Monday, June 24, 2013

Dear Family,

Monday: last p-day. We had a fun day playin bball and we all played capture the flag in the church parking lot and threw waterballoons at each other. Haha theres this new elder from Argentina and he was getting so mad at me cause he couldnt catch me. Haha this whole week he kept saying that we´re going to race the next p-day. Haha so if i end up racing him then it´ll be like Mission Olympics. Dont worry ill run fast for my USA people :)

Tuesday: so remember the Family ***? who we met in a store by pure guidance of the Holy Ghost? yeah well we´re still teaching them and its still very difficult. They´re having a hard time believing the book of mormon is true and they only need the Bible. So on this day we taught the whole plan of salvation from the bible to help them understand that we actually do use the Bible in our church too. It was a good lesson but its really just hard to get them to do anything. They never do there homework which is really frustrating. The mom is who we are focusing most on right now. We left her to read 2 nephi 31 and we are going to go back tuesday night. When investigators continuely dont do there homework, you have to end up leaving them for some time. Which is kind of sad. But we decided that if the mom doesnt read it by tomorrow...we have to drop them. I really hope she reads though cause i love this family.

Wednesday: Today we had a zone conference that was kind of different cause our mission president leaves this next week. So instead of just having a ton of different zone conferences to say goodbye we just had like another mission conference with the new monterrey east mission. Because the split of the missions is pretty much official so all those missionaries in Reynosa are all in a new mission now. If all that makes sense? hahaha. But so yeah we had a conference and guess what? i was asked to give the opening prayer! The day before Elder Larson(my homie who is now the assistant) called me and told me president wants me to give the opening prayer for the conference. Haha i felt way honored to do it in front of the whole mission. I KNOW its only a pray! But hey, its in spanish, in front of 100 missionaries, AND the president picked me for it. So solid. I was shaking the whole time. haha. But it was also a sad day cause we had to say bye to the President and his wife. And they´re seriously the best people ever. I´ve become really close with president walker already and its sad to see him leaving. Ill post a picture of me and them! Our new president, President Larry Bird(yeah that famous basketball player from the Celtics) will be here on thursday. Ill have to work hard to build a good relationship with him now!

Thursday: today we visited a contact and her name is ***. We had a young men with us again. We taught *** the first lesson and she accepted to be baptized! We are way excited! The date is for July 12. She is about 22 years old? has a little girl and is  pregnant with a little boy right now. Things are a lot different here cause we´re always just teaching pregnant girls but its all the same work and its so fun! She´s a very fun out-going girl. and it was a great experience for one of the young men to be there.

Friday: So we have this little ice cream shop right by our house and last week we went and bought a cone. This lady named *** works there and we ended up contacting her! she is way nice and she invited us to come to her house. So today we went by and had to teach her outside cause she didnt want us to come inside cause her family was inside. ha it was kinda weird. But we taught her the first lesson and talked about the book of mormon. She is very smart and is VERY interested in the gospel. She accepted to be baptized on the 7 of July! And she seems really excited about it. Shes about 21 years old and just seems like she´d be a perfect member! We´ll have to go buy some ice cream more often!

Saturday: so we are continuing to teach *** and her family, the ones who sell fruit on the street, and they seem interested also. We talked about the book of mormon and the purpose of it. We mostly talk to her cause the husband is usually helping costumers. But she said that the things we tell her are pretty similar to the catholic church, but her questions that she has…we can answer them and the catholic church cant. So she is wondering that maybe our church could be the true church! Shes gaining a testimony!! Woo!

