Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Forgive the short email?

WOW my hands are freezing!! I can´t even type! I am literally typing like a toddler! Our regular internet cafe wasn´t open so we came to this icebox to email. So please forgive the shortness of this email. 

I AM JUST DOING SO WELL!!! And it sounds like you lot are as well. I have to say that dad´s ¨practicing spanish¨ comment got me to laugh out loud. Hahaha. Oh man how I miss my father´s humor!!!!! I can´t wait to be around that again :) 

Where to begin? Well Elder Salcedo is just a ray of sunshine. I like him a lot!! He´s lived his whole life in Barcelona, but he was born in Peru. He is super funny and we get along really well. He is SOOO different from Elder Weenig. Polar opposites. It´s been very interesting to make this transition. Weenig was always on top of obedience. We knew what we had to do and we did it and we motivated each other. Elder Salcedo is kind of new and...well he loves to sleep :) I have never had to literally attack my companion in order to get him out of bed!! But once Salcedo gets going and starts working he´s unstoppable. Really smart guy with a sharp tongue who knows how to get along with people. He is a good teacher as well. He´s a great  guy, but much to my eternal dismay, he doesn´t like running. So I was really worried for a while. But I convince him to get up fifteen minutes early and to come outside in the cold weather and watch me run in circles. On T, Th, and Sat. He´s super good at dieting though. So he´s been helping me out a lot with that. He had a personal nutritionist and everything back at home. 

I am really grateful to have gotten him as my last companion. I love that I will end my mission speaking spanish all the time! 

We had interviews with President yesterday, and we had to change our Pday to Tuesday. That´s why I am emailing so late. It was good. President gave me some good advice about how to make the most of the time that I have left. 

This week has been interesting. I have really loved training. I just love being a missionary. I really do mean that. I don´t say that just so that people think I like what I am doing. Last night I talked with some elders in my district and they were sharing a miracle with me that they had experienced and I just felt so much love for this work. There are some moments in which I truly wish I had another transfer left after this one. I feel like I have so much left to do still. I know that I have worked hard and been blessed with lot of miracles. I have really tried hard. And while I have regrets and know that I could have worked harder, I really appreciate the time that I have been given. I just don´t feel ready to leave it all. Which is good. Because I still have a good chunk of my mission ahead of me. Six weeks is a long time!!!! But it´s really amazing how odd I feel. I thought it would be harder than it is. I mean, I am exhausted. But I still feel like I have lots of ganas and motivation to go out and work. 

We have found lots of good investigators this week. We found a FAMILY on Sunday night. It was a miracle. We were leaving this building the other day and this girl was coming up the stairs. We talked to her and she told us to come back later. We have been trying for a while, and we finally got in with her mom. Turns out it is a family of 4. The parents have a good marriage and everything. The crazy thing is that the father was the most interested. Usually the men don´t really care that much. But this guy was amazing. He´s a truck driver and his hardly ever home. Maybe two days in every 15. But he´s awesome. We gave a good restoration lesson and the spirit was very strong. I was super happy that Elder Salcedo got to experience that, because that doesn´t really happen often here. We had been teaching Luis, our 14 year old investigator that should be baptized soon. So we took him with us to teach this family (they are neighbors). It was super super funny. Luis is the most frustrating 14 year old ever, but one can´t help but love him. He actually did super well in the lesson. Hahaha. I wish you could have been there. Lesson to investigator with INVESTIGATOR present. 

Trini is still going strong. She would be baptized tomorrow. Just waiting until something changes with her work situation so that she could go to church. Ugh. But I am really glad to have taught her. 

We ¨picked up¨ (that´s american missionary slang) this Colombian girl called Natalia. She looks totally african, but she´s from Colombia. She´s crazy. Super evangelical. She described this dream she had of the kingdom of God and it was one of the most entertaining things I have ever heard. Apparently the fish in the celestial kingdom (yes there are fish there) have RUBIES instead of eyes, and all of the rocks are pearls. We´ll see how she progresses. 

We´re still teaching Domingo. He´s this Spanish guy. He is progressing slowly. 

Leanne and Hannah. Well. I don´t really know. We taught them again but I didn´t really feel it. Leanne hadn´t read or anything. They had stuff happen in their family and they were very closed to God that day. We haven´t seen them since. But we taught a super good lesson. We talked about sin and why it´s important to repent. They don´t agree with us at all about sin. These words were spoken: ¨lust makes me happy, why would God not want that for us?¨ I was so stunned. These girls are awesome and I really do desire their salvation, but wow they never cease to amaze me. They about died when I pulled out the bible scripture from the sermon on the mount about ¨he who looks upon a woman to lust after her, adultery in his heart, etc.¨. In the beginning it was them kind of arguing with us, but after a while they stopped. We testified a lot of Jesus Christ and his Atonement, and the spirit came. And the coolest part is that we actually invited them to repent....literally..we said these words. ¨We invite you to repent of your sins¨. That´s not something that we do very often and we should probably do it more. But it´s always weird to literally tell people that they need to repent of their sins. It was right though. I KNOW they felt the spirit. It was so strong. Just quiet and powerful. One of them was getting really emotional about it. BUT after that we tried to set a return cita but they told us that this weekend they would be too drunk to meet with us. SO yeah. I keep praying for them though. Christ suffered for all of us. We all sin in our own different ways. We all need the atonement just as much as the next guy. It´s not like some people need it more than others. I know that they can repent and be forgiven. That´s the message of our gospel. A man can change his stars, no matter what he did in the past. 

I need to end. I really love the brotherhood I feel as a missionary. I was in Malaga picking up my ¨son¨ and I got to see so many missionaries that I love. It was so inspiring and reenergizing. I just love Elder Love, who is an old comp of mine. Seeing him always makes me happy. I get so surprised by how much I love being around people sometimes. The best part was that when I went down to Malaga on Tuesday, Elder Bastian was on the same bus because he came down a day early to die. So I got to spend another 8 hours with him. That´s one of the best parts of the mission. The bonds that we create with each other as we serve the Lord are powerful. I don´t know how to explain it. Laboring together in the same part of His vineyard to save these souls. Cleaning up each other´s puke. You just can´t do stuff like this as a normal person!! 

I love this so much. I am not ready to end and I won´t be until it´s happening. Time is my best friend right now. 

I love you all 

Elder Sharp

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