Monday, September 24, 2012

24 September 2012

Aloha!

I don't know about all of you but we had an AMAZING week! It was full of awesome miracles, Lawrence has really caught on fire! So far this transfer we have been hitting many of our standards but this past week we hit all of them!

We almost hit an old "legendary" standard called the 4-6-10-5 which we missed by 1 member lesson. Basically we have 4 baptismal dates, 6 people at church, 10 member lessons (but we had 9), and 5 new investigators. We were running around like crazy last night trying to find someone to teach to get that last member lesson. We almost hit it but our Sunday night member lesson dropped us...we were devastated haha. But it's ok, we will just hit it next week!

We have really been blessed with a lot of great success and a lot of it has come from the work of the members. In fact, each of the people at church yesterday came with a member. See how awesome it is when members are missionaries? They're better than us!

The only "dark cloud" from this past week has been with Lorreny... She's doing great, she's ready for baptism now and her mom even came to church with her. The bad part is that she lives in Lowell which is outside of the mission. That means that she might now be able to go to our ward once she is baptized. It could even mean that she has to be baptized over in Lowell. It stinks because this is exactly what happened with Ben in Skowhegan and it's tough because the ward has really rallied around her. She has so much support here but we do understand the complications of the situation. But....I have to admit that I still pray that she comes here haha.

I am not sure if I have talked about Elias yet but he is super cool, he's the one who did some jail time and got lyme disease. Well, he came to church on Sunday (finally!) and seemed to love it! He's a very religious guy and would make an excellent priesthood holder!

I'm super stoked about so many people I don't have time to talk about them all! But, I do have some questions to answer so here they are:

Please clarify the eye-punching-by-a-Guatemalan-guy story.
-I tried to contact some Guatemalan and I guess I said something "incorrectly" and he didn't like it. It wasn't a big deal though, my face is fine now.

What happened to your other companion? Did he get transferred somewhere? I thought you were in a trio in your last letter.
-Elder Rodriguez? Well technically he's still my comp but a different missionary bursted his appendix so they had to do a temporary transfer until he recovers. So Elder Rodriguez is in Manchester for now. He should be back soon and by next transfer at the latest. But yes, "technically" we are still in a trio but not physically.

Is it getting cooler there or is it still hot? Does it rain a lot?
-It has gotten much cooler. The weather is perfect right now, I love it! The leaves are starting to change too so I'm excited! It doesn't rain very much, which is nice because the rain makes it hot and humid.

Do you guys celebrate Halloween? Are you allowed to dress up? What are you going to be? What should Gemma be?
-Why yes, as Mormons we do celebrate common holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween. But as missionaries we usually have an early curfew on Halloween night so we can't go trick or treating. Ummm....we can kind of dress up yes. Like a hat or something maybe. Not to proselyte but to a ward party, sure. Currently I'm searching for a mexican poncho and sombrero and possibly some maracas. As for you, Mal, and Gemma...You should totally be a person from Alien! Mal you can be the poor astronaut who was injected with the alien baby and Gemma can be the alien that bursts out of you! Cute right? I definitely need a picture of that! Make sure to get the make up just right so it looks real.

Well thanks for all of the support and love that you give me! Tell my "Primos" on missions that I love them and to keep up the work. Oh and keep me in the loop about stuff back home!

Nos Vemos!
Elder Resendez

Monday, September 17, 2012

17 September 2012

Hey Hey Hey!

I don't know about all of you but I have had an awesome week! We have seen a lot of progression with those that we are teaching and we have added more solid people to our pool which is even better. So...I have some questions to answer so here we go! :

Did Ben get baptized?
-Last I heard Ben from Skowhegan is doing great! The missionaries lost contact with him but they got back in touch and he is on track to getting baptized if he hasn't already! I'm going to try to get pictures of his baptism if I can.

Is the 13 year old girl still on track for baptism? What is her name?
-Yes! We taught her yesterday and she is super solid. I told a joke during the lesson and she laughed so hard that she cried so that was pretty funny. Her name is Lorreny btw. She's right on track for her baptismal date Oct 7 in between conference sessions!

Are your other baptisms looking good?
-Fa sho! The other two are for Oct 28, they are brothers of a LA and their names are Elias and Melvin. They're dominican and super cool and funny. Elias is very spiritual because of a stint he did in jail and Melvin isn't super religious but now he's turning a leaf and understands everything we teach him.

What is the best thing church members can do to help the missionaries in their area?
-3 things, study Preach my gospel everyday, give the missionaries referrals(and go teach the people you refer with the missionaries!), and FELLOWSHIP! If you see someone new at church, go talk to them! They're probably an investigator or a less active member. Oh and feeding the missionaries is good too haha.

Have you had any physical confrontations?
Ya, some Guatemalan guy punched me in the eye, that's why it was swollen. Other than that we haven't had anything. You only get trouble when you look for it or look like it. So even though we're the only white guys in the whole city, we don't get messed with. Honestly, white people are the ones who mess with you most so I like it here haha. It might help that we're both over 6'2" but whatever.

What food do you make well now?
I honestly eat fruit and yogurt and occasionally some beans. Then whatever other people make so my cooking skills are pretty bad...My diet is pretty boring, that's why I feast on the scriptures!

Do you keep your apartment clean?
Uh..............no comment.

Do you ever get to drive?
No. We don't have a car here. Plus only the senior comp drives so in Manchester and Skowhegan I didn't drive either.

Do you ride bikes anymore?
Yes...I'm actually starting to kind of like bikes. Except that you get crazy sweaty after 10 minutes cuz all of NE is a giant hill. Plus our bikes are in terrible shape and mine was made for a woman. Other than that they're alright.

