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, August 26, 2013

Wonderful week!

August 26, 2013
Hello hello,
  This last week was wonderful! It was also pretty dang busy. We were teaching lessons almost all day everyday it was wonderful. Our investigators are really starting to progress and we have two baptisms coming up this Friday. We are soooo excited!!! One is a guy named Jesus Espinoza haha kinda funny. That's about half of my family's name ;) lol jk The other one is a 9 year old girl. It should be an amazing experience for them so we are trying to plan it out as best we can! It will be difficult with how busy we are starting to get but we will make it work :)
  We were doing very well not too long ago with finding new investigators but lately we haven't been doing so hot. But it's cause we are starting to teach all those investigators now! haha I'm not sure how correct this is but there was talk of our area getting split again! That would be two splits since I've been here! Too crazy haha But our old area the university ward is also doing wonderful so it really was inspired that our area should split. So if it happens again I'll be okay with it. I would just hope we don't have to give up all of our investigators again! Haha. Next transfer will be my companions last transfer which is crazy to think about so we both hope I stay with him till hes done! that would be awesome! we both do really well together and have accomplished lots in this area!
  So, every single time this one ward missionary goes out to lessons with us something crazy and unplanned happens to where he is able to really relate with people we meet with and help them out. Its starting to get a little weird haha. It just goes to show that God really does work in mysterious ways for our benefit. Some people think that God is not a loving God and that some things are just a coincidence but after many different experiences I've had on my mission where things just somehow manage to happen at the right time and right place and we are somehow with a certain member in our ward and peoples lives are blessed because of these "random" things. Yeah, they're not just coincidences lol. Some people just have a hard time really thinking about certain things as being a blessing in their life. but the moment they realize that, they start realizing and noticing other small tender mercies the Lord gives us and their lives start making a turn for the better :) Its wonderful! Lots of people think we are just out there to see how many people we can baptize. But really we actually really desire to help out a person in any way we can. We want to help them build their faith and find peace in their life and share this wonderful message we have. Which of course eventually leads to baptism but its not for our benefit. Its for theirs. Being a missionary has taught me many wonderful things that I will never forget. So I would encourage everyone to go and do missionary work! There are not many things that are more satisfying I promise :)
  I hope everyone had a wonderful week and has an even better one this week! Love you all!

Love Elder Jaden Espinoza

"Me and a prarie dog"

Monday, August 19, 2013

Pretty great week!

August 19. 2013
Hello :)
  This past week wasn't too bad. We went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders so that's always a good experience. I stayed here in my area and my companion went to their area. We still somehow managed to talk to people who only spoke Spanish so it was a little nice to having to be the one to talk to them haha. I only have a few things I know how to say to people on like door approaches or something like that. But I can surprisingly understand most of what they say. I still need to learn it though!
  We were at this apartment complex a few weeks ago and this girl came running to us asked if we were Mormon so of course we said yes and she said, "ME TOO!!!!!" She was a little excited lol. But she wanted to know where the church was so she could start going. She had just moved here and got married about a month ago. Anyway she invited us to come to her house and answer some questions she still had cause she has only been a member for a few years. Her husband stayed in their room most of the time until the end when she wanted us to help her stop smoking so she called him out and asked him to join her and he accepted! We have this 15 step program we teach to people who wanna stop smoking. They committed to everything we asked them to do. And now we're going to start teaching him the lessons. They move in October cause he's getting out of the Army. But he's accepting to the Gospel so we will get him before he moves! ;) haha.
  We also started teaching a few other pretty legit investigators this last week. It was a pretty great week. No crazy stories or anything sadly haha. We have two baptisms scheduled for next friday so we are pretty stoked about that! One is a 9 year girl and the other is this girl in the wards fiancee. Its been nice this transfer to only have to worry about the 1st ward so things in this ward are finally starting to get a move on haha.
There still continues to be the random crazy thunderstorms but its pretty awesome! Its sad though cause they always happen at night!!!! When we can't go drive around in all the crazy rain! The thunder and lightning is pretty intense though.
  We went to the El Paso Zoo this morning as a district. That was actually pretty fun. they have some pretty cool animals here.
Well I hope everyone had a great last week and has an even better one this week!! Love you all!

Love Elder Espinoza

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Which side are you on?

