Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Hello everybody, as you know I was transferred last week. My new companion is Elder Uhlig, another gringo. I like having gringo companions. My new area is in Colonia Hidalgo, and I love it here. We live in hidalgo, but really our area is up the mountain in Los Hornos. (the ovens). It is up there in the mountains a ways so we have to take a pretty steep hike every day just to even get into our area. This area is pretty poor too and it was quite a shock. Some of these people really just live behind a pile of rocks or under a blanket fort looking thing. It has been a very humbling first week here. It is pretty different than my last area but I already love it here.

There are a lot of really good investigators and met some really great people this week. We are working with an investigator named Lucy. She is trying to get married so she can get baptized and that has been a stressful time. I am basically planning the whole thing. I don't really want to get married anymore, it is a lot of work.

The members are really good here and for the first time in my mission I attended a sacrament meeting with more than 60 people. It was pretty great. There are about 200 active members and they are really great at giving us referrals. We were given two referrals last week and the both seem pretty golden and we are pretty excited about them.

I really like this area and am super excited for what this next transfer will bring. I expect to have a lot more stories for you all while I am here. Just as some background information, there are dogs literally everywhere. If you want a dog, just come to Mexico City and pick which on you want, they have all different breeds and sizes. The other day we saw a dog whose ear had somehow been torn off or something and somebody just taped it back on with skotch tape.

Have a great week!

--
Elder May
I felt like Po from kung fu panda climbing up these stairs

 the house of one of our investigators

los hornos

 Elder Uhlig and I

view of mexico city


Monday, July 31, 2017

We have had another really eventful week in this area. I learned that I have transfers today so that was really sad to hear. It was really hard to have to say goodbye to everyone yesterday. The members here are some of the greatest and most faithful members I have ever met. We had some appointments with some less active families who we have been working with and each of them gave us some food for my last day.

We had an activity for the youth in the stake that was really fun. We made a "mini MTC" for all of them. It was an all day activity and there were basically just classes that missionaries taught and the youth rated from class to class all day. My companion and I taught about goal setting and planning. It wasn't the funnest subject but we made it a good time for everyone. We had a lunch break at 1:00 and we all just got a plate full of tacos. Back home whenever there are ward parties the food is usually spaghetti or soups or something, but here it is always tacos guisados. Tacos guisados are basically just like 6 different types of tacos. They have tacos de chicharron (which is just pig skin. super gross), de mole, potatoes and sausage, rice and chicken, and beans. I like all of them except the chicharron. But anyways, everything was going good until someone stole someone else's phone. So us missionaries had to line up everyone and pat them down to try to find it. It took about 2 hours and we never did find the phone. It was kind of a weird twist to the "mini MTC".

We also met with a family of investigators and had a pretty good lesson with them about the restoration. They are really nice and love us. They are also one of the richest families I have seen here. They wanted to give us some shrimp for lunch so we let them. They were really big shrimp and I thought it was actually pretty good. I am usually not one for seafood but I really liked it. My companion had never eaten shrimp before and didn't know how to eat them so he just ate the whole thing--legs and all. It looked pretty gross but he seemed to enjoy it. When we left and were walking down the street he all of the sudden just started to throw up all of the shrimp we ate. It was pretty nasty but funny at the same time. I didn't feel sick at all so it must have been because he ate the legs and everything with the shrimp.

I am really sad to have to say goodbye to this area. I have come to love so many people and have made so many memories. I am also very excited to get to know more people and learn more about Mexico. I know the work is the same where ever I go so I am excited to find out where the Lord needs me to serve next.

Have a great week!
--
Elder May
 the teanguis where they literally sell anything you can think of.



service with the member who fixed my teeth

shrimp

more shrimp

the bishop and his family

Miliar family. the little boy next to me gave me about 9 hugs
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

mini MTC


Friday, July 28, 2017

Well, I told you all last week that I would have more stories for you all in this letter. I was faithful to that promise and I don't know if I will have time to tell all of the things that happened to us this week.

