Monday, December 31, 2012

Week 19 ¡Que tengan un feliz ano nuevo!


¿Como anda la vaina?  (This is a great phrase. vaina is literally a sword sheath, but really it just means whatever you want it to and anda means walks.  So it means "How walks the sword sheath" literally but really just means What's up? haha)
 
Anyway, things are good here in the 961. With all the Christmas festivities and stuff its been a bit hectic, but its all good fun.  I don't remember if I told you that I had already eaten two Christmas dinners before that massive sandwich on Christmas, but I did, and it was awesome.  The work is going really well, and that's nice.  Its way more fun when you have success.  To answer dad's question, the second 18 year old didn't get baptized, he's on vacation until the 8th, but he's got a date for the 12th - and he's super solid.  The people here are pretty awesome, I really enjoy working with them everyday.
 
Thanks for the emails as always.  Here`s my responses:
 
Dad - 1. The Book of Mormon isn't a problem at all.  The majority of the people are willing to accept it.  The problem we have is when people are so blinded by their belief in the Bible that they can't accept another book.  I describe them as people who believe in the Bible, but not in God.  (Not to be mean, its fairly true.  They won't pray, or read, and really have no concept of who God really is.)  Sometimes they like to bash but they are never very good - besides I stick by my principle...we do not bash, we do not bash, we do not bash.  But when we do - we win. haha.
2. Most of the investigators I have had aren't very involved in any church but some are.
3. The culture helps in that the people are very willing to listen.  It hurts in that they aren't married and don´t want to think that only one church is true.
4. No, we do it the old fashioned way :) (in response to Rick's question: do you use any internet contacting methods, ie Facebook)
5. Very few people show any hopelessness, they are for the most part happy people.
6. hahaha It (church) starts at least 10 minutes late every week, and ends at least 30 minute late haha.
 
Mom - Its certainly ok to feel overwhelmed. Neal A Maxwell said you can't expect your life to be both faith filled and stress free. That said the purpose of the gospel is to make us happy, not to make our hair fall out. I always have found what I need to hear during my study of the Book of Mormon. In fact several times I have written in the margin the date, and the phrase "exactly what I needed to hear."  For example when I had dengue, couldn't understand anyone, and the culture shock was killing me 1 Nefi 3:6 

Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured.

was exactly what I needed to hear.  Or when I felt that I was doing everything I could and it wasn't enough Mosiah 4:27  

And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

was what I needed.   I can´t really answer all your questions - that's between you and the Lord.  But I know He´s made the bad Spanish of a gringo touch the hearts of the people, I know he´s comforted me when I thought I couldn't do it. And I know he will bless you with everything you need to be happy and successful with what he has asked you to do.
 
Steph - You are ridiculous haha.  Enjoy your new ride, throw some 26s on that. haha. Ty and Ry are my faves and I´m glad to hear they don´t mind me too much either.
 
Mikele - my little Christmas message to you was pretty weak. so I´ll try to beef it up here a bit.  As for the mission prep I´m confident that you are doing a great job.  I think the most important thing you can do right now is learn to recieve answers to your prayers.  As a missionary you have to follow the spirit in everything you do.  Before my mission I did everything I could to prepare and prayed that God would show me what else I could do.  I received little revelations about things to do, but more importantly I learned how to get these little revelations.  So thats my advice.  Also to work on your Spanish  - you can translate this: Te amo mucho y deseo que sea muy feliz. Oro para ti diariamente. Nos vemos en dos :) haha
 
Roy - Hope you feel better.
 
Don't have too much more.  I´m a happy little missionary.  Hopefully Mexico doesn't get too drunk tonight, but lets face it.  Transfers are coming up, so next Monday I'll tell you where I´ll be. :)
 
Élder Çlárkië

Monday, December 24, 2012

Week 18 - A Very Merry Mexican Christmas


Hi Family (and potentially friends, but lets be honest, who really reads this),

 I´m just living it up here in TXG.  Today we got to play some sports with the zone in the morning, which was fun.  It was also humbling, as I was reminded that I am one of the worst soccer players on earth.  Despite that I did manage to get a goal...it was an own goal, but I´m still counting it haha.  I´m pretty darn excited to talk to you guys tomorrow.  If all goes as planned it will be through Skype and to be honest I have no idea what time it will be.  Anytime after 4, your time.  We will be able to talk between 30 and 40 minutes, then its back to work :) 

Its always fun to read your emails, I really appreciate them.  I´m glad to hear all is well back in the US of A.  You will be happy to hear that things are going well in Mexico as well.  This week I had some new experiences.   I saw a dog get hit by a car for the first time (don´t worry, its ok) and I´m pretty sure the man next to me in the collectivo died on my shoulder haha.  Well not really, but he certainly didn´t appear to have to much time left.  I baptized a young chap named Cristian this week.  He is the one I met the first day of my mission.  That was really cool. Unfortunately the other one that was going to get baptized went on vacation about an hour before his interview.  He´s good though, he came to church this Sunday and still wants to get baptized.  Things are going really, really well.

