Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Day

Well not much to write this week considering I just spoke with a bunch of the fam. It was a good Christmas. They gave us the good old 'Surprise Elders, you get to speak in church today'. They told us when we got done passing the sacrament so of course there was a whole ton of time to prepare. I was thinking about it though--I always feel better speaking that way. There is no time for nerves to build up and you have to speak by the spirit.

It will be interesting to see how New Year's Eve goes here. I am not looking forward to all the drinking that I am sure will happen but holidays sure keep things interesting. I sent a few random pics of the Christmas stash (I think it's even better as a missionary, haha) and some other pics from the week's events and Christmas day.
I love you all. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Elder K
Thanks for the package. My tie collection is getting pretty big now. The beef jerky is hitting the spot. Thanks for everything. I love you guys very much. Couldn't ask for better parents.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas

Well baptisms dropped a bit this week but we are hoping to be strong through Christmas. It's a lot harder to find people this time of year here in Mexico but we are doing a ton of work with the Joy to the World DVD. Not many can say no to free stuff. We had a woman contact us in the street on Wednesday and to be completely honest I was thinking that it was just another crazy that likes to talk to people in the streets but when we went to her house the next day it was a different story. She is from the state of Hidalgo and she only has 3 weeks living here with her husband. She went to elementry and jr. high in schools of the church and has been to Utah many times. She has seen all of Temple Square and the whole 9 yards. The only thing is that she has never ever been to church. All this contact throughout all of her life with members and the church and no one ever invited her to church. It made me think about all the people that I know that aren't members that I never ever invited to church even though we live in Utah and the church is everywhere. How many chances have I lost to invite? DONT MAKE THAT MISTAKE. The worst that can happen is that they say no. Invite everyone as many times as you can. I got thinking about what Christ would say to me after this life about the people that I never invited that I spent lots of time with. I have realized how much we fall into the 'Oh I live in Utah, eveyone's a member' way of thinking. So start thinking and inviting!
It's wierd to think that this is already my second and last Christmas in the mission. Time has flown by. It feels like forever ago that I was in Calif giving Santa his Book of Mormon.
I love you all and hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Show your true Christmas spirit and your love for our Heavenly Father and our Savior and do MISSIONARY WORK. After all, this is His work and His glory. What better way to show how grateful we are than helping Him do His work?
Love you and thanks for everything,
Elder K

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Walgreens Guy and Other Stories

Well, it was short sleeve weather all week but today has been a little cooler and everyone is saying that its going to start getting pretty chilly but who knows. Everyone here starts putting on big coats and earmuffs when it drops to 50 or 60. Its kinda funny.
Everyone is starting to put up Christmas trees and lights here. In Mexico the 6th of January is a bigger holiday than Christmas. It's when they get all their presents. It's when they say that the three kings came but from what they have told me, here in Monterrey Christmas is bigger because we are so close to the border and it has all been Americanized. The area I am in is a little richer than most areas so everyone can afford trees and the lights.
We had another baptism this last week. I have really felt like these last baptisms we have had I haven't really done much. The Lord just is giving them to us ready to be dunked. It's been cool. I hope we can keep it going. We now have 3 weeks in a row baptizing.
I also put a picture of my zone because we have transfers tomorrow so a lot of them will be changed.
I am glad you got the hand written letter. I had given up hope on that letter. I wrote it in June but hey 6 months later is better than never I guess.
Well, we are entering into one of the hardest months for baptisms. last year in the zone they only baptized 9 this month but we already have 4 and I say we can hit 20 in the month. It doesn't help us much that Christmas day and NewYyears day fall on Sundays but we will do.
This week we went to a store that's called Guadalajara (Mexican Walgreens). We were printing some pics of the baptisms we have had when one of the workers came up to us and ask us ¿Son mormones Usteds? Translation: Are you guys Mormons? We said yes but to be honest I was thinking... Oh great here it comes, no we dont have 7 wifes, Jonas smith was not a God and his name is Joseph Smith and we don't know where the gold plates are. The usual answers we have to give, but I was wrong. He explained to us that he had moved to Monterrey from Mexico City about six months ago and that he hadn't been going to any church for years. He said he got baptized in the Catholic church as a baby and asked us, "Does that realy count? Because I dont think it does." As my mouth drops open he adds, "Do you guys teach about baptism and stuff like that?"... haha well yes we do. We explained a little of what we do and put an appointment for later that day when he got off work.
Later that day as we headed to his house we were feeling good. To help us find his house easier he told us he rented a room behind a green house. He told us the name of the guy that lives in the house because everyone knows him, so with that we found the house in no time but then we knocked.... Out came the owner of the house. Without even giving us a chance to talk he started yelling, "I am Christian, I am Christian!" and slammed the door shut. Talk about going from a super high to a super low. We tried talking to neighbors but no one had heard of the guy we were looking for. So we left sadly with no hope.
The next day we were leaving the house in the morning to go to an appointment when they called us to cancel, talk about salt on an open wond. So we started to walk to go contacting. As I walked sadly I was thinking of who we could visit, out of the corner of my eye I saw a guy walking with some bags in his hand and the thought came 'Oh hey look its the guy from the Guadalajara......Wait a second the guy from the Guadalajara!' He saw us and came over the greet us and get mad that we didn't come yesterday. We explained what happened so he said, "Well come right now then." To put things simply, we taught him and he accepted to get baptized. Story to be continued...
Well, that's it for the week. Love you guys. Hope all is well.
Elder K

