Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Painting, Push-ups, and a Party!

Hoooooollly Cow this was a good week!  I was right!  The work here is just about to explode!  Little by little we're all gaining more investigators and more progressing investigators (meaning they're keeping commitments) and we're all about ready to have a baptism!  All our hard work is about to pay off really soon I can feel it.  
Here's a recap of this week's greatness in a couple paragraphs :)

Post Painting 

 We went and did more service at the Habitat for Humanity.  This time we actually got to paint the inside of a house that's getting built for one of our members!  It was so much fun!  My favorite part of the whole thing though wasn't even the painting but the break time.  We and all the other workers were sitting around eating pizza and talking and all of sudden the conversation switched to talking about us and the Church.  They were asking about why we're here, how a mission works, how long a mission is, how much it costs, etc and then one of them asked, "What makes your church different from all the others?"  That's my favorite question to answer!  I started telling them that the difference is that we're a RESTORED Chuch, not a reformed church.  It turned into a really interesting discussion about Joseph Smith and temples and the Book of Mormon.  It was so much fun.  However I'm really glad I'm not an English missionary.  While I can talk to them better and get my thoughts across better, White people are so hard to please.  Hispanics just love to talk about Christ and God and will let you in pretty easily while White people are very set in their ways.... 
Well I guess thats true in MOST cases.  Some times you have people like Hector Ochoa.  Hector let us in, sat us down, and said, "OK.  You ready?"  to which we replied, "Always."  and he said, "Lets open up to Galatians."  He then went on a spree of reading Bible verses and telling us what they meant to him, all the while trying to convince us that we were wrong.  We then had the lovely opportunity to tell him why were right using the Bible.  I'm really glad I paid attention in Seminary my last two years (Old Testament, New Testament years).  The best part, and the part Elder Juan and I still laugh about is when he asked us where it talks about the Book of Mormon in the Bible.  I just said, "Well if you'd like to read Ezekiel 37:15-17 I can show you."  And he said, "OK lets do that, shall we?  Lets open up to Ezekiel."  When we read it he just sat there for a little bit and said, "Well I don't have a response to this one right now so I'm going to read it a little more and we can talk about it next time, Ok?"  
People are silly.  I love them though.  Bible Bashing is dumb.  Practically pointless.  No one really learns anything.  I usually end up laughing after we leave because what they're saying doesn't make sense and Elder Juan just gets frustrted because he's been hearing that for 19 months straight on his mission.  
Moving on :)
Our mission's started this thing called the NOM Olympics.  It's got 5 catagories : sit-ups, ladders, bicep curls, stick pull, and push-ups.  First you compete in your districts, then the winner there competes at Zone Conference (which is just your zone) against the other district's winners, and then the winners there compete at Zone Conference (2 Zones) against the winner of the other Zone.  Some how or another I ended up getting thrown into doing the push-ups.  My goal going into it was just to beat the kid next to me.... but then I got competitive and decided to win.  I ended up doing 103 push-ups within the 5 minute time frame.. and some how I still won!  My arms were dead and I couldn't move for the next 2 days.  Now I have to do it again next week at Zone Conference.... dangit.  Its all good though.  At least it gives me motivation to do my morning excercise!

As far as Valentines Day goes, Elder Juan celebrated by eating chineese food and going tracting.  Its lots of fun being a missionary.  Holidays are just days here (Unless its Christmas or Mother's Day).  I did get your package though so thank you!  The 4lbs of Jelly Beans made Weekly Planning sooo much better :)
Saturday though is a different story.  Our branch threw a party with music and dancing and everything!  It was awesome!  These people know how to party!  Sadly we have a rule as missionaries that we can't dance... but it 2 years I'm definitely coming back to dance with these people who I love!
Hispanic Valentine's Day Party
Two Sad missionaries who wanted to dance...

Last cool story.
We have a 15 year old investigator named Hector who we've been visiting for a while.  He sent us a text last week that said, "I got my answer from God and he says I should join myself with the church in South Sioux."  We just stared at the phone and were so confused.  I KNEW that that was not the answer he got.  It couldn't be.  So we went and visited him and talked about the answer he got. He said, "One night, I kneeled down and prayed.  I had the Bible in one hand and the Book of Mormon in the other and just asked God which one is true.  The answer I got is that they're equal..."  I just cut him off right there and said, "Wait!  So you know the Book of Mormon is true?"  and he said, "Yep."  Elder Juan and I were stunned again!  It was awesome!  The other part of his answer said that he should just go with what he's comfortable with so we talked to him and asked him how he could know if he's uncomfortable with our church if he's never come.  He's coming this week :)

Anyways life's good, people are crazy, I'm tired everynight because we're working hard, and the work here is getting ready to burst with baptisms.  Love you lots,
Elder Zack

Ps the Paint came out of my State Jacket.  Thanks for teaching me how to do laundry, Mom :)

part of Zack's email to Mom:
You should check out puzzilla.org!  Its through Family Search and it's soooooooo cool!  IT shows you all the descendants of anyone in your family tree!  Check it out, ok?  

part of Zack's email to Dad:
The weather here is as stupid as ever.  It was high 20's yesterday, dumped a ton of snow last night, now its almost 50 and the snow is all melting.   Elder Cabezas says it'll freeze tonight and give us black ice tomorrow.  Awesome.  

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