horrible but just know that you all will receive so many blessing for the efforts that you all make to take care of a servant of the Lord.
This past week has been a good one. As I have said my companion and I have been able to work things out. Things don´t fly smoothely but we´ve learned how to finally communicate and to try to talk things out. There have been times where i´ve just felt too tired to try to my things ok, or felt like I just couldnt wait for the next transfer but my loving Heavenly Father opened my minds understanding and helped me realized, "your not going to be able to say ´I cant wait for the next transfer´ if you have problems with your wife or your kids in the future." So I do my best to try to solve the problems and try to help him and love him instead of push him away so that I can have my own space. As I have realized how pride is the beggining of all sin I have also learned the beggining of all things good: Love. As I was reading this morning in Alma 20 this morning and thingink a little bit about the little differences that my comapnion and I have I read about when Ammon and Lamoni meet up with King Lamonis father, the king of the Lamanites. The king was mad seeing his son with a "lying nephite" and wanted to kill both Ammon and his own Son. But after Ammon wounded him and after he was lying on the ground pleading for his life he was able to see something that due to his hate he hadn´t seen before. The scriptures teach us the the king was astonished "when he saw the great love that Ammon had for his son Lamoni." Now I´m sure that because he was afraid for his life the king would have done practically anything to not die. BUT when he saw the love that Ammon had for his son not only was he willing to give up everything but he humbled himself (the opposite of prifde) and wanted to know WHY?! Why does the nephite love my son so much. Are we not arch enemies? He became interested and because the love the was found in Ammon. And my dear brothers and sisters where do you think such love came from?
"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen."
I testify of the love the we can receive from our Savior who is the Perfect Example of who we need to become. And the best part about it is that we truly can become like Him. But we must humble ourselves and change the things that are not in tune with His example. But its possible and He will give us the power to do it.
As far as investigators go. We have a good group of progressing investigators with Eridania Natalia and Cesarina who are progressing well. I feel a little bit worried because it seems like they´ve lost a little bit of excitement and Eridania is not reading the Book of Mormon like she should be. But with the Lords help and your prayers combined with ours I know they will be ready for their date.
Hno Abreu is also doing well. He came to church again this sunday and again he loved it. He still hasnt made a decision on which church to join as he still is receiving all sorts of visits from other religions. But this morning as I was reading a general conference talk I received the sweet feelings of revelation. I think he needs to understand better what the priesthood is seeing as how he understands quite well the principle of authority being an ex politician. I´ll have to run it by my companion but I hope we´ll be able to work that out.
We also have found two new young men. The first is Yeuris and is a good kid who´s 17. He´s a bit of a couch potatoe because he already finished high school and isnt doing anything. He came to church and is showing some good effort and understands everything well even though he´s a bit awkward in the lessons. We´ll see if we can get him to seminary this week and get him active!
Our other kid that we found is Rusbert! Holy smokes this kid is smart. What kind of investigator in the first lesson practically tells you word by word from memory the First Vision?!?!? And what kind of investigator comes to your house after church to put an appointment because us as somewhat airhead missionaries forgot to. I looked to my companion and said, "he´s getting baptized for sure." He´s an awesome young man who´s actually hatian but speaks really great spanish and is truly a blessing in our lives as misisonaries.
As far as other people we are working with please pray for Isamar and Hector and Emma (an inactive couple).
The work is moving forward and is going quickly just like the time. I´ve been so blessed to be here in the mission and hope all of you are feeling the blessings that Heavenly Father has promised you as well. Les quiero mucho y que les vaya bien esta nueva semana. Que tengan gozo y amor siempre en sus corazones.
Well I´m so so sorry but after writing some other quick emails the time has left me. But we´ll go for just a quick update and I promise to write a good letter to all next week.
Investigators: Hno Abreu came to church this sunday!!!! It was awesome everyone knew him at church one because its a small small little town and two because he was a political representantive for Sabana Yegua. But he´s doing good he´s till taking studies from other churches but we´re doing our best to help him find the truth and help him understand where his Heavenly Father wants him to be. Pray for him that he will be able to find his answer soon and make a decision before he gets even more confused from all of the other religions. Eridania Natalia and Cesarina are doing well. All loving church and always come. We have a goal to try to teach them together and tomorrow we´re going to put a baptismal date for the 1st of december. I´m really excited for them! Isamar is a young woman of about 15 years old. She´s made a lot of changes in her life such as trying to overcome the normal teenager rebelious stage. Shes been taking lessons off and on from the missionaries for about 6 months and we feel like she´s finally ready we put a baptism date for the 1st of december as well. The only other one is Nicauris who needs to come to church so she can find her answer as well. Please pray for that miracle to be able to happen this coming week. Also we need to find more peope so please keep that in your prayers as well. They are waiting for our beautiful message we just need the help finding them. As far as our comapanionaship we´re dpoing... much better. I´m learning how to communicate how I feel and my comp is learning how to not get mad so fast. We´re doing our best to help one another and I know that all of your prayers are the power behind us. Sorry that its not much but I love you all so much have a great week!!! And good luck with elections!!! Love, Elder Pemberton
Ask and yea shall receive know and it shall be open unto you.
When I opened my email and saw all of the emails from friends and family my heart honestly soared as I saw all of the loving notes and words that you all took time to send me. To save time I´m going to print them out so that I have time to write you all. Which is very limited due to the pictures that I was tryig to send.
Just for a quick update. I´m fine all of the missionaries are fine as far as we know. There was some major damage in our small town of Sabana Yegua there were two or three house that were taken away in a river that broke out of a man made trench. There was mud all over the roads and parts of the road were actually taken up. It was quite a sad sight to see peoples home destroyed. Their things ruined by the water. But I trust in our loving Heavenly Father who knows whats best for each one of His children. I hope that the people of Sabana Yegua will be able to come closer to God through this tragedy in stead of letting the hate and anger of the circumstances take over.
As far as investigators go. Luckily none of them were affected by the storm and we finally have baptism dates!!! They´re only goals meaning that theyre not for sure but. Eridania and her family want to get baptised and so were working with them to see if they can get baptised this coming month the 24th of Nov. They´re coming to church and starting to become part of the family of the church. Hno Abreu is also doing well. Do to the storm and the exchanges we had this week with the Zone leaders I havent been able to share with him but he also as the goal of getting baptised the 24th. His biggest problem is getting to church so please pray that we can have a miracle in getting him to church this week.
Elder Paredes and I are doing a lot better. But things did get worse before they could get better. Monday and tuesday I learned more than ever before in my life how to trust ONLY in my Heavenly Father because honestly we just couldnt find the solution to our difficulties. But like I said we´re doing better and I know its been because of all of your prayers.
Sorry I´m short but I´m way out of time. I cannot thank you all enough for the love and support that you all give me. I hope the Lord is pouring out His blessings upon each and every one of you for thinking and taking care of one of His servants. Please have a great week. You are all in my prayers. Y siempre recuerden sobre todo que confiemos en el Señor nuestro Redentor.
Well I need to be serious with you all. It´s been the hardest transfer of my short mission life. Mostly because of my companion. I know that the Lord see´s it fit to try His children and there are days when I feel a little bit brave and I ask for more trials in my life to be able to grow more. And well does the Lord hear the prayers of his children.