Having technical difficulties--zone picture coming soon...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Best Baptism Yet

Well, things are going good. We had a bit of a tough week as a zone but we also had some really cool blessings here in my area.

First was the baptism that we had. Ricardo, the guy I told you guys about a couple weeks ago got baptized...after 8 years! It was soooo cool. I think it was the best baptism I have had in the mission. There were more people in the baptism than in sacrament meeting (ha ha). It was packed, even with people that didn't really know him. The spirit was so strong that I would say at least 50% of the people started crying at some point. It made the hard week worth it.
This week we knocked and knocked and knocked some more and we didn't have any success. It was one of the hardest weeks I have had in months. We really started focusing on being as obedient as possible and kept working...which was super hard when we hit Friday and Saturday nights and still nothing, but we kept knocking. After everything we ended up with no one new at church. We were kinda bumbed but the baptism we had did help a little. Then at about 6 we got a call from the Monterrey East Mission. They told us that someone from their ward was leaving on his mission a week from this Wednesday and that his girlfriend wants him to baptize her before he goes (a.k.a. this Sunday) but she lives in our area. The missionaries there already taught here a little and she has been to church a ton of times. So all we have to do is finish teaching her and there ya have it. We are going to baptize after all. Just goes the show that the Lord always pays up--haha.
I put some pics of the baptism and a sugar skull from the Day of the Dead that I had and also what I did to the cover of my planner.. I think it looks pretty cool.
I love you guys. thanks for everything. Have a good week.
Elder K

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Baptisms and Zone Conference

Well it's been a good week. We had two baptisms yesterday, Martha and her daughter Araceli. We have one baptism for sure this coming Sunday, Ricardo that had his that finally after eight years is going to be baptized, and another person that is possible.
The zone is doing pretty good. We had a bit of a struggle this last week getting people to church but all the elders are happy at the moment so I guess it's all good. The members still feed us lunch every day and yes it is a lot of rice, beans and tortillas with some kind of meat. They eat a lot of beef and grilled chicken here. I never thought I would say this but sometimes I miss healthy food. ha ha! The food is really greasy here.
I had forgotten about Thanksgiving. Eat some turkey and pumpkin pie for me. It's crazy how fast time is flying by. I can't believe that it is almost December. The sad thing is that it's almost December and I am still walking around in the sun sweating ha ha. The weather here is nuts. One day I think its starting to cool off because I need a jacket in the morning but then the next day I feel like I am going to die of heat. All part of the job I guess.
Everything went well in the Zone Conference. A sister from the stake came and talked to us. She was one of the first members in north Mexico and her husband was the first convert Mexican Stake President and Mission President. It was really cool to here her stories and how much they baptized in that time. It's nuts.
Thanks for everything. I love you guys. Have a good week.
Elder K
PS I got your package mom. I have been a good boy and have been fighting to temptation to open it before Christmas. It's not been easy!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Spiritual Experiences

