I pretty much said everything that there was to say on Christmas in the call. It was a rather boring week though and I am excited to try and get something done this week. If it is possible with the new year and everything happening. We had some real fun Christmas Eve and Christmas time though eating with members and having a really fun time.
I have decided that the calls are more for the parents than the missionaries because it only kind of makes you miss home and everything. Like I am fine and everything, don't worry. It just kind of makes you miss home and all the traditions.
Miss you like a ton and stuff and I hope you guys are doing just super awesome!
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Um so we will be calling from a members house Christmas at like 3 my time. I just really want to talk to you guys about whatever hahaha.
I had a good week, busy as always. I do miss home a little and with the whole christmas spirit I have been kinda missing our traditions and everything. But nothing like bad haha. We have a ton of cool plans for this week with members and stuff. I am going to try and make popcorn balls with a member family and such. We should be eating really well hahaha.
We did baptize two people on Saturday and that was cool to see some of my hard work come to fruit. We have been working our butts off even though it is Christmas time and everything. Even when it is the hardest time to work. Yay for baptisms.
I am pretty excited to talk to you guys because it has been like forever and ever hahahaha.
It got like really cold here in Tuxpan this week. Like sitting at about 40 or below and I realized that I do not have any winter clothes hahaha. I borrowed another sweater from a member family and an investigator gave me another. I took out some more money for some like Christmas gifts for my comp. I have no clue how to send stuff home and I really have not had time to look for anything. So, I am sorry that I haven't sent anything haha.
I did try to send you a picture on your birthday but the wifi where we live doesn't seem to work anymore and then I got busy with trying to prepare this baptism and stuff hahahaa. Sorry!
Miss you guys a ton and we will talk on Friday!
I am totally going to make popcorn balls with a member because I need my popcorn balls haha. I totally forgot about them until about right now so this should be super fun to try and make!
I had a super fun and interesting week to be honest haha. Monday we had my little food party and ate Posole (which is like the greatest soup with a ton of stuff in it and super Mexican) then candy, cake and ice cream! I invited the whole zone so I ended up spending a little money to buy all the food but we really had a great time and it was nice to do something for my missionary buddies.
Tuesday was my first Christmas conference with President and it was pretty fun to be honest! We had some awesome messages and then we broke a piñata and ate candy. Hermana Greer gave us socks and some pretzel chocolate thing hahaha. We ate some turkey and mashed potatoes then sang a bunch of Christmas songs! It was fun because it was in Poza Rica so it was my first event out of Tuxpan haha. I got to see a few Elders including Elder Soto (the elder that we met in the airport). He is way fun and it is cool because I already know that I will be coming back with him on the plane hahaha.
Then on my birthday we just worked really hard to be honest, tons of walking and trying to prep some investigators to be baptized. It was kind of funny because at the end of the day I was like well why not buy a pizza and we can eat it for my bday. I called the pizza place and they were all good to go but then for some reason decided that it was too far hahaha. So I ended up eating cereal and watching 17 Miracles.
This weekend we did a ton of service to help one of my investigators move into a new apartment that was not even close to being ready to live in. We cleaned it crazy good with water and then put in the majority of a bathroom. We also did a bunch of electrical work to put in a couple lights and to bring in power for her fridge and stuff. I really have to thank dad a ton because I know how to put in a toilet mas o menos and I know just a lot of little things about housework because of all the projects that we had growing up. So thank you!
I am super happy after the dedication of the Tiajuana temple too because we got to participate in that as well this Sunday! It was super spiritual and made me feel good like I was in the Temple again. I really miss the feeling of being in or near the temple.
We will be trying to call around 3 my time here in Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico. We will be with a member family and everything so don't worry. I am expecting to get your package when I go down to Xalapa again the 22nd for the meeting of the new missionaries (for the third time haha) So we will see how that goes.
Miss you, so much!
Yeah I took out a bit of money out for my birthday to buy a little electric razor when I don't want to shave hahaha. It was cheap though like $10 then I spent some for the party (basically I just bought a bunch of food and stuff for the Elders in my zone) We are doing that tonight right after I finish writing because I am going to work on my birthday (like normal haha). I still have most of the money that I took out though so don't worry.
Yeah I am doing good though. It is a little harder this time of year but I should finally have a couple of baptisms in a couple weeks and hopefully can find some more new people. I have been trying really hard with my new kid because he is just super awesome and I want him to be a really good Elder. So, I am trying to train him really well. President, for some reason, thinks I am like the greatest trainer on the face of the planet because he keeps saying that when he sees me hahaha. I am a little tired of it though because it is always the same things over and over again haha. But I am really happy and enjoying the season.
