Monday, December 29, 2014

The Night Before Christmas



Our snowman.


The beautiful snow.

So this week was alright. It was awesome talking to the fam Christmas Eve for almost 2 hours. That was easily the highlight of my week.  It was good to see all of you guys looking tan from Hawaii. After I talked to you guys, I went and ate and then we went home... while we were home we watched Church movies like the Restoration and the testiments and videos like that. Nothing too crazy. 


Talking to my fans.


Elder Moya with the snowman.

Christmas day was even more uneventful. We woke up and watched a few more movies, read a little, and deep cleaned the house which took like 4 hours... After that we ate a delicious Christmas dinner that was brought to us by Hermano Vazques, whose wife is the best cook here. It was amazing. Then we went to bed. Christmas may have been uneventful, but I was glad to have the time to reflect on what I was doing and what Christmas is all about.


My delicious Christmas meal.

The rest of the week went back to normal, but the coolest thing was that it snowed like 3 inches Saturday night, and it was Elder Moya´s first time seeing snow, so we had a snowball fight in our back yard and made a snowman, and that was super fun. Then we went to the doctor because Elder Moya is sick, and we got some bad news. Elder Moya isn't allowed to leave the house for three days, so we are only allowed to leave for food with the members, and today to write.. So looks like we will be watching the Restoration video a few more times.... but it's all good because tomorrow is our last day of confinement. So wednesday we are free! Except there are rumors going around that the president won't let us leave our houses New Years Eve or New Years... so that might be two more days..  But it looks like I'll have a lot of time to study and I'll probably finish reading the Book of Mormon again this week!
But that's about all that happened this week! Thanks for all your love and support. You guys are the best! I pray for all of you every day and I hope you can feel my prayers and love!
Love,
Elder St John

Monday, December 22, 2014

NAVIDAD


Me as Santa

Hi every one and welcome to another one of my email´s. This week was a good one. 

Nothing too big happened between Monday and Wednesday; they were pretty average.  We taught some Mexicans (with the spirit), ate normal Mexican food like burritos, tacos, soup. And it all went really well. Also I got the package from Dad this week and that was great! Because the chocolates are heavenly and because the new clothes were amazing. 

But Thursday the ward had a Posada (a Christmas party) and that was Great! We had a ton of investigators go and it all went well! Also because I'm the only white person in the ward I got to be Santa.. No joke, I have pictures to prove it. 


The walk of fame to the children.


Santa and his bodyguards. 

But once I walked in the room with all the people (dressed as Santa), this little girl ran out to me and gave me a letter and it was adorable. And I still have the letter. It was a drawing of a hand with a ring on it, so I think she wants to marry Santa.. It was a little weird, but cute none the less.


Me, my comp, and Elder Gonzalez as the tres reyes magos and Elder Almaraz as Santa 

Saturday was good, but Sunday was better. Sunday we had 8 investigators at church, and they all liked it! And all of the investigators that went seem to be progressing a lot and they all have friends in the ward and it turns out that the mother of the big family is cousins with our ward mission leader! And to end the day Sunday we visited Hermano Chavez who gave us a delicious meal.. of Menudo, which is a soup made of cow stomach.. It was as good as it sounds. And I won't say any more, but this soup is famous around here so I was super glad to finally know what all the fuss was about.


Menudo

That's all for this week! Can't wait to talk to you guys this week on Christmas Eve! I hope you all have a good week and I loved hearing the stories of the good deeds you guys did this week! 

Love,
Elder St John

Monday, December 15, 2014

I Don't Know What to Call this Email


My old zone.  :(

Hello everyone and welcome to week 13 in Mexico. Today we are going to start off with a quick game of question and answer. This week you guys asked me:

Are you still in Nuevas Casas Grandes with Elder Moya?
Answer: Yes. We have a whole nother month and a half together!

Do you know yet when and where you will be calling home on Christmas Day from?
Answer: Christmas day sometime in the morning! 

Did you get the package I sent you a few weeks ago with all the supplies and treats?
Answer: An Elder in my zone said that I have a package wating for me in the church, so I think it's a yes!

Do you have enough gas to get through the month with hot water and cooking?
Answer: I have no idea, so I'm relying on faith. But I think we might.

