Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Changes come next week (meaning he'll mostly likely move to a different area to work)... but my companion and I are pretty sure where I'll be assigned (as one of the assistants called and asked my compa if I'm any good with computers. He replied "he studied Computer Science at college"). Well.

(First version of following story) Anyways, about this week. It was pretty good, especially since we found a miracle that got baptized on Sunday! We were going to look for her friend's brother in law, and we went to where we thought they lived (they don't live there anymore, but they're looking for an apartment with the ward boundaries). We got to the house where we found a less active member, and then her friend was there, she wasn't baptized but desperately wanted to be (she had all the lessons about twice, and couldn't get baptized until now - first because of her grandparents, then because she wasn't married and her husband didn't want to get married, and then she dumped him about two months ago so now she got baptized)! And that's how that went.

Also, on Thursday and Saturday, the Lord showed us his sense of humor - on Thursday, we didn't eat until 8 at night, but on Saturday, everyone was giving us food. We ate a lot. It was quite funny, actually. We got Puebla-style filled peppers - they're quite delicious.

Well, I don't have much time today, as we're going to buy a lot of ties today, and one of the members is going to help take us there. I'm quite excited.

As for my rain equipment... well, I use my replacement umbrella ('cause I lost my really cool one on a bus a couple months ago) and that's about it. I love it when people ask if I'm cold, because it really isn't all that cold when they think it is.

...I'm returning home in the middle of Winter. Fun. I get the Focus when I get home, right? :D

(Second version of above story) Anyways, we had a miracle on Friday! Last week, someone brought their husband who just got released from prison (or so we hear) and isn't a member to Church. So, what we did was plan to visit him, and Friday came around with him as one of our plans. We had two choices as to where to go - a house of the members, to whom he was related and found him in most often, or the house where we never found him in but the Church records said he lived in. We chose the second option - clearly a spiritual guidance, as while we didn't find him, we did find his wife's sister's friend there, who'd always wanted to get baptized but couldn't (she had no choice) until now. So, on Sunday, we baptized her! She said she needed the peace that she knew having all her sins cleaned off would bring. She had to postpone it by a couple hours, but nevertheless, she was dead set on the Baptism. It was quite amazing.

(Later that day, in another email...)
We found her on Friday looking for someone else due to whisperings of the Spirit. And then she got baptised at 7:00 yesterday.

I also bought 12 ties today for 300 pesos, and they're pretty good quality.

It is amazing here.

(To those that got an e'mail way earlier today, we only used 50 minutes of our hour and then we came back and now I've got two minutes but I don't type all that fast okay yes I do but not enough time to tell a story kthxbye)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


REAL QUICK ABOUT THE MASS E'MAIL: I haven't had much time to do that over the last two weeks, but seeing as there were three great developments, I'll at least send some pictures.

So, about the week. It was the busiest one we've had in a while - we got 20 lessons taught in one day (the last one we taught was at like... 9:15 at night; we didn't really get a new investigator out of it though), and on Tuesday we had to get new insoles for my companion (as he has flat feet, as we recently discovered). I also finally finished Jesus the Christ - such a great book. But now, I'm going back to focusing on the Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel and Church magazines (if you could send me the August Ensign, that'd be absolutely fantastic - Ensigns have more articles than Liahonas [international version of the Ensign], and I absolutely loved the Liahona for this month and would like my own copy).

Basically, the thing I'm focusing on is becoming a better teacher so as to further the Work of Salvation.

We had a Zone Conference (meeting of missionary companionships from many areas) the last week. Basically, the big theme was not doing Missionary Work, but the Work of Salvation, meaning working with Members, making it more likely for the people that we baptize will stay active in the church, and so on. That includes waiting until the Saturday after their second assistance to Church to baptize the investigators. The Work of Salvation basically means searching for and making converts, not just baptizing. It was a really good conference on Thursday... which was also the day we got the insoles.

...We hardly got anything done that day, but as President said, "If we're doing the Work of Salvation, we're not wasting time."

