Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Yesterday at church we went to the young men’s class instead of going to the Elders’ quorum class (which makes me fall asleep) because the President of the YM’s wanted us to share some words.  Sweet. He really didn’t have to say much to convince me.  The president is 20 years old, a convert, and about to go on his mish. The YMs consisted of 3 youth; all good chaps.  The youngest is a very humble good kid that doesn’t hide who he is. He is who he is. When he bears his testimony his honesty brings the spirit.  He was the one that invited Luis (kid that just got baptized) and was largely responsible for the rapid progress.  The other two are older and also good guys but do try to be the cool kids.  The President is Mario and he had invited the mothers and fathers to the small meeting and he was super nervous. He had a blood vessel popped; I think due to the stress. He began talking about how the quorum had some really big problems, and I felt as he talked that it was a little dramatic, but the meeting turned out to be really great. These kids are not sinners and the parents did a good job in giving them praise as well as good counsel. We all got to talk a little and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. At the end Mario (YM Pres) acknowledged that it was a good quorum and then shared a story about his past:  

He said that when he was younger he had never realized that his father beat his mother. He said sadly that he didn’t understand how he was so clueless but that he lived in a bubble. The last time that it happened, he caught his father in the act and hit him until his father left the house, his father punched him back but once Mario got in the door, he wouldn’t budge.  Sometime later his father returned to the house. Mario warned him to leave and his father kneeled down before him and pleaded for forgiveness. But Mario said that he denied him. His mother told him that she wanted to talk to her husband. Mario was enraged and stormed out of the house. He didn’t go home that night. The next day, his friend asked him if he heard what had happened at his house the night before. He hadn’t. His friend told him that his father had died.  That he had said good bye to everyone in the family and then that night passed away.  Mario said how awful he feels about having been so arrogant as to not forgive his own father.  He said that he just wanted to have this meeting to say that as members of the church we can’t be arrogant. 

One thing I really liked is that he said that before he was member he had had serious problems he had to overcome and that he was embarrassed to even say it, that he would love it if his life had been and was perfect but that just isn’t how it goes. 

I felt a lot more respect for this kid after.  

Dad - while I was reading your comments about the private nature of loneliness, I thought about my first video call in May of 2013. In that time I  was feeling stressed and frustrated and as I closed the  video chat I felt good; but walking out into the dimly lit street I remember that my comp was asking me about the fam and I answered pretending to be happy but really felt confusion.  I remember thinking that I should have been filled with good feelings having just seen my fam and having a good comp, but really I just felt the overwhelming sensation of loneliness and sadness. Probably because it would be a long stretch before I would open a Skype page again.  

It’s weird to think about that because of the stark contrast to how I feel now. In this area I have lots of friends; children in the street, families that we teach, drunks, man that sells the beer to the drunks, teens, teachers, store keepers, poor , rich, super fat man, distressingly skinny little girl...etc.  I am friends with the members and the other missionaries and I will be soon getting home to a welcoming family and lots of friends.  I don’t feel lonely anymore, especially not spiritually. My core beliefs are as strong as they have ever been. I have a lot more spiritual knowledge now and that makes me feel more competent and helps me live better.  I have worked hard every day of my mission and I feel like the Lord has accepted my effort. It’s a good feeling.   


Because of Christmas and all of the activities that will be happening this week, the mish had transfers on Thursday, the other guero (which means white boy)  had transfers so I am now the only white boy in the entire city.  sweet

We went to the ward to play basketball today in the morning but because I am the only whitey I am a foot taller than everyone else, so we decided to play soccer instead.  They were the ones to choose basketball but soccer was more fun because they are really good at it. 

