Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Week 71 - I'm sexy and I know it


How`s life treating you?  This week was pretty amazing - alright really amazing.  Remember Roberto Alfaro?  He had been sick for the last few weeks and hadn`t been able to go to the chapel to get confirmed, so I talked with my mission president and he said if the bishop approved it, he could get confirmed in his house.  So we went on Christmas eve to confirm him.  2 days later - December 26th - he died.  Of course it was sad, but in reality he is finally able to rest from his excruciating illness.  The Lord left him here just long enough to do his essential ordinances, and then he let him rest.  It was a testimony to me that he knows us and is intimately involved in our lives. 

In other news...i´ve got nothing.  Things are going pretty well.  I´m happy, tired, sweating, and grateful for your prayers and letters.  Same as always. :)

It was great to talk to you on Christmas.  I still can`t believe that I speak English with a Mexican accent.  That's so cool haha.  The bad news is that I speak Spanish with an American accent.  I no longer have a mother tongue.  You all looked great and I´m glad you were able to spend Christmas together.  I can`t believe how fast the time went by, but it won`t be too long till Mothers Day. :) 

Dad - haha I hope your transfer in Norcross has been fruitful.  Bummer that the Cougars didn`t bring their A game.  I´m sure they´ll do better next year as I tell them what to do from the 44th row with a mouthful of nachos and some good facepaint.  I got to admit that I thought the Broncos were nuts for their contract with Payton Manning but they proved me wrong.

1.  What was it like talking to us?  Hard to understand our English?
      -A true pleasure.  No, its easy to understand English. 

2.  Do you have any tall buildings in your area?  What is the tallest?
      - not really.  There is one that`s probably about ten stories, but it is vacant.  The rest of the buildings max out at 4 stories.
3.  Do you have to climb many stairs?
      -almost never, but some people live on the second floor above a store or something like that.

4.  Does being close to BOM lands (at least as most people assume) have any impact on missionary work?
      - not really. I try to avoid the speculation and stick to the doctrine.
5.  What type of humanitarian work or service have you done recently.
      - we haven`t done anything on a large scale.  One of the nastiest things we`ve done recently is wash a woman´s dishes that she hadn`t touched in about 3 weeks.  The smell was so nasty and I came so close to throwing up. It took us over and hour to wash it all.  

6.  What are the three hymns that you play most frequently when you play?
     -probably Teach Me to Walk in the Light, and some of the sacrament hymns that we sing almost every week. 

7.  Do you get to talk to the Primary children much?
    - We´ve never gone to talk to them in the primary, but we talk with them in their houses.  They´re so funny and cute.  I love em.

8.  Remember how the Jax Beach Missionaries would teach a class at the church building each week?  Do you do anything like that?
     - no, no one here has ever had success with it. We have a hard enough time getting them to church on Sunday.

9.  What percent of your lessons have a member present?
    - about 50%. The goal is 100, but i`m happy if we have more member present lessons than other lessons.

10.  Do you make programs for your baptismal services?
    - umm, our bishop usually does it. nothing special, just some hymns some talks and some swimming.

Have a great week dad, I love you.

Mom - Ha I don`t think of myself as Clark anymore.  I think ´´Elder Roth.´´  If someone called me Clark it would be really weird.  Elder Bednar is my hero (well one among many).  I think it would be difficult to have intelligence without understanding, but can be done to a certain extent.  I think the Lord is more even more merciful than we sometimes imagine him to be.  And we must remember that of us it is required to forgive all men.  I try very hard to not judge the faults of others because I know that Lord has forgiven me of serious faults and know he will do the same with the faults of others. I love you mom!

Roy and Andee - I hope you enjoy your week in Kansas.  Its a shame you can`t go to Colby and eat some authentic Mexican food in Taco Johns haha. On an unrelated note - I realized after our Skype call that Roy`s question if I had gotten any good at basketball actually makes sense. haha.  My bad.  I thought it was one of Roy´s more delkish moments, but as it turns out I`m the delk.  Love you guys!

Estefany - Do you like the Spanish version of your name?  The whole Skype call was a highlight for me :)  A Mexican Christmas can`t match the awesomeness of an American Christmas but it was pretty good.  I hope you enjoy Monster Jam and the BCS national championship. :)  That sounds so fun.  I`m short on time, sorry Steph. Have a great week. 

Love you guys.

Elder Roth

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Week 70 - Merry Christmas!

Hello dearest family,

I hope you are all doing well.  I am.  This week was good, but nothing too exciting to report.  I guess we´ll have a better chat on Wednesday.  How´s Christmas in Norcross?  Any chances of snow?  I see it as unlikely here in Tapachula seeing as it's still 85ish everyday.  I remember Roy saying that he never became fluent in celsius - nor am I.  Apparently it's easier to learn a second language than a second temperature scale. 

I´m looking forward to this Wednesday.  We have a baptism tonight at 6pm so that's a pretty good Christmas present for me.  I´m happy.  Hope my fellow Jax Beach missionaries are doing well. 

Dad - I´m happy that the Norcross project is going fairly well.  I´m still not sure about my skype arrangements, but I´ll figure it out soon.  I´ll probably do it from the chapel like last time (yep, the same chapel haha)  Comprendo. ha.  I want to go to Williamson Bros!! ha.

