Monday, March 22, 2010

Johnstown Week 4

The mission field is pretty exciting! Elder Zaleski and I held a
fireside last night for the youth in the church, and we talked about how
they could be missionaries too. The cool thing about it is that we're
promised that the Spirit will be there to speak the words with/for us
when we talk.

And knowing this gospel, and talking to other people about their beliefs
really makes me happy to know what I know. And it's a sad thing when
people don't want to listen because, what we have to say will clear up
confusion, and it really all makes sense!

Dawn is doing great! She's so pumped and ready for her baptism this
Saturday!! And so am I! She's totally ready.

This week we have been out tracting a lot and not finding a whole lot of
success. We have found a few that are willing to listen and say that we
can come back and then never come to the door or are gone, but that's
usually how it goes right? But we are teaching a boy that we found on
the street and wants to learn about Christ. His home life isn't the best
environment, but it's cool to come and teach him about The Restoration.
He's a good kid.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Johnstown Week 3

This week has been a very eventful week! We are still meeting with Dawn and Alfanzo, and guess what?? Dawn is going to be baptized!! :D We were giving her a lesson, and it so happened that I was talking when the Spirit so happened to say to me "It's time. Invite her to baptism." So I then proceeded to say the words I've practiced many many times at the MTC and here in the Mission Field. And lo and behold she said yes! She would love to! We got all excited and happy, we had her go and write down the day on her calendar, oh, it was so amazing! The day she's scheduled to be baptized is March 27th! It was so exciting! My very first baptismal invite was a success! Alfanzo on the other hand still needs some time, but he said he would be baptized as soon as he finds out and feels this is true, which he will. We're also teaching a couple that wants a "fool-proof plan" for a stronger spiritual foundation for their marriage/family AKA the gospel of Jesus Christ! So that's really cool!

I'm loving it out here, I just can't wait for all the trees to turn green, because there are billions of them!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

695 Days Left

March 8, 2010
The weather is starting to turn around! The sun is finally shining!! It was out for probably an hour once I got here and then it was cloudy and snowy up until... probably Tuesday or Wednesday so it's nice!

I feel like I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable with teaching! We're teaching this investigator Dawn still, (but we're going to set her with a date this Tuesday evening!!) and she's coming along very nicely! She attended church and said that she had a fantastic experience. The cool thing about that too, is that her boyfriend, Alfanzo, (coolestnameever!) is interested in the church too! He doesn't have a religious background, so we're starting with the very very basics of the gospel with him, he came to church and really enjoyed it, he said that he wants us to teach him more and he wants to continue coming to church. And sadly, the potential investigator Joseph we had to drop because he never answered our calls and was never home... :(

I went on my first companion exchanges on Wednesday! I was paired up with an Elder Ormesher from Idaho. He's an interesting fellow, but really cool and spiritual nonetheless. I was able to go on my first 'splits' too while I was on that exchange. We visited a less active man that never goes to church or accepts rides, but this time he did accept a ride to church which was way awesome! At the apartment I was staying at while on exchanges had so much food! And dried mangos! (that no one was eating so i took the giant bag with me :) delicious!)

Talking to people on the streets is something I'm improving on! it was kinda scary walking up to a stranger and talking to him or her about the gospel, but it's getting less scary and I'm better at it, but I have a lot further to go.

The people over here say a weird word: "Yinz"- it means "y'all" or "you guys". it's pretty funny to hear it said, because they have kind of a half-southern accent, it's great.

Well I think that's all that's been exciting going on! The work is going great! and I love it! :)

Elder Serrano

Monday, March 1, 2010

First letter from PA

On Monday morning I (along with 4 other elders in my 
district) got up and around 3am so that we could catch
our bus to take us to the airport, it really was 
terrible getting up that early because there's really
not that much recovery time to catch up on that sleep
because busses aren't that comfortable at all!! 
On the bus ride up there we took University pkwy to 
get to the freeway and I passed all the stores and 
restaurants that were on the way there and told my 
companion (Elder Coles) stories about all the different
places. It was kinda funny and was like, okay, I’m 
leaving this life behind and going on and serving the 
Lord. I got to see the church building one last time 
and the general area in which we lived it was cool! 
They (our MTC branch presidency) told us to back off 
on the "gung-ho"-ness of being missionaries at the 
airport, just because, well I think they didn't want us 
embarrassing our selves basically or something like 
that, I dunno. The flight was nice, once the tires 
of the plane left the ground I was out! It was pretty 
crazy how fast I fell asleep but getting up at 3 am 
will do that to you.
When we arrived in PA, the first thing I noticed was, 
there were no mountains!!!! It’s all hills and boring-ness! 
Well for now because all the trees are dead. Pres. 
Summerhays and the Assistants to the presidents 
picked us up and we took all our luggage and loaded 
it into a trailer and piled into the MAV (Mormon 
Assault Vehicle) and they took us to Golden Coral 
to eat dinner then proceeded to take us to the mission 
home where we met with the president(of the mission, 
not the US) and stayed the night.
The next day I met my new companion, Elder Zaleski! 
He is a fantastic missionary and he's teaching me 
a lot! We were assigned to the Johnstown area and 
that's where we serve. Our apartment is pretty nice. 
It's the second to top floor of the 4 story building. 
We went out tracting and it was pretty fun! It 
was snowing and we were talking to people on the 
street and knocking on doors! (oh yeah, it's been 
snowing [well not anymore] for about 3 days now 
with a couple breaks but it's been pretty 
constant) We were trying to get to an investigators 
house and we went down this shortcut road that doesn't 
get plowed, so we were trudging through probably 2 
feet of snow, it was awesome! We were able to 
teach this guy (20-24 y.o.) about the restoration 
and he seemed very interested! His name is Joseph 
just like Joseph Smith, and he had the same 
questions as Joseph S. too!! So we gave him a 
pamphlet and we're going to get back to him! 
This is very hard work, and it seems I usually 
don't get enough sleep at night though I sleep 
the whole night through, it'll take some getting 
used to:)But I love it!
That's all the exciting stuff that's happened so 
far! I’m loving it out here! It's the place I 
need to be!  Oh yeah and there are catholic 
churches around here like there are LDS churches 
in Orem, they're EVERYWHERE!!  
-Love Elder Serrano