Are you getting along well with your companion and your district leaders and zone leaders? 
Answer: Yes I love everyone here!

Your green card looks like it expires in September of 2015, do you need to renew it every year?
Answer: My temporary citizenship does expire in 2015, so I will get it renewed for another year, and it will expire in July of 2016, so my mission is actually a month shorter than 2 years. It's really sad actually.

What is your favorite authentic Mexican food now that you’ve been out for a few months?
Answer: I really like Gorditas, tacos, Chilie Colorado, and we have this thing here called chorizo and it's like a tube of meet that you cook with anything you want. I usually cook it with eggs and it is super delicious. 

Are you having a special Mission Christmas Conference this year?
Answer: Yes but it's only for the people in the Juarez area so I'm not invited to the confrence or to dinner with the President Christmas Eve. :(

So now that all the questions are answered:

This week was fairly average. Monday was the last day our zone had together because others got transferred. And all the days blend together after that.. so this week also I went to some weird Young Women's award ceremony with 3 of my investigators because we thought we were going to have a normal day of mutual.. but it was especially weird because its was kind of a girls only thing and Elder Moya and I went with these two young guys and their mom... (our investigators) but we had tamales and hot chocolate so it was worth it.

This sunday was our big choir performance and it was awesome! We sang in an old train station which was super cool and there were like 200 people there. We played Church movies like "He is the Gift" and others, so even though I thought all we were going to do was sing, we also preached. And at the end of the concert, we handed out copies of the Book of Mormon and that was awesome, also free cupcakes and hot chocolate so we scored big time.

Umm my spiritual experience this week is a short quote that I can't remember who said it.. but the quote is, "Find someone who is having a hard time and do something for them." So that's what I want for Christmas. I want you all to find someone having a hard time and do something for them and tell me about it. Because I really want to hear it! 

That's all for this week! Love you all and hope you have a great week! 

Love, 
Elder St John


Me with a big picture of the Virgin Guadalupe. It was her birthday this Friday. It's too bad that the people here don't know commandments numbers 1 and 2 because they have parties and stuff for her.. It's really weird; they worship her.. But Friday we saw a dance for her, and the dance is super bizarre because everyone dresses up as devils and dance for Guadalupe...

Monday, December 8, 2014

New cycle, New life

Hello everyone, and I´d like to say a very special Hello to Elder Zesiger and Elder Kasteler who have recently joined us. I decided to add them because I get their weekly letters and felt that the they deserved mine. SO bien venidos Corbin and hi Cam.

So today is a big day. It's the begining of a new cycle, and that means that I might have a new companion tommorow, or that I could be writing you in a different place next monday because the transfers start tommorow. I COULD be doing all that, but won't because luckily the President thinks Elder Moya and I were made to be in Nuevas Casas Grandes Laguna 1 forever. So I have a whole other six weeks with him here in my area! What a blessing.

This week was good, not too many special things happened this week but I do have a lot of pictures to send because Elder Moya and I thought we would have transfers so we took a bunch of pics with the families in our ward and some of our investigators.

This week we had divisons so I was with our District Leader (Elder Almaraz) for a whole day as the senior companion in our area. It was super stressful especially because all our appointments fell through. So I had to contact, the whole night. The morning was better. We had an appointment with a woman we found while contacting a reference we got. Turns out that she has a family of seven, and they all are super prepared. Elder Almaraz asked them if they would be baptized if they found our message to be true and they all said YES! That was a really cool thing.

Also, our recent convert Angel fed us dinner Saturday night and gave us presents! It was super awesome and I know Angel will be a faithful member his whole life. He is super awesome. Also because he didn't have a white shirt and tie to wear to church we gave him a little gift of our own! A slightly used white shirt and ties! 

My Spanish is getting a lot better. I watched the Joseph Smith Restoration movie this morning in Spanish and understood like 65-70% of it and that was awesome. But I'm starting to get compliments on my Spanish from people here so I´m feeling proud of my Spanish, so the Lord will probably humble me sometime this week, so keep me in your prayers.

Choir is going great, we perform on the 14th and I think that's this Sunday, so wish us luck!