1.  What voice is your inner dialogue?
      - The voice of the late, great Bruce R. McConkie.  haha just kidding.  That would be sweet though.  I guess it's my normal voice - except when I read conference talks then I try to think of them I use the voice of whoever gave the talk. 

2.  What percent of time do you think in English vs. Spanish?
       - It depends. During the day it's almost always Spanish.  I study my scriptures mostly in English though, so in the morning it's English.  And when I sleep its German.

3.  How does the Christmas season impact Missionary work?
     - Well.  It's a bit tough because a lot of people go on vacation so the attendance and number of lessons taught tends to drop a bit.  But at the same time there are different opportunities to meet new people.  So it all works out.

4.  Does it seem like Christmas, since it is so hot and sweaty?
     - No. Christmas in the mission isn´t very Christmasy. ' But its all good.
5.  Do you drink a lot of water?  Bottles or bags?
     - a ton. mostly cups from 5 gallon jugs.  The people that sell water in the street sell it in bags, but I hardly ever buy it.  It's kinda spendy. 

6.  If you drank the tap water, how long would it be until you had an emergency?
     - I´ve done it once, but the deed was preceeded by a very fervent prayer. I was on exchanges and we didn´t have any water, and it was nighttime and I thought I was going to die.  I´m not really sure how bad the tap water is.  I only know that it comes out orangish.  haha.

7.  Have you noticed that the Brethren seem to be promoting using videos in lessons and talks?
     - I have. Its cool right? :)

8.  How often do you use videos in lessons?
     - Not very often.  A lot of people don´t have DVD players. (actually most of them do but they lost the remote control so you can only watch the videos in English).  Probably about once a week. 

9.  Not a question:  Tell us about a recent lesson or investigator.
     - have I told you about Mary yet?  She has been an investigator for a while.  When we first taught her we would extend the normal invitations to read, pray and go to church but she rejected them all.   ha. But we felt that we shouldn´t give up on her.  So we kept teaching and teaching.  After a little while she started to read.  A bit later she started to pray.  And finally we got her to go to church.  She´s progressing quite a bit now.  Hopefully things will continue upwards with her.

10.  Did you get any packages?
    - not yet

11.  Why did your Mission President take your iPod?
     - honestly it's incomprehensible to me.  He took everyone´s iPod but says that we can burn cds to listen to.  I don´t really see the difference, but I don´t worry about it too much.

12.  Did your hair ever grow back from that terrible haircut you shared with us?
     - after 2 long, painful months. I´ve cut it two more times since then actually.

13.  How often do you shave?
     - everyday. mission rules.

14.  How hard is it to follow the Mission Rules with exactitude?
     - no. it's easy.  All you have to do is decide to be obedient.  There is a cool quote by president George Albert Smith in which he says, There is a line of demarcation well defined between the Lord’s territory and the devil’s territory. If you will stay on the Lord’s side of the line you will be under his influence and will have no desire to do wrong; but if you cross to the devil’s side of that line one inch you are in the tempter’s power and if he is successful, you will not be able to think or even reason properly because you will have lost the Spirit of the Lord.”  It's true.  Obedient missionaries are hardly even tempted to disobey.

Love you dad! 

Mom - haha your take on Roy's shenanigans is  always funny.  ha.  Count your blessings.  We don´t have any choir at all, nor special musical numbers.  It's a bit of a bummer.  Based solely on the fact that I have no idea who Julie Andrews is, (and the fact that Carrie Underwood is pretty) I would have to say that Carrie is the winner.  ha.  Talk to you in two days!  Love you!

Andee - How do you do it?  I wish i had to ability to fall asleep anywhere like you do.  I hope you enjoy your Christmas in Norcross - though I´m sure it's not what you were expecting.  Was your stuffed baked potato the size of a small infant?  Because Roy bought one once that was larger than a football.  I eat mostly black beans.  I could probably count on one hand the number of times I´ve had other types of beans.  after 6 years Roy finally noticed haha. what a goober. :)  See you Wednesday?

Roy - If you bowl a 200 tonight I will pay your first year of tuition in grad school ha.  I´m predicting a solid 76, with 4 gutterballs. 

Well my weeks are exciting, and my emails are boring.  Sorry about that.  My mind always goes blank when I sit down here in the cyber.  I love you all! 

Elder Roth

Monday, December 16, 2013

Week 69 - A Wonderful Week

Hello my dear family,

It's hard to express how much I appreciate your weekly emails.  This is tough work, and it would be even harder without your support.  I hope all is well back in the land of the free and home of the brave.  Things are going well here in ye ole Mexico.  My life is pretty legit haha.  Every week has its ups and downs, but this week we had an incredible experience.  We baptized Roberto Alfaro, and let me tell you, it was amazing.  Roberto had been catholic all his life and had rejected countless missionaries before us.  About 8 months ago he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and is quite weak.  In his agony he has been trying to get closer to God.  He let us teach him and after a few visits he said, "Elders, I´m not sure if it's possible, but I want to be baptized in your church."  We were quick to dissipate his doubts and assure him that he could indeed be baptized.  Well the day finally came, and although it was a physically excruciating trial he was determined to be baptized.  It took me three attempts before I could get him submerged (oops...) but he came out with the biggest smile I´ve ever seen.  After he changed he bore his simple testimony and talked about how good he felt.  I could hardly contain the tears; more than 7 decades of sin washed away, more than 8 months of agony had served its end, and after 84 years of life, Roberto Alfaro is once again as clean as a newborn babe.  I will never forget this Saturday.