 I´ll give you a short answer to you Christmas program question, and then we can expound more tomorrow.  We did not have a traditional program and thank goodness for that.  I truly cannot explain to you how tone deaf this country is.  Singing is so terrible! haha.  Well kinda. 

Exciting stuff is happening.  I was wondering when Elder Rodrigues was going home. I´m happy for him. Also I can hardly believe that Tanner is getting married, but congratulations to him.  I wish the people here would just get married! haha.  We could get like 20 baptisms this week, if people would just get married... 

Mikeley! (in Christopher´s voice obviously) - Oh my goodness, you´re endowed!  If you were here right now you would hear me singing, <<Oh Babylon, oh Babylon we bid thee farewell>> haha.  Good Times.  I´m glad you loved your experience at the Jew. (BYU Jerusalem Center)  And I´m super glad you are home for Christmas with the fam.  ¡Disfrútalo! (Enjoy it!)
PS. my dad did indeed send me a picture of you all at the Cheesecake factory. If I wasn´t a missionary I would comment on how beautiful you are, but since I am, I guess I won´t ;)

 Well I guess that's about all I've got. Les quiero mucho! (I love you all very much) 

Elder C. Alan Roth :)

Week 17 - ¡Hola Hola Hola!


Greetings from Tuxtla Gutierrez.  We had a really good week this week and if all goes well, this coming week will be even better.  The best thing to happen was after a year and a half of investigating the church, an 18 year old named Luis has finally got his parents approval to be baptized.  The service will be this Friday.  A year and a half´s worth of missionaries prayers has been answered :)  We´ll also have a baptism on Saturday of another 18 year old named Cristian. I met him my first day in Mexico and have been teaching him ever since. Hopefully they will both be on their mission before I come home. :)  Pretty cool huh?  Also as a funny story, I ran into a girl who speaks English and was trying to make an appointment to teach her family - and I just couldn't do it.  She would talk to me in English and I would respond in Spanish.  So unfortunately I can no longer speak English, and I´m really not very good at Spanish either...life is tough haha :)

Thanks for the slew of questions, it makes me feel important haha. Well here we go:
1. I have used the leatherman a time or two.  I´m really glad I have it.
2. I´ve only played the piano twice since I´ve been here.  But I think I might get roped into playing a song this week that I have never played before - yikes.
3. I don´t really know to be honest if we can go to the temple with our converts.  But our Christmas present from the president is a temple session.  As a matter of fact I get to go tomorrow!  I´m pretty excited.
4. Our ward has indeed had our Christmas Program.  In typical Mexican fashion it started an hour and a half late, and we had to go home before anything really happened.  (they were kind enough to send us home with a bit of food though) :)  To be honest, the programs we have had in our ward have been more enjoyable to me.  I love singing songs with the ward and everything.
5. Again I don´t really know of any set policy regarding number of service hours.  It is certainly encouraged though, to do some service.  For example this week we helped Luis scrape paint of our his walls for an hour and a half in an effort to gain his mom´s approval (IT WORKED!!!).  Our mission is pretty loose in regards to additional rules.  We are pretty much on our own to figure out how to use our time wisely; which I like.

I´m not sure if Dengue is common among TGZ missionaries, but I doubt that I´m unique.  The thing that is different than I expected about living in Mexico: tough to say.  I thought poverty would be different.  Life is no less enjoyable here, in fact its hardly any different.  People are people - the ones that want to be happy will be happy, those who don´t won´t.  Some people work hard, some just do the bare minimum.  Its really exactly the same.  As to what people think of me being an american...I don´t really know.  They all think I´m super rich and want me to give them stuff.  Everybody I pass in the street says, ¨Hey Güero!¨and everyone stares at me in the collectivo.  And drunk guys cannot resist the urge to talk to me.  
Oh and everybody tries to speak English to me, and they are really bad at it haha.

I did indeed recieve the package, but am still waiting to open it.  Though I did drink one of the hot chocolate packets with a bit to much enthusiasm...my tongue has been rubber all week. haha.  I also got a letter from Mikele and Jace in case they are wondering :)

I´m glad to hear you´ve had an enjoyable vacation.  I love Utah!  But I´m also just loving life here in Mexico. (despite the fact that sweat is running down my face as a sit here writing this ha).  Being a missionary is the good life.  Everyday the days seem to go by faster and faster.

I love you!

Elder Roth

Monday, December 10, 2012

Week 16 Shreddin' Waves & Stylin' Babes

Hi there,

It´s Elder Roth.  Well, things are going pretty well here, no complaints.  ¡Big News!  For the first time in a solid 6 weeks I feel confident in saying that I am not sick!  Wahoo!  I´ve been enjoying my Christmas season here (despite the fact that it has failed to snow ha).  I´ve watched Joy to the World like 5 times before I go to bed, and I listen to a ton of Motab Christmas Music haha. Thanks for the emails! 

