Monday, February 28, 2011

These Are The Times That Try Men's Souls

Hola familia,

Another not so happy email this week. Its interesting how life works and how some missionaries dont have any real reason they came on the mission. Some because they know they are supposed to. Some because they were obligated by their parents. Some because they have nothing else to do. Some because the rest of their siblings went and so they are obligated to do the same. The latter would be my companion. I have made the mistake of allowing him to use the phone even though President told me not to. I thought I could trust him enough and thought that I had seen a big change in him. I WAS 100% WRONG!

Yesterday after church, I overheard my companion talking on the phone with another missionary in our district, who pretty much happens to be his best friend. I heard him saying how this last transfer he is not going to work at all and just completely "die". Guess who told President he would like to finish the time of his mission with him? I did... After he finished the phone call, I asked him about it. He, for whatever reason, was really angry, and had completely changed. Its like he flipped a switch that allowed him to be filled with the adversary... He told me it wasnt a joke and that he was only going to leave if I did, but wouldnt support me, work with me, bring anything, basically wasnt going to do a thing. I imagine he thinks I'm just going to put up with it and say, "Oh well, I tried!" He was so very sadly mistaken and obviously had not taken this transfer to get to know me like I did him. I immediately called President... things are in the works right now and he is still deciding what he is going to do. More than likely, my companion will be sent home a change early... Neither President nor I wanted it but we both refuse to let him sit around and do nothing. If he is not going to work then we have to get rid of him... It scares me to think what he is going to do when he returns to the real world and tries to find a job... what will he do if he just gets tired of working? Who knows...

After the phone call yesterday that I made, my companion absolutely refused to do anything. He wouldn't even leave the house... We sat in the house from 3:00 til the end of the night. We now virtually have almost no investigators to teach, and I cannot leave to find more because my companion refuses. I cant find a youth to work with because we have none in our ward. I am hoping that I receive a new companion that will support me and work hard with me.

This past week we worked really hard... and nothing turned out of it. I'm not sure why. I imagine that the Lord is breaking me down in some way so he can see how diligent I am. I am patiently waiting for the blessings to come from being diligent... but it is very hard... The only thing I can keep thinking is "Christ had it harder than anyone, so I have no room to talk. All I can do is make him and Heavenly Father proud..."

I was not able to purchase a camera yet, so unfortunately I will not send pictures again. I plan on searching today, so if I find one in time, I will try and send pictures tonight.

Much Love,
Elder Scott Donner

Monday, February 21, 2011

It is what it is...

Hola Familia,

To answer your questions mom, no I haven’t received the package or envelope yet :/ But its all good. I have been receiving letters from random members of the ward who I have no idea who they are jaja!

Me and the companion are doing great. We still get along really great and I have asked President if I can spend the rest of the time he has on his mission as his companion. I’m pretty sure he only has the desires to work because I do. It seems like most of the companions that he has had for the past six months before me didn’t really care, so he didn’t either. We work super hard in our area. We were only able to teach 15 lessons last week, which was lower than our goal, but a lot more than most of the missionaries in the zone usually teach. The president has asked that each companionship shoot to teach 20 lessons a week. Our goal as a companionship this past week was 18, so we bumped it up to 20 to make us stretch :)

Lately the people we have been finding only want to meet with us, but don’t want to be baptized. We have 4 investigators right now that come to church, pay tithing, partake of the sacrament, and obey all of the commandments, but don’t want to be baptized. This week our goal with these investigators is to find out their doubts and use the scriptures to pound them out. I think another one of the problems is the members don’t support us. The bishop is trying really hard to get them excited, but they don’t like us for whatever reason. They had ward correlation without us to find out some of their concerns. I guess what most of them said was that we are too serious and we don’t try to build relationships of trust with them or visit any of them. Its interesting because their complaint was, when I first got to this area, was that we were going to their houses to much and we were trying to hard to build relationships of trust with them. Its really interesting, and kind of frustrating. We have a meeting with the bishop this Tuesday to talk about what is going on.

