Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 30, 2015

First off…


The Blue Powerade!    The.   Blue.   Powerade!!!  It’s like a million times better here.  It’s awesome.  I really wish you were here to try some.  Also the kids here have these toys called el trompo.  They are like gyroscopes except you throw them in the air and catch them on your finger balancing it. It’s like the coolest thing I've ever seen!  

My lessons have been getting better! I love my investigators and the members of the ward are awesome!! I can actually contribute effectively to the lessons so I´m happy about that.  I forgot to mention last week that I opened your peanut butter mom and I almost cried when I saw that it was chunky peanut butter because I was having a really rough day, so thanks!  I also forgot to tell you my least favorite part of the day is lunch since I don’t like to eat a lot, hahaha… and they always stuff us.  I’m so full from lunch I often don’t eat breakfast the next day or dinner.  Also, I look like a goober now, haha. My hair is so short.  The haircut places in our zone were all closed last Monday so we did it this morning. Wow, my hair is short.  We spent an hour and a half walking and looking around for haircut places last Monday with no success.  Ugh! We could see one open outside our area boundaries, but we couldn't get a hold of the president for permission.  Also, we are going to have our first baptism this week! Woohoo! He’s a really awesome guy.  His name is Pedro, I know go figure, and his son’s name? Pedrito! Hahaha… Mexico kills me sometimes.  Pedrito is a good investigator too.  I’m so excited to teach him more. 

Thanks Mom! Thanks dad and the rest of the family!! I love you guys!!! I love you family!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23, 2015

Oh my goodness, YES!  This week has been the roughest week of my life, but that’s all over now.  It will be much easier from here on out hopefully. 

My companion is great! …for the most part.  He’s always telling me to be humble, but I notice he needs to work on this too, so I don’t know how I feel about that. I bring in new ideas, and even though I feel my ideas make more sense (just for cleaning the house), he likes the way he does it just because it’s his way.  But don’t worry, I just do it anyways because I am trying to be more humble and Christlike. It’s been an interesting experience.  There is a lot of house work to do.  I clean the bathroom and rake and scrub the cement in the backyard too... not fun. But I do it without complaining.  He’s a great teacher and has helped me to become a much better missionary already. So it’s not bad at all. Just a few things here and there. 

There are so many hills here and I’m not accustomed to all of them, I work through all the pain and stuff.  My investigators are awesome!! They are all so nice.  They feed us every day and we always are able to do a lot with them.  Everyone here is willing to listen to another point of view so finding new investigators is pretty easy.  I always get nervous though since my Spanish isn't too great.  But it´s gotten a ton better! I can hold up my half of the lesson now pretty easily and I always can feel the spirit now.  I've gotten a ton of revelation in the scriptures and I know God has a lot in store for me.   Honestly, it’s still really hard to be here, but I know I’ll make it through. 

We went through some of the craziest places this week! It's so humid here that nothing ever gets dry, just a state of less wet... I don’t really like it, but I'll learn to cope.  Cold showers are still the worst.  Also, I have to get a haircut that’s super short. Not fun!  Anyways, I love you family!! I’ll keep updating you guys each week! Dad I missed you a bunch this week.  I really just needed one of your pep talks one day, but I knew you wouldn't walk through that door no matter how hard I prayed, so I had to give it to myself.  I love you all a ton!! Adios! Until next week!  :)

My new address is:
Mailing address (the mission home): 
Misión México Tampico
Ave. Ejército Mexicano #501 Local 17
Colonia Lomas del Gallo
Madero, Tamaulipas 89470

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 18, 2015

I've arrived in my area!! It's the most beautiful place ever!!  I have had such a great time here. We are a four hour bus ride south from Tampico.  My companion and I are in Huejutla.  It´s pretty awesome.  The people are so nice! I already helped teach a family and we conducted family home evening Monday night.  I love the people here, did I mention that?  They are all so welcoming and friendly.  EVERYBODY says Buenos Dias/Tardes/Noches to everyone.  It's fantastic for a guy like me who loves to say "hi" to people all the time.  My Spanish is mediocre.  I understand a lot, but sometimes it still takes a while for me to put together sentences.

Tell the family I love them and I promise to send more pictures next time.  I have so many I want to share with you.  I´m hoping I´ll be able to send them to you next week.  I'm really busy though, so I'm not sure.
I woke up this morning and I was feeling super nervous about the task ahead of me, but I prayed for strength and the Lord blessed me to find D&C 107:98-100.  You guys should all check it out. It´s pretty comforting to me.  Today we have a large day planned for us.  I'm both nervous and excited but I know I can do it.  All of your love and the strength of God helps so much.  I'm really learning to rely upon the Lord.  It's great.  My first day in the field was so rough -hahhaha: I almost got a blister, lost both of my towels (or so I thought), tore my pants, walked straight into a pole, stepped into a super huge mud puddle, and I just didn't know what I was doing.  The whole time I was praying to God that I would just not have the blister, and since it wasn't going away, I thought God wasn't answering my prayer.  But I realized he just knew that I could do this and he trusted me to do it - -even though it was so hard - -so I pressed on the whole day without saying anything, even when my companion asked, because I didn't want to distract him from the work.  Worst day ever, but I knew I would be blessed.  And then today I woke up and I had the best day ever!  I was paired with the companion I wanted and I went to the area I wished I would go to.  (The previous events were with temporary companions that we were with in the city Tampico for the first day until they decided our companions and areas).
When I got paired with my legit companion I said, "¡Dios me ama!" Because He does.  It really has made this so much easier.  By the way, cold showers are awful.  I don't think I'll ever like them -hahaha.  But hey, at least we have a shower.  

