Monday, November 10, 2014

Back to Spring Garden. Ohp, there goes Gravity!

Bruh,
 
I'm back in ya boi, Spring Garden Branch, and we finally went to church (last week was stake conference).  Church was crazy as usual.  We started the day by witnessing a crazy Dominican lady slumped over the piano in the chapel before services started.  She was breathing heavily.  I tried talking to her in Portuguese, wondering what was wrong (she was reading a Portuguese hymnbook at the time).  She said she was Brazilian.  Then she screamed.  I seriously thought she was gonna go all Exorcist on us, climbing up the walls of the chapel backwards.  We found out later that she was drunk and may be schizophrenic.
 
Then Elder Schrader and I ran around in the church, running errands for the branch council.  Two of our recent converts taught the lessons in the classes!  Bro. Pepe from Kearny came to church.
 
Branch council took 2 hours and accomplished 0 things.
 
Then we ate ceviche and empanadas and everything was alright.
 
Love,
Elder deJesus

Monday, October 20, 2014

Twelve Days

Hey all you people,

We saw Elder Traasdahl twelve days in a row.  The streak was broken two days ago ):

We baptized Samantha yesterday.  Next week is her confirmation.  I performed a musical number on the ukulele with Sister Shaw.  Elder Rodriguez showed a great video.  

I still went on 3 exchanges this week.  How do sister training leaders do it?

The zone leaders don't like me.

We're gonna eat Filipino food now, thanks to Elder Cuyan.

Love,
Elder deJesus

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Massage

Hua,

Elder Cuyan, the Filipino in the zone, is taking on the culture really well.  He says "Yop" a lot.  It comes from a Kid Cudi song.

Here's some stats about this past week: I was on exchange for half the week in an attempt to allow Elder Rodriguez to run the area and for me to not take over the area.  He did well, I did well.  We will see Elder Traasdahl 10 days in a row.  Two exchanges, an emergency sleepover, Ultimate Frisbee, helping someone move, going to the skate park, another exchange, and district meeting.  Cache ($) T. Hompson, my trainer, called once yesterday, while a Perth Amboy Ward member fed us twice.  I did 7 ollies in one day yesterday.  Elder Rodriguez and I were introduced to a new "AromaTouch therapy" that uses one (1) bunch of aromatic oils.  It was relaxing and helped with the many things plaguing my mind.  Elder Rodriguez and I spent nine hours in the church on Sunday.  #TransferPlanning  There was also one chapel open house that 4 people came to.  

We finally saw the Heidlers and will be playing one game of basketball with Brian today.  Samantha will be baptized in five days.  Darryl "Johnny" Carteciano will go home from his mission in ten days.

I love you all.

Love,
Elder deJesus

P.S. Cactus...


...pep bacon...


...and the Dr. Chicken Shack.





Monday, October 6, 2014

Penultimate Generao Conferao

Guh,

    So, listen, this happens to ereone, but I got into a little kadesh with the zone leaders, and I was waaay out of line.  I've been a flip to everyone.

    But the General Conference addresses called me to repentance.  I hate pride.  Filipinos, man.  They got a lot of it.  Except everyone but me.  I may or may not have cried during conference because it was all so relevant.

     But hey, the rest of the week, was swag off the heezy.  E-Rod and I went on two exchanges.  We are getting this area up and running!  We still taught 20 lessons even if everyone was sick.  Like Ruth of the Old Testament, we gleaned lessons from people at church in between sessions of conference.  I even taught two in Spanish!  Then we talked about cui.

     We also saw the new Meet the Mormons movie.  It was phat.  There are six parts in it, and at least once, each part showed an airplane.  My buddy, Elder Fage, got trunky, and now I want to be in the Air Force as a flight surgeon.  That man talks about planes like they're his girlfriend.

     This was my next-to-last General Conference on my mission ):

Love,Elder deJesus

Monday, September 29, 2014

Adjustment

Yop.

Ma boizz.  All that happened this week is missionary work.  One day, we ate some rice, then pizza, then rice, then pizza, then rice, all on separate occasions.  #ChanchoFilipinos Another day, we went to five appointments after doing service in the morning, so we proselyted in our service clothes all day.  We accidentally taught 2 lessons before 11 am the other day.  Yesterday, we ate dinner at a Filipino family's house.  They're not even in our area.  But we got our backs adjusted cuz he's a chiropractor.  I'm on a horse.

We're gonna baptize Samantha in October!  She set the date herself.  Let's see if she follows through.

I love you.

Love,
Elder deJesus


PICTURES

"Ma boi, E. Rodriguez from Jensen, Philippines...


...ma otha boi Sourav...


  ...and ma otha otha brotha from anotha motha, Bala"





Monday, September 22, 2014

Kababayan Ko

Da flip = Ay, naku.

I taught everyone that.  They believed me.

Hey, my new companion is Filipino.  He's from Oregon and kinda speaks Tagalog and Cebuano.  Elder Rodriguez.  We went on a billion exchanges in Newark when we were both starting our missions.  All he said there was, "Tudo bem."  Now, all he says is, "Tudo bem.  She better is."  I am so happy right now.

