Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Week 102 - Oh What Songs of the Heart


Elder Roth here reporting on the best week of my mission. It was absolutely, incredibly awesome. On Monday I went up to Tuxtla to sleep in the mission offices. I ate at Burger King in the bus station. When I got to the offices, President George was working, so I got to talk with Sister George for about an hour and a half as she waited for him to finish. Then they invited us to their house for some cookies and milk (the first time in my entire time in Mexico that I´ve had a good cookie.) On Tuesday morning we went up to San Cristóbal, which is so sweet! The drive is super scenic and the weather is perfect. I spoke to the youth in one of the classes. Then we at lunch there with the Temple President. He asked me how long I had been in the mission, to which I responded that I would be visiting him the following week. He then told me that the temple would be closed this week. When President George heard that, he told me to go back to Tuxtla with the Temple President so I could get a session in before I ended my mission. As it turned out though, there was a blockade of the road from San Cris to Tuxtla. So we went the long way around - a drive of almost 4 hours. Which is hardly something to complain about when it gives you the chance to speak one on one with the Temple President for 4 hours. I learned a ton of cool stuff. Then I went to the temple. Then I went to bed. On Wednesday we had our mission counsel. As it turned out, our zone was the most successful - not a bad way to finish a mission. After the meeting was over President George asked me what my plans were after I finished the mission. I told him that I would go to BYU to study.  After that it was back to work. 2 days in Cabeza de Toro (yep, Bull´s Head, Chiapas), a day in Azteca, and my last day here in Arriaga. Tomorrow I go Tuxtla at 2 o'clock. And after that...I really don´t know. 

Dad -

 1.  Describe where you are right now.
      - the same ciber I have used for the last 12 weeks. Unfortunately this time there is a quite strong stench of tobacco. 

2.  Tell us about the EFY thing last week.
           - see above.

3.  What was a memorable event from last week
          - see above ha.

4.  What is something you want to eat, once you get home?
           -anything. Ritas, bbq, Mimi´s, a good sandwich, Mexican food (not a joke - American mex is way better), Chinese, Italian. I would be happy with anything.

5.  What will you do in Mexico this week?
           - I really don´t know. On Tuesday and Wednesday I will be in the mission offices. If I can I think I will go visit Ocozocoautla again. Or San Cristóbal. Or Reforma (my first area), or whatever the Mission President tells me to do.

6.  Are you ready to come home?
            - Yes. I felt it was somewhat bittersweet before. (and in a way it still is) But now it's time to apply what I´ve learned. I am so, so excited to go home haha. I hope that doesn´t sound bad, but it's the truth.

7.  Tell us about your day yesterday. 
            - Well it was pretty normal. Until 7:40 - then the members threw me a going away party. It was cool - I was able to express my testimony of missionary work and my love for them. Plus there was some really good cake.

Andee - I´m looking forward to seeing you again. I may need you to lend me a v neck haha. just kidding. I´m so excited!

Mom - It really hasn´t hit me yet. I feel really normal. But at the same time really excited. That is an excellent scripture. I hope you had a good time at the beach. See you soon!

Stephanie - what a fantastic picture of Roy. haha. See you soon!

Roy - Thanks for emailing me haha. These last 2 years have without a doubt been the best 2.  But I´m looking forward to the next best 2 years. See you on Thursday...I guess. or Friday if you can´t make it to the airport haha. Just kidding, you better be there. I´ll teach you the Mexican way to have an extremely awkward hug. haha

Monday, July 28, 2014

Week 101 - Hi.


Heavenly Father has been so good to me. I really couldn´t ask for anything else. This month the zone had more baptisms and confirmations than we have had in at least the last 4 years. I was blessed to do 4 days of divisions with elder Aguilar from Michoacán, Mexico. We saw so many miracles - including 2 baptisms that came out of the blue. On Saturday, President George called us and asked us to accompany him to San Cristóbal (the best part of the mission, which I have never before seen) to speak at EFY. We leave in the afternoon. This week I will start in San Cristobal, then I´ll have leadership council, then a zone training, then divisions in Tonalá, then divisions in Azteca, then Sunday, then it's back to Tuxtla for my exit interview and temple visit. It's going to go by fast. 

Thanks for your emails. 

Andee - haha, I hope you don´t get too bored in the house. haha. Thanks for the pictures. I´ve noticed that in every picture you have sent me Roy is wearing a v neck haha. He used to mock me, now he honors me haha. just kidding. Don´t you worry. I´be working my ghetto booty off this week. I´ll finish strong. 

Dad - Congratulations to Josh Gathro. Robert Wadlow was legit! ha. I hope you have a good week in Ohio. Like I said before, I´ll be on the road as well. I didn´t get the Wolfsheim reference. I apologize. 

1.  Did you have a great Missionary Week?
      - an A number 1 super winner week.

2.  Would you have any use for a car in Provo, or do you live so close to campus that it would be unnecessary? 
        - haha. A tandem bike will suffice haha. Plus I´m an expert in public transportation now.

3.  Do you and the missionaries ever sing in Sacrament Meeting?
        - No. I have never seen a special musical number in a sacrament meeting here. We have sung in baptismal services, though. 

4.  As a relief from the heat, so you ever eat popsicles or similar frozen things?
       - I don´t have any money haha. If I did I would buy bolis (which is a frozen little bag filled with some fruit concoction. They usually cost 2 pesos. There are also chocobananas - also 2 pesos. 

5.  Tell us something nice about your companion.
        - He is really good at soccer. And he is always super excited to do missionary work. It's nice not to have to drag someone along.

