Monday, December 25, 2017

Del Norte, Week 3

This week was a pretty cool week.  I got a solo opportunity when we sang in the Christmas program for the missionaries here in Chihuahua.  We got to help some missionaries in the zone get a couple of baptisms and then we taught about 30 guys in a rehabilitation center! Oh and I took out 50$ from the card because we started to get super sick bathing in freezing water every day, but now everything is going well and we have our strength back! (p.s. I might buy a thick sweater soon (it´s cold!), there are some cool ones here that are cheap, just for a heads up haha)
Alright, well everything began Monday when we started making plans for our musical number.  We all started singing and in the end it turns out I sing a great soprano (p.s. I don´t know what that means but it gave me a solo so I like it!). We are going to be singing hallelujah from Shrek and silent night, it´s going to be a mix of the two if we can pull it off. The president Montoya asked our zone to sing for the Christmas party which is why we are doing this all in the first place.  It has been a struggle to organize everything but it appears that everything is going well.  The sister missionaries are going to be playing the piano, violin, and the flute. and all the elders will be singing the other parts.

During the week we did a lot of splits to help two companionships baptize this past weekend.  My companion did the interviews while I went with their companions and got to "know their area" (in Chihuahua mission terms this means you go and put baptism dates with all their investigators and if they don´t accept or don´t show signs of progress you have the elders leave the investigator). It was a pretty great time, I got to go on splits with a brand new missionary named Elder Lignell.  He´s a newbie from Brighton and he´s super cool and led me to some cool investigators that if everything goes well will be baptized this following month! We also found a man that basically owns a mountain and all his family lives on this mountain.  He´s helping us out to teach this message to all his family members on the mountain.  Hopefully the elders over there will start to see some cool results soon!  In the end of the week we got to see the fruits as we had 2 baptisms in the zone and many more prepared for the following weeks!

On Saturday we planned an activity for the entire zone to go to a place called DOXA.  It´s a big rehabilitation center in our zone. The plan was to visit them at 4:00 and bring a big pot of milk and rice (common dish here).  Well almost nothing went to plan hahaha.  We arrived at 4:00 and only 4 other missionaries were there.  My companion stayed with 1 to prepare the food meanwhile we (the other 3) went to start the lesson while the others arrived, they arrived about 4:30 and they had lost our appointment.  Luckily they gave us a bit of time to talk. So the other 2 missionaries and I started to teach and do a lot of activities, it was great! When we had ten minutes left before leaving, all the other missionaries arrived just in time to make an appearance and hand out cards. We then promptly finished and returned to the house, to finish preparing the food, which we then took to the facility.  In the end of the day it was a fun experience and a lot of the people have a grand desire to talk to the missionaries when they left.  They all have our contact information and want us to continue visiting and sharing the message that we have. It was a super fun and powerful experience! 

Well that was our week here! I Believe I will be skyping about 5 or 6 next Monday! It is crazy how fast this year has gone by! Anyways I’m super excited to talk to you guys next week!
con mucho amor,
Elder Bunch
México Chihuahua Misión

Del Norte

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Del Norte, Week 2

Well this week was great! It snowed a lot! (for chihuahua).  We were able to shake hands with Elder Oaks!  I also attended a leadership meeting as a zone leader (I've been to 5 when I was secretary haha). All in all it was a great week!

Well one of the best things of this week was that we ended up with about 2 inches of snow on thursday! It was super unexpected for everyone, but at about 11 in the morning the snow started, and all of a sudden the entire zone started calling up freaking out about how they had never seen snow before.  Even my companion was super excited because this was the first time for him as well to see snow! In the end we ended up going to the mall with the sister missionaries to get winter clothes, because it got super super cold.  So the entire afternoon was dedicated to getting some warm clothes so everyone didn´t "die" in the night. It ended up being super fun, we had a massive snowball fight and finished the night making a snowman in the church parking lot and having hot chocolate with the zone! It was great! although we suffered the next morning due to not having heaters and running out of gas in the perfect moment causing us to bathe in cold water, which is surprisingly refreshing on a cold morning (although i would not recomend it, unless you love an adrenaline rush!)

