Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A little apostate?

Well today we are being a little apostate and using members computers because the family history center is closed because of painting and the library here in Nampa is super packed so to save time we are using members computers.

Before I forget I did get both of the packages from Lori and Grandma, muchos thank yous for those and the art work is yet to get put up but I am planning on putting it on the wall above my bed.

Yesterday we had a meeting with President Cannon. It wasn't our normal zone conference, it was called a zone training meeting and there were only two zones there, ours and the Nampa english zone. It was really good, we talked a lot about planning and setting goals. He made a really cool chart that helps understand the path that an investigator takes to progress to the temple. We watched a couple of videos to help us know how to plan and that way we can better plan for our investigators. We are hoping to be able to be better missionaries. The missionaries that are coming out now in the field now are going to be such amazing missionaries. We are also getting dvd players so we can watch training videos during our companionship studie. I don't know if we are going to be able to use them in our lessons though. I hope so because it seems like most hispanics, either don't have the controller to change the language, or their dvd is broken and they don't feel like they need to get a new one, so hopefully we can use it, it would make everything easier.

Today we had our zone activity and we really enjoyed it. I have started a petition to not always play soccer so today we started with volleyball then we played dodge ball. We really had a great time, I forgot how much dodge ball makes you tired. All of the Elders played, even though some people had some back pain and others didn't want to play, but everyone played and had a great time.

Well I have to get off so that Elder Padgett can write his family. I hope that the paint in the family history center is dry by next week so that we can do everything a lot easier.

Elder Paxton

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My new Home

What a great week! So as everyone knows I am now kicking it with all the gangsta cholos in big city Nampa. Elder Padgett and I are really excited to be serving together and to help this area reach it's potential.

This past week has been a little bit of a change from the Ontario and New Plymouth area, but I am really enjoying my time here. I am sort of starting to understand where everything is in town. On Sunday we had Branch Conference, so that made it really easy to meet all of the Branch and Stake leaders. The Stake President (President Asay) speaks Spanish, and so far in my mission speaks the best of all the stake presidents. Presidente Dardon is from Guatemala and he is a great leader and really loves everyone. We have made a lot of new contacts and have received some referrals and we are hoping that we will be able to make good contacts with all of them and help them to feel the Spirit and to have the desire to learn more.

Also this past week I had a very wonderful experience. Back in New Plymouth we had been teaching this sister by the name of Sandy Skinner. We first started teaching her shortly after I had first gotten to Ontario. She was very excited to learn the gospel and had said on multiple occasions that she had been prepared her whole life to except the gospel. She has had many spiritual experiences, including a dream that she had about 15 years ago. In this dream she had died and when she was on the other side of the veil she saw three lines of people and they were handing out robes. The first line was getting black robes the second were getting blue and the third were getting white. She had always remembered this dream and had never found the answer until she heard about the Plan of Salvation. She also heard a "still small voice" that had protected her a couple of times in her life.

Sandy definitely marches to the beat of her own drum. If you remember a few months ago a family got married on mule back, that was her and her husband. And so when it came time for her baptism, she just had to do it in the river. I was honored that she would ask me to perform the baptism. She said that I had been going over the longest so I should be the one to baptize her. Of course there is no rule that says that, but when she decides to do something that is how she is going to do it.

The water in the Payette river felt wonderful and it was very tempting to "accidentally" slip and have to go for a swim down the river, but I resisted. I was able to feel the spirit that was present, especially because, right after the baptism, a sister from the ward played "Amazing Grace," and we all sang along. It was a very spiritual experience, one that I will not soon forget. I am also very grateful for the young man that took all of the pictures for me, it will make it easier to always remember.

Another fun thing we did this week is we went to the church orchard in Caldwell to thin the peaches. It was a good branch activity and I always enjoy service. I wish that I had remembered my camera, because on top of the ladder there was a great view of the Snake River, and all of the trees in between. As always, at every Branch activity that exists we had food. The horchata was very delicious and we enjoyed the American touch to the food, the hot dogs.

It is pretty fun living with the other Elders. We pretty much only see them after 9 at night, and before 12 in the morning. We all study personally in the same room, but when it comes to companionship study, we take turns going in to the bedroom. I think that we might have a couple of house studies, but we will see how everything goes.

My responsibilities as a District Leader are basically, run district meetings, which are every Friday, and collect the numbers from the Elders on Sunday. I am also supposed to go on exchanges with every companionship once every month. The district includes, Ontario, Caldwell and Nampa, so there are a total of 10 Elders in our meetings, two being the Zone Leaders, which go to every meeting. I am also to do baptismal interviews for anyone that I haven't taught before. I don't have any scheduled, but hopefully will have some in the near future.

That is just about everything that is going on here.


Elder Paxton

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

So, What's your new address?

That is such a crazy storm you had in Phoenix, it is too bad that I wasn't there to enjoy it. There really hasn't been much fun weather up here just heat, not Arizona heat but pretty hot for here.

