Sunday, February 18, 2018

Week 90: In which Roxana progresses, Jessica returns, and Shoemaker leaves

 Last Week of Transfer 15...

(written 12 Feb 2018)

Hola, familia y amigos! Wow, the time is passing waaaaaay too fast. I'm beginning my 16th out of 17 6-week transfer periods! Wow, that's seriously crazy. Sadly, Elder Shoemaker will be abandoning me here in Moses Lake, the legendary Prophet's Puddle. I'm so excited I still get to stay here another 6 weeks (at least)!

To start off with, I'm going to try that same format as earlier, where I take a portion of my letter to President Lewis, edit it, and expand on it. It worked really well when I tried it earlier.

We've continued to work to help our investigators to continue to progress. Roxana is doing really well, and there are others of our investigators who have really begun showing a lot more promise lately, it's very exciting! Roxana has been doing as well as ever, and came to our weekly Book of Mormon study class on Friday. She even brought a teenage girl with her (we still have no idea who that was) Unfortunately, since it was Stake Conference this last weekend, she seemed to be asleep early in the morning when we went to drive in front of her to show her to the building. She didn't answer, and we had to go without her.

Jessica is another of our promising investigators. She was taught a while ago by Elders Shoemaker and Klossner, and was doing incredibly well, but went on vacation to Mexico. While there, she stopped reading the scriptures and praying. When she came back, I was here, and Elder Shoemaker and I have been periodically stopping in to help resolve her concerns and keep her from falling completely away. For a time, we were worried she would be lost. It was a precarious time and even though we would often consider simply dropping her completely and stopping the visits, whenever we would go by "one last time", the Spirit kept urging us to continue coming by to keep her on a lifeline. We would stop by about every 1-2 weeks.

Well, our visits have finally paid off! Her life has settled down some, and she is beginning to feel a little bit better and more able to function now that things are warming up outside. She finally committed 1 1/2 weeks ago to set an appointment with us so we could come by, teach her, and she vowed to not cancel on us. Miraculously, for the first time since I've been her, this amazing lady, who has even been on-date for baptism before, let us into her house. We had a fantastic lesson with Hno. Paine, a local member, she has begun serious study of the Book of Mormon again, and she came to the Book of Mormon class on Friday with her 9-year old son, Athan. It's truly a miracle. We are so excited to really begin working with her in earnest. Her resolve has never been stronger! It's especially a miracle because we have never before gotten anyone to come to the Book of Mormon class from our area. It's been a struggle for all of us. However, this week, we had 2 of the people we are working with show up! It was truly amazing.

I also went on exchanges this last week with Elder Memmott in his area, Moses Lake 9th Branch Central Spanish (we're normally in the North, and cover most of everything north of Highway 17). Not a lot happened on exchanges, honestly; it was simply due to the fact that there were no lessons scheduled that day in their area and no one we knocked into was incredibly interested. It was all right, though; Elder Memmott and I did some good work together, and I learned a lot from him. He's a really, really, good missionary. As I recall, we did actually find some people that could be interested, and had a lot of really good talks with a lot of people.

We have also been working with Luis and his mom, Magali. They are so awesome! The two parents have had issues with their previous churches, mainly due to people going for the wrong reasons. They have had some very negative experiences, but with us, they're always super welcoming and open. We ran into Magali in Wal-Mart while shopping today, and we set up a visit for this Tuesday so Elder Shoemaker can say goodbye.

It's been a great week, folks! Tune in next week to see what changes in the wind will come with the new transfer.

Much Love, 

Elder Adams

Questions from Editor Mom

Are you really embarking on Transfer 15 of your mission this week!? How do you feel about that? - It's weird. Actually, there are 17 transfers in a mission, and for Spanish Elders, the MTC counts as one of those. That means that technically, counting all of my full transfers, I am embarking on Transfer #16. There are only 2 left. Yes, that's extremely weird for me. It's pretty unreal.