On Saturday Elder Oaks came! That was quite the amazing experience.  He spoke to us over several topics and helped out the mission in some of the aspects we were failing in.  It was a super powerful experience and strengthened the testimonies of everyone that was there! It was also the first time and last time that the entire mission would be in one place at a time which was a cool experience to see literally every missionary in the mission in one spot.  We got a picture, but it looks like they still haven´t sent it yet haha. On Sunday the apostle spoke to all the members in the state of Chihuahua.  They all came down to a huge conference center to hear him speak.  He spoke a lot over the need for family home teachers and that every member is a missionary and every missionary a member. super great message from him and his counselors.

Besides that i spent most of my week in leadership meetings to help us prepare our zones for the coming of the apostle and for the housing of all the missionaries coming from far away areas, in the end it was just the regular stuff. However we had some super fun experiences with the missionaries that came down. I was put on divisiones with Elder Gil (my zone leader when I was in la Junta).  We ended up getting lost, so we decided to contact people.  The first person we contacted was super cool until his drunk friend showed up and pulled a gun on us.  We got a little spooked until we realized it was plastic and we just walked off.  A little later on we snuck into a gated area and started to contact.  My companion felt the need to knock on a house, so we knocked on the door and a strange man answered and in the end didn´t have much interest.  We then knocked on the door of another neighbor who opened the door and said "we don´t sell drugs".  We talked to them about what they meant by their comment and they told us that they saw us go exactly to a drug lords house (my companion went directly to the house of a man that sold drugs).  So the girl talking to us was a little suspicious and in the end we had a fun time joking around about weird luck and to make a long story short it seems like we are best friends now.  Weird how the spirit leads one to a drug lords house and then to their neighbor who is super cool! I am now positive that God has a sense of humor, due to this experience and many others hahaha.

Oh and in terms of packages so far i´ve received the package of the calendar and the package full of candy bars.  I´m not sure when I´ll get the others because there are only 2 elders in Ojinaga and they don´t come down often and there are a ton of elders in the mission hahaha.  In terms of Skype (dang that came fast) I´ll check it out next week and check if everything is working!

Con mucho amor,

Elder Bunch
México Chihuahua Misión
Del Norte

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Del Norte, Week 1

Well changes came in this week and I got changed!  The worst part is that my companion who has 4 months in that area got to stay and i got changed!  The cool part is I got made a zone leader, but I really liked that area and we had many more families to baptize! But it will be cool to see what it is like to be a zone leader.  I´ve gotten out of it so far due to my desire to train, but it looks like the leaders didn´t care this time and raised me hahaha. I have been moved to the area of Del Norte and I am the zone leader of the stake Tecnologico.  It is a massive area that doesn´t have very many missionaries, but due to this there are many people that are hidden and waiting for this message!

Well anyways this week we spent most of the week helping my companion say goodbye to all of the people which appears to have been in vain since he is staying hahaha.  However it was a fun experience to see everyone one last time and even though I didn´t say goodbye to anyone it was nice to talk and enjoy the good experiences.

This week we decided to go to an area called the Quemada.  It is a super far off area that takes about 30 minutes to arrive on bike and about 2 hours on foot.  Due to this most missionaries never went and when I say most, I mean just about everyone.  Anyways due to buying bikes we decided to see what the area had in hold, and wow it was an amazing experience.  It is a super poor colony both in money and in spirit.  Almost everyone we talked to accepted our message and invited us in their houses and fed us and gave us lots of coke! It was amazing! We found several amazing families and several people that used to attend church before they moved to this area and since the missionaries never visited they didn´t know that there was a church in Delicias. All in all, it was an amazing experience and a miracle to see how the Lord prepares his children to receive his message and prepares the missionaries to teach them as well!

On Saturday and Sunday, we had a 70 come down for the stake conference, his name was Elder Montejo, and dang I have never seen such a dynamic speaker.  He was super animated and knew how to get the attention of everyone and taught such basic principles, but with such an intense spirit! It was super cool and it was funny to see the leaders of the stake talk with such nervousness that they looked like new members haha. The Seventy was such a powerful speaker and when he finished he came and shook all of the hands of the missionaries and gave us all homework of how we can improve due to what he felt through the handshake, super awesome! I´m pretty sure he gave a general conference talk about the Holy Ghost awhile back because he told us a story that I knew and well it was a story of his life so I believe it was him who told it in conference. All about when he ignored the holy ghost and then his wife felt the same prompting and made him follow the prompting and help a widow. All in all, it was an amazing talk. Which we will get to see more of this end of week as the Elder Oaks comes to Chihuahua to talk to all the missionaries and then to all the members. It should be interesting and he is going to iron us a ton, he is the apostle over the missionary work and so when a mission needs to improve a bit he makes them improve a ton! It´s going to be great!