It is funny because it is so catholic here. They have a ton of traditions and stuff and almost everyday is something to do with the Virgin Maria.
I will be calling you by Skype on Christmas in like the afternoon around this time I am assuming. I have no clue where from still because I don't know if the cybers will be open that day. I will work it out though. I am also excited to talk to you guys, especially Dad in spanish to see how good his is still.
Holden lives in tempe now? Weird. What is he doing with his life? He wants me to come home and get married. I say no. I am serving with dignity, i hope haha, it is still a process of repenting everyday though as everyone does.
I love you guys so much!
My new friend, R2D2. It came in a box of cereal haha.
I cut my hair short because I was tired of doing it in the morning.
Well it is good that things seem to be calming down because here they are too. We seem to have hit the time of year when everyone is leaving and not in town or they really don't have time to listen to the missionaries. It is kind of sad because I just started a training and we have not been able to do a ton. Like yeah we found some people that listened and everything but they cannot make it to church until after the holiday season so it doesn't really do us much good.
I am pretty happy though. It finally, finally, finally cooled down a bit here in Tuxpan so it has been kind of strange to not sweat during the day. I decided to stop drinking Coke here for a little while because here it is like terrible for you and I started getting kind of chubby again. We would drink Coke at least twice a day because the members just give us Coke and I actually really like it here in Mexico, hahaha it is like addicting. My area is like tiny and flat so I have not been walking that much for 3 months. I am losing weight again it seems but we will see what happens when it comes to my birthday and Christmas.
Speaking of my birthday I am going to have a little party with my zone and I already know I will be spending a little money to get it done. I mentioned it to a member family here and they went nuts planning a Mexican fiesta party thing. With like a piñata and cake and ice cream and tacos and stuff. So I will be buying all of that stuff and also pizza for my zone here. So don't worry. I should be having a ton of fun that week. The members here really, really take care of us though. Like a ton hahaha.
We have a really sweet zone here in Tuxpan and I am having a ton of fun with the other missionaries. Today we went back to Peter Dog and ate some burgers and shopped around. I just wish one of my baptisms would come to fruit. It seems that every time I get someone prepared, they get to their date and then something happens. Like I had 2 baptisms all set up and then 4 days before her service she gave birth. Then another that got his baptism suspended for 2 months because of some stuff that happened in his life. Like I am super happy and working and these people will get baptized and everything it is just I have not been in the water since Cerro Azul and it has been 3 months. Like my comp baptized one and everything but I am being a little selfish haha.
I also guess I am a grandpa hahaha. Elder Chiñas, my first kid, is also training this transfer so I am a grandpa in the mission with only 7 months! Oh yeah, I also hit 7 months this Sunday! Super weird hahaha. I feel super alive still and am working really hard with my new companion. He is super awesome and super excited to be a missionary.
Also with christmas coming up I am really excited to talk to you guys! I can show off my spanish with Dad and talk to you guys about how the mission is. I mean yeah I can say some things about it through email but it is really hard to talk about how it really is here hahaha.
Love you guys so much! I lost my cable for my recorder btw and the internet in our house died, I guess so I will be sending pics through the email or at church if I remember.
So, I didn't get to write yesterday either hahaha but I am alive and happy and fine. So please do not call president haha.
I went to Xalapa this weekend to get my third kid in the mission haha. It has been a blast training and I really have learned like a ton of things from training. It has been quite a trial by fire type of learning. It has been really hard, if I am going to be really honest with you, but in the end I am really happy. I am staying in Santiago de la Peña so I will be spending my birthday and Christmas here with my new son.
My kid is named Elder Flores. He is a giant to be honest haha, just a huge kid. Like at least 6´4 and just thick. Way bigger than me to be honest! I will send photos from my camera tonight when I get home. He is from Monterrey and is seriously the coolest kid ever. To be honest he seems to be just an amazing missionary already from what we have done in these few short days and has a huge testimony. I am super excited about this change because I know we are going to baptize a ton. He also speaks really, really good English so it will be fun to practice that before I have to talk to you guys in English. Super excited to talk to Dad in spanish though so woo!
