Monday, August 31, 2015

Weeks 65 and 66 ~ Lots of pictures

Week 65:

Hi mom, I really hope that things are going well back at home, I really love you both very much. It sounds to me like you guys continue having fun experiences without me *sob sob*. Hahaha, naaah, está bien, I am having a ton of fun out here. This week I got to meet an apostle and his wife. It was honestly incredible. He is so much older than I realized, but so much wiser and more intelligent. He gave us some great council and honestly I realized how much I have to improve. I also got to meet Elder Paul Piper, he is honestly super smart, I feel like in these talks I honestly learn so much, but I know that it is applying what they teach that really matters

How did things with the Job search, have you had any nibbles? I dunno, for obvious reasons that cncerns me, but I hope it goes okay.I honestly have always wondered how they choose the relief society presidents back at home because its honestly easier here with how few people there are. 

Well mom think of this, there are a little over 250 days left in my mission, that is not that terribly much. I will be leaving Cosamaloapan this week after 6 months, its honestly nuts, I cannot believe that I have been in my last two areas for a full year now.Lol, our President tells alll of the missionaries to get married fairly quickly when they get back, so that's funny.

The Jerusalem center is honestly super cool. I would love to be able to go back there to study, butt I don't think they have the classes I want, and its expensive, but even so it is still pretty cool. Hahaha, you are feeding me, if i take money out of my acount, its because they give me 100 dollars a month to eat, wash, write, and go all over the state and my area. Thank you thank thank you so much for the package, it was just so great, I loved it.

The work goes great here, I just had to literally chew an Elder out big time this week because he just is not working and is destroying the area, and I don't know what to do, I dont know if thats wrong or what I should do, but I honestly just want to do whats right, and I dont want to be like one of thsoe leaders that is always yelling and stuff. I dunno, its a hard situation for me.

I love you lots, both of you. Keep up the Good work at school, I know you can do it!
Love Kevin

Week 66:

Hi mom, i dont remember what photos I have sent you and what I have not so here goes

1.This is of the bishop and his family, and honestly it was awesome to have gotten to know them, they are so inspiring. The bishop reactivated after liek 30 years of being inactive, and his wife is a convert of 2 years, but they honestly are consecrated to the gospel, I will miss them so much.

2. That is of me with the stake president, I really formed a great bond with him, he honestly taught me some of my most spiritual lessons and how to talk to people in a way where you make them feel good and help lift them, he is so gonna be a mission president.

3. This of me with our ward mission leader and his family. We went in and talked with them, and it was incredible because the lesson with them, the lord honestly just put words in our mouths, and it completely and totally changed him. I cant even remember what I said, but it was great because he reactivated hard core from that day forward.

More Pictures:
1. I need you to find and plant a tree of these things, I honestly love donkey bananas!

2. This is the family molina, and they honestly are wonderful, we baptized the mom and dad, and the son will go on a mission(I hope) I honestly love them all, and they're so kind to me.

3. This is of paco and reyna, they're converts of just less than a year, and honestly 2 of the most firm and biggest workers in Cosamaloapan, I would do just about anything to be able to go to their endowment. It is incredible all of the things that didn't used to be important but now are.

Anyways, so this week I finally said goodbye to Cosamaloapan, it was a great 6 months, can you believe I spent a year in my last 2 areas. It was incredible, I will miss so many people there. Just between you and me mom, it shocked me some of the things that people said, everyone told me what a work we had done their in cosamaloapan, it made me honestly feel super good, but I worry about my pride. Honestly I don't like being complimented by others, I never know what to say or do, and I worry about my pride when they do. That being said, this weekend Anslemo got called as the elders quorum President, which is honestly one of the best things that could have happened. I cannot believe that a few months ago he was living out of wedlock and now he is completely good with everything! Also just between you and me, I got sent off as a zone leader to what is essentially hell in terms of temperature (yes, I am in charge of missionary work in Hell I found it funny). It is weird because I have realized there is nothing different between a zone leader and anyone else, and yet I remember how I looked up to those around me. I really want to do a good job and be a good example, but its really nerve racking, and so many zone leaders fall in to pride which I want to avoid really badly. When I got here today, this house was filthy. No not dirty, not mildly stinky, FILTHY. To give you an idea, there was rotten cow stomach in a Tupperware container, with a scrungie that had been used 5 times as long as it should have been. It is honestly disgusting, but my companion and I started cleaning and are going to make this place habitable! Anyways, this zone has been absolutely destroyed by the previous Elder who was the zone leader. Honestly it is really really bad, but my goal is to be able to help them so that they can get everything all good. What this new choice means is that I don't get pressure anymore mom, I don't get anyone telling me what to do. Instead, I put my own goals, put my own pressure, and am here to help as many people as possible. I am excited for the challenge, but it makes me really really nervous.