Nothing much newer.  We're still having sleepovers with Elder Traasdahl and Elder Berkheimer.  I miss Elder Tab McLain and Elder Lopez.  Elder Traasdahl and I are looking for an apartment in Kearny as we speak.

I challenged one of our recent converts' sisters to a rap battle.  She said yes.

Oh, yeah, Elder Rodriguez also says, "Off the yin-yang," off the yin-yang.

We're still busy.  There's too much work.

Love,
Elder deJesus


Russ Bus and Elder McLain

Monday, September 8, 2014

Finding for Dayz

Moneys,
Tuesday after zone meeting was when the whole world agreed to cancel appointments.  But we found an investigator.  Taught him on his stoop.
On Wednesday, Elder McLain and I left early to take him and Elder Funny Walker to his departing temple trip.  I was left with Elder Nielsen in ma boi, Irvington.  Gaah!  Sweet memories.
Elder Nielsen and I taught five street lessons since it's Irvington.  We ate at ma boi, the Dr. Chicken Shack.  We found one new investigator because it's Irvington.
When Elder McLain came back, we home taught with a member in not our area.  We work so much in the sisters' area.
On Thursday, we taught a man and moved furniture.  One more investigator.
We found two on Friday and taught six lessons.  The Mendezes are the best. We taught Mike, the Mendezes' daughter's boyfriend.  He is a stud.  He is off to the military and wants to be baptized once he moves out of his parents' house. The Mendezes are a riot because they are Dominican.
On Saturday, we taught a bunch and stuff.  We taught seven lessons.  I didn't even fall asleep at church.
Today, I saw all my departing friends going to the Statue of Liberty )':  I will miss them.
In other news to lengthen this email that will probs remain unread like all your emails in my inbox, Hermana Reed is sick.  Elder McLain is going to be an astronaut.  He is perhaps my favorite companion.  But he doesn't know that.

I love you all, I think.
Love,
Elder deJesus

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

SK8R4LYF4DAYZZ

Dear P-day,

I love preparation day.  I look forward to it everyday.  We hardly ever prepare on that day.  All we do is goof off all day, for days.  For ejemplo, yesterday, we woke up early to play Ultimate Frisbee with the Short Hills Ward on a turf field, aka, we played Getting Yelled At By Brother Thomas.  He likes to yell at you when you're not as good as him, then tells you, "You should have been left flank!"  Then he tells everyone else on your team, "Don't pass it to deJesus."  Early-morning Frisbee is serious here.

After taking showers, we went to the skate park and learned how to ollie to impress all the skater kids smoking pot.  It was fun and I have the scars and bruises to prove it.

We then ate at Stewarts, a carhop place.  Afterward, we went to the shore at Perth Amboy to eat pizza, play beach volleyball, and bum in the sand.  It was hawt and phat.

Then we went to the mall.  I love Elder Traasdahl and Elder Lopez and Sister Shaw and Hermana Reed and Hermana Jarman and Elder McLain.  They are awesome.

I am enjoying the mission.  I get to play the ukulele.  Oh!  And Elder McLain and I taught a lesson entirely in Spanish.  We were trying to find a potential investigator of the Church in Avenel.  We found out that he wasn't home.  I received a prompting to knock on his neighbor's door.  A Hispanic man answered.  He said, "Pasen, elderes, pasen."  He went on to tell us that he spoke no English and about the rut that he and his family are in.  He was a returned missionary with a family in another country and used to be a Bishop twice and on and on.  We proceeded to share a message from the Libro de Mormon in Spanish and bore our testimonies.  He said that we were an answer to his prayers.  The Work is God's.

I love you all.  Please keep in touch!

Love,
Elder deJesus

Monday, July 28, 2014

Take in Five

Peeps,

5 minutes.  Improv, improv....  Let's see....

First, right before district meeting, Mom's friends and Sister Horning delivered a package for me.  They are magnificent.

Next, I went on exchange in Spanish with Elder Sumsion.

On Saturday, Elder Hunt and I used his mom's $50 gift card to eat big and contact at Longhorn Steakhouse.  Mmm....  Stuffed mushrooms and Mexican corn cob.  And our waitress's name was Selena, but not Gomez.  She took our number.  Hoo-rah.

This morning, we DROVE to Morristown to drop off the departing missionaries.  Then Elder Spack-daddy and I DROVE to bowling, where we were treated by the Haleys.  Then we ate at Wendy's.

We are waaay more than out of miles.  We have to drive all the way back to Morristown later today.  Darn departing missionaries!  But on the way back from there to emailing, however, Elder Spackman and I drove to Newark and talked with the elders there.  Then we drove through Irvington.  Oh, how I miss the hood and their stoops.

I'm starting to get the hang of this whole district leader thing.  At first it was stressful.  Now I'm stressed, but with love!  I love Elder Hunt, Hermana Schwendiman, Hermana Jarman, Elder Sumsion, and Elder Lopez so flippin much!  They are good missionaries.  You know what else is good?  Mangoes.  Mango Hi-chews are the best.  Grape is fine, however.  Rob the Freemason ate most of the grape ones.  Hi-chews well replace brushing your teeth this morning and talking to the mission president and his wife with morning breath.  Wanna know what's not fine?  Steak.  The best steaks are the thicker steaks.  I've been in the Scotch Plains Stake for my entire mission so far.  Thick is the opposite of fine.  Relatively sound logic for 30 seconds left.  You know what else is thick?  My love for my district.  They are fabulous.