August 13, 2013
  So this week was a pretty good one as usual! Just trying to stay busy finding and teaching people. We found a wonderful family of three last week and we're so excited about it! They have a 9 yr old daughter who is autistic. They were supposed to be at church on Sunday but the husband had to work :( But the wife promised to come next week even if he was working lol. She seemed really excited about Relief Society. She was telling us how she was looking to join a womens group of some sort for support and things like that. I don't think it was a coincidence that we were planning on talking about the Relief Society that day!! We are looking forward to helping this family progress in this wonderful restored Gospel!
  I fall in love with this area more and more after every week. Its crazy that we are already in our 4th week of this transfer! We both hope we stay another transfer. If not i'll be very sad :( My companion goes home after next transfer so that's another reason why we wanna stay companions. We get along great and work well with each other.
  Last week our mission president and his wife came to our apartments and interviewed. We probably have the most amazing mission president out there! It was an awesome experience. Something he challenged us to do was to act as if Jesus Christ was our third companion out tracting door door in a white shirt and tie. Lemme tell ya that really makes you think about how you go about your day and whether you wanna get out and work or find something less productive and lazy to do. The thing I love about being a missionary is you learn integrity. No one is out there watching us making sure we're doing what were supposed to be doing. Its all on us. The thing is though, is that Heavenly Father is watching us. SCARY! Haha. Not really though. I think it helps us to be a better person when no one is watching. And also I feel like he's not watching us so he can count every time we slip up but to help us and comfort us in times of need. Being a missionary is probably the greatest thing ever and I wouldn't trade it for a thing.
Something I learned in scripture study this week is that God will not suffer his plans to be destroyed. Satan will not win no matter how hard he tries. Its almost like Oregon State trying to beat Oregon. It just ain't gonna happen ;) lol! But really, we need to decide which side we wanna be one. The winning team or the losing team. We already know whose gonna win. We just need to show by our actions which side we are on.
  I hope everyone had a great week! Love you all and thanks for the love and support. You're all in my prayers!

Elder Espinoza

Monday, August 5, 2013

A wonderful week as usual!

August 5, 2013
  So this last week was wonderful as usual. Being a missionary might be the greatest thing ever! We talked to quite a few people last week. We had two experiences where people wanted to have a debate about religion haha. Of course we are told not to bible bash but surprisingly they weren't bible bashes. They actually turned into teaching opportunities and new investigators haha! Its amazing what you can say when you have the spirit with you! Its also a testimony builder. The more you share the gospel the more your testimony grows. I've heard that a lot and have experienced for myself that it is true. It was very interesting to talk to those people and to hear their beliefs. Many were the same but theirs were just so empty and doesn't make that much sense. That's why I love being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Its wonderful to have the full restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Both times after the "debates" I turned to my companion and said,"Man, there's no way this Gospel isn't true!" It just makes so much sense and then when you the spirit testifies the truth of it to you it brings a comfort to your soul. I've seen it in my life and the lives of people I teach. The Gospel is for everyone and makes bad people into good people and good people into better people.
  I had the privilege of baptizing one of our investigators in the singles ward who we had to hand over to the sisters. It was sooo exciting cause that was the first baptism where I started teaching the investigator! Even though I didn't get to teach him the last lesson it was still a wonderful experience and I feel as if I have made a new life long friend. Tha'ts how I feel about lots of people in this area. There are soo many wonderful people here. I'm gonna be very sad to leave this area but good thing we have Facebook right? Haha.
One thing our Zone is doing this month is having a companionship fast every day of the month. The purpose of the fast is to find families to teach. Although my comp and I have not found a family to teach there have already been companionships that have. We had zone meeting on Friday and after, the whole zone goes out for lunch. Guess who got picked to fast that day? Yep, we did. Haha. It was pretty hard sitting at a pizza buffet and just watching everyone eat their delicious, saucy, meaty, cheesy, tasty pizza. Haha! But that night two families were found so it was soo worth it.
  Another day we went to a BBQ. AMAZING. Definitely the first person !'ve met on the mission who claims to make good ribs and actually does haha. Well not too much has happened here in El Paso other than that. Just trying to help bring people closer to Christ. My companion told me a pretty cool analogy. The military gives the people on the front line fighting the most the best weapons. the people in the back doing office work don't really get the best weapons. It can be the same for us. When we're on the front lines doing missionary work whether were missionaries or not, our Father in Heaven is going to give us his best weapons. Hope everyone is doing well and has a great week :) Love you all!

Love Elder Espinoza

Elder Espinoza and Eddie. First Baptism from start to finish!

Elder Espinoza, Eddie, Elder Bushman

Us and the Sister Missionaries that took over the young single adult ward.

Us and Brother Gogan. He gets deployed this week :( Definitely one of our favorite families in this area. We are over there a lot haha.

Us and the Booths. They're from Ephrata Washington. They're called to serve in the singles ward. They're really cool and love us, haha, we were sad we don't see them as much anymore. 

Elder Espinoza got a surprise visit from Marcus Andros and a plate of cookies!
Marcus is from Washington and was visiting his in-laws in El Paso.