Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Week 88 - I'm Tired


I´m glad you enjoyed your week in Provo. This week in Ocozocoautla has been pretty good, well a bit tough, but good none the less. I really love you guys! Mother´s day is coming up - get excited. I´m looking forward to it. 

Dad - Bummer you didn´t see anyone throw up in the bushes haha. So funny. It's good to hear that my apartment is within running distance of campus - Roy and Andee are witnesses of just how often that is necessary for me. Good times. 

1.  Do you measure time in terms of transfers?  I have heard that about missionaries, but I do not know if it is true.
     - Yes. Our lives are pretty much based on transfers - how long we have been in an area, with a companion, etc. it's all measured in transfers.

2.  Are you getting into the hot season?  I know it is always hot, but is it definitely hotter now?
     - I´ve only left the hot season for about 15 days in my entire mission. The heat here is one of the biggest difficulties we face. It's not easy to leave the house in the morning when you face about about 11 hours of walking around under the burning sun, and soaking in sweat. I try to always have a good attitude about it, but to be honest it's a real difficulty we face.
3.  Tell us about an investigator that you are currently teaching.
     - I´m not sure if I´ve already told you about Roberto and Neisy. We found them by contacting in a park one day (park here means a concrete place with benches - nature doesn't exist). Roberto was baptized 20 years ago in Villaflores but has been inactive about 19 years. Neisy is his wife. Since we have been teaching them Roberto has stopped drinking and their family is much, much happier. They are progressing very well.

4.  Tell us about what you see around you as you are reading this.
    Lots of other people on computers, a gumball machine... that's about it. 

5.  What types of Ward activities does your Ward do?  Anything like the Bishop's BBQ?
    - haha we don´t really have any. It's a bummer but there really isn´t much I can do about it. 

6.  Tell us what you did on Sunday.
    - left at 8:30 to pick up our investigators, walked for an hour and a half without getting anyone to come with us, :( , went to church, played piano, taught Gospel Doctrine because our ward mission leader didn´t prepare anything, (can you tell iI´m a bit peeved. haha), then we went to Lucio Cabañas to eat, then to Banampak to teach - but no one was home, went back to Ocozolandia, taught some less actives, walked a lot, walked some more, went home, did our weekly report, ate corn flakes, went to bed. 

Have a great week Dad! I love you! 

Mom - Of course Provo is the happiest place on earth. I love that place. I don't remember saying that Satan isn´t welcome at BYU, but it's fairly true. It's a good place. I love you mom!

Thanks for the pictures. It's good to see that the USA is still beautiful - I worry about that sometimes. I like Mexico - but I am proud to be an American. We are so blessed. I´ve often thought about that - It's no ordinary blessing to be an American, it's no ordinary blessing to speak the language of the restoration, it's no ordinary blessing to be born into an LDS family, it's no ordinary blessing to study at BYU, it's no ordinary blessing to be part of a temple sealed family, it's no ordinary blessing to serve a full time mission. My life is so, so blessed. Because I have been given much I too must give. I have come to understand that during my mission. 

I love my mission more than I can explain. This is the truth. Obedience brings blessings. Do what is right. Mosiah 2:41 says it all: ´´the blessed and happy state of those who keep the commandments of God.´´ it's true. Look at my life - a truly blessed and happy life. I am so grateful for the Gospel.

Well I love you guys. Keep on trucking.

Elder Roth

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Week 87 - :)


Thanks for your emails this week. Roy was even kind enough to send me one... ha. I hope you enjoy your time in the promised land of Provo - I love that place. This week was good - just an average missionary week. We taught, we walked, we contacted, we prayed, we ate, we had diarrhea, etc. haha. Too much info? 

I did exchanges with Elder Merrill this week. It was really fun. He has 9 weeks in the mission but is already pretty good at Spanish and really good at teaching. We taught a really good lesson to a woman named Cathy. (said Caty, btw). She is a young single mother of 3. She expressed to us the difficulty she had in forgiving others, including her ex-husband and other family members. Elder Merrill and I were on exactly the same page as we explained to her how God could change her heart. We shared the scripture from 1 John 4 that says we love God because he first loved us. And went on to explain that she could feel God`s love and forgiveness in her life - then and only then will she find the love in her heart to forgive others. It was all super spiritual. God does not ask us to do what he does not. When we find it hard to develop his attributes we would do well to see the way He shows those attributes in our lives. Does God love me? Is He patient with me? Does He forgive me? Does God listen to me? The answer is yes. Then, how can I do any less for my fellow man?

Dad - I`m glad you enjoyed your Easter Sunday and sacrament meeting. BYU is the best. 

1.  How was Easter in Ocozoco? 
      Ridiculous. The Catholics here are nuts. The burned puppets of Judas Iscariot, drank lots of beer, and missed the point of it all. I do not enjoy Easter here. 

