Monday, July 31, 2017

21 Months!

While we were out there we stopped by the nearby beach... IT IS SO HOT!! Like you may know, Im from Arizona... so im not used to being at a beach. I had a lot of fun!

Well its been some crazy weeks and days. There is definitely a lot to write about, but I’m sorry I pretty much forgot most of it already. Things that barely happened two days feels like it happened last week. Let’s just say we´ve stayed busy. We still have to drive around pick every one up, and drive around with President to the different zones so that we can have our interviews classes. Its where all of the missionaries have interviews with the mission president. While they are getting interviewed, the zone leaders and us are teaching classes. We have taught the same class eight times now….so we are pretty tired of it, not gonna lie. But we made it really interesting, we have some activities that we do and tie it in to missionary work. We also did something really different, we actually recorded and edited some home videos. The videos are of Elder Torres and Elder Navarro (Secretaries in the office) that are examples of a typical missionary, and the point of the videos is to act like a missionary shouldn’t. They say and do things that we have seen and heard throughout our missions, but of course that we shouldn’t do. The mission has loved them! I cant wait for you to see them! Theyre really funny! For example, one of them goes some what like this:
Missionaries walking down the street and received a phone call.
Elder Navarro: Hola Hermano Pedro! Dígame.
Pedro: Hey Elderes! Que tal? Fíjese que tengo unos amigos que van a venir hoy a mi casa para un Noche De Hogar. Ellos tienen muchos deseos de aprender de la iglesia. Pueden venir a las 7?
Elder Navarro: Ok, déjeme preguntar a mi compañero.
El hermano pedro quiere hacer un Noche de Hogar en su casa con unos investigadores como a las 7. Vamos?.
Elder Torres: Hmm… Para que? Ya tenemos 10 nuevos investigadores este semana.
Elder Navarro: No se…
-Akward Silence…
Elder Torres: Bueno, hoy no tenemos cena. Posiblemente va haber comida…
Si, vamos!
Elder Navarro: Si Hermano Pedro! Vamos a llegar!

Im guessing that the video is funnier than reading it. But everyone loves the videos! Its funny watching them because they all say to one another ´Yeah that’s true,we do that´ haha! We are trying to help the missionaries be realistic with themselves and their leaders. A lot of times we think we have a lot of investigators, or a lot of people that will be baptized soon. But in reality, those 10 investigators with a baptismal date do not acutally have desires to get baptized soon, or at least not this year. We´ve seen that in our missions that when we think we have a lot of investigators, we tend to work less because no one is going to shave us for not having anthing this week. So we are helping them realize that they may think they have a lot, but they really don’t. So get to work. (That’s a little mean isn’t it? But it’s the truth. And we´ve seen some results already). Anyway, so we´ve been having to figure out a lot of emergency changes. Its very strange that recently there have been a lot of missionaries going home early for health reasons. Its very sad, we do everything we can to help them but there isn’t much that we can do. It is sad sending missionaries home. This morning we came to the office to drop off the vehicles so that we can get some errands nearby, and of course, we receive a phone call from our President saying “Hey! We have another situation, good thing you are already at the office, I am on my way and we need to figure our how we are going to cover some empty spots that we are going to have in the mission. Happy Pday!” But I´m not gonna lie, I know that I always say this, but its kind of fun always being On-Call, its spices up our days a little more! Haha.
Guess what? This week we did Zone Interviews with two zones, Guaymuras and Danli. And so after interviews are done, my companion and I usually split up and we do divisions with some areas. Well to help the missionaries the most that I can, I did divisions in Miraflores and El Paraíso so I can show them where all of our previous positive investigators live. Man, it was such a blast! During the divisions we would sometimes see some members there too. IT IS THE GREATEST FEELING EVER WHEN PEOPLE, MEMBERS/INVESTIGATORS/RADOM PEOPLE, REMEMBER YOU AFTER NOT SEEING YOU FOR MORE THAN A YEAR!! It made me ssssoooo happy!! I love these people SO much! As we were driving away, I was listening to a song that I really related to. Its one of my favorite songs!  You need to listen to it! Its called “A Call I Hear”. Especially because I officially have 21 months in the mission!

This is the FIRST family that I ever taught in my mission! This is the Mejia Family. I love them so much!!

