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!
Monday, May 19, 2014
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 2 Kings . haha. was normal. 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! my comp and I went to Tuxtla for another meeting with Elder Johnson (We are the ZL´s) which was even cooler. Then 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. night, (I didn´t really get to bed till about 12:30 - transfers are crazy). 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. 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
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 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 .
-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 - 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!
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
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 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 ? 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.
kind of flavored water, though. So Much Sugar. It makes me sick. haha.
I love you guys!
|A Rabbit Got in the House!|
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Well, its been another great week in the mission. We taught quite a few lessons with a member present. That's good. The investigators progress a lot more when there is a member by their side. We are really just enjoying the work, the walking and the miracles.
Thanks for your emails today. They were even better than normal :)
Dad - I´m glad you were able to see the Fort Lauderdale Temple dedication. Hopefully you and Mom can go and visit it :) You can never go wrong with alpine white but on a 5 sedan carbon black might be even cooler.
1. What is the best smelling thing you encounter in a normal day?
- We encounter lots of poor smelling things daily, but not too many good smells. One of my favorite smells is the smell of the leaves of a lime tree. They are very fragrant. Also as a funny note, Elder Shelley always said, ´´it smells like sin´´ whenever a girl walked by with lots of perfume. haha. It made me laugh every time.
2. How is your backpack holding up? What has your mission taught you about backpacks? What type of backpack will you want for school?
- the backbag is pretty shreaded. But we aren´t allowed to use them anymore. I bought a 280 pesos faux leather bag that lasted me 2 days haha. Since then I just carry my scriptures around in my hands ha. Does my BMW backpack still exist or did Roy destroy that as well? haha. I´m really not too concerned about it.
3. How is your mission shaping how you will act in Elders Quorum when you are back at school?
- A wonderful question. First of all I have learned to "lift where you stand". You don't have to be the EQP to have a positive influence on the quorum. Second - never, ever miss a month of home teaching. Third - often, especially with less active members once a month is not often enough. I could go on. Suffice it to say that these 2 years of service will change the remainder of my years of service.
4. What have you found to be most useful to you as a missionary, that you might not have anticipated before you left?
- Umm, perhaps the importance of group cooperation and a combined effort to move things along. As missionaries we spend every minute of every day trying to help people - but that's not enough. Most people need quorum or class members to visit them as well. As another comment - a bishop, even bishops as good as I´m sure Bishop Maughan is, cannot make a ward be successful by himself. Missionaries, even the ones that are way better than me, can´t make wards grow by themselves, etc. We are in this together.
5. Tell us something humorous that you and your companion did this week.
- Every day is humorous in Chiapas. haha. I´ll tell you some good stories.
Steph - I´m glad you enjoyed your time in Provo. I love that place. You are the best. Love ya Steph!
Mom - Elder Ballard has given some really good talks lately. I´m a fan. I also can say that those men are very much in touch. They are amazing. Elder Anderson gave a talk while I was in the MTC and during his testimony at the end he bore his apostolic testimony of Jesus Christ. As he did so I had a powerful feeling that that man KNOWS. He knows. I have tried very hard to make my testimony powerful like his. I know I´m no special witness - but I do have a witness. Jesus Christ lives. I love you mom!
Roy - Shut up old man! hahahaha. Funniest moment of my life. Rough news on the A-, BYU volleyball, and the such. But the world keeps going. I love Alma 34:31 (Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you. ) as well. Immediately is a great word.
Andee - Congrats on finishing up at the Y. I must say that I am in no way looking forward to finishing my time there (or here.) I think a PC would be good. But a MAC is fine too haha. Does that narrow it down for you?
Well, I love you all. I´m looking forward to ! Sorry for my poor English.