Monday, December 15, 2014

Dec 15

This week has been another great one. But first things first, you will
be impressed and or appalled at my frugality this week. My sheets, I
realized, are to the point where I can separate parts using only two
fingers. They have been washed a couple times I guess... I think I
have had them since I was 14? Not sure though.  My slacks right now
are also wearing them and starting to split at the seams, so I am
going to by some new ones. So, moral of the story, even though I like
fancy things and often spend to much on them I will love them until
their last breath, and often even after. You learned that with my
Zuriks 😊 Dad, you will also be proud to know it hurts me in the
insides to throw away food, even if it's gross.

Anyway, on to things that actually matter. This past Friday we had a
"Christmas Conference" aka the whole mission gets together and we eat
and have a devotional. It was great. I learned a lot. Maybe better
said, I felt a lot. Particularly about a few scriptures and stories
that Steve Studdard shared. He is a two time stake president, mission
president and was THE mission representative on the preach my gospel
creation committee, which is cool.
😄 One of the scriptures he shared that impacted me the most was D&C
123:17, where it says--let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our
power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see
the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed. I really loved
that. It helped me put in to perspective my work and my necessitates,
especially with relationship to the context of that scripture. I
recently had some reflection time on the word still, and what that
means, and how it feels. I think I had one of those moments last

Last night we went to the temple visitors center with Elizabeth and
Hector who were recently baptized. We planned a little in advance and
invited her whole family. She is the grandma/matriarch of a CLAN. We
have done MANY things over the past months to try and get her sons and
their families involved with the gospel with some successes and many
failures. We last night left to the temple just us four with hopes
that he others who "were coming late" (which usually means they don't
bother coming at all) would follow behind us soon. It turned out well.
We hoped and prayed and crossed our fingers before the end of the
night there was a group of sixteen people of the Barrillas clan
walking around the temple. They asked questions they felt great, they
loved the family time, and they were so happy they chose to come. Even
though there were many other things that fell through at the temple
that we had planned and the clan was missing one of the sons and a
daughter in law I felt "still." Which has come to mean to me: being in
peace, a sense of understanding, happiness and the recognition of
God's enormity in our lives.  It was a good night.

Get your "still" moment today! It only takes doing cheerfully in faith
all you can do for a very long time! But, it's worth it.


Elder Bigelow

Ps. Today I cut my hair ALL by myself. It looks good on the front...I
hope it isn't too bad on back. Mirrors can only do so much.

My sheets, I'm going to go buy some cool ones right now 

Week of Dec 8

Good morning.

So, just so you know we have this thing called weekly planning. We are
supposed to do it every week. It is supposed to last around 3 hours
and we are supposed to lay out all sorts of things for the coming
week: set goals!, possible appointments, what we might be teaching,
how we might be finding this coming week etc. That is normally
supposed to happen on Friday. Being the wonderful missionaries that we
are, we totally didn't do it at all because we were so busy. We had a
big leadership meeting all day on Friday and then appointments and
stuff so we never got to it. Moral of the story: it was a good thing
(just for the one time). I completely forgot about our "key
indicators"(numbers) and my goal of being a true disciple of christ in
charity and gratitude was really able to shine through. We had the
best week we have had in months.

A lot of that. Think also had to do with our preparation for, and the
actual fast we did this Sunday. I have learned a lot about the power
of fasting on my mission. One of the most powerful verses of scripture
that I have read concerning fasting recently are in Isaiah. I am sure
you have read them before. It took be about 10 times reading through
the chapter until I was really able to get it and begin to apply it to
myself, but now I get it. In 58:
6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of
wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go
free, and that ye break every yoke?7 Is it not to deal thy bread to
the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy
house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou
hide not thyself from thine own flesh? 8 ¶Then shall thy light break
forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily:
and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord
shall be thy rearward. 9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall
answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.
I mostly identify today in retrospect with the very beginning and the
very end. People were freed and prayers were answered. I love that. I
am happy that I was able to see some miracles in action.

