Tuesday, July 28, 2015

7-27-2015 - Infection Strikes Back

Hola familia y amigos!
   Well this week was good and then it got a little bit worse near the
end. So the leg infection that has been gone for a little over a month
came back again on Saturday morning so after a baptismal service on
Saturday we went to the ER again to get it checked out. We were there
from about 2 in the afternoon until about 8 at night which was
ridiculous but I was also not feeling very good. They put me on
antibiotics again so hopefully this time it will go completely away
this time and I won't have to deal with it ever again because it is
really slowing my work down because once again they told me that I am
not supposed to walk around for long hours and be up a lot.

   Anyway on to more happier news. This week we had a really good
lesson with an part member Peruvian couple. Their names are L and
E and they were former investigators that we picked about two weeks
ago. This past week we taught them the Plan of Salvation and committed
them to coming to church they said they would come so we crossed our
fingers yesterday and waited. They showed up! And they loved it
especially L who is not the member, but E loved it as well
because he hasn't been to church since he was about 9 years old.
Unfortunately they weren't able to stay the whole time but they told
us that we could come over for lunch after Church was over so being
Elders we couldn't turn down a meal appointment and especially one
with them so we went. Peruvian food at least what I had was delicious
I didn't get the name of it but whatever it was called it was so good.
And then we had a lesson with them afterwards about the Book of
Mormon. L wanted to keep reading but we had to go and the cool thing
was that she said that she was going to start reading right after we
left. It is really awesome to see someone get so excited about the
Gospel especially one who is not a member. On Thursday we went and
helped de-paint a porch with the son of a returning member.
De-painting is not a very easy thing but we had a good time doing it.

      One of the things that I have learned this week about the Gospel
and something that I have always known but that gets confirmed to me
almost every week is that no matter who you are what you have done or
where you are going in life the Gospel is for everyone and I know that
to be true. I also know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that
through His Atonement and the Plan of Salvation that we can find hope
and happiness in this life as we do our best to follow God's
commandments and give service to everyone around us. Love you all and
hope you have a great week.
-Elder Espinoza

Enviado desde mi ipad

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

7-20-2015 - Transfers

Hola Familia y Amigos!

This week has been a little bit of an adjustment not only because I
have a new companion but also because we were moved apartments. My new
companions name is Elder Pemberton. He is from South East Utah and has
been in Lawrence for 8 months so he knows not only Spanish but
Dominican now. The area right now is kind of difficult because we only
have 6 investigators but the ones that we do have are all very willing
to learn and the Lord has prepared them for baptism.  It has been a
really cool thing to see how different an investigator who asks
questions and thinks for themselves rather than just take our word for
it and not follow through with commitments. I am grateful for this
opportunity to be able to serve in this area and to be able to serve
the people here in Lawrence. I know that my savior lives and that
through him we can be guided and the way to be guided is through
praying Daily and reading the scriptures and through those things we
can know the will of God for us in our lives. Sorry it is so short
this week, but I hope that all of you have a great week and are able
to feel the Saviors love for you as you show love to others and serve
his children.

-Elder Espinoza

Enviado desde mi iPad

Thursday, July 16, 2015

July 13, 2015- Transfers? Not Really.

Hola Todos!

    This week was transfer call week so everyone in the district was trying to predict where we all would be going and doing. Since Lawrence is the only Spanish area in the entire mission all of us are staying besides my companion Elder H who will be going home basically tomorrow. So I get a new companion tomorrow. It is a bittersweet thing but it should be fun to get to know someone new and a new outlook on missionary work. My area is also getting split. My area covered the entire south of Lawrence called Lawrence 3 and now that it is getting split into two half is Lawrence 3 and half is Lawrence 4. Because of the split the Lawrence ward will now have 8 missionaries. This last week with Elder H was great and we were able to see some good miracles this week. I am also staying in South Lawrence in Lawrence 3 so my area just got shrunk down. It will be fun to work with the part of the area that I did not really work in. 

Miracle 1: We picked up a new investigator last week named J  and she came to church. This past Monday we had dinner at there house and she said that she loved it and was asking us great questions. It is great to see such enthusiasm from an investigator who is truly seeking truth and guidance which is exactly what this Gospel provides.

Miracle 2: A miracle for me because I love Mexican food. We have a member in the ward and she makes the best Mexican Food and I was finally able to have some of her amazing tacos. They were nothing fancy but the way they tasted brought me back to my childhood and all the amazing food that I had when I was living in Arizona so that was a great treat. 