Well as guessed I did get transferred, and yesterday morning I left Ontario and moved to Nampa Spanish 1, which is the Nampa 32nd branch and covers the Nampa West Stake. My new address is 142 Smith Ave Apt 1 Nampa, ID 83651. GO SUNS!!!

I am serving with Elder Padgett from Winter Haven, Florida, which is near Orlando. He has been out for one transfer less than Elder Phelps (entonces como 9 meses). I am really looking forward to serving in the area and I am also hoping to continue the success, well its not really up to me, but I am hoping to work hard enough and be obedient enough to be able to be as blessed.

Today we went down to Boise to go to the Temple, even though it is closed, and I was hoping to be able to take a picture with my grandson, Elder Sewell is training in Wendell. Hopefully I will be able to take another 3 generation picture before I die. I only met my grandpa once and I don't remember if I was able to take that picture with my papa, but we will see what happens.

I cant really tell you a whole lot about the area, being that I have only been here for about 36 hours, and all of today was spent in Boise, but we do live with the other Nampa Spanish Elders and I always enjoying having more people to visit with, no matter how much I like my companion.

I didn't really want to tell you this but you will be getting a letter that says it anyways, but I am also going to be serving as District Leader. My district includes the Elders in Nampa, Caldwell and Ontario, so the District is 4 companionships and the Zone Leaders go to every district meeting in their zone. I am going to revert to the eternal principle of delegation. I don't really like to be the leader but if President says that I can do it, then I do it, because it comes straight from the Lord.

Well we have to get going and do work here in Nampa, so have a great week!

Elder Paxton

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Another Week Down....

This week was a great week. Today we had our zone activity and we went to the Old Idaho State Penitentiary. We took a zone photo behind bars and had a good time looking around the whole place. I took a lot of pictures of all of the "fun" things that the prisoners were involved in. There were still some there sleeping, but you will have to wait for that one because it is on my camera and these pictures I took from Elder Phelps's camera.

We also went to the temple for the last time before it closes. It was really really busy, which is good, it shows the need for the Meridian temple. We had everyone of our zone members at the 8:30 session. We tried to be at the 8:00 session but there were too many people to get our entire zone into it so we all waited, which I enjoy because it gives us more time to read from the scriptures and prepare ourselves more spiritually for what we were going to do. After the temple we went to Cafe Rio, for $1.50 taco Tuesday. I was really hungry, but I didn't let my stomach make my decision, my wallet was the one in charge today. So I only got 3 tacos, instead of 5 or 20.

This has been a very exciting day and we have been enjoying all of our success. We are having another baptism on Saturday at 7:00 in the Ontario Stake Center. Two boys are going to be baptized in the New Plymouth 2nd Ward. Danny and Tony Alvarez (10 & 8 respectively) are the sons of Willy and Blanca. Blanca is a member, but is less-active because of health problems. Willy is not a member, but really wants his boys to be baptized, but as is the case all to often, "its not for him." The boys have been coming to church for the last month or so, and this last week they even walked because no one was able to give them a ride. It's a good thing that they only like around the corner from the church. We are looking forward to their baptism, as well as their whole family.

On Saturday July 2, 2011, Charlotte Barton became the newest member of the New Plymouth 1st ward. It was great to see her husband be able to baptize her, and her father in law confirmed her. There was a really great turn out at the baptism, a lot of the family on the Barton side was present, and a lot of the ward was in attendance as well. We always enjoy seeing a lot of the ward at our baptisms. Sunday was her confirmation as well as her baby blessing, so it was a very special day for her and her family. Also on Sunday, Brayan Quinteros was confirmed, he being baptized last week.

We had a good 4th of July. We also had a ward breakfast and we had it outside in the beautiful morning weather. But as the day went on it got pretty warm. According to our car, the temperature was at the hottest 98 degrees, I am sure that your day was a lot hotter, but that was pretty much the hottest day of the year. We also had a miracle. After the breakfast we had our studies and then left New Plymouth to go back and do work in Ontario. Right after we got out of town we pull over to see if there is anyone we can call and visit before we left. While making calls, a member drives by, stops, then backs up to talk to us, and tells that he had been to the house across the street, from where we were parked, the night before and talked about the church and gave him a Book of Mormon and tells him that he was going to send the missionaries over to teach him more. We asked him if he would like to go contact him right then so he parks the car and introduces us to Joshua. Joshua has had a rough past and has done a lot of things that he regrets and is now searching for a place for his family to belong. He is very studied in the bible and has a strong testimony of the Savior, but has never liked the Catholic church or any of the churches that have branched off of it. He also has been against organized religion,but has come to the realization that if you aren't organized then you will fall. So we answered a lot of his questions and set a return appointment to meet with him on Wednesday. We are excited to teach him and we can see how much he and his family will be blessed, by becoming members of God's only true church on the earth.

We just keep on trying to finish out the transfer with a bang, this being the last week, and transfer calls coming on Friday.


Elder Paxton