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.