Well it has been a good week but as usual a tiring week. We got to go to the temple today so it was a nice little spiritual boost. We also had a few people in church last Sunday that should be getting baptized this coming Sunday if everything goes as planned. It's a woman named Martha and her daughter Araceli. We hope the rest of the family comes after. It's a really cool family. We have also found a few other good people that we are teaching.
I have really had a testimony building week in the aspect that God will get the people ready that he wants us to baptize. For example... We are now teaching Ricardo. Ricardo has been married for 8 years to a member that is very active with his two kids but has only been to sacrament meeting 2 times in those eight years and has never stayed for the classes. Two Sundays ago he was home alone at night and was having some doubts about some life problems. He remembered hearing people say that they pray and open the Book of Mormon to a random page and they find the answer. So he went and looked for his wife's Book of Mormon and opened it to a random page. He said the answer freaked him out a little so he quickly shut the book and put it down. So he couldn't tell us where he read but he said that what he understood is that if we are far from God, He can't answer us. (We think he read in D&C because he read from a triple combination, but it's all the same, right? ha ha.) With that answer he started reading the Book of Mormon with his wife every night and praying and decided that he was going to church on Sunday. We met him a church on Sunday and for the first time he stayed for all 3 hours and he accepted to be baptized the 27th of this month like it was nothing. This is after eight years of a wife putting the example and always inviting and tons of visits from missionaries and members. They had all just kinda given up, but now is his time. Its really cool to see.
To answer your question mom, I have seen like 3 primary programs in the mission. We actually just had one three weeks ago. But they are a ton smaller here then in the states. There are actually a lot of American elders in my zone so I have spoken a ton more English these past couple weeks, which is good because my English was getting kinda bad.
Here there are only two cars in all the mission, one that the assistant and office elders share and President's car. So for me it's still 100% walking and metro trains and buses.

We are still waiting on a bunch of Ensigns, actually they are Liahonas here. I have been waiting forever to read the Book of Mormon issue and it still hasn't gotten here. I hope they come soon because I want to study the conference talks.
Well, that's about it for the week. We have Zone Conference tomorrow. Wish me luck. I love you all and thank you so much for everything.
Elder K
P.S. I have been craving a pork roast with onions, mashed potatos, and rolls. First thing I am eating when I get back.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Quick Update

Snow!? [in Utah] Here it dropped in temp for a few days and I had to put a sweater on in the mornings but now it's just as hot as ever. I feel like its still July. I think that this area that I am in now is the hardest area I have been in when it comes to the people. It is a little bit richer so the people are a little more hard hearted. We have been struggling to get into house to teach. Any RMs out there that passed through similar areas I would love to here what you did to find people.

The zone is starting to rise a little. We had a few problem elders to start but now everything is running smooth. We have some good goals that we are working for and everyone is happy and excited..... now it's just keeping it that way.
We live in a little house right now. It's one of the better houses I have lived in on the mission. The thing that I am still kinda getting used to is just living with my comp. This is the first time since I have gotten to Mexico that I haven't had other elders living in the same house as us. Things stay a lot cleaner, that's for sure.
If I remember right we go to the temple next week on Wednesday. So I won't write until then. Then the next day we have Zone Conference and me and my comp have to do two presentations. It will be interesting because neither one of us has taught in a zone conference but things are looking good.
I don't think it ever really starts looking like Christams here. I haven't seen any Christmas stuff yet apart from a few things in some of the bigger stores. On top of that it never snows or anything.
I love you all. Thanks for everything and have an awesome week.
Elder K

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Zone Leader

Well, I am now in good ol Monterrey again. Where the smog is thick and the baptisms are just waiting. I am now a Zone Leader. I am still trying to decide if I like it or not (haha). It's a little stressful but that's part of the mission. Last week we had another council but this time it was just Zone Leaders to choose what we are going to teach in Zone Conference.

