Monday, July 29, 2013

Digging Holes

Sup Everyone,

Apparently today must be some kind of holiday cause the email place is closing any time now and we just barely got here. I didn’t know I would be cut short and I’m very sorry. I will do better next week.

I am loving the new elder in the house, he is awesome and he and I joke all the time.
We do splits every so often. I don’t like them. I like my comp Elder Gomez. The other elders don’t understand how I feel most of the time.

Best part of this week is that we finally got to do service. We dug holes, it was awesome. I don’t know why the guy needed the holes but we did it.

I have nothing exciting to tell you for p-days lately. I just kind of hang out, wash clothes, its a day to relax not a day to be super busy,.

That’s all cause they are closing.

Love you all,


Got new mattresses this week and a bunk bed.
Gives us so much more space.

Waiting for the ward leaders to show up for a meeting at the church.

Elder Cisnaros and I taking a break while the other Elders ran to the store for water.

Monday, July 22, 2013

New Guy In The House

Hola Everyone, 

So as of this week we have a new Elder in the house. My comp stayed the same but the other companionship in our house got split up. The new guy is Elder Cisnaros. He is from Chihuahua, Mexico which is close to the border with Texas. What is awesome is that he knows English. He learned it from watching movies and listing to American music. He is a super cool guy. I’m glad he is in the house. We needed another fun person other then me in the house. Some times I make breakfast for everyone just to be nice and since we had a new guy this week I made all of us French toast with carmel sauce from scratch to welcome him to the coast. Most of the time we are pretty lazy and just go to the little store around the corner and buy frosted flakes and milk. I can cook awesome stuff when I have the time.

Right now we are teaching some great families. The main one right now have the wife and daughter as members, but the husband and son are not. They are super awesome. They are the family in the picture below and Elder Gomez is explaining the movie before we watch it. In fact I am in their house right now. They have an Internet cafe in their house (its normal here). They give us a discount since they like us. Its pretty great. They are a great family. The husband has accepted baptism but not set a date yet so we still need to work with him to guide him down the path.

Funny thing happened this week. Saturday we had some drunk guys harassing us and when I say drunk I mean wasted, absolutely plastered. It was the 20th of July which is like the 4th for every one back home. They were not a real problem, they could hardly stand let alone throw any punches if they wanted to. The just talked to us about well... I really don’t know. They we mostly talking nonsense. Even Elder Gomez didn’t under stand what they were saying. Most of the time people don’t really bother us. There really are no bad areas in Cerete that we are not allowed to go into like Braden had. There are places we don’t want to go because its pretty much the gheto (like the Cepello) but we have no limits of were we can and can not go. Its just our good judgement keeping us safe. Here in Cerete Pickpocketing isn’t a real problem either that I have seen. I’m head and shoulders above most of the people here so I’m kind of intimidating for any would be muggers. The closest thing to a pick pocket was the monkey in the tree last week.

Also had a really good meal this week. A less active sister who we are trying to get to come back to church made us dinner. She made us Chicken Cordon Bleu which is one of my favorites. It was so good. She has cooked for us before and every time is always amazing. She also made us a special drink which is limeade and two maraschino cherries. I looked at the ingredients to look for high fructose corn syrup. Nope it has sugar. Every thing here doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup its all sugar. It’s only in the US were it has that nasty stuff.

This week I was once again short money. I had to pay the electricity bill for the house, 80,000 pesos out of my money. The office forgot to pay so I had to pony up the dough to pay for it. I can be reimbursed but its still a large sum to be taken out of my extra cash for emergencies. Not sure why I’m always the one to pay and then wait for the money, oh well.

Dad told me in his letter this week about how you are going to repaint the kids elite Lamborghini yellow. Thats sounds awesome and with that color every one will have no excuse not to see you while you are driving. I agree its a win win. I was kinda sad last week when you said that you were thinking about selling it but now that I know that, its going to be even more awesome, its all alright.

Love you guys all so much, and wish you a great week.


The family we are teaching.

My awesome breakfast skills.

