Monday, January 30, 2012

Week 6 of First Transfer!


I hope things are going well in Arizona and that it isn't too hot for you guys down there! It's been pretty warm the last couple of days which is weird. Everyone tells us that we are having a lucky winter and I believe them! This week has been a little rough, we have zero baptismal dates but are really working hard on some promising people. I have found that the hardest part of missionary work is finding people at home and in a position where they can talk. It's especially hard if they don't speak Spanish or English or when we are on foot. So we are really having to plan our time wisely so we can minimize our travel time.

This week we did walk to church again but it wasn't nearly as cold as last week. We heard that we might get a car full-time in a week or two but who knows? We were on bikes most of the time this week which was rough because I'm not bicycle-compatible. I had my first wreck on a bike which was kinda fun. I was riding on the sidewalk and I saw a patch of ice coming up and thought I would be fine to go over it because I had done it before. What I didn't notice was how big the patch was, it was about a quarter of a block long and there was no way that I was going to last that long. I made it about halfway across the ice until my back tire slid out to the side. I fell down and quickly looked around to see if anyone was laughing at me. Thankfully nobody was around so I got up and kept going.

So how are things back home? How is Stephen doing? Is he in the manual chair yet? Please let me know how he's doing! I have a bunch of people to write back, like Brother West (Go Cowboys!), and I should have time this week and next week to do that. That's great that Sister West is doing well. Wish her the best for me! I usually can only get about 3 letters done each week so I apologize again if it takes a while. But I LOVE the letters so keep them coming!

So how is the ward? Is Bishop Becker still the bishop? Our bishop is about to change sometime soon but we have no idea who the new bishop will be. It's kind of a cool story, the senior missionaries (the Franklin's) are the parents of the bishop in our ward. So like a quarter of the ward is either the Franklin family or missionaries. So I hear some missionaries were caught snoozing in church? Somebody should kick them and tell them to shape up or to go home haha that should get them awake. But I imagine they have multiple sacrament meetings to attend so it must be difficult.

So this is the last week of my first transfer and I can't believe it has gone by so quickly! It feels like I just got off the plane at the airport just yesterday! I think I will stay here in Manchester with Elder Smith for at least another transfer but who knows, weirder things have happened. I'm working on my Spanish but it's hard to find time to study during the day to keep it fresh in my mind. Mom, please please! Send me the Spanish missionary phrase book! It is red with black spiral binding and should be on sale at the byu bookstore. That would be THE GREATEST! It is so helpful but I don't want to hog Elder Smith's so I could really use that.

Well I am running out of time but I want you all to know that I'm doing great and I'm loving it here in Manchester! Mom, don't be afraid to post the tough times because I don't want people to think a mission is easy, it's not. But the tough times are what help us grow and improve so they are necessary!

Remember, missionaries are there to help the ward do the missionary work. It isn't the other way around so do your best to find people for the missionaries to teach! It really helps the area catch on fire when the members are excited about the work. Have a great week and I'll see you on the other side!

Elder Resendez

Monday, January 23, 2012

23 Jan 2012

Hey Everyone!

How are things going down in the warm parts of the earth? I think I have forgotten what it feels like to be warm. Today is a relatively warm day and it is about 34 outside! I'm sorry I didn't write an email last week, the library was closed for MLK day. We also had to help someone move so there wasn't much time to write a hand letter. But don't worry about me, I didn't die or anything!

Mom, I have received EVERYTHING so don't worry about that. It just took a little while to get situated but now everything is perfect. And to everyone else that sent me letters, thank you! I try to write as many letters as I can on P-Day but I can only do so many so if it takes me a while to write back to you I apologize. But please keep them coming, I love it!

The past two weeks have been pretty good. I have started contributing a lot more to our lessons and during the regular daily activities. I'm still new so I don't do everything but I need to work like I've been a missionary for a long time.

So some bad news that has come to us, we no longer have a car full-time. Some Sisters in Vermont(?) crashed their car (they're fine, don't worry) so we had to give them ours. So now we are back on a car share! Woohoo! Now we have to find rides all over the place which can be difficult when most members live North of the chapel and we live South. It also doesn't help that we have to be to Church an hour early on Sundays. Yesterday we couldn't find a ride so we decided we would walk. So we walked the two miles to the church! It was pretty crazy and super cold. Everyone at church told us that their thermometers said it was 3 degrees! And that was an hour after we had already started walking. The snow didn't help either but it made for a good story. We didn't tell anyone at church about our pioneer trek because we didn't want them to feel bad so now I'm getting my chance to brag about it.