I also got to go to Cerro Azul again yesterday because I had to teach the area to an elder named Elder Koller. He got put in that area with his new kid without knowing the area, it is called a white wash. So we abandoned our kids for a day and went to Cerro to show him the house and the most important things about the area. It was fun and he is such a cool Elder and to be honest a really, really good friend.
Well I am sorry that it is going to be pretty short this week because we do not have like any time to write. I am off to work ya hahaha.
Ummm package wise just like candies and things. Idk I could use some like sweet sharpie markers for my scriptures or something like that. To be honest I really have everything I need. And anything that I don't have I can buy here. It is pretty modern and such, like there is a Sam's here in Tuxpan and we went and bought like peanut butter and everything. Meet the Mormons and The Best 2 Years would be sweet for family home evenings!
I am doing good though. Like I am happy and working and everything. This area has been hard for me because it was my first area as a senior comp and I had to learn a ton of things. I have not had a ton of success here but the area really is progressing from when I got here. Training is hard and sometimes the workload gets to me and I just want to lay down but I just can't. I was reading the other day and it said that the only smart thing to do is to really just work and put it all on the line for the Lord. If we don't then we are just idiots because we are giving up 2 years of our lives for nothing, just to save a little face. But if we work and do what the Lord wants, through us he can do amazing things and we can be changed. Motivates me to do when I feel like I can't.
It has been a little strange thinking about Holden getting married though. I woke up Saturday and remembered that Holden like got married. I was just like what the heck. It is weird thinking about that the family just won't be the same when I get back and I will also be moving on with my life and trying to do things and ugh strange. But I still have plenty of time here in the mission before I have to worry about all that stuff. My visions of what I want are changing though. Like the things I wanted to come back to just don't seem as important anymore and I have more of a desire to do the little things that seemed to bother me before.
We went to Xalapa this week and it was fun and all, but it was the same thing as the last time I went with my other kid Elder Chiñas. So, it kinda felt a bit of a waste of time to me. Fun to see the other Elders though and to hangout with them. Just 12 hours in a bus ride was hard on the body. I also realized that my English is kind of weird because I say things like I have cold (tengo frio) because that makes sense in spanish and I feel like sometimes I am translating to English haha.
I hope you guys are doing well! How is Landen and Braden? I always hear about Holden haha. Has Landen broken my laptop yet? Braden My 3DS? It is weird to realize that Landen will be dating and driving and all that weird stuff when I get home. It will be fun to mess around with him!
I do miss you guys a ton though! Sorry about the recordings! Honestly because my church is at like 3 in the afternoon Sunday nights are usually busy with stuff to do and then Mondays are always like the craziest things so I just forget...
Bit of Xalapa
Selfie with my camera haha
Oh my gosh, I have simplified hahahaha, especially in my teaching. I got all super excited when I started to learn a ton of stuff and started to throw in like dates and times and people into my teaching. I think it just confused a bunch of people, especially with my spanish haha. Then in general conference the general authority like burned me with his statement that the gospel is simple and should be simple and taught simply. I have changed a ton of what I say and do in my teaching to be honest.
That is super crazy that Holden is getting married. When you said two weeks I kind of freaked out cause like that is super fast hahaha. Then I forgot all about it until last night and I was like holy crap my brother gets married in a week! Weird... suddenly there is a new person in my life forever and it is a girl! Strange. I am kind of a little happy to be on the mission and not really know whats going on because I just don't know how I would feel. I imagine Landen and Braden know what I am talking about. Just different. I have come to realize slowly and surely that my life is not the same and never ever will be the same. My desires and my wants and my vision of my life are like slowly changing haha. And now there are new family members and new things and friends and wow.
This week was pretty cool and weird for me though. We had a pretty normal week of working and everything, a few divisions and the normal stuff. We found a few people taught a few lessons and got rained on pretty bad haha. It was sweet. Then came Sunday and guess what, we do have primary programs! It was this Sunday and it was really fun and everything, like a little small and short to be honest. We ended sacrament meeting like 15 min early. But the weirdest part is I got to participate haha. My investigator J, who is 8, asked me if I wanted to sing with him and I was like ok hahah. So, we went up on the stand and I sang all the songs with them and everything haha, it was really fun.
Tomorrow we are going to Xalapa for a meeting with all of the trainers and greenies, should be fun. However, I am not looking forward to another day of 12 hours riding in a bus. But I will get to see some friends and escape my zone for a little bit, and talk in a little english! I literally talk all day every day in Spanish. I still make some mistakes and am working on a few things still. When I get really excited and try to talk fast, I sound like an idiot but I still do it. Idk sometimes the gringos when they talk in spanish go like numb of emotion, literally just talking slow and robotic. I cannot do that because I found out I am a really loud and expressive person and I converted that into spanish. Its funny because I think I have confused my brain a bit because sometimes when I talk in spanish like an english word slips out and confuses me and when I talk in English I think like half of my words are spanish anyway hahaha.
