2: Patriarchal Blessing My dear brother, Jonathan Leslie Pardew, I take this occasion to lay my hands upon your head as a Patriarch in the Melchizedek Priesthood, and in the name of Jesus Christ, pronounce upon you, a blessing that will give you direction and counsel; and a comfort throughout your life. For you will know herein that your Father in Heaven is aware of you, your sensitivity , your compassion, and all that there is that makes up the person that has a capacity to be things in his life that are beyond imagination at this time. Jonathan, I bless you first, to know that you are of the Tribe of Ephraim. This is important for it has to do with the life that you lead; how you conduct your life. It has to do with responsibilities, your acceptance of those responsibilities. For within you there is a core of obedience, a willingness to hear the counsel of the Lord; to know of the things He has in mind for you, to know that He is sensitive to you, and to the things that you are promised. It is His promise that if you will set a footing early on, you will know that He has given you a base upon which to build a life. You will find the stairway, reach upward and find helping hands (emotionally and spiritually), that lead you to that destination that is yours. There are elements in your life to be overcome. And elements of intellect that need to be exercised that will give you a feeling of strength and joy in all that you do to undertake the assignments that are yours. And you are told now that there will be many. You are to be mindful of that tribe of which you are a chosen son. And, therein you will find tasks to undertake that will have to do with family, history. The history will be yours. For it will become a source of joy to a point that your enthusiasm for that history will grow and grow and give you a feeling of confidence in all that you do; to know that you are from nobility, to know that there are those in your past who need you, who need your strength. And need from you a worka work to be carried out in the temple. And in that work you will feel the satisfaction for you will know that there are those who are close by observing; and observing the work that you do for them. They will be forever grateful. And they will be there to greet you, to express gratitude and humility in knowing what you have done for them. I bless you, that in your search for a foundation you will find a companion who will be at your side. And you will be sealed in the Temple of the Lord and there will be a forthcoming family. And it is your role as a patriarch that will be preeminent in all that you do. You will feel that responsibility, yet you will undertake it. And the reward will be the lives of those whom you instruct, whom you direct in their growth. In that sealing in the Temple you will hear the counsel. You will know that you have chosen the right companion. It will be confirmed. I bless you also, Jonathan, to be aware that in this probation there is temporary responsibility. But your responsibility will extend beyond the veil, for you will come forth in the morning of the first resurrection. Your family will assemble with you. You will feel their love and warmth as you gather them about. Take heed of all this. For as you grow, as you serve the Lord in many capacities, even on a mission, you will feel his presence. And you will know that you have achieved the ultimate plateau of spiritual success, and an eternal life and the promise of all that brings. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Lee Adams Patriarch
3: Personal History Born in Provo Utah on April 7, 1983 Father: Leslie Wayne Pardew Mother: Kimberly Anne (Nunamaker) Pardew My Baby Blessing was on May 1, 1983, in the St. Charles Ward, the St. Louis Missouri Stake I was baptized by my father Leslie Pardew on April 13, 1991. I was in the Aspen 4th Ward, Aspen Stake I was confirmed by my father Leslie Pardew on April 14, 1991. I was ordained a Deacon by my father Leslie Pardew on April 9, 1995. I was in the Aspen 4th Ward, Aspen Stake I was ordained a Teacher by my father Leslie Pardew on April 13, 1997. I was in the Alpine 2nd Ward, Alpine North Stake. I was ordained a Priest by my father Leslie Pardew on April 11, 1999. I was in the Alpine 2nd Ward, Alpine North Stake. I was ordained an Elder by my father Leslie Pardew on August 26, 2001. I was in the Moyal Park Ward, Alpine North Stake. I received my Patriarchal Blessing by Lee Adams on December 16, 1999. I was in the Alpine 2nd Ward, Alpine North Stake. I was set apart for my mission by Terry Brown (Stake President) on September 24, 2002. I was in the Moyal Park Ward, Alpine North Stake. I was endowed at the Mt. Timpanogos Temple on August 31, 2002 I was sealed to Alexandra May Shelley in the Timpanogos Temple on August 18, 2007.
