Monday, November 21, 2011

Elder Henry 11/21/11 from Samoan Compton California

Hey Dad,
I'm glad Granny got to you guys safe and sound :).  Sounds like she might be stuck with you for a good amount of time.  Tell her thank you for the letters she sent, I really enjoy hearing from her.
      That's crazy that the kids have the whole week off.  I was just telling my companion yesterday that back in Vancouver, we only get Wednesday-Friday off, but apparently the times have changed.  They just don't make kids like they used to anymore :P.
I'm really grateful that you and Mom have always been such an awesome example to me.  You have no idea how many times I tell a story in a lesson of when I saw my Mother and Father keeping God's commandments and they were blessed.  Your faithfulness is blessing the lives of the people I'm serving, not just because I am on a mission, but because I have the opportunity to share with them what happens when you do as God has commanded.
     Its funny you should mention the rain.  It doesn't happen very often here, but it did yesterday and believe me it was the FUNNIEST thing I have ever seen.  People literally are terrified of the rain down here.  We got a light sprinkle all day long, and everyone was driving 5 MPH under the speed limit, people missed church because it was too wet outside, the whole city shut down because of it.  It was like there was a foot of snow out on the ground, city streets were completely empty.  Seriously I was laughing very very very hard on the inside.  Oh and everyone was using an umbrella, like if you got touched by the rain you would melt into a puddle or something.  My companion is equally afraid of the rain and was very concerned when I refused to use an umbrella :P.
     It's back to the 70's and sunny today, but I really enjoy seeing the rain come down, because it always reminds me of home.  Our mission president has given us permission to just hang out with members all day after we finish our meetings on Thursday.  So from about 2-9pm we will be hoping from thanksgiving dinner to thanksgiving dinner and spending time with the members.  Best way to spend the holidays is with your friends and family :)
     I love you lots,
Elder Henry
P.S. My Mission President loves me, and of course that's mutual. 

Dear Mom,
     I'm really excited to be here in the Samoan wards.  It's been a blast recently and we have quite a few baptisms in the works so that is really exciting :).  I've been trying to watch my waist-line and I did a fair job of it in the MTC, but it will definitely be a struggle.
     Which wards did Brother McCausland serve in?  We live in the nice area of Long Beach, and we don't proselyte when all the gangs are out and about.  To be honest though, there are two big gangs in Compton/Paramount, and they are both Samoan gangs that make sure the Missionaries go unharmed.
     I have received both of Julia's letters.  I'm really happy to hear all about the ward doing so well without me.  I'm especially excited because Sister Brown is excited I'm trying to learn Samoan.  It's definitely a very different language from Portuguese and English, but a different strange from Japanese.  It is a really fun language to speak though :).
     That is a huge bummer about the Ducks losing to USC.  Oh well it happens from time to time, but we all know that the Ducks are the Best ;).  One of the members here is moving up to Pullman to play for WSU, and he played on the same high school team as Kenny Rowe (sp?), so that was fun to talk with him about.  There are a couple Duck fans to talk to here and there.
     I do study Portuguese for an hour a day during my normal language study, and I have to study Samoan whenever I have free time.  So its really tough to balance not forgetting Portuguese and trying to cram another language into my brain ^^;
     This past week was a really good week.  We picked up two new investigators, and two of our investigators came to church yesterday!  It's always super exciting to see people actually change how they behave because they feel the spirit of the Lord.  I'm so grateful to be a missionary who gets to see this on an almost day to day basis.
     We have 3 investigators in total right now, and they all came from member referrals:
     Ma'epu is a 10 year old boy living with his grandparents.  He is such a smart kid, and he reads his Book of Mormon by himself everyday.  I absolutely love being around him because he is so eager to learn and he loves being around us.  It is really awesome to be able to work with Primary age kids, they have so much love for the people around them and they really look up to you.  He came to church for the first time in a while yesterday and is set to be baptized on December 4th.  He will probably be the first baptism of my mission because he is set to go, just needs to be taught a little more.
     M is another investigator that lives in the same apartment complex as Ma'epu in Compton.  She's in her 20's and is living with some members from the ward.  We had a first lesson with her this last week and she was really excited to learn more about the Gospel and what we had to teach.  She just kept saying in the lessons, "Just tell me more, I want to know more".  She has been through some rough times and really wants to draw closer to God.  She said she'll be baptized if she receives an answer on Dec. 4th.
     Our last investigator's name is R.  He is another Primary age boy who's family is just starting to come back to church and he needs to be baptized.  We had a first lesson with him this past week and he's a really shy boy.  He's a really funny kid because he was running up and down the stairs waiting for us to come, and then when we were teaching him he played the 'I'm too shy' game with us.  He was at church this week and he's set for baptism on Dec. 11th.
     My new companion is a whole different experience from my last set of companions.  He is a really loving person, and just shows how much he loves everyone.  He's always talking about how much he loves serving in this area, how much he's grateful to be my companion.  Very compassionate missionary who's really excited to be serving among the Samoans.
     Working in this area is really different from my last area and it can be kind of frustrating to me because it literally takes us 20 minutes to get from our apartment to Compton/Paramount/North Long Beach, where all the Samoans are.  We can't teach as many people as I would like because everyone is so spread out.  There are tons of people here waiting to hear the message of the Gospel and I just don't have enough time in the day to do it!
     I hope you all enjoy your thanksgiving break.  I know I'll be missing sharing it with all of you, but I have a lot of friends here who need me right now.  I'll let you know if I survived all the food for Thanksgiving next week.
Lots of Love,
Elder Henry

1 comment:

  1. Mike, I can't tell you how proud I am of you for your attitude, your humility & the love you have in your heart for people. You are an excellent role model for your young investigators to emulate. I am missing you very much here at your house, but am glad you're doing so well & that you aren't hungry! I had quite a hard time with that a while back when you were in Huntington Beach. Keep up the good work & leave room in your heart to tuck in some of the love I'm sending to you. Love, Granny


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