Monday, February 21, 2011

A Missionary Apartment in Mexico and the Latest from Elder K

 The Kitchen

The Bathroom

 The Study

Hi Mom, It sounds like you had a good lesson on Sunday. That is my favorite thing to do. I love teaching more than anything else on the mission. It just feels good to be able to explain things to people and see the lightbulb turn on. As for fasting I have seen as well how much it helps and I am greatful for all of your fasting and prayers. There is a missionary rule, though, that we are not to ask people back home to fast. So you will just have to fast when you feel like it--haha!

Things have warmed up a lot here. It has been a little foggy at times but other than that sunny and hot. Short sleeves all week, just the way I like it.
We just bring our bikes inside the apartment. I don't think that you are allowed to live with members here beacuse no one has a house that can support to missionaries. Food is really cheap there just isn't much to pick from. American stuff like peanut butter is really expensive but oh so worth it. A good old PB&J before bed is awsome after a day of meat and tortillas. Speaking of which, I have a favor to ask. I need you to send me some kind of fiber suplement--haha--I don't think I need to say much more. I will just leave it at that Meat and tortillas taste good but after a few weeks of that for every meal the body can't handle it. Also, I'm looking forward to the future because it takes months for a package to get here.

I am too far north for monkeys, and all the big mountains are in Monterrey. Here it is flat and desert. No avocado trees here but I still have had a pretty good amount of them to eat. I haven't really seen a ton of bugs but now that its warming up they are coming. Every night when we come home we raid the kitchen for roaches.

As for the work, it's going ok. To be honest it has been a really hard week or so. Me and my companion don't get along that well. He has been out for a year but is younger than me because in Mexico you can leave at 18. He is really focused on numbers and that's it. There are a lot of things but to sum it up we just don't see eye to eye on how the do the work. Also, Spanish has been really killing me latley. I don't know why. I think it would be pretty safe to say the past week or two have been the hardest so far. There have been some really down days and no one to talk to. At times it feels like I'm not me. I can't talk and communicate and do things the way they should be done. I guess the hardest times are the times we grow the most. Just trying to stay positive and stick it out.

Don't really have any big stories from this last week, kinda just same old. Love you guys. Thanks for everything you do.

Elder K

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wow, what a week. It felt like 2 days!

Wow what a week. Felt like it was 2 days. We had another baptism on Thursday. It was a 14 year old girl named Alondra. She took a little longer than a week, haha.

I also attached a picture that shows the difference a good shoe shine makes after a couple weeks in Mexico.

And also a picture of my district and of my surprise that I am actually in Mexico now.

This week was good but flew by. My comp. had a stomache bug Thursday and Friday so we were in and out of the house. It was nice to have some extra study time. It was funny because when people found out he was sick they would all say "But he is Mexican and you are a gringo how come he is sick?" To be honest I really didn't know what to tell people. I am just glad that I wasn't sick. Not really much else to report. Just the same old work. It is warming up though. I also went on exchanges with one of the zone leaders on Wednesday. It was nice to have a real conversation with someone in English for the first time since I arrived here. The Spanish is still coming. I can't wait to be able to just talk. I did have to give a talk in church again this Sunday but this time it had to be 20 min. and no one remembered to tell me this untill we were up blessing the sacrament so I took the talk I gave in California and just threw some stuff in to make it 20 min. It was pretty messy and not the best Spanish but I thought it was ok. After I gave it my comp told me to dumb it down. He said that the people here are so uneducated that they couldn't understand some of the big words I used. I say this not to boast but to give you an idea of how uneducated they are becuase my Spanish sucks. Well that's all for this week. I love you guys.
Elder K

Friday, February 11, 2011

Feb 7, 2011 From Mexico (and a funny story!)

So one week down here in Mexico. Its went by pretty fast but slow at the same time. Still trying to get use to it here. It is a lot different than the mission in Cali. We found a guy here my first Sunday and brought him to church and then we baptized him after church the following Sunday. All in a week. Holy cow it was fast. I need to get use to it I guess.

