Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Two Baptisms and Two Short Paragraphs

(for some reason, we recieved very little info from Ben this week, but what he sent was good :)

My companion is obedient and works hard.  We climbed a mountain today.  Magda and Carmen were baptized and confirmed on Saturday.  56 people came to church.  Hna. Munoz came and her husband did not. We found a cool guy about our age to teach this week named Christian. 

I am on less time today because  my shirts were really dirty and I took a long time washing them.   I never realized how hard it was to keep clothes clean because I never washed them before my mission. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Staying in Tuxpan, Elder Garcia and a return visit to Guzman

Transfers?   I am still in Tuxpan, now  with Elder Garcia, he is from Guatemala and has about 10 months in the mission.    Elder Garcia seems like a really cool guy, his mom is an English teacher and so he speaks english, he has a really good accent. 

This past week went well with Elder Cassanova.  We did everything at a very slow pace, which was hard for me, but he did continue to work, and he even exercised, I take a lot of the credit for that. He was a really smart guy and taught me a lot in a really nice way.    Elder Casanova talked his last Sunday in church here in the mission. It was a really weird experience his last week, I kinda felt like it was my last week as well, a lot of really weird emotions I am sure. 

 I received the credit card at the exact moment when I needed it, it was wonderful!  I  had to use the card because for transfers we have to travel a lot, and I lended Elder Hernandez 200 pesos. Elder Braxton Duncan is the new companion of E. Hernandez and so now we are in the same district and I am going to see them both every week.    they are in Tamasula, a little pueblo I think a little bit smaller than Tuxpan.    I am so happy for Elder Hernandez to be companions with another obedient, Exercise obsessed elder.  The last companion of e. Hernandez was not super obedient and it sounds like that was really tough for him

The big news of the week is that yesterday, my companion and an elder that was in Sayula ended their missions, and so what we did, was that we got together in Guzman, the 4 of us, and then the missionaries going home left to Guadalajara and me and the other missionary stayed in Guzman, and so basically, I had all of the afternoon in Guzman to do what I wanted to.   And so, I visited Lola and the Diaz Lopez family and the Alcaraz family and Ivan, and Veronica, and it was totally awesome, then I slept at the big house, and ran around the basketball court in the morning just like old times, it was totally awesome! And we got a ton of food to eat.

Lola is struggling, her husband does not want to go to church and her mother in law still lives there and does not want them to go either. The Diaz Lopez family is doing really well and are going to church every week and they all went to EFY as well, all except for Emmanuel because he is not old enough.   We ate with Lola, Hna. Escobar, the Alcaraz family and then again for dessert with Lola. The Alcaraz family is doing well.  I do not remember if I have talked about them before, he was the ward mission leader when I was there and has had many callings in just over a year. They are totally awesome and were just sealed in the temple a little while ago.   I accidentally left my bowl that I used in the Guzman house at their house and a spoon as well, and they said that they always fight over the “Elder Jarvis spoon” and that made me feel good. He is the ward mission leader once again and we had a fun time talking about the good old days. 

And guess who came to church yesterday.....................................Areli AND Arturo Munoz! only for the first hour (we have a big problem with that here)   but it was much better than nothing!

Magda and her mom are the mom and daughter  who we found contacting a while ago.  Carmen is the mom. Magda has been to church 4 times and Carmen 3, they may be baptized this Saturday, but up until now they are not completely sure. We are also teaching Lupita and Monserrat, who are granddaughters of Carmen, as well as Angelica, a friend of Magda´s,  and a friend of Lupita.   We had an activity on Friday and some little kids broke my camera, but I let Elder Gil borrow another one that I had and so I may ask for it back, would that be acceptable?

I am doing the same things for exercise that I was doing before, my 500 pushups and a lot of running in place. I want to try to eat less sugar, I was feeling guilty on Saturday trying to help Magda to stop drinking coffee and at the same time I continue to eat a ton of sugar and it just did not seem right. i feel comfortable right now.

That made me very happy to read about Paul reading the Book of Mormon with Dad. I had the chance this week to talk about the "I´ve been watching you" song this week during a lesson and that was pretty fun.  I thought a lot this week about what Dad said to me last week about how the biggest lesson that a missionary needs to learn is to forget yourself, I noticed a big difference this week when  was able to do that. 

That is awesome that Elder Scott came to talk to Nate and those guys in the MTC about Prayer. I do the same thing in my prayers, I go to another room to pray out loud. 

The language was  easier with E. Hernandez with his limited knowledge of English and has been a little bit more challenging to keep up on with my foreign companions who can speak and understand English.   Today I was able to see many missionaries, every missionary who had transfers went to the mission office to meet their new companion and so I saw, elder De la mora, who showed me the nice note that Dad wrote to him.  He did not totally understand it, he had it in his notebook.   I also saw many other elders that I know. 

