Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy All Clear - A Letter from the Mission President

To update you, Sandy is dying. However, she’s still scattering a few humbling reminders of her visit to New England! All missionaries are safe and accounted for. However, there was some loss of power, cell phone use, high winds, moderate rain, and minor flooding especially in Vermont where Hurricane Irene left such damage one year ago. Some areas of the mission were relatively untouched while others felt the “ripple” effect of the major blow our fellow missionaries and missions to the south of us experienced. I have been in contact with a fellow mission president in New York City and they will appreciate your prayers in their behalf.

As a precaution, I have postponed a specialized zone training meeting for today. I am allowing our missionaries to resume proselyting anywhere from a few city blocks to a 15 miles radius depending upon the conditions in each individual area. These limitations will likely be lifted tomorrow. There have been some inconveniences but the ultimate goal of safe missionaries has thus far been achieved.

Thank you for your prayers. We’re all safe because of your faith. If conditions worsen I will apprise you, but at this point let this mighty work roll forward as it “fills the whole earth!”

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy - A Letter from the Mission President

As you are likely aware, we are on the cusp of Hurricane Sandy. The hurricane is on a collision course with a winter storm and a cold front, and high tides from a full moon make it a rare hybrid storm.

We have been tracking this storm for several days now and it appears our mission will not be as affected as others. However, we will not under-judge this storm and will err on the side of safety for your missionary. We have consulted with local members and officials, the National Weather Service and media outlets. Sandy looks to produce some high winds up to 70 miles per hour and potentially some rain, but nothing like last year’s Hurricane Irene. With the vast size of Northern New England the impact will vary, of course, by location. There is a likelihood of power outages, a routine phenomenon in these parts.

Embedded within our emergency plan is a calling tree wherein each companionship communicates with district leaders who in turn communicate with zone leaders to my assistants and then to me. I will receive those “All-in-safe” reports for the next two days. We continuously monitor any new developments and will update you in the event of any significant change in conditions. Yesterday I instructed the entire mission to stock up on non-perishable food, water, flashlights & extra batteries etc. according to emergency guidelines in our published plan at each apartment.

At this moment, your missionary is preparing for 2:00 pm today. That is when I have grounded the car fleet and ordered all missionaries in their apartments for the duration of the day and through tomorrow (Tuesday). In some parts of the mission this will be “overkill” but we do this to err on the side of safety.

At this point I am confident our missionaries are prepared well . The only thing that will prepare them further is your faith, your prayers and your confidence in these great Latter-day warriors! Thank you for preparing them in all ways for just such moments as this.

I feel much as did Helaman with his stripling warriors, “...they were firm and undaunted. Yea, and they obey ...with exactness; yea and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them (Alma 57:20-21).” With that backdrop to our present situation I am confident in their obedience and in what they were taught at home. Therefore, they will “...be preserved by his marvelous power.” (Alma 57:26).

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

So even though a giant hurricane or something is coming to town I found some time to write to you all and express my love for you. I feel like one of the apostles writing to the members of the church right before the apostolic storm, I'm calm as a babe.

Well here are some Q's!

How is or will the 'Frankenstorm' affect you? Are you preparing or helping others prepare? How about after, will you be helping with clean-up if needed? Do you have a reporting system with the Prez or Bishops in your area?
-Well we are on lockdown today as of 2pm so we are losing most of our p day which is lame. We could be on lockdown until wednesday but we'll see. It really won't be anything bad. We just gotta buy some water and candles and food. And yes we will help people clean up as some service. Yes we report to our zone leaders who report to the ap's and prez.

Have you found any challenges with having a comp that is super chill like you?
-Nope. Well sometimes we forget stuff like our phone cuz we both are too chill but its good for now.

How many pull-ups can you do?
-Like 3. I haven't done them for a long time.....

What does it mean to open an area (for those who don't know the jargon)?
-It means to open a fresh area. So we started with only 2 investigators. We had to find everyone else to teach. Normally you just switch in and out of an area and just start teaching the existing pool but we didn't do that cuz we're tigres.

How did you find your comp on Mormon.org?
-I just looked up New Hampshire Manchester mission and his name popped up and after reading his profile I realized he would be my next comp. Sneaky huh?

Please translate the Spanish joke from last week for the non-Spanish speakers.
-Ok so basically it says, "what's the difference between a pear and a girlfriend? A pear is a pear, but a girlfriend doesn't wait." Get it?? Girls never wait for missionaries!

