Saturday, June 18, 2011

Harrisburg Week 2

Harrisburg is great! The ward here is pretty cool. There are some characters here, but you get that everywhere. It's not as awesome as my last ward, but I think I'll like it here a lot. Guess how long the Bishop has been a member of the church? How about 4 years!!!! Can you believe it! How about being Bishop that quickly after you've been baptized. But I'll tell you what, you couldn't tell it. He's such an awesome, stellar, spiritual guy! He was one of those guys that went to every single christian denomination looking for the church that was in the New Testament. And when he walked into the church and started investigating, he knew it was the one, and happily joined! We don't get fed as much here but it's still more than we were fed in South Side.

We have a few good investigators. None really "solid"... yet! We found an older interracial couple that's cool! Tommy and Barb. They're nice people and will allow us to come and teach them. I wasn't able to be at the last teaching appointment because I was sick. Yeah, I got sick again... I got signs of it Friday, was sick Saturday and Sunday and woke up feeling a lot better today. I got an irritation in my throat, a headache, and an all around "out-of-it" feeling. But I'm better now, I just have a little bit of a stuffy nose left over. There is another companionship that lives about a mile away from us and they cover the downtown part of Harrisburg. So we help them out a lot with rides, and they went with Elder Killpack to teach our investigators while one of them stayed with me while I slept. I slept for 3 hours on Saturday, from a little before 5 to a little before 8. It was great :) It was terrible being sick but it felt good to rest, and relax. Maybe I need to start taking multi-vitamins in the morning... I think so.
That's about it for this week! It was a good one!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Harrisburg Week 1

Things are going great in my new area! It's really cool, and very flat. Over in Pittsburgh there are hills everywhere and not a flat place in sight! But here it's flat and there are farms and what not in the outer parts of the area. I love it. It's really fun being able to serve with Elder Killpack again, we are much better missionaries than we were a year ago! I thought I would have trouble treating Elder Killpack as an experienced missionary but it's not that bad at all. He's a great missionary and we're working hard together. The apartment is pretty
nice. It's bigger than my last one, but doesn't have AC. We do however have an AC unit that is in the wall.

We don't have that many active investigators. We did however pick up a couple new ones this past weeked! It was awesome! The week has been a crazy one for us. We didn't get much time to do proselytizing because of meetings we had to go to. On Thursday we drove back out to Pittsburgh to go to a Zone leader meeting and then we had to drive back the next day. Each trip was about 4 hours. It was pretty intense and I was dog tired after each one. Then we went to a wedding of a recent convert on Saturday. That was pretty fun to see a couple being married and setting a goal to go to the temple in a year.

Not much else has happened this week since Wednesday. We have a tripanionship set of missionaries that are in the same ward as us and live less then a mile from us so we get to see them a lot and hang out with them on P-day. All 3 are spanish speaking missionaries because there are a lot of Puerto Ricans here for some reason! I've never seen so many in my life! One missionary is from Peru, one is from Utah, one is from Idaho. All great missionaries. I have a feeling that I'm going to love it here!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Harrisburg Week .5

So you may find it a little odd that you're getting an e-mail from me on a Wednesday afternoon but right now I'm at the library with my new companion typing up some information for a meeting with the Stake president here in a couple hours while a guy right next to me is totally rocking out. At anyrate, I'm in my brand new area!!! And guess where I am..... Harrisburg baby!! I'm now officially on the other side of the mission. It's a first for me. I always wanted to come over to the east side, and the request was granted to serve in the Capitol City of Harrisburg. It's way cool! The capitol building looks like it has an Angel Moroni on it, it's great you should look it up.

My new address is:
4209 Catalina Ln.
Harrisburg, PA 17109

And guess what my neighbor's last name is..... Serrano!! I got to meet Mrs. Serrano this morning. She's way nice! Her husband is actually from Mexico so there's no relation there unless some branch of Serrano migrated to the PI, but it was really cool to see our last name on the neighbor's mailbox. I'll be talking to them more for sure.

I bet right now you're wondering who my new companion is. You'll never guess. Elder Killpack! My baby boy is my companion once again, except we're Zone Leaders together! It's pretty awesome! I really look forward to serving with him again.

The trek over to Harrisburg from Pittsburgh was a doozie. First off, I get to drive a truck, and the U-Haul trailer we had was too small to fit all the luggage for the many missionaries that are heading over that direction, so we had to do a switch of trailers with another truck to be able to fit all the stuff in it. Once that was completed I was assigned to drive the truck and trailer (a 6' x 12') all the way out to HBG. Now, the only kind of trailer towing experience was with our little utility trailer that had 2 tandem bikes on it. The drive from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg is about 4.5-5 hours. It was pretty intense! But there were no troubles. Luckily I had some former training on how to back a trailer. All in all it was a first for me to, 1. Tow a huge trailer and 2. Drive that far! I had a good time, Elder Hurley and Elder Willmore were with me, and a couple other relatively new missionaries.

