Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Valentine's Week - Elder Dallin Remund

Written by Elder Dallin Remund, serving in the Virginia Chesapeake Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

(Note to reader: Some names are omitted for privacy. Highlighted words will link to additional information.)


I hope y'all had a great Valentine's Week.

I learned a lot about this new area and I am really starting to fall in love with Virginia. It has been an ongoing process adjusting to the fact that I still don't know much of what's going on, but I am having lots of fun! I'm learning how the work is the same everywhere, but the way we do it is specifically different in just about every situation.

To give you an idea of where I serve, (if any of you know Virginia) I am serving in the southern half of Newport News (the big city, a little bit more sketchy and run down) and then all of Hampton ,Virginia. We work with all the Hispanics we can find. We're serving in a completely Spanish speaking branch that also has two sets of Spanish speaking sister missionaries who cover the central and northern half of Newport News, Poquoson, Yorktown, Jamestown, and Williamsburg.

The branch is amazing! The members are really close to the missionaries. Like I said last week, the members feed us every night. It is unbelievable. It's also great for my grocery bills. Really haven't had to buy too many groceries. The sweets have been nonstop. Elder Bradshaw and I were talking about how glad we were that Valentine's Day is going to be the last holiday for a while...We walked into Wal-Mart and saw signs for Easter and looked at each other in horror. We forgot about Easter. Food is a problem for us Spanish missionaries up here.

Every Wednesday, the missionaries eat at Abuelita's (an old Ecuadorian sister in our branch) house for lunch. She starts off with this big pot of something she calls 'Quacker' (Quaker oats in a Hispanic English accent). It's basically blended oats with spices and fruit juice with big chunks of pineapple. She keeps telling the missionaries, "Toma mas Quacker!!" Which means, "Drink more Quacker." We do throughout the whole meal... She then brings out a big bowl of vegetable cheese soup that has all sorts of corn, peppers, potatoes, and squash. Way good, and you feel pretty full after that bowl. But THEN comes a giant plate with a mountain of rice, vegetables and a big thing of fried beef. She tops it off with a plate of fried bananas. I about died. So this will be a continuous adventure every Wednesday. I pray that my workouts will compensate for all this food that the members are giving us.

We had a great miracle with our PROGRESSING investigator, E**. He is from El Salvador and he has previously been taught by missionaries over there. He has had Word of Wisdom problems and is also living with his girlfriend right now. He knows the church is true and has a desire to be baptized. We are working with him right now and hope to see him and his girlfriend get married as well as help quit tobacco. They both came to church! Having an investigator come to church out here is a big deal. We are excited for him and I'll keep you updated on his progress.

Our missionary efforts have gotten a lot busier since we got our car back and we can actually work in our area! We still haven't taught many lessons, but we should be getting busier this week with potential lessons. We'll see!

Yesterday, I got to see my aunt and uncle and go out to lunch with them in Colonial Williamsburg! It was so much fun. They live over in Hampton, so it was just a couple minutes up to Williamsburg. We talked and looked around the old sites and buildings. Amazing! Virginia is so rich with history and it's beautiful, too. Like everyone that lives in or visits the East says, there are tons and tons of trees. You don't get that out in Utah.

Well, I could go on and on about how everything is going, but my time on the computer is about up. I want to share with you how grateful I am for the mission. It has changed and is changing me every day. Every day, I receive countless affirmations of truth from the Spirit. I know that missionary work is a work of salvation. The feelings that you experience are so very potent. It gets so discouraging and, on the other hand, so encouraging. You are dealing first hand with people's eternal progression. There has never been something so confusing, yet so crystal clear. I love being my Savior's representative in proclaiming the gospel!

With much love,

Elder Remund

Commencement of Adventures in Newport News (February 10, 2014)

We Are All Enlisted (February 24, 2014)