Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week 64 - The Miracles Just Keep on Coming


This week has been full of miracles!!! To start off, on Wednesday during language study, our phone rang. I answered it and it was a lady who I had called about two weeks ago. This reference goes back about 2 months because when we first called this lady (Monica) she said she didn't have time but maybe she would in a month. So, exactly one month later, I called her and she said that she didn't have time, that she wasn't really interested, and if she was interested she'd give us a call. Well, when she called us she apologized for being so "cold" on the phone and told us that she has a boyfriend who doesn't like religious things, and that the first time we called he was nearby listening and they ended up getting in a fight. She then explained that the second time we called, he was there again and she didn't want it to seem like she was interested. She continued on saying that she's trying to get separated from her boyfriend and would really like us to visit the next week (this week). It came absolutely out of nowhere! It was incredible! So that was miracle number one. 

Number two has to do with our golden investigator named "Lana".  Her real name is Svetlana.  She is 17 years old and is from Ukraine. The bishop invited her family to English class and her mom came and dropped her off. After English class we had a missionary sponsored Family Home Evening night in the church and the sister missionaries shared a short message. It was super good.  That was last Saturday.  She came to church the next day and LOVED IT. The Young Women took her in so well. We then had the opportunity to invite her to a Family Home Evening with a bunch of ward members and we taught about prophets. In the lesson we set up an example of trying to follow the prophet among false prophets. Elder Male an I told the group two different places where a piece of paper was hidden in the home and one other member said where it was actually hidden. The group guessed and looked in all three places and eventually found the piece of paper which said "felicidad" (happiness) on it. The prize was a Milka chocolate bar. As the lesson ended we asked for any questions and Lana asked, "So how can we know who to follow?" From that point on it turned into a testimony meeting on feeling the spirit and it was astounding how strong the spirit was in that lesson. In the middle of the lesson I turned to Lana and said, "what you are feeling right now, is the spirit." It was such a powerful lesson.
Miracle Three. Two days later as English Class was ending, Lana asked, "Why do you missionaries have so many rules, and what are some of them?" We explained a couple of the rules we have and why we have them. After a couple minute explanation we were somehow talking about prophets and general conference. From there we talked about all the rules we have again and basically explained every commandment.  From there we taught about the Restoration, the Book of Mormon and it's importance, and the organization of the church....about an hour later. She asked if she could have her own hard copy of the Book of Mormon because she had already started reading it on the Gospel Library App on her phone. Rather in shock we gave her one and invited her to church the next day.

Miracle 4. For some reason or another she couldn't come to church in the morning, but came to the fireside with President and Hermana Pace in the afternoon. She told us, "I was up all last night reading and I couldn't stop crying as I read!  I love the Book of Mormon!" I asked how far she had gotten and she responded that she had made it to page 33 (1 Nephi 14) already....Honestly, some people are beyond prepared....my mind is blown by the blessings of the Lord.

As you all can see from the miracles, the work of the Lord is progressing here in Vilafranca!  If we are obedient in everything and give our best the Lord will bless us!  I hope you all have a great week and enjoy GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Week 63 - I believe in miracles


This week has been INCREDIBLE. We saw so many miracles in a period of 3 days.

Up until Friday we were having a rough week with everything and I knew that I could be doing better on my contacting. So on Thursday night during planning we had an hour free before we had to go to a pueblo for an eating visit. So instead of planning a visit we decided to go straight into contacting.

In that hour right as we were about to finish we found a great new investigator named Exaltación. The name Exaltation in English is a perfect name for what we are teaching. That's the goal, I guess.  Anyway, after the eating visit we caught the bus to come back to Vilafranca to go on a visit that was to be accompanied by President and Hermana Pace.  They were nice enough to help us out with the visit.  However, after our dinner appointment, we were running late. Thankfully they were running late as well so we walked as fast as we could to get to the visit on time. On the way I saw a man on the other side of the street that looked like a recent convert's dad. I had the thought; “I need to invite him to church”. So I just crossed the street. As we were crossing, I realized it wasn't who I thought it was but the guy had apparently been taught by the missionaries before and invited us over to his house!!! So we are going to visit José on Thursday!! It was incredible!!!