Right now, for personal study, I am reading Jesus the Christ. It is so very interesting, because it literally breaks down every little detail that we know about the life of Christ. Something interesting that I read was that when Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant, before the angel visited him, he was planning on breaking of the "engagement", which back then, breaking an engagement required you to do so through the court. Interesting huh? I thought so. In companionship we review all the chapters in Predicad Mi Evangelio. Right now we are going through and studying all of the attributes of Christ. Very interesting how much we teach each other. It never occurred to me that someone with less time in the mission could teach something new to a companion who is about to go home, but that’s why we are in companionships. President has also asked me to continue to study the language every day. I can’t improve and talk like the chilangos if I don’t practice :P I almost don’t have any problems understanding or speaking anymore. Just when I don’t know what a word is do I have to ask, but I’m blown away by how normal it is for me just to talk. I speak more in spanish now then I do english jaja!

Something sad happened... someone opened up my backpack when we were in a packed subway car and stole my camera :( So unfortunately I will not be sending pictures today either. But no worries because I do have all of the pictures backed up on a usb. So I will see what I can do about sending the pictures. I did lose a few, because I did not back up the ones from these past 2 weeks. I will be purchasing a new camera. There is a place close to here that sells used cameras dirt cheap and have a three month guarantee for repairs.

Anyways, that’s all I have from this week. I’m not sure what I would want to know from home... jaja! I guess just keep me updated on the norm and anything cool or interesting that happens.

Love to everyone!

Elder Scott Donner

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day

First Picture is me eating Tacos del Tripa or in other words tacos of cow intestines :D Lovely no?

Second Picture is what they look like...

Third picture is them cooking and the man cooking...

Hola Familia!

So there really isn´t much to talk about from this last week. It was a pretty normal week except for the fact that my companion was sick on Tuesday. Literally he was in the bathroom all day, so we only went to the appointments we had scheduled. The week was actually a little slow and we didn´t have as much work as we wanted, but thats ok. We have been teaching only a couple of people on a regular basis. The most often, we teach someone named Doris. She is 54 years old and loves to talk and loves the missionaries. She is a very hard person to teach at times, and usually she takes up 2 hours of our time. She loves to change the subject alot too. I don´t know that she does it on purpose, but she is just a very random person. One of our appointments with her, we started up on the subject of death and resurrection, and ended up with talking about her horse with silky hair that she used to have when she lived in Colombia. Yes she is very interesting.

Me and my companion are still working super hard to find promising people and we get along great. He still things about home alot because he is close to that time, but I allow him to, as long as we stay working. He was joking about how if he wanted to move to the states, he would come live with me and maybe marry Brianna or Nicki. It would be a plus because then I would be family and he would be a citizen. I laughed when he thought about it for a sec and then ask how tall they were. I could only laugh, so he decided that it was a bad idea jaja. He is what you would call a chaparrito or a really short person.

Like I said, not much went on this week, so there isn´t much to talk about. Hope everyone has a good week.

Elder Scott Donner

Monday, February 7, 2011

Things Are Looking Up!?


So I have to say that this week was a ton better. Me and my companion are actually really chill now and we talk about things. It was kinda rough at first because we didn't hardly talk at all. Things are alot better in that aspect.

Finding investigators in this area is really different at times, so we spend most of our time knocking doors in Tepito, because we can{t knock in the other half of our area, which is called Tlatelolco, because it is all apartments. The requirments to count someone as a new investigator is to teach them a lesson (which consists of 1-2 principles and a prayer), and to set up a return appointment with them. The tricky part is getting them to keep that return appointment. We found about 12 new investigators last week, but only 3 of them kept their appointment. Still, things are progressing. We had 2 investigators show up to church, which apparently none have shown up for months. So now the members actually see that we are working, and they all want to give us referrals. We have 2 lessons set up this week with friends of members. That is probably the coolest part about working in Mexico. You dont have to ask for referrals if the members see that you are working hard.

