Monday, September 26, 2011

A Rollercoaster of a Week!

Well so this week was kind of a rollercoaster. Last sunday as i said was kind of a bummer because we had no one in the church and my district leader said do everything you can and you will be blessed this next week. Well On tuesday morning in our district meeting, they told me that i had to go down to the city to sign my visas and what not. So i went down on a bus all by myself and arrived at about 11 o clock at night and met up with some of the other guys in my generation. I talked with elder watson for a couple hours and we just shared stories and everything and it made me realize how much i already love my mission and all of the stories i already have! well the next day we went to sign our papers and they had problems with ours, so we have to go back down in a week or so, but i dont mind because we got burgerking!! haha. It tasted so freaking good. It was like that first meal we always have after our high adventure! it always tastes like five times better! haha

When I got back, i had another interesting experience. So i had given 60 dollars to this guy to exchange for me at a bank, because i heard that was the easiest way to do it. so the other day i went to collect my money. this guy speaks english so that is why i gave it to him in the first place. when i got there the guy said "well i have to tell you something about your money." Me: "ok what happened to it." him: "well i spent it because my family hasnt had food in a week and they are all really hungry. I am so sorry but i am going up to the states this week and i will send you the money back to my sister for you" blah blah blah. I thought that this might just be the guy making an excuse and he really just used it for something else, so i told my companion, "will you ask his sister (who is the member) if she was really able to buy food with my money?" And my companion said "well she asked me the other day where this money came from and i told her that you had given it to him so he could travel to the us!!!!" i was so mad! i told him i gave it to him to exchange. "why do you think i would just give it to him!!!" haha. he didnt even ask me! he just thought i was real nice. SO now i have about 50 pesos for this week. haha. But the good thing is that i helped feed a starving mexican family, and like christ, sometimes we have to forgive our debtors! This can be my birthday present, I guess. i don't think i will ever see the money again. haha.

Ok so like my district leader said, i worked so hard this week and on thursday, friday and saturday we found 13 new investigators, committed two to baptism and to come to church. We were feeling pretty good because we knocked tons of doors and talked to everyone. i really felt good about the work that we did. come sunday, though, everyone bailed on us again!!!! Gosh it is so hard sometimes. Margarita had to go visit her brother again but we met with her last night. She is soooooo legit. All her family is giving her tons of junk about us and our religion but she always stands up for us and told us last night how amazing she always feels when we are in her home and when she comes to church. We just need her to come to church again. her brother is super sick, but this sunday she said she is definitely coming to conference with us.

So i am doing well. I am fatter then i have ever been but i feel the spirit and feel amazing. I am not joking! the other day i ate 5 times. They feed me so freaking much here it isnt even funny! I need to lay off, but i cant when they just dish up these huge servings for me and i just pound the whole thing! oh and i almost forgot to tell you. i decided this week that i was going to serve my companion and not look at faults, but at what he is good at. I made him pancakes two mornings, have done all the dishes this week while he is in the shower and i try to make his bed in the mornings for him. It really has changed my attitude about him and the work!

Well i had great spiritual experiences this week and i know the success willl come. I read our search for happiness this week and i literally couldn't put it down. I finished it all in like 5 days. well i sure love you all!

elder holmes

Monday, September 19, 2011

Feliz Dia de Independencia!

¡Hola! Well to start off happy birthday Amberlee!!!! I hope that it is just a great day for you and the fam! Also if i am correct i forgot to mention Emily Chilton last week in my letter. i am so sorry but i hope the birthday for you was awesome as well! Also way to go Chris poppin the question on London Bridges!!!! haha. I am way happy for you guys. you two are an awesome couple and will be way happy!

Well Dad this week in your email to me you told me how you wanted me to take one time a month or so to write more and tell you more than i do, but the problem is that i have 45 minutes to write not only you guys but also my mission president! so just like the mtc, i kind of have to cram and type really fast and then that is all i can do for the whole week. And i dont receive mail so yeah it is kind of hard to keep you guys updated on everything that is going on. Other mission specific rules are that we can't wear watches (i can't get my wicked sweet watch tan line that i wanted, so i am a little ticked about that!) and we cant drink coke because some of the members take offense when the missionaries drink coke. haha. and no i still havent found out how to mail letters. but i havent received any either so i dont really have anything to respond to haha.