How is the family you found progressing? I'm trying to think of who you could be referring to. There are 3 potential people to whom you could be referring.  Maybe 4, but one of them we haven't seen since that time. 1 - Roxana/Eladio/their son? 2 - Aurora, Vanessa, and family? 3 - Luis, Magali, and family? 4 - Random Catholic family we found once while tracting? (We haven't found them again yet; they're really busy with the Catholic church).

Did you get your Valentine's Day packages?  Please feel free to share things. I got the packages, but I didn't open the wrapped things. I did open the non-wrapped things, though, and they were divinely delicious. Yes, I shared quite a bit. Everyone agreed (except Elder Shoemaker, because he is very picky and specific about his food) that they were pretty much some of the most divine chocolates they had ever tasted. It was great! Also, the edible art is a cool idea. I haven't eating any of that yet.

What's the transfer news? (You don't have to share it again in your main letter--I can just post your answer here.) - Elder Shoemaker is sadly leaving to Quincy West to be companions with Elder Alonzo. I will be sticking around as District Leader and will be receiving Elder Kopp (I think - it was hard to tell on the voicemail) as my new companion!

How are you handling your allergies?With a lot of tissues... Seriously, though, I'm doing really well. I've learned more or less how to handle them now.

Pictures from Ben

All of us at dinner last night (Sunday Feb 11) with Hinocencio and Juana Aguilar, some members here. Hinocencio was baptized several months ago by Elders Shoemaker and Klossner, but then moved out of our area. We had delicious Mexican Soup (Caldo) and Tamales. It was delicious. Left to Right: Elder Memmott, Elder Ruesch, Elder Shoemaker

We found a Mexican flag in our closet, so I hung it up in our study room. Aww yeah.
President asked us to make a copy of our apartment key. We found this design and went for it. Now, our apartment door cannot oppose us!
Elder Larking eating cookie dough with a spoon and hiding behind some unopened rolls of toilet paper. We were all just talking around the table one night, and I wanted to capture the moment.
On exchanges with Elder Memmott, I found a sweet blue woven pillow thing. I then proceeded to mess around with it. It is all recorded with pictures.
Elder Miwa (left) and Elder Larkin (right) giving us a ride to a Zone Sports/Workout morning (6:30 AM)

Our beloved District:
Elder Palacios and I having Carl's Jr. on exchanges:
Elder Miwa got himself stuck in one of those pull-up bar thingies and then decided to still try to eat his lunch.

More Pictures

This week was stake conference in Moses Lake, and Sis. Lewis (the mission mom) was there and took lots of pictures and shared them on her blog.  Here are a few that featured Ben.


Week 89: In which Roxana has a dream, my companion rips a shirt, and I get a mechanical pencil

Sorry this is lame...
(written 5 Feb 2018)

Roxana is doing extremely well! She didn't come to church Sunday because some of her friends surprised her at the last minute by throwing a birthday party for her son... during church hours. Nevertheless, she is progressing in all other aspects and is always extremely excited to come to church! She was looking forward to it all week. This week, we focused on the Plan of Salvation with her. Our last lesson, on Saturday, we answered a lot of questions that she had. She kept asking about the Spirit World and the Resurrection. She then told us that she has had several family members pass away, and she never knew her Mom because she passed away when Roxana was a baby. She recently, however, had a dream where a lady visited her and told Roxana she was her mother. None of her family was extremely religious, and Roxana wanted to know if they would really have an opportunity to accept the Gospel.

Roxana has also been so excited about what we've been sharing with her, especially the Plan of Salvation. She's been sharing it with all her friends and family! Her sister lost a son not too long ago, and when Roxana shared the Plan of Salvation with her, she began crying and said "I hope it's like those missionaries tell you."

Questions from Editor Mom

How was your week? - My week has been great, as always! We found a great family on Sunday night, and I'm really happy to have the opportunity to teach them.

How are your investigators progressing? - They are doing great! Roxana is seriously SO PREPARED, it's incredible! She had been looking forward to going to church all week, and then some friends of hers last-minute surprised her by deciding to throw a birthday party for Andreas, Roxana's 4-year old son. They also decided to have the party at exactly the same time that church happens. Oh well. Other than that, though, she's really doing miraculously well.

