Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 27th, 2012

Looks like Geoffrey's letter this week is answering my (mom's) questions....

To answer your questions:
Dont worry about not having sent a bunch of packages. You have sent more to me than all of my companions have received, and I am truly grateful for all of the things you send me. I LOVED the little water dissolving healthy tablet flavored water things (nuun I think is the brand). And both my companion and I loove the fruit rope things. Also, the lemonade is delicious. Other random things like pictures of Christ, or post-its or pens are also great. If you feel a desire to send white short sleeved shirts, (Van Heuson is my favorite) they would be well received...just like 2-- one for me and one for my companion.

And as far as shoes, I have had to repair the doc martins 3 times. I am wearing some from the army that I bought from an hermano for 250 pesos. Shoes I can buy here.

 As far as money goes, I am good right now, they have to reimbolse us a lot, so that is why I am taking out a lot of money (for rent and pasajes, etc.).

My companion is amazing, but he comes from humble circumstances in comparison to the united states, but i think good circumstances for Mexico.  If you can send the talk THE FOURTH MISSIONARY in Spanish for him (maybe even by email) that would be awesome! Also, he loooves cooking, so if you have some recipes he would like it. What is the recipe for Texas caviar???
I just threw out a bunch of ideas, don´t feel obligated to fulfill all of them.
Here are a few more questions....
How is your stress level?             ...in Xochimilco I focused on developing patience, and that helped me a lot.
How is your Spanish?  Do you still work hard on the accent and learning new words?   
                            I could always improve more, but I am doing well...a mexican companion makes a world
                          of a difference...it is sooo weird for me to talk in english. I am focusing on trying to help
                          Elder Rios learn English, because he knows very little. he has a year in the mission, and Im
                           his first gringo.
 I am interested to hear if you decided to move or not.       We decided to move within the neighborhood we
                                   are in right now, because it is like the crossroads of all the little towns we visit for 
                                  another month. we reserved the house in Concordia for, in a month, if they authorize
                                   services in Concordia or something we could move there to a house really nice with
                                   room for the church services in the patio out back.
Can you just leave an apartment easily and go to another or do they have contracts?    
                      Sometimes we make contracts, but it is pretty easy to change whenever.

Any idea what an apartment costs?                        The normal rent is about 1,500 pesos (116 dolars)...for a
                                                                               pretty nice house (relatively to the area).
 What do you eat for breakfast and lunch..do you eat much with members or not so much in your new area?              Honestly, we don´t eat as much in this area...it is a very humble area. But almost always it is 
                       beans, tortilla, rice, and generally chicken. And in this area a bunch of fried fish.
Have you been sick any more like you we're at the beginning, or do you feel pretty healthy?         
            ( This answer is censored-for mom only)
Have you gained or lost weight?              I am about the same...just a little "softer" haha.
What do you do for exercise?              We play basketball...sometimes a little competitively, but it is way fun.
 I am feeling the need for more day to day details can you tell?         Ya, I can tell.

I am sending photos of the new house we are moving into...I am really happy too because there is a mango tree full of huge mangoes in the patio. But it is rather small...two rooms...and the bathroom out back. 
And that iguana I'm holding...ya. we ate that.

Mom, also, you can just copy some of what I wrote for the blog, because I ran out of time.
Love you like a Mexican loves tortillas,

                                                     The iguana that we ate for dinner.

                              The apartment we are looking at renting.

                                                                 I (mom) am assuming this is the bathroom


Monday, February 20, 2012

February 20th, 2012

I have about five minutes...so this will be short...

Independencia is going well. Church yesterday was pretty good as a family of 7 came (from a nearby town--Benito Juarez) that we have been teaching. Also, an investigator from Concordia (another nearby town) came. The family of 7 is of Areli and relatives...Areli is preparing well for baptism, and there family has been listening to the missionaries for a few weeks now. Eneida, the investigator from Concordia, is a young lady that has left behind many unhealthy habits, and is humbly desirous to get baptized. She will have surgery on her gall bladder tomorrow, and so we hope that she recovers well and can continue progressing.