So it was a pretty exciting week!! A lot of work but lots of success. We just hope to finally get a baptism soon! But just a little something that everyone here says in mexico when we teach them which is super annoying. haha they always say, ´so why are you called mormons?´or why mormon? we tell them that we are actually latter-day saints but people call us mormon from the book of mormon. So people think that when they here the work ´mormon´they think like uh oh...MORMON. like its bad or somethin? haha its so dumb. i just want to be like Why catholic? whats the significance of the word catholic??¡¡ haha we asked some members what catholic meant and they were like uhhh i dont know...haha at least we know where the word mormon comes from! People just have crazy beliefs. But i guess thats why we are here, TO INVITE THE WORLD TO COME UNTO CHRIST!! Heck yeah!
Plus i dont know if any of you went to that conference on sunday about missionary work? haha we were all nervous for it cause there was a rumor going around that they were going to shorten the length of the mission cause they´re so many missionaries. But it didnt happen. haha it just talked about how members should help out the missionaries a lot more. Its very true though. If you all know the missionaries in the ward, try and help give them some references. Its like christmas when the members give us references. Its very helpful! If you have any like co-workers or neighbors, get the missionaries over there! But anyways, those are my words of advice!
Oh and i heard the Heat won again!!! haha so sick!! i walked into a gas station to see the newspaper to see who won, my companion got mad cause he doesnt like sports. haha
love you all and have a good week!

Elder Needham

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hola Fam,

Tuesday: we went and visited *** and her husband, the people that just randomly came to church last week, around 730 at night on tuesday. We went with the first couselor and his wife and it was a great lesson. We made sure the husband, ***, was there during the lesson also cause he´s who we need to focus on the most. Its so most easier having members at lessons cause a lot of members here are converts, and they can tell about their personal conversion experience. We talked about Eternal Families cause they have two little kids. The lesson went well! *** had a ton of questions cause he has a lot of doubts. But by the end of the lesson he seemed to have a better understanding of the gospel. We even got him to say the closing prayer, which was way cool cause we´ve never got him to pray before. During the lesson *** and the grandma were like telling *** that they need to be baptized so they can have an eternal family. haha so *** is like trying to do anything she can to be baptized, but her husband *** has doubts. We´ll keep working on them though!!

Wednesday: we received a reference from Sister Licona in the ward so we went and visited her friend ***on wednesday. The sister came along with us. It was a very strange lesson. haha the lady has had some really bad drinking problems in her life, and you can tell cause she has drinken so much its just kind of permantely affected her cause she just kinda has that wobbely-ness about her. But it was really weird cause we were going to say an opening prayer and we described what our prayer consists of, so we´re like ready to say the pray and we start. And i see her like put her head down and like half way through the prayer we can just hear her chomping on some chips. hahaha ahh i cant even explain it, but it just killed me. It was funny! The mission sure does consist of a lot of weird things.

Thursday: JARED´S BIRTHDAY!! I celebrated your birthday for you Jared. I even got a campachana and i ate it for you...hoping you could taste it? ahh it was good. But hope you had a good b-day, tell me all about it!

Friday: Elder Jace Wade´s Birthday! I dont know why but i just remember birthdays, haha. But this day i was able to give another blessing to a member for health. It was a good experience and she shared it during church yesterday! And also its cool cause by our house theres this guy and his family that sells some way good fruit. Like mango, watermelon, pineapple, coconut, etc...and for some reason whenever we pass by there around night time, they like to give us free fruit. And we got some this night...its like a HUGE bowl of fruit, its so good! We all decided to give them a book of mormon this time. They say they dont have much time cause their days consist of cleaning on the fruit stuff and preparing it. Which is understandable so we just gave them the book and told them they can read it when they have a little time. Hopefully it will be good!

It was a good week with a lot of referances from the members so we had more to do this past week. We still walked a lot but im just going to need to get use to it, cause its not going to change. haha. But something weird is i was looking at the pictures of my first night here in mexico and i look like a little fruit cake. Haha, i think all this walking is making me look bigger or somethin. its weirden me out!
Also this week, Elder Boden told me that there hasnt been a baptism in this are for about 5-6 months...i was wondering why we´re not having any baptisms yet. Even the members say this area is not very good with conversions. There are a ton of Catholics and Jehovahs witnesses that live here so its very hard to get baptisms. But my goal is to get a baptism in every single area i serve in so im going to break that streak! haha.
Anyways i love you family and hope you´re doing good! Take care!

Les Amo
Paz Fuera

Elder Needham

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hola familia,

I hope you¨re all doing well and succeeding in whatever you¨re doing! But anyways heres my week.