Miracle 3: We have been working with a less active family who hasn't been to church in like 2 years. They have come to church the past two weeks in a row and have been loving church. This week we had a lesson with them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how important it is to be able to be worthy to enter the Temple. The mom of the family told us that she wants to prepare to enter the Temple and that to do so she is going to continue coming to church. Please pray for the Familia Z. to continue having those righteous desires to come to Church and feel of the peace that comes from coming.

Miracle 4: Last Night was one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission so far. We were teaching a lesson to a recent convert and her little sister named D. As Elder H and I were teaching I had a prompting from the spirit to ask D if she has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it is true. She said that she has been kind of reading and that she has prayed about it but doesn't feel like she has received an answer because she has not made it a priority during her prayers. I the asked if she would pray tonight for that answer and then Elder H was prompted to ask if she would pray right then and there. She said one of the most powerful and fervent prayers I have ever heard and she received a confirming witness from the spirit that the Book of Mormon is true.

   I know that through true sincere prayer that anyone can receive a spiritual witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that anyone who reads it will be able to come closer to God. You will be able to feel greater peace and happiness as you read and apply the things that it says to your everyday life. I hope you all have an amazing week. A promise from Moroni the last prophet of the Book of Mormon about how to receive a witness of its truthfulness:
 "3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
 4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."
I would challenge all of you to take this challenge and read the Book of Mormon even if you already have a conviction of it you can receive another one and grow in your faith and conviction of its truthfulness. 
-Elder Espinoza

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July 6, 2015 - 4th of July in Lawrence

Hola Familia y Amigos!
   This week we have seen some really great miracles and a hard nights sleep especially on the 4th of July. The city of Lawrence knows how to party, but when it is a big holiday like the 4th people seem to go all out. In my area which is in south Lawrence it seems that the people are little more quite but we live in the North and the people up there know how to party. Our neighbors were blowing up fireworks on a pretty consistent basis from about 9-12 at night so needless to say I only got about 6 and a half hours of sleep.

   Miracle 1: This week after p-day was over we had the opportunity to finally teach our investigator and his wife together their names are M. and J. We had a super great lesson with them especially because J. was asking tons of questions and they were all basically questions that are answered by the Gospel. She told us before we could invite her that she would be coming to church and the great thing is is that she actually did, and she loved it so that was awesome. 

   Miracle 2: On Tuesday we went with our ward mission leader to his inactive aunts house. She has been inactive for 25 years or so now and during that lesson she told us that she wants to return and knows that she will it is just a matter of time so that was great to see.

 We had a really great fast and testimony meeting yesterday and I could feel the spirit so strongly. I know that this is the Lords Church. I know that our Savior lives and I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Hope you all have a great week.
-Elder Espinoza

June 29, 2015

Hola familia y amigos!

         This week was great and felt pretty successful compared to
other weeks of my mission. We were able to have some great lessons
with investigators and less actives.

Miracle 1: this week we taught the word of wisdom to a family who does
not really have a problem with it except for coffee. We taught them on
Thursday their names are J. and L.We invited them to stop
completely drinking coffee because they said that they were going to
slowly stop using it. When we came back on Saturday and we followed up
with them they completely stopped and they said that it has been a
good thing. I know that the Lord will help us to overcome any
addiction that we have and the first thing that we can do to show our
faith is just by stopping whatever it is and he will help us overcome
whatever it is that we need help with that is one reason why our
savior died for us.

Miracle 2: also this week we were able to attend the temple which was
a great blessing like I said last week. I love the Temple and I know
that through the ordinances (or promises that we make with God) inside
the Temple that we can live with our families together forever in joy
and happiness.

An event that happened this week was that at church this week the
power went out because of a really bad storm that we had. All of us
missionaries (6 of us in the Ward) were nervous though because there
was a baptism at 2 for an investigator of one of the other
companionships in the ward. Luckily the lights came back on and we
were able to have the baptism which was really great.

I know that the Gospel is true and I know that through Christ we can
overcome any challenge, sickness, anything when we put our faith in
Him. I know that Christ is my Savior and that the Book of Mormon is
the word of God. I would invite all of you to find someone that you
could serve in a specific way this week and share at least one
principle of the Gospel that has blessed your life. I know that as you
do so you will be able to understand better the sacrifice that the
Savior did for all of us.
Hope you all have a great week.
-Elder Espinoza
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June 23, 2015 -

Hola familia y amigos como están todo?
         This week was really good  even though a we weren't able to
see to many investigators we had really good lessons with those that
we did visit. Well the highlights from this week:
    We did a lot of service this week mostly for one person; a
Catholic Father so it was interesting to be able to talk with him and
be able to serve someone who was not an investigator. Also we had an
awesome Father's Day party that we got invited to that the ward put
together and one of our investigator families went and had a great
time. And today was probably one of my favorite days on the mission so
far because we were able to go to the Boston Temple which was really
amazing. It was great to be able to feel the Spirit that is there and
be able to not really have to worry about anything but being able to
receive guidance from the Lord. Sorry so short but I don't have
anymore time to write I will feel you all in on more details next
      I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that through his loving
atonement and the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation we will all be
given an opportunity to be saved and live with our families and our
Father in Heaven in complete joy as we follow the example of our
Savior we will be able to feel much of that joy here in this life.
Hope you all have a good wee.
Elder Espinoza
Picture at the Father's Day party with the entire district.