Elder Paredes and I, short and sweet, are very different. He´s a great person just raised very differently than I was. He recognizes his faults and its been hard for me to recognize mine, because I´m so focused on just accepting him for who he is and trying to bare it all. We just dont feel any unity when we teach because he teaches very differently than I was taught. We had exchanges on friday and when he came back on saturday I just felt such a tension between us. Before we went out to work he said that he needed to talk to me. So I sat down at the desk and he told me he couldn't take it anymore. He said, "what do you what me do to? What do I need to change? " And I just looked at him. What am I supposed to say? I felt like he wanted me to pull out a magic button that at promblem solver written on top. All I could think of was trying to be the missionaries that Preach My Gospel tell us to be and be obedient. I feel like I´m always walking on thin ice with him and I feel like I never know what to do. So his solution was to start letting me make all of the decisions. Its been a really hard couple of days on top of the diffuclt transfer that passed and the one we´re in right now. And all of you who know me well enough know that I´m not so great at handling difficult situations. The best hope I have is that all of this will make me stronger and that I´m learning a lot. I guess? I understand that the Lord asks us to sacrifice everything for Him but I do ask myself, "is there at times unecessary sacrifice in our lives?" I know that this is where I need to be.
But no worries, not all is lost. There is always hope. I´ve done the best I can to try to understand how can I find happiness in spite of it all. We got to go to the temple and unfortunately I wasn´t able to leave as happy as I wanted to. And only the Lord knows why. But I was able to learn something. I was able to learn that we can find the a fullness of joy when we complete with our purpose. And as I thought more about it, I thought, "well, what other time in my life am I going to have a more defined purpose?!?" For those of you missionaries, "inivite people to come unto Christ by helping them..." you know the rest. I feel bad for those of you out in the lone and weary world where its less easy to understand your true purpose. Also looking for help I was reading in the May General Conference Liahona and I came across the President Uchtdorfs talk in priesthood session. I learned there that especially as missionaries we can find happiness as we look back on the day and realize which moments we were used as instruments in the Lords hands. There are answers in the scriptures of the ancient times and modern day.
Now, on to investigators. Even though Elder Paredes and I are having some problemitas we have been able to find some investigators. We found a man named Gil Abreu and he's such a great man. He´s had a really humbling year. His family left him and went to the US. He lost his leg in a weird accident when he stepped on glass from a light bulb. The leg got infected and the doctors had to take the leg. He was also a Subdirector of Agriculture for the southern region of the DR. Which is a pretty big deal. Unfortunately his party lost in the presidential elections and because of his leg he wasn't going to be able to keep up with his projects that he had. Now he is looking to join a church. He feels a great need to join a church because he knows how much God has helped him in his life. He´s honestly such an example to us. Because he´s not depressed nor hateful for what has happened. He feels good and he shows it. We just hope that he can get his answer soon because he´s receiving a few other churches at his house. The battle of souls is real. Pray for him.
I´m out of time but please pray for these people as well. Eridania, Natalia, Cesarina. They are a family a mom and her two girls. Isamar, who is a girl of 14 years and Nicaruaris. And please please please pray for my companion and I. We want to fix things, we just dont know how. I love you all, hope you have a great week.
P.S. If you could send some emails or letters or anything I could really use the strength. I don´t mean to sound needy I know you all do so much for me. But If you have time that would be great.
I´m here starting on my 6th transfer in the mission field. This transfer has gone by so, so fast. We found out last night that Elder Paredes and I will being sticking it out for another one. So lets home that we can grow a lot more in this coming transfer and see what happens.
This week has been a week of a lot of traveling. On tuesday we went to an area about an hour away called Padre Las Casas for our district meeting. After which i was supposed to go on exchanges with the zone leaders but my stomach was just killing me. Note taken: just be obedient and dont eat in members houses cuz its very likely that you´ll end up with diarrhea. Yeah its been a rough week and a half BUT what ever it was has left my dehydrated body and now I´m back to eating the good stuff again. But due to me not feeling well I didnt go on the exchange and me and my comp went back to our area to work.
Wednesday we came into town to Azua to have interviews with the President. It was a good time to spend with the other missionaries as we waited and then I was also able to have a good interview with the President. With that and general conference I was able to receive a lot of good advice on how to keep my excitement up even in tough times.
Then on thursday we took the hour drive BACK to PLC so that my comp could give a baptism interview as he is the District Leader.
On friday we went to Azua again which is a 15 minute ride on the highway in the back of a truck (hey you got to do what you got to do) so its not tooo bad. We had our end of the transfer party with the senior couple, The Browns. They really are great I love being able to spend time with them whenever we get the chance. But our zone went over to their apartment for lunch and guess what we ate!!!! Hawaiian Haystacks!!!!! AH I was so very happy to eat a meal from home. If you don´t know what they are ask my mom Ana she makes them quite well! But please don´t get me wrong I love rice and beans. It was nice to be able to hang out with our zone in a calm environment and share stories and such.
Then came general conference. I learned from Elder Stott that he doesnt take notes during the conference. And he´s got a point because the talks come out in about a month and we can read them again there. What he taught me to do is to write down the things that the Spirit tells you. What a different conference. It went by so fast but I truly received plenty of inspiration from heaven that I hope I will be able to put into effect very soon in my mission.
As for the revelatory news of the age change of the missionaries my heart soars to know that truly we are blessed to be part of the true church and that Christ, and not a man, directs it. As we heard about the sister missionaries my mind went directly to my good friend Jessica Van Alfen who I hope received an answer to her prayers with this news. She will make an excellent missionary. This will be such an excellent development in missionary work and I know that the time is close to the end for the Lord is calling more and more of His children to serve Him and to spread the "Good News" so that the world can be prepared for our Lords second coming.
I was definitely filled with the Spirit as I brought questions to conference and received direct answers to those questions by the messangers of our Heavenly Father. Just another way that He shows that He loves us His children.
My companion and I are excited to be together again. We´re struggling a little bit in teaching with power and unity in our lesssons. I hope that we can humble oursleves and find an answer quick so that we can help more and more people. And at the same time enjoy more and more our mission.
Last night while we were waiting for the transfer call I opened up some letters. I have never felt so strong a spirit from a letter as when I read a dearelder I received from Kiffyn Smith. She´s currently in China right now teaching english. She tells me that she is not allowed to share her testimony at all and that being in a different country and culture has been hard for her, but at the same time she´s loving it. I am grateful for her example in missionary work by example, by service, and by love. Also quite a while ago just so you know kels I sent you a letter and well I said I didnt get yours. I recieved the letter the week after I wrote it. Just so ya know.
Well my dear family and friends I hope you all know how much I truly love you all. I know that I am here on my mission for a reason and that I am learning so much. I hope you all enjoyed general conference and were able to receive peace counsel and feel the love of your Father in Heaven like I was able to. I know this church is true. I know that Heavenly Father is always with us and always knows what we are going through and what we need. We need to remember that we need to humble oursleves by always praying to Him and realizing that we need Him much more than we let on to (Mosiah 4:11). I truly love being a missionary even though its been hard I know I´m being prepared for so much in this short two years. Please pray for the work over here. Pray for miracles in the lives of our investigators and that their hearts may be opened. We will be eternally grateful for those prayers. I love you all and hope you have a great week!