How does having a Mormon Presidential candidate affect your missionary work?
-Everyone calls us "Romney boys" and stuff like that. It generates a lot of discussion which is good.

Did you get a flu shot?
-Not yet, but we have to soon.

Is it cold there yet?
-Its getting colder but it's still in the 50's and 60's

What happens when you get sick? Do you take a sick day? Have you gotten sick yet?
-Ya if you can't work, you can't work. I got sick one time but I worked through it cuz I'm a boss. But its not a big deal if you have to take a day off. People understand.

What do you want for Christmas?
-Hmmm..... Sick Watches are cool, hispanic scripture covers like the ones from the mtc are cool, conference cd's are cool (like Elder Holland's talk in oct 2007 and apr 2008 and bednar in apr 2008), christmas cd's, gangster flat brim hats, T-shirts, I don't know I'm not too picky.

Tell me another joke in Spanish.
-I'll send one next week ok! But in the meantime look up pajarito bobo.

Does your companion know Dog the Bounty Hunter?
-No...isn't Malibu in california?

Well the cane's coming so I gotta get going! Love you all and go trick or treating for me! Send me pics of your sweet costumes! I'll send you mine!

Love,
Elder Resendez

Friday, October 26, 2012

22 October 2012

Aloha! (Literally)

Oh man this week has been crazy! So much has happened I feel like I haven't had time to think!

So ya, I have another son! His name is Elder Joshua (Or Josh for short) Christensen from Laie, Hawaii! He's super cool and chill. He's never been outside of Hawaii except for a semester at BYU so it's super different here for him. He's Hawaiian but he's just white so he's not Poly or Asian or anything else.

This week went pretty well for us, I felt like a chicken without a head at times cuz we just opened this area and only had 2 investigators at the beginning of the week. Plus training on top of that was no bueno. But I'm loving it, things are starting to slow down and now we have 4 baptismal dates which rocks!

But before I say anything else, Quiz Time! :

How is training going?
-Great! It's new to me since last time I was trio training. My comp is chill and can do a backflip and can do like 50 pull ups so that's pretty cool. Plus he's a surfer and is teaching me Hawaiian words which is sick!

What do you and your comp have in common?
-Um...well we both like watching the sunset while walking on the beach, romantic comedies, and enjoying our favorite chocolate bars. Oh, and surfing and doing backflips. Actually we don't have any of those, only I do them. But we do like to play sports and joke around so we have fun together.

Did you really pinch Cohen's cheeks or was that a fantasy?
-Who hasn't pinched his cheeks?

Will you be in Lawrence for Thanksgiving? If so, who are you hitting up for a feast?
-Oh ya! Halloween AND Thanksgiving! And if I fully train E. Christensen like I should I will be here for Christmas too! Umm I think all of the members will feed us.

How do you know licking worms before using them as bait is a sweet fishing trick? Its OK, you can tell us how many you have licked - we won't tell everybody.
-Have you tried it?

Is it safe to mail packages to your '"ghetto" apartment? If not, should we send to mission office?
-Yes. If you send them to the office, I won't get them for months.

What is it like being a trainer? Anything different?
-It's SO different. Everything is my fault now so I can suffer the wrath of President Wilkey if I'm not good haha. But it's a lot of responsibility but a lot of fun. Plus we just opened our area so we are starting from scratch. Oh and being a trainer you now have to be an example at every moment, you can't slack off at all so it's a good thing I've never slacked off before in my life. (I can already hear dads laugh)

Did you get the companion you thought?
-Yup! I have a 7th sense. He's on mormon.org so that's where I found him

So what's up with you liking tres leches? Do they make it differently there or something? Because that stuff is no bueno.
-You know what Mal, you can leave! Tres leches is the bomb if it's made right! It was super high quality so I think that's why it was so good.

Is Boston in your mission? Can you only go to the temple if it is in your area?
-Nope, but I have a theory that one day Lawrence will get sucked in to the Boston mission. Or whichever one has Lowell. Yes you can only go to the temple if it's in your mission. But when you go home you go to the boston temple with President Wilkey so that's cool.

How is your Spanish coming along?
-Mas or menos, I need to learn how to perfect it but I don't know how to do that. I can talk and you can understand me but it's not beautiful so give me some tips or some cheat codes so I can get fluent!

