Tuesday, May 26, 2015

  Yeah I am now in Hidalgo, in Palmsview. The people here area great and I still don't have to speak Spanish. Maybe I'll just go my whole mission without having to speak Spanish haha. I know it alright like I can understand people, but I just never practice so we have about one or 2 lessons a day that I have to speak Spanish. I get so tongue tied. That's crazy that your Dad has ancestors that were members!! I never would have thought that! How exciting. I have learned to appreciate genealogy a little bit more ;). 
  I am feeling more and more like a part of the Texas, McAllen Mission. Yesterday was my first p-day in the area and we went tie digging. Down in the valley its a really big thing that they do. Everybody knows all the big and expensive tie brands and that is how they judge a good tie. So we go to places called bodega's and they have like big barrels full of ties and most of them are all old and gross and the place smells terrible but sometimes you find a nice tie. And then you buy them, for like 25 cents a tie. And then all the missionaries in the zone get together and we lay out all the ties that we found and we go in order from oldest to youngest missionary and pick them. I got a tie that apparently is worth like $200. But it's not really pretty. And I got a few other cool ones. I think I'm addicted to ties though... So that's good. 
    My new companion's name is Elder Madrigal. He is from Utah most recently but grew up near Denver. He is super old in the mission. He has this transfer and then next transfer and he's done. He's a really great missionary though and I think we'll get along great, we already do so far. We have a great ward, we have about 3 times as many people than in Alice. The members here are really great and they love to feed us. 
   Also here we play a ton of basketball, its great. Every MondayWednesday and Friday morning at about 5:45 we play for about an hour and it's super fun. I can dunk with 2 hands in this chapel too, I think it's official. I just need to practice a lot more, especially with one hand. It's super hard because I cant palm it really easily so I never dunk in games. Sometimes I'll lay it right up and in the rim and the back of my hand will hit the rim. 
   At transfers I saw a few guys from my district in the MTC and we took some pictures. Also I saw Rhoades there! That was crazy!!! I go to open the doors into the chapel and they just fly open and I see him and before I knew what was going on he was hugging me. I was so confused and happy. It was super cool. That guy is super nuts, I love him. 
           I have to go, I told mom my b-day wish :P. Love you! Have a great week!
Elder Madrigal can sleep, he already knows Spanish....


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Surprise Transfer!

I am SO full!

Hey I got surprise transferred to the valley! I am in an area called Las Palmas, down in the Hidalgo zone. It is right on the border :). Guess what! It's English speaking... :/  Every time we find a Spanish speaking person we have to pass them along to the Spanish speaking elders. Anyway just thought I would let you guys know before you sent anything. You can send anything to the mission office, 200 W. La Vista, McAllen, TX 78501. We live like 15 mins away so things will get to our apartment like a day later. I'll send you our address on Monday. I haven't learned it yet and nobody here knows it haha. Love you! Buh Bye!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 18

     Things in the mission were a little crazy this week. On Tuesday night we got a call for the next transfer on the people who are going to be trainers, District Leaders etc. And Elder Rosero is going to be a District Leader! We don't know where yet but that is so cool! He is such a great missionary and is a really great leader. I'm excited for him. Also Elder Pulsipher is going to be a District Leader! He is another missionary in Alice, there are 4 of us. And then Elder Jensen is going to have a son in the mission! He is going to be a trainer! All three of them went down to McAllen for a day and a half and I had to go up to Robstown for an exchange so I wouldn't be alone. That means I'm getting a new companion this Tuesday! I'm kind of nervous. Also they call the companion after your trainer your breaker. Because you think you know how to be a missionary and he just destroys everything you think you had built up for yourself. So that's exciting XP. 
    On our drive to Robstown we had flash floods! It was super cool and scary at the same time. We had to be there and we had to go through this little town called Agua Dulce (Sweet Water). And there we basically had to drive through a lake, I'm not even kidding. We came to a stop in the road and there was a huge line of cars and some little cars had to turn around. We have a little chevy cruze. And we decided to go for it, and the water at the deepest point came half way up our door. And the current was pushing us to the side a little. It was super crazy and against the rules. We aren't supposed to do anything that could hurt the car, and that could drown the engine. Buttttt we needed to get there so.....We said a prayer first so we should be fine right? 
    Also we had a baptism yesterday! Julio was baptized! We fasted with our zone leaders so that his aunt would let him and she finally gave in after Sacrament meeting! I was praying the whole time for her to feel the Spirit and I guess she did. It was really great, also the other elders had baptisms as well. They found and taught a family and they were super prepared. The dad was a less active from about 20 years ago who joined in the military because our services were 3 hours long. He just wanted to get out of boot camp for longer. And he received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday and then baptized his whole family. It was awesome! That is the best feeling ever as a missionary. That is what I'm here for :)
    Some of these pictures are from a little while ago, we had a blitz in an area. A blitz is when the whole zone goes into one area that needs some help finding people and we all just knock doors and contact less actives or prior investigators. And behind the church there is a wheat field and we decided to take some senior pictures :P. 
    Super excited for this next week! Hopefully we'll have another baptism! Love you! Have a great week!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Week 17