So if your not sure what the word trunky I'll explain. Its the missionary term for homesick haha. It means you want to pack up your bags and go home. And I have had very few moments like that. Which is a very large blessing of my heavenly father. But one of those few moments happened this week. We went to go pick up a member from her house to help us teach our lessons and while we were waiting for her to finish getting ready there were some peope in her house watching the first harry potter. Now you all know me and you know that Jesse and I dressed up as death-eaters to go to the final movie. BUT just seeing it wasnt what made me trunky. I was fine while Dumbledore was talking to Harry and then the sad transitional music started playing and I lossed it. Haha I was almost at the point of tears but I was able to hold it in. I was just reminded of the great times that me and my family spent on our big couch sitting and watching movies with our big bucket of homemade popcorn. Oh those are great memories. But I'm here in the mission and making a whole bunch of new ones that I hope one day in a few years will make me trunky to come back to the DR.
As far as other news here in good ol' Sabana Yegua lets start with investgators. Wednesday was a bit of a sad day. We went to go see Carmen and well long story short she left to the capital to work the very next day. Meaning she'll come back every other 15 which just doesnt really work when one is trying to learn from missionaries. But she has a book of mormon and there are missionaries where she is now so we hope and pray the Lord will give her the opportunity to come closer to Him there as well. We were able to put a baptismal date with a new investigator named Nicauris. She's about 24 and is really smart. She came to church this sunday and we hope that she will continue to progress. As far as any others well... we're working on it. Its not as easy to find true progressing investigators here and at times it gets a little frustrating but all is in the hands in the Lord and all we need to do is do our best to become instruments in His hands.
Elder Paredes and I are doing awesome. We have our times that we bash but such is the life of two people being together for 24\7. He's the baby in his family of only two and his sister was already out of the house for all of his high school if I'm not mistaken. And me well I'm just simply not that fun to joke around with haha, I'm working on my sense of humor. He told me that in every relationship one needs personal time. Now our goal is trying to be able to do that with out getting mad at each other to be able to have personal time.
My little bit of advice for you all this week would be this: so often do we forget to pray in any moment. As missionaries we pray a WHOLE LOT. I've truly learned to love to pray even though its been a bit hard these past weeks- its quite easy for a tired missionary to maybe dose off in his persoanl prayers. But do we pray to help us understand what to do for the little things or the things that don't seem to be spiritual? I know that our Heavenly Father loves us very much and I know that like any loving parent He will help with anything. Whats important to you is important to Him.
Well I'm going to send some pictures now. We went to a really cool annual world wide service project called "the cleaning of beaches and coast." It was way fun to be on the beach so no I didnt break any rules by going to the beach I was actually doing service!
I love you all so much its been such a great 8 months serving my Lord and I know that I'm going to continue to have great experiences. Please keep sending letters and emails they really give me strength I love to hear about life back in the states and with my family and friends. I was sad to hear about my Cougs losing to the Utes but dont worry theyre just waiting to get really good for when I get home sdo I can enjoy the games again ;) Remember that the Lord loves us and that all we need to do is do our best and He will pick up the rest of our slack. Talk to you all in a week!
Hello! How's everyone doing? I´ve had another great week here in Sabana Yegua. Working hard and having a blast.
If I havent told you all before I love the fruit here! Its fantiastic. The best part is there´s so much of it and many different varieties. One of my favorites is called la kanepa or limoncillo. My little siblings know what they are and if maddy remembers well we absolutely LOVED them when we took our trip to the Virgin Islands. Now as much as I love las kanepas they have a very very horrible side affect: they STAIN very badly. And if you wanted to know the stain actually has a really... interesting... chemical reaction with clorox. So on one of my very nice white shirt I´ve got a very nice brown stain. Haha oh well such is life right?
We also had an interesting day at church... I tell you all what, life is completely different in branches. I think I noticed the most when they weren´t singing the hymns right. Elder Paredes and I just looked at each other saying with our eyes,'' wait a minute.. thats not how this hymn goes.'' Finally in the last song I leaned over to my comp and said, ''Well if you can´t beat em join em.'' So I started singing how they do and I guess you could call it hymns with a little dominican caribe flow.
We also have one progressing investigator named Carmen. Shes around 35ish and really likes learning about God and going to church. The problem is that she has to get married and her ''husband'' doesnt want anything to do with religion or marriage. So simply put, we´ve hit a bit of a road block with her. We had a lesson planned to talk with her and her husband about it on Friday. That morning Elder Paredes and I planned a really good lesson plan to help her husband understand the importance of keeping the commandments of God. But very, very sadly as we showed up she wasnt there so we stayed to wait for her and she showed up with a huge beer bottle in hand and slightly drunk with her sister behind her. We could tell they were drunk because they were laughing at everything we were saying. My comp was really sad because they had already taught her the Word of Wisdom and it was hard for him to see her like that. It was a little sad for me too I just have a lot less time with Carmen, but we´re doing all we can to work with her. She also did not come to church yesterday so we were a little sad and were praying hard that she was not losing her excitement about the church. So we passed by yesterday to see how she was. It turned out to be her Birthday! But the reason she didnt go was because there was no water for her to be able to get ready.
Many members didnt go for the same reason. Those of you with 24-7 power and water be very very grateful ;)
Elder Paredes and I sang her happy birthday in English it was a fun experience. Adding to the fun experience in the lesson we had with her that day I had my first really bad spanish mix up. PREPARE YOUR SELVES. We were talking about prayer and the fact the Lord really does answer our prayers. The story of Enoc came to my head but there wasnt any light so I couldn't actually pull out the scriptures which propably would have saved me from my problem. But I described how he was hunting and he was in a place perfect for recieving revelation and having a great experience with prayer. As I started explaining more about the story I was going to say I´m not sure how the thought of repentance came to his mind but it did. I´m not sure how in spanish is ''No sé como...'' and what I said was very different. I´m not even sure how this happened but what came out of my mouth was ''No sé coño''. (That is a very bad word in Spanish) After I said it I corrected myself and It took us all a few seconds to realize what I said but Carmen and her sister were like, ''did you just say...'' we were all laughing for a short while. Oh, the experiences of the mission.
We were able to pull the lesson back and gave her the commitment to pray and to trust that the Lord with provide her with a path to baptism. Its not our goal at all to split up couples and we keep assuring her of that. So I ask you all my beloved family and friends to pray for Carmen. Pray so that her husbands heart can be softened and so that she can enter into the waters of baptisms and into the fold of our beloved Savior Jesus Christ.
I truly love the mission. I love my companion. I love helping the people here in Sabana Yegua. And above else I love the Lord. This is His work and I testify of that. I hope we can all try to trust in the Lord and do the best to comply to His will this week and not our own. I love you all as well. Have a great week and I hope to hear from you soon.
