Monday, March 24, 2014

Fixing Stuff

We had a lot of paperwork this week so I am short on time. 

Elizabeth emailed me and told e that she has been going to church for a month now! Best news of the week.

This week I went on exchanges with the new American elder in my district. He went to Bouniful high. Our district is 4 elders and 3 hermanas. The other two elders are in our ward and their area is very close to ours. We eat with them at the members' houses every day and we play sports with them every Monday - so we are super tight with them.  This morning we played soccer then we played ultimate spoons which was killer fun.  

I also had exchanges with my zone leader.  He is from Guatamala and we stayed up until 1:00 a.m. chatting.   We also had Pedro come back and help us fix the boiler. 

I have learned a surprising  amount about fixing machines and pipes and toilets etc.....
While I was with my Zone Leader friend, we contacted a man that said "Listen, I respect your religion, and you will respect mine."  We asked him what his was. "I believe in la Santa Muerte" He had a large statue in his house of this saint - which he let us see. We had a long chat about that. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mozart & 4 Peso Gorditas

The big break-through this week is that we found Gorditas for 4 pesos!!

On another day a man that was selling tacos with his wife on the side of a road shouted at us to come over and talk to them. His sister is a recent convert and he met several missionaries though her. They gave us a free plate of tacos and agreed to listen to a lesson.

On Thursday I drank some sour milk and then we had some mystery meal that made me sick. That night we were walking to an appointment and I had to sit down because I was feeling pretty nauseous.  A bit later I threw-up a few times. I will spare you the details. Ha - it was kind of freaking out the natives who were walking by. While I was in that state a woman went up to my comp to ask what was wrong and he ended getting in a great conversation with her about why we missionaries go through what we go through. After I finished up I felt great and wiped my face and we went and taught a very solid lesson to the daughter of a new convert and our plumber (see below). 

I bought some batteries from a street vendor this week. Ya, they lasted about five minutes. The man had barely recharged them and then wrapped them in plastic. 

Whenever we leave the house here a large dog walks over to the door to greet us. The missionaries before us fed him and named him Mozart. He is super loyal to us now but he is also filthy dirty – so I am not that excited about him jumping up on me.

A recent convert in this area came over to help us fix some stuff in the house. He is a plumber and our shower hasn't been working. I had tried cleaning the shower head and when that didn't work, I tried untwisting the pipe to see what was blocking the water. It was so rusted that it snapped leaving part of the pipe inside the rivets. Our friend helped us clean it out and get it working again. Now we need to figure out how to fix the air conditioning.

I forgot to mention last week that the way we heat our water for showers is that we fill a bucket with water and then put the iron inside for about 15 minutes.

If you could zoom in on this picture you would see a baseball game going on in the middle of the frame

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Homeless Man at Stake Conference

The District

Ha - I am jealous that you are in Costa Rica.  - está bien ma no se precupe (escribo mientras lloro). =(

This week a family asked us to give a blessing to their baby that is 18 days old and was born 2 months early. I have now given two blessings to newborns and both experiences were very spiritual. After we gave the blessing, the baby had fallen deeply asleep. After we gave the blessing, we talked to the family (which was part member) about the spirit and the blessing of having it in your life. Halfway through the discussion the grandfather stumbled in drunk and so we talked a little about repentance. =) One of the little boys was the Mexi version of Owen; fun little guy. I had to give him a hug as we took off.  

President Flores is going around the mission and speaking in all the Stake conferences. He talks about a scripture and then has all the missionaries go up and sing a hymn. I did it once in Parras. Yesterday, the stake is bigger than the building so they had two sessions with leadership meetings in between. It was six hours of Stake Conference because he had the missionaries do our bit in both meetings. That means we got to hear the talks twice. Ha - but it was actually a really good meeting, and the jokes were funnier the second time. 

We all had to wake up early to get there. During the second session you could look around the room and find elders with their heads nodding and fast asleep. I woke up one time to a message from another elder laughing at me. 

In the conference a homeless man found his way in and started wandering around asking for money. The men escorted him out but apparently someone gave him some money because twenty minutes later he came back in with a coke. 

There was a guy that visited Parras while I was there. He was a new convert and super stoked about the church. Well he lived in Valle Verde and I saw him there and he gave me a big hug. Well, he moved this week to one of the areas in my district. I saw him at the conference and we sat by him.  

I did my first baptismal interview this past week. The man was 60 years old and looked like a Mexican version of Lyle Reese. He was very humble and ready.   

I love seeing the photos of Costa Rica, (4 countries that you have visited while I have been gone, maybe more, haha make it to 8).   

I got to be taking off.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Elder Pacheco

The kid looks like he is freaked out that there is a big whitey on his bike, but he was actually super excited and we rode around a bit. He stood on the pegs – I drove. “lucky" (napoleon dynamite)

They called me last night and guess what I had transfers again. They sent me to be the district leader in Gomez Palacio.  Today has been a party. We got to the bus station and my 5 best mission buddies were there. The mission is fun right now.

One of my good buddies is also in my district. My comp is a stud and has all the vids of Insanity on his USB - so it looks like we will be losing some of the tacos on my legs this transer =).   There is an elder in my district named Elder Roberts. He lived in Bountiful and knows Bryan and Steph Tagge.

The week before i got to the area a man signaled the Elders and asked for a copy of a Book of Mormon. He had been searching the bible and had a question: If God is not a respector of persons, then why does he always have a chosen people? In his search he found material about Jose Smith and started to study more. I love teaching this guy. He went to church with us this week and after the meeting he asked me super casually if we planned to baptize him now or later. Haha 

Elder Pacheco and I had drinking a bit too much soda last night and we couldn’t sleep - so we stayed up playing cards and pool.  haha i love you guys. #box=myfamilyisdabest

One of the Hermanas in the area has a dog that was hit by a car. In a frantic state she called us and begged us to give her dog a blessing. I don’t know exactly what the protocol with that is but we told her that we could definitely say a prayer with her.  Unfortunately, the dog died two days later.  

One of the men I was teaching in Parras has a house in Torreon and would go there every week. His family lived there but he had to be apart from them at times for work.   Well, what do you know but we got home to our apartment Thursday night and we found him eating outside the restaurant on the side of our apartment. Ha he gave me a hug and we went to visit him.

On Sunday after Sacrament meeting I learned that every fourth Sunday of the month - the adults join together in a class that the missionaries teach. The other missionaries forgot to mention that and I was a bit surprised when they asked me and my comp to teach it. There were about 50 adults, so that was a shock.  But, it actually went very smoothly. We shared stories and insights and the hour passed very quickly. After a year in the mission, teaching for an hour isn’t quite as daunting as it would have been in 2012.

Love you all,