Monday, February 8, 2010

Pre Valentines Day

     Well first off, I haven't gotten anything from the kids yet... hopefully that's because the internet's being funky. So here's some of what's been happening so far.

     This Week has been amazingly fast. Elder Grandela and I have accomplished a lot of work and have committed 2 investigators to baptism! I'm really excited for them, they have sweet testimonies of these things, and I know that baptism will only help them come closer to their Savior in their journey back to his presence. My spanish has been improving greatly since I first began in Santa Rosa, and again here in Sonoma. I can understand just about everything that the Spanish people are saying, which is really good, but I still need to expand my vocabulary to be able to express myself and be able to talk and get to know the investigators on a deeper level. I'm sad to see Elder Grandela go. He's been a great teacher, and a diligent worker even though his trunkiness about going home has started to creep up on him.

     So a little bit about Elder Grandela: He's from Virginia Beach, Virginia and he's flying home next Monday, leaving me to take charge of the Spanish work here in Sonoma with the English Elders. Elder Grandela's funny, but knows when to be serious, and he's one of the most dedicated and sensible missionaries that I've met. He wants to go to BYU Provo, so I'll look him up when I go back. He has served in Sonoma before, so he's been a *BIG* help in establishing the foundation of the Spanish work since we were "whitewashing" the area. That's all I can think to say about him... He's cool and we get along well.

     I'm excited to keep the work moving on the Spanish people, and I know that the Lord will aid me as I give more of my all to the work.
There are lots of people here as well who are ready to move forward, even if they don't feel prepared as of yet. It's just a matter of building up their confidence in themselves and their relationship with the Lord.

     If they only understood the blessings that come as we just take that step forward then I think they would not hesitate as many do. I will work and pray to be able to help them through their doubts with the Holy Ghost and the things that they need to hear.

     I have also found little by little by reading the Scriptures in Spanish I understand things on a more simple, and yet sometimes deeper level than what I have always read in English. Since it takes a little more time to read the Spanish on the page and read it as English in your mind, you see more and more connections between the stories, and the principles that the Prophets teach us.

     I am excited to serve with Elder Balagna and Elder Bankhead (English Elders), and I hope to be able to teach with them to the Spanish members and work on my translating ability from English to Spanish. For some reason it's a little more difficult for me to go to English to Spanish than from Spanish to English, probably because I've worked on understanding everything in Spanish as it would be in English. Now I get to start working the other way around.

     Elder Grandela and I have started asking soul searching questions to the Spanish people on the street, but it hasn't been working that well. They get uncomfortable and say "I don't know" to everything. I guess they are still kind of paranoid of people in suits since many of them are living here illegally. I can't judge them, but I wish there was something more I could do to share with them the spirit of our message in the short time we have to contact them. Usually afterwards we give them a card and they say thank you and leave.

     We are working on starting the new "Daily Dose" English program here in Sonoma so that we can start teaching people in their houses and find lots of people and try to build off a different base and share the Gospel with them. We have some appointments for these English classes this week, so we'll see how that will help in our finding.

     THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I'm appreciative for a good and new bike! The one I have now is functional, but it's 5th gear is whacked and the seat can be rather uncomfortable, but I've worked with it. I should be able to pick up the bike from the office when we drop Elder Grandela off this Sunday. ^^ Just a quick thing, I did purchase my own helmet, bike lock, and lights last Monday, because we had to return those to the missionary that left them 2 weeks ago at Zone Conference. So Hopefully Aunt Marsha can get the lock and/ or helmet if she bought them and return them, but again THANK YOU!!

     I loved your package, maybe you guys could send some Capt'n Crunch or Cracklin Oat Bran, that would be cool.

     Your Son and Brother,

     Elder Mack

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