Do the white shirts I sent you for Christmas fit?  - Yes, they fit, it's just that Elder Shoemaker accidentally ripped one of them.

When was the last time you laughed with your companion and why? - I don't remember, honestly. It happens a lot, so I honestly can't remember what the last time was. Probably just something funny one of us said. We laugh a TON; it's good for our health.

What is the most beautiful thing you have seen this week? - The sky yesterday, on Sunday, was absolutely amazing! I also would say the face of Roxana when she prayed at the end of our last lesson. That was pretty amazing. She choked up a bit in the middle, and the Spirit was SUPER strong.

What were you talking about at zone conference? - We talked about the blessings of obedience (#FEEDtheFIFTY), the Book of Mormon and how we can use it more effectively, and service. Those were definitely the main focuses, if we even talked about anything else.

I meant what were you talking about in front of the group at zone conference? - Umm, did I do that? Oh, yeah! I gave my testimony about the Book of Mormon. That's what it was. 

What did you get for your birthday at zone conference!? Did they sing to you!? - Heck yeah they sang to me! I got some sticky notes, a mechanical pencil, a Reese's, some other random stuff, and a WalMart gift card!

Love you!

Elder Adams


I have been taking a lot of pictures, I just don't have time to send them this week. Sorry :-(
Yes, but fortunately for us, Sis. Lewis, the "Mission Mom" took lots of pictures at zone conference and posted them on Facebook.

 Where's Waldo?

Singing Happy Birthday to 1/8 of the people there:

Aquarius: The Water Bearer

Scanning the Mission Newsletter:

Monday, February 12, 2018

Week 88: In which Roxana is incredible, we are stymied by keys, and I have more snacks than shirts

Another Week Rolls Right By...

(written 29 Jan 2018)

By the way, I'm trying a new format for my letter, just this week. I have taken some selected portions from my letter to President Lewis, and am adding large portions, sometimes whole paragraphs, to the original. I'm also doing some slight editing (mainly of paragraphs and some minor changes to formatting), with the concept being that you will get a more detailed and juicy account than he got (he's a busy man, and doesn't have time to read huge emails. My letters to him are still large, but I do try to limit myself).

Hello everyone! I hope everything is going fantastically well wherever you may find yourselves. Everything has been heating up here in Moses Lake, in pretty much every respect.

This has been a very, very, very, good week. We have seen a lot of amazing things in this area. First of all, it turns out that one of our investigators, Roxana, is INCREDIBLE!!!  Seriously, she has a TON of potential. We visited her twice this last week, and one of those times was a tour of the church. She absolutely loved the tour, and said of our visits, "I felt like before, there was an emptiness in my heart. However, when you started visiting, I feel it being filled with this wonderful peace and tranquility." She came to church yesterday, and the members were extremely welcoming. She has already made several friends who are members, and doesn't really know anyone else in the area. 

The only thing holding her back is that she's not married right now to her boyfriend, who is currently not in town (we've met and taught him as well), and is not sure she wants to due to the fact that they have completely different goals in life. She wants to stay here, and he wants to move to Mexico. If he goes to Mexico, she will not follow. It's a little bit of a tricky situation, but it'll work out eventually. 

For now, she has been asking a lot of questions about baptism and how to prepare for it, she just doesn't feel like she can commit to a date quite yet, partially because of the boyfriend situation. She loved church, and wants to come more regularly! That's the first time one of our investigators has come to church in this area, and it was great! Sunday was a multi-stake conference broadcast, and Elder Christofferson was among the speakers. It was broadcast from Salt Lake to several stakes in this region. The Spanish translation arrived in a different building than our normal one, across Moses Lake (the Stake Center on Division street as opposed to our normal building on Grape Dr.) 