Christmas is coming soon and it's going to be a little bitter sweet, because it will be my first Christmas away from home, and also because I won't be getting a lot of presents this year.  :(  But that's not important because I have the greatest gift ever, and that's being a missionary. So I have the gift of giving this year, and will be giving all my time to others, and that's better than any present, even an iPod.

Love you all and think of you all every day! I hope you're all doing well!

Love,
Elder San Juan



 Family Duran, members from the ward.


The Sanchez Family! A family of less actives. 


Hinojo Family. The daughter in the blue jacket is our investigator, her mom in the pink is a member, and so is her aunt, the other woman, and I don't know the boy. He was just there...



The most beautiful thing I've ever seen.


Christmas swaggy.


Hermana Molina, the mother of Paula, with her son Jeremy, who is seriously nutz.



The family of Hermano Chavez, the ward mission leader.


Angel, our recent convert; Claudia, his girlfriend; and Brian, the son of Claudia.


Elder Moya and me with Brian and our presents.



Elders Moya, Almaraz, Gonzalez and me relaxing after a big meal. (Gonzalez laying on us, from left to right on the couch:  Elder Moya, Elder Almaraz, and Elder St. John).


Elder Moya and me with Familia Serna. 


My green card. I'm an official Mexican. :,) 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 9 Million in Mexico


Paola before her baptism.


Angel before his baptism special guests, the Bishop and Brian, the son of Angel

The last week of November was absolutley awesome! First thing I´d like to say is HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAIGE, I felt really bad once I left the computer last week and didnt say that, so Paige, even though I'm super far away and don't know how to send a package I'll give you the best gift you can get that's not in a box. The gift of knowledge. Here is your gift: the word Pantuflas in Spanish means slippers. Enjoy your gift and remember, with great power comes great responsability.
The 2nd thing I want to say is WELCOME HOME HERMANA SAN JUAN! I can't believe it's been a year and a half since you left on your mission.  It's crazy to think you're home partying with the fam and I'm just starting my mission! I hope everything at home is going great and that college treats you well! And I hope you know I'm super proud of you for serving a fulltime mission and serving it honorably. Keep up your Spanish skills for this next year and a half so we can hablar when I get back.

So this week was amazing. There is a new thing that the Church is trying to push now for the Christmas season and you guys all probably know about it but its El es la Dadiva, or in English I think it's He is the Gift? But it's awesome and also the 7th of this month, so this Sunday I think, the Church bought YouTube for a day so the first thing that comes up is the new video which is amazing and holy cow the 2nd coming is soon guys. The Church is spending tons of money to push this. But I hope you guys all #sharethegift. I think that's the hashtag in English.  If not I hope you guys all #ComparteLaD√°diva because I've only had this program for like 3 days and I can tell it's going to help a lot of people.

This Saturday was something really special for me. It was my first baptism of the mission, and my first time baptizing anyone ever. And let's just say it didn't go as smoothly as it should have.. So I was lucky enough to baptize Paola Jacklyne Enriques Molina a cute little 9 year old. It should have been easy but turns out she has a fear of water... So every time i tried to dunk her she wouldn't go under. I tried 8 times. 8. times. And then the bishop eventually had to do it because I didn't want to drown her and she didn't want to go under the water. So the bishop did it and she was finally baptized. She came up out of the water clean from all her sins and chocking on water. It was a beautiful first baptism. Then we had Angel and after 2 quick dunks he was baptized. Even though the day didn't go as smoothy as I'd planned I'm glad for the opportunity we had to have 2 baptisms and it really was a special day. And even though I technically didn't baptize Paola I like to think one of my 8 times counted and the wittnesses just wanted to be 100% sure.

So a big blessing this week. Elder Moya and I keep praying for more families and God keeps answering us. This week we found a family of four. Taught them one powerfull lesson and now they all want to be baptized. I'm so grateful for this answer God gave us and that He is willing to trust us to bring the Gospel to more of his children.

Choir is going great, still no tapdancing, but what can you do. We are singing "Let It Go" from Frozen and we practiced it for the first time this week and it was awesome. It's in Spanish so we are all singing "Libre Soy" which actually means I'm free... So it's a little different but just as inspiring. Also practice was in Dublan which turns out to be the closest thing to heaven I've seen here in Chihuahua Mexico. It's full of English speaking white people and the houses are all super nice and the streets are paved. And that just made choir that much better.

