I can't believe I am 20 years old right now. I don't feel like it, and I for sure don't look like it. I may be able to grow a goatee a little faster than I used to, but I still look like I am 16. Nevertheless, I am so grateful to be here in Arizona serving the Lord at this point in my life. I have learned and grown so much since being on a mission and there is still a lot I want to accomplish. I am trying my hardest to be the best missionary I can be, and the Lord is constantly revealing my weaknesses to me so I can improve. I am looking forward to serving the Lord 24/7 for this entire year of my life. It may be an opportunity that I will never have again. Thank you for everything that you have taught me and for all the help you have given me so I can be where I am today.
You definitely need to tell me when the people in the grade below me start to get their mission calls. I did get the birthday package and the letter Dad sent me from Austin. Thank you very much. This morning when I woke up, Elder Tuttle, one of my roommates, had made a cake and blown up all of the balloons, so that was pretty nice.
Anyway, to answer your questions . . . Sundays are usually very similar to regular days aside from the fact that we attend church and take the sacrament. We used to meet with the leaders in our Branch for Ward Correlation every Sunday, but supposedly the new leadership manual says we shouldn't and our Branch President told us it isn't effective. What's supposed to happen is that we correlate with our Ward Mission Leader during the week and then he is supposed to go and represent our two companionships in the meeting. Unfortunately, our Ward Mission Leader is a 28-year-old guy who is married but doesn't have any kids yet, so he still has a "life", I guess you would say. Our Branch President is a really great and smart guy (he's a lawyer) so he was very well aware of the situation, and he called a new Ward Mission Leader. He name is Hermana Mora's (our Ward Missionary's husband), so hopefully things will get better with this new change.
In regards to missionary work, we have some ups and downs this past week. A lot of our investigators that were kind of progressing that we thought had a pretty good chance have been dropping pretty badly. However, we have made some progress with Eddie's family and Jose and Xiomara. We are hoping to get Jose, Eddies 17-year old step-son baptized this month so that he can baptize his family when they eventually receive their papers. We also saw a really cool miracle last night too that I want to share with you. So there is this apartment complex off of a Street called Grovers that we just call the Grovers apartments. When I became Elder Ralph's companion those apartments hadn't been worked for awhile because supposedly it was just filled with Mexicans who loved to drink and didn't take us seriously. Elder Ralphs and I decided to knock on all the doors, and over about a transfer and a half of time we had found some decent investigators but at the same time understood what the missionaries who abandoned it were talking about. During this past transfer with Elder Pierson we have seen a lot of those investigators regress and he told me that he noticed how nobody takes us seriously there. There is always garbage and beer cans everywhere, ranchero music blasting and people getting drunk. So last night after we found one of our investigators, Arturo, hammered we went back to the car and said a prayer. We were so frustrated, we were about ready to dust our feet off and condemn the place. We prayed that God would do something so that these people would understand our purpose and take us seriously. As soon as we got out of the car we found this guy Jose unloading groceries from his car and offered to help him. We had never met him before and had just recently moved into the apartments there. We went into his house and met his 2-year-old son and pregnant wife. We shared the message of the restoration with them and testified how it blesses families. They seemed very interested in some of the things that we said and told us they would read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We both felt like the Lord had answered our prayer and let us know that it wasn't time to give up on the Grovers apartments. It is times like these that make me love being a missionary.
I have to go now because we have a Zone activity, but I hope that all is well in NC. Thank you for all of your prayers and support. I miss you.