Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas!!  I love you guys!
 Lots of love from your frozen missionary,
Elder Zachary Ashden Paddock

Hi there!
This week's been rough but we've had some awesome experiences!  Our time is shortened today since we're skyping on Wednesday, so I'll only share my favorite one :)

We were walking around, trying to figure out which of our 40 something Potential Investigators we could go visit and decided to go see a guy named Pablo who lives pretty close to were we were.  We got to his house and, like all Spanish people, he let us in because he hates the cold and loves to talk about Christ.  We started talking to him and getting to know him better and while we're talking to him I look across the room and see a woman who looks pretty confused, so I started to talk to her.  Her name's Kimberly, and she doesn't speak any Spanish, which explains why she looked confused.  Her and I started talking and we finally started talking about Religion and what she believes.  She said, "I don't usually like to share my beliefs because people think I'm weird."  At this point I got super interested and said, "Ok. Lets do something.  You tell me your beliefs and I'll share with you ours."  She was pretty open to the idea and started talking.  While she was talking I was genuinely shocked by everything she was saying.  It was all true doctrine!  She was saying our beliefs before I even had the chance to talk about what they were!  She believes that we have a loving Heavenly Father, that Prophets need to be called by Him, and that He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to show us the way to return to live with Him again.  The part that floored me though was when she was talking about her friend that had passed away.  She said, "I believe that since he didn't get the chance to learn about Christ or the Gospel or anything that Christ is going to go visit and teach him personally so that he can learn."  And this point I still hadn't said anything about our church, just listened and when she stopped talking I just looked at her and said, "Are you sure you've never talked with a Mormon before today?"  to which she replied, "No.  Why?"  and when I told her that we also believe all those things she got so happy and just was ready to learn more.  She soaked up the message of the Restoration like a sponge!  She got so excited about the Book of Mormon that she said she was going to read the whole thing and share it with her friends at work!  It was so cool!  It was super weird teaching a lesson in English and even weirder teaching it without my companion because he was teaching Pablo in Spanish on the other side of the room but it was still such an amazing experience and I'm super excited to go talk to her again tonight :)

So yeah, thats the cool part of my week :)  Besides that, we haven't been able to teach a whole lot of other people.  No one seems to want to talk to us, but the people we are meeting with are great and I'm excited to be a part of their journey to the happiness they didn't know existed.  

Thank you for the Christmas package/Christmas Card.  I loved it :)  I'm going to get super fat off all the delicious fudge from Tammy though but Elder Juan and I are always grateful for snacks that we don't have to buy ourselves :)  Thank you for everything.  

I've got homework for you though :)  This week we also had Zone Conference and the focus of the whole thing is noticing the Atonement in our lives.  This week I'm challenging you to study the Atonement.  There's great talks from the Prophets and Apostles online at lds.org and the Scriptures are full of all the information we could ever get!  There's great chapters in 2 Nephi 9 and Alma 7 and Matthew 11:28-30 just for starters :)  I've really enjoyed studying it this month.  I know that Christ loves us and He is there for us in every aspect of our lives.  All we have to do is turn to Him.  

Christmas Zone Conference
Christmas Zone Conference
I love you and I'm super excited to Skype with you on Wednesday!  Elder Juan says that I'll just call your phone first and tell you I'm on.  I don't know when yet so just be prepared all day :)    Love you!

Elder Zack

PS Can someone PLEASE explain Iowa Weather to me?!  One day its 10 degrees and the next its 55 and now its -3 outside.  I'm confused. 
Weather changes

PPS Turns out Guatemalan's cut hair pretty good!
 and when the Guatemalan is your companion, its free!
Companionship trust exercise

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