And I love you too, with a love that has unmeasurable girth.  Girthy love.  Pictures next time.

Love,
Elder deJesus

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Less-active to Investigator

Wuzz good?

Life here in Avenel, Iselin, Colonia, Fords, Edison, Metuchen, Keasbey, Perth Amboy, Hope Lawn, Sewaren, Woodbridge, Port Reading, and Carteret by Staten Island is good.

We finally helped a less-active member become an investigator of the Church!  She had thought her entire life that she was baptized when she was young.  I guess she was too young to remember that she was actually not.  Her records are nowhere to be found, neither the witnesses to the baptism.  She will be baptized in August, hopefully more than just because she likes the elders!

Elder Hunt is a sickly fellow.  He has vomited around four times this past week, received a bloody nose twice, and stayed at the apartment to nap 7 times.  His body is rebelling.

My district is awesome.  Hermana Schwendiman and Hermana Jarman enjoy being companions to one another.  Los Elderes Sumsion and Lopez are as well.  They have tough areas in Short Hills, where not many Hispanics reside, but they work diligently.

Our zone had the privilege of meeting President and Sister Taggart personally today during interviews, and they are awesome.  They are definitely green still, meaning that they are adjusting to missionary life.  But what a wonderful couple!  They do things differently from the Jeppsons.  Their main focus will be using the media to find new investigators.

Also, the missionaries in our zone performed musical numbers and skits for the Primary in the Scotch Plains Stake.  Those kids are cute.  They are ready to go on missions.

I went on a couple of exchanges to the Scotch Plains First Ward, and bonded with their ward mission leader.  They just baptized Diego yesterday!  The Holy Ghost's influence penetrated my heart as he was immersed in the water and his nonmember mom smiled and cried.  Then he bore his testimony and everyone but me cried.  Actually, I was the only one crying.  But don't tell anyone.

That's pretty much it.  I apologize for not writing you more often.  Preparation days here are busy.

Take luck, good care.  See you in two.

Love,
Elder deJesus

Monday, July 7, 2014

Elder Tang

A,

In under 5 minutes I will describe that, in this transfer, I stayed in the rich Woodbridge area, the land of Indians.  I will also describe that we received a new mission president and wife, the Taggarts.  I will describe that my new companion, Elder Hunt, likes anime and swords such as katanas, and therefore looks Asian, though gringo.  In fact, he has acquired the nickname "Elder Tang" from a member in a previous area.  I was also called a district leader, working with Elder Tang, Hermanas Schwendiman and Jarman (sister training leaders), and los Elderes Sumsion and Lopez.  They all speak espanol.  In fact, Elder Lopez speaks "Mexican," as many Utahns politically incorrectly call it.  Elder Hunt and Hermana Scwendiman are going home after this transfer and Elder Lopez just got started.  I will describe how more deets are coming soon.  I will describe these things in under 5 minutes.  Hopefully, tihs will be the only spelling error.
 
I love you all!

Love,
Elder deJesus

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Schmirthday

Dear All,

The Twelfth was the end of my twentieth life-year and also the anniversary of the independence of the Philippine Islands.  Happy Father's Day.

For my birthday, I enjoyed recovering from bronchitis.  We were also informed that there are three people now who contemplate or have completed receding from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It has been a sobering week.  Members, please do be careful what you say or don't say.

Bad news aside, I went on exchange to the hood again!  Plainfield, West End!!!  We contacted an Irishman: "My name is Elder deJesus."  "I'm Elder Clow."  He said, "Who's yer PAH-sterr (pastor)?"  "Bishop So-and-so."  "Who's yer pahsterr's pahsterr?"  "What are you trying to say?"  "Jesus is my pahsterr.  You're wrong."  "We have His apostles and prophets."  "Oh."  I love contacting!

We went to the all-mission conference and said goodbye to our beloved President Jeppson and Sister Jeppson.  They will be replaced by President and Sister Taggart, who are bringing their 17-year-old daughter.  As if working with flirty YSA and young women weren't trouble enough!  But we are excited for this big change.  President and Sister Jeppson will be deeply missed.

I Skyped my family. 

Not much else going on in this part of the Vineyard.

I love you all.

Love,
Elder deJesus

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bronchitis

Fellows,

A lesson for the charitable-hearted: The sweetest grandma in our ward, Gramma Worschinski, contracted bronchitis last week and shared it with her family.  Elder Camper and I rushed to her aid and administered the sacrament and a blessing for the sick and afflicted.  We came home feeling good and charitable.

Elder Camper woke up feeling sinus-clogged and in pain.   A couple of days ago, I contracted the same illness.  Brethren, I have bronchitis.  Ain't nobody got time for that!

Anyway, the Work has been hindered.  We helped the ward's favorite family move their belongings into a large trailer.  We coughed over the phone to set appointments for next week (we did teach a lesson over the phone and now have a new investigator).  We watched, like, every Church movie there is, twice.  I studied for hours for the training I'm going to give tomorrow.  We hibernated all week, everyday.  We also went to our meetings yesterday morning and spread the disease.  Now the whole ward council will become zombies.

