Monday, April 22, 2013

So Mexico is pretty great so far! i´ve been here for a week and i think i´ve walked more miles in just a week than i have in the past year. Haha things are going really good though and i still cant believe im on a mission. Ill just start from the first of the week and tell some experiences. I got here monday and stayed at the mission offices till tuesday afternoon. We just had president interviews there and studied and just kind of chilled till we got our new companions-trainers. My trainer is Elder Boden and hes from Canada. Haha not really a native but he actually does have really good spanish. He´s been here for 17 months and he´s a hard worker so im glad i dont have to be the one to drag him around all the time. He´s a great first companion, kind of a goof but we get along pretty well!   In the MTC i thought i learned a lot of spanish...and i did, but once i got out here its a whole different story. haha they all have really strong accents and its hard to hear them most of the time. Elder Boden is very patient with me with learning spanish and i learn more and more everyday. All the experiences i have had so far have been so great, but i just wish i could speak to them, it would make it so much better! Members and investigators usually only ask me what my name is and where im from cause they know i dont know too much spanish haha. It definitely stresses me out but it´ll get better over time, im praying constantly for the gift of tongues as i study the scriptures and language. Each day we walk about 5-6 miles around our area which is called Santo Domingo. You know how my mission is splitting in july? I would either go to Reynosa which is closer to the Gulf, or stay in Monterrey. Santo Domingo is in Monterrey so this is my permanant mission for 22 months :) its a lot safer here in monterrey so mom i hope that brings some comfort to your heart hahaha. Last tuesday when i got to the area with Elder Boden, we got to work right away. We´ve been teaching people every day so far and its been so fun! Like i said i cant say much yet, but i usually just bare my testimony about the topic we are speaking on. And i always get asked to pray also so i pray a lot during lessons which is fun to practice my spanish in front of people. Nobody really speaks english here so its just straight spanish during the lessons. Before my mission i always thought we just taught investigators...but more than half of the people we teach are less actives who have been baptized but just dont go to church. Its kinda weird that so many dont go to church anymore, but me and Elder Boden do all we can to invite them to come back. We actually had a few people come to church yesterday who we invited to come back, it was great to see them there! The natives are actually very VERY nice here, even non members. They´re all very welcoming and polite to hear our messages. Some actually love to hear our messages, but others just listen to be polite. haha. Some cool experiences i´ve had so far are: it took me a few days to contact someone on the street cause i was scared my spanish wasnt good enough. But i just thought if im ever going to get good, i need to start eventually. So we were walking on a street and we saw this lady we were going to pass so we get closer and she had headphones in so it was kinda awkward haha. i reached out my hand and Buenas Tardes! she took her headphones out and shook my hand and i began talking! i hope i didnt say anything wrong!!! haha she accepted to have us come to here house for a lesson another day! she had just got done with work and she was walking home. Elder Boden told me it was very rare for someone listen to us right after work cause they´re usually cranky from a long day. But she was very nice and welcoming. She was about 25 years old and her name was Edith! When we were done, we started walking and i turned to Elder Boden and said, ¨she´s a chosen one¨. haha it was so cool! especially cause it was my first contact ever!! hopefully she ends up getting baptized cause i would love that! We are also teaching this little 8 year old boy named Saul. His parents who arent members abandoned him, so he lives with his aunt and uncle who are members. Saul accepted to baptims on the 10 of may! Hopefully it´ll all work out and he´ll be my first baptism! We´ve taught a ton of less actives this week and they all seem to love the gospel, but they just dont come to church. Elder Bodan and I are going to keep praying for them and we hope to bring the spirit with us into their homes each time we visit them. We eat lunch everyday and a members house and EVERY meal is rice beans tortilla meat and some yummy juice! hahah its actually way good! im gonna get fat!! Church was great yesterday and everyone was really nice! Im already in love with the members here cause they´re so nice! My goal for the next 6 months is to learn the language though! I need to badly and i cant do much without it.....i can still receive DearElders each week here in the mission so thats cool, keep writing! Letters takes away the stress of the language haha. Anyways i love you all and hope you have a good week! Overall things here in mexico are going great and my skin already makes me look mexican. haha its so hot here! and by the way about the people here being so nice, the kids are definitely 10 times cuter than american kids! haha they´re so funny and im in heaven when i get to play with them! Love you!!!
Elder Needham
Oh ps. President Walker emailed all of us and I got some big news!!! On may 20, Elder Holland from the General Authority is coming to Monterrey to speak to all the missionaires!! So cool huh?!?! i cant wait!! Its definitely going to be a powerful experience just because of his inspirational talks!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hey Family,

