Thursday, January 12, 2012

Our Last Email... Bittersweet

Hey Fam! How is everyone? This week has been great. David's baptism went really well. His girlfriend (who lives in a different state) was the one who originally gave us the referral to go visit David. Now that his testimony is super strong, he's doing the things he's supposed to because of his love for the Lord, it no longer has much anything to do with his girlfriend. That made her a little upset. I guess she ended up calling him and saying that he shouldn't get baptized until she could come see the baptismal service because blah blah blah. He called us right after, because he was way confused. Why would his girlfriend introduce him to the gospel, then try to be an obstacle that could keep him from being baptized. He felt bad that she looked at his conversion that way, and just told her that he was decided on being baptized because he knew it was the Lord's will. The baptismal service ended up really cool. Elder Tibbitts baptized him. Then afterward we went to David's house for dinner. He made the BEST pizza I've ever had in my life. It was super good. He looks great. He's going to do great things in the gospel.

Lupita's baptism looks to be in order. We've been working with the primary leaders and other families that have young children to set up the baptismal service, so that she can make friends in the primary and be more excited to go to church on Sundays and help her family stay active.

Rigo has been doing very well. He's been cleaning the church, because he's got alot of extra time, and he has alot of respect for the Lord's house. It's cool to see his concern and extra effort to please his Heavenly Father, especially since he's someone who has every reason to spend all day worrying about his own problems and situation, but instead he focuses on serving his God.

The other day Elder Zobell and I were walking down the street and this guy named Angel Chavez wistled to us and came running over. He asked what time the services were at church, and if it would be ok for him to come to church on Sunday. We said he was more than welcome to come and explained the schedule of Sacrament followed by classes etc. Then we put an appointment to swing by and teach him. We went yesterday. He runs his business out of his home, and has a pretty nice office there. He owns a business of Taxi Driver's insurrance. I guess those are pretty rare, but he seems to do well. We talked to him about how he'd been, what his life was like and stuff. Turned out that years ago he had talked with missionaries once, and had always had curiosity to learn more, but never got around to it. As a result of some bad choices he made later on, him and his wife are now separated. They have two almost teenage kids. Angel is pretty bummed out about the separation. He's a pretty good basketball player I guess, he plays semi pro. So he's been playing basketball to keep his mind off of his family situation. We talked to him yesterday about how if we're going to return to God's presence, we need to be pure. If we're going to be pure, we need forgiveness. Christ taught that forgiveness comes through His sacrifice, and that the way to take advantage of those blessings is through baptism. If we're going to be baptized, recieve a forgiveness of our sins, and be healed through our Savior, we need to find someone who has authority from God, just like Christ did when he sought out John the Baptist. Then we explained the Great Apostasy and the Restoration, and how it is that he can know all that stuff for himself if he just reads and prays about the Book of Mormon. He was pretty stoked. He asked if we could come again on Saturday, and said he's planning on being in Church on Sunday. It looks like he's been very well prepared to recieve the gospel at this certain time in his life.

Well that's pretty much all that's been going on this week. If I remember right, I think something important is supposed to happen on Monday. Oh yeah. I GET TO SEE MY FAMILY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN TWO YEARS!!! Sweet.

Mom- I attached pictures to this e mail of when Elder Villanueva took us all to lunch at Outback Steak House (He's unusually wealthy by the way.) On the way there Elder Zobell fell asleep, so we all pretended to be asleep and took a picture in the van. Also pictures from David's baptism, and the dinner at his house afterward with the ward missionaries. The other day Brother Luna came to the offices with some other missionaries. He's a member Elder Moberg and I were working to reactivate like 22 months ago. He's a ward missionary in his ward now and is doing really well in the gospel. It was cool to see him again. So there's a pĂ­cture of him and me as well. Ok, sounds like a good topic for the JN 1st ward talk. I'll be thinking of good member missionary effort stories to include in my talk. About Buffet City. I think that'd be great. We'll leave for the airport on Monday at like 5:30 in the morning, and then I'll be traveling for the next 11 hours. I should be pretty hungry by then. Also.. I already had my final interview with President Jesperson, and he put emphasis on the importance of being released ASAP. He said I can't hug anyone outside of my immediate family until I'm released, so hopefully I don't see any aunts or grandmothers before I'm released. haha. Anyway, so if you could see if we could get the appointment for the release as early as possible that'd be good. Anyway. Thanks for all your help as usual mom! See ya soon. Love ya, have a great week!

