Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hola todos, I hope you all had a great Christmas. I was so happy to be able to talk with my family, that was pretty great. I have a spanish-english dictionary now so hopefully the spanish learning process can start to speed up. (I accidentally left my Spanish books in the MTC, so thanks, Mom for sending em some new ones). We didn't really do a whole bunch on Christmas day, but this week leading up to Christmas we did a lot of service and caroling with our district. I almost feel bad for the people we went caroling to because we were not the best singers. Our district leader, Elder Waite, can play the guitar so we had some background music to help us out. We knocked on this one door and started singing and the guy answered the door, looked at us and shook his head, and closed the door. I guess we he wasn't in the mood for some Christmas spirit.

We have found some new investigators but none of them came to church... We did see however, Ernesto, who we played soccer with on Thanksgiving. He came to church with his family that is in our ward. We talked with him a little bit and we are hoping to find a way to be able to start teaching him. Our area is hard to keep investigators for very long because the always move away, it is weird. Because of this, we do a lot with the less-active families and they are fun. One family, the Florez family are crazy. They have 11 kids and there are 3 adults that live there. All of the kids are under 12 years old too. The dad wants us to teach his kids that are old enough to be baptized. Our lessons with them are a little crazy. We mostly focus on teaching the 3 who are old enough to be baptized, but the other 8 kids just run around and climb all over us and it is hard for everybody to focus. I have learned something from their family though; and that is that I never want 11 kids. But they are great and I love them.

We have another family, the Romero family that is kind of in the same boat. They don't have 11 kids though, they only have 5. However, they have one set of triplets, so they're always fun. The dad wants us to teach his kids so that they can be baptized as well. So If both of these families keep progressing, we could have a pretty good month. It has been pretty exciting to teach them as well.

I have seen a lot of broken families here, and a lot of people with some pretty difficult trials. It has made me so grateful for the blessings that I have in my life. I have been really humbled out here. Don't take any blessings for granted, especially your families. There is a reason that this gospel is centered around our families. I love you all, have a great week!

Elder May

Our humble Christmas tree

Us with the Spanish sisters in our branch

Christmas caroling

Bro. and Sis. Bernal

Monday, December 19, 2016

I hope you are all getting ready for Christmas. It has been really interesting and pretty cool to see how many people here are willing to share their thoughts about Christmas and the Savior. Most of the people out here are Christian so almost everybody we talk to is excited and happy to talk with us about Jesus Christ.

This week has been interesting, I can't decide if it was good or bad. Almost all of the investigators we had told us to stop coming or they moved away. Miguel and Pedro that we met last week were doing awesome. They called us on Tuesday night and said that they were moving to Florida the next day. It was pretty random but we told them we could refer them to the missionaries in Florida and they were pretty excited about that. We would have appointments with our other investigators and they would cancel every time, or they would just not answer the door when we would knock. It was actually kind of funny because after one of our investigators didn't answer the door, we decided to leave. As we got in our car, we looked at their window and saw two eyes watching us as we drove away. I thought that was kind of funny. So as of right now we only have one progressing investigator. We were feeling kind of bummed out, but then on Friday morning we got a call from someone who used to be an investigator. He said he needed to meet with us right then so we dropped everything and left to go see him. When we met him he said "How much does it cost to be baptized?" That kind of shocked my companion and I but we were able to teach him about baptism and taught the first lesson. He is preparing to be baptized on January 7. Later that day we had planned to do some finding, so my companion wanted to go to the mexican mall again. We ended up in this farmers market place and there were two ladies that had a Free-Sample stand and were giving away free cheese. It smelled good so we went over to them and asked for some. As they gave us some cheese, one of the ladies looked at our name tags and asked what that was all about. So we taught her and her friend the first lesson right there at the cheese stand. They both were really interested. After that discussion one of them asked us what we believed about tithing. That was pretty unexpected but we taught her about tithing too. I guess she wanted to "pay tithing" because after we taught her she pulled $10 out of her purse and bought us a big bag of mangoes and aloe vera juice. I had never had aloe vera juice before, but that is some good stuff. I thought aloe vera was only used for rubbing on sunburns, but I guess I was wrong. We are going to meet with them again later today so hopefully it goes well.