6.  Tell us about someone you are currently teaching.
          - Josefina is great. She married an inactive member (let me correct that - she started living with an inactive member) 20 years ago. About a month ago we found her though a contact. She and her husband have since gone to church 5 times, their daughter was baptized, their son is going to be baptized soon, and two family friends will also be baptized. Josefina  is going to get married this Friday and baptized this Saturday.

7.  What was the farthest distance you got from your house this week?
       - Pijijiapan for a baptismal interview.

8.  We tried to find your house, based upon the directions you gave last week.  We found Zapta school.  Are you right next to a Consultorio Medico?
          -No, it's next to a printing shop.

Love you dad! have a great week. 

Mom - Hi. Sounds like I´ll be going home to a new house. The Bible does have lots of sad stories like that. I hate the story of David. It's so tragic. I´m looking forward to some nice 90 degree days haha. I think the thermostat idea is the most heinous thing I´ve ever heard haha. I´ll pray for you :) You´ll do great, don´t worry about it. Boyd K. Packer gave a little talk about teaching by the Spirit in the Work of Salvation broadcast. He says sometimes his mind is just completely blank haha. I can identify with that haha. But it always turns out just fine. I love you Mom!

Roy - I call dibs on destroying the Tobisha! haha. We have a great tradition of destroying each other´s laptops. I avoid playing soccer haha. I´m a disgrace to the Roth name. I likewise was rubbush when I was called and I´m rubbish now haha. (What car did Jeremy describe like that.) I´ll be sure to keep it within the margin of error haha. jokes. Obedience is good. 

The wonderful zona Tonalá. With President and Sister George and the assistants. (the two on the outside.)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Week 100 - Sweat Rags and the Spirit

Good Afternoon my beloved family,

I love you all! I had a great week. I would estimate that I sweat about 4 gallons over the course of the week - but that may be a gross underestimate. ha. One day they told us that is was 42 degrees. If I´m not mistaken that converts to about 107 in fahrenheit. It was awe-strikingly hot. All of my ties, pants, shirts, and the like are stained with sweat.
But anyway. All is well. I´m having lots of cool expiriences lately. This week I translated for my mission president in an interview with a disobedient missionary...that was interesting haha. President George is just so cool - we are already best buds ha.
I had lots of things to write but I forgot them all. I guess I´ll just answer your emails.
Andee - I did not know that there are 68 refectors from the Preserve sign to the house but I can assure you that I have run over every one of them several times just to mess with mom haha. Sounds like you had a good week. Tell Roy he is a delk haha. Just kidding. But seriously. Well, I´m glad you are excited for me to come home haha - it's good for the family to look forward to it. As for me, I try not to think about it. It's just a vague concept - I don´t feel like the day will ever actually come.
Roy - hahaha "I ate lunch with a bloke from Wales." hahahaha. Top Gear is so awesome ha. You and Dad both sent me Top Gear quotes this week. I didn´t know you were still working (I had assumed you were fired ha). Today and Tomorrow I will be a missionary indeed. That's all that matters. Love you bro.
Mom - You are such a good teacher! There is a reason that you get chosen for some special assignment every week. A talk on becoming like the Savior...well, there are tons. A fantastic talk was given by Tad R Callister about becoming like god - it's a BYU speech, you´ll have to look for it. Congrats on the new compy.  I love you!
Dad - Do you remember when Jeremy was testing the E55 AMG touring and says, "It's more powerful than a Ferrari f430! Its more powerful than Mexico!" haha. So funny - so true.
1.  In your travels, have you set eye upon the Pacific Ocean?  If so, how close have you been to the water?
      - All of the cities here are a fair distance from the Pacific. And not surprisingly we aren´t allowed to go on P-day. But I can see it from a big hill in my area. Don´t think California style waves and white sand beaches. There are no waves and it's just dirty.

2.  I found your chapel in Arriaga on Google Street View, nice building with nice landscaping.  Do you have an address for your apartment that I can look for?  As the numbering system is not 100% reliable, any landmarks that would help me lock in?
      - Um my address is 8 norte y 2 poniente. It's an orange house in front of a blue elementary school called Emiliano Zapata. 

The house where we think Elder Roth is living 
Turns out, it's not the right house - see the Week 101 post!

3.  Tell us how you have exhibited Obedience this week?
      - by obeying haha. I try not to be austentatious about it. 

4.  How will your eating habits be different, once you return to the USA, from you experiences in Mexico?
       - I will spend longer giving thanks for the food before I eat it. haha. I really prefer the american food pyramid to the one I described last week.

5.  I think we have an apartment for you in Provo.  Will you take any of your unicycles with you, or will walking be sufficient?
       - haha, no. I´d prefer to have friends. I´ll take a bike, though.

6.  Tell us something amazing about Mexico.
       - Amazing in what sense? The first thing that came to mind was the public transport. It's an impressive, albeit terrifying system. You can get from any part of the state to another in public transport. For example, I can take a combi from Tuxtla to San Cristóbal, from there to Comitán, from Comitán to Comalapa, from there to Motozintla, from there to Huixtla, from there to Escuitla, from there to Mapastepec, there to Pijijiapan, there to Tonala, there to Arriaga. There you´ve got a nice tour of the mission. Plus there are buses that go from Tapachula to Tijuana - a trip of about 56 hours. It's crazy.

Love you dad.

