Monday, October 31, 2011

Los Mochis

Los Mochis is a really cool place. We've had a fun week. Elder Lopez and I just smile. A lot.
We're teaching a girl named Jesica who went to a church activity last week, where one of her friends invited her to listen to the missionaries. The lessons we've had are really fun, because a group of her friends who are members just come with us. She's progressing towards baptism really well and has a lot of support because a bunch of friends are in the church.

We're also working with Hector and his family. When I first went to his house, he showed me about fifty pictures of himself at the Golden Gate bridge, all while wearing short shorts (in the pictures). I don't know their situation as investigators really well because I'm new to the area. I asked whether they had read the Book of Mormon at all, and Hectors wife just said, "Yes, I've read about half." Wow! So they're progressing well too. Hector can't go to church for a little while because of health complications, so they're good friends for the time being.

I forgot how often Sinaloaenses like to tell me their stories about "indocumented" traveling north of the border; my first day, an old guy was telling me that he and twenty other guys swam the Rio Grande and were pursued by immigration officers, all while wearing... nothing. They put their clothes in bags to swim, and had to ditch the bags when immigration showed up. Fun times.

We had a zone conference with Presidente Cantú. We discussed the importance of being an "example of the believers" in various aspects. I can be much better in my conduct and faith. I want to be the same outside and inside, completely without hipocracy. But mostly, I like smiling all the time.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My last week in San José was great. We ended up with a few new people at church, including a good friend, Manuel. He came with a tie and everything. He's been progressing really well and is really excited about everything we've been teaching. We found out that BOTH Elder Crabb and I were leaving the area, which is pretty strange. Two new missionaries are coming in our place who don't know anyone or anything, so we had a lot to do to make everything easy for them.
This morning, Elder Crabb and I went our separate ways; I got in a tiny airplane again (all of the missionaries fight to sit in the copilot seat), got on a bus, and now I'm in los Mochis! It's one of the bigger cities in the mission. So, I've returned to Sinaloa. My area is ward called Jardin. Elder Johnson, who was in my district in San José, came all the way with me to be in my district here. All I've really heard a bout los Mochis is that the tap water is drinkable, and the hot dogs are famous. My new companion is Elder Lopez, from Hidalgo, who only has two weeks remaining in the mission. We're certainly in for some good times!

Monday, October 17, 2011

San Jose del Cabo

We had our last district meeting of this transfer today. Elder Johnson and I have both been in San Josè for a while, so we don't expect to stay for the next transfer. It's been more difficult after being here for quite a while. I kind of feel like I've tried many different ways of working here, but nothing has been especially successful. It's funny how missionary work really is easier when you work harder. It seems paradoxical.

I don't know if I mentioned Ximena or the family Guadarrama, but they are some of the main investigtors we were working with this week. They've been visited by tons of missionaries over the last few years (including one of my teachers from the MTC). Ximena is the daughter, and we are helping her progress towards baptism with the hope that her parents will want to get married so that they can be baptized as well. However, they really have not progressed since we met them, and didn't make it to church again yesterday. We watched the Joseph Smith movie with them this week. We are really trying to seek the guidance of the Spirit and find out how we can help them in some way that all of the many missionaries that have come through weren't able to. They actually have a Book of Mormon that about seven missionaries have signed after visiting them for a while.

Elder Crabb, Elder Johnson and Elder Hernandez all spoke in curch yesterday. I played piano, having given talks three months in a row. We don't really have a whole lot going in our area right now, but we're pumped to do everything we can to change that for the following week.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sore Bum

We had a baptismal service on Saturday for Sarahì and Alma Rosa. The room was packed with family members and friends and ward members. They were both confirmed on Sunday as well. There was a pretty rambunctious get-together at Sarahì's house afterwards, so we just grabbed some carne asada. It was a fun day. I love baptismal services every time. The new members are always so excited, and we work so hard to help them get to that point. It's kind of relieving to just see them come out of the font. Of course, it's a big step, but not the last.

I finally had to translate "the Testaments" from English to Spanish for the first time when we watched it with a less-active family. It's over an hour long. That was a workout, expecially since I could remember the word for "betray" the whole time - which is apparently really important. Elder Crabb translated for Chayo, the pet monkey.

I had the chance to get a sore bum again from bike riding! I went on divisions with Elder Johnson from my district and was on a bicicle for the first time in the Baja. The trucks here aren't so apt to let you hang on to the back like they were in Costa Rica, but there are some giant hills.

I also had the opportunity to give my first baptismal interview, for Alma Rosa. They are awesome. Starting out, I asked if it would be alright if we could start with a prayer.
"Could you offer it?" I asked.
"Sure, that's fine."
After about thirty seconds, I asked, "Did you say a personal prayer?"
Alma said, "I thought YOU were saying a personal prayer!"
So, successful interview.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

General Conference

I have very little time, but here are some things:

We moved the baptism of Sarahì to next weekend because they had to go to la Paz for an emergency. Now, she will be super prepared!

I did get to see some General Conference this time around. Mostly in Spanish, but it was fantastic nonetheless. Priesthood Session was so direct, and so powerful because of it.

We had a great zone meeting this morning in San Lucas, so we got to play volleyball and footba-- soccer... and also counsel about what challenges the zone has been having. Most of the missionaries here in los Cabos are relatively new to the mission, so we are all learning a lot about how to work more efficiently and fighting off some attacks of laziness.

One of these pictures has three little lights in the background, which are some of those trash bag hot air balloons we used to make in the Cul-de-sac on Halloween. There were a bunch in San Lucas on Saturday! Elder Crabb and I are enjoying some bolis in another.