My new comp. is Elder Alejandro. It's a little wierd because he has a first name as a last name. We get a lot of coments about it. He is from Veracruz (I think thats how you spell it).
I haven't heard anything about the family I left behind in my other area but I am looking into it. We should be having a baptism this Sunday. It's a 22 year old named Angel. In Mexico Angel is a man's name just so y'all know.
It's kinda cool how much the Lord blesses His missionaries in adapting. After time in the mission changes just don't bother you anymore. It's just all part of the mission. I already feel like I have a ton of time here. The only thing is that I still don't know the streets of the area--haha. I'm happy that now I get to go to the temple again. After the events of the past couple months I have really wanted to go to the temple. It's true what they say, we don't value what we have until we dont have it.
Well that's all for now. I love you all and thanks for everything.
Elder K


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Last week in Saltillo?

Well we find out about transfers tonight. Word on the street is that I am out of here tomorrow as a Zone Leader, but who really knows. You can't believe anything in the mission till its already happened. If they do change me I will be a little sad. We found some really cool people this last week that we have been teaching. On Thursday in the morning around 11:30 I was a little frustrated because we didn't have anyone progressing really good and we are still working two areas and I just didn't have the desire to keep knocking. So we walked for about two blocks as I thought of how else we could find new people. In my frustration I went to the first house I saw and said, "We are knocking it because here lives a family of Escogidos." ("Chosens"--it's a term we use in the mission. Doesn't sound as cool in English.) I said this more to convince myself to knock than anything. We knocked and the mom of the family came out to greet us. We did the contact and she looked like she was going to let us in but said hang on just a sec. We could hear her talking with her husband. I just thought, 'Oh great, the husband is going to say no and if we are lucky he will do us the favor of leaving the house to chew us out.' But no, Anita (the mom) came out again and opened the front gate to let us in. We sat down and had a super spiritual lesson. When we finished Anita was crying. She said she felt our presence even before she saw us or heard us and that it was something that she felt coming since the day before. As we left the house we felt good but I had doubts because Jesus (the dad) had said some things that made me think that he wasn't going to accept or let his family accept either, but we had left a Book of Mormon. When we came back the next day Anita had ready Moroni 10 like we had asked but Jesus hadn't. He started asking questions about Nephi and Lehi's dream and a whole bunch of stuff so we asked, exactly what did you read? Jesus read all of first Nephi...in less than a day. He became the star of the family. He ended up being the only one of the family that went to church this week because Anita got a little scared but he assured us that she will be coming this Sunday. It was kind of a slap in the face for me because I doubted and God still gave me what I wanted. It made me doubt about doubting again.
Things are going good here. It will be crazy to see what changes come this week. I hope you all have an awesome week, and I am still waiting for the testimonies. Thank you Mom for the great stories/testimonies that you sent me. They will be perfect for some lessons. I love you guys and am so greatful for you all.
Elder K

Monday, October 17, 2011

Working and Learning

Well it was a pretty good week. I was with the priest Monday to Wednesday so it gave us some good time to work but then he went back to his house and it was back to working 2 areas again. I will be glad when this is all over. Only a week left and we have transfers and I won't have to be working in two areas.
On Friday we had a conference with elder Johnson (the area president) and he talked to us about only looking for and baptizing chosen people and not waisting time on people that God hasn't prepared yet. A lot of missionaries were surprised by the changes and things that he taught us but I think it will be good for the mission.
We had a baptism on Sunday of a 12 year old by named Josmar. His mom and dad aren't married so they can't be baptized but we are working on that and his sister is being a little stubborn but we are hoping to baptize her in this week.
It has stayed pretty warm here, the temperature only drops the days that we have rain but other than that it's been sunny and in the 70s so not much to complain about. It's been a good week overall but super busy as usual. I have been kinda slacking off in my Spanish so I am trying to pick it up and not be content with the words and stuff that I know. If anyone has any ideas of what I should do to memorize new words and not be bored with it let me know.
I would also like testimonies of things that have happened to everyone that I can translate and share with people. About prayer, fasting, tithing, Book of Mormon anything you can think of. It will help my Spanish to translate them and also I need the helps in teaching people.
I love you all and thanks for everything you do for me. Have a great week.
Elder K

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October is off to a good start

Well, things are starting to cool off here. It's still pretty warm most days but when we have rainy days it gets pretty chilly. This week was tough. We are still working two areas and it's killing me, but we are still finding people so it's all good. This week that's coming my companion will stay the entire week in the other area with the solo missionary and I will be with another youth again. I am not looking forward to it but not much I can do about it. We were going to have a baptism of a 10 year old girl this week but at the last minute she punked out. We had the font filled and everything. I guess that's just how it is sometimes.