We were at church and this guy that I thought I had seen before came up to me and (in english) asked where I was from and was just getting to know me a little bit. I had no idea who this guy was but my companion seemed like he knew him. I told my companion that this guy looked super familiar and he told me that His name is President Sullivan. He is our stake president. He told me that he is "Bishop Sullivan" from Meet the Mormons. He is a tall, thin, African-American guy. I felt pretty dumb that I didn't recognize him. People were taking pictures with him after the meeting. That was a little weird. I guess he doesn't come to our branch much. (which would make sense because he doesn't speak spanish anyways). We had our one investigator come to church for her first time and that was great. She brought her husband with her too and that was awesome too. I sat by him in priesthood and he just seemed like a hard guy to get to know. He seemed a little grumpy like he didn't want to be there. I talked to him for a little bit and then I guess he was hot or something so he took off his jacket and I saw that he was carrying a nice big gun on his belt. I took that as a hint and decided I would stop trying to talk to him so much haha. That is about all of the excitement for this week. I hope you all have an amazing Christmas and remember to focus on Christ. I am grateful and so happy to be a missionary. Have a great week!

Elder May

We found a sword in our apartment

Monday, December 12, 2016

This week has a lot of stories. First off, we were eating dinner with a member and his friend who is not a member and the food was actually really good. It was rice and chicken and beef. The usual. We seriously have rice and chicken/beef every day. Sometimes it is super good, and other times, not so much. Anyways, we were eating and the nonmember (I don't remember his name to be honest) he was eating this little green things that looked like peas. He asked me if I wanted to try one. I asked him what they were and he said they were just little vegetable things that they grow in their garden. This guy was eating them by the handful so I thought they might be pretty good so I said I would try one. I thought they were trying to trick me and that is was really hot or something but they assured me that "no es picante" (it isn't hot). So I believed them and ate one. They lied. I felt like someone lit my mouth on fire and everyone was just laughing at me. They handed me a bowl of sugar and told me that it helps cool it down. So I took a big spoon-full and quickly found out that it wasn't sugar... it was salt. I was glad I could provide some entertainment for everybody that night. Apparently, in their opinion at least, those little green peppers were hotter than a habenero. My mouth and throat burned for about an hour, but I survived and it was a good time.

A mission has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. I guess I thought that since I was dedicating my life to the Lord for 2 years that he would take care of me and nothing bad would happen. Well, as I have been out I have really been humbled and come to know that that is not always how it works. I learned that not only in a mission, but in life that when we are being obedient to the commandments and are serving God with out whole heart, might, mind, and strength, that we can have confidence that anything else that happens is for our benefit. That doesn't mean trials won't come, but that when they do come, we can know how to handle it. Trials are an opportunity to improve our relationship with the savior, and to learn how to find joy in any circumstance. When Nephi and his family left Jerusalem they faced many trials. While Laman and Lemuel continued to murmur and complain, Nephi used those trials as an opportunity to strengthen his relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They all had the same trials, but it was their attitudes that made the difference in the end.

This was a pretty hard week for my companion and I. We had an investigator that was planning on being baptized this week but she doesn't really want to anymore. We had been having a hard time finding people to teach. On Saturday we ended up walking through this Mexican mall (thats where most of the spanish speaking people are) and we ended up wandering through a Ross store. We found a guy named Miguel and started to talk to him about Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. He was really interested and invited us over the next day to teach him more. So we went to his house yesterday and his friend Pedro lives with him and wanted to listen to the lesson too. We taught them both about the Restoration and invited them to be baptized and the both accepted. We got them to pray with us and they committed to reading 2 Nephi chapter 31 and said they would pray about it. Afterwards, invited us to come back tomorrow to teach them more. Even though we had a hard week, the Lord blessed us as we continued to look for people to teach with a good attitude and now we have two more investigators. In Mosiah 24:13-15 it says: "Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage... And I will also ease the burdens which are upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs... This will I do that ye may know that I, the Lord God do visit my people in their afflictions." I know that our Father in Heaven is aware of each of us in our trials, and if we "submit cheerfully and with patience to the will of the Lord" (verse 15) we will be blessed and our burdens will be made light. We can't always control the circumstances or the trial, but we can control our attitude. As we show gratitude for all of our blessings, we will realize just how much we have been blessed with, and how much we have to be happy about. I love this work and I am so grateful to be a missionary. I love you all, have a great week!

