Monday, October 27, 2014

Major Hike

     This was  a much better week.  You didn't tell me Blake came home last week but Shelby did so I knew. That's crazy that he only had 3 native companions. From what I've heard of our mission it's really rare that two gringos are together. So last p-day was amazing. We climbed this mountain called the Pedrona and it was easily the hardest hike I've ever been on. I think I sent you some pictures of it but I'm not sure. It was pretty much straight up for three hours and then at the top you couldn't even see anything because you were in the clouds. It tooks us two more hours to get back down and by the time we got back, I was covered in mud and my shoes were completely black.  
      We had much more success this week what with a baptism and all. We had a lot of lessons with a member because there are these two 14 year old kids that love to leave with us and are super dedicated to reactivating the youth in the ward because there are only like 4 young men, all 14 years old. The baptism on Saturday was amazing. The young women offered to plan the whole thing, so it turned out really good. They had food, a musical number and everything. They even passed a card around for all the members to sign and when we visited him yesterday, he had the card hanging up on the his wall..   In the pictures, he's the one right next to me and the other Latino is the guy who baptized him.   His name is Walter and he's the Elders quorum president. Jose is the name of the guy and he was super happy after the baptism and that made me super happy, of course.
      It rained like crazy this week, like more in two days than I've ever seen. There was one day we had to walk in rivers up to my ankles because the roads were so wet. It's starting to cool off here as well. I'm getting a little bit cold at nights and the cold showers are not nearly as enjoyable. Also, we've had a roach problem lately which is fun because you get to be surprised by all these really big roaches everywhere. 
     So the miracle of the week was with one of our investigators named Alejandra. She's the wife of the ward mission leader and we had been teaching her for a while and trying to set a baptism date but she was nervous about what her family would think, so she kept telling us she needed to talk with her mom. Then she started canceling all our appointments so we figured she was avoiding us and we were starting to loose faith.   Then last night we finally got a lesson with her and she said she had decided to be baptized Nov. 16. I was so happy!!! I'm still smiling about it. Then her husband told us that in his patriarchal blessing it said he would marry a non member but he would teach her the gospel and she would be baptized one day.It was such a cool experience. 
      (This paragraph is Con's answers to all our questions) My clothes still fit fine, mom. Cultural thing is is that people just drop their trash wherever they want. There's garbage all over the place here. I had one hair cut and its pretty normal except they shave your sideburns and neck with a straight edge razor. We don't really do family home evenings with the members only one time. Elder Wilcock was just an awesome missionary and his area was awesome because it has a hot shower, better weather and some great members. Changes are every 6 weeks but we usually only change comps every 3 or 6 months so we only go to the meetings when we have changes.  Spanish is coming good.  This week I had a lot of ward members comment on how far I've come since I've been here. We don't have a lot of time to study, which makes it harder but just hearing it helps a ton.  I haven't dreamed in Spanish that I can remember and how the heck am I supposed to be sarcastic over email, its all in the tone of voice. I love you all. Love Connor

                                      Elder Wilcock Elder Searle Elder Mann Elder Zuniga

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rough week

     Mom your prayers have been answered and against all odds, I have gained weight. I got on a scale last week and it said I weighed 160 which is like 20 more pounds then when I left. I hope you're happy. Sounds like you guys had a pretty fun week what with park city and all. Mom, I would send more pictures but I can't take my camera out on the street because its dangerous for people to see that I have one. I'll work on taking more in my apartment and other times.   I don't have any this week, sorry but I should have a bunch next week. 

     This week was kind of rough. It seemed like every single thing we had planned would always fall through. We have a ton of first lessons but then we can never find anybody for a second lesson. Because of this, we don't really have a ton of progressing investigators. We have one guy who is hopefully going to be baptized this weekend but he has to stop smoking first. I got to go on splits with the zone leaders, which was fun because their area is much cooler than ours and the Elder I went with is an amazing missionary, Elder Wilcock.
      Sunday, was really good though church was normal but then after we worked hard and found some really good investigators that I'm really excited about. Daily schedule is  up at 6;30, exercise for 30 minutes then we shower and eat breakfast.   At 8 we start studies and study until 12 which is a long time but I don't mind it. Then we leave and work for an hour and a half then lunch at 1:30 for about 45 minutes, then we work the rest of the day contacting and teaching lessons until 8;30 when we go to dinner. We get home around 9:30, plan, then get ready for bed. We go to sleep at 10:30, of course.