[Answering mom's questions.] Depending on what you buy food is cheap here, but on a missionary budget everything is expensive and even more if you want American food. For a gallon of milk here it's around 40 pesos which would be a little more than 3 bucks. I think milk costs more than gas here.

Right now there are five of us living in the house so we decided to grill some beef and treat ourselves a little bit. We bought charcoals and everyone was happily waiting for it to be hot enough to cook as we waited it started to explode. We had to take cover and throw water from a distance trying to put it out and not lose an arm. It made us feel like a more literal God's Army.

Well I put some pics of the baptism of Marisol. Thanks for everything and I love you guys have an awesome week.

Elder K

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Busy, busy, busy...

Well, it was a crazy week. I am super drained. We had a leadership council all of Wednesday and Thursday. So I didn't sleep much during those three nights but it was really cool. I learned a ton of good stuff and we ate lots of good American and Mexican food. We stayed up really late playing sports and even President stayed to play for a while.

Also in this week one of the missionaries in my district went home because of heart problems and his companion has been with us so we have been trying to run two areas. This on top of normal District Leader stuff and training--I am pretty sure someone wants me dead by the end of these two years, but it's all good. I have been learning tons.
Here the weather has still been pretty toasty. The nights are perfect though. We don't have to have all the windows open and a million fans going to sleep. From what they have told me the winters here get pretty chilly. There isn't any snow but it gets below freezing.
I am excited for conference this weekend but at the same time it means more work to bring people to church because we have to go to the stake center to watch it. We can only go to the Saturday meetings if we bring people but no matter what we go to priesthood and the Sunday sessions.
Things are looking really good for a baptism this coming Sunday. We are teaching a women named Marisol. She is the sister of the last baptism we had. When we showed her the baptsimal font yesterday in church she was almost crying. It was a pretty sweet spiritual expirence. I am glad that I took the time to clean all the roaches out of the font durning gospel principles. The scriptures say we should baptize every creature but I didnt think she would understand that. ;)
I love you all I can't believe how fast time is flying by. Thanks for everything.
Elder K

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mexican Indepedence Day and a New Companion

Well, it's been a crazy week. On Tuesday I had to go to Monterrey for the day to pick up my new comp. because I am now training. I am training Elder Juarez. He is from one of the states furthest south in Mexico, almost Guatemala. Its been a draining week with the normal District Leader stuff and the new being a trainer stuff. It will take some getting use to. So I will be here in this area until Dec. 6th because I have to train him for 3 months (2 transfers). We found some really cool people last week so I am hoping that means baptisms soon. I was excited to find some people that are going to progress. We have been battling in that a little.
The 16th of this month is Mexican Independance Day. So on the night of the 15th they have what they call the scream (El Grito--It sounds weird translated) So the stake had a huge party with a rides and food and all kinds of stuff. I put a few pictures so you can get an idea but it was really cool. All of the missionaries sang a classic Mexican song for everyone it was pretty funny.
I can't believe that Maddi turned six. Everyone is changing and there are even little ones that I have never met. It's just odd to think about.
Well not much more to report here. I love you all. Thanks for everything.
Elder K

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

El Gringo Alto

It was a bit of a tough week but we are still working hard. Being with the joven (youth) has been a ride. Its draining all that I have to keep things going solo. I have learned good stuff from all this but I am ready for a really companion, haha. I should be getting one in a week.

I am trying to think of some good stories but I only have one that happened yesterday that comes to mind. We were headed to church on the bus and of course it was packed with people. So we had to stand. No big deal we do it a lot but this bus was different. It had a really low ceiling so I couldn't stand up all the way. The entire bus packed full of people were pointing and whispering and laughing the entire way to church because the tall skinny gringo is going to hit is head on the rough and cant stand up straight. My comp got a good laugh out of it as well. I will be happy when I am in a country that things are made for tall people again, haha.
Right now we are in finding mode. We are looking and looking and looking some more. We have a few groups of people we are teaching but all of them seem to hit road blocks last week that is making it really hard to teach them and help them progress. We are hoping for a week of blessings this week after the week of trials.
I love you all thanks for all your help. Have a great week.
Elder K

