Saturday, March 28, 2015

Week 10

  What is going on!?!! Such a good week but such a hard week! Rosero and I are doing super well, we get along better everyday. Today we took selfies with a fake mustache on, we are pretty much Mario and Luigi. Sorry I forgot my camera though, pictures next week hopefully haha.
   We're doing really well, likewise it was a hard and great week. We had a death here and a wife was left by her husband. In such a small branch and area it is a lot to take in. We worked really hard this week and had 6 people in church! We hoped for 13, but I now remember how "hard" it is to get up in the morning at 8. We will keep working on it though. Pretty great turnout when our branch is only like 30 people.I love the people in this area. 
  Working has been really fun though like I said, I enjoy the mission more and more. Seeing miracles every day is really a great testimony builder.  Haha I have written a list of the people to remember in my prayers because I can't remember them all and it's super long. There are just so many people, even in this small area, who need help. I love seeing prayers being answered. 
    I have started reading this book called, "The Infinite Atonement". It is super cool, it goes really in depth about the Atonement and all the things that it encompasses. Even though it's like a 300 page book it says pretty frequently that we could never understand all that the Atonement gives to us. So cool to think about the things that I cant even think about. Haha crazy way to look at it. Learning about deep doctrine is super fun. I have been learning a little more about it and I just want to read books about it all day. It's so cool. There are so many books out there that have so many questions that I haven't even thought about.
Happy Birthday Mom!!!

  Apparently there is a monkey farm here and we are going to see if we can find it today. Hopefully Planet of the Apes doesn't happen. If it does, I love you. Haha but really I miss you a lot, talking with you and mom at night before bed and hitting our workouts together. 
     Thanks so much for your continued support, love you! Take care of  yourselves! Somewhere in the valley there is a guy who I guess gives missionaries 900lbs of ties. Holy cow. That is so much, like multiple truck loads. But they just sort through them and find good ones. 
   I'm not really sure about requests.. Umm.. I like those Reese's that you sent me. But really I'm doing pretty good.
                      Love you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Week 9

     I know! Week 9? Starting week 4 in the field, almost the first transfer over! 1/16. Crazy stuff, time flies. 
 Nathan sent me pictures of his new truck, very nice eh? Sorry, the "eh" came out because our Branch Pres is from Canada! It's super fun teasing him aboot the way he talks. We had a discussion about how Americans have ruined the English language. We I guess pronounce U's like W's. But I just said, "Murica". And he rolled his eyes haha. He gets me, lol!
     Yes Elder Rosero was wearing one of my ties, actually its his tie now. He asked for it, and after many hours of praying and crying, I gave it to him. Just kidding. People here always like my ties until they check the back of it. Apparently the only thing that really matters about ties is the brand and how much its worth. But I dont care I like pretty ties still :P.
     Teaching is going really well. I feel I am developing more charity and love for people. When we go and meet a referral or knock on someone's door I'm am just super excited to talk with them and I always have a stupid grin. I dont know why but I just really love the people here, no matter where they live or anything. Dont worry though, I still tease people all the time, But I am definitely getting better. My Spanish honestly hasnt improved at all. Everyone says oh awesome your comp is a native speaker! That will help you so much! But really we never speak spanish. Except for the hour that we're like Oh.. you should probably speak spanish. And then I say like 2 sentences. But I'm going to try to work harder on that this week. He doesnt have an "Ecuadorian dialect" I would say but he does talk differently. He kind of mushes all the words together and doesnt enunciate. And a few words he says a little differently than Mexicans. 
     I feel right at home here in Alice though. It is basically North Platte. Alice is 19,000 people, NP is like 23k. Alice has the oilfields, NP has the railroad.  And they love the Cowboys and big jacked up trucks. 
     Everything is pretty great honestly. My knee is almost completely better. I can straighten it all the way and can almost comfortably sit at the bottom of a squat again. So I can start doing little leg workouts in the mornings :). The swelling is gone and I can still feel its weakness but I can like.. feel its limits so I should be ok.  I haven't gotten fat yet like everyone keeps telling me I will so that's good. I am trying to mentally prepare myself for when I am not in really good shape though. Well... At least I didnt go off on a crazy rant. O wait.
     Teaching is pretty fun. We only have like 1 investigator atm b/c Priscilla we have lost contact with and Jacob is super hard to find because he is always out of town or at a different family member's house. He still needs to be confirmed. We are working hard, It will be good. 
     Love and miss you! Take care!

Stake Conference

Brother Gutierrez and Elder Birrell

Week 8

Hi Everyone!