Hey familia!!! We´re having a really good time in Sabana Yegua of Azua. My new comp is Elder Paredes and we really get along really well. I´ve been loving getting to know my companion and just love talking about how things are going in our life and what is on our mind and stuff like that. Its been a good week so far. The work is a little different out in the campo than back in the capital. I felt like in the capital it was work work work get as many lessons in as possible try and to help as many people as possible in the day. And while that was great and I liked it because I knew all of my investigators and I was willing to work hard for them I´m enjoying the different feel of the campo. No papá no hay tantas mata en dondequier que triste no? To explain my area a bit it extends about maybe a mile and a half along the main highway that runs through the province of Azua. And Sabana Yegua is truly a town its got organized streets and houses along those streets and everything. The people here are definitely less iliterate so that makes it a little bit hard and generally most of the young adults that would be interested in our message go to the capital to study. Yesterday in Church was a pretty good sunday. Its my first time being in a branch but we have a really good branch. The members are young in the gospel but a lot of them have really great spirits and truly just want to serve our Lord. I was able to go up and bear my testimony being fast and testimony meeting and I wa glad to see the 50 or so people all smiling and what they thought was going to be a fluent dominican speaker. haha I still fool everyone I meet. We havent found any progressing investigators since I´ve been here this week so I still feel like I´m not super close to the ones Elder Paredes and his comp had before but then again its only a week. The people are really great and knowing me I just love everyone so easily and these people are really easy to love. We have a few of the youth in our ward that leave with us ALL DAY LONG! And I thought I was doing a lot leaving with the missionaries in TX every now and then. Well my dear family and friends, life is just good. I´ve got a great companion. A wonderful branch that Iñm excited to support in these coming weeks and I know that Lord will continue to prepare the people. No worries I´m still working hard and doing all I can to help the people. Sorry if theres not any super cool stories this week but it was more of an introduction to the campo for me. I think this week being more organized after P'day and knowing the people a little bit more we´ll be able to have some really great experiences. I love the mission. Its been such a learning experience and my testimony has grown so much. There is no doubt in my mind that the Church is true. Its true. I can assure you that it is.
I love you all so much and know that I have been protected and strengthened through your prayers and thoughts for me. Please keep them coming. I need them. My investigators need the and the branch needs them. Also congrats to Austin Jones on his Mission Call to Ireland!!!! I know I´m late and he´s already in the MTC by now but snail mail is... well.. just that slow. haha love you all have a great week.
Well first I have a list of things that I need to say first and then we´ll get into the good stuffs... well I hope its the good stuffs meaning interesting...
I´ve been missin my buddies from vegas whats going on with them? Any mission calls? Who´s off at college?
Also where´s my dear sister Kiara Otis? I´m super proud of Mitch and his ballgame. He would do well of here in the DR. Dominicanos love their pelota.
I have a letter waiting to be sent to a miss Jessica VanAlfen could someone be so kind and get me her address?
Also Ana I need some rechargable batteries and a charger... Yeah I dont have anymore AAA batteries and... they´re expensive here. And my camera is out of juice. But if you could please get that to me when you can that would be great.... oh and another mini mag-light? My house ate my other one :/ yes... i´m still working on my responsibility problems. You didnt think I´d come home perfect did you ;) Also I wanted to tell you about an experience that Elder Mooney and I had sunday night. We went to a ward council meeting and wow. I felt such an amazing spirit there. I realized that you have been going to that for the past 8 months and that now dad gets to go to it too. What awesome parents I have! The leaders of this church are truly inspired and loving people!
Papi dime más de esta escuela de instructores ¿no estabas en IIAFA anteriormente? No se preocupen de verdad no estoy preocupándome por ustedes pero si estoy orando y voy a tener eso más específicamente en mis oraciones. Pero papi has hecho mucho en este año y estoy muy orgulloso de llamarte mi padre. Yo quería saber lo que pasó con su examen de rango? pasaste? si no que es el plan ahora?
Also to answer grandma´s questions about the country and the food. Its pretty much rice and beans and some kind of meat. They call it La Bandera (the flag). As far as other things, Morro is the rice with beans cooked into it. Fritos are platanos.. or plantains I think is the english work cut up into slices fried mashed slightly and then fried again they´re pretty good. I attempted the other day to what i hope with make my dad proud arroz amarillo con gandules. I didnt get the rice all that yellow but it was still faily decent. Also we eat alot for lunch and at times not much for breakfast or dinner. But yeah those are some of the few things that are good also dad do you know what majarete is? We had some today for lunch it was fantastic!!!
Ahora sí. Now for what you all have been waiting for. No worries I´m alive! :) The storm hit thursday night we think while we were sleeping. But thursday during the day we left our first visit of the day and asked if there were any questions comments or needs. And they didnt have any questions but they had a comment. They said, "be careful in the storm!" We had realized that it was a little extra windy as we left the house that day but we didnt think anything of it. The Zone Leaders then called us a few hours later saying that we needed to get 3 days worth of food and that after we were in house that night that we couldnt leave until they told us to. I told Elder Mooney that it was probably going to be nothing and that we would probably be able to go out because we had a huge day the next day. Well my friends.... its a good thing i´m not in the market to be a meteorologist. We woke up and it was pouring rain. The wind was crashing against the house and the windows. It was crazy. So Ana to answer your questions as far as where I was: In the house for 48 hrs straight. As far as what did I see: not much because we were in our house but it was crazy sounding with wind rain thunder and lightning. As far as what I did: well.... during that 48 hrs of being in the house about 16 was spent sleeping durng the normal times. I did take a nap.... or two... and i explain why because of the other 30 or so hours left we maybe had light for 6 of them. And the wondows had to be shut or else we were going to get soaked so we did a lot during the night by candlelight. But all in all it was a good expereince. Elder Mooney and I went on a run this morning by the ocean and most of the shrubery was gone the ocean was filled with garbage and there was one part of the sidewalk that was still completely flooded and there was anoter part that was completely caved in! about 30 ft or more of the sidewalk had been swept away to the rocks below. It was crazy! But I repeat. I´m alive safe and sound and I thank each and everyone of you for your prayers and your thoughts. I know it was those prayers and a loving Heavenly Father that made sure I was protected through this storm.
Well as far as whats going on in my life other than the storm as the title says I´m getting sent to the country! Well country does really describe it that well.. The best word is truly the spanish equivelant: El Campo. My new comp is Elder Paredes who´s from Mexico and has spent actually a whole lot of time in Provo. He speaks really great english but I know he´ll be able to help me out with my spanish. When i was born (started my mission) he was in my zone and we got to become good friends right of the bat. He´s about two transfers ahead of me and I´m really looking forward to go out to the campo and work hard.
Well sorry I dont have a whole bunch of spiritual stuff but I wanted to update you all on whats going on here and the auxilary stuff. I will share with you my simple and humble testimony. My dear family and friends the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ´s true church on the earth today. It just makes sense. BUT a member was sharing with me the other day her father´s conversion story. He just wanted to find all of the things that were wrong with the church. How logically this isnt true or this part of the church doesnt make sense. Just tearing it down wherever he could. But as time went on he decided to test his faith and find out for himself based on believing and not rationalizing. Its true in the views of man the church is imperfect. It has too many rules. It goes against the rest of the religions. But I´m proud to say the church isnt based off of the thoughts and understandings of man. Jesus Christ is the head of this Church. If you dont believe me pray about it. If you havent prayed. my question to you would be why not? At the very least pray to God to see if you should sincerely learn more about the church. I promise you He will answer you. Because He loves you and wants you to be happy. This is the only road to sincere and eternal happiness I testify that to you all in the name of my Lord and Savior and no it to be true because He Himself has made to me known such wonderful truths. I ask you to test your faith like the father of this wonderful member in my ward. This man is now a member and has missionaries live in his house so that this marvilous work can keep pressing forward. I love this work and I love my Heavenly Father and because of that love I´m going to keep serving and let my God use me as an insrument in His masterful hands.
Wow... Time just flew by this week! But its been good and I´m still having such a great time here on the mission.