Do you know any jokes in Spanish?
-Si, cual es la diferencia (i can't write Spanish btw) entre una pera y una novia? La pera es pera pero la novia no espera. Say it fast and think what its trying to say in terms of missionaries! My son taught me that one!

What are you reading right now?
Ummm.....my emails. Or the scriptures. I just finished the bom so I started it over but I'm going to focus on pmg and the new testament more now. I'm also trying to study the scriptures in spanish so I'm reading in 1 Nephi. I also can't wait for the Liahona to come out with the conference talks!


Anyways! So now we have 4 missionaries in Lawrence, E. Kinyon is with E. Dorantes (he's a native and super tight!). We thought E. Rodriguez was going to come back but he got sent up to North Vermont haha I'm going to miss him but I'll see him sometime soon. Also pray for Norma and Dj, their baptismal date is for nov 3 and also pray for Iliana and her family. I don't have time to tell their stories but they need prayers!

Oh and guess what? We were almost in a shooting last night!!!!! We were walking home when suddenly we heard 2 gun shots about 1-2 blocks ahead of us! It was so nuts! We decided to take a turn and go a different way to get home and arrived safely. And the only reason we didn't get shot is because we stopped and contacted someone on the street. If we had kept walking we would have died!!!! Just kidding mom, we would have been safe please don't call President Wilkey. I love you. Haha well have a great week everyone!

Love, Elder Resendez

Monday, October 15, 2012

15 October 2012

Aloha!

Happy almost Halloween!!! It's fall over here in New England and it's beautiful! I think fall here is my favorite season of all, the leaves and trees and decorations make you really feel like it's autumn.

So this week we had a lot of awesome things happen like Lorreny's confirmation. She was stoked for that and is still staying strong as a member. Her mom is a member but is "returning" so she's not fully active. It's kinda cool to say that we baptized someone from another mission, haha take that Lowell Elders! Lawrence-1 Lowell-0. So that was awesome and to cap it off we had a "standards night" last night for the youth and Lorreny gave testimony a bunch of times on different standards. Our bishop was even bragging about her to the stake youth leaders during the meeting, it was so funny.

Now the next person up to bat is Norma and her husband DJ. Norma has been investigating for many years now but because of various problems (health, desire, etc.) she has yet to be baptized. But she has now come back to church and is ready more than ever to fully make the covenant of baptism. Her date is set for Nov 3 but she may make it before that date if we all pray hard enough! So pray for her! Haha we're very excited for the growth that this ward has seen lately and we hope to keep it going!

Oh, and we got transfer calls two nights ago and if I haven't made it obvious yet, I'M STAYING IN LAWRENCE!!! I'm getting another 6 weeks here which I'm stoked for. Oh yeah, and I'm training! I'm getting a son (another one if you count E. Morgan, which I kind of do) tomorrow so I'm hyped for that. The only problem is that Pres Wilkey has really been cracking down as of late on a lot of things so I'm going to have to step it up big time. It's not that I'm a bad missionary, it's just that when you get more responsibility, President gets on your case a lot more. And I like Prez so I don't want to make him mad, he's like the Hulk. So I will let you all know more details when I get them so stay tuned. Oh, and I think my new comp is E. Christensen from Hawaii, don't ask me how I know that cuz I'd have to kill you if I told you. So we'll see if I'm correct...Anyways...

Question Time!

Have you had any food that you haven't had before?

-Yes! A bunch of food. In fact we just had tripleta this morning. It's super good and it's food from the DR. I'm not sure how to spell it all but basically I had Salami (fried), eggs (fried), queso frito, mango (squashed plantain), avena (like oatmeal), and ham and cheese empanadas. I've also had sancocho and various other hispanic dishes. I love them all! Oh, and I had tres leches this past week and it's now one of my favorite desserts. I can't get enough of it! It reminds me of when I had it in CR and almost threw up haha.

What would you be for Halloween if you weren't on a mission?

-Hmmm......probably a luchador. Those guys are my heroes so I would get my mask and stretchy pants. In fact, I'd make a luchador/superhero combo and hit up the local trunk or treat spots.

Any big news for us?

-I'm training! (Yes Mal, that was the big news I couldn't talk about. It wasn't set before so I didn't want to jynx it.) And I think E. Rodriguez is coming back to be E. Kinyon's comp.