Friday was the day of Guadalupe, so they had this huge Guadalupe (Mexican version of the Virgin Mary) parade this week. We had to be in the house at six because they all get drunk. It was just outside of the house so we put on normal clothes and went out to watch 5 minutes of it. I put on a mustache so that they wouldn’t kill me.  Hopefully my shirt didn’t give me away. haha 

Yesterday we went to a small city, 15 mins from San Pedro, in the morning to hold sacrament services there; coolest experience. There are 30 members there that don’t come because of the distance.  Pretty much all of them are women, they didn’t all show up but a good group made it.  We had the services in a partly built mud one room house; super humble and great people. Also we had a big bread roll to use and not that many people so the bread chunks were big and yummy!  It took two bites for me to eat it all. My comp, the 1st councilor, and ward mission leader (that had come with us) and I all took some time to share a message.  I talked about Alma in the Waters of Mormon.  How we like them were a small group but that didn't make it any less right. How others were anxious to find them after so that they could validate their testimonies with baptism as well. 

We spoke again yesterday in the normal sacrament services.  I spoke on the responsibility of being a member.  

Hey and I also shaved my legs this week, it feels awesome.  I left some patches undone. oops - lack of experience. I remember Cate telling me how she had shaved off a huge chunk of skin on her shin.   ouch

Monday, December 15, 2014

Shoe Repair

My week:

The investigators here have to go to church 5 times before we can baptize them. Soo yesterday was the last chance that I had to get people to church to have them get baptized in that time frame.  Any new progress will require a baptismal date for the Saturday after I leave. That’s weird. I pretty much had to threaten this guy to get him moving. Ha and...no investigators showed up..  nailed it. But we did get a pair of youth to come to church. They live at the home where we helped to take down their wall. 

We had a zone conference last week and I am super good buds with a handful of Elders in the zone so we had a killer time. 

There is this super strong glue here that now is illegal because everyone gets high off of it. Somehow my comp has it and I used it to glue my shoes together.  Ahh baby these suckers are going to last me. 

We ate dinner with a family and they served us Pozole, which is friggin delicious but makes you fall asleep

The wisdom teeth of my comp just shot through his gums this week so we had to go to the dentist.  I was joking around with the dentist while he was getting his mouth cut up.  The dentist was a funny one. She is 50ish with high heels and an attitude. Awesome

Every time we see a group of kids we play around with them or tell jokes for a few minutes. Ha ha – it’s the best.  Now everywhere we go kids that I don’t even know will pass us on bikes or in cars and wave.  

new jokes
"¿porqúe tenía una panza el foco?"   
   - porque iba a dar a luz

"¿porqúe tenía puertas tan grandes la capilla?
  -para que el altísimo podía entrar

There was a fire this week!  That never happens here because all of the houses are made of cement or dirt.  We saw the smoke in the morning and it was close to the house so we went running to see it.  It turned out to be the old abandoned theater in the center plaza.  Everyone and their dog was there to see it.   By the time we got there it was already pretty much extinguished, but the soldiers showed (thank goodness they were there so that they could shoot at the fire.) and started screaming instructions to tell the people that there was extreme danger and they had to back up.  The people were far away already and the only danger presented was that the 1000 year old fire truck would explode from old age.  haha I was cracking up.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thanksgiving, Luis, and Benemerito

Thanksgiving is crazy here in Mexico!  They do .....nothing.  ha  love that

I’m super jealous about the Subway hike. Maybe we can do it again in 2015. 

Luis was baptized this on Friday! Crazy stuff actually, because Thursday night we realized that no one would be in town on Saturday so we had to do the baptism on Friday. He needed to have his second interview so we called him that night but he was with some friends watching a movie and he couldn’t do it that night. I guess it was scary because he told us later that he almost peed his pants.  Ha so we had the interview the day of the baptism and then we went to fill the font and found it filthy.  There was lots of dirt, bugs and even a scorpion. The drainage was so clogged that we had to bucket the water out and then pour it down the toilets. Finally we got it clean and started to fill it, but it came out cold so we lit up the boiler. The pipes were dirty and the water came out rusty brown and with flies. I had to make  a call to the bishop to see if he was going to show up with the baptismal clothes. While I was doing that the other elders saw the font and thought that the kids had made it dirty because the water was murky and started blaming them, because they didn’t know about the rusty pipes, chaos. But finally the Bishop showed up and it was go time. My comp and I spoke and we watched a video.  Luis is a great kid and the baptismal service, with all of its confusion beforehand, turned out to be fantastic.  I actually had a great time in the prep time laughing with the other elders.   

