Monday, December 26, 2011

Well it was a great week! Last Sunday, I spoke in sacrament meeting! I gave a talk on the wise men and the shepherds coming to Christ, and how we need to follow their examples. It was a success. Monday we had our Zone P day in Yakima, it was a basketball tournament, and my team got last place unfortunately, but every single game we played was super close, we just ended up losing them all except for 1. So that was a bummer, but it was still really fun. If Yakima wasn't 40 miles away I'd like to do that every P day. Anyways Wednesday we had Christmas Zone Conference, in Kennewick with the whole east side of the Mission. It was a lot of fun to see Pres. and Sis. Greer. They're so awesome! We had a few testimonies by people in the mission and presidency and then we had lunch, it was really Good! Ham and Funeral Potatoes! After that we watched...drum roll... Kung Fu Panda 2! haha It was really funny. After it was all over we got our Christmas presents, for the elders it was a consecrated oil vial with WKM engraved on it (Washington Kennewick Mission) So those are pretty cool, and a Christmas card from President and Sister Greer, and a Christmas card from the First Presidency. I thought it was pretty cool that we were on their mailing list. After that the guys from my district went to Far West, which is our Deseret Book equivalent, and discovered that that is quite the missionary hot spot after Zone Conferences. and then with Christmas Eve, we had a lot less time to work this week! But we got stuff done nonetheless. I guess I'll start off with the Man of the Week! Eduardo Solis! We had his baptism on friday night, and he had a good turn out from family, so they're supporting him good. They had a party at his house after and fed us Enchiladas, so that's always a plus. It was awesome the night before, we went over to teach him about missionary work, and he wanted us to help him get the scriptures on his phone, so I helped him find it and now he has the Gospel Library app, so that's pretty sweet! We taught him about missionary work and encouraged him to share the gospel with friends and family and maybe even go on a full time mission a year from now. So we have great hopes for Eduardo, he is Awesome.

The Rivera family, we are still struggling to get them to church, or meet with them. It was hard to get a hold of a lot of our investigators because of all of the festivities. I don't know if I mentioned that Luis Velasquez said he didn't want to be baptized on the 24th anymore, so we told him to pray about it and haven't been able to get a hold of him since then really.

Daniel and Nancy have stopped progressing. We've taught them all of the lessons we're just trying to help Daniel find out for himself if these things are true and then we will commit them to baptizing, they were also hard to get a hold of because of Christmas. Odilia is out of town, its been kind of a slow week with our investigators, but we have been working on finding. We cover a large area so we decided on full days we are going to try our best to set apart 1 to 2 hours to finding people who have been prepared to receive the gospel, so we did have a couple of lessons with people we hadn't met with before, so hopefully we'll be able to increase our teaching pool.

Christmas Eve was a ton of fun, the Sunnyside Spanish Elders and the Prosser English elders came over, because every Saturday, Cafe Grande Vue gives us free sandwiches so we usually have them over on Saturday afternoons. We had Dinner with the Rood's, which is a family in the Sunnyside English ward, so it was the six of us, Sunnyside Spanish and English and us, Grandview Spanish. They also had Bro. Anderson from the English Ward Bishopric and his family so it was quite the party. We had lasagna and shrimp cocktails and after we played a gift game with dice, every time you rolled a 3 you got to grab a gift from under the tree or steal one, so Elder Bao and I ended up with some good snacks, and a puzzle. After the party we went home, and spent the rest of the night, reading Luke 2, building our puzzle, and singing Christmas songs. On Christmas, we got up and opened presents of course, and then we went around trying to round up people for church. We didn't have much success because the Spanish people party late on Christmas eve. Luckily, Eduardo came, because he was getting confirmed that day. So his friend from the branch confirmed him. It was awesome, what a great gift for Christmas, The Gift of the Holy Ghost! It was a good day! After Church we went to the Anderson's house for lunch. He is a chiropractor, and he has a nice house! Anyways we had a Breakfast Lunch, of Pancakes and Waffles and such, and then we helped their kids play with their toys. and I called home from there and Elder Bao Skyped his family. We had dinner with the Oropezas, They fed us tamales, and Pollo Barbacoa. And then we visited some other families and had plenty of festivities. It was a great week! This week we're ready to work Hard!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Baptism Friday

