Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Well, some of you have heard that there have been some more earthquakes here lately. We have been asking around if it is normal to have so many earthquakes but they all say no. So we just decided the fact that Jesus is coming really soon. there is also a volcano out by us that has been puffing smoke lately. But they say it always does that, but it is kind of cool. They also opened some missions up in the middle east so that is another sign of his coming. It is getting exciting.

Well I will start off with the highlight of our week....

on Saturday Carlos and Adriana got married! That was a huge miracle. Carlos has been preparing for a baptism for a long time and the marriage was the last test of faith. He also had his interview today and passed so he should be good to go to have his baptism this saturday. He has changed so much. I will share the whole story of their family in next week's letter after the baptism. The wedding was pretty crazy but we got it done. First off, it took us forever to get there. It was about 2 hours in the metro system to get there and back. We were exhausted. Secondly, it was only supposed to cost about 700 pesos but I've learned something about mexico city.... Prices for things just change all the time for no reason and nobody tells anybody. So it ended up costing them 1000 pesos. We felt really bad and offered to help pay the difference but they refused. They were still really happy about the marriage though and were taking all kinds of pictures and having a great time.

Yesterday we had a lesson with them and they gave us dinner as well. I felt bad because they gave us some pechugas rellenas. (chicken with ham and cheese, super tasty) but after that they had nothing else left for food and had 0 pesos for anything. They had spent all of their savings on the wedding. It was kind of awkward but they were happy and willing to feed us. They also don't take no for an answer. Carlos used to work as a taxi driver and in construction but had an accident about a month ago and got hurt so he hasn't been working. The only money they earn is from Adriana and she works by selling quesadillas and gorditas 3 days a week. She makes a weekly profit of about 200 pesos. ($10). So I was feeling pretty worried for them and the whole night you could tell that they were worried about it too. But... Miracles! While we were with them, they got a text from somebody that owed them money and they were able to receive it and now have money again. It was a cool little blessing for all of us to see. They have been paying their tithing lately so that was a testimony to them I am sure about paying tithing.

I will hopefully have more pictures of Carlos's baptism next week. I am pretty sure I will also be transferred too so I am finally leaving good old Hidalgo. I might cry but that is okay.

Elder May

pictures of the wedding

the contreras zone

Friday, February 16, 2018

Hello everyone! We had another great week in el Barrio Hidalgo.

We did exchanges with Elder Rosales and Elder Oliphant and that was pretty fun. We did exchanges with them last transfer and when I was with Oliphant we ended up contacting this 14 year old kid and talked to him about the book of mormon. Well, this time we had a lesson with him and his whole family and we taught the restauration. I have never met anybody that just understood so much from the very beginning. they all accepted to be baptized and are willing to stop working on sundays to be able to come to church. The family consists of the mom, Maru, and the 3 kids, Fernando, Paula, and Tiffany. They are all so awesome and just fun. At the end of the lessons we teach them some English words and they love it.

We have been teaching a family for a while and they have been slowly but surely progressing. We baptized the kids in December and the mom was already a member. We have just mainly been focusing on the dad lately. They aren't married so we are finally getting them married this saturday. We have an appointment with the judge and everything. So that should happen this week, and then the next week he will be baptized. We are super excited for him.

Funny story. We woke up une morning at about 5:00 to the sound of a dog barking outside of our window. We got up and checked but their wasn't a dog in sight so we went to bed. Well, in the morning we heard it again and we went outside and looked around. Well, there is a huge hole next to our house where someone started to make the foundation of a house but never finished. We found that a huge dog had fallen into the whole and couldn't get out. We just turned into firefighters and helped get him out. It was kind of fun. It was a big dog too.

have a great week!

Elder May

We made cookies but didn't have oven mitts so I used our ties

The dog in the hole

Friday, February 9, 2018

Hola everybody. Sorry it has been a while since I have written. I'll be honest. We really don't have a whole lot of time on our P days anymore and I am also getting kind of lazy about emailing. But I have the personal goal to be better!