The town that I am in is pretty small. It is called Zaragoza. We actually cover two little towns. They are kinda far apart though. The size of the towns and distance kinda reminds me of a Grantsville-Stansbury type deal. So I am in one of two areas in the mission that hitchhiking is allowed--haha.  It makes for some interesting stories. They are like cowboys here so they kind of talk weird. They use a lot more slang so it makes it even more fun to try and understand. The Spanish is coming along pretty good considering it's all I speak now. It still has a long way to go though. There is still a lot of body language going on.

It has been freezing here. I didn't know that is got this cold here. We have been below freezing a lot of the past week and it's supposed to continue. No me gusta. I am not prepared for the cold at all.
My comp has been out for almost a year. He has been a member his entire life. His name is Elder Pinedo. We get along alright.

One cool story for the week is the story of Elder the Dog. We left our house one morning and as we were walking to the appointment we could hear a little puppy barking like crazy. We didn't think much of it and kept walking. We then realized we forgot the phone so we had to go back to the house. Again the barking dog. It was starting to get a little annoying but we kept walking. We got the phone and headed out again. Guess who was still barking non stop? So I decided to find out why. I searched and searched but no dog. I followed the little yapping barks to a larg trash can. We have no clue how he got in there but there was the little puppy. I picked him up and set him on the ground and walked off. He was sooo happy he would not leave me. I almost stepped on him multiple times as I tried to walk. So he followed me around for about 15 or 20 min. It was cool at first but then it got old having to dodge him every step. So we saw some people outside with their dogs and asked if they would take him. They said yes and asked his name. I told them his name was Elder. We continued to talk to the people and got a return appointment. So in reality Elder the Dog really was a missionary. He helped us contact someone! Ha ha!
I attached pictures of where I stayed in Vegas, the Investigator that I baptized yesterday and a picture to show how cold it has been here.
I love you guys. Thank you for all your support.
Elder K
The people Jake stayed with in Las Vegas while waiting for his visa.

It's COLD in Mexico!!!

First baptism in Mexico!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Photos and Video: Arcadia

Here are the last of the photos from Arcadia along with a little video clip at the end. And then, off to Mexico!

Our goals...Realistic but challenging!

My new house. (The second place Jake lived in Arcadia.)

The view from my house to L.A.

View from the roof.

Paper Airplanes from the roof video...

Photos: Missionary Christmas and New Year's

Elder K.'s little Christmas tree from mom with ornaments made by Kionna, Amber, Levi, Maddi, Sky and Summer.

On Christmas Eve with their loot waiting under the tree.

Christmas morning. Yummy, green olives.

What I got for Christmas...

Listening to the tape the family made.

Charlie Brown tree.

Samuel the Lamanite action figure!

Homemade rolls made from the mix that Summer sent. [Wow, good job guys!]

Homemade jam from Dave and Summer's garden. "A taste of summer"

New Year's Eve

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Photos: Missionary Life in Arcadia

In the car [duh].

I am always tired.

Missionary get-together.

Studying in the cold.

This bridge is in "Batman Begins". Kinda cool.

The senior couple, the Snows, are going home.

This car got gutted over night. They took everything--engine, lights, tires, radio, you name it...

My district: Me, Elder Martinez, Elder Anderson, Elder Harper, Elder Ault, Elder Baumgart, Sister Kunz, Sister Kimball

With Anna, a member

Us with more members of the branch.

With Hermano Oscar Rodriguez. This guy is awesome.

This guy challenged me to one-on-one.

Maria and Elder K.

Eating a huge steak--yum!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Arcadia Pictures - Branch Thanksgiving Party and Santa's Lap

Right before Jake left for Mexico he sent his card with pictures from his last couple of months in Arcadia, CA, which I will be posting in batches throughout the week. Captions are provided by Jake. Enjoy!

Hanging out at the Branch Thanksgiving Party

Crazy Santa guy

He pinched our bums in this one!

Santa needs the gospel too. :)

Santa wanted to hold me. His idea.

Santa choke-out.

He wanted us to try the suit on. This suit cost him $1,500. The buttons and belt buckle are gold-plated and all.