Nuevo Laredo, June-present.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Made it to Monterrey!!

Well this is my email home to show that I made it haha.

My president seems awesome, and I like it here already. Its hot and I love it haha. Without the suitcoat its not too bad, and without a long sleeve shirt it would be even easier. I just had pizza hut and some new drink called Jamaica, which is like this lemonade koolaid drink thats really good. Hopefully Hermano Thomas knows about it.

I will be sleeping in the mission office tonight, get my companion tomorrow, and then ship out to wherever that is. However, because the mission is being split into three parts, wherever I am assigned first, say Monterrey or some other city, that is where I will stay for the rest of my mission. Not in that specific city, but which ever new mission that city is in that is the mission I will be in. So next time I get a chance, I will tell you where I am. 

I have come to the realization, that I know no español.  Thankfully, my president and the APs have talked a lot in English, but I know it will be interesting once I start teaching. I may teach today, it depends if we have extra time after interviews with the president. I dont know if I want to or not haha. I hope we dont have to teach just yet; I'd rather have a trainer first, than just be put with a zone leader, and go out. 

Anyway this is my letter home to say I made it and that I am now in the most beautiful, best, most awesome place Ive seen yet haha!!! I love it here already, and cant wait to see more of mexico. Love you all, and talk to you soon! - Tim

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Last PDay before Mexico! Week#5/MTC

So today is my last P-day and second to last day at the MTC. I cant believe it has gone so fast! Monday was pretty much the only normal day here. On Tuesday we flew out to las vegas, which was really nice to get out of the MTC. 

There were ten of us all going, 5 from my district and 5 elders from another. We made quite a scene walking through the airports all in our suits and backpacks. It was probably the first time I felt like a real missionary haha, not because everyone was looking at us, and some people called out and said hi, but it was so obvious that so many people want or need to hear our message. Anyway to give the full story, one of our elders bought a tiny book of Mormon from the bookstore, and we all brought two pass along cards, and made goals to give them all away. We left salt lake at about 9am, got into las vegas at about 10:15, and then were spirited away to a church building. First of all, Las Vegas is interesting to say the least. I dont know if its because I had been in the MTC for a month by then, or if the people there truly just didnt want to wear clothes, I dont think I've ever seen so much skin and skimpy clothes and in an airport! haha, it was like I was on the beach. Anyway after I left the den of iniquity of the airport, we went and got our visa's from the consulate. 

This was pretty cool, because it was like a preview of Mexico. The moment I stepped into the building everything went from english to Spanish. And I mean everything, I didnt see a single english word. Automatically we all started talking in espanol, and we were the only whites ones there haha. All I had to do was sit there, then go get a picture taken and scan my fingers when the lady called my name, ( Pronouncing it like Elder Guu-neyy) My favorite part though was this little kid in the back room, where they were working, his Mother must have brought him in, and he was so excited haha. He was running around and looking at papers like they were the coolest thing he'd ever seen, and drawing and just being a kid haha. The best part though was he talked in espanol, and this probably 4 or 5 year old kid knew more espanol than I did haha. 

After we got our visas we went and chilled at the church until we had to go to the airport. Once we got there our plan got delayed for another 30 mins so, we waited for about 2 hours, so my district decided to explore a little. I got some nice pictures and learned how to use my camera haha. Anyway, our whole trip nobody had placed anything, or even had a significant talk with a non-member. Partly, because we were so distracted by all the new sights, but also I think because it was the first time and we were all shy. We had talked to lots of members and everything but not fulfilling our goals. So I decided to talk to whoever sat next to me on the plane. I had a nice young couple sit next to me, who had been vacationing in California, and were coming back to Salt Lake, they werent members, but both had families that were. They werent interested in the church, they told me right at the start haha, but I still just talked to them, and was looking to see if I could find any need or anything that I or the church could help with. We had a nice conversation, and they were great, but they werent interested. 

