Monday, March 28, 2016

On the Run

Well, transfers happened! And guess what? I'm staying! Actually, I don't think I'll be leaving for another two transfers, because the secretary position is a 6 month calling. That's how President has set it up, and I don't see it changing soon. That's not to say that things haven't changed, though, because I get to be District Leader again! Varzea became part of another district now, and so our dupla here is the only Elders in this district. It'll be interesting how the DL responsabilities go with the secretary ones.

Anyways, the fast-paced, non-lyrical song On the Run by Pink Floyd pretty much describes my morning. I drove people around in the Hiace all morning, and as always, people just don't seem to be in the right place at the right time with the right things like I want them to. It's okay, I got to see my boy Elder Nemelka today, who's becoming Praia Zone Leader on his 5th transfer! How neat is that? I also got to drive Sisters Tongi, Haycock, and Johnson around a bit, which was neat because they're all going home in a few days.

Some really neat things happened this week, mostly at church yesterday. So you know about that Jailson kid that I talked about last week? The one who I was exasperated with? Well, he finally made it to church yesterday! I was super happy, and he even brought his friend Tony, who we'd been working with as well. However, we found out during church that Tony was actually a member, and he hadn't been to church for a long while as well! That's okay, we got two less-actives to come this week instead of one! Also, Paulo (the absolute boss that he is) brought his friend Roberto to church as well! We'd talked to Roberto once, but never found the time to pass by his house again after he missed an appointment with us. Well, we were surprised to find out that he was waiting for us when we got to the chapel.

I hope you all had a Happy Easter Sunday yesterday as well! Right now, I'm gonna get super stoked for CONFERENCE WEEKEND, the weekend that only happens twice a year where the whole world gets STRAIGHT REVELATION FROM GOD. Grab your study journals, open your notes on your iPhones, and get ready to write down what our Heavenly Father's trying to say to you! I'm going to probably spend most of my week talking to everyone I meet that we're going to hear the voice of the Prophet of God! Be excited!

Anyways, that's a fair amount of what's been happening here in the Cabo. In the words of Bob Saget,

Elder Penner


Monday, March 21, 2016

Living on a Prayer

Wooooooooooaaaaaaaahhhhh, we're halfway there!

I've been waiting to use that one. I've also got some dorky ones coming for near the end of the mission, so be prepared. My update was pretty short and pretty weak last week, so I plan to talk just a bit more this week.

Well, this week passed by a little bit more quickly than others, and I think that a lot of it is because the life in the office calmed down a lot. We haven't had too much to worry about, which meant that I was able to catch up on a lot of little things that have been getting past me. But it's mostly been a pretty boring week in that aspect.

Something cool that happened is that the new couple arrived! Elder and Sister Alvarez come from the city of Highland, Utah (though they lived most of their lives in Mexico.) They're a really neat couple, and their main responsibilities are to help out the local stakes and districts with their auditing, and making sure that money doesn't get lost in the numbers. They may also be taking on some of the responsibilities that we have now, but President wants to give it a week or so. I really hope that they end up taking some responsibilities. At that point, we'll be able to go teach at least by around 3, and we like to teach. Like a lot.

The person I'd like to talk a little bit about this week is called Jailson. He's an inactive member for some time now, but will always sit down and talk with us. He likes to read the Book of Mormon, he knows (and for the most part, follows) most of the commandments that we teach, and he has a desire to do what's right. The problem? For some reason, he just simply hasn't made it to church. It's not that he doesn't want to, because every time we talk to him he says that he does. We try to ask him what's stopping him from going, and he just says "I don't even know!" There has to be something, or else he would be going! It's sometimes difficult to understand, so I plan to pray a lot more about his specific situation, and how we can help.

Something really cool that I noticed yesterday was when I studied the first lesson in Chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel, which talks mostly about the Restoration. One of the main goals behind the lesson is to explain the character and purpose of the Godhead. Our loving Heavenly Father sent His Son to give us His teachings, and to help us to return to His presence. He and His Son appeared to Joseph Smith so that the world could once again know how to become like Him. He sent us the Holy Ghost as well, so that we can know for certain that this is His way, and not some kind of foolish trick. He cares for each of us, so He has everything planned out accordingly. Our church has a very unique way of defining the Godhead, in the way that we believe that God is what we all could be ourselves. It doesn't deny His almighty power, but rather it gives us hope and the knowledge that He truly is our Father.

Keep up the faithful service to your fellow men! Spread the wonderful message of the Living Christ this Easter! Love you all!

Elder Penner

Monday, March 14, 2016

Holland Road

Although a very very good Mumford and Sons song, I couldn't really relate it to anything on my mission so far. That is, until Elder Massey and I started listening exclusively to Conference talks by Jeffery R. Holland in the car as we did our errands this past week. So there ya have it, we're living the Holland Road.

This week (as does most weeks) had some ups and some downs. The sad part is that the people that we were preparing for baptism by the end of the month kinda fell through because they still haven't gotten to church. We're not too discouraged by it though, because they'll have such a powerful experience watching General Conference that they'll just be begging for baptism. I know that's how I feel when I watch it, especially when our prophet Thomas S. Monson gets up to speak. He's such a boss.

As for cool things that happened, we learned that Fatima's papers have been found over in Guinea, so they could get them within a month! Then after that, it's only a trip to the government building so they can mark a date for marriage! They're super excited, they've been waiting for this for a while now, and we're super excited too.

Anyways, gotta go this week! Love ya all!
Elder Penner

Monday, March 7, 2016

Muppet of a Man

This week I drew my influence from The Muppets, the song where they figure out if they're a man or if they're a Muppet, because that's how I've been feeling this past week. I've come to realize that to get people to do what you want (i.e. talk to you about bill payments n stuff) then you have to be a man. You can't be a muppet. I've been trying to be less of a muppet and more of a man, and it's slowly starting to work!

Well, I can't talk all that much this week, because people kept showing up and wasting my sacred computer time, but this week has been such a sweet one! We met our goal of 18 lessons this week, which is a feat seeing that 5 out of 7 days we didn't leave until at least 5! We're killing it over here!

Some cool/funny things that happened this week: our investigator Marlene, who's been having troubles with feeling that the Book of Mormon is true, just bore a very powerful testimony about it yesterday. She had tears in her eyes as she explained how she had tried reading early in the morning instead of late at night, in order to be more attentive while reading it, and she's just starting to really feel that it's true. How neat is that? Also, we taught the Law of Chastity to William and Mary, and William just turns to his mom and is like "But mom, that means you're breaking it! You and Dad aren't married!" to which she replied "But I didn't know!" We laughed and went on to explain that she's not going to be condemned because she didn't know, but that now is the time to act and start to follow it. She was really eager to follow it then, and told us that she was going to get her husband to stop drinking so that they could get married! Win-win situation there!

The Lord works in the funniest ways, but they're always the best ways. I hope y'all have a wonderful week, and that you'll find joy in the little things!

Elder Penner