Well It sounds like the week went pretty well for you guys. i was riding in a taxi this week dad, and supertramp came on the radio. I thought that you and i were the only people in the world that liked supertramp! I had some hard core flash backs of being with you at Lake Powell and just all the fun times we had together. Man you are the best dad ever and i love you so much. You really are the best. And obviously you are too, momma dawg.

Well this week we had the Dia de Independencia down here in Mexico. It was a pretty crazy day and the president had us get home early and then we had to leave late the next day because everyone just parties real hard. There is a cop in our ward and he was explaining to us how none of the cops carry a gun on this day because there is no law on this day! they can literally do whatever they want! haha. So that night we went over to the Castillos house and had a little party with a bunch of other people from the ward. I'm attaching a few pictures of that little get together. It was really fun and they had a lot of good mexican food. One of the sisters made chimichangas and they were so bomb. She said she will make them again for me when we go to her house this week for lunch! haha. So since it was their independence day i had a bunch of people yelling stuff at me, groserias or cuss words and crap, but i really have no clue what they are saying so i always just smile and wave. my comp is like yeah they are swearing at you. haha. I guess sometimes not knowing the language is a good thing! Also i feel like a celebrity down here because wherever i go people just stare at me. LIke when i get on the bus, literally everyone just looks at me. Its like have you never seen a white guy before? I always want to use dads line, "take a picture it lasts longer!" haha.

Oh we finally got our light back this week. We had one of the guys we know come over and break the thing with a hammer and get us our light back. I think we went 16 days without light, so i officially have more days here in mexico without light than with! We paid and everything, they just never came!

Well this week was a bit rough. I was a little bit down yesterday when none of the people we had been working with came to church. That lady that elder mcleary and i contacted is named margarita and she is golden. She is so nice to us and really wants to get baptized. This week, though, her brother was really sick and she had to go to a different city to help him. We went to her house last night though and all was good. Hopefully she will be baptized next Sunday. Right now we are kind of getting our butts kicked. Its no lie that missionary work is really tough. I think we are the only people that work every single day of the year! Even christmas. haha. But it is so satisfying and it makes me so happy when i see people who actually want to change their lives and come closer to their Heavenly Father. This week i am just going to work my butt off because the goal for the mission is 5 baptisms in october and we only have one lined up, maybe 2, so we need to get out there. I know that when we put in our best effort, the lord always blesses us.

Well other than that, nothing much is too new. The spanish is coming along slowly, but it is still really hard to sit there and not be able to really respond to the doubts of our investigators. I am trying my hardest to be a help to my comp, but at times, i dont even understand the people still. I just want to be able to talk and be a sick missionary so bad!!! haha. Well i love you all.

Love you guys,
Elder holmes

Monday, September 12, 2011

You're Lucky I'm Alive!

Hey Everyone. This is a pic of me eating the "Nacho Libre Corn"! Pretty sick, huh? It actually wasn't that good though! haha.

Anyway, i just wanted to start off by saying happy belated birthday to Eric whose birthday was yesterday! I hope that you had a fantastic day, bud. Also BIg joey's birthday tomorrow! And i am thinking of Uncle Bobby as it would be his birthday today, as well. I sure love you guys.

Also Congratulations mom and dad on the 27 years of marriage. You guys are such an amazing example to me and to all of those around you. There was a quote that i liked from President Monson last conference that says "Choose your love. Love your choice." I love both of your choices! you guys are literally perfect! i hope you did something fun to celebrate those 27 awesome years of marriage!

Well I am not going to lie. after i wrote to you on monday and for the next four days, i had some of the hardest days of my life, i think. Tuesday morning i woke up to a lot of throwup in the toilet and i just felt miserable. I went for 2 days just feeling so weak, with a screaming headache that felt like i was going to literally explode. Wednesday night i went to bed with a temperature of 104 degrees and was literally on fire. I went to the doctor the next day and i started to feel a lot better, but didn´t even really use the medicine they gave me. You know how they are down here, when you even cough, they think you are about going to die. haha. Every single house i went to they were like "you look terrible. take this and that and go to the hospital" and all this. haha. The good news is that i feel a lot better right now!

