Monday, May 29, 2017

Secretario Ejecutivo, Week 8

Well this week was fairly basic.  My companion needs to close the financial cycle of the mission, which has left me to do basically nothing at all in terms of my work as secretary.  So I spent the large portion of my week studying, doing practice essays and math problems, increasing my writing speed to 72 wpm with accuracy, and doing splits with other missionaries whenever I was given the chance, oh and designing the t-shirt of Chimex (my zone).  Saturday we got to go to a famous cave system here in Chihuahua called (Nombre de Dios), it´s a thing that most missionaries never get to do in their mission (it´s open every day except Monday-p-day), due to us having our p-day Saturday we could go! It ended up being really cool and very hot and humid in some parts. There were a couple Americans there as well so it was fun to talk to them.  We don´t see Americans often here because they just tour the cool stuff, and most of that stuff is closed Saturday or we as missionaries can't go.  Anyways we talked for a bit, and although they weren´t to interested in the gospel, it was still fun to speak a bit of English with people haha.

Well throughout this week I spent almost every morning doing something with immigration.  One of the new white guys lost his green card on arrival (kinda like I did when I arrived) so I spent the entire week working with immigration to allow him to get a new one.  The process that should´ve only taken around 30 minutes ended up taking about 2-4 hours every day for the week.  It´s all good because they have now accepted the documents and all I have to do is tie off the loose ties on Monday nice and early in the morning.

This week came the Ojinaga Elders for their interviews a bit unexpected but very cool on my end haha.  The assistants told them they couldn´t come if they didn´t bring the packets. I got my 3 new Rubix cubes to add to my collection of 9 different types, which I can all solve now!  I´ve started to become well known for my collection of cubes, and it´s a pretty good life hahaha. Oh and my companion is very thankful for the Swedish fish, I still don´t understand but almost all the Latinos are addicted to the stuff, so in other words my companion is very content too haha.  Thanks for the zebra cakes they have been very good whenever we run short on energy in the offices haha. The new tie that Grandma Bunch sent me has also been pretty sweet as well! Now a lot of missionaries are looking around for the style that she sent, it´s quite the awesome tie! I´ll look forward to my soccer cleats and socks as well, that´ll make the soccer life a lot better.  It turns out I'm not very good at playing soccer, but I'm an excellent defender especially when they let me play soccer like lacrosse with full contact, the missionaries only get mad at me when I'm not on their team hahaha. Same thing happens in basketball, not in terms of contact but the fact that no one can take a rebound from me (height advantage haha) most of the time I get banned from entering the inner ring hahaha.

This Saturday we got to go the Caves, it is actually quite the cool cave system, you walk for about an hour through more or less a straight line, the caves used to be an old silver mine, but the quality wasn´t good and it was pretty dangerous and resulted in the deaths of many workers and kids that fell down the shoot, so they closed it down and reopened it into a cave tour with newly made passages and a whole bunch of items.  Besides the caves the day started out really cool because one of my almost converts in Ojinaga- good chance soon to be converted. Called me up at about 10:00 and told me he was going to come visit me in a bit. So we went to the caves and as soon as we got out, he called me and told me that he got in a massive accident, and was fine, but wouldn´t be able to make to the offices. That was quite the bummer, it´s a bit crazy at times how many accidents there are here, we´ve gotten in a few while in Uber, and we see at least 1 every week as it is happening, crazy chihuahua drivers haha. 