On friday we had exchanges with the only companionship in our district. I went with Elder Grimshaw and we went to his area. Elder Grimshaw and I get along great so it is always a party when we get to go on exchanges. We had a dinner appointment with a guy who gave us T-bone steaks, grilled pineapple and pasta. It was the best thing I have tasted in my whole time here. I have really missed a good steak. They have steak here but it is like paper thin and they don't even season it at all. Its not bad but it is nothing compared to a good T-bone. We also wanted desert so we walked about 10 feet from that steak place and found a crepe stand in the street. You can seriously buy anything you want in the streets.

While I was on that exchange we taught a lesson to one of their investigators named Jose-luis. We talked about the word of wisdom and how important it is to take care of our bodies. He told us that he used to be almost obese and told us about how he lost so much weight. He told us that he ate nothing but pineapple for 6 months and lost half of his body weight. It sounded pretty effective to me so I might put it to the test one day.

We were walking down the street yesterday and a police officer walked up to us. Any of you who know my history with the police know that I do not have good luck with them. They just don't like me for some reason. I was a little nervous when he came up to us and started talking. But it turned out that he was a member from another ward and he wanted us to visit a lady who lived near by. I was pretty relieved. We met the lady and her name is Dolores. She is crazy. But she is also really funny. She has about 3 teeth in total and loves to talk. She was excited to see us and hopefully we can begin teaching her more.

We have been working with an amazing family who we met by playing soccer with their kids in the street a few weeks ago. We have invited them to church a couple times but have never come. We ended up knocking on their door one night and they told us that they had almost no money and were working to be able to help their little kids. (they have 3 kids. Giovanni is 8, sebastian is 4 and natalia is 2). They were so humble in the way they told us about their situation and I couldn't help but feel so much love for the people before. I shared with them one of my favorite scriptures in 3Ne 13:13-33 and we talked about how putting our trust in the lord will bless us more than anything we can do in our own power. It was a really spiritual lesson and what made it even better was that they all came to church yesterday! I have never been so happy to see some investigators at church before. It made me so happy because I know how much faith it must have taken them to not work yesterday. The kids all loved it at made friends and Manuel and Cecilia both said they really liked it as well. They are reading the book of mormon as a family and giovanni has his own book of mormon and has been reading on his own as well. These past few weeks we have seen so many miracles in the work and it has been amazing. I know this is the Lord's work and with his help, nothing is impossible. Have a great week!

--
Elder May

a mariachi guy let me play his accordion

the T bone steaks with Elder Grimshaw

a really good burrito shop

Monday, July 17, 2017

Buenas tardes everybody. We have had another pretty good week here. My companion and I are still living it up and still enjoying our time of being able to speak english. We have transfers soon and I feel like I will finally leave this area and probably have another spanish-speaking companion, so we have to take advantage of the english while we have it.

Our idea of asking people about food has still been working, but has been a little less effective this week, so we are going to have to think of a new way to contact people. I was reading in Alma a while ago and read about when Alma and Amulek met. The first thing Alma said to Amulek was "can you give me some food? I am hungry" and really didn't even introduce himself until after he had finished eating. (Alma 8:19-22). We know how great of missionaries those two were so I was hoping it could have the same effect on us in Mexico, but I think there is a better way we can find people.

On friday we had our interviews with our mission president and I always love our interviews. I am convinced that President Mecham is the best mission president out there. In our interview we talked about goals and how important they are. I told him that lately I had been feeling like I could be getting a lot more out of my mission but didn't really know how. He helped me set some goals of what kind of a person I want to be after my mission, and helped me set some smaller-scale goals to help me achieve that bigger goal. Since that interview I have felt a lot more of an excitement for the work that wasn't really there before. Don't get me wrong, I have always loved being a missionary and sharing the gospel, but now i feel more of a deep desire to help these people, and to share my testimony with anybody, no matter who they are.