Its been a great week, we had lots of lessons so that was good.
We've had the opportunity to meet with Pedro and Isela a lot this
week. They feed us all the time, and Pedro has recognized that we are
men of God from day 1, but the problem is, Pedro is a very talkative
guy. We've had one lesson in 4 visits this week, because we get there
and Pedro talks alot! Its all religious conversation, and its been
good, because after one of the visits he said he was really greatful
for us coming over because other people he knows won't listen to him
when he starts talking about the Lord. He's optimistic and humble,
everytime we come I ask, How was your day today Pedro? How was work?
and he says, "You know, I can't complain. All days are good, all days
I'm blessed by the Lord with so many things" We had our Branch
Christmas Dinner on Saturday night and they came. It was awesome, we
had some good enchiladas and Rice and then we reenacted the Christmas
story, and I played the part of an Angel, and Elder Bao was one of the
Wisemen. We definitely have great expectations for Pedro and Isela's
Next Eduardo: Eduardo Solis was found by the investigators over a year
ago. We met with him about 2 weeks ago and shared some scriptures
about faith and asked him to pray about baptism, and that friday we
got a text from him telling us he had decided to be baptized! So
everythings been progressing good! He is 19 years old and he is
friends with some members and works for a Bishop in Prosser. We had
his baptismal interview yesterday and he passed! So he will be
baptized by his boss, Bishop Merrick, this Friday night at 7 o clock!
Its going to be pretty awesome! We're excited about him and his desire
to share the gospel with his girlfriend when she returns from
california, and his sister who he lives with, and theres also a chance
that he'll go serve a mission next year! So we are super excited about
The Rivera family, is very difficult to get a hold of, the mom and 2
sons are on date, but the dad and 2 daughters aren't. We call them all
week, and maybe catch them at home for 1 lesson a week. They won't
come to church, because of the Dad. He wants a sign but hasn't put any
effort into seeking for one. So hopefully we can turn that around this
week. We're going to try to get a lesson with them and one of the
member families.
Well we don't have much time We've got to drive to yakima for zone
pday! Sorry to cut this short!
Talk to you on sunday!

