Monday, March 27, 2017

Cambios - It's a Change to Chuviscar!!


Well, first off, THANK YOU so much for the packages!!  I got everything - the backpack, the tie, (which is super awesome) and all the food, toys, supplies and Easter baskets!  And let me tell you that I won't need another single thing until next year!!  Haha!!  But, no worries Mom, if I find that I do need something, I'll let you know! Ha!! But really, no stress on anythinggggg!  Hahahaha!! And Thank You for Everything!

So, well, it finally happened... cambiosssssssss!!!

And something crazyyyyyyyyyyy... I'm going to be a District Leader O.O!!  Woah, Whaaaaaattt?!

So, yea, I'm going to be a DL in Chuviscar, and my companion is Elder Marx. He's a super nice guy, he has the same amount of time in the mission as me, but he was in another District in the CCM. He's pretty cool!

Our District is super tiny though, only us and a companionship of hermanas, and they're super chill too.  But, big or small, I'm excited for this opportunity to serve others and the Lord and I really hope that I can do all the He expects me to do.  I think this will be a good six weeks here, and as of right now I hope I stay for more. I'm still in the process of learning everything, and well I'm really relying on the help of the Lord yet again. But I know everything will be good!

I don't know if I mentioned enough detail about the baptism from last week. I'm going to miss that family, the familia Campa!  They were menos activos for 22 years - 22 YEARS!!  And por chance we contacted them, and from that moment on they were absolutely amazing!  I gave them all CTR rings and Future Missionary badges at their baptism and they always wear them and it's honestly awesome!!  I really think that they're gonna literally be future missionaries. They definitely have touched me and changed me a lot... The oportunity to be a part of their lives like this is honestly unforgettable. Every time we approached their house the kids ran out yelling 'Elders!!!!'  I love those kids!  And man, how amazing it was to be a part of their family for this time.

Changes came Sunday night, slash this morning (Monday) -- and SATURDAY, the DAY before changes, I BAPTIZED ADRIANNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!  Adrian is a young adult that we started to teach in NOVEMBER.  Almost every week he went to church and he accepted everything, but he always wanted to wait until he was really ready. Using personal experiences, I was able to help him get there and well, Saturday I baptized him!!  What an experience that was!... After so much preparation on his part, and ours -- Honestly so much preparation together, it was unreal. When I lifted him out of the water he was crying and we hugged in the water for like ten seconds, then left to go dry off and then hugged and cried some more. This guy is legendary, and boy, I have stories with him. I'll definitely tell you guys more about him later.  He's amazing, just a really special dude and I'm definitely gonna visit him after the mission --  maybe during the mission if I have the chance! 

Ohhhhhhhhhh I almost forgot to tell you - We totally went to Dennys and it was so good!!!! It totally reminded me of what we used to do, when we would hit up Dennys at night with the friends. Honestly, a crazy fun experience!

Also we went to have lunch with a member... and when we arrived he said he made carnitas with meat from a chicken and a pig, and there was a big pot on the stove. He asked us to help seperate the meat, like tear it up and shred it, and I thought 'no problem' that's totally normal, but when we stuck in the fork in the pot, we pulled up the HEAD OF A PIG!!  WITH TEETH, TONGUE, EYES AND EVERYTHING AND WE SLICED EVERYTHING UP AND WE ATE IT!!  Wow! It was by far the hardest thing I've ever had to eat in my life, but we did it!  When we were preparing it, I actually pulled a tooth and I'm saving it for who knows what! :) 

Saying goodbye to some of my best friends in the barrio Dani y Luis, they are sons of the Bishop, and of course, Adrian.

So right now everything is good. I'm nervous, excited, willing, and have faith that this will be good. I'm praying for it too! :) 

And well, I don't have too much more to throw out here, but just know that I'm way excited and yea, :) everything's good!!

I love you all!
Till next time,

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Missionary That Loved Everybody!!

Hey Familia!

