Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Nov 12, 2013

This week has been really busy!!!! It was the last week of the transfer and I knew that miracles happen in the last week and they did!!! So this week we taught a lot of lessons and mostly were to less actives. But we saw Mike and taught him the 1st lesson which was the restoration and I love this lesson because of how much it can bring the spirit into someone's home!!!! I have been trying to get as many lessons for Elder Dennis to teach as I can because I know that the more you teach the better you get!!! He has improved so much since the first time he has taught it. I can see the growth in him in the past 6 weeks. 
We also got to go on splits with the Bishop and the ward missionaries. So Elder Dennis and I split up. He was a little nervous leaving me but he went with the bishop so I knew he would be good. I went with our ward mission leader and we went to the Sosa families home. The dad is less active an no one else in the home has been baptized. So brother Turnbow ( The ward mission leader) knew them pretty good and I never knew them. So he introduce me and we talked for a little bit to the wife and the wife's sister. They invited us back over to teach and eat with them, so we got some new people to teach. When we went back over it was only the wife's sister and her kids. We didn't really teach one specific lesson but she really wanted to know what we believed in. Her name is Josephine. She lost her husband to cancer this year and moved here from Nevada to be closer to family!!! She started telling us her beliefs and they were pretty dang close to our beliefs!!! So taught her a lot of different things and said that she wants to come to church and see what it is like and get a feel for it. So this Sunday coming up is when she said she will come and a lot of the family said they would come too!!!! So that is like 10+ people there!!!!!
Also we taught Jeff, he is a messianic Jew (Christian Jew). We taught him the restoration of the gospel and he accepted a lot of it. He said he would read the Book of Mormon and come to church this Sunday also!!! We are getting a lot of people to come to church!!!! We are going to go to his church on December 1st which is the 1st day of Hanukah!!! I am pretty excited for that!!!!
So transfers came up and I stayed of course because I am training still but I also got called to be a District leader which means I am over 4 to 12 missionaries to help and uplift them!!!! Its a lot of work but it should be good. We also moved into a apartment yesterday. We have nothing in it but our clothes and a couple air mattresses but we should get furniture this week sometime!!!! Also we got a car!!! Somebody told us its cause I am a District leaders but I don't believe it haha So a lot of new changes happened. The Zone I was in which consisted if 4 districts split in half and now I am in the Denver South Zone! In the cherry creek District!!!! So ya Elder Dennis and I keep on working hard and hopefully will start seeing a lot of success this transfer.
I love and miss you all!!! Hope everyone has a good week!!!! I attached a couple pictures. One is of my and my companion Elder Dennis and the other is a elephant from the zoo. We went last week!!! Hope to hear from you guys soon!!!
Elder Escudero