Elder May

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

This week was pretty great. On Tuesday we ate dinner at a members house. It was rice and chicken. I swear that is the only thing the members make out here. But it was pretty good. The next day though I was so sick. I didn't think it was from the food because my companion was fine but I tried to tough it out. We were helping a member move into his house and it was just pouring rain and we were soaked and cold. After about an hour I felt so sick that I could barely do anything so I went into the bathroom and I threw up that whole meal that I had eaten that night before. It was pretty bad. I didn't really eat for the next two days because it was so bad but I feel much better now.

On Saturday we went to a baptism for a man named Juan. He had been meeting with the missionaries for like 8 months and he finally decided to be baptized. There were so many people there and I felt the spirit so strong there. I have really come to love singing hymns in spanish. It makes me really think about the words so I know what it is saying and I love how the translations are a little different. The different wording almost gives it more meaning to me. We sang "I am a child of god" (spanish) and that was one of the times on my mission that I have felt the spirit the most so far.

Later, we went to a live nativity celebration thing at the church, it was really great and the spirit was so strong there. The people that were supposed to be in the nativity never showed up so they asked my companion and I, and two other elders to fill in as Shepherds and kings. I was pretty excited but all we did was stand in the foyer for 45 minutes and we weren't allowed to talk. It wasn't as fun as I thought it would be. The next day we watched the Christmas devotional. I really liked Elder Christensen's talk about how there would be no Christmas without Easter. I had never thought about it that way and I realized how true that was. If Christ never suffered the Atonement and overcame his crucifixion, what would be the point of celebrating Christmas? I encourage all of you to celebrate not only Christ's birth, but all of the things he accomplished in his life. Being out on a mission has really helped me strengthen my relationship with my savior and appreciate so much more all of the things he did in his life for me. I know my savior lives and I am forever grateful to him. I love you all and hope you all have an amazing Christmas season!

Elder May

Monday, November 28, 2016

What a week, I don't even know where to really begin. We arrived in Atlanta at about 3:00 and it was so busy. I guess the Atlanta airport is one of the biggest airports in the country? And it was extra crazy because of Thanksgiving so that was fun, but we made it out alive. We only got lost once. We had dinner at the mission president's house and slept there that night with all of the new missionaries. The next morning I met my companion, Elder Castillo. He is awesome and we get along great. He was born in Ecuador, Grew up in Spain, and then recently lived in London where he learned English. So his English has a mix between a Spanish and British accent. It is kind of funny but he doesn't like when I tease him about it. Later that day we were driving to a dinner appointment with a family in the branch and we were just making small talk and talking about soccer. He said he liked to play defense and I said I liked to play as the goalie, then the conversation kind of ended at that. Well, while we were eating, the mom's brother, Ernesto, came over and he isn't a member. We got talking to him and he said he was playing soccer with some friends but he was frustrated because they didn't have a defender and a goalie for their team... My companion and I looked at each other and offered to fill the missing positions for their pick-up game. The next morning we showed up to the field and quickly learned that it was not just a little pick-up game. Apparently every year the Latinos have a big Thanksgiving day soccer tournament with about 18 teams and a grand prize of $3000, and that is what we offered to be a part of. I was terrified. I was the only white person in the whole tournament. Every team had their own fake replica jerseys that they made of their favorite teams. We were Barcelona and they gave me a keeper jersey that was 2 sizes too small. Our team lost but my companion and I played pretty well. Other teams were trying get us to join their team. They asked us what college we played for and everything and we said we aren't here for school but to share messages and help people come unto Christ. It was a neat experience to share our message with some of those people at the soccer field. Ernesto was pretty interested but he doesn't live in our area so we tried to set him up with the other missionaries. Thanksgiving was a blast. We had 3 different appointments and all of the meals consisted of Turkey and gravy, and rice and beans. It was awesome. I can barely understand what anyone says when we meet with people but that's okay. I am working really hard on my Spanish. I had to bless the sacrament and bear my testimony in sacrament meeting and that was a little scary. People would come up to me after the meeting and ask where I was from and I would say Utah and almost every person had the same response... "ah you're the missionary factory". It made me laugh. I have already had some interesting food. Yesterday we were eating at the branch mission leader's house (we call him and his wife "Mami and Papi" because they are basically like our parents) and she made some chicken and rice soup. I was excited because it looked just like the soup Mom would make. I saw a big piece of chicken so I tried to split it in half with my spoon. After it wouldn't break, I looked closer and saw that it was a chicken's spine. I looked at everyone else's bowls and saw that they all had some various pieces of chicken body parts in their soup. It has been really fun and amazing out here. I love serving the Lord. One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that I do not speak Spanish. But in our lessons the spirit is there. The spirit speaks all languages and testifies of the truth. Even though the language is a struggle right now, the spirit is still there and testifies the same way. I love you all and love receiving your emails!

