December 30th 2013

6 months done, like that.

Well I hope everyone had an AMAZING Christmas because I did. Our week was great and we have been teaching amazing people. Yes, even on Christmas. Well on the 24th we tried talking to people but it was soooo hard. Everyone was doing last minute shopping so we tried anyways. Christmas was amazing though. Woke up and got ready, our zone leaders came and dropped off more mail! Yayyyy it was good opening up presents on Christmas. I got some amazing things. Some awesome socks, snacks the COOLEST looking journal ever and a full Santa suit. I loved it. We went to a member’s home and of coarse skyped you all. I miss every single one of you and you are all doing amazing. I was worried I was going to be sad but honestly it was one of my happiest days ever. I am so blessed to be here right now and I love it. We finished off the day at the Romero's house for a Christmas dinner and it was of coarse way good. I love food. It was just one of those amazing days. It was good to see the family and good to see Sarita:)

So Elder knight and I try talking to everyone we see and its way cool seeing the select people the lord puts in our path. I love it. Almost half the people we talk to have had some kind of relationship with the church and then it’s all easy from there. We met this new guy named Carlos. We were just walking and we saw him, long story short he invited us to teach him and he kept telling us how he's been waiting for someone like us to come. He says he’s confused on which church is true and wants to join one. We told him about Joseph Smith and gave him a Book of Mormon. I know he will have his answer soon. Sunday was great, we sang as missionaries in sacrament and it was good. Later that night we ate some amazing pupusas from this El Salvadorian family. It was good. I can’t wait for Thursday because this PERUVIAN family is feeding us. Did I mention I love food?

I love you all and I hope you have an amazing NEW YEARS!
Talk to you next year... haha get it? All right never mind..

Love, Elder Puertas

December 23rd 2013

Hola Familia!

Wow what an amazing week! It’s Christmas on Wednesday and I love it.
I miss everyone back home but I know that the Lord needs me here.
I am serving in a new area called Lafayette Square. Its good here. Everything and everyone is new but I’m working on it to get familiar with it.
My new Companion is Elder Knight, from Utah, he's really funny and he reminds me of the guy on the movie "Mall Cop" Paul Blart. Hahaha. He’s only been here for 4 months and he still can’t speak Spanish so that’s something we are working on together. Also the church here is super crazy. It looks like a catholic church. Haha I’ve never seen an LDS chruch like this before. Got to love new things.

Just to share an experience I’ve already have had here in my new area, I met this family named the Gamez family. They just got here from Mexico 2 weeks ago and wow, I look up to them so much. They have helped my testimony grow by a mile! Back in Mexico they went through a lot physically and emotionally. They also lost a daughter a year ago that was 17. They are members and despite all that they still have a strong belief in the church. They left everything and gave everything to be able to get here to America and now we have the privilege to know them. They have 3 kids now. The oldest one now is Maria (10) then its Darian, he’s 9 and we are baptizing him on Jan. 5th :) then comes Moroni (7) he's an amazing kid. He has special needs but he always responds by smiling and I love it. Haha. They have been a HUGE blessing in my life and I know I'm here in this area for a reason. We also have another little girl named Jamie she’s 11 and she has a date for the 19th. I'm excited for this new area.

Now about the Book of Mormon! I am in Moroni 7 so I am super close. These past 2 days I had an amazing experience to be able to feel that God was there. He testified to me that this is the true church on earth and it can honestly bless anyone. I love this Gospel and now I know why my mom kept telling me to READ READ READ. I love being a missionary to be able to bring this message to others. I am grateful for Jesus Christ and the atonement. It's incredible to realize how much he truly loved us. I love him and he is truly my Savior and it’s an honor to represent him here in Los Angeles and helping others to know for themselves the truth. I love you all and I hope we can all know the true meaning of Christmas.

Love Always, Elder Puertas


December 16th 2013

Well it's official, it's my last week in Bell Gardens, after about 6 months I am finally getting transferred :(

This week was way good/long/fun then sad again.

