Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them;
and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain,
and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. Jeremiah 16:16

Monday, January 26, 2015

Three Comps in One Day

My new comp, Elder Laurel
This week was great. On Tuesday Garcia left to Cometon where he will be a zone leader.  It is about 5 hours away. Well went to the OCC bus station on Tueday. We talked for a bit then took a picture then a hug then he left. 

Saying goodbye to Elder Garcia

My new companion is named Elder Laurel. His last area was Tapachla.  He was there for 8 months. He is the 9th out of 11 kids, 8 boys y 3 girls. He is the only one to serve a mission. He is from Veracruz Mexico.  He speaks hardly any English. But that is good for me. We are working great together on planning our lessons y days y also on teaching lessons. But he is not so obedient. He watches TV at people’s homes y sleeps in y doesn’t exercise y he takes a long time of taking a shower then I don’t have enough time. I am always obedient. But besides that we are great. He is always cold so I let him use my sweater because his other area was hot. Well Garcia never taught me the street names so this week we had a hard time with the taxis.

Well, the people here says my Spanish is a lot better since I got here y it is sounding more like Spanish y they understand me more. I’m so happy I’m progressing in my Spanish. A goal the mission president gave us was to help 3 people a week with family history. We have three baptisms coming up: Ander y Tono y Jose Maria. Well Omero took are challenge of no alcohol for one week y he did it!  We were so proud. We have so many good investigators but none of them visit the church y they say the will. I’m offically not a new missionary, I finished my training.  But now we have a extra 1 hour to teach people in the morning.

Well last week we visited Coita Sema y there was Utah Mormons who were speaking English to me y I couldn’t speak the English words I wanted - I was speaking Spanish.  That is a good sign. I love you all y miss you a ton.  Thanks for all the support y love.

Me and Elder Lyons, my MTC comp.
At the bus station I also saw Elder Lyons. It was great!  He is going to be a district leader in a new area he never visited y he is training a new missionary, so he has a lot of stress. He loved his old area.  It was hot but he was in the jungle. He had to take an 8 hour bus ride.  The night before I talked to my zone leader y he gave the phone to Lyons so I talked to him for 5 min.

I am going to get my Christmas package in two weeks in zone conference.  I love you so much. I wish I can hug you. I pray for everything you tell me y for you y for the family y that dad’s work will be great.  I love you a ton! Thanks mom. You guys are always in my heart. Tell Francisco to read the Book of Mormon everyday y to pray.  Tell everybody I love them y I pray for all of you. Love you a ton mom y thanks again.

Love you. I got to go. Adios!

A beautiful sunset here

Isabel, the lady we live with and her family

The branch president's family

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Big Hole

Sorry I’m so late.  I visited a big hole today.  It was so beautiful!
It was a sima. Look it up : Sima de las Cotorras. 

Then we had to clean the house for my new companion tomorrow. Elder Garcia is leaving tomorrow 4 hours away  to Cometon y he is going to be a zone leader. I know my new comp is hispanic I’m not going to be a district leader because we y another district are combining so it is going to be bigger.

Well this week was great. I will talk more about it next week because we were so busy today. No time to write.  I only have 15 min. Well Jose Maria y Alexandra committed to baptism on the 31st y a less active family’s daughter. We are so happy. The weather was great all week. We found some new investadgadores. That’s good because everyday we visit the same people y none are going to church except Jose Maria.

Well the banana bread on Saturday was great.  The kids smashed the bananas with their hands and they loved it. The bread took forever to cook because it was big. I just answered questions because I was sick. I woke up and had diarreah for an hour, then I was cold in the morning y I’m never cold y I had a headache for two days. I’m fine now.  I still kind of have my headache.

I love you so much. Give everybody my love, even my new bro. I will tell you more next week sorry. I want pics of the new house please. I love you all y miss you a ton. Thanks for the support.
Give grandpa my love y I will pray for him you guys y dad’s work like always.
Once again, sorry it is short.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Another Great Week

The pink chair is in the branch president’s home here. I sit on it all the time. 