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quick Update and Primary Message

We didn't baptize this week so the streak ends at 5 weeks. I can't really complain. We are also looking good to baptize this Sunday that is coming. So I guess I can handle one week without a baptism as long as it doesn't happen again. ;)
Things are going good with the young companion. He will be with me for another 2 weeks and then leaves on his mission in a couple months. It's been very different working with him because on top of everything he is very shy and at times antisocial. So I do a lot of solo teaching and contacting but he is coming along. After two more weeks he will be a pro missionary.
We haven't had anything too crazy happen this week and I am suffering from something I like to call Falta de Fotos or in other words I haven't taken pictures for like a month apart from baptisms so I have none to send.... I know, I know, I should take more and I will regret it if I don't. I have heard it all. I'm just not thinking about it, but I promise to make more of an effort.
I love you all. Thanks for all your support and love. Have a great week.
Elder K

And a short message to the Eastridge Ward Primary...
Dear Primary of the Eastridge Ward,
Being a missionary in Mexico has taught me a lot and I have seen many people change their lives when they read the scriptures and live the Gospel. Our Heavenly Father loves all of us and wants us to share the blessings we have with everyone. One of the best ways we can do it is by being missionaries. Start being a missionary now to your friends and families so that you can be ready to serve a full-time mission. I know that the church is true and that through scripture study The Lord prepares us to be missionaries so he can use us to spread the gospel to all the world.
Elder Kartchner

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More Baptisms!

Things are going great here. We baptized two more people this last week. So that makes it 5 weeks in a row. We are pushing for 6. Also, my district won district of the week because everyone baptized and we had 13 baptism of the 16 in the zone. It's been a good but crazy week.

We don't have transfers for another 3 weeks but they moved my companion to Monterrey on Friday and I recieved a "summer missionary". A summer missionary is what they do when there aren't enough missionaries. They are priest-age youth that help out for a couple weeks. So they aren't officially missionaries. I will be with this summer missionary from Monterrey for 3 weeks. It's a new challenge to say the least.
It is still pretty hot here but not as hot as other parts of the mission so I am greatful for that. Here it cools off pretty good at night so we just turn a couple of fans on and we sleep great.

I am wondering if the letter of stories is ever going to get there. I think I might have to make another attempt.

This year has been so long but I feel like I just left home. It's starting to scare me about how fast the end will come.
I am getting use to being District leader and still learning but the Lord always throws somthing else in when I start to feel good about where I am at.

Well, have a great week and good luck to all that are starting school. I love you guys.
Elder K

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Baptisms and More

Well we had two more baptisms this week and yes, one of them was the guy from the story [last week]. It was a little harder than I thought it would be to get him to church on Sunday, but we got it done. So that makes it 4 weeks in a row and we are looking good for 2 or 3 baptisms this week. I put the pics [below] from this last week and the week before.
Our apartment here is pretty good. It's one of the nicest ones I have seen so far in the mission. We don't have a washer or a dryer so we go to members' houses or the Laundromat. In this area we didn't have an Iron so I went and bought my own because there are a lot of areas that don't have them and others that are really crappy.
We don't have bikes here in this area so it's a whole lot of walking and taking crazy buses. Those that know of the Guatemalan chicken buses have an idea of how it is. The only missionaries that drive are the assistants so I don't think I have to worry much about that but, if I have to drive my USA license works just fine.
We have a good number of kids in the primary here but they are all on the younger end. The older classes are much smaller. It's weird seeing Amber getting baptized and thinking about how big everyone is getting. It is just starting to sink in how long I have been out here. A life time but no time at all.
Things are going good here in Mexico. Every day is a struggle, adventure, and a blessing.
I love you all and thank you for your support and love.
Elder K