5: 10-01-02 No time to Poop Today was so busy like all days. But today I had to go potty and I didn’t get to until tonight. I love the MTC I can’t wait for tomorrow when I get to go through the Temple again. I love the temple so much. It’s going to be a good experience. Last night two Elders had to leave and go home. I’m so sad about this, I loved those Elders. It shook my faith in me by a lot. I was thinking, “Maybe I didn’t fully repent”. I felt really bad last night, but a lot better today. I’m going to the Temple.
6: 10-06-02 Today and this weekend were so awesome! Conference was nice, but I liked the Sunday night fireside most. It was on music, and every time everybody in the congregation would stand and sing, I swear, there were angels amongst us. When we sang Praise to the Man it seemed as though the Prophet Joseph Smith was there. | 10-03-02 Today we went to the Provo Temple; I feel a lot better now about being here and loving the MTC, pictures were taken today, in front of the temple, of me and my companions. Other than the Temple it’s been a normal day.
7: 10-08-02 Boom! Today we had our Tuesday night devotional and miracles have happened. Before it started I prayed that the spirit would be felt by me and my companions, and everyone in my district. Even Elder Hollingsworth, who is a very sarcastic Elder! He has mentioned in earlier days that he had a hard time feeling the spirit here in the MTC. Well, the meeting started with In This Very Room. I closed my eyes to concentrate on the lyrics, and to imagine Christ in that room. As I was pondering this, the spirit hit me so strong! I knew Christ was there, I was so sure that I had to open my eyes to look for him. He was there, I felt Him. Later in district meeting, Elder Hollingsworth said he felt the spirit for the first time in the MTC. He wept, my prayers were answered. | 10-16-02 Grrr Okay, I’m starting to get fed up with some people. I have realized that the spirit isn’t present when you joke about certain things. My district leader’s girlfriend basically dear Johned him, and he is really upset! That isn’t bad, but every night we have been talking about girls in a not good way. I’m tired of it, I wish is would stop because it’s not what I need to be focusing on. I want to have fun and play, but I should always put God and the Gospel first; even Spanish before that. I don’t like that spirit, but I rejoice in the spirit of the Lord.
8: 10-29-02 In The Morning Wow! It’s almost Halloween! Spanish is starting to come along pretty good, it’s still the hardest thing I’ve cone though! Elder Ballard talked to the missionaries last Sunday about a new way to introduce the church. It seems to be a more effective way. We would start off by talking about prophets: Adam, Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ, and then Joseph Smith. I like it because it puts everything into contrast.
9: 10-31-02 MTC Halloween It was fun! I had me and my companions dress up as Nephi, Lehi, Leamen, and Lemuel. We took pictures. Everybody was running around trick-or-treating, and it was more fun than home. We had everybody from the Pope to Bevis. It was nice to see everybody Relax. | 11-08-02 Remember I’m writing this right now because it is important for me to remember a few things. I definitely need to remember who I am; I’m a missionary for Jesus Christ’s church, and I love to do the work. I’m somebody who likes to make people laugh. I like people to be happy. It’s necessary for me to remember who I am because when you forget who you are you get stuck. I’ve had a hard couple of days because I forgot; I couldn’t get anywhere with the work. Now I need to step out of my “little space”. I need to break those strands that are holding me down. I’m so glad for my tutor who helped me remember all this. Hermana Rodregez is the best tutor. Thanks Hermana Rodregez.
10: 11-15-02 I got my flight plans today! I’m so excited to go! I’m going through San Francisco, California. I love it, I’m so excited! I leave in 10 days. I’m so excited, that I don’t know what else to say, except that I love the MTC, and that I’m going to miss it. I’ve learned so much here, from my teachers, my companions, and everyone who I came in contact with. This church is true. Jesus is the Christ, and He loves all the people on earth. So I will try my hardest to contain the same love. | 11-24-02 Today is my last day in the MTC. I’m a little nervous but way excited to get out of here. The departure devotional was awesome, I got to shake President Farnsworth, and President Worthlins hands.
