Monday, March 25, 2013

Week 31 - Here in the Other Side of Heaven


Well this week has been pretty dandy.  On Tuesday I changed areas, and I´m here sweating my guts out in Tapachula.  The trip was pretty sweet, it was about 5 and a half hours in a nice bus with air conditioning. The Mexican country side is unbelievably beautiful.  My new companion is named Elder Huitrón.  He´s from Durango, Mexico and is awesome.  Its so nice to be with an obedient and hard working companion!  haha.  We had a really good week. We met a new investigator Tuesday night, and have already taught him 4 times.  I have never seen anyone so ready to accept the gospel.  He´s 18 years old and works selling water downtown (he rides the little nacho libre tricycle around)  haha.  Before we were able to invite him to baptism he said, ¨he pensado un poquito, y no sé si sea posible pero quisiera ser Mormón.¨ (I've thought a bit, and I´m not sure if its possible, but I´d like to be Mormon.)  Needless to say he accepted the baptismal invitation.  haha.  I love that man. :)

Well, I´ll get on to answering your emails.

Dad : Contrary to what the weather app says, it is so much hotter here. Perhaps the temperature is a bit cooler but its so humid.  I had to buy a sweat rag, and I walk around with it in my back pocket all day.  At night I sleep with the fan blowing directly at me and I don´t use covers and I still wake up sweating. Its pretty sweet! haha.  Guess how much our rent costs! 800 pesos a month. That's like 2 bucks a day! haha, and you get what you pay for...we don't have flushing toilets  the floor is just concrete, and it smells something fierce.  But I´m happy to be here.  Its seriously such a pleasure to be a missionary.  The bus system is fantastic, in fact I would rather ride a bus here than in the US.  This week we had a conference with Elder Benjamin de Hoyos which was pretty incredible.  He challenged us to read the Book of Mormon is 85 days (the time it took Joseph to translate it) and a bunch of other things.  I have to work like crazy every waking hour to do everything he told us to do, buts that's how it should be.  He told us that we are God´s investigators, and as such we are to keep every commitment that we extend to our investigators so that we, like them, can become truly converted.  But other than our conferences we keep in touch with our leaders by phone.  My first Sunday was pretty good, the members here are pretty hilarious.  And our pool of investigators is pretty solid, but as always we are trying to find more :)

Mom: I'm glad to hear that your mission was a success and you're back in the good ole Florida.  Those chocolates are so good! haha.  Nothing like a bit of church rumors.  People are ridiculous.  Thanks a billion for the update on Kel; I can't believe she can write that much in 30 minutes!  Nor can I believe that she figured out how to send pictures from the MTC.  But that just goes to show that she, unlike me, is intelligent, and in spite of that has chosen to like a complete delk. haha.  HAHA lol at dad´s antics.  I love you two!

Roy and Andee : Hahahaha, why did I have to miss Roy barfing out of a car at 80 mph!!??  Sometimes the sacrifices of a mission are tough haha.  Roy, how could you be getting bored of your classes, they are so bomb!  Especially if you have Prof. Burton for comp sci. haha.  Thanks for the quote AD, I'm working hard everyday to be who I want to become. :)

Well I hope all is well back in the states (I say that completely ignorant of how things actually are there).  Things are great here in Southern Mexico. Have a wonderful week!  Brethren, Pray for us :)

Elder Clark Roth

Monday, March 18, 2013

Week 30 - Cambios!!! (Changes!!)

Hey Family!
Well I´ve got some exciting news this week!  Tomorrow I´ll be heading down to Tapachula, to a ward called Vista Hermosa (Beautiful View).  I´m totally thrilled!  Just so you know, Tapachula is known to be the hottest place on the face of planet earth and I´ll be spending April and May there, which are the hottest months here.  Bring it on baby!! haha.  This week was so awesome!  Yesterday in church we had 3 confirmations and I got to be the voice of one of them (it was the first time I´ve confirmed a member of the church) and my companion and I got to speak.  It went pretty well I thought, I talked about how to successfully participate as a member missionary, and I told the members how much I love them.  I didn´t know then that I would be leaving the ward, but it felt like a nice farewell.  I´ll really miss this area, I´ll for sure always remember it.  In my 5 months here I´ve learned so much (including a foreign language).  I can´t believe how fast the time has gone!  But I´m ready to meet new people and for new some new challenges down in Tapachula. :)

My first missionary house.
798A Calle Mango, Albania Baja, TXG, Chiapas.
Good times!
Our trash heap
 Thanks for the emails and support, its always an uplifting hour of my week when I get to hear from you all.

