Monday, January 25, 2016

Hey Family THIS WEEK'S LETTER/LAST WEEK'S LETTER! Working with members, finding new people, Elder Henrriquez

25 January 2016
Hello to all mis seres queridos! (my beloved ones!)

This week was a great week and I'm sorry that my letter didn't get to you but I found it in the draft tab on my email and sent it again. I hope you like it.

I just wanted to remind you to keep the letters a little shorter if you can. :D

I pray for every single one of you morning and night. You never leave my prayers.

Speaking of prayers, I was studying one day and I thought, "How can I have more meaningful prayer?" So I asked God and I felt that I needed to pray mouthing the words that I wanted to say instead of just thinking the words in my mind. I have often found that if I don't mouth the words that I want to say in a prayer, then I start drifting in my thoughts. But as I have tried to follow this counsel, my prayers have become far more meaningful, sincere, and heartfelt, and guided by the Spirit. I also was praying one night and I thought of something funny in my head and immediately after I remembered the times that Mom has told me, "Don't be silly, Spencer." So, I felt a little corrected there and I've appreciated more, the time I spend on my knees.

Elder Reinoso is getting better and can walk. I think today we are going to visit all the appointments together.

Jaime and Ana (Lourdes' Family) have a date set for their baptism on the 28th of Feb. Jaime is still a little unsure but he's committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. I'm confident that he will receive an answer. Ana wants to be baptized but not without her dad. So they'll have to get baptized together. :D We'll see how it goes. The other day, Jaime went to church and saw the members of the elder's quorum practicing ordinances and he made a comment to Lourdes afterward, "In my church, we don't put our hands on people's heads to bless them." and Lourdes responded, "It's because your church isn't the true church." And Jaime started pondering about that for a while, she told us.

Dad, Franklin and Claudia have disappeared and we're still trying to get in contact with them again. They haven't been in their house nor answered their phones this week. We'll keep trying because I felt, and Elder Henrriquez felt, that they were a very special family for our Heavenly Father right now.

Dad, I also had been asking myself about that scripture the other day and I just feel like missionaries are angels and just generally people who serve others are angels. So I think that the keys of the ministering of angels is talking about the authority of the priesthood to administer to principles and ordinances of the Gospel to others who accept it. It's not a really deeply thought out thought but that's what I thought when I was studying that phrase a week ago.

Mom, Tell Conner that I miss him too! Yeah for the snow and the temple! :D Yeah for money in my account (although I'm planning on not using it at least until the last few weeks of the mission). We sang happy birthday to President Bowler in the Tegucigalpa conference we had.

Just a little about the conference real quick. We talked about how to reach our goals better and one of the things that has stuck out to me was that we should contact first thing in the morning and not stop until we complete a large portion of the daily goal. That's because we have more appointments at night and we can't contact as much. We will always contact wherever we go but I liked the idea of contacting more in the morning. That's all I remember off the top of my head.

I keep smiling and I keep going. Today marks 19 months... :D
Love you family!
Elder Tuft======================================================================
18 January 2016
Hello Mom and Dad and Family,   (This email came today but was supposed to send last week but didn't.)

It's been a hectic week but I'm doing just fine and dandy. Actually, today we went hiking to the Cascades in Valle de Angeles and I enjoyed the time to just relax and be in nature. It helped me to focus and carry the calm. The cascades were just great. They were the same cascades that I visited one year-ish ago.

Elder Henrriquez got his mission call this week and opened it and he's going to Guatemala Cobán Mission starting on Feb 9th speaking Quetchí. He's really excited. He was only here for a few days and  home. His family aren't members, but he's a great missionary. I saw him grow a ton in just a week being here.

We've been motivating the members to get their visiting teaching done. This week we talked to the Elder's Quorum President and asked for him to partner us up with someone and to assign us families to do home teaching. We are also planning a Home Teaching MTC kind of activity. The purpose is to teach the priesthood holders, 14 yrs and up, how to do their visits. This ward is blessed to have 3 missionaries from Mexico City (E. Miranda and E. Quintanar), and Guatemala City (E. Reinoso), two major cities where the church has been for many years now. They all have experience in Home Teaching and I hope the activity goes well. We're planning it for February but it might be in March.