Elder May

Ernesto is the small guy.

The Koreans we play soccer with.

President and Sister Foote

Branch President "Papi"

Monday, November 21, 2016

Well since I am leaving on what would have been my P-day, we are allowed to email today so everybody knows what is going on. I leave at 3:50 in the morning to go to the airport... The MTC has been such a great experience. I have learned so much about myself and about my savior. I have also made so many great memories and friendships. The other day we were sitting in a devotional and my companion had some listerine breath spray. He offered to let me have some so I just opened my mouth and was going to let him spray my mouth with it. Well, he missed. He nailed me right in the eye with the listerine. Not going to lie, it hurt really bad and I was scared for me eye for a little bit. It didn't help that we were sitting in the middle of the front row... the devotional hadn't quite started yet so I got up to go to the restroom to try to wash out my eye, but the person leading the devotional stopped and asked me if I was okay... I had to explain right there in front of everybody that my companion sprayed me in the eye with listerine. Super awkward and embarrassing, but it was really funny. My eye is okay, the stinging eventually left after about 30 minutes and I still have full use of my right eye. I one of our devotionals, our MTC president shared this quote from Dr. Seuss "You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose" His point was that we have fully agency of our actions. We have been given commandments and guidelines in this life, but we ultimately have the choice of whether or not we are going to do what we should. I know that when we use our agency in righteous ways we are blessed with the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. We feel happier and our Father in heaven is happy when he knows that we are using our agency in righteous ways. I love you all, Georgia here I come.

-Elder May

Friends at the dentist office where I had 2 root canals while in the MTC

Elder Villalobos

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Another great week here at the MTC (or CCM in spanish, I don't know why) We had our last lesson with Brian on Wednesday and that was really sad. We taught about families and the temple for his last lesson and he seemed really touched by it. I'm going to miss that guy. We've started teaching lessons over Skype with people from all over the world. This last week we taught a guy named Christian from Mexico. I understood about 40% of what he said, so I was pretty proud of myself. One of the Elders in our residence hall area asked me to give him a haircut the other day. That was a surprise but I went with it. I think I did pretty well actually. Now a couple others have asked for haircuts but I don't want to make that my career so I told them it was a onetime thing. Speaking of surprises though, my entire district has received their flight plans for next week... Except me... I talked to the office about it and they said that my mission has been temporarily changed to Atlanta Georgia while I wait for my visa. That is why it has taken longer for me to get my flight plans. They said I should receive them by tomorrow or Thursday though. I suspected that I would stay in the states somewhere since my visa hasn't come. My district acted like I was getting a second mission call and everyone had their guesses. It was kind of fun. I am excited to go to Georgia though. I have learned in my life that these unexpected changes are really just Heavenly Father's way of saying "Wait a sec, Elder May, I have a better idea" and then he just goes for it. I am excited to find out what he has in store for me in Georgia. Nobody really calls me "Elder May" anymore. My name changes every week. The first few weeks I was "Elder Mayo", then it evolved to "Elder mayonnaise" and just this week they decided that I wasn't good enough to be associated with real mayonnaise, so currently my name is "Elder Miracle Whip". I get teased a lot about a lot of things, but it is fun. Just yesterday we were practicing reflexive verbs and I was trying to say "we eat because we are hungry" but it came out as "lets eat ourselves because we are hungry" My teacher couldn't stop laughing. The MTC has been fun and I have learned so much. This week I was reading in Luke 15 where Christ teaches with his parables. He talks about the shepherd who would leave his 99 sheep to find the 1 that was lost. He also tells about the woman who loses a piece of silver so she spends all night looking for it. That is how Christ views us, he would do anything, and HAS done everything to help us return to him. In the story of the Prodigal son, in Luke 15:20 it says "And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him." This verse really touched me. Christ doesn't wait for us to come all the way to him before he shows his love. As soon as we have even the desire to repent, Christ can't help but run to us and show us all of his love. All of us are like the Prodigal son and are "a great way off", but because of Christ's infinite love for all of us, we are never too far gone. He sacrificed the ultimate sacrifice for us; to bring all of us who are struggling back to him where we can feel of his perfect love. I love my savior. It is through trials and hard times that we really come to develop a relationship with him. Don't be afraid of trials, embrace them. Look at them as an opportunity to learn something and to strengthen your relationship with the Savior. In 3 Ne 11:15 it says "... and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and feel with their hands..." Christ loves each of us personally, and wants to bring us unto him one by one like he did with the Nephites. He suffered for each and every one of us personally. I know that he is the Son of God and that he will come again. I love you all and appreciate getting your emails, have a great week!

