Alright Family, this is it. I'm going to make this super short, we'll
talk Thursday. But I guess in a few words, it's been a
super...educational past two years. It's been awesome. So glad I came
out here. I'm pumped for what's around the corner. Now I can say I really
do know that Christ lives and this is his Church. That's my peace.
Thanks for being so awesome all of you during these two years, I'm so
excited to see everyone again. So much goofing and gaffing to be
done...so much. Love you guys!
Family! Can you believe how fast time is going right now? It's like
Tuesday-Saturday is just like one giant day, Sunday is it's own day, and
then it's Monday again. I guess that's why time has gone by so fast..the
week is basically three days for me at this point. Either way, home is
starting to feel weirdly close. Not exactly sure how to explain it, but
the idea of being home totally blows my mind. That's why I try not to
think about it too much, makes teaching my Mexican buddies sort of
harder. But speaking of Mexican buddies...happy to say that I (probably) officially had my very last baptism as a missionary! Jose Maria Gonzales
Espinoza. Teaching this guy was such an awesome experience. One of
those guys that was just willing to do whatever to get baptized, and
totally got everything we taught him. Needless to say, totally blessing
for us. Especially for me, I was wondering if I'd be able to manage
another baptism, and then Heavenly Father just sends this totally
prepared guy for me and my companion to teach. You never get tired of
that kinda thing as a missionary.
But yep, it's true, it's officially my last full week as a
Missionary. Basically my last week actually, because for the few days
that I'm kicking around here next week not too much will be going on.
Plus out week is already planned out a ton..we've got another Conference
type of thing this Wednesday (some big changes are going down in
Mexico), doing divisions with an American buddy on Thursday, and Friday
we have the Zone-Leader meeting all day. Gonna fly by for sure. I guess
my goals at this point is to just leave the area better than how I found
it. Gotta find some cool investigators and things like that, just so I
can leave a happy man. Kinda like the guy on Braveheart when he
dies..."I'm a happy man..." that's the kinda feel I'm going for.
So I guess I'm finally starting to run out of things
to say. It's going to be a lot better to just explain in person. I'm
super excited to see everybody, but I can't tell if I'll feel right back
to normal when I see everybody or if it will be totally weird. Probably a
little bit of both. Either way, Marvelous, fight to tivo as many Laker
games as possible, each one will be as if it were live to me. And man
will that be awesome. It's going to be Halloween pretty soon, isn't it?
So much magic there, so much Almond Joy. True niece and nephew madness
at Abby's place. I actually saw a few pictures, what is Miles dressed up
as? Farmer? Best costume ever. Jacob is looking truly buff. Somebody
should share some candy for me, it's been a while since I've gotten some
good sours. But something amazing did happen this week. There's a
family out here that goes out to Utah once a year to visit family, well
they just got back last week, and brought me a gigantic bag of pretzels.
It's true! I've been eaten them non-stop. So much pretz. Life is good.
Church is true, I'm sure if I were a missionary for an untrue Church,
people wouldn't be giving me giant bags of pretzels. Coincidence? I
think not. Have a week great Family, start the count down, I'll be home
in 10 days.
Family! Yep, it's Monday again, time is flying. So is it weird, or not
that weird to think that I'll be totally home in a little over two
weeks? To tell you the truth it really hasn't hit me still, still seems
pretty far away actually. I'm sure it will totally go by fast, but for
the mean time I have a million things to do out here before I can throw
in the towel...kinda stressful actually, but it's a good kind of
stressful. Speaking of good-stress, I really have no idea what I'm going
to do after the Mish! I'm not woried about it, because I gotta trust
that the Lord will make things happen for me, but at the same time I
think I've got some stuff to figure out. Guess who has two thumbs and
got rejected by BYU...this guy! Alright, so I kinda saw that coming, but
I had my fingers crossed. Well whatever, I can just go back to the ol'
BYU Hans Center, pick up the grades, and give er' another go when Fall
rolls around. I feel like I've got a way better feel for whats really
important in life, and I'm pumped to work for it. Still have no idea
what I want to do though...I guess I'm going to study business because
everybody tells me I'd be good at it. I can be the new man in Watts-land
now that Randy is CEO of some huge company. Work my way up the ranks,
and I'll be GM of the Lakers in no time. I'm looking foward to it. But
I'm not trying to go overboard on all that stuff, I'm incredibly pumped
to just goof and gaff back at home. Things will work themselves out. Get
my temp-agency on. Ratch it on up.
So like I said, another totally fast week. Things in the
area are totally picking up, there should be a solid number of baptisms
coming up. Probably won't be here to see them, but that doesn't really
matter. It's pretty cool to see the Ward coming together and getting
more involved in Missionary Work, they were total grumpsters when it
came to working with us when I first got here. Now we've got
appointments like every hour with a different member coming with us, the
magic is coming together. Oh and the kid we baptized last week blessed
the sacrament last Sunday, always cool to see that kinda thing. It's
still incredibly hot out here, totally thought it would calm down come
October, but oh boy was I wrong. Feels like July in Torreon still...I
guess Torreon is just making sure that I won't forget it anytime soon.
