Monday, November 24, 2014

Nov. 24th Always Improving

Hey everybody, 
I don't know if it is as strange to you as it is to me but Christmas is in a month!!! I kinda just realized that as I was typing the date up there at the top but wow... the time goes by so fast! Oh, and I will actually be writing on Monday (today) this week because we didn't have anything else come up :) Well a little about the people we have been teaching.

The older couple we have been teaching weren't able to make it this week because the husband wasn't feeling good and the wife, like I think I already might have said but I'm not sure, doesn't have the use of her legs and is in a wheelchair and can't really get to church by herself. We thought they would be able to make it because they have a car but the husband, like I said wasn't feeling good, but the good news is that they really wanted to come and so this week we are going to find someone that can help them get there because they kinda have to carry the lady at least a little bit and the man has back problems or something like that, but they were really happy when we told them we would find someone to help them because the lady was upset that she wasn't able to make it... she has been through a lot these past couple years and is pretty sad about all that... I feel bad for her, but that is why we teach them the Gospel, because that is what is going to bring them happiness even with all the problems they may have. Right now we are teaching them about el Plan de Salvación and I know that it will help them a lot. We have also been teaching their granddaughter because she lives there with them. She is about 30 years old and has two little girls. She is always interested in what we have to say and all that but isn't as willing to accept a baptismal date or go to church, but we know that she is hiding something from us and is kinda struggling right now, but as we have been teaching them leccion 2 she has been very attentive and I believe that what she is going through has to do with a loss of some sort and I know that she is going to find a lot of hope and peace as she learns more about the Plan that God has for all of us.

Well, with Alexandra... we still haven't been able to find her... so we will keep looking.... 
We had exchanges this last week and the elder that came to our area and my comp found a new investigator and yesterday we went to teach him and I got to meet him. He is pretty great, he is very interested and had been reading the Book of Mormon. He had a few doubts but we helped clear them up and I think he will have some really great progress this week but we will see how it goes :)

Well, I had an interesting experience this week with contacting... I can't lie and say that I am contacting all the time or talking with everyone but I have been improving... and well I have found that if I really make the effort even if I am really bad at it, the Lord will bless me for my efforts. Before I was contacting but only kinda halfheartedly because it is something that is against my nature and I kinda only did it if we were already out talking to someone, but as I put my trust in the Lord and was looking for the opportunity to talk to someone and then just going up to someone to talk to them about the gospel I found that we had a lot more success finding people interested in our message and they wanted to hear more... I am sure you are all kinda thinking " what the heck, he already has like 9 months out there and is barely figuring that out?" but hey... I am far from perfect and I have a lot to learn but I am thankful for the help of the Lord and that I know that if I do my part he will do His. We can always trust in Him because He can't lie and has the power to fulfill his promises. I am grateful to have Him with me to make up for all that I lack so I can at least help a few of his children make it back to him. I have a testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ and I know that He atoned for our sins, and that is what I am here to share.

I love you all and hope that you have an amazing week!

-Elder Sampson

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nov. 18 3 Investigators at Church

Well this week was pretty good, I am learning to talk even more! haha with all my other companions, they were always the person that spoke more because they knew Spanish better and like to talk more than I did (I´m not saying that I didn't talk and teach and stuff like that, it's just that my companions usually did a little more) but now, with Elder Porter I get to talk a lot more :) ha ha, he doesn't like to talk all that much... he is already pretty good at Spanish but he isn't much of a talker :) he teaches and all that but now I do a lot more talking :) it's all good,  I can learn even more! Elder Porter es muy tranquilo :) he does like to work and we get along pretty well :)
The members here are great :) the bishop has randomly brought us dinner twice and his whole family is great. There are several families that live here in our area and we are going to work on getting them all involved :)
Well it was good, this Sunday we had 3 investigators in church, one of them is the father of 3 recent converts and the other two are an older couple. The dad of the recent converts is really interested in the church and has a lot of questions but he is willing to progress, also his wife (whom I still haven't met) is really excited and said that she wants to be the next baptism in the ward (she said that at the baptism of her three sons like 3 weeks ago I think) at least that is what my comp told me. The only problem is that she is working like all the time! 
The elderly couple are pretty interested as well, they were listening to the missionaries in a different area three years ago but moved and lost contact but now we are visiting them and we had a really great lesson with them last night about the Restoration and everything was perfect(or almost)... until the wife, Maria, says " I have an experience I want to share with you" then she started to rattle off about something that happened to her in the hospital like 5 years ago and she didn't want to stop talking about it... it was an interesting story put the Spirit left and so it didn't help all that much. That was right at the end so it didn't like ruin the lesson or anything but we did want to leave the Spirit with them so they could just think about what we taught and gain testimonies through the presence of the Spirit but it just didn't work out that way... ha ha oh well, we'll get 'em with it next time :)
We weren't able to teach Alexandra because we weren't able to find her all week which was rather disappointing but we will see if we can teach her this week because I feel like she has some real potential.
Ha ha funny story, all the "guerros" that got here with me, the ones that were with me in the MTC are all here in this Zone, it was a little crazy when I found out(at least to me) but it's all good :)
Surprisingly enough it has been pretty cold here... and although the temperature isn't super low or anything, it still feels cold... The house we live in is really small and I don't think we have a boiler so sometimes in the morning it is a nice (freezing) cold shower ;)
Well that's all I've got for this week, I hope you are all quite well and that you all have a great week :) Love you all :)
-Elder Sampson

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nov. 11th New Area, New Companion