Elder "Miracle Whip"...

Goofing around with Elder Colson

Elder May and Elder Ferrin  - He has become one of my best friends.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

On Tuesday we had the opportunity to hear from President Nelson. That was super awesome. He talked about being walking epistles of the Lord. He talked about being examples and representatives of Christ, and how we can "write our testimonies on our hearts". It is so important that we are always aware of our actions and remembering who we represent. He asked us to think about ourselves and what we could change, or improve on to be better missionaries. I pulled out my white missionary handbook and I thought I'd do one of those "i'll just open it up and see what happens" types of things. I said a little prayer and opened it up... At the top of the page I turned to, in big bold letters it said "The Law of Chastity". I was a little shocked because as far as I knew, I was doing just fine with the law of chastity.... But I thought I would just read it anyways. None of it really applied to me at all, but the next topic was "Your relationship with your companion." That one seemed more fitting. I read what the missionary handbook said about companionships and it was exactly what I needed to hear. I think heavenly Father has a sense of humor. I picture him kind of chuckling to himself for making me read about the law of chastity before I got my answer. I know that if we come to Heavenly Father and humbly ask what we could do better, he will give us an answer. The spanish has been coming better and my companion and I have learned how to teach with each other better. Our lessons used to have one of us talk for the whole time and the other would bear their testimony at the end and they were never all that great of lessons. We learned how to trust each other and to rely on the spirit. We were teaching our "investigator", Brian, and we planned to teach him more about The Plan of Salvation, but the spirit took it another way. In our lesson with him last week, we invited him to attend church on sunday and he said he would. When we asked him how church was he said he didn't really understand the point of the sacrament. The spirit told my companion and I to open up the scriptures and read the sacrament prayers with him. It was actually pretty cool because we both started turning to those scriptures at the same time like we planned it, but we didn't. We bore testimony of the Atonement and the spirit was so strong. Brian usually falls asleep in the middle of our lessons. It is actually pretty frustrating. But when we were testifying of the sacrament and the Atonement he was actually asking a lot of questions and by the end he was tearing up a little bit. It was a very spiritual lesson. It is so important to teach with the spirit. The elders in our residence love watching me eat spicy food because when it is bad enough, I start to sweat... So some of them thought it would be fun to ask somebody to send them some Ghost Peppers... They haven't come yet, but I don't think it will be a fun day for me when they do. I have made some amazing friends out here and it is really hard to say goodbye to some of them every week. I know this gospel is true. I know that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of you and wants us all to return to live with him. Always remember your savior and the sacrifice he made for you. Never be afraid to use his Atonement and repent. Our branch president talked about how we should think of repentance as "improvement". That the repentance process is really just an "improvement process" to help us throughout this life. I love you all, talk to you next week.