We have Zone Conference this Thursday so that should be nice. We ate hamburgers today at the restaurant of the people who live below the other missionaries and have known the missionaries for a long time. They gave us a VERY generous discount. We are trying to help the branch leaders get along a little better.   It was the branch president and his very pregnant wife´s birthday on Friday, they were hoping that their baby would be born that day, which is also their anniversary. She is already overdue.

It sounds like you are all doing very well except for maybe grandpa. Tell him I said hi please and keep being the good parents that you are. I thank Heavenly Father in my prayers daily for sending me to this earth to be raised by you two.  Thanks for being the great parents that you are. Have a great week, thanks for the card and everything else that you do! Oh,  and keep focusing on Nate.  If you have to sacrifice time writing to me to write to him that is fine, I totally understand!

Monday, August 12, 2013

New Comp for a Week

Transfers are not until next week, but I got another companion this week, his name is Elder Casanova.  He has one week left in his mission, he is a really cool guy. I got him on Thursday,and he will be here for a week and then, will be returning home to the heat.  I like him a lot, he speaks good English, is from Merida, and knows the beef and the bad stuff about every missionary in this mission.  He was transferred a week early because he had some problems in his last area.  I do not like to hear about all of these missionaries whom I considered angels, to hear that they really were or are not. But I have asked him several times if he has heard bad things about me and I have repeatedly reassured him that if he has, they are not true, ha, ha.   He is a really awesome guy other than that he is always talking about his house and going home and what it is going to be like.

Elder C  teaches me both Spanish and gospel things, he teaches me in a very kind and easy to take way. It is kinda weird, he does not like to teach with the scriptures because he already knows them, seemed kinda weird to me, but he is not cocky or anything that is just his style. 

This is me and elder Casanova at the carne asada that we had this past Friday.
We had a carne asada friday and it was pretty fun. Several members came as did Carmen and Magda. Carmen, Magda, Lupita all came to church, as did Angelica, a friend of Magdas, so 4 investigators in church was the most that we have had in a while.   43  people came to church in total.  

 This is the family that we are going to help move today, Alicia and 2 of her 4 children, Mosiah and Karen.  They have been less active.  The other 2 are older, Abinadi, a girl, and Giancarlo, and they are not very interested in listening when we come to teach them. She is the one that moved here from Matamoros.

This is a picture of Areli and Sol Munoz, they just walked past the Ciber we are at so I had to take a picture with them. They did not come to church yesterday, but they did come Saturday, including, Arturo, to help us clean the church. 

The good thing is though is that my companion knows a lot and teaches me in a very kind and easy to take way. I am glad that everything went well with nate, and cannot believe that he has that Caplin kid as his companion, kinda like when I had the short stint with Elder Jacobsen in the MTC, the little slice of heaven moments. I am so happy that you and dad were able to go down to the temple this past weekend and be the witness couple, and meet the nice 80 year old lady. 

I have been studying a lot about the temple this past week, and gave an awful talk about temples yesterday. I started to talk about Sealings, and for one, could not remember the words to say in Spanish, and two, nobody in the branch other than the missionaries, the Castolo family, Viridiana, and maybe the branch president understand what the sealing is, but oh well.

I ate well this week and feel fitter and feel like I have less fat. I am glad that Kassidy Perkins is ok, it sounds like that was a very traumatic experience that she had. You all look great in the pictures with Nate up at the temple, every time I look at Sam he is getting taller. We are now allowed to play basketball and soccer, half court, but I don´t even feel like I want to that much. Sounds like both Lindsey and Zane are going to have baptisms soon, so that is cool, Carmen and Magda should be baptized either this weekend or the next.

Tell dad, that I am going to give him a run for his money eating spicy foods when I get back, not because I like to eat them, but because I can eat a lot of spicy food. Love you guys, and I have got to go, I will tell you about transfers next week, mom read D and C 97 verse 8.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Ingrown toenails, and a visit from the Wagners

The pictures were again taken from the mission blog:  guadalajaramexicomission.blogspot.com

President and Sister Wagner visited the Tuxpan branch on Sunday.  They put some fun pictures on there, and wrote some nice things about the branch and the work being done.

Ben, and Elder Gil from Guatamala

The chapel in Tuxpan

The Primary in Tuxpan

These young men pass out and collect the hymn books every Sunday :)

Now for Ben's letter:.......

The big news of the day is that after we write to you guys I am going to have to go to the doctor to get my ingrown toenail taken out.  I have had it for a long time, but have not done anything about it, now it kinda hurts and is bleeding.   We are going to make sure we find a good doctor. With my first Elder Hernandez companion, he had the same operation and everything went well.  However with another elder I knew, they injected him in the wrong place, and blood was squirting everywhere and they had to do it again.  As you can imagine I do not trust the medical services here, but I have got to get this taken care of.