I am crying not because of the Spirit of God, but I am sneezing so much.  I can't even type wrighte.  wahtverr

I love you all.

Love,
Elder deJesus

Thursday, June 5, 2014

New Jersey Diversity

Hilo,

This week, we taught a diverse group of people.  We taught a drug dealer, a paranoid schizophrenic, a porn-addicted Nigerian, gangsters, Deaf people, a secret agent, a guy with an eyepatch, a dog, and some white lady who wanted that dog to be blessed.  We helped move some Haitians, ate at a car-hopping place called Stewarts, sang in choir, and learned French from a guy in an Indian neighborhood.  The Memorial Day barbie was phenomenal.  The burgers were as tall as the ceiling.  We gave blessings galore to sick people.  Elder Camper is still 6'7".

The best part about this week was yesterday, Sunday. Remember the Melendezes from last week?  They came to church yesterday for the first time in 8 years.  And it was beautiful.  Elder Camper and I received the privilege of helping bless their babies, Justice and Mercy.  The testimony meeting was just fantastic, and many members commented on how that was the best meeting that they have ever attended.  The Melendezes enjoyed every second of church and are planning on coming back next week.

I now know that coming to church enlivens and strengthens faith.  It is just how God has designed His divine organization.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true!

I love you all.

Love,
Elder deJesus

More adjectives for my third area

Hallow,

I have been transferred from the hoods of Irvington to the opposite: Woodbridge and Perth Amboy, NJ, where everyone is rich and white and feeds us like Hispanics.  I am back in a driving area, so we can't contact anyone!  They're all indoors playing video games and going on Facebook and whatnot!  Anyway, these emails are pretty much useless because of the lack of details.  We have two upcoming baptisms..

Here's my testimony so far in my mission, if that balances things out.  I know that God hears prayers and James's promise in James 1:5 is true.  We invite all people we meet to ask God whether or not the Book of Mormon is true and promise them that He will tell them whether or not it is.  For 90 consecutive days, I have asked Him.  I know that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are both God's words.  Ezekiel prophesied of the Book of Mormon.  Isaiah prophesied of the Book of Mormon.  The coming forth of the Book of Mormon is the sign that the Lord is gathering Israel in these last days.  I am here to gather New Jersey.  I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.  I invite people to repent.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches the Savior's Gospel completely and clearly!  I know that Heavenly Father loves you!

Anyway, I love you!

Love,
Elder deJesus

Monday, May 19, 2014

Rain

Uhmm...  There were 5 inches of rain for two days straight.  Straight up.  We did a lot of exchanges.  One was in Spanish with Elder Nuckolls!  On the zone leaders' transfer evaluation form, they put me to go Spanish.  I hope so. I love you all!
Love,
Elder deJesus


Scotch Plains 2nd

Hallow,

I have been transferred from the hoods of Irvington to the opposite: Woodbridge and Perth Amboy, NJ, where everyone is rich and white and feeds us like Hispanics.  I am back in a driving area, so we can't contact anyone!  They're all indoors playing video games and going on Facebook and whatnot!  Anyway, these emails are pretty much useless because of the lack of details.  We have two upcoming baptisms..when they get married!  Uhmm...yes.  Useless.

Here's my testimony so far in my mission, if that balances things out.  I know that God hears prayers and James's promise in James 1:5 is true.  We invite all people we meet to ask God whether or not the Book of Mormon is true and promise them that He will tell them whether or not it is.  For 90 consecutive days, I have asked Him.  I know that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are both God's words.  Ezekiel prophesied of the Book of Mormon.  Isaiah prophesied of the Book of Mormon.  The coming forth of the Book of Mormon is the sign that the Lord is gathering Israel in these last days.  I am here to gather New Jersey.  I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.  I invite people to repent.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches the Savior's Gospel completely and clearly!  I know that Heavenly Father loves you!

Anyway, I love you!

Love,
Elder deJesus

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Apostle-hugging

Dear fa ily a d f iends,
New Jersey Morristown Mission was privileged to welcome Elder Lowell Tom Perry from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife (President Jeppson's first cousin) into the Morristown chapel for an emergency all-mission conference yesterday.  I had the privilege of attempting to wrap my arms around that man's torso and failing; he is huge!  A giant both physically and spiritually.  When they entered the chapel with our mission president and his wife and a general authority, everyone stood up in respect and the Holy Spirit immediately filled the room.  He gave a couple of fist bumps and proceeded to the stand.  Each missionary received an opportunity to shake their hands.  I hugged him.  I'm never washing my right hand and clothes again.  I'm afraid that the traces of Priesthood that my clothes and hand have acquired on contact with Elder and Sister Perry might wash out.
Oh!  Speaking of emergencies, I don't know if I wrote about our apartment building burning.  Two weeks ago, the apartment two floors below us started emitting smoke.  No one saw it at first.  We just heard sirens, which are common here in Irvington.  Then I noticed through the kitchen window the fire engines headed toward our building.  The dumb alarms sounded and before long, were headed down the stairs only to be told by some cop to "Go use the other set of stairs or something."  Before doing that, however, he opened the 5th floor door for those firefighters to haul up some sort of thick hose.  Thick smoke ignorantly billowed out of the door, ruining that morning, so we nonchalantly walked down the other set of stairs to watch the building burn from outside.  We got bored and headed to the library, which was more exciting than our burning building.  Thankfully, the fire only affected that apartment on the fifth floor and no one was harmed, especially our Pop Tarts and breakfast that I was about to eat before we were naively evacuated.

