Thursday, February 26, 2015

Week 6: Alice,Texas!


    So Mondays are our P-days but since it was transfer day also I didnt get to email or anything, sorry. A lot has happened though. I am currently called to a place called Rancho Alegre, my companion is Elder Rosero and he is from Ecuador! Big bummer is that Rancho Alegre everyone here speaks english and so we teach in english. Oh well Rosero is teaching me anyway. Elder Myler was called to McAllen. So he'll be using spanish. Lucky dog, but we arent even in the same zone so I might not even see him the rest of our missions :(. 

     So... last night we went to the church to play basketball. The floor there is carpet. :( and we were playing and I was destroying people because I think the tallest person was about 5'7". And I jumped up and landed wrong and twisted my knee really badly... It hurt a lot and I didnt move for about a minute or so. It popped really loud. We got home and I iced it for a little while and I am wearing my brace today. It doesnt hurt a lot and I dont quite have a limp but I am definitely not going to do much on it for a while, besides biking ofc. So if you wouldnt mind keeping that in your prayers. Worst thing about it is that I probably wont dunk for a few months and no backflips either :(. Oh well.. we all get trails on our missions and mine happens to be that im an idiot.

    But so far everything has been really great. We got let into a house today by someone who apparently always throws missionaries out, and we scheduled to come back tomorrow. Some people here do speak spanish so I'll be able to practice. Also my companion has 3 hours a day from 11-1 that he only speaks to me in spanish and I have to only speak in spanish also :/. It is hard and he has to repeat a lot but I feel pretty confident. I say things in awkward ways but the point gets across.

    I cant believe dad got a truck! I mean i can but i cant. He has wanted to for so long! ahah thats awesome! Congrats. I hope you guys are still soulmates hitting the gym! I am jealous. I did about 6 sets of shoulders this morning because pressing 25lbs just isnt enough :(. But thats not really what I am here for. Everybody here says I should expect to gain at least 20lbs on my mission. Eating here becomes a chore. The way to the people's hearts is to eat their food. Down south the missionaries get fed about 4 times a day. Apparently around Thanksgiving and Christmas I should expect to eat about 4 dinners.

    Yeah I didnt get a sweater or anything but I got my sheets and I got my bike, it was not in one piece but we put it together and it wasnt too hard. Thank you guys so much! 

          Thank you so much for your prayers! LOVE YOU!
Elder Rosero (his comp) is to Duncan's left

Elder Birrell with his Mission President and Mission Mom

Friday, February 20, 2015

Week 5

Week 5

      Hey mom! So I´m coming home this week. Haha just kidding. The CCM has been really great and I was blessed with an awesome companion. The food here was usually really great, but sometimes they serve a dish called "Mole" and no you dont say it like the animal. But it smells and tastes like dog food. Apparently its pretty popular so that´s awesome... This week wasn't super special or anything but it was really fun, I mean after all I am in "The Best Two Years". Spanish is getting a little harder just because it´s not only a different language, the way they think is so different. It is coming along though and even if I use the wrong tense they can tell what I mean so I´m not too worried. I am just always worried that I will get someone in a super hard time in their life and they will ask how does God let this happen? I mean we have studied and I know a few scriptures that are for that purpose but there is no way to give them complete comfort and that is hard. All well.. that´s what the Spirit is for.
     I´m so happy that you finished your painting! Congratulations. We have been trying to lift weights 2x a week so its not too bad. So I don´t know about Texas but in the mornings here it gets a little cold, so sometime if you wanna send me a sweater... that´d be cool. I have a friend here who knew someone that went to that mission and said that he had access to a weight room the whole time. So pray for that, haha just kidding. 
      We are all better now, our whole district was pretty sick for about 2 1/2 weeks. I got to give my first blessing! I don´t remember if I told you that in my last letter. It was really awesome and totally different than anythin I've done before. The only thing now is I have like either a cut on the inside of my mouth or its a canker sore. I don´t think its a canker sore because I've had a million of those and this just seems like a cut somehow. It´s been there for a little over a week and it hurts a little when I eat or drink water but it´s all good. I needed to lose weight anyway. Just kidding. 
     While we are here we watch a bunch of videos from General Authorities and the Quorum of the Twelve. I wrote down a couple of my favorites. Elder Holland is definitely my favorite. "Safety for the Soul" by Jeffrey R Holland in the 2009 October conference. And a video called "True Doctrine Understood: Changes Attitude and Behavior" by Todd B. Parker, you don´t have to watch the whole thing because its 30mins long, we just watched the last 10 minutes. Parker talks super fast and throws so much information at you and it seriously blew my mind. Definitely watch it, he talks of everything testifying of Christ.
     Also we both learned how to do a backflip on the ground. There is an Elder here and he was a national state champ cheerleader and does parkour and he showed us how. It took about 10 minutes to learn. So I´ll send a video of that if I can.
      That´s all this week, next week I´ll tell you about the field!  Love you!

