Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 9, Delicias Mexico

Don´t worry if there is one thing i learned here it is how to share with the zone, otherwise they eat it all and you don´t get anything, This week I got a package from grandma Bunch that was packed with candy.  Little did I know until my companion and I were planning on how to handle all of our investigators when all of a sudden the zone leaders burst in our room and said I got a package and laid down probably a ten pound box of candy ha ha.  They asked if they could have a little, I let them have a little, and then soon every missionary was lining up to our little room asking for candy.  In the end I just split the package evenly between the 18 of us. All the Latinos think I´m super weird because there is only 1 other missionary in Chihuahua that has shared their package before. 

Oh and on the cooking note, last week I made BBQ chicken and no bake cookies, the BBQ was super good, and the no bake was alright mainly because it was dark chocolate and I’m more of a milk chocolate kinda guy ha ha ha. But it was fun and now my companion likes to brag to all of the members and investigators that I wasn´t lying that I can cook, and now because of that I guess the members and investigators are going to buy the ingredients and I’m making the food ha ha ha. 

Halloween here today, and it is pretty plain so far, it might pick up a little more in the night and then tomorrow and Wednesday are the day of the dead festivals, apparently it´s more depressing than it is fun, and the only fun day is tonight. So that´s a little disappointing, my companion and me are planning on handing out plan of salvation booklets the next 2 days. It´s going to be fun, lately I’ve gotten really good at contacting, my companion handles the elderly, and then he has me contact the teenage girls, we´re not sure why but I have yet to be rejected by one of them, so our strategy has been working well, especially in the daytime when they can see my eyes... all attention on me ha ha ha.

This week was a little bit of a disappointment mainly because we had a super super solid investigator fall through on her baptism yesterday. Her name is Elsa and she was a reference from another member, and we had her baptism set to yesterday and she was super excited, we blessed her kids the night before and she gave us a pizza for the blessing (not really, but I like to think we trade blessings for pizza). And everything was super solid, at least we thought so, except there was one other variable we forgot to think about and that was the ex-husband. The little imp wouldn´t leave the house on Sunday and go to work and Elsa couldn´t leave him alone in the house because he was known to take all her money with him when he left. So she was stuck in her house and we were stuck in the church with no baptism and a fount full of water. No one was very happy about it, but it´s all right because we are going to get her there even if we have to use the “Mormon mafia” to take down the ex-spouse ha ha ha. 

Well that sums up the week pretty well, my companion wants to say he´s super excited for the jelly beans (I’m going to use the Harry Potter one´s on him, little does he know ha ha ha). Oh and he says he wants to live in our house when he goes to Utah State in a year ha ha ha.

See ya next week,

Elder Bunch
Delicias Chihuahua

(still can´t roll my rr hahaha)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Week 8, Delicias Mexico

The hymns on my new keyboard are going great, some of them I cannot play too well yet, but for the most part they are all pretty easy to play.  I also enjoy playing even more some of the classics like lion king, Aladdin, and frozen.  I’ve got those songs nearly memorized ha ha ha.  My companion can’t play the piano, but he is a really good guitar player. That talent doesn’t do much good now since in the mission the rules don’t allow it. 

This week was pretty average, but we got a super cool investigator.  Her name is Elsa.  We got her reference when we asked a member at lunch if they knew anyone that could use our help.  Elsa had the missionaries discussions about 3 years ago.  The missionaries stopped visiting because she didn’t plan on getting married to her boyfriend at the time.  Anyways 3 years later we came knocking on her door, and she answered the door and basically said, “excellent the missionaries are back, now I can get baptized”. Apparently she broke it off with her boyfriend about a month earlier and now she was single and wanted to be baptized.  Since she last met with the missionaries 3 years ago she has followed every commandment except the boyfriend one.  She doesn’t drink tea or coffee, which is super uncommon around here.  She told us she no longer drinks these things because of what the missionaries told her 3 years ago.  If she comes to church next Sunday she can be baptized in about 2 weeks.  She already passed the baptismal interview and now all she needs is a few more church attendances. 