A lot of things happened this week, and I will try to explain them all in as few words as I can to make it quicker. The zone leaders called us on Tuesday to tell us that we were going to have special transfers.  What happened is that an elder who was in Tamazula, a small branch near here, had to go home early because he hurt his knees and so, Elder Hernandez was sent there to fill his place and I am now in a trio with Elder Mills, the one from South Sevier and Elder Gil, who is from Guatemala.   We will likely be in a trio for 2 weeks until the next transfer, when I will hopefully train again, would be my wish.  We are working in both of our areas, but many of the members are going to work with me in my area on Divisions.

Sorry I feel like I am just complaining a lot and talking too much about myself and I will try to stop doing that. It has just been a little bit of a tougher week with E. Hernandez leaving and everything, the thing is, just like I am sure you guys already know, it takes a little while to really develop a really good relationship with your companion, and we finally had so much unity, and then we had to be separated, I know that it was completely necessary, but it is not easy, and I have not been sleeping well either, but o well, I guess "if life were easy, it wouldn´t be hard."

President Wagner came to church with Sister Wagner and their daughter who came home early from her mission that she was serving in Guatemala, she came home early because she could not sleep, sound familiar?

Many priesthood holders from the area of the other elders came to church on Sunday.  The Munoz family, it was frustrating this week, they did not come to church, we called them Saturday, and they said they were going to come and did not. Also, they were not there for our  lesson that we had planned for Friday. We are about ready to leave Jenifer for a little while.   She did not  get baptized and I think that we are going to visit her less frequently for awhile. 

I gained weight this week, (so that you know, I do not handle change well).   I am exercising like crazy, my poor metabolism just does not know what to do, I eat like an obese person during the day, and in the morning exercise like a maniac, haha. I ran in place for 20 minutes this morning. While walking with Breeze, she is an investigator of the other elders, I had a fun time talking to her parents. Her sisters are members of the church and live in Utah, one is married to an ex missionary who served in Bolivia, they have 2 kids, one looks just like a Mexican, and the other looks totally american, pretty funny. Breeze does not want to get baptized here in Tuxpan, because she does not want to marry anyone here, she wants to get married to a missionary, after his mission. She wants to go to Utah and be baptized there. Her parents love basketball, her Dad loves to watch it and her mom loves to play it, they are fanatics. They taught me all of the basketball jargon and all of the baseball jargon that they knew, that was pretty awesome. I forgot to take my camera.

Carmen and her daughter Magda came to church yesterday, they are doing awesome, every lesson we have with them is a good one. They have a baptismal date for the 24th of August.  I taught Sunday School class about the oath and covenant of the priesthood. Yared and Imelda Baltazar came to church again yesterday for the second week in a row, they are less active members who are totally awesome. They fasted yesterday and came to church even though they were out until 3 in the morning at a party they had to go to.

I had a fun experience reading the scriptures this week. I read 2 Ne 7, one of the Isaiah chapters and was just frustrated, did not understand hardly anything and just kinda read it to get through it, then when I read chapter 8, I decided that I was really going to study it and try to understand it, I prayed a lot for that understanding and received it, and it was really fun. Juan Manuel came to church again and bore his testimony and his mom made us tamales this week. Hno. Castolo accompanied me on Saturday to teach a couple of members and we taught 2 of them about the Priesthood and then later in the day he had the opportunity to give a blessing to his granddaughter, he was so happy while accompanying me and it was fun to see, and the best part was that he totally talked me up in his testimony in front of Pres. Wagner, haha.

I will try to bring my camera next week. I felt a little guilty this week because both of the zone leaders came to do divisions with us and it was kinda frustrating.  They got here and did not study language just chatted for a long time in English. Then, I had to do divisions with an Elder that is probably the only one in the mission that I really have a hard time getting along with, and things were great, until, after we taught a lesson, and during the lesson, he kept saying, Josefina, like you would say it in English, and after the lesson I told him how to say her name, and he promptly told me in a very condescending way, "Elder, you worry way too much about your spanish," and sadly I reacted and then, he said, I am just trying to teach you and ya, and I said, I just cannot learn like that, and eventually we got over it, but it was tough for a little bit. We are still excited here, 43 people came to church, and so less than the week before, but much more men came to church and so were were really happy about that.

I guess some of the best things about this week was that fasting was awesome, it isn't even hard to fast anymore and I love doing it.  It is so much easier to do it for a specific purpose, I also shared a brief testimony and felt like my spanish was alright this week. Our mission leader is also coming to church again and went with me to teach a lesson this week and is really excited.

We ate some good food this week as well, on Saturday, I ate 15 tacos, with 30 tortillas, but they are smaller. 

This dog was across the street from the church, keeping an eye on things.