This week, Miguelito went to Columbia for his mission! He is such an awesome guy! He is going to be a great missionary! I hope he doesnt forget all of the many times that we went our and worked! Just like I wont forget Elder Bryan and his companion (I forgot his name lol) but they really had a big impact on me before I left on the mission!) 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Consejo De Lideres

 (As we were traveling, we kept stopping because of traffic, I put my feet out of the window to relax and I saw the reflection of my shoes from the little mirror and I realized something, I need new shoes!! )
So I bought new shoes :) 

well, what a week. Today is Monday and we are having Pday, but its not our pday day, then what is going on!? We had 
some change of plans this week...I'll try to write a little about how our week went. So we start on Monday. We had our regular office things in the morning, a bunch of meetings making sure we have this week planned out and everything, more than anything planning for the next day. On Tuesday we had Consejo de Lideres. But, usually this is no big deal, but this time it was. Historically Leader’sCouncil is just another Zone Conference, but just for the leaders of the mission. They show up, we start and have it in the sacrament room, about 3-4 companionships, including us, teach a class. The leaders take notes, and are trying to stay awake, and then they go back to their areas, the next day they have a small reunion with their zone and share what they learn. Thats how it has been ever since I've gotten here. Its not much of a council is it? Soooo, my companion and I have been planning and meditating for a long time now, ready to make some changes. And so we tried to plan every little detail. So we were driving all over the city on Monday buying the things that needed. Not only that, but as I may have mentioned before, ever since I have gotten in the mission there has been this tradition where we ALWAYS always, always (Did I mention, Always?) had pizza for lunch anytime the mission ever got together. Pizza from Little Ceasars. Cheap and easy, and usually cold. And soooo… once again, we've been planning for change. We found a member who is cater for the Marriott Hotels, she invited us for dinner so that we can sample the food, and wow! It was perfect. So we planned all of that. Now, just imagine how anxious we were for the missionaries to see all of the surprises that we have for them. This is what we did: We set up the tables in the cultural hall in the church in a horseshoe shape (because I am a cowboy…) and because it would help the missionaries feel like they are actually in a council. 

A council is where you get together and you talk, and counsel each other, and discuss ways to change or improve.  

I think that has been what we have been missing in the mission. We even bought table clothes to have a better setting, and we had assigned seats, each with a little plaque with their names, and a water bottle, and some chocolate treats so that they stay awake! Haha 

At first a lot of the missionaries were shocked when they realized that no one received an assignment to teach a class! Except for us. 

 The rest of the time we were going to use to just talk as a mission, and that is exactly what we did and we accomplished a lot. 

 From what the missionaries told us, they loved it! They loved the change and they feel like they actually got something out of it. 

 President Chase was so happy with all of the cool changes we made, and so was the mission. So that was Tuesday, we have been preparing so much for that and we were finally finished! 

 And then what did we do after that?
 Start preparing for the Interviews classes for the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and for the rest of the change with the different zones. We actually have to take President and his wife all around our mission so that he can learn where all of the stake centers are, and we have to go teach our classes to them as well. So now we are at Wednesday, we finish our classes, and before we were going to leave to our area, our President says that we have to work on some 'stuff' after he gets done with the missionaries's interviews. You know what they means right? More emergency changes. Some missionary went home, and through the whole system off. And so we had to plan all of that, and do a lot of research to make sure that everything works out okay. Thursday, interviews. And then after that we had to go pick up a missionary from the East and bring him back to the office for an interview with President. Friday interviews. And on Friday after the interviews we went on divisions with Villa Olimpica, my second area! I showed Elder Morales around because he recently got to that area. I am so surprised that members/ investigators still remember me!! Its the best feeling in the world!!!!!! When you knock on their door, they look out and see missionaries at their door, and still showing no expression, and then they see me and they say What are you doing here?!?! :D So I visited some old investigators and presented them to the missionaries, some were still not interested, and for some of them, they had that spark again and wanted to try again and keep learning. We had pretty cool experience happen with that. When I first arrived at the Villa Olimpica, Elder Agren took me to our first appointment which was with Katherine, we taught her for about 2 months straight and no matter how hard I tried, she would not go to church!! And then she left to La Ceiba and we lost communication. We visited her on Friday, we talked for a while, and she said that she will go to church on sunday for an hour. (Of course, ive heard this alottt already and I didnt exactly believe her.) On sunday after church, Elder Morales sends me a text message telling me that she actually went to church on her own, and stayed all three hours!! and that she loved it and wants to go back! WHAT?! There are soo many things to learn from that. Anyway, as we were on divisions on friday, I received a phone call in the middle of a lesson say that tomorrow morning we will be going to the south and then all of the way to the east again! From Langue (which is pretty much right next to the El Salvador border) to Moroceli, which is the opposite direction! So that was our saturday, from 6 in the morning in the truck to getting home at 8. Yayyy! But, no matter what we are doing, my companion and I always try to have a fun time out of whatever! So we actually had a blast!

