Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Week 10 Letter 1/21/13

Hola Hermanos!

Another week already gone by! This week went by super fast! It was also a week of meetings. Elder Wood and I had two all day long meetings. It was crazy but it was extremely good. I learned a lot. President Hall is such an inspired man. I am so happy to be serving in this mission as I wait for my visa. 

Our first meeting this week was really fun. It was a training meeting for all of the missionaries who came into the mission when I did. It was great to see everyone again! Especially Elder Love. He is doing great in the valley. Probably the coolest thing about it is his trainer is Elder Grose who was Elder Wood's last companion. He said he is doing great and that he is glad to be serving here in San Fernando. In the meeting President Hall mostly went over the Missionary Handbook. He made it as clear as possible to us what every rule was. It was great to have him do that and show us exactly what he wants us to do. He also talked about how we can best build our faith. He gave us these five points: diligent studies, prayer of faith, service, obedience to the spirit, and obedience to the commandments. It was a very great meeting and it really was great to be with Elder Love again.

We also had our zone conference the next day. President Hall went over the Missionary Handbook again but in this meeting we focused a lot more on finding. President Hall has told us that we should spend 30 hours a week finding. He really showed us how we can increase our Faith to Find. The assistants also talked to us about finding through members which was really good as well. It helped us to know how we can better use the members in our area.

Elder Wood and I sure learned a lot this week from these meetings. It is really helping us find the things that are holding us back a little and helping us become better missionaries. We really put a lot of the things we learned into use already and I feel that it is really helping us out.

This week was a weird week. The two meetings were great but they took away quite a bit of our proselyting time. It made the rest of the week pretty strange, especially Saturday and Sunday. We spent so much time on Saturday and Sunday trying to find people. On Saturday we had some good success and were able to find a new investigator and a family, but we only had one lesson. And then on Sunday nobody was home. All of the people we went by were gone. We ended up not teaching a lesson on Sunday. It was strange but it was still good because we found a lot of potentials. I am excited for next week. It should end up being a good week!

Well I hope everyone is healthy and safe. Have a great week everybody!

Les Queremos!
Elder Lightheart

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Week 9 Letter 1/14/13

Hello Everybody!

One week into the mission! What an awesome time to be a missionary. This mission is so amazing! I am so glad to be serving here in California!

I arrived here a week ago today. After we got off the plane we met the Mission President at the baggage check. His name is President Hall. He is such a great President. Even from just meeting him in the airport I could tell that he is a man of God and really is guided in everything he does. After we got picked up we went over to a Stake Center close by. There we did some quick paperwork and then they sent us off to do some tracting.

I was paired with Elder Lowry. He is now the assistant to the president and he is a great missionary. So the two of us went out to do some tracting. We were out for a while and did not have too much success so we decided to stop and pray to be able to have more success and find a family who had been prepared for the gospel. We left the apartment complex and went to the one next door. The first door we went to we found a sweet Hispanic family. It was amazing. They were actually some former investigators who had lost contact with the missionaries. It was so great to see the hand of the Lord the first day out in the field. To be able to find a family like that was so fantastic.

(Update from Mission President’s wife: I was just talking with the Elder that Elder Lightheart went out finding with on his first day.  They had prayed and found a family who let them give a five minute scripture and set a return appointment. Tonight the missionaries in the area went to the appointment and now have eight new investigators from that one visit!)

That night we slept at an apartment in the Santa Clarita Valley. The next day we had the transfer meeting. When we arrived at the transfer meeting we were talking with some of the other missionaries who were there for the transfer meeting. As I was talking with some of them I met and Elder Wood. As soon as I met him I got a strong feeling that he was going to be my companion. Then as we went through the transfer meeting and President was announcing all of the transfers he got to Elder Wood. And then he said that I would be trained by him! I was so excited about that. Elder Wood later told me he had the same feeling when we met. That we would be companions. It was an awesome experience to have that happen.

After the meeting we went to our apartment. It is a nice little apartment. A kitchen, bedroom, study room, and bathroom. It is a little old though. And this week our heater hasn't been working and it has been super cold in our apartment. For instance as we left our apartment to come to the library and send emails, it was 59 degrees in the apartment. We called the apartment manager today and hopefully we can get that fixed.

