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'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 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