Monday, May 16, 2016

LAST EMAIL FROM ELDER STANDRIDGE

Mom in all honesty I was just thinking about how my mission was going, and in my last week, I wanted to talk a little bit about how I feel. I am really happy with how the mission went. In Nueva era, I don't know if you remember mom, but I was so very close to going home. I cannot believe how stressed I was, I thought that there was no way that I could do it. I remember my trainer putting his hands on my head and telling me that I had a lot of good to do here in the mission. I didn't want to admit it at the time, but that blessing gave me the strength I needed to keep going, it wasn't what he said, but it was what I felt as he gave me the blessing. I know that the priesthood is real, and that it has the power to save us when we need it. I feel mixed about my time in Santiago, I spent the first 6 weeks doing basically nothing, we literally brought no one to church for 6 weeks. Then Elder Espinoza got there. It was like a light in the darkness. I really cannot believe the way that he affected me and changed me in ways that I cannot describe. He encouraged me, treated me like an equal, and made me feel like I could be brave here in the mission. 

After that little spark I got sent to Progreso, and my next companion was very harsh, and nearly crushed it, it was so close to destroying the light that had been formed. There in progreso I grew up from someone robotic to someone that learned to be brave and do what he needed to do. That being said I was influenced a lot by my companions, they brought me into mild laziness, mild disobedience, and I finish my time in progreso and I feel really guilty. The biggest and most important thing that happened in my mission was when I repented, I sat in a house at 930 at night extremely guilty and decided, I am going to repent. I went through a very difficult guilt and decided that I would repent with everything that I had. They sent me with a mildly lazy companion, and we started working, and working like crazy. I put myself super obedient, and little by little we started seeing miracles. The assistance of the ward skyrocketed, we had 8 people in church, and were baptizing constantly. It was great. Then, they sent me to tierra blanca, a place known for being hell at least in temperature(I discovered it was not). While I saw some good success in Cosamaloapan, I saw even more in tierra blanca. We had 12+ baptisms of adults, and the best part is that every single one of them is super active. When they sent me from there to here in Reserva I was not happy at all.

I dunno, the area was super super dead, but I would have liked to see more. Its very interesting I worked hard here, and I dont know how I am doing down here. I didnt hardly reactivate, I felt like a tried, but it was not my priority at all. I focused more on the baptisms. I left a pretty decent tank (13 investigators with a baptismal date at one point), but I am not super happy with the converts, I dont know if they will stay firm, and are really converted, its so hard when I feel like they arent converted but I am not sure, I dunno mom, I feel mixed about reserva, but I feel like I honestly tried my best, and I suppose that is all I can ask. In total I feel like my mission was a story of repentance, I had a really rocky start, but I thoroughly repented and am happy to say that I really saw miracles, even more importantly, I can honestly say that I changed a lot. I mentioned that about loving people in the call. Its really weird because while I dont find everyone enjoyable (if I have someone else say to me that they are busy while laying in a hammock I might explode), I have learned that everyone has an infinite potential. No one we know is a normal person, everyone around us are potential Gods, they are the Children of our Father in Heaven with the capacity to become like him. Nothing they have ever done can destroy that. This week a gay man I taught for 3 months is going to get baptized. Its incredible, you never know what someone can achieve, even the most unlikely. I love the plan of salvation. I love God, and yes I love my brothers and sisters because I know how our Father in Heaven sees them, especially little children whose progress still hasnt been impeded by sin and error. 

I want to note some things Elder Falabella told us this week.
1. We need to commit to do what we are going to do and then follow through, we can make personal covenants with God.
2. The 2 biggest attacks in this age are from Pornography (yes 50 shades of grey counts as porn, I had to take that away from a convert this week because it was destroying her faith) . And on Joseph Smith, while we dont know everything we have to stay firm. 
I told him I was going home, and he gave me a lot of advice of what to do when I got there, so I am pumped, and ready to go. I love you a lot mom, I am so grateful for all you and Dad have done for me these 2 years, and I will give you a big hug Wednesday. 
I love you!
Elder Standridge

Monday, April 25, 2016

Kevin LOVES Vegi Lasagna!!!!

