Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 33 - La Paz + Birthdays = Great Week

Hey fam and friends, 

I had a super good week this week. On Tuesday we had all of the missionaries in the Baja California Sur get together for a Multizone Missionary Conference. We got up bright and early at 4:15 in the morning to head up to La Paz. President Velez and his wife came, and we were all together for the day and it was awesome! They talked all about the importance of our calling as missionaries, and how many blessings God has waiting for us. They really helped us focus on appreciating the time we have as missionaries, to really recognize all of the blessings God has given us as His servants. It was so awesome, but also a little sad because President and his wife are already almost done with their service as our “Mission Parents”, they finish in June L . This might be the last time I see them, at least for a while. It was super sad; even though I have only known them for six months, it was amazing to see how much they loved me, and how much I grew to love them. They really motivated me to be a better and more consecrated missionary. 

Friday was Elder Wright´s birthday! It was super awesome, not just because we got a ton of food and cake, but also because we had some really great spiritual experiences! First about the food. We got enchiladas for lunch, which were heavenly. Then a couple hours later we had Chinese food, and to finish off the day, we had some cake another member made us! Haha. We also had some great experiences spiritually. We had an awesome lesson with the daughter and granddaughter of a member. We have been teaching them for a few weeks, and little by little we have seen their desire to be baptized grow. I testified to them as I do to you, about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I know it is the word of God. I know Joseph Smith was called to translate this sacred record as proof of the Restoration of the Gospel. I feel so wonderful and blessed to know God has spoken to His children once again. They were able to feel the Spirit in the lesson and both accepted a baptismal date of May 14. I am so excited for them! They are so awesome. It was great too, cause the daughter said, “it doesn’t matter if she (the granddaughter) can’t come, I’m getting baptized on the 14th with or without her!”

I had an awesome week, and I am looking forward to another great week this week! I love you all so much! 


Elder Daines

The San Jose Zone

I may or may not have done that...! 

I <3 Enchiladas! 

First Churros in Mexico!! 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 32 - After All That We Can Do

Familia y amigos, 

Hope y’all had an awesome week! I sure did! It has been a lot of work, but with our efforts, we have seen the blessings. I have never been so tired in my life. It is unreal how exhausted I feel when the alarm goes off before 6:30 every single morning. But understanding my purpose as a missionary and as a child of God helps me get the strength, and the desire to get up each morning. This week, our Zone of missionaries put a certain goal to achieve all together, and it was a high goal, something we hadn’t achieved in a long time. But we all went to work in our areas. Elder Wright and I worked so so hard, looking for as many new people to teach as we could, striving to bring more people the glorious message of the Restoration of the gospel of Christ. At the end of this past week, we sent in our report to our Zone Leaders, and we found out we didn’t reach the goal as a zone. I was a little sad at first to hear that, but then I thought of all of the incredible experiences and miracles we had seen during the week, and I was amazed. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to put this strong effort into the work. I have never been so tired, but I have never been so happy. I know that I am putting my heart into this work, and I am really starting to love all of the people we come into contact with. I feel so blessed to be able to be a representative of Jesus Christ. This work is not easy, but it isn’t designed to be easy. It makes me sad sometimes when people reject even listening to us for just one minute, because there is so much happiness that I want to share with them. But I know that I am doing my part in striving to bring people closer to our Savior and Redeemer. 

Elder Wright and I saw so many miracles this week, it was crazy. Ill share a couple of them quickly. On Friday for example, we had several appointments to teach people, but within a couple of hours, all of them had been cancelled. We went through the rest of our plans for that time, (even the Plan B´s!), and found nobody. We decided to say a prayer right there, to be able to find someone that would accept us so we could share the message of the Restoration. Within ten minutes, we were able to talk to a few people, and one man let us in. We had a wonderful lesson with him and he is super excited to meet with us more and learn more about what we believe. The next day, the same thing happened. We had lessons planned for every single hour of the day, and all but two were cancelled. It came more towards time to go home, but we decided we had to work a little bit more. We said another prayer for help, and we decided to visit a reference we had gotten. After not being able to find her for a while, she was home! We were able to teach her, and her parents! It was so cool. 

