Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015

Um this week was rather good nothing honestly too crazy except for a couple things lol. 

So our district leader had some crazy stuff go down and we are not exactly sure what but essentially he left for Xalapa on Saturday at 10. So, now we are in a trio and my trainer is going to become the district leader of Cerro Azule which is literally the trio lol. We don't know what's going to happen after this change but right now we are trioing it up and whatever lol. Because of the trio I actually had my first baptism on Sunday and that was pretty cool! I didn't get to teach him at all but it was cool to be at the baptism. 

But onto better news my investigator accepted baptism for this coming Sunday! His name is J and he is such a boss! We taught him a lot but he never wanted to commit to a date because he wanted to learn more and more before he made his decision. But I was prompted to just straight up ask him and he accepted! And he wants me to be the one to baptize him which is super awesome too! I am so excited and will send pictures and stuff next week. 

Other than that just a ton of walking and getting used to talking to people. My Spanish is like way better and everything but I still have a hard time with some grammar tenses and stuff. I also don't know half the words I want to use and its hard for me to just memorize words, which is annoying, but I guess it has been just three weeks. Me and my trainer are getting so much better at teaching with each other and I feel we are using the spirit more as I learn more and can say more and more during lessons. It is so fun when I just kill a lesson. 

We have a lunch meeting with members everyday at 2 and that's when I really try to improve my Spanish. I just talk and talk and talk to the members even if I don't make sense. My trainer says I am a parrot lol. I copy a lot of his phrases and mannerisms when I talk and he thinks its hilarious when I say things like chale (which is like gosh or crap lol) or no manches (like I'm not kidding lol). It is fun to try and talk like a Mexican.

The Mariachi band was at a members birthday party that we stopped by for some free food. Suddenly, the most Mexican thing ever walks through the door and I freaking loved it lol. We couldn't stay long but I had a good time and free food is nice. But always have work to do so off we went. 

We had a zone activity today so we had to go to Tuxpan which is like a 2 hour drive and then a 3 hour activity and then a 2 hour drive back so I have had no time to do anything today lol. But it was fun and we played dodgeball and handball for a while. 

I am getting used to it here. The only thing is sometimes it feels like I have an eternity left and its kind of disheartening lol. But I am loving learning and talking with my companion about crazy doctrine and video games and everything else. Im getting more accustomed to the food and to the schedule. 
Elder Bigelow

Monday, June 22, 2015

June 22, 2015

This is a different letter. I (Mom) asked him questions and he answered them.
Umm to answer your questions.

Are you ok? Is there something that I should know about or are you just getting the exercise needed to lose weight? 
Nah honestly just walking around and not snacking i am just shedding the weight lol. We pretty much just eat one big meal a day and like a bowl of cereal in the morning. But its crazy hot here and I sweat literally just sitting so I'm bound to just melt weight off. Since I started in the CCM (MTC), I think I've lost like 40 lbs? 

How is the food?
The food is good but a bit hot, and for some reason everyone gives us food. Even when I literally say no like over and over, they just make me eat lol. The life of a missionary is just eat even if you are not hungry at all. It's exactly what I expected though so its ok. 

How about the washing? Do you have a machine or are you hand washing? 
We wash at a members house and she has a machine so its pretty nice. My clothes are never really clean though lol they never get dry, come to think of it I haven't been dry since I got here lol. 

Are you getting along with your companion? 
Yeah he is pretty cool, we have a lot in common and we are super close in age. He is actually a month younger than me but has 10 months in the mish. He likes computers and actually worked in a computer shop before his mission so we talk about that and just joke around. 

Is it just him and you in the apartment?
Yeah its just us in a house thingy. I will take some pics if i remember. It gets a bit boring sometimes just me and him but there is only one more pair of elders in Cerro Azule and we see them every now and then. One is American and its so nice to talk in English every once in awhile lol. 

But this week has been pretty good, a lot faster than last week and a bit easier. I still am tired but not as much. We are working hard and my trainer sure put me to work. I do like all the contacting and I teach a lot of the lessons even though I literally am just slaughtering the language. 

I do ok with Spanish, I can understand most of what people are trying to tell me except when they are trying to talk directly to me then my brain just kinda dies lol.

