Monday, July 26, 2010

Elder Ripley - New Companion!

Hey Fam!
How is everyone?
This week has been crazy! There's been alot going on. I'm pretty bumbed out to let you all know that the people I talked about in the last e mail that all seemed ready for baptism have met alot of opposition. We've been doing the best we can to meet their needs and help them recognize the blessings that are in store for them but it's all come down to what they choose to do so we'll just have to see what happens.
At the start of the week me and Elder Galindo were spending alot of time in areas we haven't worked alot in, searching for people who are ready for the gospel. In the searching process we found two or three pretty cool people. One of them was the very first person I've met so far in Mexico with the last name of Aguilar! I've met some with the second last name of Aguilar (or their mother's maiden name) but this was the first real fellow Aguilar I've been able to find. His name is Sinuhe Aguilar and he is huge! I mean he looks about like the Russian guy in Rocky 4 except not quite as tall. He looks like he spends plenty of time at the gym. He's also got tons of tattoos, and when we knocked on his door I was a little scared. But he's a super cool guy. He's excited to come check out the church and told us how he's recognized in his life that the things that are truly from God have a special feeling that comes with like the feeling he gets when he spends time with his family or thinks about the Savior (sweet). So he's probably not going to have a tough time recognizing the spirit when he prays.
Anyway, I'm sure you could all note from the last e mail that the week before was a little stressful. The start of this week was as well. I was feeling like we just couldn't quite get the Spirit there in our lessons with us and it was easy to see the differences in the results of the work. I really felt like something needed to change. Thursday night I finished saying my prayers and I just kept thinking about the area and what I could do. Just then the phone rang and it was one of the Assistants. He let us know we had changes, and that Elder Galindo was going to be moving to Zamora the next morning. He let me know a new elder had been delayed in the MTC and had just arrived to the mission, and that I would be training. Friday we went and picked up my new companion Elder Ripley, and he's awesome! He's super faithful, and just ready to work hard. He did get sick his first day which was too bad but he got over it quick and now we're going full force! I feel great about what's going to be happening in the next few weeks.
On Saturday we held a stake activity and put on a play with all the missionaries as actors. The play was Lehi's dream. I was the angel, Elder Ripley was Laman, and my old companion Elder Moberg was a dark mist. We took some pretty sweet pictures of me and Elder Moberg dueling because we looked like a good wizard and a bad wizard from Harry Potter. I know, we're both major dorks, but it was pretty fun. There was also a giant dancing Book of Mormon for while the people showed up that was played by Elder Ricks, who's about six foot eight.
Last Monday we were looking for some speakers for Elder Garcia's church music and some people came into Radio Shack while we were looking around. I guess since there were four guys wearing the same thing walking around the store, they thought we were workers. They asked Elder Garcia a question, and without hesitation he showed them around and ended up getting a pretty nice sale. They never recognized that we didn't really work there.
Anyway, Thanks for all your letters and support. Love you all!
Dad- Thanks for your comments on learning and doing my best. That's too bad about Uncle Arben. You'll have to keep me updated and let me know how he's doing. I got my package from the fam and the card was in there safe and sound. The pictures of persie are awesome by the way. Thanks for everything! Love ya.
Denny- Sweet that you've done tons of camping lately. Fun! I can't wait to go on those trips again after I get home. Love you denny o!
Mom- I got my contacts and my card. It's probably easier not to send stamps but I have started sending out letters to people finally. I sent five last Monday and I'm sending more soon. Thanks for your advice and that quote from sister Hinckley I loved it! I love you Mom!
Dig- That's sweet you guys hit up Fat Jacks! Sweet. That's cool Koby hasn't cut his hair still. Haha. He's gonna look awesome when I get back. I just hope his mom and dad don't get too mad. Love ya dig!
Shash- Sounds like you had tons of fun with Halee and Holly! That's too bad you hurt your foot again though. Love you Sloosh!
Nay- It sounds like hiking the mountain was sweet! haha. You'll have to tell me about the Snow College trip because I don't know what you would do there. Sweet job on soccer captain! Love ya!
Bam- I got your package and thanks for the pictures! I can't wait to look through them all when I get home! Love ya!

