April 25, 2016

!!keeW israF

Another week! I believe I officially hit 10 months. Yay! Celebrate, Im so old on the mission...NOT. I still feel new, but then again missionaries coming now, even sisters go home after me so thats good. haha

We had a cool little tender mercy last night. We were calling a ton of people, inviting them to attend a Visitor Center event with us, but no one was able to go or answering. So we kind of gave up and were just listening to dinner during our music hour (yes thats right) and we get a call from the VC! We shot over and met this super cool Persian guy who wanted to come to the event! Apparently he had met missionaries earlier in the week, was invited to Stake Conference (which was in Korea Town like 40 minutes away) and came, and was now at the VC in Santa Monica! We talked with him for a little and then went to the event and had a great time! We are super excited to start meeting with our new friend Nick. 

Speaking of Stake Conference. I am so grateful for the things that I have been learning as a missionary. The past couple months, it has seemed like I hear exactly what I need to hear every time. Now, I dont think its me being a missionary, but rather our preparation and ability to be influenced by the Holy Ghost. Im not saying Im this super spiritual monster, but I do know that after we are baptized, we have the authorized opportunity for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. It is up to us to live worthily of that influence and guidance. 

Our stake president shared this and I enjoyed it: "True happiness is when we know who God is, we know who we are, and we have confidence that we are in align with His will."
God's ultimate will is to get us home, and he wont force us. We have to allow Him to change us into the people that we are to become. We have all been foreordained and called. All things are present before God and He knows the help we need now and the help that we will need. Keep going! 

We had the opportunity to give two priesthood blessings this week. The Farsi Elders have kind of been dubbed "the blessing elders" or "the hospital elders" because our area is the mission. So we are on call to give blessings. It is such a neat and unique opportunity to use the priesthood on a regular basis. It is also a very humbling experience being able to sit and talk with so many people going though different things and offer the little help we can. I am very grateful. Also, one of the particular blessings we gave was to a Hispanic lady, although she understood English. In my mind, I was thinking in English, then we started the blessing, Spanish came out. It had been so long since I had done a blessing in Spanish and I know it was God, not me. Although the words were far from perfect, pretty sure I said half the words in Farsi, the Hermana thanked us so much afterwards and couldnt have been happier. Super cool. 

Heard this story, I dont remember all the details but Ill try. There was some small town that was going through a drought. The bishop one Sunday told the ward that they were going to pray together all week for rain, then fast on Saturday to Sunday and come together at church to end their fast. The ward did so, they started their fast. Sunday morning came around and the bishop was getting his family ready for church. It was taking a little longer than anticipated and he started to get frustrated. Finally, everyone seemed ready and they piled into the car. One of his daughters said, "Wait, I forgot something!" and ran back inside and got a bag. The ward had a great service and it was time to go home. When to everyone's surprise it was raining outside! As everyone was running to their cars to try and stay dry, the bishops daughter reached inside her and took out her umbrella and said, "Dad, we can share my umbrella." May we all have faith that God will hear and answer our prayers like this little girl. She had no doubt that it would rain and so she was prepared. 
PB and bread :) 

Tuesday morning, E Arguelles made some Venezuelan food called Arepas. Mission life calls for meals of peanut butter sandwiches. Also, I thought itd be cool to share some pictures of my Farsi notebook. Some sentences to practice grammar and gospel teaching and vocab words from the Book of Mormon. :) 


I love you all! Have an awesome week! :) 

April 18, 2016

I am no longer the tallest

Well, transfers came, and everyone is staying in the Farsi program! Alas, Elder Wiedrich is coming to FarsiB with me! Alas, I am not the tallest in my companionship.. :) But I am excited! 
Elder Weidrich on the left.

