Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ape Caves

Well well well, we have had a good week here in Vancouver. We're kind of getting gipped on our sunny season in Vancouver. There are 10 months of rain and 2 months of summer in vancouver. Right now we're in the summer months, but its been pretty cloudy the last couple of days. Anyways, we're going hiking today and I just hope it doesn't rain on our parade. We're hiking the Ape Caves in Mt. St. Helens, so that will be quite an experience. We'll actually be going through the Lava tubes. I wonder why they call them ape caves and I speculated to Elder Hundley that they are infested with wild apes that will rip your arms off if you make them mad. I hope that isn't the case. Anyways we're pretty excited to go to that.
This week we had a class with President Alder, he is the Employment specialist for the branch. He served as a mission president in one of the Chile missions. So he has a class for the spanish missionaries every so often just kind of coaching us on language learning, and making a study plan to improve our spanish. It was pretty good, he taught some good stuff. We found out at this meeting that one of the spanish elders in Longview is going home because of health problems, and that Elder Barton, a zone leader who went home for surgery like a month and a half ago, will be returning to take his place. So we're sad to see Elder Marroquin go but happy to see Elder Barton return.
We had the Branch picnic on saturday, it was a big success. Its fun to see the fellowship of the branch and how involved investigators and Recent Converts already are. Daniela and Salvador, a couple who joined the church several months ago, brought a grill and cooked carne asada for everyone. Carlos was there and he was talking with everyone and joining in with the games and sports that we played, It was really a cool activity. We have a very strong Branch here in Vancouver.
Speaking of Carlos, we met with him during the week and taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel. He took it really well and said he'd pray about it. On Sunday night an older couple in the Branch, the Rodriguez' had Anna Laura, Carlos, and us over for dinner. She made us Mole, which is a special type of sauce poured over chicken usually. After all these months of eating Mole, I found out yesterday, that it has Chocolate in it. That was an interesting discovery. Nonetheless It does taste good! Before I come home I need to learn how to make these things so I can cook la comida mexicana para todos uds. I'd say my favorite food by far is still Carne Asada.
Anyway in church yesterday the announced the 5th sunday fireside again. I think I told you all about it last week, but they're going to cut sacrament meeting a  bit short. Go into the cultural hall and serve sandwiches and then we will be back in the chapel for the special fireside where they will make the special announcement, that the branch will be doing a Pioneer trek next summer. Well at dinner that night with the Rodriguez family they were speculating that they were going to announce they were making the Branch into a spanish ward. We kind of feel bad that they have their hopes up, we hope they'll be happy with the pioneer trek announcement. Hahaha.
So with all that its been a great week. We are looking forward to Zone Conference this Thursday and district exchanges on tuesday. It should be a good week!
Well thats about it! Que tengan una buena semana!
Los Amo!
-Elder Derek Partridge

Monday, July 16, 2012

Couver Town

Hey! Its been a good week here in couver town! Investigators are awesome, except in some cases. One of our investigator's boyfriends told her she can't meet with us anymore so that was kind of a bummer. She was progressing and doing good! Sometimes significant others are the greatest enemy to missionary work. Other than that everyone is doing pretty well. We've been trying to set up a time to teach Carlos, this guy thats dating a woman in the branch. He has come to church with her 3 sundays in a row now, he's just been busy with work so its been hard to set up a day to come by. But we think we've finally got him nailed down, and they're going to have dinner with us at the house of another lady in the branch this next sunday, and we'll teach him there. He is very interested in learning about the church, so this will be good! In Branch council yesterday, President Ross told us they're going to have a special 5th sunday program, to kick off preparation for the Branch Pioneer trek next Summer! I think that is so cool. This branch has a lot of really cool activities so that makes it fun and provides a lot of missionary opportunities! This Saturday we're going to have a Branch Picnic, thats going to be a lot of fun. Elder hundley and I signed up to bring a dessert. So I'll let you know how that turns out next week.