2.  Did you have any investigators on Sunday?
    Only 1. It was rough. But that's the way it goes sometimes. 

3.  Were you able to participate in any music on Sunday?
    I played piano in Sacrament and Priesthood. Luckily we don´t have a ward choir - that would just be suffering.

4.  Do you want Roy and me to purchase a computer for you for school. I am not sure you will have loads of time to shop, so I thought you might want us to just get you one.   But, if you want to pick, I don't want to override that. 
    - You can if you want. I´m not to picky. But if you don´t want to don´t worry about it. 

5.  What is the worse in Spanish for Hamburger?  Do you ever get any of those?
     - word? hamburguesa. I avoid them whenever possible. They are gross and an almost guaranteed source of salmonela. (surely that is not how you spell that.)

I don´t have any special knowledge on ties. Most of mine are stained, they won´t be coming home with me. The best ones are the ones from DI. I haven´t burned any nor will I. Thanks for your email dad! I love you!

Mom -  Sounds like it will be a good week. The story about your Dad´s trophy made me laugh out loud. haha. As for the ecclesiastical endorsement perhaps President Cardenas has deemed me unworthy haha. Just kidding. I´m a good boy. I love you mom!

Andee - This week you will take your last test! The day has finally come! haha I don´t remember asking you that, but I believe it. haha. How have you put up with us so long? ha. Love ya!

Roy - Haha the reasons for choosing Stanford over Chicago weren´t exactly what I expected but I guess thats cool. That is a lot of money in the endowment. The school motto should be : huérfanos sonrían y estén felices. (Orphans smile and be happy) But I guess the real one is pretty good too. Yep, I´m a trainer. and I´ve been a DL for the last 8 transfers. We have 10 zones in the mission - one of them speaks only Tzotzil. I think this mission is full of good missionaries - I´m happy to do whatever President wants me to do. 

Well I guess that's about all for this week. Sorry no pictures.

Elder Roth

Week 86 - All I Do Is Win

Hey family,

What´s up? Things are going well here in Ocozocoautla. Time is seriously flying by. This week I really did include pictures I hope you like them. The second picture is a picture of my zone - this week I want to tell you a little bit about the incredible missionaries that surround me. 

Elder Parker - Probably the most pleasant person ever. He is super humble and a bit quiet - but you can feel his spiritual power. He is a quarterback recruit at BYU and has 10 weeks remaining. He was a 5 time high school state champ at Hurricane High School (yes hurricane as in hurican, lavercan, and toquerville). once in football, twice in basketball, and twice in track and field.

Hermana Hernandez - Hilarious. She is a convert. The missionaries contacted her one day while she was in the street smoking a cigerette. She intended to rudely decline the missionaries invitation to visit her but found herself accepting. The same happened with all of the commitments - she intended to say no to reading the Book of Mormon, praying and being baptized, but ended up saying yes to them all. I wonder if she intended to say no to her bishop's invitation to serve a mission...

Elder Merrill - 18 year old from Provo Utah. His dad is a finance professor at BYU. Awesome kid. 

Hermana Zuñiga - is a great grandmother in the mission and only has 8 months. She was trained 2 transfers, then trained 2, her trainee trained, and her trainees trainer is training. Pretty intense. 

Etc. All of the missionaries here are an inspiration and I love them.

Dad - I would definitely recommend coming down for the Urvan. You could probably get a good deal on a used Combi. I can´t believe Roy is actually going to graduate - who would have thought. ha. :) Negative - no pot lucks

1.  Are the Ward members feeding you?
    they feed us lunch. We don´t eat dinner until we get home at night.

2.  What percent of meals do you have provided?
     - haha recently about 50. The members always forget. We send them messages to remind them and they don't read them. We call them and they don't answer...

3.  How much money do you spend on food each month?
     - Probably about 800 pesos. Enough for breakfast and dinner everyday for a month if you're thrifty.

4.  What is the rent cost on your home?
     - 1800. not too bad. In Tapachula I paid 800 ha.

5.  Why do the people like concrete so much?
    Helaman 3:7  And there being but little timber upon the face of the land, nevertheless the people who went forth became exceedingly expert in the working of cement; therefore they did build houses of cement, in the which they did dwell.

What goals have you set for the next 3-4 months?  Do you make goals that far out? Or is the life of a Missionary more focused on the near future?  How do you like being a trainer?  Do you keep in contact with any of your pad jobs from freshman year?  Too many questions?