Our power got turned off so this is the light I made for us to eat dinner by.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Thieving Monkeys

Hola Everyone,

First off, I’m sorry about not writing yesterday. Transfers were yesterday, and.... I’m not going anywhere. I’m still in Cerete with Elder Gomez although he isn’t my trainer any more. I have completed my 12 weeks and I am now fully trained. I have been talking with the other elders about transfers and how long they have been in different areas but none of them have a real answer for what is normal. It’s kinda just what ever happens happens. Elder Truijllo (other elder in our house) has been in the coast area for 13 months, different cities but the coast for 13 months straight So I don’t know what is going to happen. I let you know on the next one in 6 weeks.

I still have not received any of the packages you have sent. I talked with the other elders. They said it takes 3 months for packages to get here so I hopefully should get the one from May by the end of this month or in August. I just don’t know. Also I will want you to email me a list of all the silly holidays for the month that you usually put in my packages so I can print them out starting in August. They were cool to see when you sent them to Braden and I want to celebrate them too. National Accordion Day is so important haha.

I finally feel like I can understand everything people say at church now. Meetings are pretty much the same as back home with one major difference, they are in Spanish. They talk about the same topics, for example, last week they talked about the importance of prophets. As for the clothes, they recommend church clothes but some of the members or investigators don’t have that kind of clothes so they wear nice jeans and and if possible a button shirt.

I’ve been asked if we have sister missionaries here in my mission. We have quite a few. They serve in the bigger cities of our mission since it is safer for them there. In some parts even here in Cerete I have to project being the big strong man so people don’t mess with me but some times I still get kinda freaked out.

The most exciting thing for this week is that for pday we went to Montaria. Its the big city close to Cerete. We didn’t meet up with other missionaries there, just did our own thing. We did some shopping, I bought a Football jersey and a Calvin Klein watch. After that we just hung out near the Rio Sinu in the park they have along the shore which was a great idea since we found some monkeys that were super awesome. They turned out to be pretty aggressive and tried to steal from us. Then we ate ice cream and since Elder Luna had talked to the store owners about the church and the gospel before we got coke and juice for FREE! We still had to pay for the ice cream which was okay with me.

Funniest moment this week was I, an American, ran out of money. I had not received reimbursement for paying for things at the zone meeting last week so I didn’t have money for this week. It was really funny but I don’t know why. Although on Thursday our zone leader finally came to Cerete and had money for me so that wasn’t so bad. It was only 4 days that I was broke but it came as a big surprise to all the Latino Elders who thought I had access to unlimited funds.

This week I also got some awesome letters scanned and emailed to me that some of the kids in primary wrote to me. I really liked them. It’s pretty awesome that they are happy that I am a missionary. Good call on Dad’s part to scan and email them to me since I still have not received anything by mail yet.

Love you all,

I am officially a missionary now that I have a football jersey.

The lady assured me that this was a genuine fake watch.

Wild monkeys in the park.

This little guy almost stole my camera case.
Apparently the monkeys can be more dangerous than the people.

Shaving Rambo style.

Monday, July 8, 2013

How Big Was My Head Before?

Hola Everyone, 

I’m sorry that I couldn’t write very much last week. I thought I was fine then I got a message on my screen that I had one minute left and had to finish. I tell the other Elders that on pday we need to wash our stuff and write before we play but they don’t always listen. I promise I will not miss a week again so no one needs to panic. 

The beach has been a fun place to go and relax and play and draw on pdays and it is an approved area as long as we stay out of the water. The pictures I’ve taken at the beach don’t show any one playing because when they are playing I am as well. When every one is relaxing so am I. I don’t want to get up and take pictures of people when I could be chilling or drawing the view.

So the food so far has been pretty bland and boring. Not what I expected from a Latin country. Craziest thing I’ve eaten so far would have to be cow utter. The people here think its really good, I on the other hand do not. They cook it just like any other meat in a pan with a little bit of oil, no extra flavor, nothing. My favorite was just the other day. We visited a less active member because she wanted to cook us dinner. It was awesome. It was spaghetti but it was spicy (people here don’t use spicy things or spices at all). We also had real salad, with lettuce and dressing. Most of the ´´salads´´ here are tomato and cucumber in a bowl. Thats not a salad, thats veggies in a bowl. People also think that potato salad is a substitute for real salad as well but its not, its just a bowl full of lies. I’ve also loved buying pineapples from the street venders. They are so fresh and sweet. Its amazing. All the fruit you can buy from the street venders are always really good.

