Note:

Elder Wadman does not access this blog directly. Messages should be sent using the contact information listed on the side

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

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Hey Guys!!

I've got good news and bad news! The good news is that


Gustavo got baptized!! He gave a really great testimony afterwards saying that he had been unfair to a certain missionary but that he was glad he had made this decision for himself, even though his family didn't come or approve (don't worry he's 18!). I really think that he'll flourish in the Church and stay active because he's really there because he wants to be, and no other reason.

Christmas we went out and gave videos to inactive families and taught a couple of lessons. We were supposed to give out 4, so we did 9, haha. It was a little hectic since we did it in between calls to the family, but it worked out! We got a family that was planning on putting off their wedding until February 14th when it was free to agree to get married next week, and have the husband committed to not drink anymore. He's really been applying what we said about studying and praying to overcome addiction. We're hoping to baptize him the 11th for the day that every missionary in the mission is supposed to baptize.

Sunday mornings are always a little bit rough because all of the people we think are going to come or are progressing cancel or have work or don't show up. That's where the bad news is. Nestor, a great investigator, had to fill in for a commitment for his grandma last minute and couldn't go to church, even though he had a baptismal date set for the afternoon. He goes back to school on the 5th though, so if he got baptized here when he has enough assistances [attendances] in the chapel, he couldn't get confirmed. As such, he's going to have to get baptized when he goes back to school in Mexico. It may be for the best, but it still is kind of upsetting for us. We're going to keep in touch with him though!!
Here's the orange statue!!

And today we went to a pyramid

I was glad to talk to you guys too! It's weird how same everything is there. Anyway, hope you have a great week! I've got to find some people to baptize!

Elder Wadman
Oh, also apparently the Xalapa Mission has a facebook page if you're interested.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hi!
 
First thing's first, I'm going to call at 11 on the 25th, my time. That is 10 your time I believe. I think we're skyping so be ready for that, I'll just track down your account, but don't be super crazy surprised if we end up doing a phone call instead.
 
It's really weird to hear about my family from Hannah and hear about Hannah from you guys, usually they're pretty separate narratives. Anyway, go Kate for inviting people to the Messiah and jumping in to sing with them! I heard it was super full of people and the missionaries made some new friends!!

Alamo is pretty cool! It's basically a city dedicated to oranges. It used to be a huge place for white people because it had all the offices for petroleum stuff in Mexico and people like Madonna came to perform here, but they packed up and left so now it's just oranges everywhere. They have a 30 foot statue of a man carrying oranges. I'll send you a picture. Basically it means I get lots of orange juice and it's awesome. The ward is pretty big here, but there's only one ward in the city.  We're part of the Poza Rica zone. There are 6 missionaries here, 2 sisters and 4 elders. It's kind of funny, our district leader has 18 months in the mission and speaks terrible Spanish, but still does a great job.

My companion, Elder Pedrero, is my hero. He's really hard working, really honest and direct, and really patient. He has about a year in the mission and he's from Chile. He irons my clothes every morning, and I have to fight to pay for things. Also everyone travels by communal taxi here which means you just jam 6 people into a compact car and split the bill. And my shower is literally a bucket we fill with water and heat up with a short circuit. I'm really glad though because we've been able to really get some work done and visit with a lot of people. This past week we had a conference with about half the mission for Navidad, and I ran into a few familiar faces but basically didn't know anyone. I got your package and the 2nd two from Hannah though, so I left with more packages than everyone else hahahahaa. We also got copies of the Liahona from the last two months and everyone freaked out because they were so excited.

Ask me about Gustavo on the 25th. That was an interesting story. We were supposed to baptize him this past Sunday, but it didn't work out. I got a cable to borrow from Elder Pedrero but then left it in the house so haha. Anyway I think I can track one down here in Alamo and it will be a little bit cheaper than sending it across the nation. We got some rain Saturday and got covered in mud. Sad cats.

Also I got some mail from Tina and Brandon and I want to respond to the questions they asked that I can remember off the top of my head. 

For halloween I was Elder Wadman, some of the Catholics got really scared.

There are no dangerous animals that can kill me, at least that I've run into. A few little boys have bitten me though...

My mission is going really, really great, although I'd really like people to go to church more often than they do.

One of you is reading in Alma in The Book of Mormon. That's amazing! Read every single day and you'll always be able to remember how much God loves you.

Talk to you Soon!

Elder Wadman

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

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GOOO CATS!!! [University of Arizona]

Also, Ya me voy! [I'm already leaving!] Elder Rojas is going to stay here in Teziutlan to finish his mission (7 and a half months!!) And I'm headed to Poza Rica, a few hours outside of the city, in a place called Alamo. Really wasn't ready to leave but I'm excited for the heat after freezing here, and from what I hear I'm leaving an awesome area for an awesome area. My companion is named Elder Pedrera and he's from Chile, but I won't meet him until tomorrow night! I wasn't ready to say goodbye to all these people though! There's a good chance I can return to one of the nearby zones before I finish my mission though, so that should be pretty exciting.

I can't get my photos to you this week because I don't really know what happened to my cable; like, I'm going to look for it but if you could send me another one when you get the chance, if that's even possible, I'd be super grateful. I'll try and buy one here if I can't find mine but it's kind of weird to find things in Mexico because they just sell everything on the street.

Good to hear something about Jordan that isn't him being a monkey at school (that's all Hannah tells me), I'm glad to hear it. To give you an idea of what it's like here though, imagine that Jordan is the Young Men's President. Welcome to my ward. Haha, it's always an adventure.

We had some missionaries going home from our area this week. So strange that this Wednesday they're going to be with their families, getting ready for school and work and all that. I do have a couple of Elder Rojas's photos. We put up the bishop's Christmas tree this week because he broke his foot, so don't worry I still got the experience!
 

Ignore the fact that my face is now fat! I'm sitting at 71 kilos [156 lbs.], so at least I'm not getting fat TOO fast. I'm thinking I might just sweat it all out in my next area anyway haha!
 
When the Spanish translator was translating the conference talk about the sacrament, she started crying, you could hear it in her voice. It's kind of interesting in that respect because you're hearing it after someone listened to it. Oh I spoke in church this week! Apparently I talked for 20 minutes, maybe I'm more long winded in Spanish. It's something very strange though, that it really doesn't feel any different to give a talk in Spanish, if anything it was a little bit more comfortable. I also had to teach priesthood at the last minute, and the lesson was about the role of women in the church, so that was really weird for me...

Wishing you all the Best!

