Thursday, February 25, 2010

Week 6

Hey Fam!
Ok the computer stole five minutes from me again so this will be short but there hasn't been too much going on this week anyway. So I'd like to start with a joke from Elder Dallin H. Oaks (he wasn't here we just heard it on a video.) So the joke goes: A man was carrying a pocket size Book of Mormon in his shirt pocket, when he was shot in the heart. Luckily the bullet didn't kill him, because it hit the book, and stopped at the Isaiah chapters just like everybody else. (hahaha) Sorry if that's not as funny to you as it was to me.

So this week has been a pretty cool week. We've done alot more practice teaching and it's all been in Spanish which is good. I think I forgot to mention last week that I was asked to be the district leader, and my roommates are the new zone leaders (the two that met President Uchtdorf). It's pretty cool to have this responsibility because my only job really is to help the other elders with whatever they need so I've gotten to know them all alot better. So last night at the TRC, we had a scenario where we walked into a "store," bought some things, and then asked the family who owned the store if we could come by and share a message about Jesus Christ (all in Spanish of coarse). The father said no, because they were Muslim and didn't believe that Jesus was the Messiah. So we asked if we could just come share some principals that could help them in their family life. They decided that wouldn't hurt anything so we got to "come by" later and teach them a lesson. We decided to base the lesson around Old Testament prophets, since that's something we had in common, and then we built off of that with the Priesthood, and moved on to Christ's life and the rest of the lesson, and bore testimony. They were excited to hear about other prophets in the Americas in the Book of Mormon, and commited to read and pray to know that it is true. So it all turned out well in the end.
Anyway, sorry it's not as exciting as other weeks. My good friend Elder Choate (the one with the night terrors who accidentally said his brother had died) had another slip up this week. When he was in the store, they asked him what he needed and he accidentally told them he needed a shower. They thought that was pretty funny.
We watched a video from Elder Bednar about recognizing the difference between our own ideas and ideas or promptings that come from the spirit. He said he gets alot of questions about this, and his answer is stop worrying about it, be good girls and boys, and so long as we keep the commandments, we will be guided by the spirit. The longer we think about one prompting trying to decide if it's from the Lord or not, the more time we're wasting when we could be doing something useful that could help someone or get something done. I thought that was pretty cool.
Jensens- Tim thanks for your letters, I love hearing about the family, and thanks for the update on baby Halpert haha.
Egans- That's super exciting about the baby updates Kate! I can't wait to hear what it is! Thanks for the stories about your boys and your other advice and things in your letters. Christian, Lloyd Newell is Elder Newell's uncle, but his dad works for the church also.
Stones- Thanks for your letters! I love hearing about Sawyer and Pais. The story about the shots was great! By the way I wanted to mention, I don't know if you remember this but the night your family came to say goodbye you told Sawyer to say bye and give me a hug but she was too shy. I said something to the affect of "she'll be talkin up a storm when I get home don't worry." Immediately after I said this I realized it sounded alot like I wasn't aware that Sawyer has known how to talk for a while now. I was very much aware that Sawyer can talk, I meant that she probably won't be as shy and will most likely be more comfortable around me in a couple years after she remembers who I am. haha. anyway.
Meiers- Dayna thanks for your sugar cookies, I can't remember if I said that already but they were highly coveted amongst the elders on my floor. Normally I try to share but those are just too good.
Bam- Your mint chocolate cookies were incredible! I ate like seven of them right after I got the package. I sent you a letter you should get it soon.
Grandpa Bob- Thanks tons for your letter I'm writing you back soon.

Dad, Mom, Shenay, Dig, Denny, and Shash, I've got a letter for each of you on the way!
I love you all and I can't wait to hear about your days!
Love Elder Dallas Robert Aguilar

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Week 5

Hi Family!
Just so you know, my password wasn't working so I have five minutes less than usual this week. Sorry if I forget to answer any questions! Ok so first off we had our teaching scenarios in all spanish this week which was pretty scary. First we went in and had to pretend we were eating dinner with the family. My companion did all the talking and I didn't get a chance to say anything, and then when he finished reading a scripture, the sister asked if she could just read it since she couldn't understand him. He was pretty embarassed, in fact so embarassed that he decided it'd be best to let me do almost all the talking in the lesson. So I taught a thirty minute lesson all in spanish. I made quite a few mistakes of coarse but the spirit was there and they loved the first vision.

