Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Well, I want to start off by apologizing to y'all for not sending an email on Monday. The library was closed, and we had lots to do! So emailing was just possible that day. But here I am! And I think I have quite a bit to tell you. I feel like so much has happened since the last time I emailed that I can't remember any of it! So it's a good thing I have my trusty journal with me today!So like I said last Monday, we went to the Perot Museum of science and nature. I was really looking forward to taking bunches of pictures, but of course, as soon as I took my camera out, it died. So sadly, I don't have much to show for that trip, but it was still a good time! We got to race a cheetah and a t-rex!
Transfer calls came late Saturday night. We were one of the last ones they called and I was going bonkers waiting for it! But here I am now at the McKinney library sitting next to Elder Malpartida! So Sunday and Monday I spent the majority of the days saying bye to people and packing. I couldn't believe I had to pack. Moser Garden apartments were my home! It was weird and stressful to pack up and leave. It was bitter sweet. My whole time in Lakewood I have been ready for a new area, but as I was actually leaving, I was a bit sad. I had the privilege of getting to know some incredible people, serving with great companions and friends, and making great memories. The Lakewood chapter is definitely one I won't forget. Nearly a quarter of my mission was spent there. That's loco! It is very frustrating to be leaving right now. Elder Haskell and I had so much going on! Far more than I ever had my previous 5 months there. Sometimes I ask myself why? But then I have to remind myself that God is wise, he knows what he is doing, and he has a plan for my mission. I trust that Elder Haskell to take care of business without me.
So my new area is McKinney. I serve in a Spanish branch and my area is the whole stake. This stake is BIG! But do you know what that means? CAR! I'm in a car, I'm driving, and it feels oh soooo goood. My companion is Elder Malpartida, a goofy little guy from Peru, but he lived in New Jersey for 3 years so he knows English fairly well. He is 21 and only has 6 weeks in the field. But he is easy going and funny, and we shouldn't have a hard time getting along.
Yesterday was my first day in McKinney and it was quite alright! The apartment was an absolute disaster, so we cleaned for a couple of hours. Then we went to a tool shop where our branch mission leader works, as well as another member. They are a couple of cool dudes. They are constantly joking and I never know when to take them seriously. The one seems to be a great mission leader, much more involved than anyone in the Lakewood ward. Apparently the branch is super gungho about hastening the work, and that will obviously be a huge help. We had a dinner with a lady named Hermana Mondragon. She has a big fancy house. She is married and has 3 kids, one of which is serving a mission in Houston. But, get this, he is the only member! So she is just like you, Mom! A missionary mom that is not is not of the faith! She has had missionaries over for dinner nearly every Tuesday since her son has been gone, and that's 22 months! She is super nice and loves missionaries. Her answer to everything is "si dios quiere", or basically, "all in the Lord's timing". She likes to talk. A lot. It nearly made my brain burst from listening and concentrating so hard to understand her 100 mph Spanish for 2 hours! I struggled with my Spanish yesterday. I don't know if it was because now that I have a native Spanish speaking companion people use more advanced, regular Spanish rather than dumbed down gringo Spanish, or we just talked to abnormally fast and hard to understand people, or my Spanish is still just not quite up to par.
But after a day in McKinney, it is quite obvious that this will be very different than Lakewood and I am excited. With a native Spanish speaking companion and a Spanish branch, I will be much more immersed in the language and I will hopefully make big strides in my speaking ability. Lakewood was very dense and concentrated. McKinney and its surrounding areas are more spread out. We drive a lot. We smelled skunk like 6 separate times last night. I feel weird. I am a little stressed and uncomfortable. I forgot what it felt like to change areas. New companion, apartment, area that I don't know, members that I don't know; this is a big change! But it will just take a little bit of time. It's a good change. Somewhat of a fresh start, I guess you could say. I feel rejuvenated and ready to go!
-I have now gotten a letter from both you and Dad. I don't remember when though. Yesterday, the day I left, Elder Haskell called and said I had four letters in the mail. Not sure who from, but he said he would forward them to me.
-600 S. Graves apt. #1905
McKinney, TX 75069
-I'm set on treats. I packed all I still had from Christmas. Rick Rodriguez, the guy we had Thanksgiving dinner with and took us to the Blue Fish restaurant, took us to Trader Joe's and insisted we get more snacks. So I am set, probably until Easter!
-the only things that come to mind that I could use right now are a new journal (if you can, the same kind that you sent me last time, either black or blue) and a camera memory card. One is full, and the other one might be close, but I'm not really sure. On top of that, just send me your love and that's all for me!
Welp. I think that is about it. Much love.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
|David and his new haircut!|
|Celebrating Elder Haskell's one year anniversary!|
|Dallas Temple on a gray, rainy day.|
|David in front of the Dallas Temple.|
Buenos Dias!Another great week is in the books. The last 7 days were successful, productive, and fun! We had great numbers, 5 investigators at church, people are progressing, and I'm just feeling good! Either the Lord is blessing us greatly and making things easier, or I just might be starting to figure things out! Probably a mixture of both, but most likely more the first than the second.
We taught a good amount of LTMP's this week. (Lessons Taught with a Member Present, and we are encouraged to have as many of those as possible) It's been hard to use members here the way we should, mostly because my past experiences with members coming out with us for lessons. Every time we have a member join us, nothing happens. Nobody is home, they cancel, they lie, and we just have no luck! It ends up being embarrassing, I feel like a failure, and I feel bad for making these guys waste their time, driving us all around town in the cold for nothing. But this week, every time we had a member with us, everything went according to plan! We even had Brother Romney come out with us finally. It sure was nerve-racking to teach a lesson with an ex mission president! But it was a good learning experience, he said we did good, and he only made one suggestion! So that was a relief.
-Did Grandma and Charlotte send two separate packages or just one together? I know I got one that I thought was from both of them, with a CD and popcorn and an orange and stuff.
-Yes we can wear cologne, but I rarely do. But the stuff you sent me smells good and I will use it for special days. Does cologne expire?
-Jess has been in Africa. I think he might be back in town by now, but we haven't heard from him.
-I did hear that the new Mission Presidents were announced and that ours is President Taylor, but I don't know anything about him. But that's still exciting!
Welp. That's all I can think of. That's life in Dallas and I am enjoying it. Love and miss you! I never stop thinking about y'all and praying for y'all. Have a great week!
Saturday, January 11, 2014
|David and his little Christmas tree, presents and stockings!|
This e-mail from David really got to me. We have tried to teach our kids the power of kindness since they were small. Dave and I always told them to treat people with kindness because you never know what difficulties they may be facing at any given moment. We taught them to be friends with everyone at school, even the kids that maybe didn't seem to have a friend or were difficult to be friends with. David has diligently practiced this since he was small and he is still making us very proud!
Greetings to my beloved family and friends,I am happy to hear that all is well back home and y'all had a fantastic New Year's! The first few days of the new year have been great! We had a very successful week. We didn't teach as many lessons as normal, but the lessons we did teach were good, spiritual lessons with some solid people. We are starting to see some people take steps toward progression, and also recognize those people that won't be going anywhere. We are getting some progressing investigators! Things are picking up.
We taught a lesson to a 16 year old girl the other day, and at the end we asked her if she had any questions. She had one: "Do y'all play sports?" Pffff!?!? After listening to the mind blowing message of the Restoration, that is the only question you have?! I just don't get some people. And some people just don't get it! But what can you do?