Shash- That's awesome about your poetry and illustration book. You'll have to show it to me later. I'm glad you liked that stuffed animal, feel free to take any of my old stuffed animals. haha. See ya soon. Love ya, have a great week!

Dad- That's awesome about Romney. Holy cats. That's a big deal. I don't know anything at all about the political or economic situation in the U.S. right now, but I'd assume that Romney's money skills would give him a pretty darn good chance in the presidential election if he makes the GOP nomination. Sounds like Tia and Jimmy's baptisms went great. I can't wait to meet all my new cousins. See ya soon. Love ya, have a great week!

Den- That's too bad your finger's still hurtin Den. I hope it gets better soon. Does it usually take a long time for PIP joints to heal? See ya soon. Love ya, have a great week!

Davin- That's sweet that you're varsity man! I was never varsity until 9th grade. That's interesting about the lack of wrestlers in the certain weights. It sounds like some JVs will probably have to wrestle up a weight or two to fill in and not have to forfeit. See ya soon. Love ya, have a great week!

Nay- Haha. Yes I remember when I use to convince you that eating potato bugs was a good idea. I can't believe how mean I use to be! I've still got alot to learn about life. haha. Those were the good old days though. See ya soon. Love ya, have a great week!

Love you all!
Elder Aguilar
"Sleeping" Elders

Outback Steakhouse on Elder Villanueva - cha ching!

David's Baptism

Elder Tibbetts, Elder Zobell, David, Elder Aguilar

Dinner at David's House

Brother Luna & Elder Aguilar

Monday, January 9, 2012


Hello Family & Friends!  Just want to let you know that Elder Aguilar will be speaking in our old ward (3900 S. 4000 W.) on January 22 @ 11:00 and again in our new ward (3900 S. 5200 W.) on January 29 @ 9:00.  Please come to either one.  We will be having get togethers after each meeting.

Friday, January 6, 2012

10 more days!!!

How is everyone? I'm doing great. This week has been a week of miracles. Things are going great. The companionship is doing as good as ever, all the training for the office stuff is going smoothly, and we still haven't ever really had to miss any proselyting time.

We went to Rigo's appointment on Wednesday, and while we were waiting for him to arrive we started talking to one of the sons of the family that had given us the referral of Rigo. He said "So why does Rigo have to wait to get baptized?" I said "Because of things that have happened in his past." He replied "You know he was in the military right?" I didn't know. I was happy to hear it. When Rigo got to the house we started the lesson with a prayer and began to talk about how he'd been and everything. We got talking about his baptism progress and how his reading had been and stuff, then I asked about his mililtary service. Turned out that all of the incidents in which he was involved in any violent situations were part of his military service except for two, and in those cases it was in self defense. He has some pretty crazy stories and experiences. I called President right then and explained the situation. He said we could have his regular baptismal interview the next day (Thursday) and then he'd come for a special interview to decide if we'd still have to send the letter to the First Presidency for permission. Thursday, one of the assistants came with for his regular interview, and said he looked great. The next morning, President interviewed him at the church, and he passed. He said he wanted to be baptized ASAP so we called a bunch of people and ended up having his baptismal service at 7 that night. It was pretty awesome, he was super happy and thankful for the opportunity. We had prayed and fasted for him, and he had put alot of effort and sincerity into his prayers asking for the opportunity to be baptized as soon as he could. It was a pretty awesome experience.