A week or so ago, we contacted a lady that had been drinking a bit too much Alcohol. She told us that she wanted our help. That is kind of a normal occurrence; however, as we visited her the next day we could see that the lord had prepared her. She has a brother that is an ex-missionary in Monterrey. Also, her daughter and son-in-law are very prepared and they all accepted a baptismal date for the 10th of March.

The 10th and 11th of March, we have to go to Tuxtla for a stake conference. The Stake President put the goal of 15 investigators from every branch or ward, so we will try to fulfill that. Also, we will probably have the opportunity to baptize a few of the investigators while we are there.

That´s all folks...time up

Much love,


Monday, February 13, 2012

Wow. A lot has changed. So, when they told me i was going to independencia in the Tuxtla Gutierrez Zone I was thinking that I would be in the city...I was way wrong. In autubus, I am four hours from Tuxtla Gutierrez...four hours from the other elders in our district. So, the area is very different...it has more of a rugged beauty with a few mountains and less of the jungly feeling. We have various cities and towns that we cover...including Independencia, Ambar, Concordia, Benito Juarez, Revolución, Jaltenango, etc. They are all rather spread apart. 
Right now we live in Independencia, where the building where we meet for church (a rented house--but the Sacrament meeting is in the open air). However, we are going to change houses to Concordia (about 30 minutes away) because we feel like we should go there, and there is a possibility of opening up a Family Group there and having Church services there as well in a near future.
As I passed through the Mission Office, President Cardenas took time to interview me. He started off telling me that my new assignment would be in an area where many have lost their excitement  and that has had a lot of difficulties progressing, and then told me that I shouldn´t worry because I am not being sent their as a punishment. He shared how it has 20 years being a little Branch. I thought that that was kind of an interesting way to tell me about the area, and it would have seemed negative if he hadn´t have continued on with what he said. He then told me to stay very excited about the work, told me about the potential there and the possibility of a future Family Group in Concordia, etc. I was way excited. I also am now getting to know the President more, and he is truly an exemplary man full of faith and excitement for missionary work.
So we are back to bucket showers, bucket flushed toilets, dirt roads, and a lot of traveling, etc. And the funny thing is...I love all of those things and kind of missed them in Tapachula. Also, I am way happy to be back in a little branch. In some ways I feel like I am in an area similar to Yajalón. Truly...I am very happy to be here. Also, my companion--Elder Ríos--is one of the finest missionaries I have been with. He is from Chihuahua (Ciudad Juarez) and has been in the mission field almost a year. He is one of those people that I would have chosen as a good friend even if we weren´t forced to be together (haha).
Church was good yesterday (43 in attendance), and one of the young men got his mission call to Puebla! Also, it was funny, because without giving notice I was asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting, teach sunday school for the adults, and to teach the third hour to all of the members combined (the third hour I was together with Elder Ríos). So, that was a good way to get to know the majority of the members.
There are two couples that are not members of the church that are attending, and just need to get married in order to be baptized (we are working on that...its a little difficult when some people were never registered as babies...so the government knows nothing of them). Also, a young 12 year old, Joel, is a relative of them and we found him on Sunday, he came to church, and will be preparing for Baptism. 
But ya, that is about it. Hmmm, anything else? oh, there is a Zone Conference this week that is coming...and it is now the season of Mangos here so I am eating a lot of Mangos and Watermelon.
Much Love,
1 Nefi 3:7--"iré y haré..."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February 6th, 2012

What a surprise...TRANSFERS! I was 99.9999 % sure that I was not going to be transferred, however God had other plans. I am going to a place called Independencia, close to Tuxtla Gutierrez, with an Elder Rios. I am very sad to leave, but very excited for a new place to begin to work and get to know.

We just were saying goodbye to people, as I leave in a couple of hours. It was so sweet to see the elderly couple Giron Garcia (they should get baptized next week) get emotional and say goodbye. They have been through so much. I realized that I truly love the members and investigators here a lot. I am certain the Elder Sanchez and his new companion will have much success this coming transfer.

I have learned so much from this area and this time here. The importance of loving people and loving the work. The importance of being yourself, not imitating others. The importance of being happy. What a blessing this time has been.

Well, I am kind of really excited so I dont have much to write. However, I ate iguana and iguana eggs the other day!