Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 4, Delicias Mexico

Well this week was super super awesome!  First of all I got all the mail that was sent to the Texas guy and learned how it works.  Alright here´s how it goes when you send it.   He gets the mail about 3 days later, he then waits until he has about 10 boxes, or 20 around holidays, and letters don´t count, he just hoards them until he has all the boxes.  He then travels to Chihuahua to check up on everything, and then leaves them.  They then sit in the office until there is a meeting in a district where a package needs to be delivered.  They then load up the president’s car with the boxes or they load them up on a bus depending on who is going to the meeting.  Then they take them to the meeting where the missionary is. I received all my packages last Tuesday, about 2 weeks after most were sent.  This is a lot better than the 2 months in the Mexican mail system.  I also learned, NO Saint Mary pictures are required on them since we have the Texas guy we don´t need them.  If you send one with St. Mary pictures on it the office holds your package until the next cycle for punishment.  Luckily none of my packages had one, I think ha ha ha. Oh, one of the least fun parts of receiving the packages was that I had to walk an hour and a half with all 3... they weren´t the lightest of packages (can´t wait till october 6!), so we probably walked about 5 miles with them.   I couldn´t feel my arms for 2 days ha ha ha ha. But that was alright, the sacrifice only makes it more worth it in 2 weeks. 

Otherwise this week was pretty normal, we worked, and walked, and worked, and walked, and ate at times in between those intervals.  Oh, I had my first pizza, and burger this week, probably my favorite meals in the past 2 months ha ha.  My companion does not like the food here because everything is covered in red chile and lime, and he likes chile verde salsa which comes from where he is from, the Yucatan more or less.  I think the food is awesome! But it is super spicy at times.  However, super spicy is awesome, except when you have to walk all day with an angry stomach ha ha.  Wednesday we had cucumbers with lime juice for our food, to kinda put in reference what we eat here.

Oh and I also got to attend my first baptism here.  There is one every week but usually they are in different districts so we don´t get to attend.  Because of how many baptisms there are we don´t go to all of them because of how much time we would lose in travel.  To reach them it takes up the entire day.  Anyway, remember in my first email from my mission when I said we had 2 people committed to baptism, at least I think that was the first email.   Maybe it was in the second, anyways they attended church for 5 weeks straight (one of our baptism requirements) and were able to be baptized! Oddly enough they were quite a bit heavier than Ryder was….. That´s right I got to do the baptism, and it was 2 investigators.  Their names were José Daniel Gallegos Contreras and Angelica Guadolope Bustamantes Aparició. It was definitely a miracle that I didn´t mess up on their names or the prayers.  Super super cool experience, The coolest experience was afterwards in a baptism they have them bear their testimonies for why they did it.  And almost every time they mention the missionaries, and we were the missionaries for them.  But perhaps the best part was when I got my name put on the baptism records so no matter what, my name is on their church records super super cool ha ha ha.

Well other than have my first baptism nothing else much happened this week, besides one of the misionaries in our district finished his mission and now his companion is our companion so we are back to 3 people.  Luckily Elder Flores is a pretty cool bato “dude”, well email ya next week

Elder Bunch,
Delicias Chihuahua

Oh and that foot fungus wasn´t actually foot fungus.  It literally was about 50 mosquito bites.  1 mosquito here will bite you about 5 times if they have the chance, dumb little things…  The "fungus" started going away when I started using bug spray. My companion thanks you for packing the spray kind so we can spray our blankets

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 3, Delicias Mexico

This week we had our zone conference.  Our area leader from the quorum of the 70 showed up (Elder Piper).  He talked to us for about 6 hours.  I didn`t even know someone could talk for 6 hours, but he pulled it off.  Every hour he had us stand up and do jumping jacks, which was good because half the missionaries were collapsing after the second hour of talking ha ha.  The assistants came up and brought mail for everyone except me.  They said I had a package, but it was too big to bring with them and it would`ve been super expensive for me to carry with me on the bus back to Delicias.  So they are going to bring it up to me later when they have a appointment in Delicias.  Fortunately, I did get one so that means I can get have mail. I`m not really sure how to send letters home from Mexico.  My companion has never sent one during his mission, so I need to ask another gringo.  This all means it could be awhile.