Dad - My sleeping quarters are pretty nice.  Our house is two stories (don´t imagine a nice house haha) and we sleep upstairs.  My bed is a normal matress, made for a Mexican (translation its about 5 ft 6 inches long) haha, but other than that its pretty standard.  People have a bunch of different jobs, but the majority of them either have some home business (a little store, internet, etc.) or work in construction.  The Elders Quorum is absolutely classic EQ.  Nobody brings the manual except the teacher, the lessons are rowdy, but they´re all good guys who just want to go home and eat haha.  I do my personal study in Spanish (I don´t have any problem understanding it unless its Isaiah haha) - sometimes i´ll look up scriptures in English though, especially if its in the Old Testament. 

 
This one will get its own paragraph. "How do people respond to the Book of Mormon?"  We get a variety of responses to the Book of Mormon, almost all fairly positive.  It seems to always make sense to the people that God talked to the people in the Americas as well (and why wouldn´t it), and I think it sparks their interest that it is a history of their ancestors.  Whats more interesting is that nobody that has ever read even a paragraph of the Book of Mormon has told me that they don´t think its true.  Not one person.  They don´t all keep their commitments or anything but they can´t deny that its true.

Mom - the title of your email cracked me up! haha I love Elder Lambert!  I also laughed when I read that driving in the snow made you tired despite the fact that you weren´t driving.  Classic haha!  I can say that actually doing stuff is much more fun than talking about doing stuff.  I´m doing my best here - I´m confident that the Lord is pleased with my effort. :) 


Steph - If only Tommy had taught me Spanish before I left!  haha.  I'm glad to hear that Ty and Ry are so awesome!  haha.  Good to hear that Tom is tearing it up as well, and you are showing that Primary who´s boss!  I´m excited to talk with you guys on Christmas :)

I really appreciate the support and encouragement I receive from your emails every week.  For 19 years you have taught and nurtured me in the truth and light and now I get to work with people here, trying to do the same. Everything I teach them is something that you taught me.  You don´t understand the impact you are having on the lives of countless people here in Mexico, most especially me. Thank you.
I love you so much,
Clark

Monday, December 3, 2012

Week 15 - Peace, Love, Tortillas


Dearest family of Mine!

 Wow - the M3 looks stunning!  Enjoy it.  Its good to hear that you are traveling and having fun adventures, you deserve it.  After all those years dealing with me and Murphy you are finally free haha.

 If I were to give this week a performance review Michael Scott style I would say that it was...adequate.  Suffice it to say that I have a new companion and things are a lot more difficult than they used to be.  But it just brings opportunities for more blessings.  I'm really being tested in my Spanish now (I pretty much do everything a missionary does - ask for directions, call members, teach classes on Sunday, talk with everyone in the street).  So that's a good opportunity to grow.  I used to hate talking on the phone, now I have to do it in Spanish...I think I'll be cured of my hatred by the time I come home. 

Let me answer a few of your questions right quick!   

Roy - if you're in the market for a tropical disease man up and go straight for Malaria :) Cool test - I want to know how much horsepower I produce! haha 
I'd guess a solid 1 third of a half of a dozenth. (or 1/72 i guess) 

Mom - I'm feeling good, but I still have a bit of a cough.  No worries though. Roy got tuberculosis ..I get dengue.  Its tradition. (reminds me of my favorite ESPN commercial...is it fun - NO! but is it important??) haha.  As a matter of fact we will be Skypeing on Christmas day. At least that's what I heard, I´m just a lowly junior companion, I have no idea what the mission plans are.  I don´t need a mosquito net right now but thanks for asking.  Where I sleep is fairly bug free.  It hasn't rained the entire time I've been here believe it or not.  My clothes are doing well, including shoes. I´m doing my best to protect them.  I haven´t worn the boots yet but I´ll be ready should I be called into combat :)  No mexi ties yet, I spend all my money on medicine haha.

 Dad - Our main finding method is referrals and working with less actives.  But we also contact in the street a fair amount. There isn't an equivalent to the high street here, the only busy place is the stops for the collectivos but its tough to contact there because the people come and go so fast.  My new companion is from Colombia.  With the whole first transfer thing it doesn't really matter. Unless its your first day or your last you are just somewhere in the middle :)  People here are very receptive.  They love to listen to the word of God.  That said, relatively few are actually willing to keep commitments and actually live what they believe.  In regards the the marriage issue its pretty similar to every other excuse to avoid living the gospel.  There really are obstacles (money, immigration papers, etc.) but the people who want to do it will find a way, and those who don't will find an excuse.

 We are working with an investigator right now named Luis.  He is 18 years old and a high school student.  He studies on Sunday (schools are weird here) but he skips some of his classes so he can come to church.  He said he has been to a lot of churches but only in ours has he felt like it was true.  He is quite a guy.  The problem is that his mom is super anti Mormon and doesn't want us to visit him.  We are going to try to talk to her (and baptize her haha :)) but its a bit of a bummer situation.  We're doing our best though :)

 This week we got to go to the First Presidency Christmas devotional!  It was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life!  This week was really hard to be honest, and I have felt pretty beaten down.  But in that one hour meeting, everything I needed to hear was said, and not by the speakers or choir.  I know the gift of the Holy Ghost is real.  I know it.  God answers prayers and he loves us.  No matter how hard our trials he waits with open arms to succor us.  The gospel is true.  Its all true.  Every word.