Mom I honestly am just shocked at how Veronica and Dalia treat me. The food was really cool, and it made me happy, but in all honesty that wasn't what touched me. What made the biggest impact on me was the fact that she was willing to go all the way up here, and the sheer quantity of food she gave. I felt just so very loved by all o them that was what made the biggest difference to me. I am just so very incredibly shocked by the way that they showed that. I really am going to miss them and want to keep a contact with them for the rest of my life. I hope to be able to see them for years, and will worry about and pray for them for a long time to come. My favorite was by far the vegi lasagna, oh my gosh so good.




We will have to go to universal world mom. I miss you too, don't worry I don't have too much longer here in the mission, but I need to stay focused and concentrated here in the mission. With that being said,  Today I am practicing hojaldras, you have no idea how hard it was to work that dough, but I now really have it down and am ready to cook a bunch of different things when i get back. I am so very happy to hear about your work and how things are going good. Are you guys in any kind of debt or is it just a general lack of savings right now. I get to keep the shoes and name tag so I will let you play around with it when I get back because I know that I wont do it justice.

So Satan is working super duper hard like everyone said, and each attack is different. First, I was walking in the street and its normal here in Mexico for there to be pipes and cables in the middle of the street. I stepped on one, and it was so scary because I accidentally stepped on a high voltage cable without noticing it, and it exploded under my foot. Luckily it just singed the leather of the shoe and it smelled bad for the rest of the day, but I was perfectly okay. Then some pipe broke and the entire sector of like 5 colonies lost water. That is like 30 or 40 thousand people with no water. No water means no shower, no washing dishes, no washing clothes, and when you have few pairs of shirts socks and the like sucks. Needless to say I found a spot where there was some water at about a mile from where we wash and we carried about 80 liters (each liter is about 2.2 pounds) for a mile to wash a few clothes, it stunk. We also are having a heck of a time finding investigators, it is super duper difficult, but I think that with a little bit of luck we should be able to handle it. I am frustrated, but what has made me super happy is that I herd that the hindu family I taught in Progreso is still semi active. They are awesome, also one set of converts is going to get sealed here in July. I cannot wait to talk to them and write them when I get back. 
 


Anyways, All goes super well here, I hope veronica sent you some photos, I forgot my camera, but in all honesty I will show them to you in person. Love you lots, I miss you! Good Luck!

Kevin

Monday, April 18, 2016

April 18th Letter ~~~ 30 days (for my reference only) LOL

Tell Veronica that yes I do get the packages and THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for the brownies, I felt loved! :) Definitely, but please send her a message telling her that Sunday´s are the best times to find me, I never know when I will be during the week, but whatever Sunday from 10-2 she can find me in the chapel from Reserva in avenida Tarimoya; I cant respond to her, the rules don't let me, and while it really really tempts me, I know that I am not allowed to and so I am super sorry!

Woah, I honestly cannot believe how much things have changed since I have gotten here. Its incredible to think that Taylor is getting married, and that Kevin and Meg are going to have a kid. It is just incredible how much things seem to change in just 2 short years. It makes me really wonder where everyone will be in a year. At the very least no one from my year is married yet, that is going to give me a shock when that happens.

This week mom I really just wanted to talk to you about the things that happened to me this week. So first I want to talk about a stake president who is simply incredible, he honestly showed me how a man should be a good leader. His name is president Cavallero (which means both knight and gentleman in Spanish and both are an apt description) Last Sunday he came and helped me out with a convert, I had brought her to an interview for a temple recommend, and the bishop just laid into her and was really rude and mean, so I took a really deep breath when I heard and called the stake president and just asked for his help. It was incredible because he calls and interview with her and brings my companion and I there. He looks at my companion and asks Elder Standridge can I teach your companion something, and I was a little shocked, and said sure have at it, and he says thank you, then pointed out to the convert what he did. He said I was in charge of capacitating Elder Garcia therefore he asked me permission first, and he said to the convert, sister there is always an order, and we have to respect those who preside, because in the end he who presides will be responsible before God for what happens. This got my attention, because it was a wonderful example of teaching by example. I had honestly been beating my head against a brick wall with the ward council (gosh i miss newbury park, wonderful bishops all of them and everyone does their callings) This past Sunday he comes in and says Elder Standridge come here we are going to see what we can do, and he grabs a priest and says, hey you are going to stay with Elder Garcia, you are not to let any girls within 1 meter, because that is what you are going to do as a missionary, you stay with him, you are responsible for him, understood? and then pulled together the counsel. Wow it was just incredible to me this style of teaching. He goes in, and organizes the ward counsel incredibly. It was funny because he showed in 10 minutes how to prepare a sacrament meeting agenda using the ward counsel, it was incredible, but I just felt so grateful. He also gave a talk on Sunday and it was funny because he animated all of us to just talk to those who didn't go on Sunday and to tell them how much they missed them. I am so grateful for the wonderful leaders that Heavenly Father has permitted me to get to know here in the mission, its just wonderful :)