Elder Wadman
 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

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Hey guys! Here the ground is always wet. Always. GOOOO CATS!!!!!!!!!!!! [The University of Arizona basketball team]  That's awesome! We had a good testimony meeting too! Some of our converts weren't there but we had 6 investigators this week in church! Woohoo! I'm still getting cards from October, just to give you a reference point, but I'm sure your card will turn up eventually! I don't have your package yet either :(. I have permission to talk to you guys for an hour over Skype either the 24 or 25, so we'll have to work out some details this coming week.

Elder Rojas
Elder Rojas is a pretty cool guy! He finishes his mission in February, so he's about to start his last transfer. He's from the State of Mexico, in a place called Prados Aragon. He is a convert and about to turn 22, but he actually got baptized a day after me 10 years ago, February 29! How weird is that!! It's also really cool because his dad was an inactive member for years before he joined the church, and had left the family, but a few months ago he came back to the home and recently received the Melchizedek Priesthood! How cool is that! His brother also just told him that he's getting married in May, so things are a little crazy for Elder Rojas. He's been a great trainer and I've learned a lot, although some times have gone better than others. I'm grateful for his example and above all for his patience for the times that I try to teach with my own knowledge and forget to rely on the Lord to help me explain with clarity.

Baptisms
I got to baptize the convert of the Hermanas [Sister Missionaries] in our district because she really liked the gospel principles class I taught last week. WIN!

​Some familiar faces! Elder Abreu, who is from the Dominican Republic, was here a few months back and baptized the older daughter of this family. The father is a less active member. Elder Abreu is in our zone now and came back to do one of our baptisms, and Elder Rojas did the other! Woohoo saving souls!!!!

Remember the kids from last week? We got their father to church and we're hoping we can prepare him and his son for baptism in two weeks! Still wish we could talk to the mother, get her baptized, and get this family back together, but I don't know how much we can do right now. Hope springs eternal! Also the 10 year old, Evelyn, gives us a different hand-drawn card every time we go. So sweet. ​

Marriage Law
We were set to marry another family and baptize a girl this coming week, but the new marriage law says you can't get married until you're 18, even with consent of your parents. So she's going to have a baby before she's even allowed to be married, and her partner will continue to be an unworthy priesthood holder. Sad cats!!
 
Love, Elder Wadman

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

To the Fam,

I hardly even remembered it was Thanksgiving on Thursday! I was giving thanks because we found a new family with one inactive member and a bunch of people who want to improve and be closer to God! I'm waiting to get my camera back from Elder Rojas along with his so I can send you guys a few photos of the highlights this week. Anyway, do you guys know about the El es la Dádiva Initiative? Ok, I mean He is the Gift. It's going all December long, and on the 7th the Church is like taking over YouTube with a bunch of stuff. They're working with the missionaries to get a ton of contacting done, and we're giving some videos to inactive members.

We moved two families this week, both basically in the middle of the night. The one yesterday was just because they happened to be moving, but the first move of my mission was ugly. We moved a mother who decided to walk out on her family. She didn't want to be with her husband anymore but her children are staying with him because it's their home and their school and everything. We just stood in the room while this woman said goodbye and gave her parting advice to her crying children. I came to an understanding of just how grateful I am for the life I've been given. I was born into a family sealed for eternity with an understanding of the importance of the Gospel. When I get home I know that I am looking for a worthy and righteous eternal companion so that we can receive all of the blessings of the Lord here on earth and afterwards. People here who come to know of the truth are already the children of parents who never married and live with different people, and perhaps married to people who are more interested in the things of this world than anything else, because 10, 20, 50 years ago they didn't know any better. I'm just so grateful for what I have after really seeing what it's like for those who didn't. In other news, however, 



We Married a Family!!! The gentleman is Jose Louis, who is actually an inactive member, and his wife is Beatriz, who isn't a member but has more faith in the church than he does. We're going to baptize her and her daughter next week!!
We Baptized!! Those two kids were in a better mood Sunday at their baptisms than they were when they're mom left. That's a start, right! We're hoping to get their older half brother and his Dad going to church more regularly so they can have some more support!
We had a missionary Christmas Devotional!! Yeah we sang for an hour and shared a bunch of videos and messages, closing with the He is the Gift (El es La Dádiva) video. Very fun, very powerful. So many missionaries! Don't think I can fit the picture in this email. If you would really like it that's fine!

I'm short on time but please remind me next week to tell you more about Elder Rojas! He's really an interesting guy!!

Lots of Love!

Elder Wadman

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

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Hey Guys!!
 
It's been interesting here this week! We're marrying a family this Friday, and I found a bunch of new people to teach while we were doing Divisions [missionaries split up and go out teaching with members] a few times this week!
 
We have some baptisms this coming Sunday, although the family is falling apart in our hands. The parents are separating because of preexisting problems, and this Sunday we only brought two of the kids with us. It's a very strange thing because this 40 year old man asked us our impression of his family and what he should do to keep it together, and that faith has always been a struggle for him. I'm this tiny kid with a retainer, glasses, and a gigantic backpack, but he thanked me for my advice. It really made me realized how much a calling as a missionary changes how people look at you.
 
Their daughter is the absolute best however. Her name is Evelyn and she's 10, and she ALWAYS reads the chapters we leave for the family, and is constantly involved. She informed her family that she was going to attend all three hours of church this week. People like her are the miracles out here. Something I worry about is something that Darling talked about quite a bit before I left- that a lot of the people that get baptized stop going to church the minute you leave the area. The reality is in a lot of cases, she's right, Our stake has 3000 members more or less, but all of the wards have attendances much lower than those back home. There are a lot of people who are inactive, A LOT. Something I've learned here though is that missionary work in Mexico is different. Back home conversion has to happen before baptism because most people won't get baptized without it. Here it's different. A lot of people do their converting a long time after they've been baptized. They gain testimonies after years of attendance and messages, and often are only staying active because they like it, and after a good amount of time because they actually have a testimony. It's not ideal, but it's not bad. The reality is that we understand very well the power of the Book of Mormon in conversion, but many times a testimony of that book is a long time in coming for these people, because as much as we try they just won't sit down and read for themselves. It's why people like Evelyn just make me so happy. Because they get it NOW. Because they don't just listen to our lesson about faith and works, they actually take the hard steps to change and do it.
 
Another quick story is all I have time for. One of the converts of Elder Rojas who was baptized just before I got here, named Sharon, is on fire. She gave me 27 references this week and has been a super powerful example for her newly baptized family. They really like the Liahonas [Church magazine] because it's easier to understand. Also Personal Progress [the Church young women's program] is an inspired missionary tool. I can tell you right now they didn't just make it for young women born in the church so they can have something to do. It teaches new members in a very special way.
 
