Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Week 100!

  It's cold over there... That is gonna kill me. Well it has been pretty cold over here too, not as bad, but for Texas its really cold. We got a cold front yesterday and its like 45 degrees, its crazy. It hasnt snowed here since 2004 though.
    This week went pretty well, we had something cool happen. We went over to the Mendosa's house one night to pay them a visit and they weren't home and there is nobody that lives close to them and so we decided at like 8:30 to just knock a few doors, which I don't really like doing because people get mad when you knock that late at night sometimes. Which was weird because we needed to find new people to teach and I was sitting in the car before knocking on their door and I thought, "why dont we just knock on some doors with Christmas decorations and share a Christmas message? And so we did, we picked a random apartment right across the street from ours with decorations all over it, and a super nice family from Venezuela opened the door. We asked if we could come it really quick and share a Christmas message and they said yes and let us come it, we got to know them a little and shared a few scriptures about Christ's birth and the reason we celebrate Christmas and they liked it and we invited them to church on Sunday. This was like Tuesday, then on Sunday morning we went and knocked on their door to wake em up for church to see if they'd still wanna go and their Grandma opened the door and told us they had all been out really late last night and were still asleep but that she'd tell them when they woke up. And like thirty minutes into sacrament meeting they just walked in and found a spot and waved at us. I think my mouth might have dropped open. Nobody ever tells us they probably wont come and then just show up! It was awesome. And they're super cool, I have tried a dish from Venezuela before so I talked to them about it and they love talking about their country! Even though the government is super corrupt right now, that's why they moved. And another cool thing, they all have super pretty green eyes. Down here it's kinda rare to see people that have colored eyes, especially if they're hispanic. So that was one of the little miracles that we saw this week. They're a family of five, that we've met so far. I think they'll progress really well. Our ward has gotten really good about introducing themselves to new people they dont know, so they felt very welcomed in church and everyone invited them to come to the Christmas dinner this Tuesday. I'm pretty excited about them, in fact I'm pretty sure half of what I wrote is probably hard to understand, my organizational skills are kind of terrible haha sorry.
      In my last interview President Torres told me as you finish strong in your last area, your next area will be good, so I'm trying hard to prepare this area for the next missionary that comes in.
We have our mission christmas party this Tuesday also, so it will be a full day. And in this party we do skits, one for each zone.
     I went on an exchange this week, with Elder Cazier in his area. It was crazy, stuff went down haha. So to start off the strangeness,  we went to go help a member move. And we just cleared out all this stuff from one room and she asked me to help her get something off of the shelf in the closet. So I reached up and grabbed it and I didn't know what it was at first and then I was like what in the world? It was a body cast of when she was pregnant, awkwardly detailed, and of course, it went against her bare body. So I got to hold that, and then we just went out and put it in the grass outside next to the moving truck. Please tell me you dont have one of those. 
      After that we went to their ward christmas party, and there is a family there who has twin daughters that go to college in Utah. And they are best friends with Elder Cazier's girlfriend. They were there for Christmas break. Awkward haha, they sent a snapchat of him to her. Also, of course there was a santa claus there, and he was a really great santa, except for the fact that he would pat all the kids on the butt. It wasn't that weird with the little kids, but then a few teenagers sat on his lap for a funny picture and he still did it. Also the sister missionaries sat on the arms of his chair, and they got an awkward surprise. Haha it was super funny though.
      Then we went to a wedding, I was in Elder Cazier's ward a year ago, so pretty much I knew everyone and they remembered me, it was pretty cool. And I know the guy that got married, it was crazy! And! at the wedding there were some members from Rio Grande, that moved to Utah after I served there. Apparently they have moved back and sent one of the sons on a mission in Ecuador! So I got his email address! It was the coolest thing. 
      So yeah, this week was pretty cool. Haha hope you guys are as pumped about it as I am haha. I'll talk to you guys on Sunday, the member we set it up with said 6 oclock our time, that good with you guys? That'd be 7 Oclock your time. If not... theres not much I can do about it haha. I love you! I'll talk to you soon!

