April 21, 2009
I'll start by answering all of your questions. It is a little harder to find people to teach here in Vancouver. But Heavenly Father is leading us to them so it's still fairly easy. There are four of us Elders in the Spanish branch here. Elder Godinez, Elder Rodriguez, Elder Tracy, and myself.
I haven't yet sent that winter stuff package. I have it all packed up in a box and just need to send it. Hopefully I'll get that done really soon though. I got the Spanish Cds. They came after I got to Vancouver. But that's okay. There's a Spanish zone conference coming up, actually it's tomorrow. I'm super excited about it. So, I'll see Elder Blomquist and I'll give it to him to give to Ramona Marin. It'll be really exciting to see all of my missionary friends from Pasco again.
The family we live with are the Boyle's. They're an awesome family. I've been enjoying something that I didn't like doing at home very much. And that is weeding! Sometimes in the morning we use it for our exercise. We go outside and work hard in their yard for a half an hour. We've made quite a bit of progress already. I never thought that I would enjoy doing something like that so much. It also makes exercise and working out time a lot quicker and more fun.
I think that I'm finally going to go play tennis today!!! Elder Tracy bought himself an inexpensive racquet. We probably won't play for very long but I'm excited for it. We're also going to play ultimate frisbee and work on tuning up our bikes.
Wow, we've had such a good week. Our area is really starting to pick up. I want to tell you about a few of the people that we're teaching right now. The first is Raquel. It was an interesting story how we found her. We were tracting in some apartments. We could tell that most of the people were white. You get an eye for finding Hispanic people after a while. But there were a bunch of kids outside playing. I started talking to them and started talking about Jesus Christ and why we were there. They also loved the pass-along cards that I gave to them. I've probably given them at least 50 cards all together (we've seen them a couple of times). They pointed out all of the apartment rooms where the Hispanic people live. Which was about three I think. Well it turns out that one of them was Raquel. She was really nice to us and asked us to come back the next day. So we did. And she was there! Sometimes that's a surprise to us. She let us in and we taught her a different kind of first lesson which was led by the spirit. She started talking about how there are so many churches and that she's searched for quite a bit of her life, trying to find one that feels right. And after a while she just gave up. She got frustrated. So if you can see where we went with this, we shared with her the story of Joseph Smith. And how he had the same kind of questions that she has. We read the account straight out of the Joseph Smith History. It was so powerful and amazing. She was full of questions afterward. After answering all of them and having her be satisfied with our answers I was feeling really guided and like my tongue was loose. I got to say some stuff like, "Raquel, here is the answer you've been looking for." It was so much fun!!! Probably the time when my mind is the most focused on missionary work is while I'm teaching. Everything just leaves my mind. And the spirit just comes in so strongly. Since that day we've had two more appointments with her. Actually, maybe one. My memory isn't very good. She's making so much progress. And I can see it in her eyes when we teach her that deep inside she knows it's true.
Well, have a great week family. I can't wait to go caving and scuba diving with you in the near future.
Love, Elder Benjamin Arnold