I wanted to actually talk to you about my converts here and my investigators:

1.Omar-he´s a 9 year old, we reactivated his mom, and it was really funny, this kid would not pray, would not study nothing, and I was beating my head against a brick wall trying to get him to learn and accept getting baptized, and I have a belief that Heavenly Father has mercy on us when we buy bananas, because whenever I go buy bananas, good things happen. So I decided right before a lesson to get a kilo for breakfast, and I saw a sign for minirocos, they're like a cookie thing for a peso each (that is about a dime mom) so I got 5 and said, okay, today we are going to learn, and suddenly he got super attentive and started learning, and then he came to church, loved primary, and honestly it was super cool because the kid changed a ton, by just gaining trust with minirocos.

2.Memo-this one I feel super guilty about, he repented really well..I thought, butthe day of his confirmation he gave into temptation and drank, and hasnt come back since, he had changed a lot, but the world ate him up.

3Limon-this woman had gone 10 years to church without getting baptized, but the sad part is now that she finally got baptized, she is alone, because her kids dont want anything with church, its sad, just teaches us to not procrastinate the day of our repentace. I love this woman though, she is honestly one of the frimest converts I have been able to see in the church, I love hera lot, she is so nice.

4&5.Concepcion and aldo. This woman and her grandson got baptized, they were from paredesufrir (a bunch of brazilians that just want money), andit was awesome to get to see the change in them. Her son Aldo is gay, and we hope he will get baptized this week, he has gone 9 weeks without a boyfriend, it is honestly incredible

Besides Aldo we have 2 families of 4, one is Martin, all I can say is that he is golden, like honestly golden, he has 2 weeks investigating and has a rock solid testimony, and will bring his family along. The other is ray, he i great, he cant read, but he is ready to get baptized, he just needs a good lesson to help him get excited! I love him to death, but I dont know how to help him! Anyways, I will tell more later. Love you mom

Kevin

Monday, April 11, 2016

35 Days and counting!!!!

Mom,

I am so very happy to hear that you are working so very hard and that things are going back at home. I really am happy to hear about Leann graduating from college.   I really would like to go up to Fresno, I want to see everyone, and see how they are doing. I also really would like to drive a car for a little while so that will be cool.

 

 I am honestly so incredibly shocked by the difference in the living conditions between where we live and the people here. A standard salary for the men in my area is 10 dollars a day for 12 hours. a really fantastic salary here would be about 10,000 dollars a year, with that, someone would be living like a king. It is really really amazing the charity and kindness of the people here. I feel so grateful for where I was born and the conditions in which I was born. I love you mother, and all that you did for me. The scripture says that Christ loved little children, and I understand that because they don't understand, nevertheless, the kids here are so often a bunch of brats, honestly if you met some of the kids, its incredible how horrible a 6 year old can be if the parents do things wrong. I then thought what did you two do different. I paused for a moment because I never remember you guys studying for tests with me, and you never did my homework for me, so why did I not fail school. I suddenly remembered when you would sit and read harry potter with me, or play pokemon with me. I remember going to hometown buffet, playing with light sabers and reading the three billy goats gruff. So often they say that love is spelled t-i-m-e. I think that is truly the case with parents, so many parents here just leave their kids to do whatever they want and do not give them any rules. I am so thankful for how you took care of me and raised me because if I realized one thing about families its that they are so very easy to break if one does not do things correctly. Selfishness is the spiritual equivalent of arsenic for our families.

Love Elder Standridge


Daniella, a new convert, she has had the hardest life of anyone I have ever met.
This is how the gafette starts and how it ends.
More converts, Concepcion and Aldito, hopefully Papa Aldo gets baptized here before I go, he has to wait a little while more. 