Week 99

    Hey Mom! 20 Degrees? Oh man, that's gonna be a little bit different. I wonder how missionary work is over in Maine? Elliot is getting so old! Wow Nathan must be freaking out huh? 
   This week was really good. So you know that familia we've been working with? The Mendosa's? So they're awesome, sooo prepared, so we baptized them yesterday! We taught them a ton this week and they love the church. They were interviewed and then baptized! Also, the font in our chapel here for some reason is the worst ever and basically has the same spout as a sink and puts out that much water, so it takes like 3 hours to fill up. It's super annoying. Also, the water wasn't getting any warmer so we ran around during church trying to figure out how to turn on the hot water and turns out, we got new water heaters in the chapel. We no longer have the really big barrel things for water heaters, we have the new high tech little boxes that like heats it up as it flows through. So idk if they just werent working or what, but nobody in the church could figure it out so, the water was a little cold. Actually it was 65 degrees, and felt like ice when we stepped into it. At least they'll never forget their baptism right? It was pretty awesome, four of them were baptized, the other three are too young. But something that's awesome is that Marco Mendosa, the dad is going to get the Aaronic Priesthood next week after his confirmation and then he has a son who turns 8 in January and he is going to baptize him! Isn't that so great?! This family is such a miracle, they just fell right out of the sky. They came to a wedding that was at the church, a member invited them and we've been working with them since. Another cool thing is that they live in our apartment complexing, so we can go visit them all the time. And they love to feed us, so if we ever have the munchies we can go bother them! Haha I'm kidding, but I know they will be like the missionaries favorite family that get visited all the time, it's cool to think about. I'll send you some pictures, I think Melanie, the little one, is kinda hiding, she is really shy. 
     We had interviews with our mission President this week, it's my second to last interview of my mission. I'll have one like my last day as a missionary. That stinks. It was really nice though, he told me in the beginning, "Usually I ask missionaries what language they prefer, but since you speak like a Mexican, we'll do the interview in Spanish." It was kinda nice, like a little "woohoo!" moment haha. We just talked about life after the mission a little bit and how it's important to finish strong so I can start out life strong. It was a pretty short interview, I'm not sure what the last one is like. 
     So in the last transfer of your mission you do this online course called "My Plan" And it is exactly that, the plan that you make for after the mission and how you're going to keep up with studies and institute and schooling and all that jazz, and this week is on Dating and Temple Marriage. This is gonna be so fun this week, I plan out my wife, what I want her to be like, I watch awkward videos on dating and stuff, it'll be great. But yeah, it's actually kinda scary, more and more often people are like oh wow, you're going home soon. This Sunday everyone was like oh wow, are you excited to go home and spend the new year at your house? I'm not really excited to be home, and the mission be over, but I'm excited to see family and play in the snow and stuff. I can continue to do missionary stuff when I get home though, not like life just stops right?
      I hope you'll notice in these pictures that my white shirt is a slightly different color than everyone else's. Haha that'll happen after 2 years of sweat I guess.
 Thanks for keeping me updated mom, I did get the package this week, thanks so much! Also something crazy! So I started using this new shampoo like 2 months ago and it has menthol in it and it's super cool cause you know when you like chew minty gum and you breathe in and its all cold? It makes your whole head feel like that and I think it's cool. And it's the same shampoo you guys sent me!! What in the world?! We must be family or something!
      Have a great week, talk to you soon! Love you!

