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


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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I don't have a lot of time to write this week because we have transfers today. My companion is leaving and I am staying for at least one more transfer in Espartaco. I kind of wanted to leave, but when they told us the transfer news I felt super excited to stay here. So I am happy with staying for another transfer.

A lot has happened this week and I feel bad that I don't have time to explain it all. We went to the temple and the visitor's center with Enrique this week. It was really cool. Their visitor's center is nicer than the one in Salt Lake. I was pretty impressed. We also went to a store on the temple grounds (basically like Deseret Book) and Enrique bought himself some things. He bought a missionary nametag that says "amigo de misionero" and he wears that when we go out in public with him.

We had a really good lesson with Juan on Saturday and he accepted a baptismal date on July 29. He could technically get baptized next week because he has come to church for about a month straight, but he needs more time to learn everything. After our lesson, he was showing us all of his paintings he has painted in his house. Some looks professional and others look like a kindergartener painted them. But he claims that all of them are his work. I thought I would test him and I asked him to paint me a turtle playing soccer. He said yes and the next day sure enough, he had my painting. I will let all of you decide if you think he is a professional. He said he didn't have any paint so he drew it with a pen and then used his coffee as paint...

Elder May

Juan"s art work

More art work from Juan

Enrique's nametag and young women's pen that he bought

My picture of a turtle playing soccer that Juan drew for me

The message he wrote on the back of my turtle picture

some investigator friends at church. (left to right-- Enrique, Elder Sanchez, Zoraida, Ivon, Juan, me)

At the visitor center with Enrique

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hola everybody, It has been another exciting week in Espartaco. We are entering the rainy season so our house is flooding about daily. We just don't really care anymore and it dries the next morning, so all is well!

Juan-carlos is still doing well. He came to church with us again and he loved it. We got there a little bit early and he said he wanted to play the piano. He had mentioned before that he loves music, and he has a piano in his house so we assumed he knew how to play, so we let him... He does not know how to play the piano. He basically just hit random notes and sang a song about Jesus that he made up on the spot. We thought he would stop after a few minutes, but he kept going for about 15 minutes. I eventually went up and asked him if I could play something and then I just played regular prelude for everybody. It is never a dull moment with him.

Church was really good though. I have mentioned the Lopez family before, but for those of you who don't remember, I will give you a review. They are a family of 5 that are so humble and so happy. They make money by making jello, putting it unto cups, and selling it on the streets. They are some of the most faithful members I have ever met. Well, on sunday the dad, Javiere, was called to be the new bishop! I was super excited. He has only been a member for about 3 years so he is a little nervous naturally, but we already have a lot of plans to help him out. We hope that a new bishop will help get the ward excited again and hopefully have more success.

The other day we were having a good lesson with an investigator. In the middle of the lesson we starting hearing a loud grunting sound and I started to feel kind of scared that someone was choking or dying or something, but the investigator didn't seem to notice. The noise kept coming and eventually a lady walked out, and soon behind her was the biggest pig I have ever seen. She told us she was going on a walk with Camila... the pig. My companion asked her when she was going to cook and eat it and she got really offended and told us they she has had her pet pig for 3 years now. For a second I almost thought I was back in grantsville after hearing all of that...
The work is going a little slower than my companion and I would like, but with faith we know it will get better! The best thing we can do is keep striving to be exactly obedient and the Lord will bless us in his own time.

Have a great week 

Elder May
Camila the pig

Eating fried ice cream for free!!