So our flight was over, and I was walking off the plane with my district and was feeling really down that nobody had placed anything! so I decided just then and there, even though the guy behind me wasnt interested I was going to give him the Book of Mormon Elder Miller bought. So I got it from Elder Miller, turned around, and the couple was gone, couldnt see them anywhere. And I mean I know they were behind me, and we were right at the gate. So they either stayed on the plane after they stood up, or had run past me without me knowing. Anyway, now I was really sad, and so was my district. as we were walking to the front we were all expressing our disappointment that we werent able to place anything. We were back in Salt lake now, so now everyone, not just some people, were saying hi to us, and trying to stop and talk to us. but we were running late and just tried to brush them off. We got to the start of a long hallway with people sitting in the chairs on the sides waiting for planes with only a few people walking in the hallway, and I saw, as we turned onto the hallway, an extremely old man at the far other side turn around in the middle of the corridor, see us, saw his eyes light up and immediately started walking towards us. And all I could think was oh, no, this guy is going to want to talk to us. I wish these people would stop, I'm late and want to get back to the MTC. So we just kept walking and sure enough in the  middle he met us and said, " Hi elders! where are you all headed off to?". He proceeded to greet us each individually, and just in that old person way, talk for about what seemed like an eternity, but was really only probably two minutes. 

Anyway, then, just because the Lord loves missionaries, and knew how sad I and my district was, and he probably wanted to give us some experience. The old man said " My wife and I just finished our third mission. We are sitting over there, ( and he pointed to a corner) and we have a contact for you all, and want you to come over and teach them". So we all immediately said of course, ( And my exasperation with this man vanished on the spot!!) and we decided, it might be a little overwhelming if all ten of us went over to this one lady who was sitting over in the corner. So I, Elder Miller, and Elder Demille volunteered to go over, while the others kind of came over and talked to the wife. To make the story a little shorter, we came over and introduced ourselves, and were just talking to the young woman. We found out that she and her boyfriend had been backpacking for a month in Thailand, had some pretty awesome,and some pretty scary experiences, and they had decided as a couple that they wanted to join a church and be married. The boyfriend came over, just as we were about to start talking to her about the church. So we got to hear his story as well, which re-stated hers. 

So Elder miller beautifully stated our purpose, and how God loves everyone, and then as he was talking, one of the other elders came over and whispered to me that we really needed to go, and that our people were waiting for us and we were late as it was. so once elder miller finished I moved right into how the gospel blesses families, and just laid it right out in front of them for them to become married, and how they would be blessed from that and that desire, and then I talked about how the book of Mormon blesses and helps families, and I took it from Elder Miller, gave it to them, committed them to read the introduction and 3rd Nephi. And then, right when I ran out of things to say and didnt have anything else, Elder Demille jumped right in and gave them our cards, told them that if they had questions or wanted to meet with missionaries, to call the number or go onto the website. And then we left/ ran away because we were about 2 hours late!!

Anyway, I was so glad that I hadn't given that book of Mormon away to the first couple I met. They most likely would not have read it or done anything with it. And Im convinced thats why I couldnt find them. Because the Lord knew, and had been preparing this other couple that was so receptive and so ready for the church, I know they are reading it and investigating. Anyway, it was an awesome experience, and I loved it. AND, it was in English (It's so easy in English haha) but, about halfway through I was talking to the boyfriend, and talking about marriage, and said " ...And you and your...." and just blanked haha, they only word that came to my mind was Espousa, which is wife haha, and I didnt want to say that and didnt want to say your girlfriend, (for some reason it just felt weird or wrong haha), And the guy just said "... My girl?". which completely threw me for a loop haha, but I recovered and continued haha. So I cant wait until the field, when I can do that everyday, and be guided by the Lord to people who are ready and willing to hear our message of love and hope. 

The rest of the week has been the same. Though there have been some sad moments saying goodbye to teachers and others. I was not able to up load pictures, so I am just sending my picture card home after today, so you will have to wait another week for pictures. But today is the last day of class, after P-Day, and I start packing today. I cant believe its gone so fast. Anyway, I've learned some info about Mexico,  try not to send me packages, as they most likely wont get to me. Dearelders and e-mails are the best. However the man that told me all this information was a little weird and crazy, so why dont you send me a small package in a week or so, with nothing important in it, and see if I get it. (This man was under the impression that most people now-days speak an aztecian or mayan language in mexico, and only about 30% speak spanish....) Anyway, for the first try, dont put anything important in it. 