Several months ago the zone leaders combined and made a list of goals for the mission. One of them was to "honor the sacrifice of those from benemerito" (that was the school that is now the MTC). Everyone thought that that was weird and Youd and I were always joking about it. So I made him a small kit "to honor the sacrifice" which included candles and a balloon, and tinsel and a CD with the school song and a yoga type song from gladiator, and other things. Haha -  he made a small alter type thing on his desk haha.

I seem to fall asleep every week here at church.  I think they put melatonin in the sacrament. 

Shoes, Chairs, and Potato Sandwiches

Yesterday an older woman brought our food to church. It was two sandwiches with beef and potatoes.  She is the nicest lady and very humble.  She lives in a partially built house and is 80 something years old. She is pretty much a pioneer here.  She has collected every Liahona since the day that she was baptized thirty years ago. She goes with signs that she makes and ´preaches in the cemetery and the town center.  One son is the branch president. Great people.

My shoes have some pretty sweet holes in them but they will last these last 7 weeks. I am determined.

I fixed my chair with a cinderblock. Now it’s awesome - Super manly.  

One night we contacted a house looking for a woman that we had spoken to earlier. I think I was a bit tired because I was trying to say to her that we didnt want to intrude on her privacy because there wasn’t a man there and that we would return later. Unfortunately it came out something like " we dont want to violate you right now so we will wait and come back until a man gets here."  :D I fixed it after.  sort of ...  ooops.

We knocked down a wall this week in back of a less-active’s house.  Super fun. They both were baptized a short time ago. They don’t have any money. She broke her lower spine a few months ago because she had fallen off a roof.  They heard this week that she probably wouldn’t be receiving disability income.  We brought them food this week and sang hymns with them.  My heart breaks every time I talk with them because the situation just keeps getting worse. 

This week we also made Chorrizo which is pretty much sausage. Yumm - I wish megs was there. Washing your hands is overrated.

Monday, December 1, 2014

New Guy & My Chair

We met this sweet ex military captain this week.  He knows everything about all things military. He has several medical conditions and injects himself with animal medicine that he gets from the vet.  Ha - Homemade concoctions.   We actually had a great chat about the purpose of life, and I learned about 8 new Spanish swearwords. They are easy to identify. They are the words that are used often and that I don’t understand.  

My time with the last two comps was a killer time but my new comp seems to be a good egg
He is from the capital of Mexico (DF). Honestly I had enjoyed the two weeks before so much that it was hard at the beginning of the week to not be kind of bored. The advantage with the other two who were my comps was I had already known them for a month and we were already great buds when President put us together. With three together we were always talking and laughing. He is great - super nice. Starting with someone that you don’t know is always more boring because you have to start off with the get to know you questions. But now we are good buds.

My chair is crap and was broken when I got here. There was a box underneath but it was empty so there is now a smashed box under it. Sweet. Maybe I will borrow one from the church, or use a bucket.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

New Comp and Flu Shots

Heyo my comp just came from the other side of the mission.  They didn’t know where they were going so they got off in another parking lot and where waiting for us there.  They didn’t have a cell phone so we couldn’t call them. We were waiting for 3 hours for them and finally we got a call from the president of the other branch saying that two elder had been identified by a less active taxi driver and carried to his house. He called us wondering if they belonged to us. haha     

This week we received our influenza vaccinations.  They told us that they were only giving them that day to senior citizens, so an elder and I went around the corner and he gave me a beard that he had in his backpack, and I walked in like an old fart and they got a good laugh and ended up giving us the shots.  ha  

We made lasagna and apple crisp!  oh hecks ya.  

This week we were hit by a cold front and we were all beanies and sweaters.  "It’s the best" (Nacho Liibre)   But I prefer the cold to the warm here in the mish by a ton. I think mom is of the same opinion =D   haha

Monday, November 3, 2014


Ha that is hilarious about the demolition gang in the Sorensen home. I remember chatting with Scott Featherstone and he started saying something like "do you remember just before your house was demolished, a group of rowdy children showed up and shredded the insides. What lack of respect right?"   I was like "oh...ya terrible children......"   ha I’m not sure if he knew that I was leading out that attack with a metal bar that I had found.