Monday, March 21, 2016

7 WEEKS TO GO...~~~~

Hi All ~~

I have not posted Kevin's letter's lately because they have been a little more private.  This week I am sharing what he has been up to;  Thank you for all your support as Kevin is in the last few weeks of his mission....:)  Charlene

Wow mom it made me feel good to hear all of the news this week from you, I feel like its been a while since I have had a conversation with you. I am going to send this in parts so that you can get some photos. Here is some nice photos of my area, its usually a lot uglier, but at least here you can see the sea a little bit.
 

 

I know mom, and I am happy working here as hard as I can. I know that I should stay here until the end, but it is really really hard because to be honest I am really quite tired mentally. My body is continuing, but in regards to my mind, at times I am just exhausted. That being said the area is going really well. We have 8 people with baptismal dates in church so in all honesty the mission is pretty happy with us right now. I just am nervous mom, I am in panic to just baptize every week until i finish.

In all honesty mom, I know my purpose is to help people get baptized, but that is only part. All of our job is the growth of the church. I honestly really really want it to  that being said, they have changed our jobs so that we have 5 responsibilities. find, teach, baptize, reactivate and retain. If I am doing those 5 jobs well I build up the attendance. It is so horrible to baptize and then watch them fall away, and how can I abandon those who are less actives, i dunno its just something really important to me.
 
 
 
In regards to school, it sounds like things are starting to work out a little more for me. I really hope that I can get a job in spite of my summer classes, i think it might be a little hard but we will see. Ahh, before I forget, mom, I do want to get several things here, I dont know if you could talk to doug or grandma or someone because for example I want to get a bean cooking pot, and a tortilla maker and I want to get my ceremonial kit here (i get a  40 percent discount as a missionary and its cheaper here in mexico) Also if anyone wants designer clothes or anything, ask around and I can bring stuff back, for example a designer pair of levis costs me about 10 bucks here. Anyways, you can wait until next month, I am going to be fine, but If you can see, it would be really nice.

I am really happy to see that Tierra Blanca is doing well, the people there are honestly wonderful. I miss that ward a lot, I honestly havent found anyone like them here in reserva. That being said, I am halfway through my time in Reserva this week, so you know, I can deal with it. I know that there will always be missionaries mom, and honestly I need to have other jobs. This week I got the chance to play bishop, a sister had her husband cheat on her for the third time and her son was sexually abused by her brother and has been going through psychological problems. It was really hard because she said that she would not talk to the bishop or stake president because they talked to their wives, and their wives couldnt keep a secret. So she came to us, and it was hard to try and help her overcome her difficulties, but I told her from the outset that I am not entitled to revelation for that and I couldnt counsel her, and its weird because as a missionary I just have a limit to how I can help in those kinds of problems. You would not believe mom some of the stories I hear and some of the help we have to give. I love being a missionary. 
 
 

Tell Veronica I miss her a ton, and will look forward to seeing her soon. I am pretty sure mom that my going home date is May 16th, I dont know. I can change it if I want to. That being said, I just worry about feeling guilty. I want to go home, but what if God needs me out here, its a really hard decision. Good luck with the job search, I will keep praying for you.

Elder Garcia and I really get along well. Its my pleasure to know someone so patient and loving to the people. That being said I really really enjoy showing him how to teach and work because honestly he can make some really great progress and be a great leader. I also had an interesting experience with a sister in my district, she broke down crying this week, and trying to comfort her was kind of difficult. Everyone tells me who has ever been in one of my districts or zone that I am super duper demanding, but that I do everything that I ask of everyone else. It is really really funny.

I love you mom a lot, things keep forward.
I just want you to know that I have a firm testimony of Jesus Christ. He lived, he died, and he was born again. He is my savior and it is thanks to him that we as people can be good. He is the source of love, hoensty and peace. I am proud to represent him as a missionary and a member of his church. I miss you, but I am happy doing what I am doing and will keep pushing forward.

Love you MOM, Kevin

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 88 ~~~~

Hi mother, so I have some really good news, I can watch your graduation, so I will be watching on saturday just for you :). So that is one. Things over here in my area are progressing very nicely. My investigators are getting there, and I honestly believe that we should start baptizing here very soon. My new companion is very very humble. Its funny because I am a little stressed, but my area is looking alright here.
I am super super happy to hear that you are going to be able to have a graduation party. Its wonderful for what you have done, when do you get the results back?

