Monday, January 27, 2014

Elder Gutierez

My comp was pretty sick with a stomach infection in his first week here so he was on some meds which made him pretty stressed and emotional. So, the first part of the week was quite fun (not)   but after Thursday things mellowed out and we are good buds now

It is warming up now.  My comp just got here a couple months ago from Ecuador and it feels super cold here to him.  He is a great Elder.  When I was training, I was carrying the pack; now it is even and we push each other so it is all good.

This past week, one of the older men in the Ward was teaching the class was using a talk by Elder Dubes in the Liahona. He pointed at my comp and at Elder Dube and said he is probably from Ecuador as well.   haha I said or maybe Africa. 

Some of the oldest vineyards in Mexico are here

We visited a man and he said that he had been visited by Jesús in his dreams a year ago and that he left his face on the Wall. Afterwards, the man put it in frame and made a shrine out of it. This is a pic of it. Actually, you can really see it - kind of. 

Every year thousands of motorcycles come here for a weekend for the bendición de cascos, or blessing of the helmets. A priest blesses them and then they ride around and drink beer and other great things.  Every year people die coming or going or falling of their bike drunk. That culture is so weird. The girls are expected to just side behind holding on to their stud muffin bearded man and look pretty.

When my comp was sick, we went to the hospital and we were greeted by man nurse which I thought at first looked like Howie from Benchwarmers. But he turned out to be a great guy and an inactive Mormon.  I thought he had a man crush on me because he couldn’t stop looking at me; but it turns out it is just that I am a spitting image of the Elder that baptized him and looking at me made him remember the gospel.

I passed by Texas Man’s house to meet my new comp. When he saw Elder Gutierez he asked "is this your new assistant?"  =) Nice. 

I gots to go.  Thanks a bazillion for the letters and fotos 

love ya

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Companion in Parras

We were walking one day and this man shouted at us and started condemning our religion and saying we were hypocrites. We chatted for a while but he didn't want to listen. Well, he has a post where he shines shoes near our house so we pass by him all the time. Over the months we have become good friends. We bring him fruit sometimes and we chat every once in awhile about the gospel. He has a prosthetic leg and hasn't had an easy life. We finally got around to getting our shoes shined.

We had a lesson in the church then stuck around to help clean.

We have been working with a young man by the name in Parras - trying to help him be more active and hopefully go on a mission. Up until this point he hasn’t shown much interest and has always goofed around when we go to teach him. One of the hermanas in the ward showed some interest in him and has been working with him; building him up and teaching him the góspel.  Because of her efforts he has had a kind of awakening. He has been humbled and has realized the awfulness of his situation. Now he shows a sincere desire to repent and start working hard to make something of his life. He joined us three days this week to teach. He organized a lesson for us and helped us give a blessing to his uncle. He joined us in a fast on Saturday that was aimed at helping him get himself ready for his mission. We also had two great lessons at his house and one at the church. In every lesson he bore his testimony with real sincerity. He was raised in poor circumstances and has lacked confidence in himself; thinking he could never be a missionary. But he has made real progress.

We had transfers today. My comp was sent to some part of Torreón.  He was excited but nervous last night and put all his bags together. I cleaned the house to get ready for the newbie.  When I went into our room I found that Solorio had even packed his blankets and sheet. I said Elder, "you know you aren't leaving until tomorrow."  He said, "I have to be ready." Ha, one time he wasn't ready and we missed the bus and a zone conference. He tried sleeping in his shirt and tie without a blanket. Finally the cold won out. He put a real nice letter in my scrips. I will miss the guy un buen. My new comp is from our district.  He is the Ecuadorian that I was with on exchanges a few weeks back. It will be a great time with him - even though he doesn't like spicy food.

This week we stopped by to talk to Christopher and found him pretty upset. He had asked his mother’s permission to be baptized and she kind of flipped. She was mainly taken by surprise and told him that he was to stop all connection with us. We talked with him and he told us he would probably just have to wait until the summer. While we were fasting on Saturday we also were thinking about and praying for Christopher. That night he sent me a message that his mom had had a change of heart!

Even though I had a sinus infection this was probably my favorite week of my mission.  

A hermana has the missionaries sign a Book of Mormon and draw a cartoon of them. There are three pages full of these. Try to find your son. =)

Hey, I have to take off,

Love you all

 Check out Obama

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Christopher is Close

Hobbit Portal

I am so glad you heard back from Elizabeth.  That is fantastic! Did you write her back?

Christopher is ready to be baptized. He just has to have his interview.  His school teacher is the son of one of our investigators. He said that he knows Christopher well and that he used to be someone of a troubled kid but 2 months ago he really started to change.  He asked us when we started to teach Christopher and we said two months ago.  He told us “well there you go.” He said Christopher is now focusing well in school and is a happier kid.  

Mr. So & So.... =)
Spencer Humor

Yesterday it hailed here.

A great thing about Parras is that the Baker-man member brings these large rolls for the sacrament bread and there are not a lot of members so we get huge chunks.  I think this is what it means it 3 nephi 18 that they ate and were filled.

One year ago we were in Puerto Rico. Gosh - that was one of the best vacations:

·         Coconut falling on my head, owen dying laughing
·         Coconut destroying sandcastle game
·         Meg’s birthday
·         Rope swing- scary homeless guy that turned out to be super nice and protective
·         Drive on the windy road in the mountains
·         Corn flavored ice cream
·         Snorkeling from a Little tin boat 

One night I had a ton of extra energy (maybe I had eaten too much sugar or was stressed about the upcoming mission and I took off on a run down the beach without shoes.  I ran and ran until the beach ran out. Then I ran on the road. I had a pack of dogs’ chase me at several points and I had drunk men yell at me.  I got back to the house super tired and I slept very well.   I have thought about that run a lot - maybe because it was the only time in 2013 that I really got to go running.  Sure, I ran laps in the MTC on a round a track with my first comp. I run from dogs all the time here, but it just isn’t the same as just taking off at night with no destination and going until you can’t run anymore.  It’s probably the thing, apart from people, that I miss more than anything. It was my way of dropping stress.