I read The Giver twice and actually we were talking about it this week. I’m pretty excited to see that one. Why would people be against that book? It contains some dialogue on sex but not much.  It is about a kid that goes rebellious against a corrupt system and the norm, but in a sense that is everything we believe.  To do what is right over what is common. Alma did it. Noah did it; even and especially Christ. I really enjoyed that book, quick read. I remember talking about the ending with Gram Lois.  About whether he died with the baby or if he really found the village.   I really like those scriptures from D&C 88. 

We had a lesson last night with a guy from South Carolina. I met him a couple of weeks ago and when I told him that my parents had just been in Myrtle Beach he got excited.  In the lesson we talked about the same concept, that our progress completely depends on us, That the blessings and knowledge are waiting on us.  We watched two Mormon messages and the lesson was super strong. He looked me the eyes while we were leaving and said "thanks for coming."    

Do you (parents) think that we knew all about God, and science, and math and a lot of everything before this life and that we are merely re-learning it?  When will the veil fall away. Never? Little by little? After the millennium...?   

We also had a lesson with a youth that is part of an inactive family. He is 19 years old. HIs parents have been inactive for several years and in at the beginning of the year the grandfather got sick so the grandmother (who lives with them) had to stop going to church to take care of him. After that the grandchildren stopped going as well. The son mainly because he got bombarded with "Go on mission" propaganda (which can be very positive) and he just doesn’t have the foundation to make such a large decision so stopped going. I really like the quote that talked about the fact that great people own responsibility for their education.  We talked about how his relationship with God was completely personal and that his decision needed to be his. How children who are forced to play the piano often don’t work to hard at it unless there is some serious enforcement (tiger parents). But if we learn to enjoy or at least desire to learn or do something it brings to birth real progress.  We laughed and joked around with him but he understood the message, so it was a good time.  The mission has been really good for me for this reason. I have had to learn how to be completely responsible for myself; to earn my own testimony, to get myself up on time, and especially to learn just for the sake of learning. Parents often have to take the role of the bad guy with children to teach them the limits and to get them moving along, because if they don’t the children fall into bad things.  But if the child pushes himself, the parent can become a counselor rather than the "dictator" and there is more trust and the parents can become a source of knowledge - which is definitely more fun than the Enforcer.  Thanks for pushing me when I was young.  I am thinking that the aftermath of the mish will be a strong relationship between mis padres y yo. 

My comps are studs. The elder from Cali has a week left but he works super hard.  The other is new and cracks me up.   There must be lots of good people that have prayed for me because I have ended up with the best comps.   

Crazy part of the week - The apartment under ours has a small patio behind the house where two pit-bulls live. The apartment is under construction so the owners don’t live there, they just sometimes pass by. One night they passed by and both dogs jumped up to the window to see them, but as there was only space for one they started shoving to get the spot. They started fighting and we, at our desks planning, heard them at this point because one was whining.  We ran to the window and watch as they went completely crazy. The larger one latched its jaw on the slightly smaller one and whipped it around. I'll spare you the details. The owner finally poked it in the face with a broom stick and he released.  The put a chain on its neck and the other escaped, but was pretty torn up.  We had made brownies but we were all nauseous and couldn’t eat.  The owners are slightly insane and annoying.  Yesterday the dog was outside and barking, annoying so we grabbed a fire cracker that a kid had given us and chucked it down there.   haha  it scared him so bad that flew under a table and hasn’t come out since.  

Chalk Trio

So we had transfers. My comp is going to be a secretary at the Mission Office - which is awesome because he is going to send me several new name tags and a blanket and other things I need and some letters that I have waiting for me in the offices. ha 

My comp just killed a mosquito on my leg, which splattered the teaspoon of blood it had taken from me on my tan pants. He looked at me after with a mix of shock guilt and humor.  ha nice. =)  

Our area was combined with the area that is the other part of the ward; so now I am in a trio with the elder from Cali that is heading out in two weeks and his trainee. Party on!  Ha - we are good buds because we have been with them all the time. The last comp that I had leave from the mish was last August.  In two weeks five of my comps take off.  ha all studs except for one that was actually a bit difficult. He was the one that I was only with for two weeks.

