Monday, September 30, 2013

Que hay de nuevo!

Q´ Xopa!
    Well the trunkiest thing that can happen has happened as you already know... i got my flight plans! Enough talking about that, don't wanna get too trunky.  This week was a good week, we have a bunch of positive people right now and everything is going great. I had to give a talk yesterday in Church too. I talked about the small and simple things that the profetas tell us to do that will greatly bless our lives. Everyone liked it, except R_____a didn't like one line i said haha i said that while attending church we need to participate in the classes and ask questions to get more out of it and i said, everyone has heard the saying, there are no dumb questions only dummies that don't ask. Well she gave me a loving ear full for that, haha. 
     Well the coolest thing that happened this week was with E_____ and his family, so we committed them to coming to church and they said yes. On Sunday we called to make sure they were coming and when we get there he comes out with a new haircut and all new clothes, same with his kid and wife. They all got haircuts, new clothes and washed the car saying how only the best is allowed when going to church AND... they even invited their neighbors to come with them. This was the first time E_____ had ever come to church, but he still  invited friends, it was awesome! Sadly they could only stay for sacrament meeting but he said, next week we have to fill my van, I'll think of who else I can take to church because everyone needs this gospel. This dude is awesome - and to think he used to have so many problems with his wife and drinking and wow he is now progressing so well! 
   There isn't that much time this week to write so I'll make it shorter.. Everyone else is progressing normal, we should baptize Z_____ this Saturday but lately she's been kinda flaky so we'll see what happens. As for everyone else all is going well.   R_____ will hopefully finish the marriage process so he can be baptized, and he's ready and excited. 
    This week we have to go to Panama (city) again for the ZL meeting, more traveling and on the week of my birthday, haha. I think I'm just going to celebrate my birthday when i get home, haha. It was all over the news about Mariano Rivera retiring; he was the big news the last few weeks. I can't believe Speedy is home from Paraguay
    Well i know this is the true gospel because of the changes I've seen in people's lives like E_____ who had been drinking constantly for 40 some years and now with the gospel is able to drop it with the help of the Lord. 
Love you guys take care!
Elder Pfister

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bautizar el mundo!

   Well everything is going good over on this end of the earth and sounds like things are moving along over there as well. My new comp is named Jose Mendez from Puerto Rico. He lived there for most of his life then moved to Florida for 6 years before coming on the mission. He is also close to finishing his mission with 20 months. He`s cool so it should go well this change.
  This past few days we`ve really put in practice what Elder Ochoa taught us which is inviting everyone to be baptized from the first cita and it`s going great.
   So our first day we were walking on the street and this random lady stopped us and says, hey do you guys want to preach the word to this guy who used to listen to you guys? We answered "Sure why not?" and we went to the address that she described and it`s this guy named E_____ and apparently the missionaries used to visit him but he couldn`t get baptized because he has a huge addiction to alcohol and can`t drop it...yet. Anyway we invited him to be baptized the 19th of October and he accepted and we have set up a plan so he can drop alcohol. We also talked to his family, wife named I___ and son named T____ and they are also willing to get baptized with him if he can change, although his wife is kinda doubting which doesn`t help at all but we`ll change that... correction... god will change him. 
   We also went back to this lady named M____ who we had been teaching but she wasn`t progressing so we dropped her several times, but this time we were very direct and to the point and she also accepted a fecha for the 19th of October. We have to help her fix lots of problems that she is having with her husband which will be tough, but like i said, everything is possible with faith. 
    Another new person we have is the daughter of one of our dinners. Y______ doesn`t live with her but the mom invited her to listen to us one day and she showed up and we also put a fecha with her for the 12th of October. She didn`t seem positive at first - only talking about how she already has a church and doesn`t want to change but after some simple explanations and a powerful spiritual lesson she decided she likes our religion and is going to go to church this up coming Sunday.
    So Z_____ is still struggling because of her physical problems. She was really down, but then found the Book of Mormon and started reading it and it saved her, she felt a new hope to continue on instead of giving up. But she didn`t come to church and we haven`t been able to find her this week, so i`m kinda worried what`s up. 
    R_____ is going strong as ever, on Saturday we gave him the videos of the Doctrine and Covenants and Sunday he said he stayed up all night watching them and understood everything and is almost done with them. He is progressing faster than we can teach him.  We will show up with a lesson plan and turns out that during the week he had looked it up on his own and learned everything, it`s sweet. This week we are finishing the marriage process so we`ll see when they can get married, hopefully this week to get baptized on Saturday or the next week. 
    We made contact with D____, W____ and H_____ too. We had a good lesson with them on Friday; we took two young woman from the ward with us too and they all made friends and it was cool. The girls had been in a national violin competition and won second place in all of Panama, and they are only 10 and 14 years old, they are geniuses. We also put a fecha with them for the 12th of October.
   So far if everything goes well we will have 10 baptisms, one the 28th of Sept, one the 5th, 3 the 12th, 4 the 19th, and 1 the 26th of Oct. So we have some good plans, plus we have some references that we still haven`t been able to contact that could be potential baptisms too.  These two random people came to church and after church they asked us to go to their house to teach them so we`ll see how that goes. Lots of potential for my last change, and i am determined to finish strong;  I`m giving it all i have, no regrets. 
   I know this is the true work of the Lord because Elder Ochoa said that we needed to invite everyone to baptism and that the Lord would put prepared people in our way, and that`s exactly what`s happening, He is blessing us with people ready to repent and come unto Christ. Now it`s our turn to help them to be ready to take the leap of faith and be baptized. I love this gospel, it brings so much joy, happiness and peace into our lives knowing that we have a loving Heavenly Father who wants us to return to him one day and that He is always willing to forgive us for our errors and help us to get better everyday. Nothing more beautiful than that.
    I love you guys, take care and you`re always in my prayers!
Elder Pfister