Well that´s all for now, my camera is still in repairs (they can´t find the part still) so I don´t have pictures yet!

Have a great week, con mucho amor,

Elder Bunch
México Chihuahua Misión

Del Norte

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Delicias Mexico Part 2, week 5

Another great week here in the blazing heat of the Chihuahua dessert.  Unfortunately, my camera broke a little so I don`t have it to send pictures today, but don`t worry I took it to a repair store and I’ll be getting it back tomorrow.  Besides that this week was pretty cool.  We had a massive Thanksgiving feast, we had a Mexican night in the church, and I’m still pretty good in volleyball!
Well I guess the biggest abnormal event of the week was on Thursday with the American tradition of Thanksgiving. Sister Brown (the Samoan sister) somehow convinced a family in her ward to giving Thanksgiving to all the gringos in the zone. In the end there was about 10 missionaries, 3 of which were white guys, and the rest were companions. It ended up being a really cool experience.  We ate with an older couple only one of them could speak Spanish, the other only speaks English, so we had a great time speaking in English with everyone. We ate a massive Turkey, some ham, several dishes of food, and pies! It was great! And we took tons of photos, the only problem is that my camera fell and the zoom button broke and is being fixed so I can`t send anything, but next week I’ll most likely send some haha.

On Saturday, we had our Ward Mexican night, apparently it was for the revolution here in Mexico.  I didn`t know that happened because from what I understand the politics here still aren’t the strong suit here haha. But anyways, there were lots of parades throughout the week and the ward had a huge party where we ate tacos, pozole, and elotes (corn on the cob mexican style) while listening to one of the members that has quite the gift musically.  I believe he may also be a little mad with me since he arrived late to church and I took his place on the piano for the introduction hahaha. Anyways, in the end the activity was super fun and we got to show some investigators. that the church likes to party a bit, which was nice because many think we are like the Jehova Witnesses or Catholics or Christians and that we don`t do parties (honestly I don`t understand the churches here, I feel like in other parts of the world they are a bit more normal haha).

Today the zone decided to go and play some Soccer and Volleyball.  I’m still not the best in Soccer and spend most of my time as the “best” goalie in the world! I like to focus on using the fear tactic by yelling at my foes as they try to hit the ball in the goal.  Most of the time it distracts them long enough for me to steal it and get it to a teammate. After winning our soccer match the sister missionaries decided to try their luck in a game of volleyball.  So we headed over to a super cool beach volleyball court that is here. I ended as team captain of one of the teams and we once again used my yelling tactics to animate our teammates and to inflict fear into our enemies. We ended up dominating them using the power of pure force (oh and the sister missionaries were on my team, so I did not end up brutally taking out any of them, just elders this time)! 

A cool experience that we had this week was with the mother of one of our investigators.  We have been teaching a 19 year old girl about why church is cool and why our church is the coolest church to go to even if it is a little far (got to take a bus to get there).  She has been super cool and has been progressing a lot recently.  Anyways her mom asked my companion one day if we could go and visit her mom because she had been super depressed recently. On Friday we went with them to visit her. After a super powerful lesson with the grandmother she ended up telling us that she had been baptized in our church when she was 23.  This ended up being quite the shock to everyone in the room especially the mother and daughter. In the end all of them now wanted to come to church and see why their grandmother got baptized in the first place and to know more about the power of the holy ghost.  The best part is that it is a family of 4 that can be potentially baptized here soon if everything goes well!

Well that was my week here.  This week is the last week of the cycle and it is almost for sure that my companion will be leaving Delicias after 5 months.  He`s a little sad because we have many investigators that are super cool, but he is also excited to see what else the mission has to offer! Either way it has been an excellent journey with him these past 6 weeks!
con mucho amor,
Elder Bunch

México Chihuahua Misión