Great letter this week. David is settling in nicely in his new role, and seems to really be focused on the right things—missionary work. And a little soccer…
Subject: "Money." "What?" "It's name is money."
“Of course, it didn't always work. As a matter of fact, it had never worked.”
I have a lot of movie quotes floating around my head lately.
Alright, before I forget I have to unload all of the world/life outside of the mission things. And sorry, but the first part is going to be directed at Stacey.
That popcorn idea is awesome. I'm impressed. And I kind of miss doing little fun things like that with people. Elder Oliverson was like that. Sorry I bring him up from time to time. I just miss him. I wonder if he'll wait for me?
But I guess I'll see him on the 19th, when we have our special devotional with President Eyring and Elder Christofferson. OHHHH!
Back to what you said. I know exactly what you mean when you feel sad that you can never read anything for the first time again. You'll have to remember to tell me what book that was, as long as it's not a spinoff of twilight. I didn't even capitalize the title there. Those books don't deserve the effort that it would take for me to press the shift key.
There's a trailer out for the Dark Knight Rises! I am super pumped about that. I wish I could see the trailer. I have heard some things here on the mission about it, though, like that it has Anne Hathaway. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but I trust Christopher Nolan. And I heard that it won't come out until next July or something, so I can look forward to that midnight showing.
Another thing that I get to look forward to is the Olympics. I'm glad that my mission fit nicely in between the 2010 and 2012 games. Kind of serendipitous.
Darci sounds like a hoot. But I feel a little sad, because by the time I get back she (and all my other nieces and nephews) will be big enough to tell me straight out that they don't know who I am. That sounded depressing, but I didn't mean it that way.
Also, I got a letter the other day from the Frogleys, and it made me smile a ton. And the little note that Kathryn threw in there was adorable. So thanks for that.
Wow. That was really kind of super directed at Stacey. I feel bad. Don't get spoiled.
As for the rest of the family things, it sounds like it's all going pretty good right now. Emily, I congratulate you on your new house. It looks great, especially on the inside. The link that somebody sent to me doesn't work, so I'm not clear on where exactly it is, but it'll be nice to have you living close by. In a year.
Logan's back? I was wondering when that would happen. Say hola for me. And the twins are off. That's crazy. Life moves so fast.
Michael's job as a carney sounds like fun. You'll have to send me some pictures of this bubble thing. And do we have pictures of that lady shooting a bow and arrow with her feet? I might set that as my desktop background in the office.
And it sounds like Steven had a great time with EFY and similar activities.
And Mom, I know you aren't done sewing. You know you aren't done sewing. You even subconciously told me that. You said that you have "quite" sewing. So you're not quite sewing. I don't know where I'm going with this thought.
Dad, I'd go with the LEDs. It's technology. I like technology. But it may be time to upgrade to something new, like 3D projected lights, or instead of lights just a ton of iPads tiled across the ceiling. It could work. Patent it, while you're at it.
Now to the juicy stuff.
Wow. I have so much to tell this week, but so little time to tell it. So let's see if I can remember it all. On Friday, after writing to you all, we went to play soccer with a bunch of the zone. It was super fun, and I played really well. That's me bragging a bit, but I really did play pretty well. I scored something like 7 or 8 goals of the 12 or 13 that we scored, and had a few assists as well. I even got some pretty hefty praise from the Latins for how I played. I was that impressive. Just so you all know how big of a deal I am. I uploaded a few pictures from it, too. And in those photos you might notice that Elder Gonzalez has my shirt on. It just happens.
Saturday we went to the temple for the last time, since it was the last day of the open house. The investigator that we were going to bring bailed at the last second, but we enjoyed the trip anyway. On the way back we made a few calls and got him to go to the temple later in the day with Elder Huaman and a member. He brought his entire family, too. By the way, his name is Walter. He works in a shack, and his job is to wait in this shack until it starts to rain and there's lightning and such, and then he has to turn off the water pump he's guarding. And I think every few hours he has to check the pressure. Very exciting. As a luggage problem. Anyway, Walter is pretty lonely generally, and it gives us a good opportunity to teach him in a small shack in the middle of nowhere with no interruptions. Sunday, he showed up to church with his entire family (his wife and three daughters who are 14, 3, and 2 I think). Cool stuff. We've been trying to teach the whole family together, but it's hard since Walter is only home until like three in the afternoon. So we have to leave the office super early to do it.
While Elder Huaman was gone to the temple, though, I went on divisions with Elder Gonzalez back in Independencia to teach Veronica, the woman that we got ready for baptism. She gets baptized tomorrow, and is super excited about it. Too bad that's not my ward anymore. But then we went to Trebol to work, which was interesting because neither of us knew the area at all. I went to the house of the only member I knew, and we had a little lesson there. Mostly we wanted to get references from them, and one of the best ways that I know to do that is to have a testimony meeting, since it brings the spirit and the spirit helps people remember their friends or family that might be ready to hear the gospel. So we did that (in English, since the mom really wanted to practice her English), and the spirit was really intense. I got like eight references from it, and then we went with the mom to contact almost all of them right then. From those references we started teaching a man named Noel and his two kids, Karen and Gerson. They seem fairly positive, and the kids already have gone to mutual and loved it, so they already have friends there. Noel is a little bit tougher, but I think it won't take too long for him to start seeing the difference in his kids and feel the difference in his life.