These past two weeks have been awesome. We were able to see 2 of our investigators be baptized and that is always a happy experience.

juan was baptized two weeks ago. His whole story is a straight miracle. We were exploring one end of our area that we hardly ever go to in hopes of finding some more people to teach out there. Well we had no luck. That whole side is pretty rich so they didn't want anything from us. We were walking back and we got a text about a guy named Juan who wanted to meet with the missionaries. First miracle: He lived on the exact street that we were walking on so we found his house in about 30 seconds. Second miracle: He was home and was super excited when he saw us. Third miracle, He had gotten a Book of Mormon when he visited his wife in Veracruz a month ago and was already reading in Jacob 5. He said he knows that it is true and that he wanted to be baptized. He willing gave up drinking wine and working on Sundays like no problem and hasn't missed a sunday since. He is super awesome. He is also  75 years old but acts like he is like 17. He told us that he locked the keys in his house and had to climb to the second story of his apartment complex to get in. He also did a 4 days fast last week. We didn't teach hime that. In fact, when he told us he was going to fast for 4 days we told him that he was probably going to die and that it wasn't a good idea. He did it anyways. however, at church he told us that he ate 10 raisins for breakfast so that was reassuring.

Daniel was also baptized this last saturday. Daniel is from Minnesota and is so awesome. We taught him everything in English and it was actually pretty weird. His wife understands English and he understands Spanish so he just talks to her in English and she replies in Spanish and they get along great. they have a pretty great relationship. We did half of the baptismal service in English and it was a little weird. We sung the hymns and I baptized him in English. It was fun. He is moving back to minnesota this week so we got it all done just in time. He wanted to be baptized here so that the rest of his relatives and evrybody could be here.

The work is going great here. I am loving Mexico City more and more every day.

Have a great week!

Elder May

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Hi everybody,

So I didn't email last week because there were transfers and it kind of threw off our day... But I did not get transferred and will be here for my 5th transfer in Hidalgo, and I am super stoked. The people in this area are the best people in the world.

These last two weeks have been full of miracles. We have been working on setting more specific goals and actually accomplishing them. A lot of times as missionaries we just kind of put goals because we have to and we don't really think about them too much. Well, Elder Grimshaw and I are working on making real goals and putting real plans to be able to accomplish them. President Mecham always says "If you don't have a plan, you don't have a vision. and If you don't have a vision, you don't have a plan." That is going to stay with me for the rest of my life. I never really realized how much a difference plans and goals can make in our lives.

We met a guy named Daniel a few weeks ago. He is super golden. He is also from minnesota and was taking the missionary lessons over there. He wasn't baptized because he wanted to be baptized here where his wife lives. Her name is Caroline. She is a member and gave us the referral to teach him. It has actually been kind of weird teaching a guy in english. I feel so much more comfortable talking about the gospel in spanish. It is just easier to me now. Caroline and Daniel have one of the coolest relationships though. He talks to her in english and she replies in Spanish and they understand each other perfectly. So we do the same with her. We just talk to her in English and she replies in Spanish, it is kind of fun. they have come to be really good friends of ours and they decided to take us to a sushi buffet today for lunch. I feel like Andy Dwire who said "I think I have a sushi allergy. Every time I eat more than 88 I puke"  (for those of you who have seen The Office). I didn't puke, but I did eat a lot of sushi and feel a little uneasy. But it was really good.

We are also working with another family who are amazing. The moms name is Emilia and she has three kids named David (13), Kimberly (9), Ian (7) and their pet duck, Lucas. This family is amazing. We were on exchanges when we found her and I was with Elder Low. It was about 8:00 and pretty dark and I pointed out a street to him and told him it was pretty dangerous and that their are a lot of drunks and drug addicts down there at that hour. I told him that and we kept walking and later we saw  a lady (Emilia) carrying all of her clothes from having just washed them and offered to help her carry them home. Well she accepted and it turned out that she lives down that "dangerous street" (its really not that dangerous, mom, don't worry). Elder Low just looking at me scared out of his mind that we were going to follow her into that dark street. It was just kind of funny but now their family is going to be baptized on February 3rd! We don't visit them any later than 6:00.

That is about all of the exciting news for this week. Daniel should be getting baptized this week so hopefully that goes through and I have some good pictures for you all next week. Hasta Luego!

Elder May

Daniel and Caroline and us at the sushi buffet
Elder Vargas with Elder Grimshaw and me

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hola todos, sorry for not writing last week, we didn't have much time. But these past two weeks have been pretty great.

We have been finding and teaching a lot of new people. The Lord really does help us out so much. Just this past week we found 4 people that speak perfect english and want us to teaching them in English. One of them, named Daniel, came to church on his own and asked us to teach him. He is from Minnesota or something, but he has sincere desires to learn about the church and we are really excited about him. The other 3 are a family that lived in Chicago for 8 years and they are really funny. We found them because when we were walking down the street one day, I said to my companion "I'm thirsty, lets go to this tienda and by some water." (that is also another bonus about mexico city, they have tiendas like every 10 feet so you never have to travel far for food.) I asked the guy if he had any water and said he didn't, so we were about to go on our way. Then he offered us just a glass of water because the tienda was also his house. We accepted and got talking with them. His wife came out and was super excited to see us and speak english. It turns out that they are all baptists and believe almost everything that we believe. They invited us to their church on Saturday and said if we go to theirs, they will come with us to our church on Sunday. We have to see if it is allowed to go to other churches first, but it sounds like a fun trade. They are an awesome family. 