What do you want for Christmas?

-Hmmm......I need more time! Watches are pretty cool. Or a nice peacoat or something. I don't know, missionary life is so weird it's hard to say what I want vs. what I need or can carry. I'll give more deats later.

What do you eat in a typical day?

-Morning: apple & bananas. Lunch: Yogurt or beans or peppers or all. Dinner: Hispanic food from a member or sometimes more yogurt. It's a really bland diet but it keeps me going haha.

Is there anything you miss from Arizona that you can't get in Lawrence?

-Pineapple Empanadas! Oh wait, I was supposed to say my family right?

How are your clothes? What do you need?

-They're alright, sometimes I look like a bum but that's ok. I'm looking for black pants right now, nothing fancy just something comfy and cheap.

How do you do laundry?

-We pay to use our landlord's washer and dryer. It's a total ripoff but whatever, it's convenient. Kinda.

How big is the ward?

-Hmmm.....I'd say over 300 members but only around 100 are active. It's still a very new ward. They were a branch just a few years ago.

What is the chapel like?

-We use the same one as the Methuen ward so it's very nice. But we are trying to get a chapel here in lawrence by fixing up an old catholic church or something like that. So pray that we get it approved!

Where is the nearest temple?

-Boston! It's like 30 minutes away, but I'll never go there until the end of my mission...

Who do you miss the most? You can be honest. Mom can handle it. I know it's me.

-Ummm....definitely Cohen. I miss pinching his cute little cheeks! Speaking of which, get on a mission ya hoser!

If you had to choose, would you rather be super strong or super fast?

-Strong! We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare, I think that says it all right there.

What is the best and the worst food you've tried for the first time on your mission?

-Best: A toss up between queso frito and tres leches. Worst: chicharron. I hate that stuff haha

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you on your mission?

-Hmmm....I'll think about that one and get back to you. Right now all I can think of is when I fell off my bike but nobody saw me so it wasn't embarrassing.

Seth wants to know what is your favorite kind of pie?

-Pumpkin all the way! Just make sure there's whip cream. Or whipped cream.

What is your companion's halloween costume?

-Not sure yet...We'll see. Maybe we'll all be mariachis. That'd be sick!

What is your companion's name?

-E. Kinyon for one more day. Then I get my shoobie!

Alright that's all folks! Catch ya on the flip side!

Elder Resendez

Monday, October 8, 2012

8 October 2012

Hey Family and Friends!

I hope you loved conference (this past weekend was a church-wide service that we call conference) as much as I did! That missionary announcement was insane! (They announced that the age for missionaries would be lowered from 19 to 18 for boys and from 21 to 19 for girls.) It's weird to think that if I had left right after high school I would be done by now! I think it's a great idea because there's a limbo period after high school and before a mission that can be dangerous. So I think it's a great idea and I kinda wish I could have done that myself. As for sister missionaries, I think it's good that they lowered the age but it is important to remember that a mission is a priesthood duty. Therefore, a mission is only a possibility (not a duty) for girls and I think the prophet and apostles made that pretty clear which is good. A mission is not easy at all and I have seen too many sisters leave early so please, make sure you a ready if you decide to go!

With that said, it's definitely going to be weird having sisters younger than me in the field and also having 18 year old elders.

Hey Seth, you better be going on a mission as soon as you can or I'll take you out! Same to you Papi! Right once you graduate, I'm shipping you off!

So which of my friends said they would be going now? Let me know because this is big news and I feel super out of the loop!

So some Q's:

How was Lorreny's baptism? It was fun to think about you at the very time you were doing it. Is her mom taking the discussions?

-It was awesome!!!!! We did it right in between sessions so during the last session when they talked about being baptized it hit closer to home for her which was awesome. She was so ready for baptism, she really was just waiting on us. I will send some pics next week because I'm in the apple section of Best Buy right now ;)

What is the big news?

-One word, Nunya. :)

What do you want for Christmas?

-I have no clue, give some time to think! It's only the beginning of October!

How do you get along with your companion? Does he have a supportive family?

-We get along pretty well! He is very athletic and can do the splits which is funny. We really help each other to become better which is very important. Yes, his family is very supportive, so are the 10 girls that write to him haha.

Do you guys need anything?

-Ummm.......nope I don't think so. Maybe some magical Spanish skills would be nice. Oh wait, we already have that.

What are your neighbors like?