Week 98

   Hey mom! This week went really well, it's starting to get a little cold here. Haha a chilly 60 degrees. Ive noticed lately that I'm going to die when I get home, Im wearing a sweater today and its like 65. I hope my winter jackets arent packed away too much. 
     This week has been kind of trunky, lots of people noticing how close the end of the year is. Yesterday in church we had a bunch of people say, "So you only have 3 weeks left?". It's sad to think about. Also yesterday we had the Mendosa family come to church. It was the second time that they've come, and they're getting baptized next week. They're pretty excited about it and we're going by their house like every day this week to help them be prepared for it. Theyre a family of 7, and 5 of them are baptismal age. The parents love church, in Gospel Principles they were participating a lot and had lots of great comments. The parents are both really busy during the day, so we are meeting with them during the dad's lunch hour, he's pretty dedicated.
     The christmas devotional was pretty cool. Have you ever noticed how smacky Elder Eyring gets when he gets all emotional? Someone get that man a cup of water!
   Oh yeah! We moved apartments this week! Haha I knew something happened. So yeah, we moved about a mile south of our previous apartment. The apartment we were in was just kind of dark and our office senior couple didnt like it. Our new apartment is pretty nice, all apartments here are made really cheap, but they're nice. We didn't have hot water until today, it was like lukewarm at best and there was a light out in the kitchen, so the kitchen was dark, but we got it fixed. We live upstairs on the second floor, which just means we have to carry our bikes upstairs, but thats okay. We have cool neighbors, the apartments were just built like right right before we moved in, so everyone is new. That means that they dont hate missionaries yet. The neighbors of missionaries usually dont like them because everytime there is a new transfer there is some determined missionary that wants to baptize their neighbors, so it gets kind of annoying I guess. So we are the first group, hopefully we can make a good relationship with them.
     The move took a super long time, well like almost 2 full days of work to do it, one day to pack everything and to fix all the little holes in the walls from the little tacks of hanging stuff up, and then we moved and unpacked the next day. It was pretty boring and hard to stay focused doing the same thing all day. But yeah, here we are..
         I'm not sure if you guys even want to Skype on the 25th, it'll take away the like, oh wow, I havent seen you in a while thing. Idk what do you guys think?
                    That's about all that happened outside the norm. I'll talk to yall next week! Love you!

Week 97

   Hey Mom! This week was fun for me too! Thanksgiving went pretty well, speaking of food!  I will for sure miss food from down here though, it is the best food, just sometimes not the healthiest. But anyways, Thanksgiving was really great, we only ate four times, so that's not too bad. I still thought I was gonna die and throw up all over the place but, it was good. We were supposed to have 5 but we forgot to write one down so we didn't go and then the member asked us why we didnt come the other day, oops. They had a few other missionaries go and a ton of family so they weren't like mad at us or anything, we just missed out.  One of the people's houses that we went to made us papusas, they were pretty good, I was expecting like turkey and stuff but it was a nice little change. They're like... bread tortillas that you cut open and put cheese and stuff in.. I don't know how to explain it, it's made with like corn flour and stuff though.
       My comp got pulled over!!! Hahahhaha it was so funny! We were at the church in the parking lot, we were the only ones there, and it was like 8:30at night or so, and there was this apple we had left in the car for a few days, and it was all bruised and stuff so I took it out and threw it n stuff and Elder Hallsted, while waiting for me was driving around in circles, and he started going faster and faster until he got an aggressive driving from Tiwi and then stopped. I didn't even stop him because I already knew he was going to get caught by tiwi. I got in the car and we started to drive out, but right before he stopped a cop pulled into the parking lot. I started laughing because I already knew what was going to happen, and he drove out into the road hoping nothing would happen, and the cop just followed us and pulled him over on the side of the road, and of course turned on the 1.2 billion lights they have. I was laughing, he was breathing heavy, he didnt get a ticket but it scared him enough I'm sure he'll never do it again, repentance is real. The cop said, you were doing donuts in your own church? And "would your pastor be okay with that?" and then he made him get out of the car for added effect or something and told him, "ok just dont do it again, remember, you're wearing a uniform." Got him!
     We had a new investigator family come to church yesterday, a family of 6, 4 of them are baptismal age, their last name is Mendosa. They're super cool and have a great friend in the church, we taught them the Restoration and Book of Mormon on Saturday and they loved it and then came to church Sunday. They have a baptismal date for the 11th of December and are actually married!!!! What!?! Anyways, they're nice and they have two autistic children, one is 14 and the other is 6, so I'm not sure if they're going to want their 14 year old to get baptized or not, we're going to talk about it. The little one cries quite a bit and was uncomfortable, being his 1st time in the church, so it was hard for the parents, but they were super optimistic about it, they just said, yeah it's his first time, he'll get used to it as we come more and more. So they're pretty down. We sat in the hall with them for a little while during third hour and I saw something interesting.
     So there was another ward in Sacrament meeting and so a young man came out and sat in the lobby and was on his phone. His dad came out a few minutes later and sat next to him and got super mad at his son and I could just feel the tension between them and the dad had those crazy eyes, you know, when your dad gets super mad and is just biting his tongue and trying not to rip your head off? It made me think of how I would always get so mad and frustrated about things and both of us would just be almost out of our minds angry. And to be on the outside of that was really weird. I thought to myself, what could possibly be happening to make them both this mad? Of course it's never anything big, but it just kind of helped me to realize how unnecessary stuff like that is, and how when I feel like that, I should just take a step back and look at things, because in the end, it probably doesn't even matter.
       I am super lame and didn't take any pictures this week, sorry. But thanks for emailing me, glad your Thanksgiving went well, hope you guys stay warm, I know I will! Have a great week! Love you!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 96