Transfers are soon and I am scared that I will have to change areas for Christmas and my birthday. Scary things!
Love you guys so much!
Santiago de la peña!
Sweet sunset pic
Thursday, December 10, 2015
My week was pretty calm to be honest. With vacations from school, we really did not have much work. They not only celebrate Halloween here but they have dia de muertos and some other day so it is like 4 days in a row. So with people leaving all weekend and all the parties it was a pretty calm week for work. My kid is doing well though and we are getting along really, really well. I have been super lucky to have companions so far that I get along with because I couldn't imagine having a comp that doesn't want to work or that I just don't get along with. I sure hope not because I usually get along with everyone haha.
We did have a pretty awesome week in terms of our investigators though. R and J, a mom and kid, are progressing really awesome and we are hoping to baptize them the 15 and 22 of November. She is pregnant and the baby is due like really soon so we want to get her in the font before that happens. It seems like the gospel is helping her a ton with her personal life because she has had a hard time with relationships and right now she is alone with 1 kid and another baby. Seems the truth is really helping her secure her rock and find what is really important. We also found a new investigator that went to church with us and seemed really cool. He has had a few problems with marriage and never really has had religion in his life ,but wants to discover more. I think he really liked the church and we will be following up with him.
It was a cool Pday because my comp is from Mexico City and so his mom can send stuff like no other easily. She sent him her Sam`s card and so we went to Sam`s and bought so much more food with our monthly allowance than we ever can shopping in the city hahaha. It was sweet and reminded me of all those trips to Costco hahah. We also went shopping because I decided that I needed some shoes and I ended up buying some super sweet comfy shoes but they are not great for walking hahahaha. I have a problem. So don't freak out if someone used my card finally because it was me!
I can't believe I already have 6 months to be honest. This transfer is almost over already and I barely started with my comp. I am kinda scared that I won't have enough time in the mission to do all the work that I can. It is so different than before when I was all worried about 2 years and now I am worried that I only have 18 months. I LOVE Mexico haha! It is such an interesting place and the people are all so crazy, yeah it is different and yeah I miss my home, but like you said I feel right at home here and I know that this is the place I should be. I am so happy that I am learning Spanish though because I am excited to have that connection with Dad and with my cousins.
For mail, the only thing I have heard is use the US Postal Service normal but for protection you can print something of the Virgin of Guadalupe and stick it to the outside because they will respect it for some reason and won't open it hahaha that is the only thing I have heard.
A member asked me if I miss you guys, and it was funny because I do so much. It's not that I am homesick because honestly I have never had that problem, but I really miss the memories and the craziness we had. I love my family and it is the best family in the world.
But it is still weird that Holden is getting married....
Halloween is Saturday! What the heck ahahahah That is so weird that I have been out here for almost 6 months! When you work and work and work the time just flys by. I am doing super good. This area has been harder then Cerro Azul to really find success but we are working to find those that are prepared. Training is really hard when you don't have the experience to do so. I feel like I should still be being trained but for some reason President thought I was ready for all this responsibility. I have been working hard to try and figure everything out. I have learned a ton in divisions though and how to change things that I have been doing not perfect or sometimes just bad hahaha.
I had divisions with the zone leaders again this week. I went into Tuxpan with an Elder named Elder Wagnar. His story is interesting because he left for the mission in 2013 about the same time as Holden. But he hurt his knee after like 4 months and had to go home. He came back, a year later though, and now has about 18 months in the mission. It was a super chill day with him because I got to rest from leading and teaching and really just learn. I learned alot and have some cool new plans for my own area. It also really raised my spirits because we had such a busy and worthwile day. 5 lessons and 1 new, and their investigators are all like super chosen and awesome. I know they are out there waiting I just have to keep looking.
Also I had my first experience with daylight savings time. We got up and went to work in the morning on Sunday and worked until food at 1. We showed up and the sister was like why are you guys here so early? I was like it is 1? She said, oh yeah you guys probably don't know hahahaha. We went back an hour. I missed the only day to get 9 hours of sleep in the mission hahaha. It was super weird because that is the first time that has ever happened.
