Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sad News...

Last night we missed a call from President Cannon. We weren't able to call him until this morning, and he shared some very sad news. Elder Arrieta has received his visa to go down to Mexico. It seems like all of the times that I get a visa waiter they don't have to wait for very long before they get their visa. We have really enjoyed having his enthusiasm and his desire to work.

Here's a picture of Elder Arrieta with Elder Paxton that the office sent this week

The good news is that we did have a great week together. We upped the number of total lessons taught. And were able to set a new baptismal date.

Michael Hobbs is going to be baptized on Sunday the 11th (9/11). Hopefully there won't be any problems with it happening on the 10 year anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Centers. We were able to teach (review) him all the things he needs to know before baptism. His parents have done a very good job of helping him along the way. He has already read the Book of Mormon through twice, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the New Testament. I think he gets the prize for being ready the most before baptism. He is really excited to get baptized and can't wait to be a member of the church.

On Sunday we didn't have any investigators come to our branch (Angel went to the branch in Kuna), but we did have a Spanish speaking member bring a friend to our branch. She said that she wants to come to church more, and also have us over to teach her. We have an appointment to go by around 2 tomorrow and hopefully all goes well and that we can baptize her very soon. We have high hopes for her though.

Last Wednesday we had a really fun service opportunity. We go to cut down a very large tree, using nothing but a hand saw and a machete. Elders aren't allowed to use power tools, so the chain saw was out of the question. The good thing is that it was a tree with a really short trunk and we just cut all of the branches off. The biggest cut was probably about 8-12 inches. We had a lot of fun and worked really hard.

Thankfully nothing was damaged due to falling branches or the wild swinging of the machete. It was a great help to the family, because one branch had fallen from some really strong winds, and it was sitting on top of her fence and was starting to break it. So with little damage to the fence the whole problem was taken care of. I really enjoy doing service, especially when we get to do some physical work.

Well that is pretty much everything that is going on here. Elder Acuña and I are planning on working hard, even after Elder Arrieta is taken from us.

Elder Paxton

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nampa for one more transfer..

Mom, It is good to hear that you are recovering quickly, I know how much you love to stay seated and not doing anything. Hopefully you aren't too limited in your movement. When does the doctor say that you will be up to 100%?

So, transfer doctrine. Elder Padgett got sent to Mountain Home, which is a Spanglish area, with mostly English work. His companion is an English elder.

He is also going to be a District leader. I am going to be staying in Nampa, and my companion is going to be my brother. Elder Acuña is going to be coming up from Burley to help me train an new visa waiter. I am looking forward to serving with Elder Acuña again and hopefully we will get to have the visa waiter for more then a week, like the last one I had.

There really weren't very many changes is my district, only Elder Padgett left. Everyone else stayed, so this district should be just as good as the last.

This past week we mostly did a lot of saying goodbye, well Elder Padgett did, and I went with him. We had a lot of appointments fall through during the week, so we weren't able to teach as many people as we had hoped. This next transfer we will have a lot of work, because our ward mission leader (who was released as branch president about a year ago) gave us all of the progress records (a weekly report given to our leaders) that he had. So we have lists from missionaries who have already gone home. We now have a lot of potentials to contact and so hopefully a lot of good will come from it.

It will be a little hard to go home at the end of this next transfer, I will just have to get to work and not worry about it. I could probably move up here after I get released and be a "third companion" for some elders. We will have to figure it out when we get there.

Hope all is well in AriZion. Oh, how is the bathroom coming along? I had forgotten about that.

Anyways, have a great day and talk to you next week.

Elder Paxton

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Not a lot of time!

We don't have a lot of time today because we had a super fun zone activity. We went down to Melba to a really cool family's house (one elder was serving in the Kuna area and met them). We played basketball then ate some hamburgers, then played some volleyball. Then to cool off, we played a game with their hose, and then some two hand touch football in the "rain." We were slipping and sliding around it was hard to even try to play football.

We still have the date with Marco, but we might have to move it back due to him being with his girlfriend and also we can't find him. Hopefully we will be able to find him and teach him. Mike is also going well and we have an appointment with him tonight, we are going to keep teaching him and we imagine that his dad will tell us when his baptism will be. I think they are still working out some legal issues but he should be good to go here pretty soon.

I am still not sure if I will be able to talk on the 9th, partially because I talked with President yesterday and he said that I already have a plane ticket, but he didn't tell me for when. I don't know if the mission has plans already made for me. If you want you can call them and ask.

(I called the office today and they have him scheduled to fly home on Thursday the 6th, but we will be changing that flight so that we can go pick him up and visit some places in Elder Paxton's mission. I will let everyone know when we have his return home date figured out)

So sorry this letter is so short but we got a little over zealous with our zone activity. I hope that your recovery coninues to go well and that you will at least be ready to run all over Idaho shortly after general conference.

Elder Paxton.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pictures from Idaho...

Today I received Elder Paxton's camera card in the mail. I have included a few here for you to see.
It can't be Idaho without a tractor,

Or Spanish speaking Elders

The pictures below are several from his tour of the Old Idaho State Penitentiary

Random shots from the Idaho Boise Mission...