    Hey Mom! My week was pretty good too, that's awesome to hear about church on Sunday, recent converts have the coolest testimonies. We have this recent convert in our ward and she is awesome, she's like 19 and is our young single adults ward representative and is super involved in missionary work and is a great missionary. She took one of our investigators to institute the other day, it's crazy, some people just hit the ground running. 

     This week was really good, It's a new transfer so we have some new elders living in our apartment, Elders Moser and Ault left, so now I live with my companion, Elder Hallsted, and the two new elders, Elder Cazier and Elder Lawrence. Which is awesome because I lived with Elder Cazier when I served in Weslaco, he's really cool and we get along really well. And he is training a new missionary, Elder Lawrence. Who is super duper cool because he is from the Ukraine! I know right?! He lived there until he was 12 then was sent to Arizona in a orphanage and got adopted, moved with his new family to Utah, and he's super cool. He speaks Ukrainian and it sounds like gibberish and he has crazy stories! It's pretty exciting.

      Elder Hallsted and I are doing well, and we'll see how long that lasts because just on the way over here I got a call from the office and I've gotten one too many speeding violations on the little tiwi machine that we have and so I can't drive anymore haha. I haven't changed. So now elder hallsted drives and it's only been like a half hour and I already hate it. He's a terrible driver. Haha I dont want to be mean but he drives like a girl, its very jerky and I feel like a driver's ed teacher. But it'll be okay, maybe I'll learn to have more patience or something. Also I'll try not to roast him too much haha. 

      Yesterday was alright, we had three investigators come to church. One we have been working with for a long time, but he needs to get divorced, and married. And his girlfriend, who is a less active member, also needs to get divorced so they can get married. Both are married in Mexico, so we'll see how that goes, their son is the one that we've been waking up for seminary in the mornings. That continued this week also, it's awesome. Then the other two people that came to church is actually a part member family, of which, the children are baptized but the parents are not. Strange huh? But now they want to get baptized, so we're going over tonight to talk to them about it. 

      I'm pretty excited for Thanksgiving, we have a few meal appointments scheduled with 4 different families. So we should be pretty full when we go home. Last year when I was in Rio Grande we had 7, so it cannot be that bad. It's pretty cool though, its like some of the only white people food that I get to eat. They eat like turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and all that good stuff.

      This college thing is kinda freaking me out, haha I try not to think about it but I just don't know how it's going to work. I have only 4 months home before I leave right? I just don't know how I'm going to be able to afford it, even if I work full-time for those 4 months, I need a car, money for living, a phone, tons of stuff, and nothing is cheap. But then again I read my patriarchal blessing yesterday and found some comfort in a few of the promises there, idk it's just scary. I thought I was going to go to the Fall semester but we'll see what happens I guess.

    The other day we were driving and we saw this sign that said, "No Dumping, $500 fine" Which, of course I didn't take it like it's supposed to be interpreted and immediately thought of a funny picture we could take, so I'll send it to you, it was well thought out. And no I didnt pull my pants down, I rolled up my pants I had on and brought another pair to lay on the ground, dont worry, no laws were broken in the making of this picture. The only consequence was some strange looks by passing cars.
      I hope you have a great week mom! Love you

