Monday, November 30, 2015

KFC for Thanksgiving :)

Hey guys!! How was thanksgiving? Dang i miss that - there isnt such a thing as thanksgiving here. We went to KFC, and that was about as good as it gets down here :p There was kind of a black friday, but nothing has been really crazy down here. 

They say the week from Christmas until New Years is the most wild though - apparently we arent allowed to leave the house for two days or something when that time comes. We have permission to try and bribe the members into lending us their monopoly board games and stuff to keep us company, I think. We will see when it comes to that. 

They make these giant paper machet people and blow them up with firecrackers is what I have heard goes down. But these paper machet people and stuff they make can be ginormous. There are some guys building an Iron Man that is taller than a 4 story building next to one of the churches in our zone, and they have only built from the belly up so far. I will try to take some pictures if I can.

We also visited an iguana park today. I will try to send pictures if I can! we got them to crawl all over my companions and I, which was pretty freaky at first, but turned out super cool! I havent gotten to eat one yet, or any guinea pigs (sorry Sarah), but I am still remaining hopeful.

As for lessons this week, we were able to set a baptismal date with Maria this week! We are shooting for the 2nd of January, if all goes well. She has been to church like 5 times, so we could baptise her this Saturday, but shes got some idea where she wants to start a new life with the new year. Sweet! I´ll take that any other day than not! We also have a baptismal date set for a lady who is less than two weeks from giving birth. (that one might fall for a later date). She is super excited about it though! We´ll see what happens there. 

Well, I miss you guys all so much! Christmas just wont be the same without all the wild adventures in the snow we have back at home, what with pulling sleds behind fourwheelers and stuff. Love you guys and miss you guys! Stay good yall

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ketchup and Mayonnaise

So, to start off, I think I am starting to get used to all the food here. Things that might have sounded a little weird or gross back home seem pretty sensible and idealistic here. My companion taught me this neat trick where i cook up a bunch of ramen and mix it in with ketchup and scrambled eggs and mayonaise. (spelling?) its the best! as a matter of fact, we pretty much mix ketchup and mayo into about everything we eat here. Rice and soup, pretty much. sometimes chicken. I dont know how they do it down here. 

Has Jack Betzold left to Hawaii yet? I havent heard anything on that. Anyone got an update?

Ok, so for the week: This Saturday, my companion and I baptised the brother of Thomas, Joseph. It was a pretty neat experience. He has been through some pretty rough stuff in his life, and we had some work to do to get him to the baptismal font. However, when he came out of the water, just like the others, it was cool to see the way he had changed, and how the past at that point was back behind him. This guy, if you didnt know, is a gym-monkey, and when he hugged me afterward i swear he almost broke me. But other than that, everything went pretty great.

We are working with a lady whose name is Maria del Carmen Tapia. Heres the thing. She has listened to the missionaries a few times, come to church with us 5 or 6 times, and we havent been able to set a baptismal date with her. Well, we set three, but her daughters are very against it, and each time she somehow fell through. In our christmas conference for the mission, we talked about how family history can be essential to helping others convert to the gospel, and so, that is what my companion and i are going to strive for. We have taught her about family search, which she is very interested in, and next, we will teach her about family history and temple work, and how she can do the work for her parents and family, of which many have passed on, in the temple - after she is baptised a member of the church. That might sound kind of funny, but that is the sort of inspiration and revelation my companion and i believe she needs to go forward with faith in the Gospel. 

Well, another week down, about to finish my first 11 weeks in the mission (tomorrow, excluding the time in the MTC). I am loving it, and I love you all and miss you all! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

All is Well...

I was able to catch Jonny online while he was writing and ask him about the car accident last week.  He and his companion were passengers in a taxi and it was a minor accident.  Jonny was in the back seat and was not hurt at all.  Phew!

DUDE Alberto!!! Welcome to the club man! I was so pumped when I scrolled down and saw that picture! I dont know if youll get the chance to read this or not, but I want you to know how happy I am for you! youre on the right track man. Whether you realize it or not, you have just made one of the biggest and best decisions of your life, one that you will never regret, not in this life or the next. Los angeles estan fiestando para ti en los cielos, mi amigo. I love ya man! if you get the chance, write me will ya? (Alberto is a Young Man that was goalie on Jonny's soccer team.  He got baptized here in Middleton on Saturday.  He's originally from Mexico).