Dad - I had forgotten that I´m going to miss the winter Olympics.  Dang.  But  I´ve got better stuff to do anyway.  Hopefully USA hockey can avenge its tragic loss to Canada 4 years ago.  Is Bode going to compete?  haha. 

Here are a couple of questions:
1.  Did you get the picture of Mom and the Molcajete?
      - Yeah. that's awesome.  I can assure you that I have eaten nothing of the sort. 
Azteca Molcajete

2.  What type of animals do you see on a routine basis? 
      - rabid dogs, nasty cats, cockroaches, ants, birds (lots of birds as pets - they are so annoying), the occasional squirrel, lots of iguanas, armadillos, I think thats all.

3.  Any rare types of animals you see occasionally?
     - perhaps iguanas would fall into that catagory

4.  How many investigators did you have Sunday?
     - yikes, a bad Sunday to ask.  Only 1. 

5.  For investigator teaching, what percent do you use the Book of Mormon versus the Bible?
     - I use the Book of Mormon more, but it's fairly equal.  The big difference is that we leave commitments to read the Book of Mormon, but almost never to read the Bible.

6.  Have you been able to listen to any uplifting music lately?
     - a bit. Presidente Cardenas stole my iPod about 8 months ago but I watched the Christmas devotional, and we have a disc of music in the house.  I miss my iPod though.

7.  What types of plants do you see around you on a daily basis?  I am assuming it is mostly concrete, but who knows?
    -it is mostly concrete. in fact I rarely see plants haha. There are some mango trees scattered about though.

8.  What is the air quality like?  I don't imagine the anti-pollution laws are as stringent as in the US.
     - it's not too bad here because its flat, but Tuxtla Gutierrez is a valley so it's terrible.  Most days you cant see from one side of the valley to the other.  I´ve developed a certain ´´green´´ sentiment after seeing how terrible unrestainted pollution really is. 

9.  What percent of the missionaries in your missions are American?  Mexican?  Other?
     - it's probably about 40, 40, 20. There are lots of Guatemaltecos, Hondureños, Salvadoreños, and Peruanos.

10.  What do you consider to be a good P-Day?
     - one in which I play soccer or basketball. Simple. 

11.  Tell us about a particularly interesting experience you had this past week.
     - Roberto´s baptism is the winner. 

Love you dad, I hope you have an A number 1 super winner week.  Thanks for working hard for us.  See you on the flip side ha.

Mom - I´m glad you´ve been able to preserve the true meaning of Christmas :).  I love Christmas.  Unfortunately it's still unspeakably hot here, which takes away a fun side of it for me.  But I love being at home, making caramels, decorating the tree together, drinking eggnog even though nobody actually likes it, and just being together.  I feel the best gift we can give to our Savior in this season is gratitude for the chance to be united as a family eternally. Christmastime always reminds me that families are meant to be forever.  You say that none of your kids want to live near your, but NOT SO.  You don´t want to live by any of your kids!  haha.  just kidding. :)  I have come to know more fully just how good life in Ponte Vedra Beach is.  I wouldn´t mind being there again.  I look forward to seeing you too.  I hope you're still rocking your sweet glasses. :)  Love you mom, see you in 9 days!!

Andee - hahaha, I actually thought of Roy saying "shut up old man" this week. I was walking in the street and just randomly burst out laughing.  Funniest moment of my life.  Also this week I dropped my cell phone and said ´´shoot´´ just like that night ha.  Hope all is well with finals.  I look forward to being a text message away from your antics as well.  You and Roy make my life better!  Be sure to dissuade my father from his android excitement.  As the pastor said to Joseph Smith, ´´mark my words, nothing good will come of this.´´  ha.  I´m glad Angels We Have Heard On High makes you think of me.  You´ll be pleased to know that it's a Mexican favorite.  The tone-deafness is driving me crazy.  Imagine it - Glo-ooo-ooo-oo-oo-ria. It's the worst  haha. Well AD, have a stellar week.  And tell Roy hi for me.  Love you, but less than Roy does.  :)

OK, well time has flown by.  I love you all.  Merry Christmas!  Talk to you in a week!!!!! 

Elder Roth

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 68 - Shreddin and Rippin

O beloved Family,

It's always a pleasure to hear from you.  Every one of you made me chuckle.  I´m glad to hear that things are going well in Florida and Germany - and I´m super jealous about the snow in Utah.  You guys are awesome.  This week was really good.  We baptized my favorite investigator ever, Fransisco.  We found him a couple weeks ago as we were looking for his sister, a former investigator.  He´s been solid from day one.  And now he´s baptized!  Life is good.

Mom - Unfortunately I know of no such service, nor do I know of missionaries here who need it.  I´m sure if you talk to a bishop or stake president they can hook you up with some names and addresses.  Its good to hear that you are enjoying the company of the "eww grosses".  ha.  Your new car is so sweet! so now it's M3 and 330?  Facsimile 2 is so legit, right?  ha - I spent far too much time trying to decipher what 9-22 mean haha.  I got to watch the First Presidency Devotional as well, and was likewise disappointed with the closing hymn.  But what can you do?  I really really liked Far, Far away on Judea´s Plains though.  I haven´t gotten any packages yet, but President Cardenas is making the journey down on Wednesday so he´ll bring it if it has arrived. Congrats on the new car, hope it serves you well.  Love you mom!

