NEWS (INVESTIGATOR'S NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO MAINTAIN ANONYMITY)
June 10, 2013 - I might like this a little too much!
Hey everyone that I love!
Wow it's so good to get to write you back.. I feel like there is just way too much to write you all about. I made a list of things I want to mention, but I think I forgot some things. But here goes..
First off, my goodness, when I read about Adam and Cassie, I pretty much jumped up and down and told my entire district about them! That is SO exciting! It's about time if you ask me! And obviously, there's still a lot of work to be done in order to fund my new little cousin, and their beautiful daughter, but I'm just so happy that after all this time, we finally are seeing these prayers of ours answered! They deserve it so much! Congrats Adam and Cassie! I love you! And welcome to the family little Avery! :) (funny... another adam and avery combo).
Also, I'm glad things with grandpa are getting a little more under control. Yes grandpa, Adeena is a little bossy, but hey, if she wasn't, nothing would ever get done. :) Also, I'm glad that Paul is doing better! I knew he had some weird thing going on, but I didn't quite know how serious it was! I'm just glad it's getting better!
Mom, I'm so jealous of you going on bike rides.. I mean, it sounds weird for a missionary to be jealous of bike rides, but I probably won't be on a bike at all in my mission, and It's just not the same as all of the summer bike rides we used to do! But geez it's been way hot down here! It's certainly feeling more like summer! :)
So, I guess Rachel's a Prince now.. It's crazy how fast that all happened! But hey, I'm glad she's happy! Sounds like the wedding was great. I'm bummed I couldn't be there to see it.. But then I think about where I am, and what I'm doing, and where I'm going!...and I get over it. :) I'm just loving this.
So, a little more about what's going on here... Elder Herring and I have been teaching Eloise and Francis this week a ton. (In answer to mom's e-mail, and i'm sure many of your questions, they are actually just my teachers posing as investigators.. but they are playing real investigators that they taught in the field). It has been such an incredible week of teaching them. Elder Herring and I constantly find ourselves saying prayers of thanks for the lessons we're teaching, and for the spirit that is so abundant in each. So.. Francis is a devout Protestant, who has a ton of Faith, but a really good friend and co-worker of his is a member and has encouraged him to call the missionaries. We taught him a bunch, and he began this adventure thinking that this was just going to be a bunch of stories, and just figuring out what we believed, but once he realized that we aren't here to simply tell stories, but the message we have can literally change his life, then miracles began happening. Our last lesson with him, we all got on our knees, and he prayed to know if he needs to be baptized. Once the prayer was over, he simply said, "by the feelings I'm getting, it seems like I need to do this." It was so so cool to hear him say that! I think if I get to experience that moment over and over in France, then I will not ever want to come home. Truly the most humbling and inspiring moment so far on my mission! Eloise on the other hand has never had much religion in her life at all. She just has a friend that's a member and has seen her pray ALL the time! When she asked her friend why she prayed all the time, her friend referred her to the missionaries. That's where we come in. We taught her a lot about her relationship with Heavenly Father, and about the restoration. She's been reading a TON of the Book of Mormon, but for some reason, she just has no desire to actually pray. I personally think that she's afraid if she get's an answer that this is true, then she's going to have to change her life, and that idea scares her. It's been really hard to know what the real reason behind her hesitations are, but once we realized that even if she doesn't even know the reason behind her lack of desire to pray, God knows. It was an interesting moment hearing her pray to ask God why she didn't want to pray, but it was such a powerful moment. She really does have a lot of Faith, even if it seems like just a sliver of an idea to her. We hope today to help her realize how much faith she ACTUALLY does have. She loves the Book of Mormon though, so if anything will help her realize the truth of this work, it's that. (just as soon as we can get her to pray about it!) ha. :) In other news. (I've already mentioned this once, but i'm mentioning it again, and probably will again next Monday) but, on the 23rd of June (Sunday), there is going to be a huge broadcast from the First presidency to all the leaders in our church. But everyone is invited. GO SEE IT! I get the amazing opportunity to sing in the choir for the Prophet and all the apostles. Plus, I'm going to try my hardest to get a seat close to the front so maybe you can all see me! :) But with almost 3000 people in the choir, it's going to be tricky. Anyway, stay tuned for more info about that.. All I know at this point is that one of our songs is Called to Serve. And let me tell ya, that's a fun one to sing with this many missionaries! ha. :)
So.. Wednesdays are crazy around here! I just love them! Getting all the new missionaries brings a huge wave of exciting energy. This week I got to host, and we actually broke the MTC record for most missionaries EVER to come to the MTC in one day. (945). That's almost 1,000 missionaries coming in one day! We really don't have room for all these people.. We're moving our devotionals to the Marriott Center at BYU from this week on.. It's so crazy. SUCH an exciting time to be a missionary!
