Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29th 2010

¡HOLA MI FAMILIA!

HELLLOOOOO!!!!!

Sounds like everyone had a fun week! We also had a bit of sickneses going around. Elder Flores got a realllly bad cold the other day and we were shut in our house for the day. Our beds are on the second floor, right in front of a door/window and in that area there is a huge wind current and buses that go by outside of our house, combining to bring a whole bunch of dust into our room at night. We sweep it at night, and wake up to a floor covered in dust again.

Other than that though, we are really excited for how things are going! There is something called the Standard of Excellence in the mission, that is a set of goals we need to reach every week. 200 contacts, 20 lessons of a half an hour or more, 7 new investigators, 3 new investigators at sacrament meeting, and 3 new baptismal dates every week. If we do that, we have the promise we will baptize every week. It is the push of the mission to be able to complete it every week, but almost nobody has done it to this point, and only one companionship has been able to do it consistently. This week, we had almost everything by Sunday, except the hardest of all, 3 new people at church every week. We brought a family we´re teaching, but only the Dad was new. We visited another family in the morning and they said they would go after finishing some housework. We offered to help, but they refused. We arrived to the church with only one new, but we saw the husband of a recent convert in there that we had dropped a while ago, so that climbed on up to two! We instantly ran out, Elder Flores and I, to go find the other family and bring them there. We arrived, gasping for breath, and they explained to us that the Mom was sick. She tried to convince her kids to go, but they wanted to go together. So, defeated, we left back to the church. In the third hour, Elder Moberg, my first comp. here in Tonala, now an assistant, called us to see how we were doing. After having explained the situation, he said that this other companionship that is completing the goals every week pulled someone in off the street and taught him a lesson after church, and that if we could do that, it would count. We sprinted outside brainstorming who we could bring. We couldn´t think of anyone, so we decided to just bring someone out of the street. We contacted a lady with her kid who practically ignored us. Then I saw a worker walking across the street. I ran over and started talking to him, and invited him to Church. He said, "Are you kidding? I´m not presentable or anything!" "So what? What matters more to God, that you arrive with bad clothes, or not arrive at all?" "Good point!" So we excitedly ushered him into priesthood meeting and taught him a little bit during the lesson. He loved what he saw, and said he wanted to come back next week in a white shirt and tie like the rest of the people. We saw the blessings of the Lord upon us so greatly there. We had worked as hard as we could, done everythign in our power, and we thought it all was over. But we didn´t understand how much we really could do. The Lord aided us to come to an awakening deeper and more profound of what we can really do as missionaries, and completed His promise. I truly know and testify that if we have a commandment of God, he always prepares the way for us to complete said goal.

This family that couldn´t make it is really prepared. They asked us in the first visit, Why are there so many churches? Well we have an answer for that! They live in a really weird place though. We went looking for a direction one day, and saw a bunch of white houses that we had never seen before. We started walking to them, but they were completely fenced off with cheap chain link, or with small cliffs and vegetation. Eventually we found a small gate made of rebar in the side of a street, and we entered. Every house was white, but more than half had no one in them. There were dogs, like lions prowling on balconies on second floors, having claimed some of the habitations for their own. We looked a little further in, and saw that after one street, it was just pure walls. They never finished 90% of the houses, and they were covered in weeds, trees, and dirt. It felt like the Neighborhood that Time Forgot. We half expected a dinosaur to come running out of the jungle. But of the houses we knocked, half let us talk to them, and two are families that are really prepared. One is about to have a new kid, if she hasn´t given birth already on Sunday. The Lord truly guided us there, but it is a strange place.

Yikes, looks like Merlin´s leg is going crazy there. Hope he can finish his days peacefully. Pizza is good. Even better with Chorizo and Bacon. I found out that the Tenochititlan Market over there is a really good Mexican market. The daughter of the Bishop here went to BYU and bought there a lot. Something you need to see if you can make is called Carne en Su Jugo. Or, literally, Meat in Your Juice, WAIT! It actually tastes really good! It´s like a Beef broth with strips of steak or something, it´s a type of cow meat that is much more tender, and bacon, cilantro, onion, and salsa (hot sauce). You serve it with beans, cooked or refried, and tortillas. I usually eat all the broth first, then make tacos out of the meat and beans. It´s reaaaaaallllly good. You might look up Karna Garibaldi´s Carne en Su Jugo. They hold the world record for fastest food, and we eat there a lot for mission conferences and all that.

Geez Louise, sounds like Al has a rough time ahead of him. That is an absolutely huuuuuge District. And Hermanas too...that´s tough. You can´t talk too much about pure numbers, or yell at them, because then they start crying, and you feel awful. It requires a lot more tact and ability to talk than other Elders. It certainly has been a growing experience having to deal with Sister Missionaries. But they can do a lot of stuff that honestly, we can not do. They also usually have real desires to serve. There are not many, if any, sisters that came just because, "they´re supposed to." All have the desire to aid in the work.

It´s weird to see the mission changing. Now having 10 months, things have changed a lot. Elder Tibbitts, my comp. from the MTC, is a Zone Leader now, as well as the Elder I trained, Elder Rojas. Elder Aguilar from the MTC is a District Leader, and with the other Elder I trained in my old area. The mission is truly a miracle. I remember our first day inthe MTC, all scared and not knowing what anything was or meant. But really I have seen the transformative process of the mission in their lives. They have become much better people, stronger in their knowledge of the Gospel, and in their abilities to follow it. We are still the same, but so different at the same time. Exactly who we were, but someone entirely different. It´s hard to describe. I know this church is the true Church of Christ. It´s claims to the authority of the Priesthood, and the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ are true and He is truly at the head of it.

I hope all is going well back home still, sounds like Em is doing great! Thanks for writing! Hope all goes well in school. We have an investigator named Julio that lived in Arkansas for acouple of years and is a super gamer. He is excited for Thor. So there´s one. I love you all, y que tengan una semana EXCELLENTE!

¡ADIOS MI FAMILIA!

Elder Newell

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