Tuesday, April 28, 2015

1 down 15 to go

So this was a pretty slow week but still had some fun. Obviously. It's me. So Wednesday I had a service project since it was earth day and it was really big so a bunch of news stations came to record it and I got to meet this one really big newscaster on the channel 12 news so that was cool. He wanted to talk to my companion and I about what we were doing and then he was wanting to actually interview us. Obviously I was excited but I also was like, let's just have some fun here. So he interviewed my companion and he took it seriously so I figured he'd get on and I wouldn't so I just messed around. I thought back to Talladega Nights and I was acting like I didn't know what to do with my hands so I just kept raising them up and annoyed the camera guy a little haha. Then I got some really weird questions about recycling and stuff but my favorite question went something like this: "A common problem is when we see a pile of trash on the side of the road, we decide to just add to it. What do you think the remedy to that is?" And obviously that's a super weird question and I couldn't take it seriously at all so I just put on a straight face, looked at the guy and said "We just gotta find those trash cans man!" To which he started laughing at and I thought that was a pretty good answer! Then I was telling all the other missionaries there about it and they thought it was funny and now the big saying is "Just gotta find those *blank*" depending on what we're talking about. So I'm proud of that. Lesson wise this week was pretty slow. Nothing too exciting there. I have noticed an improvement in my Spanish though and we already have about 6 appointments set up for this coming week so that's good. Other than the fact that my first transfer is over I don't think anything else really big happened so I'll just leave you guys with that and remember, find those trash cans!

Elder Rossi 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spaghetti Arms

Hey everyone! How's everyone doing? First off I want to start off by saying its not fun getting shaving cream in your mouth. Anyways! This week has gone by super fast man. I can't believe it. And to make things even crazier, this is the last week of my first transfer! It's been super quick. Okay. Now the day by day recap: Monday we decided to do something not many missionaries have done before. A stakeout! We weren't planning on it but there's this one guy who gets home pretty late and we wanted to know exactly when and that was the first idea we had. We didn't have any food but we had some intense Lindsey Sterling music going and that was enough. Our patience ran out, however, and we decided to just go to our next appointment. But of course, as soon as we start leaving a car pulls into the drive way of the house we were at. Yeah. It was him. So then we had to circle around and then go knock on his door. There was no answer but we know when he gets home now! After that we went to our ward mission leader's house to join them for their family home evening and to eat too (of course). One thing I've started to realize is that hispanic's love to feed which is good and bad. It's good because Hispanic food is delicious and I'm always hungry but it's bad because it's nearly impossible to stay in shape as a missionary! We have those 30 minutes in the morning and maybe an activity or two during the week but that's about it! Or maybe I'm just doing it wrong. 
         Anyways, Tuesday comes and the first thing we do Tuesday's and Thursday's is Muay Thai which is so much fun! It's a Thai form of fighting that our recent convert and best friend Yefri does and he invited us once and we've just kept going. Mainly because it's a good way to wake up and, best of all, it's free. Tuesday and Wednesdaywere pretty slow lesson wise so that was kind of a bummer. Then Wednesday night to Thursday night I was on exchanges with my district leader and he had a ton of lessons. One thing I really like about exchanges is how much you can learn from another missionary so that was really cool. Then skipping forward to the next night was the best part of the week. The ward talent show to raise money for girls camp. The show had everything from singing to a group dancing in Mickey, Elmo and a bunny suit. But the main part of the show was us! The missionaries! We had a skit where our ward mission leader and Yefri were behind us being our arms as we go through an average day for us. I can't share the video but I will share some pictures from the video. It was pretty funny. Then Sunday came around and we taught the new investigators about the importance of the Book of Mormon, gave them a copy and they accepted our invitation to read it. We taught them before church so we invited them again but they weren't able to come so instead they made papusas for us to eat after church with them! They're super cool and now next lesson he'll be cooking up some steaks for us!
         Saturday I had a pretty cool experience because in on of our lessons with a less active guy my companion shared his mission plaque scripture which is the same scripture I've been searching for like crazy and couldn't find. Not super amazing but now we know we both love it. It's Words of Mormon 1:7 which says 7 "And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will." And I read this while in the MTC and just kind of thought about how some people may not understand why I'm out here. Some may not understand why I was willing to give up the things I did. And some may not even understand exactly what it is I'm doing. But this scripture answers that. I'm here for a wise purpose. I felt like I need to do this and I followed that prompting and now here I am. I definitely don't know everything about this gospel or even some of the small things and I definitely don't know enough Spanish yet but I know with time and help from the Lord I will be able to learn so much. He's working through me to get his work done. I know that to be true. I've felt it many times and I'll feel so much more. I hope you all have an awesome week and stay tuned for the next episode!  
Pictures: 1-3: My skit from the talent show
4: the 3 dancers
5: Me back in Oakland just in time for the playoffs! 
6: My new favorite thing...Pringle Ball! Basically basketball but with ping pong balls and Pringles cans

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Days Go By....