Monday: so we got a lot of new people in the zone this week and on monday afternoons the whole zone goes to the church and plays some kind of game and then we have district meetings around 630. I was nervous to meet the  new zone cause all the people i balled with left...but when they all showed up i actually got along with all the new missionaries. They¨re way cool! We played a little bball but its just wasnt the same, but it was actually still way fun cause the mexicans have no idea how to play so they just run around and push, haha its great. And then we play some kick ball in the gym with a volleyball and like destroyed the ceiling cause we kept hitten i cool my jets when i play games sometimes, haha sometimes i play too hard. We got a new zone leader that replaced Elder Larson. His name is Elder Mcstraw and hes like an angel straight from heaven. Hes definitely like the definition of a perfect missonary. Its going to be a lot different now but itll be good. During the distirict meeting i suggested a goal to the district for us combined to have 220 contacts on the street. They all agreed which was way cool. Now that im in my second transfer here in Mexico, i feel like im not such a newbie anymore. I actually feel like a legit missionary, its cool.

Tuesday: today the familia *** fed us lunch. Which is really strange cause they are investigators and they told us they wanted to feed us. haha we´re starting to think they´re definitely just using us for our presance in their house.

Wednesday: last week we visted this man named ***, hes 60 years old and rides a motorcycle...such a baller. today when we were walking around, he past us on his bike and he had his little blue helmet on and another old friend was sitting on the back of his bike. I busted up laughing cause people here just make me laugh sometimes. we went and visited him at his house later that day and when we got there he was sitten out front on a lawn chair just drinkin a big old thing of beer. He was totally wasted so we scheduled an appointment for next week. But its just funny cause hes an old dude but just reminds me of a little kid. And he has no idea whats going on when hes drunk haha. BUT he is interested in the church from our lesson last week. He was a reference from a member so were going to try and get that member to attend the lessons with him. He just has a pretty bad drinking problem, we´ll work on him though!

Friday: today we had inter exchanges with the zone leaders, so i was with Elder Mcstraw and dang he is a dang good missionary. He knows what hes doing. He spoke to me in Spanish the WHOLE day to help me out and i actually liked it. I could understand most of what he was saying which was way comforting. He does things exactly the way President wants thing to be done so it was cool to learn from him. At the beginning of the day i just told him to do his thing and im gonna learn to things the right way. Haha not saying my companion does things the wrong way, but elder mcstraw just knows and doesnt hesitate to do things. It was way cool to learn from him, he stayed the night at house and then left sat. morning back to his area. Oh it was also cool cause he came to my area so i had to kind of lead things that day which is way weird cause i cant believe i´ve almost been in mexico for 2 months now. We also had some young men come walk around with us today which was a cool experience for them, ill attach some photos of them.

Saturday: today we also had two more young men come walk around with us in the blazing hot sun. I got a sexy tan line, i wish you guys could see it :) haha. Oh and also on this day...for some reason every year on june 8 i always remember this its the birthday of Grandma Shumway, Devan Webb, Blaze Nelson, and Madi Bowie. Sooo Feliz CumpleaƱos to you all!!!

Sundayon friday when i was with Elder Mcstraw we visited this lady named *** WE´ve been visiting her ever since i got here in mexico and she wants to be baptized but not just yet. Her husband doesnt really like our church very much and hes always at work so we cant ever teach him. But when we were at church today, we were sitting there, *** AND her husband walked in and sat right by us!! it was such a surprise. Cause on Friday we didnt even really invite them to church, we forgot to. But they showed up for their first time in a couple months! It was way cool to see them there, especially the husband. They stayed for two hours and the husband was like answering a ton of questions in the principles class. haha maybe hes interested now? so cool!
During the night we had a nice storm which was way cool! There was a TON of lightning and stuff. so we went on the room and just chilled and drank a coke! it felt so good. But we didnt want to die and we kept feeling like the spirit was telling us to get down so we dont get electricuted. haha.

Monday-today: Every monday morning we have a neighbor who does our laundrey for us and feeds us breakfast. Its so freakin good. This morning we had tacos with this freakin good meat. Ahh food here is SO good. You´re all missin out. And also today for p-day, we are going to this huge park thingy with the district. Everyone says its pretty cool so ill send some pictures next week or somethin! Its gonna be fun!