I'm starting to realize there are a lot of things I'm going to miss
about this place, it's totally ugly, but still love it for some reason.
Two and half weeks left to enjoy it, gotta live it. Oh yeah, we actually
have a baptism lined up for this Friday, my good buddy Jose. Couldn't
ask for an easier baptism, just showed up one day at Church and
basically said this: "I'm from Chihuahua, but I'm going to live in
Torreon now, I was going to get baptized over there, but I thought it
would be better to get baptized here...can I get baptized now?" Music to
a Missionaries' ears. Besides him, we got another lady who is
progressing great, just might be able to fit two baptisms to finish it
out, like Aaron Mckie in the 4th quarter.
Whats going on at home? Mom and Dad finally got
home, right? That's awesome, it's going to be so incredibly awesome to
have all the family back at home again. Lots of magic around the corner.
Well sir, Church is true as always, and it's really the only peace that
we can find out here. so glad I was able to figure all this stuff out
in my Mission. Keep it real, family.
Family! Geeze, another totally fast week in the very last change of the
Mish Dish. Time is finally starting to catch up with me, it's kind of a
weird feeling when you realize that suddenly you'll stop being a
Missionary in three weeks. You know, compared to like 70 weeks, which
really doesn't seem that long ago. I guess for a long time I've had the
mindset of..."I'll figure it all out after my Mission," and now that I'm
almost there, I still have no idea what I'm going to with my life! But
I'm not stressed about it, I know things will work themselves out. If
all else fails I can just bring back DPD. Or Mom can sign me up for the
Lakers. That'd be awesome.
So happy to say that we finally had a baptism in the
Jacarandas Ward! It's been forever since we've had a baptism, in fact
ever since we stopped knocking doors, the baptisms just sort of stopped
in this ward. The members are still figuring out their roll in all this,
they're sort of taking forever to figure it out, but it's alright. So
yep, Luis got baptized, and it was great. He got involved from the
Church because his girlfriend is a member, and dude's been on fire since
the first time he came. I think he's got definite Missionary potential.
So now that I'm in my very last area, and I officially say that
someone's gotten baptized in every single area I've been in. I don't
plan on saying that very much because it's lame to do that, but it's a
good feeling. I don't think I'll be leaving the Mission with very many
regrets. It's been awesome. So for now we don't have tons of people to
teach, but as always, we have a million less-active people to work with, that's always fun. President put the goal to double the attendance in
each ward by December, I won't be here to see it happen, but I can
definitely put my part in all that. Other than that, life has been good,
nothing to crazy going on. Rained totally hard last night, (which makes
no sense because it was super hot that day). We just got back from
playing soccer in Torreon's official park: The Bosque. It was totally
muddy and still sort of raining, but it was tons of fun. I'm even worse
playing in the mud, but it was still good times.
So I guess that's my life right now. We had a pretty
stressful week with lots of divisions, and conferences n' things we had
to do, but the time does go by faster with all the responsibilities. But
anyways, whats going on at home? Are Mom and Dad back from the longest
road trip ever? Every time I check my email they're somewhere different.
I loved the picture with the monster putting his head inside the Lexus.
I'm so glad Mom and Dad were able to do their Mission, I'm sure they
loved it, now we can all be back together again for the Holidays...true
magic there. So as always, the Church is true, and Christ really is the
source of real peace in this life. And it's his Church, so obviously
doing the things his Church tells us to do, makes us happier/feel peace.
Transitive Property. I'm totally ready for school. Love you guys.
Hey-O! Another week down the ol' home stretch. Don't get the wrong idea
and think this is all I've got my mind, but...it's officially one month
exactly that I will be biting into that double-double at In-N-Out and
watching Kevin eat Chicken Crispers in Chili's. I guess it still feels
like a ways to go. entire months don't always go by super fast, but I'm
sure with all the work we have going on, I'll for sure be busy at least.
Presidente has some serious wisdom keeping me as a leader until the
end, I'd probably be sort of completely distracted if it wasn't for all
the work we have to do. I'm super grateful for that, and we're seeing
results for all the hard work we're putting out there. In fact, we were
in Little Caeser's (yep, they have them out here too), and some member
came out of nowhere and bought us tons of food! If that isn't a tender
mercy from the Lord for working hard, I don't know what is.