Well, theres nothing super crazy going on right now, mostly just preoparing the baptism for the brother of Thomas, Joseph! (funny how the two brothers have the names of the first prophet of the restored church, as well as the living)! They're  both the coolest guys, and I've kind of told you how we met them right? through contacting their mom (not the old lady in the picture). we're working with the rest of the family, some cousins, some friends, and others living around them. We have also found a good bunch of less active members, that are so cool just have such a problem waking up in time for church. Through them, we have been working with their families and friends, and have set baptismal dates for some of them. Just goes to show how one person, or family, can really make a difference in changing the lives of others for the better. 

One of the things missionaries need the most is help form the members. Please, please please continue to invite ´people to meet the missionaries! Share what you know, a brief little testimony of the restored gospel, and it could make a real difference! That's how brigham young was converted, by the way. Love you guys, hope everything is going good back at home, and just know that i am here, i am safe, and i am loving the work!!

Jonny is in an area called Garcia Morena

Thomas Pangonis' Baptism

Ha Ha!  I can tell there has been some tie swapping going on!

You can't take the soccer out of the Missionary!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Keep Those Angels Close!

Opposing Forces....I keep praying that Angels of Safety prevail - any maybe that Jonny gets transferred to an area with NO CARS!  Walking and bicycles sound good to me!

Woah, this has been a great week! pretty crazy, actually, as compared to the last one. I will be somewhat brief, because I am short on time, so.. well, here we go!

So I had my second baptism this week! An 18 year old named Thomas. We met him through contacting his mom. We invited her to general conference way back when, and she came, and thomas decided to come along! since then, hes been super proactive with the lessons, reading the book of Mormon day and night, and Saturday, he asked me to be the one to baptise him! Hes the coolest guy ever, and if i have the chance to send pictures today, i will! were working with the rest of his family right now. his brother has a set date for the 21 of November, and we are working with the parents, but they have some complicated marriage and past divorce/non-divorce problems. maybe ill explain that later. also the cousins and relatives are looking promising too.

So mom, before you freak out, I want you to know that my companion and I are 100% ok. I got in another car accident. it wasnt too bad, just a little sort of bump in the road, but it was enough to shake my companion up pretty good. We had to take a couple of days off while the assistants made sure that we were ok and stuff, but were all fine, mentally and physically! the point is, i dont know if anyone informed you (mom) but just know that I am perfectly safe and sound.

I think its pretty easy to see that there are two separate opposing forces in missionary work. One, Satan and his dirty minions trying to hinder it,two, Heavenly Father taking care of us with his angels. But dont worry, the good always reins triumphant! Just food for thought, gotta go, take care!

"Tranquilo" Halloween, Rice and Soup

Ooops!  I forgot to post this last week!

Hey guys! Another week in the work gone by! This week has been good, although I can't really say that anything super incredible has happened. I mean, yeah we had halloween, but halloween here is very "tranquilo" here. They dont go all out like they do in the united states, just a couple people wearing costumes and stuff here and there. So, we had to just have kinda our own fiesta in our room. Basically, that meant we downed a bunch of coca cola and ate lots of food. Yep pretty sad.

Speaking of food, all we ever eat down here is rice and soup. The funny thing is that these people have thought up a million different ways to cook it. The thing that isnt funny is that its hard to not get fat. So far, Ive been doing alright, but we had a reunion for all the people who have been out for the same time as I have, and you wouldnt believe how much theyve changed. I didnt recognize one of my good friends from the MTC at first because he had really put on some weight. Thats one of the biggest things Im afraid of happening-not so much the fact that theres a possibility some guy might try to chase me down with a machete or something, but the fact that if im not careful i might not be able to outrun him. 

The other problem is my companion doesnt care one bit. I try to get him out of the house every morning to go for a run or something, and I just cant do it. Dont get me wrong, he is a hard worker, and we're doing really well together, but he hates excercise. Maybe when I have a new companion here in 8 weeks or so (because thats how long he has left in his mission) that will be different. Speaking of new companion, theres a chance I might train after I am done with him! 

The thing here is after someone finishes their first 12 weeks here, sometimes president has them train a new missionary. The Assistants to the President came and did an assesment with me, and then later told my companion that I'd be ready to train soon. The problem is i dont know how I feel about that.. like, there is so much i need to learn. not only the spanish language, but scriptures, rules, and the life of the missionary. talking with people, teaching in simple ways that they can understand, and really making a difference. But who knows, if im ready, then i will train. if not, well i wont be very disapointed. Sure, it would be awesome to have my first son (thats what they say in the mission when you train someone), but i hope i can be qualified enough to really help them be a great missionary.