 I love you so much.  Know that I´m working hard and trying my best every single day.  Be good :)

 Clark

Monday, November 26, 2012

Week 14 - Another Great Missionary Week


Hello Friends :)

AHHH!!!! I'm so excited for you Mikele!  You are going to love Chile! (though me and my fellow Mexicans will relentlessly make fun of your accent).  Could life be better?  I submit to you that it could not!  You are going to be an amazing missionary!  I'm really proud of you! I'm so excited I can´t form multi-clause sentances!  Nor can I spell sentences!  AHHH!!!  YEAH!  Spanish is the best - I love how pretty much everyone I know from BYU is speaking Spanish!   Did I mention I'm excited!?
 

I hope everyone had a good week and an extra special Thanksgiving!  


Thanksgiving Greetings to all!

Thanks for the emails as always - I love the updates! We received our transfer calls this morning - I'll be staying here in Reforma, my companion is leaving to be a zone leader in Chapultapec, and my new companion is named Elder Martinez.  I'm a bit nervous because now I'm responsible for knowing where everybody lives and stuff but its should be alright.

This week was pretty good.  I went to an area called Capoya (to go to the doctor haha) and it was super cool.  You should look it up on Google maps and try to find the Cross of Tuxtla.  


Cross of Tuxtla

 The work is going well, the only problem is people's agency haha. Its tough not to get disappointed when things don't work out like you want them to, but that's how it goes. I read 2 Nephi 33 and Jacob 1 the other day. Both of them knew the ultimate result of their civilization, and lamented their downfall, nevertheless the worked as hard as they could. (Jacob 1:19).

And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day. 

Ultimately we just do our best and leave unto the Lord the rest (D&C 123 somewhere near the end - starts with let us waste and wear out our lives).

For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, ...who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—
Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—
These should then be attended to with great earnestness.

 One big problem here in Mexico is people who aren't married.  If it wasn't so tragically damning to their spiritual progress it would be pretty funny.  People have been together for 15 years have 3 or 4 kids, but they just aren't quite ready to make the leap haha.  Well we are working with a few of them and making good progress.  In one lesson we read The Family: A Proclamation to the World and essentially testified that they needed to change their life (in a tactful way of course). I have to admit I felt pretty legit declaring repentance so boldly haha. Its good fun!

Thanks for all the prayers on behalf of me and my investigators - both are doing quite well. I still have a pretty wicked cough but I feel fine and I'm just as fat as ever haha. I discovered this week that if every Sunday was the primary program church attendance would increase by 50%. Just saying - its an idea :)
 



Mom and Dad - good to hear that you enjoyed Thanksgiving. I'm pretty jealous of Mom's birthday present, that's so cool!  Thanks for the update on the sporting world Dad, I had no idea Notre Dame was tearing it up. To answer your questions Dad - I have given a few blessings. Usually I just do the anointing but I've done the sealing as well. Its tough because you give blessings in the Tú form, and as a missionary I almost never speak in tú, so I mess up a lot. but its all good. My language abilities have improved dramatically. I can understand almost everything and speak without thinking too much. My companion and I teach gospel principles second hour (Well, lets be honest, my companion teaches gospel principles and I offer commentary). I think in this coming transfer it will be more 50/50 though. And so far I haven't been asked to speak in church.

Roy and AD - Lucky! I love Toquerville! And I smiled just as big as possible to hear that you had the audacity to go back to that same Wendy's haha. Keep on truckin!

 Aly!! - Thanks for writing me! I'm so happy to hear that you are loving life! I can promise you that you will never regret choosing to serve a mission - I love it so much! I can also promise with almost as much confidence that you will not regret letting Senior-itis slip in just a bit. haha. Don't be a bum - but do. haha :) I love you!

I am still shaking with excitement about Mikele's mission call! Life seriously could not get better!

Well enjoy your week. I hope you are all as excited for Christmas as I am (even if its still flippin' hot here)! You know I'm kickin' it to some Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas music every night haha. 


Also enjoy the pictures - even though I look slightly like an alien in one or two of them!



I love you all!

Elder Çlark Roth

Monday, November 19, 2012

Week 13 - My Life as a Mexican



¡Bueno!

Thanks for all the mail this week, its always good to hear from you guys.  Sounds like everyone had a pretty killer week!  Thanks for all the prayers for my health.  I'm doing pretty good - don't worry.  The only real problem is that I've spent a bunch of my money on medicine and stuff and now I have to live the rest of the month on 200 pesos worth of food.  ha-ha.

We had a great week.  First of all we baptized hermana Alena which was awesome.  I always enjoy going to baptisms, but its something else when you get to see their life before and after they know the gospel.  And then you get to see all their sins, shame, and regrets washed away and they receive in return the Holy Ghost.  I'm so happy for her! 