I miss my family and I love you so much!
Elder Bigelow

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15, 2015

Ummm my area is called Cerro Azule. I spelled it terribly wrong last time but its a small city in the very northern tip of my mission. Its a ton of walking....My body really was not ready for how much walking we actually had to do this week. My trainer planned two really hard days right off the bat to make me suffer a bit and learn what the field is like. It was pretty brutal and my emotions were everywhere from fine I'll just do the work and get it over with to questioning my decision to serve. I hopefully will get used to the physical side of the mission soon. 

Church was interesting because literally there were like 25 people there. Their is one priest and one deacon with no young women. The bishop could care less about helping us with the work and it is solely up to us to work with the members. There is no music at all and no one can sing. But the spirit was there and I was able to bear my testimony at the request of the ward mission leader in spanish and my trainer said I didn't sound like an idiot!

My language is crazy better though like idk but its just improving rapidly. I understand most of what people say unless its a direct question to me because then my mind freaks out and doesn't want to answer. I get lost and look dumb. But I talk a lot with everyone. I teach a lot of the lessons with my comp, and I do like all the contacting. My trainer says I'm improving ridiculously fast. Like he said my spanish wasn't terrible when I started but in 6 days my spanish and my teaching ability is about the same as a missionary that has 4 months in the field. He says that if I keep working as hard as I am that I could be a senior companion or a dl after like 12 weeks! I am blown away at how quick I am learning. 

Speaking of teaching we have a lot of investigators but not really close to baptism. People don't like going to church for some reason and we have to have 5 weeks of church before we can baptize. Several of our investigators can't even read. But we spent a lot of Friday contacting and knocking doors because my trainer said that I needed practice with my language and contacting skills so I talked to a ton of people. We met a bunch of people interested and actually got 6 new investigators on Friday and Saturday.

I will tell you about a couple of them. First there is Saul (yeah I know right). He teaches math at a university and is pretty smart. He has the potential to progress really rapidly and we taught him our first lesson which included an invitation to be baptized on the 19 of July. He accepted if he found out the Book of Mormon is true. I hope he reads and receives his answers because he would be a strong addition to our small ward. Also there was a newly wed family with a baby on the way that had such a love for each other and such a love for their future family that they just absorbed the gospel. They accepted to be baptized the 19th of July too. Hopefully, they will make it to church this Sunday. They are excited to read the Book of Mormon and find out if this is the true gospel. I am so full of hope for our investigators. 

That is what lets me get up in the morning.
Elder Bigelow

Dirty and Tired after working

My first area

Friday, June 12, 2015

June 12, 2015 - Letter from Mission

Querida Familia del Elder Bigelow, 

Estamos encantados de informarles que su hijo, el Elder Bigelow, ha llegado para comenzar su servicio en La Misión México Xalapa. Él se ve muy bien, es sano, y está muy emocionado de comenzar su servicio. Estamos felices de recibirle y tomaremo1s el buen cuidado de él. Fue nuestro privilegio de cenar con él en la casa de misión el día después de llegar a Xalapa. Después de la comida, una buena noche de sueño, un poco de entrenamiento, y una entrevista personal con el presidente, él está fuera de trabajar en su área.

Elder Bigelow se asigna al área de la misión llamado Cerro Azul, Veracruz. Él está en la zona del Tuxpan, Veracruz. Su compañero es Elder Bravo. Tenga por seguro que estas asignaciones no se hacen al azar, sino que son una cuestión de ponderación seria y oración. Nuestra experiencia con el Elder Marx es que él es un misionero ejemplar, uno que está comprometido y dedicado, con la mira puesta únicamente en la obra del Señor.

Usted debe comenzar a recibir correo electrónico u otra correspondencia semanal todos los lunes del Elder Bigelow. Si su comunicación se hace errático, por favor envíenos un email a y vamos a recordarle la importancia de la comunicación con su familia. Las cartas que se escriben para él son preciosas y servirán como fuente de motivación y de la paz con él. Los correos electrónicos son un medio maravilloso de comunicación, pero la alegría de que un misionero se siente cuando la celebración de una carta escrita a mano desde su casa no tiene precio. No hay que subestimar el impacto de una carta escrita a mano.

Nos encanta ya su hijo. Ahora consideramos que él sea uno de los nuestros. Oramos por él y es un honor servir con él en La Misión México Xalapa, la misión más grande en el mundo! Gracias por compartirlo con nosotros durante estos dos años ustedes. Que el Señor les bendiga a usted y a su familia mientras Elder Bigelow Le sirve aquí en Xalapa!