      I love getting pictures.   No, I haven't done a ton of service. No mosquito netting, thank goodness but we might have to soon.   We have fans going all night and I'm good with out the quotes and stuff. I don't know if you would be able to send this but there are a few things I need and I could buy here but I would have to go to the capital which won't happen until February. I need soft back scriptures with tabs in Spanish and a mini preach my gospel also in Spanish. I have these massive scriptures right now that they gave us in the CCM and they weigh a ton.  I was thinking maybe you could send them with the Turners if they come and then have them drop them off in the mission office, but I don't know. Other than that everything is great  I forgot to answer your question about my ring.  I wear it on that finger because it fits best there, no other reason thank you very much. Love you guys and I wanted to tell you we're teaching an English teacher so that's fun. It seems like every other person we talk to has been to the U.S. but when they can make in an hour what people make in day, I don't blame them. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Crazy Week

     This has been one crazy week. There wasn't one single day where I stayed in my Area. On Monday, we went and played soccer with a bunch of elders and members in Jutiapa and that was terrifying because I suck at soccer and those Latinos are really good. When they shoot the ball it goes at like a billion miles per hour. 

     On Tuesday, we had a zone conference where they told all of us that we're not doing good enough, which I think is true. The other districts and areas didn't have very good data so they told us to do better and gave us a list of goals and ways to accomplish them. They decided to have a competition between the two districts in our zone and who ever has better stats gets a trophy, which then goes to the companionship that did the best. We got it this week! I'll send you a picture. Also, we saw a rat in our apartment which made Elder Mann freak out and I think Its pretty funny but I'm still not happy about having a rat hiding somewhere. We haven't seen it since and hoping its left though.

     Wednesday, we had to go into the Capital to get my Visa taken care of which was lots of fun because I got to see a whole bunch of kids from my group and even some from my district that went to the other mission. It sucked because we had to wake up at 4 in the morning to make it to the capital on time and then didn't get back until like 6 so we didn't have anytime to work. I did get McDonalds though which made it totally worth it. 

     Thursday, we had Interviews with the President so we had to go to Jutiapa again and didn't get back until like 3 so another day where we didn't get to work very much. The President's wife gave us some homemade brownies so it was pretty awesome and it was good to see and talk to the president. 

     We thought Friday was going to be normal but then the District leader called and said he wanted to do divisions with us on Friday. So I had to go to Catocha and was there until Saturday morning. Then on Saturday we thought we had to go to stake conference meetings and would be gone the whole day but then we didn't go but we had nothing planned for the day so it was kind of rough on us. Sunday we did have Stake conference and that was really good and also in Jutiapa. On Sunday we got a text from a lady we had contacted and taught the day before asking what time our Church was at so we told her.  Then she sent a text that said Usted me gusta so obviously we won't be able to teach her ever again.

  The Language is coming good. I can understand pretty much everything that's said but I'm not very good at speaking. I know I need to try to talk more but its hard. The people are all super friendly here and always want to talk to us. Usually not about the gospel though. I've been healthy. I love the food we eat with the presidents family every lunch and dinner and pay them a 100 dollars a month for food. 

    So ya it was a pretty crazy week hope your all doing good.   Love you all anyway. Love Connor

This is a street view from our roof

                                                      Here's the awesome trophy we get for this week.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Conference in English, thank goodness

     Alright, so many questions where to start? Yes, I got to watch conference and it was in English which was really really good because if it wasn't I would have just had a lot of napping time. We went to a town called Jutiapa to watch all the day time sessions with all the other gringos form our district and Sunday we watched priesthood session w in the secretaries office here in Mita. The talks were all so good and I learned a ton of things. It was really cool that so many people got to speak in there native languages for the conference. We watched the ones in Spanish in Spanish and I didn't get very much form them but I'm sure they were good. Mom we were able to baptize so fast because Kevin was pretty much been taught everything by the other Elders. Right now we have a guy that's going to get baptized some time next week and he's probably my favorite because he's super ready. I'm so happy to hear the USU beat BYU because my comp is a BYU fan and has a year of college there. Okay I have a question for you guys. Are the trees really that green still? All the video from the conference center had showed all the trees super green and it blew my mind a little bit. 

Okay I have to tell you about my last P-day a little bit. We went to a little town called Catocha and played ultimate Frisbee. It was super fun but to get there you have to a 16 passenger van and there were 30 people crammed in there. We had to stand up in the trunk for like the first 15 minutes. 'its crazy how many people you can fit in a van when it means money. Also the average minivan here is actually a motorcycle. The record I've seen is 5 people on one motorcycle and its usually a family complete with a baby. We had a couple encounters with crazy drunk people this week which was fun and a little bit tricky to get out of but we managed. 

    Mom I got your package with the ring and all that other stuff which was great. The ring fits perfectly and all the food was amazing. I got another one of your letters and the package that Marianne sent me which was also super amazing. Loved the peanut butter.  I love you guys so much and love hearing from you. 

     District meeting is every week and we all have to go to a different town and talk about our goals and how our last week went, then we talk about how we can improve and then go home. It's lots of fun.  I love you guys so much and love hearing from you. Love Connor

Me after playing Ultimate Frisbee
                                                       View from the roof of our house