So we got thinking creative and planned out and activity where we were going to chalk out the plan of salvation in the pavement of the center plaza here in the city and then show it to the people. We had to go and get permission from the county reps here so we went to the building and found the office. We kind of had doubts that we would get it because several member told us that we wouldn’t.  The woman in charge asked me where I was from. I told her a southern state of Mexico named Oaxaca. She said o wow I thought you were gringo. Ha - we kept chatting and then I said he I was just kidding I am actually from Utah.  Her eyes opened wide and exclaimed "no seriously, I have a cousin there."  She was super excited and we talked about it. We ended up getting permission not only to do it in the plaza but to do it in the Pavilion in the center which had flat tile to draw on.  Ha when the members asked how we got it, my comp pointed at me and said    " El hizó la barba"   which means that I flirted to get it.  ha   It actually turned out pretty great. We invited people up and taught them. We went back in the night which had a different feel because there were just a bunch of teenagers hanging out, skating, break dancing, and for the most part just making out.  We were thinking about just going around and giving out  a bunch of chastity pamphlets and talking about eternal marriage.   Cali Elder (my new comp)  busted out a bunch of moves on one of the skate boards of the skater kids which drew some good attention.   We also bought some friggin delicious ice cream. 

Has Owen’s voice started to change? I grew 3 inches in the summer between 7th and 8th grade and 2 inches that fall.  The kid will be a giant.  Remember when Mr. Lindsay put me on my own "Island" for talking to Anna smith and the Pike bros. haha  Ya he was too stressed and overweight.  Actually I am pretty sure he died from a heart attack several years ago. Lesson to learn. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Nicolas Sparks

Mom you don’t think I know who Nicolas sparks is....!!?? Wow, I am offended. Going to the Carolina’s because that is where Nicolas sparks made his movies. Sweet! Why didn't I think of that..... In the movie October Skies, this lady is always talking about Myrtle Beach and painting a panorama of it. When you said that you went to the beach in the Carolina’s, I knew that you went to that beach because of this movie. ha

My new Mish President is fantastic. He is a good mix of funny and serious. He asked a sister mish in one of the training meeting if she ever felt attracted to the boys she saw on the street. She said no because "she is a missionary." His response was more or less; "well that’s not true, and it shouldn't be like that. You are not robots. You are adolescents; very good ones but you still are what you are. You don’t have to stop being yourself to be a missionary. You just have to dedicate yourself, work hard, follow the rules, and keep high standards. But you don’t have to enslave who you are."  It caught my attention because I have thought and talked with my comps a lot on my mish. I think I have found a good balance. At times I have probably been too serious and other times probably had too much fun. But I haven’t strayed too far from what I think has been that good balance. For example my comp and I studied super hard this morning then after a couple of hours we started to clean the house and I grabbed a tape roll and we started playing a game which continually transformed between soccer, hockey, and ninja badmitten, which he grabbed a shirt and I grabbed my towel and we started locker room whipping each other. Haha, we finished super out of breath and gasping with laughter. He got me several times solid on my bum.

I liked what you said about tearing down celebrity status. It made me think of Elder Cook’s talk where he was talking about Facebook." He observed that when using social media, we tend to broadcast the smiling details of our lives but not the hard times at school or work. We portray an incomplete life—sometimes in a self-aggrandizing or fake way. We share this life, and then we consume the “almost exclusively … fake lives of [our] social media ‘friends.’” “How could it not make you feel worse to spend part of your time pretending to be happier than you are, and the other part of your time seeing how much happier others seem to be than you?”    

So my President just called me and told me that he just booked my flight for the 12th of January.  

