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.

Week 93

    Hey Mom! This week was really good! We are having lots of success with the ward and lots of participation from the members! It's really fun. Right now we are teaching some part member families who have lots of potential. There is an older woman whose son was baptized about 2 months ago and she is working to get baptized this Saturday. It was really cool the other day, we were at her house, she lives with her son, and she has a hard time grasping things. Just cause she's an old lady you know? And we showed her the Restoration video to try to help her understand it and then her son, a recent convert who usually isnt super talkative taught her the whole restoration lesson. It was really awesome!
  Then there is another  family who are all members except the one of the brothers. So we are teaching him, he works a lot so it's kind of hard to find a time that works for him, but his brothers are really missionary minded so it shouldnt be too hard to help him find some time. Then we have a less active family we have recently been working with, and 2 people have moved here from mexico, and they're really cool and came to church this Sunday and really liked it.
    We are trying to work with a few more families, we have really nice lessons and the spirit is always really strong, we set a few return appointments and one of the families went on a trip for the weekend, thus ruining their commitment to church on Sunday :/. But I guess you can't force anyone to come to church if they dont want to right?
   Then today we are going to have a little bbq with the other zone and pres Torres might show up. We see pres Torres all the time, he's there on Sundays, Wednesday meetings and everything it's pretty cool. Not that that makes him any less impressive. He gave the third hour in church the other day because it was the 5th sunday and it was awesome. Even our investigators talked to us about people they want to bring to church. I don't know what kind of cereal he eats in the morning but I want some.
   Things are going really well, my comp and I are good, and yeah. Thanks for keeping me updated, Have a happy Halloween! I love you!

Week 92

    Hey mom! My week was pretty good, elder Hallsted and I are doing pretty well. Operation prototype is going really well, his spanish continues to impress me. We are having lots of fun with the ward, we have called 6 new ward missionaries to help us and they are all super pumped. We play basketball every morning and the ward plays on Fridays and I left my ball there and so there is some member that has it and its gonna take forever to find it. But that's okay
    We found some cool guys from Honduras this week, they are super funny. Of course, they asked us all the uncomfortable questions about the law of chastity. Which used to make me really uncomfortable, but now it's happened so many times its just kinda funny. So we had a good chat with them and then they didn't come to church. But at least now they know haha.
     We went tie digging again today, I feel like my spanish improves when we go. It's super fun, I did a cannonball into dirty clothes and it was pretty weird. The lady didnt even laugh, so it just made it a little awkward. 
     But yeah not that much happened. I have to run, sorry for such a short letter! I love you, have a great week!

Week 91

     Hi Mom! This week was pretty good, We had a seventy come visit our mission! It was really great, his name is Elder Kopischke. Yeah, he's german, his wife too. He had no accent though, I was kinda sad that he didn't, I was hoping that he would be like Uchtdorf or we'd like have to try to figure out what he was saying, but he had perfect english. His wife had a little bit of an accent, but not too. much. She is the most excited person I've ever met. She was like literally bouncing when she was talking and she'd walk like Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Carribean, with her hands all flailing around in the air, it was interesting just to watch her haha. They taught us a lot about faith and our part and God's part. It was really interesting, he is a great teacher, as he should be right? It was interesting and he didn't like teach us anything we didn't know, he just made it very clear and easy to understand, which he also talked with us about. He said that boldness isn't so much telling people they are wrong or anything, it's just being very very clear. 

     Also, there has been a change in our ward. We are now going to be 7 missionaries in our ward. Us, our zone leaders, the assistants to the President, and President Torres. I know right? Crazy! He said that we are going to change the way the missionary work is done here in Southern Texas, we are going to be the first ones to start something. We call it, "Operation Prototype" haha. It's super cool and I'm excited to be a part of it. We had a meeting with the auxilaries from the ward and Pres Torres spoke and just pumped everybody up, he's awesome. In this ward in the past there has been a little power struggle over the missionaries and the ward, but now I think everything will go pretty smoothly. Most of the leaders were very intimidated by Pres's presence. 

     We have a cool investigator, he is with a less active member. Both of them are married, to someone else, in Mexico. What a great opportunity to see miracles right? He's come to church about 5 times and his wife as well, so I guess she's technically active but.. They're really great, have lots of financial struggles but they are going to be great if they keep working. It's fun to see how many "keep it up!" lessons you can come up with. We have another investigator, the mother of a guy who just got baptized, pretty cool. She's really old, but old people need the Gospel too. 

     We get fed a lot in this area, no that doesnt mean that I'll gain weight, but I might get diabetes from all the Coke's I drink. But that's about it. Mexican people are so cool, they always ask if we've eaten yet, and if we say no, they offer to feed us, or they at least send us home with goodies. You can't underestimate the importance of goodies to a missionary, when you leave mom's house, your cupboards are no longer full of stuff you can just snack on. 
    Everytime I introduce myself people ask me how long I've been out and it's strange to say almost 22 months. They always say, "Oh ya se va" or like, oh you're gone already. It's sad haha. I think going home is every missionaries nightmare. So I try not to think about it. Apparently we can kind of start applying for colleges, so I'll let you know next week what we can do about that. 
      Thanks for writing me, hope you guys continue to do well and enjoy your rabbit food while I eat hearty mexican food. I love you!