Well, things here are getting monotonous.  Elder Walker and I are figuring out what more we can do to make this area that we opened more exciting and fulfilling for both us and the missionaries after us.  As a mission, as I've said before, we have set a goal to contact 10 people on the street per day, and to invite 1 person to be baptized per day.  Doing so, and sometimes exceeding, the goal does not satisfy us anymore.  What more can we do to make our missions more meaningful and exciting here??
Uhmm....  Packages.  Yes.  We have 2 boxes' worth of packages in our apartment now!  Now our bodies can actually receive sustenance.  Happy Easter!  We four Irvington elders also got fed by Bishop and Sister Klusey on Easter, which was a miracle!  Neither Irvington areas have active members to feed us, but the Kluseys volunteered last-minute.  They are awesome!
I can't think of anything else....  Saffa is now not progressing because of his two new jobs and family.  If only he didn't have two jobs and a family!  We haven't heard from Clement since last transfer.  Emmanuel is the closest investigator to progressing, and he doesn't even do things to show his faith!  What?!  All of our other investigators have been taught once and just got busy with their lives or something.  If only they didn't have lives!  Missionary work would be tons easier.
Oh well,

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Still Finding

Dearest,
With 10 minutes remaining, I apologize for not writing this email last week.  There was a lot going on spiritually and temporally.  Some really good memories were created that I will just have to write in my journal.
The Work here is plugging along.  Most of it is finding people to teach, however, since we just opened the area, and there was a confusion in the records as to whose area people belonged to and whatnot.  All of our lessons but one this past week were to investigators of the Church.  President Jeppson is emphasizing consecration and contacting this month and set a goal of contacting 10 people per day.  Elder Walker and I end up contacting 15 per day and inviting a couple to be baptized if they find out from God that the Book of Mormon is His book!

General Conference was amazing though!  I loved Elder Bednar's talk about how the Atonement of Jesus Christ was accomplished not just to take our sins, but to strengthen us.  It enables us to become better people.  Something that Elder Walker and I love to teach is that Jesus Christ did not just die for our sins; I wouldn't die for my mom because she's a sinner.  He died to preserve the good in us.  Whatever form the help that comes from the Atonement of Jesus Christ helps us to become stronger and more godly, which is God's purpose for us in the first place.

I love you all!
Love,
Elder deJesus

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bus Preacher

Dear,

This week was a'ight.  It was sort of an extension of last week.  The reason I say that is because when we opened the area, we were surprisingly flooded by work to do: referrals, potential contacts, less-active members, etc. to visit.  This week, we just sort of continued trying to contact those people that haven't answered their phones or doors.  That is what we call "serious jukage."

One evening, we went to a scheduled appointment with one of our investigators.  We knocked on the door and no one answered.  Surprise.  He had done that before.  So we left his apartment complex and started for Springfield Ave to contact people.  As we left, he waved to us from a few yards away.  We talked to him and asked if we should still visit him that night.  He said yes.  30 minutes after contacting on Springfield, we knocked on his door again.  His brother opened the door to him eating dinner in front of the telly.  We asked, "Do you want us to come by another time?"  He said, "Perhaps."  AAAHH!!!  Juked twice within one hour by the same person!

We left his apartment complex and met a giant black man.  "How tall are you?"  "6-foot-eleven," he replied casually.  He continued, "Y'all goin' to the memorial?  My main man just died in gunfire."  "No.  What was his name?"  "I dunno.  I only know that his Crip name was Smiles."  Definitely a gang member.

The next morning, we got on the bus and were graced by the words of a bus preacher.  Her voice emanated from the front of the bus like a broken automatic pencil sharpener.  "Jesus was a black man!  I know him!  I saw him with my own eye!  He love me more than all y'all!  It says so in the Baaahble!"

Anyway, not much to report.

Love y'all.

Love,
Elder deJesus

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Nigerian Party and Dr. Chicken Shack


Famiriends,

Below are a picture of my beloved family, the Basanteses at Dana's baptism!!!  Next Sunday is Julian's, third from the left.  I am all teary right now, which is not a manly confession.  I love that family!  Las misioneras en Kearny are doing great.  Also below is a picture of half of our New Jersey Morristown Mission family in December (we couldn't fit all of us).

Oh!  And just so I don't forget, and with high hopes that someone will love me enough to send me something valuable, my new home address is:

10 Marshall St. apt 7B
Irvington, NJ zipcode
United States of America.

By the rubs, since someone commented on how lame and uninformative my emails are (#snarkiness), I make plain this statement: I have been privileged to open a new area with my past companion.  We were in Kearny; now we are in Irvington, New Jersey, or, in other words, the hood.  The people are nice!  They love Jesus.

What a great couple of weeks!

We were privileged to attend a Nigerian party last week.  After teaching Emmanuel, his Nigerian landlord invited us to his daughter's first birthday party.  There were a lot of kids, simultaneously-yelling Nigerian women, and good food.