Daddio - Your report of the car situation made me laugh out loud haha. Hopefully you won´t end up carless. 

On to some questions:
1.  Are you taking good care of your grinders?
      - Of course.  haha. 

2.  Do you know that Florida State is the number 1 team in the country and will play #2 Auburn for the National Championship?
      - I had absolutely no idea.  That's cool though.  NO one plays football like the southeast. 

3.  How many investigators did you have at Church today?
     - None because today is Monday.  But yesterday we had 5.  The members helped us out by inviting them and bringing them.

4.  Are you and your companion the only missionaries in your Ward?
     - Yes. Vista Hermosa (the ward I was in before) has 2 sets - elders and sisters.  But dividing a 10 by 10 block area would be a bit tedious.  ha. 

5.  Did you know they got over 9 inches of snow in one storm in Provo, and it did not get above freezing for a couple of days?
     - Roy and Andee sent me the report and pictures.  Did you know that I am sweating as I write this? 

6.  How shall we arrange for your Christmas call this year? Do you remember the home phone number?
    - I´ll Skype you again.  Of course I remember the home phone number ha. 

7.  You read Jesus the Christ.  What other books are you allowed to read?
    - We can read the Standard Works (Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) Jesus the Christ, Our Search For Happiness, True To The Faith, and Our Heritage. I´ve finished them all - except for the Old Testament.  I´m in 2 Kings. (but I only read it at night before bed.)

8.  How is you missionary sun tan coming along?  Arms nice and dark?
     - Worse than ever. It's seriously embarrassing. my arms and face aren´t really darker than before the mission, but the rest of my body has attained a glow above the brightness of the sun. 

9.  What does a missionary have to do, to need to have his toe nail removed?
    - In the case of my companion, run down a muddy slope, slip, kick a tree, and break your toe nail.  haha  That happened in his previous area, he had to get it removed again because it was infected.  Gross ha. 

10.  Want me to tell you what a molcajetes is?  It is a stone bowl.  We went to this really cool authentic Mexi restaurant in Norcross. I ordered this dish where the bring you food out in this molcajetes. It was heated up to about 1,000 degrees, so the stuff was boiling while it sat in front of you. It had cactus leaves in it. I think they were called nopaleras. It was good.
      - Right you are.  I had heard the word before but I forgot what it was. Sounds good.  I´ll tell you about all the funny stuff we eat on Christmas. 

11.  Tell me something interesting about your prayers this week?
     - Not technically a question but I´ll answer anyway :).  I try to focus on giving thanks rather than asking.  Doing so has made me realize more of the blessings that God bestows upon us each day.

Have a good week back it Atlanta.  I hope all goes well.  Love you dad.

Steph - Only Tom, only Tom. (BTW, I loved the gross wordplay).  Fransisco was baptized.  Estefany will be baptized the 22.  and Sabel is not the steph´s dad.  It's so so good to hear that Ryan is keeping the tradition of incessant thirst alive.  He´s a good kid.  ha.  I´m impressed that Tom can run 20 miles like that.  ha.  Especially when he only mentally prepares for  a 15k.  Have a good week.  You're a champ.

Roy and Andee - Time is short.  Thanks for the pictures Andee, I´m so jealous.  I know things like that would happen in the YSA ward - it warms my heart to hear of such delkhood.  Have a good last week and own your finals. You too, Roy.

And yes mom I got the debit card, thanks. 

Bueno.  Love you all.  Talk to you next week. 

Elder Roth 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Week 67 - OBISPO!!!


Guess what! guess what!! WE HAVE A BISHOP!!!!  Yeah baby! and he is amazing.  He has served previously as Bishop, Stake President, Counselor in the Temple Presidency, and High Counselor over missionary work.  I`m so excited!  We also got a new ward mission leader.  And our zone had 3 times the average number of baptisms this month.  not too bad eh?  I´m a happy little guy.

This week was really good.  Unfortunately however, my comp got one of his toenails removed and hasn`t been able to walk for the last 2 days.  And let me tell you, it is really hard to find enough people to stay with each of us during the day so that he can rest and I can work.  But we did a pretty good job of it.  This week I finished Jesus the Christ.  It's really good.  When I get back I want to read Elder Talmage´s other books. 

Mom - I`m glad you had a good week in Atlanta.  I haven´t tried any Yucatecan food,  but I´m sure its good.  Have a great time with Steph and the boys.  I´m grateful for you mom.  You´re so wonderful.  Travel safely.

Dad - It's good to hear that you finally got a day off and that things are going relatively well at work. 

1.  What ages of people did you teach this week?
      - Just about everything.  We have Estefany, 9.  Sabel, 22.  Fransisco, 48. Roberto Alfaro, 81.  And just about everything in between.

2.  How many copies of Preach My Gospel do you have?  What languages?
     - One in English.  A big one in Spanish, and a mini in Spanish.  I use them all about equally and my notes are strewn about in all 3.  It's a bit of a mess.

