Elder Espinoza

Elder Espinoza
Alma 26:12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Be interested not interesting

July 29, 2013
Hello hello,
So this last week was a little different. It was weird not having to worry about the singles ward anymore. Kinda sad actually cause we miss everyone there and all our investigators we had! One is getting baptized this Saturday and he asked me to baptize him so !'m very excited for that!! Hes a great guy. We had a lot of free time cause basically half of our work isn't ours anymore so that meant lots of tracting time! Which means lots of crazy experiences too haha.
We meet lots of interesting people. Our mission president has counseled us to be interested not interesting and you can definitely tell the difference while talking to people. When they see that you are actually interested in them the open up a lot more and are a lot more willing to listen to what we have to say. We met this African American lady who says she is a prophetess.... very interesting individual. Haha. She is really cool though! She dances and sings glory all the time its pretty funny but she has a very strong testimony about Jesus Christ and that's how she expresses it. We invited her to come to Church and she came with her two kids. She sat way up in the front but we could still see her waving her arms around in the air whenever she liked something that the people giving the talks said. We couldn't hear her but we heard from members she was saying glory, amen and hallelujah the whole time haha. Shes got NO shame whatsoever its awesome. Anyway she really enjoyed church and wants to come back again. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she dove right into it from the cover page and is really enjoying it so far. She's very interested in our beliefs. She hasn't heard anything about our Church but so far we've been able to answer questions she's had and give her new ideas that "totally make sense" that shes never thought of before. She would be a great addition to the first ward! We just need to kinda clear what exactly a prophet is and does. She is very spiritual though and reads and prays a lot. She is a fun person to be around so we are excited to start teaching her.
This area has a bright future ahead of it for missionary work. Our ward is excited that they don't have to share us with the university ward anymore haha. So we will continue to stay busy and help people build their relationship with our Father in Heaven.
The weather had been pretty crazy here since its monsoon season and my comp and I have loved every minute of it! Lots and lots of crazy rainstorms. Which is something I've always wanted to be in on my mission since I was a little boy and who woulda guessed I woulda got that in El Paso Texas?? Not me that's for sure! But its been awesome! Lots and lots of awesome thunder and lightning storms its just sad cause they always happen at night when we have to be in the house :( Luckily we have an awesome view from our balcony lol. Lucky me!
Well I hope everyone had a great week and has an even better one this week!!! Thanks for all the love and support. It really helps a lot! Love you all!
Love Elder Espinoza

Here are a couple of pictures of new friends they found  in their apartment this week.

A giant whip scorpion

Monday, July 22, 2013

An eventful week!

July 22, 2013
Hello hello,
So this last week has been a pretty eventful one! We had some good and sad news. The good news being my comp and I are staying together again this transfer and the bad news being our area is being split :( But even more good news is that we both got to stay in the ward we wanted too haha. But sad news again is that we have to give up 3 GOLDEN investigators who we started teaching and one of them is getting baptized next Saturday! But luckily we can go to that :) We're not too sad about the split we kinda figure we got that ward started on enough missionary work to get their own set of missionaries. We will miss lots of the members there but luckily we're still really close so its all good haha. We are excited to now only have one ward we can focus on and get to know the members really well. It was hard to get to know the members cause we would switch back and forth ever other Sunday to both wards. So we're excited.
So the investigator who is getting baptized next Saturday is a really awesome guy! His girlfriend is a member and goes to a Spanish ward and he doesn't speak Spanish so he went to our family ward and it was funny cause we figured he was a member cause we had seen him before dressed in a white shirt and tie so when we found out we jumped on it super fast! We taught him the first two lessons just last week and he is already getting baptized :) Its wonderful to meet and teach the people the Lord is preparing for his gospel!
So its been cloudy and rainy all last week as well and that was amazing! We both missed rain. Even though it doesn't rain too much on the east side of Washington it still rains WAY more there than it does here haha. One day it poured all day and the ground here doesn't soak up water very well so when it rains everything floods. We had to drive up this street that's a huge hill and it basically had a river flowing though it! I happen to LOVE puddles. Idk how many of you have seen the movie UP but in the movie there are dogs who work for the bad guy and all you have to do to get them off track is to say squirrel and they say where! and start looking for it haha its pretty funny. but that's how I am with puddles so I was loving it!  We got our car completely covered by a huge wall of water coming from this huge lifted truck it was pretty awesome haha. Lets just say we found as many excuses to drive up the road that day haha. Its all dried up though now :( But I found out that El Paso can be a beautiful place...when it rains....which is once a year...haha.
Well I hope everyone had a great week and has an even better one this week! Love you all!
Love Elder Espinoza

Monday, July 15, 2013

Another good week!