Steph - Wow 2nd degree sunburn is impressive. Be sure to take pictures ha. :) Thanks for the quotes from Pres. Smith and Elder Scott. Very interesting. I hope you have a great week. See you soon.
Love you all.
Have a fantastic week. See ya en 2.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 99 - Mis Ojos Ya Perciben el Boleto de Avión (Mine Eyes Have Seen the Plane Ticket)

I got 16 emails today. Best day ever! So thanks for writing me. This week was good -  We had interviews with President George. Which was awesome! He is seriously the coolest guy ever - the level of cool that only a 60 year old dairy farmer from Wyoming can ever attain. I love him so much. This week I did divisions with Elder Luna in Pijijiapan. That was fun. He is from the Distrito Federal and is super funny. We taught some sweet lessons and found some new people. If you haven´t been able to tell I´ve been doing lots of divisions this transfer. I think in the last 3 weeks I have spent more than 9 days outside of my area. It's super exhausting, but it's good to spend time working with the missionaries from the zone and I´m enjoying life.
I´ll do my best to respond to your emails. Forgive me if I forget to answer any questions!

Dad - I´m glad Brother Vorwaller was able to endure to the end. He was the man that pronounced blessings upon me and my future - I´m grateful for him. I wonder who the next patriarch will be. 
Haha - losing the M5 in Orlando was epic. I challenge you to find a power outlet in that airport to charge your dead phone haha. It took me over 2 hours to find one haha. Thanks for doing your PMG homework, I know it will be a blessing in your life. Teaching is indeed what it's all about. 

1.  If you could provide training to the Melchizedek Priesthood leaders in the Wards and Branches you have served in, what would be some of the subjects you would cover?
      - Perhaps it would be significantly different here - given that in reality there is very, very little understanding of how to fulfilling Melchizedek priesthood callings here. I think one of the most important things I have learned about fulfilling callings is this simple formula:

Want to magnify your calling? 
1. Read the red or blue manual. 
2. Do what the manual says. 

That's it. Of course you are going to have to go a bit deeper than that - but those are my two cents.

2.  In the time you have served, the missionary age requirement has changed.  What have you seen change in that time, that might be attributable to that change?
      - there are like a bajillion more sister missionaries. For example, the zona Tonalá (my zone) used to have 12 elders and 0 sisters. Now we have 10 elders and 8 sisters. Sisters and elders are very different, but essentially we accomplish the same work. It's a blessing to have their input and their work ethic in the zone.

3.  How many calories do you consume on an average daily basis, what is the source of your calories?
     - That varies greatly. Probably somwhere between 1500 (those are rough days!) and 7000 (also rough days ha). Let me answer by teaching you the Chiapanecan food pyramid. From bottom up - tortilla, fat (in form of oil or mayonnaise), sugar (water must be filled with so much sugar that it can´t all be dissolved), chile (not a great source of calories), and lime. 

4.  What have you learned about people recently?
       -I dont know. People are weird.

5.  What is the prettiest thing you have seen in nature this week?
      - my reflection. ha. No. The mountains between Tonalá and Pijijiapan are incredible and there was a nice full moon this week as well. 

6.  How has a member helped you this last week?
      - The 3 keys of missionary work are: members, members, members. They helped us make the investigators feel comfortable in church. Really, it's the members that keep people coming back.
I love you dad!

Andee and Roy - GOOOOOOOOAL! haha. Did you know that when Mexico won the gold medal in soccer in the Olympics I ran around in my speedo with the mexican flag draping my back in the street in front of my house? haha. I´m not big on parties - I really would prefer not to have a homecoming thing, but I´ll leave that in your hands. Yes Roy, it was the strongest earthquake so far. Believe me you don´t want the deworming pills. They make your stomach hurt so bad. The worms make a strong final stand haha.

Mom - Thanks for the insights on the sealing and gathering. I´m obsessed with eternal families right now. (am I going to be a typical RM or what!) ha. Thanks for the PMG update as well. As for the clothes, I guess I want to go shopping for them (I say that rather hesitantly ha). Don´t worry about it for the moment. Sorry for the short email. I love you!

Steph - Enjoy your new callings! Thanks for the constant prayers. Ty and Ry are the coolest.

I love you all!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Week 98 - It's All About the Family

Hey! How´s life? 

Mine is pretty good. This week was pretty eventful. On Monday night I went to Tuxtla for a mission leadership council. It was really good. President George is awesome - he is so humble, so loving, so in tune. He is just a good guy. We came back on Tuesday night, on Wednesday morning we taught the zone training in Tonalá. After that I went to a little city called Mapastepec for 3 days to work with one of the missionaries there, and his companion took my spot in Arriaga. On Saturday morning I came back and we have been working since then. The sisters in our branch had 3 baptisms this week so we went to support them (I baptized one of the converts :)) So that was my week in a paragraph. 

Thanks for all the emails and the concern for the earthquake - all is well. In fact it hit here at 6:26 in the morning. It was a good way to wake up haha. It was pretty strong but as far as I know all of the missionaries are safe and enjoying their P-day. 

Dad - Thanks for the email. The Genesis Devotional sounds pretty legit. I think ending a mission is supposed to be hard. The end of Christ´s mission was certainly the most difficult time of all, so why should I expect anything different for me. As Jeffery R. Holland states so forcefully : salvation is not a cheap experience. :) 

1.  If one YouTube's Arriaga, the first thing that comes up is Death Train.  Apparently, there is some train that goes to the US, that folks try to jump on and get a free ride.  It is very dangerous, thus the name.  Ever heard of it?
         - hahaha. That's awesome. Of course I´ve heard of it, I pass by it everyday. Here they call it la bestia - the beast. They are always asking me for money and stuff. I like to tell them that the USA isn`t that great and that I fled to Chiapas. haha. It's good fun. It's crazy though - I´ll tell you some stories about it when I get home. 