The zone conference was a little stressful because it was all about why we don`t have as many baptisms as we used to in our mission.  Last year Chihuahua was the top in the world for baptisms for one month with over 300 baptisms. But this was during the time with the old mission president who had the missionaries teach to baptize. Our new president has us teach to convert.  I like our current approach more, mainly because nearly all the baptisms from the last president are inactive members... But none of the missionaries wanted to say this to Elder piper because our mission president was in the room with us.  We didn`t want to blame the lower baptism numbers on him, simply because of the policy change, so it was a bit of a stressful situation.  All the missionaries were looking at the ground hoping not to get called on.  Sort of like when a teacher asks in church for someone is willing to offer the prayer ha ha ha. 

I also learned to never trust the burritos here.  Whenever I have one, I always get poisoned.  Just this week I only ate one while my companion ate 6.  I had a little stomach ache afterwards, but my companion... let`s just say he went through 3 roles of toilet paper in 1 week ha ha. 

Because the zone conference was 2 days long this week, we only had 3 days to work and teach our investigator.  Although we only had 3 days, it was probably one of our most successful weeks.  One of the days we taught 9 lessons.  That doesn`t sound like a lot, but a lesson is at the least 1 hour long...  So it was a dang successful day.  One of the families was a old investigator.  His name was Bryan and he was 13 and very surprised when we showed up.  Mainly because it has been 2 years since missionaries had visited him.  He had a little hesitantly letting us in, but soon after his mom joined us for the discussion.  They listened while we taught and about 5 minutes later in came the father and sat down. He was not looking very happy that we were teaching his family, but surprisingly he got super into it.  He started telling us why he thought we were super cool and how the Testigos (Jehova Witnesses) bored him.  He also liked how we had white shirts and ties, basically that we were super spiffy.  He then started asking us a ton of questions to find out why we were different from other teens our age that were out getting drunk and messing around. We could barely answer his questions in time before he had another question.  It was super cool and before we knew it 2 hours had gone by.  We had another appointment to be at, he gave us his information in order to find him again and teach him more.

Another cool experience was yesterday after church.  A woman called us over and asked us to give her a blessing.  She then asked me to give her the blessing.  Unfortunately I chickened out because I didn`t know the prayer lines in Spanish to open a blessing.  So my companion gave it and it was a good blessing.  I felt kind of dumb, but afterword we went to lunch with the hermanas.  We asked if they needed anything and they had a meet one of their families.  The mother (it was a mother and daughter) told us to ask the daughter what was wrong.  The daughter started to break down and tell us all the problems she had been having.  I didn`t understand a single thing she said, but when she finished the hermanas asked if she wanted a blessing and they explained what it was to her.  She was a a little hesitant but she agreed.  My companion asked me if I wanted him to offer it this time.  This time I said I had this one this time.  I gave my first blessing in broken Spanish and didn`t open it perfectly or pronounce her name perfectly, but it was a super super powerful experience, and I had no idea what she was going through, or what to expect.  Somehow I gave a 5 minute blessing to her.  I can`t recall a thing I said, but when I finished, she was crying.  So I guess i`m just that bad at Spanish, but it`s alright because I think she got the spiritual message that God intended for her to receive.  Afterward, she couldn`t say a thing. But immediately after the blessing the mother stood up and said she wanted one as well. And so I gave 2 blessings yesterday. Both were super cool, and definitely not what I would normally say or suggest at all.  And I didn`t magically have my spanish changed to be perfect or just go blank minded and say random words.  I didn`t know I was saying completely, but I was alert, and knew what I was saying in the moment.  Although I don`t remember much of what I said, I do recall that part of it and how we felt.  Definitely different than what they say happens in all the stories, but equally cool in its own way.

Well I decided I had to include a few spiritual moments I had this week.  Oh, I learned how to solve a Rubix cube.  It only took me 30 minutes to learn how to solve it.  Now I can solve it in about a minute.  My companion who taught me can do it in about 30 seconds, so I`ve got some practicing to do.  I`m going to try and add some photos of my house, but my camera cord doesn`t really like the spanish computers very much.  I`m probably going to need to buy a converter next month to speed up the process.