July 15, 2013
Well this last week has been a pretty good one! We had interviews with the new mission president. Him and his wife are so awesome! They have brought a wonderful spirit to our mission and have given us lots of determination and committed us to lots of goals!!! This mission is really gonna be something else by the time I leave. Lots of missionaries that are going home soon are sad that they don't get to be here when this mission grows like crazy!! But I get to be!!! lol :)
  We have been finding lots of new investigators lately and they're all so awesome! We've had soo many very spiritual lessons with them. The family we met on the 4th probably doesn't live in our area so we have to stop teaching them and pass them off to the other Elders ( We are SOOO sad!!!!! We love them and wish we could finish teaching them but oh well. They will feel the spirit and know the truth of our message whether we teach them or not cause the spirit is what testifies truth to us all.
  So I didn't get to save any ones life this week but it was still a good one haha. We went on exchanges with the zone leaders and that is always awesome. You learn so much from them. They are Spanish speaking and I went to their area. boy was that an experience lol. He taught me some door approaches and what not but I never had to do it cause every time it was my turn to knock a door they spoke English, haha, but we had a few lessons all in Spanish and I kinda just sat there not knowing what was being said but it was awesome cause I could feel the spirit. Basically everyone gave me crap for having my last name and not speaking Spanish lol! Especially when they found out my Dad is from Mexico and speaks Spanish and so does my step dad! So they didn't blame me too much ;) haha. I learned quite a bit of Spanish though. I also learned I know a lot more than I think I know haha. I understood a lot of stuff It was pretty cool.
  We have transfers coming up next week so i'll know by next Monday whats happening. I hope I stay here in this area with my companion. We love it here its so awesome!!!! Well I hope everyone had a great week and has an even better one this week :) Love you all!!!!
Love Elder Espinoza

Monday, July 8, 2013

Saved a Life!

July 8, 2013
  Hey hey, I hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July weekend! Hopefully no one burned anything playing with fireworks!!
We had a pretty good 4th as missionaries. Every Thursday we weekly plan till 2 so we stayed inside for about half of the day. Then we had a lesson with an investigator who is hopefully getting baptized soon then we went to dinner at this families house and pretty much hung out with them for the rest of the day. We didn't have any appointments set up for the rest of the day and me and my companion felt bad about staying there and not going out to proselyte but by the end of the day we realized we were supposed to stay there. The Lord works in mysterious ways! So they had some friends over and one of the families was not a member. They lived in Utah for a while and loved it there. They attend another Church but don't have anything against any religion. They are a really neat family. We talked to the husband basically the whole time and he is a really cool guy!!! I didn't think they would be interested in learning about our religion since they lived in Utah for a while but I sure was wrong haha. We have an appointment with him this week to teach him about the restoration and we are soo excited. This family would do soooo well in our Church :)
I had another neat experience that day. So we ate dinner at their apartment then they decided to take the kids down to the pool. So we went with them. The whole time walking over there I felt a strong impression that I should just  keep an extra eye out on the kids as they swam even though parents were in the pool with them. I didn't think too much of it at first honestly but it kept coming to me. So we were just sitting in a chair talking about guns and cars and skydiving with that guy and the whole time I was basically scanning the pool. I'm so glad I was cause a little while later I looked by the stairs and sure enough a little girl must have slipped off the steps and was completely in the water drowning. It almost looked like she was just playing but since I was a life gaurd for so long I can tell a difference and not just that but I just KNEW she was drowning. So I shot up outta my chair really fast and grabbed her arm and yanked her outta the water. She was literally inches away from the edge and adults were about 3 feet away but looking in the other direction. I'm so glad I was able to listen to that prompting and watch out for that little girl and pull her out of the water. For all I know she could have drowned if I was not paying attention and was just talking about cool things with the guys. The little girl was only about 1 or 2 years old and I know her mom was very grateful for what I did. She said it a million times probably lol. The guy I was sitting next to said I scared the crap outta him cause I got up so fast but he said he knew something wasn't right by the way I got up out of the chair. It was a really awesome experience to have. Listening to the spirit is SO important. You never know whats in store and we always need to be living our life in a way that we can have the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
We also had another baptism on Saturday and that was a pretty neat experience! The spirit is always soooo strong at baptisms. I would suggest going to them whenever you get the chance just to feel the spirit that strongly. We also talked with a Muslim guy that day and I learned ALL about the Islamic religion. Boy could that guy talk lol! It was pretty cool to learn about his religion and to see how similar it is to ours. I did learn that I must be Muslim cause I believe there is one God and am willing to follow him lol. But I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only church on this earth that has all the restored truths and its so wonderful to bear testimony on that. I got to bear my testimony in both wards yesterday and it was awesome both times! We also got a new mission president this week. Its funny cause his name is President Miller as well. The new President and Sister Miller have brought a wonderful spirit to our mission. I already know he is an inspired man and is supposed to be here as our mission president. He actually attended our baptism on Saturday and loved it!!! The members of our ward put in a good word for us haha. Well I hope everyone had a fun and safe week! I hope all is going well with everyone. I'm so thankful for the love and support I get each week :) I miss and love you all!! Have a great week :)