Sunday we had our stake conference and Elder Ruiz from the 70 came down from Delicias (my first area) and talked to the entire stake.  The conference was focused on marriage and he kept messing with the young single adults (JAS), and then he did an activity with the missionaries and the JAS where he brought every missionary in front of the stake and then brought up JAS for each companionship of missionaries.  We then had to contact the friends of the JAS using their social media. It ends up being pretty fun and we will see the results with time. The fun part of the conference was how he called out almost all the members about how they didn´t love their spouse enough and told a story about when he was going to be called stake president a long time back.  The 70 of the area called the kids of Elder Ruiz up to the pulpit and asked them each a question about their family.  He started with spiritual questions (family home evening, scriptures study, prayers,etc.) and they all answered them perfectly.  Then he asked them about the love of their family, and he asked his smallest daughter if she knew that her parents loved each other.  When he asked this question she went blank and said nothing. So Elder Ruiz told us that the moment that the 70 did this interview in front of everyone was the day he committed to change, and so he talked a lot more on this subject today, but that was some of the cooler parts that he talked about. But basically, he said that although the gospel part of the church is very important, the love felt in the family is equally as important between spouse and kids.  In order to strengthen one, you need to strengthen the other as well. Every one of the speakers that talked today told their stories about how they met their spouse, which was pretty cool because we got to learn how the president of mission met his spouse on the last week of his mission.  Although every missionary here in the mission knows that part of the story, they don´t know what actually happened, and now I am one of the few that does! Win! Hahaha. 

Well, that was our week here in Chihuahua, oh and my trainer is my companion again, only for this week, but it is awesome! He has been one of the best companions that I've had yet!

Con amor,

Elder Bunch
México Chihuahua Misión

Secretario Ejecutivo 

Secretario Ejecutivo, Week 7

Hola del desierto de Chihuahua!

I´m super excited about the package! I wish I was still in Ojinaga so I could get my package sooner haha.  The socks to give my companions will be awesome as well! My companion is pretty excited but a little worried after seeing some of the socks I have hahaha. Hopefully my package comes soon, but who knows because right now Ojinaga is going on strike a bit because the zone leaders have been getting angry with them for not working.  So the last time they came down they didn´t bring any packages as part of their strike, so hopefully they work things out and they bring the packages haha.

Well this week was quite the busy week.  We spent this week helping out with 3 different zone conferences where we had to help prepare the food for the missionaries that had their conferences. Then at the end of the week we had to help with the mass baptism that our zone leaders planned, so all in all it was a pretty busy week on our end.  We only had one day to actually do some work, and we only had from 7:00-9:00 in the night to actually work in our area, because all these wacky times we have been working a lot with the ward. During the conferences we received new instruction that we as missionaries shouldn´t do all the mission work alone, and in fact that we should leave a large part of it to the members of the church and that we should just be helpers along the way or to be a more thorough teacher for an investigator. So we´ve been trying to work hard in this regard in helping the members realize their responsibility so talk to their neighbors that aren´t members and to set up appointments with us to teach them together. The new focus has been put in place because they lowered the required assistances in the church to be baptized, and because of this they have fear that when people are baptized they won´t be fully converted to the church, but by involving the members the new converts will have friends in the church and have a better attachment to the church helping them become stronger converts. I´m pretty excited about the new focus in our work, right now it´s a bit rough because a lot of the members are a bit afraid to contact their friends, and are trying to keep the responsibility to contact people with the missionaries. But the stake presidents now have been trained and they are now training the bishops, and the bishops to the ward leaders, and the ward leaders to the ward, etc. It should be sweet if everything goes well!