Monday, August 8, 2011

A Spiritual Boost

Well, we had another baptism yesterday and we have a few set up for this week--three weeks in a row and going for the fourth. I am trying to send a pic of the baptism but the computer is being dumb so who knows. It might have to wait till next week. Sounds like all the little kids are changing a lot. It will be weird to see them all in a year... thats right one year down.
This week flew by. I don't know what is happening to the time. I feel like I just wrote you guys yesterday. A little story that comes to mind from the week is of one of the people that is going to get baptized this coming Sunday. His wife got baptized a couple weeks ago and we have been working with him. He smokes a lot. He also hasn't had a job for a while. In a lesson we had on Friday night I was a little sick of his excuses for smoking. So I told him, Look God won't give you work because if you have work you have money to by cigarettes. The day you quit smoking is the day you will find a job. After a little pause to let him think and me feeling a little afraid of what I had just said and promised, I asked him what he was going to do. He said, "Well you don't give me much of a choice. I have to quit." He didn't smoke Saturday or Sunday and Sunday night he reveived a call and starts work today. It was a big testimony builder for me and now he is going to get baptized.
God is always listening and always watching. Never let doubt enter into your minds. Any feeling of sadness stress, anger, or any feeling that we don't like having is not from Him. If you are feeling any of these in the moment get on your knees and tell Him to take them away and do your part and continue living. I think it was Pres. Eyring that said 'Many are willing to die in the name of Christ but few are willing to live in the name of Christ'. Have faith that He knows what he is doing and in the plan that we have been taught and live!
I love you all have an awesome week and I will send pics next week.
Elder K
P.S. Here are some scriptures that have helped me in the past week to deal with things a little better. Read them carfully and with a lot of prayer and they will help.
D&C 29: 12-13
Matt 19:29
Matt 18:21-35

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Good Times

Well, things are going pretty good here in Mexiville. I can't believe you still haven't gotten the letter of stories. I sent it over two months ago. Well, I have a story or two to put in this email. This week we killed it. We had two baptisms and 7 new people in church. 7 means the people that can get baptized so counting little kids it was like 12. We started out with two families and we were happy, but then when we started sacrament people kept coming in one by one. Every time the door opened the entire ward looked back to see who it was then at us with looks of 'no way'. It was pretty funny and awesome. So we have two weeks in a row baptizing and we are working for a third.
The area I am in is a little bit poorer, but not bad. We eat good. I do get to travel a little more as District Leader. It's cool sometimes. I keep telling myself I get to travel more, I don't have to. I sent pictures of the baptisms we have had and also some of the storms that come almost every afternoon. The picture of me and my comp in the truck has a funny story. We were walking to an appointment when it started sprinkling. We looked toward the mountain and some of the ugliest clouds I have ever seen were coming. We started running to get to the appointment before the rain got to us. We almost made it. The wind came and I swear there was a tornado or something. So much water and wind we could hardly see. We knocked the door and waited meanwhile being drenched with water to the bone. They never came to the door so we went to the side of the house on the corner where the rain could only partly hit us because is was raining sideways. Then a guy ran out of his house and yelled, "Get in the tuck!" There was a small blue truck right in front of us. Without a thought we jumped in to wait out the storm. The man went back in his house. As we waited 20 min. or so we got thinking. What if this isn't his truck? Also the street was like a river and and we were worried it was going to take the truck. In the end all was well we left a thank you note on the back of a Joseph Smith pamphlet and went on our way.
Well it's not the greatest story but its the best I've got this week. I love you guys and have an awesome week.
Elder K

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

District Leader

July 18, 2011
Well it's been a week of learning, a week of trials, a week of change, a week of many things. I wish I could be there to help in any way possible but it has been made very clear to me that the best way to help is to stay where I am at. I love you all very much and it would be a lie to say that I have not had desires to come home but I know that the best way to show my love for all of you is the show it for our Heavenly Father first. Matthew 10:37 helped me to put things in there place. Also a good read of D&C 121 helps me to realize that the things that happen in this life pass in no time at all when we are looking at a timeline of eternity.
God decided to add a little more to my plate this week. Friday night the zone leaders called me up and said that I would be changed in my assignment. When they told me that, I thought they were moving me closer to the mission president for a couple weeks so he could keep an eye on me or something. I didn't think that I needed that, but then they surprised me when they said that the change is that I am now District Leader. Much more to learn and much more to live up to. It's going to be an interesting couple of weeks. I now understand better when it says in Isaiah 55:8 That Gods thoughts are not ours. I have no idea what He is thinking, but I have heard He knows best. :) Although I have had many moments of 'I can't do it' in the past couple days, things are going well. I must be a pretty rough rock and God is just trying to smooth me out a little.
I love you all very much. Dont worry about me. I am in the best place possible and things are going good. I will miss Brandon, but the great thing about the Gospel is that I know that I don't have to miss him for long. We will all see him agian, the same old brother, son, friend that he was here. I am sure that he is sharing the gospel now more than ever and he is just waiting for the day that we can join him. Again I love you all and thank you for all the love and support you give me.
Elder K