Hola todos!
Pues, estoy escribiendo hoy porque ayer tuvimos cambios! ¿que loco no? ahora estoy con mi primer compañero que también es gringo! que raro... no hemos hablado en inglés todavía... quien sabe si vamos a hacerlo o no? Mi nuevo compañero es Elder Porter, es de Hurrican ( creo que se escribe así) y apenas terminó su entrenamiento y ya habla bien el español y es muy bueno. Mi nueva área es Ciudad Mante en el barrio Morelos. Aquí hay 4 misioneros. no es muy cuidad aquí es como un vecindario pero definitivamente más fresa que Anáhuac... jaja. 
Well I am writing today because yesterday we had changes!  How crazy right? Now I am with my first companion that is also a gringo! How strange....and we still haven't spoken in English...who knows if we are going to do it or not?  My new companion is Elder Porter, he is from Hurricane and he just finished his training and now speaks Spanish well and is really great.  My new area is Ciudad Mante in the Morelos ward.  Here there are 4 missionaries.  It's not really a city here it is more like a suburb but is definitely more posh than Anáhuac...ha ha
So ya, here the streets are paved and all that and the houses are nicer and I am pretty sure there aren't any problems with having water here. And I didn't write yesterday because we didn't get here until the evening and they had appointments so we went out to teach, this area has some great potential. We went to the house of an investigator that they hadn't talked to in a month because they hadn't been able to find her and it turns out that she was reading the Bible and had a question and then later read in the Book of Mormon and found the answer to the question and she, all by herself, said that she was in the wrong church and then was asking about how to become a member of the church and how to accept Christ in her life and we obviously explained a little about baptism and the confirmation. We have an appointment with her on Saturday so we will see how it goes, her name is Alexandra.
About the last week in Anáhuac... well it really wasn't a very good week, my companion was kinda dying... he is really great and all, but he was kinda down and he just didn't want to work very much and it was already hard enough with how the area is that we didn't have much success. Don't worry, I made sure we worked and stuff but it just wasn't very effective... they actually closed the area and now there are only two missionaries there because we really didn't have much support from the members and stuff like that. But last couple weeks we were having family home evenings to animate (he means get the members excited) the members and those were starting to work out so I hope they can keep working with that so the branch can get back into gear and they can put another pair of missionaries there.
A good experience that we did have with the FHE that we had with the branch president and his family, well at least it was something really cool that I learned, was that Christ gave his life for us because He knows our potential, He was willing to give his life because he knew it would give us the chance to someday become like our Heavenly Father. He knew that some wouldn't take the chance but even then he was willing to give it to them. All we have to do now is take advantage of the opportunity that The Savior has so lovingly given us and make sure that He will be proud of the things we do and that he will know that we truly love Him because of the choices we make. I know that our Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ love us and that They have prepared a way for us to return to them and become like them and have eternal happiness.
Well, that's about all the time I have for this week, I hope all is well at home and that you enjoy my email :) Keep on keepin' on! haha. I love you all :)
-Elder Sampson

Monday, November 3, 2014

Nov 3rd Some great things happened this week

Oh my... it's already November...

Well honestly, Halloween is kinda weird here... they don't really celebrate it... we were walking down the street at like 6:40 and everything was all dark when I actually realized that it was Halloween... Ha ha the only people that "celebrate" Halloween here are the little kids that went around in little groups chanting "¡queremos Halloween! ¡queremos Halloween!" it was kinda funny :) The people here do celebrate el Día de los Muertos which is actually two days the 1st and 2nd of November and they just all go to the cemetery to hang out, like alllllll day even late into the night, it's crazy.

Some great things that happened this week :) We have been teaching two of the friends of Angie (a resent convert) Miriam and Nayeli. With Miriam, it is a little hard to teach because she says that she doesn't understand what the scriptures say or if she does understand it doesn't stick for very long... at least that's what she says. But what happened yesterday was really great. We showed up in the stake center for Stake Conference not expecting to find any of our investigators but as we walk in, we see Angie with Miriam! How crazy is that?! We hadn't even invited her because we hadn't seen her all week but Angie had invited her. But later Angie told us that Miriam had gone to Angie's house at 7 in the morning to wake here up so they wouldn't be late, and it didn't even start until 10. It was really great to have that experience :)
Now a little about Nayeli. She is a little easier to teach and really thinks about what we are saying so that is really great. What was good that happened with her this week is that she talked to her mom about going to church (they are Catholics and her mom was kinda en contra de nosotros...) and her mom said she could! She is also reading her scriptures and so we feel like she is really progressing. In one of the lessons she asked us about la virgin... and what we believe about her. Elder Cortez and I tried explaining it to her but we didn't do a very good job because she was still a little unsure about it all but luckily we had a member with us because she totally saved the day. She says to us "Elders, let me explain it to her." Well that's perfect! so we say " Go for it!" and she explains it all really well and Nayeli understands perfectly and accepts it! It was a really great experience and it was cool because we weren't even going to take this member with us, we were going to take Angie but she wasn't home so we went next door and asked the daughter of the ex-president of the branch to go with us. I am sure it wasn't luck that things turned out that way... it was really great to see this little miracle that helped Nayeli to learn a little bit more :)

Also, a little boost that I had in the Stake Conference was that I am still in the stake of my first area so I got to see a lot of the members and they were all really great and some were pretty excited to see me and I got to see a recent convert that I started teaching but left before he got baptized (his name is Juan Manuel). It was a good experience and helped me feel better about the work I am doing and that although it is hard and a lot of the time I don't see much success, what I am doing has at least a little bit of an effect in the lives of some and helps them find a little more happiness. I felt the love of our Lord through the kindness of these members and I am glad to have had the chance to see them again :)

I hope that you all have a very amazing week and I love you all :)

-Elder Sampson