P.S. I haven`t been able to make pumpkin chocolate chip bread yet because we can`t find the pumpkin stuff. And i`m broke right now so aebleskivers will have to wait till October when we get money again haha. But thanks for sending me the recipes.

Monday, September 16, 2013

El fin se acerca!

     Well the great day of changes has arrived yet again, well on Wednesday, and my companion is leaving so i`ll get one last comp to send me home. I`ve got a really really nervous excited feeling now... partly because of a new comp and my last, going into my last change as a missionary and just all that. It`s a strange feeling to end the mission, with everyday i get a little more excited to see you guys, but at the same time i get a little more sad for leaving all this and the new family that i have here. But oh well, i hardly think about all that because this change we made ourselves so busy i didn`t have time and the time flew by super fast. I hope that is how my last change is, packed full of things to do. 
    This week was a great week but super tiring... Z____had some physical problems and we had to postpone her baptism; hopefully it will happen when she recovers.  To finish off the week, yesterday after dinner we intervened with this lady getting assaulted. We were walking home and this car was parked on the side of the road, and all the sudden the door opens and the lady screams for help so we run over and this guy is all over her and beating her kinda and so we get him to let her go and she runs home and the whole time my comp tried calling the cops, but they told him to call another number when we got ahold of them, really dumb. But apparently it was a married couple that got into a fight and the husband had taken it to the extreme and the wife thought he was going to kill her... weird thing is the husband is related to someone we know, so it's a small and sometimes very sad world.
    R_____ is going strong, actually really strong. During the week he looked up on YouTube stuff on the Mormons wanting to learn more and of course found lots of junk that isn`t true but the cool thing is that he realized that it couldn`t be true, because the way he felt about the church couldn`t be wrong. We had to explain some random stuff but he accepted it all. It`s always scary to hear that your investigator was looking up stuff on YouTube but this time it turned out fine. Hopefully we can get them married this week and baptized the next week. 
     So part of the reason this week was so busy is the meetings - we had a Zone Leader conference in Panama City on Wednesday with Elder Ochoa, one of the General Authorities;  it was a good experience; also, there are alot of changes coming to this mission with Presidente Carmack, he is making it his own, and i think it`ll work great it`ll just take some time for everything to settle in and for the people to get used to it. So the plan was that we had another meeting with Elder Ochoa on Thursday with the zones in David, Bocas, and Concepcion and so President didn`t want us to get there super dead from the long bus ride, so he bought us plane tickets so we could sleep at the AP's house and fly out rested but..... the elders that were going home were also staying there so we didn`t sleep at all, we just stayed up all night talking,  haha. Elder Tucker from my MTC group was there heading home, and it is weird to think that he is home already. Anyway so we flew back to David on a 30 minute flight, super short and arrived dead tired anyway haha. The conference was great, i learned alot that i hope i can apply for my last change. It was fun hanging out with Elder Ochoa, we enjoyed the flight with him and everything, he is a really nice guy and fun to be with. First time chillin with a general authority for me, haha. 
    So that`s what was going on here in my world this week. Crazy busy, but crazy fun, i wish every week could be like that, we had days where we would leave at 7 a.m. to start working to get everything done. Well this week i can testify that in the Church we have true profetas that are servants of God, and being with Elder Ochoa you could feel the great spirit he has in everything he does. I love you guys, take care and be safe!
Elder Pfister

