Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 24


 So transfers are tomorrow and one of the people in our apartment got called as a district leader (not me, don't be silly). So he had to go down to McAllen for meetings and Elder Canfield, his companion and I went on exchanges. So normally we would study all morning like normal but we had some lady in the ward that wanted help painting some chairs, so we biked down to her house, we got there around 9. It was about a 4 or so mile bike ride over there 1 way. And then she wasn't there for 45mins so we played bball with her little son. Then we painted for an hour and a half. Then we biked all the way back. And we arrived just to find that the other Elders locked the door. We had 2 sets of keys but Elder Madrigal lost his. So we were locked out of the apartment. And the landlord wasn't there, so we biked around for another 20mins just thinking of what to do, looking for a slushy place. Then we stopped at a gas station, bought some drinks and food and the other Elders told us they'd be about another 2 hours at least. So we biked to the church, hoping there would be some people there because when we biked by before people were playing basketball. Biked about 3 miles to the church and nobody was there, called the sisters and they drove over and unlocked the church for us. I thought we were going to die haha. I had beads of sweat dripping from my forearms. I've definitely never sweat this much in my life. We eventually got home at about 2 pm. So I probably biked about 15-20 miles that day. Fun stuff :P
       But yeah, hopefully I don't get transferred. This transfer was another really fun one. I haven't had a bad one yet. I don't know how people don't enjoy their missions, they're great! We teach people how to be happy, see and perform miracles and hang out with other missionaries. And you grow a ton, and not to mention you get pretty humbled. This transfer, we made zone shirts. They are digital camouflage and they're purple. They have Hidalgo on the front, which our leader wrote in Graffiti style, and then we have out nicknames on the back. My nickname is, "S.W.A.T."  because I swat everybody when we play basketball. Sports just get even more fun on the mission haha. We've been playing volleyball in the mornings, well on Mon, Wed, and Fri. And we have all gotten pretty good at volleyball. I'll have to send you the picture of our shirts next week.
   So it wasn't really this week, but we visited this member and everybody calls their house, "the Temple". It is this hugggee house and all of it is white. The inside is super clean and modern and they have a baby grand piano that's white. And this pool outside that is super cool looking, and then they have a river right behind their house, its so sweet. Anyway that is the front look of it, the door is huge too. 
   Tons of work getting done and having a lot of fun, thanks for all your support! Have you found those books? 
   Talk to you next week! Love you! 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Week 23

This week was pretty normal, until the weekend. Saturday I went on an exchange with the Spanish area Elder. But not the Elder that has been on his mission for a while, I went with a greenie, so neither of us know Spanish very well. It was pretty interesting and awkward but other than that it went alright, we get along really well so we had a lot of fun. 
     Sunday was a crazy day. We do all of our studies in the mornings on Sunday because church isn't until 1. So we have been trying to get this family to church for about 5 weeks now and they finally came yesterday, but it was like pulling teeth. We called and called and they told us they'd be there and then didn't show up for the first hour of church. Which the classes are backwards in this ward, its Young womens and mens and all that first and then Sunday school and then Sacrament. And so they missed the first hour and we called and they said they were waiting for their mom to get out of work but they should be there soon. So my companion and I decided to take charge and we got a member, actually our stake president to drive us to their house. They were all still in their PJ's. Only ones that were ready were little children. Ages 8, 6 and 4. So, we took the kids to church and the older ones said they'd catch up. It took them the entire next hour to get to church, they got there right before the passing of the Sacrament. It was really strange that they didn't hurry up more than that. Also I had to sit with 3 very restless children for 15mins in Sacrament and I had no idea what to do, laugh if you want. :P
    Then after Sunday we went to go talk to a potential investigator. We biked up to their apartment building, and you have to go into the middle of the structure because all the doors and stuff are in the middle so you cant see it from just driving by. And we heard this super loud heavy metal music. And so we walked up there and the guy was there with his little kids just sitting outside and their neighbor was pretty heavily inebriated and head banging and playing the air drums and the air guitar. And we talked to him for a little while, and the whole time the drunk guy was looking at us and throwing up the rock sign and playing his little air drums or twirling his hair or something. It was really just funny. Then we went across the hallway thingy to a non progressing investigator, and the drunk guy started yelling. And I don't really remember what he said but he said like, " Something will always prevail!" and it was really funny. Then we left, I waved bye to him and we went to go unlock our bikes from outside. When we were unlocking he poked his head out around the edge of the balcony and started roaring with the music and pointing at us and throwing up the rock sign again. And then he took out a knife and pretended to slit his throat and then pointed at us. Which was a little unsettling. We had a good laugh and then biked off to our next appointment.
    Bit of a weird day, and then we visited this guy that lives with his son and lost his wife some odd years ago. The house is decorated the same, but is covered in dust, poorly lit and has trash everywhere and the guy looked like a mess, he picked up drinking and smoking too. He is a less active, his wife and he are married and sealed in the temple! And so we had a little discussion about eternal marriage and about how it is a privilege, not a guarantee. It was really hard for us not to "jack" him. We say that here and it means pretty much tear them apart with doctrine. And I need to improve in that. So I'm trying to focus on the love I have for people and practice more patience.
    Pretty cool huh? :) I hope you have a great week and stay busy and happy. Love you!

