So I made it safe and sound to Indiana! It’s crazy here now because it is cold and Mexico was warm! I am in South Bend right now, which is almost to Michigan. I live in, I expected it, the ghetto. My house is right across from a school. There is like a bajillion churches here in South Bend, and a lot of statues of the Virgin Mary, because it is right by Notre Dame, a Catholic college.
My companion is Elder Thurston, and he is really nice. Very knowlegable about how to teach, and about gospel topics. We like a lot of the same things, like sausage over bacon and such. It is really a blessing because his mom is from Argentina, so he actually learned English as his second language. So I’ve got a walking dictionary I can rely on for Spanish.
I thought Spanish was going good in the CCM, but then I got out here and realized that I still know nothing. Well guess I have to learn :)
The area is relatively new, like less than a year old. So there is not too much success here yet. We were double transferred in (which means both companions go to a new area) and there were no progressing investigators, and the investigators we do have are not very solid, but I am grateful for the opportunity to work hard. We spent a good couple days to just read through the area book to try and familiarize ourselves with the area. So we haven’t gotten out to do much tracting. But I did talk to one Latino, and totally blew the door approach, oh well it was my first one.
We have a really nice car, a 2014 Corolla, but we can only use 1250 miles a month, so we have to ride bikes to save miles for when we have to drive down 150 miles down into the heart of Indiana. So we have a car, but can’t always use it. Good thing I have the nicest bike I have owned to date. Which is also scary cuz I live in the ghetto. But people said don’t get a bike that is crappy ( like my companion got a the thrift shop) so I got a nice one and boy can I go fast, which is fun! (well relative to walking)
It was kind of crazy getting up here to South Bend from Indianapolis because neither of us had a GPS and my companion hadn’t been here before. So got in way late, and had to call some people to find our house. It is about 3 hours from Indianapolis to where we are now in South Bend
It is really humid here. The first full day here I got out of the shower in the morning, got ready in the bathroom and then walked outside, and it felt like I never got out of the bathroom it was so humid! But that was a really humid day they say, which I hope is true.
Cool thing, if any of you know Easton Williams, we actually got here to the mission on the same day, But he is speaking English and I’m Spanish. But it is cool that we came here on the same day, because we will probably fly home together.
Cool experiences, I got to talk to every person I sat by on the plane, and someone in the airport about the gospel. Me and another Elder placed two Book of Mormons as well.
First man I sat next two was from Japan on a business trip. I talked to him and he knew pretty good English but wasn’t interested in religion. However I said my dad served in Japan and he asked what I was. So I explained a little and gave him a little paper with the church name on, and told him there was a temple in Tokyo where he lives. He said he would look it up. Then he started watching X-men and that was the end of it.
In the airport in Atlanta while we were waiting for an Elder, me and Elder Blood started talking to this lady and she asked what we were and stuff. We explained, talked to her about her family and religion. Then brought it back to the gospel. I bought an English BOM and I explained what it was and folded down the corner of Moroni 10. She was super grateful for the book and said she would read it. I pray every day that she does.
On the plane to Indiana Elder Blood and I sat by a guy named John who works for Office Depot. Talked the whole flight, had a kink in my neck from looking over at him to talk to him. Talked about work and his family. He updated us on current events including the bombing of Iraq WHAT!!?!?!? and stuff like that. Elder Blood talked about sports a little but I didn’t really care about that. But we talked to him about religion and the differences between us and Catholicism. Elder Blood had a Book of Mormon and we gave it to him and he said he would read it because he was curious. He had been to Temple Square before which helped a lot. I pray for him every night too.
Went to church yesterday in the Spanish branch. Boy is it hard to understand. I can understand Mexican Spanish better than other Spanish because that’s what I learned. And yes there is a difference. But I can pick out words and try and figure out what they mean which is nice. It is hard to speak Spanish when everything is in English around me though. But I know if I put my mind to it and have Gods help behind me.
I have learned so much already, and I know that with the Lords help we can do anything. He has helped me so much already!
Love you all so much!
Additionally: I asked how the letters of encouragement that everyone wrote to him are holding up – has he read all or any? Here is his reply:
I have read two letters of encouragement and I just got a box to keep them in! Boy I love them. They help so much! I read one yesterday actually and it helps so much. Thank you again for it. But before I read them I always pour out my heart to Heavenly Father for help. And He does give it, sometimes through the letters.
A little he sent to his dad:
Thank you for sharing piece of “How to Win Friends”.... I think it will really help. I have definitely learned the criticism lesson the hard way. Yelling and telling them what they did wrong does not help at all. Communications class was one of the most useful things to learn because we discussed things like this. Also thank you so much for those Joseph Smith CD’s! They are incredible!! I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to listen to them but we have a portable DVD player that plays CD’s too! I am going to listen to them at least a couple of times! Boy was Joseph Smith amazing!
Also being friendly helps a ton! Boy does it change an outlook when someone smiles and says hi ,than just scowls.
|Look where I am!|
|No one was home - bummer!|
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