Friday, May 20, 2016

Cali (18 May 2016)

New York Subway

We visit this man named Fransisco, and his building is basically a drug haven. Every time we walk in people are dealing drugs, and the walls are covered in graffiti and other things not appropriate to mention haha. So we walked in yesterday. We usually go in and just to up to where we need to go and avoid the guys doing or dealing drugs. Usually they think we are the Feds and there always is a little tension when we enter. Well, yesterday we walked passed a group of them in the stairwell and they were smoking weed. As we walked up they were like, "Ah guys, so sorry for the smell. Like really, we are sorry." We looked back, kind of annoyed, and then all of a sudden words slipped out of my mouth that maybe shouldn't have and I was like " worries. I'm from Cali, I understand completely." They all started busting up yelling "OHHHHHHH" haha and laughing. They loved it. My companion didn't quite understand the reference, but now we are best friends with those guys. Every area I'm in we seem to always become friends with the sketches of the sketch. Hahah. I busted up laughing too because I didn't expect them to react so happily.

The last seven weeks of the mission are the best. It's like the last two minutes of the fourth quarter. You’re tired but you know you can go all out till the end because it's just two minutes. I'm loving it here and everything I'm learning. My mind is blank but my heart is full.

Just know that the gospel in the end is the easy way. You may not see that now. I love the realization I've been having out here.

Love you all. Never settle to be average.

- Elder Celaya

Zone Conference May 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016

"If you do that again, ya gunna get SHOT!!" (11 May 2016)

- Don't mind the title. Just something that happened when I was talking about the drugs we could smell in the project building. All of a sudden, around the corner pops out the guy who was thus "using" and didn't like how we were talking about his drugs or how we just busted into one of our good member’s apartment. Haha. Had to be there.

- It was fantastic to be able to talk to my family on skype. You guys are so amazing!

- Something I’ve been thinking about … Many people think that the way you were raised, where you grew up, your financial situation, and family situation defines you. But YOU control
your reality. The second you don't think you do, you are right. Believe and let it move you to change your life and make the world a better place. It's sad to see how many people don't believe they can do it. They stay trapped in the life they hate just because they believe they can't get out. The ones that believe they can, do.

- We planned to go visit a non-member man I mentioned about in my previous letter. His
wife (who happens to be a less-active) had lost her 16-year-old son 6 months ago from a sudden accident. She has no friends or family here in the states, and she expressed her deep pain of waking up in the night and feeling like his death was a dream and then she would remember he was no longer here, and the pain would then flood her heart. The part that was a miracle was that the conversation started from her focusing on her loss to us making goals with her to one day go to the temple to be sealed to her husband and son. She says she is going to go to church and talk with the bishop to work with him to be able to change her life. I'm learning more and more that Christ is the only one that can pull us out of anything in life, if we choose to allow Him to.

- I'm in love with Spanish. I'm so thankful there are lots of people who speak Spanish in California so I can speak it when I get back home.

- Time is short here, but there is still lots to do. Have a great week and try something this week you don't think you can do. Believing is amazing. Like Benjamin Mee said (in the movie We Bought A Zoo), "All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and I promise you something great will come of it."

-- Elder Celaya

A couple of selfies with my friend Kalyn in Primary:

Thursday, May 5, 2016

LET HIM carry you! (4 May 2016)

- Walked down a back ally to enter into this basement apartment. The apartment was filled with random people. Out walks this guy we were going to teach, says he'll be right back. On drugs heavily. We sit and wait in this dark basement apartment. Finally, after 20 minutes we walk out and see him coming back but in rags, beaten and bloody. The rest of the crew followed him back into the house. We decided to schedule another appointment a little later at a better time. Hahaha.

- I love sharing the gospel. If you never have tried, and you want to be happy. Just try it. It's a happiness that comes from God – nothing we could create ourselves.

- We have been working with this less-active older couple. They live together, but are not married. They lost their son a year ago who was in his 20's. The mother has never been willing to come back to church. We went into the lesson planning to share Alma 34, but the Spirit took it another way. We ended up showing Elder Nelson’s talk that he gave in the priesthood session where he talks about reuniting the family of the 2 girls he operated on, but was unable to save. The wife opened up and finally said that she knew that it was up to her at this point to do what she needs to do to come back to church, get active, get married to her old husband whom she lives with, to eventually be able to go to the temple and be sealed with her family for eternity. I hope dearly that she continues with this vision.

- Solidifying true change is something all of us want but rarely carry out. Yet, it's so important for true happiness. We all want to do it, but always seem to slip up after a while. Having a change of heart isn't as hard as you think. Especially when it's God you’re giving your heart to. Give him your heart, and trade your temporal life, for He will give you an eternal one. I know that more than anything. I love this work. What a privilege it is to be in God’s work.

Give Him your heart. It will be the BEST thing you EVER do,

- Elder Celaya

Missionary Leadership Council

Walking in the door . . .

Sitting in the back . . .