We had a zone meeting on wednesday. Its basically like a zone conference but President and Sister Greer, and the AP's don't come, just the Zone leaders teach. The theme was kind of tied into what we need to do to have the most success in our missions and how to become converted. The answer lies in the phrase "Leave your nets, and follow me" For missionaries we have certain nets. Things that distract us from the work, like whats going on with friends at home, or in the world, sleeping in, listening to music, watching movies, but as we put those aside to follow the savior we become converted and become entitled to the spirit. Same as after the mission, whenever we put anything above keeping the commandments those are like our "Nets" If we love Him, we will "feed [His] Sheep." So what they taught really hit home, I really liked it and it really strenghtened my desires to be better missionary than I am. Well thats about all for this week, Love y'all! Echale Ganas!
-Elder Partridge

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Portland Temple

Hey everybody! We've had a good week 2 in Vancouver! Today was actually temple day so thats why I'm emailing on tuesday. We got to go down to the Portland Temple! Portland was really beautiful! I got some pretty good pictures, which I'll send in a later email. It was really cool driving through Portland this morning though, and the temple there is quite beautiful.
Well this week has been pretty good. Its been kind of hard to find some of our investigators, but we did some tracting, and reached our goal for OYM's for the week. We found some good potential investigators up in Ridgefield. There's a trailer park up there and its managed by a member couple, so they told us which trailers the hispanics live in and we went and knocked all of their doors. Some seemed to have some pretty good potential and others, no. We had one guy say he was familiar with our church and he didn't like it so he didn't want to meet with us. I picked up a bit of courage from being with Elder Evans for a transfer to open my mouth more in these situations, so I asked, "Why don't you like our church?" and he told us it was because we read the Book of Mormon and not the bible. So we talked to him about how we use both and how we know that the Book of Mormon, is the word of God, equal with the Bible. So after all that I asked if he still didn't want to meet with us, he still said no, so that was that. I always get a feeling of satisfaction when I get to bear testimony in defense of the Gospel. We encountered another guy the other day. He was up on the second floor of an apartment complex and he kind of gestured like he was shooting us with a rifle as we walked into the parking lot. We kind of ignored him, so he started calling to us, so we asked if we could give him a pass along card. He said sure, so we went over, and he tried telling us there was no God. "There is no god because little children strap bombs to their chests and blow themselves up in the name of Allah." So we kind of talked about how while that was a pretty good indication that there is a devil, that was no indication that their was no God. And he wouldn't really listen and he was really drunk so we bid him good day and continued on our way. So those were two pretty interesting experiences. Other than those two we've found a lot of other pretty interested people, I'm really enjoying Vancouver. Its a very nice place!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Well its been a good week! I'm reporting to you live from the Downtown
Vancouver Library. Monday and Tuesday were spent saying goodbye to
everybody in Boardman, and I was up bright and early Wednesday to make
my way over to Vancouver, WA. We met up in Kennewick, and then I got
on the bus which took us back down into Oregon, past boardman, we
stopped in the Dalles, OR and dropped off some and picked up some.
Side note: I got to see Elder Bao at the Dalles transfer site. He was
making his way over to Yakima. Then from there we kept on going,
crossed the river just before Portland and here I am! Vancouver! Its
really pretty here. This side of the state is what you expect when
you're going to WA. Lots of trees and lots of Rain. Luckily I got here
when the rainy months ended.
Well its a really cool place! Kind of wierd to be in the big city
after being in rural areas for 7-8 months. Its kind of a change of
scenery. Its going to be difficult to learn my way around here. Well
there aren't as many hispanic people here as the other side of the
mission but there is a pretty good amount. The branch is strong. A lot
of the leadership is people that aren't hispanic but served Spanish
speaking missions and married hispanic women. So its a pretty good
back bone. We have an Awesome Branch mission leader, Bro. Mendoza. I
was really happy to have a Mission leader since the branch in
grandview didn't. It's a big help. So this week I've been meeting a
lot of people, and teaching some good lessons with Elder Hundley. I'm
finally sending pictures. Some of these are from boardman and some
from Vancouver. Well thats about it! Have a great week everyone!