Monday, July 29, 2013

And The Rains Came. . . . .

My comp has 10 days left.  He is working hard and we have had a lot of great lessons.   One investigator in particular is golden. We found her while we were looking for her brother.  She is going for a master’s degree this fall in Chemistry. She loves to read and learn. She takes notes on her reading, has great questions and plans to be baptized in a few weeks.  She had some issues her first week at church when she found that the bishop has to be male.  So, we had to take a whole hour to talk through that one, ha but she is really good humored about it. 


We have seen a bit of wild life here in Torreon.  One man was playing with a Tarantula on the side of the road. Then a couple days later on the same street we saw a family all peeping out of their door looking at a spot near their house.  I went over to inspect and saw a tiny little snake.  They were terrified and I told them to hand me a broom. They thought the snake would strike if I tried to remove it.  This was not the Mexico I had seen in movies like Zorro.  But we took care of it so all can sleep well.  They are all calm around these hundreds of dogs that wander the streets and make me paranoid. The mutts seem to have a taste for gringos. But, when bugs and other small creatures show up there is  widespread panic.

It only rains here a couple times a year; but when it rains, it pours. Seriously, it was sunny and hot one moment and then grape sized water droplets began to pelt us.  The streets were all completely flooded for two days. There isn’t a good drainage system in place so we had to take huge detours to get anywhere. Also my poor clothes while drying on the wire outside took a beating.  It wasn’t sunny for several days so when they finally dried they smelled horrible.  


This is the only kind of mustache I am capable of growing:  


 Love you all,

Elder Speen


Monday, July 15, 2013


Detective - "Do we know if the victim is a man or a woman?"
Cluso -  "Well, of course we know that, what else is there, Kittens?"

Torreon things- 

They sell watermellons and cantalope here in the back of trucks. Watermellons for less than a dollar and 3 cantalopes for a dollar.  Nothing like a perfectly chilled watermellon and a spoon at 7 in the morning.  Dad a question for you-  is it bad to eat watermellon seeds?

There is an elder that is identical to jim halpert from the office.  The mexi sioni, well at least his hair.  (i have a picture with him, but my camera is in the house.  soorry.  ha i dont take it with me in my backpack cause i don't want to be robbed.  

I tried gum this week. Char sent me some, and we can't chew it on the streets; but i thought it would be rude to not try a piece. Not bad. Ha Cate will love that.   

One day our house smelled like gram and gramps old dog Kisa.  Or at least his/her breath.

We have been painting for our service quite a bit; three times in the last several weeks.  In return we get food.  =)  a very nice trade . There is really a lot of food in this area.  It is not uncommon to be given 2 or three meals in addition to the one large lunch that is provided by the members. Many times those additional meals consist of ice cream. There were 3 birthdays in homes where we visited and shared a message. This morning that family gave us a big breakfast.  Resistance to the offers is futile, and mostly our resistance is feeble.  They really are so giving here. I just wish I could say the same about the waist band on the pants. Ha, but no worries, when i get sent to the ranches i will need the reserves.    

They had elections here but it doesn't matter who won because everybody here has accepted the fact that the power really is in the hands of Justin Beiber; at least over all teenage girls and an occasional boy. Really though.  In Roma one girl wouldn't come listen to a lesson because she had to listen to his album.  And in this area we walked into a battleground as we visited a family.  The mom had spent much needed money to attend an upcoming concert with her daughter.  Those tickets are not cheap.  The daughter wouldn't come out of the room and we found out it was because the seats werent close enough.  We really do have it so rough being teenagers.  

I had exchanges this week with an Elder Nunez.  He was in the MTC with Meg and is from the D.R.  He has 15 siblings!  He is new and excited about learning english so we had a really good time practicing throughout the day. Every single one of our lessons fell through that day; which never happens in that area.  I don't get discouraged by this as I remember hearing that an Elder in Ireland taught 1 lesson in his first year. rough.  But while I was with Elder Nunes we were knocking on a door when we heard,  "no esta."  We looked over and saw a man pocking his head out of the neighbor apartment. We went over and talked to this man and it turns out that he lived in Idaho for six years.  He had talked to the missionaries and wanted to know more, but had to come back here and didnt know how to find out more. He was quite interested. Elder Nunez told me that he went to church yesturday. Quite a diamond in the rough of failed plans.     

We are now settled in the area and had some real progress this week.  It changes your whole day when you feel the spirit during a lesson.  It is like an old friend or family member coming and putting their arm on your shoulders. In that moment you stop worrying if the lesson is going in the right direction and you just talk comfortably about the truths that you love. We can't force the same spririt on the investigator, but it always seems that when I begin to feel it they seem to relax and drop their defenses. There is one lesson in particular that stands out. While we were in Roma, Elder Poblete and I had contacted the Rodrigues family on one of our outings to the University area.  The parents were Jesus and Maria Magdalyn (those are really their names). They were instantly interested and baptised within the month.  This week we went by to try to teach their sons who previously didn't want to participate. They accepted the appointment and last night on a second lesson we had a family night with them. Jesus had recieved the priesthood during church and officiated the noche hogar like a pro.  They had a lot of questions specifically aimed at the Book of Mormon, so we read the first chapter and intro with them.  The boys were excited and accepted our challenge to read the book as well as prepare for baptism. 

For dinner after the lesson we had Molle. For Molle they take stringed pork and add a chocolate sauce. =). Well done Mexico. Well done; making greasy deliciousness more greasy and delicious. We had already had hamburgers and fries for lunch.

They always make fun of Americans here for eating pizza, hot dogs, grilled chicken, and hamburgers for every meal. Ha hmmm. During lunch with the bishop and his family, his brother-in-law started playing a tune. He asked me if I knew it. I had to admit that I didn't know the tune. It was the Mexican National Anthem.  They were shocked and asked if I didn't remember it from the Olympics?  I said "hmm...nope.. it seems that all I seem to hear during those ceremonies is the star spangled banner."  and started to hum it with hand over heart.   ha  They all laughed.   

Monday, July 1, 2013

More Pictures Than Words

I apologize that I have more pictures than words today.
I just looked at all the Italy pics! It would have been fun to be there with you. Congrats to Will on going to the Temple today. He is an incredible spirit.

Previously we couldn’t go into our area without a member but now we are free to serve as our feet desire.  There are certain areas that are to be avoided at certain hours but the rest is great.  The only real danger is the hundreds of stray mutts with rabies and fleas strewn about them.   This area is poorer which results in more slang and slurred speech so the Spanish is harder to understand. 

In my last area there was a family that I got pretty close to. They have a son and daughter that are in Utah right now. They had some visa probs and need to fly to Texas. They are going to call you this week to ask about the airline.  Also the parents are going to Utah at the end of July and wondered if they could stop by and say hi.      

Dad asked about the temperature.  It is low to mid 90’s. It is cloudy today and I don’t think we have much humidity. But we did have three minutes of rain.

I want you to know that I love the missionary work here and I wish so badly that I had let the gospel really soak into me before I came out here. I didn’t do that as much as I should have but all I can do is press forward and be better. I love reading the talks that you sent me. I wish I knew this stuff before I came out here.  But, that isn’t how it works. It is interesting how our perception of life can get twisted. I feel like I have been blessed to progress rapidly with the Spanish and I feel good about the fact that we have worked really hard in our area. I am fortunate that they changed the mission age so that I could get out here.

Sorry for the short note but I really have to go. Thanks so much for everything.  

Love you,

Elder Speen