Also, this week we had splits with the zone leaders to see what I’ve got as a missionary.  I’ve gotten really good recommendations from my companion and from the missionaries in our district, mainly because I actually know how to teach, and can now speak spanish to a basic fluency level ha ha.  Anyways I went on splits with him and basically it was just to see how many people we could contact because he didn’t have any appointments that day except for one.  Anyways by the end of the day we had about 30 new investigators, which with the current standards of teaching is pretty good.  Especially good because about 20 of the contacts I made during our practice ha ha ha.  It was pretty fun the first 4 hours but the following 6 hours got a little tiring ha ha ha.  But its alright because its just some more exercise.  We probably walked at least 20 kilometers that day assuming that we walked 10 hours and didn’t get to teach a single lesson.  So it was only walking for a 5 minutes talk with a good contact, or a 30 second walk and talk with someone who wasn’t interested.  I still haven’t had anyone fully blow us off yet, the people here are super awesome and are all super open to hearing a little talk about Christ and how they can get more blessings or live with they families forever.

Oh, and I got my package and learned a little more about the system of mailing boxes.  So the man in Texas has to open everyone of the packages to look through the box to see if anything is not consistent with the rule book.  Anyways I received 4 books, the cookbook, the missionary answers book, and 2 kids books.  I suppose because I received them it means they are fine to read, (so if you sent more than 4, those ones weren’t allowed).  So if you send me books and I receive them they are fine to read.  At least that is what my companion has told me.  It makes sense to me.  Oh and on that note, if you ever see 25.00 dollars missing from my account its because I tried to make something a little more adventurous in the cook book, the book is super cool, but we just don’t receive very much money, and granted I like to cook, so yep, if you see any money missing that’s why.  Tonight I’m making BBQ chicken and birds nest cookies (they don’t require an oven, which is good because we don’t have one).  We have 4 missionaries with us today, so they helped pay this time ha ha ha.  So yep if you ever want to send books, feel free, just make sure they can apply to missionaries and not just church in general, and the kids books  Frankly, I’m not sure how they passed, but I’m working on translating them into Spanish for our investigators ha ha ha. 

See ya next week,

Elder Bunch

Delicias Chihuahua

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 7, Delicias Mexico

The weather is still pretty hot here, but I´m getting to the point where a day in the 70s feels pretty good.  The leaves are slowly starting to die, but nothing too colorful yet.  Most of the trees are palm trees and I´m not posivite if they change color or how they shed their leaves... if they do.  Last year was the first time it snowed in my area in 5 years.  It´s not due to it being cold enough, but more because it does not rain here.  It´s rained 2 times in the past 7 weeks here. That is okay because this place is pretty lit. 

My new companion is super super fun.  He´s a little crazy, but he is the same person in the house and on the street.  Because of this a lot of people like talking to us because he is super funny to talk to and has a bunch of great stories.  His stores are often about gringo companions in particular his trainer who had a rough time with the food and often couldn´t find a bathroom.  The people here love to hear about how gringos do in their state.  Fortunately, I´m not super interesting with food stories ha ha ha. But this week was probably one of my fastest because of my new companion.  It was probably my funnest as well.  I´ve finally reached the point where I can understand about 99 percent of what people say.  Granted when they aren´t drunk ha ha.  Anyways because of understanding more there are times where I´ll teach the lesson for an hour or 2 and my companion won´t really talk.  It´s been some super good practice and has helped my spanish a ton in terms of speaking it.  Speaking has come behind understanding. A lot of the people will pretend to not understand me, so my companion will make fun of them for being drunk or not understanding their own language.  He´s super cool about helping me out in those ways.

This week I also had a bad luck streak.  On Tuesday I forgot the keys in the house and we had to climb in through the roof.  On Wednesday I was cleaning out my razor and all the blades bounced off the table I was cleaning it on and fell over into the very very well used toilet...  It was not a fun experience getting them out.  I probably washed my hands for a solid 30 minutes and scrubbed them red ha ha ha.  Finally on Thursday I opened the fridge door and it broke off the hinges and fell on top of me.  That was a fun one though.  We had some good laughs about it.  Finally I had some good luck in the end.  I got my card from the church and it had 2 months of money on it, so basically I had an extra 100 bucks to spend. I decided rather than spending it all on food that would go bad in a week, I would buy an item.  I decided to buy a piano.  I would've bought a guitar, but guitars got banned from our mission because people would play them instead of working.  Pianos are alright because we have to practice for church or for district meetings.  I´m often the one that has to play even before I had my new piano mainly because I can sight play any song right handed.  We all thought the piano was a good idea after getting tired of singing sweet hour of prayer every week from another elder ha ha ha. So that was a super cool experience.

