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