Where to start Elder Mooney and I have been working hard as always. Its been a week of progression I would say. We´ve been having a bit of a problem with getting our investigators to have a baptismal dates due to one issue or another. And by our luck on thursday the assistents to the President passed by our house and sat in on our weekly planning session. This is a three our long block of planning out what we´re going to do for the next week and what we can do to help our investgators the most. So they helped us get a gameplan for a few of our investigators to help them accept a baptism date as a goal to have. It was a good conversation and I really think we´re going to be able to help our investigators come that much closer to baptism.
Last Sunday the 29th they announced a ward temple trip and we have three recent converts who have not yet been able to go. And the rule is if one of our converts brings family names to the temple to do the work for them then we can go with them. So we had been working with Carlos Bort for a couple weeks saying that "Carlos you need to get some names so that we can go to the temple!" Well you all know how it is being excited for temple work. Yeah unfortunately doesnt happen too often. BUT on wednesday we went to the chapel with our family history consultant and met carlos there and were there for two hours. It was long, a little boring, but so very worth it. On thursday night Carlos a recent convert of 2 months was baptized and confirmed for three of his great uncles. And Elder Mooney baptized him and I was able to do the confirmations. We had such an amazing expierence in the temple. Just as you walk in the doors you feel such a calming sensation that you realize you are truly in the House of the Lord. As we did baptisms and enjoyed the company the youth in our ward and their leaders I truly realized there is no way that the church cannot be true. Its just absolutely impossible. The magnitude of the Spirit that one feels in the temple just says it all.
On a different note we had a really fun adventure on Saturday. Right now in the caribean we are in what is called cyclone season. Which is basically a LOT of rain and fairly windy. But the thing is, one day it´ll be bright and sunny and then it´ll hit and hit hard with intense winds and a whole bunch of rain. Then it´ll let up for a few hours then start pouring again. Elder Mooney and I had to make our way carefully through a few rivers that were actually just flooded neighborhood streets and when we went to take a public car home from our area the entire main street that goes across our whole area was flooded so they had to take a diferent route to get us to our stop. haha It was really fun.
De verdad estoy disfrutando de lo máximo mi misión. I can´t wait for all the great experiences that I am going to have as well. I mean think about it: I´m still just in my first area. I hope you all are having great times bak in the states or wheverever you are reading this. Know that my prayers are with you and that you all mean so much to me. Thanks for your love and support and have a great week!!!
Well its been an interesting couple days I must admit. I think I've been more homesick today and yesterday than I have been in my whole mission. Which to let you all know really isnt that much but I do miss you all. But the best cure for what missionaries call feeling "trunky" is getting out to work. I still havent been able to go out to the area today but yesterday it was almost miraculous. We left the house and i dont even remember when I forgot that I was feeling down. We just got to work and it was great. So if any of my fellow missionaries are missiong home just get working harder. Call an investigator look at your agenda and figure out what the best thing to do for the day would be according to the Lord's will. It helps. Instantly.
Other than that I'm am so happy to see all of my wonderful family! Im very excited to be able to come home and enjoy everyones company. I always love big family reunions.
As I sit here at the computer thinking about what I really want to write you all I think about all of you back at home, I think of my investigators here, I think of my self. And what comes to mind is the miraculous effect the atonement has in everyone of our lives. For those at home I see pictures of the family and friends and think of how the atonement worked in your lives. Through the atonement you were able to overcome differnces, hurt-feelings, and learn to forgive, like Christ does. I'm sure you didnt even realize it, but it was only through the Atonement that such barriers could be overcome. When I think of my investigators I think of Victor. A middle-aged man of about 40 who at first was not ready to be baptized because he wasn't perfect. Well obviously he still isn't but through the strengthening power of the atonement he is overcoming his fear of such insufficency and has accepted to be baptized the 21 of this month. And thinking of myself. Well I'm not sure where to begin. It's only through the Atonement that I am where I am at right now. It's only through the atonement and the gift of repentance that my companion and I can have the spirit in our lives to guide our lessons with our investigators. And its through the Atonement that each and everyone of us will be able to ear a special spot on the right hand of our Father in the last day. That is in a short paragraph what the Atonement has done for me in my life. There's no way that I would even be able to describe my true feelings for it even in person. But iI hope my testimony arrives and touches your hearts in some small way.
My faith has been tested here on my mission. My Father is asking me everyday, "how much do you really love me?" Every new day that He asks me to be hundres of miles of ways from my loved ones. Everyday that He asks me to walk in the hot sun. And every new day that He asks me to forget about my inconviences my pain or my discomfort and focus on His beloved children and their needs. And now I realize the mission is about being obedient just because He asks me to. It's about being obedient because i truly love Him. and because I truly want to live with Him again. And every new day that He asks me to do things that are hard i can tell Him "Te amo y que siempre sea tu voluntad."
Thank you all for giving me this oportunity to serve a mission I promise I'll work harder this week to deserve your support and love and blessings. I love being a missionary and everysingle day there are always so many things to smile about. Its a great life I get to live right now and I'm going to live it up while it lasts. I love you all so much and hope that you have a great week.
I feel sooo bad. Please forgive me for being a horrible son Ana and Dad. I hope you know how much I love you both and how much you mean to me. I hope you´ve been working on your christ-like attributes especially patience forgiveness and most importantly love. I promise with all of my heart that I will not forget your birthdays next year. with that said HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
As for life here... well nothing much new is happening. We´re working really hard and trying to help our investigators make their way to baptism. Its harder than it might seem. Harder than i had even imagined. But we are called firstly to help others come to christ. So if we are helping at the very least our investigators grow their faith just a little bit every day we share a gospel principle than I hope the Lord will accept our hard days work.
But tell me how life is going on there? How was Kai´s baptism? And are you all having a family reunion? If so please please please send pictures. I know how dificult and expensive it is to get a package together so if you have time you could even email them to me because I can print them out here. Also some family foto´s would be great so that I can show my investigators how awesome of a family I have.
Thanks to kiffyn, Taylor gough, and my wonderful Aunt Jaynelle for sending me letters this past week. They really make a difference and I promise when I have time I will reply.
Well family thats about it. I´m sorry its short but there´s not much else new happening but we are working so dont lose your faith. We´re still bringing souls unto the Lord in what we hope is His way. Which is an interesting topic all together. If we could just understand the Lord´s will wouldnt that make life a whole lot easier? I believe the answer is yes. And we can understand better the Lord´s will through the Holy Scriptures. I have such a testimony in the gospel and who the scriptures teach me to be a better person. If you want to learn how to love better read 3 nephi in the Book of Mormon and pay attention to all the different way´s the Lord Jesus Christ show´s His love to the His people. Its absolutely beautiful and I feel so blessed that I have the opportunity to read about them. I know the Book of Mormon is a the word of God. No ordinairy book claiming to be of God could change so many lifes if it were not from Him. His power ebs and flows through each page and sentence of the Book of Mormon and I feel its spiritual strength every single day. How else do you think we can walk in theis humid hot son for 7 hrs ;) The Church is true and I feel so blessed to be apart of it.
Stay strong and enjoy life. Its way to short to just go through it being frustrated. Let Christ take your burdens as you are obedient to His commandments. I hope you all have a great week! talk to you soon.