So far we have not done much service. We keep asking if we can do service for people, but they don’t need help or so they say. Also the ward here hasn’t set up any service projects since the last one like a month ago that was canceled by the rain.

No word on my packages yet. I talked to the president about them, he said he would look for them but it may be like you said they can’t resist an american package because they are so poor. I don’t know what I’m going to do without having a list of all the silly holidays I need to be celebrating. Very sad.

Also I found out that we don’t have rats or mice in our roof. We have been hearing noises a lot but it turns out its bats. We have bats living in our roof! They don’t come in the house and just head out at night so thats pretty cool.

This I had my first experience of having the members or investigators think that the missionaries are there to solve all their problems. One of the older American Elders was talking to me about this when I was in Medellin after I left the MTC. They seem to think we are all wise and in tune to any issues they may be having. Its really uncomfortable. They really don’t want our help with the problem either, they want us to fix it and they put forth no effort. We can totally help them with spiritual stuff but family disputes not so much. The problem I had was that Hermana Jessica wanted to go to a festival but her mom said no. Thats the whole problem and they both thought we had divine insight into what they should do. Thats not something we can solve, thats something they need to talk about. I told them to pray about it. They didn’t like that idea. Missionaries are not all wise but they think we are and anything we say is divine.

I’ve missed the family scooter rides lately. Well I miss using any type of motorized object. We have to walk everywhere. I am always tired after we come home. I have lost 20 or so pounds. Well 9kg, I don’t know the exact poundage and yet I still have a slight pudge. Its smaller but I can’t believe how much extra weight I had. People here say they can see the weight loss in my face. My thought is how big was my head before. Was I walking around with a giant head and no one told me?

My comp, Elder Gomez, is stressing a lot lately because he thinks that the problem of our ward and the area here in Cerete are his problems. He thinks we are responsible for everyone when I think we can only do our best and not stress over it. I think I need to just start running between appointments to make him relieve stress. Also my Spanish is awesome. It’s been close to 4 months and I can talk to almost everyone. Well I can talk to every one I just don’t understand every time still. This slang and coastal accent are hard. They slur their words together and talk really fast. 

Love you guys lots, 

My Fridge Stocked Up

Sweet Motorcycle Taxi’s

Monday, July 1, 2013

Making A Difference

Hola Everyone,

Sorry for the late emailing today. We went to the beach and got back late and now I’m cramming to write everyone before the internet place closes.

This week out after tracting we had a guy come up to us as we were walking home and grabbed our arms. He told us what great examples of faith we were to him. It was kind of cool after we got over some stranger grabbing us at night. Usually people are pretty indifferent when they see us on the street, some also stare at the white boy but most people do nothing. I guess we are making a difference.

Also I’ve been wondering if Dad would print me some shirts for the missionaries like he did for Braden. I’m not sure if you saw that I wrote about it before so here it is again. We want some ´´All Whites´´ soccer jerseys. Can you screen print on jersey material? If you can that would be awesome. If not no worries, I still need to buy one from the team that all the Gringos have in this mission.

I had interviews with the president this week and asked him if they had seen any packages for me. The zone leader is supposed to pick up mail for us once a month but he has not brought me back anything and I know that you have sent 2 packages and Braden sent one. He said he would look into it for me. The zone leaders still swear that if there is a picture of the Virgin Mary on all the seams you have a higher successes rate for receiving them. Its weird, here its almost as if Mary is more important then Jesus. Its amazing how the devil can slightly change the focus of people so the are not focused on Christ.

People have been writing and complaining to me about the weather back home but 112 degrees is normal here. Everyday it is 90-115. It sucks. But it only reaches its peek around 1-3 in the afternoon. We just make sure that we have a lesson or some other thing planed that is inside a house during those times. Everybody back home needs to toughen up.

Best part of my week was going to the beach today. It was really relaxing. Below is a picture of the drawing I made while looking at the view you should check it out.

My spanish is coming along great. The elders said that once you have 3 months in the field your spanish is really good. They were right. I have a hard time remembering english words when people ask me about them sometimes now.

I can’t write more, they are going to shut down my computer .

Love you guys lots,
Our P-Day at the Beach