Monday, September 24, 2012

Week 6: Pampa, TX

Knocking doors is one of the hardest things to do during the week. We encounter some of the rudest people I've ever seen. Some people just look through the window to see who it is then they roll their eyes and walk away. But you know what? It's all worth it. In the past week Elder Arredondo and I have set five baptismal dates for next month. Two of these people we found by knocking doors. We taught Omar and his wife Anna the first lesson on their porch and Omar really liked the idea of the Priesthood. He wants to get baptized by the proper authority! Isaac, who I mentioned last week, wants to read the entire Book of Mormon before his baptism next month and he came to church yesterday with Angelica! Lupita and her family also came to church! It's amazing how we find ourselves truly caring about these people after such a short time of knowing them. This is why I am out here, to help people get on the right path to heaven. "And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!"(D&C 18:16) Such a motivating scripture that reminds me daily of my purpose as a missionary. I am so happy to be out here serving a mission! I'm so glad the members here like me a lot and that I have been able to gain their trust. Elder Arredondo told me that he never used to get any dinner appointments before I got here, now we have dinner with members almost every day of the week. I feel like I'm making a huge difference here already and I won't settle for less than success. I can't wait for General Conference in a couple of weeks! I really need the counsel of our leaders. Hard to believe that it was a whole year ago I was driving up to Utah with my boy Elder George to be in the presence of our prophet and apostles! By the way, Elder George and I have been in good contact and we learn from each other every week! I know Elder Larson is doing great as well! Seems like just yesterday we were sitting in my living room playing Xbox...hahah Anyway, thank you again for all of your letters and packages!!! Got a pretty sweet care package last week! I know you all want pictures but I just always run out of time whenever I try and load them up. I'll get to it! Oh I wanted to share a quick experience I had last week... This less active member called us up on Friday and asked if we could give her mom a blessing. Her mom was hooked up to life support at the hospital and wasn't looking too good. We headed down there and my comp was reviewing how to give a blessing in the car. As we walked into the room they were in we saw Sister Mariscal there waiting for us. She immediately asked if I would give her a blessing first.. She doesn't speak English so I knew I'd have to do it in Spanish. I was so nervous! But I calmed myself down and gave her a blessing the best I could. I spoke almost perfect Spanish! I felt guided by the Spirit in what to say. Elder Arredondo then gave a blessing to her mom. You could literally feel another presence in the room, which seriously freaked me out! But it was a good presence, that by the power of the Holy Priesthood which we hold, we were able to bring into the room.

The weeks are going by way too quick. There's so much work to be done here. Yesterday we went to another area of ours which is the city of White Deer. We went knocking after meeting with a new convert and preparing him for the Priesthood. While knocking we met a dude named Jaimee. He's a marine that just got back from Afghanistan last week, really cool guy! We kind of follow a pattern of questions when we talk to people at the door and it was as if Jaimee new exactly what we were gonna say before we said it. We explained to him about the Restoration of the church through Joseph Smith and he was totally into it! He showed great faith in believing that Christ has more for us. We gave him a Book of Mormon to read and we're going back tomorrow to give him a Bible and teach him the first lesson. So legit!
I'm having the time of my life right now. I've only been out a month and I'm already helping all these people get ready for the waters baptism. I know there's so much more to come on my mission and I can't wait! I hope you are all doing good and doing good things. I'm off to kick these other missionaries' butts in basketball and volleyball since it's district p-day :{D Enjoy the week, make it GREAT.
Much love from Texas,
Elder Rios

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