Enjoying some rootbeer floats with Elder Miller

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

This week has been a little better in the CDMX. I will tell you about one of the stories this week.
We were on our way to an appointment one day and I saw that there was an old guy about 20 feet away with a basketball. I don't think he was playing because he could hardly even walk either. He was just standing there dribbling the ball and having a good time. When we passed him I just said "buenos dias!" and we started talking a little bit about basketball. He handed his basketball to me and asked me to play basketball with him. So I crossed him up a little bit, broke his ankles, and showed him some tricks I learned in church ball and he was pretty impressed. We got talking about what we do as missionaries and asked if we could come by his house one day. He said no and walked away.
A few days later, we were walking down the same street looking for an old investigator when we saw the same old guy. We didn't say much more than "buenos dias" because he already told us that he didn't want to listen, but he ended up asking us if we could stop for a minute and share something with him. After talking with him for a little bit we learned that his name is Juan. He is 53 and has no teeth whatsoever. However, his smile is one of the happiest smiles I have ever seen. He lives alone and likes to paint. He showed us a really big painting he made and asked us what we thought it was. To me it looked like there was an ocean and a 4-winged chicken with no legs flying above the water. He told me I was wrong and that it was a painting of Buddah. Anyways, Juan is a fun guy. We invited him to church and he excitedly said yes. Usually when somebody says they will come to church with us, they never come. We were a little skeptical about Juan because he is a little different and didn't think he would come. However. we promised him we would stop by his house and walk with him to church. When we got there, he was waiting in the street for us and had his tie tied and everything. At church, after he saw the first person go up to bear their testimony, he asked me if he could share his testimony. I said he could if he wanted to, so he was the second person from the ward to go up. He said that he knows that God lives, and that he can feel that this church is true... He also said he believes his other church is true as well, but we will work on that. He also said that he knows that faith is real. I actually really felt the spirit as he spoke about faith. He mentioned how Faith can move mountains, whether physically, or metaphorically in our personal lives. I have thought about faith a lot lately and I know the words of Juan are true. Faith gives us the power to overcome any circumstance. In Ether 12:12 it says that there can be no miracles without faith. I learned a powerful principle from Juan yesterday. I also know that God lives and that Christ is his only begotten son, and our savior.
Have a great week!

Elder May

Enrique wants to be a missionary one day

Monday, May 22, 2017

I'll be honest, this week was a little sparse on the interesting stories... There were no doctor's appointments or anything super exciting, but when you are a missionary every day is a good day, regardless what happens.

We met with an investigator named Hector on Tuesday and it was a pretty good experience. Hector loves the book of mormon, and everything about the church, the only reason he hasn't been baptized already is because he smokes. We read Alma 24 about the Anti-Nephi-Lehis and how they buried their weapons of war. We applied it to him and how he can quite smoking. He felt really motivated and said that he would quit. The next day he left for a vacation and we haven't seen him since, but I am really hoping that everything has been going well.

Enrique has still been doing really well. He usually comes to church in a brown polo and jeans, but now that he is a confirmed member of the church, he wanted to looks like one. I gave him on of my white shirts and a tie and he was pretty excited. He came to church yesterday and was really happy with how he looked and felt. He was so proud of himself that he wanted to go to the restroom and look at himself in the mirror for a little bit before church started. He is also working on his family history and plans to be baptized for his dad soon. He loves the temple and is holding on to his goal of attending the Salt Lake City temple.

I was reading about Nephi and his family's journey in the wilderness. We all know that Laman and Lemuel were constantly murmuring and we often think of them as bad people. However, how often are we like Laman and Lemuel? As I read about them this morning, I thought to myself that I would probably be right along with them complaining about having to leave a comfortable home and wander in the wilderness for 8 or so years. It doesn't sounds like a very fun plan to survive off of raw meat and suffer "all manner of afflictions" either. As we know, Nephi was always strong in his faith and never complained. In fact, he mentions "how great were the blessings of the lord". While his brothers complained and felt sorry for themselves because of their trials, Nephi took the same circumstances and found the good in them.

I was able to apply this principle to me in my life as a missionary, but I also know that it can apply to all of us in all aspects of our lives. It isn't always easy to stay positive and faithful, and I'm sure it wasn't easy for Nephi to keep that attitude either, but we can all strive to be more like Nephi when trials come. I love the Book of Mormon and the messages it brings. I learn something new every time I read. I hope you all have a great week!

Elder May

Some members made us a cake with our names on it

The solution to our bug problem

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

First off, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to my mom and all of the moms reading this. You are all amazing and very much appreciated.
This week was a little different. I hate to say it, but there wasn't a whole lot of missionary work going on because of some unexpected doctor trips, but that is okay. To go to the doctor here it is about an all day trip, so we ended up having to go on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It was a little frustrating that it took up all of our time, but It made for some good stories.
The "Mission Doctor"'s office is in a building right next to the Mexico City temple, so we got to enjoy that a little bit. We aren't allowed to go in to the temple (mission rule) until our last transfer in the mission so that was a little sad, but it was still really cool to see the temple. The Mexico City temple is one of the coolest-looking ones to me. On saturday, we finished with our appointment and we found a Little Caesar's restaurant nearby and we ate there for lunch. I wasn't very hungry so I ended up carry the pizza in the box with me on our way home. My companion wanted to try a different route that he thought was faster to get home, so I trusted him and followed his lead.... We ended up getting pretty lost. When the bus started driving down a dirt street with storage boxes and nobody around I was pretty sure he had no idea where he was directing us. I asked him and he admitted that he had no idea where we were. So for a couple hours we wandered aimlessly around Mexico City with only my Little Caesar's pizza to comfort me. Needless to say, we ended up finding our way back. I feel pretty confident that I can navigate myself to any part of the city now.
The work has been a little harder lately. It seems like all of our solid investigators are dropping like flies. We have one named Miguel who is pretty golden. He reads everything and he understand everything. He quit smoking and drinking coffee on the spot and loves the church. He is almost finished with 2 Nephi and is still just on fire. However, he informed us that he will be moving to Venezuela on saturday. We were pretty discouraged because he would have been getting baptized already if he didn't have to move. He asked that we send the missionaries to his house in Venezuela when he gets there, so I hope they will find him.
We had another investigator who was also pretty golden but texted us out of nowhere saying that she doesn't want to meet with us anymore. she said that she is too busy with her job and school and everything. That was pretty hard for us to see her grow so much and then suddenly decide to stop progressing, but we are still praying for her.
There have been other instances as well with investigators not wanting us to teach them anymore, so we feel like we are starting all over again here. I suppose that is just how missionary work goes sometimes and all we can do about it is work more efficiently and think of a new plan to find some new people. Hopefully next week we will have some good new investigators.