3.  How many times did you speak English this last week?
     - More than usual.  We have a new hermana in the district from Provo, Utah.  She is so hilarious, and her Spanish is so...not that good.  ha.  So I talked to her in English a bit.  Other than that I didn´t speak much in my mother tongue. 

4.  How reliable is your electrical service in your flat?
    - You can count on it to be terrible.  So I´d say its reliable.  ha.  Nah, just kidding.  There is nothing wrong with it, it´s just that if you run two fans at the same time you loose some power.  And if you use the iron the room goes dark ha.

5.  How many times did you play the piano this past week?
    - In Sacrament meeting.  In a lesson with someone that had a little keyboard that was impossible to play, and last Monday after we played soccer.

6.  Describe the room you are currently sitting in?
    - The same one as always.  Paint stripping off the wall, a sign that says no pornography, and today it's especially hot. :)

7.  As you walk your area, what type of music do you normally hear?
    - Everything.  Mariachi,  I´m Sexy and I Know It, 80`s rock in English, alabanzas (the highly apostate songs of other churches), the music they play in the bars (which you can only like if you're hammered drunk), and some other stuff.

8.  Was there any recognition of US Thanksgiving?  Did you even know it was this last Thursday?
     - No, I actually forgot until about 8 pm.

9.  Do you know what a Molcajete is?
     - no idea.

10.  How can we help you?
     - help the missionaries at home. 

Love you Dad, hope you have a great week and that you can go home soon. :)

Andee- hahahaha.  Roy and my Dad have the gift of making any song ridiculous.  I laughed so hard at your title.  Yeah! Cougars eat Wolves!  haha I`m glad you enjoyed the BYU basketball game from outer space ha.  Have a good family home christmas tree.  Maybe next time you can make it a family home send clark candy (haha just kidding, I don´t need candy.  Everyone here has diabetes as is)

Roy - 1000 bucks!  That's so much.  I´m sure it will all be worth it.  If not you can always come and live in Tapachula - life here is pretty cheap.  I´m still hoping for MIT.  ha.  That way you can walk in the footsteps of the great James R Kearl. :)  Have a good un! 

Steph - Your boys are going to have the standard works memorized before their mission if they keep going at this rate!  Have fun in Florida!  I bet it's too cold to swim by now, but throw Ty in anyway ha.  Jokes.  Hope all goes well for Tom in Euroland.  Love ya.

Well my family.  Time runs short once again.  I love you all so much.  I feel the deepest gratitude for your support and love.  I know that the gospel is true. 

Elder Roth

Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 66 - Happy Thanksgiving!


guess what!  I´m tired.  Transfers came and went, and Elder Torres and I are still here in Central.  This will be my 7th transfer in Tapachula, 5th transfer in Central and my fourth with Torres.  I think the stress here is causing premature balding but its good for ya ha.  Just kidding.  My hair isn´t going anywhere.  I told my friend Elder Salgado before transfers that if the Lord decides to leave me here with my companion it means he trusts me more than I trust myself.  It's good to see that that is the case.  But honestly I´m so tired - the thought of 6 more weeks with my compy makes my brain hurt. :) But I love him.

Thanks for your emails.  They are a much needed weekly encouragment and I thank you for your consistency.  The work is wonderful in every sense of the word.  It is a modern day miracle that almost 90,000 have accepted the call to serve.  I love every missionary that stands beside me.  They inspire me.

Mom - Hi mom!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!  I hope you have fun in Hotlanta.  I´ve found, as you have, that the scriptures always seem to have the perfect answer at the perfect moment.  And of course, ´´great are the words of Isaiah.´´  This week I read chapter 60 - and I would highly recommend it. The Lord is hastening his work.  I must admit that a sense of jealousy intruded my soul when you said that you took the sister missionaries to Lulu´s.  You won´t be surprised to know that I don´t eat so well.  :)  But in ´´ the not-too distant-but-still-pretty-far-away future´´ I´ll be eating well again haha.  I love you mom.  Have a great week in the ATL! 

Dad - You always seemed to get hosed at work.  ha  I made myself laugh out loud with the use of the word hosed.  ha.  Thanks for the football update. That was entertaining.  NO!  Brian McCann was the only player that actually lived up to his big contract on the Braves (*cough* Dan Uggla *cough*). Maybe they will pull Jonny Estrada or Jared Saltalamachia back.  They were legit.  ha.  Where did you want me to go this transfer?  I´d like to hear your input.  I´m puzzled as to what to write... you didn´t send me any questions! Hope things go well up in Norcross.  Love you dad!

Roy - ha.  Hey elder bro.  I remember your story about your companion screaming a word that I wouldn´t repeat when he got his transfer calls.  I´m not so extreme, but I´m becoming more and more certain that I don´t want to marry a Mexican man.  So that's good...one less thing.  But anyway, we are making the best of our time here.  We´re actually having a good amount of success.  Happy Birthday to Ingrid. (Did you know the gas pedal clicks when you floor it? ha :))  I remember fondly the M5 road trip.  It was so fun.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving break.  Your Brit's joke made me laugh. Bueno- anyway. See you later.

Andee Dawn - your name is awesome.  Words cannot explain how I envy your 31 degrees indicated there on Ingrid.  Its so flippen hot here!  I can´t imagine that Roy went an entire week without a single delk-esque action.  You and Roy look great!  You´ll have to go back to Provo with me someday so we can delk around again!  Have a slamming semana.