Roy and Andee - I'm so jealous to hear that you got a foot of snow!  I would kill for that (on second thought, I'm pretty sure that's against mission rules).  Unfortunately, I must be honest - the bobby pins have not yet played an integral part in the success of my mission.  Don't worry though, there is still plenty of time.  Thanks for the sports update.  It does my heart good to hear about my Cougars :)  I likewise am doing my best Roy and loving it.  Baja.

Dad - So cool that you got to go see F1.  Its on TV here sometimes and I must admit its hard to avert my eyes ha-ha   Those pictures are great!  I bet you two were dying to get into one of those garages.  I have heard of Sergio Lopez - I suppose he should be my favorite ha-ha   I'm also really happy to hear you got to go on vacation and get to go see grandma this week :) have fun!

Mom - Glad you got to see Ty and Ry again - I gotta say I'm looking forward to that.  I can't believe they could scream like me - I don't know whether to be amazed or offended ha-ha    I've seen like 7 crashes since I've been here (not the aftermath - the actual crash).  I even saw the same collectivo hit two cars within 30 seconds ha-ha.

Mikele - Where are you going!? When are you going!? AAAAHHHHHHH!!!

The work is going well. We did indeed have investigators this week, including some new ones that members brought :)  Two stories from this week:
  
1. Yesterday (Sunday) we ate with a member after church.  Unfortunately our message didn't get to him so he didn't know we were eating with him.  So what did we do?  We hopped in his car (he is one of the few members with a car) and went to a Chinese restaurant to pick up some food.  ha-ha   BTW it was almost my first lunch without eating tortillas but before we finished he heated up some tortillas, so we had some Chinese tacos....And the streak continues!  

2. This one is pretty cool/humbling.  As you know the members here are pretty poor.  But let me tell you they are good people.  In the United States the Elder's quorums begrudgingly help people move; here we build people's houses.  We went to help for a little bit today on a service project, building a house.  Its a Monday morning - the project is from 7AM to 2 PM and its been going on for a few weeks now.  Out of our 100 person ward there were at least 12 Priesthood holders there building this house.  I was pretty humbled to think that in my little ward where some people struggle to find food to eat there would be 12 people on a Monday morning working for 7 hours to build a very poor member a home.  What do I know about sacrifice?

Well that's about all this week.  I love you all a ton, and I really mean that.  I have definitely learned to appreciate the blessings of my family out here, and I love to teach and testify that the gospel blesses families!

Love,
Elder Clark Roth


Monday, November 12, 2012

Week 12 - Loving it!

Hi!

Thanks for the emails, they are always a highlight!  Things are going well here in Mexico!  In case you are wondering...I`m still sick :)  This week was pretty rough, but I was still able to get out and work so no worries.  I`m sure I`ll have fond memories of my first transfer, when I was sick the whole time.  haha. 

In response to some of the living conditions questions: you can drink the water here, in fact its a great way to loose a ton of weight really really quickly haha.  But since I`m happy with my figure, I drink bottled water.  Unfortunately though, it doesn`t come in bags like in Ecuador - we just by 20 liter bottles and carry around water bottles.  Our members treat us well - they make us lunch (which is the big meal here) everyday except P-day, and only once have we been stood up on a lunch appointment.  We make our own breakfast (usually Corn Flakes for me, but sometimes quesadillas, PB&Js, etc. - Nothing too exciting).  And we don`t really eat dinner... Usually I just eat an apple or something like that before bed.  (The good news is that fruit is super super cheap.  Bananas and Mandarin oranges are like 8 pesos for a KG.  Needless to say, I go through a lot of Bananas and Mandarin Oranges).  I haven`t had any tacos that really resemble US tacos.  Generally we have a plate of beans and some meat (they eat monkey here!) and then a pile of tortillas.  Basically anything goes as long as you have a tortilla in your hand, so I usually tear off a piece of the tortilla, use it to tear off a piece of meat, and then run it through the beans.  It isn`t the most refined form of dining, but it suits me just fine haha :)  We also eat a ton of soup, which would be great except its really hot here and there is no such thing as air conditioning.  A bowl of soup for lunch and you don´t stop sweating until your freezing cold shower the next morning.  And I sleep fairly well, despite my bed being only slightly more comfortable than a pile of rocks.  haha - its actually a perfectly acceptable bed...I guess. :) Seriously though, I love it here.  I hope it doesn´t sound like I´m complaining because I am so grateful to be here.

To be brutally honest, as much as I love the people and the mission, Tuxtla Gutierrez is certainly not what I would call pretty.  From my understanding, the rest of the state of Chiapas is fantastic, but here...not so much.  There is trash everywhere, the air is super polluted, and there is no green in the city.  That said, if you look for the beauty its there.  All the old VW bugs, how every 3rd car (perhaps not an exaggeration) is a taxi, how everyone is poor and has no idea that they are, people with gross teeth but great smiles.  I really do love it here - but you might call it an aquired taste. The mountains are pretty too :)

Mom - congratulations on slaughtering your week!  I love how you did the talk, that is so awesome.  I really try to focus on enduring to the end with my investigators.  I don´t want to baptize them into inactivity, I want to baptize them and see them in the Celestial Kingdom. 

