Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mexico Pachuca - Week 41 - August 25, 2014

Excerpts from his email

Work is going ok we have been working super hard and are finally seeing some fruits. we went to contact a reference this week and he asked us in the lesson what he needs to do to get baptized. that is like the question every missionary in the world would kill to hear. it was awesome. there's also the little 8 year old girl who wants to get baptized we just have to talk to her dad. he's kinda not super convinced the mom is fine with it. we also went with a sister and her husband isn't a member and taught him a couple times. he can also progress well i think. ya time is flying by its crazy.

About the new requirements in seminary, maybe you and dad can read with him every day a little bit, thats a big thing in the mission right now, we are encouraging every one to read the book of mormon from cover to cover and better if they can do it as a family. so if you guys have time, 5 minutes every day at the same time to just do it and get it done. i had a pretty crazy talk last night with a member about spirits and special spirits from what prez told me that one time. 

M: So what was this talk about, I am intrigued.

EP: ok so we talked to a sister and she was talking about the different elders that have been in the area. she has two ¨sons¨ who were like her kids and call her mom and everything. but she was talking about how they were really special elders and one especially had a really special spirit. she said it was like a force field. he just had a bubble and the spirit was with him in this bubble and you could see and feel it. his name was elder kirk. she said another elder who was here a little while ago elder segura had it too. she said its something she hasn't seen or felt often but she said when i came for the first time and met her son in law (he got baptized by elder kirk) that when i left he said that i had the same spirit as elder kirk. she said its a spirit of light or something like that and in a church magazine someone who worked in the mexico city airport who went to receive president hinckley wrote an article once. she said all the workers in the airport called president hinckley the man who glowed cause he just had a light around him. she said one day when i went to her house with elder segura that we were both like shining. idk it was weird but it made me think a lot about what president told me that one day. this sister is super cool though. she reminds me a lot of grandma kitashima haha. 

M: That's pretty cool and intense and it comes with a certain responsibility.  I think that it's also pretty cool that she would reference President Hinkley and his light. So this Elder Segura is in your mission now? and why does this sister remind you of grandma?

EP: Elder Segura is one of my leaders and he was here in xico like 6 months ago. 

Just how they talk. she knows a lot and they are about the same age idk haha.

M: Well son, it sounds like you are doing well.  We are happy to be a part of this journey with you.  Know that we love you and that we pray for you always.  Enjoy your time in Mexico son, your time serving the Lord 24/7. It should be two years that bring you so much, including knowledge, strength, courage and happiness.  

EP: ya i'm loving it already making plans to come back haha. love you guys i'll talk to you in a week. have a great week. 

Elder Park

Pictures from Tulancingo Zone Conference

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mexico Pachuca - Week 40 - August 18, 2014

Excerpts from his email

This week was pretty good not great but we found a couple of new people that could be baptized. We found a family with an 8 year old girl who wants to get baptized so i think that will happen soon. Her older brother and sister are baptized but her parents aren't so we will see what happens. Today we went to a place called Casa del Monje or the monk's house, apparently a monk lived there. it wasn't anything special but there was a cool little garden area but then it started to pour.

M: Wow son, pictures look almost like home, beautiful.  Is the water there clean?  Were you dying to get in? Was it a district activity?
I'm glad you had a better week. Hopefully you can teach the little girl and her parents.  Are her siblings active?

EP: i think this water was clean but most of it isn't. Yeah i would love to go swimming.  Just me and my companion went out in the mountains here a little bit, it was super cool, green and this little river is pretty much the whole trail. apparently theres some super cool waterfalls here too.

Siblings aren't super active but we went to go pick them all up for church sunday so we will see but they are a great family.

Elder Park

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mexico Pachuca - Week 39 - August 11, 2014

Excerpts from his email

hey mom hurricane scare that sucks. the weather here has been pretty crazy too. its hot and then it starts to pour and then it gets super humid so its weird. glad to hear you guys are ok though. this week was really good. the standards are to teach 40 lessons and we were working super hard and taught 43. it was a long tiring week but a good one. we had a couple more people come to church but well see what happens haha. story for the week. we went to go teach a lesson and it was super hot and then when we left the house it was pouring. like crazy pouring so we went to a store and bought trash bags to cover ourselves haha. then as we were walking a huge lightning bolt like flashed right above us and thunder insanely loud my companion just like booked it for the side of the street under a house and was like freaking out 

M: I guess your area is really just like home, hot and humid and then the rain comes. I am going to guess that the rain does not pour like it seems to over there, but it must remind you of home. What a wonderful accomplishment to teach all those lessons and to know that even though you were tired and it made for long days and probably a lot of praying, it was worth it and then to have people come to church, that's the icing on the cake! So how is the young man with the non-willing family doing, still teaching him? Do you guys have the same less active initiative as Keapo’s mission?