This is the letter I received the next day after we got to Skype with Elder Birrell for Mother's Day! 

Hey! Good to see you guys too! It seemed super weird though. It feels like I've just been away at like a camp or something. Crazy to think it's already been 4 months. Seems like yesterday when I was coming home from church and watching silly movies. Now, everyday is Sunday! Haha really though everyday feels like it's Sunday. Well, more like Sundays don't feel the same, except instead of like a district meeting or something we have church. Just about every day we have a meeting until like 2 or 3. Another thing I didn't know about the mission.
  I think a normal backpack will be great, they're even easier to get into, the pockets and stuff, just if you could, find one that is waterproof cuz I don't want to ruin my escrituras. 
   There are a couple guys next to me and they are speaking super TexMex. It's driving me crazy. It doesn't make any sense.. Like every other word is in Spanish and then he'll say a word in English.. Pick one, lol?
    I feel like a lot of times there isn't a word for something in Spanish. And so they just use the English word. But then I think about it and there is no way, its just that everybody here only knows tex mex. Elder Rosero sometimes doesn't even know Spanish, he has forgotten a lot he says. He taught me a rap in Spanish the other day so I know like 4 lines of a rap song in Spanish. I don't exactly know what it means but I get the basic idea.
   Nobody gardens here.
   For music I don't know if you can send me like downloads over email that I could just put on my flashdrive and then burn it onto a disc or what would be easier.. But we can listen to a lot of different songs. Anything from EFY, just as long as it is church related. I have learned to appreciate slower music more, because it's really all that I can listen to haha. I can listen to piano versions of songs, like if there is a pop song that I missed, I can listen to the instrumental. But I cant really think of any right now. 
    Hope your weeks goes well and work gets better! I love you!

Back of Kearney Nebraska Stake Conference Program <3

Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 16

Hey! How is my motha? Haha I'm feeling a little weird today I guess it's just cause I'm excited. 

   Ouch, dislocating your patella is probably no fun. Poor Heather! You know what's weird? I remember some of the stuff that I learned in school (I know shocking right?) particularly the stuff about like bones and muscles and stuff and so we have this trivial pursuit game from like 1981 or something and that is how we have fun on long drives to meetings. Anyway everytime there is a medical related question I can usually get it right. And the other elders say I'm going to be a doctor for sure. Now everytime anything happens to them, they ask me questions like I'm already a doctor. One kid asked me if he is going to be able to have kids because of his sports injuries and what is this rash I have in my armpits and all this funny stuff. I have no idea about anything they ask me but I love that they think I might know. Super funny.
    I like being a missionary, we had testimony meeting yesterday too and even though we usually only have like 35-40 people in sacrament meeting so far there hasnt been one testimony meeting where the prisiding bishopric member has to stand up and say sorry no more. There is never any awkward time in between testimonies. I love it. The people here have super strong testimonies. Also yesterday we had almost no empty chairs in the chapel. We had I think like 60 something people! It was awesome! We need to enlarge the building pretty soon. If we had all the inactive people come back, We would have a ward. We're working on it :P. I love seeing missionary work actually make a difference.
    We are going to have 2 baptisms this month. Julio, a little 8 year old boy. And Erica, who is like 30 or so. Julio will be baptized this Saturday and Erica is going to get married and then baptized. Super exciting. 
    I feel a little bit like a parent as a missionary honestly. I see the people I teach come so far and then go backwards into the same mistakes that they were in before. And all I can do is support and love them. It drives me crazy. I always feel like jacking them and just telling them straight up but I know that's not the right thing to do. Sometimes I jack them with love if I know it won't damage our relationship. But like the thing is if people get even a little bit offended, they will totally close themselves off and never come to church. So I have to be extra careful because I can be kind of blunt.
 I'm really excited for Mothers Day! I hope we can skype, but I'm not sure how it works. 
   Oh well... Love you! Have a great week!