Monday, February 25, 2013

Week 27 - El Güero con el Suero

Hi there!

This week was...adequate. haha.  After I explain the title of my email you´ll understand why.  As you already know, güero basically means ¨whitey¨.  Suero is a drink kind of like Pedialyte that they give you when you have diarrhea.  So, connecting the dots, it means I spent a good portion of my days on the toilet, expelling all the liquids my body formally possessed. haha.  The good news is that I´m all better now.  Needless to say though, it wasn´t the most pleasant time of my life. 

That said the work is going well. We had a bit of a disappointing Sunday yesterday in terms of investigators who come to church, but its always a pleasure to see that a good portion of the chapel is filled by people I taught and baptized :)  Thanks as always for the letters!  I always love ´em!

So, in response,

Dad- You did a number on those bushes.  And its only fair to remind you that, while Roy and I made a long, concerted effort to destroy them with the basketball, you are the one who backed the M5 halfway through them because you forgot that it didn´t have backup sensors! haha.  You crack me up!  It is seriously sooo hot here.  But I was surprised to see that the locals seem to complain about it more than I do.  I really don´t mind it too much :)  The Google street view is probably a pretty good indicator.  There is no room between the houses, and no space between the street and the front door. There is pretty much no open space and no vegetation, its a bit depressing to be honest. 
Tell me about the growth of your testimony since you have been there.
- My testimony is stronger but it really hasn´t changed that much.  The change has been in my level of conversion.  Elder Bednar explains that "if a testimony is what you know to be true, conversion is being true to what you know".  I can honestly say that every single day I try to live perfectly true to what I know.  And that has certainly brought about a change in me.  As for being in a different country, different language and everything - I have to agree with what Tal Spackman said (who served his mission in Mongolia)  - "people are pretty much the same".  There are lazy ones, hard working ones, and every one in between. 

Did you just pass your 6 month point?  Any traditional tie burnings or anything like that?
- The 6 month mark was passed without any celebrations haha.  But if I was going to burn a tie, it would definitely be that miserable piece of silken rubbish that Mikele sent me haha :)  There were a few transfers because a couple missionaries went home, but the mission wide transfers are coming up in two weeks...i think.  Love you dad!

Andee - Why on earth does Roy want a Pinterest!?  haha! That kid... But anyway, its encouraging to hear that songs can be sung well out of the Spanish hymn book, because here they all turn out pretty terrible haha.  No I haven´t had to undo the button things - I´ve remained trim and tender throughout my mission haha.  Have an Ah numero uno, súper ganador día! (they really do say super here)

Roy -¨I hope you are finding that your mission has a positive first derivative with respect to time. I think you will find that it has a positive second derivative as well. I never really got the intuition enough on third derivatives to make a sensible comment there though... ¨
        haha i love math! I suppose the third derivate might as well be positive as well.  It would mean that the rate at which my mission is increasing in its rate of improvement is increasing...I guess.  Welp anyway, I´m certainly loving the life.  Just in case you didn´t know here are the names of the first six derivatives. 1- velocity, 2- acceleration. 3- jerk, 4- snap, 5- crackle 6- pop. haha well anyway.  Love you bro! keep it /mathbb{R}

Mom - Hi! I´m glad to hear that the Merrells are getting some use in my absence.  I expect a good portion of my wardrobe has been stolen by Roy (it would only be fair after all).  The rainy season here starts in April or May and lasts until about August or September.  I might break out the boots for the rainy months.  I´ll for sure use them if I go to Tapachula, where it rains 6 inches of water in a couple of hours haha.  Umbrellas are used exclusively by the JW´s while they knock doors, so I´ll try to avoid looking like them at all costs haha.  If you wouldn´t mind including some of the awesome granola cereal that comes in the red bag in my package that would be awesome!  I love you!

Mikele - wow so much good news!  It will be awesome when the fearsome 5 plus one is out in the mission field!  Enjoy your last few days as a muggle! haha  The MTC cafeteria is just a less good Cannon Center. The orange juice is relatively fine - no promises though.  Weird stuff happens haha. Those two pictures made my life...thank you  haha. That is the sweetest sweater I have ever seen!  The pop rocks and chocolate is pretty darn solid.  I´m certainly not going to share it with my comp!  haha.  Love you girl!