So, that's about what I've got for this week. We don't really have any investigators right now - we kinda dropped a lot of them. But that's okay - there's always someone waiting.

P.S. I make my own breakfast and cena (dinner). The comida (lunch) is usually provided by the members. And yes, I eat well :D

Well, we got three baptisms and three confirmations this week! (Insert Mega Smiley Face here). Just the confusing thing is... we haven't really brought ANYONE to Church since the change  began. And now it's week five. For those that don't know, going to Church at least twice is a requisite for baptism. These three had already gone a ton of times - but they mostly came because their Dad/husband was already a member. So... I have no idea how that works, other than miracles. OH WELL!

Also this week was quite exhausting. And I don't have much time left so my parents will put more details on the blog (you got homework now, Mom and Dad).

Monday, August 5, 2013

More Updates

(Written by editor)

Elder N didn't send a mass email this week, so we've copied and pasted several sections of the emails he wrote to his family. There are several links to the talks and book he references (in purple). You also get a sense for some of the things a typical missionary is doing during the week.

(In response to a question about how they find people to teach...)
Typically, we find people to teach through references and short street contacting periods or door contacting periods. We can't plan tracting (going door-to-door in search of people who might be interested in the message) in this mission, so we're always on the search for someone. In our small area about the size of T Ward and the old L G ward and a little bit more(approximately five square miles), we estimate that there are about 25,000 people in our area, because there are only really about 25 to 50 houses in the area and the rest of it are apartment buildings. 

You should probably ask J and M and Mom about my strange exploits over the week - moving the Sister Missionaries, carrying a mattress down five flights of stairs, etc. We did a lot of service, and it was great. 

I won't be going to the temple until the end of the Mission, but that's okay. ...Who am I kidding I really want to go to the temple. I miss going. That, and I read a story of a Hindu lady going to the temple today in the May Ensign - Elder Cook's talk about peace. I really enjoyed it, especially since I'd just finished reading the chapter in Jesus the Christ (by James E. Talmage) about the betrayal, Last Supper, and the beginning of the Atonement. The two together helped me learn about peace - something that'll be quite useful.

I also got the letters from everyone last Tuesday - it was quite delicious. I loved everyone's notes - especially M C's (Hi I here that theres a volcano near you hope your having fun - some of the original grammar and spelling kept) (Editor's note: M is a 7-year-old girl in my Primary class who wrote a letter to Joseph during our class last month--cutie-pie!). And the talk about hope by President Uchtdorf was incredible, too. I spent an entire hour studying that one day.

Also, I'm hunting down some Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends Tazos right now - the current series is based off of Cartoon Network shows. Oddly enough, the Powerpuff Girl Tazos are quite bawssome(boss+awesome....according to the experts here). ...Weird.

Anyways, last week was quite weird. With all the stuff we had to do we barely had time to work in our area, so we didn't get much teaching done.

Unfortunately, that also means spiritual experiences were at a low this week. :( Although we did see about four baptisms yesterday, which was nice ('cause everyone we had committed to Church either flaked out or was no longer able to go and the schedules of a family we were going to baptise just didn't work out at all). Either way, yesterday was interesting, being tin the Church for about 11 hours and only leaving for food for like... half an hour or so.

But yeah, that was my week.

Thank you so much for supporting J while he is away. Wishing everyone well!

Sunday, August 4, 2013


(From 7/29/13 email)

Last night we taught three drunk guys in the street. They each came to us in line - as one left, the other came. We had two members with us, so that was... interesting.

Also... well, I'm practically out of time for the week. Just that Elder M now figures, along with Elder V, that I'll be married two months after the mission.

Frankly... I still figure it's impossible. (Editor's note: he's right...it's impossible, because I won't let him ;) )

Well, I'm pretty much out of time now, so I'll leave you with a "do work, do right, and do it well" or something like that. Someone prolly already said it.


