Monday, February 12, 2018

Week 67 - The Wind is Howling (2/5/2018)

Me and my new found cape
So this week has been a little of a crazy one towards the end of things. To start off, I'm still in Rupert and still 100% right on my feelings of transfers!! I am still 12 for 12!! Wow it is crazy how fast time flies!! As of today I have been out 16 months and it's so hard to believe that I have been out this long. Time just flies! Sorry mom if you don't feel the same way. I'm loving my mission and everything that happens, even in the rough slow days. The one positive out of the week still keeps me going. 

Well we had an amazing turn out in finding this week, even though we didn't find this new investigator at all. He found us! I've never had that happen before!! Someone actually coming to us and telling us they want to be taught! We were able to teach them the first two lessons back to back cause they wanted us over two days in a row. Wow! They are so prepared!! We went in and asked a lot of inspired questions and testing their knowledge and wow, the small simple testimony that they have, was very powerful. The spirit was so strong in the room as we taught the things we know to be true. And even earlier that day, we witnessed the same miracle. We have also been trying to see this family for awhile and we just could never get a hold of them, until last week. We remembered that they told us they are usually home in the mornings at around 10-12. So we stopped by at around 11ish and had an amazing lesson with them.We talked about the Book of Mormon and what they read and they loved what they had read!! It just touched their hearts!! We were able to testify that those things they read about were true and their countenance just was lively! We asked them if they believed that Joseph Smith was truly a Prophet of God and the wife just said yes. She went on to explain and wow, Elder Cooke and I were amazed by her testimony. I love seeing the small things like that and how they keep me going. It's the reason why I serve. To see other people enjoy the happiness that I have found through the Gospel. Elder Cooke and I talked about that lesson and we were just both surprised. 

Icing the foot
We still have our struggles, don't get me wrong. We can't get anyone to church cause there is no Spanish support. We are hoping that will change soon. We would love that and I know that those that we teach would love that! Cause for now, it's me and Elder Cooke translating and we aren't the best at it. 

So As I started, transfers were this week and we ran into a problem. We were using our new Area Book Planner app to plan our day and we did, but as I synced I got notified that one of us was being transferred. I was like no, were not. I proceeded with the sync and I lost our entire area book. Just gone. I told Elder Cooke not to sync just as a back up and luckily it was a good thing that he didn't. After a whole bunch of talking with the Assistants and trying to get this worked out we were able to eventually figure it out. So if I make one recommend to any missionaries that are getting this email and that will be transitioning to Smartphones, it would be this. Make sure that all the areas are named correctly. That was the problem we ran into. Our area was named Rupert when we are Rupert West Spanish. So they changed the names on ours, but really just flipped the areas and I lost everything. Elder Cooke eventually just reassigned all of our investigators to the assistants, and they reassigned them back to us. In the end it worked out. But I was going in full panic mode if we couldn't get them back. Just know that you can now. 

Well I love you all and I hope you had a great week last week and that you have a great week this week!!!

Elder Ruesch Sosa

Week 66 - Work, Work, Work (1/29/2018)

Well this week has been very quick to say the least of it. We got to go on exchanges and I went back to Malta! It was pretty nice as going back there. We were able to see some of the families that I had grown close to and talk with them again. It was amazing. One in particular was a lesson we had that night with one of those families I had gotten close to. We were teaching them the importance of faith and how it leads to action. We were able to testify to them that we don't need to know everything because our knowledge increases as we go on in life. Before we walked into the lesson we were talking in the car with a member who accompanied us, about extending a baptismal date. As the member and the other Elder discussed, I thought about it and I was like February 24th sounds like a good date. The other Elder never said anything about date. As the lesson went on and it progressed, the Elder pulled out his planner and looked at a  date he had written down. I didn't see it, but when he extended the date, it was the exact date I thought about in the car!! It was awesome!! The Spirit definitely had the two of us on the same page during the entire day. It was amazing!!

For the rest of the week, things flew by. We had crazy things happen like a mysterious referral showing up and ending up being fake, but still led to a teaching opportunity. That was kinda crazy. We had to hand it off though cause it was English speaking. We also went through one of wards entire list looking for Spanish names and every single one that we contacted, could speak English.... It was nice making contact with all of these people, but sad that it isn't our work... As for the rest of our week, we got prepared for Zone Conference!! Now it's official, the entire mission has Smartphones!! It has made things a lot more easier now. It's pretty cool. We got ready for Zone Conference and the training that we had to give, which was pretty simple. It just truly is amazing to finally get these rolling to use. For sure in the future it'll be something amazing. Other than that things have just been a blur here. I did get sick yesterday, but luckily I am feeling much better than I was.

I really don't know what more to say other than I love you all and I hope you have a safe week!! I love you all and miss you all!! Be safe and take care!!

Elder Ruesch Sosa

P.S. Transfers are this week and we don't know what's happening. I've got a feeling that I'm staying though. And so far I have been 100% right on those feelings.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Week 65 - Don't Kill Me Mom (1/22/2018)

Shoving my braced foot into my shoe
to look professional still....

