Nice Long Letter AND Pictures…Hurray!

Finally got him to right a long letter. When I emailed him the night before I asked for more stories with details. I also told him that I broke a corner off of a tooth with a very very old filling and was heading to the dentist today. It didn’t hurt at all. It was just information. He used it to describe the people he’s around though, which I appreciate. I also told him that Matt Hyer (who is also the son of the dentist I saw today, for those of you who don’t know) is entering the MTC this week (heading to Boston, Massachusetts), so he responds to that too. All and all, I’m liking the length of this one.

PS… check out the last picture. We knew it would happen eventually.

“Dear Mom,

I am happy to say that I go the e-mail from spencer! It was wonderful and I tried to reply as best I can, I wish I had some fantastic stories for this week, wait! I will do what you suggested and just talk in detail!

Also what happened? how did you break a tooth? which one? lots of hispanic people have gold and silver teeth, especially their front ones, there is a man we are teaching (by the way we can use first names now!) who has one gold tooth in the front and the enamel that is left is in the shape of Texas, it is pretty cool.

That is crazy that Matt is leaving on his mission this Wednesday! I always have thought of Matt being the perfect missionary and such with is Christ-like attitude towards life. The son of the bishop of our ward is also going into the Provo MTC this Wednesday to go to Arizona for his mission, Scottsdale, and it covers Queen Creek!

Okay Okay, I need to practice describing things in detail, that is something that will help my memory, and to retain what English I have left….

I Love the insight that you mentioned on the Bible, and that is why it is called bible, also related to the Spanish world Biblioteca which means library, sadly most dont see that connection though. That is how the bible is divided, by those four categories, it is also for the most part chronological with the first five books of Moses being followed by Joshua then following into the life of the Jews until they end up captive in Babylon at the end of Second Kings, Isiah is covered in that time. Jeremiah is near the end of second kings as he is carried into Babylon as well before being killed but being able to write both the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations. Ezra and Nehemiah cover many similar instances of the Jews returning to Jerusalem and their dealings there in. The book of Ester follow the Jews who didn’t leave Babylon. I am in Psalms currently and have hit a bit of a wall as they are repetitive, very baptist in nature, most baptists know their psalms quite well and have a favorite one about God’s love or protection. I recommend a good read from the records of Josephus who was a historian who very thoroughly covers the Old Testament history (and to the time of Christ since the Old Testament ends about 400 years before Christ as it falls into the Maccabean period which gained power after the family successfuly restored the temple and ended the pagan beliefs the Greeks tried to implement in Israel. They did so at the cost of losing the authority of the High Priest of the temple (side note: the Jewish Temple acted under the Aaronic priesthood as the temple was only used for atoning sacrifices and other sacrifices how the sacrament applies to us) as the authority of high priest became an elective or bought position with political leaders disposing and assigning new priests at their whim), he was a scribe of the Jews (I believe) and is quoted in the Bible Dictionary and in many ensigns.

On Tuesday we got up and at 8 a member picked us up with the other Elders in the ward and drove all of us out to his home about 30 minutes away so we could help him make cement, he is sifting sand of all the rocks and will use it for cement in his foundation of his home. Then he made us a drink out of water, honey, and apple vinegar. It was an interesting concoction and definitely woke me up.

Wednesday was transfers, Elder Hepworth who was the District leader left to go to Arlington, so at seven in the morning (it was about 80-85 degrees) Elder Kremer and I biked to their apartment about ten minutes away just as the member who was taking him was loading up the car with his baggage then we figured out how to attach the bike rack and finished his preparations. Elder Kremer and I then did studies with Elder Tanner until his new companion Elder Brown arrived with the same member a few hours later. We then rode home, finished our studies, and went to a District leader meeting with the Zone leaders. There we learned new methods of teaching and other ideas our mission plans on implementing. Also we have been told that the mission will be getting Ipads by the end of the year, that the trials are over and they are starting to ship them out. That will be interesting and I am looking forward to it as the Spanish people are very visual learners.

Thursday we got through our whole weekly planning. That is a planning session where we sit down for three hours and plan out who and how we are going to visit and teach the next week. We set our goals higher than the previous week by a significant number this week to hit a stretch goal.

Friday we had Zone Training where we reviewd the things we went over in District Leadership Council and implemented them with role playing practices (something missionaries do a ton and actually help us improve our teaching through evaluation). That night a member picked us up and took us to Chipotle! That was a first since being in Glendora! This week wasnt an accurate representation of the mission for food since we were in our apartment for most of the dinners. (one night we made steak burritos, another was quesadillas, pigs in a blanket, biscuits and gravy, I made a couple sandwiches some were ham, others peanut butter and Jelly. Every morning I try to drink a glass of apple juice before exercising then a protein shake afterwards with some toast or oatmeal. Once this week we went to Subway, we also went today as well…)

Saturday felt like the first free day of the week, as though a burden was lifted and we could actually focus on our area! Due to having to study for a language and another hour of new missionary studies we are in the apartment for a long time, which helps us learn and prepare. To be able to get out right after and ride around in the hot sun was actually a joy and relief. It was probably about 90 degrees with the humidity as well.
We were able to teach some English people a few short 5 minute lessons, which is really hard to do since 5 minutes is not a lot of time for questions, scriptures, and testimony all in one. It worked though and we shared the gospel with new people! We also got to visit an investigator named Jose, we knocked on his door even though his cars werent there, and he answered! We read 1Nephi Chapter 8 about Lehi’s dream, he told us how wonderful it is, how it brings us peace, and told us he wanted to go to church the following day!

Sunday, We had ward council and a missionary coordination meeting with the Ward Mission Leader in the morning, then church started at ll, sadly none of our investigators came, that is a struggle, but is easily removed when the investigators have friends in the ward or we teach friends of the members. We had dinner at the bishops home, we had hamburgers and dodger dog sized hotdogs, with a nice potatoe and egg salad and a jello for desert. As part of being a district leader, now at night I have to be home at about 8:45 on sundays and call the Elders in my district and the Sisters to get reports on how their week went and also to report those to the Zone leaders who follow the chain until it gets to the mission president.

Now I am here on monday, we didnt have a car for today so to get groceries the other elders biked to our apartment and a member came and picked us up to take us to a store called ALDIs which is a really low cost, off-brand supermarket.

As a District leader, I have to encourage my district, plan district meetings on tuesdays for weeks that we dont have any conferences with the zone or the mission president. I also conduct exchanges with the other elders.

Story about my companion, he loves cats and reptiles of all kinds! Texas has quite a few frogs and turtles in our area and a couple snakes. This week we had just biked up the largest hill in our area and at the top we knocked a familes door, as we waited for them to answer we saw a turtle in the neighbors driveway to the right. My companion got excited. As soon as we finished talking with them and setting up an appointment, he rushed over and wanted to pick it up (it had run to the edge of a couple of bushes by then) He tried to pick it up and it hissed at him! then tried to bite him. That was an interesting experience.

Well I have to go, I got to write a decent bit this time, can you send more protein powder? I also never received the cook book. I love you!
Love,
Elder Grant Hagen”

The hissing turtle

The hissing turtle

Dallas temple with companion

Dallas temple with companion

July 2014 4th parade float 1

All the missionaries in the 4th of July float (see previous post)

All the missionaries in the 4th of July float (see previous post)

He's a true Texan now... Got his first hat!

He’s a true Texan now… Got his first hat!

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