Monday, December 21, 2015

Freezing Cold, Nativity, School Busses

Hello Everyone!

So once upon a time, I cut a hole in a frozen lake, and then I voluntary jumped in. I thought it was fun. I still think it is, but now I've come to my senses. Winter is cold. I don't know what it is about Utah winter but man! It is cold. Even with like four layers on. Somehow it bites the nose and froze the toes. 

But still, I'm making it. At least I'm not in like Russia, so I can't complain. 

This week we had a wonderful experience to help out with a Nativity pageant in Fountain Green. It was really cool. First the people would take a hay ride up to this ranch where they'd go into these tents and then see a Christmas video that we, Missionaries, got to show. After that, they walked up a little hill and there a whole Nativity scene was shown. It was really cool and a very spiritual experience. About 2,000 people came over the course of two days. It was a blessing to be able help out it. 

Elder Pardo and I saw the video about a million times but it still carried an amazing spirit. It showed all of the parts of the Nativity - Mary and Joseph being led to the Nativity, the Shepherds and the Wise Men making their journey, it was all a beautiful thing to watch. And you know, that's why we celebrate Christmas. It is the celebration of Christ's birth. It's the celebration of the birth of our Savior - He who came to save us, to redeem us, who made it possible for us to be able to return and live with God again. This is what Christmas is about. This is what life is all about. 

We had an awesome lesson the other day with this Peruvian sheep herder named Orlando and his friend Miguel. Miguel is a member and has helped Orlando come to church and the lesson was so good. Orlando is so ready. We invited him to be baptized and he said he would, he just needed to talk with his wife. But the coolest thing about this lesson is that we had it in a decked out school bus. Orlando and Miguel are shepherds and live in trailers and they're kitchen is on a wicked awesome souped up school bus. 

Now like Paul McCartney would say, I would like you all to "simply have a wonderful Christmas time". Remember Christ at this Christmas time and what He did for us. 

I love you all and have a great Christmas time!

--Elder Pearson

1. Molé. Super hot chocolate sauce and chicken. Our Hispanic friends told me: "Don't cry, juero."
2. The decked out bus
3. Spanish Branch party - so many piñata a
4. The Nativity Pageant

Laboring in the Field

You'll soon understand why the title is a pun


This week has been a great week. We've been laboring hard. And labor has occurred in a lot of different ways. 

Last week I talked about the family where we invited them to be baptized and they where like: "Yeah, sure, that'd be awesome!" And then like two seconds later they were like: "Oh wait a minute. We can't do that date. That's when my baby's due!" So we prayed about it and moved it back to January 30th. But it seems as though the Lord is pretty set on them being baptized on the 16th. 

We went and visited the mom on Wednesday and talked to her briefly about the Book of Mormon. Her daughters weren't home yet so we decided to meet with her and her daughters, the following day in the afternoon and four. She said that she had a doctors appointment the next day but that she should be home by then. Well the next day comes around and we're running late from a lesson in another town and so we call them. The daughter picks up.

"Hey, Sophie! It's the missionaries!"
"Oh, hi!"
"Hey, so we set up an appointment with your mom yesterday about having us come over at four to teach a lesson and it's like 4:10 right now, so we're running late but we will be there soon!"
"Oh, I don't think that's going to be possible, Elders."

Uh-oh. I hope they don't drop us. 

"Why not?"
"Well, my mom had a doctors appointment today and they've kept her there cause apparently she started having contractions."

Yep, that's what we do out here. Put people on date and then put them into labor. 

She didn't actually have the baby yesterday but it was about a month early so we'll see what happens. But they are a great family and I love them to death. 

Anger awesome thing! The Live at Home Missionaries have been teaching this 18 year old, MaKay. We have had the opportunity to get to meet him and teach him these past few weeks and he was baptized this past Saturday! He is a great guy and really awesome and super ready and wants to go on a mission in a year! Yes!

 Good old Spanish word mix up: "Cuerpo" means body. I know that. "Culpa" means guilt. I know that one too. But I just had a really bad brainfart this week and messed the too up. I was talked about the Atonement and how it gets rid of our guilt, but really what I was saying is that it gets rid of our bodies. Whoops. But the nice Mexican people just smiled and nodded and waited for Elder Pardo to cover my mistakes and explain that the Atonement doesn't get rid of our bodies but rather our guilt. 

But in truth, that is what the Atonement does, it gets rid of our guilt. From whatever mistakes we have made in our life, we can be forgiven through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It's a free gift to all. All we need to do is reach out to it and it can and will be there to bless our lives. We celebrate Christmas to remember this gift that God has given us because He loves us. He has given us His Son, Jesus Christ, that through Him, we can be forgiven. Yeah, Santas great, but Jesus Christ and His birth is even better. So remember Him this season. Remember Him and why we celebrate Christmas. 