So this week has flown by pretty quick and I'll get to the title later, probably soon. We've had some awesome lessons this week which has kept me super happy until I sprained my ankle. Mom just so you know, I'm okay. We were playing Basketball and as everyone knows, that is not my sport. I went in for a drive and I went up and when I came down, I landed on someone else's foot and there went my right ankle. But on the flip side I made the shot!! Know I'm in a brace again for who knows how long. Yesterday was the first time we walked a whole lot and wow did that hurt. Enough with my pain on sadness, I'll move on to some happy things that happened this week.
Mission Leadership Council

Well, like I said we had some pretty great lessons this week and one of them is with a family that we've been trying to work with for quite some time. We were able to meet with them and talk about commandments with them. As we were going along they even brought their kids into the lesson!! It was so awesome to see that they were already willing to share the Gospel with their kids whom we've not met. It was just wonderful to see the joy in their eyes as we shared the Gospel with the entire family and even give a Priesthood blessing for their sick child. As we got out my companion said he started to feel sick. It was pretty funny as he came to the realization that he wasn't sick. 

Mission Leadership Council
Another great moment was what happened on Preparation Day before I sprained my ankle. We were with some other Elders and they needed haircuts and my companion wanted one too. So I just waited out in the foyer listening in to their conversations they were having with their hair stylist. When all of a sudden a lady walked in to set an appointment for the following day. I listened and I could tell English wasn't her first language, but she spoke it pretty well. She left and saw me and we greeted one another. She probably came in maybe 2 minutes later and asked if I spoke Spanish and I had said yea I do. We talked and she referred herself to us. I grabbed her info and she left. I paused for a quick second cause I was worried she may not be in our area. I pulled up our area map and looked at the address she gave me and sure enough, she is in our area!! We contacted her and her family and it was a great experience. It was sure a miracle for me that they were in our area. 
Mission Leadership Council

I have seen so many miracles even with a bad foot. It's amazing to know that miracles still go on today. Cause I don't know about you, but I definitely need them,especially to get this ankle healed. I love you all so very much and thank you for being you. I really appreciate it. I love and miss you all and I hope you have a great week!!

Elder Ruesch Sosa

Friday, January 19, 2018

Week 64 - With Patience Unyielding (1/16/2018)

So this has been a super long week and I'm just overly exhausted so this may be short (still contemplating it in my head). It's still pretty cold here so that may be playing a factor. Things are pretty good here I'm just exhausted. Something that has been really prevalent in this long week has been patience. Here's why.

So we work with pure Spanish work here in Rupert and I'll just say it's tough. We really don't get past the first lesson for a lot of people and even then we can't get them to come to church. We've had really incredible lessons with people, it's just what follows. So it's pretty rough, but I wouldn't change a thing about it. Sure, I'm mentally and physically exhausted (some days more than others), but I'm learning how to love them continually more and more. Even if they do frustrate me. I know for sure the Lord is playing a hand in all of this. Whether I be planting a seed or seeing them progress, I will not know. 
Funny pic I saw in the Bathroom
I guess one of the things that has been pretty nice was last week a lesson that we had with an investigating family. We read with them 2 Nephi 31 and talked about being Obedient to our Heavenly Father. They flat out told us "So we're not being obedient by being baptized? Huh, I guess we need to work on that," It was just amazing to see how determined they are to progress. There are definite small miracles in the work, it's the matter of seeing them. 

Another thing that was really inspiring was the funeral of the former Prophet Thomas S. Monson. I couldn't help but cry a little during the funeral. He really was a big example for me in a lot of things. For serving a mission and just serving others. If there is one thing I will remember from him will be Service and Charity. Two things he personified magnificently. Later in the District Meeting we had that same day, we all bore testimony of something that we've liked about Thomas S. Monson and how he has influenced us. It really brought the spirit into the room. I truly love feeling that spirit. 

A translation I started for some new rules.
Found out, they already have been translated by the church...
Well there really isn't anything else I can think to put on my email that would necessarily be of good content. I just want to let you all know that I do love you and I do miss you all sincerely. Don't worry about me, I'm in the Lord's hands. Stay strong and remain who you are!!

Elder Ruesch Sosa

Week 63 - The World Keeps Spinning (1/8/2018)

Elder Cooke and I Bowling
Final Score
So this week there have been tiny miracles everywhere. It's been really amazing to see them all. One focus for me specifically has been the power of Prayer. Prayer has all sorts of definitions and meanings, but the one I like the most is that it is a two way conversation with us and God. And one of the greatest things about Prayers, is that he always answers them. I've seen that as a key focus this week in just about everything. We've had some really good lessons this week one in particular that was pretty cool with a family that we met not too long ago. We got in not knowing what to expect. From the go, we started talking about their questions and I felt the need to ask if we could start out with a prayer. We did and the atmosphere changed, like I'm not kidding it was different. We bore simple testimony of the things we know that led to helping their questions being somewhat answered. We asked if they read from the Book of Mormon and wow there was peace in the room. It was remarkable. We left them with a promise to continue reading and to pray about it and they will receive an answer to their questions. We left and we were in utter shock as to what happened. It was really nice knowing what a simple prayer to start out, could do.

