Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Transfer 7 Week 6 November 24 2014

Well this transfer has officially ended, and I fell like I ended it pretty well. And I am excited for the next transfer as well.

We started the week with divisions. My district leader Elder Harris came to my area with me, and my companion Elder Martinez went to the other area for the day. The day actually went super well. I learned a lot of things from Elder Harris. He is a really good missionary. The day wasn´t perfect, but we got a lot done. And we contacted a few people that might end up progressing as well. At the end of the day we sat down and talked about what we did, and we gave eachother suggestions on how to improve with teaching and things like that. But he told me that overall he was really impressed with the way that I knew my area and the way that I taught. Which is always good news. 

The rest of the week went by really well and really fast. We had a really interesting day yesterday though. We started the day with the reagular Church Services. We had the confirmation of Amalia during sacrament meeting, the lady that was baptized last week. The Bishop of our ward performed the ordinace. It was really nice. After sacrament meeting we taught the Plan of Salvation to our investigator Roman. It went really well and he has decided to be baptized in two weeks! 

After the church services we spent most of the day visiting the members and recent converts in the area so Elder Martinez could say goodbye. And then he started to pack up his suitcases. Until we got a phone call at like 9:30. It was one of the assistants. He told us that Elder Martinez was going to stay here in Mundo Nuevo but that he had to go to Saltillo on Monday because he is going to train a new missionary, and that I was going to be changed to a different area. That was super surprising because I only have one transfer here. But they did not tell me where I was going.

Today I got all of my bags packed and everything in the morning and Elder Martinez got all ready to go to Saltillo untill we got my change. Tomorrow I am going to an area called Cualtemoc. It is in Piedras Negras, and is only a few roads away from my house here in Mundo Nuevo. Which is super strange because I am not even going to move to a different district. My companion is going to be Elder Martinez (Same name as my last companion but a different missionary) And I actually know him pretty well because we have been in the same district for the last 6 weeks. He is from Mexico City and does not know English. Which is fine. After being with another gringo for the last six weeks I know that it is a lot easier when one of you is a native spanish speaker.  

My change is kind of wierd, but I am glad that I get to stay in Piedras Negras. it is cool here. 

Elder Earl

Monday, November 17, 2014

Transfer 7 Week 5 November 17 2014

Well I actually had a really great week this week, because of the success that we were able to have.

We basically had a normal week up until Friday. We started the day with two baptismal interviews! One was our investigator named Concepción and the other with our investigator Amalia. Amalia is the mother of the woman that we baptized last week Sandra. We are also teaching her brothers Carlos and Julian so pretty soon the whole family will be members of the church, It was a really great feeling to see how much the whole family has progressed. When I first arrived here Amalia didn´t even want to be baptized. But slowly she was able to see how much the gospel could help her and her family and she finally accepted after seeing the baptism of her daughter and grandson last week. And now almost all the members of the family are taking the missionary lessons from us. 

Concepción was baptized on saturday by the bishop of the ward here, and on sunday Amalia was baptized by my companion Elder Martinez. On sunday we also had the confirmations of Concepción, Sandra, and Jonatan. The bishop performed the ordinance for Concepción, Elder Martinez for Jonatan, and I did it for Sandra. It was a really neat experience! It was actually my first time ever confirming and it was my companions first time as well. The Spirit was so strong! 

On Friday we also had a zone conference, which actually ended up being really cool! I always look forward to hearing my President speak! He is just such a knowledgable and spiritual guy! I learned a lot! and he motivated me to keep trying to improve everyday, as a missionary, and as a person in general. We had the conference with the zone called Nueva Rosita, so there was a bunch of missionaries who needed to stay with the missionaries here. Elder Burrell (Pronounced Burl) and Elder Torres (Not my old companion) slept over at our house. They are super cool guys! I was glad to get the chance to meet them. Elder Burrell only has 7 more weeks until he goes home!

This is the last week of the transfer, so we will get our changes next Monday. It is highly probable that I will stay here. My companion thinks that he is leaving, but I wouldn´t be surprised if we stay together for another transfer.

Hope you all have a great week

Elder Earl

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Transfer 7 Week 4 November 10 2014

Well this week was actually really great! We had a lot of success and I was able to have some really cool experiences.

On Tuesday after our district meeting we did divisions with some other Elders in our zone. There names are Elder McCann and Elder Murphy. Elder McCann is actually going home in like 2 weeks, and Elder Murphy is only in his second transfer here in Mexico. McCann came to my area with Elder Martinez, and I went to their area with Elder Murphy. It was actually a really great experience, because I have never done divisions with an american with less time than I have. Elder Murphy is a really smart guy, but he just doesnt know much Spanish yet because of how little time he has here. He is not any worse than I was when I had as much time as he has though. It was really fun being the one that could talk better.The people just seem to kind of respect you more. We had a really good day and I definitely learned a whole bunch.