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 95

  Yeah so here got really crazy with the election, well I guess not too much nobody got shot so it cant be too bad right? But yeah, with the majority of the people here being either from Mexico or their parents are from Mexico, they hate Donald Trump. Everyone always tells us how racist he is and how he is going to try to ship them all back to Mexico and some people are freaking out saying that he's already shut down all ways to get citizenship. Also they always think we're pro Trump because we're white. They kind of ask us, "Do you like Trump?" with a really angry face. We just tell them we don't know anything except what people tell us because we can't watch anything. So it's pretty easy to get out of but they're still suspicious.
     Actually quite a bit happened this week now that I think about it.  First off, the most tragic thing happened the other day, we were at the P-day activity and it was announced that we can no longer play sports in the mornings for exercise! Aparently lots of missionaries have been getting injured from playing. Last Saturday in Laredo they played soccer and a missionary, dont ask me how, broke his back! Yeahh!!! What in the world? Apparently he's doing okay now, however good you can be with a broken back. I feel bad for him but that's what happens when you're not in shape and then all the sudden you push yourself too far, more motivation to exercise regularly right? Doing pushups and stuff in our apartment feels dumb, but until something changes or we find something better to do that's how it's gonna be. Well we can play like 1 on 1 or go shoot around, but it can't get too intense I guess. But we can still play on P-days so that's good. 
     We have been working with a partmember family and one of the sons is really interested in the Gospel. We taught him what the Atonement was and why it was necessary and it was awesome, oddly enough, that isn't one of the main lessons. Parts of it area included in lessons but.. it was really cool and amazing to think that he's lived his whole life without that knowledge. Also, he hasn't been doing very well in school lately, why? Because he doesnt wake up in the morning, soooo we told him about seminary! Haha if you want a different result, you have do be willing to do something you've never done before right? So last week we've gotten up at 5 gotten dressed and gone to his house, woken him up and gone to seminary with him. He's a zombie in the mornings but it feels awesome and he really likes the class, even though he seems like he's asleep. One morning we were going to wake him up by hitting him with these lightsabers that someone left in our apartment but we went in and everything and his little niece was sleeping in his bed so we decided not to haha.
   We had 265 people in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday! Wooo! It's going up! But we also had our primary program so that could've been the reason, but still, that's progress. Not a lot of the people we're working with came so that was sad, but next week we'll get em there!
     Yeah, that's about it I guess. I'm doing really well, as far as food or snacks go... I like fruit snacks and reeses I just thought of something the other day.... ohhh!! You know those little toothbrush case thingys. The little ones that just go over the bristles of the toothbrush, mine is kinda nasty after 2 years, that'd be nice.
     Also, this is my last transfer, we got transfers yesterday and Elder hallsted and I are staying together in this area, sweeetttt!
     Good to know you're doing well. <3 love you! Have a great week!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Week 94

     This week was pretty good, we have been working with a few different families and they are all making good progress. Last week we had a family come to church that have been less active for a while and there are two new family members that have moved in that aren't members. They were going to come this week tambien but they couldnt because one of them had a boil on his hip earlier in the week. And so with the boil, he being an illegal immigrant couldnt go to the hospital because he has no insurance so it'd cost a ton, so he did a home surgery. He heated up a knife and cut the boil and tried to squeeze out the puss inside but apparently nothing came out. And now he can't really walk, or wear pants, because it's right at his waist line. Pretty crazy huh. Now he has this big ole whole in his hip, pretty nasty looking, but dont worry, he put neosporin on it. 
   Then we have been working with another famliy, the mother is a member, but was baptized when she was 8 and never went back, and she has 8 children and a boyfriend and her mom lives with her. None of them are members. Lots of the kids are little, but they're a huge family, and like many other large famliies here, go through hard stuff. So we've been working with them for a little bit, sent a few of the relief society sisters over to visit her with brownies and stuff, and they came to church on Sunday! It's super exciting! They liked it a lot, even the little kids that couldnt sit still said they liked it! Hopefully they keep coming to church so they can all get baptized as a family. The marraige might take a while because she already told us she doesnt want to get married, but with time she will.
     Antonia got baptized on Saturday! It was really great, my companion Elder Hallsted baptized her and he didnt even mess up one time! It was his first time baptizing in spanish! Yay! It was nice, then while we were waiting for everyone to change we sang songs, then when they came back the elders did a musical number and a few people took out their phones and recorded us it was really weird. Then like always there are little snackicitos like always and we had a member make a huge cake, and it was tres leches. That cake is soooo good! I love it. It's like cake, and you pour a bunch of milk on it and it is super good. You should look it up. Then yesterday in church she was confirmed and given the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
     It was an exciting week overall. And yeah I'm not really supposed to do anything not on an approved website , so idk how much I'll be able to do, if you could start with the application and things that'd be awesome. I'll talk to the mission president in the mean time.
     Thanks so much for looking that up for me, glad to know everyone is doing well, I love you guys! Have a great week!

 PS yeah I know my tie is crooked and nobody ever looks in the right direction.