Elder May

Some people like studying a bit more than others

 I'll be seeing you later.

Elder May and Elder Colson

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Hola Everybody!

First of all... Halloween was so boring, It was just an ordinary day. We couldn't really dress up, so the most we could do was switch name tags with some people... But it was still a great day. I actually had to go to the dentist yesterday so that was pretty ironic... But they were all dressed up in Halloween costumes so it was kind of nice to be in the "real world" and see some real Halloween costumes. I was at the dentist because I had a tooth that was bugging me so the dentist gave me a root canal... It wasn't too bad though. I was expecting to be really sore but I wasn't sore at all. We got back right around dinner time and I even ate a pork chop and it didn't even hurt. The language is starting to come a little better. I haven't said anything else embarrassing lately. My companion was trying to say that he was embarrassed so he said "estoy embarrassado".... Which really means "I'm pregnant". That gave us all a good laugh. We did a "fast" yesterday. We didn't fast from food, but we fasted from speaking English for the whole day. Not going to lie, it was pretty rough and I only lasted until lunch. But we were teaching a lesson and it was one of the best lessons that I have been able to give here. Our investigator's name is Brian. He literally falls asleep every time we teach him. Because he would fall asleep it made it really hard to feel the spirit in our lessons. We came into this next lesson without much planned, but we just planned on talking with him and asking him what his expectations of us were, and why he wanted to keep meeting with us. He asked about the sacrament and we were able to testify of the Atonement. It was amazing. We invited him to be baptized and he was really excited. (we have to set the baptismal date for the week after we leave the MTC, just because we aren't sure if they are really a member on not). But I had never seen him actually smile and be excited like that before so it was awesome. The fast from English paid off I think. I have learned a lot in the MTC and one of the things I have learned this week is that Heavenly Father answers our prayers. It isn't always in the way that we want or expect, but he answers them. I was laying in bed the other night and one of the Elders in my room was snoring so loud and I could not fall asleep. I wanted to smack him but that isn't missionary-like. So I simply said a little prayer that my Companion would stop snoring and next thing I know, he had stopped. It was so simple and honestly kind of funny, but that strengthened my testimony just a little more that our prayers are answered. My mission has been really hard but I have absolutely loved it! I love and miss you all! 

Elder May

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Week #2 has also been pretty crazy. 
My companion had to be sent home due to some medical reasons and that was really sad. He came back today to officially say goodbye and everything since he wasn't able to do so the last time we saw him. My district and I bought him a shirt and we all signed it. My new companion is awesome. He knows the language really well because he used to live in Peru. We have had some amazing lessons together. The language is coming slowly but surely. The gift of tongues is real... In class I feel like I know only a tiny bit of Spanish, which is true. But when we teach, I am able to speak my thoughts in a way that they can still understand what I am saying. We actually made one of our investigators cry. I was so proud of myself. We had another "investigator" who apparently was the hardest and toughest investigator. Other missionaries said that he likes to criticize your Spanish and is really hard on you. I was pretty worried about that. in the middle of the lesson he interrupted and said "where did you two learn spanish?" And I just said "well I took two years of it in school" and my companion told him how he used to live in Peru. Then the investigator said "oh, because you speak so well. 'Muy muy bueno'" I was so relived. But I don't want anyone to think that I haven't said anything embarrassing so I will tell you my embarrassing story. We were teaching a woman named Sophia. She is Catholic and she asked about the trinity. Catholics believe that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are all one being that is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. So I was telling her that we believe that they are all three different beings with one purpose and instead of calling it the trinity, we call it the Godhead. Well, when I said that, the look on her face told me that I said something terribly wrong. She looked at me and said "so... God has 3 heads...?" apparently there isn't a word for "God head" in spanish... We had to spend the rest of the lesson correcting that mistake and re-explaining all of that.  I get teased about it every day now. Our district has emailed their families telling them that story as well. It was pretty funny. Our zone was having one of those discussions one night where you tell random things about yourself that nobody knows. So i mentioned that I couldn't feel or taste on half of my tongue and that I consider it an advantage to be able to eat gross foods. They wanted to test it out so they found some hot sauce.... the put a drop on the numb spot on my tongue and it worked. I didn't feel or taste thing. But then another missionary, Elder Eldridge (who is one of my best friends in the mission, he is crazy) grabbed the bottle from me and started drinking the hot sauce. Everybody looked at him like "what the heck?" but then they all looked at me and told me to one-up him. It turned into a hot sauce drinking competition... I don't think I have quite recovered from it.
 My mission has been very hard but it has also been so much fun and I have grown so much. I have come to love the scriptures so much and I feel so much peace when I read them. I was reading in Ether about the brother of Jared, when he saw God's finger touch the stones. Ether 3:6 "And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, the Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one with his finger. And the veil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared."  If you read closely, it doesn't say that he saw God's finger right away. After God had touched a few of the stones is when the brother of Jared saw his finger. We can relate that to our faith. When faced with a trial of any sort, we must decide what to do with faith and bring it before the lord, just like the brother of Jared did. He needed light in the boat things and asked God to bring light into those stones.Once God had touched a few of the stones the brother of Jared's faith increased once he saw that it was actually working. Once he started to have enough faith is when he saw God's finger touch the stones. The same goes for us. Faith is something that we need to practice. We can't expect to have some huge experience right away. But Heavenly Father will reveal to us little by little things that will increase our faith. Each time he does so, our faith grows and we are able to see the Lord's hand in our life more and more. Faith is an action, and must be exercised if we want to have more of it. That is my spiritual wisdom for the day. I miss you all and hope that you have a great week. Adios!