Gah, I still have to write the [mission] president! Talk to you all later!!! Happy Thanksgiving!

Elder Wadman

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

GO CATS!!! Although I'm going to be honest, I'd really love it if they won while I was in the country.

Glad you got to go to the Phoenix Temple dedication! I'm serious, apostles and prophets speaking is like 400 times cooler when you're on a mission. I'll start with some photos and see where this email ends up.

We have a few families in church but it's always a struggle to keep them interested. What really makes me happy is we're getting references from some recent converts, and keeping them involved from week to week! I know it's a huge part of the process that we keep these people involved and help them understand how important this really is for themselves. Testimonies take a long time, and here it's almost always long after their baptisms! I don't know if I said, but I think we're going to marry a family in three weeks and baptize two of them, the wife and the oldest daughter, since the guy is an inactive member. It's pretty exciting!

Elder Rojas didn't have an umbrella but the family didn't want him to get wet. Also this is where your clothes come from, just so you know. Houses with three kids and 6 chickens. That or one of the factories down the road.

This goat just stood up for the first time! We just happened to be walking by while it was trying to stand. So that was awesome. Crazy that while God's worrying about all of us all the time in a very individual way, he's still aware of this little miracle.

​Today in the rain and fog we climbed up this gigantic hill to take a picture with Jesus! We were absolutely soaked but it was a lot of fun. Ok, well other people were wet and miserable, but I was pumped the whole way. We went up with a few members from our area.
Que mas? umm wow I just type in Spanish sometimes. I'm working a lot to become a more efficient and effective missionary. I understand how to work hard but working smart and really making a difference for people is a more complicated affair. The reality, however, is that there are missionaries who teach 30 or 40 lessons a week and don't baptize, and others who baptize every week and teach 5 or 7. It's a lot less about numbers and a lot more about how you're doing things. That's not to say you shouldn't teach lessons, but it's a complicated dealio. We've got a wedding planned and a few baptisms with good prospects coming up in a few weeks! I love you guys and can't wait to get your packages and letters!

Elder Wadman

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Oh!

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We did a Lehi's Dream simulation hahaha
[Lehi's dream is recorded in the Book of Mormon]


​we got like 70 people there and set up temptations and a great and spacious building with crazy music and lights and a tree of life and everything, and then played some videos about agency and the cartoon of the tree of life, in a much more logical order than I just explained all of that. Anyway it was a good time. The guy on the right is our ward mission leader. He just got back from his mission 5 months ago!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

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Hey!
Please tell me you sorted out the social security thing! I really don't want the church to get into trouble with taxes!! [We sorted it out]
 
Elder Rojas is feeling better but that's because he's been getting injections every night. The bishop's wife has been doing them, but one night she wasn't in town so an old lady with shaking hands gave it to him. He was walking a little funny for the evening!
 
Oh that's right, I'm speaking another language! No really Spanish is going great. Basically members are like no way you're new! And investigators are like, you're new here, aren't you! Because I'm understanding about 90 percent and my grammar is about 90% correct. The secret? One is prayer. If you ask, you will receive. There's no way I would pick up the language like this on my own. The second, I don't do anything in English. I don't study in English, I don't pray in English, I don't think in English. Ok sometimes I think in English but really. More than anything when I only use English to write my journal and to you guys, it's like 16 hours of practice every day. Honestly the challenges of the mission have very little to do with Spanish at this point, and much more with talking in general, whatever the language.
 
I got some mail from you guys finally! I got your letter from September a few days ago, two letters from Brother Andrews, and some pictures from the primary, although most of them didn't seem to be aware this was for a missionary. I got one that said I love you mom with a picture of a girl and her mom. But I laughed to an edge of my life so I still think it was mission accomplished in that respect.

The next day the president was here in Teziutlan and I had an interview (and got a letter from Eloisa!) so that was fun. Honestly I have to admit that praying in English felt really weird and oddly difficult! I just don't use it that much! My grammar is all over the place because I'm used to Spanish structure now.
 
Ok I have some pictures of the house! I skipped the bathroom because Elder Rojas was showering at the time. It's clean! but the shower is just a pipe and sucks and makes me sad. It's also the entire bathroom. Like if you turn it up too high it drains into the sink. Anyway here are a few.
 

​To the right is an altar to I think the Virgin of Guadalupe (APOSTASIA!) And We're the windows just above the first tier or the roof, below the white. That's where I climbed in at 6 am in my pajamas that one time.

The view from the door. He's very friendly but poops on the patio a lot. He belongs to the owner, who lives downstairs.

​Camas! I mean beds. I'm on the right. Literally like 5 blankets.

​Don't worry I still get cold milk!

​And this is where the Magic happens!
Also we had cambios this week (transfers) but despite our projections Elder Rojas is still here! So basically nothing changed in our district at all :p. I can't think of a lot of other things to say right now but it's good to know you guys are doing well!!

Elder Wadman
 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014

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      It's always so great to hear from you guys!! I'm glad you  got to spend some more time together this week! I just constantly am amused by the fact that you guys run into Hannah all the time and her Elder Wadman shenanigans in general. I'm glad that Darling's health is stable. We have stake conference coming up this week, and we're having some interviews with the mission president in our homes, so that's going to be kind of interesting!
 
Elder Rojas was sick the beginning of this week and so we didn't get as much as I'd have liked done, but I guess that's how it is sometimes. I did some studying with the time we had in the house, and have learned some good things. One of the new converts from last transfer that we've been working with bore her testimony of missionary work and the power it had to help her daughters to be baptized so that was cool, and Angie got confirmed. We have a few people we might be able to baptize in the upcoming weeks, but we're in a holding pattern as we've been struggling to get new investigators to follow through on church commitments.

We also have been trying to teach Serafin, the investigator I mentioned last week, but every time we visit he's drunk, even during the day, or 11 am. The problem is he's really depressed since he lost his wife and really wants our help, but he's never in the state of mind to understand what we're talking about it, or at least not to remember it, so we're not really sure what we can do. We also found a great family of 6 that we're hoping to get excited about the gospel and not just about meeting the missionaries and asking me questions about America!

Gosh what things do I want for Christmas? The reality is that missionaries always end up getting all this stuff and have nowhere to put it, so end up sending things home or giving them away a lot, so that's been a bit of a challenge. I could use a 501 Spanish verbs book! Here's some pictures while I think!! [Note: Grandma and Grandpa Hunt are sending the book]

We had a family home evening with some new converts and played a game that's like Jenga but with flour and a ball in the middle, and we slowly cut away flower...