We've been finding a lot of new people and the members have been helping us with divisions. This week we had 26 lessons with members present and 3 other lessons. Almost every lesson was with a member this week. I think that's the greatest miracle. :D The members here are just great and are working hard.

Franklin and Claudia have called and cancelled two appointments this week and so we'll see about our next appointment this week. I hope they don't call to cancel again. They've said that it's cause they've been busy.

I haven't visited Karla and Lourdes this week. Only Elder Reinoso has gone to that sector all week long (splits). He says that it's easier for him to work there because it's flatter and he doesn't have to worry as much for his ankle. Jaime and Ana came to church again this week with Karla and Lourdes and Ana has been saying in the lessons with Elder Reinoso that she wants to be baptized but she won't unless her dad gets baptized, as well. I haven't been there in the lessons to know much more than that.

When people ask me about how much time I've been in the mission I just tell them and smile because I know what they're going to say next, "Ya se va!!!" (Almost going home!)

Family, This week we have a broadcast for missionaries in the whole world and so I'll tell you about it next week as well!

Love you Megan and thanks for the letter and pictures! Keep in there! The tests are the joy of the journey!

Love you all,
Elder Tuft

Monday, January 11, 2016

New mini-missionary, Lourdes and Family, Franklin, etc.

Hello Mom and Dad and Family,

I love you guys a lot. And one day while I was eating, I noticed a calendar. That was a bad thing. So, I counted the weeks until I'm home. 23 or 24 weeks. ;D And they will be the best weeks of the mission! I love the mission and my heart breaks to think that I have to leave this country one day. It also gets annoying when the members ask, "How long have you been on the Mission?"

I received a mini-missionary (Elder Henrriquez from Amapala, Honduras) this week to help me while Elder Reinoso is recovering. We have a member (YM) that is helping us from our stake to take care of Elder Reinoso. So that makes it easier for me to work with the mini-missionary full-time. We had some interesting, fun, and great experiences this week. I'll tell you all about later.

Elder Henrriquez is awesome and I love how simple and humble he is. He's quiet and he's helping me to be quiet and talk less. I talk a lot less now and I see that the investigators have opened up to discussion more. It's part of teaching people and not lessons, I think. I just have gotten in the routine of things and it's been good to be shaken up a little and remembered of the fundamentals of Preach My Gospel.

We taught Lourdes this week about the Three Kingdoms of Glory. Ana was there and Karla, but Jaime was sleeping. Karla is a sponge!!! She noticed how the preachers here in Honduras always say that if you do good things, you go to heaven, and if you do bad things, you go to hell. And then she said, "But then they start talking about a judgement and so I've always been confused about that part." So we helped her out a little there but she understood without us explaining much. Ana is also a sponge but she doesn't react or talk a ton. But she listens and observes and thinks a lot.

Franklin and Claudia (wife) are doing great. We just had one visit with them this week but afterward we went to set up a new appointment and they told us to come back the next day. We couldn't the next day so we set up the appt. to be in two days and were super excited for us to come back. Then I got a call the next day and they said that an emergency came up so they couldn't receive us. Then we set up the next appt for this week. I hope Claudia read the pamphlet we left of the Restoration and so that way it'll be super easy to explain. They are two really special people. Elder Henrriquez told me after the lesson that he felt that God wants them to get baptized sooner than later.

Elder Reinoso started walking slowly without crutches today. The therapies are working and he's overcoming the pain. He doesn't have a serious injury. He may have had just a sprain but he stopped walking on it and so it got worse. Now it's getting better that he's moving it more.

Leadership Council was awesome: we had a few changes from the Missionary Committee that we received this week.
1. There are no more official meetings to be able to do missionary changes every 6 weeks. They will be sending us from area to area by phone calls every 6 weeks instead.
2. Missionary Splits are changed a little as well. District leaders and zone leaders are not to do splits in other areas. They are only allowed to invite their district missionaries to their area. That means that for the day, there will be four missionaries in one area doing splits. The reason is because the leaders should be an example. So all divisions will be held in the leaders' area. To do baptismal interviews, leaders are to go and do the interview and then return immediately to their area.