The MTC is great, I'm really excited to go out into the field, even with my very poor espanol, but I know i will get it. All I have to do is invite the spirit  and no matter how bad my espanol is, it will be okay. Anyway, love you all, glad to hear the yard sale was effective, and make sure you draw closer to God, in scripture study, and prayer. I'm telling all my investigators about how the book of Mormon has blessed me and my family, so make sure I'm telling the truth and that you all are still reading, and if you have any awesome blessings that you think an investigator would like to hear about, shoot me an e-mail haha. 

Anyway love you all, talk to you on Monday!


Saturday, May 18, 2013

"PDay...headin to Vegas!" Week #4/MTC

Well another week has gone by at the speed of light. This is the fastest time has ever moved for me. Especially this week because there was something different almost each day that made the day go by fast.  

This past week, Monday was normal, but for our devotional on Tuesday we got to have Russel M Nelson speak to us, which was pretty awesome. He gave a great talk about ancestry and missions.  So there is my General authority talk. Wednesday I hosted which was fun, which I dont know if Morgan has described it or not, but hosting just means I get to stand out on the curb and when a missionary arrives, makes sure he says his goodbyes, pry him away away from his mother. and go get his stuff with him and drop him off at class. Its really fun, and awesome to see so many missionaries. Over 600 arrived that day, and my Zone got a new district of eleven elders and hermanas. Unfortunately that night in the class orientation one of the new hermanas threw her cookies onto the floor in our corridor. I felt really sorry for her, so the next day I shared my temple story with her haha. Thursday and Friday were pretty normal, but still went by very quickly. This Saturday once again I get to go to the temple and do a session, clean my clothes, take a much needed nap, and then go to class haha.  Today will be different though because In our lesson today we are skyping with some members in Chile, Guadamaule, and Mexico, and teaching them a lesson. So its different and should be interesting. 

So this last week was the last normal week for me. This next one is my last full week, and has some important events to mark my departure. Its crazy to think ive been here over a month now, I couldnt tell you what I did on wednesday, the days just all blur together, but its awesome. So on Tuesday I fly out to Las Vegas to get my Visa, I have to talk to some Mexican consultant and so my District and I will be taking that day and going to Las Vegas to get that. Which reminds me, I would really like Jordans address so if you could send that to me in a dear elder that would be great =D. SO unfortunately I will miss the tuesday devotional, which are always good, but I do really want my Visa. Then on Friday I have "In field orientation" which is an all day thing of just giving me info about my field. Other than that though, the week is normal. 

I will probably leave the MTC next tuesday. So only about ten days left haha. Im really excited to leave, however the MTC has been awesome. The teachers here are some of the best I have ever met. It's wonderful, and there is so much knowledge. We watched a previous talk given here at the MTC by Jeffery R Holland, talking about the MTC. One thing that has been important to know since day one for every missionary, is that this is the MIssionary training center. Not the language learning center. While it is important to learn the language and how to teach. Much more important is that we are converted to the lord, that we as representatives of Christ, can go to the field and do our best job doing that role. I wish I could send you the talk, but it was spoken here which means it cant be accessed by anyone but people at the MTC. I do have a part of the talk with me that the teacher printed off, so I will mail that to you, of course it was Jeffery R Holland, so its was powerful and blunt and convincing. 

Next P-day im going to try and send you my pictures, since it will be that last time I can. I hope I can do it all here on the computer, but if not, then your getting another letter with a memory card in it. My laundry is getting close to being done, but if you could tell me over the next week, how the yard sale goes, and how mission prep is going, especially for Taylor Hymas. And how church is, and the missionaries both sets now. By the way Ive met a bunch of hermanas going to manchester new hampshire mission, over my stay here and told everyone to look up the wilcox family, so I hope you get to meet one that remembers that name haha. 

Anyway, love you all, have fun in the yardsale today, and have more fun at church tomorrow! and be ready for pictures next week haha


Saturday, May 11, 2013

"PDay Again.." Week #3/MTC

Well another P-day has arrived. Even though on P-day the only thing that really is different, is I get up really early and do my laundry, then go back to sleep and do a regular day, I still look forward to it haha. This past week has been fun, and challenging, as im sure every week will be in my mission. 

In response to some of the questions that I remember, and you will have to excuse me, it is pretty early right now, so if I miss one sorry, But! We are called Elders, Hermanos means brothers, so sister missionaries are called "Hermanas" but we arent called "Brothers" we are called "Elders". 