Well hopefully I get more time tonight,

Elder Bunch

Delicias Chihuahua

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 2 Delicias Chihuahua Mexico

Ha ha ha, no we are fine on money.  I should’ve explained since my church credit card was lost with my wallet, all my funds are transferred over to my companion, so technically we just share the same card.  Soon my card from the church will arrive and I`ll have my own money supply.  We receive 1700 pesos every month, about 700 goes to taxis, so we have 1000 to buy our food on to live every month.  This is more or less about 2 dollars a day.   With this allotment our meals consist of more or less bread, ham, eggs, and ramen, it’s great ha ha.  We can`t really cook anything, because we can`t afford to, but it`s alright because for lunch everyday we eat at members houses.  I`ve gotten to the point where that`s the only meal I really actually need.  For breakfast I`ll eat a ham sandwich or eggs, and for dinner a pack of ramen.  We don`t get very hungry for those two meals since we eat a big lunch. 

My apartment is pretty sweet.  It looks kind of like Harry Potter’s first room because it`s under a store staircase.  The apartment is pretty average sized so that`s nice.  I haven`t seen anything living in our apartment besides a couple mosquitos.  There are lots of dead cockroaches outside, but fortunately I haven`t seen a living one yet in our house. 

We all have our health back except Elder Greenwood.  He broke his foot and had to be made a secretary.  So now it`s just Elder Herrera and I.  It`s great we own two areas now and I wish our mission president allowed bikes, because they are massive.  I`ve lost about 10 kg because of all the walking.  It`s pretty cool actually, I`m getting to the point where the weather isn`t affecting me as much and I don`t sweat nearly as much.  The past couple nights I actually got a little cold, it was awesome! We have 4 beds to sleep in because it`s only us, however neither of us trust the top bunks to our bunk beds.  We built the bunk beds ourselves.  They are being held up with old cloths and their own weight ha ha.  We have a pretty massive kitchen considering other mission apartments and we have couches and desks. I have learned that Sister Missionaries get extremely spoiled.  Legend has it that their houses make some American houses look bad; and it`s only the two of them.  They also get tons of referrals. It`s all right though because as elders get to walk 10 miles a day at the least and stay lean.

This week wasn`t too exciting.  My zone leader likes to have meetings to plan meetings, so we can count on having one about every day.  Unfortunately we lose a lot of time during these, but we work hard to make it up.  The main problem with Delicias is everyone wants to learn the theory of baptism, but no one wants to be baptized.  They are interested in the steps towards baptism such as chastity and word of wisdom, but don’t want to commit to them.  We can walk down the street and talk to someone and they`ll be our investigator for as long as we want to teach them.  We can return to their house and they`ll let us talk, but very few will actually act.  It’s a little annoying, but I like it better when considering missionaries who can`t even get an investigator.   Just tracting all day can be extremely painful, but it`s all right as well at times.  I`ve only had one door closed to us.   The people here are awesome and the food as well. My stomach has finally gotten used to it, everything except for tortas,  My main problem with tortas is the weird sauce that makes me gag. I can finish them but it takes like 30 minutes ha ha.

I`ve decided I`m going to take a picture of myself every night of my mission for progressional reasons.  Another elder did it and it was pretty cool.  My mission president is super strict but super cool.  He sent 13 missionaries home this week because they went to suicde squad on their p day.  People can get sent home for just having a dirty house on the wrong day h aha. But otherwise he`s super cool and has a lot of love for the missionaries of his mission. I`ve met and talked with him a few times. 