11: 12-04-02 The mission is really tough. I really like missionary work though. I like sharing scriptures with people. Yesterday most of Ania’s family committed to baptism, and I was so happy. I have a hard time with my companion Elder Gonzalez, from Alabama. He, like Elder Wood, thinks that I don’t know anything. He is a good missionary though. I like him but I don’t want to be like him. He doesn’t love the people here. Maybe it’s because he only has one more month in his mission. He also lies to me and tells me to slow down; I know he can walk faster. I really love the people here they are very accepting of me so far. But today we went to my first reference and the lady said that the name “Mormon” sounded satanic. We were persecuted a little bit today. The girls seem to like the white boys. They chase me but they can’t have me. I’m still struggling with the language. It gets better everyday, especially when I speak with the people. I hope that I learn it faster so I can bare my testimony. I love this church, I know it is true. I know Christ loves us, and died for us. | ALPUYECA
12: 12-10-02 Jenni doesn’t want the discussions anymore. I wish I knew what happened! I wish so much to know the language better, so that I could share my testimony to the Vasquez family. I haven’t done it yet because I am too scared. I don’t feel support from my companion. Today I was wondering why I am on a mission. I’m having all these struggles and I’m sick. So, I was wondering why. I remembered my testimony; I want to share it with everybody. First I need to learn it in Spanish. Today in Jojutla (Zone Meeting) we planned our skit for conference. I get to be a little kid who listens to a story. I like my district, they are all good guys. I know this church is true. | 12-11-02 Today was a hot day! We started the day with a Bible bash with Rosh, I guess we won. I didn’t understand most of it. After that, we helped Ania with her English homework. I have been feeling sick so we came back home, where I sat on the toilet for a an hour. Tomorrow is the day of the Virgin Marry. There is a big fiesta en Centural. We came home tonight and found two scorpions, and Charles the gecko, on the wall, Scary huh
13: 12-12-02 Day of the Virgin Mary The day started off terrible. My companion was yelling at me, telling me that I am stupid because I couldn’t remember words in the discussions. I think that sometimes he forgets that learning Spanish takes time, or he just uses it as an excuse to yell at me, and tell me that I’m stupid. I was put down and offended all morning long. Tonight I got to witness my first real bible bash, I hated it! I wish I would have enough courage to bare my testimony. The spirit was not there though. My companion just kept on bashing with this Catholic Priest. I know though baring of testimonies the spirit will reside and everybody will be edified; not through bible bashing. Oh how I wish I knew more Spanish so that I can talk with the people here. We did give him a Book of Mormon, in which he said that he would read. I have faith that he will. I hope to see him again. I wish that Taylor was my companion. I still love the mission; I still love the people of Alpulyeca! It is important to love those whom you teach. Love those you speak toThat is where the spirit steps in and touches the persons heart. Offer a gem to someone with humility, yet confidence in the truth. Seize the moment, take it with courage. Speak as the spirit directs. Show others you recognize the beauty in them Important in missionary work is recognizing the light in others. Hold triumphantly the torch of Christ. -Georgia Marriott, Church news, Nov. 9, 2002, p. 7
14: 12-13-02 Today has been great! We got stopped by a drunken guy who was yelling Que es Dios! Que es amor! This means, what is God! What is love! I had to laugh to myself because he was so drunk. I wanted to bare my testimony again but my companion never gives me a chance for anything. | 12-14-02 Today was a great day! We got to teach two discussions, #1 and #2. Tonight when we taught discussion 1 I got to talk about Joseph Smith. I was so happy; I think my companion is starting to lighten up a little. The spirit was strong, as I recited Joseph Smith’s own words. A lot of people are dropping out and I don’t really understand why. Ania’s family doesn’t believe it’s true. I haven’t seen Sandra for a week. It’s hard to get a hold of Synthia. Jenni dropped out completely. I don’t know what I can do right now. I don’t know Spanish that well. It’s hard for me to help. I wish I had more guts to, but that is something being worked on right now. We did some service today. We helped Hermana Layva water her trees. It feels good to serve people.
15: 12-18-02 Last night Modo the dog bit me hard on the wrist. It hurts really badly right now. I had to get a bunch of stitches (11). I am really miserable inside. I try my hardest to be a good missionary and something like this happens to me. Really, I brought it upon myself. I shouldn’t have been over there petting him. At the time he seemed harmless. Then he attacked. I’m glad that I had gotten away with my life. I’m really tired and thirsty right now.