Dad - you nailed you next calling.  Thats really exciting!  Enjoy strengthening the ward, they´re in good hands. 

Mikele - Its always fun to hear about your adventures.  I want to go to Petra!  Truth be told, I haven´t sent you a letter yet but I have every intention of sending one soon (These first few P-days have been really busy because I´ve had to do immigration stuff, but I should have a little bit of time now).  As for mission prep, I don´t have any great secrets.  You are already well prepared (really, really well prepared), just keep doing what you are doing.  My only thing is I wish I knew preach my gospel a little better. Its a bit tough because until you start your mission its tough to apply a bunch of the stuff, but I recommend a good study of chapter 1,2,4,5,and 10. The more closely you can follow what it says in PMG the better missionary you will be.

The work is going really well!  We have two solid baptisms lined up for this Saturday  and another for the following Saturday.  We are also working with a guy named Alberto.  I love him so much!  haha.  Most people don´t really talk with me much, but he is constantly asking me questions and just being a really nice person (he always starts with RUTT (his attempt at Roth). Last night he made us Hamburgers after our lesson.  He is progressing fairly well, he really has the desire to follow Jesus Christ.  I really hope I get to work with him some more!

I´m loving my mission (which fyi in Spanish is misión, which if you make two works is mi sión, which means My Zion).  It really is my Zion.  The other day I was riding in a collectivo (search YouTube to see if there is a video of someone in a collectivo, it should be quite a sight) with like 18 people jammed in.  It was so hot, the road was unpaved, and I was really sick, in short completely miserable.  Somehow though, I just had a smile on my face that I couldn´t wipe away. :)  So aimless story short, I love my mission!

Love,

Elder Clark Alan Rutt

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week 11 - I Love You!

¡Hey Oh!

¿Cómo están?  Thanks as always for the emails, I love getting updates.  All is well here in Mexico, I´m loving it.  Right now I´m sitting in some dude's house (which he uses as a internet cafe of sorts), sweating my little heart out, listening to some dubbed TV show that a dude is watching.  Its really a different world here.  Its really fun though.  To respond to your concerns about my health, I´m doing pretty well.  I´ve got a pretty good cough going right now, but I feel fine.  It turns out that I had Dengue.  And it turns out having Dengue is really really miserable.  But I´m fine now, no worries.

The work is going well, we´ve got some really good investigators right now.  Alena is a young woman who was invited to church by her friends and loves it. She has kept every commitment and is really great.  We also have Alberto, who lives here for work while the rest of his family lives up in Northern Mexico.  He´s having a tough time being alone, but he is progressing well.  We have some others who are rocking right along too.  Its frustrating when people flog us or don´t keep commitments, and its really important to not get discouraged.  When its a bit tough I just try to remember the good that I´m doing.  Perhaps not everyone I see will be baptized and endure to the end, but already I´ve taught maybe 150 people how to pray, maybe 60 about the Book of Mormon, and probably another 100 that God has a plan for us.  
I´ll just keep doing my best.


We went to Chiapa de Curso to do a bautismal interview. 
It ended up being a late night, so we slept there. 
This is a picture of me at about 6:45 AM, 
as we are making our way back to our Area. 
Looking rough.


A sweet canyon on our way home from Chiapa de Curso


We have really limited guidance from the Mission President on how to spend our time.  Its pretty much up to us to decide how to spend it all.  We spend a bit of time with less actives and part member families every week.  My basic rule is that I will do whatever I can to strengthen the Reforma ward.  And I think working with members, active or not, is a great way to do that. 

Can I just say that I totally pegged who would be the next Bishop! haha. 
That´s exciting! It must be weird without a calling Dad, maybe you can pick up one of the 74 that Mom has ;) haha

Its really good to hear that the BMW infatuation is still going strong, I´ll trust whatever decision you make.  Have fun speaking at stake conference mom, haha.  I´m sure you´ll kill it!  Now that I can´t really go to the temple anymore, I really miss it.  I´ve listened to The House of the Lord a bunch on my iPod  which only adds to my desire to go haha.  Any word on my fellow Jax Beach missionaries?  I would love an update on Tom, Steven, and Jason.  Also I did send more than 2 letters to Mikele (probably 4 or 5), I don´t know what the deal is there.

My shoes are holding up well, but I´m confident that everything I have will be thoroughly thrashed by the time I come home.  I really wish you could see how dirty everything I wear is by the end of the day, maybe I´ll send a before and after picture of my clothes. 

I hope you enjoyed Halloween, we had a pretty killer Day of the Dead here haha (not really, it was disappointing at best).  


Just an average lesson


Enjoy your Birthday on Sunday Dad!  Just a fun note for the Carly Ray Jepson fans out there.  I heard Call Me Maybe for the first time in Mexico today, and it made my life.  Words cannot explain how much I love that song!  haha. But seriously. 

Well, I guess that's about all this week.

I love you!

Elder Clark Roth



Monday, October 29, 2012

Week 10 - Weird Food and Crazy Dudes

¡Buenas Tardes!