June 15, 2015 - Zero at Church

Hola Familia y Amigos.

      This week was normal for the most part except for on Sunday when we had no investigators at church which was really weird but there is a reason for all things.

    Other than Sunday being kind of weird the rest of the week was just a normal missionary week with teaching appointments, cancellations (which can not be avoided as a missionary), people not being home, and just really normal missionary life. So once again nothing really too exciting happened to us this week. I guess except for on Wednesday when we had five lessons in one day which has never happened to me before but it was really cool to be able to help and teach so many people in one day. I know that the Lord really blessed us with that opportunity to be able to see some good changes in peoples lives as they are trying to apply Gospel principles to their life.

       I know that as I continue to serve I will be able to see that change in people and as I serve with all my might mind and strength I will be able to see more of a difference in me which is only possible through our Lord and Savoir Jesus Christ. I know that He loves each and every one of us and that through His atoning sacrifice we can be happy not only in this life but in the life here after if we follow his commandments. I would challenge all of you this week to share your testimony on Facebook (if you have it) about our Savior and how he has helped you to change. 
Elder Espinoza  

June 8, 2015- Recovering

 Hola familia y amigos!
    Well this week was a little bit better than last week because I was actually able to do a lot more missionary work even though it was not as much as I would have liked to do. But on the bright side I am recovering quickly and will hopefully be back to normal capacity by the end of this week. We had some really good lessons this week with investigators and less actives and I feel that my ability in Spanish has grown so much in just under 6 months which is a really cool and crazy thing but I know that it is not me but the Lord that is helping me to learn so quickly so that He can use me as a more effective instrument. And know finally my first picture in the mission field sorry I am really bad at taking pictures I will try and be better at that. The Elder on the right is my companion and then we live with the other two Elders. 

     I am grateful to be out here serving the Lord. Thank you all for all your support love and prayers. I know that my Savior lives, I know that the Book of Mormon is true and is the word of God I know that the Gods kingdom was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored with the proper priesthood authority to perform necessary ordinances of Salvation. I know that with this power to act in Gods name that families can be together forever. I know that through prayer we can receive comfort and direction and that as we continue to follow Gods commandments and Repent we can live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ which is only possible through the Atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ which is for everyone no matter who you are or where you have been or where you are going through his Atonement we can be made perfect as we strive our best everyday to live his Commandments. Hope you all have a great week and invite someone to learn about the Restored Gospel because I know that as you do so you will be blessed and you will feel the Love of the Savior more in your life.
Elder Espinoza

June 1, 2015 - Sick and No Work Makes Elder Espinoza a Dull Boy

Hey everyone not much to report this week considering that I was sick for most of the week and was not able to do any missionary work. The reason I was sick was because I got an infection in my right leg right underneath the skin. What I had they call Cellulitis which can give people flu like symptoms, like muscle aches, headaches, shivers which I had all of. It looked pretty gross but don't worry I will not give you a visual but I am still healing from that and hopefully I will be able to get back to my normal self this week. Hope you all have a great week

         I know that this church is true and that God listens to all of our prayers I know that my Savior lives and that the Book of Mormon is true and I am so glad that I am out here serving the Savior.

Elder Espinoza

May 25, 2015 - #I Pads

 How was everyone's week? Mine has been fantastic probably one of the
busiest weeks of my mission. I learned a lot and had a lot of help
from the Lord which is a sign of a good week. We had a great miracle
this week not only did we have 5 investigators at church but also one
of our investigators was given an assignment! Her name is O. and she
is basically a member but the problem is is that she is not married so
she started to feel useless at church and stopped coming for a little
while. But yesterday we talked about giving her an assignment and that
was an answer to her prayer. Sorry there is not more that I can say
other than that but this week was great and I know that without the
help of the Lord it would not have been.
   I know that this gospel is true and that as we follow the
commandments and live as best as we can that we will be blessed. Have
a great week and love you all.
Elder Espinoza

Sent from my iPad

May 18, 2015 -Over 100 Days in the Mission!