This week went by super fast, probably had something to
do with the fact that we had tons of meeting n' stuff. This is what went
down: Meeting with Stake President, Meeting of all the Zone-Leaders in
the Mission (once every month), and General Conference. Man do meetings
take a long time, I guess I prefer being out doing things, but I guess
you gotta have the meetings to make things happen. But my favorite by
far was the General Conference, some true magic there. Gotta love my
main man Uchtdorf's talks, always leaves me feeling positive and pumped
up for the future, and pumped to work well to make it happen. But how
nuts that they changed the Mission ages up, right? If I would have left
at 18, I would have been home for like a year by now! But I think I'm
grateful I left when I did, if I wasn't all that prepared at 19 years,
even worse at 18. I'm sure tons more young woman will take off, and 19
years olds well pretty much not exist in BYU. Pretty big impact in the
Mormon World for sure. But besides that I was pretty bummed when the
conference was over, I for sure took for granted the opportunity to
listen to the Prophet and Apostles. I mean Dad has to pretty much drag
me to get to Priesthood Session...thanks so much Dad for being such an
awesome influence always. You the man. As far as the work is concerned,
we definitely should baptize somebody this Saturday, (who should
actually come to his baptism, and you know, not leave us hanging with
the baptismal font filled and everything.) His name is Luis, cross
your fingers it happens, and some prayers would be nice too.
So how is life back at home? Where am I going to
sleep when I come home? I can already imagine it, I put all my stuff on
the downstairs bed, and Dad tells me, "nope, Uncle Clay is coming to
visit," and I'll have a sleeping bag waiting for me in the shed in
kennel. Can't wait. Well hope everything is going great back at home, I
gotta admit, I really am excited to see and everyone and be with
everyone again. Gonna be awesome. So yeah, the Church is for sure true,
pretty sure it was obvious last weekend. I love all of you guys. Keep on
Hey Family! Are you guys starting to count down the e-mails? I'm
sure everyone stopped reading these things (besides Mom and Dad) about a
year ago, but can you guys believe that I'll only be sending...5 more
of these bad boys? Hard to believe I know, so you guys better get the
most out of each one. I'll try to make them as interesting as possible,
some crazy stuff goes down in this place, this Country is sort of nuts.
But I've somehow grown to love it (but that doesn't mean I'm not pumped
to be back in The Land of Gracious Living).
So this was the first official week of my last change with my new
companion, Elder Montiel. It was really good actually, I think. But
first I'll tell you guys about the new companion. People say he looks
like he's 15 years old, (he's 19) but he's a solid dude. It's funny to
think that when I came out here I was just 19 years old, and now that
I'm 21, I feel like 19 is totally young. Slowing becomming old man, how
awesome. But yeah, he'll be a good last companion, we're working really
well and I'm expecting some good things over the next 5 weeks. This week
I saw the biggest dog I have probably seen in my life, literally like
Sandlot Dog big. It's always fun working in the poorer parts of our
area, you never know what giant animal will be around the corner...giant
dog, giant donkey, giant horse, giant pig, giant horse, giant
goat...freaks me out everytime. But I guess Via Madera still has it
beat, I have yet to see a giant Emu out of nowhere. But like I was
saying, we've got some cool people we're teaching. One of them is the
Camacho Family, they've been in-active for like the past 15 years! The
son, Carlos Comacho has a sort of near-death experience that made him
realize that he isn't ready to take off, so he's having this whole 100%
turn around and taking his family with him. We had him, and his Mom in
church last Sunday for the first time in forever. Total miracle. We even
had a few other people who haven't been in years that came to Church
finally! They're not baptisms, but it's really the same thing when you
think about it, just inviting people to come to Christ. And that's what
it's all about, Hans.
Today we hit up the other mall here in Torreon (there's just two),
it's called Gallerias. I'm sure the Brea Mall makes this mall look like
Chuck E. Cheese, but I still feel way out of place in places like that. I
guess I've gotten pretty used to the more humble sort of style and
being in places like that is always a weird feeling. But we did manage
to take a picture with a statue of Michael Jordan, so no complaints. But
anyways, life is good out here in the middle of Mexico. I've been
studying Doctrine and Convenants a lot lately, and it's been pretty
rockin'. The book is full of promises for Missionaries, I probably
should have studied D&C a long time ago, but I guess I never got a
good feel for it. But now that I am reading it, it's awesome. Really
just reinfoces the truthfulness of everything pertaining to the Gospel.
So glad I have this knowledge in my life, people really are so lost
How is life back at home? Are Mom and Dad with their missions yet?
Who knows. But either way, there are for sure good times to be
had around the corner at Abby's place. I'm excited about it for sure,
but gotta finish up strong out here without any regrets. So I guess
that's what I'm trying to do now. It's not a really big deal to me at
this point to have baptisms and all that, I just want to do what the
Lord expects of me, and if I can do that, I'm cool about it. Hope
everything is awesome back at home as it always is. I love you guys,
Church is true, and that's what it's all about...eat my dust!