Elder N

Week Something or Another: Already Co-Equal‏

(From 7/22/13 email)

So, changes happened today! Elder E left this area, and now I'm with Elder M. Also, I'm no longer Junior companion - we're co-equals. Not entirely sure what that means.

But that's okay, 'cause we're going to baptise five people this week! We were going to baptise 3 yesterday, but one of them never showed up (sixth week in a row), and the other two... well, one of them wasn't feeling well (and I think she might've had some doubts still, about Joseph Smith - but she's accepting him a lot more now, which means she's also accepting the Savior a lot more) and she wanted to do it at the same time as her son, so they postponed for a week. They still want to get baptised though, and they're really good, too - what other investigator offers to feed the missionaries before they're even baptised?

The other two are both named R. And both of them went out of town... BUT WE STILL ARE GOING TO BAPTISE FIVE THIS WEEK!

Also... well, that's about it in terms of people we're working with. With the help of the Lord and the Spirit, we'll also be able to baptise three or four more this week as well. If that is to happen, though, there will need to be at least one trip to T.

Also about the son of the sister I mentioned. He loves Minecraft (kinda unfortunate for me. I miss that game), and knows how well I draw. So, to help motivate him (interview, in specific), I offer drawings. Of Minecraft, Despicable Me 2, or things like that. THE DRAWINGS HELP! :D I love being able to use my talents to help out.

Anyways, I got other e-mails to write, so I'll see y'all later.


Elder N

P.S. I should've turned on flash. OH WELL:


(From 7/8/13 email)

Turns out, President W was on a first name basis with Elder Holland (but then he became Elder Holland and wanted to show the proper respect). And he's hilarious.

This pic is of terribly translated things I found in T (the place where we marry people; long story that I'll forget someday but that's okay it's not that great).

So that's all I got time for. Exceeeeeeeept... IDK. That's about it. I think I'm allergic to cats now, so that's new. No idea when that happened.

Also yeah. I don't know; not really much new happened this week.

Except we brought an amazing family to church and the brother of the mom, a guy who we (not me, C) baptized a month ago and gives us free hamburgers on occasion gave his testimony during the meeting. That's all for this week, 'cause now I'm out of time.


Week 20: No, I Need to Two-Up you.‏

(From 7/1/13 email)

"You just need to one-up me, don't you?" asked Elder E.

"No, I need to two-up you," I replied.
"What a tanning-bed jerk!" - Elder E
You all know about the Mexican Novelas, right? (Editor's note: they're the same thing as our soap operas.) Sometimes, when we're ordering foods, the people are watching them. We then follow up by insulting the actors, the characters, and the rain falling out of holes in an off-screen bucket. We've said a lot of funny things during these short periods.

Anyways, pic this week:
Ripped shirt.

YUP. Things are going good here.

Go on a mission, give your missionaries references, and be sure to be nice to that little raccoon eating your lunch right now.


Elder  N

(Really) Week 19: My Saturday Breakfast‏

(From 6/24/13 email)

Look at this deliciousness:

Pancakes. With peanut butter. With syrup. It was so delicious. Thank you Mom for sending me the peanut butter.

Anyways, this week I'm telling you about food. Why? Because people like giving us food. We have a recent convert with a burger stand. He makes us burgers. We also have an investigator that makes plátanos fritos. Basically, fry a sliced banana, throw strawberry jelly on it, chocolate sprinkles, some creams, caramel, and an occasional deep-fried banana, and you've got one delicious desert. They're right next to each other, too.

But anyways, there's more. President V has reached the end of his service, and that means President W (a friend of Dad's Uncle R) is arriving. Changes are coming!

Well, what else have I got? ...I still don't miss hills. Found that out last week.

I also drew a monster. He's called ebenezer and it must always be written like that. ebenezer ruins everything. you'll find out what he looks like next week.

Something that I find funny is when it rains. It cools down quite a bit here, and whenever we meet some locals around here while it's raining, they see me and Elder E in our short sleeve shirts and they almost always ask, "¿No tienen frio?" meaning, "Aren't you cold?"

