Week 59 ‘Broken AC!’

Yo! I’ll keep praying for Mama!  I’m hugging her in my mind!  She got dis!! It’s been a good week here. A little bit of rain here and there.  It’s starting to cool down a little bit.  But our AC broke so its 90 degrees in our apartment!  We can handle it cuz we’re used to the heat.  Plus the Jansen fam brought some fans over so that helped a ton!  A guy should be coming today to fix it.  We did 3 days of meetings as a zone this week.  It was a mini version of the 3 day meeting that we had in McAllen.  So now we’re all spiritually fed a ready to go!  2 kids from an inactive family came to church for their 5th time this Sunday!  If kids are coming without their parents they have to come to church 8 times before they get baptized, so they’re gonnu get baptized in 3 weeks!  We’re pumped!  Their names are Alik and Zera.  Also we found a guy named Daniel, who we found our very first week here.  He moved and we lost contact, but we found him again the other night and we’re so pumped!  He’s super awesome! He and his girlfriend Alisha are 18 and they have a baby boy.  Our lessons with them were going really well 3 months ago so we’re excited to work with them again!  How are the girls doing?  I love u guys!  How’s my tuff mama?  U should catch up on 24 while ur recovering!  How are the horsies?

Week 58 ‘Back to Edinburg!’

Sounds like you guys have had some crazy weeks! Ya Elder Acosta and I are still here with the white people in Harlingen!  It’s funny, I’ve been out here for 13 months and I still feel like i just got here. Time just flies by so insanely fast on the mission!  My Spanish has gotten slightly rusty since I’ve left, just cuz I hardly ever speak it.  It’s still pretty good though.  I’m just forgetting words here and there, but Elder Acosta and I have been speaking Spanish to each other a few hours a day to practice. I miss speaking Spanish and just the Mexican culture in general!  I love the people here a ton, but if I go to a Spanish speaking area i’ll be pumped haha.

I had a really awesome week!  We had 3 days of meetings in McAllen with our Mission President, President Maluenda. He’s is an incredible man! We learned about a lot of great things, like how to show our faith through actions, to always look for opportunities to serve people, to plan well so that we can use the Lord’s time effectively, and just overall how to be better people and better missionaries! It was so awesome.  I learned so much it’s ridiculous!  I have pages and pages of notes and now I just hope I can actually remember all the stuff so I can apply it haha. So during those three days I stayed in Edinburg, where I was the first 3 months of my mission!  I stayed in the same apartment that I lived in before and got to see some of my friends from there!  It felt so weird to be back there!  At the meeting I got to see my old companion, Elder Johnson.  I’ve missed that fool! And there were some crazy lightning storms.  I’ve never seen that much lighting in my life!  It poured super hard, and on Friday when I was back in Harlingen with Elder Acosta we were heading down a path on our bikes to an appointment we had and all of a sudden we got to a part that was completely flooded, so we were like ‘oh shoot’, but if we turned around we would be super late to our appointment.  So we decided to just go for it even though we couldn’t even see where the flooding ended.  When we first started riding through the water it was just a few inches deep, but it slowly got deeper and deeper until it was up above our knees.  At that point we just said YOLO!!  It was probly about 50 yards or so and we were just soaked after.  It felt great though cuz it was so hot outside!  So then we went the rest of the day with wet pants and shoes. We got a lot of weird looks.  Good times!
That’s so cool that the girls wanted to go to the temple!  Awesome!  They’re spiritual studs!  And that’s awesome that u headed that service project… ur so cool dad!  I love that story about Paul too.  I’ve never heard that scripture. I wrote it down so I can share it with people this week.  This week has been so awesome!!!  It was so cool to see Sister Cavasos!!  And Karla and Geu and Olga were there too! Geu is a 10 year old boy that me and Elder Johnson baptized!  We were joking and laughing the whole time and it was so much fun!  We ate menudo, which I hate.  It’s a soup with cow stomach in it and its super chewy and smells like poop, like it literally smells like a sewer,  but I loved it cuz it was Mexican food and it made me realize I’ve actually missed the challenge of eating food I don’t want to eat!  And it was awesome to see Elder Johnson!!  President Maluenda blew my mind in the meetings this week.  He’s amazing!  I learned so many great things and I’m so excited to make great changes!  I love you guys!  I’ll see if i can borrow a cord that works with this camara so I can send pics!  I love you!

Week 57 ‘Fake Russian and 3 Day!’