Sorry for a boring letter this week. I will try to have more stories for all of you next week. Hasta Luego!


A member from my branch in Atlanta moved to Mexico and took us to lunch. It was pretty fun to see them again.



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hello friends and family, How are you all doing? We have had another great week here with more stories to tell.

The 4th of July was a little less than exciting. To celebrate, my companion and I went to a burger king and ate some hamburgers. We also bought a pineapple from a guy in the street and ate it later that night. That was about it, but it was still a good time. Living in Mexico has made me extra grateful for the wonderful country we have back home. I hope none of us never take it for granted.

Lately the work has really been picking up and somehow we have been finding a lot more people. The weird part is that we really don't even mean to find half of the investigators that we have, the Lord just places them in our paths just because he can. It has been really great to see his hand in the work these past few weeks.

The other night we noticed a guy setting up a burrito stand and we offered to help him. It didn't look like he was struggling with anything but he let us help him set up his burrito stand. He later offered us some free burritos and some horchatas. The burritos are usually 80 pesos-which is a lot- and he gave them to us for free, it was awesome. We ended up talking to him and his wife about the plan of salvation and are now in the process of teaching his family. He also invited us back on Saturday for some breakfast tacos. He told us that we can come whenever we want and we don't have to pay. So we got a new family to teach, and some super good burritos for free. It was a pretty sweet deal. He is also one of the most well-known people in our little neighborhood and told us that if anybody every gives us any trouble, that we just need to tell them that we are friends with Ricardo and they will leave us alone. That was pretty nice of him.

We had been running out of ideas for finding new people, but then after that burrito incident we figured that using food might be a good way of contacting people. We asked a guy on the street where we could buy some good churros. I guess that was the right question to ask because he talked for about a good 10 minutes about a churro restaurant. We ended up talking about how we are gringos and want to try the best churros and eventually told him what we are doing here as missionaries and accepted us to come by some day. His name is Javier. He has a little bit of a crazy work schedule so it has been hard to find him again, and the churro restaurant is just on the other side of the street that borders our area. That was a little depressing because he made the churros there sound so good and we can't even eat them.

The point of these stories is to show the blessings that we have received because we are gringos. At first I was a little worried how the people would accept two Americans teaching them, but it has provided us with a new way to contact people and it has been working. It makes the people here very happy to have two gringos ask about their culture. It provides a friendly atmosphere that usually leads them to ask what we are doing in Mexico City anyways. We truly have been blessed lately with some of the people we have been finding. We are working with quite a few investigators on getting baptized and we are really hoping that they can all continue to progress.

I know this is the Lord's work and he can help us if we have the faith and are willing to try new things. It has been a lot of fun to get to know so many more people. I am still loving my time in this area and love the people here. And more than anything I love being a missionary and being able to share the message that helps all of us find peace and joy in this life.


--
Elder May

My companion and his pineapple hat.

Just me and my pineapple having some study time.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Hello again from Mexico City. It has been another pretty great week here. Elder Emrich let me give him a haircut so I guess you could say we have a pretty good trust level between us.

Last week I mentioned a guy we met who seemed super prepared. He talked to us in the street and said he was looking for a true church and  wanted to learn from us. Well, he tricked us pretty good. We got to his house for our appointment and he told us he really was a Jehova Witness. He ended up just wanting to bible bash for about 30 minutes and it was pretty frustrating. To help us calm down and feel better, we stopped by a little tent that was selling donuts and bought some. While we were there we ended up talking to the owner and he actually seemed pretty interested and he became a new investigator for us. So I guess the Jehova Witness guy ended up helping us in a way.

I mentioned that we had a scorpion last week, and that was pretty fun. We told some people about that experience and they told us that we needed to be careful because when there is one scorpion, there is always another nearby. They are basically married and when one dies, the other goes looking for it. Try sleeping at night knowing there is another scorpion lurking around in your house looking for you. We found it a few days later and we took care of it. Since then though, we haven't had any more scorpion problems.