We didn't have it nearly as bad as elder choate from our district. He tried to tell the people about his younger brother, but accidentally told them his brother had died. They felt really sorry for him, and instead of correcting his mistake, he actually said later on in the lesson that he'll get to see his brother again someday after this life... I'm not sure if lying to investigators is the best idea but it was pretty funny. Besides, they say the best part of the MTC is that the more mistakes made here the less there are in the real world.
Our devotionals this week were great. On sunday we learned about not focusing so much on an answer we want from the Lord, that we don't even notice the obvious answers and blessings right in front of us every day. The other one was an in depth look at ammon, who is my favorite missionary from the Book of Mormon. He mentioned that the part when the servants say ammon is more than a man wasn't that the servants thought he was some sort of angel, but that they recognized that the spirit was with him, and the great things he performed were actually done by more than a man. That was awesome. The speaker had just been called to be a mission president (he's currently in the quorum of the seventy) and he said he just realized that it was his last opportunity to bear testimony as a special witness of Christ to a congregation. He bore a very strong testimony, and the spirit was incredible. When I thought about what he said I realized that I'll have a limited number of opportunities to bear testimony of Him while a minister of God. I need to take full advantage of every opportunity to share the gospel and testify of the truthfulness of it while I have His extra help on my side.
Mom- to answer your question about the snoring, yes elders portuese and newell are a little thicker than most. By the way I'm trying to take alot of pictures, and I can print them out here, but there really isn't much to take pictures of here, so I'll probably just send home pictures of me with the people in the district, and some from our temple walks on sundays. By the way I could use some stamps if you have a few to spare, and my shaver would be nice before I leave for Guadalajara, but for right now I don't need it really. Thanks for all your letters mom, it's the greatest to hear about your day to day things, none of it is boring. I was just thinking of how you were saying there really haven't been any days in a long time that we haven't talked to each other for a while each day, so it's great to get your letters. I miss you and I love you, thanks for raising me right like the mothers of the stripling warriors did. I know that's corny but when we all sing called to serve in the devotionals it really feels like an army ready to go share the gospel with the world.
Nay- Elder lusty found me, and he gave me a hug. He wasn't what I was expecting but he seems like a pretty nice guy. I just still feel weird about his name. Plus your my sister so any guy who hangs out with you especially while I'm gone better be careful. I loved your letter, I miss talking all the time too. I'm glad our relationship as brother and sister is so strong. You've been a huge part of my life and I can't wait till we can make more great memories together when I get back! I love you nay. Oh by the way a couple people that you gave my address too have written me and I don't have their addresses, so you might want to tell them that's why they aren't hearing from me. plus I'm busy. Haha.
Shash- I have some oragami paper in the bottom drawer of my desk in one of the files. You can have it all. I love you and I miss ya!
Dig- thanks for your letters, sounds like the klondike derby was awesome! I loved those scout camps your so lucky. Keep havin a blast while your in young mens and keep choosing the right! I love you dig.
Denny- out of all the kids you had the longest letter, and out of everyone it was second longest behind one of mom's, but it was pretty close we'll call it a tie! Love you denny-o
Dad- Thanks for your example, I was thinking about how alot of people say I'm alot like you and I'm glad I turned out that good. I love you.
Bam- I have been getting your letters and packages! thanks your the best! I love you!
everyone else thanks for your stories and treats! Love you all

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Week 4

I need to explain to everyone that when I was pregnant with Shandra, Davin wanted us to name her "flu" - thus the name for Dall's sea monkey or brine shrimp or whatever it is.

I know I'm the mother but I just love these letters SO MUCH and hope you are all enjoying them too. :)

Hey familia,

Ok so this week hasn't been quite as eventful so I'm not sure what to include in the letter so if it's boring I apologize.

Mom wanted to know about the names of the sea monkeys and shenay wanted to know if they were still alive so: there are four alive, we don't know how because they all seemed dead, but four are alive so each of the elders in our room got to name one. My companion named his spok, elder tibbits named his james westfall, elder newell named his JK, and I named mine flu.

This week I've been getting much better sleep. At the end of our service projects we can take things out of a box of lost and found stuff that nobody has claimed for a long time. Elder tibbits found a box of nose spreaders, and it just so happens that elder newell and elder portuese snore really loud. They tried out the nose spreaders and they actually worked really well, neither of them snored, and everyone is much happier in the mornings.