Love you all!
Elder Dallas Robert Aguilar

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hey Fam!!!
How is everybody? This week has been rough! We've been searching everywhere for more people to teach and we've found a ton of cool people but none of them are really ready to change their lives. They all like to talk with us and stuff but none of them want to read the scriptures or come to church or anything and it's getting a little frustrating! But I'm learning a ton everyday so it's ok.
This week we were going through our area book looking for old investigators from companionships that have been in this area in the past. We noticed a few that already had baptismal dates but things just didn't end up happening so we went by to visit them. One lady named Doris I recognized I had talked to once before when I first arrived with Elder Moberg. At that time she told us she just wasn't interested in the church. When we checked with her this time she said we could come back the next day to share a message with her. We came back the next day and she was on her way out the door and asked if we could come back the next day. We went back the next day and she said she was busy babysitting and asked if we could come back the next day and have lunch (she was going to invite her brother and his family to have lunch with us as well, who are members in the other ward that attends church in the same building as us). We went back the next day having decided that it was probably the last time we'd be able to go by since we'd kind of been losing time traveling and stuff without sharing or serving. When we got there she asked if we could come back in about an hour since her brother hadn't arrived still. We said sure and turned to leave to begin contacting on the street. Just after we turned around she said "oh wait I had a question." We turned back around, just as she asked "when can I get baptized?" We were a little stunned, and I just said "Whenever you want." Then she suggested we do it in a month. My companion then said this coming week would be better. She said that would be fine. It was pretty sweet to see that the teachings of the missionaries didn't really bring about any results, but when she was left to search for the truth on her own, she recieved a testimony from the Spirit.
The other day we were contacting in an apartment complex when we came across a little bible discussion group. It turns out they're all just one family that was just raised with a major focus on religion. Two of the kids of the family have studied the bible for so long they literally almost have it memorized. Their father hasn't studied quite as much but he's some sort of philosopher so in their family they have good three hour long discussions on philosophy and religion every day. Pretty crazy! It was pretty fun to talk with them about the church, and they were all willing to read the Book of Mormon and pray, we'll see how it turns out.

So this week I was getting a little frustrated with alot of things that were going on. We had one day when a sister in the ward gave us our food to go, so we went and ate it at the house. We get an hour for lunch but we ate in about five minutes because we were starving, then my companion fell asleep. I'm pretty sure he's not supposed to do that but he was sick that day so I decided to read a couple of dear elders. As I was reading the letters from the fam I started to recognize some blessings I'd forgotten about, and also some things that I could change to be more like Christ. All the letters talked about how proud my family is of me, and I remembered that when Elder Bednar came he said that we should always strive to be the missionaries that our mothers think we are. I started to wonder if I was as great of a missionary as my mother thinks I am, and I started to get a little down. I haven't had any experiences like Ammon, or broken any crazy baptism records or anything, and alot of times that seems like the only set way for me to tell if I'm doing what I'm supposed to as a mssionary. Since my companion was asleep I decided to pray about it and ask Heavenly Father if he was proud of me as a missionary. After my prayer I grabbed the Book of Mormon and opened it up, hoping for one of those little "it was the first scripture I found" type of miracles. But the first scripture I looked at said something about the amount of years that a certain war lasted or something like that. I laughed a little and decided I shouldn't be asking the Lord for miracles but should just continue in the work with faith. Just as I thought that I looked at the next chapter and read the second verse that I found. This time it seemed like it was a direct answer to my prayer. I read Alma 29:1-10,17. I decided that I should stop worrying about being perfect and just keep trying to be the best me I can be. I've definitely still got a ton to work on, but hopefully if I can remember to do the Lord's will and put my life in His hands, my heart can be purified bit by bit through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Dad- Thanks for the e-mail dad! It sounds like you and dig had quite the experience on the river. That's crazy. That's awesome what you told me about what Bro. Anderson said. I'm glad I grew up in a ward with such great examples to look up to. Speaking of the ward I'm getting a letter out to Bro. Lauber asap. I didn't get changed this time once again, so I guess I've still got someone to find and help before I can move on to a different area. Thanks for everything Dad! Love ya.
Denny- That's sweet that you got to go see your old buddys in the old ward! As far as your question about your class, I would decide based on which friends will be in each class, because that can really make a difference in who you hang out with after school and stuff too. Anyway, Love you Denny-o
Nay- I can't believe you threw up eleven times from that flu or whatever! That stinks! I'm glad you got better fast. That's so sweet you went kite surfing!!! That'd be awesome! I haven't gotten any letters from your friends yet but I have noticed that regular letters take forever to get here! I don't know why! I just barely got that one that you sent me like a month ago. But anyway, thanks for your letters! Love you Nay!
Shash- You got your ears pierced!? Crazy! That's sweet all that stuff that was there in Idaho. Sounds like it was a blast! Love you Sloosh!
Dig- I can't believe you had a near death experience on the river! Don't do stuff like that anymore till I get home man! I gotta still have my brothers to hang out with when I get back! But it does sound like you guys had a good time there in lava. haha. Love you dig!
Mom- Thanks for the stuff you said about testimony meetings and the old bishopric. I love that scripture that talks about remembering spiritual experiences we've had in the past to keep strengthening our testimonies. I can't remember where it is but I can tell you next week. It sounds like that's probably a good idea your new way of letting the kids sort out the arguments at home. Just remind them of 3 Ne 11:29 every once in a while! haha. Just kidding. But anyway. Thanks for everything mom. I love you!
Love you all!
Elder Dallas Robert Aguilar