Nov 4, 2013

So this week was really good!!!!! So the ward I serve in wants to get 20 lessons with a member present a week. So the lessons could be with less-actives, new members, and investigators. So this week we only got 9 of those!!! But that is the most we have gotten yet and this next week we have 14 lessons set up and I have never had 14 lessons set up before week even started!!!! I definitely can see how much the missionary work is starting to pick up in the ward. But not only the ward but the whole mission. I read the letter the Assistants to the mission president sent out and they said a week ago our numbers were off the charts. We had 116 people on date for baptism, 149 new investigators in one week, 232 member present in one week and 6 baptisms!!!! That is insane!!!! One mission president challenged us to find one new investigator and put someone on date to be baptized. You can tell when a whole mission goes out with the same purpose, we start to see Heavenly Father's hand in the work.
So this week we saw a lot of less actives and taught lessons to them. I have been trying to get as many teaching opportunities as I can for Elder Dennis to teach the lessons because he needs as much practice as he can get to be a excellent teacher. So Im using the tactic that my trainer used on me. Knock on a door, hi we are the missionaries and saw your name on the church directory and wondering when we come over and meet your family. Also my companion is new and needs some practice on the lessons. It works every time!!! haha So one Wednesday we went and saw a less-active and he served a mission like 5 years ago and now is questioning stuff. So we went over and taught the first lesson and sort of got the sense that he never had that true conversion of the gospel. It was a little sad to see but as we taught the lesson. I started to see a little spark in his eyes like he knew it and that he wanted to come back to church. So at the end we invited him to read and pray and to also come to church and he came!!!! It was pretty exciting see him at church!!
So on Halloween we had to go in at 6 because of everything so started to go out for the day and I didn't have any back brakes. I tried to fix them and it didn't hold. So had to go tot the bike shop real quick. So we started to ride there and all of a sudden my front tire was flat. Thankfully it was a slow leak. So I pumped it back up and continued. We got there and he took it immediately and worked on it. he fixed the brakes and put liquid sealer in the front tire and the give missionaries discounts because we are in there all the time so it wasn't that expensive!!! But we went through our day and got to see Mike, the less-active the ran out and scared me last week. We were able to share a quick lesson with him and set another lesson with him this week. Then we went to the other missionaries house at 6 and stayed the night there because we had a breakfast in the morning. It was a lot of fun!!! 
So on Saturday we had a lesson with Jeff. We did service for him a few weeks ago and his friend wanted us to come back over. So Jeff is a messianic Jew. So basically he is a Christian Jew. So we came over did more service then had a mini lesson and his friend told us we had to share something from the bible. So we shared the story about Naaman the leper in 2 Kings 5 and it was good and our ward mission leader was there and afterwards Jeff's friend invited him to listen to the missionary discussions and he said yes. So we are going to start teach him this week!!! We are going to go to his church also sometime soon and he will come to ours hopefully soon too!!!
On Sunday we actually had a lot of people come to church. We invited as many people as we could and some people that I haven't seen come to church in the last 3 months actually came!!! it was awesome to see and I was able to set up more appointments.
So this week I have been studying a lot of random topics. I don't know why but it was awesome I was learning so much about Jesus Christ and his disciples. I love learning new things and to learn all that was amazing. I know that this church is the true church of Jesus Christ restored back to the earth again. I know that the Book of Mormon is a companion to the bible and helps us understand it better. I know my Savior and he know that he loves me and wants me to do my best. I love serving a mission. It is the hardest thing I have ever done but it is the happiest I have ever been!!!! I memorized my commission as a missionary this week!!!
"I am called of God.
My authority is above that of kings of the earth.
By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is my master and He has chosen me to represent Him--to stand in His place, to say and do what He Himself would say and do if He personally were ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me.
My voice is His voice, and my acts are His acts; my doctrine is His doctrine.
My Commission is to do what He wants done; To say what He wants said; to be a living modern witness in word and in deed of the divinity of his great and marvelous Latter-day work.
How great is my calling!"
-Bruce R. McConkie
Well that was our week and I loved it. I can't wait to see what happens this week with all of our lessons. I love and miss everyone a lot. Thank you for all the support.
Elder Escudero