Love you all,

--Elder Pearson

1. MaKay's Baptism
2. We at dinner at a mansion (it actually used to be a school, but that's a different story)
3. Christmas Party Pics (excuse Elder Pardo's sign, he doesn't mean it. Righteousness is best)

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Hand of the Lord; Miracles and Tomatoes

People at the home front!

Oh, baby. What a week. As the subject line says, the hand of the Lord was really prevalent in the work this week. We have had so many miracles this week. 

For example, a week ago, a nonmember mom called us and told us her she wanted the best for her kids. She's Catholic but she wants her kids to decide what they want to do. As a family, they're going through s really rough time right now. The mom had been to a church activity and really loved it. We went over and had a wicked spiritual lesson. Half way through it, she looked at us and said: "I felt really good at the church activity. And I feel that same thing now." Well, sweet. We told her that that was the Spirit and we explained that the Spirit testifies of truth. And so, if she read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it and felt those same feelings, would she and her daughters be baptized? They all said yes. Holy cow, what a happy day, not just for a Greenie, but for any missionary! The Lord put them into our path to meet and teach. Later that week, after we prayed for a baptismal date, we went back and taught them again and invited them to be baptized on January 16th. The mom was just like: Yeah. But then her daughter looked at her and said: "What, mom. No! The baby!" I was confused. "Oh," the mom laughed. "That's right. I totally forgot. That's when my baby's due!" She's pregnant. (I didn't dare ask). So we're working on that but they're excited. 

And later in the week, one of our investigators told us that their aunt really needed what we were teaching. They still want to hear it too, but they said that she really needed it cause this time of year their aunt usually is really bitter and upset. 23 years ago her baby son died and he hadn't been baptized Catholic yet, so she was told that he was is limbo and wouldn't be saved. What a sad and depressing thought. We went over there and first she got mad at us and told us that she didn't want to talk that she was mad at this time of the year because of her son passing away. Then the Spirit touched her heart and she said: "Well, I guess you can come in for a few minutes." We were able to come in and read with her from the Book of Mormon in Moroni 8 which talks about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how through that Atonement, little children are saved in the kingdom of God. I wish that you could've seen the joy enter into her face and watch the bitterness and anguish leave her soul as we told her of this truth. It is truly a blessing to be a missionary to bring this message of joy to many people. 

The Lord continued to bless us immensely this week and open up ways to meet nonmembers, members, and less actives. It was truly a blessing. 

And He also blessed my mouth cause we had really spicy Mexican food again from the same awesome members as last time. This time, as I struggled with the food she asked me: "Te qué pasó, Juero?" Which means: "What's wrong with you, white guy?" But the Lord blessed me. I have never like tomatoes. I always thought that they were gross. But I have been converted to them. As my mouth battled with this fire erupting in my mouth it was suddenly aided by a bite of water. Cool water quenched the fire. Holy, cow. I thought. Where did that come from? Then I saw it: a tomato. A tomato saved me. So i know why God created tomatoes now: to help white guys like me eat really spicy foods. 

The Lord is merciful and pours out blessings upon us. Look for these in your life. As you do, the Lord will pour out more. And why? Cause we're His children and He loves us. 

Love you all,

--Elder Pearson

1. I found BYU
2. Selfie with and elk #letmetakeanelkie
3. SANTA! He came to our Christmas party!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Food, Food, Food, Baptism!

Hello, all you wonderful people!

Oh boy, el día de gracias (thanksgiving) or, el día de gordura (the day of fatness). So. Much. Food. But I love it! The members are awesome and don't worry, I am not getting fat. I've just eaten more food this past week then I ever have in my life. Our first dinner was at noon. Yep. That was pretty great and they had this fun pie in the face game that I played and got some whipped cream in my face. After that we were invited over for dessert at six. We were actually invited for dinner at five but we decided to just go to dessert. But that time before second dessert, we met this kid playing soccer in a trailer park. He was so good! I was playing defense on this kid and he popped the ball up and nutmegged me! He was crazy good. I got his signature for when he's famous one day and it was like a legit signature. We're teaching his family this Tuesday

Then we had dessert and it was sweet and dinner with this Mexican recent convert family. Now, I was dreading this meal cause I thought it was going to be like last weeks Spanish food adventure. Like spicy turkey tamales or something. But no. It was the best dinner I'd had all day. They first had this super good soup, posole verde, so amazing. And then the turkey, holy frijoles, amazing. So soft and tender and wonderful. 