David looks great for Saturday. He also had his interview already and he's all set. He went up to Culiacan for new years, and I guess while he was there his girlfriend (the one who gave us the referral to go teach him) told him that he should wait to be baptized so she can be at the baptismal service. I was a little nervous when he told us that she wanted him to wait, but then he said "But I just sat her down and talked to her about why I'm getting baptized, and why I don't want to wait." His testimony is SO strong. I think he'll be a big part of local church leadership in the future. He's actually planning to move to Miami in the summer to go live with his aunt and work at a restaurant, then he's going to move to Sweden and start his own restaurant by where his brother lives. So when he's rich and famous and a General Authority I'll go eat at his fancy restaurant. Hopefully he'll give me a discount.

Lupita, the little eight year old girl, is progressing well and has been coming to church each week, so she should be able to be baptized soon. Her mom is starting to warm up to the message as well, and plans to come to church soon for the first time. That'll be awesome. It's been a blast visiting that family, because being around all the little kids reminds me of family get togethers back home.

New years was good here in the offices. We can't have much of a New Year celebration, because we need to be to bed on time. But we ended up having a huge pillow fight here in the offices, three on three, and it got pretty crazy. It was like a war. Then we ordered a giant pizza that was a way good deal and ate it on the roof before it was time for bed. The last part of our proselyting time in the evening was pretty crazy, the people in the street were getting a little over excited about the celebrations. I guess some New Years parties here literally last for days. Day and night non stop they just eat and dance and visit and do fireworks and stuff. One of the families in our ward shut their whole street down and had a mariachi band and a big dance from like 8 pm until five in the morning. Crazy. Anyway, that's about all that's been going on this week.

Mom- The musical number for my homecoming... I think the song you and your sisters were going to sing at my farewell would be great. If Nay and Shash could be worked in as well that'd be awesome. However you think it would work best. Let me know about the topic from Bishop Bell next week I guess. Talking in a Utah ward is way different than talking here, I'm kind of nervous. haha. I attached pictures of Rigo's baptism, our pizza on the roof dinner, and some from the New Years pillow war. Thanks for everything mom. Love ya, have a great week.

Nay- What's TOMS? I don't think I've ever heard of it before. All I know is that $100 can get you two pairs of something. haha. Sounds like you had a sweet B day though. That's good. That's awesome that you got to go to the adoption and everything. I was pretty stoked when we found out that we'd be able to have a baptism the 30th as well. It was the best way I could celebrate your birthday. haha. That's too bad about the Katie thing. Oh well, everything happens for something. I'm sure things will work out. If you want I can just go be your personal buttler and follow you around all day so you won't feel alone. I could sharpen your pencils during tests or erase mistakes or whatever. haha. Just Kiddin. Love ya, have a great week.

Den- That stinks about your PIP joint man! Nothing more annoying than a dislocated PIP joint. That's cool that you get a little mini cast though. Is it going to take long to heal? Hopefully you get better soon so you can keep tearing it up at wrestling. Love ya, have a great week.

Dad- That's awesome that the U won. Elder Zobell's fam told him about the game, I guess they won in overtime right? Sweet. So when is the trek? You may have already told me but I don't remember. Treks are the best. I actually have seen 17 miracles.... Even though it's not a church movie. That's what we watched at President Jesperson's house for Christmas. He had seen it before and said he wanted us to see it and felt it was very mission appropriate. That's a great show though. I seriously loved it. That'd be especially awesome to be watching it while getting ready for a trek. It's way sad when Bodil dies. Good movie. Love ya, have a great week.

Dig- Oh man Dig I remember those good old days of King of the Mat. I use to usually be one of the bigger ones on my mat though because of how they seprated the weights into groups. That's awesome that you could wrestle so well against bigger guys. So your ground game is better than your standing huh? You'll have to show me some sweet moves when I get home. Love ya, have a great week.

Shash- Sounds like new years was awesome! Those Lantern things that Bam got sound way sweet. I've never seen one before but I bet it was super cool. Bam said you got to make wishes when you sent them up too. Sweet. You got to hold Trey a bunch huh? Cool. I haven't even met Trey yet! That's so weird. Anyway. Love ya, have a great week.