And if you lose you have to pick up the ball with your mouth... I didn't lose first!!!
But yeah that happened!

The difference between my polished shoes for church and those from the day before... hehehe  
Again with the gifts though... ummm I like food, and letters, and oh if you guys could send me one of my other pairs of jeans from my room that would be nice, just pick the biggest ones in case I continue to climb in weight haha. It is weird though if you want the details, because I work out every morning, so I'm fit and stuff and sort of have abs now but it's like abs on top of somewhat fatness. Um that makes sense right?

Anyway I love you guys and I'll talk to you next week! I'm realizing you probably know more about my life than about Kate's! How weird is that!?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

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Hi!
 
To answer your questions:
 
No I didn't find my shoes :( so I spent a whopping 15 dollars on a new pair. I'm size 29 in Mexico hahaha! I can pretend I'm a real man now.
 
We eat 'dinner' with members at 2 o'clock because later is good proselyting time. We either eat with someone who feeds us till we burst or have a bowl of rice and beans. Regardless, I've gained 20 pounds since I left home. This is terrifying. I mean I look mostly the same but I'm a little less flaco (skinny). My dream is that it means I'm growing taller, but meh, we all know this will not be the case.
 
I'm glad that things are going so well at work! I always felt really bad that you guys had to deal with so much stuff you didn't like when you were teaching, so that's really great!
 
I don't know if you guys felt like the lesson of the week was worth it, so let me know and I'll start again next week if you liked it.
 
Fun Mexico Facts
I have a count of dead dogs I've run into. It's 4.

This is Angie! [see pictures] We baptized her in a river and it was freezing and we both fell and I had to do it 3 times and umm it was an adventure! She's great though she's 17 and a full time babysitter for her member friend Nelly who's in the pictures. She also didn't tell her mom she was getting baptized because her mom didn't want her to. ITS OK SHE'S 18 in 2 months and doesn't live at home!!

In other news, I was on splits with the ward mission leader looking for a reference we got and met this random Catholic guy who recently lost his wife and is interested in learning about other faiths but only to compare with his own. During the lesson he definitely rolled himself some something to smoke. We'll see how it goes but miracles happen right!!!

That's all I have time for though!

Love you guys!!!

Elder Wadman

Nelly, Angie, and Elder Rojas

Angie and Elder Rojas

Baptism of Angie

Lesson of the Week

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Ok, I'm going to try and share one principle from my studies every week, like not even current, just principles in order. I'll have about a year by the time I finish with all 42 principles in Preach My Gospel [manual], but I thought you might like to read some of them or at least consider the ideas! Forgive me though, I'm translating my notes out of Spanish!!
Lesson 1 The Restoration
Principle 1 God is our Loving Heavenly Father
We are Children of God Matt 6:3 Acts 17:18
God has a body of Flesh and Bones Ether 3:8-9
God Loves us 1 Nephi 11:16-17,21,28
God wants to communicate with us (Matt 6:5-8)
We are here to progress and obey the commandments with love 2 nef [Nephi] 2: 21-25 Juan [John]14: 15
There is a way to return to God Juan [John] 14: 4-6, 2 Nephi 31: 16-21
but we need to be pure Alma 5:19-21
Because disobedience distances us from God Alma 45:16
Through the atonement of christ, we can be clean again Alma 34 8-12, Alma 7 11-13
The Atonement: The suffering of  Christ on the cross and in the Garden MSH [Mosiah] 3:7-10
Ok, those are the points. I have questions and additional scriptures and stuff but I don't have that much time to type!!!!

LOL I NEVER SENT THIS!! It's been sitting in my drafts for a week

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

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Ok this time around I will try and be more organized with my email! honestly in the past it's kind of been a mess!!! I'm going for categories:

Your Questions:
I haven't yet bought new shoes, but I think my shoes are actually in the secretaries house in Xalapa, and I'm going there tonight to work out some stuff for my Visa, so I'm going to verify before I go out spending money.
 
Elder Rojas and I are getting along well, I'm glad he's patient but he's also pretty nice because he's grateful that I'm already pretty solid in my Spanish. I have a hard time understanding at times, but for the most part I'm functional and at least usually helpful, so we get along. Sometimes I feel like he's a little too focused on the members, because even though this is good, whenever something falls through we go spend an hour or sometimes more with a member, sometimes sharing a message, sometimes not (the culture is kind of different here, they expect the missionaries to just chat and have some fun and get to know them, it's the only way to get references--of which we have soooo many we never contact strangers in the street virtually).  So sometimes if we're somewhere for too long and we don't do much that's constructive I get a little annoyed, but hey.
 
Spanish is easy psh. No haha I've really been blessed in that respect. I still have a hard time understanding a few things, but like I said above, the reality is there's just a few concepts that I have to work through and get stronger in, and every day it's a little bit easier. The biggest problem is I just have a hard time as a person talking and well I want to say placticando, but chatting would make more sense to you.
 
I'm not sure if I can get the pictures to work [they didn't], but if I do the weather will be self explanatory. For the most part, from here until December, Teziutlan is essentially either covered in fog or being rained on. My shoes finally failed me last night since the streets were virtually rivers, so the wet feet were basically inevitable. It's cold here, but I've got enough layers that I'm not about to die. [Taking] Showers in the morning are the worst though. It's like one little stream of water that's either freezing or boiling in a bathroom that is open to the elements...
 
I didn't get the card though I may get it when I get to Xalapa tonight!!! I'll have to take some pictures of the house to send to you, I don't have any right now!
 
Random Mexico Stuff:
 
I love that the big ticket items on my shopping list, like the expensive budget busting ones are bread, peanut butter, and frosted flakes. It's kind of hilarious.
 
Status of the Work:
 
The reality is that I'm happy pretty much all the time here because it's awesome, but we're really struggling right now and it's kind of discouraging. We just can't seem to get lessons to go through. We've got two investigators basically right now and for the lives of us can't get more people interested, find them to teach them, or keep them involved/get them going to church. We're working hard to keep some recent converts active as well, but it's been rough. We do have another baptism scheduled for this coming Friday, but it's the tail end of the process, I really only taught a few commandments. Her name is Angie and she was out of town for a few weeks but now wants to get baptized.
 
Leti got confirmed on Sunday! She works a lot so we don't see her that often but she's really great! I don't know if I said but I had to baptize her twice.  Anyway she's really great and related to some of our other converts!
 
