Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 27, 2013 (Elder Gutierrez-Gomez)

Ok, where do I start... I only have about 10 more minutes until my computer at the library times out, so forgive me if this is extremely short and un detailed.
First thing. I finally bought a bike!!! It was way more money than I hoped to spend, but so far, It has been worth it. There have been problems with all 3 of the other bikes in my district, that apparently have been ongoing problems with how the bikes were manufactured. As long as I keep m bike in good shape and lock the crap out of it, I should be good throughout my mission.
Last P-day, we had a family home evening with a few families combined. After, we had watermelon and chile powder.... I personally don't like it at all, but one of the members was scarfing it down and started choking! It was crazy, he threw his plate across the room and bolted to the sink. He kept throwing stuff and flailing everywhere. I ran over to him and did the heimlich. The second time I 'thrusted', he spit the food out... Pretty cool. My EMT training actually came in handy.
Transfers were on Tuesday this week. I didn't get transferred luckily, but one of our ZL's did. We have a new one living with us named E' McNabb. He is way cool!
Well, that's basically all for now. Keep loving the Lord and doing what you can to become better people and serving others. It will strengthen your lives.
Love you all!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November 18, 2013

Hola mis amigos!!
We have another baptismal date for the 30th of this month and 3 more investigators. It's kind of hard though, because some weeks, (like this one) we end up dropping investigators at the same pace that we receive new ones. The Lord works is mysterious ways!
Tuesday was an interesting day. First, it was 11-12-13 and at 2:15 for us, in military time, it was 11-12-13 14:15. Pretty sweet. Second, we were on exchanges again. I was with Elder Haney at our apartment. It was a little different, because he doesn't really ride a bike, and that's all we had. We went a little slower than I'm used to, but still it was good. We were able to stop by almost all of our investigator's houses for a visit. I had another conference call with the President and other missionaries that are new.
Wednesday, nothing big happened. The most exciting thing was watching a video in Spanish for language study. I didn't understand it all. Fun fun.... -_-
On Thursday, we walked a lot. The bike that I was on ended up getting a flat tire. That's two tires popped in the last 3 weeks that I have to pay for now. We met with Oscar, which was good, but the place we met him, was in the parking lot of a convenient store he used to buy spice at. I am almost 90% sure that he was there to buy more drugs. I hope he doesn't fall to temptation again!!
Every Friday, we do weekly planning. I conducted it this week, and it seemed like we accomplished more than usual. I think that's just because we have more problems to work through with our investigators. After, we got packages!!!!! Gotta love it. Every day we get mail or packages, it just seems to make the entire week better! So thanks to all who have sent me stuff! It helps tremendously!!! :) We also got our zone T-shirts! I'll be sending pictures probably next week. We also got really cool invitations to temple lights! I have taken pictures of those too.
I love Saturday, especially when we go to the Asian Buffet with a member once a month. This past Saturday was that day. Also, we made dinner appointments for Tuesday to get Sushi. Man i'm stoked for that!! During the day was a little tough. Because we didn't have bikes, we had to walk everywhere. We walked for close to 3 hours with no luck ANYWHERE!!! We finally decided to wait for the bus. We waited for almost 30 minutes and it never came. We walked over to a members house nearby and ended up giving their little baby girl a blessing because she has the flu. I finally memorized the 'script' for anointing the oil. And for baptism, but that hasn't happened yet.
I woke up Sunday morning with two Elders that don't live with us, sitting on my bed.... I guess their fire alarms went off around 5 am that morning, so they spent the morning with us. We went to a fireside with Oscar, and a family we have been working with. The family is doing great, and the fireside was really good, but Oscar....... :(
He has fallen into drugs and alcohol again!!! He doesn't know that we know, but we could smell it on him. He tried really really hard to hide it, using a bottle of cologne, and almost a pack of gum, but under all of that, we could tell. I KNEW it!!!:(
What can we do to help him? I studied about addictions and temptations this morning, and found great answers through Preach My Gospel and the scriptures. Hopefully we can help him realize the danger of it. There is also an addiction recovery class that we are going to invite him to. Other than that, we are allowed to help him overcome it.
Awesome things that happened this week!!!:
We made Banaan Pazae...(I don't know how you spell it) My family knows what I'm talking about.
I have lost 10 pounds since I left on my mission
I can ALMOST dunk the ball now
There is a Portillos here!! (If you are from Chicago or parts of Cali you'll know my excitement)
Love from AZ,
Elder Pilkington