Hola!!  We had a great week this week!  Elder Galloso got transferred to Sinton which is the northern part of our mission so we were sad about that, but Elder Riding is training a greenie!!  He’s awesome!  His name is Elder Klamm and he’s from Wyoming.  When he first got here Elder Acosta made him think he’s Russian.  Elder Acosta speaks really good fake Russian, and speaks English and Spanish with a good Russian accent, its hilarious!  So he had Elder Klamm convinced for like a day and a half and then he gave up.  Good times.   This week we are going to have 3 Day, which is three days of meetings in McAllen for the district and zone leaders.   We’re gunnu head down a few hours early today so we can go visit some families in Alamo!!!  I’m pumped!  Elder Ward is my zone leader, and he’s one of the missionaries who baptized the Cavasos family, so we’re gunnu go visit them together!  Woohoo!!!!  Don’t tell Maria though cuz I think elder ward might want to surprise them.  I love you mi familia!  Que tengan una buena semana! (have a good week)


Week 56 ‘Marriage, Baptism and Tie Digging’

Sounds like y’all had a cray cray week!  I’m excited to check out Alaska it sounds super cool!  My week has been great too!  2 elders in my district, Elder Van Katwyk and Elder Maluia helped a couple named Carlos and Eliza get married and baptized!  It was awesome!  They are super cool people and the missionaries have been teaching them for a few months.  My old district leader Elder Boyer came from Brownsville to see the baptism cuz he was the one who originally started working with them.  I got to do their baptismal interviews which was a really cool experience!  They’re so excited to get married in the temple in a year!  We have transfers tomorrow but we still haven’t heard who’s leaving, Elder Acosta thinks he’s gunnu get transferred to a Spanish ward so he can learn Spanish, my guess is that we are both staying here though.  I’m starting to feel really close to the people here and I don’t want to leave them! Has anyone become Facebook friends with u guys?  Sister street was the one who gave me the message about mailing my camara.  She’s really sweet!  She’s not in my area so I don’t see her very much, but I’ve gone to a few great Family Home Evenings at her house and she can make some mean din din!  You guys should stay in touch with her.

Other news, I don’t know if I already told u guys but I took my son Tie Digging for the first time 2 weeks ago!  We went as a district!  Elder riding knows a member in San Benito who owns a bodega, so he got us some hook ups.  We dug through a pile of ties that was at least 500 pounds!  It was huge!  After picking out the ones we wanted we probly left with like 200 ties, and the guy gave it to us for free!  Then last Monday we spread the ties out all over a room in the church and took turns picking ties.  I didn’t take a lot cuz im kinda picky with ties now haha.  Brands are really important in this mission, we just look for the really expensive ties that are good brands.  I really don’t care about ties or brands at all, it’s just a fun mission tradition!  But I have at least 50 or 60 nice ties from the times I’ve gone digging and from gifts missionaries have given me. But anyways, I love you guys so much!  Have a great semana!

Week 54 ‘Hit 1 Year!’

Hey peeps!  Here’s some pics!  I almost forgot I hit my year mark this week!  Tha’ts cray cray!!  Time is flying by ridiculously fast its so insane!!  The mission is so awesome.  I remember when I was thinking about being a missionary I thought, ‘it will be awesome. I will go serve others for two years and then I will come back being the exact same me that I am now and life will go on and it will be great!’  I now know that that way of thinking was so wrong!  I thought I didn’t need to change.  But the mission has helped me realize and make so many great changes in myself.  I’ve changed a ton and I still have a ton to change!  Learning and changing is so awesome!  I just learn and learn and learn every single day!  It’s so crazy that when I focus on everyone else but myself that’s when I change the most and I receive the most blessings from Heavenly Father!!  Focusing on others and forgetting about myself is still something that i need to improve a lot on, but I have made huge improvements in that as a missionary.  I’m so grateful for this awesome opportunity to learn and grow!  To go along with dad’s email, I’m really grateful that the mission isn’t the easy peaceful fantasy that I thought it would be.  It’s hot, we’re sweaty all the time,  I have to eat food that makes me fat, and I cant work out as much as I want or go to the beach or play water polo or hang out with my friends or go to the movies or bla bla bla but that stuff doesn’t matter.  I wouldn’t trade anything for the experience of serving a mission!  The blessings that the mission brings are incredible!  When i see someone understanding the gospel and feeling the Spirit and acting on the promptings they feel and recognizing the blessings God gives them and acting on faith even if they feel scared and then receiving the reward for having that courage its just so worth it.  I know I’m out here for a reason.  If I can impact the life of just one person and help them come closer to Christ and take the steps to have an eternal family in the kingdom of God, all the heat and the hunger and eating 3 times more food than my stomach can hold and getting yelled at and laughed at and made fun of and having my beliefs challenged and struggling to find people who want to listen to us and struggling to get the members to share the gospel is all worth it.  And the amazing thing is those things all sound pretty bad, but I’m learning to love even those tough things!  Trust me, I’m extremely far from being perfect at having a good attitude all the time and enjoying everything including the tough times, but I AM improving step by step, and that is just so cool. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!