Something else that was tough this week was losing Ralph. Ralph was doing great, we were teaching him every other day and he loved coming to church and talking about baptism. But two days ago he told us that he and his brother are moving to New York for a little to see if they can find jobs. If they can't, they will come back. But I highly doubt we will still be here when they do. So that got me pretty bummed. We also didn't have anyone at Church on Sunday which hurt. We did have a visitor who performs for Disney on Ice. That was pretty cool and caused a mild amount of excitement in the ward. She plays Jesse from Toy Story but that's all I know.

So that was the bad stuff from our week so now for the good. We had a lesson with this guy named Craig who is about 21 years old and it went really well. We were about to teach him the Restoration when he suddenly received a text from his mother telling him that his sister (who has numerous health problems) was in the hospital again. When he got the text he was super worried about her and couldn't focus on anything. Then the member that was with us asked him if he wanted a blessing of comfort and he said he did. So we abandoned the lesson and I gave him a blessing and it was amazing! The Spirit was super strong and once it was over he was completely speechless. The only thing he could say was how awesome that was and how thankful he was for it. He definitely felt the Spirit and knew it. We will be meeting with him again this week and I'm super excited to see how he has progressed and how his sister is doing.

Well I know you guys asked me a lot of questions in your letters but I can't remember them so maybe in a personal letter I will answer them. Mom, if there are questions that you keep hearing but can't answer just email them to me and I will mass answer them. Also, try putting my memory card into your camera and see if that works (Ty sent a memory card with pictures home but we can't open it!). Or maybe ask someone who is savvy with all of that jazz because I'm not. Especially being a missionary, you lose all knowledge of technology.

I'm doing really well and I'm having a great time! It's hard most of the time but it's definitely possible. All you have to do is rely on the strength of the Lord rather than your own and you will be fine. I hope you all have had a wonderful beginning to the new year and have made some progress on those resolutions! 
Keep me up to date on how things are going in the ward and with whatever else is changing. Also, remember to read your scriptures! An athlete doesn't become stronger by not lifting weights! We have them for a reason so we should use them! Make this week a great one and I hope to hear from you soon!

Elder Resendez

P.S. I had the "official" drink of Maine the other day. It is called Moxie and it's pretty good. I guess it's only sold in this area but if you ever find it, try it and think of me!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Letter to Mom


Even though Manchester is ghetto it isn't that bad. If I go to Lawrence Mass then you can worry :) I know you'll like that, especially when I get transferred there.

Oh guess what? President Eyring's son, Elder Eyring, presided over our Sacrament meeting yesterday. It was pretty cool.

So this week, actually it was last Friday or Saturday...anyway, we had a dinner appointment at a member's house named Anita Nickalaus. Well we got there and all of the food on the table was green. She made me a "greenie" dinner! All of the food was green to honor my inexperience and to welcome me to the mission. It was super cool and really nice and she took a picture of me. It was super awesome and a great idea!

So a little update, we just got back from a lesson with Ralph, our Haitian investigator and it was AWESOME! I committed him to be baptized and he said he will do it! So we are shooting for the 5th of February as his baptismal date. He said that he wants to give up all of the bad things that he does so he can be happy. He also said that he wants to do what we do which was super cool. He said that he loves talking with us because it makes him feel good and it makes him happy. It was so amazing to see how the Spirit works to bring people to Christ.

I love you!

Letter to Family and Friends

Family! And everyone else,

So I know it may be a surprise to be receiving my letter through an actual letter but I have my reasons. We were in the library and I had written almost all of my letter when Elder Smith started reading it. So I played along and hid the message but the computers are old and don't respond well to sudden movements. So all of the sudden the internet goes to the home page and I lose ALL of my email. I was also out of time so I couldn't retype it which is why I'm writing it by hand. Needless to say, I'm pretty ticked. But I just want you all to know that I really do care about you and I promise to write back as soon as I can. Oh and sorry for my handwriting, I'm rushing so it's super messy. (It actually wasn't that bad!)

This past weeks has been really good but also really tough. I went on exchanges with the zone leaders, actually just one. I went up to Concord, NH with Elder Baker for almost two days. We didn't do any teaching or anything because we had to go to a meeting up in Randolf, NH. There was actually snow up there and at one point it was -4 degrees F! It was SO cold! Thankfully I had my big coat and could stay warm.