Our area got our threat level raised because of all the clowns.  Now we have to enter the house at 8 pm instead of 9 pm because we´ve got 4 clowns around our house and in the areas we have most of our investigators.  It is super annoying because some of our investigators are only home around 8 pm, so I´m hoping that this dumb clown thing passes.  My companion lost a few investigators and members to the clowns in his old area so he´s a little worried about it.  I´m not too worried because everyone here is super cautious and likes to help out those in need, even the missionaries ha ha ha.  Oh and the gangs are on our side too, so that helps a lot.

Anyways a cool experience we had this week was we were walking home when we were encountered by a drunk man.  He started calling us liars and calling us out on a lot of things.  He told us that we never said hello to him when we walked by.  He was very upset because of this.  Anyways he told us that we needed to visit him and teach him a lesson.  So the next day we went to his house and he quickly apologized about being drunk.  He told us he was in a program for it and was trying really hard to stop drinking.  We had given him a packet when we met him before in the street about the plan of salvation.  He read the entire thing and had a ton of questions.  He really enjoyed what was in it and we taught him a lesson on it.  He said he wanted to be baptized by the end of the lesson.  Unfortunately because of the new rules he has to attend church 5 weeks in a row.  He is super interested and wants us to come to his house everyday in the afternoon because when we are with him he doesn´t want to drink. He is super cool and we have high hopes for him, and we think he can reach God's expectations. 

Well there you have a little bit of misfortunation, terror, and success, and a piano, basically the best week ever ha ha


Elder Bunch,

Delicias Chihuahua

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 6, Delicias Mexico

Don´t worry, I actually had quite the birthday here, because 3 of the missionaries are leaving today.  They threw a big party and we all ate waffles and had a weekly planning meeting.  It was fun and they all sang me a happy birthday song.  It was a weird song about waking up, you´re not going to live very long, but cool anyways.  Then in the afternoon an investigator threw me a party as well.  We ate hamburgers and watched Johnny Lingo.  It was fun.  To finish it off they bought me a little cake.  It was a perfect day.

Otherwise, this week was pretty ordinary, lots of work and lots of walking. We did paint one of our investigators houses and that was fun.  We had 4 missionaries come help us out who love the investigators we are working with right now.  Another cool thing was that our zone had the most baptisms this month.  Our zone´s name was inscribed on the mission trophy.  Our companionship contributed 2 of the 9, which was awesome.  If our zone loses our zone leader is not a happy guy ha ha. 

Today is my last day with my current companion and my new companion is Elder Vargas.  He loves to play Fifa on the Xbox, hopefully also on the playing field as well.  You were worried my Xbox skills would not be appreciated out here.  Both of my companions have been district leaders.  They have asked me to help out with some of their leadership responsibilities.  Every Tuesday I teach an hour lesson, and often I handle the telephone calls with the other missionaries.  Depending on the circumstances, sometimes with the investigators as well. It´s fun to teach and feels a lot like back in Utah when I taught the classes on family history.  Only these lessons are on trying to help the missionaries get the spirit of missionary work and work hard. 

One cool experience we had was when we had just finished my birthday party with the investigators a dear man approached us and led us to his house.  It turns out he isn´t a member, but his father is an inactive member.   This man wanted to come join us for church on Sunday, which was way cool. That night we studied how to sign.  I have been working hard on learning the alphabet.  It is cool how fast it is coming.  The next day we talked to his family and they all agreed to come to church the next day as well.  They were super enthusiastic about it as well.  Unfortunately, on Sunday morning when we stopped by to pick them up they told us that the police were coming so they couldn´t come to church.  Of course we believed them... just kidding, we get weird excuses all the time.  So we were a little discouraged.  But this time as we were standing in the street waiting for another investigator all of a sudden 2 police cars pulled up to the house.  Apparently they had been robbed that night.  Anyways we talked to them some more later and we think we can get them to come to church and consider being baptized.  Well as long as they don’t get robbed again, ha ha ha. 