That's all I can write for this week! I'm out of time. Take care and I love you all! :D
Elder Spencer J. Tuft

Dad, I was with Franklin's Dad, Mercedes, when we taught him the first time. These week was the second time but we didn't teach with Mercedes because he wasn't home yet from work.
Karla is working on her family History but is a little hesitant to start working because she wants help from Sammy, her partner in the Family History Depot. (Karla was given the calling to serve as a family history consultant with Sammy). We haven't taught about the Family History part yet because we have been re-teaching the Plan of Salvation and we just finished the other day. This week, I believe we will start on the Family History again. Jaime was asleep because he's super tired after work. I'm sure you can imagine exactly how he feels some days. Ana is reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church and the other day I asked her if she had thought about baptism and she said, "mas o menos". But she won't put a date because she doesn't feel like it's time yet. So I told her, "Ana, since the first day I walked in this house, I felt like the whole family was ready. It's your choice in deciding when, but you are ready, Ana." She looked at me like, "Really??? I'm ready?" And then looked at her mom and gave me a smile.

Mom, Keep up the missionary work! :D You're doing great!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Update on E. Reinoso, A lot of studies, etc, etc etc

Hello Mom and Dad,

It's been a really calm week this week. Actually, it's been pretty hectic but I have felt for the most part peace and calm. There have been a few issues with Elder Reinoso and that's basically it. I'll explain about that later in the letter.

I went on a lot of splits this week. One night we went to visit a new investigator that we contacted also this week. We were going to have a first lesson with him and I was with another missionary, Elder Miranda, at this time.  But the investigator wasn't there. But Elder Miranda shouted "BUENAS!" so loudly that the family, who were seated outside in the little street/sidewalk area, all flipped their heads to see us and figure out what was going on. The mom of the investigator was one of them. We went over to talk to them and teach them the gospel. I had been tired of being cooped up for hours in the house and was grateful for the time I had to leave and walk and teach and find new people. I was super nervous to talk to this biiiiiiig group of people. I don't know why I was nervous but I started to teach them and they responded well. They told us to give them the message right then and not wait for a next visit. So we taught them in this little street. I felt so free to testify that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and that the Book of Mormon is true. It was super special. As a result of the message, we were able to set up an appointment with two of them in their homes this coming week.

We also taught the son of a new convert. The lesson was really spiritual. He's not married and doesn't think he'll get married right now. His "wife" and her family are strong in another religion supposedly. The man, Franklin, has an Evangelist background. I was with the new convert on splits and so I talked most of the time. I laid out all the cards so that there wouldn't be any surprises for him in the future and he was really meditating on changing his life. At one time, I saw that his expression changed and I asked him if he had a question and he told me, "No, I just am thinking a lot about what you just said." I hope that he will want to make the changes necessary so that he can be happier. His dad, the recent convert, has been praying so much for this opportunity to teach his son. :D

Elder Reinoso is not super good right now. I offered to give him a blessing so that he could get better faster but he said he was alright. I'm writing so late today because we were at doctor's appointments. He has something wrong with his Achilles tendon in his heel. It wasn't that bad when he first sprained it but the doctor gave him a shot and told him he was good. Now the shot has worn off and he's bad again. So he'll have to do some shock therapy to help him for two weeks and then he can start to walk gradually again for another two weeks. President is going to send a mini missionary to work with me and Elder Reinoso will be resting. If he's not recovering soon, then President will send him home. Elder Reinoso was crying because it looks like going home is a 50% possibility right now. But I told him that if God doesn't want him to go home, then he will not go home but will get better in these next two weeks.

But I'm doing great. We haven't been able to do much with many investigators. Jaime and his family came to church (all of them). And Jaime even came in a white shirt and tie in his suit. Last week he came in a colored shirt instead of white. I think he likes church at least a little bit. We've been teaching them the Plan of Salvation again. I can see how the Holy Ghost has enlightened Lourdes and Karla. They had great questions and understood really quickly. Jaime's grandma had a little trouble understanding though.

Tomorrow we have Leadership Council (I think that's what it is called in English). It'll be great to see the new changes and to learn a lot.

Pray a lot for Elder Reinoso this week. I don't want him to go home (and he surely doesn't want to either).

Love you all! Have a wonderful week full of adventures and excitement!
Elder Tuft

PS I just got the Wedding Invite in the mail. Cute picture Kristen and Ian! :D Love you guys!