Sunday, December 28, 2014


Me, Angie, Alejandro, Elder Hernandez
The Ramirez Family
We had two baptisms this week. We had Alejandro Ramirez, who is part of a family we have been teaching for 3 months now. The rest of his family is at the end of the month or in January. The other is Angie Guttirerez. We have been working to reactivate the family and they are now coming to church every week. For their baptisms, I had two surprises. The first was during the ordinance, when the doors were closed, I was in the FREEZING cold water with Alejandro. Then, when the doors were opened, President Swapp was standing there, instead of the Bishop. I was just like, oh, ok, the Missions President is here for the baptism, that's cool, don't mess up the ordinance in spanish now... But it went fine. The other fun part was when Angie was baptized. Immediately after she was baptized, she said,"This is Cold!" and rushed out of the font. It was hilarious but I couldn't do more than smile and chuckle. We otherwise had a good week, we found a few new investigators and had some success getting the members more involved in the mission work. We are still working on that part but it is slowly improving.
Dad is probably cringing at this picture.

We had a service project. I like to help whenever we can or whenever we are asked. That is one of the reasons that I am out here is to help others. We did some home improving, clearing, and some painting. 

Area in divisions.
Activity today.  
Elder Rincon
Chinese food for only $6.
Domiguez Family
Elder Montoya,Klemetson, me, Sister Hapuc, Fernandez, Hokansen, Leskas
Working in my notebook.
 We also had a Christmas activity at the temple that was wonderful. It was the youth playing in an orchestra and singing and it was obvious that they spent a lot of time practicing. I am otherwise looking forward to Chrstmas and love you all.

Friday, December 12, 2014


Johan getting baptized.
I had a good 5 days after the last email session.  We went on divisions again for the baptismal intervews so I was in a new area for a day on Friday.  It is nice to see new people and watch how others teach to get ideas for how I can improve my own technique.  My companion, Elder Urtecho, is really good at talking to people and explaining the doctrine.
Coke sleigh. Coke is very big here.

We also had a baptism yesterday, whoot!    Mari and Johan really liked the baptism.  It was a very good meeting with the church members and Johan enjoyed it after the fact, he was too nervous before-hand.  But now Mari is looking even more forward to her Baptism on the 21st so it was a great day.  But anyway, yeah, super hyped for the rest of the month as we have a baptism for every week.   I memorized the baptismal ordinance in the MTC and looked it over again beforehand.  The hard part is remembering the names here because they sometimes have 4-6 names.  I can do most of the blessings in spanish, I am just not comfortable with the wording on them yet.

The District.

 You guys ask me for pics every week but I like to see some too!  I started a workout with my companion on this video called Insanity!  Never again, I couldnt walk for 20 minutes afterwards.

My apartment.

Close up at temple.

The Zone.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Zone activity.
My study area.
I like my area a lot, it is pretty small so I have seen all of it already and we walk everywhere, but it is nice.  The people are really friendly, and even when they dont want to hear our message, they listen politely and then say no thanks, so it is different here to Chicago or other areas in our mission.  The weather is definately different.  It is hot one day, cold the next, and rains very sporadically.  I miss the snow already.  I can live with the cold, the heat is terrifying.  They dont have air conditioning or heating, the kitchen is about the size of your bathroom and we only have an electric stove, and the fridge is college size.

We had a lot of good lessons this week.  We have 3 baptismal dates, with two of them being really positive now. It is the Familia Maria de Jesus.  I am super excited for them, I can already see the changes in their lives from the gospel. 
We don't do anything for Thanksgiving here I think, it isn't a holiday in Mexico.  Which is surprising frankly considering how many holidays they do celebrate.  They have had over 8 fiestas since I have been here, so either it is this time of year or they like fiestas.   They are a celebrating kind of people.  My companion and I are getting along fine, commuication is a struggle at times but it normally means I get to play pictionary for a bit. We have been trying to help each other learn the language, so he sort of understands English now, but he cant speak much of it, same for me with Spanish.  I am at the point now where I can understand when a word stops and starts, but not what the word actually is.  

The mail here is very slow so you can send your Christmas card now and I may get it by Christmas.  Have a great week!
Entrance by house.

Mountains on a clear day.

More mountains.


Zone activity

Good morning!

Very windy day.

So windy.  

Sunday, November 9, 2014


My first companion Elder Hernandez
The mountains are awesome here.  The ones in Utah are rock with some shrubs, the ones here are covered in trees and look amazing.  I am looking forward to getting started in the work.  I know I am as ready as I can be at this point, all that is left is to get to work.  So my first week has been great.  I am still trying to figure out how we get around but I sort of know where things are now.  I have met most of the members in the ward (area he is in) now and all of our investigators.  We have 8 or so investigators right now so we visit 4 everyday and spend the rest teaching inactive or less active members or finding contacts and references.

The people here are really humble and kind. The area I am in is more of a suburb of Monterrey and is fairly tiny.  Houses and buildings are never over 2 stories except for large convenience stores(Malls).  We use buses and taxis to get around in Mexico.  They drive like maniacs.  I mean really, the first 3 days were interesting learning how the traffic works here.  In terms of driving hierarchy, it goes buses, taxis, cars, bikes, people, with motorcycles mixing in somewhere between bus and car.  But I am used to it now and it is fun now.

My companion is Elder Hernandez.  He is the first in his family to serve a mission and is from Tijuana. He has 4 siblings and is a convert to the church along with his family.  He has 14 months in the mission, so he isn't new. He likes English pop songs but hasn't the slightest idea what the lyrics are or how to say them which is funny.  He just substitutes the words he doesn't know with whatever other English word he happens to know. Otherwise, he is a good companion.  He helps me understand the context of a question asked and answers what questions I have on proper grammar.

 I met Justin´s teacher Ashley, not sure what else to tell.  IT isn't scary here, just different. The people are all much poorer than even the poorest American I have met yet they act like they have more than we do.  I haven't been sunburned yet but I use sunscreen everyday so I don't expect it to happen soon.  The language isn't harder to speak, but definitely harder to understand.  the speed they speak at is faster, they have thicker accents, etc.  but I enjoy it.  I think I will have it by the end of November, but that is a ways off yet.
View from my apartment.

Fuse blew out my first day.

Justin's teacher from the MTC.  She probably thought he was coming back for seconds.

My district.


Sunday, October 26, 2014


The District
I am feeling pretty ready to go, just not too confident in my Spanish still, but I am better now.  I am definitely going, there weren't any problems with my visa or passport. I am the Travel Leader for our group of 10.  We leave here at around 3:40 AM, and our first plane to Fort Worth, TX is at 8:10 AM, so 9:10 for you guys.   We arrive in Dallas around 11:50(12:50) and then have a layover until 2:20(3:20)  depending on how fast we get through international customs.  

I am doing fine.  I am itching at this point to be gone from the MTC. I like it here, but I really just want to get down to Mexico and start learning and teaching.  

El Nativo winner
I did indeed win the Nativo, though it came down to an arm wrestling competition between myself and Elder Long. My entire district is going to the same mission, so my companion and everyone else leave with me. 

We haven't done too much this week either, mostly packing and planning. But yeah, we also had a talk by Elder Carlos Godoy of the 70 that was uplifting and really funny.  Alma 26:22, read the principles and blessings there for missionaries and also Moroni 8:1-3, though liken Moroni to yourself, and you will have an idea of what the lesson was.