We went to Roxana's house beforehand to show her how to get there. Afterwards, we showed her the baptismal font, since it's in that building (also the building we use on P-Days to email and other things). It was a little hard for us to open the Font, though, so we had to borrow a bunch of keys, use those keys to open the door to a closet with other keys in it, and try unsuccessfully to use those keys to open the accordion doors to the font. However, we eventually managed to sneak through the restroom to enter the font itself to show her. She loved it, and asked a lot of questions. We will be meeting with her again tomorrow!

We also had an amazing miracle last night (among many others). For those who don't know, we missionaries set goals for how many people we'd like to find, teach, and have accept a specific return appointment. This is called being a "new investigator". This last week, we wanted to work hard and find 4 new investigators. However, by the time Sunday rolled around, we had still only found 1 all week.

Late Sunday night, around 6 or 7 o'clock, we were walking back to our car when we felt the impression to knock a specific door. We did, and found a really nice Catholic family of 3 who wanted us to come back. We had a great little lesson, and set up a visit for this next Wednesday. They are now new investigators, bringing us to our goal of 4. That's more than we've ever had before. But wait! It doesn't stop there!

We went to go talk with one of our other investigators, Aurora, but she wasn't there for the lesson. Instead, her teenage daughter Vanessa opened the door and we talked for a bit. It was even better because we had brought some members with us, the Bergesons, and Sister Bergeson is over the Young Women! It was great. At first, Vanessa said she liked talking to God but didn't believe God could talk with her. We shared with her her identity as a daughter of God, and taught her to pray and how to recognize the Spirit. At the end, we invited her to ask God if she was really His daughter and pay attention to her feelings. She did, also asking for protection for her family. She afterwards began describing in detail when she thought God was communicating to her. We felt privileged to see her learn before our eyes how God really can talk to us and answer our prayers. We set up a return appointment with her and her whole family and she is now a new investigator. That brings us to 5 for last week. We feel really blessed.

Love you all, and hope you have a fantastic week! Adios!

Elder Adams

Questions from Editor Mom

Can't wait to hear from you today! - Good, because you don't have to wait any longer! :-)

How was your week? - Fantasmical!

Do you still have a lot of junky food left over from Christmas? - Waaaay too much, yes. I'm quite proud that it's not all gone yet.

Are you eating healthy food? What kinds of things do you have for breakfast? lunch? dinner? - It's ironic you ask, because we just decided to splurge and I'm sitting here eating a Frozen Yogurt. Still, normally, it's decent. For Breakfast, I'll either have cereal or some nice cheesy scrambled eggs. For lunch, I'll usually have a grilled cheese and salami sandwich. However, I sometimes switch it up and have a tv dinner or something (last week, for one of my lunches, I had creamed chipped ham on toast, or whatever it is that we sometimes had back home). For dinner, we'll have a member feed us half of the time, and the rest of the time, it will be either a grilled cheese and salami sandwich or a tv dinner (I only started getting the tv dinners recently, mainly because they're really fast and pretty darn good).

What's your favorite snack? - It really depends. I don't snack often. However, when I do, it's usually from the massive selection of Christmas Junk, because I want to get rid of it. Also Babybel cheese.

Do you need anything? - Nope, not really. We're sailing smooth. However, I am down to about 4 wearable white shirts. It's super sad, but they all have problems. Wear and tear, I guess.

How are your investigators doing? - GREAT! Especially Roxana. She is a straight gem! She is one of the most prepared people I've ever met, and she came to church yesterday and LOVED IT! We're meeting again tomorrow.

Are you looking forward to or dreading the next transfer? -  I'm looking forward to next transfer, but Elder Shoemaker and I are probably going to be split up. If that happens, I'm going to miss him. :'-(

What are you doing for exercise these days? How about for fun? - For exercise, I usually do push-ups, lift weights, run around the apartment, you know, that kind of stuff. For fun, (on P-Day), I sometimes play sports, I play board games, talk with other missionaries, sometimes play the piano, and just do random stuff.

What do you do while Elder Shoemaker plays basketball or whatever on P-Day? - See above ^

I love you and hope you are still waking up happy every day. - You know me. As long as I'm waking up at all, I'm happy :-)

Love you!

Elder Adams