Elder Wadman
 
[Note: If you want to send Christmas packages they need to be sent soon in order to arrive in time]
 
First Baptism
 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014 #2


Okay, while my images attatch to the other email I'm going to send this one. I'm basically out of time. Here's what happened this week though, basically.

We went on splits visited like 15 inactives/investigators to get them to go to church, not including the ones we kind of knew were going because of their baptisms/the baptism of a family member. Two of them showed up. Yep, welcome to the mission Elder Wadman.

The place here is full of kittens and dogs that I'm not allowed to touch so that makes life hard.... They're all very nice! I was on splits when I took that picture.

We also had an interesting time playing Jenga at family home evening with some recent converts, if you lost a round you got a mustache... the girl there is names Luz, and we're going out with her tonight to contact some referrals, I think!!

Today we went way out and got to see a waterfall and be under it and stuff! Really I've got a lot of great pictures but this computer is pretty slow so I'm not going to worry about it right now and try and get some more to you next week.

...I also baptized someone on Sunday! Her name is Leidy (Let-ee) and she's the aunt of some recent converts. She's also good friends with some other recent converts. I really wish I had the picture but I'll have to steal them from Elder Rojas some other time!!!! It was a super exciting experience even though I only met her recently and didn't give her most of the lessons.

The reality is this is driving me insane. I feel like we're not very productive with our time a lot, and I have to somehow help Elder Rojas understand what timeliness means. I also am having a hard time because we leave early a lot and I don't get all my study time. All things that we're going to fix! Well I'm pretty much out of time but I love you guys and I'm hoping next week will be less crazy confusing and stressful!

Mexican kitties

Jenga losers

Behind the waterfall, Teziutlan

At the waterfall with Elder Rojas, Teziutlan

Monday, October 13, 2014 #1

[Note: items in blue brackets have been added for clarification]

The two girls up top are the girls who helped us at the airport when we were basically lost. I mean they only laughed at my Spanish a little bit! Really nice people, they're in college for microbiology or something but aren't members. The corn thing was in Atlanta.

The zone [group of missionaries in the same area] is there, I just picked one of the pictures hope it's a good one. The next is the view from my room!

The last one here is just me freaking our about how green things are...


Helpers at Mexico City Airport

Flying Corn at Atlanta Airport

First Zone in Mexico, Teziutlan

View from the apartment, Teziutlan

It's so green! Teziutlan, Mexico

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Oh..

a few other things.
 
My weekly budget is about 20 dollars. And things are cheap here but not that cheap, so it's a little bit crazy. Especially when that includes transportation to the chapel. Anyway that's a fun side note. Also I think my athletic shoes were either left at the secretaries' house or taken out of my suitcase at the airport. Regardless I'm going to have to buy some, which I think I can manage I just figured I could mention it for giggles.
 
Also the internet costs 20 cents a minute so its like a huge amount of my money haha in the future I might do that writing picture thingy thing.

Gah I'm on a Mission!

[Note: items in blue brackets have been added for clarification]

This has been super crazy! Everyone speaks Spanish all the time! I can understand the majority when I'm locked in and focused, but it's hard to be laser focused on what people are saying for hours and hours at a time without the luxury of worrying about anything else! I'm going to get the pictures sent now. Actually never mind I don't have my cord....
 
Elder Rojas is a really good missionary although with conference and his decision that I needed to get to know the members my first two days here, we've honestly done next to nothing and I'm not happy about it. It should go well this week though, I really think he's a good hardworking missionary, we just haven't been doing what he normally does. I hope and pray that's the case at least. If it's not, we're going to be doing something about it real quick, don't you worry. I can be aggressive in Spanish too, if I really think about it.
 
I'm in a city called Teziutlan. It's actually kind of funny it's a cold part of the mission and I'm headed into winter, so it's definitely going to be an adventure for the next 11 weeks. It's really pretty here and I like it a lot though. One morning I accidentally locked us out of the room so I had to climb two stories on my sketchy building in pajamas and slippers to squeeze through a window. I'll go ahead and send you a picture of that next week.
 
I listened to the majority of conference in Spanish but a few of the talks I went in with the other Guerros and listened in English. I loved Elder Oaks talk. I'm so sick of loving Christians and Mormons who don't feel the need to love others despite their beliefs. And I'm realizing how hypocritical that sounds. I hope you guys are doing well, and I'll admit that conference made me a wee bit homesick.
 
My studies have been interesting and good, I just have SO MUCH to do and learn and start committing to memory, Spanish most definitely included. I'm hoping six weeks from now I know when to get off of the van/buses they have and where I'm going most of the time, but we'll see. I'm with Elder Rojas for 12 [weeks], so I've got some breathing room.
 
Love you!
 
Elder Wadman

Thursday, October 2, 2014

I'm Alive

[Note: items in blue brackets have been added for clarification]

Hey, it´s been a bit of an adventure, and I´m still waiting to get one of my suitcases so I haven´t gotten to my area yet, but I am alive!!!!
 
We´re staying with like 20 people in the secretaries' house, although a bunch of them left for home this morning. We missed our connection to Xalapa but our baggage didn´t so we´ve been trying to track it down real quick, but I couldn´t get out to the field yet.

My companions name is Elder Rojas and he´s a pretty cool guy, I think we´ll do well once we get out into the field but right now we´re just kind of twiddling our thumbs. There´s a lot to learn and I´m basically terrified because I´m often completely lost and don´t know what to do, whether it´s just getting from place to place or eating every day. We ate at the [mission] president's last night, but I couldn´t really talk to the other guys because my Spanish is rough and they´re hard to understand a lot! But I´m hoping I'll get there. I´m feeling less crazy overwhelmed and ridiculously exhausted. I got one of my suitcases and have about half of my clothes, but the rest is hopefully arriving at 4:30.

The plane [to Xalapa] we were supposed to be on actually couldn´t land because of the rain, and so it went back to Mexico City anyway, so the adventure we had to get here actually got us here earlier than we would have if we had made the plane. It´s kind of a ridiculous and long story, so I´m thinking I´ll probably share that in my actual email time next week, this is just a rapid notifying you kind of email. I´m terrified and realizing this is going to be legitimately insane and crazy hard, but that´s the fun I guess??

Rojas said I´m decent in Spanish and in a transfer or so I´ll be doing ok, so I´m looking forward to that.

Love you guys, I´ll read all of your emails and fill you in with all of my life and this craziness on Monday.

Ok, well actually it´s probably fair you hear about the airport.