To be honest, not a super eventful week.. :) But, some cool things: I have been in Farsi for about 6 months now (already? Gosh, time flies), and I feel like Im doing well! I started seriously reading the Book of Mormon in Farsi in March, and Im now in 1N17. Doesnt seem like a lot but.. hey I can understand most everything! Elder Arguelles and I taught Gospel Principles in Farsi on Sunday about the scriptures and how we can learn from them, it went pretty well! To say the least, us Americans can impress Persians by a mere "Salam" and basically melt before us when we bow (very culturally appropriate). Also, a Persian told me that I had the best Persian boy language they have ever seen in a white person. Now, I dont know how many white people take on Persian culture, but it was cool. haha

I went on splits with Elder Jung this week in KoreaLand! We visited their Recent Converts, two teenage boys, who are super cool! Their mom made us Japanese Sushi Rolls and then later I was gifted with a container of chocolate balls! Hey, Im not arguing with that culture haha. Also, I may or may not be more than twice the height of some Koreans.. haha :) 

Today, we went to Korean BBQ, my favorite. Farsi & Korean Elders. #FarKor

E Arguelles, E Ekberg, Sister Mead, Maryam

Also, this is Maryam (in the picture with Elder Arguelles, Sister Mead and myself). She is our cool Chemical Engineer Post-Doc friend! It has been super cool to see how the Gospel has changed her outlook not only now, but how she thinks back on things that have already happened. I think its important to always remember that everything we go through, is preparatory for what the Lord has in store for us. :) We were able to have a lesson at our Mission Presidents home with her this week (they live down the street) and that was cool! #Teachsimply #Fundamentals

I learned how to write "Runny Nose" in Chinese. :P

Thoughts for the week: 
There is an AWESOME article about prayer on the church's website, go read it! My favorite from the article is the fact that we should pray to be changed by your circumstances not for your circumstances to be changed. 

Also, as a missionary, even as a human in general, we basically live in different patterns or cycles. We do things daily, weekly, hourly, yearly, all in cycles. What are you learning from them? Maybe there is a reason why we do the same things over and over and over again. If we go through the same things, can we learn something new everytime we repeat? A member of our ward shared this analogy. If you are very close to a painting, you can see the individual brushstrokes. One by itself is not very beautiful, not very complex or meaningful. However when you step back from the painting, hundreds or thousands of seemingly insignificant brushstrokes make up a beautiful painting. I know that sometimes the things we do seem small, maybe even not worth it. But over time, with a "step-back" view of those small efforts, we can see the significance of our small efforts. Keep trying! :) 

I love you all! I hope you have an awesome week! 

April 11, 2016

Relief Society from Europe

This week was another great week! There was a lot of random, I guess just some things that people usually dont hear about, that happened so, list time:

1. We met a guy who served his mission in Elder Arguelles home town and is from Mesa, Arizona.
2. We went bowling last P-day (I won both games #onlinePEpaysoff) 
3. We helped a Persian lady apply for jobs
4. We found a crock-pot in our apartment
5. While contacting a referral, the curtains mysteriously closed by them selves from inside, no answer
6. We got free food from the Potter fam
7. We scared some Chinese people on accident, that actually happens every week haha
8. We visited our good friend Susan in the hospital after her surgery 
9. We gave FarsiA some ham #service
10. We played an organ at the USC Institute 
11. There are a TON of Persian refugees investigating the gospel in Germany
12. We met a homeless man who told us we were attractive
13. It rained for a couple days
14. I caved and bought a 52oz Dr Pepper at a gas station
15. We teleported 3000 miles in less than an hour to give a priesthood blessing
16. We went to McDonalds to play the Monopoly, I got nothing while Elder Demond won 3 of 6...
17. We taught English class and all European/Persian women showed up #reliefsociety
18. We tie-swapped with a guy from D.A.R.E.
19. We got free Persian food from a recent convert
20. We had an awesome lesson with Fatima #teachingfromthescriptures
21. We went to Farsi class and learned how to say cute phrases
22. We rode bikes :O
23. We met three new people who are all new investigators in an afternoon!
24. We were able to go to the Visitor Center with Maryam and Taranom to watch a Recent Convert Testimony night! 
25. We took naps during lunch time haha

We learned some cool Persian proverbs and sayings, thought I should share some. 

اگر فرياد بزنى به صدايت گوش مى دهند، اگر آرام بگويى به حرفت گوش مى دهند.
(If you yell, they listen to your voice. If you speak softly, they listen to your words.)

