Monday, May 26, 2014

2 Crazy Stories This Week

Hello family and friends.  So today was the official transfer day. Elder Febbo went home.  He was definitely one of the most influential people in my mission so far.  My new companion is Elder Vasquez.  He was already here in San Gabriel.  His area is getting replaced with sisters considering the steady increase in sister missionaries. He's got about  8 months in his mission. He's from Washington.  He was one of the first trainees that came into our zone when I was first zone leader.  It'll be super sweet.  We're going to play tennis today.

Alright, so I don't think I said much last week about the families we are currently teaching.  First, we have the Lopez family.  The mom was contacted on the street.  In the conversation, she said that her husband's name was Nefi (Nephi in Spanish).  So Elder Febbo grabs his Book of Mormon and says, "like this?" Ya like that.  So ya, he's a member.  He currently doesn't want to talk to us.  He hides whenever we come over, but his wife said that he's fine with us talking with them.  So the mom is being kind of lazy, but her kids are doing really well. Nancy (20) and Jackie (10) have come to church the last two weeks.  Brian (18) can't come to church until school is out because of some conflicts with work.  Brian is in 2 Nephi.  We are planning on having their baptism at the end of June.

Then the other family that we are teaching is the Juarez family.  The dad, Jesus, is less active.  His two daughters, Alexis and Ruby haven't been baptized.  Jesus is a single dad and he is doing an awesome job. There are some slight issues with work schedules and church so they haven't come to church in a while.  We are getting to the point that we have taught them just about everything and now they just need to start coming to church.

So now, the 2 crazy stories this week.  So each transfer, the group of missionaries going home bear their testimonies and all members and investigators are invited.  Missionaries are allowed to attend with their recent converts and/or their investigators. After the testimonies each time, President and Sister Becerra share a few thoughts.  So, all the missionaries finished their testimonies, then Elder Hoover (Assistant) gets up and says, "Now we will be favored with a special musical number by David Archuleta." Whaaat? Ya.  He sang "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" and he does not need any technology to enhance his voice. Wow!!... (No Emmy, I didn't get an autograph)

Now this story was potentially more crazy.  We go by a former investigator on Saturday and his teaching record said that he wanted to be baptized, but he decided not to be baptized because his wife didn't want anything to do with the church.  We show up and he said it had been about a year since the missionaries had dropped by. He goes back inside his house and brings out a stack of all the missionary pamphlets and also his Book of Mormon and a Doctrine of Covenants and Pearl of Great Price combo.  At this point, we are thinking "wow." It gets crazier.  He hands us the Restoration pamphlet and starts tell US the first vision word for word.  He got about 90% right.  We were stunned.  He said that he knew all this was true, but that he wants there to be unity between him and his wife regarding church.  Since she wasn't budging at all on coming to our church, he has kept going to her church.  Any suggestions on that one?

So when I came here to be Elder Febbo's companion, he was having a rough time with some stuff at home and his companion.  President told me to help him end his mission on a high, and I think we did it for sure.  We were able to see a lot of the changes that had happened in each other and it was cool to see that.

So ya, that's my week.  Hope you all are loving life!  Congrats on being done with high school, Emmy!

Elder Christensen

Tanner's response to mom's questions regarding his new area, comp, bishop, etc....

Northern El Monte is nice-ish.  Most of El Monte is super Latino and not nice.  We have a pretty good area.  We live in a perfect spot.  It's mostly Chinese and Latino. Elder Vasquez should be super good.  He could easily train or be district leader after this transfer.  I'm no longer zone leader nor district leader.  Just a regular joe. The bishop is fantastic! He's in his lower 30s and is the essence of charity.  He prefers English but goes to Spanish to help out the people.  His family comes from El Salvador but he was born here.  The ward itself is struggling a bit.  There is not much priesthood nor is there must collaboration between missionaries and ward members (minus the bishop).  We have the Elders Quorum President in our area, so we will start working with him a lot more. All packages and letters should be sent to the office now.  My actual release day is Sept 30.  With Elder Febbo, I had a lot easier time having fun.  But that's just because of who he is.  Elder Vasquez just turned 19, so it'll be a bit of an adjustment considering Elder Febbo is almost 22. As far as living situation back home, I haven't thought that far. I don't really want to get home and move right back out.  Maybe a month or two later? I don't know.  I'll start thinking, I guess. :)

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