May 2011 to May 2013

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Small Miracle

So this week has been a really good week, full of lots of stuff. So last Monday we met Antonio for the second time; it was a small miracle. We told him to read a couple pages of a Restoration pamphlet, but when he answered the door he said he read the whole thing! And he wants to know more. And come to church! We were kinda shocked because it had been a hard week the week before, and everyone was saying no. We gave him a Book of Mormon, made another appointment with him, and told him the time and place of church.  We also gave him a quick lesson of Joseph Smith. The spirit was so strong. It was great! He said he wanted to read the Book of Mormon right then!

Tuesday was a good day. I went to Ceres for an exchange with the zone leaders. I could eat nuts and peanut butter for a day!! (My companion is deathly allergic to nuts.) Ceres that day was fun. It is in an area where there are a lot of baptisms, so we were way busy! It was the best; I love being way busy. Wednesday morning while still in Ceres with the zone leaders, I lifted weight for the first time in a while. They have a few weights and a bench in their apartment, so it was super nice to lift a bit again. I was sore the next couple days, but it felt so nice! Wednesday night we went to Westly, a little Mexican town. Everything in their supermarket is in Spanish; it was so funny. It was fun to be there as two white guys speaking Spanish. We caught a few people off guard. We took the I-5 back to Patterson. It was weird because I-5 goes right through Portland. It was weird knowing that I could drive straight down one road and be home. We had training on Thursday, which was good. President Gelwix is such a good speaker.

Friday night and Saturday, I was on my own Spanish wise because I was in my area on an exchange with an English-speaking elder. Ya, that was fun. My Spanish was good enough to get me through the day and it was a good confidence booster. I had a whole unplanned Q and A lesson with an investigator in Spanish, so that was really good. My Spanish is coming along!!

Sunday was a fun day because I got to go to youth classes with one of our investigators. That brought back so many memories; it was a lot of fun!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mexican Independence Day Party

Last Monday was a great day. We had good lessons with both Daniel and Mitch. Daniel is so cool. He will not go anywhere without his Book of Mormon, and when he tells people he is going to be Mormon, they say, “Why would you do that?” He replies, “Because it is true.” So he is great.

Mitch's family is great; they just need to come to church. Mitch’s dad is a Harley guy without the tats. Tuesday, the day it all fell apart for this week teaching wise, even though it has been one of the best weeks on my mission. We had a lot of good appointments set up and they all fell through. We tracted a lot that day, too. We found 1 good person who could be ready and 1 person who had nothing nice to say, ha-ha.  

Wednesday, I was in the city of Waterford and Hughson with Elder Covey. He was in my MTC district, so it was a lot of fun to see how he was doing. Neither of us knew very much Spanish, so it was hard to communicate sometimes, but that was ok. It was a great learning experience and a good time.  

Thursday, I was in Patterson with Elder Covey. We taught a good amount of English that day, but some Spanish, so we had the same problem. We said what we knew, but sometimes that was not enough. But that is alright, we had fun trying to speak Spanish. Elder Roestenburg and I got back that night to meet with the Vilchis family. They have been prepared for the Gospel.

Friday was a good day, even though it was a planning day, which are my favorite (not) but we need them. We drove with Hermano Verjen to Turlock, speaking Spanish all the time, so that was fun. I figured I now need to speak Spanish more, so I am only speaking Spanish if I know the words and if I am not talking to a white person. I also got a free pair of white loafers. Yes mom, I did I got another pair of shoes. Ha-ha. I will send them home soon. Josh can wear them every once in a while if he wants. I knew that would give you a good laugh along with everyone else.

Well Saturday was the best day on my mission!! There was a huge Mexican Independence Day party in downtown, so we threw out all of our plans and went to tract at the party before everyone got drunk. It was so much fun. We talked to so many people and it was a good switch from the normal. The Mexicans know how to make a big party that is for sure. That night we also went to Modesto for a Church multi-cultural party, which was way fun as well! More food and watching dancing and having a great time. Then on Sunday, all of our appointments bailed again, so hopefully this next week will be a good productive week! But this week has been a good fun week!!! So that is good.

Love, Elder TJ Melanson

Praying for all of you every day. O and have you tried Ague de Sandia yet?

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Good Saturday Night

This week has been a slow week. We have not taught a ton of lessons or found new people. We visited with Juanita. We have been teaching her for the past few weeks and she is not really moving closer to Christ. She is just un-committed. We are visiting her more this week to see if we can get her more committed. She is a great lady and believes what we say. She just needs to take her step of faith. We also had a lesson with Mitch, the 9 year old boy. He believes everything we are telling him, we are just wondering if he will stay active with his less active parents.

Wednesday was transfers, which put a full loop on things because 2 English elders got doubled into a Spanish/English area. So, we might now be switched to all Spanish or just get a more Spanish area. I am waiting to see, but I am still with the same companion and in the same city.

Well, I finally got Tongan food again for dinner at one of the Tongan houses!! It is so good! I love Tongan food and the Tongan people they are so nice and loving! So, that was fun. I also learned a couple Tongan words, but I forgot them. Ha-ha.

We also had a good lesson with a young family. One of them is a new convert and the other is a recommitted member, so they do not know about a lot of church things. We explained more about the temple and patriarchal blessings, which was really good for them. They are a great family who can be really strong in the church.

I have met so many cool people here in Patterson both members and non-members, so I am having a good time here in California, especially with all the fresh fruit they have here!!! It is super good!!

O, cool story, so Saturday we taught Daniel for the second time. He says if anyone stole his Book of Mormon that they could not take anything bigger. He will protect it with his life. We have not seen him for a month and he is done reading 1 and 2 Nephi. Way cool! And we got a less active member to finally come back to church, right after that lesson with Daniel, so it was a good Saturday night.

Love, Elder TJ Melanson

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Week of Miracles

This week has been a really good week. We have had a lot of miracles of just tracking into people who are ready to accept the gospel. The best story was last night. We were going to go visit a former investigator and we got the house number mixed up.  We went to the wrong house. The house was a house of a member, so we said hi and they gave us ice cream.  They told us that the house across the street, but on a different street has the same number. So we went and knocked on that house. We were about to leave and a lady answered the door. She had talked to missionaries in the street before, and she is looking for the gospel because her son has really bad asthma. She has humbled herself and is looking for God to help. We gave a short message and met the son. He is 7 and full of energy. They are an African American family and he plays basketball. We said a prayer and she said she might come to church; we are going by again next week, because she is super busy this week.

Another miracle, a family that Elder Roestenburg taught, who is now never around, we found finally and they are interested. We taught them. That same night we found another guy, Danny Gomez, the guy with the deep questions who is never around when our appointments come around. We found him too!! 

Another day we found 3 Hispanics chatting in their garage. We talked to them. They had us sit down and we gave them a lesson. We are going back today! They seem very interested and they have a friend who is Mormon. So it has been a good week!

My Spanish is getting better and better. If I really concentrate, I can understand what people are talking about; I just can’t understand their exact opinion about what they are taking about. So it is hard to have a good conversation, but it is coming.

My first transfer is about over. I am staying in Patterson with my same companion! I am glad because I need to be here through the football season with all the Tongan boys!! Ha-ha. They are so funny. I hope I can go see a game. We have one investigator who is on the team, so we might get to go watch. I will see; it depends if we have appointments Friday night.

Ya that has pretty much been my week, a week loaded with fun!