Elder May

This is my companion who had to go home. He came back to say goodbye

This is my new companion

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Holy cow. I know that I have only been gone for a week, but it seriously feels like I have been gone for so much longer because of everything that has happened. Just a heads up though, if there are a lot of spelling errors in this email, i'm sorry. The keys in this keyboard are sticking and it's driving me nuts. Living on my own has been a challenge. I spilled food all over my suit while we were eating dinner for our first night. I just found out that there is a dry cleaner here so now I have to wait about a week for it to be finished cleaning. I was told that my bedding would be provided so i didn't bother to bring any blankets or anything. Well, when i got to my room, I noticed that everybody else had some blankets... except for me. I decided that I would just use one of my towels as a blanket until i figured something out. Apparently there was a closet where they have all the blankets, sheets, pillows, and everything you need for bedding, and nobody told me for 5 days. Everyone makes fun of me now for sleeping with a towel. I love all of the people in my zone, they are all so fun and I am making tons of friends here. (they even taught me the "zone handshake"... only the cool missionaries get to learn to zone handshake. I was pretty proud of myself.) 

The spirit is so strong here, it is crazy. I have already found myself changing so much. The spanish is coming along great. They had us teaching an "investigator" in spanish on our second day. you can imagine how that went. But over the past week, our lessons have improved so much! The gift of tongues is real. Serving a mission has been the best decision that i have ever made and I don't regret it for a second. I miss you all so much. I have only cried once so I think I am doing okay. 


Friday, October 14, 2016

Hi mom, I'm alive. Not going to lie, it has been a little stressful here. I am the district leader so that added some stress, but overall I am loving it here. Could you send me some shirts? I meant to pack two more but i guess i forgot. could you send me my black grantsville soccer shirt with the red logo? it is made of that polyester material. And could you also send me my red star wars shirt? My district are all huge star wars nerds and most of them sleep in star wars pajamas so i want to fit in. My district is pretty fun... Its not really the same crowd that i'm used to. one elder in our apartment reminds me of Elder Calhoun... he sets his alarm for 6:00 every morning just because he is so excited. it gets a little annoying but that's okay. My companion is elder Chamberlain. He is a fun guy and plays soccer so that is pretty cool. I love it here and I miss you all so much. I know i didnt add my address for you to send me those shirts, and that is because i still don't know what it is. so I will find out and let you know on tuesday. (my P-days are on tuesdays) also I'm going to need a lot of food. I don't eat a lot during the meals because i'm not really hungry at the tiome, but then I get to be starving withing the next hour or so, so i need some snacks. i love you all.

Elder May