Con mucho amor su amigo, familiar, y más que todo hermano en Cristo,
I´m so happy to hear that my dad is home finally! That sure was a really fast six months! Then again ha I am on a mission and you all are in real life. I am a witness that time defintely passes diferently in my situation haha. Also thank you Aunt Nae Nae for taking care of my crazy little siblings for so long I cannot believe that you signed up for that. And i thought I was brave for coming on a mission. haha. Im so glad to here that Granmda and Grandpa Kieth found a house in Orem. I´m so excited to see how awesome it is when I get home..... in forever!! But a few sneak peak pictures would be great!!! I hope the rest of the family is doing well.
Please please please forgive me, but happy belated fathers day. I´m so sorry that I forgot but I hope its still countsa at least a little bit. My dad is honestly my hero and I hope that he knows it. He´s always been the best example for me and I work hard every day so that the Lord can mold me into the time of father husband and man of God that he is. To all fathers remember your sacred duty in the lives of your children and remeber your sacred purpose here in this life. Your here to learn to become like our Father in Heaven. If you let Him help you in your everyday life He will. With your job with your hobbies and especially with your family. You have the right to receive personal revelation for your family. Use that right. And continue raising your families in righteousness.
As for me well its been a good week. We have been finding a few new people and still working with a lot of our other progressing investigators. Yerick´s baptism (who is Jerig in all my other letters we just figured out how to spell his name) was really great. His entire family showed up to support him. He received the Holy Ghost and the Aaronic priesthood yesterday and I´m so excited for the new spirituality that he´s going to be able to bring to his family. We had a lesson yesterday with his kids. He has three. The daughter has already been going to mutual but we avent shared with here that much. Sheás 14. The youngest son is a really cool little guy. He´s 12 and just has a really kind heart and a really good kid. He was great in the lesson and said he wanted his own book of mormon. Unfortunately I ran into a problem with the oldest son who is 18. He´s a good kid as well just not as intersted. WHen he didnt want to set another cita with us because he didmt want to commit to anything I think I may have pushed him too hard. I feel bad and hope that I didnt push him away. But for now we will work with the yonger two kids and hope that the influence of their dad will have a big part in their spiritual progression.
I´m not sure if you know this but since about the begginning of june we have been living four missionaries in our little apartment. Elder Brezack is a great missionary from Nebraska who unfortunately finishes his mission this transfer. I´m going to miss him he really brings a great attitude into the house. His comp is Elder Arias. Elder Arias and I have the same time on the mission and we´ve become really good friends since they´ve been here. He´s from Costa Rica and has invited me to come to his house once we get done. aha we shal see about that. But We´ve become great friends and we´ve learned a lot from each other. Elder Mooney and I are doing well. I feel sometimes like I have no Idea what to teach him, but I need to be teaching him being his trainer. It´s a hard place for me right now but I´m doing my best to make sure he´s having a good experience and that he keeps learning.
Well that´s about all I have time for this time. I´d like to say sorry to Kelsey real quick because i´ve had a letter written for her but just didnt have the address but now that I do i will send it as quick as I can! Also I´d love to here from some of my Family in Vegas. What´s going on with mission calls? How´s my beloved Otis family. I really do miss you all and hope that you all are doing well. Have a great week everyone!
First its been a good week! I´ve been with a Dominican the past week and its been pretty great you know just learning a bunch of tigueraje. Maybe one day you´ll know what that means. But we've have some really good experiences. My comps name is Elder Gomez and its been pretty good. They split Elder Mooney and I up after one transfer!!! We were pretty surpised when we heard that. But we´re still in the same house so it hasn't been too bad. But both of our comps sadly enough are leaving to Mexico Wednesday and are leaving us tonight. It´s pretty sad because out of all of the Dominicans there are in this mission.( as missionaries) I think we got the best two of them. Its been really good being with a latino. I feel like its made me notice a lot how bad my spanish really is. But I do my best to not be scared and talk just as much as possible. After Elder Gomez and Cabrera leave Elder Mooney and I will be companions again and the area that I orginally opened two transfers ago will go back to the office elders. Meaning it will be basically closed because the office elders never have time to go out to their area. It makes me sad that all the progress Elder Brezack and Elder Arias had done and that Elder Mooney and Elder Cabrera seems like is going to waste but I trust in President and know that he is guided by the Lord.
The youth in our ward this past week went to the first ever held EFY in this country. The counselors and all of the youth bore their testimonies and... wow.. it was powerful. Let me just tell you simply, very simply, that I remember loving EFY and coming back on a super spiritual high. But these kids...they are honestly changed for life. There were so many that came back and said for sure they were going on missions and wow it was an awesome sacrament meeting. On top of that we had EIGHT!!! investigators in church! thats a lot just so you all know.
My beloved friends and family I hope you know much I love what I´m doing right know. I know this is the lords work and I know that I need to be here. I´m not sure if I need to be here more to help others change their lives or if it´s more to change mine. BUT I know I´m supposed to be here. I have grown a strong testimony of the power of the priesthood this past week. I know that the Lord´s power and authority is with us everywhere we walk and that there are unseen forces helping us at every point. I hope that all of you priesthood holders realize what you truly can do as a worthy man of God. And before you judge this as cliche read in Ether 12 and then remember that a worthy priesthood holder can literally move mountains with faith and the power of the Lord.
I love you all so much I hope you have a great week and hope that you all can remember that your Heavenly Father loves you and that He wants you to be preparing yourself right now to be able to return to His presence. So do so. Progress in the gospel. Learn more. And most importantly of all: Live it.
Manténganse cerca del evangelio de Jesucristo y Él siempre estará con ustedes.
I´m going to try to write really quick but Elder Mooney had a great experience this week. We have a really awesome investigator named Jerig I think ive mentioned him before. Well he received his answer that he is on the right path a few weeks ago and he wants to be baptized the thing is that he might be moving to Haiti for a month or so. Being a new convert and moving to a place where you doing have a support system to saty active in the gospel is a fate that we did not want to condemn him to. But we also didnt want to prolong something so important as baptism if he is ready to do so and if he might not even leave. So the first fecha we put with him was the 23 of June which is this saturday. After worrying about him leaving we changed it to the 16th which was last saturday. We talked to our Zone leaders to see their opninion on this subject and they said you know we are the ones who know jerig best but that its really hard in this situation. So basically they said that we should wait. So we talked to him about it and explained that Baptism shouldn´t be something so iffy. That it should be a firm thing that we know when we´re going to do it and why. So we decided just to wait and see how this job thing works out, in other words he did not get baptized the 16th. Well we had been waiting and I just felt like we needed to do something that just waiting on this iffy job was not the thing to do. So we decided to do a companionship fast. Elder Mooney´s first in the field. As I did my personal prayers on saturday night Heavenly Father told me that he needed to get baptized on the 23 of June. That was a test of my faith. I said well I´m not sure if everything could be ready by this saturday. We havent even talked to the bishop yet. I asked if it could possibly be the 30. He patiently replied that Jerig needed to be baptized this Saturday and that everything will be ready. So I accepted ended my prayer and called out to see if my companion was still up. He was. I said, "Elder Mooney.... Jerig needs to be Baptized on the 23..." He said "ELDER NO WAY!!!!!!!! That was the EXACT date that came to my head too!" So in the morning I called Jerig to inform him of what we were thinking. He accepted the baptismal date and it was announced that day in church.