But anways, its seriously so hot here though, sometimes i just want to die. And in a couple weeks, there is this thing called the Celiqula. Which is when it gets SUPER hot here for like 3 months straight, with no breezy days or nothing. And im NOT excited haha cause i just sweat salt everyday. But its nice cause a lot of people sell little things in their houses and a lot of people sell this thing called bollos. Its a flavor like chocolate, banana, pineapple, strawberry or just other ones mixed with milk and its frozen. So those are way good to have during the hot days. And also theres like mini stores at every corner, haha its ridiculous. But its very helpful, i just got buy a water when ever im about to die. haha. And something that i cant stand is that when like someones dog or cat dies, they just throw it in a bag and throw it on the side of the road. And it FREAKIN STINKS!! I smell it everything cause they´re dead animals all the time. The smell is like...i dont know, just dead smell. I just hold my breathe though haha.
But the language is coming along great now, its very helpful to speak during the lessons and on the street. Especially after being with elder mcstraw for a day, i gained a lot of confidence with speaking and stuff. THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS REAL!! so crazy!
Its actually saturday night right now and im writing all this and just barely some members, the familia cruz who we are really good friends with, just randomly brought us some dessert. They are so cool! Everytime we visit them they feed us at least something, they´re the best.
Anyways, love you and and PEACE.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Hola familia,

well im actually writing this on sunday cause Elder Boden has this cool little keyboard thing that you can write stuff on and then when i go to the computers on monday i just have to plug this thing in and it just pastes in all on the computer, so thats pretty cool and saves a lot of time. We just got back from church and we have about an hour and a half till lunch, so ill just tell you how the week went!

Monday: it was the last day of the transfer so everyone that was getting transferred somewhere else or was going home i had to say bye to. it sucked. Elder Larson got transferred to the area Libertad, HES GOING TO BE A ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT!! its so sweet! im sad to have him gone but im excited for him, assistant is like the best calling ever haha. Plus this zone had a ton of ballers in it, we played every p'day. But most of the ones that played got transferred or went home so that sucks too. haha but it was definitely cool to meet all the elders and get to play with them for a transfer.

Wednesday: we went and visited this man named ***. Its been hard to get him to come to church but actually the past few weeks he has come which is way cool! He has a few problems with the word of wisdom, his work, and some other things so we{ve been trying to help him. His work doesnt like him to go to church so they keep making him work on sundays even though he asks to change his break day to sundays. it kinda sucks! his boss is a fruit cake. But anyways he{s been able to come the past two weeks! When we went and visited him we walked in the house and we could smell smoke so that was a downer, we ended up talking about it later in the conversation and we offered to give him a blessing. i was able to offer it and it was a very sincere blessing cause this man has so much potential. I blessed him to become ready to enter the temple in a year from now, so lets hope it all works out! that would be so awesome! It was funny though cause during the blessing when i would say something to bless him, he would like speak out loud and say Gracias Gracias haha, and when i would start something out by like saying his name first, he would say,(yes) or (what) hahaha it was great!
When we left *** house we were walking back to the house cause it was almost 9 at night, and we got stopped by the dude that say [hey im from utah![ we started talking to him and he could speak english so it was an easy conversation. He was definitely gay cause he and a gay buddy sitting next to him and he told us that he is mormon and use to live in utah. And then he started bashing on utah cause he thinks that we{re all rich people that give away their stuff to like D.I. or just do service, which he didnt like. haha it was so pathetic. Theres a lot of people like that here in mexico, they only believe what they say and dont care what other people think. When we walked away we said he probably doesnt like the church anymore cause we dont accept gays hahaha, not to be rude but it was just funny. Little fruit cake.

Thursday: we visited the familia*** and taught them the 3rd lesson, faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the holy ghost, and enduring until the end. We really focused on baptism cause we need to get this family baptized. It was a good lesson and at one point we asked them what their feelings were with all this so far. And they said that they love to have the discussions with us and they love to read...but they dont see the need for being baptized or going to church. so what they{re kind of saying is that they{re lazy, which is how a lot of people are here. A lot of families think that as long as the missionaires keep coming to their house to teach them then they are fine. haha crazy huh? But thats definitely not how it works. At that point i felt prompted to share a scripture in John 3-5. ortance of baptism. We are hoping they get baptized in the next few weeks cause they would be a great family for this ward!!