Our new missión president will be coming in July. His name is Alejandro Ramos Rivera
 There is an Elder here from South America here. They don’t have milk where he comes from and from the first moment he tried it here he loved it. When he had his first cambios (sorry i dont remember the Word it english) he carried the milk that he had left to the next área, because it was precious and he thought that he wouldn’t be able to find it in the next área. I don’t think the milk he took would taste too great but I am pretty sure they had milk in his next area.

I have to take off
Loves to you all

Monday, January 6, 2014

4 Years

El Guero dice hola a ustedes!

New Years – Woot Woot!! To celebrate the new year here they take dolls and wrap them with tons of explosive fireworks and Boom! Most of the time there is nothing left but maybe an arm or foot. Mostly there is just dust from the TNT explosives the kids have access to here. Sometimes they take the dolls and pour gasoline on them and then light them on fire. Then they wrap cords around them and toss them over the telephone wires. They are hard to take down so they stay there for a long time – just a freaky burned corpse hanging there. This tradition represents dropping your old self and starting anew. I understand this kind of thinking and I believe were blowing up the dolls and other things before they attached this meaning to it.

Another thing the kids do is that they throw massive fire cracker type explosives in crowds. Last week while we were waiting for a bus I dozed off and one of these landed in the street by us. Scared the bejeeber’s out of me.

For New Years we had an activity in Chaves. The problem was that when we got to the bus station we discovered that it was closed. We decided that we just wouldn’t go to the zone activity. A man heard us talking and said he would give us a ride to Pila, a small dusty little town on the road to Torreon. From there we figured we could hitchhike to Chaves. Well, in Pila we had a hard time getting anyone to pick us up. Finally, a semi-truck driver who had just done a stop in Pila asked where we were going. He said “Well hop in.”

We spent the next two hours talking about his 10 children and he showed us a video that he took in one valley where there have been lots of deaths. I won’t go into the details. We talked about his life as a truck driver. He said that sometimes they go for 5 straight days without sleep by taking these hyper-caffeinated meds. While he was telling us these stories we saw an accident where a semi was flipped on its side. He told us about how he had been addicted to drugs and overdosed which led to a 3 month coma. After that he has stayed away from alcohol and drugs. We told him about eternal marriage and families and he was excited about that. We handed off the reference information to our compadres in his area in Torreon.  

There hasn’t been a baptism here in Parras for 4 years! Christopher has now attended church 5 times so can be baptized this week. All he has to do is ask permission from his parents. We could use your prayers that his parents will agree to letting him get baptized.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Hey Fam.

Christmas was a bit different this year. No snow forts, skiing, movies, white people, sledding behind cars, mom’s Pull-aparts, Joe & Bill doing their after gift exchange hug-dance that makes everyone uncomfortable, people stopping by to sing Christmas Carols when I am the only person home, Owen getting taken out by delinquent sledders at Churchill, and of course, Gram’s Ham Logs. I am happy that Meish was home and it was terrific to talk to you all on Skype.

Fun Facts: The best looking house in this area is dark green with wooden pillars and trim. Either the husband lost a bet this week or he misplaced his man-card. When we passed by this house a few days ago the house had been painted Cotton-candy Pink!  Ugghhh. 


This week we taught a lesson to a family consisting of a grandmother, 4 daughters and many children. The 5 women were baptized 10 years ago in Chavez. But none of the children have ever attended church. While we were talking to them the subject of Christmas came up. One of the children said: “Santa never visited their house. I said something about the need for a chimney but I felt bad for these little guys.” On Christmas Eve, Solorio (my Companion) and I ran around to all the members to see if they had old toys or clothes. There are only a few kids in primary so we were not expecting much. The families were happy to donate.  We wanted to gather some more stuff and knocked on a few doors. People were excited about what we were doing and we ended up with armfuls of great toys.  It made us feel good to see how responsive people were. We had a large black bag full of stuffed bears, a Barbie house, 3 Barbie doll knock-offs, toy trucks, animals, a toy piano and I threw in some nerf guns and glow sticks.  We went by that night and gave one of the mothers the large bag for her to put the gifts under the tree. 

The Saturday after Christmas we stopped by to invite them to church.  We were invited in and we sat down on the edge of one of the three beds in the room that double as sofas. The room reminded me of the bedroom for Willy Wonka. Solorio played with the children and I talked to the moms about their baptisms and their responsibility to take the children to church. The conversation was very comfortable and agreeable. At one point they joked that we didn’t bring them any gifts. One of the uncles started listing the things he wanted. One of the moms said that the 26 year old wanted to marry a white guy (Yikes). “Ya, uh well, we actually need to be heading out right now.” We made like trees and got out of there (Biff). As we were leaving the moms did agree to come to church.   

They didn’t make it to church so we stopped by on Monday to see what happened. One of the ninos (children) saw us as he was running past and yelled at us asking us to come to his house “please.” The other kids ran to their parents to tell the family we were coming. As we knocked on the door we saw all of the lights go out. No one answered.

We hid in the bushes for a minute and one of the kids came out and said “I will go and tell my mom to let you in. He went inside and said: “Why are the lights out?” We will keep trying but it is frustrating to know what these people are passing up.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.