This week was great. First of all, the weather was raining like all week. The second thing is that my bad cough I had for a month is finally gone. The third thing is that Leyber, the one Garcia baptized in Oct., wants to serve a mission but he needs to be a member for a year. He has nine months left y he also wants to go to the temple in a year that means me y Garcia can go through the endowment with him because we will still be on our mission. So that’s cool. The fourth thing is we found more investigators on Friday.  That is good because we are having trouble with the ones we already have. Like the Reyna family they think it is all about us not the church.  Y there is Andre y Tono. Their mom won’t let us do lessons with them any more when she is around y lets them drink coffee y no church. When their mom isn’t there we teach them y we committed them to baptism this Saturday, so let’s see. We have a lot of investigators: the Lulu family y Omero y Alexandra y Olgui’s husband y Andrea’s family. The problem we have is none of them are going to church. Well, yesterday we went to Andrea’s family house y picked up two of the kids to bring to church. Well Olgui’s husband visited the church 3 times that is good because you need to visit the church for 5 Sundays to before you can be baptized.

Well Garcia is leaving in a week so he let me be in charge of the travel money y talk more in the lessons, but it is going good. On Wed. we had a zone conference where we went to different classes to help us with our investigators. I also got some Christmas stickers from my family y two cards from grandma VanBuskirk. On this upcoming Saturday I am going to teach the people here how to make banana bread. That will be fun. So that was my week. Love you all y miss you a ton. Thanks for the support y prayers. Adios!!!!!!!!!

My language is coming slowly, but coming. The people still don’t understand me. I feel great about getting a new companion. I can’t wait to try, but me y Garcia both love each other so it will be hard to say goodbye. I just don’t want a gringo, but it is very common. Tell Grandma Van I got my BD card y thanksgiving. Any more packages I need to know about? For a while Garcia was getting mad at me is because he had no patience with me not knowing what to do or the language, but it is all good now. It is all back to normal. Yay, I’m getting my himnos cases today y I ordered a case for my quad for only 16 dollars in US. Why not? I  can’t wait to show you. The guy that makes them is not a member. He lives in a town nearby y he does it by hand.

I’ve got to go. Say hi to everyone y tell them I love them. Bye. Love you all. Thanks for the support.  Love you. Hugs y kisses.

One of the sea turtle eggs we tried last week.  They were so good.

Monday, January 5, 2015

They Call Me Loco

Finally got his birthday package - celebrating a month late.

Hola family y friends,

It was a great week because its a new year. First of all happy new year!!!!!!!

Well I know they don’t like me here in Mexico because when we cross the street when there is no cars, out of nowhere they drive fast y try to run me over, then they call me loco. It happened twice this week. But I’m fine.

We started are week with a district meeting in Tuxtla about listening to the people we teach. After the meeting me y Garcia went on splits with the zone leaders. I went with Elder Howell because he speaks English. He is a great zone leader. I love him so much. It sucks he is leaving for home in two weeks. He helped me with Spanish y being a better missionary on our splits. Then at night we ordered Dominos y hung out until bed. It was a great day.

Well the last day of the year was great. There was a beautiful sunset y we found 10 new investagators.  We had two dinners that night. One with a less active family; they gave us chicken.  Then we went to Isabel’s house had ham y snacking food y pasta. It was all so good. Well speaking of food this morning Isabel came back from a party 4 hours away y she had food for us. She feed us pasta y chicken then she gave us a egg. We asked her what type y she said sea turtle! It was against the law in Mexico, but it was at the party. It was good. It was soggy but good. Me y Garcia loved it. Sorry mom, I know you love sea turtles.

The first day of the year was horrible because it was hot y because the weather is changing so much. I got sick again with a running nose y my cough. Well we went to a member house y she gave us tamales. I took two bites than my stomach was hurting. Garcia said do you know what that is? I said no. Then he told me to ask. So I did y the member said MOLE! Then Garcia started to laugh. My stomach was hurting for 3 days. The weather here is so confusing. For half of the week it was frio and a little raining then it was supper hot y today it is raining again.

Well one new investigator is the Benedicto family. They are Catholics but they like listening to the words of God. Then Andera y her kids, there are 3 or 4.  They are interested but her husband does not like us y he is trying to convince them no mas lecciones from us. Then there is the Amparo family.  They love us y they give us food all the time. We have great investagadores but they wont go to church, But we are trying our best about that. Well Alexandra wants to be baptized but she is afraid of the water y we are waiting for permission from her parents. Then Omero wont stop drinking y he wont go to church. Our only investigator in church is Alexandra.