Because they changed to rule that lets us email friends now i've had like 20 emails to respond to, so this will be short and sweet! Its been a great past week, i cant believe i've been here for over a month already and i only have one more week left!! Time is going so fast and i cant believe it. I 've learned so much while i've been testimony of this gospel has strengthened like X a million! This is the TRUE gospel of Jesus Chirst and i testify that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God who received revelation to restore the Gosepl here on earth once again. I'm greatful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I've always knew about the different doctrine of this gospel, but being on a mission, you just dive further and further in depth. Its miraculous. I'm so excited for all the missionaries preparing to go! You're all going to LOVE it!! On i think it was Thursday, me and all the other missionaries going to the Monterrey East mission(about 20 of them) went of to salt lake to finalize things with our visas at the Mexico consolate. It was the best feeling in a month!! FREEEEEEDOM was amazing. It made me even more excited to get out in the real word and start teaching. We all stopped at this little taco stand and it got me way excited for Mexico cause it was way good and im going to be eating lots of tacos and good food down there. Not that the MTC is bad, but when its time to go...its time to go. Haha a lot of missionaries are getting sick of the food here, but i LOVE it! Mainly because its always prepared for me and ready to go. Hahah i get pretty lazy when it comes to cooking food. But it seriously was the best feeling to take the train up to salt lake and see the real world for about 7 hours that day. It was a great experience having General Conference here this weekend. It was actually way nice watching all of the talks instead of just being at home and sleeping during them. Haha. I learned so many great things from the general authority, apostles, and the prophet. Also at the Sunday night devotional, the singing group The Vocal Point came to the MTC. They're a way good acopella? group from BYU! It was a fun show and they we're amazing. You all know how much i love music hahah, i enjoyed it a lot. I havent received my travel plan yet for next monday so because i cant email the information to you, i get to call you later this week and tell you over the phone. And then ill try and call you at the Airport next monday. Hopefully it all works out and ill be able to leave by next monday haha. Im going to post some pictures of some great times i've had lately. Haha me and my roommates are way fun in the mornings to help us wake up. Its so great!! Love you all and hope you have a good week.

Elder Needham

Monday, April 1, 2013

But anyways the past week has been pretty normal. Just the same routine again so not too much to talk about. It was sweet to be able to see Keilani yesterday on Easter Sunday at the temple with Justin. And then to be able to facetime mom and dad for a minute haha, sshhh dont tell anyone. Probably breaking the rules. But to start off, GUESS WHAT! Me and Elder Doman are Zone Leaders. Its so great and I feel so blessed to be in charge of quite a few missionaries haha. We're going to be the best Zone Leaders that ever lived! Anyways Easter Sunday was a great experience here in the MTC. We had a mission conference in the morning at 10 and EVERYONE was hoping an Apostle was coming to talk to us, but instead it was a man from the presiding bishopric or something like that. His name was Gerald Causse and he was french so there's a few accents in his name, i just cant put them cause the computer. ha but it was a really good talk. And then we had testimony meeting and i bore my testimony in spanglish (spanish and english) cause i really wanted to get a message across to the elderes and hermanas in my zone. A lot of companionships have been struggling cause they cant stand each other. So we keep emphasizing to love one another. I used John 15:12 in my testimony. It was a great experience. We then had the temple walk where i saw Keilani and Justin. As i was walking up to the temple i remember that i told her to come say hi at that time, two seconds later i saw her driving in her car in the parking lot. hahah i received revelation ;) i hurry and ran up to her and slammed on the hood of her car. She freaked out and came and gave me a hug. All the other missionaries around thought i was a bad missionary cause i was hugging a girl...haha Elder Doman was right there and he just kept telling them it was my sister ha. But it was also good to see Justin, he seems like a cool guy and i approve haha. But then later that night we had another devotional and the Young Womens General President spoke and her name was Sherie Dew. She was a great speaker and it was a fun devotional. After that we watched a replay of when David A. Bednar came to the MTC i think in the 2011 christmas devotional and i think he might be my favorite apostle now. haha hes a funny guy. 
But not too much happened this week. 
i've received some great letters and packages from some great people and i appreciate all of them. 
ps Nate my bro, theres a kid named Elder Barlow in my zone. He said he was your neighbor when you live in the basement at cache valley. He's a way cool kid and he says hi. Ha he came up to me yesterday and asked if i knew you. It's way cool connecting with people that i dont even know. 
For some reason when everyone washes their clothes they lose stuff..ive lost like 5 pairs of garments. Ha i was going to ask mom to send me some but i just found out i can order some here in the MTC so ill get 5 my pairs later today. 
Every week i forget to say thing but hopefully i didnt forget this time!!
I love you family and hope you're all doing well! OH! mom wanna send me some like granola bars or proteins bars or something? I get hungry at night...
AND jared nate and morgan...WRITE me you punks!! i havent heard from you yet. 
Last story, we were talking about the Plan of Salvation in class this past week and we had an example in a movie clip of a lady who had to get surgery in her belly for something and she was deformed in that area. She wanted to know if everything was going to be alright. Me and Elder Doman then had to practice being the lady or the missionary. When i was the missionary i started talking to E. Doman who was being the lady, and i started talking about Jared. How he was born without a bone and his leg was amputated. I related to two stories together and told her, like my brother, i know that during and after this life everything will be ok. You have will have a healthy stomach and my brother will have a strong leg and be able to run without pain. After the practice i asked E. Doman how i did. He told me if he was really the lady, he would be crying the whole time. It was a great experience.
Peace till next week.
Elder Needham