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 11, 2013

This week has been a bit better for the most part. No near death experiences that I can remember, but I did see a dead woman. We were at the hospital giving a blessing to Oscar's dad. Everything turned out ok, but on our way out, we saw two life flights land. One of them was a man with some serious trauma. They were working on him on the way in to the hospital. The next one was a woman who didn't look like she had any trauma. Nobody was working on her and she wasn't breathing. I think that stuff is really interesting, just cause I learned a lot about it with being an EMT.
I have participated in 5 blessings this week. I haven't actually given the blessing yet, but I have done the oil. Everybody always chooses the two white kids to do the blessing. Elder Wilson and me. It has been a really cool experience to participate in all of them though. Very spiritual, whether or not I have to read the words for now.
We have 3 new investigators as of this week. Total, we have I think 11 investigators right now. Only about 7 of them are progressing, but 4 or 5 have baptismal dates. Their dates keep getting pushed back because they don't come to church. My spanish ability is still stressing me out a little bit. I can understand a lot when people aren't talking directly to me, but when they ask me questions or something like that, I freeze. I was able to, (forced to), share my testimony in sacrament meeting this past Sunday. All of the missionaries in the branch sang and gave talks/testimonies. Many people told me they could understand everything I said and was glad I could speak so quickly after arriving, but many people also told me it was a good thing the Spirit could speak for me...... oh well. Haha :)
There was one day this week, where we talked to several drunk people. They were mean and swearing at us... That got me kind of ticked off. Normally, I would throw it right back at them, but being a missionary, I had to control myself. Definitely something I can work on for the rest of my mission.
This coming Thursday, I will have 1 month in the field. Time seriously goes SO fast!!
I had a really cool experience with prayer this week. During personal study, I was reading out of D&C. I realized, that I don't really know if it is true. I usually pray about things like that! So I did. I got a answer to read chapter 18, verse 37. Ok.... but what book? I started in the BOM and looked for every 18:37 from every book. I finally found it in 3 Nephi. The very last line of the verse says, "And I will show unto you hereafter that this record is true". That was the coolest thing ever!! I doubt that was a 'coincidence'.
We went to the visitor's center again this week with a family wanting to recieve recommends. It was great to talk about how they can do that. I really miss being able to go to the temple though. If you have the ability to do so, go to the temple as much as you can!! It's such an amazing, spiritual opportunity.
Elder Pilkington

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Alright, this week I'm just going to give kind of a day by day account of the biggest events that happened.
Monday was great, as most P-days are. We drove around the city which I loved. I've always really loved bigger cities. We almost died twice too. It was....exciting. First, we were driving to the store and just about got t-boned in an intersection by a car that ran the light. Good thing we all had seat belts on. And our name tags. I feel like sometimes those tags save our lives.
The next instance was when we were riding our bikes to a member's house for Family Night. We were lost and so we started asking some people for directions. We passed a couple guys walking on the street who looked drunk, so I kept biking, but my comp didn't notice(???) and stopped. One of the guys flipped out a knife and stumbled towards Elder Gutierrez. I FLEW back to him and fixed everything.
Tuesday was a bit different. We were able to contact a TON of people today. We were mostly in neighborhoods instead of on the streets. We stopped at each crossroad and asked where we should go. This helped us SO much, because we were able to have input from the HG. We taught a lesson to one of our new investigators and scheduled 6 return appointments. We had tortas for dinner, which I always love. Carne Asada with lots of guacamole.
Wednesday I felt the Spirit a ton all day. We were able to give a blessing to a sick sister. I did the oil and my comp did the blessing. It was tough, because I didn't know what to say. I had to read it out of the handbook. Hopefully with practice, I will get better. We went to a home of a sister who is not a member, but her 14 yr old son is. She explained her desire to be baptized, but she can't because she isn't married to her .... 'husband' of almost 20 years. He doesn't want to get married.... Anyway, we were able to talk to her son's friend. He actually was really interested. We invited him to read, pray, and if he received the answer he was looking for, to be baptized. He accepted all of them!! He has a date for the 16th of Nov.! We had more tortas today, but with hot dogs, ham, turkey, and french fries on them. It was delicious!! Probably gained some weight though. We also had interviews with President Sweeney. Everything went well, and he said I'll be here for the next transfer too!
Thursday, my comp was sick. He smashed into a mailbox riding his bike and got a little hurt. And he destroyed the mailbox. The owner came out and surprisingly was fine about it. He said he'd fix it later... None of our citas were home, so we went home so Elder G could sleep. We were instructed to be in by 6 because of Halloween. Good thing too. Later that night, after driving home from our zone activity, we saw a man laying in the street who had just been hit by a car.
Friday. Bittersweet day. We cleaned the entire apartment and had weekly planning, which takes 3 hours. We found two new investigators who both agreed when I invited to be baptized! During one of these lessons, the President called me to tell me about some health problems in my family. That kind of scared me... I felt like praying right there.
(Ask my family for questions. If they'll tell you, I'm not sure.)
Saturday was bittersweet too. We had zone sports and service, which I always love, but we also had a meeting with Julio. He told us that he doesn't want to be baptized anymore..... He said first, he wants to investigate other churches so he doesn't make the wrong choice. That's good I guess, but kind of disappointing.
Sunday. Julio and Oscar came to church and after we went with them to the Mesa visitors center. I was hoping it would be a better experience for them, but it was still good to go and experience it. We watched the Restoration movie, which I always love! Oscar was given the Aaronic Priesthood and a calling as a young men teacher. I also realized today, that for a Spanish Elder, I don't know Spanish. I set some goals and am going to change that before the end of the year. I shared the first vision in Spanish to one of our investigators. She and everybody felt the spirit really strongly. I invited to be baptized and she said yes too!! That means in one week, we received 4 new investigators from the Lord. 4 of them have baptismal dates!!!
Well, there's my week. Hope you enjoy what I am!

Hasta proxima semana!!