Hey everyone how's it going? Life in Lawrence is still awesome and I love the people here. The greatest miracle that I saw this week was that L. husband J. and their kids came to church even though she was not able to come because of work. He is on Fire! He is showing great progress and I think he has felt the Spirit and the love that Heavenly Father has for him. Thanks to everyone who has been praying for them and I know that God does answer our prayers if we are diligent in following his commandments.

   I know that this Gospel can bless lives because I have seen it bless mine and the lives of those who follow the commandments. The scriptures gives us guidance and answer our prayers and I know that as we follow the teachings of Living and ancient prophets we can live a happier life than we could if we try to live by ourselves without the help of our Creator. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that as we apply the Atonement in our life we can have the happiness and peace in this life that the Lord wants to bless us all with. A scripture to think about that is found in the Book of Mormon that talks about how the scriptures can help us is in 2 Nephi 32:3 "Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do."  As we read the scriptures and study them we will know what we need to do and the spirit will be able to guide us more in this life. Hope you all have a great week and seek for the inspiration of the spirit in your life more fully. 

Elder Espinoza

May 11, 2015 - Zone Interviews & Joseph Memorial

Hey Family and Friends. Not much to report this week other that we had interviews with President which was great and we found out that we will probably be getting I-Pads really soon! Also on Saturday we went to The Joseph Smith memorial which is a really cool place where people can learn about his younger life in more detail and throughout his life as well as his ancestry and all sorts of cool things. I would recommend going there if you are ever in Vermont it is super pretty up there. Also it was really hot over here in Lawrence. It got into the 90s yesterday and it is supposed to be really hot and humid on top of that so that is going to be great! I love Lawrence and just being able to see how it can be 30 a  month ago and now its close to 100.

      I know that this opportunity that I have to serve the Lord is probably the greatest thing I have done in my life and has helped me come to the knowledge that; I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I know that Book of Mormon can change lives, I know that Thomas S. Monson is our prophet here and the earth today, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the kingdom of God here on the earth today. And if you don't know that for yourself you can find that these things are true by reading the Book of Mormon and asking if it is true and if you do act upon that feeling because it can change your life for the better. Hope you all have a great week.

Elder Espinoza 

May 4, 2015 - Franklin + 4 Invited to Learn

This week was great we were able to get a lot of things done. First off we were able to invite 104 people to learn about the Restored Gospel which was a great accomplishment for us (Hence the subject of my email). Also we were able to have some really good lessons with our investigators. We had a great lesson with W this week who said that he will prepare for baptism so he has a great desire to come unto Christ more in his life. Also we had an awesome Church Tour with L and her husband J who said that whenever he has work off on Sundays that he is going to try and come to Church,so please be praying for J.
        As well this week we had a great lesson with a recent convert named A. who is super great and loves the church. Elder Herring and I had a lesson with her about Temples and when she found out that she does not have to wait to go she got super excited. It  is awesome to see when someone is super excited about the Gospel because that helps me to want and spread that same excitement to everyone. 
         Other than that just a normal week here in Lawrence, Massachusetts. With the weather getting better everyday I am starting to understand what summer will be here in Lawrence which is lots of loud Hispanic music and tons of Parties and Barbecues. Hope you all have a great week bring others unto Christ in anyway that you can. And I know that the Lord answers our prayers as long as we ask with sincerity of heart and real intent He will manifest the truth of it unto us.
Elder Espinoza 

April 27, 2015- Transfer Week

 This week we had Transfers and I received my follow up trainer Elder Herring he is really great and I have learned a lot from him already and its been less than a week. They sort of white washed the area because my trainer knew where everything was in the area and I didn't really pay as much attention as I should have but that's okay because we basically get to start off new. Investigators are slowly progressing they just need to come to church so if everyone could pray for Lidia and Wilson that would be awesome!
       On Saturday there was a great community service project that all of the Elders in Lawrence were able to be apart of. Basically we picked up the streets of trash (which there is a lot of) and it was great because quite a bit of the members went and one of our investigators came out as well. It was a great way to get the Church's name out there into the community of Lawrence more because surprisingly not a lot of people in Lawrence know about the Church. Then on Sunday we had a really great regional stake conference where Elder Neil L. Anderson and Elder Robert D. Hales spoke to all of North Eastern America. It was a really great broadcast and I gained some great things from watching it.
         I hope you all have a great week and try and share the Gospel with people. I know that this Gospel can change lives. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and that through him and his Atonement we are able to receive great joy and happiness in this life. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that it is the Word of God. And I can promise anyone who reads it will find the greatest comfort and joy in this life and know three things; firstly that Christ is the Savior of the whole world, Secondly that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God and that we have a modern day Prophet today President Thomas S. Monson, and Lastly that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true Church here on the Earth today that holds the proper authority and keys of Salvation. Also that this Church contains the Fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Elder Espinoza