Monday, September 10, 2012

Week 4: Pampa, TX

I'm loving the life of a missionary. I've been here in Pampa, Texas for only five whole days and I feel like I already know almost every street. Luckily I am in a car! But we have "bike day" on Thursdays. But this Thursday we had to head to the city (Amarillo) to get our car fixed because my companion backed into a dumpster a couple of weeks ago and the church re-sells all of the cars used for missions so we needed to get it fixed. We spent all day in Amarillo with our Zone Leaders while our car was getting fixed. Those guys are awesome and I learned a lot from them just in one day. One of them said they loved my energy and that I will definitely be in leadership positions all of my mission haha I'm so pumped! I have a great trainer and together we are getting a lot of work done. When I got here last Tuesday we didn't have many investigators; I think maybe three people. So I told Elder Arredondo that we needed to find more people to teach. Guess what we did all day Saturday..? Straight up door-to-door knocking. Did you all know that there are Southern Baptists, Northern Baptists, Central Baptists, Eastern Baptists and Western Baptists? I'm exaggerating but jeez everyone is a type of baptist here!! I would say it's 60% baptist, 20% catholic, 10% methodist, 5% other, and 5% mormon. We did find some people who are willing to have us come back this week to have a lesson! This guy Michael was chillin on his porch and as we were talking to him he was like, "Finally the Mormons come talk to me! But can y'all come back when I'm not drinking and smoking?" It was the funniest thing! We're going to visit him while he's bbqing on Saturday. Free food! And college football! Man, yesterday we were teaching this lady Josie and she had the Broncos/Steelers game on.. I wanted to watch so bad!! I miss watching football... Speaking of Josie, we were able to teach her the first lesson and give her a Book of Mormon to read. As I was bearing my testimony to her, and telling her how much we care about her and pray for her, she totally burst into tears! I didn't know what to say but to explain that what she was feeling was the Spirit. I hope that she read and prayed about it last night. She needs help with her family and the Gospel is exactly what she needs. One thing I have learned so far is to never ignore a prompting. We pray in the car every time before going door-to-door and I get these feelings about houses that may not be in our direction and we visit those houses because that's how we found Josie. I feel like sometimes it's not even me walking out there with my backpack full of pamphlets and books. I am directed in everything I do by the Holy Ghost. Freakin awesome. 

Yesterday I was able to go to church here for the first time.. It was so weird. I'm used to the Menifee ward and the Paloma Valley ward where everyone is loud and there's at least a chapel full of people and some in the overflow. Want to know what Pampa ward is like? Picture 1/3 of Sun City ward (no offense) haha and the building is half the size of the La Piedra building. There's maybe five families with kids. The rest are elderly cowboys who love talking. But I love it! I gave a lesson in primary to all the little kids about keeping the commandments. My goal is to see this ward grow while I'm here. I know it's possible. 
I'm having so much fun guys, and I've only been out about a month! Still have two long years ahead of me. Feel free to email me because the mail service here in Pampa is very poor, we are allowed to email family and also friends. I'll close this letter with a quote from one of my best friends, "I'm perfectly fine, don't pray for me. Pray for those I come in contact with..." -Elder Dallin W. George 
I love you all and have a great week full of passion and enthusiasm!! 

Elder Rios 

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