Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29th, 2013 From the MTC to San Antonio

I'll start off with the beginning of the week. Monday was the best day ever. The sisters in our MTC district going to Alabama were leaving the next morning, so we had our final time together. Our teachers took us into the room where the general authorities come in, and the Spirit was so strong. We had an incredible testimony meeting. Incredible. We were all crying and it was SO powerful. I love my MTC district so much, and especially the teachers. They seriously changed my life. 
We had our final lessons with our teachers and it was just the Elders and the lone sister, Sister J. We had a great last lesson and the theme of the day seemed to be the importance of Church Tours, something I've tried to bring up here in the area, but I've received little support. That night was the fireside at the Marriott which was great.We had an awesome good-bye to the other districts in our zone and they loved us a lot. I said bye to each one of them personally,and it was a great experience being Zone Leader. Ask me about the baby food story at the MTC sometime when I have time to tell you. It was hilarious!
Eating Texas Waffles at a members with my trainer, the member sent the photo!
We had to get up at in the morning to get out by  4:30. We scrambled to finish packing everything and left. Lo and behold, our teachers Brother Widtfeldt and Brother Corbett got up to see us off. Aren't they AMAZING!  I so wish they were here with me right now. We got on the bus and then Elder S realized he forgot his tie rack, so we had to run back and search through the keys to find our room key and then sprint to the Residence Hall to get them. He also left his towel, so we grabbed those and ran. Then we got on the bus and headed to the airport. We called you (our family) after we went through security and what not, and I felt bad because Elder F didn't talk to his family. He is so chill, and I don't know how he does it. Anyways, we flew to Fort Worth first and waited there for an hour flight to San Antonio. We could feel the humidity big time just getting off the plane. We boarded our plane and flew to San Antonio. We grabbed our luggage and then our district had our final prayer together. I'm going to miss them. The president came with the APs and they are awesome. President Slaughter has the "Abrazo" it's a hand shake then hug over the right shoulder with a pat or two and then another hand shake. We do it every morning before we leave the apartment along with complimenting our companion, praying, and bearing our testimony to our companion. So we went outside and we were immediately drenched in the humid sweat. It is just gross how humid it is. I'm already pretty use to it, and it doesn't really bother me, but it still bothers people who have been here for a while. We drove to the Mission Home and President Slaughter gave us an awesome presentation of his hopes for us, which pretty well aligned with my hopes. We had dinner and filled out paperwork, and hung around. It was us 22 Elders and Sister J and our district just sat and talked and had a good time. Then we went to the Alamo. Downtown SA is beautiful! The buildings are old school and it is great. They read the story of the Alamo and how the captain told everyone to cross the line if they were committed. Then the APs had each of us cross the same line to commit to work our hardest for the Lord. Then we got a Book of Mormon and had to place it. Me and Elder S combined and it was a weird feeling at first. We got rejected several times right off the bat but then we placed both right in a row to two older ladies. We had them pretty well convinced and the one had rejected two other Elders, but listened to us and was reading it when we passed by her later. Sweet!  We went back and stayed in the APs apartment and then left for the transfer meeting in the morning. They had a transfer meeting in SA and Austin. We had a meeting for new missionaries and they gave us our companions. I found out I was in Austin so I sat through the whole meeting and then drove to Austin (Everyone does the "Abrazo" with their new companion). My area is Brushy Creek just outside Austin. It's a car area and our apartment used to be for sisters, so it's pretty nice. My companion is Elder V. He is super nice and really smart. He's been out 10 months and I'm his first trainee. He is obedient. He does all sorts of stuff like long boarding, study language, sing, etc. so he doesn't really fit any mold. He's just himself. He's trying hard to help me adjust. We tracted.  We mostly teach less actives, because there are a lot in our area. The ward is super cool though, and they feed us well. I only met one real cowboy, and he is in our ward. He had the bolo tie with a tan jacket and cowboy boots. He's super funny too and the ward was really welcoming. 
Friday, we planned for the week and did some more tracting with more success. We track contacts, those who say something back to us, and QGCs (quality gospel conversations) which is a conversation about religion where we teach a principle and testify, and maybe leave a commitment to go to or something. We only had 9 in these five days, and about 8 hours of tracting.   Friday I was in a really good mood though, and we reached our goal of 20 contacts and 5 QGCs, so that was awesome. I was pretty sick with a sore throat so that might be why I feel down sometimes. I just don't know how to balance anything out here. Home and preaching, hard work and relaxing, funny and serious, being positive and desiring to get better. Friday night and Sunday night I was super happy, but I don't know what the difference was except that it should have been that I wasn't focused on myself, but that wasn't exactly the case. One really funny thing that happened, we were teaching a guy and his two kids, and his son was sitting on his lap, and he gets up for a second, and then sat back down and said, "I got up because I had to fart dad." It was so funny. His name is B and he is 6 years old and very matter of fact and it's funny. We have a girl who should have been baptized but keeps moving so hasn't that should be soon and one investigator working towards baptism. Well, please pray for me. I don't know what's wrong with me and why I'm having such a hard time. It's similar to how I felt the first night of the MTC, but then the rest of the week was the best of my life, so I figure this will turn around but I'm not sure what more I can try.  I still know the church is true and I know through the Savior we can become better and more positive* if we rely on Him. I'm trying really hard, so keep the prayers coming, and I'm having to really rely on Him to get me through this. I love you all and hope to hear from you soon!
Elder Pew
*Timo talks about being positive because Tim and I are both wrote to him about a talk we heard about the importance of being positive in learning/productivity.  It's a TED talk by Shawn Achor, worth the 15 minutes. Hopefully he can apply this info and have a better week and ignore the negative feelings/spirit.

Photos from the MTC one of his teachers sent to him so he forwarded them to us.

Leaving for the airport, MTC teachers who came to say good-bye.