Well my time has ended on me. (that makes more sense in Spanish ..) anyway, have a great week! 

Shall we not go on in such a great cause!?

Till Monday,


Monday, February 18, 2013

Week 26 - Stealing from the Testigos

Elder Roth and Elder Martinez at the Cañon de Sumidero

Hola amigos míos,
This week was pretty sweet.  There were a couple of transfers this week, but I'm staying here in Reforma with Elder Martinez.  Unfortunately my friend Elder Northrup is leaving, and my other friend Elder Rawlins finishes his mission today.  I'm gonna be a lonely little gringo in our district meetings haha.  Thanks for the updates and whatnot :).  Big news this week.  We snatched a baptism away from the Jehovah's Witnesses! haha.  (btw, you would not believe how many JW´s there are here - its ridiculous!)  Anyway, the girl was just about to get baptized a JW, when we came, taught her true doctrine, she felt the Spirit, and got baptized in the true church.  We are hoping to baptize her sister this week :) good stuff!  Also, you may be surprised to hear that I saw a guy wearing an Ocean Palms Elementary shirt this week.  Unfortunately I couldn't contact him because I was in the combi and he was in the street, but it was pretty cool anyway.
Welp, I´ll get to answering your emails:
Liahona, November 2012, p. 89

Mikele - First of all I´m about 95.7% sure that your picture is in page 89 of the November edition of the Liahona in Spanish.  
 Anyway, thanks for the update on the fam - I sure love them all.  I remember those long days waiting for the mission to start - it was torture.  But enjoy them! haha.  I had certainly not made all of those connections from the story of the brother of Jared.  You are a super scripture scholar! haha.  I'm glad to hear that seeing BMW's makes you smile haha! You are such a goof.  I love you!  Send me your MTC address so I can send you a letter while you're there!

Mom - I´m so jealous of your cold weather!  I don´t have any great insights for your lesson, but I think what you've got sounds great!  Umm, I can't say I plan on moving back after the school year. I'm happy wherever!  I love you Mom! thanks for your prayers and support and everything!

Dad - hahaha you and Roy have already destroyed everything I wanted to destroy!  ha. You crack me up.  Pretty cool that Randy was within 100 miles of TXG.  You hardly ever see planes flying overhead here, its a pretty dead zone.

1.  What are you doing for exercise, staying healthy and such? 
- ha depends. This week I was sick so I didn't work out too hard. (in fact I stayed in my bed under the covers and did about a million crunches because I didn't want to get up, but wanted to be obedient).  On normal days I do a bunch of pushups, pullups, and stuff like that.  I also fill up a 5 gallon bucket with some water and use it as a dumbbell - yes its pretty ghetto, but it works...kinda.  I´m also doing my best to avoid chicharrón and other stuff that surely causes early death.

2.  In the US, we have those things called Media Referrals, where folks see Church stuff on the TV and can call in to receive a video or book. Do you have that down there in the United Mexican States?
-In theory we have them, but I have never gotten one.  I´m trying to keep the hope though :)

No Tirar Basura - No Littering
3.  In that picture of you and your companion standing on a roadway, with the countryside behind you, there was a lot of trash on the side of the road. Behind you there was a sign that said something like no littering. Was that intentional? (If so, you can thank Mom for figuring that out.  She is amazing)
- haha I hadn't noticed the sign!  That's really funny.  All the streets here are covered in trash.  I don´t understand why they don't take care of their stuff here, but they just don't. 
 4.  Do you pray in English or Spanish?
- Spanish. The other day I tried to pray in English and words kept coming out in Spanish.  From the second day in the MTC until now, I have been praying in Spanish.

5.  Do you dream in English or Spanish?
 - about half and half - sometimes a mixture of the two. Also every once in a while I´ll be talking to someone in Spanish and I'll say something in English  For example I asked an investigator, ´´Usted, remember (with rolled r haha) cómo oramos nosotros?´´ ...he still makes fun of me for it haha.
Tell Bishop Maughan hi for me and thanks for the email!
I love you all. have a super great week!