This is how happy I am to be a missionary
Mom: I´m glad to hear that you had a great week in the paradise that is Utah. I´m sure grandpa will have more to complain about than ever now that he´s got all this new fangled technology that the young whippersnappers made him buy.  haha, what a nut!  Its good to hear that Mikele is in the MTC living the good life.  I´m so excited for her!  "What Happens When Life Gets One Degree Colder" is for sure a favorite of mine.  In the airport on the way to my mission a group of returning missionaries stopped us and told us that there are miracles everyday in the mission field, you just have to look for them.  Its so true!  I´ve seen hundreds of miracles here and expect that the Lord has worked millions more that I´m totally ignorant of.  In my letter next week I´ll be sure to tell you what to do when life gets 7000 degrees hotter!  haha. I love you.  Have a killer week!

As promised -  my tan line on my arm.
Its even worse than it looks in the picture haha.
RAD: I hope you guys watched the clip where they add the censoring to the over ninethousand thing.  It is soo funny haha.  Its always a pleasure to hear of the haps at BYU.  I look upon that school as heaven on earth!  haha.  Its so cool that you are working in the temple, and don´t worry about messing up Andee.  I wish you could hear some of the ridiculous things I´ve said here. (For example the other day someone asked me if we eat tortillas in the USA and I told them que si pero por lo general solamente comemos tortillas de arena. in English - we usually eat sand tortillas. (arena = sand, harina = flour). It doesn´t sound that bad now, but I felt pretty stupid.  haha its all good though, I try to embrace the fool that I am.  But to answer your question I´d estimate a solid 2500 tortillas so far.  Soon I´ll be over 9000 too. :)
Dad: No question marks!!! haha.  Its cool that you could be a part of some southern worshiping  haha.  I never told you guys about our Stake Christmas program here.  It was a bit dry until the primary kids danced to an incredibly inappropriate song in English (obviously they didn´t know it was bad).  My fellow missionaries just laughed and shook our heads.  Its seriously so funny to be here and know the people.  They are seriously so lovable. haha.  I can´t say that I´ve gained a profound understanding of Mexican music.  It all sounds pretty ridiculous to me haha.  We had the same lesson down here, but unfortunately it turned into a discussion about the sons of perdition.  It reminded me of Roy talking about the dodgy doctrine in Elder´s quorum during his mission. haha.  But its all good.  The church is still true.
I´m ecstatic to hear that Tom is a trainer.  I think about him often and know that he is an incredible missionary.  I have no doubt that he teaches by the Spirit and has a profound impact on all who listen to him.  BTW, could you ask Henry Molina where his parents live in TXG.  I´ll pass the referral on to the elders there.
Well thats about all for this week. Tomorrow I´ll be spending about 7 hours in a bus heading down to Tapachula. Hopefully things go better for me than they went for Tanner haha.  Well, I love you all a ton.  Have a súper semana!
Elder Roth

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Week 29 - Loving Every Minute Of It!

Mi querida familia, 
Hi!  Its a great day to be alive.  Welp, it turns out that there weren´t transfers this week so I´ll be sticking around here in Reforma with Elder Martínez a bit longer.  The week was pretty great.  We had a stake conference, but it was done from Salt Lake by Satellite for the Southern Mexico area.  We got to listen to Élder Bednar and Elder Scott (who gave his talk in Spanish.  It was weird to hear him speak Spanish - the exact same voice, just different words).  They gave some killer talks. And Elder Bednar gave a shoutout to TXG and said he had fond memories of being here!  :) 

After the conference we had two baptisms, a mother named Yolanda and her son Jorge Eduardo.  It was totally awesome (despite the fact that they are both very afraid of water and it took a solid 10 times between the two of them before they got completely immersed haha).  It was for sure a memorable Sunday.