 EP: we had like three people come to church but the important ones we were waiting for didn’t haha so that kinda sucked. He’s working out of town right now so he leaves like Monday and comes back Sundays. We just saw him today but we haven’t been able to talk to him good. every week we try to have at least 25 lessons with investigators and 15 with less actives, that has always been the case so i don’t think so. i think its only over there but a lot of times where there are less active families there are some people who haven’t been baptized too. 

M: How are things in your area, your companion, your house? We see that there seems to be problems with some of the homes and water damage and stuff.

EP: everything is going ok. area is good the weather is a little funky but good. companion were still working on some things but good. house is good no damage but it always smells funky i don’t know what more we can do. we wash everything with bleach and super smelly soap we have air fresheners but it always just smells weird. 

M: So do you still keep in touch with your other missionary friends, Percy, Chris, anyone else? 

EP: Chris yes Percy not so much but my old companions most of them. its pretty cool i gotta take a tour of Mexico and visit all my companions that i like haha and maybe a side trip to Columbia. 

M: That's neat that you still talk with all your old companions. Transfer days must be fun to see everyone again. It is good that you are making life long friends. Was it your first companion that was from Colombia or the one before this one?

EP: transfer days are awesome seeing them is great but ya they’re gonna start leaving soon. my first district leader goes home september. my dad and my last companion go home the next cycle in November. Martinez in January. and then Hernandez and Contreras in march. my first companion and the one right before this one are both from Columbia. 

Elder Park

Mexico Pachuca - Week 38 - August 4, 2014

Excerpts from his email

hey mom i am doing good. its not easy haha but I’m good. The weather here has been up and down. at times super hot especially going around every where on bikes and then pouring rain like crazy. There’s major thunder and lightning here because were in the desert. they told us a police officer just died like a week ago cause he got struck by lightning. pretty crazy stuff the lightning and thunder scare me here haha. so yes life is short that has been a theme here too. were working really hard and its not easy but we need to find people to teach haha something i struggle with just talking to people on the street knocking on doors all that good stuff haha not my favorite but something i gotta do. 

M: Well son, what have I always told you boys about things that are hard, that's when we grow the most. So put yourself in the back seat and go forth as a representative of the Lord. As you keep knocking and talking to people, it will get easier. It may not ever be something you are totally comfortable with, I know to this day I don't like talking to people I don't know either or doing ice breakers or group work, but it is part of life today. So just go and do it! So how is the lightning and thunder there different?

EP: its just a lot bigger and louder and it kills people here. o also i was reading the book of Mormon again and i was reading the part where Lehi is blessing his sons and there are parts when he is blessing Jacob and some of the things he says is really similar to my blessing. like 2 Nephi 2 :2 i was like wow that’s pretty cool. so Jacob might be my new favorite book of Mormon person. So this area that I am in isn’t the most country part i have been in. in Tepa (second area) it was more country and fields and stuff but this is the farthest part i have been in. the food so far has been normal nothing crazy. i did eat chicken mollejas i have no idea what that is but its not normal chicken meat haha. ya we ride bikes in this area and o man its so hot riding the bikes it kind of sucks and my bike is like broken haha. 

M: Well I guess you could always decide to walk, can you walk or is the area to big? Do the families still feed you everyday?

EP: the area is pretty big and going on bikes we get around way faster. ya we eat with families every day. 

M: So I need something for the blog please, story of some kind?

EP: um the dude that got struck by lightning is a pretty crazy story idk i feel like nothing good happened this week haha. we talked to the loads of people taught the restoration a bunch of times and invited a bunch of people to get baptized and no one went to church so we worked super hard and now we gotta start from 0 again. Definitely a learning experience. haha also the Simpsons is super popular here and a i bought a shirt haha. we played soccer again today in the burning sun but it was really fun. 

M: The guy who got killed by lightning, was it streak lightning and was he walking around or in a vehicle? Is this weather normal for that area? How are you and your companion doing?

EP: he was a police officer. he went under a tree to get cover from the rain and apparently the tree and his radio both attracted the lightning and ya. the storms apparently aren’t that bad yet. its gonna rain more and get worse apparently. We are doing ok definitely got some quirks but were ok. i am learning and loving haha. ya i bought a Simpsons shirt. i never watched it at home but like every one loves it here. ya its crazy like its blazing hot in the afternoon then a couple hours later its pouring like rivers in the streets pouring. ya definitely an attitude love everyone kinda thing. not just him everyone here. haha. thank you for the prayers and support its a lot. i am seriously blessed to have you guys. my companion doesn’t have a lot of support from home and that makes it harder. his parents don’t know how to use the computer so he only talks to them Christmas and mothers day. 