Looking into the sun at the Cañon de Sumidero last week

Elder Roth :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Week 25 - Another Smashing Week!

What´s up!?

Things are rocking on as always here in the TX gizzle.  This week was pretty awesome - we encountered 3 different families, and all of them seem pretty solid.  I´m really excited to work with them. You´re receiving this email later than normal because today we had a multi-zone activity. We went to the Cañon de Sumidero.  Pictures will be coming next week.  Its one of the big tourist spots in Chiapas, and its in my proselyting area!  Its was pretty wicked.  I also got to go on divisions with Elder Northrup (pretty much my bestie haha) which was way fun.  Also I had my first plate of chicharrón this week.  What is that you ask.  In a word, two words, pig skin.  You just fry it up and throw it in a taco.  Certainly not one of my favorite meals here.  I feel like I´m sounding really whiny today.  Sorry bout that.  In all honesty I´m thrilled to be here and loving every minute of the mission.

Welp, I suppose I´ll get to responding to your emails.

Mikele - sounds like our missions are fairly similar in terms of living conditions.  Embrace the terribleness! haha.  I truly cannot explain in words the disdain I have for stray dogs.  (Did I tell you I saw one get hit by a combi? - it was a bit gruesome.)  I´m impressed that you are picking up the Spanish so fast - good job! ...I love you!  P.S. glad to hear I´ve survived two marriage proposals. :) 

Dad -  My favorite sacrament talk opening is still the good ole fashioned J Golden Kimball, ¨Brothers and Sisters, God only knows what I am going to say today.¨ ha makes me chuckle every time.  I´m totally crushed to herar that the old lawn mower is no more.  I was hoping it would get passed down to me haha. 

1. What type of electronic aids do you have?  Apparently, some elders in the US are experimenting with iPads. Supposedly, they can be used for the Area book. I am guessing your mission will not be passing them out anytime soon.
 - We have a cell phone with a pay as you go plan. thats pretty much it. I´m glad we don´t have an iPad or anything like that.

2. How many Sacrament talks have you had the opportunity to give thus far?
 - 0. The ward I am in now is relatively strong. I give the lesson in gospel principles every other week but other than that I don´t play to big of a role in our church meetings. That is very different for the missionaries who are assigned to little pueblos.

3. Compare and contrast a typical Fast and Testimony Sacrament meeting in TGZ vs. USA.
 - Pretty similar. They both go over time. They both have some very awkward moments that make you glad you aren´t presiding. We have some amazing members in our ward that were pioneers in the church here in Mexico. Its always a joy to listen to their testimonies.

4. Is there much in the way of sight seeing opportunities on P-Day?  Or will that not happen until you get out of the city?
 - Other than the Cañon de Sumidero there isn´t too much to see in Tuxtla. We might go the zoo one of these days with our bishop though. :)

Roy and Andee - I´m so jealous of the snow you have this year!!  Thanks for your emails and for being awesome.  Andee, your Arizona state comment was hilarious haha.  It´s great to hear that you marched a two guys off the court - lets be honest that's more fun than winning.  haha.  Keep on rockin!

Mom - Tú eres trabajador!  I can´t believe that you find a way to get all your work done.  I hadn´t realized that you would be in Utah so long, have fun! Haha that story about dad and the brakes cracked me up.  It reminds me of Roy telling dad about how the gas pedal clicks when you put it to the floor hahaha. What a delk!  I love you!

I love you all a ton!  I wouldn´t mind it if in the next package you sent me some aloe vera, I don´t think they sell it here.  The sun is seriously so powerful - 5 minutes in it and you´re burnt.  But no hurry.  Thanks for the support and laughs.  I hope you all have a fantastic week.

Hasta luego,

Elder Güerito aka Roth.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Week 24 - Happy Black History Month!!