It was hard not to get discouraged at first when all of the investigators started leaving. I studied a lot trying to find an answer about what we could do better and how we could help the area. One of the most distinct answers that I received was that I just need to keep moving forward with faith. I have learned that when we have faith in Christ and in our Father in heaven there is nothing to fear. As we live obediently and keep moving forward with a desire to serve the Lord we will see the Lord's hand in our lives. I know that to be true. Have a great week!

Elder May

Monday, May 1, 2017

Another great week here in Espartaco. We have transfers next week so it is likely that I might leave the area. I would love to stay here though. I love this area and the people. They also have tacos de Al Pastor on just about every corner. If you don't know what Al Pastor is, don't worry, nobody else does either. It is some form of meat that is super delicious, but I have yet to find out what exactly it is. My companion gets a stomach ache every time he eats it, but I never have a problem and I feel pretty proud of myself. I am also developing a stronger tolerance to the spicy food. The members are often surprised at how much salsa I use. I just tell them that the more salsa I eat, the more Spanish I learn.

We haven't had too many exciting things happen this week. We had a exchanges with the other elders in our district and that was fun. We had an appointment with a deaf lady who they teach in sign language. Unfortunately, she wasn't home and we didn't end up teaching her. The missionary I was with knows sign lanuage so he was teaching me some things. Hopefully I get the chance to meet her another day.

Enrique's baptism is still scheduled for this saturday and he is very excited. He has been inviting all of his friends to the baptism and even invites them to listen when we have teaching appointments with him. I don't think I have ever met someone more prepared to receive the gospel. We have another pretty solid investigator named Miguel. He loves the book of mormon and writes his own little notes and marks things thaet he likes. He really just gets it and it is really neat to see him progress. He had a baptismal date for May 27, but he just informed us that he will be moving to Venezhuela on the 20. We told him we would send the misisonaries to his house down there to continue teaching him and he was pretty excited. I was a little bummed that he has to leave though.

I have loved serving a mission here in Mexico. It is been the hardest, happiest, most fun, and most exciting thing that I have ever done. I love meeting so many people and being called "Guero" every day. I will try to have some better stories for you all next week. Have a great week!

Elder May

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hola everybody!

Sorry that I have been slacking with the emails. I just keep forgetting... But this past few weeks have been great! I know I say that every week, but it is kind of hard to not have a good day when you are a missionary. I have found that no matter what kinds of challenging things happen, I find that I am happy again within about 5 minutes. Being a missionary is one of the happiest and hardest things I have ever done. I love it.

Last week we went to a foot doctor to see if she could fix my blisters on my feet. I have had those blisters for my entire time here and I figured I should probably get them checked. Apparently they were infected and therefore unable to heal. Because of all of the walking we do, the callouses on my feet were too thick to sand down with her filer thing, so she used what was basically a power drill with a sanding bit to get them down and be able to thoroughly clean my foot. It was pretty gnarly. I think she did a good job though because I haven't had any pain since. It has been great.

The bus drivers are basically super-human. One of the bus drivers we had this week on the way to church had a laptop on his dashboard and was watching a movie while driving the bus (which is stick-shift), watching for people who wave for the bus to stop, counting money and giving change to the people on the bus, and all of this while driving in Mexico City traffic which is like nothing any of you have ever seen. I was pretty impressed. The drivers here are all crazy but I haven't seen one accident. I guess they know what they are doing.