Apart from that, it has been a little slower this last week with el Dia de los Reyes (day of the kings). It is like an extension to Christmas. The kids just get all their presents on the 6th of january. One lady we teach told her kids that neither Santa or the Reyes were going to bring them presents because Santa got in an accident in his workshop and died, and that the Reyes also had an accident and are in a coma. Her daughters were pretty upset.

The work is still going along though. This is the last week of the transfer, so it is possible that I finally get transferred out of Hidalgo. I really hope that doesn't happen though, this has to be the best area in the mission. 

Have a great week!

Elder May

We took a "family photo" with Fernanda and Naomi. Their family is basically like our family. The mom calls us her Hijos

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Merry Christmas everybody! (today is not my P day but all of the internet places were closed yesterday so we have permission to email today and then get back to work) I hope you all had a great Christmas yesterday and were able to spend it doing something fun. For us it was pretty great. First of all, I got to talk to and see my family and that was easily the highlight of my day. After that, we had nothing else to do, and it was P-day, so went back to our house and took a nap. Sidenote: I don't know if any of you watched those videos of when the earthquake hit us here about 3 months ago. If you did, I don't know if you noticed the siren in the background. They have a super loud siren that detects and goes off when an earthquake is going to come so we can run out of the house on time and survive. Well, I was sleeping all nice and peacfully when that alarm went off. Talk about a rude awakening. I honestly didn't have too much of a rush to get outside. I figured that if our house survived the last earthquake, it was going to survive whatever was coming yesterday. It was nothing too bad though, you could hardly even feel it. I guess they said that this time it was centered in Guerrero. That gave everyone a nice scare for Christmas.

The streets were pretty dead all day so it was pretty hard to get any work done. We had some appointments set but they weren't there. We ended up just going home about an hour early and did some comp study.

Today we had a good start to the day though. We taught a mom and her daughter at 7:00 this morning. We taught them the restauration and they both accepted to be baptized on January 27. We are pretty excited for them.

those are about the only stories I've got for this week, but next week I should have a lot more.

Christmas dinner with the Velazquez family

The sunrise this morning

Our christmas breakfast

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Well, last week was slow and this week was crazy!

We did a lot of exchanges this week with other missionaries and on Wednesday we went with Elder and Elder Gee. Elder Gee is just starting his mission and is super excited. We had some appointments and taught some people. Later though, like all missionaries have experienced, nobody was home. So I noticed that Elder Gee had a fat stack of about 150-200 "light the world" cards and I told him that I bet you couldn't give out all of his cards before the end of the day. Well he took the challenge and we just went crazy. We got to the point where almost everybody in the area we were at had a card. It was really fun actually and we found some awesome new people to teach as well. Now we have a bet with them this week to see who can find the most investigators. Whoever loses, buys the other companionship a pizza.

We also had been collecting clothes to give to the people in our area because it is really poor. Saturday had the theme of giving clothes to the poor so we thought it was a perfect fit. Well, thursday came and the ward had donated a lot of clothes and food. But then we realized that we hadn't really talked to anybody about giving them the clothes. So we had a lot of clothes and no specific people to give it too and we started to get pretty worried. So we went to an extra poor area of our area and asked a member to introduce us to more people who would like some clothes. Well she talked to just about the whole neighborhood, and later brought us to another neighborhood. In about 10 minutes our worry of not having anybody to give the clothes to turned into a worry of not having enough clothes. Well saturday came and the activity went super well. We also brought a a box of copies of the Book of Mormon and gave out every copy. My comp and I had to stand up in front of the crowd of about 30 people and we were almost preaching about the Book of Mormon. It was a pretty cool experience and now we are teaching a large majority of those people.

We are seeing so many miracles here and it is amazing. Elder Grimshaw and I are having a blast and enjoying every day. We had an interview with President together and he told us that he is expecting a lot out of us so we are a little overwhelmed with all that we have to do, but these have been some of the best weeks of my mission. I love you all, have a great week!

Elder May
Elder Grimshaw getting his ingrown toenail taken out by a lady in Itzapalapa (no anesthetic)

I found Elder Vargas again!