Well I´ll get on to answering your emails :)
Dad - I´m sure glad to hear you had a good Sunday too!  I haven´t heard about the new version of the scriptures - ah man!  now I´ll be all out of touch with things when I get home haha.

1.  What is your normal interaction with the youth of the Ward? Are there any young men nearing missionary age?  Can you help them along?
- Our ward doesn´t have a ton of youth, but the ones we have are awesome! They are all converts, at least all of the young men are.  We work with them sometimes (aka they come out with us) and we use them to invite people to church and stuff like that.  They are probably our most reliable source of support in the work.  We have a couple of converts (Roberto and Luis) that are preparing for the mission.
2.  How much direction do you get from the Ward Bishop?´
- The bishop is great. He usually asks us to visit a couple of families each week.
3.  How do you rate your Spanish Skills now?  Speaking? Comprehending?  Reading?
- They´re pretty good.  I haven´t been able to fool anybody into thinking I´m from Spain but I feel that day is coming.  What I lack most now is vocabulary. I never realized how many words there are haha.  Recently I´ve learned axle, crowbar, and saw haha.  Eje, palanca, and sierra.
4. I was surprised by your answer from last week, that the Spanish speaking missionaries are relatively uninterested in learning English. I would have thought it would be seen as a big benefit and something they would be motivated to do.  We're you surprised? 
- No... its so hard to learn without being submerged in it.  My companion is pretty good about actually studying it though.  The pronunciation gets him down sometimes though.
5.  Tell me of a Spiritual experience from last week. 
- One thing that blows me away every time is the changes people make in their lives without us even telling them to do it. For example we baptized a youth named Sandra a few weeks ago.  She has completely changed her wardrobe to be modest, and all we did was teach the principle of respecting our body.  There is so much power in the word (Alma 31:5  And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.).  Also I had a very spiritual experience teaching her sister the doctrine of repentance and the reality that after repentance we are 100% purified.  She carries around a lot of guilt, and I sure hope she´ll do whats necessary to throw it away.
6.  How is the district doing in baptisms, in terms of goals? 
- In our district we set goals for each month. Our goal for baptisms in March is 6, Las águilas has a goal of 7 and Chiapa de Corso, 4.
 I love you! Have a great week!
Roy - My Cougars! Well at least we have the prestigious NIT to look forward to haha.  Its totally awesome that you and Andee are working in the temple! That's definitely something I want to do when I get back in the land of Zion :) Rock on bro!  I love you!
 Mom - I´m glad you had a great week in happy valley.  I love that place!  
I´m also glad you at least got to meet Lauren, she´s a hoot.  haha.  There are indeed few things funnier than watching Roy trying to bowl.  I hope he did the classic ¨try to get the ball to hit the pins on the fly¨.  You can always count on that to earn a visit from the manager haha.  Have another great week in Utah! I love you!!!
Andee - How could nothing funny happen!!  You are married to the worlds largest delk!!  (It turns out that in the separation after birth, Roy kept a slightly larger part of the delk, but I´m content with second place) :)  Also the thought of Adam Hoynackis being a father is pretty funny haha. :)  Love you Andee!  Keep on slaying it!
Mikele - AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!  In like not very many hours you´ll be a missionary!!!!!!!!!  Your email was great!  (You might have made be shed a little tearlet haha)  You´re going to be the best missionary of all time and I´m so proud of you.  I don´t think I´ll send my letters to the MTC because I´m afraid they won´t get them on time, but you will get a few early on in your time in the field :)  Kill it girl!  I promise you´ll love being a missionary more than anything else you´ve ever done before.  For me, there was a bit of a price to pay early on, but now I´m truly happier than ever!  I miss you too! But its a pleasure to be here serving the Lord in Mexico and you are going to love Chile!  Make everyday a great day and work like crazy!  I´ll see you next year!  I love you Mikele :).
Well time is running short.  Have the best week of your life this week, and do your best to share the gospel!  I love you all and you are in my prayers. Thanks for keeping me in yours!
Till next time,
Elder Clark Roth
Love you all! Bye!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Week 28 - Hola!