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Nirvanna & Griselda

Hey Fam!

How is everyone? This week has been pretty good. We've continued searching for more people who are ready for the gospel, and we've been finding a few. This week I got to go do divisions with Elder Moberg over in his area while his companion came over to our area to see if my new companion has learned the area well enough yet. That sounds a little bit like I might have changes coming up this Sunday but we'll wait and see. While I was with Elder Moberg it was pretty fun. Their area is alot different than ours. Our area is all flat and jam packed with a million houses, their area is basically one mountain with more spread out sections of houses. Their roads are all dirt and stuff and it was raining that day so we were slipping alot in the mud it was pretty cool. It was also neat to meet all their investigators and see all how the gospel has been changing lives over there too. We got to teach a family out in a little field with a view over the whole city of Guadalajara. The little area where we were at is right towards the top of the mountain. There's just a little section with scattered trees and little ponds, and we got to teach them sitting on these giant red rocks it was sweet. We were teaching them about the Plan of Salvation when suddenly a lady ran up to us with her two sons and asked if we could give her son a blessing. She turned out to be a member from the ward over there. Her son had fallen and broken his nose on a rock and she was getting ready to run him to the hospital when she saw us. We found a little area between a few trees where we were able to give him a blessing and then go back to the lesson. It was a pretty neat experience and reminded me of the more of the good things that come from always living worthily to act in the name of the Lord, so that when others are in need of help from the Priesthood they won't be witheld from any blessings.

At the start of the week we swung by Rodolfo's house to see how he was doing and to teach some things to his son. There was a lady out in front of his house talking with his mom, and we started to talk to her for a while. We talked about the Book of Mormon and then she asked us a few things about the mission. When Rodolfo came over to the conversation he started talking aobut when he was searching for a church to join and told the lady that our eyes just look different like they have more light, which is why he decided to listen to the missionaries and later recieved a testimony through the Holy Ghost. It was pretty neat to see someone testify so strongly just a few days after their baptism. It's awesome how much the Holy Ghost can teach people.

We found out just a little bit ago that a new family moved into the ward and was feeling a little nervous about coming to church. It turned out that the daughter and her mother (Nirvanna and Griselda) weren't baptized but the daughter just turned eight last saturday and we held baptismal services for them both. On Sunday we were up on the stand to stand in for the confirmations of Rodolfo, Leo, Griselda,and Nirvanna. The bishopric normally does the confirmations and we just stand in but when it was time for Nirvanna's confirmation the bishop told me it was my turn to confirm. I was scared out of my mind because I didn't know he was going to ask me and I've never confirmed anyone before (let alone in Spanish). But it went well.

This week we went to a little chocolate factory some members own to drop of some supplies for them to pass out. Another member that just got home from his mission not too long ago also works there. He said he was done working and wanted to walk towards our next appointment with us. While we were walking back we passed this construction sight that has been there since I arrived in the area. Suddenly the member from the ward yelled over to a man standing in the construction zone and asked if we could come in to the construction area. I thought that was weird but we went over to the gate and the man let us in. He said his name was Armando,and his job is to live on the construction zone to keep an eye on the equipment. The Brother from the ward introduced us as the missionaries and asked if we could share a message. We shared the Restoration with him over by his little trailer and challenged him to read in the Book of Mormon and pray. While we were walking away my companion and I felt pretty dumb for not recognizing the man before who seemed so ready for the gospel and decided we needed to pay more attention in the streets. We went back a couple of days later to talk to him and he let us know he read and prayed and recieved an answer that it was the truth and we put a baptismal date for him. It was cool to be able to talk to him for a little because he lives alone with no neighbors and he seems in great need of the Saviors love.