So I realized that today marks the 5th week of this transfer...what?!
Just to clarify, each transfer has 6 weeks and throughout the 2 years
I'll have 16 transfers and I'm already almost done with my first. So
as my subject and the Keith Urban says, days definitely go by. So
¡Hola todos! ¿Cómo están? Hé notado que no hé escrito en español por
mucho tiempo y entonces ¡quiero empezar otro vez! Pero, no escribiré
todo de mi correo electrónico en español porque tengo experiencias de
esta semana pasada y no sé como explicarlo en español pero yo sé que
yo puedo tratar pero no tengo mucho tiempo. Esta semana pasada fue muy
divertido. Lunes yo jugué fútbol y estoy malo todavía pero yo hecho 2
golosos y no sé cómo 😂 ¡Tengo mucho suerte! Martes tuvo la reunión de
distrito pero no tuvimos muchos lecciones porque nadie estaba en sus
casas. Pero, avanzando a jueves, tuvimos nuestro primera lección
cuando sentíamos muy torpe. Preparamos una lección para la novia del
hombre quién vive en la casa pero ella no estaba allá y entonces
escogimos dar la lección al primo pero él no quiso escuchar mucho que
me siente muy confundido porque no sabía que debo hacer pero en el fin
de la lección tuvimos el espíritu con nosotros y este es que
necesitamos más que todos. El próximo día hablamos con un nuevo
investigador quién quiere aprender más sobre nuestro religión porque
él quiere saber a qué iglesia unirse. Enseñamos la restauración del
evangelio y les invitamos ir a la iglesia en Domingo. Estaba muy
animado por iglesia porque este fue el primero tiempo cuando invitamos
alguien a la iglesia pero no estaban allá. ¡Pero tenemos una otra cita
con ellos otra vez este viernes y tengo esperanza que podemos traerles
a la iglesia! Bueno, este es todo de yo tengo de esta semana en
español. Siento como debo traducir pero en el mismo tiempo no quiero
hacerlo. ¡Buena suerte! Quiero compartir mi testimonio para terminar.
Sé que nuestro Salvador Jesucristo vive. Sé que josé Smith fue un
profeta verdadero y vio jesucristo y dios en su visión. Sé que dios es
nuestro padre celestial y a través de la expiación de jesucristo,
podemos regresar a Dios después esta vida por la eternidad. También el
libro de mormón es la palabra de Dios y es un gran bendición en mi
vida y digo estas cosas en el nombre de jesucristo, amen.

Just to summarize the key points, I had an awkward lesson which we
prepared for someone's girlfriend because she has a baptismal date but
she wasn't there so we decided to teach his cousin who isn't a member
but he didn't show much interest either so it was just a really weird
lesson. But we had the spirit in the end and that's the important
part. The day after we went back to this house we've knocked at a
couple times and the door finally opened. His name is Yefry and he is
a super cool guy who just wants to know which religion is for him so
he decided to take the discussions with the missionaries. He was
really open with us and we already got a dinner appointment with him
so he can make us some papusas! We taught him and his family about the
restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and it seemed like he
understood everything. After the lesson we invited him and his family
to come to church but they were unfortunately unable to make it but
there is always next time! As for some other fun stories, literally
every single Hispanic we've visited whether they be a member or not
has thought I'm some type of Hispanic as well. Surprising right? Well
I came out here wanting to keep track of how many people thought that
but now I've decided to keep track of how many people don't...so far
out of around 50 people nobody has gotten it right. Also, this past
week was the trainer/trainee meeting so I saw my MTC district and then
got some food afterwards with Elder Honey and his trainer Elder
Buckner and that was fun. I got a very small sample taste of what the
city life will be like, too. Well, I think that's about it from this
week! This week is deep cleaning which means we basically stay in the
apartment for a day and just clean so get ready to hear about that!
Oh! Also I want to give a shout out to one of my best friends, Parker,
who just got his mission call to the port of Spain which includes a
bunch of countries I don't remember the names of except for Aruba. But
he doesn't have Jamaica or Cocomo where he can take it fast then take
it slow but that's where he'd wanna go. Way down to Cocomo. Oh and
he'll be speaking Dutch so I'm sorry bud. Just kidding! Even though
you aren't speaking the wonderful language of Spanish it's still gonna
be an amazing 2 years!

