Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A white Christmas after all....

Dear family,   It is always weird writing you right after we have spoken through skype. I told you this story on Sunday, but will tell it again for the sake of the blog.   On December 23rd, I was blessed to return to Gilroy for a baptism. However, I was surprised by who was getting baptized. I was confused and thought that an investigator that I had taught a few times was getting baptized. How great was my surprise when I found out that it was really Juan Moreno that was getting baptized.   Juan (or Juanon as we called him) was someone that Elder Smoot and  I had taught from start to finish this last summer. We had worked a lot with him. The day before his baptism, he got cold feet and disappeared.  We were super disappointed at the time because we cared a great deal about Juan and had really enjoyed teaching him the Gospel.    When I arrived at the Dunne building and saw Juan, I was shocked to see him.  I immediately went and shook his hand. As I did so, he told me, "Ya estoy listo!"  It was so great to finally hear those words.   It was Juan that sought out President DeSalmones and arranged his baptismal date. The missionaries were very blessed receive that call from President DeSalmones letting them know that they had a baptism in five days. All he needed was a baptismal interview and he was set for baptism.    It is really amazing how the Lord has His timeline and knows when His children are ready. I am very glad that Juan was ready and acted on the promptings of the Spirit as he felt them.   Love,   Elder Badger

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas time is here!!!

Dear family,   Can you believe it has been a year since last Christmas?  I can't wait to hear from you. We get 45 minutes this year to talk.  Ten days later, we can talk as much as we want.   We have set up a small Christmas tree in our apartment. It is always fun to see the lights at night right before bed. It reminds me of sleeping underneath the tree as children.   This week our work made a major shift. Instead of spending most of our time with less-actives and active members, we had a week packed with nonmember lessons.  On Tuesday night the ward rented a bus and headed up to the Oakland Temple Visitors center to see the Christmas lights. Irene and Franier had a really good time.  I think that the United States is quite a change for them.  Venezuela is currently run by the dictator Hugo Chavez. This has limited the amount of American cultural influence.  Radio and TV is heavily restricted there and portrays much propoganda against the USA. Fortunately, a good portion of the people there remember life pre-Chavez.  Over the last few weeks, they (Irene and Franier) have been beaten over the head with American culture.    On Saturday, the mission is doing a Christmas Eve breakfast.  Steak and eggs are on the menu. Every missionary is to bring a gift of $5 or less. I am trying to figure it out.   My scholarship applications are almost done. I am just waiting on a few letter of reccomendations then I can send them off.   I can't wait to hear from you on Sunday. Expect my call sometime after 1:00pm.  We have 11:30 church.  Brother Black in the Branham ward has offered his house for making phone calls. I get to see you in less than a week and get to hug you in just over two weeks.   Love, Elder Badger

Monday, December 12, 2011

Finding !!!

Dear family,
This week has been very good. We were able to find some new investigators that just kind of fell into our lap. They are family of an English family. Irene and Franier are visiting from Venezuela (probably one of the most unstable Spanish speaking countries). We have been able to teach them several time and are excited to teach them as much as possible before they return back to Venezuela on the 28th.
This next week is a busy one for the Los Alamitos ward. We have a temple visitors center trip, a ward sports night, and our ward Christmas party. It seems like every night this week is taken up by activities. This makes for good fellowship for our investigators.
I am doing well. I had my last appointment with Dr. T. Chen, marking my transition back to Dr. Senecal in Tacoma.  It is still weird to think that three years ago I was finishing up my last round of chemotherapy. Those were the longest six months of my life. The last six months have been tremendously faster.  I feel like I blinked and they were gone.
It is beginning to settle in that I will be with you in three short weeks.  Some of the colleges have begun letting out for Christmas break. When the students return to school, I will return with them.
We are excited for Christmas, but wish that San Jose looked a little more festive. San Jose doesn't put up as many "Holiday lights" as Seattle.  I enjoy the occasionally lit palm tree which is a bit of a difference from the Northwest.
I look forward to seeing you soon.
Elder Badger

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Time !!!

As you know, I love the Christmas season. Last night's First Presidency devotional really got me into the Christmas mood. I have been listening to Christmas music since well before Thanksgiving. I got approval from President Watkins ... for our Christmas plans.

The new videos, one of which was shown during devotionl, are pretty amazing. They are all geared towards being application based devices. You wouldn't believe how multi-faceted the Church's marketing campaign is. We are meeting with Elder Clayton as a zone leader council on Saturday to discuss a new website they are piloting in San Jose called "Just Serve". The Church is really working hard to get it's name out in positive ways.

Our work is going well. We are still shooting to have a baptism by the end of the year.  I don't know how to work any harder. We are busy. This upcoming week is a little interesting because Elder Manning will be going back to Yerba Buena for a few days. An elder broke both wrists while riding a bike. He has to have surgery and his companion will need someone to help keep their area up and running.  He should be back to Los Alamitos by the end of the week.
Elder Rodriguez keeps us laughing every minute. I think I got the only companion more talkative than myself. The only diffrence is that he can do it in two languages a lot better than I can.
Elder Badger