No. No we aren't. They're freezing their faces off, wearing these thick and heavy coats (or at least a sweater), and we're thinking, "This is perfect! Why can't it be like this all day and all night?" Well, I can't read Elder E's mind... yet... but I know I'm thinking it. I love the rainy season.

Well, that's about all I think. Pancakes, hamburgers, fried bananas, ebenezer, and freezing locals and melting Americans. And a new President that will come. Pretty good week.

I also drank at least 5.5 liters of apple soda this week. One 3 liter bottle and one 2.5 liter bottle that I can get refilled for like... 10 pesos or something.

I should probably stop before I get diabetes.

And also I talk in my sleep.

And also not really that was all.

Elder N

No not really. HI!

Week 19: The Things I Do to Get to the Door‏

(From 6/17/13 email)

C is pure buildings. These buildings have gates on them that get in our way when we're trying to get to investigators. Sometimes, they also block the doorbells, so you need to get clever to get to them. That's me stretching as hard as I can to hit the doorbell switch with my pen.

It then turns out to be a light switch, and now I need to turn it off. And my pen doesn't reach that far, so what do I do?

Light switch, meet chair. Chair, lightswitch.

It was a lot easier with Chair than with Pen.

So yeah, things here are great. I love not having to climb hills, the members are great, and the chapel here has filtered drinking fountains and carpet!

CARPET. That stuff is incredibly rare here.

Also, if you have a Patriarchal Blessing, go read it. There's some great stuff in there. And you never know what you'll figure out and I'm so hungry right now.

That's about all I've got  this week.


I still wonder what that Yakult stuff is.

Week 17: C, C‏

(From 6/10/13 email)

CHANGES JUST HAPPENED and someone here has a ringtone that makes the original Wild Pokémon Encounter sounds.

This is my new companion, Elder E:
Yeah... the upload was taking too long. It´s an attachment. Also any strange punctuation is due to me being unable to change the Keyboard settings.

Anyways, I´m now in an area called C in the Zone of C. No more N for me. As I gave a farewell to my converts, I couldn´t help but already miss them. And I just found the apostrophe key. It's annoying.

Anyways, C is like the opposite of N - NO HILLS. This makes me smile, because in case you couldn't tell by my past e-mails, I'm kinda tired of hills.

But enough about that, what about the week?

I went to T on an airplane-bus (basically, a bus that was like an airplane in comfort and style - they even had an on-ride movie) to resolve a visa issue that I didn't need to be there for (woke up at 4:00 to get there on time. Fun.), returned to T to get the papers finished up, and got a free pound of french fries covered in cheese, salsa, and ketchup from a member. They were delicious - and then the same night I found red cream soda. Turns out, it's actually Peach Soda. Who knew?

Anyways, that's about what I've got for this week.

Later, y'all, and have fun!

Elder N
...Those fries were so delicious...

Week 17: T‏

(From 6/3/13 email)

Couples can't get baptised if they're not married. You get sent home if you baptise an unmarried couple that are living together. Yeah, it's that important. So, there's got to be something we can do for that, right?

Yes. The hard counter: T. That's where we go to get people married and stuff. So, in order to baptise a powerful couple, that's where Elder W and I went during the last week. And who do I see there?

None other than my amigo from the L G Ward, Elder A M! (Friend from old ward, serving in a neighboring Mission!)

And then we baptise these people! 

They are so incredibly powerful. I'll have to tell y'all more about them later, because this story is fairly long. And great.

Anyways, this is the last week of my second transfer in the field. After this, I've got 14 transfers left. On top of that, I'm probably leaving the N area - so that also means that I'll be going into new territory soon.

I hope it's a peublo. I miss small, sleepy towns. City life isn't for me, it would seem. Even if I am on the outskirts. Everything here is still cool - we've got CostCo and McDonalds and everything else in the city, which is nice.

Anyways, thanks for all the support, and you're all amazingly awesome!

Elder N