Another reference that we got was for a family that went to the temple and enjoyed it, but I'm not sure how well they'll progress. The dad, David, seems to only be interested in the knowledge side of it (a common problem). The wife, whose name I forgot, seems a little bit more open, but still. We'll just have to see this week how things go.
Another one of the references was for a woman who went to the temple and loved it. We called her and went to talk to the whole family, and she just kept going on about how great the temple was, and how she loved the sealing rooms, and how great she felt in all of it, and so on. It was really fun. So we're teaching her, her husband (forgot both their names), their son Rodrigo, their daughter whose name I also forgot, and their little two year old son. Well, the two year old kind of just runs around playing, but it's all the same. Also, as a random side note, when we got to the family's house they were watching old Mickey Mouse cartoons. That just about made my life. I didn't even know Mickey Mouse could speak Spanish.
I'm sorry, I don't speak monkey.
But the investigator that takes the cake is a woman named Corina. I don't remember if I mentioned her before. She lives in a huge, empty house in the middle of nowhere with her not-husband and three-ish year old daughter. We taught her I think twice really quickly. But we went back the other day (Monday if I remember right) to see if she had prayed about Joseph Smith. She told us that she was reading the pamphlet we left, and she felt like she should pray. So she did. And she got a really clear answer. She said that she felt like somebody grabbed her by the shoulders and said, "The path that you are on right now is bad. It will bring you misery and pain. You need to join the church that those two missionaries represent." Well that's oddly specific. And then, to top it all off, she had a dream that night about going to the church with us and her daughter (she specifically said that her not-husband, Marvin, wasn't there), and being super happy. So now she really wants to get baptized. How cool is that?
Here's the not cool part, though. We talked to her yesterday about the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity. She was a little bit surprised about the Word of Wisdom coffee thing, but very willingly said that she would give it up. And then the getting married thing. She wants to, and knows it's important and all, but Marvin is a not so great guy, I think. He drinks a lot, smokes, and is kind of a not great guy. She said that she would pray last night about what to do, and then talk to him about marriage, but honestly I think that she may end up just leaving him. Maybe that's what her dream indicated, too. That's not always the solution that we look for as missionaries, but it may have to happen. It was kind of funny, though, because when we were explaining all of this to her yesterday she told us that nothing has happened between her and him in a long time. She even did the trademark El Salvadorean "hmmmmmmmmmm!" to tell us how long it had been. By the way, you will all likely have to remind me to explain to you what that is someday. But they even sleep in separate beds. So getting them to separate may not actually be as hard as getting them married. But we're going back today to see how it went.
That's about as far as we got with investigators. We tore it up this week. Our numbers were awesome. Even with just a couple hours a day in our area, we found 14 new investigators and taught a bunch of lessons with members (almost all of them, actually). That's better than a lot of the weeks before I worked in the office. And we saw the numbers for our district leader: 0 new investigators, and like 3 lessons with member. I don't like being prideful, as all of you know quite well, but we are dang good.
By the way, I believe Elder Uchtdorf said that it's okay to say, "I'm really good at..." as long as it doesn't end with, "therefore, I'm better than you." So I don't feel that bad about saying I'm awesome. Because let's face it, I'm pretty awesome.
Dang it, now I feel bad. I can't take the credit for finding all of those investigators. It's true that I'm working hard to try and find them, but it's the Lord that's blessing me with it. So I guess he's way more awesome.
Speaking of what apostles said, I want to tell a quick little side story. We went to visit Noel two days ago, and right after the lesson they turned on the TV. For the first time maybe in the history of me being in this country, soccer wasn't playing. Instead, it was the Spanish version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The question that the guy was on was only for $1000, so it was a little lame, but the question was the following: "The All-Blacks are one of the most decorated rugby teams in the history of the game. What is their country of origin?" And you know what? Because I listened to conference, I knew that it was New Zealand. The guy on TV had to use his 50/50 AND Phone a Friend to answer it. So there you go. Listening to apostles makes you smarter than other people. Remember that now.
Garbage can. Remember the garbage can.
I hope all of you notice, by the way, that this is a very long email. Thank you for noticing.
More than all of that, I don't think that there's much to say. I went to the store today and bought four new soccer jerseys and a new pair of shoes to play in. In total I spent like $45. I love this country.
More than I love this country, though, I love all of you. Thanks for getting all kinds of little random emails to me during the week. I've been realizing lately that I have an assigned time to write to you all, so it's pretty easy for me to do consistently, but you all have to take time out of your busy and super interesting lives to write to me. So thanks for doing that from time to time. Especially Mom and Dad, who I don't think have missed a week in thirteen and a half months.
I love you all!
Elder David Arrington
PS: Can I get another address? Lisa Davis wrote me while she was at school, and I don't think that she's there anymore. What's their home address?
PPS: Don't people know that they're supposed to live in the same place for more than a couple months? It's way too hard to get new addresses every time I want to respond.
PPPS: Do I like Jello?
PPPPS: If you really are getting a package together, as Mom may have hinted in a letter I just got (thanks for the translated pamphlets, by the way), I don't really have any requests. I have confidence in all of you. But do you think you might be able to send a small English hymnal for my comp, Elder Huaman? He kind of really wants one, and it might be cool to surprise him with it. Just a thought.