Thats all for this week! Love you all so much and pray for you all every day!

Love, 
Elder St John


They say the bigger the sombrero the bigger the ego.


This is what happens to your house when you say you dont want to get baptized. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hola From Mexico

Awesome week this week! But first off I'd like to apologize for all the bad spelling and grammer in my letters... Spanish keyboards are a little different so it's harder to backspace. Also spell check is in Spanish so it underlines everything I type and because I don't read in English anymore I forget what proper English looks like. But anyway, back to what's important, me. 

This week was great! We kept praying to find a big family and God finally answered our prayers! We found a huge family of 11 this week! Right now we are only teaching 6 of them but the others will come around. 

Monday night we had a FHE with a less active family in the ward and they gave us dough to make our own flour tortillas and they where delicious. 


A picture of the tortillas we made.

But Tuesday morning we found out that we used all our gas making tortillas and no longer could have a hot shower. But all is well because today, one week later, we have money for gas and can have hot showers again. But this whole week we just put water in cups, heated it up in the microwave and used that... really fun... 

We had divisones this week and I went with Elder Gonzalez to his area and that was fun, nothing too exciting happened that day. 

New up date on packages, if you want to send one, put a list of what's inside on the outside of the box, so my mission president doesn't get arrested for taking somthing illegal across the boarder. If it's something like candy or food, just write missionary supplies but everything else you can list.

So I met someone this week and I think im in love. Her name is Calentador. And she isnt actually a person.. The word calentador means heater, and that's what she is.. a heater.. But she is beautiful and really warms the room whith her smile. 


Me and my new girlfriend.

TIME FOR THE BIG NEWS. I decided to half way  follow my dreams of becoming a word famous singer/tapdancer and joined a chior. SO i get to sing every week with a bunch of missionaries and other people and its great. The only problem is that we don't tapdance so I'll have to practice that on my own time.. But the choir is amazing because its the whole stake, and in our stake there is an English ward so I heard and had my first conversation in English in three months. Absolutely beautiful. Also I love to sing, I'm a bass if anyone was wondering. 

Last thing on the list. If anyone wants to get in the Christmas spirit with a delicious fruity drink you're in luck because I know exactally what you need. There is a Mexican drink here called Ponche and it's amazing. Its like a cider, but it has fruit in it and is delicious.

Well that's all for this week. I hope everyone at home is doing well. The house looks amazing Dad. I bet Katelyn will love it when she comes home, I'm glad Paige still loves me. Hayden hasn't written me yet, so I'm assuming he is dead... And I think that's it.. Love you all.  

Love, 
Elder St John


Christmas cookies because Thanksgiving doesn't exist here.

Monday, November 17, 2014

El Solo Gringo


A young boy in the ward was baptized and after we had cake.

This week was pretty good! not too much happened but it was good! Spanish still is a little hard and I have forgotten what good English sounds like.. Today I tried talking with an American Elder in our area and it was harder than it should have been.. I swear, how do people learn more than two languages and tell them apart. It's crazy. I'm learning one and can't even.  I'm switching between Spanish and English all the time so my main language here is Spanglish... 

But something cool happened this Friday. There is this girl in our area we are teaching and she is going to be baptized in two weeks.  When we first asked her who she wanted to baptize her like 1 1/2 weeks ago, she didn't know.  Then her mom asked me and my comp how many people we had baptized.  My companion said he had baptized two and I said zero. And she said, "Good, you'll do it to me, and then whispered to me that Paula wanted me to do it originally.. So I get to baptize her!! Woot woot, she is awesome, she is 9 years old and we call her menonita because she has light skin, like lighter than me... but both her parents are dark.. But anyway that will be cool!

This week my companion left me alone with this young couple in their house for an hour while he was in the bathroom. And I expected it to be super awkward, BUT it wasn't because in  that moment I was blessed with the gift of tongues and talked to the family for a whole hour, and understood like eighty percent which was a huge blessing because I hate feeling awkward. So yeah, that's the language update. 

Spiritual experience: I went to seminary this Friday--me and my comp made up half the class--but it was great! The class was in the house of a member.  This member is a single mother with no priesthood in the house. 
This member said that she could feel something different whenever we were with her, and then she asked me to bless her house... So I gave her house a blessing. It was really hard to get on the roof so i could put my hands on its head, but it all worked out and I gave a great blessing.. in English... but it was still great and its the spirit that counts. 