I love you all!! Thanks for all your letters!

And yeah, I´m staying in budget mom, juice is like 10 pesos here. That´s almost less than half a dollar! I love it!

All in all a pretty good week.

Here are some pictures of when it hailed at the MTC.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 16, 2015

I'm in the field now!!! They told us not to sleep so I've been awake for about 25 hours...... I'M SO DEAD.  And it was hilarious because when we got to the mission home they fed us breakfast, and all of us thought it was strange that they would feed us breakfast for dinner.  Then we all looked at our watches and we realized it was 8am!! It's been a pretty interesting past day let alone week, hahaha!  I will have to fill you in next week.  No time today.  Love you all!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March 10, 2015

This week I didn't have any super crazy experiences like last week, but I know the Lord is still with me.  I didn't recognize that at first and I felt sort of alone. It was depressing, but then the scripture (I don’t know where it is but I know the words), "Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest" came into my mind.  Then upon further thought, I realized that God is with us everywhere we go, not only physically, but spiritually.  The thought came into my mind about a young boy, on the computer doing bad things, but over his shoulder, right by his side, one can see the Savior, a single tear streaming down his face, as he keeps trying to whisper that he loves the young boy and wishes that he would stop. He´s not mad, He´s not angry, He´s only sad and maybe a little disappointed, but not disappointed in the young boy, disappointed that His influence was not enough on its own to stop the boy from sinning.  But that’s how it is with all of us.  His influence is not enough. His grace and hand outstretched are only powerful enough to change us if we accept his grace and take hold of his hand.  God has given us agency, so we must use it correctly, and if we don’t we will not be changed or be able to return back to Heavenly Father; however, when we fall, because we will fall, He will be there every step it takes for us to get back up.  He will even be there if we choose not to get back up.  He will sit beside us and weep for us, wishing only for our joy and happiness, which will come through obedience.  It was a very interesting piece of revelation that came to me all from one verse and one image in my head.  If I were an artist I would draw it, but sadly I am not. 
Me with Elder VanZanten 

Like I said, not much happened this week. OH! Well, we got our new district and GUESS WHO WAS IN IT: Amy Saunders!! Isn't that so funny? We were both super surprised.  So far while here I’ve shared a lot of my experiences with her. I didn't realize just how much I´ve changed in terms of spirituality until someone who already knew me came, and the first impression they got from me was me bearing my testimony about the MTC and the Gospel.  It was really funny. Our new district is really fun! I like them all a lot.  Also, we finally got our departure times and such!!! I´m leaving for Tampico on Monday at 2:30 am... really early!  I don’t know what to expect at all, but I am so excited to get out of the CCM.  It´s really awesome here, but you can start to feel a little cooped up after 6 weeks.  I´m not sure if I´ll be able to email Monday seeing as it is technically p-day, but I don’t know if it will be full of orientation and that sort of stuff.   Anyways, I love you all!! Bye!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March 3, 2015

The Evolution of a Missionary

Ok, so here´s the lowdown. This week, I´ve gotten a ton of spiritual revelation.  I´ve been putting into practice praying and then to look for the answer in the scriptures by flipping open to a random page and pointing, without looking, at a verse. So far, it has been helping me a ton. I have had the opportunity to counsel a lot of the other missionaries this week.  Everything is turning out great though! No one is going home and our entire district is closer than ever! Basically this week was super eventful and moved really quickly.  I hope all the other weeks of my mission are like this because if they are I´ll be home a lot faster than I could have hoped!  I lose myself in the work and I love it! 

Thank you Mom and Dad for the package and your contributions. The package was super awesome! Everybody was jealous so I shared. It came in especially handy when I was trying to help Elder Baldwin feel better, he was concerned he was going home soon.  It helped to just eat some Reeses. It was hard to share, but my favorite hymn Because I Have Been Given Much has been a major influence in my life recently and I couldn't help but to give him the best candy of the box.  He said it made his night.  I felt super duper awesome about it after. That´s what usually happens.  A mission can be stressful but I know I´ll be a much better kid afterwards.  And I know it will bring blessings to everyone in my life. 

Oh! Also I forgot to say that I bore my testimony about faith and miracles in testimony meeting on Sunday.  It was four minutes of straight Spanish, not one word in English. Each of the branch presidency came up to me afterwards and said that they really enjoyed my testimony and that my Spanish is very good. So yep, this week has been phenomenal. And yeah, my English is gonna get terrible. It’s already deteriorated quite a bit.  Earlier typing faith and testimony I almost wrote fe y milagros en la reuión del testimonio en español.  Yeah, I frequently cannot remember the proper English word for stuff.  Here´s a pre-apology for when I get back and don’t know how to do anything for a few days. Man, I’m probably gonna sound brain damaged.  Nobody judge me. 

I love you family!  I´m glad everyone is having a good time with school and stuff.  And good job Harrison at your trumpet performance! Keep it up!   Eliza, you know I am drinking nonstop juice. I'm getting really weird looks from people with how much juice I end up buying at the tienda with our 100 peso allowance per week.

Also to address some of those questions now, the food is actually super good.  At least, I like it. Not everyone does, but you know how I pretty much like all food.  These people know how to make tortilla chips though. SO GOOD. Their salsa is amazing but often a bit too hot for me. I´m building a tolerance though.  And the guy’s name that knows Savannah and Skylar is Elder Sorensen.  And Yeah, I found Elder Biehn. He seems to be doing great! We actually called their casa the first night they were here and prank called them by coincidence. It was super funny when they found out it was actually just us.  So yep pretty awesome week due to the package and mail! I love it! And no I still can’t print stuff.  So when you send me letters it’s nice because I can read those throughout the week.