On Sunday, we actually invited President Chase came to our ward at 8:00. More than anything so that the members can see and meet him, and so that he can say something like “Sorry these missionaries have been out of action, they have been taking care of me!” And so then we dont have to do some much explaining to our investigators and the members! Haha and he did a great job. We are having our Pday today so that we can finally relax. Its been a great week.
 We are going to have another action packed week this week. 
Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

First day with President Chase.

Soooo, it happened. We officially have a new mission president, President Chase.
 He is so awesome. I know that I say that everyone is awesome, but he is super awesome!
 I´ll try to walk you through it...
So, there we are, having our last dinner with President and Hermana Bowler, it was a very good day, but very sad. It was obviously hard to say goodbye, but their time has come to end serving their mission. We didn’t know what was coming of course. But we always remembered this, we knew for a FACT that President Bowler has been called to be our mission president during this time of this mission, and if we believe that, we must also know that President Chase has been called by revelation to be here at thisss time. And so that gave us confort. You guys cannot imagine the things that President Bowler has done for this mission in the past 2 years. This mission is completely different to the way that it used to be, COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! And we were/ are excited to see what comes next, what the next step is.
 And so we say goodbye to them on Friday night, and we go home. 
The next day comes around and we wake up ready for action! We know that finally, after all of these days and weeks of continuous preparation, the day has finally come. We go to the office to prepare a few more things, while the Bowlers are picking up the Chases.
And then we receive a message:

So there we are at the chapel/office, anxiously looking out the windows for about 30 minutes straight waiting for them to show up

here we were, ANXIOUSLY waiting for their arrival... we took shifts to stand guard haha
Then a vehicle came into the parking lot and we were all freaking out! Once we were in our positions, we realized something..... they werent President and Sister Chase!! 
At first we thought it was them, until we saw the old guy with the cane. Then we said, there is no way!! haha 

And finally they come. 
And we say our ´Hi´s and our ´Hola´s and we realize how awesome he is! He has a lot of energy, has great Spanish, and is willing to work! The next day we take them to church, but they do not know how to get to church! So we swing by their house and pick them up and go to their church. (So we didn’t go to our own ward this week, all of the members think we are inactive because we are barely in our area now and didn’t go to church, oh well! Haha) After the sacrament meeting we go to office to have at least a little meeting on how some emergency things that we had to take care of soon… 5 hours later we leave the office! Haha (and it was fast Sunday…) But that’s okay, we were carried away talking about the mission, everythingggg about the mission. The next day we had a big office meeting and we each went over our roles and stuff just so that we can get rolling. Its really funny and interesting for us some of the things that have been happening. Of course we have a new mission president and so that means lots of changes! Well, what I like about President Chase is that he is trying to do it in a very smart way. And you know what is really interesting…. What he is planning for the future, we have already started. For a lot of things. While I´ve been here in the office, ive made a lot of changes in the mission with my companions. For example, usually we have a verification in the Leaders Council, and in that the Aps usually go up and show the leaders how the mission did, we put up a graph of how we did and say a couple stuff, ask what the zone leaders and district leaders think and that’s it. And then we say, see ya next month, hopefully it goes up! Well, we decided to change that up. We made it more specific and had the people more involved. They were shocked when we had them stand up and go into groups depending on the regions of the mission that they were in and discuss together how they did and what they can do better, as well as putting goals together and working together. Which we will verify in the next consejo de lideres. We have also had the idea that we wanted to have the Leader´s Council be more of a leader, and not a smaller zone conference. (There was usually no change.) And so I did some research, and it shouldn’t be that way. It should be more of a council in which everybody talks and we discuss how we´ve been doing and how we are going to progress. So those are just some things. And now, imagine a new mission president showing up to your mission who LITERALLY has the same ideas that we do. It was insane. He would mention some things or ideas that he has, and then my companion and I would look at each other, and say Wow! We were actually thinking that earlier this month, we even taught a class about exactly what you said. We´ve had many experiences like these that have really helped us realize that President Chase has been called at THIS time of the mission. He is ready, and so are we, to help this mission go to the next level. The foundation is set, and we are going to use that foundation to go another level. 
Anyway, where were we? Monday right? So we had to take him to a couple places to get him well situated here in the country, to the bank, and show him around. Towards the evening, we went to Pricesmart (which is the equivalent to Costco) and helped him sent up the membership card and he did some shopping.