Love you all!
Elder Aguilar

Rigoberto's Baptism

New Years Eve

Friday, December 30, 2011

17 More Days Until Our Missionary Comes Home!

Hey Fam! How is everyone? This week has been great. Christmas was awesome. Church was kind of strange, because they decided to do the three hour service instead of just one hour like the First Presidency said, but there were no classes prepared... Anyway. After church we went out looking for new investigators. We didn't have a ton of success, but sometimes it takes alot of faith through fruitless efforts before the blessings come. In the evening we went to the Jesperson's and had a super good dinner. We had chicken, salmon, mashed potatoes, broccoli with coliflower and peppers, a super good salad, wild rice, and a fruit salad. Then for desert we had ice cream wrapped in crepes with strawberies on top. Definitely the best meal of my mission so far. Sister Jesperson put alot of effort into it. Then we did the chimes christmas song thing like we always do at Bams. That was pretty fun. Then we read Luke 2. Then we watched a video about the pioneers that was really good. Then the Jespersons gave us each a gift. We all got our own box of cereal. Some Elders got cinabon cereal or captain crunch, but Sister Jesperson got healthy cereal just for me, because she knows that's what I prefer. It was a pretty awesome evening. We were seven missionaries with President and Sister Jesperson, three of their kids, and a possible future son in law. It was a good Christmas.

This week has gone well with preaching and everything. We went with one of the ward missionaries to visit David the chef. Last time we taught him, Elder Zobell left him Helaman 5 to read. When we visited him he had a few questions about the chapter. As we talked we got on to the theme of building a strong foundation upon a testimony of the Savior. He paused for a moment and said "You know, I'm glad we talked about foundations today, I've been thinking about that alot lately." Then he sort of kept talking about other things, then all of a sudden he said "I've been thinking about what I've read in the Book of Mormon, and what I've felt when I've prayed, and all that stuff, and I'm ready to be baptized." We were super happy. We talked about his baptism, and he decided he wants to be baptized the 7th of January. Right now he's out of town for new years, but it was awesome to see his resolve and firm decision to follow the Savior. The most awesome part of it all, is that we hadn't even been able to teach him for weeks because he was working so much to be able to take the Holiday Season off of work. All that time he was just reading and praying, and the Spirit just touched his heart. Elder Bednar always talks about how we as missionaries need to make sure we don't get in the way of people's conversion. I don't think we necessarily have to stop visiting a person, we just need to make sure that the true conversion is taking place as the investigators begin to truly comune with the Lord.

Rigoberto was pretty sad about having to wait for his special permission to be baptized. We talked to him a little more about what things had happened in his past, and we realized the situation wasn't quite what it seemed the first time we talked about it. I called President Jesperson and explained to him what happened in Rigo's past, and it's possible that he'll be able to be baptized after all. President's going to let us know today what the plan is.

Nay- Sounds like you got some pretty sweet gifts for Christmas. That's cool that you got to go to lunch with Gram. I got to go eat there at her work just before coming out on the mish. It's cool to have one on one time like that. Thanks for the pistachios. I love pistachios, and nobody has them here. haha. Oh, and before I forget, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW!!! I can't believe you're nineteen. So old. haha. Love ya! Have a great week!

Shash- Thanks for that Rice Pad shash! I heard you made that yourself! That's some serious talent. It's a way sweet gift. I'll be using it for a long time. So have you made little mini cupcakes yet for your american girl doll? That sounds pretty awesome haha. Love ya! Have a great week!

Den- That stinks that your bike got scratched up right after you got it! And right where you had that super sweet sticker too. Darn. Oh well. That's life sometimes. Thanks for that chapstick Denny o! How'd you know that my lips hurt real bad! Haha. Just kiddin. But really that's way usefull out here in the mish. Love ya! Have a great week!

Dad- That's too bad about Sister Smith. It's a good thing they've got strong testimonies of the Plan of Salvation, and John's got a great ward there to take care of him while he goes through the trial. I can't believe Braden's married. That's so crazy. That's cool that they'll be in our stake. I'm pretty stoked about my Christmas present. I'm not letting it be a distraction, but it's going to be way sweet. It'll be my first time seeing a comedian live. Awesome. Thanks for everything Dad. Love ya! Have a great week!