Today was a pretty relaxed day and we just kinda played some card games with members while the clothes were washing. The last Pday before the month is always really boring because no one has money to do anything fun hahaha. So everyone just kinda stays put and waits it out till the first of the month. We don't get much money but it is enough and I am learning to manage a bit better because when I was home I just kinda spent what I wanted because I had money and no expenses hahaha.
Sometimes I do miss how clean America is. Tuxpan is actually pretty clean and everything but sometimes like the little things about the niceness of America you miss. Like trash service and clean, clean houses. But I really do love it here and the food is sooooo delicious. I try to learn how to make something when I like it because I know I will miss it when I get back. You can buy corn flower to make corn tortillas in AZ right?
Happy halloween y feliz cumplianos a mi perrita!!!
It has been a really fun week. It has been hard. My kid is super, super cool and everything, but it just has been hard to be the leader again and try to do my best. Sometimes I am just so tired and I don't want to get out of bed haha. But I do because I know that what I am doing is important and I can't just lay in bed. I am about to hit 6 months in the mission. I feel like I have barely made an impact on Mexico. I dont have time to waste here. We are working really, really hard because I know that is the only smart thing to do.
It is weird training from the beginning because I just remember everything that I had problems with during my training and my kid has like the same problems. He has to learn scriptures and how to teach with questions and just everything in between. I had so much trouble with that out of the gate and I understand so much of what he is going through. He has been improving rapidly and we are always always finding people to teach. The Lord is blessing us a ton with people to teach. But we cannot get anyone to go to church. Like they just don't go because of rain or a headache or I don't know something. It hurts when we have such wonderful investigators and they do not commit to learn.
During my training, one thing that is interesting that I was always thinking about was how after my training things will get better. I will be able to speak better and teach better and everything. But one day I just looked around and was like no way, I am living in Mexico and talking to people in Spanish. I am enjoying the food and my companions are awesome. They is no other place I would rather be. Like yeah, I miss my friends and I miss my technology and sometimes I wish I could just lay on the couch and Netflix, but who would give up the chance to live in another place and really, really experience the people. I have already made huge differences in the lives of people. I have already been able to pick up the language. I have made awesome friends both in members and in my companions and other missionaries. I love the mission and I am having such fun. When the work is hard I just remember that I am giving it my all and am being obedient and working hard, so why not be happy while doing it. Yeah here in Mexico we baptize and that means that it always seems that we are comparing how many baptisms and how others are doing, but in the end I am happy with what the Lord is doing through me.
I still love love love Alma 26:12. I think it will be my favorite scripture forever because when I look around and think I can't do this anymore my legs hurt and my Spanish is not amazing and people are not flocking to the church, I know that God will work through me in his time.
We had a little fun playing basketball today and I ate Burger King haha.
Sorry for not writing yesterday, but it was because I went to Xalapa!
I am training this transfer again! But with a brand new missionary! I went to Xalapa yesterday to pick him up and the food with Hna Greer and such. It was a pretty awesome day because I got to see a ton of the missionaries I know and meet a ton of new ones. It was super fun and the food was delicious haha. Super awesome giant burritos of beef and every type of salsa and topping you could think of.
Then I found out who my kid was. President took all the newbies and one by one they gave their testimony in front and then received their comp. The first missionary that was up shared a super powerful testimony and I had such a strong feeling to really pay attention to the words he was saying. I realized when he said Amen that he would be my hijo. I was right and I received Elder Aguilar from Mexico City as my new companion. He is super powerful and so much like me it is kind of crazy. We both love to eat and talk and sports and just his personality is so much like mine haha. Today we spent the day going back to Tuxpan and just finished eating and everything. We will be headed to the house next for him to unpack and get ready for tomorrow.
Also this week on Thursday, I had the chance to go back to Cerro Azul for the day on divisions. It was such an awesome experience to see E, I and N again. We talked a bit and they gave a lot of references to the Elder that is there now. I also had them promise to go to the temple within 6 months to do baptisms. E and I blessed the sacrament on Sunday and are super powerful in the church. I am so happy for them! N is also very happy and the Elders are going to be teaching her daughter-in-law and grandson. It makes me so happy that I could have changed the lives of these awesome people and I am so excited to keep on keeping on and find more people to help.
I am so excited for this change and to learn and teach from Elder Aguilar. I didn't take a picture this week because all my focus was one going to Xalapa I am sorry. I also forgot my cables so I will send photos when we get back to the house.