Letter from June 30, 2014
I'm okay as far as music is concerned. I mean, if you ever could get me I Have Seen Him in Spanish then that would be awesome. And yeah, Sister Richardson did accompany me. There was a dense and thick Spirit in the room; I swear the walls were about to shake. The Spirit of the Restoration was truly there. Sister Richardson can always bring the perfect backdrop to all of the musical pieces that I sing and portray. We couldn't get it on tape. I'm so sorry. I didn't bring my voice recorder with me. I know you wanted that. We are planning to do it another time, so you can hear it.
Well $$ is always good (for my birthday) and I have been doing well as far as saving so I won't be in a bind in case my bike blows out again for, like, the 15th time haha. But I am pretty sure I am getting transferred in a couple of weeks so I may go in a car area again. We will see what happens.
Oh, and about Elder Dansie. His father [left] the church and wanted literally NOTHING to do with it. He was very [angry] when Elder Dansie decided to go on a mission. He had no support whatsoever from either of his parents... I think he only had support from his uncle. I was the "Enforcer" of Zone 1 in the MTC (which is kind of an honor that is passed on to you). It was almost a calling within our zone in the MTC. There are different roles that different missionaries are given, like the Sherriff (the Leader, usually the zone leaders), the Deputies, the Bane (the guy who is in charge of planning zone parties), etc. The Enforcer has the responsibility of protecting the zone, encouraging them, and loving each and every one of them. That honor is given to the elder that shows an undying amount of charity. The elder who had that honor previously, Elder Fayze, passed that on to me. I was very humbled to receive it and I magnified that calling in any way I could. I got to know all the missionaries in my zone and on our floor. I knew who they were, I knew their first names, what brought them out here, what keeps them out here, their hobbies, their dreams, and I still keep in touch with them :)
When I met Elder Dansie, he stood out in his district. I could tell that he was kinda different. As I got to know him, he opened up a lot with me. Little by little, I found out that he was struggling quite a bit. He was fairly new to the church and didn't exactly feel that he deserved to be here with us. As we continued to talk, he took me aside and we talked from 9pm-1:30am as he just believed that he didn't deserve to be here and how his past kept on haunting him. As he opened his heart to me, I remembered how desperately I sought to be free from the guilt and despair that I felt and still feel even now at times. I told him one: how much I considered him a brother (we'd known each other for a week), and two: how I admired his courage to try to move forward, and three: how I knew how he was feeling. I told him what had brought me here, a little of my past, and my firm testimony. I told him that he is feeling this way right now because Satan truly does not want you to serve a mission. He knows what your background and testimony can do to bring hope in others. I told him the remedy for this guilt is faith. I told him to never doubt, EVER, in his worthiness. We exchanged oil containers and I always carry his with me. It is a reminder to give it back to each other when we return from our missions. Ever since then, he has told me many stories about his baptisms and miracles in Colombia.
During his mission, his father had a change of heart. In his words to me:
"Hey Elder Sierra, ....now after a YEAR of dealing with papers and tons of meetings he has permission to be rebaptized hahahahaha and he told my stake pres that he wanted ME to do it!!! and my stake pres said well, go to Peru and get it done, with a huge smile!!! so my dad is coming down here on my birthday!!!!! and i will rebaptize him dude!!!!! so crazy!!!!!! i cant wait man!!!!! He also found a lady....recieved the missionaries...got married!!! and my STEP MOM GOT BAPTIZED DUDE!!!!!!!! THE LORD IS BLESSING MY FAMILY SO MUCH BECAUSE OF MY SERVICE TO HIM!!!! dude, it is literally a huge blessing and i cant wait to get him rebaptized and confirmed and 3 months after i'm home we will be sealed as a family!!!!!
literally crazy man hahahahaha
That kid has gone through a lot. What a blessing this is for him! Imagine what could've happened if he chose to give up. He comes home 4-5 weeks after I do. I will be waiting for him at the airport...
Oh and mom, yesterday, I met a guy named Larry Carter, that is also Scot-Irish. He and I talked a lot about our love of medieval history and martial arts and then I mentioned that you are also Scot-Irish. He then got wide-eyed and asked, "What clan is your Mother from?" "I gotta be honest I don't really know, but I would assume it's the Reed Clan." He then just gets SUPER excited and says, "You and I are from the same clan!! You need to email me! I am the head of our part of the clan here in Sacramento and we do a festival every year on Labor Day weekend. Have your Mother email me immediately! I would be more than happy to induct you and your family in our clan."
Mom, this guy is super cool and he's got a legit accent. Not to mention he loves to do martial arts and talk all day about war history. You better get a hold of this guy haha.
Apparently, we are part of the Clan Donnachaidh.
Don't know for sure, but it wouldn't hurt to check it out.
He is a very nice guy.
I gotta go. Love you mom.