You are just very lucky that i am even alive right now to be writing you this email, after the experience i had yesterday with lighting the boiler. It was my first time and my companion didn´t really explain it that well, or maybe he did but it was just in spanish! so i go to light the boiler and it wont light and the match burns my finger so i drop that match, and am going to get the second one to light with my face right next to the opening, when a huge ball of fire just shoots out of the opening and literally fried all of my hair! I have the eyelashes on one of my eyes and the left side of my head has shorter hair than the right. haha. It was so scary. I literally could have died! haha

Well as for the rest of my week. I had an awesome day on monday when i went on splits with my district leader, elder Mcleary. He and i ran into a lady knocking doors and committed her to baptism right there and she came to church on sunday. That was the best lesson i have given, because he would actually pause and let me talk and actually went with the lesson plan. It was a cool experience for me. I don´t know why it was just much easier to actually teach with him. Everyone says that my spanish is like way good for the amount of time and stuff that i have here, but i think its terrible still! haha. There are times when i will understand everything, and then other times that i won´t even get one word out of it! haha.

The rest of the week was super hard because i was so sick and we only had one of our investigators in church on sunday, so that was a little rough. Man this is hard! But it is worth it. I can feel myself coming closer to my Heavenly Father, that's for sure. I like this quote from Elder Uchtdorf when he said, " dont let a day go by without doing something to act on the promptings of the spirit". This is not just for me but for everyone reading this. I hope that all is going just great and you arent missing me too much! yeah right! haha. I love you all!!

Elder Holmes

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Best Day of My LIfe!

Hey Family!

First off "Way to go Jimmer! it is about time! haha. Congratulations! i am so happy for the both of you!"

So dad it is no wonder that andrew never answered all of your questions! you ask like 700 of them in one paragraph, but i will try and do my best! Well this week we had some different trials and challenges put into our path. last tuesday as we were coming out of a members house, this like 17 year old kid starts yelling at us and saying all these different cuss words, which i obviously didnt understand at all. he then comes up and just kicks my companion and wants to fight him! i was just standing there like 'what in the heck is going on with the guy!' it was a good thing the kids girlfriend was there to hold him back. we just continued walking and all of a sudden his 4 friends came out and started yelling at us, but we were already too far away! that same day the electric company cut all the power to our house because the missionaries hadn't paid the bill for 7 or 8 months or something like that! we are still without power and i don't know when they are going to come and turn it back on. Also, a lot of our appointments fell through and it was just pretty tough. but i gotta say, we were significantly rewarded yesterday!

It was one of the best days of my life! Xochitl did get baptized and i was even able to do the baptizing! it was such a cool experience, as that was my first one, not only in spanish, but my first one ever! Way cool experience and she seemed really excited! i will send the picture today of it. also yesterday was fast and testimony meeting, so of course i bore my testimony, and that was scary but a good experience. all of the people in the ward are extremely nice and i am pretty sure i am still putting on weight because i literally eat at EVERY single house we walk into. during the thrid hour of church we had two investigators there and we pulled them into another room and talked to them about how they were liking it, and had a lesson with one of the members. At the end of the lesson, we committed both of them to baptism in two weeks. then later in the day, it was pouring rain and we felt prompted to go all the way to this one ladies house who lives way far away. she was awesome! you should have seen her face when we talked to her about the book of mormon. she was so interested and just thought it was amazing! we then commited her to be baptized the first week in october! I really hope we can continue to work with these three and that they will excercise their faith and take that final step! So to sum it up, i bore my testimony, brought someone into the kingdom of god, and committed three more people to do the same. Can you get a day better than that? well i guess i will find out. haha.

So my spanish is still pretty rough. It's hard to talk but i can understand more of what people are saying! if you have any ideas of how i can learn faster, shoot them on over to me! I just put my faith in the lord and work my hardest. i still am trying to find enough words to ask either my companion or someone else around here how in the heck to mail a letter to the us, and where to do that, so if you guys know, then please let me know. haha. sorry for those family and friends who have been writing! I will try my hardest! i haven't received any mail here yet so that is also why i haven't really written anyone! haha.

So we have started running in the morning! it's going pretty good but my stomach isn't sure about it!! imagine eating really hot food and beans every single meal and then shaken it around on a run or in the buses here! yeah not that fun at all. They are the worst drivers here! haha. Well anyways i am doing pretty great and i hope the same is for all of you guys! love you all and thanks for the support! keep me and my spanish in your prayers!

Elder Holmes