16: 12-28-02 My wrist is good right now. I’m really happy today because I got to do my first baptism. I baptized Maria Luisa Mata Soriano. I had to do it twice; the first time her hand didn’t go under. The second time she slipped and went all the way under. I don’t know if it is a common thing that missionaries get to baptize at their first baptism, but I did, and I am so grateful for that opportunity. I believe that I have it in me to be a great Elder, and a great missionary, even if I have to do it with one hand. Elder Gonzalez leaves on Wednesday. I have to go with him and his family all day on P-day. Oh well, we will just have to make the best of it! | 12-29-02 It was a pretty good Sunday today; Maria and Ania were confirmed members of the church. They are so excited; it is great to see that they wave their own testimonies. I also watched Gordon B. Hinckley’s “6 B’s” talk and also Legacy, all in Espanol. Mari really liked Legacy and borrowed it. I really have a lot of love for the people here. It is hard right now because my companion doesn’t have love for the people. He just wants to go home. Tonight I helped give Rodolfo’s wife a blessing; just me and Rodolfo. I’m so grateful for these opportunities; to use my priesthood and grow. I sometimes feel a little shy that people are choosing me to baptize them and to help with blessing. I think that the Lord wants to give me experience, and the people know that I love them. It’s not because I tell them, they know it because of what I do. Actions sometimes speak louder than words. I am going to continue to love this people forever and ever. I believe that love is the most important ingredient of an elder, missionary. Never run out of love. Learn from you mistakes; also learn from the good experiences in your life too.
17: 12-30-02 I don’t want to leave Alpulyeca! I love the people here. I want to be with these people forever. I love them. Is it possible for a missionary to love the people too much? I wish to know. Tonight was Elder Gonzalez’s “farewell”. People were melancholy. It was then that I realized that I would be in Alpulyeca forever. It hit me when I saw Ania’s eyes watering. I thought of the time that I would have to go. I was sad to think about it. I would not like that day to come, but it will come nonetheless, and I will have to be strong. I love the people and I hope I get to serve them for a long time. All day today; I spent with the family of Elder Gonzalez. He has a really cool family. His brother and I go along great. I was surprised at the concern that his mother had for me. She told me to watch out for myself. I think that I will. After I leave Alpulyeca; I hope that one day I will be able to see the people again, and I will in the life to come. | 12-31-02 Last day of 2002 It’s a Wednesday and I still haven’t been able to email mom. I spent all P-day with my stupid companion and his wonderful family. He told me that he would give me time today to email my mom, but of course it fell through! I really dislike my first companion. No patience, no sense of humor, no humility. Things that I think are important. He never listened to me. Tonight we were with Marci, Suri, and Librado; it was 9:30, time that we should be at home. This is a missionary rule, I was telling Elder Gonzalez that we needed to leave, that it was past time. Finally I said it to him in Espanol and he got angry at me and said he needed to call the Zone Leader. Why couldn’t he use the momita’s phone, I don’t know. He didn’t even call until talking for a half and hour with Marci. I really don’t understand him. He makes me so mad sometimes. He gets me so angry. I hope I never have to see Elder Richard Gonzalez again, ever! I’m excited to get a new companion; also to work with Elder Mann. He is a good guy. One more day with Gonzalez, I hope I pull through. By the way, we didn’t leave the house until 10:30, 1 hour late.
18: Puente de Ixla | 01-02-03 Today I said good bye to Elder Gonzalez. I’m in Puente de Ixla now for 4 or 5 days creo. I’m with Elder Mann and I’m learning a ton with him. I’m glad I’m on this split, I’m going to try to learn as much as I can while I’m here. I’m very happy tight now. We are going to work hard and learn tons. Today we went back to Alpuyeca (home) for two citas but they both fell through. I love the people of Alpuyeca, I miss them tambien. I was happy we got to go back today so that I could see them. We might go back on Sunday too. I’m excited, it will be fun. Today Elder Mann taught me 5-5-5, something that Elder Gonzalez failed to teach me. It is how we make contacts; I want to follow the pattern of 5-5-5 for my whole mission. He also told me a lot of rules that I didn’t know existed. I’ve even broken a few. You’re not to be at a member’s house for more than an hour at a time. I’ve broken that rule plenty of times. I want to do better though! I’m going to keep working hard, and even harder. Pray hard and Study hard.