Well, I totally got the package!! Thank you a bunch!!  Trust me when I tell you that I won't need supplies for the rest of the mission! Nor pants, nor backpacks, nor nothing!! Hahaha! But honestly, thank you so much for everything!!!!  Oh and yea, especially the cookies!! I told the latinos here that Girl Scouts make the best cookies in the world and now they totally believe me!! ;) Haha!! Thanks mom!

Well this week was super cool, and super heavy at some points also.  We've been having some trouble with some of our investigators, with attendances and everything, especially because there aren't a lot of members in my area and well, the area here is pretty humble. But everything's good, our investigators are just having personal trials right now... but we're here to try and help them through it. 

I realized this week that I should get back to basics. Back to basics in the sense that I want to start working on the Christlike attributes more. I've been spending so much time on Spanish and how to teach and what the lessons are that, honestly, I've forgotten to go back and relearn what I started to learn in the CCM.

And so this week I really want to focus on Charity. I have been here in Cerro Grande for three cycles (or changes), and a lot of people think I will be transferred out soon. Honestly who knows right? But hey, if I do, I wanna make sure that the last things that the members remember of me is that I was a super nice missionary who really cared about them. 'The gringo that could speak Spanish' isn't as pleasing to me as 'the missionary that loved everybody'!

And I think this will help with just about everything. I feel like we can't be doing Christ's work correctly if we're not working on becoming like Christlike, no?

Today was pretty awesomeeeeee because today we had a baptism!! And well, I felt the Spirit so stinking strong - this family is unbelievable! The familia Campa, and their story is unreallllllll and I'm always going to remember them! I'll definitely be able to tell you guys more about it in about 19 months! ;) Ha!  I baptized the little guy, Jose Manuel, his brother is Luis, and the kid in the orange is like my best friend!! His name is Alan, and he is '7 and a half years' and wants to get baptized on his birthday :) and his Dad is gonna do it!!!  They are the best!

Other than that, the comps and I are doing well!  We're a family, and that makes everything a lot easier. Spanish is going well, teaching is going well, and well yea, I really love some of the members out here in Cerro Grande. :)

Also I have more Spanish Jokes!!!!!! I think jokes are more funny in Spanish... maybe it's just me. I don't know, but here goes.

Hay una pera esta sentada en una parada del camion, y llego una manzana y pregunto a la pera, 'cuanto tiempo espera?' y la pera le dijo 'pues, toda mi vida' Hahahahaha!! Ask Dad it's super funny!!

Joke translation:  There is a pear (pera) at a truck stop, and an apple comes up and asks the pear (pera) 'how long have you been waiting (es-pera)?' and the pear said 'well, all my life'!  Hahahaha!!  :D OK, just in case more explanation is needed... it's a play on words... the Spanish word for pear is 'pera' and the Spanish word for waiting is 'espera', so when the apple asked 'how long have you been waiting?' the pear thought he said 'how long have you been a pear?'  Hahaha!!  

Well, I think thats kinda it for this week! I hope everything is awesome at home! I love you guys a bunch!!

Until next week,

Monday, March 13, 2017

Five Months in Mexico!!


Well, I hit five full months out here, and the time is starting to fly by. Kinda freaks me out to be honest!  But this week was really good. I had a lot of spiritual moments, pretty special moments at that.

But a few noteworthy things happened! To start, we had a baptism this month as a Barrio and one of the Elders here did the ordinance! It was super special! It's a less active family that we're all working with, us 4 missionaries, all together. They're a super special family. And actually, I'm gonna be baptizing one of their kids this week (Manny on the far right), so keep an eye out for that!! :)

Everyday is a good day out here, and if there's one good thing about being out here In Cerro Grande for this much time, it's that I know the members realllyyy well, and I'm good friends with just about all of them! :) I have some pictures to add with that.

Elder Sanchez and I continue to be really good for each other. We help each other a lot with advice and things like that, and when we teach we really teach together, and we always feel the Spirit as we do so.

