Thursday, July 31, 2014

Transfer 5 Week 1 July 28, 2014

They have a big Christ statue like the one in Rio Brasil. Not quite as big as the one in Rio though. You can also see a little of the city
 BE HAPPY. BE MORMON. this is in the window of a member here
 Elder Garcia and Water
Well I am officially in Saltillo! And it is completely different from Zaragoza.
On Monday, we said goodbye to a few more families and then slept in our house for the last time. Then on Tuesday I was traveling for most of the day, and arrived in Saltillo at like 6. There I met my new companion. His name is Elder Garcia. He is really cool, and he is my district leader. It was a little harder to really click with him at first because we are a different, but the last few days have been really cool.
It was my first time switching areas in the mission, so it was a little wierd at first. Because the people that we are teaching were being taught by someone else like a week ago, and then all of a sudden some 6 foot 4 gringo comes to their door saying that he is teaching them now. But I have already come to love a lot of the people that we teach and a lot of the members too.
The area is really cool! It is a lot bigger than my last area that is for sure, and the weather is much nicer! But when it rains it is crazy! I would call it mild flooding. We have to cross streets with the water up to our ankles. But other than that it is super cool.
My first day here, my companion told me that I had to give a talk on Sunday. AGAIN. So I did that. I do better every time, but I would still rather give a talk in English.
One of our investigators is extremely cool! his name is Dario and he is from Venezuela. Who would have guessed that I would be sent to Mexico to teach a Venezuelan! He studies the scriptures like nobody else I know! and he always has questions for us! some of them are really profound like Where is Kolob? He is reading the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants! He came to Church with us as well! And he had the best questions and best comments in the class for sure! and he wants to give a talk in Sacrament meeting! He is also really good at music. He plays guitar and he is learning piano as well! He loves the Hymns in church. He says that he wants to make me a Guitar!
The members here are really cool. They are a lot like the members back at home. But the best part is that we get food with the members ever day! sometimes more than once!
Speaking of food, my first meal in Saltillo was really quite wierd. Cow intestines. It didnt taste horrible! but not really good either. But I really didnt like how chewy it was. I also found out that I have eaten sheep stomach as well. I just didnt know because I didnt know the Spanish word for it. I didnt really like that either.
Elder Earl

Transfer 4 Week 6 July 21, 2014

Well another transfer has ended, and I know that I say it every week but this week went by super fast!

Every last week of every transfer we meet together as a zone. The offices were having troubles bying our bus tickets to Acuña, so they told us that we were going to have the meeting on Wednesday or Thurday instead of Tuesday. But then Monday night at 10:00 as we were getting ready to go to bed, We got a call saying that we were able to buy our tickets for 6:00 the next morning, so we had to pack super fast and take a taxi to Allende. We slept there, woke up at 4 and headed to Piedras Negras. We got there late, so we missed our next bus to Acuña. So we had to wait there for 2 more hours until we could go to Acuña and finally have the meeting. And afterwards we took a bus back to Allende and a taxi to Zaragoza. It was a super long day. 

The rest of the week was really great though. The last week of the transfer always feels wierd but it was even more so because it was my companions last week in the mission! We didn´t let it get to us though, so we had a lot of good lessons and some good times as well! 

Anyway, Sunday was really good as well. We had about 40 people in church so that was really cool. The Elders had to talk again, mine wasn´t horrible I think. Elder Vera did a really good job. It was his last sunday as a missionary, so it was a little emotional for everybody. Nobody was crying or anything. Later Elder Vera and I went to Allende with Hermano Sarabia a member in our brach with all of Elder Vera´s stuff to drop him off. I said goodbye to him there, and I have been with Elder Hutchins and Elder Lopez ever since. It was a little hard to say goodbye, but it´s not like I wont ever see him again. 

Later that day we got the changes for this transfer. I am going to Saltillo! Actually 5 missionaries in my zone are all going to Saltillo. My area is called Odregon and apparently it is like the downtown area of Saltillo. There is a lot of stuff there as well as 3 museums. I am excited. My companion is going to be Elder Garcia. He is also from Mexico City. My zone leader Elder Lopez knows him, and he said that he is really cool and a really good missionary as well, so I am super excited! 

But something kind of wierd is that there are only going to be two missionaries in Zaragoza next change. Elder Hutchins and I are both going to Saltillo, and Elder Lopez is going to be here with an Elder named Elder Harrington. I met him once before and he is super cool. He is actually from Ephrata Washington, so we know people who know eachother, but I had never met him before the mission.

So after church yesterday we went to a bunch of members houses and investigators houses just to share a short message and say goodbye. It was pretty hard to say goodbye to all of the people who I have gotten to know so well that last 4 and a half months. The people who have fed me, the people who I have taught, and the people who I baptized as well. But it gives me great joy to know for a fact that I can see all of them again whether it is in this life or after.

