Monday, November 28, 2011


As I missionary, I've become really observant of specific things about people we teach or contact. For example, the various religious artifacts they might have and how that will influence what I should say. I think most missionaries tend to develop this trait, but Elder Mercado is particularly good at it. We were about to knock at the gate of a house, and Elder Mercado said, "Look: well-swept porch, rocking chair in the shade... This is the house of a a man who reads the Bible regularly." Turns out he was, extremely right. This guy's bible was quite literally in pieces and continuing to fall apart from being studied so often.

I did divisions with Elder Rendon during the week, who lives in the same house as us. However, Elder Rendon had a throat infection and could hardly speak at all, so I talked all day. At one point, we saw a woman working in her front yard and I offered to help her. When she declined I looked over and Elder Rendon was already on his knees tearing out weeds, so we just taught her a lesson while weeding her patio.

We've started teaching Angelica this week. Most of the members of her family were baptized a few months back. She's really cool, and she came to church on Sunday, and even invited her cousin. She has a lot of sincere desire to know if our message is true, and to understand why her family has become happier, but feels like she's not recieving an answer to prayers so far. We're working with her and she's progressing well.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Street Contacting

This week was kind of the opposite of last week, up until the last few days. But sometimes shlumpy weeks happen. That's okay. We taught a lot, but I really don't recall many lessons that had quantifiable results or have led to much progress in those we're teaching.

As a mission, we've had a new goal this last week to do 10 street contacts daily. Maybe that seems like a laughably small number to other missions - Elder Tingey, London - but it was kind of punch for some of us in Sinaloa. Honestly, I struggled. And kind of failed. I was just super unaccustomed to street contacting. So we had twenty-three the whole week up until last night, when we just girded up our loins and started to contact everyone. And now, I love it! We went and played soccer with the zone this morning, and I contacted multiple people on every bus we took. Some people are weirded out, but oh well. Now they know who I am and why I'm here. I think the Lord saw us lacking courage to talk with everyone, and so he sent a bunch of people my way to get me in gear. Seriously, people nearly had to convince me to contact them. We were in a bus and a guy who was with his wife and kids started trying to talk to me in English. After some terse gab back and forth, he just kind of paused. "So... do you guys visit peoples houses to preach?" Ah. Yes. That's what we do. We went and taught them a really cool lesson after church, and they already had a Book of Mormon. The lesson went something like this:
"So, Jesus came to the Americas?"

A teenage girl, Jessica, also had to rattle my cage a bit. We were just trying to buy some cheese from a little store, and as we were leaving, she yelled, "Hey! You didn't teach me anything!" So we went back and taught her something, and she came to church. As we were leaving the little store a second time, the store owner yelled, "Hey! What do I have to do to receive the discussions?" So we went back. Turns out, her husband is an inactive return missionary.
Also, I played bass guitar for like five minutes. That was the first time in over a year. That's okay.
So people are just kind of coming out of the woodwork. After having been sent so many people so blatantly, I'm now ready to talk with everyone I see, and fulfill my purpose all the time, always.

The level of coolness of things that make me excited has radically dropped while I've been in Mexico. For example:
"Yes! An English hymnbook! Alright!"
"What?! Air conditioning?"

Also, I've been teaching Elder Mercado English. So far, we've got:
"Much obliged."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Offered a Quesadilla

I feel good. Really good. I love being in a hurry, and that's how it's been for a week straight. We just run everywhere. Elder Johnson did divisions with me and we managed to have a nine-lesson day. We're teaching a guy named Omar. Maybe I mentioned last week that he wandered into the chapel and stayed for all three hours and loved it. We taught him about the restoration of the Gospel, and when we came back for another lesson, the result was really cool. He told us about how a friend of his had invited him out for a drink; Omar told his drinking buddy about us - the missionaries - and they got sodas instead. He also said that he had just stopped swearing completely. We had never even mentioned alcohol or explicit language in the first lesson, he just naturally started making changes because it felt right. Jesica is on track for her baptismal service next week.She was feeling pretty unsure about it before she came to church last week. I love the impact that fast and testimony meeting can have. Jesica said she loved it, and just felt much more secure about everything after going.

Elder Mercado contacted a house, and a young guy came out. We greeted him, and he said, "Ah, you just caught me in the middle of a meal." He looked down at the quesadilla in his hand, and then offered it to us, "Would you like some?" I don't think there are many places in the world where that happens so often.

We taught a family who have a son serving in Puebla, but he is the only member of the church in the household. It was strange because I just felt like I was teaching the family of one of my companions who was also the only member in his family. They're great.

Attached is a photo of Alan Padilla and I. He's heading out to Piura, Peru on Wednesday (heads up Elder Foutz).

Elder Tingey