Monday, October 20, 2014


We had a baptism on Saturday.  His name is Lenny and is 9 years old. He got to his interview Friday 2 hours early because he was so excited and before the baptism he took my camera and was taking pictures of the room and the font(almost dropped my camera in the water) "so that he wouldn't forget a thing."   He has a hard life but is a great kid. The funniest thing happened.  He was baptized by a member and while they were in the bathroom changing together we were in another room sing hymns with those that had showed up. The member finished changing first and told Lenny that he was going into the other room and that "when he was done changing he could leave when he wanted," obviously just taking about leaving the room. But Lenny finished changing and left the church and ran home because he was so excited to go tell his neighbors or something. We in the other room had no Idea of this and because he was taking a long time I went to go check in on him and he was gone!   Ha - we checked all of the rooms and outside then asked some kids playing outside and they told us that he had taken off.   Ha - we said a prayer with the group and finished up.  They don’t confirm until Sunday anyways so it was fine.  

We have been doing a lot of service here. We went and cleaned out the back yard of an investigator of the other elders in the branch. We chopped up branches and cut out grass and weeds. The investigator walked around and told us all about her plants. She is super proud of them.  She looks like Catherine Zeta Jones. That explains why the other elder were so willing to do a big ol service project. =D The scary part of the project is that there were two pits about 4 feet deep. One elder cut the grass out of one pit and then we were looking it the muddy mess and black widows started crawling out.  I have seen maybe 4 in my life before that day, 2 of which were here in Mexico. But on Thursday we killed no less than twenty of them; male and female. They weren’t just in the pit; they were in the trees, and bushes and walls.  The two Mexican elders had a spray and every time that someone spotted one, they ran over like the fire squad and dowsed it with raid.  It got sort of sketch working so we, like Biff, "made like a tree and Got out of there."  After the work project, they fed us lasagna and a real salad. I say real because the normal salad that they use here includes shredded lettuce and tomatoes and lemons and no sauce. Ha Elder Kimball saw the meal and said real food! ha  I was crackin up.

This branch has some problems with gossiping and other challenges. There are many that can’t take the sacrament but they are trying to get back into full activity in the church which is noble.  I bore my testimony on friendship and showing love yesterday.  There is one older lady that I have really connected with here. She is super dramatic and gossipy but can get offended very easily - but she and her sister are funny cats. She gets really annoyed by some other members. A member stood up at the beginning to bare her testimony and the one that likes me stood up and left the room. Gosh. I didn’t know what she was doing.  Then she came back and I bore my testimony on showing love and she told me after that it hit her pretty hard. Ha, she actually is really humble in some ways. We had a lesson with her and her husband and she talked about how she was drinking coffee and not reading the scriptures.  We helped them make goals and she hasn’t touched coffee since and she and her non member husband are reading the BoM together every night. 

I really liked your comments on ways to bring meaning to life. I have thought a lot about that in my mish, and I have been able to teach it a lot.
I’d say:
  1.             Proactively looking for and following God
  2.             Uplifting Interpersonal relationships
  3.             Continual individual progression

Here it is super easy to fall into the trap of criticizing the people. There is less education, an anti-progressive culture and a pinch of poverty (prob not as much as megs and meish had).  But criticizing thoughts are so negative and mainly inflicts harm to the critics view of life. I have tried a lot to become friends with them rather than think bad about them for their habits. I kind of have to tell myself that they aren’t going to be my wife, or compañion or child so I should just enjoy the experience for the experience.  

The book you are reading as a fam has 184 pages. At 25 pgs a month it will take more than seven months. I will be done with my first semester of school before that.  I’m excited to read it.

Elder Kimball

Hey it’s going great here in my new area. My comp is fantastic. Humble, intelligent, hard working, driven but also relaxed, athletic and we are going running in the morning, spiritual and not boring, so pretty much the complete deal, I think I am going to marry him. But we actually really do get along great, and I have already gotten on the good side of several member families which makes think a lot more fun and easier.

We have a kid here name Lenny that will be baptized on Saturday. We passed by their house and the mom was in the bed and was wriggling around like she was going through an exorcism.  She has nervous system problems but normally moves around fine with crutches and is a fun spirit. Well I didn’t know that so when I saw her it freaked me out. My comp was also nervous because she doesn’t normally do that. It turns out that she was taking super strong meds that were messing with her.  She started throwing up and then rolled over in it, getting it in her hair. Yuck. We had to move her so that she was leaning over the floor. We had to clean the throw up off the floor with folded news paper.  haha yumm. We gave the meds to her son and told him not to give them to her. The next time we got there she was a completely different person; happy and alive.   They are super poor but the son is very intelligent. 