Monday, September 9, 2013

Día de Brujas- Regreso a casa

    This past week was also very busy and stressful but very fulfilling too. I got some biggish news and random cool things to say.
    Starting with the biggish news... They changed my going home date to October 31st o sea Halloween, not that big of a change but a change nonetheless. 
    Other coolish news... We have a meeting in Panama (City) as mission leaders on Wednesday with Elder Ochoa of the Seventy and then on Thursday morning we will have a meeting with all the missionaries of the Bocas del Toro, Concepcion and David zones with him, but the cool part is that we are going to get to fly back to David from Panama in a jet with Elder Ochoa and Presidente Carmack. I`m gonna be flying on a plane with a Seventy haha, and we`re totally going to make a video of it and he`ll be in it, you`ll see. Also it`s going to be really weird getting on a plane and not go home, as i`ve had it in my mind the whole mission that the next time i got on a plane it would be to go home, haha. 
    Random favor that i am asking:  can you send me the Aebleskiver recipe we used to use at home? I found an Aebleskiver pan in my house and now  i gotta make them!
   Now on a spiritual side, more big news... A____ (from my old area in the other part of David) got baptized this last Saturday and he had me baptize him! It was super cool because i guess the sisters hadn`t really been visiting him, but he was still studying and praying on his own and with the family, and one day he just felt that it was time and he called the Bishop and told him he wanted to get baptized and the rest is history. The baptism was really special because the family shared their testimony how their family was a complete wreck and they didn`t even talk to each other and then the missionaries arrived, and the gospel changed their lives, and now they are preparing to go to the temple in a year. The gospel had worked such a change in their lives in like 2 months, imagine living it for a whole lifetime!
   R_____a and S____n are cruising along well. We went there to teach them and we were going to have them start reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning and when we started talking about it she says, i`m already doing it, i`m on chapter 18 already. She used to wake up at 4 in the morning not being able to sleep and she would watch tv, but now she wakes up and reads the Book of Mormon all morning and she is understanding it too. 
   So we have this guy named R_____ that we're teaching, and he is the boyfriend of a less active member, and this week we put him a fecha baptismal for the 28th and we put the wedding goal for the 21st of September, so we started helping them with that. He`s a cool guy and is really interested; he always has tons of good questions and stuff. 
   This Saturday Z_____ is going to get baptized finally - i`m pretty sure i told you guys about her, she was living with someone who didn`t let her go to church, so she prayed for help and he suddenly left. Well, we got a ton of appointments with her this week to prepare her. Every time we talk to her about baptism she starts crying she is so excited, so it should go well.
    This upcoming week is going to be a crazy week, we planned it and we have every minute planned out with appointments and meetings, and I`m busier than ever in my mission and it`s sweet. 
    Well i gotta go but just before I sign off I gotta say i love you guys and miss you. Stay strong in the gospel, because it changes lives for the better, and i`ve seen so many miracles because of it, and I know it`s true.
Elder Pfister

Monday, September 2, 2013

Qeu lo Que...

