Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 14

It has been BITTER COLD here, so I got this package from home to keep me warm!

Hello everyone! I have been so busy with meetings, I've hardly had the chance to write emails the last few weeks! I hope everyone is doing super well!!

The last few weeks have been so crazy!! To start, we now have a new Branch Presidency. President Rivera had been in there 5 years, and with our Stake Conference coming up, we were told that there was going to be a change. Last Sunday, March 1st, we had an amazing Sacrament Meeting where the new Presidency was introduced. The new President is Hermano Castillo, who will do an amazing job, he is such a good worker and loves going out with the missionaries!! There are many less active members who had been offended by President Rivera, and many members also, but the support for him was SO strong, and since it was Fast & Testimony Meeting, many people got up and bore their testimony of how great of a person President Rivera is. The next few weeks will be much different with the Branch and a new Presidency, and we feel like we can work so hard with them, they are willing to work!

Every Thursday, we get the opportunity to teach English classes! It's so interesting to see people trying to learn English and struggle with it, it gives me hope that even though I'm struggling with learning Spanish, other people struggle too! I love teaching them, it is such a cool experience! And they are non-members, so we also get the chance to teach them the Gospel throughout the class! And then on every Friday, we play soccer. 50 people or more come and play!!!! It is so much fun, and crazy!

Axel Lara our recent convert, has been staying strong! He comes to church every week, even with a hectic job! He has such a desire to learn more, so we've been going in depth on a lot of doctrine. He has also been joining us to go on visits! His testimony helps people see that Mormons are normal people, especially with someone that was so recently baptized. He is so busy with school and work, but still makes time to come out with us. We have gone to dinner with him and his dad, and his dad really does know this church is true. He told us that he would be baptized, he is just too busy with work! That's how a lot of the Hispanics are out here. Work, work, work! They work themselves so hard, they don't even have time to meet with us or come to church.

The last few weeks there have been so many changes with people we have been meeting with and our new investigators!! We had met this young kid named Steven, a freshman in college, who seemed like such a blessing for us! Sadly, the very next night he texted us saying that his mom won't allow us to come over. It was something that was really hard on me, because in our few talks with Steven, I had gotten so close to him. I didn't understand why this would happen, but I know that one day his mom's heart can be softened and people can meet with him! The other day we met this family named the Zamora family, because we shoveled snow and they invited us in. They are soooo amazing, I'm so grateful we met them! They have let us come in all the time, and honestly I think they will get baptized soon! They have 2 little kids, a 12 and a 5 year old! They are a miracle. We wouldn't have met them without the snow! When we first met the husband, Alfonso, we were a little worried he would be hard to teach. He's so cool though! He never wears a shirt, has long black hair, and a cool tattoo! He loves us and invites us over repeatedly.

We've still been doing a lot of work with our Less Active Members. Some are starting to come back to church! It's hard at times because most of the Less Actives are divorced/single women, and since we can't meet with them alone, we just have to do visits at the door! Usually they put Sisters in the area, but we don't have any Sisters in our District, so it's up to us to go visit these elderly women, we bake them cookies and just do small things like that. It's made me see that we don't have to go out and teach them 20 minute lessons, just doing the small things really helps them so much.
One quote I really love is "You can't light a fire in a soul, unless it is lit in yours." Make sure the Church and this Gospel is lit in your soul! We all have the duty to share this Gospel, and it is so amazing to be able to see people receive it!

Well, I love all of you! Thank you so much for your support!

- Elder Leavitt

P.S. I ate cow was one of the worst experiences of my life for sure!

We were able to go and do a session in the Washington D.C. Temple 2 weeks ago.

Acts of Service, Shoveling snow!

Cleaning off Axel's car for him.

Well said,  Elder Leavittt!

Mom says, "this picture says it ALL!!!!"

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