Otherwise it´s been just an average super fast week like usual ha ha.  Oh and I finally finished everything for my green card, so I´ll soon no longer be an illegal alien in Mexico.  I also received the first dear elder letter as well.

Elder Bunch
Delicias Chihuahua

miracle count;106

tortilla count; 189

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 5, Delicias Mexico

Unfortunately, I have yet to see any tarantulas here in Mexico.  I have seen a couple scorpions and a lot of mosquitos and flies.  That basically sums up the animal life here, except the millions of dogs and cats that roam the streets. 

Conference was super cool, except we lost connection about every 5 minutes and it was all in Spanish.  Besides that it was super cool to hear all the talks, one of the cooler parts was I could understand about 80 percent of the talks when I really focused.  Focusing was easier said than done because we were in the chapel with about 200 people and the air conditioning was broken.  Also, they had to close the windows and doors in order to make it dark enough to see the screen.  Saturday’s session was super cool; I even recognized a few of the missionaries that were singing to in the choir.

I´m pretty sure ever since we started giving blessing out during lunch everyone wants one.  We get random phone calls at night telling us to come over and give them a blessing or pray for their family.  What is great is I´ve gotten pretty good at giving them.  My companion basically just has me do all the blessings.  In fact, I don´t think he has given one since the incident in the previous email. It´s super cool, I´ve gotten to the point where I can feel if someone has faith and believes.  There are times where I have really strong impressions of what to say, and there are other times I no so much.  One of the better this week we went to a less active members house because she had been stuck in bed for 3 days and couldn´t walk.  We have hit a cold spell, and she had major arthritis in her feet and hands and couldn´t move or work.  We taught her a lesson and asked if she wanted a blessing.  She then told us about a previous time she had received a blessing and it had healed her.  She had tremendous faith in blessings and she knew this one would help her as well.  I gave her the blessing, and i could tell she had a firm faith in the God and his power.  As soon as we finished we left the room to give the husband a blessing because his foot was ran over by a car a few weeks earlier.  His foot was still bugging him at work.  I gave him a blessing as well and did not feel strong impressions and guidance like I did with his wife.  As soon as we finished his blessing the wife came walking in the room and sat down and started talking with us. It was super cool to see how she had gone from being stuck in bed to moving around and making some food.

This week I have also started to learn the gift of patience.  We have a youth volunteer follow along with us, who also lives with the missionaries.  It was our turn to have him with us.  I´m not sure what he has but he definitely has some sort of gift to peeve everyone off.  It doesn´t help when he likes one of the sisters that seems to be interested more in me.  I´m pretty sure he has made it his personal job to snap out at us.  Luckily for him, I can´t understand half of the words he uses and from the looks of other missionaries I don´t think I want to ha ha ha ha.  Anyways dealing with him has made it infinitely easier to deal with my companion and his quirks he has at times. So I guess when you hit the extreme, everything before it just seems easier. 

I´m waiting until the 6th to open all the boxes.  I´m thankful for all the birthday emails I got this week, they were super cool. It´ll be cool to work for others on my birthday, my companion has given me the option to basically have another p day.  I didn´t take it, I’ve got a feeling that it´ll be a good day for teaching.

By the way, I learned that we can´t read books besides the scriptures.  I pulled out a scripture study guide and got ironed by one of the leaders, Ha Ha, oh well, it was alright in the end. It is kind of weird, we can watch any movie recommended by BYU, but we can´t read scriptural guided books.  I have enjoy watching Johnny Lingo, and little Manhattan, and my companion likes watching Catholic romances ha ha. Just wanted to tell you so you don´t accidently send me a book.  The mission rules are a little weird, but they are there to help us.  If you every see a weird Rubik´s cube, I would be happy to have one.  It´s about all I can do when we ride the buses for 2 hours each day, and I´ve nearly mastered the 3x3 one.  I can now solve it in less than a minute

miracle count 95
tortilla count 169

Elder Bunch,
Delicias Chihuahua

p.s. I am writing a ton in my journal and although I have 4 journals it is very likely I might run out before the year is up.  Since I can´t read and movies are only for p days and early nights. So because of this, I have a ton of free time so I just write and write.  The journals have 365 pages and I average about 30 pages in a week. So once I start getting close to running out, I´ll message you.  Right now I am solid and I don’t plan on forgetting much about my journey here.