Monday, December 12, 2011

7 people on date for baptism

This week was gooood! We have 7 people on date for Baptism. Odilia
Villa, she is a single mother with 2 sons, her kids are kind of a
handful. She hasn't come to church yet so we're working on that and
she agreed to being baptized on Jan. 21 and so did her 10 yr old son.
The mom and 2 sons of the Riveras family: Its a family of 6 and we've
been teaching them for a while. The father has had bad experiences
with other churches and is unsure. The family is pretty much divided,
where the mom is all for it, the dad and 2 daughters are hesitant. We
have trouble getting in contact with them and getting them to church.
Luis Velasquez, we got him on date last week, he's about 40 and
unmarried. His family lives in mexico and he's pretty accepting of
everything. He's on date for December 24th.
Eduardo Soliz, he's about 20 and lives with some friends in one of the
trailer parks. Apparently the missionaries found him a year and a half
ago and taught him a lot but couldn't ever get him to commit to
baptism. We met with him at the beginning of this week and I shared
Ether 12:6, "You will receive no witness until after the trial of your
faith" and he told us that it was a social thing, he was worried about
what his friends from work would think and they had been giving him
some trouble. So we used that scripture and asked him to read and pray
about it, and on friday afternoon we got a text that said he wanted to
be baptized! We're going for the 24th of December.
So those are our seven, We also met with Daniel and Nancy, he hadn't
read or prayed since our last visit, unfortunately so we recommitted
him to do that and commited him to come to church, and they did! They
came to sunday school, but had to go home early to get ready for work,
but before they left we took them to go meet the primary teacher and
his daughter really wanted to go, so thats good! Its a good sign your
investigator will come to church if their daughter cries because she
couldn't go to primary that day.
We met with another couple for the first time on Thursday night. On
this night ours and the Sunny side elders' schedules conflicted so we
couldn't have dinner at the same time, so we were just going to go get
our free meal at subway. So we were meeting with these new
investigators Pedro and Isela for the first time, and Isela asks if
we'd had Dinner and we told her we were going to subway. She said
she'd feed us. And Pedro said "You know, all of this stuff, my home,
this food, isn't mine. It was given to me by the Lord and what kind of
person would I be if I didn't share it?" They basically said we could
come and eat anytime. Pedro asked me to pray for him to come closer to
god and have a soft heart. It was awesome! This tuesday we're going
back for Dinner and lesson 1 so we'll see how it goes!
We found a couple people while tracting this week, the one that stands
out most was a lady we met in an apartment complex, Eva. We knocked on
her door and she opened it and told us to come in. She gave us her
whole religious shpeal. She used to be a bad person with a lot of
addictions but she's getting better, through reading the bible and
religion. She started out catholic and had all of her statues of
saints in her home, and one day read in the bible about Idolatry. The
first thing she did was go around smashing her virgin marry statues
with a hammer and throwing them all away. She then turned to Jehovahs
witness, and was comparing their bible with the regular one, and saw
that they had cut a lot of stuff out of it so she dropped them, and
went Baptist. and thats where she is now. So I told her about the book
of mormon, how the reason why there are so many religions is because
everybody interprets the bible differently, and I used the metaphor
from Tad R. Callisters awesome Book of Mormon talk from Conference.
Read it! Thats an order! anyway how if you draw a dot on a piece of
paper, how many lines can you draw through it? like a million! but if
you draw a second dot on that same paper, how many lines can you draw
that go through both of those dots? Just 1. The first dot represents
the bible the many lines represent different churches. The second dot
represents the Book of Mormon, and the line that goes through both of
those dots is the True Church of Jesus Christ, The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints. So I used the dot metaphor and we gave
her a book of mormon and asked her if whe would read from it and she
said she would, so thats good, we'll go back and visit her this week
and see how she liked it, and teach her.
Sunday was good. We had a Recent convert fireside in Yakima, and it
was awesome! It was good to see Ma and Pa Greer, and all the other
elders in the Zone and the Assistants to the President. We sang our
mission song, which is a compilation of Called to Serve and The lord
needs valiant servants. Its a pretty sweet song. Sister Greer asked me
to learn to play it on the piano because Brother and Sister Wilson are
going home in 6 months and she's the one that usually plays it. So
I'll have to work on that. The Whites have a piano that I play when we
have a bit of spare time. Anyway thats about it!