Love Elder Espinoza

Monday, July 1, 2013

An awesome and pretty funny week!

July 1, 2013
  So this past week has been pretty awesome!! First off we had a baptism on Saturday and that was such an awesome experience! The guy had been investigating for like two years and after our first lesson with him he had a baptism date and made it! It was such a wonderful experience! We have two more coming up this Saturday and that should be just as amazing!
  So we had a pretty funny and cool experience this last week. It was like 8:55 pm and we were on our way out of a part member families home and as soon as we got outside some guys across the street yelled,"Hey its the Mormon missionaries!" We saw that he had a cigarette and a beer in his hands so we knew he was drunk and they were at a party across the street. So we went over and talked to him for a little bit and before you know it everyone at the party was outside talking to us. At first they were just asking like dumb questions and the first guy that talked to us said he believed in a spaghetti meatball monster who boiled for his sins and he sure enough had the "monster" tattooed on his arm. Most of them had it actually. I think its an atheist religion that believes God is just as real as a spaghetti meat ball monster haha. Anyways there was one guy who was a little quiet the whole time then actually asked us a legit question about something in the bible. I'm pretty sure he wasn't drunk cause he didn't have a beer in his hand and his breath didn't smell like alcohol. So we actually got into a pretty awesome conversation with him and answered all his questions while everyone else was just standing out there drinking and smoking and giving their input every now and then. The guy told us he just found out his wife is pregnant that day and then we talked about eternal families and he loved it! We gave him a pamphlet and our number and talked to him and some of the others for like 45 minutes. We were actually late for curfew but I think we had a good excuse haha! Lots of the other guys were joking around the whole time and were so surprised whenever I joked back with them or said something funny. Apparently they all thought that missionaries are weird Jesus people who don't have any fun. After talking with them for a while I definitely changed their perspective on that haha! One guy went inside for a while and before he did he shook our hands and told us to, "Stay cheesy bro." I thought it was hilarious and asked him if I could use it and he said spread it bro! Haha! Anyways he came back outside later on and when we finally left I told him to stay cheesy bro and he freaked out and was like MAN you mormons aren't that bad after all! I guess he thought it was so funny and cool that I would say it back to him hahaha! It was sooo funny! He drop kicked his cup of beer and said he wasn't drinking anymore that night cause I was a cool dude haha! It was a pretty funny experience! All those guys were pretty cool. There was another girl who didn't know anything about religion and said she was going to hell but we told her that that's not true and someone was like yeah you can get baptized and wash your sins away and she was like "Oh I'm a Mormon now!" Then someone said yeah but they have a lot of rules so she said "Actually never mind I'm not Mormon!" haha! it was soooo hilarious! We actually got a couple of good potential investigators out of that. I'm glad I was able to prove to some people that Mormons are not weird haha! I'm sure we will be talking with them every time we go back over there. Being a missionary is just wonderful! Especially a "cool Mormon missionary" haha!
  Well I hope all is well for everyone and I'm so thankful for all the love and support I get every week!!! Hope you all know you're in my prayers! I hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th ofJuly weekend!!!!
Stay Cheesy Bros!
Elder Espinoza

Edward is the one on the right and his friend Stephen baptized him!

The lights of El Paso/Juarez. It almost looks like the sun lol!

We thought it was a funny street name haha