In regards to things here, it is super super difficult to be able to help someone to learn the things in the mission. My companion is awesome, but people in general tend to think that teaching is just talking, and it so isnt. There is no reason why anyone should ever lose attention while someone is teaching. It is true that a lot of the responsibility for teacing falls on the students desire tto learn, but anyone, no matter how dumb can learn, and a good teacher is the key. That being said, its really really hard for me to help Elder Garcia to learn this. 

I went on divisions with the zone leaders this week, and I just felt so very very guilty. I decided to like lay in bed and talk with one of my buddies until 1115 when I should have been sleeping at 1030. I just felt really really bad, how can I possibly ask for Heavenly Father to give me to spirit if I break rules like that. That means my investigators suffer, it just made me feel really really selfish. That being said, I really did enjoy my time with my buddy, he actually did get into liberty square, the lucky duck! But its cool to know how many guys from here in teh mission I will be with there at BYU.

I talked with President the other day and learned some interesting things. First off despite what anyone believes, evil spirits do not possess people. Everyone here in MExico whenever anything weird happens thinks that the person is possessed. They actually scared me a little bit about one of our investigators, but as Hagrid would say, cadswallup.The other thing that I learned today was that we can never be fearful. I dont know if I ever told you guys, but he told me a story about his kid during Christmas. His son was terrified of Santa, so what President did was, he grabbed his kid by the collar, grabbed a stuffed santa and forced them together, and his kid was screaming bloody murder until he realized that nothign bad happened, and President told him to hug Santa, and from then on his son gave him huge lists. One of the things we learned was that we have to hug ourr fears. He talked to us about how so many of the missionaries are so afraid of getting married or dating when they get back, even those who were great missionaries, and really strongly warned us against that. 

I was talking with my ward mission leader and something really interesting to me was whether or not we should pass by for investigators. Its funny because the ones who progress honestly go on their own. Those who dont progress, dont go on their own. I try passing by for them, but it honestly made me feel super conflicted. So who knows what I will decide to do. I keep going forward, and hope I will keep learning here! 

love you mom

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 87 - Skipped a week; Registered Kevin for Summer term at BYU

Hi mother, well things are really really going interestingly here. 

First off I really really love the package that you sent me, those ties were absolutely perfect! It had ties, sweedish fish, chocolate, and a shirt! I know that you can do this mom, I am so very proud of all that you have been doing, and I am very happy to hear how much you have been studying. 


 

Second, I am not really going to mention much of Elder PatiƱo because he already has gone to orizaba, but i just got a new companion, he is from pachuco by mexico city. He just got here from Mexico city and his suitcase still has not gotten here. They accidentally sent it to oxaca, dont you just love that transport system! Anyways, President decided to give me a superstar because I know when there is a good missionary here with me when I see one. He is humble, smart, and confident, and speaks some English. My goal is that he is the district leader here when I go. hahaha, 

mom, I love you so much, but there is absolutely no way in the world that Cordova would ever let me watch your graduation. I wanted to give you some hope, but there is just no way. In regards to the work that would be perfect, I would love to get in whatever place where they give me a good wage. I am willing and ready to work hard when I get back, I honestly am enjoying it. In regards to selling pesticides here I know its a viable option, my career path is going to require me to do internships the summers. It is going to be tough, but I am going to have to work a lot this year, I am also going to do that sales like veronica because there is no downside really. I think I might be able to pull home enough to make the rent through those sales and then I think that I could make enough for all other expenses through work, at least that is my plan for now. I need to develop a little better plan to find what I am going to do my junior year, but I need to see what kind of job I am going to have. 

Mother, In regards to the financial difficulties I feel very grateful for them currently. I know that you losing your job seems like a bad thing, but I dont think so. It has given you the time that you have needed to study. I know that it is not easy, but I am very grateful and see the Lords hand in our situation. In regards to you, I know that you will have a lot of success as a lawyer and have a lot of faith in your abilities to leave from all of this. In the next 2 or 3 months, I know that the Lord will not leave you alone. 