But still, at the end of the day, no matter how good the food was, I still felt like I was going to explode. 

Then on Saturday we had a baptism for one of our investigators, April. She has been investigating for about five years but hasn't ever felt that she was ready. About six weeks ago, she called us randomly and said that she was ready. I was pumped cause I'd been out like four days. But we've met with her and helped her prepare for this date. She is so awesome and was so ready. Her husband baptized her and it was a beautiful event. He then confirmed her the next day. 

The Gospel is so true. The teachings of Jesus Christ will change our lives. As we just have faith in Him, he will take away our guilt, our pains, our sins. He will help us overcome our trials. He wants to help us. All we need to do is simply ask. Because God is the same "yesterday, today, and forever". People think that God is not loving. I can boldly say that that is a lie. God is our loving Heavenly Father. We are literally His children. And He loves us so much that He wanted us to have experience. So He created an earth for us so we could learn, grow, love, and become like Him. But we couldn't ever return to live Him because we're not perfect. So there was a problem. So he sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to come and redeem us from our sins. To make it so that we can be clean. To make it so that we can be perfect. The love of Jesus Christ is unexplainable. 

You all are awesome and I hope that you have a great rest of the week!

--Elder Pearson

1. Family we had dinner with
2. Aprils Baptism (I am not fat, it's just the suit and the angle. But
yes, I know I look like the Pillsbury dough boy)
3. A portrait of me and Elder Pardo, sharing the Gospel
4. Tallest Christmas tree ever (15 feet)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Holy Frijoles!


Man what a week. A Lot happened, but I think that the crowning event was Thursday night from about 5:00 pm - 9:00. We had three meals in the matter of four hours. And they were all Mexican. Which means spicy. 

So the first of the three course each meal was our actual dinner appointment with this member, Maria, and her investigator sister, Juana. These two ladies crack me up. But Maria loves to cook and she's a great cook. Just like with all Mexican food, they find it necessary to add an unnecessary amount of spice to everything they make. Even if it's already spicy. So what we had for first dinner was 1/4 plate of refried beans, 1/4 a plate of Cajun rice, and then 1/2 plate of two Chilean peppers which are about the length of your hand and then where stuffed with cheese. So when I cut into the chili and see cheese ooze out my first thought is: Wow. That's a lot of cheese. And I like cheese so I'm thinking that this isn't gonna be spicy. Wrongo. Juana tells me: "Juero, es un poco picante." It's a little spicy. (Juero means "White Guy") Yeah, okay, it's just cheese. I needed to believe her. I take a bite, and holy cow, fire erupts in my mouth. My tastebuds have no idea what is going on. My mind is screaming: WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME. I swallow the fire cheese pepper and it burns down my throat. Oh boy. This is gonna be an adventure. "¿Estás bueno, Juero?" Is it good, white guy? Maria asks me. "Sí, la comida es muy rica." I tell her. She smiles proudly then walks back to the kitchen. I feel a cough coming up and fight it back and Elder Pardo just starts laughing at me. As I get to the close of this meal I realize that I just have one more bite of this volcano chile. I can do this. As I stab the beast with my fork, I see a seed fall out of it. Oh, just one seed won't hurt, I think as I bring it up to the mouth. As I bring it closer to my mouth, I see that this is the hang out place for all of the seeds. There was literally twenty in this one spot. I said a prayer of help. I put the chili in my mouth and painfully take a bite as spice and heat consume my mouth. This is just painful. What do I do? I start singing a hymn in my head. It helped out a little bit. I conquered that beast and said my fork down satisfied. Then Maria out two Enchiladas covered in red sauce next to me. That was fun too. 

After that we had an awesome lesson with this guy, José and his wife. They had a lot of questions for us, ranging from the plan of salvation to the Restoration. So that was pretty awesome. Then they fed us some home made tamales. They were pretty good except for the beef on the inside was smothered in Cajun pepper powder. 

On the way to the next appointment, all I wanted was a salad. As we walk in we see they're cooking huge slabs of meats and then I see salad and pasta salad too. Oh, thank heavens. This is the most American Mexican food I've ever seen. My prayer was answered. The salad and meat where both so good. Then I got to the pasta salad. Turns out that this was loaded with Cajun pepper to add flavor too. So my mouth was treated with more. 

But I love it out here. The people are amazing, members and nonmembers and always happy to help us out. Our time here on earth is short, I'm beginning to realize that. So we need to make the most of it. Live for the Lord and always find ways to serve him through serving others. Always remember the Primary song: "I am a Child of God" because it's always true. No matter who you are or what you do, know that God is there, that Christ is there and the He loves you and wants to help you. 