Oct 28, 2013

Alrighty, so this week has been super eventful!!!! So on Tuesday we went to the library to do Mormon.org profile stuff and after that we went to get our bikes to go to an appointment and on our way we were riding on the sidewalk and there was some high school kids walking extremely slow. So I saw there was no oncoming traffic, so I hopped off the curb and Elder Dennis followed. I saw a drive way up ahead so I got back onto the curb. Then from behind I hear metal sliding and I turn around and Elder Dennis is on the ground and he looked in pain!! So I went back and he got up fine. Had a little limp and some road rash. Also his front rim looked like a taco. So I had to start making some phone calls. We got him patched up but he was a little sore. So we took it easy that day. We got him a spare bike so we didn't have to walk and we went back to work!!!!
Elder Dennis is doing great. Training him is a lot of fun because he asks questions and isn't afraid to go for it and just teach which is great. I just like the training program because it gets me out of the normal missionary routine. It gets me to try new things and ideas. Oh also this week we had interviews with our Mission President!!! I love interviews because I can ask any question that I want to ask him. Usually I try to get transfer predictions out of him to see if I am staying or leaving soon and it sounds like I will be staying in Aurora for awhile. Hopefully through Christmas because I don't want to go to a new area for Christmas. Also something extremely cool I found out is that anytime from now to April. Every mission should have IPads and IPhones!!!!!!!!!! Also what our mission president said is that every missionary will get his own IPad and it goes with them from area to area and after their mission they get to take them home. He said that is what they are saying right now but it can change before we get them. But I am pretty excited for that!!!!
Okay here is the highlight of our week. IPhones and Ipads was pretty big but this was much bigger!!!! So on Friday we were riding our bikes up the hill we have to go up o get to our area and we are huffin and puffin all the way up and we pass an apartment complex and this big black guy comes out and is like hey when are you coming over? I was like ummmm when do you want us to come over? He said how about today? I looked at my planner and I was like 8 and he said something earlier? so I looked again and said 5??? And he was like alright see you then. I was a little confused on what just happened but I also think a lack of oxygen played a big role in the confusion too. So we went through our day and then went to see Mike, That's the guys name. So I didn't know if he was an investigator or not. So I prepared Elder Dennis to invite him to be baptized at certain part of lessons depending on what lesson we teach. So we go in and introduce ourselves and then I asked some questions about him. He is from New Mexico. Played for University of Utah for football. Met a girl there and her mom sent the missionaries to his house and gave him the discussions and 3 months later he got baptized and at this point, I was like oh he is a less active. But then he went on to say that he got divorced recently and pushed the church away from his life. He knew something was missing and his friend lost his job and Mike was talking to him. His friend was confused why he got fired and mike said you aren't doing gods will and then it hit him. He was talking the talk but not walking the walk! Then he saw us riding our bikes all the time and finally Friday when we rode pas he decided he needs help, so that is why he ran out to stop us!!! He wants to come back to church and get his 3 kids involved too!!! It is extremely cool how just us riding our bikes around can help people realize that they need to come back to church. He is one of the coolest guys I have met so far!!!! He also played arena football for 2 years!!! But ya that was our cool story for the week!!!!
Oh then he next day kind of went downhill from there. Elder Dennis got the stomach flu... So while he slept for 18 hours. I was extremely bored!!!! So I learned to play a hymn on the piano, watched a couple church movies, and slept also. I was soooo bored. I haven't been that bored in a long time but I am glad it was only for one day unless I don't know what I would of done!!!
Well that's my roller coaster week, I think the roller coaster part is for my companion Elder Dennis!! But all is good. We are working hard and inviting others to come unto Christ. That's our purpose as missionaries and we are sticking to it!!! I love my mission and can't wait to see how much I grow in the next few months. I love this gospel and how simple it is. I love my Savior and all that he has done for me. I love my Heavenly Father and the love that he shows me everyday!!! I love you all and miss you bunches!!! Thanks for all of the support!
P.S. Here is a picture of Elder Dennis's tire!!! I keep forgetting to take a picture of me and him so I will do that next week! Also this is my zone and Elder Corbridge of the quorum of the seventy who came and spoke to us a couple months ago!
Elder Escudero

Oct 21, 2013

Hello everyone!!!! So this week we were pretty busy!!! Which means a lot of biking in 30 degree weather. In the beginning of the week we went of exchanges so I was with a Tongan missionary all day. I was pretty excited for that. We had a lot of fun but also worked real hard. His name is Elder Vea and he isn't related to the any of the 3 Vea families in our ward.
Training is going pretty good, Elder Dennis is still really quiet in lessons but hopefully he will open up more. It is really good that our ward is trying to keep us busy because that gives us time to practice our lessons with people.  Elder Dennis is still trying to learn them and I am trying to help him learn them quick!!! He is having a little trouble with teaching simply but that is a easy fix. He is really smart and wants to add everything to the lessons but I had to explain to him that we have to teach that ever a 7 year old could understand it.
Also its awesome that the ward is trying to go out with us everyday! Our bishop has a goal of getting 20 member present in lessons a week. We were barely getting 1 a week and this last week we got 9 and that's a huge improvement!!!! I cant wait to see if we can get 20 member present lessons. That would be incredible!
Also this week we got a random phone from a member in a different stake about someone who moved into our area who need service and he wasn't a member. We were all for it. SO we went and helped him, His name was Jeff, and while we were there he says: " you guys changed my whole perspective on the Mormon faith". I thought that was awesome, just because we were willing to sacrifice part of our day to help him he was extremely grateful.
Also this Sunday was ward conference and of course the focus was on missionary work!!! It was really good because I think it got the ward really looking forward to coming out with us and doing missionary work themselves!!! I am excited to see this area grow. The bishop said that there is about 17,000 people in our area and that's huge because our area is only 2 miles by 2 miles... A lot of people in a small area!!!!
The weather is starting to get a lot colder and they say this is going to be a bad winter. I am not really excited for that. Due to that I ride a bike... But that also means that we will walk... I have been fighting a cold and I think I am winning because I haven't gotten sick. (Knock on wood). That's been my week, we have 8 investigators now but no one is progressing yet. I hope they will soon and we will start to see the miracles.
I love my mission, I love training, and I love this work. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Thank you for all the support. I love and miss everyone!!
Elder Escudero