The spanish is getting a lot better. I feel like it is finally starting to become more natural and comfortable. The only problem is that somewhere along the learning process of learning spanish I starting giving a Russian accent to the words I would say, and now it is just kind of stuck. Lately everybody we talk to thinks I am from Russia or Germany. I can't decide of that is a step in the right direction to sounding like a native Mexican, or if I am just pushing myself further and further away from that goal. Who knows. The important thing is that they understand me.

We met a guy in the street the other day named Filipe. He told us that his Mom is sick and needs some help and asked us if we could come by and visit them one day. Yesterday we had our appointment but his mom was sleeping so we just talked with him. He told us more about his mom's sickness. He said that she cleans way too much, and that she needs to do something else. That was her sickness. I thought it was kind of funny and after while of talking we got talking about the restoration. It went pretty well and my companion and I felt that we should invite him to be baptized. His response was this: "So, you're telling me that my church is not true? That they have just been playing with my faith for all these years and that my baptism did nothing for me? And that only your church has this 'authority' and that being baptized in your church is the only way for anyone to be saved?" He seemed pretty upset but I just said "...sì...." and he said "Well then of course I will! How could anyone deny an offer like that?" My companion and I just offered a sigh of relief and we were able to put a date for him on the 29 on july. He also offered his mom to be baptized on that day too. When we left, we saw that it was raining pretty hard and he insisted on lending us some of his jackets. They were something I feel like he wore back in high school in the 60's and we felt pretty stylish.

It is these types of experiences--both spiritual and funny-- that make me love Mexico and my mission. The people here are so warm-hearted and kind. I have learned a lot about the kind of person I should, and want to become. I love these people and I love being a missionary. Have a great week!​


Elder May

Loving our stylish jackets

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I mentioned last week that we were having transfers, and that I was staying in the area, and my companion was leaving. My new companion is finally a gringo! His name is Elder Emrich and he is from Missouri. He has only been out for about 5 months so we are both still trying to figure out what we are doing. I still feel like I am a new missionary with no clue what he is doing, but that is okay.
The work has been a little slow lately, so when we started this week, we told ourselves that we need to save this area, and we have been contacting like crazy. The frustrating part is that almost everybody that we have contacted lives outside of our area. That was hard for us because we basically just gave referrals to other missionaries instead of finding investigators for ourselves. This pattern had been going on every day of the week, and we had only found about 2 people who were kind of interested. We were both feeling pretty discouraged so we decided to start a fast from saturday after lunch, until lunch the next day. I will just say right now that fasting works. We ended up finding a lot of people within that time period of fasting.

One of the new investigators we found is named Luis. We just passed him in the street and he asked us if we knew which church was true. He said he has been looking for a true church for 15 years and hasn't found anything. We asked him if he had heard of our church before and he said he hadn't. We explained what we do as missionaries and he excitedly set an appointment with us for thursday this week. We are really excited about him.

Later that night, at about 8:30, we were trying to find an old investigator that lived close to our house. We knocked on her door and nobody answered... Again. Any missionary can understand that feeling. We were about to walk away and look for another person when these two little kids ran by playing soccer. I asked them to pass the ball to me and I showed them some little tricks I could do. They got all excited and we ended up just passing around with each other and became friends. We saw the parents were there watching and ended up talking to them and they were really nice and accepted us to come by and teach their family. It was definitely a tender mercy. We also learned that the parents also sell chicken wings and quesadillas in the same place every night so that gives us even more of a reason to visit them.

We definitely saw the hand of the Lord this week and Elder Emrich and I are both very excited about this next transfer. This week was evidence to us that fasting really does bring blessings and even miracles. This is the Lord's work and he can help us in whatever circumstance we are in.

Have a great week!


Elder May

Our house has a random door on the second floor

We discovered that our neighbor sells churros every morning for only 3 pesos.

The scorpion we found in our house

 A guy named juan who asked me to take a picture of him and his dog, who is named Terry. We never saw him again.

A nice park in our area