Elder Hernández
Misión México Xalapa
Secretario al Presidente

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

June 6, 8 and 9, 2015

June 6 - 
Hey so they let me email you guys to tell you that I am leaving to Xalapa on a bus on Monday at 4 in the morning! I am alive and well and love it here but I am so ready to be gone. Love you tons and I might be able to email you Monday but I have no clue. 

Leaving the MTC

June 8 -
Hey so I am in the mission office currently in Xalapa! I made it here and met the president. I am alive and well awaiting my trainer and other meetings and stuff but its pretty crazy here so far. From what I heard it looks like my first area is going to be in the north of the mission, pretty excited about that. Love you so much I'll write when I can. 

At President's House

June 9 - 
Hey so we had a chance to write today! 

I am currently in a small town south of my area in some tiny computer shop thing. About yesterday, we made it to the mission office in Xalapa and met the president and the ap´s. We did some visa paper work there and ate a small lunch. Then I had my interview with the mission president, and can I just say that I am so excited for the mission and his support. He seems like such a cool guy and I am so very excited. Then after that we went to his house for some training and specific mission information. It was very informative and cool. Then we ate this huge delicious dinner of sweet pork burritos and nachos with all the works. It was honestly the best Mexican food I have had! Then we got together and met our trainers and found out our areas! So my trainer is Elder Bravo and he honestly just seems like the coolest guy. We connected almost instantly even though he barely speaks any English, it has been interesting to communicate. The area that we are going to be baptizing in is called Serrazule (at least thats how i think you spell it) and legitly it is in the very, very northern part of the mission and is called la goma because its so far away. It gets pretty hot in the north and my area is probably the worst. So after eating some dessert and just chatting with the comp and the president we took off to the ap´s house and crashed there for the night.

Then this morning we left at about 9 on a bus for the 8 hour journey to our area. We are about 7 hours into that journey... It was weird because we watched movies the entire way here and there was no way to not watch them except to just sleep (which I did a lot.) So now we are in a smaller city named Tuxpan waiting for someone to arrive so that we can take off to serrazule lol its pretty crazy. 

I am so excited everyone. We teach our first investigator tomorrow and I am so ready to begin the Lord's work. My trainer will teach my a lot and my spanish will only keep getting better and better. 

Lots of love, 
Elder Bigelow

My Mission Parents

My Trainer, Elder Bravo

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June 2, 2015

This week has been pretty crazy so I am going to write it out in two paragraphs again to sum up the spiritual and temporal things.

Spiritual: So starting Wednesday with this one because during a practice teaching I was talking about baptism with my fake investigator (who also is my teacher) and I tried to wrap it up saying that I wanted her to pray about the things I said tonight. My teacher looked me dead in the eye and said "When do you want her to be baptized?" and I said as soon as possible. He said "then when do you want her to pray?" As soon as possible. So the second I began to ask her to get down on her knees and pray about whether baptism is the right choice for her the whole atmosphere of the room changed. I felt the power of my words as I testified by the spirit that if she were to ask God right now she would receive an answer. She started to pray and began to cry during it and of course I was already balling my eyes out. We finished the prayer and looked at each other and I knew she knew. My teacher then broke character and said "That is how you teach as a missionary" I felt the spirit stronger in that fake practice than I have in a lot of my life. The CCM is incredible. We also had the privilege of hearing one of the first quorum of the 70 speak to us and the one really big thing he talked about is how to not go home with regrets. I learned a lot but what really stuck out to me is we need to see people, whether on the street or while teaching them as God sees them, with that eternal perspective. See them in white, not getting baptized but entering into the temple. It doesn't matter whether they are tatted up or holding a beer, they are our spiritual brothers and sisters and we need to see them as they will become. 

Temporal: Um this week was decent in general a lot of sports and just general awesomeness lol. The language has been going good and I have been trying to talk as much in spanish as possible considering we will be in Xalapa in about 6 days. We leave at 4:30 in the morning on a bus to Xalapa Monday morning! So excited that its already here. We had a sleep over with another zone in our district and just piled mattresses in our front room and messed around. I have been making some sweet tie trades and to be honest I have about 4 of the ties I came on the mission with! I have a ton of ties from elders in my house which is cool. We all signed them and such. Me and Elder McLaughlin have really gotten to know each other well and he is a really cool kid. My comps are awesome and our lesson teaching has become much more unified!

MTC Companion Models

MTC Lunch Friends