Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 53 - HALF WAY MARK - Pictures: THEN/NOW

Here are some pictures Kevin sent from the beginning of his mission to now....

Here is Kevin in June - 2014, with his first Companion ~~~

Here is Kevin this month on his mission May - 2015 ~~


What a difference a year makes.... ( He is sooooooo skinnny)  Here is Kevin's letter from this week and a few more pictures....


Well I had to start this letter again because I started writing in Spanish. I can send pictures today so here is some cool stuff. So anyways, Happy 50th BDAY MOM!!!!!! Ahh, I remember super well your 40th, with all the people from work, I cannot believe a decade has passed. It is super weird how the years fly. I wish I could be there, but I hope that these pictures will make up for it!

Anyways, here in Mexico things have been going super well. You should know that May here is known as the month of hell, because of how hot it gets (its true) so needless to say, I am super happy that we are finally in June, but..... that means that the mosquito's start! By the way, weird things you find in Mexico, I looked down at my shirt and there was a mutant ant that could fly, like an ant with wings, super odd!!!

So anyways, interesting news about my secret culinary arts license. So there is a woman here who gives us fruit cocktails for free whenever we stop by (she has been a member for years) I have since attempted to learn how to cut fruit and have gotten pretty good at it. I can completely cut a papaya or any other fruit super fast to make cocktails. I honestly love them. Also I have officially gotten down how to make tortillas by hand (with a little machine, but also hitting the masa), and how to make different salsas of all different types. I've learned how to do empanadas, picadas, memellas, I still need to master the panucho though (which is basically like a tostada, but you put the meet inside of the fried tortilla. Oh and by the way, here, no one else drinks plain water, everyone makes fruit waters, so I will have to make some watermelon water. I will definitely miss the mango's and the pineapples here. By the way, every morning I get up, and run in the middle of the street, which given Mexican taxi drivers is about as safe as wearing lady gagas meat dress in shark infested waters. Nevertheless, we had a ward activity this week and some of the neighbors came and were really interested in talking to us because they want to learn to be super athletic, and see me running in the morning! (Although the town was having a 5k and some of the members asked if we could participate, so I asked president, and he told me no in a tone that told me I was stupid for asking, so there you go)...



I just wanted to send this photo to contrast from 1 year ago. I did not actually get the code until today mom, so I will try and go today or if not today during the week to pick up the money, thank you very much for sending that to me, I really appreciate it.

Anyways, in regards to this week, we have really gotten some ward members that have become like family mom. I want you to know how well they take care of us. We have been working with a couple that are named veronica and anselmo. Wow, I cannot believe how much they have changed, Veronica and her daughter are not members and anselmo was super close to going on a mission but never went They're about 45 years old, and invited us to eat with them, and I love them.







We now have a new ward mission leader which is honestly making me super excited because he works super well with us, and knows all of the ward members. His family honestly is great, and he has a brother that we all call 3 brothers, one of whom is called hulk, because his shorts are all ripped at the bottom. (they showed me a photo that said, single, and had the hulk, married and had Shrek, which I thought was hilarious) Anyways, something interesting, our ward mission leader and his wife had deactivated, weren't going, and weren't working in the Gospel. Our relief society President, who was the hardest worker in the ward, just moved, and there was no one to take her place. Anyways, my companion and I went and gave a lesson to the ward mission leader and his wife about the importance of covenants, and they both just reactivated, 2 weeks before the relief society president moved. When his wife reactivated she just started working a ton, and was chosen as the new relief society president. Now my companion and I aren't magic missionaries neither did we do a ton of prep for the lesson, nor did we even think she could be the new president. But as I play it out in my mind, I see a perfectly logical course behind my actions, in spite of not knowing what I was doing. The same thing happened when we found Veronica and Anselmo, and everyone else that we are teaching. As a missionary I have come to realize that God has created a perfectly formed plan, and he will accomplish what he wants to with or without me. Had I not gone with that sister, I am sure a ward member would have, or she would have heard a talk that inspired her, or something would have happened. I am just a tool here to accomplish the work of God. I love my mission, it has made me realize how small I really am, and yet, how infinitely vital the role that I play is as a missionary. Of all the people in the city of Cosamoalapan, my companion and I are the two that God, the most powerful being in the universe is most focused on. What we do, to help his children reach salvation, on a daily basis is so much more important than anything else that is being done in this city. I am infinitely grateful for the opportunity to serve here in this role, and even more excited to continue serving the Lord for the rest of my life, even when my time as a missionary has ended.



Mother I love you so much. Study and work hard, keep trying, I know everything will be okay. I invite you to try praying before study, you will feel the spirit inspire your mind as you work on the problems, I promise you. I love you very much, happy birthday, more photos soon.

Elder Standridge





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