Anyway, I had quite an interesting experience hosting.. One of the Elders I hosted was not like the others... Ha. So, his car pulls up to the curb, he rolls down his window, and says, "bags are in the back". I couldn't help thinking, ouch Elder.. So, I go get his bags and do the regular shpeel "Hi, I'm Elder Lago, I'm going to the France, Lyon mission, where are you headed? how are ya feeling? etc." He get's out of the car, grabs his bags and just taps the car and they drive off. No one got out to say bye to him or anything. They were in fact his parents in the car by the way.. Anyway.. As we keep walking, I start saying stuff like, "so.. I bet you're wondering what's about to happen.. first we're going to get your name tag, then we'll go drop off your bags in your room, then go get your books, then.." and he cuts me off and these words literally come out of his mouth, "shut up, I've done this before." WOAH! HOLD UP?! Man... I didn't know how to respond. I obviously chose to over-look his rudeness and mind my own business but he proceeded to tell me that he had already been through the MTC. About a year ago, he came to the MTC to head to Japan, and went home to "sort some stuff out" before he ever left for Japan. A year later, he's back, heading to Japan again. Honestly, I'm super excited for him! I'm so glad he sorted things out! and I'm SO glad he came back! I was just so surprised that ANYONE could be so negative and rude while getting the privilege to serve the Lord! It really is such a privilege to be here! Anyway.. thought you'd find that funny..
So, I'll try to host again this next Wednesday and maybe I'll get to host Weston. it really is luck of the draw, but I'll keep my eyes out for him! It so crazy that he'll be entering the MTC less than a week after graduation, but hey, this is SO much better than High School! :) Welcome West!
One last thing before I need to go... TRC's . Wow. I love them. Elder Herring and I taught a man this week that is REALLY from Paris. And has been here in America for only a few months. He certainly did not go easy on us with the language. But because TRC's are actual members that we are teaching, we didn't have to talk a ton, we just had a great conversation, and got the opportunity to teach a French member and hopefully provide Him with some spiritual enlightenment for his life. What a powerful experience. In that moment, I realized how incredibly much I love the French People. Wow. I love them so much! He was hilarious, and has had such a crazy life! But boy does he have a testimony. He kept mentioning that he seemed all alone in this world, being almost 40 and still single. He said that originally his purpose for coming to America was business, but then he says, But hey if we can fix the single thing while I'm here, that would be pretty nice. Ha! :) Surprisingly, We understood him REALLY well, and didn't really have to make him repeat too much. It's crazy how we learned ALL of the French Principles in 3 and 1/2 weeks, but hey, with the spirit, anything is possible. And I absolutely LOVE French! So much! It's such a beautiful language! I'm finding that I like the French way of saying things much more than the English way. :) I just hope I don't completely forget Spanish. I doubt it though. :)
Anyway. I should go. I love you all so much! I'm so grateful for Eternal Families! And for the opportunity I have to spread this message of Joy and Peace to the Incredible people of France! Missions are fantastic. Go on one! Come on... Everyone's doing it! (really though.. EVERYONE around here is at least..) Ha! Love you! Love, Elder Lago