Another week has cruised by on the mission. We are finding and teaching much more now that we are familiar with the area. This last week was the first week without Elder Garza. We are staying busy here in a very large area. Hermano Mayans came to church yesterday once again and always enjoys reminding me that he has not had coffee since the day we committed him to stop. I am always pleased to hear that every time he tells me. He honestly seems happier. Investigators begin to realize that commandments are not rules, rather blessings. Hermano Mayans has recognized blessings that come from living the Gospel. Unfortunately Familia Gallegos did not come to church yesterday. We had a lesson with them on Friday and our member present, Hermana Orozco invited them to church and they agreed. We called Saturday night and left them a message reminding them. I also called them Sunday morning atjust before Ward council. Church starts at . I woke her up with the phone call on accident. It did not cross my mind that I could wake her up at such an hour because my day always starts at . She mentioned that family was coming into town and that she could not go but is planning on coming next week. I sure hope so. This last week, we also had Zone Conference and we were taught by Elder Ellis from the Quorum of the Seventy. It was a wonderful conference and I received not only revelation for our area and those we are teaching, but also personal revelation. I am grateful for all that I have learned so far on my mission. I will say it again, my mission truly is preparing me for the rest of my life. The ward had a halloween activity on Saturday combined with the English. I imagine it was combined, because our Ward does not seem large enough to have an activity by itself. It went very well and many new faces came including less-active members and investigators. We had dinner for the first time with Junior Mayans (The son of Hermano Mayans) and it was wonderful. To say the least, the family is very wealthy. After dinner, he gave us a tour of his large 9,500 square foot house. That house is at least 7,000 square feet too big. Four kids lived there when he built it, but have all moved out now. I love the family because they are very humble as well. He told us before we left that he wanted Christmas lists from five families in the ward that are in need this time of year. He has done this every year. He covers the Christmas presents for a list of families the Bishop prayerfully chooses. Junior Mayans also mentioned I have a place to stay when I return after the mission to visit the members and people who I have taught and will teach. No complaints there. We are having a Family Home Evening with the entire Family tonight and we will be reading the Family Proclamation to the World as they are preparing to enter into the temple as a family a year after Hermano Mayans is Baptized. To be completely honest, Familia Gallegos and Hermano Mayans are all the investigators I can truly give report on. All other investigators I consider potential investigators. We are continuing to find as we know the Lord will bless us according to our diligence. I know that is true, because it was just a week ago when Familia Gallegos walked by us on the street. Heavenly Father truly is harvesting his vineyard right now. It is an exciting time to be a missionary; full-time and as members. The Church is literally prospering by degrees. I love this work with all my heart. I cannot thank Heavenly Father enough for all the blessings he has given me, but I try my best through my obedience and diligence as a representative of His son, even Jesus Christ. Lets move on to the bad news I have to share this week;
I forgot to mention last week that my wallet was stolen. At this time, I would like to thank you Mom for the "two wallets" idea. The wallet that was stolen had; Church credit card, Health insurance card, Drivers License, Temple recommend, a couple gift cards and a little cash. My second wallet fortunately had my personal debit card, Eagle scout card and a majority of the cash I have. As far as the stolen wallet goes, the Church credit card has been discontinued and I will be given another one soon. I have renewed my Temple recommend already with President Bowen, and I received permission to call the Oregon DMV to send me a replacement Drivers License. I should be receiving that today at the zone activity because the Zone leaders bring mail to the zone activities we have. How did this all happen? We were at district lunch as a district. I ordered my food and set down my Book of Mormon and my wallet with my receipt down on the table I was saving for the entire district. I went to go fill my cup up with water, returned and it was gone. I did not see who grabbed it, neither did any of the other missionaries. The person managed to do it within a 15 second time frame. He is good at what he does I suppose. I began making the phone calls. I set up an interview with President Bowen to immediately cancel my temple recommend and to receive a new one. He gave me permission to call the Oregon DMV to order a replacement drivers license. I went to the office to receive a new Health Insurance card. I called Bank of America to check my current balance knowing that my balance after my last transaction was $88.00. As missionaries here in California, we receive $150.00/month for personal expenses. After purchasing food at district lunch, my balance was $88.00. After getting ahold of Bank of America, I was informed that my balance was $0.51 cents. Transactions were already made at places such as Walmart, Deltaco, 7 Eleven and Starbucks. The person spent the money very quickly. It all happened so fast. Although I assumed it was safe, it was not. About ten missionaries were at lunch with us and nobody managed to see it happen. I left my wallet on the table only 10 feet from where I was getting water for about 15 seconds and I learned that I left it for 15 seconds too long. One needs to have eyes in the back of their head here in California. All has been taken care of though. It has been another lesson learned and a story to tell.
That is about all I have to share for this week. All is well here in California. I still have the "second wallet" idea and I didn't let it distract me or slow me down. Although frustrating, I did not want it to affect my focus in the work of the Lord. With every mission and missionary, there are bumps in the road, but all of them are possible to overcome and/or work with. I learned this last week that ALL discouragement is of the devil. I do not let it affect me and I continue to work at full speed learning new things every day. I am grateful for all the support. I love all of you very much and miss you too. Have a great week ya'll.
Until next week,