Sorry there wasn't much to say this week.. I'll try to have more things to say next week! 

Love you all so much and pray for you all every day!

Love,
Elder St John


Me about to jump the grand canyon.


Me being a child again.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Mexico?


I got on the roof and looked like a super hero.


This week has been pretty good! a lot of ups and downs this week.

This Saturday we had a training meeting with the President and that was good, but he made everyone turn in their iPods or mp3 players and that was sad. He told us that there are some rules that we won't understand and it's important to obey them. So I'm trying to look for the silver lining in this, i may have to look hard but I'm sure it will be there. 

So this week was FREEZING at least Tuesday through Thursday... but it's all good because I found a sweater in the house and was warm. But also this Saturday I bought some more warm clothes. And of course Saturday it got warm again... But it's not important because it will be cold again. Maybe...



Elder Moya and my face on how we feel about the weather. 

Lots of good lessons this week! Elder Moya doesn't talk as much anymore so I do a lot of the talking, which is good! It helps me learn Spanish easier and it's always good to practice. I sent grandma a little more about this and how it was a baptism of fire, and how in the MTC I learned that there is no growth in a comfort zone and no comfort in a growth zone, and judging by how uncomfortable I've felt I've probably been growing a lot. 


The moon this week was rad.  



Me casually drawing Jesus on the car of a member while we wait for church to begin.

So we have anothing baptism date! Paula Molina, a 9 year-old-girl who is adorable. So we are teaching her so she can be prepared to be baptized on the 29th of this month along with one other person, Angel.

We did some service this week, if I can call it that.. We chopped wood for a family here, but mostly just broke their axe and hammer... so im not sure how well of a service that was..


Chopping Wood


A Beautiful Sunset

Spiritual thought for this week: 3rd Nephi 2:7 [I'm not sure but perhaps he typed the reference wrong.]  I shared this after eating with a member family this week. It's a really amazing scripture, because God is always with us, even though at times it may feel like He isn't here, He always is. When I shared this I compared it to a mother teaching her child to walk. If the mother wants her child to learn to walk, she can't hold his hand his whole life, even though she is afraid her child will fall, she has to let him learn on his own. This is just like God letting us learn in this life. We were sent here to learn and grow, and we can't do that if God carries us the whole way through; He has to let us ¨fall¨ sometimes so that we can learn to ¨walk¨ or grow. So if you ever feel like you're alone, just remember that this is God trusting that you can do it.

Love and pray for you all lots. 

Love,
Elder St John 

Monday, November 3, 2014

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS


Me in my casual preaching outfit with a Book of Mormon. 

The title to this email is a little misleading.. because they don't have dia de los muertos where I'm at, so sorry for the lie... But this week was pretty awesome.

The lessons and everything have been going pretty well this week, our investigators seem to be progressing which is awesome. And I now have 3 drawings of myself from the kids of the families we teach and they are awesome. And we also had 6 people at church this week which was awesome as well! 

We also got a new washing machine so we don't have to walk for an hour with our clothes to get to a laundromat and pay 100 pesos for a taxi and the washing. Which is good. And we should be getting our house sprayed this week so no more spiders! The weather here is finally cooling down which is also awesome. It's perfect down here. It's like Utah in the Fall now. But also that means I'm in trouble.. because I was really dumb before my mission and thought I could handle it here and that it wouldn't get cold.. I have a lack of warm stuff. So Dad I will be using my Chase card a little more so I can buy some more winter-appropriate clothes..

But Friday was Halloween and was really spooky. I got Grandma's [St. John] package and it was perfect. I got it Thursday and it was full of halloween stuff so we decorated our house and it was 10-10 spooky. I'll send pics. 


Some pics of the house.

This week we ran out of food and money so all we had to eat for 7 days was half a loaf of bread and the rest of the snacks I had from the package Dad sent last week. It's just a good thing the members here are nice enough to feed us every day, and also because it's a rule.. but we have money now and it feels great! Every month my companion and I get 1,200 pesos each which is a little less than 100 dollars each, but it goes a long way here. I usually spend about 250 or 300 pesos a week so it lasts well.