2.  Tell us something you have learned about Prayer and Fasting.
4.  Tell us something you have learned from reading the Book of Mormon this week.
    I´m going to combine this with number 4. Yesterday I was studying Ether 2 - when the Brother of Jared asks the Lord how he can light the boats. It hit me that he didn´t just ask the Lord to do it - he asked the Lord how he could do it. I try to spend most of my time praying giving thanks - I ask very little. But this week I learned to stop asking the Lord to do stuff for me, instead I ought to ask him how I can do stuff for myself. For example, instead of just asking him to bless you all, I consult with him to learn how I can bless you. 

3.  Describe the sounds you hear around you as you read this email.
     - Some Bruno Mars haha. The lady that runs this ciber always listens to American music. Other than that I just hear lots of keystrokes.

5.  Tell us something good that happened while talking to people in the street this week.
       - I don´t have any Ensign worthy experiences, but our contacts have been good. Recently I have been talking with the contacts about eternal families. Who doesn´t want that? It's been working out well and we have found lots of good people.
6.  Tell us of some Priesthood service you rendered this week.
       - The very best type of priesthood service - helping people in saving ordinances. I baptized a young man named Alex this week. Other than that my priesthood service has been limited to watching over God´s children and helping them on their way home.

As far as I know I will be home on August 7th - but I still don´t have the itinerary. I´ll let you know as soon as I know. I`ll be sure to include what you said in my homecoming talk haha. I have met lots of cool people here - I look forward to telling you about them. You just wait for me in the courtesy waiting lot haha. (I don´t think mom has ever been more angry with me than she was the day the Roy was coming home and I said it was no big deal if we got there on time or not. haha. Forgive me Mom! :)) 

I love you Dad!

Roy - I hope you are enjoying Kansas. This week I remembered eating in Applebee´s the night we got there for your sealing. Good times right. I hope you have a rocking week. keep it /mathbb{R}. (My LaTeX abilities are suffering).

Mom - I think this was the 5th earthquake of my mission. They are fun. ha. That Genesis Devotional sounds like the proverbial bee´s proverbial knees. I love Romans 8. I´m glad you enjoyed the 4th of July weekend. I remember eating ribs out on the back deck with Bud Powell. That was fun. I hope you have a wonderful week Mother. I love you!

Devynn - Thanks for writing me! I have missed you too - we´ll have to party with Roy and Andee-Dawn when I get back. Don´t tell Roy, but he is terrible with his codes haha. I look forward to seeing you again!

Andee - We  always made Murphy fast on fast Sunday haha - the birds can do it too ha. Minor league baseball is the best right? It's hard to find a better use of 17 dollars. Your swimming comment made me extremely jealous - I think that will be the first thing I do when I am released, before I even take off the suit I am going swimming! But anyway - that's still kind of a long way away. Have a great week. Say hi to the 904 for me. 

Well here´s a few quick notes before I forget.

1. Remember Elder Ballard´s talk about following up? Well, consider this your reminder - I want to hear about what you are learning in PMG. You don´t have to read much to learn a lot. 
2. Did you know that Bishop and Amy Maughan are in a Mormon Message? It's called Families Can Be Together Forever.

(They are the couple on the second page of the photo album on the lower right hand side at the beginning of the video)

3. I just realized that my fly is down haha.
4. I appreciate your prayers for me and I love you all. 
5. Boyd K. Packer´s talk,´´ The Witness,´´ is on par with Bruce R. McConkie´s ´´The Purifying Power of Gethsemane.´´

I love you all!
Elder Roth

Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 97 - Hey

Dearest Family,

I am so tired. So, so tired. ha. But I´m doing alright. This week has been...interesting. My new companion is...interesting. I´ve had a headache ever since he got here but other than that it's all good. haha :) 

So I guess I don´t really have all that much to report from this week. No, that's not true. I learned a lot - and even though this last transfer may not be particularly pleasant for me, I'm sure it will be good for me. I have recognized the need to respond to situations like Christ would more than I ever had before. I really think of Him often and try to do what I think he would do. He would be patient and loving, he would look for the good and be quick to forgive the bad. He would be an awesome missionary companion! :)

Plus, we now have a new Mission President, President George. He is from Cody Wyoming. I´ll meet him tonight or tomorrow. I sure do admire Presidente Cardenas (or p-card as Elder Stucki called him) and I´m excited to work with p-george.

Dad - I would kill for some good seafood. The fish is good here but picking the million tiny little bones out is a bit tidious. I´m glad you had a taste of the heat here in Arriaga...it's awesome, right!? ha. It was really funny when Mexico lost. We were in church as the game was going (I´m amazed that our church attendence didn´t plummet) but when we left it was obvious they had lost. The streets were practically empty, the few people there were all had their heads down and sad faces. ha.

1. What is your area like, city or rural?  What are most of the houses like?  Close together or far apart?
      - Let me use the words of my former companion to describe it. Boondocks, la goma (that's Spanish for boondocks haha), and my favorite description - if you don´t want to be there at night, you´re in our part of Arriaga. haha. The houses are made of cement and act as ovens during the day. There is no space between them. I think I´m going crazy haha. just kidding. I like chiapanecan culture...kind of.

2.  How were you able to share your musical talents this week?
     - I played piano in Sacrament meeting and I sang a few hymns in the lessons. I wish you could hear the singing here. I´ll give you a sample of it when I get home.

3.  Tell us something you did this week that demonstrated discipleship.
      - I don´t know. I tried to keep one of our missionary's spirits up who is struggling with an infamous companion. 