I realized this week that Im most likely not gonna be seeing the baptisms of our 5 escogidos (investigators), due to attendance as a requirement, but Elder Sanchez helped me yet again, advising me that we don't always reap what we sow. And it made me think about the old tall tale about Johnny Appleseed. Hahaha.  He planted the seeds and later in his life he saw all the happiness his apples brought to the settlers, right? Well I kinda feel the same as that, and yea it sounds pretty silly, but it made me feel good.  :) 

Also, have you guys ever eaten a chile habanero before? Well, I have now, just this week. And I learned 2 things:

1.) Don't eat it!
2.) If you're gonna eat it, don't chew it whole bunch!  Haha!

I ate it, didn't think it would be so bad, so I chewed it a whollleeee lot and well... I introduced my mouth to a whole new world of spice and hurt.  Remember the first chile I told you about? I can eat those now, they aren't so bad.  Literally, I was crying - my tongue was shaking, and I drank like a half gallon of milk!  But, it was a genuine Chihuahua, Mexico experience, and for that, I'd say it was super cool at the same time! Hahahaha!

And well, in other news... I've made really good friends with the kids out here in Cerro Grande. Almost all of them love English, and so I always help them with that, and they always sing songs in English, and I teach them how to dance 'como un gringo' Hahaha! But yea, the important thing is that I'm loving the life out here still! Honestly, it's really great to be out here. Super hot, and I mean like super hot, but it's awesome still! :)

Oh, also, we went to a Stake Conference of a different stake this week because Elder Sanchez was invited to give the preisthood to his previous convert!! And so he did and it was a super amazing moment to be honest :)

I love you guys a bunch and I hope that you guys have an awesome week! God loves you, and He never makes mistakes! :)

Till next time!

P.S. Mom, I totally heard the song 'Right Back Where We Started From' in Centro and I totally thought about being a kid watching the Extremely Goofy Movie and it was totally awesome!! I forgot how awesome that song is!! Hahaha! (Following is the link to the song if you want to take a listen to the soundtrack of Nick's childhood :D)

And this is a picture with some of the great kids from Cerro Grande I mentioned earlier, Eli, the boy, Vania, the smaller girl, and Anet. Their Dad is a baker and he gives bread a lot!  Hahaha!!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Lauren Shares Her Letter From Nick!

Hey Guys,

     It's Lauren here updating Nick's blog... I apologize for posting a day late, I got too excited to hear from this amazing missionary that I forgot to upload his pictures and update!! There wasn't a general email, but in Nick's email to me, he shared some insight and thoughts that had really hit him this week and I wanted to share some of those with you all.

     He first began speaking on the importance of goal setting. He said that he believes strongly in goals, as that is what leads and motivates one to do their best each day. Having something to strive for gives ones day purpose and helps keep him/her on track. Goals can be broken up into smaller milestones that will keep the individual on track towards achieving their ultimate goal. In his short time in Mexico, he has quickly come to understand and appreciate the art of goal setting.

     As a missionary, the elders and sisters set goals each day of how many people they want to strive to help and serve and share Gods plan of happiness with. Nick has commented that doing this helps keep their day focused on their ultimate purpose, to help bring others unto Christ. However Nick went onto further explain that as missionaries, these goals they set, these numbers they set of 'how many people they wills serve' are not just  numbers on a piece of paper. He emphasized that each number on that paper is a person, a real person with a life, a family, and a Heavenly Father who loves them dearly. These numbers are people, and they matter:)

     He commented that this type of perspective has helped him find purpose and meaning to his missionary work. It helps him realize just how special those goals are, it helps him see those numbers as faces, as real people and not just numbers. He recognizes that those goals, those people are why he is there and why he loves this missionary work so much.

     He loves his mission, he loves the people of Chihuahua Mexico, and loves sharing the plan that our loving Heavenly Father has created for each and every one of us:) 

Until next monday!

 Missionary work is so fun, but so tasking.. taking a P-Day breather/nap:)

                                Sunday, coming back from church in the back of a truck bed

More in the truck bed:)