Enough about me, I love hearing that you are almost done, mom enjoy school while you can, I remember how you always told me just how much you wanted to go to law school, just how important that was for you. Honestly mom, I know that it will be over soon, but try and enjoy what is left, there is a favorite quote of mine. Ï dream and thought that life was joy, I woke up and realized life was duty, I watched and realize duty was joy. You have so much to do, but try and enjoy the challenges, it'll make it all go better. 

You´ll have to send me some dive fotos here soon, that would be really cool. I love you lots, I just hit 15 months this week, if you can believe it? When I get out of hell I will be almost done! I love you very much, here is the last foto and it is of me and my new companion, Elder Luna. He is super chill and from Sinaloa, which I have had really good experiences with people from there.
Elder Standridge

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Week 64 ...Posted late by me (MOM)

Hi mother, well I cannot tell you how shocked I was to see the photos from your email. Its incredible I can honestly remember when Dakota was born, it is just incredible how big she is getting. I feel like the whole world is getting slowly flipped upside down while I have been out here. The longer I have been out here, the more I realize that so many of the things that I missed at the start of my mission, that seemed so important just no longer hold the value to me that they used to. I mean so often we put so much value on things like Television and other forms of entertainment that we so often fail to realize how much time we lose from those things in our lives. I was thinking about one of my favorite series when I was younger, it was 100 episodes long, each for a little less that a half hour. When added up, this means that I wasted literally two complete days of my life watching just this one show, not to mention all of the other things such as video games listening to music, etc. I used to think that those things made me happy, but I have just started to learn that those things aren't real, they're just in our heads, the things that truly matter, our families, our friends, people who are truly suffering deserve our attention. This is not to say I wont ever do anything that's fun again (that would be quite dull indeed) but I really have changed my priorities since being out here. I only mention that because as I saw all of those photos, I remembered all of the days when dad would take me to do drip castles in the sand, I don't remember most of all any video game or anything like that, but I remember the times when like you guys took me to the beach or to San Francisco, all of those moments which I didn't appreciate at the time, but now are my treasures.

It makes me happy to hear how you have involved so many people in ward activities, if I could only get people to be that involved in activities! I certainly have not developed your party planning abilities! Anyways, I only lack 2 more weeks here in Cosamaloapan, and I can honestly say that I love this place. It is so weird how nothing ever seems to change here, its like life is always the same, the weather changes, but it feels like back there everything is always different. I am with a newbie, and its really funny because he mentions so many things that have changed in the world that it has shocked me. By the way, if you guys would tell me whats going on with politics that would be super appreciated, I miss it, and the only thing I heard about was that Donald Trump hates Latinos (they flipped out about it)

Anyways, as far as the work goes, it keeps progressing. The highlight of the week was from Zone Conference, President is honestly making me feel stupid, he is way way smarter than me, and honestly has taught us how to teach so much faster and more efficiently. My companion and I then applied this in a lesson and it was great. We taught this woman who is a bit like a catholic version of a seminary teacher, and she really liked it, and wants to go to church. I am a little sad because we were hoping to finally complete with Mexico´s standard of baptize every week, but this next week the person who was going to get baptized was super sick and couldn't come to church, so there is the problem.

Something that seriously was powerful this week was a fast that my companion did. I asked President if because of the heat here, we could drink water when fasting, and he said basically no that isn't fasting then. (this is very different than the old president) my companion and I did a fast, and honestly it felt like for the whole day my body was on fire, I honestly could hardly stand it. We ended after planning and had like no food in the house and when our neighbors found out that we had done this all day, they cooked us up some fish and picadas (i will make some for you when I see you). In that moment a feeling of overwhelming gratitude came over me. I have gotten so accustomed to the sisters giving us to eat lunch everyday that it has become something expected. They take such good care of us, so I really hope to be more grateful for what they do in the weeks to come. Anyways, those are the most memorable moments, take care, love you!

Elder Standridge

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Week 63

Hi mother, believe you m, I know exactly what you mean about teaching the young guys. Sometimes they get distracted really easily, and one really has to help them to focus. The thing is at that age though, they learn even if they don't seem like it. There are seminary teachers who have busy work schedules, and prepare a lesson everyday with kids who bring pillows and blankets to their class. Sometimes I worry that those poor seminary teachers might feel like their efforts are in vain, but in all honesty, they don't realize the effects that they can have on some people. 