Well we had a pretty rocking week here in the good ole TXG.  We taught a ton of lessons and we have a bunch of people with baptismal dates.  I´m pretty excited! :) 

So before I forget again, I have to tell you how accurate Nacho Libre is. 
(I´ve been meaning to tell you this for a good 4 months).  
It is seriously ridiculous!    

Everywhere we go there is someone eating a corn on a stick thing - they call them elotes here.

A bunch of people have the sweet 3 wheeled bike thing that Nacho rides,
 unfortunately I haven´t seen any with a motor yet though.
 I remember mom asking how they found people that looked so funny -
 I can tell you they didn´t have to look to hard. haha.
 It seriously makes me laugh everyday to thing about how true that movie is. haha :)
Anyway, I suppose I´ll get on to responding to your emails:
Mom - Have fun in Utah!!!  Thanks in advance for your efforts not to embarrass me haha.  Life is Mexico this week was awesome!  It was actually relatively cool outside, and I was healthy.  What more can you ask for? :)  I´m not sure if the Powells can handle wireless, their heads might explode :) Have fun in the Provo temple, its definitely in my top 4 favorites that I have been to - oh wait...
I love the scripture you used for the training!
(Luke 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart)
You´re an A#1SuperWinner!  I love you!
Dad - Hi!  We have been having a ton of success finding new investigators and the work is going better than ever!  Pretty much all of the problems in Mexico are in the North - its pretty safe here.  We aren´t hampered at all by drug or violence problems.  As for when transfers are, I have no idea.  We have a ton of Americans that are waiting on a visa, and no one knows when they´ll get here.  I don´t even think President Cardenas knows when transfers will be.  But we change on Tuesday, our p-day will always be Monday.
We have an hour every day for language study, Americans study Spanish  Spanish speakers study English.  That said there are very few Spanish speakers that make any serious effort to learn English.  But yes, they are encouraged to learn, and we are supposed to help.
 I have seen where the Hispanic culture is a little more into mystical or supernatural things, maybe call it being superstitious. - They are definitely a little stitious! hahah :).  They tend to talk about their dreams a lot and stuff like that.  It doesn´t really effect the work in any serious way.  We just have to explain how the Holy Ghost works.  They are much more open minded than the average American.  That makes it easier to get in the house and teach them, but it also means they get deceived fairly easily.
As for the health issues I´m not sure what happened.  My companion and I were both devastated by the wrath of Montezuma haha.  Obviously we´ll do our best to avoids any reruns (get it?) haha :)
I´m glad to hear my Fellow Jax Beach missionaries are rockin' on!  I didn´t know Bryson was in Alaska!  That's so awesome! 
Mikele - Hey Kel!  You are the best!  They do have irons at the MTC, but now that there is a ton of people there it might be a bit tough to snag one.  If I were you I would hope one of my roommates brings one, and use them ruthlessly haha :) jk, kinda.  I´d be a terrible missionary if I didn´t have any thoughts on the atonement ha.  Um a few quotes I like are: 

¨Even as he tells us to come unto him and be like him, 
he is unfailingly running to help us.¨ 
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

 And pretty much anything he says from his conference talk 
on Easter day 2009: 

Also a big fan of his talk called 

I´m actually pretty impressed with the stained glass. I love you!
Thanks for the letter Carly!  (I still can´t believe you actually read this :)) and thanks to the Jacksonville Beach youth for the package!  It was awesome!
 I love you guys so much!
Elder Clark Roth :)

Pictures :
Good times - well not really at all ha
After a very windy day.
My eyes are closed because our power went out
and I didn´t want to get blinded by the flash.
Best MTC district ever. Love them so much!