Since then we have just been about the work for the past week. We also had one Exchange this week with Elder Maxwell and Elder Rockhill. We have definitely had our share of miracles this week. It has been an amazing week.

One miracle was when I was on exchange with Elder Maxwell. We biked to an appointment and on the way we were impressed to stop by a house and knock the door. Our appointment fell through so we went and dropped of our bikes and walked over to the house to go knock the door. It was a three room house. The first door we knocked the man who answered the door was not interested and was pretty rude with us. Then we went to the next door and a sweet Hispanic lady answered the door. We found out that she was a member but the most amazing thing was that she had just moved there six days ago and she invited us back for dinner. The dinner appointment was amazing. Elder Maxwell and I taught them the Restoration and then we asked them is there was a family we could do a family home evening with. They said they would invite their neighbors and we will get to teach them. It was a great miracle the Lord gave us.

The next day was also pretty amazing. The miracle that happened was that we had the goal to talk to everyone. Our goal was to not let anyone pass us without talking to them unless we were already talking to someone. The miracle was that EVERYONE we talked to listened. It was incredible. Everyone we talked to was interested in hearing more and we set up quite a few return appointments. We got 9 potential investigators in one day without have anytime set apart for contacting. It was so great to have so many people interested in our message.

The last miracle that I would like to talk about has to do with the family who lives right above us. The Ceja family. The wife, Sister Ingrid Ceja is an amazing lady. Her husband Jose is less-active now and has put Sister Ceja through a lot but she is one of the strongest sisters I have ever met. She is so devoted to the church. It is so great to have people like her in our area. Anyway we went over to eat dinner at their house and Jose brought his friend Victor who is not a member. We had a great dinner and then decided to teach The Restoration to the Ceja family and Victor. It was such a powerful experience. Victor was so interested in the message and he was so excited to learn. He was so prepared to hear our message. We invited him to read the Book of Mormon and he was so eager to. Then we invited Victor to Church which was the next day and he said he would come. It was so amazing. The next day at church Victor came in with the Ceja family and Jose came as well! It was definitely a miracle.

Well the people here are amazing. I love Hispanic people. They are the best. They are always so kind and loving. I really love all the people down here in the Newhall area. Hope everyone is doing well!

Elder Lightheart

Friday, January 11, 2013

1/11/13 California San Fernando Mission

Dear Parents,

Happy New Year!  We are so excited to welcome your missionaries to the California San Fernando Mission!  Sorry for all the exclamation points, we just truly are excited to have these new missionaries with us.  

I’m sure you’ll be hearing from them on Preparation Day (Monday) but I just wanted to send this picture of the group that arrived on Monday.  We met all 13 at the Burbank Airport and took them to a nearby stake center.  There they had some lunch, did boring paperwork and met with President Hall.  They also were met by some of our very best missionaries in the area and spent almost two hours out on the street contacting people and knocking on doors.  They reported some amazing experiences in that short amount of time. 

Tuesday morning they met their companions and went off to their areas.  Their trainers are great missionaries and excited to introduce everyone to California.  They will be with this companion for at least 12 weeks (2 transfers) as they complete the training program.  The exception to this is our four Elders who are here temporarily while they wait for their visas to go to Mexico.  We are so glad they are here.

We love your missionaries and are thrilled with their desires to serve the Lord. 


President and Sister Hall

Monday, January 7, 2013

Phone call 1/4/13

We received a quick phone call from Elder Lightheart to inform us about his change in assignments and let us know when he would be able to talk on Monday (He wasn't able to call us on Monday so we were so glad to hear from him on the 14th).  He was so excited to leave to California.  It was so neat hearing the joy in his voice.  He got to say hello to all the kids that were home real quick (including Haley Palmer).  He should be in California for about six weeks and then he is supposed to return to Salt Lake to get his visa and then go down to Mexico.  So hopefully by the middle of February he will be on his way.  It is so neat seeing and feeling the blessing of having a child serve a full time mission!  Thank you, Jonny for making that possible.