This week we had a conference with Elder Valenzuela from the 70.  It was pretty sweet.  I got to play piano again; always good to entertain the GA´s - easy missionary points haha.  It was a fantastic meeting.  Our Mission President spoke and once again really raised my spirits.  He said that his missionaries are clean and powerful.  And promised the members that we can touch the hearts of their friends.  (In Spanish you don´t knock doors, you touch them.)  So president said. "I need you to invite your friends to listen to the missionaries.  I don´t want them touching doors - I want them touching hearts."  It's a big responsibility but I know that the Spirit can touch any willing heart.  I´m far from perfect, but I am clean.  And I know that I am but an instrument in the almighty hands of my Father. 

Love you fam,

Till next week,

Elder Clark Roth

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 65 - Using the Shwartz


Sorry about last week.  I didn´t realized that I didn´t send the completed letter.  My bad.  Anyway this week was good.  You´ll be pleased to know that I´m in an air conditioned cyber, yet still sweating.  I don´t know how I do it - it must be a gift.  This morning I helped move a water tank off someone's roof (I thought I was going to get crushed for sure) and then played some soccer with some other missionaries.  I´m not as bad as I used to be!  That said, I´m still a shame to the Roth name when it comes to playing soccer. 

My companion and I have been visiting a ton of families in the ward recently. In fact every single one of them.  Every week it seems that a different inactive family shows up at church.  So that's good.  We also are having success with our investigators - this week I got to go for a swim :)  I feel blessed to be here.

Roy - ha not too long ago Mom and Dad saw Knuckleball as well.  I want to see it when I get home.  (btw Dick Trickle is definitely a cooler name).  I can´t believe you went to your last BYU football game as students!  That's so sad!  I don´t ever want to graduate!  I´m happy that the semester is going well.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving break.  (Remember the game we played in g&g´s house when I burned my tongue?  haha)  Things are going very, very well.  I´m grateful to be a missionary.

Dad - I been in Tapa for 6 transfers.  :) We´ll see if I get another.  I hope you´re as obsessed with GC talks as I am - they are the best.  Your new bathroom sounds like a considerably nicer place to be than mine haha.  Mine gets worse every week :)  It's still pretty hot here, buts it's way nicer than it used to be.  From March through May it was soooo hot.  I would just drip sweat - imagine the crash landing in Airplane -  haha.  From June till now it's rained every day which is pretty unpleasant as well.  I´m so tired of having wet feet.  But they say that December and January are relatively nice.  :)  From what they´ve told me the US soccer team totally saved Mexico. Whenever the national team plays here everyone stops working and they crowd around the nearest TV.  People put their TV´s out in the street so more people can watch.  It makes teaching a bit more difficult.  ha.  I hope you have a great week.  Love you Dad. 

Mom - whoa.  That sounds like a pretty packed week.  I feel like I would like LA now.  But I´m still a bigger fan of tranquility.  I wanna live on a farm! haha.  Sometimes my head hurts so bad from the constant noise here in Central.  haha Thanks for commenting on my haircut.  Pretty sweet right?  I did pay for it but it was only 20 pesos - whats that, like $1.70?  The price in insults was far higher ha.  But it's grown back now, all is well.  Love you Mom!

Steph - Hey Steph - I hope you enjoy your trip to Dallas and the house that Jerry built haha.  holy cow!  I had no idea Sebastian Vettel was killing it like that!  I´m so down to go see the race next year!  That would be so so cool. Its tough to choose a favorite scripture.  I have lots.  But one that always comes to mind is Mosiah 2:41 (not too original but who cares.) 
And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.  
Wanna be happy?  Want spiritual and temporal blessings?  Wanna dwell with God forever?  -  Keep the commandments.  Well, hope you have a fantastic week.  Love ya Steph.

Well I guess that's about all for this week.  I don´t have my camera.  Thanks for writing me and encouraging me.  I appreciate your prayers, your mail, and your faithfulness. 

I know that this church is true.  There is absolutely no doubt about it.  The Book of Mormon is true and changes lives.  If you haven´t read it, read it! 

Love you all,

Elder C. Alan Roth :)

Week 64 - From Last Week


First of all thank you for your emails, prayers and support.  I truly love you all. 

This week was good... no; fantastic.  We had a conference with our mission president.  This time it wa just our zone, nobody else.  It was soo good!  I was feeling a bit down but President Cardenas really helped me out.  He knows what my companion and I are going though and he acknowledged our faithful service in an area that he knows is difficult.

Dad - Happy Birthday!  Sorry you didn´t get to go to California.  That's a major bummer.  I´m glad you enjoyed my letter.  I love you!  Thanks for the questions.  I don´t know what I would write if you didn´t guide me ha. 

1.  How do you think you are doing on your Mexican accent?
     -Its going well.  Foreigners almost never speak perfectly, but everyone understands me.  A lot of people comment that I speak very well.  I try to speak Spanish like President Utchdorf speaks English - with an accent, but with an awesome accent!

2.  How often do you see Americans?
    - Pretty often, since I´m downtown.  There are tourists here about once a week and there is an American that owns a book store a few blocks from me. We call him the white guy that only reads and eats, because we have never seen him doing anything else.  I honestly have no idea what he´s doing here.