Not much left to say this week.. We got some candy while we where preaching on Halloween and that was fun, even though every candy here has chilies in it. I'm starting to get used to it..

Spanish is coming along really well.  Elder Moya says all I need is an accent and I'll be fluent. So I just need to eat more peppers and I'll be set.

Love you all so much!

Love, 
Elder San Juan

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week Six in Mexico

So first off there weren't any transfers this week for my district so I'm safe for another six weeks! I'm super happy because I get to stay with my comp and with my investigators and in my house! And my house is a million times better because we have gas now so we can cook and I have hot showers. Just in time for winter. Except it's still like 80 degrees here...

But this week was good! I finally got my package from Dad so Elder Moya and I have been jamming out this whole week. I was happy to find out that we don't have transfers this cycle but I found something about my house that gives me nightmares, and now I want to move.
Black Widows! I found four of them just outside my house. Like on the walls outside or in the doorway. I killed all of them but am afraid that there might be more... but whatever. Once winter comes they will all freeze to death and I'll be safe. Plus, I always check my bed before I sleep and I shower with shoes on so I'm always prepared in case of a suprise attack. But seriously, don't worry about this. I'm just a baby and over-reacting because they are all outside and we don't have spiders in our house. I can tell, because of all the flies and cockroaches that are still alive in our house.

But umm.. this week has been pretty average.. We only had one investigator come to chuch this week which was a big let down considering we had 8 last week. I guess we just need to try harder this week.

I guess, because I don't have super crazy experiences, I'll just share with you my favorite things about being a missionary.

1. I get to read the Book of Mormon for like an hour every day. This is probaby my favorite part that doesn't have to do with other people. Seriously, I didn't know how much I loved reading until I read the Book of Mormon. Every morning I get to read it and I read it at night and whenever I can. This is one thing that I hope won't change after my mission.

2. I get to talk to people all day about the Book of Mormon and about God and Jesus and eternal families. I think this message we have to share is the coolest thing ever and it makes me so happy that I get to share it with everyone for two years and seeing the difference it makes in people's lives is incredible.

3. No school

4. Free lunch every day

5. I get to learn Spanish

6. I get closer to God every day here.

7. I heard that if you're a missionary your family at home will get blessed so I hope that's true. Fam, you ll have to tell me about that one.

But love you all and hope you have a good week! And shout out to all my fans you guys are the real heroes, because without you I wouldn't be where I am today.

Love, 
Elder St John

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Solo Gringo

So this week was pretty good, its starting to get really dark at night here so I feel safe all the time... But any way not too much happened this week. I had to take a 40 minute bus ride to some place in the middle of nowhere called Janos to get fingerprinted for my Visa so in a few short weeks I will finally be an authentic legal Mexican and that's really exciting.




The beautiful desert of Casas Grandes
Uhh.. what else happened..

This week we got some more investigators from contacting so that's cool.  
One of our current investigators set a baptism date for November 2nd so that's really exciting! Especially because I might be the one to baptize him! I hope I do because it will be my first!  We had 7 investigators attend church this week which is awesome, because I love it when my investigators follow through with their commitments.



The beautiful Church of Casas Grandes

I talk more in the lessons.. really badly but I can still do it so that makes me happy because even though its hard for me to speak I still love to try. But it's coming a long better every day. poco a poco.
Umm.. not much left to say.  Transfers are this next week and I'm hoping I get to stay here a little longer because that will be really sad.

Also I'm glad you think my letters are funny because I can't tell jokes in Spanish so everyone here just thinks I'm super serious or mad all the time and it's kind of annoying getting called "serio" or "enojado" all the time, so I try to smile more and that's helping a little bit.  But the better I get to know the language the funnier I am. And I reallly hope these two years don't kill my sense of humor..

It sounds like everyone back at home is doing great! I love getting the updates from everyone! It's cool to think that for a short time there will be three St Johns out as missionaries!

Nothing left to say, so Love you all and have a great week!

Love,
Elder St John

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 4 I Think..?

So it's been about one month since I got here and that's actually really crazy to think about because I remember when I had one month in the MTC and I though that went by fast... but holy cow I think that my whole life right now is on fast forward.