After I called you guys [Kevin was able to call from the Atlanta airport] we waited and failed to talk to people getting on the Mexico City flight, because after thirty seconds I didn´t know what to say. We got off and had to do customs and all that, so after I messed up the forms and wasted time, we had about 30 minutes to get to our flight and when trying to get in realized that we didn´t have our boarding passes because they couldn´t print them in America. They sent us to Aeromexico to get our passes but the monitor said we needed to talk to someone so we got in line and then when time was running short asked someone if there was somewhere we could go faster, they sent us somewhere where they told us the flight was actually not on Aeromexico but it was Aeromar. By the time we found and got to Aeromar it was too late to get on the plane, and they sent us to Delta to get a different flight. We talked to a guy and the next flight was in the morning, so we decided we´d call missionary travel or the mission president and get back to him. Unfortunately we had no way to do that because the payphones were useless. They didn´t accept credit cards and only took prepaid cards that we couldn´t buy at the airport. We were totally hopeless and walking around to find someone we could borrow a phone from when a teenage (well apparently she was 20 but whatever) girl came up and asked if I was a missionary (in Spanish just like everyone else who I had been talking to trying to work all of this out mind you). I said yes and she got excited because she was there to see off a friend. She wasn´t a member, but she and two other girls were just there. We explained the situation and borrowed a phone, but none of the numbers worked, not for the mission home, not for missionary travel, nothing. They called mormon.org at one point so I talked to some random Mormon rep who couldn´t do anything to help me.

They told us to wait for a member they knew who was coming. He eventually came and took us to a Mexico City MTC guy that he had seen. After a while I had explained to this Spanish speaker what had happened and we tried to call again, to no avail. They were planning on taking us to the MTC in Mexico City for a night and we got some plane tickets, but eventually they got a hold of the mission president who said we should take a bus that night. The bus stop at the terminal wasn´t going to Xalapa though, so they sent us to another terminal that the brother drove us to. Then another brother had us get some tickets and left us at the bus stop with two random strangers who were going to Xalapa. We got to Xalapa at midnight and found the mission president a little later, after 28 hours of travel.

We got some food and were dropped off at the secretaries' house with 20 guys who were a little out of control because they all were about to leave [for home], but we got a few hours of sleep and then went to an orientation the next day at our chapel in the clothes we had been wearing for 3 days. We picked up the one bag of mine that inexplicably arrived without my other bag or either of my companion's bags (though it arrived without my 20 razors in it anymore) and then we went to a dinner and testimony meeting at the president's house. That was rough because I was just so jealous of the new missionaries who knew Spanish and what was happening. I could understand the testimonies and everything, but a lot of stuff was just really rough outside of that. We had a great meal though. Today we´re still trying to get our stuff so we can leave and start working and I can start really picking up this language. I´m excited and feeling a lot better about things today though, I have to admit I had some pretty fervent and terrified prayers last night, but now I´m just a little nervous. So grateful I´m here to do an important work and not just meet people and talk them into doing something. It´s much more than that.

Elder Rojas doesn´t speak English. There are obviously some people here who do, but he doesn´t. It´s good, but also terrifying. We´ll see how it goes.

Love you guys! Can´t wait to read your emails next week!!

Elder Wadman

Sunday, September 28, 2014

[Note: the following email was sent by the MTC President with the attached pictures]


Two of the best districts in the entire MTC.

Wishing you God's speed.

Pres. SHALLENBERGER


District 870 with the MTC Presidency


Provo MTC 149th Branch. Districts A & D

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September 24, 2014 #2

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OK, let me attempt to update you on the rest of my week!

It's been a pretty great time! I know I'll get to the field and still be lost, but all of our investigators keep complementing our Spanish because it makes sense and is really good in comparison, at least when compared to missionaries who have been learning the language for two weeks haha! We had a devotional from the Old MTC [Missionary Training Center] president on Sunday and he talked about some really good things that we could do to be "100 Watt Missionaries" and really continue to grow in the field. The last thing I want to do out there is work hard for a while and stagnate or start having some other problems.

We had a lesson this week with a lady Hely who was really cool. She was actually really excited to talk to missionaries who knew enough Spanish to explain why we disagree with certain Catholic beliefs instead of just disagreeing with her. We talked about the example in Acts 7 [verses 55-56] that shows that the Trinity isn't exactly what people make it out to be, and she felt like she was not very close to God anymore, despite wonderful experiences in her past with God. We showed her the promise Joseph Smith gave in the Book of Mormon introduction and then shared Moroni 10:3-5. She read verse 3 where it talks about the mercies of the Lord and shared an incredible testimony of the love God had for her to spare her life when she was living in Guatemala during the civil war and was literally waiting for a man to pull the trigger and kill her on the street. Did I tell this story already? Not sure.

Next week, Mexico!!!!!

Love you!

Elder Wadman

September 24, 2014 #1

[Note: items in blue brackets have been added for clarification]

I'm leaving early, but not THAT early! I'm leaving Sunday night at 8 and I should be in Xalapa about 4pm on Monday. I'm the first person to leave from the district, and only one other elder in the MTC [Missionary Training Center] is going to Xalapa with me, but I'm not leaving until then. I took some pictures of all sorts of stuff though! A lot of it is stuff we prepped for lessons either for the district or for investigators. Then there's some with our travel plans, and then one of another district in our zone in front of the Provo temple, which is a little oddly shaped but still very pretty.

M. Russell Ballard spoke last night, so we kinda lucked out with the double duty with the apostles and everything. He talked about how when he was a missionary he thought he understood the gospel well enough, but he really didn't. That's a wake up call if I ever heard one! 

Kate, if you're reading this blog, which you should be, I saw Mckenna Thorpe the other day, she arrived last week and I saw her at the Ogden Temple Dedication we got to watch from main campus on Sunday.

Elder Seely and I slayed the 60 lessons in three weeks goal here, we're sitting on 68 right now and gunning to make 80 before we get sent out to the field. We've learned a lot about connecting with people and making these lessons purposeful.

I'll give you a bit more of a full summary of my week a little later today, I have about 4 minutes left in my half hour before I go off to the temple and everything though, so I'll have to tell you about the rest a little later.

I just want to say that I've felt the spirit so strongly here, and I know that what I'm teaching is true. One of our "investigators" stays in touch with the missionaries who teach her at the MTC, and she showed us a picture of a missionary who left 4 weeks ago standing with a family of 7 all in white baptismal clothes. I don't need a big number or any number, I'm just so excited to be doing God's work and helping people to make choices that will give them better lives and more joy.