3.  What is your favorite type of tortilla?  Are tortillas still a big part of your diet?
    - They are all the same really.  There is one place that makes one that tastes better but it's kinda far away and we never go.  They are still my staple.

4.  Of the 4 Gospels in the New Testament, which have you enjoyed the most recently?  Why?
     - Which of your children have you enjoyed the most recently?  haha.  It's an impossible question.  But John ought to be recognized as the most insightful on most matters of deep doctrine. Chapter 15 is my favorite.  I always remember something Elder Holland said: ´´Christ said without me ye can do nothing - I testify that that is God´s truth.´´ I love it. 

5.  Describe the cars that you see driven around your area?
     - There are a lot of VW bugs. 

 Lots of Nissan Tsuru´s (they are the taxis). 

Lots of Nissan Urvans (those are the combi´s).  

And lots of Nacho Libre style tricycles.

6.  You never commented on that parking job I sent the photo of, did you get it?
    - haha yeah.  Classic Roth.

7.  Do you ever drink sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade or that kind of stuff?
    - Almost never but they have them.  I´m addicted to milk though.  I used to buy 3 gallons of milk a week.  I´ve cut back on it a bit, but it's still my biggest expense.

8.  How often do you speak in Sacrament meeting?
     - Not that often.  I think I´ve done it 5 times on my mission.

9.  How often are you called upon to give lessons in Sunday meetings?
     - In this ward almost never.  In Tuxtla I taught every week.  In Vista Hermosa I taught about once every other week. 

10.  Of the people you meet and teach, are they long time Chiapias residents?  People have lived down there for a long time, so I am wondering.
      - Yeah, almost everyone here is from Chiapas.  It's rare to find someone from another state ha. 

11.  Look straight ahead of you, over the top of the computer monitor.  Describe what you see.
    - The wall.  haha.  It's painted red and yellow and the paint is peeling off the concrete.  And there is a sign that says ´´all types of pornography are prohibited.´´  So that's reassuring. 

12.  Is this too many questions for one letter?
    - No.  I like questions!

I love you dad!

Steph - haha, I was going to thow in an Elf reference last week but I couldn´t remember the quote.  But in short - yes, I struggle greatly with the temptation to say Fransico like Buddy.  Unfortunatly we don´t have bikes.  We just walk.  And combis.  Which is much more physically demanding than walking ha.  I´m glad to hear that Ty and Ry are starting their mission prep early.  There is no substitute!  Love ya Steph.  Say hi to Cody for me!

Mom - to answer your question of the day -  I have never knowingly eaten Monkey in the mission - that said, I almost certainly have done it.  I´ve definitely eaten meat unfit for human consumption ha.  I´m glad you're having fun in California.  Say hola to the Mexicans for me ha.  You do not know what a bad keyboard is...you have no idea.  Have a great Friday!  Congratulations to Jake.  I love you Mom!

Carly - As I walked in to the cyber today I wondered if you were still reading my blog.  You are the best!  Also, I gotta tell you that you made me laugh out loud when you said that ´´I try´´ to make my misfortunes funny.  haha - I guess I´m not succeeding... :)  You are an awesome member missionary! Want to come to Tapachula?  We could use a family like you and Jared.  Plus they pay 30 dollars a day for the translators that help the tourists out.  haha. Who can deny an offer like that!?  I hope things go well with your neighbors! Hang in there till you get to join the best workforce!  ha.  Love you Carly! 

Roy - Things are going really well.  Stay strong this last month of the semester!  Enjoy BYU basketball for me.   LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT RIGHT, SIT DOWN!  Keep those derivatives strictly positive and increasing. 

Andee - I knew that sooner our later the delk would rub off on you.  I seem to recall warning you ha.  Doomsday Bunkers is the best, right!?  Did you see the one with the banister that doubles as a flamethrower?  That's the best one. (in case Mikele reads this, don´t use dryer 10. :))  I hope things go well with your digital mission.  You are a star!  ha.  Love you AD. 

Caleigh Oliver - Hola! Felicidades por su llamamiento. Mexico le encantará. Espero que le haya gustado mi blog. Sí , estoy en Chiapas ahorita. Termino en agosto 2014. Le darán su Visa en el MTC. Mexico es lo mejor! Usted será una de las primeras hermanas americanas que sirve en Mexico! Disfrute de su tiempo antes de empezar la mision y prepárese bien. La mision será la mejor experiencia de su vida! 

O dear family how I love you.  I love to read your emails.  They always pump me up for another week of the good life.  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Week 64 - Happy Birthday Dad!!!!

(It appears Clark hit the send button too early, since the letter just stops in the middle of answering Rick's questions, and the Oops that came as a follow up email....)


First of all thank you for your emails, prayers and support.  I truly love you all. 

This week was good... no, fantastic.  We had a conference with our mission president.  This time it was just our zone, nobody else.  It was soo good!  I was feeling a bit down but President Cardenas really helped me out.  He knows what my companion and I are going though and he acknowledged our faithful service in an area that he knows is difficult.

Dad - Happy Birthday!  Sorry you didn´t get to go to California.  That's a major bummer. I ´m glad you enjoyed my letter.  I love you!  Thanks for the questions.  I don´t know what I would write if you didn´t guide me ha. 

