This week started off with the 4th of July on Tuesday. The day started
slow, not many people wanted to meet with us. In the evening we went
to the Romero’s house for the night. We ate carne asada and siviche
and then we went outside where Hermano Romero set up his DJ equipment
and we sang Mexican karaoke. I didn’t know any of the songs but it was
hilarious all the same. It was fun and I’m glad we went. You always
remember what you were doing for the holidays on your mission.
The rest of the week was fairly uneventful. I helped Marco try to sign
up for team USA’s Paralympic powerlifting team. That was hard enough
to do in the first place but it didn’t help that I was also the
translator too. I hope that all goes well. I’m not a very good sports
agent so that is probably not a good career for me to take up. He and
his brothers should be getting baptized this week and I will keep you
updated on that.
The new mission president came in and he had a meeting with all the
Zone Leaders and everyone is saying that he and his wife are amazing.
I will have to wait until this Wednesday for zone meeting when we can
meet him. Sister Turville (a senior missionary who has been serving
for like 15 years) said that he might be her favorite president yet.
Which means something because she has met quite a few Phoenix Arizona
Oh and I hit my year mark this week. So now I’m an old missionary. I
don’t know how I feel about that but that does mean I only have 347
days left. Not that anyone is counting. 💼
Summer is coming… actually it officially arrived on Wednesday; which
I think must make Tuesday the hottest day of Spring ever. Seriously
though can someone verify that because 119* seems a little ridiculous
to be biking around in the Spring. This week has been a whole
different mission, last week was normal, and this week’s planning is
focused on how to stay productive without going outside. I’m not
allowed to wear colorful socks as it my distract from the message but
I’m not sure two stinky teenagers drenched in sweat sitting on your
couch helps you stay focused either. Either way I will survive and get
a few mission stories out of it so its all good.
I hope you all took advantage of 50¢ corndog last Thursday at Sonic. I
only ate 8, but don’t worry I spread it out throughout the day. We
went 3 different times. The same lady served us like 6 hours apart. I
wonder what she thought about the mormons coming and eating so many
We also taught Marco and Bryce this week. They are really cool. Marco
is training to be on the Mexican Para-Olympic team. He doesn’t have
any strength in his legs so he moves around in a wheelchair. He is
jacked though. He was telling us all about how much his max is at. He
said it all in kilograms so I have no idea how much it actually was
but Im sure it was a bunch. We have a baptismal date set for him and
his brother and if all goes well that will happen next month.
On Saturday we got to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead
with some of our recent converts in the ward. It was a really cool
experience. i got to perform some of the baptisms and confirmations in
Spanish, which wasn’t nearly as stressful as the temple workers were
making it seem. They all brought family names and when we left Hermano
Gomez looked down at the card and said in a satisfied tone, “my mom is
finally baptized.” It was beautiful. The only thing better than seeing
a convert enter into baptism is seeing him go to the temple. In fact
as we were walking out Hermano Paniagua saw the return missionary from
the Tempe mission who baptized him a year ago. We have no idea why he
was there but it was probably the best place for a reunion ever.
The next day Elder Chandler and I gave talks in Sacrament meeting. It
went okay. I will send you mine in Spanish for anyone who wants to test
their mission Spanish (or judge mine), and English for Dad. [note from mom: It was not included in his attachments]
Pictures include us at the temple, me after biking 6 miles in 116
degrees (can you guess which side i had my bike strap on?), and an old
picture of us at the fathers day party.
The only thing abnormal about this week was the mission party. President Griffen wanted one last goodbye with all the mission. The whole mission hadn’t been together since Elder Holland came last June. We played a few painful get to know you games. Then we separated and all the Spanish missionaries went to play soccer in the parking lot. We all unanimously decided that that was a tad bit hot. We went inside and hung out for the rest of the afternoon. We took pictures as the mission and with President and Sister Griffen. It was weird to see all the missionaries that were still out. I also got to say goodbye to my trainer who goes home this transfer. It was weird, but fun, but trunky.
On the way home Elder Miller wanted to stop by a family that he worked with when he was in training two years ago. Coincidentally one that I also worked with in training. It was really fun to see them. The 9 year old was wearing the CTR ring that I gave him at his baptism 8 months ago.
We met a new family this week, The Beltran family. The mom is a member but the kids have never been to church. Their names are Marco and Bryce. Marco came to a baptism from the other ward. He is super awesome and I can’t wait to tell you how they progress.
A little summary about my companion:
Mission Age: 8 months
Hobbies: Surfing, watching Star Wars
PS i am drinking water
This has probably been one of the longest weeks of my mission, not
necessarily a bad thing, but a lot of things happened since last PDay.
