Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2014 14:15:03 -0700
Hello family! Merry Christmas!
So I mailed your Christmas presents today, but they are not supposed to get there until Friday. Rats! Just know that they are coming. I got my winter stuff. Thank you! My coat has already come in handy several times. We don't have any snow in the valley yet, (as I'm sure Shaney has told you) but there is some on the mountains. We are supposed to have a white Christmas though, which is pretty cool.
My first area is West Jordan East. My trainer is Elder Erazo, who was born in Argentina, but has lived in Texas most of his life. The members here are really nice (both Spanish and English). We eat dinner with members every night, and we live with members as well. I'm pretty sure that if these were the old days where everybody paid the exact amount for their mission, this would be one of the cheapest! We went to Subway on Friday, and one member said he would have bought our food (if he had seen us before we paid), and then on our way out the door, one lady gave us $40. Since we can't accept cash, we just donated it to the mission fund. We have also received several gifts, including a few gift cards.
The work is going well. We had an investigator who had a baptismal date set for the 28th, but then he let us know that he was gay, and asked our opinions about that. He took it well, and the Spirit was really strong during that lesson. But the next day he texted us and told us that he was not willing to change that aspect of his life. So that was sad. But we do have other investigators who are progressing really well. We have also been tracting a lot this week, and handing out "He is the Gift" cards. Our area is really small, but we still have a car, which is nice. When I do need a bike, the mission home has some, so hopefully I won't need to buy one.
My last week at the MTC was really good. Our concert at the visitor's center went really well, and a few of our teachers came. Sunday night I had to say goodbye to Elder Hamilton, as well as Elder Brown, who were leaving. Monday was kind of a strange day, because about half of our district was gone already, but we had classes as normal. Elder Tolman left for Ecuador Monday evening, so I had to spend the night (or half the night) with some other elders. Atin the morning, we left for the airport. All of my travel on Tuesday went smoothly. The Dallas Airport is huge, and I had to take a train to the terminal for Salt Lake, but I made it without getting lost! Customs was also really simple. They just have machines where you scan your passport, and it takes a picture of your face, and then it prints out a receipt and you give it to an officer. I can't remember much more from my last week at the MTC, but I will review my journal and tell you on Thursday. We are planning on Skyping at , so 11 for you guys. What do I need to know in order to skype you? Name? Username? Just send me a quick email when you get this, and I should be able to check it before I Skype you.
I hope everything is going well at home. I hope Shaney got home okay. Just know that I am doing well and that I have been well-received. I know that I have been specifically called to serve here, because the Lord has prepared people that only I will be able to touch. One more story: We were tracting some apartments one day, and we knocked on one door on the top floor, but nobody answered. We were about to leave, but then we saw someone walking into the apartments across the street, so we paused to see where she went, so we could ask her about people who might be interested. As we were watching, the door we had just knocked on opened, revealing a big Samoan guy. It turns out that he was a less active who wanted to go back to church, but didn't really have the motivation to. He told us that he had been thinking about it right before we knocked on the door. Hopefully we gave him the motivation to go back. So, miracles happen. President Chambers tells us that when an appointment falls through, instead of leaving, we should continue looking in the neighborhood for Heaven's Appointment, because Heavenly Father doesn't send us somewhere for no reason. I love you all, and I can't wait to see your beautiful faces on Thursday!
Elder Jared Weller