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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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