The rest of the week was just kind of normal. We had quite a few lessons and contacts, but nothing too spectacular until Friday when we had the Baptismal Interviews of our investigators Sandra and Jonatan. Jonatan is Sandra´s son and they are both just really good people. They were both baptized yesterday. My companion Elder Martinez baptized Sandra, and I baptized Jonatan. It was a really great experience. But there were a lot of dificulties with teaching them. Them and their whole family have never gone to school. None of them can read or write, and it usually would take a long time for them to understand the messages that we shared with them. But they never stopped trying to understand, and they have trully progressed a lot. Sandra and Jonatan were more than ready to be baptized yesterday, and Sandra´s mother Amalia is going to be baptized on Saturday along with another one of our investigators! So there is a lot of work to do here in Piedras Negras!

So in all we actually had 7 investigators in the Church yesterday! which is the most I have ever had!

In two weeks, two more missionaries are going to be put in my ward Mundo Nuevo. So we have to split my area in half as well as look for a house for the new elders. So far we have not found a house for them.

A couple of days ago we heard like a huge explosion type noise that was really weird, It made the windows in the house that we were in shake. but we had no idea what it was. We have heard a lot of people tell us that it was a meteorite that landed somewhere near Piedras Negras. Many people have claimed to see a green streak of light in the sky before hand. So I guess that I am fairly close to a meteroite. I thought that that was pretty interesting. You can go look it up.

Elder Earl

Monday, November 3, 2014

Transfer 7 Week 3 November 03 2014

Well we actually had a really great week this week and we had a lot of sucess. I cant believe that this transfer is already half way over!

We had a lot of success this last Tuesday and Wednesday. We did a lot of really good street contacts and we got 8 new investigators! all in just two days. On Tuesday in the morning we contacted a guy named Sergio. He seemed really cool and he said that we could go to his house to talk some day. He told us that he was from the state of Michoacan. Later we contacted another guy named Juan who is also from Michoacan. And it turns out that they are brothers! So that was pretty crazy.

Halloween was also this week. I would say that in most areas of Mexico the people do not celeberate it. But because I am so close to Texas, there were a lot of kids on the street knocking doors for candy. It is kind of funny because they say triki triki when they knock on the doors because they dont understand trick or treat. But holloween is definitely not as big as it is in the States. Not everyone celebrates it. 

Sunday was a pretty weird day. No one told us that it was daylight savings time here in Mexico so we arrived to church and nobody was there. We were really confused. The rest of the day went pretty well. 

There is a guy that is always walking around in our area that is literally crazy. He is super short and he has smoked so much that he talks in a whisper all the time. And he knows English. He looks just like Gollum from Lord of the Rings if Gollum was Mexican. On Sunday he found us and started to talk to us. Everytime he finds us he talks to us for about half an hour. But this time it was a little bit stranger. He was trying to talk me into getting a blood test. Because he was telling me that he is my long lost father. It was really uncomfortable. And my comp didnt help at all, because he was just laughing the whole time.

But I guess if nothing else good happens in the mission, at least I found my dad.

This week we are going to have at least two baptisms. Three if our other investigator decides that she is ready. I will talk about them next week.

Elder Earl

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Transfer 7 Week 2 October 27 2014

Well this week was pretty good. I am getting used to be here in my new area in Piedras Negras even though it was super hot this week. And I am really getting along really well with my companion so that is great too. It is really fun having an american companion! We teach well together as well. Everyone is always complimenting us on our Spanish. And the members are usually surprised that I have only been speaking Spanish for 8 months. So that feels pretty good.

The week started out super wierd, because my comp went to Saltillo on Monday and didn´t get back until tuesday night. So I was with my District Leader Elder Harris and his companion Elder Morales. It was cool, but I would just rather work in my own area.

That kind of ruined Wednesday as well because my companion had to do some things that he wasnt able to do on monday like wash his clothes and buy food and stuff. So we didnt get to have a full day of work in our area until Thursday.

We had a lot of work to do this week. We are going to have two baptisms for sure on the 9th of November. It is our investigator Sandra and her son Jonathan! And Sandra´s mom Emilia will probably be baptized as well, but she wants to think about it for a little while longer. They are super cool and humble people. They never went to school so they can not read. Our Ward Mission Leader is super cool, so he is actually teaching them to read. He has a class with them two times a week. They really want to learn how to read so that they can read the scriptures!