The Church is true, the Book is blue, and God loves you.

-Elder Pearson

P.S. We contacted the killer black dog beasts house. The family is awesome and the dogs name is Scooby. I love this dog to death. 

1. Scooby can give handshakes!
2. We met this guy who was cutting meat for Thanksgiving with a woodcutter
3. This families house that we went to had a slide in their house that went down to their basement so obviously I went down it
4. We had a snowball fight with all of these kids in a Trailer Park

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Snow, "Coincidence", and Baptism


Man, what a week!

So first off, it snowed this week. What? That's not supposed to happen. I was on Exchanges with Elder Cruz from Mt. Pleasant and he's from Florida so he was pretty excited. I mean, I thought it was cool but totally random. We had an awesome exchange. So we went up to the members house for dinner and this like 14 year old girl opens the door, smiling, and then this look of horror comes across her face. She turns around and yells to her brother: "Hey! Is mom home?" To which we hear: "No" The girl turns and looks sheepishly at us. "Why?" We hear the brother call and then we hear footsteps as he runs up to the door. Look of horror crosses his face too. They then explain to us that their mom isn't home and that they don't have any food for us. But did that stop this awesome family? No! They're the best and gave us two breadsticks, half a stick of butter, and seven Wontons to eat as we went about and did the Lords work. It was awesome! I love the members so much. :)

But Elder Cruz wanted some more food so we went to this restaurant place, Biggies. Super delicious. As we're ordering, this group of like seven Hispanic kids walk in and we start up a conversation with them. They're hilarious. They tell us that they're not members but that we're still pretty cool. One of them said: "I'm surprised you haven't started talking to us about Jesus yet!" To which we laughed, and then stated our purpose. They told us here they lived and told us to stop by another time. 

Well that was on Tuesday and flash forward to Thursday. I was on Exchanges again with another elder, Elder Spencer. As we're driving to go to the trailer parks, I feel like we should visit this teenager that we're teaching, Edwin. So we stop by his house and run into his twin sister outside and who else is there? Low and behold it's the teenagers that we met at Biggies. What! That's sweet! So we talk to them and they say that they talked to their mom and she wants us to come over for dinner some night. Well, that sounds awesome! So after that we go to the trailer park to find this kid, David. We knock on his trailer and hear: "Pasale!" (Come in) so we do and there's this nice Mexican lady who sits us down and then gives us homemade burritos. My mouth was on fire, but hey, sometimes you've just got to smile and swallow and push the tears of pain back. We struck up a conversation with her husband about Jesus. This conversation was in Spanglish. He's learning English, so he was practicing, im learning Spanish, so I was practicing and Elder Spencer only knows English so he was throwing that in their too. He was talking about how you don't just serve Jesus for two years, but forever. So we talked to him about Enduring to the End - trying each day to become better. I personally love this principle of the Gospel. Trying each day to be your best. It gives me so much hope because I know I can become the best I can through Jesus Christ, my Savior. But this mans name was Ignacio. As we're getting ready to leave, there's a knock at the door, wherein an Adult, stay at home missionary, Sister Christensen, enters. She goes around and teaches English. Well, this is awesome! She's teaching these people English! The Lords timing is a beautiful thing. Things don't just happen by "coincidence." And this principle I'm about to illustrate, cause wait, it gets better. 

As we're getting ready to leave again, this Hispanic lady barges through the door. I know this lady. She's a Catholic Preacher and me and Elder Pardo were teaching them. We recently took a break because they said that they wanted more time to study the Bible. But here she is! She's talking a million miles an hour. I look over to Sister Christensen to translate. Apparently, she crashed into our parked car. Again: What? This is so awesome! So we go out and all it was was a scratch but it was nice of her to tell us. So she leaves and I'm just standing there dumbfounded seeing the hand of the Lord in all of this. We just happened to meet the Biggies kids, we just happened to be in the same house as Sister Christensen teaches, and The Preacher Lady just happened to crash into our car. No, nothing's happenstance. It's all Gods hand. 

We had a baptism this Saturday for Susana and her daughter Roxanna. I've only come into this picture of her being taught right at the end, but it's amazing to see how the Gospel has helped her and her family incredibly. She's a single mom with seven kids, but she knows that this is the best step she can take for her family. It was a very beautiful and sweet service. 

I love this work. I love my Savior, and I love all of you. And God loves you too. Just know that. :)

--Elder Pearson

1. Soccer Bros (they're all gonna be famous one day)
2. Snow
3. Baptism
4. Selfie with a horse eating my shoulder