Monday, December 26, 2016

Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Week 5

Sounds like a pretty intense week passed by in Utah ha ha ha.  Not too much passed by here, this week we started out the first 3 days in Chihuahua because of a zone conference.  We had to assist in the conference or face the wrath of the zone leaders 3 hours away from our area ha ha.  It ended up being pretty fun.  In the buses from here to Chihuahua you just watch movies the entire time.  They have those tv´s that fall from the ceiling and play videos, we watched Iron man 3, John Carter, and a movie about egg (awesome movie but I think it´s only in spanish), and more. And then in Chihuahua our entire zone went paintballing with overpowered paintball guns.  It was great because I didn´t get hit, but it wasn´t too fun for the people that got hit because the balls with the pressure are so strong that they cut into you and give you a pretty nice cut especially if it hits your hands ha ha.  I took down the president’s assistant when he ran out of ammo and he´s still pretty mad at me.  My zone leader also shot him, so we are buddies now ha ha. That actual meeting was pretty boring but we had a practice contacting game and I was the chosen investigator and 2 missionaries had to find me out of a group of 20 missionaries.  The main problem was that the 2 missionaries were more or less newbies, so I made it easy on them and pretended to be a super drunk contact that wanted a bath.  I kept yelling, “venga joven quiero cambiar mi vida, or quiero su bautismo arrita”. I thought that I was a pretty convincing investigator, but the missionaries passed over me, so I slowly got louder and louder, and in the end the entire zone was laughing and the missionaries gave up trying to find the hidden investigator.  We then had a very long lesson about talking to every person even the drunk people ha ha ha.  You never know who God may have prepared.

This week we decided to finally teach one of our investigators that only likes to drink coffee about the word of wisdom.  She didn´t take it to well, but she has promised us that she is not going to going to drink coffee or smoke, or drink, or do drugs, because apparently she liked to do all those things as well.  So go figure, sometimes when you look for one problem you find a whole bunch ha ha ha, but with Gods help they can be corrected.  My only surprise is that she had a baptism interview a week before we arrived in the area, so someone wasn´t doing their job if she hadn´t heard about the word of wisdom ha h aha.  That is alright because that is just how some of the missionaries are here, they call it conviction baptisms and it´s when you baptize someone without teaching them anything except how cool baptism is, and with about 5 percent of people they actually continue attending church and the rest, well they become of future missionaries job to reactivate apparently ha ha ha, 

This week the president of the mission came all the way out to our little branch in Ojinaga to give a talk and teach priesthood class.  It was cool to see him and all the members were really excited to see him, at least the ones that came, the night before a massive cold spell hit Ojinaga and everyone at church was sick because of it, and most just didn´t come at all.  It was really disappointing because of the 60 people in our branch that are active only about 20 came to church that day, so we basically just got advice on why church attendence is important and how when he comes back in 5 months the numbers need to at least double in every age group.  That is awesome though, it gives a goal to achieve.  Even though it was more of a intense talk down for the entire ward, it was still cool to have him come talk and set apart all the leaders into their positions officially, because the branch president doesn´t have the keys to set people apart as presidents of their quorum or as counselors to the president.  So as of this moment all of the people are now officially in their positions, and now the energy is back in the branch!

Well that sums up my week pretty well, I´m going to make a Skype account and then I´ll send you the details in a bit!

Elder bunch
Ojinaga, Chihuahua

miracles 181

tortillas 620

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Week 4

The crossing the border thing is all right here, a lot of missionaries like to visit Ojinaga to just go to the border.  We can`t cross all the way across the bridge, so as long as we just stand withing 100 yards of the sign we are allowed to do it.  My area used to be allowed to cross over and teach in the Texas part of Ojinaga becasue a lot of members live in that part, but an incident happened that the closed down the area temporarily.  That was in the past and now there are U.S-based missionaries in the area.  Anyway I was glad to hear that Maren locked herself out of the jeep while it was in the middle of the road with the lights on and engine running.  It brings me joy even after being here for 4 months that my 2 years with the jeep my only incident was bathing it in mud ha ha ha. This week I finished the package I am going to send, I`m only working on procuring a solid mailing method but so far I haven`t had too much luck.  I guess that we`ll have to see how it goes ha ha. And as far as talking on Christmas we are going to hopefully learn about that tomorrow, the Presidente of the branch has allowed us to use his computer, but we just don`t know how the whole Skype thing works.  I will probably just say to make a Skype profile and send me the details Monday and then I`ll contact it with the mission account that I`m given. 