We will start on Tuesday, I went on exchanges with Elder Wyatt. We
went into his area because he fell on his bike about two months ago so
they want him to stay in the car. He is also 7ft tall so I don’t know
if he is really made for biking. It was really good, he is a really
good missionary. After dinner we got a call from President Griffen. He
told Elder Wyatt that he bought him a ticket home for the next day.
Apparently that bike injury I mentioned was more serious than he
thought. His wrist was snapped in half and he needed surgery. So Elder
Wyatt has been home for about 6 days now, we really hope he can come
back soon. It was kinda scary to see how fast it all went down.
Wednesday morning there was a prayer breakfast for policemen and
firemen at the local college. The word is that Elder Cook of the 12
wanted us to go and help. There were about thirty missionaries there,
enough to make it look like we were running the event even though we
were just nicely dressed ushers. It was fun though. I met this super
sweet little old Amish lady. She was nice.
Thursday was Elder Salinas’ birthday. We were going to buy him a
piñata but they were all super expensive and small. So we filled a
cardboard box with stuff and it worked surprisingly well.
On Saturday we went over to the Velazquez house (the same family who
got me a cake last week for my birthday.) They felt bad that they
hadn’t gotten Elder Clough a cake before so they got him one that said
‘congratulations graduate’. You know, graduate from the mission. It
was funny. He also accepted getting his head pushed into the cake a
little more than I did. Pictures included.
Yesterday was workday Monday, which usually means not much gets done.
It didn’t help that Elder Clough was going home that afternoon. So we
helped him pack and then cleaned up the rest of my junk in preparation
for my new companion showing up Wednesday afternoon.
Tomorrow I will get my new companion, Elder Chandler. He has been out
for 8 months. He has been serving up north in cottonwood for a little
while so we haven’t heard too much about him. Everyone who has met him
has loved him.
I’m excited for the next transfer. Next week I will tell you all about
my new companion. 🙂
We had a really good week. Started out with a lesson with a new
investigator named Linda. She is a referral from the Estrella Ward.
She was dating and living with a return missionary. When she found out
that she was living in sin and couldn’t be baptized they were married
within the week. She invited her niece and mom to the lesson. The mom
was resisting a little bit so Linda eventually just said “if you won’t
be baptized you won’t be able to see me be sealed in the temple.” So
it sounds like she is pretty interested in progressing.
I also had exchanges with Elder Salinas (who I served with in Peoria)
and Elder Miller (the Zone leader) and that helped keep the week
On Saturday, Joseph and Michael Yañez were baptized back in Peoria.
Because I left there less than 6 weeks ago we got to go back to attend
it. Elder Clough left 18 weeks ago so he was lucky that he was my
companion. It was an awesome baptism. It was cool to see a lot of the
members from my old ward.
That night we had a family home evening with the Velazquez family.
Afterwards they brought out a birthday cake. After completing the
‘Mexican tradition’ of getting my head stuffed into the frosting we
enjoyed some cake and ice cream.
That night we got to see Sister Bosen from Peoria, and my Arizona
family dropped off a package at our door. So I have 5 tubs of Blue
Bell now. So much for losing weight in a bike area.
Sunday we had a baptism for Gloria, someone we had been teaching. Her
sister came. We have been teaching her too. She was really excited to
be baptized and it was a great experience for the ward and her family.
We also referred a deaf kid to the ASL missionaries. He is the friend
of a ten year old girl in our ward. She just started ‘picking up sign
language’ to communicate them. They are actually in the Scottsdale
mission but they cover our mission too. The kid didn’t turn out to be
interested at all. But it was still cool to see his face when he met
someone he could communicate with.
It was a good week and this is Elder Clough’s last so this one will be even better!
This week wasn’t too eventful. We had our last interview with
president Griffen on Friday. It will be weird to seem him go. He says
that the new president will get here one day. And he will leave three
hours later. Not a whole lot of transition time. President Griffen was
really proud of us because apparently the last three months we ‘best
Vegas’. Its not really a competition because the Vegas mission doesn’t
care about us at all. Either way for the first time in the President
Griffen Era we had better numbers. The APs claimed that he “giggled”
when he found out. I don’t know if I believe that.
Saturday and Sunday we had Stake Conference. Its really cool having a
stake with 3 Spanish wards. Plus most of the people in the English
wards speak Spanish anyway. Elder Hallstrom of the presidency of the
70 came. They talked a lot about how we need to have a knowledge that
we are children of our Heavenly Father. At first I thought that that
didn’t really apply to me, as I had been taught this and believed it
since I was six. I remembered that a belief only because faith when it
promotes action. How do I act differently if I know that I am a son of
God? Do I treat others differently? I don’t really know the answers to
any of these questions but I will keep pondering it and I invite you
to as well.
