Sunday, February 26, 2017

Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Week 14

That´s awesome that you finally got my package! And I am glad you liked it.  Sorry it took so long to figure out how to send it.  Hopefully next time it won´t take quite as long ha ha ha. It sounds like the weather is starting to improve there, here it is changing as well, except the summer here is why this place is known by the name infierno (Hell) and after spending the winter here I’m starting to realize where this place gets its reputation ha ha ha. 

Well onto this week, to sum it up this week was one of the most fun weeks I have had in my mission.  From cambios to today the party has yet to stop.  My new companion is really fun and the new gringo (Fastabend) who joined is super fun as well. We have spent every morning doing Zumba and then it involved into a 50 minute Nerf war that involved moving all the furniture in the house.  We would then spend the last 10 minutes fixing all the furniture and the next week finding all the bullets. Then during the days when we have to wait outside the house until we can enter it on time we play soccer.  I have been made permanent goalie. The second day we were playing it got a little intense and we broke the neighbor’s window.  Luckily we are friends with them and to fix a window here it´s only 5 dollars, so it wasn´t too bad. This week we also went to the market place and at the market place I had a little bit of extra money for the month so

I bought a new hair cutting kit and a used bike all for about 40 dollars.  On Sunday I got to shave Elder Fastabend and it turned out really well, who knew haircutting was so easy!

One of the cool things that happened this week was that we had a ward activity where we all went and played soccer and had a cookout with some carne asada.  It was super cool and the best part was that we got 5 investigators to come to it!  Four of them are new investigators that we have found within the past week.  It was super cool and they really enjoyed it and now are friends with a lot of the members of the ward.  I´m hoping we can now get a little more progress with them and that we can visit the investigators with some of the members that they now have met. 

This week we also had a fun experience as I was showing Elder Santiago (my new companion) the area.  We were passing by one of the streets and someone kept trying to whistle us over.  Eventually they started yelling at us, so we decided to go and talk to them.  Immediately they started talking to me in English about how his wife is a member but only goes to church when she goes to visit her parents in the states, due to the fact that she thought there wasn´t a church here in Ojinaga.  She was super excited to here about the local church in her home town, and wants us to visit her and to teach her husband the lessons! I´m excited to teach her, because we need to find some investigators that have a bit of church support during the lessons and afterwards, and having a spouse as a member works pretty well most of the time ha ha ha. 

Well that´s how my week went, can´t wait for the package, especially the shoe soles ha ha ha

See ya next week,

Elder Bunch

Ojinaga, Chihuahua

Monday, February 20, 2017

Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Week 13

Don´t worry I´m making sure to keep a firm record of my mission.  I now have reached 400 pages and am about a fourth of the way into my second journal.  It´s been a good 6 months! Crazy how fast it went by and they say the first 6 months are the slowest ones of the mission.  So that´ll be an interesting experience with the rest of my mission ha ha ha.  Hopefully the package I sent arrives soon.  I sent it off on Thursday, and most of the letters say Merry Christmas, so just ignore that part ha ha ha. 

Well changes came in and I´m staying in Ojinaga another cycle, but Elder Marx got the boot to Chihuahua city.  My new companion name is Elder Santiago.  Apparently he doesn´t talk that much, which I guess I should just get used to by now since the president has learned that people aren´t allowed to be shy when they are with me ha ha ha. So far the only thing I have learned about my new companion is that he has just finished his training (so I´m senor companion) and that he doesn´t talk ha ha ha, but that is how it goes here when you don´t have time in the mission, people don´t really know you. For example most of the missionaries know me mainly because I received a package every week during my first 12 weeks, and I bought a piano, and that I trained a gringo ha ha ha. As far as I know I don´t have any haters quite yet ha ha. 