All is well in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas.  Elder Reyes and I are enjoying the work and doing our best.  I´m hesitant to say this but I will anyway - I´m sick.  I´m not sure what I have yet, I should get the results from my sketchy lab test in a few hours.  Don´t worry though, I´m doing alright.  No major problems or anything like that. 

a sick me, sitting down at our Bishop's door


 

This week we received the buenas nuevas que now we don´t knock on doors anymore (I think this is a rule throughout most of Mexico).  Do you know if it changed back in the good ole USA?  Its pretty tough because we got a lot of new investigators and lessons through doing that.  Now we just contact in the street and work with referencias.  There is a minor problem with that though - like I said last week, nobody here knows their address, and the street names aren´t posted, so it´s really hard to follow up on street contacts and even referencias.  We´ll figure it out though, no worries.

Our bishop lleva less time as Bishop than I do as a missionary so we are learning together :)  Our teaching pool isn´t huge but we are working on it, I´m not sure of a number.  We have plenty to keep us busy.  

You are right about our location - our house is a bit lower but our area extends as far up the mountain as the houses do.  The hills can be pretty killer, especially at the end of the day.  Its just my companion and I in our house, nada más. Its still fun though.


looking up at the mountains




BTW The better place to take pictures is up at the top of my area, but since we can´t take pictures when we are out during the day I don´t really have any good ones.  Sorry. I´ll try to keep them interesting though.  

Mom - the Tyler story was hilarious - classic for sure.  I wish I was that quick witted.  Elder Christofferson (I´m going to hell because I don´t know how to spell his name) spoke to us at the MTC about 10 things President Monson would say if he was there.  His first one...he would tell you that he loves you.  Pretty cool huh.

Mikele! - you are such a champion!  I don´t think anyone has ever turned in mission papers that fast!!!  santa vaca haha!  Its really good to hear that you are loving BYU Jew and dominating your classes.  I hate to burst your bubble but I am very not fluent in Spanish - well MTC spanish yes, Mexican spanish not at all.  I´m working at it though and hoping to see some improvement soon.  I´m so excited to hear about your call - I definitely predict Spanish Speaking :)  Thanks so much for your email.  I love you!


at the Tuxtla Gutierrez Temple



 

This week we had four investigators come to church, which is much more like it.  Unfortunately the girl we were going to baptize next Saturday, Patsy, didn´t come, so we will have to push back her date.  We have a pretty good outlook on baptisms though, hopefully it will pan out.  I´ve really really developed a love for reading the scriptures.  Without those morning hours to study I´m not sure how I would do it. They are absolutely my strength from day to day. 




Fun culture fact: Most common music here - 

1. The kind of stuff you hear in mexican restaurants.
2. "I´m sexy and I know it"
3. The rest of the popular american songs.
4. Mariachi. haha

Could you do me a favor and send me one of Roy´s mission emails (preferably from his 2nd or 3rd week). I´d like to see what he thought. 

Um that's about all I think, thank you so much for your emails!

I love you all!

Elder Clark Roth

Monday, October 22, 2012

Week 9 - Buenos Dias from Tuxtla!


I have a billion things tell you, but not too much time. I`m in an area called Reforma in the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez. 

Its pretty incredible here, for sure a different world.  In fact I can`t think of a single thing here that is really that similar to the United States.  I would tell you my address but I don`t really know it. The streets here hardly have names and the numbers are completely random.  haha.  Its different than I thought it would be.  Some streets are paved, some aren`t.  Some houses have running water, some don`t.  (I really have used a bucket!)  The food is kinda weird, its good though.  There has only been one thing that I had to clinch my teeth to keep down.  haha.  It is hotter than a certain continent known for its wildlife - not going to lie.  When we return home at night my shirts are totally soaked in sweat - its so gross.  Umm, our house has running water, but the water is not heated. I got used to the cold showers after two days though - I actually enjoy them now.  I really wish you could see it here.  I`m loving it!  Oh one more fun thing.  The collectivos (our form of the public bus) -  basically Crazy Taxi in real life.  They drive completely crazy, make change for the passengers as they drive, honk every .67 seconds, and are either full throttle or full brakes.  I love them!

Spanish is pretty tough, my first day I couldn`t understand anything, but I`m improving.  It can be pretty frustrating but I`m working through it.  I can probably understand about 60% of what people say, and explain myself most of the time.  It will be a big learning curve though.

My companion is named Elder Reyes, he is from Hidalgo, Mexico and can hardly speak a word of English.  He is great!  This is his 3rd time training, and I´m his second gringo.  We are working hard and having fun, I like him a lot.  He also speaks a language called Tzu Tzil (there is no way that is spelled right).  He learned it in the field. So basically he is a boss.

Its great to hear from you all, sounds like life is going well.  Brett, I`m glad to hear about Lihn`s interest in the church, that's fantastic!

Unfortunately, we had a bit of a bummer week. We committed about 10 people to come to church with us, and nobody came. We went by their house, and they weren`t there.  But you just gotta keep working and doing your best.  I`m confident we`ll have good success this week.  It can be pretty tough - I never really believed people when they talked about how hard a mission is - but I do now.  The thing is though that every tough moment is matched by a good one.  I really have felt the power of the Comforter. 