Down here in Manch it has only been in the 30's and 40's so it's been nice. We haven't had any snow which is good because I don't want to deal with ice and junk. Teaching is tough and Spanish is tougher but it will come as I work hard everyday. Oh and just because my area of Manch is ghetto doesn't mean I dislike it. I love it here, there are so many awesome people! I just want to make that clear because I feel like I just bad-mouthed my area.

I also love President and Sister Wilkey! They are so cool and devoted to missionary work, it's amazing. It really feels like I have two mission presidents because Sister Wilkey is so involved.

So apparently there is a big political thing going on here tomorrow but we will miss it because we have something in Laconia, NH.

Oh and my mail works but packages have to go to the mission office because if they go on my doorstep, they will be stolen. And that would not be good. If any letters were sent back it is because our mailbox didn't have my name on it. But now it does.

So the work here is pretty tough but we should be setting some baptismal dates this week! Basically, our baptism rate is low and our retention rate is about 1 in 5. So only one convert stays faithful for every five that are baptized. That's pretty rough but we will change that! We are working on some really great people. One guy named Heriberto is awesome! I think I already talked about him so I won't say any more other than that he hasn't progressed since we last talked with him which is really disappointing. But one guy from Haiti named Ralph is doing great! He came to church and loved it. He told us that he wants to change his life and be better. It was so awesome and got me really excited. We have an appointment with him tonight and we will be setting a baptismal date (hopefully)! He's 21 and is super chill and awesome. I really want him to be baptized so he can have the blessings that I have.

I'm really looking forward to this week and I know that some good things are going to happen! Thanks to all who have written to me, I really appreciate it! I love letters more than you could ever imagine!

Elder Resendez

Monday, January 2, 2012

First Week of REAL Missionary Work

Hey guys!

I don't have very long to write to you because we are in Staples using the trial computers... shhh! Don't tell anyone! We normally use the library but everything is closed because of the holiday. So next week will be much better.

So it sounds like you already know everything. How did you hear about all of that? But ya Elder Smith is a great guy from Washington (state) and he is my height. We are a big companionship but it's good because our are is GHETTO! Haha I'm kidding but at the same time I'm really not. It's not the worst place in the mission area (in terms of living conditions) that would be Lawrence, Mass. Elder Smith says that Lawrence is the Hood so if I get sent there then I'm legit. But Lawrence has a great ward and too many people here in Manchester go to Lawrence for church which hurts because then we can't build up our ward as much as we could if they came to their home ward. I love the area though, don't get me wrong.

I've met so many incredible people and I've only been here 7 days! A lot of people here are under-priviledged which is unfortunate but it helps them be humble which is nice. Oh and white people are definitely not the majority group here. I have met people from Sudan (they're BIG here, watch for a Sudanese ward!), Togo West Africa, Congo, Albania, Turkey, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and probably more but I can't remember them. It's so crazy! I thought I was going stateside but it doesn't feel like it at all here. Almost everyone we talk to speaks another language besides English and sometimes they don't speak English at all. We give out copies of The Book of Mormon in English, French, Spanish, Greek, and Arabic.

Also, if you didn't already know I have been called to a Spanish speaking area so I am trying to learn Spanish! I can understand almost all of the conversations that Elder Smith has with people but I can't speak hardly anything! It's so tough to have to learn to talk and teach random people things that are so important to you but then to have to do it in Spanish makes it even harder. But in our apartment we only pray in Spanish and I have that down, kind of. My prayer is very elementary because I can only say certain things. But I'm learning slowly but surely.

I don't have time to share any amazing spiritual experiences that I have had, but I have definitely had them so next week I will put them in. One funny thing about Manchester is that at around 8 pm the weird people come out of their houses and walk around. And until yesterday we only walked and rode bikes so we got to meet some interesting people. We met an "alien from another sphere" who was playing space music through his hat, that was pretty cool. We have also met and talked with a drug dealing pimp. He said he would meet with us if we brought a freemason member with us but I don't know if that will happen so we'll see. He was really supportive of us though which was funny. He told us to go change the world but we just want to talk with him.

So my new address is 421 Hanover St. Apt #3 Manchester NH 03104 so send me some letters! I just wanted all of you to know that I'm doing great and I haven't been mugged or shot, yet. (That was for you Mom ;) ) I hope I get some letters and I might write some today but I'm pretty busy.

Happy New Year I hope you have some great goals planned for 2012! Talk to you next week!

Elder Resendez