We went and ate with an older couple that are a good time. At one point though, they turned on the air conditioning that was full of cat hair and dust, and within thirty seconds I started to feel that allergic reaction that always starts in the back of my throat and then my nose and within a short time I started to not be able to breathe.  That hasn’t every really happened to me but it was sketchy because it almost closed completely off. I had to go outside and sit down on the curb. The wife felt bad but they were also crackin jokes which was actually pretty funny.

We helped an old woman sweep a street corner, which turned out not to be hers. She just goes around sweeping hoping that people pay her which they do. We made an appointment to pass by her house the next day. When we got there it turned out to be a huge mansion!  =D   she showed us around the house which looked like it was haunted.  She is part of the Light of the World church that is a Christian church that was started by an ex missionary from this city about 60 years ago. That missionary made himself an apostle and it is actually pretty strong her in mexico, especially in Guadalajara. Their church looks like it comes from power rangers.  She told us that she can see the colors that people send off. Red means that they are diabolical. Blue means that they are in the grace of God. Yellow....   ha we didn’t have colors apparently so who knows what that means.  We finished the tour and we chatted a about general conference and invited her to go.  We finish off and asked if we could say a prayer.  WE went over to a carpeted section and we kneeled and she prostrated herself and started to give praises in the normal Christian way. It was like she had read the bible dictionary with the list of the names of Christ:  lamb of God, The great one, Master.....  well she had the list memorized and shouted them off in praise.  ha the prayer went over 10 minutes.  She got up super calm and after like nothing had happened.  ha but she was super nice and I enjoyed the chat.

There is one older lady that is half German. They are member and we became friends super quick.  She calls me Elder Guapo because she can’t say Christensen haha.  We helped them paint a room one night and all of the grandchildren ran in to help. They grabbed brushes and quickly made a huge mess of the floor, haha it was nuts. I was dying laughing.  

Friday, October 3, 2014

Try to identify the Mexicans?

I love missing Lake Powell trips....but glad that it went great for you guys.  

It looks like I will be coming home on the 29th of January - so don’t plan something for that day. 

That makes me sad for Reed, but I definitely would have taken advantage of that open question time. 

The craziness was that last night we had the transfer calls, and both my comp and I are being transferred!  They are closing many areas because of the large group of missionaries finishing their missions. But that meant we had to get everything ready for the other missionaries in the area next door that were going to eat our area; lots of people to call. We had 8 people getting ready to get baptized very soon - so we are hoping that the new elders visit them and that nothing falls through the cracks - but that is how it goes.

My old comp and I are sitting in the same internet cafe an hour from the old area with our new comps one either side. We were called to the same district.  The area is called San Pedro. It is the city where that earthquake happened and that wall fell on that car if you remember. 

We went to the mission offices this week which is always super fun and disorienting because it is all big buildings and city life there and we are used to neighborhoods. President is replacing the male missionary secretaries with female full time ones that are from the ages 30-70. They are pretty cool gals, but somewhat overwhelmed since they have only been there a few weeks. My comp asked one how she felt and she immediately started baring her testimony in the Young Women General Board voice saying how she has felt the spirit so strong and she knows what she is doing is right.....aka she is pretty stressed, but they were all great and will get the hang of it pretty quick.

We made yummy french toast. Rob and Steve sent me letters so I want to write them a thank you.

Try to identify which ones are the Mexicans?

