Monday, November 24, 2014

End of the Third Change (Holidays here we come)

Hello once again everyone. So today is technically the first day of my fourth cambio which is pretty crazy. It doesn't feel like I've been here in Mexico that long but its been about 4 months. Times goes by pretty fast.

So we had a good week. We had the baptism of Hna. Emma which was awesome. So her son, Kevin, who was serving a mission in Argentina, Buenos Aires Norte and he came home Saturday morning. That evening just after he was released by the Stake President as a missionary he baptized his mother. It was a really spiritual service, and it was so great to see her make that covenant with God. It was about time too, she had been having visits from the missionaries for over a year, and had been attending church for that time too. I think she was just waiting for her son.

New returned missionary able to baptize his mother
With baptisms there is also always something that seems to go wrong. We went to the church that morning to check the font, and clean it and when we got there, there was about a foot of dirty water in the font. So we then checked to see if there was water (because sometimes there isn't) and some more dirty water left the tap. I guess a while ago the sewers backed up or something. Anyway, we couldn't drain it because the water tank outside that holds the water is placed to high so the water wouldn't drain (bad engineering). So we had to empty the font with buckets, mop out all the bad water, wipe everything down with bleach then fill it back up. Literally all we did Saturday was prepare for the service, have the service and have the homecoming of Kevin. It was a good day.

Other then that it was a pretty normal week. Oh, we did have another Zone Meeting with our zone and the other zone Fuertes (our stake). It was a good spiritual meeting. It was good to see everyone in both zones and we had some good instruction. Oh, we also found out about changes this week and no one in the district has changes except for Hna. Velazco who is finishing her mission this transfer. So we will have one new hermana in the district and that is the only change.

Yup, that was our week. It was a pretty good one. Well, everyone enjoy your Thanksgivings and turkey bowls. We aren't going to do anything, I actually thought Thanksgiving was last week until I read the emails. Bye!
-Elder Hartvigsen

El Popo smoking!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Another Week in Mexico

Hello everyone. 

I´m writing with the worst keyboard I've ever used so please excuse any errors, but things are well here. 

I´m told that it is getting pretty cold over there in Utah, and in the US in general. Things are still great here, in the 70s almost every day. Its kind of funny, it gets a little colder in the mornings, like in the 60s, maybe 50s and people here have coats and complain about how cold it gets. Maybe next year I´ll sympathize with them a little more if I become acclimated to the weather.

It was honestly a really normal week. We had lessons with a lot of less actives and a few with investigators. We might have a baptism this week if our investigator got married over the weekend. We´re going to find out if she did tomorrow so we are hoping for that. We also had interviews with the president which was really good. Whenever we have something with the President it is always great! Also Hermana Christensen always brings Costco muffins to the interviews! Don´t eat those a lot down here. I also saw Elder Pluma at the interviews which was fun too. Definitely miss that guy but he´s having a good time in his new area, he likes it a lot over there even though its pretty far away.

So this week we find out who has changes, and who is going to train. The President sent us an email saying that 19 new missionaries are coming for this change and that he is going to have to close a lot of areas to have areas in order to train the new missionaries. The Zone Leaders tell me that they think that at least one area in the zone is going to be closed and that at least one of us is going to train. I think it might be Hna. Ramirez in my district because her companion Hna. Velazco is going home this change. We´ll see. Also I don´t thing that I or Elder Garrido will have changes because he just got here and so did I, but who knows really. President might have to move a lot of people around this change. 

Oh, its also Elder Garrido´s birthday today, his last in the mission and he turned 21. Hermana Velazco also had a birthday on Saturday too. We ate cake and played futbol all morning today. It was pretty fun. So today in Mexico its some holiday or something so all the members came and played futbol. It was fun, also the two american Hermanas, Dapper and Jensen came and played too. Oh yeah, they changed a rule here too. For the past 6 months there has been a rule for all of Mexico that only 4 missionaries can gather together at any given time except for zone conferences and other official meetings, but the President asked the area 70 and changed the rule since this is the safest mission in Mexico. So now we can have district and zone activities. So we´ll be having more of those in the future I imagine.

Yup, pretty normal week, not a ton happened. 
Disfruten su frio! [Translation "enjoy your cold!]

-Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, November 10, 2014

New Week, New Companion

Hello once again everyone. How is it going? Things are doing good here in Mexico. 

So this week we had irregular changes and now my companion is Elder Garrido. He was serving in an area named Grajales which is about an hour an a half away. Elder Pluma is over there right now with Elder Slighting. Yup, Elder Garrido has about 15 or 16 months in the mission, is from Panama (one of the three Panamanians in this mission), works hard and is really good at futbol. He's a good guy and we've been working hard together. We've actually had a good week together, we've had a good amount of lessons and we have a few new people we're starting to teach.