I honestly have realized that I have such a hard time with you kids out here. There are several little kids that are always screaming and disrupting lessons, and sometimes it just makes me feel super helpless. Like I wonder what I will do someday because honestly my companion right now is totally good with little kids and can get them to be quiet and things like that, but I dunno, I wonder if because I never had any little brothers or sisters and never had to deal with that, if it just makes me like really bad with it. Regardless, at least the mission has taught me that neither baby sitting nor elementary school teaching are my callings in life.
Something that has really touched me this week is the importance of the worth of a soul. This week I get invited to the zone leader conference (I'm still a district leader, but he wanted me there for whatever reason) and I got the opportunity to realize how dumb I am. Honestly President Cordova makes me feel super unintelligent by comparison. First off he taught us about how we need to really teach the restoration in the first lessons with people. Some people yelled out about what about the needs of the people. Then he said tell me needs, and every need he related perfectly to the restoration and explained why the person needed to know that more than anything else. Next he has really been helping us to become better teachers. Its honestly great and I have realized how bad of a teacher I was in college in the elders quorum and really want to improve that for when I get back. The more I think about it, the more I have realized that I would be happy spending the rest of my life working in a classroom, its really something I enjoy (my classroom will be have air conditioning because if I have to keep teaching in this kind of heat I am not going to be a happy camper). Finally he played a talk for us by Elder Christofferson that talked to us about how much is a soul worth to God. Each one of us is a spirit child of him and has the potential to become like him. For God, our worth is the potential to become like god. There are not ordinary people. No one is just plain or unavailable. To God, everyone around us has the potential to become like him,but unfortunately so many of us live below that potential. IT made me super grateful to my Father in Heaven and really helped me to care about those around me. As I walked down the street I realized that all the people I didn't talk to, I was allowing them to not achieve this potential, and it really made me want to work harder here.

Oh by the way, the fotos are first, imitating President and his stereotypical looking over the glasses and pointing.
Second and third are of a baptism of a young man named Eric. His older Brother just was forced to come home early from his mission for dignity reasons. Honestly Mom, I have so much respect for the people who are brave enough to admit that they have sinned and come home from their mission. There is so much pressure, what will ones parents think, what will ones friends think, but at the same time one feels incredibly guilty. Its so hard, and I have a ton of respect for hi older Brother. Anyways, luckily or unluckily, because he came home from his mission, his older brother was able to be at his brothers baptism. It was great and honestly I really really enjoyed it. 



I love you both lots, and you will be in my prayers, take care, I know you will find a job soon, and I hope you enjoy life their in California, see you soon.

Elder Kevin Standridge

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 62

Hi dad, well I really am super glad to hear about you getting to go to the beach, I hope that you enjoy it while it lasts in these months, I am super jealous, and would be super tempted to go swimming in the giant river here, but there are whirlpools that kill be annually, so I am gonna avoid that. Its really cool Dad, I just really wanted to sharewhy I love my mission so much, the miracles that are here and what has happened here with 3 families in our ward and the changes that have been brought to their lives.

Veronica and Anselmo-We found them as we were going around looking for less actives. He joined the church as a teenager and was active until he was in his 30´s, but has been less active for more than 10 years. He and his wife had had massive problems for years, and were on the point of separating when we found them. We got there by accident, and taught them for several weeks. Over the course of teaching them their marriage improved significantly and their problems have stopped for the most part. They got married while we were teaching them, and Veronica and their daughter Paola got baptized. Anselmo is probably gonna be the Elders Quorum President here in the next couple of weeks and they're super happy.

Francisco and Francisca-Their son Uriel was a less active 15 year old that actually got baptized by one of my zone leaders when I first got here. We went in, taught Uriel, and Francisco came with him to church. It was incredible because he didn't seem to have any problems and we just taught him the Gospel, nothing more nothing less. He apparently had been fighting constantly with his wife and their son had started going out with a really bad group of kids. Apparently over the course of us teaching him, all the problems stopped, and Uriel wants to be a missionary. Currently we are teaching Francisca, and its incredible because she is accepting the Gospel super well. 

Juan and Estella- Juan was from a Mormon Family that had gotten baptized quite a while ago. He was really active when he lived in Ciudad Juarez and was the wards secretary. There Estella got baptized. Since they moved to Cosamaloapan, they had dis-activated and had stopped going to church. We had found Estella´s brother, who as  a coincidence had gotten baptized while they were in ciudad Juarez. From there we began to teach Juan and Estella and we baptized their 9 year old son Juan Ramon. What we didn't know was that they were at the point of separation their marital problems were so bad. They have not only solved the marital problems but are paying tithing, despite the fact that Estella quit her job to go to church (suddenly as soon as they payed tithing they got the idea to sell burritos, a food not sold here in Veracruz that sold like nuts) and Juan will soon be the ward secretary, we are also teaching his nephew Kevin.

Dad there are miracles here around every corner. I get to see people change their lives and love them so very much. My mission blesses me, and the Lord takes a lot of care of me. One day after going through a fast the woman who was supposed to give us lunch canceled. Being Sunday, we couldn't buy food, so we just said well lets get to work. We went over to see Juan and Estella, and incredibly there they had 10 volovanes for my companion and I. I know that as a missionary I get the luck to serve the Lord. Since being here I have seen too many miracles to believe otherwise. I miss you lots, I hope you take care, and will see you soon.