Espanol is coming along, I'm blessed with a companion who knows a lot of espanol and has a grasp of it. I can understand almost everything people say, if im listening, however my challenge is speaking it, but im getting it. This past week our district made the goal to speak only espanol, except in required situations, and it is very helpful. So its a pretty big relief typing this in english haha. Devotionals here are awesome,i have liked every single one, and get another tomorrow! Temple trips are very nice, its awesome to see so many people going to the temple and to learn more. 

My district has been assigned to be hosts this Wednesday for the incoming missionaries, and I am pretty excited for that. I get a haircut later today, which I really need, and then get to start my last "Normal" week! The time has just flown by, everyone in my district wants to go out into the field and teach, however we know how helpful the MTC is, and understand how much more we need to learn. So while we want to get out of here and into the field, we also want to stay here and just learn as much as possible. Visa's for every mission are getting hard to come by because of so many being required, so most likely I will get re-assigned to a state side mission, then once my visa comes in go to mexico. Which is awesome because then its like I have two missions haha.

Thank you everyone for all my birthday wishes and packages, they were very much appreciated, and all the letters that are now being sent, its wonderful! However, dearelder is very weird and hard to understand, the letters keep getting jumbled up and mixed and just confusing, so if you would please, no espanol, the computer doesnt know what to do with it, and it messes up the whole letter and then I have to decipher strange computer code among the message, which isnt fun. Try not to be fancy with your paragraphs or spaces in between texts, it just messes up the flow of the machine and I get letters with different subjects on them, and have to solve a puzzle and put the right paragraphs together, which is very confusing. But thank you all so much for the letters and dear elders and packages! 

This past week has been great, in the area of sports, I have survived another week, and even gone one without an injury, which was fantastic. I played soccer and basketball, kickball, and foursquare, which I had never played in my life, but was pretty easy. I have such amazing teachers here at the MTC, both of my teachers are just excellent spiritual giants and full of knowledge. Early on our teacher went on vacation, and since our teachers are also our "Investigators" we had subs and so we had about five different subs and each one was a new investigator, so we got to really learn how to introduce ourselves and begin teaching and find their need, but the farthest we have gotten with an investigator is lesson two. My favorite teacher was one of our subs, and he is no longer our teacher but I still see him from time to time, he is an awesome man and I really dont know how else to describe him. He is the perfect role model for anyone to follow, and loves the lord. Also my first teacher, Hermano Osuna, and he is just the same as Hermano Bryd, (my favorite) he is a native in mexico, so we get to learn espanol and learn the accent which is awesome. 

There are so many missionaries here, it still impresses me, every week 500 leave and 500 more come in. Every single week! I just remembered a question that was in a previous letter. My district has eight elders in it, no Hermanas for some reason, but we get 4 coming in this week, Elders Smith, from new Hampshire and my companion and the best at espanol, Gunnell (me haha), Miller from south Carolina pretty good at espanol, and big into wrestling , Collins from Utah, about 20 minuets away from the MTC haha, really good at soccer, Lefholz(District leader) from Georgia, nice southern accent and an awesome guy, Murdock form Idaho who's pretty quiet and is struggling with espanol but really funny, elder Demille who is also quiet but really knowledgeable and determined, and Elder Hunt, who I sit next to and call the polar bear, because he turns the temp alllll the way down every day haha. Everyone is awesome and we all love each other, you just start to when literally every second of every day is with each other. We are all going to Monterrey east except, Lefholz and Murdock who are going to Tijuana. They are all great and yes Elder Hunt and I talk all the time about how our Moms know each other now, and try and think of what you two talk about haha, he still calls you Sister Gunnell, which I think is pretty funny. 

Every day here is so long, but then at the end of the day you get home to your residence and wonder where 16 hours just went. Anytime there is something different also makes everything better. So thats why P-day and Sunday are so awesome is because they are different, not even in what I do, just different scheduling, and it feels great to break the pattern. Well my laundry is done, so I have to send this letter, but I still have 28 minuets left on my time, so I will send out some more to additional people, love you all lots! and thank you for everything!