Que hay
    Well this has been a very busy week for us as Zone Leaders and missionaries. We decided to do alot more things for our zone and we started those things this week and we had some baptisms so it was a good week. 
   First of all, R______ and S_____ got baptized and it was one of the most special baptisms of my whole mission. This last week was an extremely tough one for them. So R_____'s other kid is actually an inactive kinda anti Mormon member baptized like 15 years ago, and this week Satan really attacked R_____ so that she wouldn't get baptized. Her own mother talked about disowning her as her kid because she said it was a stupid thing to do. R_____'s  kid talked about how this church is of the devil and that Satan himself was working on R________.  R_____ said one day that that morning when she would go to pray she would start but that something would kinda take over her and she wouldn't been able to think or say anything at all, and that she felt that something was blocking her from talking to God, and she wasn't sure if that was God saying no to her question about baptism or if it was Satan. Well, we shared the Joseph Smith story again and it really helped her a ton and she realized that it was Satan. She also never drinks coffee, never has, but this week she's had a huge temptation to drink coffee... coincidence? I think not, she has real potential in the church and Satan didn't want her to be part of the Church. It was a scary week for us because she would call us randomly and say elders you have to come over we need to talk and then she would say I'm not getting baptized because i can't take all this stuff that's happening to me, but we would share something and we gave her several blessings and then when we would leave she was wanting to get baptized again, but that happened pretty much every day this week. It's hard to describe but I've never seen someone so influenced by Satan in that you could tell that he was attacking her. Normally she's super happy always smiling and there were times when he had her just super-depressed. Of all my baptisms I've never seen Satan work so hard against someone like this time.  But the great part is that we defeated him, visiting her twice a day and sending members over there daily and having them call her daily, we were able to help her overcome all those temptations and trials, and i know that our Heavenly Father was working through her younger son S_____ because no matter what happened, he was always there saying, Mom don't say that we can't get baptized, please get baptized with me, don't let Satan win this Mom, we can do it together. I'm almost crying typing this thinking about this baptism and everything that happened. It was amazing, absolutely amazing, one of my biggest testimony builders of the mission. Like I had said in earlier letters, she was our true golden investigator, but what i hadn't realized back then is that with someone so chosen and prepared by God, Satan also has had his eyes on her to keep her back. But anyway i think you get the picture, it was an amazingly stressful experience, but a rewarding one. In the baptism we got alot of ward support and when she got baptized she started crying, and when S_____ got baptized he said that he felt something amazing in his chest that he couldn't describe but that it felt right. AMAZING BAPTISM!
    That was the great news, this week we have also been using the area book alot, which is the book where all missionaries write down a description about their investigators with their needs and where they live and how they are progressing so that missionaries that come in can look at it and go find them and know exactly what has been taught and what some of their trials are. Anyway so we did a week of ´´Carpet people´´ finding, carpet people because in Spanish it's the 'carpeta de area' and in spanglish it's the carpet book and people ha ha, we invented that actually but it works. I'm amazing at spanglish ha ha. So this week we found alot of really positive carpet people and we already think that there are a few that could be baptized soon so we'll work with them. 
    Sadly with M_____ we haven't been able to make contact or even see him. They are sealed off and I'm worried he may be lost for now...
    W_____ and H_____ haven't been able to see us lately because they are in a national competition for viola and are practicing like crazy. I don't know if i told you but they are super geniuses. W____ is going to graduate from high school at 15 years old with tons of scholarships and stuff, crazy smart! But the tournament is the 4th so after that hopefully they can see us. 
    Z____ just got back from Concepcion where she was working all week, so we'll meet with her this week, but we're pretty sure she'll get baptized the 14th and maybe with W_____ and H_____....´´si dios quiere´´ the great Panamanian frase. 
    So this week as ZL's we decided we needed to do some extra things to help people more. In our zone there are 7 companionships of sisters and 5 of elders and the thing is that there are so many new sisters coming in that they don't have enough trainers for everyone so new sisters are getting trained by other new sisters that don't know too much so they are really struggling, but the thing is as male leaders we can't go out and work with them or anything so we don't know how they teach or work and so we don't know how to help them. But this week we started a companion study with them, we take two sisters and we teach them like they were investigators and they teach us the same way, and this way we can help them out on a more personal level, but wow its been tough organizing all that and with so many its very time consuming, but its working great, we did it for a few of them and it turned out great. Also we are meeting with all the bishops of the stake to make sure everything is running well and that they are doing everything that they should be doing. This has worked well too because we now have the confidence of the bishops and they have told us the problems they have in their wards with the missionaries and the good things that are going on so now we can really help them out. We also implemented alot of programs that we had planned out with the stake president and the stake mission leader. In a few words, the coordination between the wards and the missionaries is about to skyrocket with these things that we are doing with the stake leaders, and I'm excited to see the results. But with all that it has been a very long and busy week, but it was totally worth it and we have going to continue doing it this week. 
    Thanks for the pictures, actually last night i realized i had around 50 days left too...crazy! Time is flying by! I was able to open all the pictures by the way so thanks! Try to fix Skydrive if you could, i can't from here because we have the mission cell that doesn't receive international texts. I wanna share the baptismal pictures with you and i have pictures on there that had been deleted from a memory card by a virus so i hope to save them. 
    I always feel that i have more to say but for now i can't remember so I'll close saying that I'm now almost completely healed and that this week was sweet, i hope the next is even better. Also this week as made me realize the reality of Satan and his power, but also the power of the priesthood and the power that we have inside us when we are doing the right things. Satan is real and wants us to fail and be miserable and every temptation that comes from him will make us miserable in the end even though the world wants you to think the opposite. I know that we have to do the small and simple things everyday, read, pray and keeps our minds turned unto God and when we do that, hell has no power over us and we will be able to help others come unto Christ. I know this church is true and that Christ lives and he loves us. I love you guys a ton, take care and be safe!
Elder Pfister

P.S. Feliz Cumpleaños Papa!