By the way, the last mail I will get comes in saturday at about 2, so anything you try to send after that will either be forwarded or never arrive to me. Not sure which.

Love you guys!

Elder Wadman

Going to the Prove Temple
Travel Plans
Classroom

District Info
Enduring Lesson


Enduring Lesson

Lesson Prep

Thursday, September 18, 2014

September 17, 2014 #2

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So I'm me and I don't have my camera with me so the 5 minutes I saved to send pictures are super mega useless. I'm glad you guys are studying Preach My Gospel [manual]. Right now we're helping an investigator with addictions and have been studying that section and shared 2 Nephi 4:28 [in the Book of Mormon] with him since he's not very good at reading and a chapter might be hard. Let me know if you have any insights on that part of Preach My Gospel! I think it's in chapter ten but I can't remember. Spanish is eating at my brain..
 
One more thing. It's kind of hilarious but everyone here thinks that I'm super organized and put together because that's what I'm like here. It's kinda really great because they're all like you were born put together and wake up on time and all of this. So that's super great! It's kinda funny though knowing who I am.

Elder Wadman

September 17, 2014 #1

[Note: items in blue brackets have been added for clarification]

I'm doing good!
 
My laundry  bag will be strong and of a good courage all the days of it's life. If at some point that life comes to an end.. Well 4 American dollars is about 50 pesos so I think I can manage a laundry bag in the budget. I'm sure it still has many months of service remaining.

I did the choir my second week here, and it was great, but I've got a lot of other stuff going on. For example, we went to choir practice last Sunday because I was sitting and reading the book of Mormon and suddenly felt like we should, but on Tuesday in the pre-devotional rehearsal we were teaching a lesson after we would have had to have been on a bus headed to main campus.

Last night Richard G. Scott spoke -- of the Quorum of the twelve if you missed that. If the missionaries who left on Monday knew they would be so mad! Apostles don't show up here all that often. I mean it's often, but most missionaries see one or none while they are here. He spoke on prayer and shared an interesting idea. When we don't get answers to prayers, it often means that it's because the Lord trusts us to make our own decisions based on what we know of the commandments and the gospel. We should be grateful for those opportunities that we have to act as independent agents in our lives. The Lord won't let us stray too far without guiding us back or confirming our choice.
The biggest thing I noticed about his talk is how incredibly familiar he was with the scriptures. I don't mean he knows where this scripture is, I mean he really has pondered it and understands it on an intimate level. He talked about sections of the D and C [Doctrine and Covenants] and parts of first Nephi [in the Book of Mormon] that I knew but somehow it felt like he understood them at such a deeper level than I did. It's just another goal to add to the list I think! Although my guess is understanding the scriptures like an Apostle does takes a little longer than two years.

In the last 13 days we've taught 48 lessons and we should reach our goal of 60 before we leave a week early. We're thinking 80 sounds like a good minimum. We have to make up for the other companionships in the district if we want to get ties the last day from our teachers! It's wild though, it's P-day and I have 4 lessons scheduled, on top of laundry and the temple and email and all that.

We were going to try and do all of the ordinances at the Temple today, well that missionaries are allowed to do (we can't do baptisms and can only be children in sealings) but we have too many places to be around to teach at. Still plenty to learn, but I should be getting my travel plans on Friday, so that's pretty wild. Since I've already been to the consulate it's pretty much a done deal that I'll be headed straight there, but stranger things have happened. Two guys headed to Ecuador got notices last week that their visas to Argentina were not yet available, so that's a little confusing.

The other day we had a lesson with an "investigator" named Gabriel who shared an incredible testimony of the power of prayer in his life. His mother told him years and years ago that whenever he was lost or in a bad place, he could pray to God and he would get the help that he needed. One day two of his brothers never came home from school. His mother was a wreck and had to take pills to sleep that night. The next afternoon, he was crying and went to his room to pray to find his brothers. He told his Father in Heaven that he knew that he would get an answer because his mother had promised he would. He walked to the front door, opened it, and saw his brothers.

Years later he had a son who was dying. He had been praying for months to no avail. One night at work he prayed and got the impression that he needed to go home. He ignored it at first but then hurried home. His son was really bad and he took him to the hospital. The doctors told him his son would likely die that night. He accepted it and was willing to let it happen because he trusted God. But his son survived and is now going to school for music, after overcoming cancer. First time we had an investigator in tears during a lesson though!

Hope things are going well for you!

Elder Wadman

September 11, 2014

[Note: items in blue brackets have been added for clarification]

[Handwritten letter reproduced here]

9/11/14
Mom and Dad,

You’ve heard most of what I have to say in my email, but I have a little time so I figured writing the two of you wouldn’t hurt anything.

Yes, I got my patriarchal blessing and it’s already smarter than I am, and I did get the flash drive, USB, and mission president’s letter.  I mean, Hannah sent me cookies . . . but . . . ha ha anyway the mail has been really nice and as far as I can tell I got everything.
For the most part, things really have been going well.  I’ve been having my ups and downs, but I feel like I’m getting somewhere.  I have to get up early and do an hour of service in the morning, so that will be super fun.

I’m starting to realize just how long I’m going to be gone though.  It’s not like I’ve been here a super long time, but I haven’t even been here long enough for one transfer, which is kind of wild.
So, technically we have three hours set aside for studying every day, but when you’re trying to teach 20 lessons a week at a minimum you have to get creative.  Here’s my schedule for tomorrow:

5:45        Wake up
6:15        Service

7:20-7:55 Change and 15 min study (for Alfredo)

8:            Breakfast
8:20        Alfredo (Comp [companion] study while other companionships teaching)

9:50        Class (Coaching + Idioma [Spanish for language])
11:35     Gym time

12:25-12:55         Change and Prep
12:55     Lunch

1:40        Rafael Lesson (talks and prework while others teach)
3:00        Class

4:15-5    Carlos (commandment lesson)
5:20        Dinner

6              Study Cycle – (actually personal study 6-7)
7:10        Adrian (J the B Q)

8              4 Elders Lesson (we teach these guys who we found who never do anything during study cycle time, so when we study at the same time we go do a practice lesson)
9-9:30    Planning Session

So it’s kinda crazy.  It’s nice that we get to actually find people who are sitting on benches and talk to them, although they’re volunteers so contacting them is never really that difficult.  We probably have teaching records for about 15 people by now though.
Also, I don’t’ have Kate’s address but if you could get that to me that would be nice, since right now her letter is sitting on my desk. [address has been sent]

Talk to you soon!
Elder Wadman

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 10, 2014

[Note: items in blue brackets have been added for clarification]

So those of you who are sending me stuff all the time are going to feel like I never talk to you, and those of you who send me a short update every once and a while are going to feel like I'm talking your ear off, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to shoot out an email to you guys about what's going on.