In answer to your question,Jacob is doing alright, he was baptized on Wednesday and we planned to confirm him on the following Sunday but we couldnt get ahold of him Saturday and he didnt show up Sunday :/. But we will try this week again. He is living with his aunt because his grandmother (who he lived with before) fell and broke her hip after coming home from the hospital recovering from a stroke. We fasted for him this Sunday. We fast EVERY Sunday and it is good.
   People here love to feed us, we have two sisters in our branch who give us food weekly. And then we set up dinner appointments as often as we can. If I were serving in the valley, apparently they have like 2 or so meal appointments a day! I have been told many times to say goodbye to being in shape and expect to gain 20-30 pounds. I doubt it and I will work hard to not gain bad weight but whatevs. My bike is really nice, Elder Rosero didnt know to buy a bike for his mission and this is his first bike area, and he was given a bike from a former missionary. The only problem is that the bike is 2yrs old and is a little tougher to ride. We switched the other day and there is definitely a difference. But we are doing really well.
  It has been cold here for the whole time I've been here, thank goodness for sweaters, it rained yesterday and is again today. My knee continues to improve, and I played soccer on it the other day and I had no problem with it. Hopefully it will be ok today in basketball. I do need to learn to calm down though when I play sports. I always give 110% when I play and someone always gets hurt lol. I picked up a little cold last night and lost my voice this morning but it is coming back. Hopefully in time for our lessons tonight lol. 
        We havent talked with Priscilla since last Monday! She has been hard to contact since she doesnt live here, she travels to her adopted mother's house here every MondayWednesday, and Friday. Hopefully we'll see her soon!
        Good week so far though! LOVE YOU!!

PS: I dont know why he looked so angry in these photos. He was super nervous though :)

Elder Birrell, Jacob and Elder Rosero

Jacob's Baptism Day!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Week 7

  Dear Everyone,

  I did get the Valentines day package, and Sis Odles, thank you both, I saved everything for the last night there and we threw a party. #mormonpartyprobs, we did toasts with the Martinele. Don't judge me I cant spell.
      This week was really great! We have 4 investigators, Jacob, who I was supposed to baptize yesterday but he didn't show up to church and we couldn't find him Saturday :(. But we'll get him eventually. He is 14 and met with the companionship before us and he knows everything. I don't really know what happened yet. But isn't that awesome!? He chose me to baptize him because I talked about basketball with him haha.
   We have Hermano Serna who is married to a member, they are both about 70 or so and have been married for like 40 something years. They regularly attended church in the past, but now she has I think brain cancer and has to travel to and from San Antonio every week day. So they use weekends to rest up. They are really nice and we got along with them well. I asked Bro. Serna if it is important to him to be with his family forever and he kind of gave me a dodgy answer, but I think with time we can help him.
   Another is Erica, she is I think like 28, has a boyfriend who is inactive and we taught the Restoration and challenged them to pray and it went well also.
   Then we got a new investigator just yesterday. Her name is Priscilla and she was a referral from the Serna's. We actually went to her moms house, the house across from the Serna's, and her mom is an inactive member and her daughter was there. Her daughter, Priscilla is super intrigued by what we had to say. It was really weird, it was like when we used to practice playing investigators in the MTC. She talked about how she feels guilty all the time and she wants to feel clean, and how she knows drinking is wrong and she knows she needs to quit and she has problems feeling God's love because she was a foster kid and how could he love her if her own parents didn't? It was crazy, and her mom and her were crying when we were teaching a little about repentance and she was like, "I never cry, and I never open up to people, you guys just feel different." And then her mom said, " That's the Spirit honey" and patted her on the back. I was like, WHAATT THE HECKKK.. It was super crazy and awesome. So I think we can see a lot of improvement in here in the next few weeks, and we set a baptismal date for her the 22nd of March. I'm pretty pumped from that experience.
        Preetttty sweet. My companion is really great.  He has a super thick accent cause he is from Ecuador and he mumbles when he speaks Spanish and everyone here makes fun of him for it. He is a really good missionary, very dedicated and inspired. Its cool.
Elder Rosero on his Birthday
Our mission Pres. is super great, I have heard a ton of stories about him having crazy revelation. Like knowing little things about people that doesn't even make sense. He was a former quorum of the 70 I think. He's really nice and has a great family too. I only met him once but I just know he's a great guy. They told me he reads these so I had to put that. No I'm just kidding haha. 
       My knee isn't too bad, its still swollen and I don't have full range of motion and I can feel its weakness but it doesn't hurt so that's good. Luckily my companion is a slow biker, so I can keep up with him! I got the sweaters like the 3rd day or something, thank you so much. They fit really well, which I thought is weird cause they are xls but I guess I am pretty huge so... Haha jokes.. haven't washed them yet so hopefully they don't get too small. But apparently in a few weeks it will be like 100 degrees and I will soak through my shirt with sweat. People say it gets so hot their shins sweat. I cant wait...
      Also this mission is huge on ties. People have ties here that are worth like $300. They didn't pay that but they know what brands are good and what to look for so I'll probably learn. I still like my ties though, they may have nice ones but most of them are old man ties, mine are prettier, lol. Thank you for all of your support! I miss you guys, but not too much ;). Have a great week and don't let dad hurt his back anymore! LOVE YOU!