Week 22

 Hey! Congratz on your artwork! That's funny, in my nightly prayers I always include you and your artwork, you're welcome. HAHA just kidding! That's super exciting though! Elliot is still a little diva, that's good to hear.
     Ok so this week was actually exciting. So we had a cool P-day and played dodgeball and then we went a picked up our mini missionaries! Mini missionaries are kids who are in highschool and preparing to serve their own missions, and they kindof like shadow a missionary for a week. So we had mini missionaries, mine's name was Nicholas. Nicholas was about 5' 5'' and maybe 90lbs. It was pretty late already in the day and so we only had one appointment with the other missionaries, all the way across our area, like a 5 mile bike ride. That's when about 1/4 mile down the road, which literally on a bike feels like nothing, he was going about 4mph. Which I then discovered that he has a lung problem! Whoa! So he told me about how he popped a hole in his lungs a while ago playing an instrument... wow.. so we took a break and he layed out on the ground for a few minutes on the side of the road. Then we walked across the street and asked a stranger for a ride to our appt. and threw our bikes in his truck. And then I didn't know the address and we got lost, but we found it eventually... Fun stuff huh!?
   Then second day, Nicholas was busy with some college classes so I went on a trio with Elder Madrigal and his mini. Then the third day I got a new mini named Ethan! Ethan was awesome! We set 2 baptismal days with people in one day and it was super fun and he has a ton of fire! We got along really well and he has a great attitude and testimony. 
   Yesterday! Yesterday after church we went to a member's house. This guy's house is the place they filmed Jurassic Park! Not really but it looks just like it. We go into this place and he has a huge pool with a water slide! Then we walk outside and go and visit his 3 CAMELS! Then we went and saw his 4 ZEBRA and then his 2 swans, I caught some fish in a net and then we got surrounded by his like 6 horses. It was the best day ever haha.
  Super great week. Btw the Mp3 player came with headphones... awkward.. but thank you anyways!

