Monday, February 24, 2014

¡Hace calor!

My package isn't here, but I did get a super sweet drawing of Zachary's furby. That made me smile. Please send little pieces of art with every package if that's possible! It means so much to me. Thank you!

This week went really well for us. The truth is that the Lord blesses His servants. We were incredibly blessed to be able to help bring a family one step closer to the temple. A member told us his son had apparently been baptized when he was 8 but the record was never made and they had no photos. Recently he had been going downhill with bad friends and influences. We did a family home evening this week with over 20 people in the family and the Spirit was truly powerful and we helped all see the importance of accepting Christ in our lives by means of faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. It was also cool because it was a lot more old fashioned preach-on-the-corner style than a normal lesson. So we baptized 2 on Sunday, cousins. This Sunday they will receive the Holy Ghost. That family is so happy.

Going to those lessons was super fun. We hopped in the back of the Mission Leader's fruit truck driving out to a rural community and felt the cool breeze going who knows how fast.  We had some fun taking pictures in the wind.

Also, the heat finally came this week. I actually have no idea how warm it got but the sun feels extremely scorching in Papantla. Ademàs climbing up and down hills all day doesn't help with the sweat...

Mission life is interesting, but life all comes down to the Lord is in charge. He trusts us enough to use our agency and choose for ourselves but He is always planning the perfect way for us to receive blessings right when we need them. I know that God is our Heavenly Father. He loves us and knows us personally and He desires for all of us to be able to return to Him and become better people.

Monday, February 17, 2014

I love fruit snacks

I have the same curse in the mission. (Note from Mom--I had written to Abram about how our dishwasher had stopped working....not unusual for things in my life).  Everything I touch breaks. I had forgotten that in the States we have machines that wash our dishes for us... how weird it will be to go back...

The first Dorrough cousin to get married! Holy cow!  Also, please tell David and Michelle a million thanks for their package. They have no idea how grateful I was to eat the fruit snacks - I was seriously jumping up and down in excitement remembering food at home.

I was thinking about Grandpa this week, too. It's weird because it doesn't seem like he's on the other side to me still. I know he is always watching out for me.

The Lord really is watching out for me.

Random questions...How many people live in Bolivia? In La Paz?

On Sunday we performed the confirmation of the 3 younglings we have baptized recently. Little Jareth was wearing a whole glob of gel in his hair and my hand almost slipped on his head, which was funny. I testify that the mandate to ''receive the Holy Ghost'' is not simply a statement but rather a commandment we are given through all our lives beginning in that moment. We must take His name upon us, always remember him, and keep his commandments to always have the Spirit with us.

The weather here has been up and down crazy recently... my comp is getting sick from it. From 10 degrees to 30 degrees within a few hours. apparently the whole mission is getting sick. but not I. I refuse to get sick any time on my mission.

Papantla is a fun little city. I still haven't gone to Tajin yet, but rest assured in my several months here I will and I will take many a picture. Apart from that these recent Mondays I have gone to play soccer on a field where I have used my tacos. Last week, I actually scored a goal, which was a miracle. I'm by no means good at soccer so that was a surprise to me!

Until next week.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Another week in Papantla

The mountains here go on forever and ever.

Thousand pardons for leaving you hanging last week. My comp was very strict on the 60 minutes rule. Because his trainer was very strict on that... So we'll do the best we can with 60 minutes. I miss Elder S.

I trust in Noah's awesome dominance in everything he does. Thank you for the French books and advice. It should be pretty easy to pick up, I hope.

How interesting that it snowed back home! That means I can finally answer the question everybody asks me ''Does it snow? The US is so cold!'' So now I can say ''a veces''.

Anyway! This week the mission developed a completely different teaching model. We were asked to throw away our old lesson to memorize (thank goodness I did that a long time ago) and now we're asked to study a list of points that are basically the same. And use a lot of scriptures. According to the zone leaders, it's going to be very much up to the companionship what to teach and basically just use Preach My Gospel and the Spirit. I hope.

I have forgotten to tell you. It was very extremely demasiado cold these past couple weeks. I actually used my coat that I bought in Teteles because I was so cold. It was a very random and weird winter weather phenomenon that has certainly interrupted my sleep since I got to Papantla. Today was the first warm day I've actually had here.

Also, after the conference with Elder Valenzuela he asked President why the mission never adopted the no-backpacks rule when he saw every single missionary in the mission wearing a backpack... so the deal is now that we can use our backpack hasta que no sirva and then instead of buying another backpack we have to buy the one strap bag thing that I only know what it's called in mexico and it's not a nice word. Normally a backpack in Mexico lasts a good 4 months or so. The good news is Mountain Hardware has a tendency to last forever so I'm not worried about that one.

The city is beautiful and the ward here is so great.  This is a happy place to be for the next few months.
 This is how we go to church.  One member drives his fruit truck around to pick up those who need a ride.

These are two niños who were baptized last week. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Papantla me encanta

This week the mission had a visit from Elder Valenzuela of the 70. He gave the talk ''Small and Simple Things'' in conference in October and is a member of the Mexico area presidency. Too many details but so many good changes are coming... again.  A whole lot of things I can't remember at this moment due to time. But it was excellent.

Part of his visit was to emphasize the need for everybody to be studying a second language. Now that a 70 told everybody face to face, they're likely going to do it. Also, the mission President says that I need to study a 3rd language during language study now... so the question is, which? French or German? Or another random suggestion? Respond soon because I need answers and study materials...  (Note from Mom--of course, I told Abram French and shipped him off a box of my French study materials).

After only about 12 days with Elder C, I can say one thing for sure: 19 year olds are much more mature than 18 year olds. Holy cow. It's a struggle especially because he likes to be contentious, but I'm working with him as much as I can. I haven't felt as much frustration since Elder P. But it's all good. It depends on how I choose to react.

I love my ward. From the Bishop on downward everybody does what he needs to from visits to scripture study to family home evening. Therefore it's a miracle ward of Mexico. For example, it's been a long time since I heard a member randomly quiz me on what Zeniff did in the Book of Mormon. It's also been a long time since I saw two recent converts get the Priesthood the very next week.

Papantla is a fun city. I think it's one of the smaller six cities in the mission (where there is a stake also). The downtown has a European feel to it and outside is all jungly 3rd worldness. The power went out one day this week and we taught several people using candles as lighting. Also this week we went to pick up investigators and members in the ward mission leader's giant fruit truck. We had a whole bunch of people herded up like cattle in the back all so we could save our money on taxis and eat instead. But hey, it's Mexico - there aren't traffic laws here!

 One member owns a Chinese restaurant.  it made me remember there’s more than just tortillas, rice and beans to eat.  Aside from pizza, I legitimately can’t remember what I ate before the mission.

La bici no es mía.