Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Staying or Moving?

Staying...So I am looking forward to serving in the great Ontario Spanish/New Plymouth English area for the 14th transfer period of my mission. Elder Phelps was extremely ecstatic to hear that we would be serving together for another transfer. He often reminds me that I have been his favorite companion thus far in the mission.

I am starting to feel extremely old now that I am 20 (in mission age). I really try to hide my "age" from the members to avoid the dumb comments that always follow (i.e. "Oh you are almost home," or "You are probably getting trunky huh?" or other dumb things). The way I avoid that is when they ask I just say that I have been out for over a year, they usually just say, "oh okay," and leave it at that.

Here is a picture of Zoe that I sent to Chris with the caption "I hope they call me on a mission"

Zoe looks like she is ready to hop on a plane and come serve with me. I know that I would be perfectly okay with that and I know of a lot of the people up here would be totally okay with us having a third companion. There is a family that has a perfect lab family. The Daddy dog is a chocolate, the Mommy dog is black, and the baby dog is yellow (attached is the family picture).

They were all so cute together sitting outside of the door of one of the part member families that we visit.

On Sunday we had another great line up of Sacrament meetings. In the first ward Brother Jones, quite possibly the best ward missionary of all time, gave a talk and spoke on the importance of always keeping your goal as the Temple, especially in missionary work. And in the second ward, President and Sister Cannon came and spoke and as always it was a great treat to hear from them. They also stayed and participated in our gospel principles class. Elder Phelps and I always enjoy hearing from President and now the second ward was privileged to hear from him as well. Hopefully it will help the work in that ward because as of right now not a whole lot is happening there. We are also getting a new ward mission leader in the second ward and that might help as well.

Yesterday we had a really fun day. We went to two barbecues, one in New Plymouth and one in Ontario, the first being an American barbecue and the second being Mexican. It was great because between the two we were able to contact all of our major investigators. It really made it easy to show that we are real people and not just salesmen. We weren't able to teach a lesson yesterday but we made some appointments for later on this week and we are hoping to be able to see the blessings from our "office" work as the week unfolds.

We are hoping for a lot of great success during this transfer and should really be super busy all transfer long with a bunch of baptisms. We might even have two in one day, and depending on how things work out and maybe one the next day as well.

Hope everything is going great and that you are all enjoying the weather which last saturday was exactly twice as hot as our temp, haha


Elder Paxton

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"I like to look for rainbows..."

Dearest Familyest,

Last night we had a great baptism of Jalin Lewis. The Spirit was so strong and we really had a lot of people there to support her. The activity day aged girls (Primary girls from 8-12) sang When I Am Baptized and it was really special. It was really special, because after Donna's (her mom) baptism, a couple of weeks ago, on the way to our next appointment we saw a rainbow and both Elder Phelps and I both started to sing, "I like to look for rainbows..." It was a great baptism even though I had to give a talk.

The Skinners, the red neck wedding family, are now both eligible for baptism, although Sandie is the only one that is really that interested at this moment. She is planning on being baptized on June 4th and she wants to do it down at the river. It is probably around 45 degrees being that it is mostly snow melt, so we are trying to talk her out of it. I have been meaning to talk with President and see if there is a way that we can get him to veto the idea, but we will see what actually happens in the end.

This morning was great because a brother from the New Plymouth 2nd ward took us down to the temple, to help us get as many temple trips in before July 11, when the temple will be closed for who knows how long. It was really fun because President Cannon and his wife were there as well. It is always to see him and see how much he loves all of the missionaries in the whole mission. I feel pretty lucky to be a Spanish missionary and to "have a special place in his heart." Last week after zone conference while we were waiting for our ride he mentioned to us about how much he loves all of the missionaries but that the Spanish elders are special. Probably because we have to learn another language, but today we saw that Sister Cannon has her tag in Spanish, so that makes me wonder if there is any other reason why they think the Spanish elders are special. It is obvious that he loves everyone, you can look at him and tell very easily.

