Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Being Careful

Hola familia,

So things are still kinda crazy here, and from what I'm told, everything is only going to get more crazy :S. I am going to apologize right now because I don't have any fotos for you this week, with a good reason why not. This past week, a group of 4 guys have been following us and trying to rob us. Tuesday night we got out of an appointment, and as we were returning to our house, these 4 guys yelled "elders" to us. This is actually very normal, because a lot of people know that we are called elders. So we keep walking, but my companion turns around just to be sure they weren't following us. Well they definitely were. We started to walk faster, and instead of heading back to the house, we decided to head over to the Bodega Aurrera (its like Walmart). There were lots of people, so we went inside and we were gonna wait a bit, but three of them followed us into the store. We thought maybe it was a coincidence so we stopped in one section and just browsed. No, they were definitely following us, because they followed us to the section. We went to another part and they followed us still. At this point, we weren't sure what to do, but we suddenly noticed they had disappeared. We quickly left the store and headed back to the house, going a different way than we came.

They next day, we were headed to another appointment and four guys yelled "elder" to us again. My companion told me he thought that was them, and I told him it WAS them. We passed them, and he turned around to find one of them following us. When we turned at the corner, I confirmed that he was still following us, and we started to speed walk to our appointment. We kept praying she would be there, and luckily she was, but by the time she let us in, the guy following us arrived at the door. Our investigator kinda looked at him and he said he wanted to talk to us. He just asked us for money, but we told him the we are missionaries and walk everywhere, so we didn't have money. He wouldn't leave, but the investigator shut the door on his face and we waited for him to leave. Apparently, her neighbor had reported that the same four guys were following her daughter. It was funny because we watched the police come by and pick him up. We had a really nice lesson with the investigator (her name is Guadalupe), and we were about to leave when her daughter entered the house and told us that the police had dropped the guy back off in the streets. This usually happens because he either paid them, or because he didn't have anything of worth on him. So we quickly left the house and almost jogged back to the house the entire way.

They have been following us pretty much the entire week now. The members have told us that this is because everyone in December everyone receives their Christmas bonus, so all the thieves come out and rob anyone who might have money. Its very common this time of year. We were told that we shouldn't carry anything with us that we didn't want stolen, so I have left my camera at home this entire week. SORRY!!!

Anyways, unfortunately the baptism we had fell again because of doubts. We are working a lot with other people that had dates before but fell for one reason or another. We want December to be a month of miracles for our area, since we will both be together all of December.

I'm really enjoying the work and trying to enjoy my last Christmas, but it makes me really sad to think this is my last one. I feel really weird because I am the missionary in our zone who has the most time out, and it really stresses me out that they keep saying things about this being my last everything jaja! I unfortunately have not been sleeping well still. Its hard for me for whatever reason. My insomnia might just be because I'm not in my own bed jaja!!!

We saw that taxi driver who we crashed with. He is still driving the same taxi. Who knows how he was able to get it to run again. Its still smashed up in front.

Anyways, we are going to see what happens this week jaja!

Elder Scott Donner

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tender Mercies...

Hi there family,

Soooooo...... I´m exhausted jaja!!! So very exhausted. This week was quite interesting for me. So beginning the week, I ate a mystery meat from the fridge (it was Sunday so I couldn't buy anything) that my companion had assured me wasn't old. It tasted alright, and I was starving when we had gotten home at night. When I wrote you guys last Monday, I was doing good. Of course it would be the day that we are supposed to leave again that I would start throwing up a lot. I pretty much got food poisoning. And it stunk, because we worked as much as we could, but in between throwing up, walking to lessons, throwing up in the bathroom while my companion taught the lessons, and drinking a ton of lemon/salt mixed with coke (because apparently that's their home remedy here, but I don´t buy it), it was alright. Unfortunately the baptismal date that we had, fell, and the investigators we usually visited at night, we didn't visit, because throwing up got worse at night. I also spiked a fever for a day and a half at 103 degrees (I didn't know food poisoning could do that to someone).

Some pretty crazy stuff happened today too. I haven´t let you all know, but my insomnia is attacking again, and only lets me get to sleep around 4 or 5 in the morning. So this morning, I slept in a little bit so I don´t die, but the other elders called to tell us we would be playing sports at 9:30. It was 9:00, so I got up and we got dressed for sports. We go outside to take a taxi to the chapel where we play. Everything kinda normal up to that point. While we are in the taxi, though, as we were driving on a round-about, we see a bus coming in the opposite direction. Our driver didn't notice right away because obviously he hadn't seen anybody when he entered, and nobody should be driving in the opposite direction. Never did I think I would be in a car accident on the mission before, neither did I think I would feel so protected in the process. It was an interesting experience, because I was very calm as I saw the bus coming, and when it hit, I almost felt a shield around me and my companion, who was in the front seat. Neither of us were jolted nor thrown forward in the taxi. The taxi driver got whiplash pretty bad, and his taxi didn't start anymore. Everything here is a hit and run. If you hit, and you can still run, then run! That's the rule here. The funny thing was though that we were still close to the station of taxis where we took the taxi, so the taxi driver yells to his buddies at the station to follow the bus that hit us. They ALL hopped in their taxis and started to chase the bus down. The taxi driver told us to get out, him and some other taxi buddies pushed his car off to the side, and they all took off in another taxi after the bus. Me and my companion were left in the street, but completely untouched. We were in shock too, so it didn't really occur to me to take any pictures of what the taxi looked like, but I was shocked that nothing happened to us, especially because the bus hit on our side.

So I will be in this area for the holidays, because this transfer ends on the 26th of December jaja! So we´ll just barely make it. And unfortunately, because Thanksgiving is not a Mexican holiday, we won't be celebrating anything about it jaja. Its totally weird to think that this is my last Christmas in the mission. My companion thinks its funny to remind me that after Christmas, all I have are 6 months left. I tell you what, it scares the living poo outta me. Definitely not ready to return to the real world :S jaja!