This week was super cold.  We had a really hard time finding people in the streets this week, but secretly this made it really easy for us to find our investigators, because they were all in their houses.  Better yet, all the members pitied us so they came on splits with us to keep us warm with the gift of heated cars. It was great!!!  We got to visit all of our investigators and very quickly we were pulling off 6 lessons a day and many more contacts and short visits, it was great!  This week my companion and I had to give the talks in church and we had to speak for 30 minutes combined, which isn`t very hard in reality compared to when we have to teach investigators or teach the lesson in district meeting for an hour.  It was suppose to be easy, except my companion decided to go and talk first.  I didn`t think anything of this at first until he finished his talk in about 5 minutes leaving me about 25 minutes.  Luckily I just messed with the members for a little, like in my seminary graduation talk and farewell talk, and then talked about testimonies and the stories of Abinadi, and Brigham Young.  I then challenged all the members to talk to someone that isn`t a part of the church, and somehow I talked for 27 minutes ha ha.  The best part is all the members loved the talk and want to come on splits with us or want to tell us about who they are visiting and about their friends they want us to visit.

The big problem this week is that all of us smell like marijuana because of my companion... last Monday before we left to write he decided he wanted to cook some beans.  The only problem is he forgot to turn them off when we left to write for 2 hours and then to eat dinner for another 2 hours.  We returned home to having smoke pouring out of our windows.  Luckily when we opened the door there wasn`t any fire, just a very very smoky pot of charcoal.  The smoke had been roasting our clothes in its scent ha ha.  The smoke and smell was pretty bad the first day.  We all went to bed with red eyes and every day of the week whenever we enter a house the people always ask where we have been to get the smell of churro (marijuana) on us.  It is pretty fun to explain to them that it was my companions cooking ha ha ha.  I have had a fun time messing with him that I have yet to burn anything ha ha. 

Well other than that the only cool thing about this week was that I now have 4 months in the mission and we celebrated it by eating Cerviche that I made with the help of a professional chef that is our investigador in this moment, it was awesome!

Well see you next week, and if you catch me quickly email me back, i enjoy the conversations a lot!

Elder Bunch
Ojinaga, Chihuahua

miracles 167

tortillas 577

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Week 3

Sounds like a fun, Christmas is coming soon.  Unfortunately I still don´t know how the whole skyping thing works so hopefully they tell me how to do it relatively soon and when we can we do the ilumina el munda (Light the World) campaign. We hand out some really cool cards that have the Virgin Mary on them, and the best thing about this is that the catolicas (Catholics) can´t go and throw them away because of the picture, so they always put them in their wallet or pocket. Then we ask them what Christmas means to them.  Finally, we ask them if we can come share a special Christmas message, we have yet to be turned down for our christmas message. Now I´m back to the same problem we had in Delicias, we have too many investigators.  It is great because it just gives us the challenge of finding the investigators that really want to look for something bigger.  Here is an example, we now have 2 investigators that are helping the church in other ways and now they are asking about being baptized and one of them could be baptized at any second! 

Unfortunately this week we didn´t get any snow, but we got about a half foot of water.  A lot of the roads couldn´t be crossed because of how much water fell.  Of course with all the water, this was a very cold week.  We would go to bed seeing our breath and wake up seeing our breath in the morning. I decided that instead of freezing solid while I slept that I should open the heating blanket, so I opened that present early, it has changed my life  ha ha ha.  I enjoy putting it on a timer to heat up 30 minutes before I go to bed, it´s fun to see my bed start steaming while we write in our journals, my companions pretty jealous but he has the bottom bunk so he gets to use the heater so he´s fine ha ha ha.

One of the fun parts of this week was all the contacting we got to do.  My companion and I set a daily goal of 8 new investigators every day, and not just any investigator, 8 investigators that have a big potential or in mission terms a group A.  The only problem is to get all these strong investigators it means about 20 to 40 contacts everyday.   The big problem about ojinaga is that it is where all the rich Mexicans live, and if you have money, then why walk when you can drive and show off your car.  So we have to literally take the opportunity to talk to every person that we see in the streets, even if they are a little sketchy, but it´s been pretty fun.  We have an investigator that is convinced that God has been robbing him, we of course told him that god can´t physical rob him of his money, he promptly asked us "then who is the man in the sombrero and boots who took 20 pesos from me", he still hasn´t figured out that just because someone named Jesus is robbing him doesn´t mean that God is robbing him ha ha ha. 

This week we had a youth follow along that was giving us a reference.  He said he would only give us the reference if we paid for him to see Texas, so he showed us how to get there and then we walked past about 40 guards in our massive trench coats and paid 4 pesos to go to Texas without showing papers or anything.  It was great especially because my green card is still in Chihuahua so they could´ve held me if they had wanted to ha ha ha.  If you have ever wondered how much it costs to move to Texas, it´s 4 pesos.  If you´re walking or 26 pesos if you are in a car. 

Well other than that is was a plain old week, and I guess I got to make massive hamburgers one day for lunch.  I thought they were good, but my companion ate to the point where he had a tough time getting aroun
d olé haha.

Well that´s all for this week!

