Arizona Mesa Mission Address

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 30, 2010

Dear Family,

This past week has been interesting-- some good things have happened.

First and foremost, Margarita is going to be baptized this Saturday but I am going to have to travel from Phoenix to see it because that's where I am getting transferred tomorrow morning.

My new companion is Elder Ralphs, who was Elder Biddle's (my current companion's), MTC companion, and he's only been out for two transfers now as well.  Nevertheless, I have heard really great things about him and I am sure I will be able to learn a lot from him as we work in Phoenix.  I've heard from other elders that their favorite part of their mission was the time they spent in Phoenix, so I am excited to experience a new change but am also a bit bummed I am leaving this area and especially living with Brother Hunt.  He is seriously such an awesome member of the church and he teaches us missionaries so many things about the gospel that he has learned through some pretty rough experiences in his life.  He is a huge jokester but he is also very spiritual. He has an amazing relationship and understanding of his Savior.  He has gone through a lot of stuff but he has always stayed faithful and has learned how to cope with challenges in life using the simple truths of the gospel.  What is amazing is he doesn't look at any of his past difficulties as unfair but has learned to grow and realize that the only thing that really matters is the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He is a great guy and I have learned a lot from him. He served his mission in the New York Mission but spent most of his time in New Jersey.  Anyway, that is Brother Hunt and I am going to be sad to not have the privilege of living in his house anymore.

This past Thanksgiving was a pretty memorable one.  We ate 3 dinners throughout the entire day and I have never been so full in my life.  One thing that's pretty cool is the Christmas lights and nightly program at the temple in Mesa have started.  I had the opportunity of being one of the missionaries who is assigned a certain area of the temple grounds where I try to find people to teach and/or get referrals.  It is really weird how different Spanish people are from white people.  They are so much nicer and accepting of other people.  Obviously, I am speaking in general and am stereotyping, but it is generally true.  The facts, I have to show for it is that every Spanish person I talked to last night who wasn't a member, wanted to have missionaries over to their house to teach them or they gave me referrals of friends who would.  I didn't get one from a white person, which I thought was kind of odd.  Last night I got to thinking how I could become a more spiritually powerful teacher like Alma, Amulek, and the sons of Mosiah were in the Book of Mormon.  I know that if one of them were working the Christmas lights they would have gotten a million referrals and had people gathering around them to hear them bear testimony of the simple truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I want to be able to invite the Spirit into any conversation that I am having with anyone so that I can enter into their hearts and find their needs.  That's one of the reasons I told you that I have been praying to become a more charming person that people are instantly attracted to and like.  Anyway, I am sure that if I work hard and seek guidance from the Spirit that I can learn to become like Sam the Lamanite or Nephi.

I saw in the last letter that Dad wanted some traditional Mexican food recipes.  I can tell you from experience that about as traditional as it gets is rice, beans and a tortilla.  One Mexican recipe that's really simple but good that we make for lunch sometimes is this stuff called alotes.  It is just boiled corn on the cob, spread mayonnaise on it, cover it in Parmesan cheese, and then put some type of Mexican hot sauce on it.  My favorite is called Tapatio.  Anyway, I have to go.  It was great to write you guys.  Make people send letters to the mission office since they will send it where ever I am.

Elder Kinney

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