Do you get to see ward members (like the Demers) when you go back to New Hampshire for meetings?
No, unless they're at the meetings. But I think I'll go back to Manchvegas one day.

Are you loving the fall colors?
Um....they haven't really started yet so I can't say much on that. Plus being in a city might kill some of the fall fun but I'll take some pics when I can!

Thanks for all the questions! Keep them coming, it gives me some structure to my ramblings. Oh and Happy Birthday Uncle Ric! And congrats to Didge! Peru is going to be super sweet man! I'm excited for you! Cohen get ready for New Mexico!
So...the big highlight this week. INTERNATIONAL NIGHT!!!!! It was so sweet! It was seriously the coolest ward party ever! They had food from countries like the DR(Dominican Republic), Puerto Rico, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and America! Elder Kinyon and I set up the America room. At first we just had a flag and some animal crackers but people kept donating stuff to us that by the end we had jell-o, fish, mac and cheese, and popcorn. It was great! We also had a talent show that was hilarious! Everyone had a great time and we had a lot of investigators and LA's in attendance. I'll be sure to send some pics and vids next time! The funniest part was when Mexico was performing a dance and song because the old Branch Prez Hermano Lembert from the DR was sitting next to us and he was going crazy. He was yelling and singing along and jumping up and down and waving his arms in the air. It was so funny, we started singing along and getting into it with him. It was so funny, people liked it too cuz they didn't want to see some lame gringos sitting there all bored. It was such a sweet night!

More questions! :
So, tell me, what is your area like?
-A city. We walk everywhere and have a great time. We are always busy teaching someone or walking to our next appointment. It's the most fruitful spot in the mission!

Do you drive or have bikes or walk?
-Walk most days but bike when we need to.

Is it like here where there are big shopping centers or is it a bunch of little shops and stuff?
-Mainly Bodegas. But there are big stores in Methuen so we go to those on Pdays.

Where do you get your groceries?
-Market basket or walmart. Depends on what we feel like doing.

Who feeds you?
-EVERYONE. Strangers on the street give us food. One lady walked past us and just handed me some corn and told me to eat it. So I did. Thankfully I haven't died yet so I think it was clean.

Do you get enough to eat?
-Yes! We eat too much if anything. We have member meals most nights of the week. The members are awesome!

Do you like the food?
-I love it! The best thing is queso frito! You need to try it if you haven't. Also, platanos are super delish!

How are your companions?
-Great! I get along with all of them. Right now there's only Elder Kinyon and I in Lawrence but I have liked all of my comps so far.

How is your Spanish?
-A lot better. I still have a long ways to go but if I stay here for a while I'll definitely get it down pretty good. Oh, and if any of you want to send me supplies to help, I won't complain haha. I'm looking for a dictionary right now and a verb book. I left mine in skowhegan so I can't get them back for now.

Well, I love ALL of you! Keep up the missionary work and keep the commandments! Oh, and stay classy.

Elder Resendez

Monday, September 10, 2012

10 September 2012

Hey!

Sorry I didn't send a letter last week, it was Labor Day or something like that so we were writing letters to President Wilkey from Best Buy. The workers at the store were breathing down my neck so I decided not to write a letter home.

But....I survived transfers! For now.... We lost Elder Morgan to Argentina 2 weeks ago so Elder Rodriguez, Elder Busby and I were in a trio but on transfer call night they told us that we would be receiving another companion. So things were supposed to go back to normal but then on Monday we got a call from President and he told us that Elder Busby was being transferred to help with an emergency that happened. So we lost Elder Busby and at transfer meeting we got a new district leader/companion.

His name is Elder Kinyon from Bountiful. He's pretty cool and goes home in January so he'll probably finish up his mission here in Lawrence. So we're back to a trio which is cool but scary at the same time. We could get a call at any time saying that one of us is being transferred. If that happened we would have no idea who would be leaving. It would probably be me or Elder Rodriguez but his Spanish is the best so I think he would stay. So just pray that we never get that call!!!!

And yes I am with Elder Rodriguez again, he is the only comp I have had for more than one transfer haha.

So things have been pretty crazy here in Lawrence, we had the Italian festival this past week which was sweet! They shut down an entire street and put up a stage for a band and tons of booths. People came over from Boston and all over to come see the festival. We got some pictures of it so I'll send them soon!

This week we have the international festival at the church on Saturday. I don't know if I have told you about it but the international festival is put on by the members of our ward. Since there are a lot of members from different countries they have a big party to celebrate being Hispanic. So what they do is they bring food and stuff from their country and set it up in different rooms of the church and in the gym they set up a stage and play bachata and stuff like that. It's the biggest ward party ever! I'm so excited for it! I'll definitely take lots of pictures and videos for you all.

The work here is going great! We have three baptismal dates and one of them is a 13 year old girl who read all of 1 Nephi in two days and prayed about it. She knows it's true and is planning on being baptized in between conference sessions on October 7! She reminds me of Ben from Skowhegan who read to Alma 30 in a week. She has the same love for the gospel and is progressing really well. Oh and we found her through members! Go figure! Members are #1!

It sounds like things back home are doing well, how's Seth liking the class rep gig? Have they started sports? If so, which ones? What else is new, it seems like there's something new each week so keep me posted!

Things are great on my end, if any of you have questions let my mom know and I'll answer them!

My Spanish is coming along nicely, my goal right now is to master the subjunctive tense! It's wicked tough but people use it all the time so I got to get after it.

Thanks for all the support!

Elder Resendez