Elder Bunch
Ojinaga, Chihuahua

miracles 156

tortillas 521

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Week 2

No Manches [way]! You already wrecked my jeep, I´ve only been out 3 months! Man did I call that before I left! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.  I´m glad to hear that my jeep still holds up against other cars well, and it still sounds like Davis High is still super dumb for car crashes.

Anyways, this week was probably one of the longest weeks of my life here in the mission. When we arrived in Ojinaga our district leader told us straight up that no one had worked in our area for 3 years. Apparently with the old president, if you got sent to Ojinaga it was because you needed to shape up, and for the most part all the missionaries did in Ojinaga was party in the Jacuzzi in the house. So now, the new president sends the missionaries to the area to help it grow that he knows will work, or so I’m told.  So to sum up this week, all we did was contact all day every day.  My companion has a watch to count the kilometers and we never sunk beneath 40 kilometers in a day! I was super sore for the first few days, especially because my new companion has an excercise program called Insanity from youtube. It is super super intense and we use it everyday from 630 to 700. It’s paid off because now I can eat even more food than I could eat before the exercise ha ha ha.

Since we didn´t have anything real cool in the week, I´ll describe Ojinaga a bit.  Ojinaga is a small town that is half in Texas and half in M exico (I have a cool picture of me in front of the dividing wall)  When I say a small town, I mean from our house walking to downtown Salt Lake. It is super big, and unfortunately our dorm mates have the only bikes.  I´m not sure why, but our dinner appointments always seem to be in the farthest part of the town possible. Well onto the climate, the days are super super hot, it is definitely called the inferno [hell] for a reason.  The nights are super super cold.  So basically it is just like a desert, which it is, so I guess that makes sense ha ha ha. The fun part about Ojinaga is that all the Americans that live in the Texas part drive here to buy their groceries because they are super cheap, along with the cars.  I don´t know why but every person here has a porsche, or a super super nice truck or jeep, or in general just a really nice car ha ha ha. Unfortunately though the food in comparison to Delicias is expensive, but it´s not too shabby because we don´t have to ride in buses everyday and lose about a third of our money to do it.  Now with walking during the days, I have all my money to spend on food, and dang it is a good life. The district leader loves cooking and I love cooking as well so we have been teaching each other recipes.  He thought it was the coolest thing when I made rice krispie treats.  Apparently the thought to combine marshmallows and rice cereal together never came to him. So we had a few fun times with that. The best part is my new companion is a cleaner, he can´t look at something dirty and not clean it, only problem is he lives in a house with 4 missionaries ha ha ha ha.

Guess I´ll describe my new companion a little then. My new companion is named Elder Merlo.  He is probably the quietest missionary I have yet seen ha ha ha. In reality, I think that is why he got put with me, because no missionary stays quiet with me for very long, whether that is a good thing or bad thing ha ha ha. Anyways, he has 6 months in the mission, and was the trainer for my companion in the CCM, because of this we enjoy talking about the stories about my old companion Elder Hernandez hahaha. Besides Elder merlo, there is Elder Marx (the new gringo), luckily he is getting used to the food, although I do enjoy calling him lava boy when he was in the bathroom for awhile.  Elder Marx is super cool but equally timid as my companion.  His companion Elder Cruz likes having me go on divisions with Elder Marx because he feels comfortable around me talking around me as well as contacting people and teaching lessons.  He´s super cool and he´s getting better each day with the language.  Finally, Elder Cruz, he is super cool and excellent in holding a conversation and teaching.  We have a fun time with each other and this often involves meddling with one another during certain items.  Such as turning off the hot water in the morning when it´s 40 or 50 degrees ha ha ha. He has 10 months in the mission and thinks it has gone by super fast as well as I. 

And you don´t need to worry, we had an awesome Thanksgiving dinner.  The only thing was that it was a day late, on the actual day of thanksgiving a member made a turkey for us, but the only problem was that we arrived a little late and it had already been eaten.  Luckily the people that ate it left plenty of egg salad and macoroni was not a good day for me ha ha ha ha. Anyways the next day we were waiting for a youth to follow along in front of the church, when suddenly a guy pulled up in his Subaru and asked if we wanted to go get something to eat. I said yes! My companion decided that we should probably should run it by eElder Cruz.  Elder Cruz was equally hesitant but I was hungry and so I convinced my companion to come get dinner with me, and this mysterious guy, who wasn´t a member. Anyways we pulled up to a house and inside was probably about 30 people and on this night we ate 2 turkeys and 3 hams and about every thanksgiving side you can imagine.  It was awesome and because of it, we now have a ton of new investigators.

Well that was my week, oh and thanks for the packages! This week the mission of 120 missionaries received 12 packages...I received 5 of those 12, My district is super excited and I´m super excited to open them up in a little bit! So many thank yous for all the gifts that I will have in about a month!

Elder Bunch

Ojinaga, Chihuahua