M: well son, I am grateful that we can be of support to you and that you are seeing the world with different eyes. It is not all the same for everyone and so understanding how things are different can help you to be more accepting of others and their situation.

EP: yes i need to be more loving try and see things from his point of view and just love him. i definitely need to get better but talking to you guys kinda helps me see that and be more patient haha. but i will talk to you guys in a week love you guys. if you have time president told us to read the talk atonement and the journey of mortality by elder Bednar. i liked it a lot it was really cool. 

Elder Park

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mexico Pachuca - Week 37 - July 28, 2014

Excerpts from his email)

I’m doing good. I’m in an area called Xicotepec. I thought i was in the boonies before now I’m seriously in the boonies. We left the state of Hidalgo and are now in the state of Puebla. It’s the area that connects the mission Mexico Pachuca with the mission Mexico Puebla. We had to take two busses and took like 3 hours to get out here. Its way hotter here than in Pachuca. It’s a lot like home actually. Humid and jungly. There’s lehua trees, macadamia nuts, the loads of banana trees, its very similar to home but at the same time not even close. The work is ok here I’m excited for my time here and hope to kind of revive the area a bit. There’s a lot of work for us to do. 

M: Wow, son, boonie land for you for a little while. So how's the housing, hot water? So are you in the district that just has one companionship. How's your companion, tell us a little about him. Did you get more responsibilities? At least you can still email!

EP: Housing is ok. Starting the week was bad. I got here and the elders paid the electricity late so they cut our power. They didn’t buy gas so we didn’t have hot water for the first couple days but we got everything fixed and right now things are good. No I’m not in that district but the rest of our district is in like the neighboring town an hour away. Every Wednesday we have to take like an hour bus ride to get to district class. My companion is from Poza Rica like an hour from here haha. We take the bus from Pachuca that goes to his house we just get off before we get out there. He’s a great guy he’s working really hard and trying really hard right now. I am senior companion so yes a little bit but not too different. 

M: So you guys stopped at his house before you got to the area that you are assigned? What is your companion's name; I will add that picture from the mission blog. How long has he been out? How is it that he is serving so close to home? That's pretty interesting. Are you in the same ward as his family, probably in the same stake?

EP: No the bus we take goes to his house but we get off in our area a little before we actually get to his house. His name is Elder De La Cruz. He’s been out for a little over a year. There’s a bunch of people that are serving in this mission and it’s the mission right next to where they live its weird. They can take a bus home after the mission or they could actually visit home on p-day. No were not in the same stake this is the last ward in this stake, once you go farther it changes stakes and missions. 

M: Are you teaching anyone in your new area? What do you guys do fro P-day since you are so far from others?

EP: We are teaching some people right now the one that’s closest is Isidro. He’s 18 and knows everything the problem is his family doesn’t want him to get baptized so we will see what happens. Today we played soccer with some young men in the ward it was good but super hot. 

M: What are his family’s objections to the gospel, are they catholic?

 How is the ward, just like home? Is it a ward or branch?

EP: Ya they just don’t want him to change religions. 

It’s a ward but its super small. The sacrament room has like foldable chairs that they have to set up every week. And this week only like 70 people came to church. It’s a small small ward. 

M: Then you must teach the family together I guess! The Lord will guide you and him as you do His will and practice perfect obedience. That is a very small ward, but like you said, plenty of work to do. 
How big is the area, are you still walking a lot, hills? or more flat. Are you emailing from the chapel again? I was kind of worried you might not have internet.

EP: Haha no i don’t think so. The family is like so against it they almost burned his Book of Mormon and apparently wants to beat us up. Ya he’s gonna get baptized sooner or later he knows everything he needs to but it’s something really hard. Its not an easy situation. 

Its big, but not as hilly as where i was but there are hills. nah we have internet here its like a town but its just really far from Pachuca. It’s a pretty touristy town its one of a few towns that are called pueblos magicos. its like magic towns or something haha 

M: Please be careful and listen to the spirit to keep you safe and to turn hearts.

So now you have to explain the Pueblo Magico, why are they called magic towns?

EP: Ya we’ll be fine mom don’t worry about it. 

Like all the towns that are more touristy and have something special are called pueblo magicos which means like magic town. i don’t know what this town has but its a pueblo magico. 

M: So if I googled your area I might learn a little more is what you are telling me. I'm sure Mexico has a rich history of stories and tales, I just didn't realize that there were towns that had to do with magic, very interesting.

EP: Ya you can probably find it haha. no i don’t think they have anything to do with magic its just what they call all these towns. 

M: Is there a big statue of some virgin? That's the picture that is coming up on the google search.

EP: haha ya, a giant one! love you guys, thank you for everything. 

Elder Park