4.  How many folks are you currently teaching, or are in your teaching pool?
     - Did you really just use the word folks? haha. We have quite a few but almost no one is progressing right now.

5.  What have you learned about shoes?
     - You get what you pay for. True of almost everything actually. But Eccos are so worth the high cost.

6.  What is your most useful, non church related, possession?
     - the toaster haha. I love toast!! ha. And my tie buddy :)

Enjoy your 4th of July celebrations! When I was with Elder Stucki we were planning one day, and decided to set somebody's baptismal date for the 5th of July. Realizing that he would be home by then he said,  "I´m going to be so full of bar-b-que that day" haha. It was so funny. Anyway, I hope you are all super full of barbeque on the 5th. Love you!

Mom - Sounds like a good deal you´ve got worked out with Dad. If only that was how our p-days were haha. Which reminds me, today we are going to Tuxtla for our mission council meeting. We leave at 5:30. It should be pretty cool! The whole covenant path thing is excellent. I read today that Elder Nelson taught: in missionary work we should begin with the end in mind. Of course that end is making and keeping temple covenants. I loved the story you sent about the guy in jail. Integrity is a fascinating subject. Tad Callister gave a talk on it when I was at BYU. I also heard a devotional by Jon Huntsman in which he says, ´´without integrity nothing else matters, and with integrity, nothing else matters.´´ pretty cool right. I love you Mom! 

RAD - Wow, I could never imagine leaving BYU - that would be sad. Of course, it's a lot more tolerable when Stanford is your next destination. I hope you enjoy your little summer in South Utah and Florida. You are the best!

Well, I guess that's all for today. My friend Mike sent me a letter today. He talked about how the last part of the mission is in many ways the most difficult part. He is so right. Going home is really scary. (Luckily, it is all still a bunch of words. I can´t imagine actually going home, nor do I want to.) But I´m just going to keep doing my best, keep repenting when I mess up and trust. Pray for me. 

I love y´all! :)

Elder Roth

Monday, June 23, 2014

Week 96 - I Just Realized That My Emails Early In The Mission Were Way Funnier Than They Have Been Recently


How´s it going? Things are good here in Arriaga, Chiapas! We got our transfer calls last night. I´ll be staying here for my last transfer. Elder Stucki finished his mission - so he´ll be heading home this week. My new companion is Elder Ibarra from Pánama. Word has it that he is a super hard worker so that´ll be good. 

My comp and I are going to spend a good part of the day in the bus station to make sure all of the missionaries in the zone have someone to stay with as they wait for their companions to arrive - that´s why this email is coming out a bit early. 

Dad - I can´t believe you let the marsh grow back...how could you miss an opportunity to use power tools? ha. I still recommend the Mexican method of clearing land - burn in down! haha - the problem is that it never really burns, it just creates a massive amount of smoke. I´m pretty sure I have tuberculosis... just kidding, kinda. ha. I´m glad you are enjoying Top Gear in my absence - we´re "ambitious but rubbish". 

1.  Do you see much in the way of bicycles used for local transportation?
      - a little bit. For the most part it's Nacho Libre style tricycles but most don´t have engines - you just pedal them. There are also a bunch of bici-taxis, which are kind of similar to what they have in Key West. I wish we had bikes! Our area is really big, we often spend 30 minutes walking from lesson to lesson.

2.  Please share any learnings from the scriptures that you were blessed with this week.
     - This week I read Helaman and the beginning of 3rd Nephi. I love the prophet Nefi (note the Spanish spelling) - he was so powerful that it was impossible for his opponents not to believe his words. He even raised a brother of his from the dead; not too shabby. It's all about faith. We talk a lot about faith as missionaries. Often we just consider faith to mean that if you believe hard enough something good will happen. But I believe that obedience is the true measure of faith. Don´t tell me you have faith if you aren´t obedient. 

3.  Based upon your diet for the last while, how might that impact your eating habits in the future, back in the USA?
     - Minimally. I´m ready for some good American cuisine! ha. Though I must say that enchiladas are awesome!

4.  Tell us about any investigator you worked with this week.
     - How about Román. He lives a bit far away in an ejido called San Pablo. (Ejido means village), so we can´t visit him very often. But he is super cool - he is 14 years old and absolutely loves the church. Although we had only visited him about 3 times he was totally ready to get baptized. So this week we did divisions with our District Leader and I took him out to do Román´s baptismal interview. He passed and was baptized! :) Román is an example of what we are looking for as missionaries - he goes to church by himself, he reads and learns by himself, and he is excited to follow the Savior. You can´t make people want this gospel - it comes from within. Roman is a chosen person.

5.  What was the best tasting thing you were able to enjoy this week?
     - Umm, there wasn´t anything too memorable. I ate some toast...that was good. I also made myself a good grilled ham and cheese sandwich. That's about it. 

Mom - CES is so cool. Plus, my companion and I realized that it is an apostle maker. Think about it - Elder Holland, Elder Oaks, President Eyring, Elder Maxwell, Elder Bednar, etc. All heavily involved in CES. But anyway, those are some excellent points. My favorite, of course, is Reach One More. That's what it's all about. If every Bishop could find and help prepare one more youth from his ward to serve a full time mission there would be 30,000 more missionaries. If every member of the church found just 1 person for the missionaries to teach there would be 15,000,000 referrals. That´s amazing! If every Elder´s Quorum helped reactivate one prospective elder there would be tens of thousands more Melchizedek priesthood holders, and tens of thousands ready to make temple covenants. I love you Mom! Keep on keeping on. You are acomplishing miracles as you fulfill your callings.