I'll end by translating my testimony above: I know that Jesus is our
savior and that he lives. I know he suffered for our sins and that
through him we are able to be forgiven. I know that Joseph Smith was a
real prophet and saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know that God
is our loving Heavenly Father and through the atonement of Jesus
Christ we are able to return to Him. I also know that the Book of
Mormon is the word of God and it is such a huge blessing in my life. I
love this gospel so much and I know that I'm doing so much good by
sharing it with the people of New York. I love and miss you all and I
appreciate all that so many of you have done for me.

Elder Rossi

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Best Week So Far!

So I can honestly say that this week was the best one thus far.
Tuesday was a little slow but it was also the night I had to get ready
for the exchanges with the zone leaders. I was really excited for this
because this meant that I was going to be able to go into their
teaching pool which is English speaking so that would mean I get to
teach in English for a day! But I was wrong...we got a call saying one
of them is coming to our pool to teach with me. I guess I was okay
with that but I also kind of assumed the one coming spoke Spanish as
well...But I was wrong about that, too. So then I got a little more
scared for what was to come the next day. So then I asked my companion
to set up appointments for me...but he said no and I would have to
call people. Are you kidding me?! This is my 3rd week man! Yo no hablo
español! And for those of you that don't know, the phone is the
scariest thing for language learners. It's the hardest thing...and I
was the one answering the phone the whole next day. So I prayed. Hard.
         The next day came, went to a lesson, they were busy, I
understood that but that's nothing big. We went out and shared the new
Easter video (which any of you can watch by the way by going to
Mormon.org and search He Lives. It may not be Easter anymore but that
doesn't mean you can't watch a video about Jesus!) which was some in
English and some in Spanish but still nothing exciting. The exciting
part happened in our final lesson of the night. It was to this recent
convert and now less active family who we decided to visit. Before
going in I told my companion for the day, Elder Rodgers, that this
family speaks no English. He wished me luck. So we went in, shared the
video, discussed it and right when I thought we were done Elder
Rodgers opens his mouth and I'm like ¡Ceré su no a hora! Because if he
spoke that meant I had to translate! But he didn't shut his
mouth...and I translated. And the spirit just took over. I translated
word for word not knowing how the heck I was doing it or if it was
right but the feeling I had while speaking was so warm and so strong
that I knew I wasn't doing it alone. He bore his testimony to them and
it was the coolest thing not only for me but for them too because the
Dad who usually doesn't prayed said he would pray for us. And it was
by far one of the coolest experiences I've had. Then as we were
leaving I told Elder Rodgers that 1) He is a jerk and I can't believe
he did that to me and 2) That was the coolest thing that has ever
happened to me and I thanked him.
          Then, as if I wasn't filled with the spirit enough on that
day, I got to watch conference all day Saturday and most of the day on
Sunday! It's just an awesome opportunity to hear from our prophet and
his apostles and the messages they share. I could go into what I
learned but I don't want to make this too long but I will say that if
you ever get a chance whether you're one of my member friends or not,
look up the talk by Jeffrey R. Holland in the Sunday Morning session
by going to LDS.org and there should be a pretty big link to that. It
was awesome.
          Okay, now onto some fun stuff. I realized that I haven't
said too much about my companion so this should sum him up pretty
good. So we realized this past week how much we both love Psych. We
both quote it all the time but then we took it a step farther and
realized we're actually a lot like Shawn and Gus! I'm Gus mainly
because I can drive he can't, my hair is a lot shorter and I don't do
anything with it, I'm a little more serious (at times) and I'm always
hungry. Now he's Shawn because he says suck it all the time, loves his
hair, is a little full of himself and also really observant. So now we
act like them all the time with our fake arguments and stuff and it's
a lot of fun.
         So yeah! That was my cool experience and basically what my
life is like now! Until next time!

Elder Rossi
 When Elder Rossi found out he was going on exchanges with someone who doesn't speak Spanish....and had to do all the talking!
That day went better then he thought it would!

When Elder Rossi found out that the Gift of Tongues is real!!!