A continuación hay algunos milagros:
One of our investigators, Ever, has been really working hard to figure
things out and he received another answer to his prayers. In Sacrament
meeting in the last prayer I turned over to look at him and he was
wiping tears all of his face and just saying, "what the, I felt
something, I felt something. It made me cry, what was that." He
recognized after thinking about it for a little while that it again
was the spirit letting him know what he is doing is right. He was
pumped, so were we.

On a dreary Wednesday afternoon we had no set appointments but really
wanted to find some new people. We went to go check up on some members
of our Ward who we didn't know, aka, they probably don't live there.
It turns out they don't, but we began teaching about the meaning of
Christmas and why we represent Jesus Christ, they let us in and asked
us to come back. Cute family from Honduras! We are excited to teach
them some more.

In short, I am really feeling the mission love right ow and very
grateful for how I feel and what is happening right now. I hope to be
able to continue it. Love you lots!


Elder Bigelow

Also things you should know
- I just gave a great haircut-I accepted payment in chips and salsa.
- last week I cut my own hair, and didn't do to bad
-I ran 2 miles this morning and am still pumped about my shoes
-I will still be with elder Clark for Christmas and New Years. We are
excited to go to a soup kitchen on Christmas. We are trying to hunt
one down.

Thanks to the Giving

This week was great!

This week was also crazy, we had meetings ALL day on Tuesday which
kind of killed my buzz at around 3 o'clock on that day but then we had
interviews with our Mission President, so that brought things back up
to speed. It was another different week but again so full of many
little miracles, sweet and simple.

a few of them....
On thanksgiving day we had a lot of places to go and eat. That had
mixed emotions in itself because of how much food we had to eat. But
anyway, after trying to find some things to do ,because they asked us
not to proselyte as we normally would, we were going back to the
apartment to grab something before going our first dinner. We saw two
people moving a bunch of things in to our very same apartment building
from a Uhaul. We insisted that we help even though they said no they
were fine and we moved all their couches for them. They in the end
were very grateful and it turns out they they are our new across the
hall neighbors. It felt so good to serve a little bit to start the
day. We have resolved to go to a soup kitchen on Christmas day or
Christmas Eve. It will be the best.

Last night after our appointments had fallen through we were zooming
around an apartment complex talking to people and trying to find
someone willing to act on our message we knocked on the door of Alex.
He didn't really at first want to talk to us and told us being in the
military he had talked to missionaries all over the place. When we
asked him where he said, "well.. Connecticut, new jersey, north
Carolina, Virginia, oh! and south Carolina, new York and yeah,
Massachusetts too." We insisted that we deserved another chance and
long story short he did! He has had a rough go of it in life but has
recognized God's hand throughout his time. We were able to connect
with him through that, and even though he wasn't screaming to have us
back he knew what we were about and said that it would be okay if we
came by next week to talk to him again. He is puerto rican (they might
be my favorites)

Last but not least another family who has been less active for YEARS
came to church again. The wild part about them is the Dad was a
Bishop, the son was a missionary etc. etc. We had a brilliant and
brief discussion about the atonement on saturday and the week before,
and they came back. The truth is though that we are just lucky enough
to see them take the step. They have been prepared for years by God,
and we just followed a prompting.

Something all these experiences have in common and something I have
been thinking about over the last few days is one of favorite
scriptures in Spanish. (it is also great in English)
Matthew 25:31-40 ending with the following...
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you,
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my
brethren, ye have done it unto me.

I am so grateful to serve and for all I have learned. I am grateful
for you and for God.

Be grateful always! life is better that way.


Elder Bigelow

Here are some photos of our first Thanksgiving. It was 100% Bolivian
and soooo good. Our second was American made by Guatemalans our third
was also made by Guatemalans but they made some of their own food. I
seriously almost vomited at the end of the night, I was contemplating
forcing it I felt so full. Anyway, pictures

Week of Nov 24

So, another transfer has come and gone. I am still in my area which I
love and I got this guy back as my companion! (ps. he is wearing the
tie you gave him for Christmas last year, he has mentioned like three
or four times how grateful he is for the gift and the thought. So good