Come unto Him!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 9

So I'm out of time as always! But this time cuz we kept losing power here today! Super annoying!!  Sorry if I didn't get to your emails if you sent me one!  And if you sent me a dear elder or a letter, I won't get the mail until tomorrow.

 So a couple things! 

1. Despite the reckless and lawless driving, I Haven't seen a single car accident here! 
(So maybe stop signs and stops lights and speed limits are there to kill us, cuz I've seen multiple deadly car accidents in America).

2. A kid asked me if I dyed my hair, cuz it's a different color from everyone else's.

3. I've just gotten use to not understanding anything.

4. I went with my zone Christmas Caroling, and we sang in front of a movie theater that had its doors open, and inside I could hear the Guitar song Cliffs of Dover, and then after that a song I recognized, but I don't know the name, but that second song was all mostly screeches that are made with harmonics and the whammy.  But man, I tell you what, a guitar has never sounded so beautiful in the history of the world!  Even the song that was straight screeches! It made miss my Ibanez GR 250 with FAT 6 whammy guitar.  Mom you better not sell that! Sell Jacob instead! hahaha just kidding :P or am I?

5. They're getting ready for Christmas here!  They have it in most of the apartment building windows, and they're playing music too; Most of it American.  It's bringing back memories of home at Christmas time.  I miss those days.  But just two more years right? 

6.  Miss you guys a ton, and I miss all my swing dance friends.  You guys are probably gonna have to re-teach me when I get home! 

7. The air here is terrible.  Some days you can't even see the mountains that are just a couple miles away.  This week I started miss the Sierra Mountains.  Those are my favorite place to be. No noise, no trash (which is EVERYWHERE here), actual wildlife, the songs of the birds, clean air, fresh water.  I can just keep going on and on haha.  Dad!! I wanna do the Pacific Crest Trail with you when we get back!  I need to get out of the City! haha 

8. Apparently everyone here is like anti hunting.  I shared one of my hunting stories with a family we were meeting with.  I didn't think it would have been a problem, but I found out later, that people here are anti hunters.  So people kill each other here, like every day. No problem. But if you kill a squirrel it's a really big problem??? Whaaatt? What crazy place is this??? haha I guess it's because the only wildlife here is stray dogs, and people haha.

9. No we didn't have a Thanksgiving here.  But we're gonna have a zone Christmas activity!! 

10. And the Highlight of the week, is yesterday.  My companion and I taught the Restoration of the Gospel!  Even with my broken Spanish, the spirit testified of my words to Teresa and Irvin, and also to me.  It was very strong, and incredible!  Then, after the Account of the Vision of Joseph Smith, I asked if they would follow the example of our savior and be baptized by someone holding the authority of God!  And they said they Would!!! Which is super awesome!! 

And to make it even better, the area I'm in right now is the nicest area, but the hardest for missionary work.  Not a single person has been baptized here in about 3 years and the ward is super small.  So Irvin and Teresa might very well be the first ones in three years!  I'm super stoked for them! Cuz this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it blesses the lives of everyone who partakes of it! 

God be with you until we meet again! 

Love you Guys! 

-Elder Elkins

Week 8

Man I don't know where to begin! 

It's crazy here haha but I love it!  I guess I'll start with telling you guys what it's like!   So I ended up getting assigned to like the nicest area in my mission!   So that's good!   And the apartment we have is pretty good! Compared to others haha but it's not the nicest.   First off we have to hot water, again haha the joke in the mtc with having no hot water was that we were just getting prepared for Mexico!  It turned out to be true, cuz every morning it's a ASL ice bucket Challenged! It's not that much fun haha.  And it's like winter time here so it gets pretty cool. And just about every window in my building is broken, and the building isn't insulated either, so it gets pretty cold at night lol the first few days, I didn't have a blanket. So the nights were long haha.   But I have two now, so I'm happy!   But it also smells funny here in Mexico.  They have big open canals of just straight up crap.  So yeah it's not pleasant, but I think I'm getting use to it haha.  And there are some many wild dogs here! And they poop EVERYWHERE. I stepped in some.  That was a nice present haha.   There's also a bunch of dog foot prints in the concrete from when they poured it, and then the dogs ran through it haha  But all the stray dogs are pretty chill.  The only ones that want to kill me are up on the roof, or behind the fence.  And man they're scary haha my first day here I think I jumped like 5 times lol.   But I guess if a dog really wanted to, it could jump.  My mission president said he saw a dog jump and kill itself.   But the people here have mean dogs to help protect their homes. Robbery is a pretty big problem here.  Every window has iron bars across them, and each building is surrounded but barbed or razor wire lol.  There are also trains that go through my area.  And today I saw two dudes standing on top, and they had assault weapons  to guard the train.  Well at least I think they were security lol.