Anyway that's been the week. Love you all! Thanks for your support!

Nay- I was looking through my english hymn book the other day and the title of number 233 reminded me of you. Haha. That's awesome about the new stuff in soccer! I wish I could be there to see your games it sounds like it's gonna be a great year! Does it feel weird with so many more people leaving on missions all the time? By the way the six months has gone fast but it still seems like I haven't seen the fam in ages. As far as the Mexican bag or something don't worry about money I'll get you something sweet! Love you Nay! have a good week!

Mom- Thanks for letting me know about the package. Don't worry I'm eating fine, I just haven't needed to spend alot of money. Thanks for watching over my room for me. I was getting a little teary eyed at that part of your e mail right in front of all these people at the internet place but it's ok. haha. That's super true all that stuff you said about Dad. He's an awesome example to me. I love you mom! have a great week!

Dad- I don't remember the boardwalk crash incident but it sounds like it was funny! haha. Sounds like the barbeque at gram's was pretty awesome. I think the things I miss the most from home are days like those. Sweet job on your tri! Third place over all! Awesome! That's also true the stuff you said about Mom. She takes way good care of our fam and I've come to appreciate it more on the mission. Anyway. Love you dad! Have a good week!

Shash- That stinks what happened to your foot! I bet Jazz Attitude will be even harder now with the injury! But I'm glad it's fun for ya! Love you Sloosh, have a good week!

Dig- Your e mail was hilarious! haha. I was cracking up! Sweet job on the backflip and congrats about Spain! Thanks for that story about the urge to go check on Shash that was pretty cool. Love you Dig! Have a good week!

Den- 70 mosquito bites on one leg? Crazy! Wanna know how to say mosquito in Spanish? Mosquito. Keep workin on those tramp tricks it sounds like you're already way better than I ever was! Good luck with your first over nighter! it'll be a blast! Love you den! have a good week!

Love you all! thanks for your letters and dear elders and most of all your prayers!!!

Elder Dallas Robert Aguilar

Sorry this one is so slow getting posted - we were out of town.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Rodolfo's Baptism

Hey Fam!
This e mail will probably be the shortest of my mission because we had to clean our house again today to send pictures to the President so I only have about five minutes to type. This week went really well. We're really starting to see alot of results from the new style of searching for people who need the gospel. I had a great Fourth of July. I got to baptize Rodolfo, and my companion baptized his son. Cool way to spend America's birthday! Anyway. I really apologize the e mail is so short but it'll be alot longer next week for sure!
Dad- Sounds like the fourth of july party in the new ward was pretty sweet! That's funny that you ended up running into Ben Ama with work and all. That's awesome to hear about Bob and Kathy! I loved your thoughts on the other viewpoints of the Plan of Salvation too. I've definitely learned alot from seeing things out of the eyes of another country like you said. Love you Dad!
Dig- You keep an eye on that Sam fellow no matter how many times Nay says he's not her man. Sweet job on the mile swim! I'm jealous you got to do the fishing merit badge! I never had a chance to do that one at a camp. Love ya Dig!
Nay- Yes I do know JD. I actually went on a double date with Karli, him, and Candace one time and it was super fun! Soccer camp sounds like it was sweet! You're really tearing it up with soccer nay I wish I could be there to see it! I love hearing about all that stuff! Your story about the oven was awesome! Love ya Nay!
Mom- Thanks for letting me know about the package. As far as the pictures. Hilda is the one that's in the baptismal dress with the lighter hair. Liliana is the shorter one with the black and white shirt and the other two people with her are brother and sister Lopez. I'll send the pictures from Rodolfo's baptism next week! Love you Mom!
Shash- I LOVED your e mail sloosh! I was cracking up when you reminded me of Tanner and the trampoline and the name that Sara wrote down on the fourth of july! haha. I love you Shashy!
Denny o- HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY!!! I'm going to send a big package in a couple months with stuff for you and the others for their birthdays. I can't believe you got an iTouch too! That's sweet you got a marvel heroes game! we have to play it when I get home!
Love you all!!!
Elder Dallas Robert Aguilar