And then yesterday, we were heading to an appointment with a family we are teaching, and we had plans to teach about Resurrection, but as we were about to start the lesson Elder Wright changed it to reading 3 Nephi 11, a chapter from the Book of Mormon, and I just about peed my pants with excitement because that is exactly what I was thinking to do. It was such an amazing experience. When we got there, they seemed a little down, but by the end of the lesson they brightened up so much and were so loving to us, it was a clear difference, and I know the Spirit guided us in that moment to know exactly what they needed. 

I had so many wonderful experiences that I cant even share them all, but I just love this world so much. I love all the wonderful people in it and all of the wonderful blessings God has given me. I love being a missionary and I love this Church. I love Christ´s gospel and I know it is true. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and I know it can answer prayers, because it has answered mine. 


Elder Daines

"Love me some good mountains"

"The Set-up"

"Creativity in the kitchen."

"My loyal friend."

Week 31 - Huddled Around a Small Computer

Hey guys!

This week was so so so great. I think it is safe to say that it was probably my favorite week in the mission! San Jose is the best ever! I love it here so much. It is so pretty, the people are so awesome, and we were able to see several miracles and spiritual experiences this week! Not only that, but for ten hours this weekend, I got to be huddled around a small computer with 4 other missionaries to be able to hear the inspired words of our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, as well as other Church leaders. 

First off, my companion, Elder Wright, is the bomb! Not to mention the fact he shares the same last name as my best friend, Matt Wright, he's so great! He strangely reminds me a lot of Matt, haha. He already has over a year in the mission, but he seems just as excited to work as if it was his first day in the mission. He is such a good example to me, and he really loves being in the service of the Lord. I love to see how much he loves the members and the people we are teaching as well. It helps me really want to be better, to be more Christlike. 

We had a lot of really cool experiences this week! We visited a family we are teaching twice this week, and had the opportunity to teach them this week about the importance of keeping the commandments. The father has had some personal difficulties for a time now, but in the moment we were teaching the lesson, he stopped us and commented of his desire to change, and how he wants to be a better example to his family, a better husband and father. It was a really cool experience for me, to see how willing he was to make personal sacrifices for his family, and for God, to be able to come closer to Him. 

We also had several other super cool teaching experiences this week, I was able to feel the Spirit with me so often throughout this week, not only in lessons, but as we were walking through the street as well. Elder Wright is not afraid to talk to people, even if we pass by them and have to turn around to share a simple truth about the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. On Thursday, we had an appointment with a guy about our age. He has been coming to church for a couple weeks now, and is excited to listen to us. We spoke about the life of Jesus Christ, and about the importance of Christ's ministry on the earth. He was super interested about it, and really excited to learn more. He has so much faith. Elder Wright and I were totally on the same page, and I know that in that moment God was with us, as we were able to testify of the blessing of baptism, and he accepted our invitation for him to be baptized! It was such a cool experience, and I am super excited to keep meeting with him, he is the best!

We finished out the week with General Conference, which is where the Prophet of the Church, and other Church leaders speak about key doctrinal points of Christ's gospel. Here in San Jose, there are some more Americans than in La Paz, and so I was able to watch it in English, which was awesome! One couple from Texas brought us chocolate chip cookies on Saturday, and brownies on Sunday! Both of which were to.die.for. They were without a doubt the best cookies and brownies I have ever eaten. But back to the important stuff, I loved all of the talks so much, and I can testify that God answers our prayers through the words of His servants. I feel so uplifted and strengthened after this amazing weekend. I know God will give us strength when we need it most, when we place our trust in Him. I know that He can make us more than we could ever achieve by ourselves. I am so grateful to have a loving Heavenly Father who sacrificed His Only Begotten Son for me, and for each of us, so that we can be saved. I love my God and my Savior so much. 


Elder Daines