Mom my area is doing much better in terms of outwards success, I am turning into a mini lawyer here, I am having to do all kinds of legal stuff. Right now I am changing a birth certificate in cancun so a woman can get married and get baptized. I know I am going to do well, and I know that the lord will bless me here with the kid. I cannot believe how fast time has passed, but its awesome! :) I miss you lots

Kevin

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 85 ~ Leaving Tierra Blanca

I really want to thank you for doing that mom, I am really excited about school when I get back.

Right now I am feeling a little bit sad because they are changing me from Technologico. I dont know where I am going, but I really cannot describe how much I am going to miss Veronica and Chelo, they honestly have been just like a second mom and Grandma to me, I really really grew to love them, it makes me sad that I am not even allowed to hug them goodbye. Today, Veronica washed my backpack (I still am really bad at washing by hand) and was showing me how to clean everything and worrying over me just like you would've done. IT was honestly really funny, but reminded me a lot of what it was like to have someone that worried and cared about you. I guess in my time here I had just gotten so used to being super distant from everyone, even my companions, I will probably end up crying tomorrow, but oh well. What the assistants were telling me is that I am pregnant, which means that I should be giving birth to a baby boy (aka they are going to but me to train) in about 2 weeks. I am excited, but I really hope that the little guy learns well because I want to put him to work. In terms of converts, this ward was really great. I worry about them so much. Will their faith stay strong, will the missionaries take care of them?  will the bishop do something stupid? I just worry about it mom.
I love the mission, but it really just sends my stress levels right up the wall.

Anyways, this week christian got baptized, and I am simply pumped about it! It made me super duper happy, he is so going to be a missionary.
In terms of more physical things, I wanted to see if you could (I should be good for this month) put about 100 on my account so I can finish out my mission. I dont know what I am going to do because my running shoes are pretty much dead, but I will figure something out. maybe just buy insoles. until I get home. 
I love you very much! I miss you! 
Kevin
 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 84 ~ Saying Goodbye to a great Companion

Hi mother, I just wanted to talk about the rest of people that I have been working with because theyre really exciting me.



Fernando and Marcella- a young couple that we have helped to overcome some marrige difficulties. Fernando was a less active, and I really admire her because even though her husband didnt go to church she went, got baptized, all so that he would eventually decide to come! This past week he finally came and they are working on getting sealed.

Christian- An investigator that is really golden. He has some doubts, but he is a 20 year old college student that has gone to church 3 times, and wants to change from his christian religion.

Francisco- An artist that really wants to get closer to God. He has some doubts, especially about coffee, but he is slowly but surely moving along, he has 3 assistances so far.

Aaron and Lizet- They are a yuong couple that we are hoping to marry here super quickly. Aaron has dialysis, its a super common disease here, but he could honestly die here really quickly. Theyre super nice, and sell these things called frituras. 

Efrain-A young drug addict weve been working with, it is insane, I honestly cannot tell you just how much he looks like Chris Rock, its nuts, but we are trying to help him to give up his addictions. Its hard because his mom is so incredibly catholic that she makes things difficult at times.

I also kind of wanted to talk about some of the religious groups that are here

Pope Catholics- Follow the pope and are at church a ton, but often do not believe in the virgin. They tend to be more educated although tend to debate more.
Virgin Catholics- These tend to go to church often but are more interested in the cultural aspects. They tend to have a lot of parties, for just about anything. 
Creyentes Catholics (believers) These are just people who say they are catholic but only go to church on holidays. This is the largest group, and in all honesty the group that we most frequently baptize from.
Jehovahs witnesses- these tend to be the most educated religious group we talk to. They memorize a lot of scriptures, and their kids are very educated. Its really incredible because they are so well behaved. That being said they preach a lot and tend to want ot fight with us.
Luz del mundo-These guys just want to fight a freak ton. They believe they have their own apostle, but in all honesty I never like talking with them and avoid them as best I can. I know this may just be a missionaries heebie jeebies, but I get a really bad feeling when I talk to them. I thought I was crazy but I started talking to the other missionaries and they all say the same thing. I dont know why, but I tend to avoid them. 
Santa Muerte-These guys worship the grim reaper. They  believe you can make a deal with death whereby you sell your soul. They also have a really bad feeling. I have never heard of anyone baptizing either a santa muerte or a luz del mundo, its really really weird.
Christians/Pentecostes-Every street corner has some christian church and their beliefs are as diverse as the churches. Some just sing, others scream, others are perfectly normal and reasonable.