Carly - I get the biggest smile on my face every time I see your name in my inbox :) Thanks for writing me and for following my blog haha. I´m so glad Jared could get a totally sweet job there in Florida. I hope you´re loving it. And, CONGRATULATIONS! I´m so excited for you and Jared! I can´t wait till December! If it's a boy you should totally name him Clark. It's a fantastic name :) I love you guys!

Well, Love you guys!

Elder Roth

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Week 95 - One Year Older and Wiser Too!


Happy Father's Day Dad!

This week was awesome! Thanks for all the birthday wishes - I had a fantastic day. I´m just going to go straight to your emails.

Dad -  
I´m going to put numbers 1, 3, and 4 in the same response.
1.  Tell us of a memorable Missionary Moment this week.
3.  Do you have any special memories from your 21st birthday?
4.  Tell us about someone you have baptized.

On Saturday we baptized Saraí. It was so, so cool. Saraí has been as strong as Sinai in all of her problems and trials. I´ll give you the full story when I get home. Also the 7 other missionaries here in Arriaga threw me a little surprise party after the baptism. They bought me a cake and some bubbles. I enjoyed both very much haha. It was an awesome day.

2.  What is the status of your feet?  How are they holding up?
Not bad...not good either haha. I don´t think amputation will be necessary...
5.  Tell us of a special moment from Sunday.
My companion and I gave talks. Since it was Father´s Day I decided to give my talk on the 5th commandment - honor thy mother and thy father. I talked about how honor means more than simply obey or love. It means to magnify their happiness by becoming what they want you to become. I then spoke about honoring our Heavenly Father by becoming like him. I thought it went pretty well. 

Thanks for the encouragement and advice. I love you Dad!

Mom - I´m glad you are back in the temple again. That's the best place to be. Please please please repair the ac. I can´t stand this heat much longer haha. Its seriously so hot. I love you mom!

Roy and Andee - Believe me that I know exactly what´s happening in the World Cup. Haha and I always know when there is a game on because everyone is watching it and there is no one to teach. haha. But we just keep looking. Anywho, I have seen 17 Miracles - it's so awesome. I love the song in it, Savior, Redeemer of my Soul. Enjoy your last full week in Provo!

Grandma - Thanks for the birthday wishes. It was a great day. I hope you are doing well!

Vinny Castilla - haha I love the way you say that. I´m still trabajando como negro! haha (that's not racist in Spanish. but in English...) Love ya big guy!

Sorry that I haven´t sent pictures in a long time. I hardly ever take any. Plus these computers don´t have a slot for the memory card. Tough... A
(It seems Clark may have hit the send button prematurely!!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Week 94 - It's so hot. Milk was a bad choice

Hello from the Devil´s Sauna - Arriaga, Chiapas,

This week has been awesome. Elder Stucki is just the coolest guy ever and we are loving every day. Thanks for the emails and birthday wishes - I had forgotten that my birthday is this week... I suppose I´ll spend my 21st b-day a bit differently than most. :) 

My head is kind of spinning right now. I just did our zone´s report which always tuckers me out, and I´ve just got lots of stuff on my mind. But no worries. I´m happy, and blessed, and living the good life. 

On to the emails.

Dad - I hope you can get the AC fixed. I can´t decide if air conditioning or washing machines are the better invention. Those sem grad skewers sound simply scrumptuous. I could go for some of those right now...

1.  Name something you learned in Seminary that you used last week on the mission.
     - There are lots of things, but perhaps the most important is that in seminary I learned to teach. Mom taught me a ton about asking good questions, forming conversations, dealing with distractions (mostly caused by myself), and other things. Seminary made me a better teacher.

2.  Name something you learned in Boy Scouts that you used last week on the mission.
    - How to sleep in great discomfort... haha. And getting along with everyone.

3.  Name something you learned in Young Men that you used on the mission last week.
      - The greatest impact Young Men has had on me is in my understanding of who I am and what is expected of me. Especially in Priests´ Quorum I felt like I owed my quorum members something - a good mission, a good example, support, etc. More than anything I learned that people are counting on me.

4.  Name something you learned in Primary that you used last week on the mission.
     - Without a doubt the most lasting impact Primary has had on me has come through the songs. I love A Child´s Prayer so much. That song has always lifted me up and reminded me that He really is there.

5.  What is the most pleasant sound you get to hear on a regular basis?
      - It's certainly not the ward´s singing haha. Probably I Love the Lord by the BYU Men´s Chorus.

6.  Tell us something ridiculous that you experienced this week.
      - Where to start? Perhaps when I asked one of our District Leaders (a really nerdy kid), ´´What kind of bear is best?´´ He gave an answer that not even Dwight Schrute  could summon. My companion and I were dying.

7.  What was your hottest experience this week?
     - Probably Tuesday. haha. In the words of my companion it was one of those days when you walk outside and say, ``Wow! I might actually die today.``

8.  How  often do you think about snow in the mountains?
     - I try to keep day dreams to a minimum. ha

9.  Tell us about someone you thought about this week.
     - I think about lots of people. Shuntez, the guy I baptized in the JBW. Matt Hess and Wills Russell. Michael Ricks, a friend at BYU who finishes his mission today. All of my family members. The missionaries serving from the JBW. I love you all. :)

Mom - I´m glad to hear about the miracles in St. George. I´m sure you´ve been praying for them for a long time. So how many callings and assignments do you hold right now? haha. I think you´ve been up to about 7 or 8 before. I got a package this week! I´ve already eaten all the grits, and the rest will soon be devoured as well. Thanks for watching out for me! I love you!

