Monday, June 23, 2008

Elder Carreon With Uncle Matt Latimer at the Seattle Temple

Chased by Dogs

Hello to everyone:
This week was pretty fun! On P Day we had a zone BBQ and we played soccer and ate hamburgers. Wednesday we had some bike problems. Someone messed up one of my pedals and I had to ride it like that a few days until we found some tools to fix it, and Elder Gish got a flat tire and the crank (the thing that attaches the pedal to the bike) fell of as well!
I am amazed at some of the people here. A lot of time we will set up an appointment with someone and when we come back, they are too afraid to face us, so they send their kids to the door to lie to us. We went up to this one guy's house and knocked on the door and this kid opened the door and before we said anything he said "They're not here!" My companion said back "Whose not here?" and the kid gave us this 'you just caught me lying' face and said "uhhhhh I don't know." What's worse is we could totally see them back in the other room!
On Thursday as we were riding past this trailer park these two dogs came out and chased us down the street. We get chased on our bikes a lot, and so we figured we should buy some squirt guns and squirt any dogs that try and chase us!
Friday was our interviews with the president. It was really awesome! I love our mission president, President Miller. He's a really nice guy and always fun to talk to.
Yesterday was Stake Conference, so we drove into Harlingen (about 30 minutes away). Afterwards we brought some investigators over to a members house to watch the "Restoration DVD." The big missionary joke is that when you are teaching about the Resoration of the Gospel, there is always some huge distraction that happens right at the most spiritual part. So we were watching the DVD and right before the best part, the members started making small talk with our investigators and then these screaming kids came crashing through the front door. Needless to say it was a disaster! One time these two elders (Elder Mynes and Elder Ortiz) were saying how they were teaching someone and they were about to teach that part and a really loud plane flew over the house, so they tried again, and this huge pack of Harleys drove by outside! My companion and I have noticed that our life is a lot like a sitcom, so we think that were are going to write a sitcom about two missionaries that always have mis-adventures.
Mom, I hope you enjoy your trip to Africa tell Nana and Ron that I say hi, and tell me what it's like!
Thanks for your letters everyone, write me some more.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Happy Family

Hello everyone, this week was really good! On Tuesday we contacted these two ladies sitting on their porch and they invited us to sit with them and teach them. One of the ladies was really nice, but the other one was drinking and smoking and was kind of drunk. I guess she had drunk a lot right before we got there, because as we were going through the lesson she was getting drunker and drunker, and then my companion said something like, "...and so eventually the people rejected the apostles and killed them too" and then she was like "how beautiful." and my companion said, "I said they KILLED them."
Thursday was awesome. I went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. I had a really humbling experience. We had a dinner appointment with this recent convert family and Elder Driscoll was telling me how the dad had a really bad drinking and smoking problem when they met him and it was causing lots of marital and family problems and he had tired to quit several times but couldn't. When the Elders taught him the gospel, he quit his smoking and drinking cold turkey. They are an amazing family. They are super super poor. They have trouble getting together enough money to put a gallon of gas in the car so they can go to church, and when we were over there, they rolled out the red carpet and made sure that we were well fed. They were one of the happiest families that I had ever seen, and yet they had next to nothing. It's amazing the blessings that the Restored Gospel brings into peoples lives. Friday night was the Spanish Ward's Father's Day party. It was awesome. The Spanish people really know how to throw a good party.

P.S. Write Soon

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Worn Out in Texas

Random Rooster Outside Laredo Apartment

Brownsville - The Southern-Most Point in the U.S.

Hello to everyone
Nothing too crazy to report here, same old same old. We had a pretty normal week. Elder Gish is from St. George, Utah, and he and I have a lot in common. He really likes to play the guitar and do music stuff, so we talk about that kind of stuff a lot. I have some pictures and video of the some stuff around here that I'll try and send to you soon. Brownsville is way different than Laredo, in our area the houses are pretty nice, and it's super super humid here. Supposedly Brownsville is the southern-most point in the continental U.S. We have this one lady that we are teaching that has taken lessons from missionaries before in the '80s, the '90s, and now, so we always joke that maybe this will be the decade! Things are going pretty great down here and I'm really excited to be here in Brownsville!
This past week was crazy. On Tuesday, we went up to talk to this one guy outside his house, and the conversation was all normal for like 5 min, and then he started telling us how he talks to god in his dreams and the reason it snowed in Brownsville a few years ago was because the moon didn't make it all the way to Chicago and other random junk. It was pretty funny because the conversation was totally normal and then he just randomly started talking about that like it was also totally normal. Then on Wednesday I was on splits with another Elder, and as we were riding our bikes I heard him yell up to me to stop, so I stopped and looked back just in time to see his bike pedal fall off. We had to call a member to come give us a ride, and we were able to fix it. Thursday we had Zone Conference for most of the day, and afterwards we went to eat at a members house. I guess I look pretty Mexican, because when my companion (who is white but speaks really good Spanish) doesn't understand a question or something, people will always look towards me and be like "he doesn't understand me" or something, and then repeat the question as if I'm a native speaker. Or, we'll be talking to someone and he'll be speaking, and they'll look at me and respond. I guess they just assume he doesn't speak Spanish at all and that I'm perfectly fluent or something! Then on Friday we went up to talk to this guy who was raking his lawn, and we asked him if we could help out and right as he said he was fine, his rake fell apart in his hand. We had to try really hard not to laugh. As you may know, we're in a pretty "tropical" area of the USA because we're right by the Gulf of Mexico and it's super humid all the time. Hurricane season just started and it's starting to rain pretty frequently. It will rain super hard for like 30 min and then the sun will come out for 2 hours and it will rain again. On Saturday we were caught out in this big rain storm and we got soaked, but then the sun came out and we dried off super quickly. Sunday was way good, our District had 4 baptisms. Each of the 2 other companionships had 2! Write soon everyone.