So this week was awesome! A lot of cool stuff happened. So we talked to the Vazquez family this week and they all said that they wanted to get baptized which is amazing. An entire family of 5! How cool is that??? and I'm starting to understand Spanish a lot better now. I don't have to look at my companion to translate every question I get asked so that's helped a lot. I'm starting to adjust to waking up at 6:30 every morning so that's getting a lot easier. My showers are getting colder so we are going to have to get heating fast or else I'm just going to start my mornings off as a popsicle.

ALSO I had the best meal since I've been in Mexico. There is this hermana in our ward who alwas gives us American food, like one time hamburgers. But she ordered pizza this week and it was soo good. Not because of the taste, just because I haven't had pizza in a long time.

But this weekend was really special, Wednesday the other two elders had a baptism and I got to go watch it and it was really cool! I also got to help fill the font, and grandma we almost flooded it, but I remembered your warning so we made it back earlier than we should have and stopped it just in time. Seriously the water was like 3 cm below the last step... The baptism was awesome I had to say the opening pray and sing with the other elders and it was really cool.

Sunday was good too because we had 8 investigators come to church. Eight. It's crazy because we where only expecting 4 so that was awesome. And I love seeing people progress while we are out here, it's the best thing ever seeing people change their lives for the better.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Three Weeks in Mexico

This week has been pretty uneventful I think... I still have no baptisms and no one with a date, but we have a few investigators who are close!! So that's exciting! Also this week we found out one of our investigators is a witch and has like dreams or visions and she has a Santa Muerte in her house. I don't really know what that is so you guys will have to look up what that means..  But my companion and the other two missionaries in my district where freaking out... But it's almost Halloween so I think it's perfect timing to know a witch.

But this week was good, the weekend was awesome though. Saturday we did divisons so i was with Elder Almaraz and slept at his house so that means I got a hot shower for the first time in 3 weeks which was amazing and I almost cried. But then all day Saturday was spent in the church watching Conference and that was good, except it was all in Spanish with no English subtitles or anything so I couldnt understand most of it. But I got the general idea of most of the talks so that was good! Sunday was the same. I slept at Elder Almaraz's house and so I got to have a hot shower again.

To answer your questions Dad: 
I don't have any hot water, the only warm water is when it gets hot from the pipes being in the sun. and I think we will get gas in the winter, but I'm not sure what we will do...
At the MTC they gave me a water filter which I use to drink the water and brush my teeth, or we just put water flavoring in the water and that kind of helps.. but when and investigator gives me water I drink it, and no one has gotten sick from it so i think its alright if you only drink a little at a time.
My house has electricity, so we have a fridge and a gas powered stove and a microwave so we can cook pretty much anything we want, except our stove ran out of gas Wednesday, so we will probably get more gas soon.

It's pretty here. There aren't any yards with grass, mostly just weeds but it is surrounded by small mountains so it reminds me a little bit of home.

Also here in Casas Grandes, there is a group of people called Menonitas which are a bunch of people from Germany that wear overalls plaid shirts and straw hats and they speak German or Spanish, and that's weird..  But a lot of the Mexicans here think I'm a Menonita so that's always fun to get. At least I don't stick out a ton here because of the Menonitas. I'm not the only white person here...
But love you all and miss you tons! Talk to you next week!

Love, 
Elder St John

Monday, September 29, 2014

Still in Mexico

Not much has changed. This week was still pretty good! I walk like 7 miles a day so Dad, I know how you feel. My showers are still cold and it's still hot here. But I can't really complain because the food is amazing and I love all my investigators.

Dad, I sent you the address but if you didn't get it it's right here:

This is the new address for the postal box in El Paso, Texas.

1410 Gail Borden Suite B-4
El Paso, Texas 79935

*Do not send any more packages to the old addresses, because starting November 1st, they will cease to exist.
** Make sure your parents follow the following format when they send you packages:
                In the TO box have them write: MISSION: _____(YOUR NAME)____

Sample:

I got that today so it's the right one. 