Roy and Andee - Sorry to write to the two of you together but I´m low on time. AD your first world problems comment made me laugh out loud haha. So funny. There is a kid exactly like the kid you talked about here in the mission. He is awesome. I hope you´re both enjoying your summer and the relative relaxation. You´re the best! 

Steph - Your kids are awesome! Tyler is going to be an awesome missionary- I can´t wait to see them again. Keep on rockin!

I love you guys!

Elder Roth.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 93 - Sorry

Good Afternoon from the slowest computer in Chiapas,

Well this has been a good week. I apologize in advance for the short
email - it took my companion and I more than an hour to send our
report on the zone so I don´t have much time to write. Today ´ll be
headed back up to Tuxtla for another mission counsel. I´m excited,
they are super fun. I´ll be back here Tuesday night, and Wednesday
we´ll teach our zone meeting with President Cardenas in
attendence...I´m nervious haha.

Welp, I guess ´ll answer your questions next time. Love ya!

Elder Roth

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week 92 - A Sunny 99 with 99% Humidity :)


Thanks for writing me today. They are going to buy my plane tickets home this week. I seriously cannot believe how fast time has gone by. The good news is that I still have a some time left - and I´m going to use it wisely :) The mission is just the best thing ever. Sure, it's insanely hot, and I´ve had diarrhea since Easters but it's good for the soul. haha. 

Mom - Thanks for the picture haha. I was a cute little kid...I don´t know what happened. :) Testimonies do indeed have a short shelf life. That's what part of Alma 32 is about. Sure, you can test the seed and find that it's good - but unless you keep nourishing it it's never going to yield fruit. You´ve gotta be constant about it. I hope you enjoy your trip to California! I love you Mom!

Dad - The pictures where excellent! That's a pretty garage! 

1.  What Chapter of PMG have you found most useful to you, over the last two months?
     -That's a tough one. 1, 4, 6, 9, and 10 are my favorites. If I had to pick only one it would have to be chapter 1. It teaches who you are and who you have the potential to become. I think it's hard to beat a good lesson on human potential. 

2.  What is a food delicacy in your particular area?
     - As for Arriagan cuisine there is nothing even kind of good haha. But guess what!? We have a toaster in our house!!! This is the first toaster I´ve had on my mission. I ate an entire loaf of toast last week. And I plan on doing it again this week haha. I´m addicted.

3.  Tell us of something interesting you did Sunday.
      - Well it doesn´t get more interesting than our church meetings. 

4.  As you are walking around daily, looking for people, what are the people on the street that you see doing?
     - Usually, Drinking, sweeping the street in front of their house, or walking to the store.

5.  How close are you to the Pacific Ocean?  Can you see it?  Smell it?
    - Not super close, but there is a big hill in our area from which we can see it. I can´t smell it above the smell of my own BO. ha

6.  Is there much farming or agriculture in your area?
     - Yep, bananas, mangos (lots and lots of mangos), watermelon, corn, etc.

7.  How big, in physical size, is you area?
     - Pretty big. We have all the outskirts of Arriaga (or as my companion described it all the parts that you want to avoid at night. haha) So we have a geographically large area. If I had to estimate how much we walk daily I´d probably say about a bagillion miles :)

8.  Tell us about a current investigator.
      - Saraí is the coolest!  She has made enormous family sacrifices to accept the gospel. Her baptismal date is for the 7th of June. She is so awesome! 

9.  Did you get my pictures?

 Love you dad!

RAD - just in time. I hope Ingrid is back to full health. :) About the whole studio apartment thing - I wish you guys could have seen my house in Tapachula. One room (Yep, the bathroom was just kind of off to the side and there was no door) no windows, no closets, etc. It was totally wicked dude! (with the voice of the kid from The Incredibles). haha. I hope your move goes smoothly. When do you leave happy valley? Love you guys!

Steph - A Seventy (I forgot who...does this sound like a good introduction to dodgy doctrine or what!?) once said, ``When you have to choose between two good choices pick the harder one.´´ I love that. Hard things are good for you. Thanks for your email. Love ya. 

Well that's about all I´ve got. Love you guys!

Elder Roth

Monday, May 19, 2014

Week 91 - Arriaga

Hello from Arriaga, Chiapas.

This place is awesome!! haha. I had a super super ridiculously good week this week - probably my best in the mission. I got here on Monday night, (I didn´t really get to bed till about 12:30 - transfers are crazy). On Tuesday I had to wake up early to take a missionary who had finished the mission to the bus station. Then we had a meeting in Tonalá. On Wednesday we had our district meeting with our legitimately crazy DL - it was over two and a half hours long and a good part of it focused on 2 Kings 20:17. haha. Thursday was normal. Friday we had a meeting with Elder Johnson, an Area Seventy, which was totally awesome - after the meeting we found a new family of 8 to teach! On Saturday my comp and I went to Tuxtla for another meeting with Elder Johnson (We are the ZL´s) which was even cooler. Then on Sunday we had lots of investigators at church - including 3 of the 8 from that family and we had a killer lesson with a woman named Saraí. (I´ll tell you her story some day - its pretty long. But she has some Job-like faith.) It was pretty intense. 