Happy mothers day everyone!
We had zone conference this Friday. It was President Griffen’s last
because next transfer we are going to have a mission party instead. He
already started to say his goodbyes. It sounds like he is really
excited to go home. Haha.
Saturday afternoon we went to the church to go to the bathroom before
biking around for a few more hours. It turns out the bishop and two
other people were in the kitchen preparing for the mothers day party 4
hours later. So we spent the next four hours cutting what must have
been at least a billion strawberries. I felt bad because later I found
out that the English ward was having a baptism 20 feet away from us
blasting latin dancing music. They said they couldn’t hear it. I don’t
Last night a man stopped us as we were biking home. He said he had
become a drug addict and he really needed help. We talked to him for a
while and he told us his name and told us to look him up. We did and
it turns out that he is a super famous paster who travels the United
Stares and Africa giving spiritual speeches. You know, the kind with
lots of yelling. So that was pretty funny.
Sorry nothing too exciting happened this week. I also got to talk to
my parents this Sunday and so was a lot of fun. My brothers seem to be
changing a lot and I don’t know what to think about that.
Hope everyone has a great week!
This week Elder Clough and I discovered a new purpose for our Spanish
missionary work. Learning how to make waters (they call any water
based fruit drink water) Unfortunately we didn’t have enough sugar to
make Gatorade de pepino con limón (cucumber lime) but whatever we made
it definitely had too much sugar to be water.
After this fast Sunday on bike we were pretty hungry. We got to our
dinner and it was some kind of cocktail de camarón y pulpa. I
surprisingly didn’t completely dislike the taste or even texture of
octopus but I sure didn’t like looking at it for too long.
For P Day our district went to a restaurant for lunch called reyes de
la torta. It was weird because it was a packed restaurant full of
hispanics and then 7 white guys and a Tongan walk in and all start
speaking Spanish with the waitresses. I like the Spanish district and
I think that it is a great opprutunity to try to immerse ourselves
more in the language.
I really like this ward. Being on bike is a little hard. Half the days
this week hit 105 and the other days seemed to me like hurricane speed
winds that only point the opposite way that you are. But we stay busy
and there is really good potential. I have never been in an area with
more hispanics then gringos. I hope to be able to update you on some
baptisms before the end of the transfer.
I will talk to you all next week! I will keep you updated on all the
new aguas that we make!
Have you ever wanted fast Sunday dinner every day?
We will get to that later but first, transfers…
I went to the transfer building on Wednesday not knowing where I would
be at the end of the day. I found out there wasn’t going to be as many
changes as I thought. 4 Spanish Elders switched. I went down to the
Phoenix Spanish District with my last companion Elder Clough. The ward
is called Encanto 1st. It is as downtown Phoenix as our mission goes.
To tell you about the number of hispanics in the area, the Spanish
ward covers a smaller area than the english ward. The english ward is
called Maryville. Word is that it has 1200 members. 1000 less active.
And they are still baptizing like crazy in there. That’s the Aps ward.
It is way different than Agua Fría. Not to mention that it is full
bike. It seems like a great ward. It has only been in the mission
since September so not many people know much about it.
I got here and Elder Clough told me that today was the first day of a
40 day fast the ward is doing. Each family will fast for one day
separately. I jokingly said it would have been cool if we corresponded
the dinner calendar and the fast calendar. He looked at me blankly and
said “that is what we did, why?” So for the past week we have been
having a fast Sunday sized dinner every night. I will let you know how
that combats daily biking.
I will talk to you all next week!
This weeks letter might be short. I will try to make up for it with
pictures. We had interviews with President, he drop some hints that I
might be transferred. I’m sure enough I will leave tomorrow morning.
I’m sad to go to love this ward but I’m excited for something new.
This week the ward had an activity for the primary. We went to the
park and the kids played games and we ate hotdogs. It was a lot of fun
but I’m afraid the summer is going to come. I will add some pictures.
We had a couple service projects this week one of which was flame
throwing weeds. It is not as effective as it sounds. On workday Monday
we went to a members house and help them paint some of the chairs.
It’s always important to have service on workday Monday.
We went on exchanges with the district leader this week. His name is
Elder Towel, but for that day he wore his Elder Toalla name tag. He
came to me and I got to teach a couple lessons by myself in Spanish. I
believe the gift of tongues only works when you need it. I sure did
have it this week.
I’ll let you know where and with whom I’m transferred to next week, I
won’t find out until I show up tomorrow. Hope everybody has a great
week, I’ll talk to you on Monday.