We had to walk through and tell them, “don’t buy those, these are good, never buy those, 
these are only okay if…, yes those are okay, I don’t even know what these are!” 

  Then we went to a restaurant later that night, and were waiting for our food, and during this time, we are of course telling them about the culture here, what to and not to do here, what happens here, and what is normal. Our food arrives, and almost immediately BOOM! The light goes out… they just kind of look at us (I think, I couldn’t see) and say “Im guessing this is normal”… the response of course was, Yes. It was a lot of fun the first few days showing them around. I felt like a parent.
 We were really nervous the first time we gave them permission to go the grocery store ON THEIR OWN! Ahhh!! But they did good, they catch on really fast!

So, this week we had two zone conferences, the first one was on Wednesday for the city, and Friday for the south. So we had to drive down to the South on Thursday and stay the night, have zone conference, and then come back on Saturday (a couple hours ago). 

Since we couldn't leave them alone, we had to stay at the hotel as well! It was awesome! #HotelRivera 

The really interesting thing is that President Chase is a really hands-on type of guy. He had us set up divisions to go out with the missionaries after the conferences! He wanted to go out there and meet the people! And meet the missionaries! He is ready to work! The zone conferences went great! All of the other missionaries finally met him and it was a lot of fun. By the feedback from the missionaries they really liked our class. And I loved it too! We felt that we had to teach on a class called “Conforme A Vuestra Fe”, which is based on Matthew 9 and the importance of setting goals. We went over all of the different types of goals in life, in the mission, and what happens without goals. It was really funny because we all obviously know what a goal is, and I know that at first the missionaries were saying in their heads “We already know these things”, but then, we told them that, we knew these things were basic, and then we asked them to raise their hands if they have set goals as a zone. No one raised their hands. If they have set goals as a district. A few hands were raised. If they have goals as a companionship. A few more hands. If they have personal goals, More hands, but no where close to the amount that we should have. It was an eyeopener for the mission. If we want to progress and meet the monthly goal each month (Cada Misionero, Cada Mes) we must start small, and set and reach our goals. Like ive mentioned before a few weeks ago, that I used to listen to motivational speeches to get me through really tough times in my life (Like wrestling season). And I´ve always had the goal to help others reach their dreams as well. Well, once again, I was able to do this. One of my favorite speeches ever is by Les Brown called “Believe motivational speech” ive not mistaken. And we can see that as we used the same example in our conference, the missionaries were very motivated. This is somewhat what we shared:
 Before 1954, there was a common believe, a universal believe, that the human man cannot run a mile in less than 4 minutes. It was impossible. Many of tried, and all have failed. The people believe that is the way it is, and that is the way that it will always be, it will never change. Until, Roger Bannister came along, and he broke that 4 minute mile. Since that time, over TWENTY THOUSAND people have broke that record, including highschool students. What changed? They knew that it had been done, and because it had been done, there was a new believe about that unbreakable mile. When the people got on the track they realized that someone out there reached their goal/dream, why cant you? We have goals in the mission that seem unreachable, but “according to our faith, it shall be done unto us”, we can reach them if we have faith and we do our part and work hard. Here are some pictures of the presentation: 

When we went to the south we kept the tradition of going to get frozen yogurt!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Last Day With Our Mission President

                                                I hit 20 months this week, but............ whos counting?

Well, the time has come. This is it. Today is the last day that we will be with President and Hermana Bowler!
 We have been preparing for this for a very long time and now its here! Everyone here in the office is freaking out! haha
 its very exciting though. We will recieve President and Hermana Chase tomorrow! They are from Georgia, he owns his own logistics company, and he served in Argentina before! He seems pretty cool! We are really excited!
 Anyway, this week we were able to go to the temple which was a blast! We were supposed to go like two weeks ago but we were so busy that this was the day that we can go, but it was worth it because we went in with our mission president! There isnt too much this week, just preparing, preparing, preparing.
 I cannot believe that my mission is pretty much going to change tomorrow!

Our office got completely upgraded! We got new computers!! 
 Our door now has a fingerprint scanner to get inside, we got new chairs, and all of that good stuff, they are trying to change everything now that the new mission president is coming!