Dr. Chicken Shack was one of the many sketchy chicken shacks found in the hood.  It was better than Popeyes or even KFC!

Being a companionship who opened a new area, and have served here for 3 weeks, may I brag about our two new and extremely prepared investigators who now have baptismal dates: Saffa and Clement.  Clement was a miracle of whom I will tell you next week.

Love and xoxo and stuff,

Elder de. Jesus

Basantes Family



Monday, February 24, 2014

Irvington North. The hood.

Dear,
Well, these past two weeks were a wreck.  Two weeks ago, Elder Walker and I were in Kearny, rushing to do our normal missionary labors, and struggling to clean the apartment for the new sister missionaries in Kearny, and shoveling the 16" snow, and preparing the information that the new sisters are going to need, and saying goodbye to Hna. Basantes and her family, Gma. Jackie, and the Pesantez family.  I totally didn't cry at all.  7 months in Kearny....
But now I'm excited to immerse myself in police sirens every 5 minutes, loud conversations in front of stores, and hip hop blaring from every other car.  As a plus, the Bloods and Crips got our backs!

Last week, Elder Walker and I were doubled into Irvington North.  We didn't even have the area book or a map, so we didn't get to start working until Thursday, when we just called people and planned all day.  Friday was when we knocked and contacted as many people as we can.  We also met Sakinah, who is Black and into white guys, and has half-Asian babies.  Way to flirt to convert, past missionaries!  We got talking about white guys, and how her last missionary is the whitest of the white: blond, blue-eyed, and white.  She immediately said, "That's how I like 'em!"
Then on Saturday, we met Sis. Francis, who is less-active because of health issues.  She talks.  But she loves the missionaries and has a wall of our names in her house.  We then taught Manuel, who is an investigator, for the first time.

When we came into the house, we were greeted by a family of Nigerians.  They were so nice and got us excited to teach Manuel.  He invited us to his room and took off the hookah from the center table/box.  We sat on the floor of that chairless room with turf and he offered us some carrot cake.  It was good.  He sat on the floor across from us in an awkward mermaid pose and began firing questions, some of which were about how we can be promoted to President of the Church.  We told him that it is by revelation and he kept asking how to be good enough to be voted into presidency.  We bore witness to him about the reality of modern revelation and left.
New investigator our first week!  As bizarre as that visit was, we felt the Spirit bear witness to him.  He invited us over again.
I am amazed at how much I am reminded that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true every time I or someone else bears testimony.  The Church is true and changes lives!

Elder Walker was impressed at how well this week has been going so far.  He said that it was better than when he was first doubled into Sparta.
Sunday was spectacular!  We had a linger longer, which apparently never happens in Maplewood Ward.  It was a very warm welcome to me, Elder Walker, and Elder Page from Utah and Elder Cuyon from the Philippines.  The ward itself is multicultural, ranging from Guyanan, Ghanan, and Haitian, to puertoricense and Filipino!  Yes, there is a Filipino family from Pangasinan in our ward!  AAAHH!!!  I love this place!
Keep it hood.  Maple hood.
Love,
Elder deJesus

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Gaah. First New Area.

Friemily,

7 minutes.

Yesterday was transfers!  I finally get to leave Kearny, which is the suburbs of Newark, which is the hood.  I was sent to the sparkling Irvington North Walking, which is the extension of the hood.  And, surprise, I stayed with Elder Walker!

The reason that that is interesting is the he, as my third companion in Kearny, was doubled out with me.  All week was spent [15 additional minutes on this computer] preparing the area book and the apartment for sisters, as well as trying to keep it a secret from our zone that the second set of sisters are finally coming into the Newark Zone.

As we were doing that, a few thoughts garnished my mind: that I only knew Elder Walker for 6 weeks, I have known Kearny for 7 months, the apartment is not worthy for sisters to live in, and they need appointments set for their first week so they can have a good head start to working the area.  As I thought these things, I bawled like a baboon!

Yesterday, we found out that we were going to be doubled into Irvington North Walking, and they just don't usually do that.  They don't usually double a companionship out of their area and then transplanted into another.  But they did for us, and we are so happy!!!  Irvington!  Hud lyfe 4 lyfe.  Goodbye, Peruvians and Ecuadorians in Kearny.  Hello, Haitian food and Elizabeth Zone!

Anyway, we found out on Sunday night that one of our many members who have difficulties with the branch presidency told us about his marital problems that we weren't aware of before. Monday morning, we met with him at Vicente's and talked.  We went in knowing that the only things we can teach him is the gospel of Jesus Christ and we cannot be involved with marital issues.  It was a nerve-racking idea.  But it was the most spiritual lesson that we have ever taught.  The Spirit truly did all the teaching.  He told us that he knew what he had to do but had been denying it.  We bore testimony to him that the best way to fix any problems was to follow the personal promptings that he has received.  Many tears were shed.

I do love this work and I am excited to establish God's kingdom in Irvington!

Love,
Elder deJesus

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hello!

Hello!

10 minutes.

If you're confused why you're getting this email from a Filipino, I finally added you to my weekly email updates because I think that I promised that I would....  If you don't want them, let me know in the subject line!  Thanks!

