Monday, August 13, 2012

Pizza Pringles and Then a Transfer


 Waiting with some Elders in the bus station in Valles

Hey everyone!
Well I have a bunch to write but basically no time at all. I had a great birthday yesterday, I actually got the package on Saturday so I had presents! and my world got blown away when I saw that I had THREE cans of PIZZA PRINGLES!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for the treats, letters, and toy thing. Also thank you very much for the money that was deposited in my account from Grandpa and you guys. It was a little strange having my birthday during the mission, and the package really helped me to feel loved. Alot of the members told me happy birthday during church and that was also nice. I didnt get any cakes because the refigerator of the members who were going to make me a cake broke, but someone we taught gave me a mango! Thank you toeveryone that sent me happy birthday wishes, I feel your love and I am very apreciative of your support!
I got transferred to a new area today!!! They told me last night so I packed up all my stuff today, said goodbye to a few people, and went to the bus station where I took a bus for a couple hours to my new area. I dont remember what my new area is called, but we are in a city that is named Valles. It is known for being the hottest place in the mission, but I hear that we just passed to hottest time of the year and it should be a little cooler from here on out. My companion is named Elder Soto and he told me he has more than a year on the mission.
It is very strange to leave an area that I have been in for 4.5 months and be suddenly thrust into a new area with a new companion. I feel just a little overwhelmed at the moment, but I am grateful for the opportunity to grow. It is also pretty exciting to be in a new area.
It sounds like everything is going well for you guys. Thats crazy that James will be leaving so soon.
I have to go now but I love you all so much and I miss ya´ll like the dickens!
con amor,
Elder Johns

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Buzzcut and a Birthday

We dont have grills here so we use what ever we can find. This is Hermano Cruz cooking us some delicious carne asada.

A member had a white rabbit lying around. It had evil red eyes.

This is our Zone. La Zona Ampliación.

I borrowed the guitar from a kid that lives below us. It felt real good to strum some chords.

¡Buenas Tardes!
Hey! its been (almost) another week! I got a buzz cut on accident on our P-day last week after we wrote emails. It looks even worse in real life than it does in the pictures haha. I mistakenly asked for size 1 on the sides and size 1.5 on the top, and I found out that means that you almost dont have any hair afterwards. I have always wanted to get a buzz cut becasue James would always get buzz cuts but I never had the guts. Now that I know what its like Im never going to do it again. I feel a little cooler though which was nice because this past week was especially hot.
I dont really have anything positive to say about our investigators, we are going to be starting with a clean slate.
We have been working with some menos activos (less-active) this past week. We met once with Hermana Gloriah and she brought her son to church yesterday! Her son went to EFY 2 weeks ago (it was the first time they have had an EFY here in this area and alot of menos activos youth) and he even brought a friend along to EFY. He also brought his friend to church and we met him and have an appointment to teach him in the house of the member. He is really interested in learning because he really enjoyed EFY.
I dont really know what else to say, the last part of this past week was really tough but now Im through it.
Only 6 days until my birthday! I am pretty excited. I am going to be 20! I only have 6 days left of my teenage years, but I already feel like an adult. I told some members and an hermana is going to make me some delicious mole (chicken with a sauce that is soooooo delicous, kinda chocolaty but not very sweet and a little spicy) and some guacamole. And her daughter is going to make me a cake! Yeah they have cakes here, and they are probably better on average here becasue Mexico is crazy about their pan (bread).
On our p-days we usually get about an hour of free time after all is done, and I usually write letters as my way to relax. I just got a new shipment of mail so Im going to be busy. The cambio is almost over, it ends on teh 13th. I have a feeling that I am going to be going to a new area since ive been here for 4.5 months and this is my first area.
I dont have any more time to write but it sounds like you all hada great time in Idaho and Utah. Have you all done any othre trips this summer?
I love yall and I hope yall have a great week!
Elder Johns

Missing the MTC and hamburgers

I also forgot to mention, but Aide went out with us for a day to our appointments. We were pretty suprised that she wanted to go with us especially becasue she is pretty shy, but she told us she wanted to see what we do all day.

I helped to clean the tail end of a micro (bus).
Hey Hey family!
Sorry this ones a few days late, we wanted to go to the temple this week so we changes our preparation day to Wednesday, but then we found out that the Temple is closed until the 13! I guess they announced it during sacrament meeting, but I was busy explaining to Ernesto who the people are that sit up infront of the congregation and my companion didnt hear.
We had interviews with President Jordan on Tuesday last week! It was awesome getting to meet him and talk with him. He really gave me some good advice to help me to rise to the next level and I could really feel the love that he has for each one of us. He is a little more calm than President Call was but he leaves an immpression just as powerful. I really enjoyed it. So far he hasnt made any big changes, just that we are going to start setting goals monthly instead of for the cambio (4 weeks instead of 6 weeks).
Apparently the area Seventies of Mexico have selected our mission, along with some other missions in mexico, to try a different approach to do missionary work. Now, instead of contacting from dawn until dusk, we are supposed to work almost strictly with members and less active/inactive members. We are supposed to teach all the lessons to menos activos and encourage them to become active again, and also to invite others to come listen to us. And with the active members we are supposed to teach them the restoration and get them to invite friends to listen to us either in the house of the member or in the chapel. There are supposedly 500 inactive members in our area so I think we are going to be pretty busy (really there are probably less because people move alot, but we have also found inactive members that have moved here that arent in our records). I am really excited to try out this out.
Last week we watched the Joseph Smith movie with Karina and her family to help them to understand a little more about prophets. Things have been going pretty well with them. They havent been doing super well with reading or going to church, but we had a good talk with them this week when we taught them the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. They all drink alot of coffee, but Karina said that she was going to stop buying it in order to follow the Word of Wisdom. Aide doesnt really want to give up coffee, but she will come around. Unfortunately we have a little problem with the Law of Chastity for Rosa becasue her boyfriend lives with her, but right now he is working for the navy and wont get back until September. She doesnt know what she wants to do yet, but she cant talk to him until September.
Ernesto was our only investigator that came to church this week, but he seemed to enjoy it but it went a little long (1 hour and 45 minutes!) because the Bishop had the youth bear their testimonies becasue they all went to the very first EFY for this area. He only stayed for sacrament meeting before he had to go. He hasnt been there when we have passed by this week so we dont really know whats going on with him.
We started teaching a a bunch of kids last week. it was a referral from a member, and basically the mother wants us to teach her kids about church stuff so that they will have a love of god and be better people. We are also teaching her, but we focus on the kids. It reminds me alot of my old job working with kids at the YMCA pool. They dont pay attention very well so you have to teach differently and its kinda nice to have a change and be forced to teach more simply.
Things have been pretty much the same with my new companion. Its interesting to live with another person from another culture, but it requires a little more patience sometimes. We get along well and I am really happy becasue of that. I cant believe that we have already been together for over a month! July flew by so fast. and now my birthday is less than 2 weeks away!
Thats great that Carlin is heading out soon, he will be there at the MTC at the same time as Tucker! I really miss the MTC. It was really hard for me at first but it gets easier. Would you please send me Tucker´s Mailing address for the MTC? I wanna send him some encouragement and maybe I can give him som good advice that could help him out.
Those hamburgers look absolutely delicious. I havent had a good hamburger in forever. I hope Colin is having a good time at EFY right now and is learning how to chat it up with the ladies.
I cant really think of anything else to say, so I love you all and I hope you enjoy the best month of the year! (its the best because it has my birthday)
con amor,
Elder Johns