And today we are going to finish up with saying goodbye to some more families, and then tomorrow morning I leave to Saltillo!
Elder Earl

Monday, July 21, 2014

Transfer 4 Week 5 July 14 2014

Another week has gone by, and it is super hard to believe that I only have one more week until the next transfer. What is even more hard to believe is that my companion Elder Vera is going to go home in one week! that must be super weird for him.
We had a really good week this week. The weather wasn´t super bad and we had a couple of big rain storms as well that were really cool. But today it is super hot. today is the day that the Canícula starts. Or the hottest 40 days of the year. So this next week is going to be super got and then we have another transfer. And if I don´t get transferred to Saltillo I will have like 33 more days of it, because Saltillo doesn´t have a Canícula.
The highlight of the week was definitely Sunday! We had a lot of people come to Church this week which was super nice because we weren´t really expecting it. We were also able to finnaly confirm Lourdes! she was baptized a few weeks ago, but she has just been having a lot of opposition lately so she hasn´t been able to come the last few weeks. The other missionaries had a confirmation as well this week. So we had two confirmations and both companionships had an investigator come to church as well! Elder Vera and I taught the Primary again. The lesson was on the Restoration, and it went very well!
Our zone actually had a really great week! we had 3 baptisms and 2 confirmations. It is great to see all of these people coming unto Christ by deciding to take part in these sacred ordinances and making covenants with our Heavenly Father! 
Today was way to hot to fish, so we haven´t really done much. But the mission offices sent me a bag of candy for my Birthday so that was cool. There were some really good ones, but some strange ones as well.
Elder Earl

Transfer 4 week 4 July 7 2014

This week was definitely one of the fastest weeks that I have had here on the mission. We had quite a few lessons this week, and I can feel myself getting more and more comfortable with speaking Spanish. It is hard to believe that there is only two more weeks in this transfer! And what is even harder to believe is that I actually hit the 5 month mark this last week. That was super crazy!

The other Elders in Zaragoza had a baptism this week. Her name is Yolanda, and she is a very sweet lady, but one side of her body is completely paralyzed. She had a lot of doubts about whether or not she could be baptized becuse of that, but she ended up making the decision to be baptized. Elder Hutchins asked me to give an impromtu talk on the Holy Ghost. It wasn´t perfect. But I think that it was good enough. It was much better than my last impromtu talk I gave in my first transfer. But the most amazing thing was how happy she looked after the baptism! She said that she had some doubts beforehand, but that now she is sure that she did the right thing.

The Fourth of July was also this week. Happy Fourth of July Everyone! My day was pretty sweet on the Fourth! It was exactly like every other day. I actually forgot all about the holiday. But today when I found out after reading my sisters email, I said the Pledge of Allegiance in my head so don´t worry I am still American. 

Today was pretty fun! We got to go back to the ranch of Hermano De la Cruz. They fed us a whole bunch, and then we went to the river and skipped rocks and fished for a while. I had a really good time. 

Elder Earl

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Transfer 4 Week 3 June 30 2014

This week ended up being pretty good. A little bit dissapointing as well though. My Birthday was this week, and it was great! Elder Vera, Elder Lopez, and Elder Hutchins surprised me with a cake in the morning, and sang me Happy Birthday. And when I say in the morning I mean in the morning. It was at 6:30 a.m. And then when I got home, we made the cake that my parents sent me, and it was super good!

We also did another activity on my Birthday that ended up being really sweet! All four of us went to the Plaza of Zaragoza at 6 for the sole purpose of placing Book of Mormons. I have to admit that I was super nervous at first, but it ended up being a really good experience. All together we gave out about 10 books. I personally did two of them. My spanish wasn´t perfect, but both of them understood me and they both accepted the Book and said that they would read it. And I was able to share my testimony with them about the truthfullness of the Book of Mormon. And how it is one of the ways that God has shown his love for us, His children. It really was a great experience.

This week would have been stupendous, if Mexico didn´t have a game in the World Cup yesterday during Church. Not many people showed up. But I understand that it is not easy to look at things in the Eternal Perspective. But when we do, we can see what is really important in this life. Which is Family, Church, and giving service to others.

Mexico lost in the Super Bowl yesterday, so it just kind of feels sad today. I didn´t really think that that was possible, but the environment just feels sad. But we talked to someone today who said that the President of Fifa might have Mexico and The Netherlands play again. I don´t understand why, but that is what he said. It might have just been wishful thinking.

Today we went Fishing again. I caught one fish. And my companion caught Three Turtles! luckily we didn´t kill any of the turtles this time. So we took a picture and then let them go free. 

So I guess all in all this week was good. 
Elder Earl