Thursday, August 17, 2017

Still Strong (Week 35)

Hello Everyone,

So we had transfers again this week and........ I am still in the city, which is fantastic! I am so glad and excited! I am still with Elder Li and that is great.  This transfer I was called to serve as District Leader!  Yes, I get to drive the car and that will be interesting. I have already gotten use to driving on the opposite side of the road. It wasn't too hard to get used to it. I am now also responsible to do the grocery shopping for the flat. All I'm going to buy is cereal and skittles, the sugar will fuel my energy. Ha! Ha! Elder Li cooks and he knows what we need to get, so it's all good. Living with two elders from China gets me plenty of authentic Chinese food. Elder Chen moved over to another flat to be the district leader of the other district in our zone. It will be different because I have been with him for almost 9 months, but we will still be in the same zone.  Elder Maddock from England moved back to my flat. It will be good to be able to see him more often and be his district leader!

This week went by really fast! We were just building up our area finding more people to teach as well just preparing to see how transfers would go. Elder Koch who has been my zone leader since the beginning of my mission goes home tomorrow and I am happy for him. That it is crazy how fast the time has gone! The weather has started to warm up, but it is going to rain all this week, so it might cool back down, maybe. Its cold and warm and all over the place. It will be an interesting transfer to say the least, since being district leader will be a new experience. I also found out that my MTC companion will be serving out bush in Alice Springs, that is in the heart of the Outback. He has served outlying his whole mission so far and I have been in the city the entire time.

Yes dad, I'm still considered the strong man here! The other day at Family Home Evening we had a competition. It was who could plank the longest and I won! It's funny how somethings don't change!We then had a pushup competition to see who could do the most, I was not allowed to compete because they all said it would be an easy win for me and not fair! ha ha

I am also super excited because Elder Stevenson is coming this weekend to Adelaide!! He will train the whole mission on Saturday and will speak at stake conference on Sunday. It will be a great opportunity and spiritual experience! I heard that he was in Tuscon for the dedication last week  and and I heard the temple there looked beautiful. Temples are the best place to be.  Elder Li and I are going to help our recent converts go to the temple next month! Well my time is up and I hope you all have a great week, I love you all!!!

               Elder Ethan Salcedo

Sunday, August 13, 2017

His Reflection (Week 33 & 34)

Hello Everyone,

Week 33
This week was another busy week! We had lots of lessons, and we also prepared two of our brothers for baptism! Nick and Jim were baptized on Saturday and confirmed members of the church on Sunday. It was great to hear their testimonies and see the change in their life.

 Jim was really solid! He was going through a depression because he broke up with his girlfriend. He attended one of his friends baptisms last month and felt the Holy Ghost. From there he always felt happy and he knew that God was real. He also knows the Holy Ghost really does speak to us through our feelings. He has shared the gospel already with his friends. He has helped them feel the influence of the Holy Ghost and helped them find peace, which is super great.

 Nick, I first taught him with Elder Maddock and we invited him to baptism twice and he said no both times. He finally told us it is because he didn't believe in God. We had him read Alma chapter 32 which taught him about faith and how to build it on his own. Then the very next lesson after talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ he accepted baptism. He said he finally believed and from there he was finally able to be changed. He accepted all of the commandments no problem. He went from not laughing to normal faced to smiling and laughing and actually socializing with others. It was amazing to see the Gospel change his life and Jim's as well! 
District Selfie

Mark our recent convert who was baptized 3 weeks ago was able to baptized them both.  He has already baptized 3 people!! Seeing the people I have witnessed change and be baptized has grown and strengthen my own testimony, that the Gospel of Jesus Christ changes people. It's not me and it's not us, its not the church, but Jesus Christ that allows us to change.  The church and us are conduits in which our brothers and sisters around us are able to feel and allow Jesus Christ to change them.
My District

It is like the famous comparison, the church is like a hospital where we all go to be healed and Jesus Christ is the doctor. I heard something that I really like it was, a silversmiths works all day melting down the metal and cooling it down and allowing it to harden. Someone asked, well how do you know when it is ready? The silversmith said when he can finally see his reflection in the metal.  
It is the same for us, God allows us through our own experiences to be melted down. For us to experience trials in our life it is to allow him to mold us into who He knows we can be. He knows when He is finished is when He can see His reflection in us. It is our job to let Him do that. I invite us all to allow ourselves to be molded into who Heavenly Father knows we can be.  I know that this Church is the restored and true church of Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and because I know that, I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know that this is Jesus Christ's church, and I know that Thomas Monson is the prophet today.  I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us with a perfect love. I know that through Jesus Christ we can be molded into the child of God he knows that we can be.  He knows when we have reached our potential as a child of God, when He can see His reflection in us. I hope you all have a great week and I love you all!!!!

District Temple Trip

Week 34
This week was a busy week as always. We had quite a few lessons. We are also trying to find even more people to teach. It pretty much rained all week here, which is very new to me since it never rains in Arizona, ha ha! On top of it, it is also really cold.  I hate the cold ha ha,  There was a soccer game last night between the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power. I think they must be big rivals because everyone was driving around the city yelling stuff and waving their team flags.  We could hear the yelling of the crowds all of the way from the stadium, which reminded me of  football games in the states.

Sacrament meeting was interesting, there was a drunk man who came into the building and started to cause a scene in the middle of Sacrament. They had to escort the man out, but it was very crazy to say the least. I have seen this man several times in the city and have spoken to him in the past, he told me a few weeks ago that he is trying to stop drinking and would like to attend church. Luckily it was testimony meeting, so the spirit was brought back really fast with all of the amazing testimonies bore by the members of the branch. On P-day we have been playing card games and getting shopping done. We are also teaching lessons too on our P-Day. We are keeping pretty busy. I can't believe it is already week 6 of this transfer, which is crazy. It was probably the fastest transfer. I'm pretty excited  because Elder Stevenson of the Quorum of the twelve apostles is coming to speak to us.  Everyone is preparing for his visit, including our recent converts. We can't wait!  I hope you all have a great week and I love you all!!!
> --
> Sincerely,
>                Elder Ethan Salcedo