1.  How do you think you are doing on your Mexican accent?
     -It's going well.  Foreigners almost never speak perfectly, but everyone understands me.  A lot of people comment that I speak very well.  I try to speak Spanish like President Utchdorf speaks English - with an accent, but with an awesome accent!

2.  How often do you see Americans?
    - Pretty often, since I´m in downtown.  There are tourists here about once a week and there is an American that owns a book store a few blocks from me. We call him the white guy that only reads and eats, because we have never seen him doing anything else.

3.  What is your favorite type of tortilla?  Are tortillas still a big part of your diet?
    - They are all the same really.  There is one place that makes one that tastes better but its kinda far away and we never go.  They are still my staple.

4.  Of the 4 Gospels in the New Testament, which have you enjoyed the most recently?  Why?
5.  Describe the cars that you see driven around your area?
6.  You never commented on that parking job I sent the photo of, did you get it?
7.  Do you ever drink sports drinks like gatorade or powerade or that kind of stuff?
8.  How often do you speak in Sacrament meeting?
9.  How often are you called upon to give lessons in Sunday meetings?
10.  Of the people you meet and teach, are they long time Chiapias residents?  People have lived down there for a long time, so I am wondering.
11.  Look straight ahead of you, over the top of the computer monitor.  Describe what you see.
12.  Is this too many questions for one letter?


Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 63 - All I Do Is Win, Win, Win, No Matter What!

Hey Fam,

What´s crackalacking?  (I taught my companion that phrase and it's super funny when he says it ha).' On that note there are a ton of other funny things my comp says in English:  ¨JUDAS¨ (whenever something bad happens), ¨are you ready to die, sinner?¨,  ¨Girl look at that body,¨  etc.  I´m glad to hear that we´ve all survived another week ha.  This week was pretty fantastic.  One of our investigators got married, so she´ll get baptized this weekend. We also were led to a cool new investigator named Francisco.  He went to church by himself and is really interested. So that's good. 

It's the end of the rainy season here in Tapa. So for the next six months my shoes will stay dry!  So stoked! ha.  It's still pretty hot, but it's really not that bad anymore.  I´ve already watched ¨Joy to the World¨ a couple times to get ready for Christmas time.  Unfortunately, that's the only Christmasy thing I have and I´m already getting bored of it.  ha. 

Thanks for the emails. 

Dad - We do indeed have daylight saving time here.  I hope you have fun in cali. 

1.  Thinking of time, how's the digital Timex running?
1. My watch is going strong. Part of the plastic on it has decroded (as Napoleon Dynamite would say) and every once in a while it cuts me.  But it's all good.

2.  You said your toilet is not working...define not working
2. I´ll try not to be too descriptive but when I say my toilet doesn´t work I mean that it doesn´t flush. You have to get creative to get it to flush. sometimes it overflows...that's not pleasant.  I´ll refrain from explaining more. 

3.  What scripture story spoke to you this week?
3. I had lots of scripture stories speak to me.  One was from David and Goliath.  I love when David says ´´who is this Philistine to defy the armies of the living God!´´  I was also reading the Book of Helaman, and you gotta love Nephi there. Baptizes a ton, they all go inactive, baptizes more, they go inactive, prays on a tower (not sure why) ticks everyone off, tells the future, despite being right people don´t repent, God tells him ´´good job sport´´, etc.  Its such a cool  story.  there are others...

4.  Tell me about your sleeping arrangements?
4. My sleeping arrangement is pretty standard.  I have a normal mattress and sleep without covers and with the fan blowing on me.

5.  Tell me something about Mexico that you did not expect.  
5. Something about Mexico that I didn´t expect...that's tough.  I remember telling you guys that being here is like being in scout camp  but I really don´t feel like that anymore.  There is no residual culture shock, everything is normal to me now.  But anyway...I didn´t expect so much wickedness.  If the Governor asked me to come up with a slogan for Tapachula it would be - ´´Tapachula - Sodom and Gomorrah got nothing on us!´´  haha.  But I love them anyway. I really do love them. 

Congrats to M Mort on the mission call.  One of my friends, John Mather (my second semester roommate in fact), is in that mission.  It will be awesome!

Mom - I´m glad you got through the week.  Sounds like you gave a pretty killer talk.  Trials are seldom pleasant but very necessary.  This week I read verse 5 of How Firm a Foundation, it's awesome. 

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

All trials do is burn away the natural man in you, they won´t hurt the heavenly you.  I know what I want for Christmas!!  I want a Red Ryder... jokes.  I want a USB memory.  Please, pretty please!!  and letters from the ward ha!  I love you mom.  Enjoy your less stressful week!

Roy - Thanks for emailing me!  541 is real analysis right?  How do you feel about the math major?  Worth it?  I look forward to hearing your grad school news when it comes.  The Red Sox eh.  I think that's a sign that you belong in Boston ha.  Thanks for rubbing in the fact that I don´t have a Bishop.  haha. Be \mathbb{Q} and keep it \mathbb{N}.  (Translation per Roy: Be Rational and keep it Natural)

Might I recommend a Mormon Message for you all.  Its called Earthly Father, Heavenly Father.  It's so sick! 

Well I suppose that's all for today.  Love you all. 

Elder Roth