Week 21

  I'm so Sad to hear that Grammie has cancer. I will be praying for her and for you guys, dad and Grampa especially. I know that we all have testimonies of the Gospel and know what the next step is and its nothing to fear. That's another great thing about the mission, you get to share that message with people, and give them the opportunity for eternal happiness.
  I am pretty jealous that you guys are in Maine at the beach and eating lobster, even though I'm not a huge fan of lobster. You never know, maybe now I like it. I love how you always say that, "First world problems" haha it's so funny, I don't know why. Hope you guys have a safe and fun trip and it doesn't make you move to Maine next week.
   This week has been a depressing week! None of our investigators were in church yesterday. We are teaching a family and they are super cool and smart and accept the Gospel and will even read and pray when we ask them to, but then come Sunday and they don't come. They always say they will but they don't. Super frustrating. We are going to have a drop lesson with them later tonight to see if they are committed or not interested.
    Thank you for the birthday presents, I love the backpack and my roommates love the freezer pops. These ones are so good, the texture is awesome. I haven't received the speaker and mp3 yet, but I will later today, it's at the mission office. Also, when you send things to me, send them to the mission office so they don't get stolen. Did you get a chance to send me my headphones? I am without headphones and when we go to everyweek I can't listen to any of the talks.
    I love you, thank you for all your support! Have a great time in Maine!
Elder Birrell in his Princess Birrell crown on his birthday. Lol,Happy 19! <3

Week 20

   Hey! Elder Madrigal says hi. Wow, that sounds super scary! I hope Grammie will be okay. I will definitely pray for her, I bet Dad could offer to give her a blessing, even a blessing of comfort would help her a lot. Also you could tell them, tell them about how God loves us and how he wants to bless them and help them to realize his hand in everything. I think that Grammie would love the Plan of Salvation and I think that the idea of an eternal family would make her really happy.
  Your painting looks awesome! No paper in this one though? I think that the people will love this one, just hardworkin' farm gal. Did you get a new centerpiece for the table? The thing under the flowers? What happened to the rocks? Haha oh and also those flowers are pretty, good job mom. We've gotten a ton of rain here in the last week or so. In Houston there was actually a shark on the freeway. It is doctrine, I have it from a credible source. It must have gotten washed up there or something, who knows, Sharknado. The rain here gets super crazy and being in a bike area its super fun.. kinda. The other day we had to bike in probably the hardest rain I can remember. Even though the rain only downpours for like 15mins on and off, I have been more dry in a swimming pool. It was fun though and we just yelled crazy stuff as we biked. And then we showed up on a members doorstep dripping wet and they let us in and we laid out towels on the stuff so we wouldnt wreck anything. There are huge puddles here because the roads are terrible. Also the roads are pretty narrow and there arent always bike lanes so sometimes we are those missionaries making all the cars go like 15mph. Havent had anyone yell anything at us or honk yet. Well, we went by the middle school I think? Maybe the High School? I dont know, everybody here looks like they're 21 but they are really 13. Anyway we biked by and they had like something outside and all the kids were looking at us and we waved and they waved back and then we waved to this one group and all of them flipped us off. Which was just funny. 
    We have some really awesome investigators that I love so much. We have the Z family, they're a single mom and 5 kids. The kids are I think like 17,16,10,5,5 or something like that. But they are really great, they love all the lessons and then they didnt come to church this week either.. 3 weeks in a row. 1st week - Friend had a baby born,2nd week - Kids got stung by jellyfish and were in hospital,3rd week - Aunt had surgery for kidney stones.. We were super frustrated and then we went and the little kid repented in the opening prayer and we just couldnt stay mad at them. So we have to push they baptismal date back to the 21 of June. Gahh... But that's okay, they're going to be great members.
   I need to get better at taking pictures, I dont have any cool ones for you this week, I'll do better. Have a great week! Love you!
  ***And also I was given a commitment from one of the AP's to read a book and I dont have it and I was wondering if you could get me a copy. And also I started to read another book and I really liked it but I got transferred and had to give it back... The first one is called "The Inevitable Apostacy" and something about the Restoration.. and the second is called "The Infinite Atonement" Both by Tad R. Collister. There is no rush on either of these, I just want to read them sometime during my mission. You can order them and then read them yourself if you want, the one I started reading is super cool. 
    Alright.. that's all haha. I love you, thank you so much for your support!
Missionaries putting together hygiene kits at Sister Galke's home! Sisters Smith(?) and McNamara, Elders Birrell and Madrigal