Monday, December 5, 2011


Hey I'm doing alright! Our Area is Grandview, its a small little town
and its 30 miles west from the Tricities and 40 miles east of Yakima,
but we are in the Yakima Zone/stake. Our Branch is in Sunnyside, which
is about 5 miles away, and there are also 2 other Spanish elders in
the Sunnyside area, whom we share dinner appointments with and go to
the same Branch. Its a pretty nice little area. I'll start with the
Members we're staying with: Brother and Sister White. They're super
cool. Sister White teaches Biology at the High School, and Brother
White teaches an afternoon computer class at YVCC Yakima Valley
Community College, and substitutes at the High school some mornings.
Every saturday morning Brother White makes pancakes for us so thats
Awesome. And one morning, we helped them put up their christmas
decorations, so I'm not totally missing out on a real Christmas. They
have 2 well trained dogs, Zeek and Toby. I probably spelled zeek's
name wrong, and he'll punish me for that later. They're a lot of fun
to have around and play with. They're a super cool family. Elder Bao,
my trainer is from Ecuador. He learned english here on his mission and
he's pretty fluent now. He's super cool. Our Branch president,
President Bingham. We ate dinner at their house last night, and they
have a nice house out in the boonies and grow a lot of fruits and
vegetables. We had fresh apple juice, potatoes, salad, broccoli, and
peach pie. Of course that was all from storage because its winter
right now. First impression of fruits and vegetables in washington:
What was I eating before? It all looks so fresh and vibrantly colored,
and the apples are big and delicious! There's a lot of farming, and a
lot of grape growing. They have several wineries here because of the
grapes, hehehe but of course nothings growing right now because it is
COLD! Its about 40 at the highest, but with a little moisture in the
air it feels a lot colder, and then gets down to like low 30s when the
sun sets and then like 20 over night. Well we've taught a variety of
people. Its interesting the older generation all speaks spanish but
everyone thats younger than about 30 speaks primarily english. We
teach people in varying circumstances: lots of small homes and trailer
parks but theres also some that aren't doing too bad. Theres always
Chiuahuas barking at us in the Trailer parks. We teach this one
investigator, he lives in someones basement, and the ceiling is less
than 6 feet. So I was ducking pretty bad when we visited him. Another
investigator family we're teaching, Daniel and Nancy. They're super
cool, they live in one of the trailer parks but they take care of it
so it looks nice. He's a really cool guy, he speaks english pretty
good. Him and his wife went to high school here and he was actually
really smart and was in all the AP classes, but had to wait til he was
23 to start college because he didn't have his green card yet. Now
he's got his green card and is working on a computer Science degree.
So we've been having him read the Book of Mormon, and he is getting
really in to it. I read him Mormon 8:35 where mormon is saying that he
saw our day and is writing these things to us. And I told him how we
can apply the things in the book of Mormon to our lives and he caught
on to that really quick. We're going to follow up and see if he prayed
about it, this wednesday and then we're going to go for The baptismal
commitment, I'm having trouble understanding the spanish, because they
talk so fast, I usually get the main Idea of what people are saying.
It gets frustrating, I want to be fluent now! But its something you
have to work through and it builds character, hahaa. First time going
to church in the field was interesting. We have Sunday School,
Priesthood and then sacrament meeting last. Sunday school was a bit of
a challenge. Symbolism in the Book of Revelation, is a tough topic as
it is but it is even more so in Spanish! hahaha. Sacrament meeting was
interesting, By the closing prayer our numbers had halfed. Hehehe.
We'll have to work on that. Well Pday is great, We get 2 free meals
from subway a week, so we got ours for lunch today. So that was
delicious. Other than that, we're just working up a storm! We're
trying to get 20 baptisms between us and the sunnyside elders by the
end of the year. We'll be having, in the words of the other elders, a
"Mexican Swim Party" or a "Wet Christmas" Inactivity is also a pretty
big thing that we're working on. There's plenty of work to do! Love
you all! Bubye!
-Elder Partridge

Saturday, December 3, 2011

November 29, 2011

Dear Mom, & Dad,
                I’m writing you from a temporary residence in one of the tri cities. I’m not sure which one.  Well today was awesome!  We landed in the tri cities airport in Pasco at 12:00 Washington time.  It is such a small airport. (Ha ha)  I’d never been in such a small airport.
                Well we met up with the AP’s and Pres. & Sister Greer and we picked up our bags and loaded them into a trailer and drove to the mission home.  It was such a beautiful home!  We met the rest of the Presidency and ate lunch, after that we had a lot of orientations and interviews with the mission president.  He told me that I was a leader and would do great if I continue to be strictly obedient.
                He’s really an inspired man.  Sister Greer says you’re supposed to cook funeral potatoes with broken up potato chips on top.  Apparently it’s the Arizona way.
                At five we finished up and they sent us on exchanges with elders.  I went with a Spanish elder to a lesson in Pasco, but the investigator wasn’t home.  So we went and talked to someone else.  We came back to the Mission Home at 6 ish for dinner.  Ham and death potatoes!  The corn was so good.
                After that President Greer talked to us some more.  We got assigned our areas and trainers.   I’ll be going to the Yakima Zone in the Grandview Area and my trainers name is Elder Bao.  He is from Ecuador!  We’ll meet up at the Gage building tomorrow morning. Fun Fun Fun!!!
Elder Derek S. Partridge