Well that was my week love you all y thanks for the support y prayers. I’m praying for all of you. I love you y miss you a ton. ADIOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you haven’t sent a package yet I would like a sharpi or a permanent marker y white board maker y another pack of socks because I gave mine to Garcia because he only has two good pairs y the rest are ripped because the socks in Mexico are no bien. Thanks

Today we are going to pick up my himno covers y next week for Garcia’s last week, we are going to a tourist place. I will send you photos of the cases next week. Love you.

Sounds like you guys had a busy week. We did too. I love you y I pray for you y dad’s work y the family y I always pray for Francisco. Tell Brother Bruner  y Brother Stevens I say hi‬.
Okay I got to go. Tell Dad I pray for him y his work y you y my brothers by name in my prayers. I love you all y miss you a ton. Tell Sparky the same, y snake. Tell the boys to continue to work hard y Nathan on his mission papers y the twins on there projects. Y tell me new brother I love him y I miss him. Once again, I love you y miss you a ton. Thanks for the support y prayers y love. ADIOS family!!!!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!!!!

Hola family y friends. Sorry for writing to you late. We were painting a house for the member all day from 8 to 2. Our week was good, kind of, because of the Holiday. Nobody was home but we did a lot of walking. 

On Tuesday we had a district meeting on finding people to teach y at the end I got a whole bunch of dear elders y my birthday package from my family.  

Then on Christmas Eve we visited people y went to a member’s house for dinner.  We had pasta y chicken y salsa.  It was all so good. 

 Then Hermana Isabel, our member we stay with, had a party in the backyard until 3 in the morning so me y Garcia had no sleep at all. Then we woke up y we said couple hours until we can talk to our families. We were so happy.

My favorite picture ever!
 So at 11 am here y 9 there I talked to my family. I felt like I was right there. It was a great time talking to them. I miss them so much y love them. 

Then afterwards, Isabel y her family were eating lunch y they invited us. We had jumbo shrimp y shrimp soup y jello y fanta. So that was our Christmas.

 Not a lot of visits but a lot of gifts from people like bags of candy. 

Then on Saturday was Angel’s baptism. It was great y Garcia baptized him. The sad thing was his parents didn’t come because the baby was too sick.  So please pray for him. I also gave Angel a Himno for Christmas. So that was my week love you all y thanks for the support. Y HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!

One thing I like is that I was told that the mission is a small plan of salvation; the closest you can get here on earth. It’s so true. Another thing they told me to do at the MTC is saying a 10 min personal prayer. I try to do it every morning y night. I do all I can in Spanish, then the rest in English. Have Nathan try to do it to prepare for his mission.

I’m glad I bring you joy. I'm glad you had a good Christmas.

We are having a hard time finding new people to teach because our investigators have too many problems. Like Ricardo drinking y is doing bad things to his wife y Omero’s alcohol y Alexandra’s mom doesn’t want y Lupita no permission from mom y Andre y Tono can’t stop drinking coffee. So we are having a real hard time finding people to teach, so we do a lot of walking.

I was so happy to see you! A lot of missionaries cried, even Garcia. But not me. One thing I want to do next time is say a family prayer together I hope I did great for skype.  I  felt I was back at home when I was talking.  It was great. 
I forgot to tell you I did a full conversation with Isabel y afterwards she told Garcia my Spanish is a lot better because before I couldn’t do it.

It is raining here once again.  The weather is so weird. It is hot some days y cold in the night or raining. 
 It is always different.

Tell Kimberly I said hi y I love her y tell everybody there at the funeral the same. Tell people thank you for the money for Christmas.

Why in the pic of everybody opening gifts is Dylan using my blanket? Oh how much I miss that blanket. Tell Dylan to stop using my blanket. Only Nate y Fran can use it.

Tell Derek I will try to get recipes but most of the time they just throw food together.

Is anybody sending me anything I should be aware of? I need more pepto y hand wipes packets y super glue. I always need that here. Mas pepto because its a lifesaver down here for the greengos. I shared it with them y used it when I don’t feel good, then I feel fine. It’s awesome medicine.  I really like the candy apple twizzlers you gave me at the MTC but you know I’m not picky so surprise me.

I’ve got to go. Love you all you miss you a ton y happy new year! I pray for you guys all the time y dad’s work. Thanks for the prayers y tell everybody adios.

The schedule of sisters who feed them.

 This picture came with no caption, but it is self-explanatory.  How on earth can he send all these pictures of candy and  amazing food, and follow it up with a picture of his reduced waistline?  Oh the blessings of being a missionary!