So after our changes Tuesday we came back here and just kind of worked like normal week. We had a few really good lessons this week, and we found two old investigators that really have a lot of potential. The problem that we always seem to run into is that the really good investigators never have time. We met a part member family that the wife is a member and her husband isn't a member. He seems really interested, and we have a lot of hope for him, but the thing is that he is a Soldier that lives here and is only here Sunday mornings. Which is good because he can attend church, but we can only meet with him once a week at most. Yeah, there is a lot of military people here, there is actually a guy sitting next to me right now in the little internet tienda all decked out in his camo. We have also been working with a less active member who is also part of the army. He is really good and he says that he thinks it´s about time that he started reading the scriptures and starting to come back. So we've been working with him and we're going to try and get him active because his wife who is one of the seminary teachers wants to go to the temple with him. He actually invited us to go running with him next week on the base so that will be pretty cool, its like a forest over there, it would be nice to get out of the city for a bit.
Uh oh!
Yup, district meeting was a little strange this week. The Zone Leaders had exchanges over in Grajales and Libres (1.5 and 3 hours away) so there weren't there and two of the other sisters went to the hospital with one of their less actives so it was just Elder Garrido and I, and the two other sisters. Also a member was there but it was a little sparse. It was still good though. So today we played soccer again which is always fun. I'm definitely getting better but I´m still not as great as the elders that have been playing soccer for their whole lives. I´m also really out of shape, we ran to the church this morning from our house which is maybe three quarters of a mile and it was rough! I think its all the tortillas.

Yup, things are still going well here, we're improving little by little. Still looking forward to the baptism that we hope we're going to have with Emma. It might not happen on that date we put because there is a wait to be married here. Its tough to get people married here! It costs usually like 1500 pesos (more than 100 dollars which is a lot for many people here) and they have to take blood samples and need a bunch of papers. Its rough, because it seems like half of the couples in Mexico aren't married! Yeah, so she might get baptized on the 22 or we might have to wait, but in any case she's going to make it.

Anyways, love you all, have a good week!

-Elder Hartvigsen

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mas cambios

Buenas tardes a todos. Or good night or morning depending on when you read it. 

This week was pretty good, we're slowly improving in our area and so are the other companionships in our district. We are still working with a lot of less actives and really only have 3 or 4 investigators that we regularly teach. We have more but it seems like a few of them have dropped off the face of the earth or are never around or don´t have time when we drop by. That's been pretty rough but we do have one new investigator and we are working hard to find other ones.

Things have been good as a District Leader too. I taught another District meeting this time about asking for references with members. The meeting went well, they really aren´t too hard to put together because it really is just kind of a discussion and a practice. I have actually learned a ton when I have been preparing these meetings and a ton from the people in my district during the meetings. I always see something new, usually during the practices and its great! Its also cool to see that perspective of other areas and talk with the missionaries about how they are doing and the work is going in their areas. It was also pretty humbling when a missionary that has about 17 months asked me for advice on something.
Local street art

We had more lessons that last week too which was good. We also set a date with one of our investigators which is awesome! I might have mentioned her before, but she is going to be baptized by her son who right now is a missionary serving in Argentina. We are thinking that he can baptize her before he is released as a missionary so that his last baptism as a full-time missionary will be his mother. We are pretty excited for it. We also had a few rough lessons with some less active members who are pretty tough. We are
working really hard to get them to come back to church and start participating, one of them is even the Elders Quorum President. That is a tough situation, he works with the military and he really doesn't choose his schedule and if he doesn't show up he would be thrown in jail or whatever the army has. And when he does have time, he says that his wife tells him it is either her or the church. So we are working pretty hard with this family, they have some kids that also like to attend, but say they don´t like to go alone. So we are going to be pretty direct with them next lesson.

Oh, that's another thing. I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but in our area there is a military base and a lot of soldiers. There is a fair amount of people that work with the military in this ward. So we always see trucks driving around with soldiers with their guns and machine guns mounted on the roofs. Its pretty interesting.

So today has been a little weird as well. This morning we were playing fĂștbol and we received a call from one of the assistants. We have emergency changes and Elder Pluma is leaving me and going to another area in our zone that is about an hour or an hour and a half away. I am receiving another companion and we will have the change tomorrow. We´ve been pretty sad today because we really get along well and have been working very well together. It will be alright though. I look forward to getting this new elder and working hard with him. We definitely have a lot of work to do in this area. So yeah, really sad to see Elder Pluma go, but excited for new opportunities and experiences.

Goodbye  Elder Pluma
Yup, that was my week. Really hard to believe that it is already November! It is definitely getting colder here, at least in the mornings. But it shouldn´t get that cold. Have fun in Utah with all that snow and inversion! Vayan bien!

-Elder Hartvigsen