در خانه اى كه آدم ها يكديگر را دوست ندارند، بچه ها نمى توانند بزرگ شوند؛ شايد قد بكشند، اما بال و پر نخواهند گرفت.
(In a home where people don't love each other, children cant grow. They may get taller, but they wont get wings and feathers.)

Thought for the week: Its ok to struggle! Thats what Jesus is for! He is here, there and with you to help you, not to stand on the side and say "ok, really? Come on!" 
"Ye should be perfect, even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." 3N12:48
"Well, its discouraging! I can't be perfect!" 
Christ would only ask us to do something, if He knew we had the potential to do it. We have the potential to become perfect, even as our Father in Heaven. Its not all gonna come at once, and we sure cant do it alone. There is that standard there to help us see that we CAN! We have the potential, each one of us, is a child of God and He will help us! We loves us so much to give us vital tools like prayer, families, friends, the Book of Mormon, the sacrament, he Holy Ghost and even His own Son. Dont ever give up. You dont necessarily have to be happy to have faith. You dont have to be happy to have joy and peace. Even though every week has a Monday morning, there is a Sunday. :)  

Our super awkward Zone :P
Our super awkward zone.  April 2016

April 4, 2016

Miracle week!

Hola mi amigos! 

Twas another week in the Los Angeles California town. We were allowed to go do a session in the LA Temple. Great bonus to the week and Im so glad we have one so close! Also, 4 new temples?! Woooo! Thats crazy! Elder George, thats one more for you buddy! #Peru

This week was great! The Persians here were still very busy celebrating the New Year with those after parties but we still managed to find some awesome success! We set two baptismal dates! :O

The first is our good friend Shahla! Her husband Bahram, herself and their daughter came into the VC on Monday looking for the Norooz party, but it was last Saturday. The VC Sisters called us, and we showed up in our killin' 2012 Toyota Corolla! Wooo! Just kidding, but it was awesome! Turns out, Bahram is already a member and due to some, safety purposes out of their comtrol, Shahla was not baptized with him, but she is super prepared and ready now! Their daughter has a surgery during the month and they are getting her ready for that but we are excited to help Shahla learn and progress towards baptism by the end of the month! :) I cant believe the amount of sacrifice some people are willing to make for the gospel. I cant disclose too much over email, out of saftey purposes, but honestly, I am so so grateful to be able to meet and work with such amazing people. :) 

Our second is our good friend, Fatima. About a month ago, we met with some elders in the San Fernando Mission (just north of us) to give them some of our English Class cards to hand out to Persians that they meet up in the valley (out of our mission boundaries). They told us about this apartment complex that was full of Persians and said we should go knock it. So we had some time and showed up and there was probably 12 buildings with 15-16 apartments in each one.. We said a quick prayer and felt like we should knock on 114. Well we found Fatima and her boyfriend (who was crazy, on drugs, and long story short is now in prison..)! We left her with a Book of Mormon and we said we would keep in touch. Well a week later she ends up moving, and she had school finals and was super busy, and we lost contact for a couple weeks. BUT, Saturday after Priesthood session she calls us and wanted to meet! We sat down and read in 3N11 and explained what the Book of Mormon is and our purpose as missionaries and then invited her to be baptized! She agreed and we are now super excited for our good friend Fatima for May 1st! :) 

What do those squiggles on your nametag mean? #korean

Conference! Gahhh! It was awesome. Elder Bednar and Elder Uchtdorfs talk during priesthood were awesome and coincidently what Ive been studying the past few weeks during studies. :) Its always a great time of year and Im so grateful for the opportunity and privilege we have to learn from the Spirit through the Prophets and Apostles. :) Super stoked to reread them! 

This week is miracle week in the CLAM! Be excited! :) Last week was a great week for us, we achieved all of our goals and had an awesome time. We are excited for this week, the stretch and the potential it has for success! :) Grateful for the opportunity to serve and to become better! Im grateful for our Heavenly Fathers plan for us, for His Son's Atonement, that makes it possible to progress, and for the constant companionship of the Spirit. :) its a great time to be living! Make the last 2 minutes count! 

Tommy's Burgers:  Double Chili Cheeseburger please.

Have an awesome week! I love you all! :)
ارشد اِكبرگ