¿Cómo estáis?
Throwing some old fashioned Spanish at you, vosotros style.  Welp, things are going pretty good here. We had an interview with the president this week, which was pretty good.  Unfortunately he didn't ask me what my favorite movies were, so unlike Roy (who told his Mission President his favorite movies were "The Sting" and "Smokey and the Bandit"I didn't get the opportunity to show my disdain for authority and law in front of my authoritative time haha.  Its also good to hear about your lives back in the land of the free.  I have so many fond memories of my pre-mission life.  I have certainly lived a charmed life.  That said, I am totally thrilled to be here in Mexico and love every week more than the last.
I can´t believe the 49ers made it to the Superbowl.  Yesterday I walked past a house that was watching the game (well, I suppose it was the people in the house, not the house itself, but you know what I mean).  If I hadn't seen that I wouldn't have known it was Superbowl Sunday. (A shout out to Mikele who knows why Superbowl Sunday is especially significant to me :))
 I certainly hope you don't catch leprosy from the armadillos, but if you do just read Leviticus and you're set. PS. the Old Testament might be the funniest thing ever written. The euphemisms are classic, and the people are so ridiculous.  I'm loving it haha.
Welp, I'll go ahead and answer dad's set of questions for the week:
1.  Have you had any good Burritos while in Mexico?
-Believe it or not I have not had a single burrito here.  Pure tacos.  However you'll be pleased to know that your pronunciation of tortilla is spot on.  Also there is a verb here that means to make tacos - taquear. Awesome!

2.  What do the locals do for entertainment?  Watch Soccer?  something else?
- They certainly do watch a lot of soccer and other stuff on TV for that matter.  One of the funnier things about the culture here is that even in the houses without running water and stuff they always have a TV, often a pretty sweet flat-screen.  Anyway, they also play a lot of soccer for fun.  Other than that they don´t really do anything...

3.  Does being an American make it easier to get people to talk to you?
- Yes and no. It certainly attracts all of the drunks (and there are a ton of drunks).  They all try to talk to me in English and I just pretend to understand and keep walking.  haha.  Other than that it doesn't really make a difference.  Although I must say I appreciate the effort they made to understand me back when my Spanish was terrible.  That was nice of them.

4.  How much interaction do you have with Missionaries other than your Companion?
- Not a ton.  We have a district meeting once a week so I get to see the other Elders in my stake for about 2 hours. Other than that, we run into the elders from Las  Águilas sometimes (they share our chapel).  I also go on exchanges about once every transfer cycle.  But I'm really good friends with Elder Northrup from my district, and I got to go on exchanges with him the other week.  It was probably my favorite day of the mission so far. haha. 

5.  Is there any interesting wild life or animals that you see?  Maybe not in the city?
-No, just nasty dogs and annoying cats.  I truly have developed a strong hatred for dogs here haha. They are the worst!
``I did something Friday that would make you chuckle.  Mom and I were driving back from Mandarin building. We were in separate cars because I was coming from work. From Phillips Highway I started pacing her. She was in the M5 and I was in the X5. So I drove next to her all the way to the bottom of the Palm Valley bridge where I had to move over. When I got home she was so mad at me she could barely talk. I thought you would appreciate that.´´ 
-hahahahahaha so funny.
Roy that sounds like a pretty sweet deal. I hope you're enjoying your classes and wrecking them as always.  Rock on!
Mom - That class sounds like its going to rock.  And by the way thanks for all the seminary and institute classes you have taught me.  I have a ton of fond memories from those days and know that they made me a better missionary.  All my stuff is holding up pretty well (although my backpack smells so bad from all my back sweat. (you know - my nickname in high school  was back sweat).  I'll probably wash it today.  My Eccos are the best, pretty much like new, I think they'll go the distance.  I really don't need anything.
In my individual study I study the Book of Mormon 20 minutes, (right now I am in Helemán 11), the missionary lessons for 20 minutes, and other stuff in Preach My Gospel for 20 minutes.   I also read a ton whenever I have time, like if I am ready before 8, before I go to bed, on p-day, and Sunday morning when we have our time to workout. I've finished Our Search for Happiness, and Our Heritage.  I've also read a good portion of the conference edition of the Liahona, up to Joshua in the Old Testament in English, up to John in the New Testament in Spanish, and some other good stuff.  I seriously love reading the scriptures so much! (though to be honest I miss the days of listening to BYU devotionals - oh well, I'll have them back sooner than I want).
Well, I love you all a ton!  Have a great week!
Your favorite,
PS. I have the worst missionary tan ever!  I might send you a picture next week haha.