The ward here is a little different, but I like it. If the members cant tell that you are working, they dont like you. But recently, our hard work has been starting to pay off, and the members are starting to warm up to us. We have hardly any active members. We have about 85 active members out of like 300 members. Most of the inactive have gone off radar, and we cant get ahold of them. Interesting no?

The members definately feed us alot. I have been sick alot, mostly just from being forced to eat a ton. Members that sign up that cant actually feed us send us to a members restauraunt which is really cool. They serve something differnt every day, which I like because it gives variety.

Laundry. We are able to do laundry with some other elders, because they have a washer. There are no such things as dryers here, even if you are rich. They just dont exist. The wash machines are a little different too. I don't have my camera this week, but next week I will try to include some pictures.

There is no walmart or costco close to where I live. What we have in our area is whats called the Mega. It is basically mexicos version of a walmart, that they are trying to expand to the United States and all over the world. It literally is a walmart, with a different name.

So to tell you about my companion, he is from Monterray. He is the youngest of 6 children. His whole family are members, his parents were converts. He has 2 brothers and 3 sisters. His brothers and 1 sister served missions, so he is completing the family. By the way, it is very rare to find a mexican family where all men have served missions. Anyways, me and Elder Tadeo actually have alot of the same interests, which is really cool.

Anyways, Dunno what Else to say. Have a good week!

Elder Scott Donner

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stairs & Subway's

Dear Family,

Ok, so this week has definately been nuts. Right after my last email that I sent to you last week, my companion told me that he was going home. This TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY BUMMED ME OUT! That would mean that I would have to work with jovenes (youth?). Tuesday we went to the district leaders house so he could leave me with someone so that I would have a companion. Then he proceeded to call Presdient to find out when he was leaving. President starting setting things up, but at the same time called Elder Tadeo´s (my companion) stake president. His stake president called us and talked to Elder Tadeo for 2 hours. I don´t know what was said, but he completely talked him out of everything and now he has the ganas to stay till the end of his mission, and he wants to baptize till the end. He still needs alot of help, but now he refuses to go home. I WAS SO STINKING HAPPY! It is still hard to work with him because he´s finally getting back into the groove of things after being dead for 6 months, but I´m happy. This past week we have really worked hard. President calls me every day to check up on things. I am so grateful for President. He works hard to make sure his missionaries are ok.

Anyways, there is one thing about my area that I absolutely HATE! They are ALL apartments. Were not talking Arizona apartments. We´re talking like New York style apartments. The SMALLEST is 12 floors. UGH! Another thing about it is that you have to press a button to call the apartment so they can open the door but if they´re not there, your not getting in. Also we are not allowed to knock there. The residents get super mad if we do. So we just contact by the subway all day, which runs straight through the middle of our area. BTW(By The Way), I lied. I said that I didn´t have Tepito in my area. Tepito is like 1/3 of my area. We have lots of referrals for there too.... jaja!!! Fun right? There are literally dead people laying in the street and NO ONE CARES! NOT JOKING! I freaked out when I saw my first dead person! But its completely normal there, and people just set up their tangis (market stands where they sell stuff) around these people because its too much a hastle to move them.... sad right?

Anyways things I learned in Mexico...

It is perfectly normal to pull over and pee on your own car if you can´t hold it.

The bomba is not a type of dance here. It is the electral pump used to pump the hot water out of your boiler.

Drunk people think that the stars are omnis (UFOs).

Chile eating contests with Mexicans are not a good idea. Even if you win, his stomach is stronger than yours, and will spend only 1/50 of the time in the bathroom that you will.

Farting at the table is completely normal..... if your old. If your a missionary they will ask you to be excused until you learn some manners (this happened to the missionary that I went on splits with, who is American as well).


The MonaƱez Family from my old area.

Anyways, I love you all,

Elder Scott Donner