19: 01-03-03 Today was a blast! I actually in motion! We went and visited people. I met a bunch of people; they are very nice here. One person spoke English (ghetto). He said he lived in the United States for 13 years. He also said that he was in gangs; and now he just want to change and be good. He was saying this all in English. I know he was talking to me, and immediately I felt a connection to him. I want to help him anyway I can. I hope to see him again, while I am here in Puente. All day I had a fat lower lip, because last night a mosquito took a big bite out of it to welcome me to Puente. I think it just wanted to kiss me. I woke up with the biggest lip, que chistoso! I’m really starting to like Puente, but I remember my family in Alpulyeca. I’ll never forget them. | 01-04-03 Today was awesome! I really look up to the Elders that I’m with right now. Elder Mann has been sharing scriptures with people; the same scriptures that I’ve shared with him; some of my favorites. I think that he is showing me how I can share these scriptures with people. He is teaching me how to be a missionary. Today we did tons. We didn’t get to teach a charla today but I gat to tract for the first time. We knocked a few doors today; I really liked being a part of that. I hope my next companion is nicer and wants or has the desire to be a good missionary. I hope he likes missionary work. I found out today that Elder Nelson (Zone Leader) got called to be the next AP. Tomorrow I will have to go to Jojutla and be on splits with Elder Juarez for the rest of the split. It’s alright though; it’s just one day, and it’s P-day. I hope that he likes E-mail because I haven’t talked to my mom for two weeks now. I have a lot to say to her. I want to be the best missionary I can be. I want to always progress, never giving up, working hard, my hardest; with righteousness and with the spirit. Work work workwork hard!
20: 01-05-03 Fast Sunday is so tough! I’m in Puente on a bicycle starving. I’ve been going up and down the steepest hills, and my bottom hurts really badly! It was a cool day today though; we visited a guy who seemed like he didn’t like the church too much. We were going to leave with a scripture. I pulled out my Bible, and he asked sternly, what is that other book? I gave him my Book of Mormon; he then opened to Alma and started reading. The spirit was there. He was a lot nicer, to us, after that too. I’m still in Puente; Elder Juarez is spending the night here with us. I’m happy about that. | 01-06-03 I’m spending the night in Jojutla, with Elder Juarez. I wasn’t able to E-mail home again. We went to Cuernavaca and went grocery shopping for Elder Mann. I didn’t even get to eat until 3:00. I was upset about that too! Elder Juarez tells me we will do E-mail first thing tomorrow. I can’t wait to get back to Alpulyeca! There is a lot I have to do; this is where I wish I knew Spanish better. Hopefully I will be able to explain things to my companion well enough for him to understand. Elder Gonzalez is gone! Today we gave a blessing to a very sick lady. She looked like she was on her death bed, but she will be okay now. I know through the atonement that we are made whole. That lady will see another day, and she will smile again.
21: 01-07-03 I like my new companion; he seems like a cool guy. His name is Elder Soto; he is a native to Mexico. He already told me that he doesn’t like (Planchar) to bible bash. I’m so excited to work with him. I hope to learn a lot from him. I got to talk to mom today over the internet, finally. She was all worried that I have rabies, but I don’t, and that is a blessing. My companion has many ties, I can’t believe how many he has; I’ll have to count and record it later because there are so many. I’m really happy to be back in Alpuyeca. I missed the people here. It is so good to be back. I planned to have a noche de hogar (family home evening) with the Levas on Monday. I did it all by myself too. We just need to come up with a message to give and all will be cool.