Don't we look fancy?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Week 4

   Its kind of nice with just you two? What are you trying to say mom?! Haha just kidding. Great to hear your painting is getting other eyes. I always pray for you to have revelation in your artwork.
   50s and 60s degree weather is nice but you should try coming to Mexico, its like 70-80 degrees every day and today is the only day in like 3 weeks that it has been cloudy. Last night we got a little bit of rain and it was really windy but thats it. 
    We taught a lesson in TRC, which is when volunteers, usually members, from outside the MTC come and let us practice lessons. My companion and I got to know him a little bit and then we asked what he'd like to learn about. He asked how he could receive more personal revelation. So I read to him Moroni 10:3-5 and taught about the importance of praying sincerely. Then we read Enos 1:4-8 and the end of 15 and taught about specific prayer and faith. We asked if there was anything he'd like us to pray about in our personal prayers and he told us about his son who has left the church and he is worried about. So, I bore my testimony of the truth and power of the Gospel, and to never stop praying and hoping for his son and the spirit was really strong. Both my companion, I and the "investigator" were crying. It built my confidence in my ability to teach and now I know that I can do this.
    Myler and I are getting pretty good at teaching and listening to the spirit. Not too much has happened this week though, just like 11 days until we are out in the field, kinda scary, but exciting. I hope I have an awesome first companion.
   Oh Elder Myler did sing on Sunday and he was sick and wasn't at his best but it was still really great. A ton of people were giving him props afterwards and this hermana was like "Hey good job, you're just a really good.. you singer!" And it was really awkward and hilarious so now I call him singer. But seriously all the hermanas here are always drooling over mi compaƱero. I always tease him about it but its all in good fun. I hope you all feel better and have a good week. Love you!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Week 3

  Yay! Dad has a workout buddy now! [Robin got a gym membership with Wade] Haha thank you for doing that! We get an hour of gym time a day but we dont work out everyday sadly, we usually play basketball or volleyball or something, Im not complaining I love sports. I bet it is super quite at home when there is no one there all day except for you and Elliot. Nathan told me she had an interesting favorite word for a little bit haha. Shes so cute. I will remember to add your painting into my prayers, I pray for all you guys every night. 

  My spanish is getting a lot better, my high school spanish has helped a lot and I'm learning all new gospel words. Teaching lessons is getting easier and easier. My companion didn´t take as much high school Spanish as I did and he is struggling a little bit more but he has improved a ton too. Sometimes in our lessons we turn to each other and ask what a word is in spanish. We teach very fluidly though, its really great, one of us will share our thought\scripture and the other one will try to figure out what to say after him in the mean time.

   We actually got to teach a real person on Saturday! Every week we have TRC on Saturday. I dont remember what it stands for but we teach volunteers, we taught a 16 year old girl who was a member. It was kind of weird because we arent supposed to be in a room alone with a girl but it went pretty well, we laughed at our spanish, taught her about the importance of prayer and praying sincerely, challenged her to pray regularly and with a sincere heart.

  Our Latinos in our casa left to go out on their missions, they are only here for 2 weeks at a time. I miss them, we gave them our emails and facebook so we can talk and be friends after our missions. 

  Elder Myler and I need to talk to our branch president because we have an addiction. In la tienda they have these cookies, called Choki's. They are just chocolate chip cookies but they must put an addictive substance in them or something because its like a constant craving. Every day we buy and eat 20 cookies. Pray for us.

    Mi compaƱero y yo got a little sick the other day, nothing serious just runny noses and sore throats, we are feeling a little better today. I hope he gets better because he is singing in the Sunday night devotional in front of all of the fangirls here in the CCM. Seriously, a surprising amount of people know who he is. 

   Today we took a trip outside of the CCM. We weren't supposed to but my comp and I just climbed the fence and went a partied with the locals. Haha, just kidding, we did leave though, our district went to the Mexico temple. The temple is under renovation though so we couldnt actually go in unfortunately, but we did get to go in the visitor´s center. We watched a few little videos and took some pictures as a district and bought a few backpacks from the store there, they were super cheap. like 150 pesos, so like 10 or so dollars.
   Somehow Myler and I got on the subject of Poo Pourri or however you spell it and he said that his band used to use it and it works really well. So if you were considering it, there you go. 

   Talk to you next week! Love you!

Visitors Center

SO pretty

What's cool is that the Mexico City temple is 1 of 5 temples in the world where the angel Moroni is holding the gold plates in his other hand.