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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

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


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

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

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