Enjoy the pictures, sorry there aren`t more. 


Me doing laundry the old fashioned way


My bucket


At the house of a member 
(notice the foam I`m sitting on)

Welp, that's about all I have time for. Have a great week!

I love you!
Elder Roth

PS. Roy, when I get back we are for sure doing the Baja 1000 in a baja bug! haha

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

EXTRA!! TUXTLA!!

Hola!

I´m in Tuxtla!  I only have about 10 minutes so this will be short, but all is well :)  It´s 6:18am right now and its already about 90° and super humid.  One of the advantages of not having air conditioning is that last night I slept just fine on a bare mattress with no sheets because it was so warm.  You certainly wouldn´t mistake this place for the USA, its totally crazy!  But I love it!  Our travel day yesterday was super long and confusing but it was pretty good all said.  I gave out a Libro de Mormon to a guy who was heading to Venezuela, which was pretty cool.  I also saw Tad R. Callister and Elder Stanley Ellis in the Salt Lake airport.

I wish you could see it here.  Its so awesome!  I´ll be sure to take some pictures and hopefully I can send them on my next pday.  Ok, I gotta go

I love you,

Elder Clark Roth


If you would like to write a letter to Elder Roth, send it to:


Elder Clark Alan Roth
México Tuxtla Gutiérrez Mission
Apartado Postal 278
29000 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas
Mexico

Send packages to:


Elder Clark Alan Roth
México Tuxtla Gutiérrez Mission
Calle Jazmines #210
Fracc. Los Laureles
29020 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas
Mexico

If you use a private carrier, as opposed to USPS
you will need to add the Mission home phone number which is:

52 961-671-9761

Also, he can receive email from anyone!!  

(He just can't reply via email)
Please email him at:

clark.roth@myldsmail.net

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Week 8 - Leaving the MTC for Mexico Tomorrow!

Hola!

This week has been totally rocking.  I can definitely call home from the airport.  I'll probably wait till I'm in Houston to call, so I think that will be around noon.  I'm not quite sure though so it would be great if you could try to keep the afternoon somewhat open.  And I'll go ahead and call the house (because I still haven't memorized your cell phone number mom haha). 


Conference totally rocked! We did indeed go a bit insane with the new missionary age requirements - I refrained from clapping or shouting but I was pretty much dying with excitement. As soon as President Monson said "we've also taken the Young Women into consideration" I knew Mikele would be going!  My heart was beating fast the entire first session because I was so excited.  From what I've heard BYU is going insane with applications - those poor Bishops :)  Also I support the decision to go as soon as possible for Mikele because the MTC is going to be totally insane this summer.  Right now the capacity is about 4,000 missionaries; they're anticipating 10,000...

I'm glad you got the pictures, it was cool to run into Boman. 

Dad - Hanna Park sounds awesome have fun. That reminds me of something funny related to bikes. One of my teachers went to the Colombia Barranquilla mission, where it is 105 and 90% humidity everyday. He had a bike for a total of 4 days on his mission before it was stolen. He said it was the best 4 days of his mission haha. Needless to say I'm not anticipating riding a bike - at least not for long ;).  This also reminds me of something kinda funny.  In Spanish there are two ways to say "you", tu and usted.  (sorry there isn't a Spanish keyboard option on this computer, so no accents.)  Missionaries usually use usted because it is more formal but when we pray we use tu because it is more intimate.  I've been praying so much in Spanish now, that when I pray in English I kinda have to translate it from Spanish, so now I always say you instead of thee because it is less formal/ I'm just a delk who can't speak English or Spanish anymore. 

Well, I am SOOO excited to go to Mexico. The MTC is great but, I won't lie, I'm ready for it to be over.  I'm jealous of all the new missionaries who will only have 6 weeks here.  I'm glad to hear that Chiapas is the most beautiful place in the world - I have no doubt that I will love it!  I'm really not at all nervous, which is cool.  I've been trying my hardest everyday so I know that the Lord will bless me with everything he wants me to have.  I've been thinking that if the Lord wanted me to speak Spanish perfectly, I would.  So obviously there is something for me to learn from the hard times.  I've decided its that I get to see more easily that this is the Lord's work and not my own, and he can do his own work.

Elder Bednar spoke to us this week, but I'm kinda out of time.  I'll just leave you with a spiritual thought.

This is mission prep in one scripture: Alma 26:13 which reads:


Behold, how many thousands of our brethren has he loosed from the pains of hell; and they are brought to sing redeeming love, and this because of the power of his word which is in us, therefore have we not great reason to rejoice? 

"The power of his word which is in us" is what makes all the difference. So how do we get it? I'll leave that up to you to find out.

I love you all,

Elder Clark Roth

Friday, October 12, 2012

EXTRA!! Spotted at the MTC

Andee-Dawn sent these pictures of Elder Roth, which were taken October 9th, by Roy's friend Boman, (a teacher at the MTC).  


Elder Roth with Brother Boman


Clark and his MTC Companion