This week has been a really great week. Went on exchanges twice and just did a lot of Spanish work. Got to go back to my old treading grounds of Declo and got to see some of the people I was working with when I was there. It was great to go back and see some of the amazing people I knew while I was there. It sure was a sweet treat to go back and visit those I taught and also some people I had contacted before I got transferred out. It was really awesome.
Then with a second exchange I got to stay in Rupert and we worked at the Spanish. I was with a new missionary and we just worked at the Spanish (since that is all we do). We worked and I was amazed by how much he could grasp from a conversation that we'll have with a first contact or with someone that we've been teaching. It amazed me! and it was awesome! 

Things are going good here in the great old state of Idaho. I've decided that I'll be staying here in the Rupert area for awhile. I just got that feeling, but who knows where I'll end up. I'm loving the mission each day and it's hard to think I've been out for as long as I have been. Time just flies on the Lord's Errand. 

One last thing. We had the opportunity to try out our new technology in teaching. We have an investigator that it has been hard to meet with so we decided that we would try a Facebook lesson. And to our surprise it worked. We taught them over Facebook just small simple things like reading and going to church. It was quite cool to see how we could have a productive lesson using it. Also got to reconnect with a family I was teaching in my previous area whom I love so much. They moved and I was able to find them once again and started to connect with them. It's amazing what technology can do in the Lord's work. I truly testify it's for his work and not mine. 

I love you all and I miss you all!! Stay happy and have a great week everyone! Remember, you're with me always!!

Elder Ruesch Sosa

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Week 62 - New Year New Me? (1/2/2018)

Selfie after Interviews
So this week has been quite spectacular, but also long to say the least. It's a New Year and most people quote New Year New Me. I'd like to change that to New Year Progressing Me. Life is about progression and it makes no sense (at least to me) to be new. We're all unique in our own ways and to progress is key. Let's start out by defining progress: "forward or onward movement toward a destination." Now we've all got goals in mind and we certainly do want to achieve them. Consider this new year as a way to achieve those goals. And to make them last so we can continually, "Light the World". 

New Years Eve
I've seen how progression can really be vital. This past week we finally were able to meet with some of our investigators and one of them conveniently we met with while on Exchanges. So my companion could not speak Spanish at all and I was left alone to teach. Used to it, but I don't like it. Went in with no idea what to teach or even what to do. Said a quick prayer in my heart that we could be guided and we definitely were guided. We asked about how they were doing on their Book of Mormon reading and they were reading just before we arrived. We talked about what they read and we were able to answer the question that they had. It's amazing to see how the Spirit can truly help us after not meeting with someone for quite a long time. It's been truly a gift none of the less. To close that lesson we committed them to read and pray, to ask God, about any question that they would have and also to ask us. We were able to connect with them on Facebook and whenever they need to ask us something, we can answer in a group chat. It's pretty nice seeing the Lord's hand in this work. It's been incredible.

Staying busy this last week has been really easy with meetings and such and I'm hoping to take  break for a little bit to get back down to Earth. It's been nice and all, but I love just doing the work. Thank you to everyone who has made 2017 an amazing memory I really appreciate it. Let us make 2018 an amazing year! I look forward to all the blessings that come with it.

I love you all and I miss you all. I hope you all stay safe and enjoy the time you have!!

Elder Ruesch Sosa

Week 61 - Feliz Navidad y Año Nuevo (12/26/2017)

Elder Cooke and I
Elder Cooke and I
Well family this has been a real blessed week. And I've also decided to change up the way I do my email. This has been a really good week to see all the softening go on here in Idaho as we made contact with some people. So this will be relatively short. Just this week we came in contact with a family that is probably prepared if we let the spirit guide us. We went and knocked on their door and they let us in with open arms. We get in and right from the get go we start talking about the questions that they have and we bounce all over the place on their questions. We were just going back and forth trying to answer and elude to a Gospel topic, but every attempt we gave failed. It was rough, but the spirit guided us as to what we needed to say. As our time was limited, we closed with testifying of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we did, you could tell the atmosphere changed. They listened, to the spirit. It was remarkable. They accepted the copy of the Book of Mormon and committed to read it before we come back and to also have questions and we will do our best to answer them. Right as soon as we left, we both could tell that there was something different and that we may have found a good progressing investigator family. We are truly excited about that. 
Temperature in the Car

As well with that we came in contact with one of our other investigators that we've been trying to get a hold of for a while now. We did and shared Light the World and he was touched. He immediately grabbed his schedule to see when he had time off and we set a return appointment for that day. He was really happy to see us and we were really happy to see him. It was amazing how the spirit guided us to him and how he opened up the door for us to come on in. This has been truly a blessed week.

Well friends and family I love you a ton and I truly do miss you. Another Christmas done in the field and I can truly say, "I'll be home for Christmas". Thank you for the love and support have a great week!!

Elder Ruesch Sosa
What we shoveled