22: 01-08-03 Oiy! I’ve had better days. I’m so sick right now, with a stomach infection, and a fever. Everything has been coming out both ends. It doesn’t feel good, but I’m still very happy because Elder Gonzalez is gone. I threw up 4 times this morning; one of the times was on the bus to Jojutla for the junta de zona (zone meeting). I stuck my head out the window and let everything fly. digested Gatorade gracefully falling from my mouth; glistening in the sun as it hit the cars driving the other way. I shall never forget the feeling of throwing up out the side of a bus. I’ve been in bed most of the day, because of it. We didn’t get any work done today either. I sure hope that I feel better tomorrow. | 01-09-03 A lot has happened today; first with the happy good stuff. I got to knock doors for the first time today. Three people agreed to listen! I was excited about that. Now for something funny; my companion needed to go potty really bad in Xochitepec, but there was no restroom. So he goes between two trucks to do his business! The thing that was the funniest of all was when he realized that he went potty all over his shoes. Now for the hard stuff; the father of Oyuki was drinking a lot today. He started yelling at Rodolfo, and pushing him. Rodolfo then hit him and knocked him down. His brothers then came to break it up but it doesn’t stop. Oyuki’s dad gets a knife and heads up to Rodolfo’s house. I didn’t see anything, but Rodolfo came back with a cut on his head. My companion said that it was pretty bad. Oyuki was just asking me why do these things happen, why? I so wish I knew the Spanish to tell her that we couldn’t grow if there wasn’t something to learn and grow from. We are given trials so that we can progress. We all learn something in this life and we progress according to the things we are farced to go through. I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us. We grow though these experiences. Why did Heavenly Father lest Christ die on the Cross, why; because he loves us. He always has, and He always will.
23: 01-11-03 I’m so happy tonight. My companion let me bare my testimony! Yes! I’ve wanted to do that forever. The spirit was so strong. I sure hope that Librado felt it. I would like to see him turn around and be baptized. The future looks good; I hope I get more opportunities soon, because it is what I like to do. I love helping people, I love feeling the spirit, and sharing it with others. Jesus is the Christ. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the truest church, the gospel is true. | 01-15-03 I’m very grateful to my Savoir today. I’ve had some really good experiences. Today was intravistas (interviews) with President Mortensen; he told me to hold in there a little longer and things will be easier. I’m going to ask Elder Soto for a blessing tomorrow for my charlas (discussions) and my Espanol. I got a scripture today from Rachelle Barton. This scripture hit me hard and I felt the spirit as I read it. It is Isaiah 60:1; “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you”. I’m thinking of making this my motto. It goes along with one of my favorite scriptures, Matthew 5:14-16; “let your light so shine”. I thought that I would take the advice of President Mortensen and be quick to pray. There isn’t much work here in Alpulyeca; the pueblito is very Catholic. Not many people want to hear the gospel message. The members don’t want to help so I prayed that today we would be able to find somebody to teach. I asked for help and this is what happened. We went up to Oyuki’s house and her dad was home, and sober (thank goodness). Elder Soto started baring testimony that God loves him. Oyuki’s dad started to cry a little; the spirit was there. He started talking about how he admires the missionaries, and started talking about me. He said that I haven’t talked to him much because my Spanish isn’t that good, but he said “lo quiro mucho” which means “you mean a lot to me”, and then he gave me a hug. I love the people here. People don’t remember what you say only how they felt when you said it. I didn’t say much to him, but he feels something, he feels something special. I want to work with him more. I know he can change. After this happened I was satisfied except we didn’t teach a discussion, but we reached somebody’s heart. After this we went to Maria to verify that she read the Book of Mormon. While we were there we met Africa. She agreed to hear charla one. Yes! I’m so grateful to my Savoir and to Dios (God). I know if we ask in faith our prayers are answered. I’m so excited for the work ahead. Africa is a very nervous girl, but she agrees with everything and she liked what we had to say. I’m so grateful. I love the people of Mexico! I love Mexico!