The family that called you on Easter is a member family, the most recent convert in the family got baptized about a week before I got to Ontario. I am glad that you are thinking about getting the missionaries to them to teach, but Elder Cottam already beat you to the kill.

Elder Phelps and I have really been enjoying our time together in this area and have been trying very hard to keep the work up and going.We are a little sad for transfer calls to be coming up so soon and are excited and nervous to see what is going to happen. We both know that what ever happens is the Lords will and we are both ready to go and do the things that the lord commands through our loving President.


Elder Paxton

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Satan Knows...

...that the church is true. He knows that the Book of Mormon ,Plan of Salvation is true, and all of the principles and doctrines of the Church are true, but that is not going to save him. Knowing is not enough, what makes a difference is that we become and do what we know to be true." Levi Roberts, recently returned missionary from Fruitland, Idaho.

That was taken from a talk given in the New Plymouth 1st ward this past Sunday. Bro. Roberts also talked a lot about how we (the full time missionaries) should not have to knock doors to find people to teach. He shared a story about his mission in Brazil about how in a little branch made up of a lot of new converts who would share the gospel so willingly with everyone that they met. They didn't know a whole lot about the gospel, but they acted and wanted to share the joy of that the gospel has brought them with everyone. He said that they would bring him a list of names every Sunday to church of sometimes up to 20 names and they had many baptisms from that experience. He also said if they would meet someone new at church they would teach them throughout the week and by the next Sunday after church they would be baptized. That happened a lot in this particular area. Then he went to explain how that is possible everywhere.

He also shared a personal story of when he was younger, and his mom would ask him to do things (i.e. clean their room, take out the trash...) he would often say "I know," to which his mother would respond, "I know that you know, I want you to do." I think that is how our Father in Heaven would respond when we say, "I know that I need to pray," or "I know that I need to go to church," but I am sure that he just smiles and says, "I know that you know, I want you to do."

Needless to say Elder Phelps and I wanted to give him a standing ovation, but that isn't very appropriate during sacrament meeting, but we did thank him after the meeting. We also began to ask if ward members had any names ready for us, no one did, but things are still going great.

This week we had a lot of good experiences. As you can see by the pictures we had a real Red-Neck wedding. A couple of our investigators got married this past Saturday. They had the bishop marry them on mules, while he was standing on a flat bed pickup truck, they originally requested that he be on horseback, but he didn't feel like it would be very appropriate to preform a sacred ordinance on horseback, so they settled for the flat bed.

Yesterday we had Zone Conference which is always a treat. Something interesting is that we talked a lot about becoming, so sacrament meeting the day before was kind of a warm up, or maybe the Lord is trying to tell me to be better... Who knows. It is always great to hear from President Cannon and we also had the opportunity to hear from Elder Nattress, who is the area seventy for this area, he actually used to be the Ontario Stake President. He told us how he had some training meetings to go to and he was assigned to sit at lunch with President Thomas S. Monson. Elder Nattress told us President Monson talked about how much he loves the missionaries and that he even talked about a missionary by name, whom he had met years earlier. It is amazing to think that the President of the Church has the ability to love each and everyone of us, even though he hasn't met most of us. And that he remembers names, after who knows how many years.

Last night, after Zone Conference, we had two really spiritual appointments. The first being with the Castillo family, from Nayarit, Mexico. We first met them one day when we went to the post office, and on the way out we both had the impression to go across the street and say hello to our branch president, who has a store there. When we got inside we quickly noticed that the woman behind the counter wasn't Pres. Machuca. We started to talk with her and she was really nice and then after talking for a little while she said that we could visit her and her family some day and gave us directions to her home and told us that Monday and Tuesday work best for them. So last night we stopped by and met the rest of the family, Porfirio, husband, Luis, 6 yrs. and Kayla, 1 month. We had a great lesson and when we brought out the Book of Mormon, Porfirio said that he has seen an ad on TV about it and was interested in getting one.