In this situation I felt a little like Elder Fausett with his similar experience. But Elder Mooney and I had our prayers answer and we will be having a baptism this saturday. I´m so grateful for the love that our Heavenly Father has for His children. And am so happy for the knowledge that the restored gospel gives to the members of the church. If some of you are wondering," what in the word is Elder Pemberton saying. How in the world can he say that he had a conversation with God!?!?!" I promise each and every one of you its possible and that HEaveny Father loves each and everyone of you enough to talk to you in the same way. Its us who have to just be patient and listen. In your personal prayers if you kneel down in a quiet and calm place, pray with real intent understanding who you are talking to, and before you say amen just wait there with your mind empty. You´ll find that thoughts begin to come to your head. And while they come in your own voice somehow you feel like they´re not coming from you. Then in a sense you just.... talk back. And before you know it you realize that you are having a cnversation. Those of you who dont want to understand will thing that I was just talking to myself. But those of you that do and put a test to my words will find tha what I say is true. I testify to you as a special representative of the Lord Jesus Christ that what I have told you is true and that it can happen to you as well. You can feel of the love of your Father in Heaven in this very special manner. He wants to hear from you and wants you to hear from Him.
I love you all and am so grateful for your support and your love. I hope you have a great week and cannot wait to here from you all soon.
Well i no more have over twenty months left in the mission. Its crazy to think about but in just a few days will mark 1 year that we moved to TX. But if anything this just helps me remembeer that the time flies and that I need to take advantage of every single moment of my mission.
Today i would really like to talk about one of our investigators named Jerig. This man used to be very evangelico and really REALLY knows the bible quite well. But the great thing is that everytime we go there to teach him he learns something new and is so accepting to the commandments of God. He´s a man of great understanding so knows quite well HOW we should live this life: by trusting 100% in the lord and never looking back. The hard part for all of us is that we can all talk to the talk but when it comes to walking we tend to falter tdue to the straightness and narrowness of the path. But he´s doing very good and I love the evenings that we get to spend teaching him. Elder Stott and I had planned for the longest time to make his family cookies one P-day. And out of love for Jerig and my dad I completed with the goal today. I made some betty crocker oat-meal cookies and added some peanut butter. I wasnt sure if that was ok to do but hey they turned out well... enough haha. You all know me I just love peanut butter. We are working really hard with Jerig to get a baptism date but he has a pending job that he might have to take in Haiti. He´s currently unemployed. But he knows that this is the right path so while we wait for what his plans will be for the next few months will will help him strengthen his testimony of the Book of Mormon and by doing so ultimately strengthen his faith in Christ.
We had Ana-María´s baptism on friday. Elder Stott was there and so were his parents!!! It was really nice to meet them and I was really happy to see my dad again. And! Elder Mooney got to meet his Grandaddy. But on a different note it was such a spiritual night. Ana-maria asked me to share my testimony and I actually wasnt nervous. I guess my language is coming along far enough to where I can let the spirit talk through. The gift of tongues is real. Every talk was great. Exactly what Ana needed as well as what those who attended the baptism needed. The baptismal service was completely dircted by the Spirit. As i have said before I am convinced that there is a joy that Heavenly Father saves specifically for those who participate in missionary work.
I´m loving my mission and I know that the Lord is using me and my companion to touch the lives of many of His children. And I am more than excited for the many experiences that I will have as the time comes. I have one favor from all of you. If you could take a special moment to just pray for our investigators not only I but also they will be eternally grateful. Those that we are woking with the most are: Jerig and his family, Jonathan, Ela, Adis and her family, Karina, Olga and her family, Guarionex, and Victor. I know you all are very busy but if you could just help these children of God in this small but very significant manner I know that it will have an effect on these peoples lives.I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week.
Love Elder Pemberton
Granma Sug and Grandpa Kieth: Thank you so much for your letters. I am receiving them and I love them! So glad to hear that you had a fun trip but glad you are home now. Have a great week!
Well I had my first baptism this past weekend! It was on saturday and it was such a great experience. It is a beautiful sight to see a young man changing his life and making a coventant with our Father in Heaven to leave behind everything of his past and focus on how he can follow Jesus Chrst more in his life today. I´m so excited for him and all of the awesome experiences that he is going to have being guided by the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.
But what I really want to talk about is my awesome day yesterday with Elder Stott. It was my last day with my dad here in the mission field. We had 3 investigators in church and each one of them loved it after that due to a few complications\miscommunications we actually had two different lunches that we had to go to. I shouldnt say it like that because I will assure each and every one of you, I was not complaining one bit! ..... well that is at first. After our second lunch..... bueno the son of the human garbage disposal for the first time in his life met his limits. I dont remember feeling so full ever in my life not even after a sushi night. And you know how much I love sushi! Luckily I was actually able to walk to the area. We had 3 AWESOME visits that day. The first was with a joven named Jonathan. We´ve been teaching Jonathan off and on since I first got to the mission. But now he is SOOO set. Something that was rough for me was that he´s got a really bad potty mouth. And we knew that if he continued in that manner that he would not be able to feel the spirit in his life. Remember that the Spirit is a perfect gentleman. So with as much love and as bodly as I could be I just told him straight up that if he wants the spirit more in his life then he should watch his language. I felt really good about it and he accepted the invitation very well. I knew that It wasnt me that it was truly the spirit.
Our next lesson was with Anamaria who is getting baptized this coming friday and she is super ready. We taught her on eternal marriage. It was a little hard as two young men who still lack this sacred experience but it was good. The best thing about it is that she is single and she wants an eternal family so bad. But she´s not worried. She knows that if she keeps the commandments that Heavenly Father will provide. Her faith is exceptional and I hope that my faith can grow to trust in the Lord so much. Its getting there but like always I have a long ways to go.
Elder Stotts last lesson as a missionary was with our progressing investigator Jerig. We invited him to fast this sunday and he actually did awesome. We asked him how he felt and he said that he had felt an internal peace and tranquility that he had not felt in a very long time. With the help of the scriptures and being completely guided by the spirit we helped him realize that what he had felt was his answer from God that he is in the correct path, and that this is what God wants for him. He accepted a baptism date for the 23 of June and I am so excited to see his progression now that he has recieved his answer.
Elder Stott said he couldnt have asked for a better last day in the mission. After serving an honorable full0time mission that is exactly what he deserved. He left last night and so now I am in a trio. Oh yeah last week two other missionaries mved into our house. ELder Brizack who leaves in a transfer and Elder Arias who is a missionary from Costa Rica but is actually in a kind of round about way from my group. I also found out last night that my new companion is ELder Mooney and will being coming straight from the MTC here in the DR. I hope I can help him have a good experience. Well thats all the time I have I love you all sooo much can´t wait to here from you.
This week is going to be short you´ll have to forgive me. Just know that I love all of you very much and I am grateful for your love and support in Everything.
We had an awesome temple trip on thursday and I really loved it. The temple is most definitely a house of learning and I feel spiritually enlightened by the experience I had this past week at the temple.
We´ve been asked several times here why can´t everyone go into the temple? And Elder Stott explained it in a really good parable which helps describe one of the reasons why not just anyone can enter into the Temple. Imagine if you had just cleaned the house really really well. Imagine your house spotless white with a lemony fresh scent in the air. As your just finishing up your 5 year old son or daughter knocks on the back door after playing in the mud for a good few hours. Now its not that your not going to let him or her into the house but your going to help him or her get clean beforehand so that the house doesnt get dirty right? We believe and i strongly testify that the Temple is the literal house of god that it is the most holy place that is found in the world. So its not that we´re not going to let people in, its just that, to not defile the sanctity of the temple the lord asks us to be worthy, or clean of sin, before we enter. I hope this can answer a few questions any of you might have.