July 25, 2011

Well it has been a good week. I am feeling better and we are working hard and I guess you could say I am starting to get the hang of being a District Leader. Three of the four areas in my district baptized this last week and it's looking like we all might baptize this coming week. I attached the pic of our baptism and a Mormon Ad that I like. Not a ton to report considering I have been able to talk to everyone a little over the phone as of late. I love you all and keep being strong. Everything happens for a reason. Don't let the things that have happened determine how you will act. Let your actions change what will happen. I love you all.

Elder K


Monday, July 18, 2011

Testimony Builder

For those who may not know, Jake's older brother Brandon passed away unexpectedly last week. A few of us have been able to talk to him over the past few days and his testimony has been a strength to us all. This is the message that he sent to us this morning:
I wanted to write this to all of my brothers, sisters, mom and dad to tell you all how much I love you. This has been a very hard week for all of us I am sure. We all love Brandon very much and will miss him. I wish I could be there with all of you, but I have a calling to fulfill and live up to. I know that the gospel that we live and share with everyone is the only way that we will see Brandon again. We don't have to miss him forever! Every time this week that I started feeling down and didn't want to knock on doors or talk to anyone God put someone in my path that was willing to listen. It seems like every time that this happened the person's need was to hear the plan of salvation. As I taught everyone of these people it was a reminder for me that it's not the end. We have the truth and we can live it. Brandon is just waiting for us. I am sure that in this very moment he is learning as well as teaching of this plan to those who didn't know it in their lives. We have the blessing to know and to share it with others. We are an eternal family and although there are a ton of us, we are united. I love you all and want you to know that I know this chruch and gospel are true. I am here in the service of the Lord and I know that the blessings have come and many more are to come. I love you guys and I will see you all in a year.
Elder K

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More from Saltillo

Well still trying to learn the area a little better, but things are going good. We have had new investigators in church every Sunday so far but no one will commit. It is exactly like the same here in Mexico. Everyone loves to talk about Mary and Jesus and all their saints that they pray to but no one likes the truth when they hear it. No one wants to get married or give up their beer. But that's why we are here, right? To show the people what the truth is.
The food is almost the same here as well as the Spanish. Every place has little differences in these areas but its easy to pick up on the new slang words and such.

Things are going good, just trying to get people to lose the fear they have and commit to do what they know is right and get baptized. The Spanish is getting good but it's a bit of a bad thing now that I can say basically what I want I have a hard time not chewing people out a little (with love of course) when they try to tell me that worshipping the virgin is ok and things like that. So I am trying to develop a little more patients in that area.
I called the offices today and they said they will be dropping off some stuff in my area for me. They didn't tell exactly what it all was, but they said mail and a package so its looking good today :)

Well, thanks for everything. I hope you all have a good week and a happy Fourth of July.
Elder K

A street in my area.

Elder K. with a Peruvian elder.
Elder K and his companion.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Well the birthday was just the same as every other day in the mission. I just got moved to a new area last Tuesday as well so almost no one knew it was my birthday. All part of the mission right.
I attached a few pictures of my new area. It is up in the mountains more so it stays a little cooler so thats been nice. Where I am at now is called Saltillo. Monterry to Saltillo is kinda like Salt Lake to Logan, but it's still pretty toasty here. Saltillo is pretty good sized. Not as big as Monterrey but still a good sized city. I am living with 3 natives again. My comp is from Guadalajara, Mexico and has very little time in the mission. The other two elders we live with are both from Peru. So yet again I am stuck in an English-less home.
Well, things are going good here. I am just trying to get to know the new are and get things running how I want them to. Also enjoying the somewhat cooler weather. Tired as usual but I dont think that will change any time soon. Still no packages but I am sure that they will get here soon. Thanks for all you do for me I love you all and miss you guys.
Elder K