They are great family and we are looking forward to teaching and baptizing them. Then we went to our second appointment of the evening and really saw the hand of the Lord. We were at Imelda Arroyo's house and the Sanchez family (members) came to fellowship her. We didn't have a lot time so we watched the Restoration movie with her. Since she works nights she was having a hard time staying awake, and so her little 3 year old daughter took it into her hands to keep her awake the whole time. The Lord was really working to keep her awake. It was great. Imelda has a baptismal date for May 28th and last night we set a date with her 8 year old daughter as well for the same day.

We are seeing great things going on here and are really enjoying serving in this great area


Elder Paxton

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Better Late Than Never!

Yesterday we had a super fun zone activity. We went down to Boise and went to the temple for the 8:00 session and then we got a little bit to eat and went for a hike at Table Rock. We took a bunch of pictures by the gigantic cross.

We had a good time and got some good exercise. We spent a lot of time driving, being as we live in a different state. We really didn't have time to do anything yesterday because when we got back to Ontario all we had time to do was shower and go to our dinner appointment.

We had a great time and got a great deal on lunch at a taco truck (FREE!!!) that is owned by a member of the branch in Boise.

Monday, Elder Phelps was a little sick and we stayed home for half of the day and he slept most of the time. While he was sleeping, instead of joining him and taking a nap, which is almost impossible to do as a missionary, I stayed up and did a lot of the small little things that I had been putting off.


LDR Paxton

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day call

Well, I did not get an email today, but I am assuming that is because we just talked to him for an hour on Sunday. It was a great Mother's Day gift to get to talk to Elder Paxton. He sounded great! I can't believe that this was his last call home before he is released.

We talked a little bit about when he will be released, which looks like around the 4th of October, but he was not really wanting to dwell on that. We will be going to pick him up and visit some of his areas before we come home to Tempe. Trevor asked him if he was getting trunky and he said "no way". He is enjoying the work too much and is not ready to come home. He has 3 more transfers and he wants to make the best of them.

His current companion Elder Phelps, who is from Mesa, told Chris that he does not want him to be transferred this next time because he has been his favorite companion. We will see what happens on May 31st the next transfer day.

I can't believe how time is flying by and before we know it, he will be home. I think it is about time for me to put a countdown clock on his blog for the number of days left. Watch for that in the near future.

Have a great week!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Another baptism!

We had another great week. The baptism of Donna Lewis that we had yesterday was a wonderful experience and it was great to have her whole family there. All of her 6 children where in attendance and felt the spirit of the occasion. Her youngest daughter, Jalin 11 years, asked us last night if she could be baptized in two weeks, so we are basically going to be living with them to teach her everything that she needs to know in order to be baptized. We will be setting a date with her some time this week. We asked Trevor, 18 years, at the baptism if he was getting excited for his baptism(we haven't really taught him, but he did come to church this week) and he told us that it wouldn't be so bad if he got baptized, so we are going to start to work with him and see how interested he will be. We also talked to one of Donna's other daughters, Savannah, 15 years, previously she hadn't shown any interests, but after the baptism she is seeming to want to hear a little bit more about the gospel. If the family isn't careful all of them might be going to the temple to all be sealed before too long.

We are really seeing such great things happening in this area. In the Spanish branch, Zenaida is working on her divorce. She is going to call Mexico to see if she can get divorced through their government faster and easier than in Oregon. Her, Cornelio(her soon to be husband), and Dulce(her daughter), all have a great testimony and really understand the Doctrine of Christ, and are are ready to be baptized as soon as we work out a couple of things.

Elder Phelps and are are having a great time serving together and we are trying to do the best we can to help the area progress even more. We have been blessed to have 4 baptisms in 23 days, I am pretty sure that is a personal record. We are also planning on having a fireside to get people excited about missionary work. We still need to plan basically everything, but it will be good.

This Saturday Elder Phelps will be calling to set up a time for Sunday for me to call. We will try to make it as close to 4 as possible.


Elder Paxton