   -None really. In terms of numbers we dont have any goals that go that far, but I could make some for personal progress. We have daily, weekly and monthly goals. I like being a trainer - really I enjoy any opportunity to teach. I keep in touch with Mike Ricks from freshman year. From this week on I probably have a friend finishing their mission every week. Not too many. :)

Love you dad

Andee - Fear the tree. I love it!  Are you excited to be a Cardinal? It would have been nice for Roy to tell me, but you are a much more reliable source haha. haha I can´t believe you are selling the computer Roy won. He should give it to me to make up for destroying my Acer haha. just kidding. In response to your command, ´´Go find those ready to hear the word!´´. I say, ´´yes, I´ll´´ haha. Love you AD

Mom - I hope you're having a good time in Toquerville. What is BLM? I like your insight from Preach My Gospel. I like how that part says over and over ´´they need´´, ´´they yearn,´´ etc. My lesson from this week is just about doing what you are asked to do and letting the Lord do the rest. We are asked to do at least 140 contacts each week but hardly anyone in the mission actually does it. So this week my companion and I decided to do it - and we did. We were so blessed. We ran into so many people that were prepared to hear the gospel. Too often we use all our efforts to do the work, but we ignore the things we are asked to do. This week we went back to basics and were very blessed. 

Well, time is just about up. I love you guys!

Elder Roth

Con Eduardo

My Zone

Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 85 - Elder Hales slayed it!!


Elder Hales slayed it!!

I always love your emails, but this week they were especially funny. My ribs hurt haha. It's been a really good week. I´m glad to hear you all enjoyed the conference - I got to see all 5 sessions and I loved it! How are the general authorities so cool?

I guess I really don´t have much to report so I´ll just get on to your emails. 

Dad - Sorry to offend you for your Mexican food habits haha. I guess you'll just make yourself some shells and cheese from now on. :) Haha I don´t remember saying that I am in a crazy crazy place but it's true - every day I just look around me and can´t help but smile. President Packer's talk was really good - I enjoyed that one too. Sorry about the car situation...my suggestion would be a Nissan Urvan - you could use it to carpool people to work like the combis. You´d have the coolest ride in town.

 I enjoyed Elder Ballard´s talk as well and I´m glad you are taking on the challenge. I´ve read that book (Preach My Gospel) tons of times - this week I learned more about humility. The seccion about it in chapter 6 talks about the symptoms of pride, which I can see in myself. I´m trying to be more humble. I'd recommend you start this week in chapter 1. That's always been my favorite chapter. I especially like the quotes from the Presidents of the church at the end. If every member understood the missionary purpose and our missionary responsibility we would see even more miracles than we see now...that's a lot of miracles. 

1.  How do the members react to conference?  Do they come to the building?  Do many have internet connections?  Are they able to watch at all?
      - It depends on their commitment level. Some see it as a week off, others as the highlight of their 6 months. They go to the stake center in Tuxtla - though I don't know why because our chapel has internet. About 30 percent of the members have internet in their house.

2.  Tell us about your trainee companion?
     - My companion is named Elder Stephens. He is from Las Vegas. He is 18 years old and he is learning quickly. He´ll be a really good missionary :)

3.  What percent of American missionaries become very fluent in the Spanish language?  Are there any that just cannot master it?
     - Most get pretty proficient, with varying levels of mastering the accent. We had one that spoke perfectly - people thought he was a Mexican. There are some that never really get it down as well. 

4.  Do you anticipate being able to attend the Tuxtla Gutierrez Temple within the next 4 months?
     - I should go the last day of my mission. Other than that - no.

5.  Do you know if any of the people you have taught have been able to receive the Endowment?  If they did, would you be able to go?
     - I´m not sure if anyone I have baptized has received the endowment. A lot of people I have taught have received it. If one of my converts gets sealed and I am in Tuxtla I can go. Other than that I won´t be going.

Thanks for your email. I think all is well in Provo ha - 

Mom - I would love some 86 degree weather. It feels like it's about 86°C out here. I´m sweating all over the place right now ha.  Elder Bednar's talk was a good one. Among other lessons, I liked the subtle - do what your wife says because if you don´t you´ll probably end up looking like an idiot. ha. Enjoy your last 2 Institute classes! I love you!

RAD - You guys made me laugh so hard. That carry on bag was one of the most brilliant moments of my life. I can´t believe they let me though security with that. I´m glad you liked Stanford - I´m cool with visiting Palo Alto anytime ha. Also, when Dad drives right next to you without ever looking over. funniest thing ever. Enjoy your last 2 weeks at BYU. I love you guys.

Steph - Poor little Chey bears. :( I´m glad to hear you like my emails. Those are some good insights - I especially like the vacuum cord analogy. You are tougher than your tough times. Love ya!

I have pictures for you but the computer doesn´t recognize my card. I have so much more I want to tell you but time's up. I love you guys.

I´m looking forward to talking to you on Mother's Day.

Till next week

Elder Roth