The food here is good!  And I haven't gotten sick yet!  "Yet", being the key word there.  Every greengo here gets sick at least a couple times. It's just a part of life haha.  And speaking of greengos, I stand out pretty good!  I'm taller and whiter than pretty much everyone.  Except maybe 3 others haha so people stare at me a lot lol.  One Sister Missionary here who is from Utah said in one area, they would take pictures of her.  Almost like they've never even seen a greengo before haha.  I might end up in that area too lol.  But someone here told me that I look like I'm from the coast, so at least I didn't get too white in Utah!  That's good!  But I'm still noticeably taller than most people haha.  I have to duck to walk under some of the street canopies.  And speaking of street canopies, if you want to experience Mexico, just go the farmers market by my house.  It's exactly the same haha.

Most of the people here are nice!  There's only one guy here who yells and cusses at us haha.

But the people here have also figured out how to cuss at each other on the road with they're car horns.  Certain patterns mean certain things haha.

The language is a butt kicker. They don't speak Spanish here, they speak Mexican!  And I can't understand anything!  But it's coming slowly. And it's a good thing my companion is a native Speaker!   His Name is Elder Cornejo!  He's super awesome!  He's from Chile, and loves American music, so he'll start singing random songs here haha.  He's been out for 8 months today and he's been learning English here!  And his English is pretty good!  And has been a huge help!  But he's not a huge fan of the food here and when something is spicy, it's really spicy for him!  He almost died earlier from the panda express food here haha.  Yeah they have panda!  And it's in the Wal-Mart, which is nicer than the Wal-Marts back home haha.  But yeah my companion is super great and a hard worker and loves to have fun!  On Saturday, my whole zone did a community service project!  We painted a couple play grounds, pulled a ton of weeds and cut some grass!  I think I know why Mexicans like bright colors some much, cuz without it there would be nothing but depressing grey here haha.  So a lot of buildings and every play ground here is painted with bright colors.  The weeds we were pulling had a bunch of dog poop in them that couldn't be avoided, so we got covered in it and there aren't any lawnmowers or weed whackers here, so we had to use machetes to cut the grass!  It was hard work, but fun!  One of the Native Elders here said I cut grass like a man! So yeah I felt pretty cool hahaha.  And the people here are always blasting music!  A lot of it American!  I was so happy to have a break from being stuck listening to the same stupid songs on the radio, but then I got here and they play indie rock a lot. It bugs me haha. But they do play the classic Mexican music too which is okay, but every now and then someone will blast hard core rock! Which is fine with me cuz I was going through rock n roll recessions haha. And speaking of rock n roll!  I went on splits one night here with the zone leaders!  I was with Elder Allison and he's super awesome as well!  And we had a lesson with a hard core rocker!  Elder Allsion has been working with him for a couple months now.  He had a gnarly black leather vest and big black leather boots.  He had multiple heavy metal necklaces on and hardcore rings on both hands and an Iron Maiden shirt on.  And when we met with him, i didn't understand a thing. But Elder Allison had me share my testimony there.  And so I said what I could in my broken Spanish, and when I finished, the man (I don't remember his name which sucks cuz he's super awesome) we were teaching said, he got the chills while I was testifying to him of the truthfulness of the gospel, and the Power of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and that Christ can heal us and change us for the better.  And That I had changed with the help of the atonement. 

And then immediately after, he started to cry.  And that takes a lot for a hard core rocker like him to start crying.  So I know the spirit of God was there with us and that Christ was healing his heart and changing him.  He said he wants to be a better person. And he has a lot of problems to fix, but he's on the right path.  And I know that the Gospel is true and that Christ and God the Father loves all of us, and are just waiting to help us.  We just have to let them.  My first week here has been great, but also one of the hardest!  I miss my friends and family back at home.  But I'm here to serve God and the people of Mexico.  This Gospel is true.  God is my father and I am a son of God.  I've sacrificed a lot in my life to be here. And that's because I know that it's what God wants me to do and I know this Gospel is the restored Gospel of Christ on the Earth.  I know that people can be healed and changed for the better through the atonement of Jesus Christ.  This is my testimony and this what I'm working for and why I'm going through these hardships for.  I Hope all of you know these things as well. But if not, all you have to do is ask God himself and he will send messengers your way, so that He, Himself, can tell you these things are true. I say these things In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ Amen. 

Love all you guys! 

And I hope to hear from you soon!  I found out today I can still get dear Elders Here!  So please send me a ton of letters!  I love hearing from you guys and when I'm having a bad day, one letter can make it all better!  You have no idea how happy it makes missionaries to get mail from friends and family! 

Have a great week! 

--Elder Elkins