And Dad, if you would like, you can make my letters into a blog. Sometimes I don't have time to write in my journal on days when I write letters anyway and I suppose it's ok if vaguely curious people glance at what I'm up to once and a while.

I didn't take any pictures this week although my district as a group has some good ones so hopefully I can get some of those sent to me. It didn't rain quite as crazy as it did in Tucson but we had quite a bit of rain the other day. 

Anyway, I want you guys to get a feel for what the CCM (MTC [Missionary Training Center] in Spanish) is really like. Since Thursday I've taught 18 lessons and I'm ideally teaching two more today. Several lessons have fallen through, which I didn't expect to happen at the MTC, but it is what it is. I am getting the dearelder.com stuff and the mail, don't worry it's still America for now. Anyway our teachers decided we needed  more of a challenge so we were told that as a district we need to teach 180 lessons in three weeks. We're pretty much on track, that means Elder Seely and I are teaching twenty lessons a week in Spanish (keep in mind a week is basically 5 days because of P-day [Preparation day] and Sunday, although it's P-day and I'm probably going to teach some lessons.

I'm on the west campus where we basically only speak Spanish, well at least everybody is learning Spanish. A few times a week the whole campus is bussed over to devotionals at main campus where random church people speak. Every Tuesday has been a member of the Seventy, Sundays are random MTC people. The busses are a conglomeration of BYU shuttles, coach  busses, and 2 prison busses. Literally there are cages at the back of them. It's a nightmare getting from one place to another because it takes like 3 full loads of all of the busses to empty the campus.

I get up at 6:30 every morning, except like half of the mornings when they tell us to be somewhere before 6:30... so that's a lie, but whatever. Since I got here three weeks ago I've read more than half of the Book of Mormon in Spanish (for those of you on this list who are Mormon, I went from 2 Nephi 1 to Alma 40.) And my communicational Spanish is better, since I'm teaching so often. I also do a ton of contacts every day where we go talk to random "investigator/actors" who are sitting around, practice with other missionaries, and sometimes teach messages to the security guards for funsies.

We've had good speakers and great speakers, and a lot of the messages have been powerful to me, but my summaries probably won't do them a lot of justice. One talk discussed how influential we can we in the lives of people who have recently joined the church but have not yet attended the temple or don't feel that they belong. We talked about working to assure that people understand the message that's been taught and be thorough about it, so many times we teach them once and assume they understood everything we said. The general impression I got was this:

There is so much to do. There is no time to rest.

I know the doctrine I'm teaching, but the real challenge that has come up for me is dealing with the fact that I have to understand the needs of the investigator and teach the message for them, so they can see why on earth this Gospel would help them or mean anything in their lives. People generally don't talk the missionaries in because they just desperately want to know if this church is true or not, people have problems in their lives or obstacles to overcome in order to find happiness and come to God, and are looking for something because in some part of them they understand that something is missing, even if they've never experienced it. Well that's also a generalization some people have no idea at all... and that's ok too.

The challenge I'm having is I have the answers, but It's so hard to get them to understand and accept them at a personal level. It's hard for people who have lived hard, incredibly difficult lives to understand that God cares about them personally. I can't make those needs go away, but through Jesus Christ people can understand, and that's the challenge. How can I help them to achieve that understanding and discover the joy that they can feel?

I took that question with me to the temple and received some really incredible insight, and I've also been able to get some great help from my teachers who talked about the gift of discernment from God that helps us to stand in someone else's shoes, the teaching method of the Savior exemplified in John 21, and some other great stuff. In the temple I read several passages from Peter that deal with the expectations placed on the shoulders of the missionary and what their role should be, and found some other great references in Corinthians. I hope you don't mind, literally if I started dumping my study notes and scripture references on you guys it would be way longer of an email. All I do all day is learn Spanish, teach, and read and find scriptures that can help others or improve my ability to help them, so it get's a little crazy.

Ok now for the fun story time...

Earlier last week Hermana [Spanish for "Sister"] Reeves was having a rough day, and she and Hermana Smith weren't getting along very well. We decided to leave them some feel good goodies and a nice note. Elder Gochnour insisted that we use his "Elder Theo Gochnour" stationary.

The note said:

Hermanas,

Thank you for bringing the spirit into our class. Sorry if we sometimes drive it away ;)

The Elders, District 149A

We put it in front of the wrong door. We hid under the stairwell and waited to hear them come out. Elder Seely was the only one close enough to hear them, and this is what happened.

Hermana 1- Someone brought us goodies! (looks down the road) They were fast! Its from... (and then in complete horror that can only be made by a worried mormon sister missionary who is concerned someone is flirting with her) THE ELDERS!!!!!!

Hermana 2- This is terrible!... What do we even do????

So we were pretty sure the branch president was going to show up and give us a talking to. Eventually we found out it was just the Hermana's roommates and it got sorted out. But yeah, I'd say that was an adventure.

Ok, so outside of that, this week was really hard. The fact that these investigators clearly needed help, and I had some way to help them, but I couldn't figure out how, was really difficult. It made me realize how far I had to go to be an effective missionary. It takes a lot of study to be able to give someone specific reading from the Book of Mormon that will help them with any problem under the sun so they can start to understand that the book doesn't just prove the validity of modern prophets and the restoration of the Gospel of Christ through Joseph Smith, it has a real, profound impact on our struggles. If they all wanted to study and pray to God they could find that on their own,  but how do you help someone who's to angry to talk to God, or to guilty to accept his love? Or to disinterested to understand what they are missing? It's been a learning process and I've got a long way to go, but I feel closer to God than ever and I've been amazed by my experiences.

Saturday was really, really rough, but I did have a powerful experience that I'd like to really briefly share. Sorry non-Mormon listeners this is most of my life...

I was exhausted and felt like a failure because I just can't teach the way I need to, with empathy, understanding, clarity, and love, all of which can invite the spirit to testify of these things, in Spanish. But I got to dinner and said a silent prayer before I started eating, just like normal, and I just felt this warm feeling like arms around me. It was like I had just gotten home and told my Dad about a hard day, but it was from a different Father in a different place, who was glad I was trying, and was willing to uplift my sorry little self in my quiet little need. God lives.

Talk to you all next week! I'll try and get some letters out!

Elder Wadman