This week has been crazy with the Dominican Presidencial elections that were held yesterday. But everything is a lot more calm now and Elder Stott and I will be going out tonight to teach.
We´ve had a few really great lessons with an investigator named Jerig. This man is a true disciple od christ and you can really tell how much he is willing to follow his commandments. We taught him two lessons the past couple weeks. Coupled with scriptures we were able to really teach him why we do baptisms for the dead and why we keep the sabath day holy and why its on sunday. To answer this question for any of you who have the same one the reason are simple. Its because we believe that we have a living prophet who leads our church through direct revalation from God. We trust this man and all that he says and have a testimony of his sacred calling. If you want a more detailed answer please send me your address and I can have your friendly neighborhood missionaries pass by! If thats too much... which I hope it isnt.... but if it is you are also welcome to go to mormon.org. Questions are great if you have any feel free to email me or my parents they will be happy to answer anything you have when they have they time. Love you all and can´t wait to here the news of the coming week.
Just for all of you to know. You can email me but I am only allowed to email family members due to time and to help me stay focused on the great work that I have been called to do. But feel free to send me letters or a short email to say hi. I miss all of you and so grateful for each relationship I share with each of you individually. Also I have a letter waiting for Elder Zach Collier and Ciera Taylor andam just waiting for addresses to mail them off. I have also been recieving emails from bishop Stevenson and from Abuela Nydia and from Grandma Sug just so you all know that they are getting to me! I also would like to know if anyone has gotten a written letter from me since I´ve been in the DR because I´ve sent a few but havent heard of anything yet. Love you and thank you so much!
Wow i really missed my dad and I am so happy to be back with him. His companion went back to nicaragua this morning. They worked it out so that he could serve the rest of his mission there. So I am back with Elder Stott and in my old area again. I´m so very excited to see my old investigators and meet some of the new ones that Elder Stott and his old companion were able to teach while I was gone. Elder Poulson is staying in the office and in the other area. He and his new companion will continue to work with our investigators. I wish them luck and hope that they can be the best missionaries possible for the investigators that I left behind.
During the past two weeks... wow... I´ve grown a lot. I basically was the senior companion even though Elder Poulson had more time. Most of the time I was leading the area and the lessons. It´s really hard to learn how to share the lessons when your other comapanion doesnt know to much spanish. But my spanish I feel shot through the roof. I feel like I can speak a lot better now that I have had to fend for myself.
I´ve had some pretty great experiences though. One of them being the rain. The past four days it rained every day from around 4 to around 8 or 9 almost nonstop and HARD. Have any of you been to a beach in a parking lot? Well i have haha. Elder Poulson and I were waiting for a member in the parking lot of an apt building and the parking lot was flooded. So as the cars passed the street that looked more like a small lake, waves were comeing into the parking lot. It was a fun experience.
Other than that I´ve really learned how the Lord blesses his missionaries who work hard. That and the fact that there really are people that he is preparing in individual ways for each one of them. Twoof the few progressing investigators I left behind were Javier and Joeli. They are both studying at the university right now and are really intelligent people. They understand all of the principles so fast and are really accepting of them as well. The biggest hold up they are going to have is that they are not married. So we left them a Law of Chastity pamphlet in hopes that they can start planning now. The Law of Chastity is a moral commandment given to us by our loving father in heaven to help us better understand how we should treat the sacred power of procreation that He has given us. To be eligible for baptism one needs to be worthy which means completing with all of the commandments of god. (there arent just 10 of them). For them to fully be living the law of chastity and be worthy of baptism marriage is vital. That or they need to live in different appartments. But they have a beautiful almost 7 month old baby girl. So the best option would be to get married. I hope they will. I hope thy see the importance of living the commandments of god. ANd really he only gives us commandments so that we have opportunities to receive blessings. They greatest of all being eternal life.
Well I love you all so much. I´m super excited to be working with Elder Stott again. We´re going to do a lot of work in these few 4 weeks before he leaves. On a quick other note, I would really love to hear from my friends and other family member if you have time I know your all busy but.... just a little reminder of how much I miss you all :)
Hello Ana, My package came!!!! I couldnty believe it. The gift of sight is quite an amazing thing. BUT if yhou want to know honestly its not as great as I thought it would. Now its not that I'm not grateful. I am beyond grateful that heavenly father heard my prayers and that my package arrived. But its just that I got used to my glasses. And after I had my contacts I realized that my glasses weren't that bad after all. But it was great to be able to play basketball and soccer today and to be able to see. I tell you what I am most definitely looking forward to the resurrection :) You know I've been thinking a lot of our ward at home in vegas. If any of you read my emails than I want you to know how much a love you and how much I appreciate everything that each and everyone of you have done for me. It because of you that I have been as prepared as I am to be a good missionary. This week has been a good one. My new companions name is Elder Poulson. He just arrived back to the mission one week ago. He had to go home for surgery and he said that as hard as it was to come on his mission the first time it was that much harder to come back the second. I'm really proud of him for coming back. I cant even imagine how hard that would have been. His spanish is.... a work in progress just as mine is. Its best explained by the fact that I definitely dont have Elder Stott to rely on. And actually now I have to make sure that the conversations are carrying on smoothely. Its hard to believe that the lord put us in this situation. But he must have faith in us that we can do. I know we can. As far as teaching goes.... We basically opened an area. Its been a long time since missionaries have been here if though it was technically apart of the office Elders mission. So as the prophets of old would have said "it sufficeth me to say" that we've been contacting...... and contacting.... oh and more contacting. ha. I have a very strong testimony that the Lord strengthens his missionaries, because cantactiong for about 6 hours straight, well I definitely wouldnt have been able to do it without His divine help. In less than a week though Elder Poulson and I have met a little over 200 people. In that 200 hundred people we've had 9 lessons. And of those 9 lessons we've had about 3 new investigators. The Lord has prepared people for us as missionaries. Our job is to go find them. And boy are elder poulson and I doing our best. Apart from that life is good. Living here in the mission office is a little different. Its a real plus getting to be able to see President Rodriguez every now and then though. We live here with 4 other elders. The assistants and the office elders. Its been a learning expereince so far. But thats what I'm here to do. Learn how to become a better person. Life is good though. I'm a happy missionary and I know our Father in Heaven is preparing me for every situation in my life here on my mission. I am so grateful for this opportunity to grow as a person and to grow closer to my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that this is a divine work. And I know that this is his true church. Honestly it terrifies me to think that what if this church isnt true. And then I realize that anything negative does not come from the Lord. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints is the kigndom of the lord here on the earth. All of you that are truely seeking to follow christ, give our message a try. I know with out a doubt that it will strengthen your faith in christ. And if you are a true desciple of christ then you should be doing everything you can to do so. I love you all you are great. Sorry if this letter is short or boring for you but I hope my humble testimony will be enough. I know that christ lives and that he directs his church today through modern-day prophets and revelation. I know that he is the same yesterday today and for ever. And I know that he loves us. The question now to each of you members and non-members alike is: do you? If not what are you going to do to fix that? The restored gospel is here the opportunity to have eternal life is once again upon the earth. Dont let it slip through your fingers. I love you all and I am grateful for the prayers the love and the support, love, Elder Pemberton