Well this week was a little sad, we had a investigator who was going to be baptized this week, so Wednesday we went to his house for the interview and it was going really well and he had top notch answers for all of the questions, to the point where he passed the interview, but when we asked him about being baptized he told us that he couldn´t do it. He can´t do it because his wife has convinced him that he is the devil. His wife is a super active member in the church and all the kids are super active members in the church, the only problem is the wife makes fun of the husband whenever he tries to do anything spiritual, to the point where he is afraid to say his prayers at night because the wife will harass him. Anyway the Saturday before we wrote the baptism date down and the interview date, he accepted to all of it and was super excited. But apparently that Sunday his wife told him he can´t be baptized and they both got into a fight that almost ended in divorce.  So that was quite the predicament this week for all of us. But I’ve got a whole cycle to get it all set back up, so I guess we´ll see how it goes!

A good part of this week was that we found a few more super cool investigators. One of them is a guy named Rolando that Eduardo (husband in previous paragraph) referred to us.  He is a super cool guy that speaks English. He told us that he would never open up to us, but the other day we went to his house and he poured out his entire life story to us. It turns out that his wife and kid read the pamphlets as fast as they could get them and they have a ton of questions. Rolando has a ton of questions about the next life ever since he overdosed and saw his father who died when Rolando was 14. So Rolando is convinced he is going to hell or something and they have a daughter who got super burned as a kid who has to go into surgery every other week to expand her skin who has an interest in the next life as well. We always have some cool spiritual experiences with them and have Eduardo help teach them and bring them to the church.

Well that is how it went down here in Ojinaga, I´ll send some photos with my new companion next week!

Elder Bunch

Ojinaga, Chihuahua

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Week 12

Well 6 months!!! Dang that´s crazy that I´ve been out here that long, anyways tomorrow or Wednesday I´m going to withdraw about 20$ from the bank and then send that package that has a card for everyone and some of the common foods I have eaten here, There is also a container filled with cockroaches I´ve found.  I found out that the branch president looks into packages that we are sending, so I don’t think it is going to work ha ha ha ha. So expect that package, either by the end of the week or the beginning of the next week, otherwise I don´t know where it went ha ha ha. 

‪Well this week was super solid, we doubled our investigator count, which unfortunately made everyone mad because we are now getting better stats then our district leaders.  I´m pretty happy that we are finding all this work in a place where there is apparently no work left to do ha ha. It has been fun though we have continued looking for old investigators of previous missionaries and have been finding a whole bunch of them.  The other day we found one from 2014 that still remembered the missionaries and was super excited for us to begin teaching him again.  A couple of the investigators that we now have to teach just wanted to argue about about trump to us.  The branch here has started a rumor that I am the son of Trump and now every once in awhile someone starts talking to us just because they want to talk to the two white missionaries who might be related to Trump ha ha ha. We entered into a candy shop the other day and the owner asked if we were racists.  We replied no and then she began to rant about Trump ruining her life. We found this an opportunity and talked to her about the plan of salvation and how everything happens for a reason.  She was into it and now we have a new investigator ha ha ha. It goes to show that you never know which opportunity can be made into a teaching opportunity. 

‪Also this week we were looking for an investigator and we got lucky and saw her cutting wood in the back of her yard.  We went back and talked to her and offered to chop some wood.  I decided I would chop while Elder Marx would teach a lesson. So I started, the only problem was that it was a really rusty axe and the handle was just a metal tube and we were trying to cut long knotty branches.  After about 30 minutes of chopping what I thought was sweat was all the skin on my hand being rubbed off and leaving quite the mess on the axe.  I continued to cut wood for another 15 minutes until Marx noticed that my hands weren´t looking too good so he cut a few more branches while I rested and then we called it good and taught the investigator a lesson. Luckily she didn´t notice my hand and when we finished teaching it was the end of the day so we headed back to the house and washed my hand thoroughly and covered with Neosporin.  It was cool though because the next day at church everyone saw my hand and now know that we serve until we bleed.  So now we got a lot more respect from the members here and I think they will let us help them more often! Especially one of the members who likes to make fun of missionaries when their hands don´t have calluses, it was fun to see his face when he saw my hands ha ha ha ha.