Twas a blast driving through Amish country. Oh! We saw a horse and buggy ridingat night with headlights and taillights with blinkers!! How crazy is that?! I accidentally blinded them with my brights.... oops! Oh, and we had no phones with us so if something went wrong we had no communication. God was with us so everything went smoothly and the GPS directed us.

We finally arrived at Harrisburg at 11:45pm (way late for a missionary) and unloaded the trailer speedily so everyone could disperse to their areas. Since Elder Killpack and I are the ZLs we had to stay until everyone had everything and left, and we ended up getting home at around 1am. Needless to say we took an extra bit of time in the morning to sleep in ;) It has been a pretty intense past 24 hours. I just thought you would like a little update since I had the time today to be able to do it.


Avalon Week 24

Hello Everybody!!

Sorry but this Monday the libraries are closed so I'm currently at the Mac Store in the mall doing my e-mail. so I gotta make this quick before I get kicked out of here.... just kidding!

Well I'm getting transferred! I'm getting ousted after my 6 month spree here in Wexford. I absolutely loved this area and had so many good experiences. I feel so blessed to be able to have gotten to know the people I know and to teach the people I taught. This area has probably been the best and favorite on my mission so far, even though it's only been the third. The ward was absolutely awesome! The area was great! There was everything you could ask for in this area and all classes of life. It has been a great experience. Elder Taylor is staying in the area. Elder Willmore is getting transferred with me. I'm still staying a Zone leader, and I really look forward to my next area! All the Zone leaders are great.

David Kraus is doing awesome! Same with Jeremy. Hao (How) Gu (goo) is doing awesome! Did I tell you about him? He's a Chinese man with NO religious background. He came to church and I think he had a good time. He really doesn't show much emotion but he thanked me for the help for him and his family. He'll be baptized eventually. I'm sure that it won't be too soon but eventually. 

I feel that my testimony has grown so much in this area, and my desire to do what is right. I love the gospel and the knowledge it brings to our lives. This has been the best decision of my life. I love you all and I miss you too! I'll let you know of my address as soon as possible for my new area! Have a great week! I enjoyed reading your letters!

Elder Benjamin Serrano

Avalon Week 23

May 23, 2011

Things are going great out here! I'm having a blast serving with Elder Taylor and Elder Willmore.

This week for us was an alright week. We were able to teach all of our investigators, but sadly this week we weren't able to find any new investigators. This is a first for a long time for us so it was a little disappointing. We do however have a few awesome appointments set up for this week that we are really looking forward to.

David Kraus is doing great! He attended the Singles ward yesterday and he really enjoyed it. He said that he feels like he should be down there but really likes the 4th ward. We determined that his records would be moved down to the singles ward and he would attend the 4th ward once a month to keep in contact with all of his friends in the church. He is such an awesome new convert and we are teaching him a little about the priesthood now to prepare him. He's such a great friend of mine! Jeremy Crippin is doing great as well and he's preparing for the priesthood as well. I absolutely love serving in this area.

So next Tuesday is transfer day. And I am pretty sure that I will be getting transferred. I've been here for almost 6 month and with Elder Taylor for nearly 4.5. So I'm guessing my time is almost up for being in
Avalon. But hey I'm excited to go to another area and have a great time there!

Have a great week!

Avalon Week 22

May 16, 2011

David Kraus got baptized and confirmed!!! He has such a strong testimony and is such a great young man! The baptism went well, well, we had to baptize him 3 times because his elbow kept sticking out of the water but he eventually got it. :) It was such a wonderful experience. Our awesome ward mission leader baptized him, and I was able to confirm him a member of the church. It was amazing. Actually, a lady in the ward said that that was the best confirmation she's ever heard a missionary do, but I don't attribute it to myself. I feel that the Spirit was there to prompt my thought and words. He's way excited to be a member of the church and hopes to share it with his family. His sister actually came to the baptism. She was a little confused at a few points but David was actually able to answer her questions. He's such a stud. Here are the pictures on the e-mail. Again, I love it when friends get baptized. He also expressed that he would like to go out with us some time to help teach! He will go far in the gospel I just know it.

Jeremy Crippin talked to the bishop this past weekend and the bishop feels that he should wait a few more weeks to get the priesthood just so he can prepare for that responsibility. He said that he (jeremy) didn't
know too much about what it was so it makes sense that he would wait to do so. So It'll be in June some time and then his kids will be baptized that time too. So that's exciting to hear but I'm a little bummed because I'll most likely be transferred before then.

Right now I am in a 3 some companionship again! Do you remember on Sunday that I was in Butler and the one missionary that was probably going to go home? Well he didn't get sent home and he's actually staying with us until the end of the month/transfer. He's a great guy and seems fully repentant for his disobedience and is really motivated to be completely and exactly obedient. He's really fun to be around so Elder Taylor and I are enjoying his aid, and companionship. His name is Elder Willmore from Orem Utah! He went to Orem High School so we're blood enemies. Just kidding. We're good buddies :)

Well that's about it for this week I had an awesome week and I totally felt the Spirit on many many occasions this week. I love it! I love being a missionary!

Elder Serrano