Friday: well...most of the day was a fail, cause NOBODY was home. Those days are the worst cause its super hot outside and its hard not to get frustrated! But around 7 at night we decided to go visit the Familia ***and we hadnt visited them all week cause they{re kind of making us mad haha. They didnt go to church last week and we feel like they just think we are ´friends´ not ´missionaries´ so its kind of annoying. So when we were deciding to go over there we were like eh eh eh...but then we finally decided we{ll go stop by. Usually when we go over there we are like all fun and having a good time with them, but we realized that doesnt work out and they just get distracted. So this time when we went, haha you should{ve seen me, i was like straight face no emotion. Like on the football field, just an angry missionary haha. And we were there to ask them like whats going on_ or just try and help them. I could tell that the parents knew i was different this time because of the way i was acting. haha i was nice and happy, but this family has so much potential i felt like we needed to so them how much I care. For most of the lesson it was just the mom cause she had lots of questions about the book of mormon. She loves the bible and doesnt feel a need for the book of mormon. The dad was drunk by the time we left so we didnt pay to much attention to him haha. So we taught about the book of mormon and showed her the introduction and all that and then showed her a scripture in 2 nephi 29: 7-10 i believe it was. its a powerful scripture and she was a bit shocked when we read it and she marked it cause she wants to read it again later ha, so we{ll see what she says next time. But the mom told us she loves when we testify of the book of mormon so at the end of the lesson she asked me to bear my testimony of it. I was so shocked and i just gave her a blank stare with big eyes like waaahhh? haha people never  ´ask´ us to bare our testimonies..we just usually do it. so i had a few minutes to think of what to say and then i started talking. I happened to have my album of pictures with me coincidentally so i pulled them out and started talking about my family and showed her pictures. Saying that i know that through and only through this gospel can we have true happiness, specifically with out families. And of course i started crying cause im a freaking BABY. ahh im such an idiot. haha But then i told her that when i was younger i always went to church and stuff but i never knew really why i{d go, it was just a part of life in my family. I told her i went because of the example my parents set for me, and that she and her husband need to be examples for their children. That really hit her and it was just what she needed to hear. And the beginning of my testimony i told her first off i want you to know that the things im saying right now, isnt me, its the Holy Ghost. Just so she could understand that and search and find those feelings. The spirit was so strong and think i got a few wrinkles. After my testimony the dad was curious who was in my pictures so i just told him all about it while e. boden was talking to the mom. It was a good lesson! When we left E. Boden told me that the mom told him when I finished bearing my testimony she felt something..she said something she has never felt before, it filled her heart and lungs with a burning feeling that she could barely handle!it was definitely the spirit testifying to her that these things are true. It was pretty awesome. Right when we left i just told elder boden, man im freaking pissed. haha that family has so much potential but just dont understand sometimes. I was heated that lesson, it was cool ha. When we got back to the house for the night, we ordered some campachanas and went on the roof of our house and just chilled. You guys seriously dont understand how GOOD campachanas are! its ridiculous. And we got a coke so we were just livin the life in mexico. I was singing some like jack johnson, lean on me, isnt she lovely, aint no mountain high enough, a whole new world, hakuna matata and some others. haha i was just screaming it. It was a good time!

Sunday: today we were planning on both full families to come to church, but NONE of them came. Ahh it sucked. We were totally counting on it...but we{ll have to work harder this week to get them to church. Church is the best place anyone can be on sunday. We{ll see what we can do this week!

But anyways, that was my week! I know you all went to the cabin this past weekend..i hate you! haha on those days i kept remembering and being like family is at like heaven right now and im sweatin from every pore in my body. haha but i hope you all had fun!! Ill go when i get back in a couple years! Hows all the wedding planning_ not to be weird but i wish i could help with all that, sounds fun. The wedding is going to come so fast, i cant believe its already june!! time is flying!! Anyways i hope you{re all good and happy. Love you!

Elder Needham