‪Well that is what went down here in Ojinaga this week, the next week we get cambios (transfers) so I´ll likely be losing Elder Marx and I guess we will see who I get next!

‪See you next week,

‪Elder Bunch

‪Ojinaga, chihuahua

Monday, February 6, 2017

Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Week 11

Well I´ll think of those questions and then send an answer after a bit of planning.  In terms of a “bump” package, maybe some cosmic brownies, or zebra cakes, and a good speaker that has a USB slot for my USB because playing them from a disc player is fun but the battery only lasts about 30 minutes, and when the entire district wants to play basketball in the night with music, it doesn´t end up to well ha ha ha.

Well this was a pretty fun week mainly because we had a bunch of success in terms of finding people to teach. It has been hard to find a lot of the old investigators of the past missionaries because they usually wouldn´t put the addresses down.  This makes sense because it is really hard to find the address anyway because most of the streets aren´t marked.   So we have been working hard to find these hidden people who were previously interested in the gospel.  What has been the fun part of this experience is we often don´t find the original people, but instead we find new people that we otherwise wouldn´t have ever found.  One experience like this was we were looking for one of the oldies from 2012 and it led us to this one house where a guy was building a wall.  We asked him if the information on our paper was the correct family and unfortunately it wasn´t.  But he hopped off of the wall and started talking to us very openly (that is not very normal), he soon told us that he had been visited by missionaries in the past but that he scared them off by all his questions.  Lucky for me that book you sent me about questions and answers that are anti Mormon, got me the answers I needed such as 'where is josé (Joseph) Smith in the bible' and 'why can you guys teach in the street without authority'. He was impressed that I knew that answers with the short time that I have in mission.  He then proceeded to invite us to his house and told us that he has been a Jehova Witness for 20 years and in reality he just wanted to learn about us and in turn he wanted to teach us his beliefs. I am pretty excited about it all mainly because I want to learn all about the beliefs of the Jehova Witnesses and how to answer all of their questions, because quite frankly, they are the most annoying people to handle in the streets normally ha ha ha ha.  So to find one that is actually cool and doesn´t want to fight with us is a little miracle in itself.

Also this week we had the missionary counsel, which basically changed everything about the missionary schedule.  Now the schedule is all about the companionship.  Each companionship can leave earlier and return earlier, if they don´t want to study for an hour, they can study for less or more time depending on what their needs are. This is major change especially here in Ojinaga where all the people are in the steets in the morning rather than the night.  So the ability to do our studies in the night is a major game changer at least for a guy that spends an extra 2 hours every day training another missionary in a program and in the language. I´m looking forward to trying out different combinations of schedules and seeing which is the best for our area. The other part that was changed is how we count the stats.  Before it was based on lessons and teaching them, now the big focus is on finding new people and getting them to the church and then the members have the responsibility to fellowship the investigators. The cool part about this new strategy is that it gives us the opportunity to come up with creative methods to invite people, because now that lessons aren´t too important in terms of what we are looking for.  We now focus on inviting new people through activities, like drawing the plan of salvation in chalk on the street or on a wall, kinda like graffiti, but it´s legal in Mexico ha ha ha.  All in all, I´m pretty excited about what we can now start to pull off with the new focus for all missionaries.

This week I also got in major trouble with one of my past in investigators (Juaquin) because I´ve started to get thin again.  So now he has made it his responsibility to feed me a ton of food whenever we aren´t super busy.  I ain´t complaining because he is a pro chef and wants to make you food that usually involves seafood; it is a pretty good time. Unfortunately, he likes to use mayo in most of his dishes just to mess with me, but otherwise it is some pretty good food that he usually makes.  Today we had a tuna dish that probably made me gain a kilo ha ha ha. Guess I´ll just have to pedal harder to burn it all off with all the new investigators we´ve got to visit this next week. 

Well that´s what happened here in Ojinaga, I´ll think about the questions and get back to ya!

See ya all next week,

Elder Bunch

Ojinaga, Chihuahua