Oct 14, 2013

The elevation where i am at is actually 6,000 + feet but its close to a exactly mile high. Well training is going great!!! Elder Dennis is starting to open up a lot more, which is awesome!!! I actually love training because I get back to the basics. So this week I went on exchanges with one of our Zone leaders. Which is sort of rare to go out with one because usually they just go out with district leaders. But that was actually really good. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot. He said it was one of his favorite exchanges so far... It was a lot of fun though. 

Also this week was pretty much full of meetings. We had our zone meeting which lasted for 4 hours then we had a training meeting for everyone who is training and that was like 3 hours. Long meeting that made my head hurt!!! Glad they are over!!!! 

SO this next week we are going to be sooo busy....  So we went to church and they said that your week is now full and they weren't kidding. Our week is literally full. We are going to be so busy and now we have 6 investigator who could be baptized in the next couple months. I am soooo excited for that!!! 

This week has been pretty lame because a lot of our appointments fell through but this week looks amazing!!!! Sorry the letter is so short but I was on limited time to write this. I hope everyone can forgive me. I will be better next week. Winter is around the corner!! It doesnt get the 60's here anymore. Love and miss everyone!!! 

-Elder Escudero

October 7, 2013

Hello Family and Friends,
So this week has been different because I had to figure out where people lived and I had no clue and its great that new people are feeding us dinner this week as I have no clue where they live. Colorado has the worst street names ever!!! There is like a million nice places through out our area and a lot of neighborhoods. But I did good at only getting lost at least 5 times this week haha So I am training a new missionary these next 12 weeks and its going great so far. His name is Elder Dennis! He is really smart, he wants to be a engineer. I feel like I am learning more than he is but all is going good.
So this week we got our first snow fall of the year. It wasn't bad but it was 35 degrees all day. So it was really cold. But we got through it, good thing I had cold gear to put on. That just means winter is around the corner.
Also this week I have been trying to visit as many people as I can to introduce them to my new companion. Of course as normal we saw Steve this week and we read and talked about blessing the sacrament and he talked about how he wanted to learn how to do that. SO we are going to work with him on that!! Also we tried to visit a lot of new people that I have never met and that was good because I know them and they know us. We also saw one of our investigator families and we have like 3 lessons with them this week!!! Pretty excited for that!!! Also this week since I am training I don't go out until 11 every morning instead of 10 which is nice because we get to study longer and help my companion learn missionary work better!!!
So conference was this weekend and it was sooo good. I loved Elder Hollands talk about getting through depression by remembering how much our Heavenly Father loves us and also how much the Savior loves us. Also I loved the whole Sunday morning session. The talks were so good that I forgot to write some notes on the talks...
Well all is going good for me. I am loving my mission and the people I serve around. They are a lot of fun and missionary work is fun. It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life but it is a lot of fun. I love sharing my testimony about the gospel with others and can't wait to see where this week takes us. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is the true word of God. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and listens to my prayers. I love this work that I am doing. I wouldn't trade this time for anything else!!!
I hope everyone has a good week!!! I love and miss everyone!!!
Elder Escudero