But this week I had some cool experiences. My first is I fasted this week to try and get a little bit of help with Spanish and right after I ended my fast, I went to teach an old couple, Manuel and Olga. And they are soo sweet, I love them to death. But once I got there Manuel said that I wasn't his friend because in the lessons I was really quiet, mainly because I can't really understand him when he doesn't have his teeth in which is most of the time.. But he said he wanted to help me learn Spanish! What a blessing to have help during lessons. Every time I got to their house he makes me tell him a story in Spanish and helps me when I need it. What an awesome guy and an answer to my prayers. 

The other thing that was cool is because we have this one investigator whose name is Alberto and he is 17 and speaks really good English so I love teaching him. I get along with him really well and have been through some of the things he has gone through like getting ready to graduate high school and dealing with the ACT and all the stresses of that. But he wants to get baptized soon which is awesome, but his dad is really strict and wants him to wait so that's frustrating. But the cool part is that we went outside wth him to talk and he said that he is having a hard past two months and needed help so I showed him a scripture and told him about how I have been dealing with leaving home for two years and it looked like it really helped him.

My spiritual thought is what I shared with Alberto found in Jacob 4:7 [Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.]  This scritpure says to me that we can't do everything alone and that we need to realize how much we rely on the grace of God in all things and how much he is with us even though things may be really hard. But I love you all so much and miss you tons and hope you all have a good week. And look for the Grace of God in all things.

Love,
Elder St John 


Picture of Elders Gonzales and Moya making tortillas.

Monday, September 22, 2014

First Week in Mexico


Elder Moya and Elder St. John 

This week has been crazy. Every day is close to the same. We wake up, study, and go visit members or investigators, then go to bed. The days all fly by. It's crazy how fast this one week has gone. Every day for lunch the members feed us. So I've had a lot of spaghetti and enchiladas and soup and its all really, really good.
I still can't really understand anyone here so that's frustrating, but then I realize that it's been like 7 days in Mexico and look at how much Spanish I do know. For example, I read and entire talk by Henery B. Eyring in Spanish today and understood all of it, so im really impressed at that. And usually when we are visiting members or investigators I can follow a conversation. The frustrating thing is that it seems like whenever someone is talking to me I forget all my Spanish. But other than that I love it here. 


Laguana Ward Chapel

Sunday was really cool, me and the other new missionaries to the Laguana Ward had to get up during sacrament meeting and introduce ourselves and that was cool. I'm the only person from America in my area so I had the shortest introduction. But after that the four elders in my area sang to the Relief Society and that was cool too.
Elder Moya is awesome. He speaks a little bit of English and that is really helpful because it's a lot easier to learn Spainsh when your companion knows what you want to say. One of the rules here is English in the house and Spanish in the streets and that's cool too because I get to help Elder Moya learn English.


Casas Grandes

SO, about Casas Grandes. Everyone here seems to be super poor. All the streets are dirt and all the houses are really small with cement floors. The water here is dirty but there isn't much else to drink. There are like a million dogs here walking around and if they start to chase you or come at you, you can bend down and they think you're getting a rock so they will run away. Umm there is a school here called Juarez Academy and they teach the kids English, so I can talk to them in a little bit of English, and whenever I'm with them they want me to speak in English so that's fun too. It's not really dangerous here, so Dad, don't worry. I'm safe, I'm still careful but it's safe here. Every one stares at me when I'm walking down the streets or in lessons, probably because I'm the only white person here. But I'm used to it now and it's just funny now. It's really hot here and in the winter I hear it gets really cold so I'm excited for that... But in a month and a few days it will be Dia De Los Muertos and that should be really cool. 

I'm doing good here. I don't have blisters and I haven't gotten sick and I sleep really well. I'm always well fed and everyone here is super nice. I can't send you pictures because I dont have my cord but next week you should get a lot! Sorry for no pics but I'll try to make up for it. Also I don't know my address yet, but what's cool is that I was told that all our mail is sent to El Paso, Texas so it won't go through the Mexican post at all so you can actually send me stuff and not worry! When I get the address I'll let you guys know! It should be next week!
I love and miss everyone a ton and think about and pray about you guys a ton.
Love, Elder St John
P.S. I found an awesome scripture when the language was getting me down. It's Mosiah 23 verse 10.  [Nevertheless, after much tribulation, the Lord did hear my cries, and did answer my prayers, and has made me an instrument in his hands in bringing so many of you to a knowledge of his truth.] 

Love you bye.