Monday, March 28, 2011

A Good Week

It was a really good week. I really like it here in the city (Monterrey). There is always something going on. Public transportation is one of the biggest adventures. You never know who you are going to meet or if you will get off at the right stop.

I still don't have an actual companion but we will find all that out tonight. So I could be in a different area tomorrow, who knows. Sorry to hear about the rain and the snow. Its freaking hot here. We have been in the 90s every day this week and its just going to keep getting hotter. It makes for long days walking around. Tell Jenni, Brandon and Ben Happy B-day! Hopfully I can talk to them on Mother's Day in a couple weeks. It's crazy, I feel like I was talking to you guys on the phone on Christmas last week. Time is flying by. Almost a third of my mission is gone... what happened?

Yesterday we were talking to the dad of a recent convert and he told us that he would never listen to us or read anything we gave him... After an hour of talking we left him crying with a Book of Mormon in his hand--hehe yes we are master teachers. It was very spiritual. I love lessons like that. It reminds me why I am here.

This week we did an activity with the stake. We did a mini MTC for the youth. So they all came to the stake center and had to give up their cell phones and all. They were assigned a companion and district and we spent the day teaching them how to teach and contact. At the end of the day each missionary was given a companionship of the youth and we went out and knocked doors. It was really cool. I attached some pictures of the temple, eating food, our baptism, and a picture of most of the youth in the mini MTC. I love you guys and hope all is well. Thanks for all you do for me.

Elder K

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In the City

Ok so heres the dealio. Transfers aren't until this coming Tuesday but I got moved into Monterrey last Wednesday. I am now living with four natives and one American and I don't have an official companion. It's a long story, but simply put the elders were having problems here and president thought it was a good idea to send me as a peacemaker...who knows why. So I kinda have 5 companions at the moment. We will see what changes this Tuesday. The good news is that missionaries in Monterrey get to go to the temple once a month so we went today (that's why I didn't have p-day on Monday). My spanish is really picking up now that I am living with so many natives. People say I talk like a chilango....a chilango is a person from D.F. Ask Summer for details, I think she will know about this (D.F. = Districto Federal, a.k.a. Mexico City). Being in the city is a huge change, but I like it a lot. We use the metro trains and buses a ton. It's so nuts, you have to be moving so fast all the time or they will just leave you behind.

So I am now in a ward which is super nice. We had a baptism last Sunday and things are looking good for some baptisms in the near future.

I have a water bottle that has a filter system in it so don't worry, I drink clean water. It is super super super hot here. I am not looking forward to the summer when it hits 120 at times.

So lots of changes since the last time I wrote and that's it in a nutshell. I will give you more details next week and hopfully I will have a comp by then too.

Love you all and thanks for your prays and support.

Elder Kartchner (a.k.a. The White Chilango)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Rough Week

Ok first things first. No, we don't have siestas. It's the sad truth. I haven't really heard much about the earthquake in Japan. Just that it happened, not much more. I am guessing it was pretty bad. Just another sign of the times.

This week was a toughy. The first half was really good. We found a lot of new people and a lot of success. Friday and Saturday we had a lot of people get mad at us and were long days but we were still happy because we had a good 10 people commmited to coming to church. We had transportation and everything set of for all of them. We also had a baptism. Then Sunday came: The Moment of Truth.  We left the house early so we had a good 2 hours before church to go and talk to all the people that were going to come to church. We spent to hours of people lying to us and slamming doors in our faces. Also during the first two classes my comp continued to try and get people to come while I taught the classes. When all was said and done no one came but hey we still had a baptism...or so we thought. He didn't show up to chruch either so we raced to his house on bike just before sacrament meeting to find him drunk. Needless to say, no baptism.

As we returned to the chruch we found the members all bickering. A cell phone of a recent convert had gone missing and everyone was pointing fingers. Me and my comp quickly got sacrament meeting going in an effort to calm everyone down. My companion gave a talk asking why everyonw was here and why they were baptized. I then spoke on charity and if we know why we are here we should build charity for others and help them know why they should be here. Both of us stressed that we needed to have good feelings between members if we want the branch to grow here. All this in an effort to get them to stop and think before pointing fingers. After sacrament meeting nothing changed. Everyone stayed at the church for almost an hour split up in groups gossiping about who did what. During all this we dicovered that some one had broken in and stolen the chruches only TV. We finally got everyone home and then start to contact. What a day. We have a lot to work on here to say the least. So that about sums up the week. I am just glad that its a new week. Starting fresh.

I love you guys and thanks for all your support. Sorry no pictures this week. I didn't really take any. Have a good week.

Elder K

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Quick Update

The missionary work is going better. We meet in a small building but yes, a chapel. I will get a picture of it for next week. We got a new branch president yesterday and things are looking up. We had a record high for people at church yesterday in who knows how long, and only two were investigatores. So that means people are starting to come back. We also have recently ordained some of our investigaters to the Aaronic Priesthood and in the next month or so we are going to ordain some elders, AKA more leaders!!! We eat with members every day here. So far nothing too bad but I have been worried a couple times. Just close your eyes and eat it. Almost no one has cars here, at least of the members. I really have no clue what gas prices are.

The pictures are of the investigator from texas, a lizard I found in the shower...while showering, and I don't remamber what others I attached--haha--you will have to guess.

Elder K

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Getting Better

Well this week was a lot better. It was also very very hot. I am a little scared because if it is this hot in Feb. how hot is it going to be in July? We had a pretty good week. We found some new investigatores and had a lot of people at church yesterday. We could have multiple baptisms this coming Sunday. One of the people we have been teaching lives in Texas with her kids (speaks no English) but she also has a house here. So she comes down here for a couple months at a time to visit family. She has been here since Christmas and is going home a week from today so we are going to try and baptize her before she goes. She is mad at us because we didn't find her sooner. She tells all the time "I have been here for months and you guys waited till now to find me. Why?" Sadly we have no answer for this. It's crazy that I have been here in Mexico for a month now. It doesn't feel like that much time but it also feels like my entire mission has been here, haha.

The Spanish is getting a lot better. I teach the youth sunday school class every Sunday and I remember how hard it was the first couple weeks. I wouldn't say that its easy now but I can fill the time and they understand me so I would say that's pretty good. I have been really trying to do every little thing I can to be able to have the spirit and the blessings I need to be a good missionary along with this I have been trying to be more positive about things. As a missionary there are a lot of things you have to deal with. I have been trying to turn some of these hard things and see the good side. Here is a few of the things I came up with...

1. The food gives you bad gas..... In Mexico you fart wherever you want and it makes no difference.

2. No one can sing hymns.... Makes you look like you have the voice of an angel.

3. You can't always understand people, especailly if they are making fun of you.... They can't understand what you think of them.

4. People teach false doctrine at church.... I get to gain a personal testimony of the apostasy.

5. You never know if you will have running water.... I doesn't matter if you don't shower, everyone still thinks you are super clean and smell great.

So there is a few of my positive thoughts among others. I really have seen a lot of blessings in the past week and although its still hard work.

Sorry no pictures this week--I forgot my camera. I will be sure to remember next week. Not a lot to report here. All the days run together so I don't know what happened what day. Something could have happened a week ago and it feels like it happened yesterday.

I love you guys. Thanks for everything you have done and are doing for me.

Elder K