Anyways this week Hermana Montoya was out of town at the wedding of her son, and she is the one that usually prepares and cooks the food.  We as secretaries just serve the food and help her lift all the food in the kitchen (it´s a ton of food!).  With her not being here this week we had the responsibility to prepare and cook and serve the food, it was crazy, but fun. On Tuesday we had the conference of Chuviscar and Chimex (my conference), we ended up serving chicken bakes from Costco, and a sister from the ward literally brought 100 pounds of macaroni salad (we probably ate about 30 pounds (40 missionaries)). We still have about 50 pounds of macaroni salad in the freezer after giving 20 pounds to homeless guys on the street hahaha. The best part was finding where all the missionaries hid their macaroni salad.  We tried serving about a pound of salad per missionary, but in the end the missionaries found an assortment of places to hide their salad.  I wouldn´t be surprised if we haven´t found all of it yet hahaha. And that is how the first conference went. In the second conference we went to the 2 stakes of Technologico.  In this conference we made bacon wrapped hotdogs with homemade hot dog buns.  It was pretty darn good.  Everyone kept coming until we were left with 4 hotdogs out of 104 for a conference that only had like 30 missionaries.  So the second meal was a hit and very little food was left behind, except for a bit of salad we tried to trick the missionaries into eating that was left over from the first conference…It didn´t work haha. And that is how the second conference went, the third conference was unexpected in the regard that we weren´t initially invited.  It was the zone of Parral which is about 3 hours from Chihuahua City, and we as secretaries almost always only help with the zones that are within the city. So Thursday night we got a call from the president of the mission more or less saying that he nor the assistants had a desire to serve the food, and if we could help serve the food while they teach the conference. We were both pretty excited because that never happens so we got the chance to wake up at 4:00 the next day and go in the president´s minivan on a 3 hour trek to Parral. In Parral a group of sisters up there prepared all the food and all we had to do was divide it and serve it. So it was pretty easy and we spent a lot of our time listening to the conference for a change haha. It was pretty cool and I got to talk to a few of my friends that I’ve made through the months!

Then on Saturday we had our “massive” baptism.  It was originally planned to have like 12 baptisms but in the end we only had 6, 2 in my district, and 4 in another district. So although it wasn´t super big, it did end up being a success and it gave a lot of missionaries a firm date to put down for their investigators. Which helped our zone a lot in terms of helping the missionaries put baptism dates.

And that was our week here in the offices!
Con mucho amor,

Elder Bunch
México Chihuahua Misión

Secretario Ejecutivo 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Secretario Ejecutivo, Week 6

Hey, Como les va!

It was awesome seeing you guys this week! Good to know that everyone is doing great and that the family farm is slowly growing hahaha. I guess I’ll see y’all again next Christmas, and with how fast time has gone here, that´ll come pretty dang quickly hahaha. Well anyways we had quite the busy week this week, I think i only had around 2 days where i actually got to wake up on time, and all the other days we were waking up at 3:30-4:30. All due to the new cycle which involved getting everything ready for the new guys, and then taking the old guys to the airport the next day, and then we got a few unexpected that happened as well.
All right on Monday the newbies got here, and we as secretaries have the privilege to help Hermana Montoya (president´s wife) cook the First Breakfast. It was pretty sweet we ended up making strawberry cheesecake French toast, It was some pretty solid stuff haha. The Breakfast is always fun because the Hermana always said that it will be their last home cook breakfast, she also told me that, so I enjoy reminding her that there are exceptions to her saying haha. On Monday there was also Changes so all my buddies were there and we had a good time talking about all the areas and where they are off to serve next. Then I had to quickly get back to offices to manage all of the final interviews for the dead missionaries with the president.  Alright fast forward to Tuesday We spent the entire morning teaching the new missionaries the rules of the mission about migration and money, we then spent the rest of the morning with our district getting to know the new members and having a district/zone meeting, it was cool and we did a few practices to learn where are weak links are and how to fix it. After the meeting we continued doing interviews for the final dead missionaries and then we helped Hermana Montoya with the final dinner.  We had Pasta with homemade Alfredo sauce and shrimp, and then on the side fancy mini pizzas, and as desert a pudding jello type thingy. It was fun and I got to learn how to make all of it! Alright now onto Wednesday, at 3:30 we left for the airport with all the ending missionaries and sent them all off and got back by 7:00, and that was when my phone went off like crazy, one sister missionary had her plane delayed which made it impossible to make the connecting flight, so I had to re-route the plane ticket plans and got her home. Then a bit later 2 elders called me on a mission phone (they stole it) and said that their plane got cancelled. So I looked into it and the airport worker who answered the phone told me that they had left the airport (probably to visit an older mission) and missed their plane. So I called them back and told them that it was out of my hands and that they had to talk to the president about what happened, so I handed the phone to president. And let´s just say he basically called them out on it all and told them he would get new tickets but would call their parents and charge them, and then he called them out on stealing a mission phone haha. It was pretty fun on my end because the 2 missionaries that had these problems weren´t the best examples of the missionaries of this mission. So it was a little bit of justice on my end hahaha. 