We saw so many miracles I can't even tell them all!!!  Anyway no time as usual so basically to sum it up, things are great in Vilafranca!

Week 62 - The Prodigal Son


This week was good, honestly there's nothing to complain about while in the mission. 

So on our way to the internet café today, we had a miracle. We ran into our recent convert Alberto!!  He got a job in another city, his phone broke and he moved so we lost contact with him for 2 almost 3 WEEKS!!!  We were walking along, and he crossed the street in front of us, he kind of stopped and looked at us for a second and we looked at him and then we both got really excited!!!  He ran over and gave me a hug and jumped around while hugging me!  It was the best feeling in the world, the whole father falling upon the neck of his prodigal son parable makes a lot more sense to me now. That basically made my day though! 

As always I don't have a lot of time but I'd like to remind you all to keep the commandments because they really bring true happiness!

Riding Bikes and Lions

A lion near the Christopher Columbus statue in Barcelona.  Tikal said they rented bikes and rode around Barcelona.  This was one of the places they stopped.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Week 61 - Talking is Fun


Hi everyone, so this week has been a blast!  Why? Because my new companion (Elder Male) and I have been talking with a bunch of people!!  Elder Male is such a great missionary and he is a great companion.  I'm his second companion so hopefully the change from his trainer is a good smooth change, not something too abrupt. 

Well, for the story of the week, since it was Elder Male's first week here in Vilafranca, the Bishop and I gave him the traditional welcome.....yup you guessed it Elder Male got to know the Officer Borrut before the Bishop Borrut.  It was a lot of fun being on the other side of the joke this time. 

Honestly, like Pedro in Napoleon Dynamite says, "I don't have much to say..." but the missionary work in Vilafranca is growing and I'm happy!

Photo - One more of Tikal & Elder Cluff

Eating Kebabs with Elder Cluff
Tikal said that Elder Cluff would never finish his water bottles 

Photo - Tikal & Elder Male

Tikal & Elder Male
on the Train to Vilafranca

Week 60 - New Companion


Well Hola everyone back home and on missions!  Well this last week has been full of saying goodbyes.  Elder Cluff goes home tomorrow, I now have my new companion.  His name is Elder Male, and he's from Orem!  We are going to get along great, he's such a good guy! 

Well back to last week, we started it off by having a great preparation day going to hike down a mountain nearby called Montserrat.  It was a blast!  Then throughout the week we passed by [visited] everyone and took pictures.  On Sunday night the ward threw a party for Elder Cluff and everyone came!  It was so great!!!  Even a bunch of guys who we played basketball with in the park  came.  They are such good people. 

The best part about this time I've had with Elder Cluff is all the things I've been able to learn from an older missionary.  I've learned a lot and now I'm on to a missionary in his third transfer in the mission.  He's a great guy, and I can't wait to see the work progress here in Vilafranca! Sorry I don't have a lot of time but I hope all is well!  Keep praying, reading the scriptures, and going to church and all will be swell!

Elder Jonson


 Bread Fight with Elder Cluff

District Visit to Monserrat

Week 59 - Companion's Last Week


Hi everyone, this week has been great!  We are looking forward to a baptism next month and it is going to be a great Bolivian lady named Rufina.  We have to help her keep a couple commitments but she is doing well. 

Something I've learned throughout my mission is that when people read the Book of Mormon on a daily basis they progress spiritually.  It's a little sad though because Elder Cluff won't be able to get to see the baptism because he's going home in a week!  I'm 'killing' my companion!! (his companion goes home next week)  Crazy stuff!  Basically this week we are visiting members and everyone Elder Cluff ever taught here in Vilafranca if we can. 

Anyway the best part of the week was probably Sunday.  I can't tell you why but it was super spiritual!  They released the new goals for the area and they are very simple but are achievable.  I'd like to invite you all to do the same back at home.  Invite a friend to church, become spiritually and temporally self sufficient, and take a name of one ancestor to the temple.  Super solid.  Basically any goal you set and achieve is a good goal! 

Hope you all have a great week and have fun!