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!!

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