Danny and Tony Alvarez's baptism July 9, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Release Date?

I haven't heard anything about getting released, and I am very happy to still not have heard anything. Although as you can see by the picture I am reminded of home from time to time.

My ministerial certificate expires on the 4th of October, but usually what happens is on Tuesday I will go to Boise, Wednesday we spend the day with President, and on Thursday is when most Elders fly or drive home. I don't know exactly how long I want to take to get home, so I don't know if I will be able to speak on the 9th, we'll have to wait and see. I still haven't gotten the letter from Bishop McCook.

I did get the package from Mom and Nicole and almost all of the treats have been enjoyed/devoured. The other Elders in the house are grateful for the package as well. All that is remaining is a couple of mangoes and the pretzels (not because they aren't enjoyed, but because they take a lot of fluids to eat, and I ran out on Sunday).

Last Saturday we had a lesson with Marco, and we were able to set a baptismal date with him for the 27th of August. We feel that it will be very easy to teach him because he seems to already know all of it and he told us that he wants to learn everything again from the beginning. So pretty much as we are teaching he is teaching with us, so we are excited for him to be baptized. Also, on Sunday he and his mom came to church. The rest of the family wasn't able to make it because of work and other conflicts, but this next week they told us that they don't have any plans, besides church. Yesterday we went to their house and watched the story of John Tanner. Rafael, the father, after watching it said that he felt recharged in a way. He was asking his sister-in-law if she had read the Book of Mormon recently, and when she answered that she hadn't, he was basically commanding her to read.

Tonight we have another lesson with Mike Hobbs, the 10 year old that we found out last week isn't a member, and are planning of having another great lesson with him. Hopefully we will be able to set a date with him tonight. Last week his dad said that they are planning on having the baptism within the month, and had to talk about a few things so we think tonight we will be able to see how everything is going.

That is pretty much all of the "cool" things that are going on here and we are getting ready to go play some basketball and maybe go to Boise.

Elder Paxton

Saturday, August 6, 2011

What a Week!

Mom, I hope that everything goes well with your surgery. I am sure you are super excited to have surgery and I also imagine that you cant wait to go through the recovery, being all the pains of healing and the limited mobility for a while.

That is sad to hear about your contractor passing away. We have also had a similar experience happen here. Elder Padgett had been teaching this family before I got here and they had gotten a little turned off to the gospel, and so I have only met the mom at the door a couple of times, but have never taught them. About a week ago we got a call from their neighbors/fellowshippers, and they told us that their son had taken his life as well. The family is good friends with a bishop and he has been over a couple of times. Our first thought was that the gospel is exactly what they need in their lives right now, but we want to be sensitive to the matter and not come off as "taking advantage" of this and using it to baptize them. We have talked with the Bishop and he told us that maybe if we go by in about a week that might be really good for them. The day it happened the Bishop went by and committed them to coming to church, which they did, and the talks in sacrament meeting were all focused on Christ, their followshippers said that they really benefited from the messages. We will see how things go there and what help we can be.

Enough of sad things let's focus on the great miracles that happened this last week. We now have two investigators that have expressed a desire to be baptized. Both actually came from a less active member that we met a couple of weeks ago. The first time that we actually had a lesson with Maria Gutierrez, her non member son, Marco, was there and we talked with him a little bit and he expressed interests in learning more, so we set a return appointment. We weren't able to visit with him until yesterday and he told us that even though he has a basic understanding of the church he wants to start from the beginning and work towards baptism. We probably would have set a date but he got a call and had to leave to meet with someone, so our lesson got cut short. We are going to try to visit him on Saturday and then see him at church on Sunday and probably have another lesson with him on Monday.

The other investigator that came from Maria is her brother in law. The way we met him was by looking for Maria and Marco was there as well looking for her, but she wasn't there. He said that she would probably be at his aunt's house, so we followed him there, found Maria, and met her sister Amparo. Amparo is also a less active member and her husband Angel is not a member. When we went back, we taught the first lesson and gave him a Book of Mormon, and he told us that he would come to church. He wasn't able to make it because he was helping someone change houses, and Sunday was the only day that they could borrow the truck to do it. But in that first lesson we asked about baptism and he as well wants to work towards being baptized. He asked us if his new born could be baptized as well, so we read in Moroni 8 and explained why we don't baptize little children and then we explained about blessing the baby and he understood it completely and said that he would love to have the child blessed. Tomorrow we have a return appointment with Angel and Amparo, and we are expecting it to be a good one.

Sunday night, an English member of the branch called us and told us that they would like us to come by, teach, and prepare their son for baptism. He is ten and hasn't been baptized because they were working on getting him fully adopted. So tonight we are going to go by assess the situation and probably have his baptism very soon. He has been coming to church for a very long time and probably can teach us everything that he need to know for baptism.

There is a lot of improvement happening in the great area of the Nampa 32nd branch. Elder Padgett and I both are grateful to be serving here, and are excited to watch all of the great things that are happening work out.

Vamos a seguir echandole ganas

Elder Paxton