In all honesty one of the things that I have disliked about the missionaries is that sometimes they bash on other religious groups. I think that one of the biggest problems in the world is that people do not understand one another. When we believe in rumors or things like that about other groups, we begin to have problems, and violence is often the result. 

Here are some of the foods that I have for you when i come home.
Just fyi, masa is a corn mixture that we use to make tortillas and other things.

Empanadas-pure masa with a filling inside (such as cheese or meat) that is hten fried. REally good but one of the most unhealthy foods there are.
Enfrijoladas (enchiladas) tortillas dipped in a salsa or beans which can have cheese placed on top.
Tacos dorados-tortillas with meat inside that are then fried
Tacos al pastor-this is my new favorite food, by far the best thing ever- its a taco with specially seasoned pork, with cilantro and onion and sometimes pineapple or cheese
tamales-there are so many kinds, by changing what you wrap them in you completely change the taste
Lentiles soup- my favorite soup, lentiles with a little bit of platano macho and bacon, ham and sasauge inside
Chicken in many different ways- asado is my favorite, but I also learned how to do a really good breading for it
Carlotta-maria cookies with half cream and some kind of fruit for flavoring
Flan-if you remember that thing we tried to do in high school dad that failed, ya that
Dead bread-its just a pan for the day of the dead
Volovanes-a little kind of bread with folds and a filling
Empanadillas a baked dessert with a variety of fillings
vegitarian lasagna, filled squashes and many more. 
Point is that I am ready to go to work in the kitchen when I get home.

Hey just a question, if I were to go to work in what taylor does, what wouldI have to do?
I love you very much, i have heard nothing about the package, it might have gotten stolen, I dunno, the only thing i will need is probably a pair of running shoes they are starting to get thrashed

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 83 ~~ Update on current Ward

Hi mother, I love getting to hear from you. I am very sad to hear about the deaths in the ward, I hope that you are doing alright Mom. 

So right now I just wanted to write about this ward mom and what I have done both good and bad in the past 4 months.

Noel-I found this ex-missionary when I saw a woman cutting her lawn with a machete and I walked over and started helping her, and he saw me and said hi to me. He has reactivated, and is 1st counselor in the elders quorum

Flor-This is the mom of two convert girls of about a year. Many missionaries had gone with her, but the day I passed with her, she decided to accept us. After leaving coffee she got baptized. Although she still has a hard time because her husband asks her to make him the coffee and she is afraid to tell him no, and sometimes cannot resist.

Edgar- A young 15 year old kid who I baptized that was golden. He was honestly wonderful and it is one of my goals to help him go on a mission. His mom puts up a lot of resistance to him doing things, but we help him overcome as best as we can.

Susanna- She is the mom of a recent convert who also left coffee. The main difference is that her husband is a member who has been progressively increasing in activity. They are from a small ranch and so not super educated, but really kind and loving and growing in their testimonies.

Lorenzo and Francisca- Lorenzo is Susanna´s brother. He drank like a fish and was living out of wedlock with Francisca. We taught them and helped them to overcome. They got married, and Francisca was baptized with her son Jose. Lorenzo is getting baptized this week. 

Chona- A lady about Grandma´s age, who has very little energy and lives alone, but who we helped come back to church. She is wonderful and was sealed at a younger age, but we just need to help her to stay excited.

Martha and Bryan- A mom and her son that we reactivated. She is super powerful spiritually and will totally be able to help her family for the rest of her life to stay firm. She is one of the best candidates to be a relief society secretary right now. 

Elizabeth Evelyyn and Julia-She is Martha´s neighbor and went to Bryan´s baptism and really loved it. She felt the spirit super strong and started to receive us. She was a little hesitant and it took a lot of patience, but we have gradually come to have really a truly great relationship. She and both her daughters got baptized, and are firm covenant keepers.

Antonia and Diana- A wonderfully kind woman, she is a little chubby, we found her, reactivated her, and baptized her daughter. We are working with her to keep her firm, but she is starting to weigh a little bit.

Pita- The ex-ward secretary who we have helped to bring back with his entire family. This guy is awesome, he just likes working on Sunday...which makes it hard.

I am out of time so I will write more next week! Love you!