Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The first week on the job

Sounds like it was quite a busy week for you all. Mine was, too, and not just because it's been about a week and a half since I've written. My last few days at the MTC were good, but my companions were definitely having a hard time focusing and finishing strong, which made it hard for me, but I did my best. We had some good devotionals about repentance and the Savior, and then Wednesday, I headed out. It was interesting just being driven a half an hour to the mission as opposed to flying 2000 miles, but we still made it safe, and I'm fairly well settled. The first day was just what you'd expect: orientation, get to know people, then go out and work. I'm in yet another threesome with Elders Freitas and Espinoza. Elder Freitas is from Brazil and has been out for about 14 1/2 months, and Elder Espinoza is from Michoacan/LA and has been out about 2 months. Both are very strong, hardworking missionaries, and are setting a good example for me. We're serving just West of downtown SLC in the Rose Park/Riverside area. I'm enjoying it here, but I'm very excited to go to Mexico. We live in the basement of a Tongan home, which has its benefits as far as feeding us is concerned, and the apartment is actually not that bad. Sorry again for not having pictures, but I promise they'll come next week.
Our first few days have been fairly interesting. They've been filled with lots of teaching appointments and teaching appointments falling through. One big thing that happened is on Thursday, I went on splits with a senior missionary who didn't speak any Spanish, and we went to teach a woman named Maria who knows almost no English. She has been fairly difficult in the past and has already fell through on one baptismal date, but I comitted her to be baptized on the 6 of Aug, because she'll be gone from this Thursday until the end of the month. Other than that, I've been fairly quiet for the most part (who's surprised...), but I still talk sometimes. We've also been working with a 9 year old boy named Marco who, after much struggling, has decided to be baptized this Saturday. We took him and his family to temple square to see the "God's plan for families" presentation in the visitor's center, and I think that really got him; I know it got me. Sunday was also interesting to say the least. The Spanish branch we attended was fairly chaotic, with the pianist being unable to play the simplified hymns, the speakers only speaking English and bad translation, and our only investigator that followed through with the comittment to come having a screaming baby. We're going to meet with the Branch President to see if we can make sacrament meetings more spiritual so our investigators don't get scared off.
We have a few other investigators, but nobody seems to be following through with comittments. We're going to try to put two other people on date this week, Larisa and Roberto, so pray for them if you would.
I'm glad to hear things are going well at home and that everyone's staying busy. Best of luck with YW camp to everyone, and tell Tara to take care of my car. We drive a 2010 Fusion, but I miss my joker, and expect it to be in full working condition when I come home. That means Brigham can't drive it when he gets back either. Good work Tara on getting a job, and good luck at BYU soccer camp. I hope this Carson fellow is decent enough, otherwise I may have to write him a strongly worded letter. I'm glad mom and dad got to the temple. The blessings that come from temple attendance can't be replaced by anything. Speaking of that, we get to go to SLC temple once a month in this mission. Thanks to Scott and Alyssa Sevilla for your packages and letters, and to the Valoras for their letters. I may have left my address back at the apartment, but the rules for email in this mission are a lot more lenient, so whoever wants to email me can, and I'll send my address next week if you feel more inclined to write hand-written letters.
The church is true and Heavenly Father is proud of all the good things you're all doing. I know that He will continue to bless you as you stay faithful and obedient.

-Elder Joseph Facer


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