Anyways, our investigators are still doing pretty well. We had to change Akane's baptismal date because she hasn't been coming to church. Turns out that her boyfriend doesn't like us and doesn't want her coming anymore and it is causing problems in their relationship. It is too bad because we were able to be there when Akane received her answer that the church was true and it was one of the most spiritual experiences I have had on my mission. Nobody that witnessed it could deny the spirit that was there.

We also have another investigator named Enrique who is still super solid. He has a date to be baptized on may 6 and is super excited. He said he wants to learn enough to be able to teach the youth of the church. He has had some tough trials due to some mistakes he has made and wants to be able to help the youth not make those same mistakes. He is awesome. He is already inviting people to his baptism and everything. He loves the temple as well. He is excited to be able to enter one day, and has even set a goal to enter the salt lake temple. I really hope he keeps up with his excitement.

Teaching Enrique has been very humbling. He is 58 years old. While teaching him it has really hit me that I am a 19 year old American kid in Mexico City who speaks hardly any spanish, and I am teaching a 58 year old man how to find peace in his life. It doesn't really seem to make sense that anyone should listen to me. But people do. There is hope in this gospel that brings peace like nothing else. It has been amazing to see people make changes in their lives such as to quit smoking or drinking, or to commit to live the law of chastity, or any other commitments that we leave with people. I can't think of any reason that people would listen to what we have to say, and keep the commitments we leave with them except that they have felt the love of Christ and it has given them hope. It has been an amazing experience to see people feel that love for maybe the first time in their life. I have realized how much I have taken Christ's love for granted and I am so grateful to be a member of this church and know the things I know. I love you all, have a great week!

Elder May

A motorcycle. We aren't allowed to ride them so I just sat on it for picture purposes.

Where we teach Enrique

My area

Monday, April 10, 2017

This week has been one of the most eventful weeks of my mission. Many milestones were made, and new investigators were found.

For starters, we fixed our shower, so we are no longer bathing out of buckets. That was a happy day for our house. Our next project will be to get rid of the bugs.

The food this week has been a good experience. On Thursday we ate with a member who is a really good cook. She gave us some enchiladas that were super good. She was very kind and told me that she took into consideration that I am a gringo and didn't make the enchiladas spicy. I thanked her and then took my first bite. She was mistaken. They were some of the hottest food that I have ever eaten. They were so delicious though so I ate 7. She felt bad when she saw how bad I was sweating, and I felt bad that she felt bad. I really did enjoy them. It just was kind of painful. The next day we ate with another lady and she also gave us the exact same type of enchiladas and told me the exact same thing, that she made sure to make them mild for me. They were just as hot. I think the relief society is trying to strengthen my spicy tolerence. It is very kind of them. On Saturday I was prepared for another round of spicy enchiladas but what she gave us was something new. She said "Espero que les gusta la pata de rez" which means "I hope you both like cow feet" and gave us each a plate with some good looking cow feet. She was even kind enough to leave some little hairs on them to give us some extra nutrients. I'm not sure what was easier to eat between the fiery enchiladas or the hairy cow feet, but either way, I think I walked away from that dinner appointment manlier than when I entered.

The work here in Espartaco has been progressing a lot more. On Tuesday, we were walking to our appointment when a 19 year old girl named Akane, and her mom, Gladys, ran up to us and asked if we would teach them. That like never happens so we were pretty excited. We told them we could teach them later that night if they wanted, and they accepted. We return to their house and taught them the restoration. We asked Akane if she would take Moroni's challenge and pray  about our message and about the book of mormon. She started the prayer and when she was about to ask if it was true, she paused for a little bit. After a few seconds I realized that shew as crying and then began to thank our Father in Heaven for putting us in their path and that she knows that out message was true. It was one of the most spiritual lessons I have had on my mission. There is something very humbling and very happy to hear and see somebody pray for the first time. We were able to teach them 3 more times last week and even read every chapter and pamphlet that we left them. They are so great and they even came to church yesterday too. They both are preparing to be baptized as well.

There is another investigator whom we found yesterday named Enrique. He just decided on his own that he wanted to come to church, so he came all by himself and didn't know anybody. We were able to meet with him later and taught him the first lesson as well. He also has agreed to be baptized.

There have been so many more miracles that have been happening lately but I don't have time to write all of them. I can definitely see and feel the Lord working here in this area. There is no way that my companion and I alone could be accomplishing what has been going on. I have loved being a missionary and feeling so close to the Savior. This week I will have completed 6 months. The time is really going by fast. I love you all and enjoy hearing from you every week!

Elder May