24: 01-23-03 I don’t know what to do! I’m so tired of being confused. Maybe I’m not trying my hardest. I don’t know. My companion listens to worldly music, I believe, it is in Spanish and there are a lot of things that I don’t understand yet. I don’t know how to tell him things without is looking like I’m trying to be over him. I don’t feel good when I tell people what to do, but maybe it is something I have to do. He is very trunky right now, and I think that it is wearing off on me. I’m going to have to put forth the effort not to think about home to much. Tonight we went to visit Ania. We were there for-ev-er, and for no apparent reason. I was waiting for Elder Soto to say, it is time to go, but he didn’t for a long time. I don’t know if it is my place to say, come on lets go! I guess it is; I want to work on my righteousness. I’d rather be righteous and have an angry companion. This is something really hard for me, but I got to have faith. My faith is so weak right now. I have a hard time talking with people. Often times I don’t know what to say. I wish I could just know what to say. I wish I could understand Spanish. I believe the Lord blesses me so much and continues to bless me. | 01-26-03 Wow! This month is almost over. I can hardly believe how the time is flying by on the mission. I completed 4 months now; 2 more and that is of my mission. Yesterday the 25th we went with the branch to a lake and played futbol (soccer). It was so much fun, I believe it was exactly what this branch needed; more activities in the branch. Everybody was having a good time, and everybody was happy. Alpulyeca really isn’t a bad area. I just think that it needs a chance to grow in the gospel. I’m still struggling to figure out how to plant desire in the hearts of the members. It is a hard puzzle piece to find, but I’m mot going to give in. I really do like it here, I don’t want to live here, but I like it. Struggles Girls, Companion Girls: It seems like they all like me, it is so hard not to flirt! Sometimes it comes naturally, and I’m left feeling bad. I hate girls! I wish that they would leave me alone. Companion: I think that he is jealous that I get so much attention without doing much. I’m sorry man! I can’t change the color of my skin. He also spent all his money (I think some of the mamita’s money too), to buy a camera. Now we can’t go to the ruins tomorrow. I don’t think he really wanted to go anyway.
25: 01-30-03 Today was conference, and boy am I learning a lot. I don’t know if I can call what we are doing missionary work. We visit a lot of members, and sometimes we even use the internet in the middle of the week. My companion listens to unacceptable music, reads unauthorized magazines, flirts, and so on. I really don’t know how to take a stand, and be firm with him. I don’t know if I should yell at him or what I can do to help him out. Whenever he thinks I’m upset at him for doing something wrong he starts bothering me about my charlas and makes me feel guilty for not studying harder, he will also pester me about Spanish and say I don’t talk enough. I don’t know! I should talk more; nobody is perfect. I really felt the spirit today as the general authority talked on Christ. It made me feel like I wanted to be a better missionary, and better person altogether. We knocked on a few doors today and made one contact. I spoke at one of the doors; it went really bad, but oh well it is all for learning. The important thing is we got a contact and I hope she is there when we go to teach. I’m going to exercise faith and step out of my comfort zone. | 02-04-03 Sometimes when everything seems to be going wrong and you can’t seem to do anything right; it is really hard to know it is all for a good cause, and that you doing the right thing. I’ve been feeling so alone. I just want to scream, “Is anyone there”?! I think it is time to relax; to remember that the spirit is with me as a missionary, and I need to have faith. I’m realizing that my faith is very weak right now; I’m having the hardest time opening my mouth. At times I want to say something, but I chicken out. I NEED TO HAVE FAITH! Reyes dropped out hard today. I’m trying to stay happy. Spanish is still very hard, but I am learning. I still love the people, but I know I can love them more, if I open my mouth and tell them. Africa stopped us and told us she wants to listen to the discussions more; who knows, I hope that is the real reason. She says she likes white people. Hopefully it is not just because of me. “Lord, please bless me with faith that I can open my mouth and bless this people. Help me to accomplish the things necessary to learn this language as fast as I am able, memorize the discussions and so forth. Please. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen”.