P.S.  Unfortunately i am out of time but Happy Mothers day!! Love you, go onto and find the video for mothers day on there, and that is my happy mothers day to you, also while you are there look up bible videos of the life of Jesus Christ and find "For god so loved the world" and watch that as well. Love you


Saturday, May 4, 2013

"PDay...Finally!!" Week #2/MTC

Well, I'm finally on my P-day. Its been a a long almost two weeks to go without, and it is needed. My new schedule makes us get up way early and be in class at 7:15, and eat all our meals earlier. Safe to say that our new schedule is not very popular, and our P-day really only last till about 10am, because we have scheduled events that we have to have. We were so lucky with our other schedule on having it on Tuesday, because they do a Tuesday devotional at 6-7ish so we didn't even have to go to class on Tuesday, but now our p-day has a class in it. It's not a big deal, it just means we have to hit the vending machines before we go to bed because we eat dinner at 4:10, and Breakfast is at 6:45, which is a long time between meals. Our gym times are better though. 

Speaking of gym, this past week and a half the field has been open, and we have been playing a lot of soccer, and I have been getting injured a lot! I messed up my knee the first day, when I was playing goalie(Goaly?) and ran out to get the ball and an elder and I collided. I could barely walk for the next three days, I couldn't bend it very far, but It wasn't broken or anything so I just decided to power through it, which wasn't a good idea, because I just hobbled around for the next three days. Its much better now, I'm at about 95% with it,I just don't have full flexibility yet. Then yesterday I was running to intercept the ball and an elder and I collided again, except this time his elbow hit my nose, and broke it, but as i fell I kind of held it/put pressure on it, and when I hit the ground it was enough pressure that it luckily snapped back, which is great cause I probably would have been a big baby had I had to manually push it back into place. So my nose it full of scabs today and really sore, but I had the trainer look at it, cause I know I felt a crunch and movement, but he said it is fine, and to not be as aggressive on the field next time ( Like I wanted my nose to be broken haha). So soccer and I see how much we can hurt each other each day, but its really fun. But I do think I'm going to convince my district to play volleyball or kickball so that next gym I don't sever a limb or something in soccer. 

Classes here at the MTC are really awesome.Our main teacher is Hermano Osuna, from Mexico city, who served in Monterrey west and he is excellent. He is a native speaker so we get the best Espanol, and hes a wonderful guy. Our teachers are our investigators right not, but its working out weird because there are so many new elders and one of the teachers took a vacation, so we have gone through three investigators. We made one flee to Ecuador( vacation), the next one left us for another missionary pair (Shes teaching a different district) and another that moved out of our zone. 

So my companion and I are getting good at teaching the "Get to know and first lesson" Here at the MTC they do things backwards, instead of teaching us the language, and then applying it to the gospel and then teaching, we are doing it the other way around. First we teach in the very little Espanol we know, then we learn more. It really makes us rely on the lord. I've never devoted myself or tried so hard at anything in my life, and its easy to see how much I have to rely on the lord.There is no way after only three weeks of learning Espanol that I ca teach, especially the gospel of Christ, which can become more and more complicated as investigators ask questions. But! Somehow I do teach and testify ( Yo se que! haha), and talk in lessons, and it is only through the spirit that brings Espanol to my remembrance. The main teacher is the spirit, so as long as we invite that and have it stay our lesson is successful, even if we were to not even talk, if the spirit is there, the investigator will learn. My companion is awesome at Spanish, he took five years of it, and knows a lot more than I do, however everything is catching up now, and instead of being light years ahead of me in grammar (Which he still is) I'm closing the gap. You should see my notebook and how many words I'm memorizing haha, I'll take a picture and send it when its really impressive. I was going to upload the few pictures that I have, but its so early i forget to bring my camera, but its OK, ill do it closer to the end of my stay and send you all the pictures. Its really fun talking in Espanol to my district and zone, and I learn a lot when I do. This weekend should be nice and easy, after our marathon of classes and work, today is going to be nice and slow, and we only have one class which isn't too bad. Though I don't know if we are teaching, which is making me nervous, cause nobody seems to know who our teacher is going to be. But the next two days are going to be relaxing. 

I'll wrap my letter up, cause my laundry is almost done, but I'll send another in a second once its is changed over for specific people and if you could forward them/ e-mail it to them that would be awesome, because I really don't like writing letters haha. Anyway love you all, and pray for you all each night, I'm doing great out here and learning so much! hope you guys enjoy your weather and time, and thank you for the candy package! it was sent at the perfect time! Love you all! -Tim