We had about 20 minutes before we had to return to our house and we didn`t know what to do so my companion just said we should walk around the block to waste some time, as we walked one guy called us over and asked why we walk all day.  Apparently he sees us walking up and down the streets, and he knows that we probably walk 10 miles a day.  We started to talk to him about why we serve, he told us to stop really quickly and then told us to wait, he went inside and got all of his kids, and then had us teach them a lesson.  He was super into it and kept asking questions.  He got mad that only my companion spoke a lot, because he really liked my answers.  At first we asked him if he would like us to teach him more and he said no because he was a hard practicing his Catholic religion like his parents before him.  As we talked and bore our testimonies, by the time we finished he asked us if we could come and teach him more.  His wife isn`t too into it, but with time we think we can get to her as well, it was amazing. Cooler though is the fact that often I had no idea what I just said.  I can speak in Spanish for an hour with an investigator and recall next to nothing, at times it`s annoying like when we have to fill in our data, but in reality it`s amazing when it happens and makes me think that the gifts from God are amazing that he gives us to bless others.

Well talk to you next week,

Elder Bunch

Delicias Chihuahua

miracle count-53

tortialla count-59

Monday, September 5, 2016

First Week in the Mission Field

I´m doing awesome!.  I am sad that I missed the first broken bone in awhile though, but it sounds like Henry isn´t suffering too badly and should get better soon. 

Well I have had quite the week.  First, I got the gripe (cold), heat stroke, the runs, the opposite as well, and a nasty case of food poisoning.  Of course I also have a nice sized dog bite, dang I have a desire to drop kick some of the dogs here, ha ha. 

I’ll start with Wednesday becasue Tuesday we just sat in the office so I could get all my papers.  First, we checked out our area.  We are opening it so there are no current investigators, which makes it super difficult.  We probably walked more then 10 miles just that day, it's crazy.  What is cool is all the white missionaries come back super skinny.  One I met was a waist size 41 and now is a 28, he´s a string bean ha ha. 

Wednesday I had a nasty cold (gripe) and on this day we ate some burritos, which tasted awesome.  Little did we know the hermana that made them didn´t have enough time to cook them.  She bought the meat at a local market.  That night was apparently horrible for my companions.  I somehow slept right through the commotion.  All my companions (4) were throwing up all night!  It was nice that they cleaned it all up by the time I woke fully rested, but with the worst stomachache of my life ha ha.   Easy to be said, we took the next day off to recover.  Unfortunately, Elder Morales (a friend from the ccm) went home early, so now we have a companionship of 3 with Elder Herrera our senior companion.  He´s a cool guy and we´ve been working with his progressing investigators. So far we´ve received 3 baptism commitments in just two days of working!

This leads us to Thursday and Friday.  I am combining the two days because they were the same… we walked, and walked, and walked, and preached, and walked. It was great my legs are solid steal. 

Someone before me taught my Senior - Elder Herrera the slug bug game.  Every street corner is a fight to the death with us (there are a lot of Volkswagon bugs here).   He´s awesome.  I am his last companion before he returns home, so he´s teaching me everything.  It is difficult at times to figure everything out, but at the same time super fun.  Oh yeah, I can speak Spanish, but I can´t understand the Spanish here, ha ha,  It´s weird because for everyone I´ve talked to seem to understand first and learn to speak well later.  I don´t get it, but oh well ha ha.

Saturday, we traveled back to central to work on getting my green card so I´m not illegal.  Unfortunately, it didn´t go well, we didn’t have the papers I needed.  Luckily, I didn´t lose my visa or they would´ve reported me.  Fortunately, the visa didn’t fit in my wallets so it has been safe with my pesos.  I am hiding the pesos from my companion, as far as he knows I´m broke and he needs to pay for me, it´s awesome! 

Sunday, I got heatstroke in sacrament and full on blacked out for a solid 10 seconds, it was awesome.  I was trying to be an example and not drink water on fast Sunday.  Yep, my body isn´t used to the climate yet and needless to say I can´t freaking wait for winter

Today was exposed to be our p day, but I had to go complete my green card.  This time we had all the information they needed and it went well.  Now I just have to wait for it to arrive.  They told me it would come in Mexican time, so maybe a year who knows haha.  Fortunatley, I have a paper that says I have one so it´s all good.  Unfortunately, my companion is broke so we walk everywhere now it´s great!

Well, my companion is having me sign off, 

See you next week,

Adventures of elder Bunch

p.s. I have the craziest foot fungus from not wearing sandals in the shower, it looks like thousands of mosquito bites, feels like it too ha ha ha ha. it´s clearing up though