So...next week is transfers, and I don't want to leave my first area!!!  I've been here 5 transfers and I've known and loved these people for so long.  And Elder Walker is the bomb, is tight, dope, and swag, and the best district leader and companion I have ever had.

On Tuesday last week, I went on the most productive exchange in what used to be part of my area, Harrison, NJ.  Ever since it was split from Kearny/Harrison, there was just barely any work to do there.  All the elders did was pray, knock, and street contact.  That is what we did on Tuesday, and voila, miracles.  We met a lady who was actually willing to talk to us about her dog and gave Elder Anding the run-down of how to find Christians looking for the truth in Harrison.  Then we knocked into a family of 5 people who were "looking for some sort of Christian teachers" since the mom was pretty much bedridden, and we found a referral for the Portuguese elders, among other miracles.

Yesterday, in my own area, we talked to a lady on the bus about things other than the gospel and gave her a card before she got off.  Then a man who was getting off at the same stop as the lady asked us if he could have a card as well.  That never happens here unless they are Hispanic, which that man was not.  Also, when we checked for a potential investigator on Schuyler, a different man told us that Paul had moved a couple years ago but "I'm interested in learning about your religion; here's my number."

Oh!  And we moved a family of gypsies too!  One of them has Tourette's Syndrome and is a deacon for a church.  He wants to teach me Gypsy.

And Don and Jack the Chinese man are progressing.

We also taught President Mitchell, Sister Mitchell, and Miriam and Svetlana.  Best lesson ever.  Sis. Mitchell said, "That was just what we needed to hear."

Other than that, we just shoveled and pushed people's cars out of the snow and freezing-rained-on snow, or, in other words, ice.  Now I'm yoked, or, in other words, swoll.

I love this Church and God!  And I love you, random citizen.

Love,
Elder deJesus

A Message From My Brother

The Atonement is God's way to show us His love for you.  As we use it, we show our love back to God.  When we find out that perfection can be the enemy of righteousness, we see the boundary between using the Atonement and using our own works to save other people.  Mahalin mo ang Diyos, tapos, mahalin mo ang sarili mo, tapos, mahalin mo ang kapwa.  Realize that when you repent, God sees that the [person] who could have done better yesterday is now irrelevant to [his/her] present self.  If you are really using the Atonement, you will forget about yesterday and live today even when you make mistakes.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Tagalog Entry - From my brother to my mother

Inay,

Ang nakalipas na lingo ay mas maayos na. Bago dun, nalunkot ako. Hindi kami nakakapagturo ng kasing karaming lesson na gusto ko, kaunti ang nakakausap sa daan o sumasagot sa telepono, at maginaw sa labas! Pero nakikita ko na ngayon na hindi ito ang gawain ni Elder de Jesus, pero Gawain ng Dyos.

Nung Lunes, nagplano kaming tumawag iang buong oras pagkatapos ng preparation day. Tawag kami ng tawag, at walang sumagot. At sa buong araw kami nasa loob ng bahay dahil sa snow. Natapus kaming tumawag sa cell phoe.

Inisip naming ni Elder Walker, kinansel ng aming isang appointment yung isang appointment naming sa buong araw. Ano ngayon? Lalabas ba tayo o mananatili sa bahay? Lumuhod kami at nagdasal. Tinanong naming ang Diyos kung dapat lumabas at katukin ang mga bahay o manatili at tumawag ng mga hindi sasagot. Naramdaman naming magiging mahirap pero dapat tumawag pa. Tumawag kami isang oras pa. Ang huli naming tinawagan ay si Ramone. Sinagot nya ang telepono! At saka, sabi nya, “The missionaries set an appointment with me once upon a time, but they nvere came. Can you come over on Monday?” Ma, may appointment po kami mamaya dahil nakinig kami sa sagot ng Diyos!

Sa Martes po, tinuruan naming si Gma. Jackie na magdasal kay Heavenly Father lang at hindi kay Jesus, haha. Siya ay nagdarasal sa parehas nila dahil “Jesus died for us. He deserves our thanks.” Basta po sya ay sincere. Pero binasa namin ang 3 Nephi 18:19 – “Pray always unto the Father in my name,”sabi ni Jesus. Tapos tinulungan naming si JP Money ($) sap pag-apply nya sa BYU at mission. Kailangan po nyang magsubmit ng high school recommendation, $35, at ecclesiastical endorsement sa apat na araw! At baka ko po rin kailangan isang bahay. Sabi ko po, “Eagle Mountain, my house?” Sabi nya, “Maybe.” Ano po ang sabi nyo? Tapos kinausap namin (naming in Elder Fage, galing sa Harrison, dahil nasa exchange kami), si Bro. Artiga! Sya ay Pentecostal na asaw ng Primary President naming sa branch. Gusto po nyang maglaro ng Basketbol sa sabado.

Myerkoles, tinuruan namin si Don. Sya ay depressing. “I was a journalist, but it’s a dying field now, what with all the new computer software you have to learn. Where does it say anything in the bible about the internet, which is responsible for massive significant changes in people’s lives today?! Not more than 2000 years ago, folks still communicated via stone tablets.”