This week we recieved a refferral from one of the members, so we went to contact her. Her name is Brenda and it seems like she is going to progress very fast. We left her a pamphlet when we contcted her. And when we went back she had read the whole thing and she had a page full of questions that she wrote down. Which made the teaching a lot easier. She understands things very quickly, and she says that all of the things that we say just make sense to her. so we are going to have a good time teaching her, and hopfully the rest of her family will accept talking to us as well.

Elder Earl

Transfer 7 Week 1 October 20 2014

Well I actually had a really great week. It was a great way to start out a transfer!
So on Tuesday I got all ready in the morning and arrived at the bus station at like 7 in the morning. and then I got onto my bus. It was a good bus ride. I was with about 7 other missionaries all going to different áreas in the misión. And after a super boring 8 hour bus ride I arrived in Piedras Negras. There I met my companion. His name is Elder Martínez and he is from...Utah. I was pretty excited to see that I had an american companion. I was hoping that I would have at least one. He seems to be super cool and I think that we will get along very well. He has been here for like 14 months. And he did not know spanish before he came here. But he speaks spanish really well, he has a really good accent.
My área seems to be really cool. It is called Mundo Nuevo (New World) and it is the closest área in Piedras Negras to Texas. I could literally walk to Texas in 10 minutes from my house. Another thing that is kind of cool is that there is only two missionaries in my Ward here. I have always been in wards with 4 missionaries so far. So we have a lot of work. It is already clear that we are going to have baptisms this change.
The next day we had our first zone meeting. I like my zone, there are a lot of americans. there are only 3 latinos in my district. So that is kind of wierd as well.
The rest of the week was pretty normal. I was just getting to know the members and the área and the invetigators and everything. And we commited a family of three to be baptized on the 9th! So that is exciting. And they all went to church yesterday as well.
Last night we got a call saying that my companion has to go to Saltillo today. He is leaving in like an hour. So I am going to be with my district leader for the next two days.
Elder Earl

Transfer 6 Week 6 October 13 2014

Well another transfer has ended and we received our changes today! I will let you know what is gonna happen at the end of the email. I forgot to mention that like a week ago I hit the 8 month mark! Which means that I am already a third of the way done with my mission. Which is exciting but also kind of scary. There is still a lot of things that I want to do as a full-time missionary. I can´t waste any time!

This last week was super cool! A great way to end a trasfer. We have been planning  a missionary activity in the ward for the last couple of weeks. So we were preparing for that basically the whole week. What we did was collect a bunch of used Church magazines (Liahonas) from the members that live here. We took the ones that were in good shape and pasted a map showing where the church was on the back. Then on Saturday we went out to different parts of the area to contact people, give out liahonas, and invite them to listen to the missionaries. About 20 members came. Which was fine we would have liked to have more but we made do. I ended up being partnered with one of the Young Men in the ward. His name is Lalo, and his is 15. I was a little nervous at first because usually I have my native speaking companion with me to help me out when the going gets rough, but everything went very well. I had a really good time actually. We contacted a few crazy people which was bound to happen, but a few really good ones as well! And we even contacted a inactive member of the church. So all in all we had a lot of success with the activity.

Today was also a week of some pretty crazy contacts. First a lady who aparently fasted for 30 days straight and was trying to tell us that it is a sin for women to wear pants and that they should wear dresses all the time. She was talking for a good 30 minutes without letting us say anything. Then a man who aparently has a lunatic for a son. He told me that he thinks that i will be able to help him because I look like I have dealt with a lot of lunatics is my past. Whatever that means. And then another man who told me that he goes to heaven on a regular basis, and then told me that heaven doesnt exist. It was an interesting week.

Well dont have much more to say except for the changes. a week ago I had an interview with the President. I told him that I wanted to stay in my area for a least another transfer. He told that he was pretty sure that I was staying in my area with the same companion but he was going to see what the Lord says. Aparently the Lord said otherwise, because tomorrow I am going to take an 8 hour bus ride to Piedras Negras. I was a little sad at first, but I do know that my President does recieve revelation directly from the Lord when he does the changes. And I know that if i am going to Piedras Negras it is because that is where He needs me right now. I am a little excited. Piedras Negras isnt as big as Saltillo but it is still really big. And it is on the border of Mexico and Texas, so i will be really close to the United States and all. Everyone says that Piedras Negras is basically the United States so it should be fun. But it is still like super hot there. But Whatever.

Elder Earl