Dig- Trust me Dig, that slavery cleaning the house stuff is worth it. There's some missionaries that get out here that don't even know how to sweep. haha. It's good preparation. It's a good time to ponder also. Thanks for that book you sent me for Christmas Dig. The most important part of the message we share is based on what it says in that little book. It'll help me teach people about Christ. Love ya! Have a great week!

Mom- Everyone's engaged or married I guess. That makes me feel kind of weird. Alex got engaged way fast. Crazy. Anyway. Thanks for the Christmas Dear Elder. It was awesome to hear about all the Christmas stuff. That's way sweet about Christian's gift to Kate also. He's a clever guy. Thanks for that Journal. It's a way nice one. I think I'm going to start it with my homecoming. I'm working overtime to get my mission journal more filled in these next few weeks. I'm attaching pictures of our office gift exchange and me with my gifts on Christmas morning. Thanks for everything Mom. Love ya! Have a great week!

Love you all!
Elder Aguilar

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Can't wait to talk to him in 2 MORE DAYS!!!

Hey Fam! How is everyone? I'm doing well. This week has gone well. At the start of last week we had a ton of challenges and alot of things were just coming out wrong with appointments and stuff. Sunday arrived. We went by some of our investigator's houses, but no results. We waited at the chapel for others that had said they were going to arrive on their own. Nothing. We were pretty bummed out. When we went into the Principles of the Gospel class, however, we were surprised to see a couple new faces. There were two visitors brought by friends who are members of the Church. Raul and Rigoberto. Raul recently suffered a serious accident. I don't really know the details of what happened to him, but he's in bad shape. He has to use a walker now, and he's been going to therapy to get treatment for his leg and stuff. He loved the church services, and we'll be visiting him on Saturday. Rigoberto was actually there for the second time. We set an appointment, and visited him on Tuesday. Before we even said the opening prayer at the lesson, he told us that he had considered things, and that he wants to get baptized. He still hasn't learned much about the church, but he said that he had been praying alot, and that the Lord had answered his prayers, and part of that was introducing him to the church. His baptism is programmed for the 30 of December (Shenay's Birthday!) He told us a little bit about what he's been through. He use to be a bandit, and lived a life of crime. He's been shot over 15 times, and still has like 3 bullets in him. Two in his head and one in his torso. He's gone through alot, but he's very repented. His only desire is to follow his Savior.

So I found out that Elder Zobell will be my replacement here as the new Executive Secretary. That's kind of a strange situation. A secretary usually never gets transferred to be a different kind of secretary. Another missionary will be taking his place.

Two nice families in our ward volunteered to feed us on the 24th and 25th, so that's good. It'll be neat to see more Christmas traditions in the different families.

Bam- That's so awesome that you got to see President Uchtdorf! What a neat experience. And in such a casual setting also. Cool. Love ya! Have a great week!

Shash- That's way cool that your friend got you one of those blue watches also. Fun. Sounds like that David Archuleta concert was pretty crazy. I'm not surprised that Nay and Marquie started crying. haha. Love ya! Have a great week!

Dig- Sweet job intermural champion! Awesome. That's way funny about what you said to your teacher during the Christmas assembly. haha. I laughed way hard when I read about it. Love ya! Have a great week!

Den- Sweet job getting third place man! After having to miss part of the tourny and being a new wrestler that's way good. Hopefully your knee gets all better soon. Love ya! Have a great week!

Mom- That's way funny about Sister Gallaher. That's good she found work. Thanks for sending me the note from Cristobal. He's a great guy. I'll be writing him alot of dear elders before he gets home. I can't believe Denny fell asleep at the Christmas Party. haha. That's so funny. Good old Denny. Love ya! Have a great week!

Dad- Those dates for the homecoming talks sound fine to me. It'll be awesome to see the old ward again first. Sounds like Grandma Ellis is doing well. I look forward to being able to visit her. Love ya! Have a great week!

Nay- That would be so funny if Sam introduced you to David Archuleta. haha. Sweet job on your grades. Hopefully Biology turns out well. haha. By the way, I'm fine with the driving you back to school thing. I guess we'll decide that kind of stuff later though. Love ya! Have a great week!

Love you all!
Elder Aguilar