The other long experience we had was that from Bell Gardens we had to take a bus, then train, then bus again then walk to the Temple. We left at 8am with 8 of us missionaries in total. Got there, did our session and left. We got home at 7:30 pm ahhhh that was the longest day ever. Then we had band practice for the rest of the night :)

So for about a week now we decided to play for the ward for our Christmas party. I learned to play the base super fast and my companion was on the electric guitar (he's really good) and we had the two other Elders on another electric guitar and one on the drums (he's really good too) anyways we played a medley of "If you Could Hie to Kolob" and "Angles we have heard on high" and it sounded sooooooo cool. Everyone loved it. We wore lime green bow ties and Santa hats. Ha-ha. We also played one from the Beatles called "Money can’t buy me love" and they liked that too. We did a small play "el Niño tambour" "the little drummer boy" and I was the little Niño (boy) and I sang a solo oh goodness I suck at singing. Oh well, that's life. When we were all done we walked back to the gym to go sit down at our table and everyone started clapping for us again. It was way cool. They said they were all surprised and wanted more. But yeah then we stayed at the Christmas party, hung out for a little and just went home. I'll send some pictures when I have some. I didn't take any with my camera... whoops. But it was a way fun night.

Then on Sunday we had some people come to church. We have this girl coming all the time and she is amazing. She is really trying to find out for her self and I know she will. We teach her and her family and they are all amazing. They are a perfect family and I know this Gospel can bless them even more. I will for sure miss them. We finished yesterday with this family called the la Familia Solis. I love them too. They are less actives but we are working so hard with them.  They have 3 little boys Edgar, Saul, and Alan (I call him Hindu) because he looks like one, but they are amazing too. Then when we got home, we got the call "Elder Puertas you are leaving" and now I am going to L.A3 1 (I don't know where that is but we will see) my new companion is Elder Knight. Can’t wait for my new area. I LOVE Bell Gardens and I have truly met amazing people here. It feels weird thought because it feels like I am leaving home all over again.  I am nervous/sad but way excited for it at the same time. I leave tomorrow and I am turning 6 months on Christmas, it's crazy how time flies.

I love you all and always remember, especially in this time, the birth of Christ and how amazing he was to die for us so we can have that opportunity to return with our Heavenly Father again. Show love to everyone, no matter who it is.

I am almost done with the Book of Mormon. I am in Mormon 9.

Shout out to ANGELA! Happy Birthday on Sunday and I hope you have an amazing day! I love you so much! Thank you for all the boxes you send me! It means so much! Love you.

LOVE, Elder Puertas

December 9th 2013

We didn't receive a letter from Elder Puertas this week, but our family was able to spend time visiting with a family from his ward in Bell Gardens. The Hidalgo family came to Utah to visit relatives and were able to spend a couple of days with us. They were so kind and shared so many different stories with us about how the missionary work is progressing in the LA mission. They also shared with us stories of how our don is doing. We are so grateful for their kindness and appreciate all that they do for the missionaries in their area.

December 2nd 2013

December 2nd 2013
Hola familia,

This will be a short letter. I love you all and Thank you so much for all your support in everything. You guys mean the world to me and I miss you all. I hope you had an AMAZING Thanksgiving dinner. I ate at the De La Cruz's home and the food was perfect! Also this week we had 5 people come to church! It was such a blessing. We are shooting for 10 next week. Shouldn’t be a problem. We have a girl that is ready to be baptized and she wants to be but the only thing missing is her parents’ support. It’s hard, and they are VERY catholic but just pray for this girl and her family. We took her to the Temple and the Christmas lights were on and it was beautiful! I loved it! She had an amazing experience and I know she will have a STRONG testimony soon! I am kind of almost done with the Book of Mormon. I am in Helaman 7. I am trying to finish by CHRISTMAS! My companion is doing well and he is getting a lot better at his Spanish! I
love you all!


Love, Elder Puertas