Anyways, I didn't take any pictures last week, but I will take a few this week.

Elder Scott Donner

Monday, November 14, 2011

Modern Technology

Sooooo, not sure what the reason for changes were but it doesn't really matter because today is the end of the transfer. Anyways, things are going good here in my new area. When we talked about all of the 50 investigators we had, we decided that we needed to do one of 2 things: prepare them for baptism, or drop them if they didn't want to. Therefore, we started the process jaja!!! We have at least 1 baptism set up for this weekend with a lady named Guadalupe. She is quite interesting, but she hand knits some really cool purses :P There are a possibility of six people that live with her that could get baptized, but she is ready right now, so we are doing it.
We have received many blessings through something called the "ley de cosecha" (I'm not sure how it translates to English). Basically, it refers to not receiving the blessings for which we are searching, but receiving them later from something completely unexpected. For example, Saturday we were working our butts off trying to find people in their houses, and also contacting people. Time came around to go to lunch, so we started heading there. While on our way, 2 girls called us over, and me and my companion thought that they were just going to ask us who we were, where we are from, and then tell us how cute we are, because, yes, it happens quite a bit here jaja! But they were actually genuinely interested in what we did as missionaries. We explained to them our purpose, and one of them asked that if we had to, could we teach a lesson in 10 minutes. Of course we can. So they told us, " Well.... teach us". It was pretty sweet.
Also same thing happened, only the guy that contacted us seemed a little drunk, but we couldn't really tell because he didn't really smell of alcohol. He told us to pass by his house, but we weren't too sure about it because we thought that an hermana had mentioned that the house where the man lived was a drug house, so we told him the next day we would pass by. The next day, we went and asked the hermana if she knew him, and she said no. Rather than deny the guy the opportunity to listen to us, we left all our stuff with the hermana, and decided just to go check the house out and bare our testimonies at most. When we got there, he was waiting for us with his entire family. It turned out pretty sweet.
I get along really well with my companion, and we probably goof around a little too much, but I enjoy working with him, because we both want to work really hard, and we do. A little bit about him. His name is Elder Lozano and he comes from Monterray. He comes from a family of 4. He only has a younger sister and mom and dad. He said his parents weren't really active when they were growing up, so it was up to him and his sister to stay active in the church. I am proud of him, because there really aren't that many youth as strong in the church as him.
Anyways, now for pictures. To explain what I am doing, I will give some background. In our house, there is a tank above filled with water, which we use to bathe and wash and for dishes. There is no such thing as water pressure here. Below the house is a big empty space that fills up with water once a week that we can use. In order to get the water from the big empty space (called "sistena"), we have to turn on a water pump so it can pump the water from below the house to the tank above. What happened was the fuses for the water pump had blown, so I had to change them because my companion was afraid of getting electrocuted. So I had to climb in the little space and, hovering over the giant opening where the water is, change the fuses jaja!!!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Another Change...

Hey Family,

Once again Im in another area. More changes were necessary. Anyways, now I am in a zone called Xalostoc (ha-lo-stock). The ward I am in is called Jardines. It seems like a really sweet ward, and my companion is pretty cool. His name is Elder Lozano. He has less time than me in the mission, as do almost all the missionaries in the mission now. I am excited to be in the area because we have a really high goal set for baptisms. We have reviewed all of the possibilities we have for baptism, and have decided that we have about 50 people we could baptize this month. Now we just have to filter through them really quickly to find the elected and work with them.

Its funny because a year ago I heard that Xalostoc was the worst baptizing zone in the mission, but now it is one of the highest baptizing missions. The ward only has 10 active priesthood holders, so the majority of the members are women. Its our goal to find some men to baptize so we can have more priesthood holders.

I was kinda bumped having to leave my area, but, looking on the bright side, I know I can do some good here. I am definately going to visit that ward again when I have the opportunity. Hopefully it will be when the family I baptized gets sealed in the temple that I return to visit them.

Mom, if there is one thing that I can ask for for christmas is shirts. I need more white shirts, because the ones I have are either almost worn out, or way too big on me now.... I am a size 16 1/2 and I will need the TALL PLEASE!!!! I am still growing and if they are not tall, I cannot tuck them in :S

The picture I am sending is of me and Elder Lozano.

Elder Scott Donner

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Halloween!

This is me with the zebra I sleep with :P Seriously though..... I sleep with that zebra :)

This is of our journey to the temple this Saturday. The Family we baptized drove us there because they wanted to go to the visitors center. They treated us to REAL flautas :)

So in this picture, we decided to compare my feet to others, and we realized why it is difficult/impossible to find my shoe size here in Mexico jaja!!!

Hey everyone,

So I forgot to tell you about something really awesome. This past Saturday my companion got sealed to his family in the México City Temple. So guess what I got to do? That’s right! I was able to go through the temple with my companion’s family :) It was really a neat experience and was sooo stoked to be there with him. The also asked me to be one of the witnesses, so I felt pretty honored, because the mentioned that I will remembered by them forever. His uncle also came from Sonora, which borders Arizona. He said that when I finish, anytime I want to visit, I’m more than welcome there :)

So this past week was more of just a filtering process for investigators. We basically just visited everyone that we were teaching, and those that weren’t really progressing, we let them know we could no longer continue with them. But we are excited, because the family that we baptized has another family they want us to teach. Our ward is going to the temple this weekend, so the family wants to bring them along. And of course, we are going too.... AGAIN!!! :D Super stoked for that. I really hope I don’t get changed from this area because Im really enjoying it and we are having success.


Elder Scott Donner