Speaking of the service projects, every week is the same project. We go into the residence hall across from ours to clean bathrooms, vacuum floors, change garbages, etc. My favorite job to do is restocking the paper towel machines. I get a big cloth bag of new rolls of paper towels and throw it over my shoulder and whistle christmas songs like santa clause. It's pretty lame but it's a good way to relax.

There is an elder black in my zone, who I just found out is nate and chug's cousin. So gram you'll have to tell the blacks that Jay is in my zone.

The TRC last night went really well. We started with a spanish exercise. We had to help the people "move." They would give us instructions in spanish and we'd pick up pictures of what they told us to get and put them in a box. The family we had was really nice (the Jacobs family, a mom and dad with their daughter). After the activity we taught them about the Lord's plan for us and life after death. As I was explaining life after death I asked what they new about judgement etc. Sister jacobs said she had learned judgment day is when we are held acountable for our works whether we've done good or bad. When she said bad I looked at brother jacobs, just to see if he had anything to add, but he just said "why'd you look at me when she said bad?" he seemed pretty angry at first, but then he just laughed, but it still scared me pretty badly. They ended up accepting the message really well, they had alot of questions and said they were eager for our next appointment.

This week I've been doing a little thinking about what a diverse district we have. I realized that there are some missionaries who are new to the church, some who's families aren't members, some who's families don't support them in their decision, and some that have just come from difficult backgrounds. When I thought about this I began to wonder why my life has been so easy, and why I've been so blessed of the Lord, while these other missionaries have had such trials, and have had to rely on their faith to get to where they are. I asked brother catt about it during my weekly interview, and after taking his input and pondering for a while, I came to the conclusion that the Lord didn't just send me to be an example to my brothers and sisters and cousins, he sent me with the best family I could possibly ask for. He gave me a life that would prepare me well, teach me what I needed to know, and provide me with the opportunity to bring the gospel to others free of distractions, and with the knowlege that everyone back home is under His care and protection. The more I think about my calling as a missionary the more excited I become, and the more thankful I am that the Lord has trusted me with such a huge responsibility. I'm on His side, and He will help me in all I do, and provide a way for me to accomplish His will. We were told a little story this past week about President Packer. When he was first called as an apostle, he was sent by the first presidency to report to a big conference of church leaders. After he gave the message he was asked to share, many of the people in the congregation came to him with reasons of why it would be better to change certain parts of their callings, or to do things another way. He saw these as valid points, and brought the ideas back to the first presidency. The first presidency told him they had given him a message from the Lord, and that it wasn't going to change. They said if he ever wanted to succeed in his calling, he needed to decide which way he
was facing. In other words, he wasn't to report the will of the people to the Lord, he was to report the will of the Lord to the people. As I thought about that and how I can apply that in my life, I realized that I need to always remember that I face the same direction as my heavenly father. It's not my job to complain or follow the commandments in the ways that make most sense to me or make my life easier. It's my job to do His will always, and that is what will make my life what I want it to become.

We had a devotional on sunday and tuesday as usual. I can't remember the name of the sunday speaker, but he shared a scripture that I really liked. Acts 4: 8-13. The people see the apostles doing Christ's work. They note that although they weren't learned men (they even call them ignorant men) they were able to work miracles through the priesthood from God. They note that they were astonished to see they had been with the Savior. Many people in Mexico will see Christ's name on my nametag, and be amazed that I know the Savior. For some, it will be the closest they've been to Him yet in their lives. I can't wait to get out and start spreading the gospel.

Well I'm out of time sorry if the letter was a little sloppy. Thanks for the chips and salsa, the cookies, and the pie. They were all great! I love you all.

Elder Dallas Robert Aguilar

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Week 3

Hey Fam!