Willy Wonka Shades

We found an oldish woman (45) a couple of weeks ago outside of her house, and she told us that she didn't want to listen. We started talking about life and pretty soon we were sitting under her lime tree teaching a lesson. She is supér laid back and wears these Willy Wonka type shades because she has a lazy eye.  We joke around a lot with her which she likes.  She hasn't gone to church yet because she is leery of commitment and thinks that she will be signing herself into a lot of work if she goes.  This week her son came out and joined us in the lesson. We knew him because we had played a short game of soccer with him and his buddies. Good kid!  He is 11 years old and understands the concepts we teach much better than many adults (it is interesting to see the differences between children who are studying and the adults who work in manual labor jobs).   When we asked the mom things like: "what changes have you seen in your life when you have tried to follow God?" She would say "well I used to beat my kids but...now all I do is yell at them; isn't that right boy?!"  Her boy would nod his head and say yes. My comp and I were bustin up´. Then in the prayer the kid said "help us to get to church this week with these hermanos, and if we are convinced by what we learn there help us go every week." Then the mom would start shouting things for him to say like "pray that you will be a better son for your angelic beautiful mother."   I tried not to laugh but then I heard my comp stifle a giggle and I was shaking. I had to plug my nose to keep from laughing. 

This week I had exchanges with an elder from the south of Mexico. He is a humble guy; a bit shy but very dedicated. He seems somewhat serious, and is all about the work but definitely not overbearingly. Unfortunately the members sort of took it wrong and in my first few weeks quite a few members were talking bad about him to us. Though I didn't really know him I stood up for him. In the exchanges I became really grateful for that decision as I got to know him. He turned out to really funny and a solid good hearted kid. I felt like I could be myself with him and he opened up a lot. Since then he has opened up a lot more with the district and jokes and talks with us. 

We have been teaching a family of 4+ people. Father, daughters, grandmother, uncle cousins... The group changes a lot but there is always someone that wants to listen when we pass by. The story is actually quite something. The father became divorced with his wife this spring and it tore him apart. He began to drink large quantities of heavy liquor and spiraled into a darkening depression. He lost a lot of weight and desire and hope of the future.  Just as he was hitting rock bottom his uncle from a city north of here randomly called to check in on him. The uncle is a bishop there and turned out to be an answer to his prayers. They talked for hours and the uncle drove down here to contact the missionaries himself. The man that we are teaching doesn't talk much but he is sincere and follows through. In the exchanges this week he opened up to us and then we talked about the atonement of Christ. After the lesson, my companion for the day told me that he had felt the spirit so strong that he almost cried.  This family showed up at the baptism of the family I had interviewed and felt desires to do the same. The zone leaders interviewed them after the baptism. The grandmother had doubts and wasn't sure if she wanted it. The other three were set on going through. It turned out to be a great thing because the grandmother really connected with the ZL and felt the spirit and decided to go forward. Unfortunately, she and her son both had some word of wisdom issues - so we have to wait a bit but they all left with goals in mind.

There is an older man that we contacted several weeks named Don. He is a lively spirit but has funny mixed views of religion and science; the result of growing up in the dominant religion. He goes around during the week fixing all of his neighbors electrical, plumbing....etc problems and cutting their grass free of charge. He was showing us his tools and then the kids that were playing soccer in front of us passed the ball to my comp. He went in to play. Don and I sat down on the back bumper of his car and started chatting about the meaning of life and his view of it. It was actually a really fun conversation but then his neighbor called him over to see if he could make a quick fix of something. I joined in the soccer game while we waited for him.  Heck of a good time. After playing a bit we said first team to three. We got it tied up 2 to 2 and then Don jumped into the game and the ball got to him. He awkwardly kicked it towards the goal and by some miracle it went in. We were dying. Everyone ran to him and cheered him. We had to take off but he gave us a box of cereal to eat for dinner. It was great because it helped us connect with him, and honestly my comp and I both need a tiny bit of sports every now and then.

There was the normal Torreon, flood the streets and everything else in 7 minutes, rain several times this week. We got soaked. And there is small tumble bush (remember Powell =D ) forest behind our house and it flooded so there were tons of mosquitoes. We had left a window open and as we entered the house one night we saw in horror that the walls were covered in mosquitoes. We made scary movie music with our mouths. We then grabbed a sandal and looked at each other (and it was like that moment  in Lord of the rings when Aragon looks back at the army and says dramatically "for Frodo" and then runs at the enemy hosts. Then we just started running around slapping the walls with the sandals and grabbing the ones in the air.  At the end we stood in the middle of dead bugs everywhere and it was like that moment in Mr. and Mrs. Smith when they are in the shopping center and they look at each other after killing everybody and everything is destroyed.  My comp was Angelina.