-We only have our landlord upstairs that ever talks to us. They're Mexican and the wife's maiden name is Resendez, but I haven't been able to talk to her about that yet. Our other neighbors have hookah parties and ride longboards down the giant hill.

What do you do on P days?

-Aside from email in Best Buy, we play bball, write letters and anything else. The zone leaders are coming down today so we are going to have a lot of fun!

If you had one superpower, what would it be?

-Definitely telekinesis. I think that's the one where you move stuff with your mind. That'd be sick. That or be deadpool but not ugly like he is.

Well I gotta run but thank you for your prayers and junk! Watch conference again for me and send me the conference ensign when it comes out please!

Elder Ty Resendez

Monday, October 1, 2012

1 October 2012

Orrale Homes!

Woo! This week was very very interesting! I can't tell you exactly why right now. I'll tell you when you're older. But we had a lot happen this week like interviews with President Wilkey, information on Lorreny's baptism, some awesome letters from some awesome friends, a sweet new family to teach, and more!

So first off here are this week's questions:

Is your favorite color still purple? (It's one of mine - Seth)
-Hmmm.....yes I think it is. Red and blue are cool but purple is psychadelic!

How do you get to your new area when you are transferred?
-We get a member to drive us to Manchester for transfer meeting and then we get a member to drive us to our new area. It sounds simple but it gets very complicated!

Do your companions like the Cowboys? (2-1)
-Sadly no. I guess you could say that "many are called but few are chosen."

Do they like the cardinals? (3-0)
-Nope, my comp E. Kinyon likes the Seahawks and 49ers (when they win) haha

Do they even like football?
-Yea! E. Kinyon wants to play for BYU when he gets home so he's pretty big into football.

How do you find out about football scores?
-Connections haha. It's a great way to start talking to LA's or nonmembers on Sunday. Usually the husband of a member named Alberto gives us updates or our main man Julio Calderon.

What would you want/need for Christmas?
-Hmmm....this one will take some thinking. Let me get back to you.

Who cuts your hair? Do you go somewhere?
-Usually a dominican barber. We go to a barbershop to get it cut so we can get a "line up". Look those up if you don't know what they are, they're sweet!

Well that's all the questions! Keep them coming!

This week we had interviews with President Wilkey and they were pretty intense. He had given a lesson in the last zone conference about removing the "dust" in our lives to become better missionaries. Basically dust is small things that we let go by that can build up and will eventually explode. So in our interviews he straight up asked all of us what kind of "dust" we had in our lives and then we worked to remove it. So basically we all got called to repentance, which is good but it kinda hurts at the same time. My "dust" was waking up on time (Ya I know Dad, surprise surprise...haha) so he recommitted me to waking up at or before 6:30 everyday and I have done a lot better. Plus E. Kinyon and I just started busting out some P90X each day so that will help us to get up. Or it will make us more tired and sleep in more... Some missionaries got called out big time so I'm glad my dust wasn't as bad.

We also got news from Bishop Morales that Lorreny has permission to be baptized in our ward!!!! So her baptism is set for Oct 7 at 3 pm. Right in between sessions of conference so it's going to be super memorable! She's seriously so solid in the gospel, it's amazing! This week we also found a lady named Iliana who had seen a couple of videos about the church and was very interested in learning more. When we stopped by to set up an appt with her we ended up teaching her and her 3 kids, all over 18, for almost 2 hours! Then Iliana and one of her daughters came to church the next day and seemed to like it! They are such a cool family, I'm excited to see them again!

I can't believe it's October already! I can remember last October like it was yesterday!

Oh and Happy Birthday Seth! You finally made it to double digits! It's about time, you're already 6 feet tall! Have a great birthday bro, hot lava you!

Thanks for all of the letters you send Mom!

Something cool that I noticed this week is that people are starting to refer to me as being part hispanic instead of just white! Yea!!!!!

Last night a LA said a word that E. Kinyon didn't know and when he asked what it was she told him not to say that word, "because to them (pointing at me and referring to Mexicans) it is a swear word." Yea!!!! Haha I'm getting some street cred! Watch out, by the time I get home you won't be able to recognize me. I'll be that hispanic!

Oh and last but not least, the answer to the poll is........allergies! At least that's what I think it was. Either way, so not the drama. Thanks for all the love and support from you all!

Love,
Elder Ty Resendez