How is everyone? I have a ton to say this week and not much time as usual so if things don't make sense or if they're a little sloppy or if I don't answer some questions I'm sorry.
First of all, to clarify a little about the President Uchtdorf story: I room with my companion (elder portuese) and another companionship (elder tibbits and elder newell). Elder tibbits and elder newell are the only ones who got to see President Uchtdorf, and we think it has something to do with the fact that elder newell's dad works for the church but we're not sure.
Ok, many people have been asking about my daily schedule so here it goes. We wake up at six thirty and go to bed at ten thirty every day. We get a half hour each morning to prepare for the day, and a half hour each night to prepare for bed. We get about forty minutes per meal. We get a fifty minute gym period every day but sunday and thursday (p day). All other time is spent either learning from our teachers, or studying from the scriptures. So I can easily spend around two hours in the scriptures and preach my gospel daily, if not more, and we have about six hours from the teachers each day, plus an hour of personal language study. Busy busy! There are some change ups in our schedule on certain days, each sunday and tuesday we have a devotional. each monday morning we do a service project, each wednesday night we get to do teaching scenarios, Each sunday we have sacrament etc., and each thursday of coarse we get to go to the temple and do our laundry and mail. After our devotionals on sundays we actually get to watch a movie. So far we've seen Legacy, The Joseph Smith movie, and The Testaments. Last sunday we had a special musical devotional fireside thing, where a handful missionaries got to go up to the microphone and say what they're favorite hymn was and why, then we'd all sing a verse from that hymn. The spirit was incredible, then watching the testaments after was like icing on the cake.
I mentioned our teaching scenarios each wednesday night. Basically we go into a replicated living room, where a person (may or may not be a member) is there as an "investigator." We then talk with the investigator, find out a little about them, and teach them what we feel they need to hear in order to feel the spirit the most.
This last wednesday (last night) we had an investigator who was raised catholic. It was going pretty well and the spirit was there, and we were really seeming to communicate with him well. As we explained the plan of salvation and the Priesthood and baptism and things, he said "so you're telling me that the priest that baptized me doesn't have the priesthood? and not only that but your saying the pope doesn't even have that true authority from God?" I wasn't sure what to say because we had already explained the apostasy and the need for a restoration, so I just said "...yes" to which he replied "Wow, that's a big deal, I guess that's important to know" we proceeded to challenge him to continue reading the Book of Mormon, and to let us come by the next day to tell him what he needed to do to be baptized by the proper priesthood authority, and he accepted. I know that's probably kind of a boring story, but I was pretty excited, because that was our first time having success on a challenge so far!
On sunday our district got to do a musical number in sacrament so we all just sang a hymn. We actually sounded pretty good, we have alot of elders who can sing harmony and melody and a couple good who are good at bass, so it was pretty neat.
On tuesday we had a fireside from Richard G. Hinckley. It was an incredible meeting. He taught us ways to make our daily routine a little more exciting, and gave us tips on how to not get discouraged. Of coarse he shared the famous quote from his grandfather "forget yourself and go to work." At the end he let some elders ask questions too. It was pretty neat!
Lately me and my companion have been reading the book of mormon aloud as part of our companionship study. Since he hasn't been a convert long, I've been teaching him about some stories he isn't familiar with. Right now we're going over the Jaredites. It's really helped strengthen our faith from their example.
Something kind of funny I forgot to mention last week. Elder Tibbits my room mate got a package with a little sea monkey kit thing. We put the sea monkeys in the water and watched them hatch and we all gave them names. Then I found out they're just brine shrimp and that just about ruined my day. But since then they've almost all died. There are only two left.
Dad- at the musical fireside, one woman who spoke told us a story about her dad, and what an incredible man he was. She then told us a couple stories about his mission in Minneapolis Minnesota. I couldn't help but think of you for the rest of the night, and how lucky and blessed I am to have such a great dad.
Dig- That's so cool that you asked for Lebron to come to your school! you should always keep that mindset. Always shoot for the best because a guy like you will usually make it! and even if you don't you at least got way farther than you would've if you hadn't tried at all!
Denny- It was great to hear about your day! keep doin what you always do! and always love every part of every day! grandpa bob is a great example of having that kind of attitude.
Shash- Thanks for your letter! I miss you and love you and I think about you all the time!
Shenay- I loved your letter. I'll watch out for your friend. I'm sure he's a good guy. And Nay, like you said you're the oldest now, and it's a big responsibility. But I know that you'll do the best at it by being who you've always been. You are so awesome! Some of my most spiritual memories are with you (efy for example) I love you nay!
Mom- they make minestroni soup here, but it's not as good as yours. I don't know that elder you're talking about but maybe I'll see him sometime. I miss you tons and I love getting your letters every day. I miss you mom, You're the best.
Sorry I'm out of time! but I was wondering if you guys could send my hottest hot sauce in my next package? if not that's fine
I love you all!
Elder Dallas Aguilar

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Waiting Wednesdays

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love ya, Tomorrow, You're only a day away!