26: 02-05-03 Today was a very good day for me. I don’t know about my companion though. He breaks rules and right now I’m trying to figure out a way to talk to him about it, and still be his friend. I don’t like going to the internet in the middle of the week, but I have to admit that I’m glad we did today. There was one from Kelly; I’ve been getting a lot of emails from friends lately because I’m in the New Era this month. Kelly said some things that really boosted my confidence and helped me remember who I am. It really helped! We then went to Layva’s house where we helped do metal work, while my companion argued with Mario Leyva. I don’t like it when he argues. There are other ways to visit and talk. We visited Rodolfo and Oyuki like always then ate and went to Ania’s house, and we were therereadyfor 3 hours! My companion was flirting and wrestling with Sesi (Ania’s sister) and I didn’t know what to do. I hate breaking rules, I wish I had a stronger will power, so I can say lets go, or I don’t like that music. AaaaarrrrggggThe mission is a lot tougher than it sounds! | 02-06-03 Oh if I have ever had a bad day; this one definitely conquers all! My companion yelled at me tonight. I only got about half of what he was saying. I think it is because I need to talk more or I need to know what to do. Yes, I do need to talk more, but I don’t know everything WE need to do. I’ve been struggling to certify my discussions, learn how to talk, be friends with everybody, help out as much as I can with the branch (which has so many problems), and I need to be happy all the time! It is hard for me to know what to do. Plus I worry about all the rules that WE are breaking. It would be a little easier if I just knew the language! I feel that I’m giving it my best effort. I’ve seen Heaven and Hell out here. I want to be happy but when I’m yelled at when I’m trying my hardest, it really lowers my spirits. When I don’t have my companion I’m the loneliest person in the whole world. I really don’t feel like I con go to him to talk anymore. The worst is he tells Rodolfo that I don’t want to work, and now he thinks that I’m a bad person. The truth is though, I’m lost at what to do for this branch, and my companion is too. He would rather go to the internet and talk with all his girlfriends on MSN. I don’t like that either.
27: 02-07-03 I talked with President Mortensen today. For some reason he had to make sure I still had a testimony. I told him I did, well of course I do, and I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have one. I do feel better and worse. President Mortensen said, “You’re getting off, starting rough, that must mean that you’re going to be a good missionary”. At the same time I feel that he thinks I’m just passing the days by. That makes me sad. I wish I did have more courage to talk with my companion about how I don’t want to listen to Enya anymore, and how I just want to go to the internet on Mondays like we are supposed to. I’m having a hard time with my mission but I’m at the toughest part, and I need to have more faith; more faith in my Spanish and in the Lord. I need to have faith that if I open my mouth He will put words there. I haven’t been able to take that leap of faith yet, but I’m going to for now on. It won’t be easy, but it is something that I need to do now. I think, no, I know I’ll be happier if I do that. Right now I honestly don’t feel like I’m a good missionary, but I’m progressing. I’m going to be the best I can be for now on. I’m not perfect, but who is? Christ died for me, so that I could be on this mission. I think that I owe him everything. I need to definitely work harder and be more humble. I sure hope things work out.
28: 02-08-03 I really like how the day went today. I’ve been thinking about what President Mortensen said to me about talking more and being happy. Today I really tried to talk to more than one person, and I was happy too. I know I’m being difficult with my companion at times; everybody is telling me that I need to talk with him more, but the truth is, is that I do try to talk to him, but he doesn’t talk back. It’s like mom says, “I’m talking to a brick wall”. I know I’m probably the same. I only get about half the messages now and I pray so hard for help. I pray so hard for this branch. Tomorrow I’m fasting all day to help me open my mouth to the people, and to complete my goal of having my discussions memorized by zone conference. I’m going to put my trust in the Lord. With him all things are possible. We got a bunch of references today and I’m excited to teach; to exercise my faith! I also got an allergy of the skin today. Now about my companion Elder Soto; I need to get some things out of my system. He listens to music of the world; I’ve seen him in almost a wrestling match with Sesi. He always wants to go to the internet in the middle of the week! He flirts, Ohhh, he flirts! I talk to him and he doesn’t talk back, I wish that he would.
29: 02-09-03 Oh these days are so difficult! Today started good; the chapel was filled and I was so happy for that. I prayed for it and it happened; I was happy. Also we got to teach a charla 1. Things were going great. The girl we taught really liked what she heard. She seems like a good investigator. It wasn’t until we went to Ania’s house; I’m thinking that my companion has a little crush. He told me that we were going to get my skin allergy checked out by Ania’s mother, but her mother wasn’t there. Great! I knew that we would be there the rest of the night. Ania asked me to help her cross stitch, and I agreed. Elder Soto kept getting closer and closer to her. I don’t think that Ania knows the rules of the missionaries; what they can and cannot do. She also wrote him a letter on a picture. Is this okay? I really get confused with the rules when things like this happen. I asked Elder Soto what the rules are exactly and he said, “Don’t talk to girls unless I’m there, I say when it is time to leave a home, and when it’s time to do things, and you don’t have anything to do until you memorize the discussions!?” I don’t get these rules.