Then I had to send Elder Morales home again, he was probably my best friend from the CCM so it was a little hard, but he wanted to go home and he promised that he would visit me in Utah and that I was going to be his first man at his wedding (he´s the one who proposed to the sister missionary in my district), he´s a pretty funny guy, and was a great missionary but he just couldn´t handle the stress of it all. The mission may be the most rewarding work in the world but it doesn´t come easy, that is for sure haha. 

Well that was the week here in México, Once again awesome to see all of you guys, Have a good one,


Con Amor,

Elder Bunch
México Chihuahua Misión
Secretario Ejecutivo 

Secretario Ejecutivo, Week 5

Hola, como les Va? Well turns out that Mexicans don´t actually celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Mexico.  My companion thought I was crazy to think we were going to have a party or something, but yep turns out they only celebrate that in the states haha. Bummer… haha but anyways I ate some beans and rice and tacos to celebrate the Mexican holiday.  Quite frankly I feel like I celebrate Cinco de Mayo everyday here hahaha. Anyways I’m looking forward to the package, it´ll probably get to me in about 3 weeks, the missionaries from Ojinaga are coming down Monday, or I guess tomorrow, and they won´t be coming back for about 2-3 weeks, so I’ll receive it when they return. But I shall be awaiting my new puzzles, and whatever other gizmos may come my way haha. And it sounds like I may be returning home to quite the zoo when I get home, after coming back from the Chihuahua zoo last week, from the emails I’ve received sounds like our house may be better haha, it´s alright I think spencer is planning on making a business out of it with me. 
Anyway this week wasn´t quite as exciting as the last week was.  On the bright side getting not mugged by a monkey is quite the plus. This week we basically just said goodbye to everyone (we get changes this week, well we the secretaries no but for the other people in the zone, we are stuck here for a bit more). So we spent the district meeting with the entire zone and taking pictures and hearing the final speeches of the people who are now leaving, it was pretty cool and then we took a bunch of pictures, and then we said our goodbyes to the ones that were leaving the mission. Unfortunately one of the all-star missionaries that is leaving is in my district, so it´s going to be hard to lose him, but we still have his companion who is also pretty cool as well. I´m pretty excited about who the next people are going to be that will join in the district of Ganjas! One of the new missionaries has been a district leader for almost his mission and now he is one of the missionaries in my district, he sounds like a pretty hard worker and it should be pretty sweet to have him in my district.
Otherwise this week was pretty plain, we got another baptism in the district, which now makes us having a baptism ever week of the month of April.  We are now continuing the streak into May! Unfortunately the zone leaders don´t want us to baptize next week because they want to have a massive baptism the 20th of this month, right now the zone has about 20 or more people to baptize this day, and they are all going to be baptized in the church right next to the offices, it´s going to be an awesome experience to see it all go down.  Even better because we spent our entire P-day cleaning the fount in the church, after baptizing Carlos like 2 weeks ago, we noticed that the fount was really filthy, so we offered to clean it for the elder of my district for their baptism, so we spent all of Saturday scrubbing dirt, cockroaches, and calcium stains from the fount, and in the end… well now we have a fount that actually looks white! It was hard work but looked great for the baptism, and helped a ton with our relationship with the members!
Well not much else happened this week, I´ll keep in touch through the week to set up skype to write on Sunday!

See you all soon! Con amor,

Elder Bunch
México Chihuahua Misión

Secretario Ejecutivo