Thanks for your emails. or as Dad would say Presh8cha. haha

A^D - Sounds like you guys had a pretty good week. I´m so excited that you are going to be at home when I go back! We are going to rip it up like only an awkward rm and his delk brother and wife can. ha. I hope Ingrid is still treating you well - she's a good car. As for all the stuff about when I get home I prefer not to think about it. All I know is that I want to go to the doctor, dentist, and dermatologist asap. haha. Love ya AD have an A number 1 super winner week. :)

Dad - Thats so cool - 3 missionaries leaving the same day from the same ward. Alex will love his mission. 

1. Tell us of one thing that surprised you about your new area
      - There is actually green stuff here! There are really pretty mountains and it's all super pretty. Arriaga is known as the Windy City of Mexico. There are gusts every day of about 50mph.

2. Tell us what your living arrangements are like.  What type of buckets you have, etc.
      - First things first, we have air conditioning in our room!!! :) I cannot explain how awesome that is. The house is pretty much like all my other houses - we are well stocked with buckets. The only problems are a couple of rats...but they´ll soon feel the wrath of elder roth :)

3. Tell us about your new companion.
      - My new companion is awesome. He went to BYU with me and we kind of know each other. Mikele knows him as well. His name is Elder Stucki. He is going to finish his 2 years in the mission this Friday but he got to extend to 25 months. As they say in the mission I am going to kill him (aka be his last comp). We are having a great time together and seeing lots of miracles. 

4. What does the new area look like?  Is there any place in America it reminds you of?
      - The closest thing in terms of looks is Central Utah. The mountains remind me of Utah - just a greener Utah. 

5. How many investigators do you have?
     - Quite a few. We are going to drop some of them though, and look for some more people who will keep their commitments. In missionary terminology we have to find the chosen.

6. Tell us what you did on Sunday.
     -Wake up, study, pick up investigatores, go to church, play the piano, teach Gospel Principles, teach Young Men, meet with branch prez, eat, teach Saraí, teach some more, teach some more, finish off my box of grits (haha I got the package Friday - most of the food is already gone...I miss American food), take reports, sleep.
7. Tell us what you learned about Heavenly Father this past week.
      - Things that can be learned but cannot be taught. :) He lives. 

8. Describe the room you are sitting in right now.
      Its a 12 computer ciber with some pictures of New York, Paris, and San Francisco adorning the walls. It smells a bit like a public bathroom but not too bad haha.

I´m glad you´re enjoying the 550. Have a good week in Cinci. Love you Dad!

Mom - I am an advocate of reading conference talks daily. I have read about a billion on my mission. What are the 9 basic doctrines? I haven´t heard of that. President Packer is the coolest! His talk, ´´The Twelve´´ continues to blow my mind...´´of him I bear witness; of him I am a witness.´´ So powerful .  I´m pretty sure my EE is in now! :) Love you mom!

Roy - I´m looking forward to reading the first drafts of Blood in the Water. haha. I always thought it was called Speckled Richard haha. Love ya Roy!

Love you guys!

Elder Roth

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Week 90 - On the Road Again!


Long time no see. I really enjoyed talking to you yesterday. I imagine not too much has changed since then. Welp, guess what! I´m leaving Ocozocoautla. I'll be heading back to the coast - this time to Arriaga. I´m really excited and I just love the heat :) ha. No, but seriously I´m excited. I´ll give you the down low next week. 

Well I really don´t have that much to write this week. And I have to leave at about 2 o'clock to catch my bus to Arriaga so I´m a bit rushed. But anyway. 

Mom - I hope you had a wonderful Mother´s Day. You are the best! I love you so much! You´re darn right that God is for you. (In response to Psalm 56:9 "When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back; this I know: For God is for me)  One day in the MTC I was feeling a bit down. I was sitting on a bench, contemplating the magnificently beautiful Y mountain, and thinking a bit about what laid before me. As I sat there the words to Be Still My Soul came to mind. Be still my soul, the Lord in on thy side. Later that night in a devotional we sang Lord, I Would Follow Thee. I really came to know (I mean really KNOW) that the Lord is on my side and I made the determination to follow Him - wherever He leads me. He has certainly been good to me so far :)

Dad - The new 550 is brilliant. I love it. I hope you have a great week at work and that soon you won't have to work so much!

1.  What did it feel like talking to two people in English today?
      - It was cool. It's been a long time since I have had a normal conversation in English. It's a bummer the sound quality wasn´t better but it's good to know that I sound like an American again.

2.  How has your understanding of the working of The Holy Ghost expanded lately?
     - Good question. One little insight. Dallin H. Oaks gave a talk in which he asked a question similar to this: How can we have the companionship of the Holy Ghost to guide our lives and keep us on the path? His answer was: Sabbath Day observance. But I like the question. If you seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost you will not fall off the path - sure, you may sin, perhaps even commit a more grievous sin. But if you are constantly seeking his presence you will repent, you will partake of the sacrament, you will pray and study and learn. You will not fall. 

3.  Did you enjoy eating the brains on Sunday?  What else was on the menu?
     I did not. They were bitter... Some cow grisel soup and fried chicken. It was a bit out there haha.

4.  What are the roads like?  It looks like a multi lane highway was built for Ocozoco to TXG. Is it nice?
     The worst thing in the world. It is not. haha. Riding the bus to Tuxtla is a painful experience.

5.  What percent of the day are you in air conditioned comfort?
     - Today probably about 15% with the bus ride to Arriaga. On Sundays we get 3 hours. Other than that; zero, zilch, nada, nothing. haha.

Coping With the Heat

6.  What is you favorite drink, other than H2O?
     - milk. I cant get enough of it. haha. I pretty much hate any 
kind of flavored water, though. So Much Sugar. It makes me sick. haha.

I love you guys!
Elder Roth

A Rabbit Got in the House!