Yung gabi na yun, tinulungan naming si Sis. Pesantez ilipat ang kanyang refrigerator mula sa lumang bahay papunta sa 2nd story ng bagong bahay na naka tabi ng lumang bahay. Ang probelema ay madulas ang snow; dinala naming sa loob. At may mga patay, buhay, at mababahong ipis sa ilalim ng fridge na gumapang sa aming damit habang binubuhat ang fridge. Masarap. Gumapang ata sila sa bibig ni Elder Walker at nilunok nya. Haha. Next week ang oven.

Nung Huwebes, tinuruan naming sina Justin at Estela Kasama ni Ronald galing sa Belleville. Tinuruan din naming si Sis. Roa. Nakakhanga kung gaanong handa ang youth ditong mag-misyon. Pagkatapos noon, tinulungan naming syang maghanda para sa Algebra 2 midterm sa library.

Sa Biyernes, tinuruan naming ulit si Gma. Jackie. Natandaan nya ang tinuro naming sa kanya miske may amnesia sya!

May miting si Elder Walker sa Sabado, umaga. May miting din ang Spring Garden Branch Missionaries. Pinag-usapan naming ang Branch activities. Tatanungin naming ang Branch council kung pwedeng maging activity planning committee kami para i_train ang branch na gawin ang Family Home Evening.

Dahil hindi pa tapos ang miting nila Elder Walker, sinamahan ko sina Elder Packham at elder Wedel sa North Newark para turuan sila Latoyaat Janelle tunkol sa Word of Wisdom. Tapos, tinuruan naming ni Elder Walker si Don sa Kearny. Sinabi nya sa amin na nakakuha na sya ng sagot faling sa Dyos! Mas marami na ang hope ni Don!

Tumakbo kami sa bahay ng recent convert ko, si Hna. Basantes dahil may 14th birthday party ang anak nya, si Dana. Sina Dana at ang panganay, si Jose Anotnio, ay may baptismal date para sa February 23! Sinabi sa akin ni Hna. Basantes, “Elder De Jesus, you have changed my life. I am closer to my family and God than ever before.” Nakakaiyak na isulat to. Masyado ko silang mahal! At pinagsasalamatan ko ang Spanish sister missionaries na iaalagaan sila at binigyan sila Dana at Jose ng baptismal date!

Tapos po sa fast / SuperBowl Sunday, binigyan naming ng blessing si Sis. Bazan para sa ulcer nya sa paa. Kasama ni Bro. Lewis. Tinuruan naming si Niko tungkol sa mga decision ditto sa buhay bago sa Judgment. Sa umaga din pala ay may branch council meeting na pinag-usapan yung pinag-usapan nung Sabado, tungkol sa branch activity. Aproved! Nandun sa miting si Carmine, isang less-active member na nag-mini mission noon at talagang active.

Tapos, dahil ang Diyos ay Diyos ng mga milagro, may pamilyang hindi nanonood ng super bowl sa gabing iyon, sila President at Sister Mitchell sumama sina Hna. Miriam at Svetlana. Nakakatawa sila at masarap ang grilled chicken, salad, at Brazilian rice and beans with yucca powder. Bago kami pumunta sa kanila, nasa bus kami at hindi alam ang ituturo! Nagdasal kami habang nasa bus at napag-isipan ang Mosiah 4, tunkol sa hindi pag – “run faster than [we] have strength.” Malakas ang Espiritu Santo habang tinutuo naming, at lahat ng sinasabi naming ay medaling lumabas sa bibig. Alam kong iyon ang salita ng Diyos, at hindi sa akin, lalo na pagkasabi ni Sis.Mitchell, “That was what we needed to hear. Thank you.” Hindi namin iyon malalaman kung hindi kami nanalangin! …Ito po ang simbahan talaga ni JesuCristo! Mahal ko Siya. Mahal ko ang Diyos ko. At mahal kop o kayo! Salamat po sa tulong nyong manatili at mag-umpisang magmisyon ako.

LOVE YOU!

Love,


Elder de Jesus

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Interviews and Snow

Dear family and less-close family,

Je suis agreable, frere.

There were interviews on Tuesday with President and Sister Jeppson.  I love those, especially answering yes to "Elder deJesus, are you worthy?"

Repentance is the focus of our month in New Jersey Morristown Mission, and it feels so good!  It really is a positive experience.

It snowed 18 inches last week and the wind tore off our faces as we walked.

Yesterday, we participated in a French baptism.  Elder Wettstein from Switzerland translated.  Two new members of the Church of Jesus Christ have now entered into a covenant, or promise to live like Jesus Christ as a family!  What a beautiful baptism!  The Spirit of the Lord was obvious as the ordinance was performed.

This week went by fast, but I learned to count my blessings even in hard times.  In other words, there's not much going on.

Love,
Elder deJesus

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sick.

Hello, blood/nonblood relatives,

Well, I am sick.  My head is full of snot.  I will lick this keyboard.dgyfhsjfjk
Last week kinda went downhill, but a window of hope has opened after yesterday's miracle snowstorm.  We actually taught 4 lessons, contacted 2 people by shoveling their driveways, received 1 referral from headquarters, and got fed dinner yesterday on my exchange with my zone leader, Elder "Harry" Porter.  He is cool because he has CF.  Today, we had district meeting and interviews with President and Sister Jeppson, and I was excited about that.
Also, more things happened.
Love,
Elder deJesus