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Monday, March 26, 2012

Pictures 3/26/2012

We're loving the pictures-- unfortunately they come with no explanation whatsoever. I'm sure some of them have an excellent story.

All I know is I wouldn't want to cross that thing...

And I wouldn't want that on my head!!

And I wouldn't want to eat that! Tyler used to be a very good cook. Hmmmmmmm.

Is it just me or is that a turkey head?????
Ok, I wouldn't want to eat that either!
I'm loving the nice part in the hair we've been seeing recently.
(Tyler's, not the turkey's)

Uhhhhh... no comment.

Gringo room, Tania, and milk bombs

Buenas Tardes mi querida familia!

How are things going??

Are you all super excited for Conference this weekend?? Me and Elder Thomson are way excited! Conference on the mission is going to be so special, so spiritual, and so helpful! We are going to watch in the Gringo Room, where they broadcast it in english, which will be really nice, haha.

This week we were going to baptized a 16 yr old named Jalíl but he couldnt get permission from his mom... She told him hes Catholic. Its super frustating sometimes with the Catholic Religion, because its honestly more of a tradition than a religion. Jalíl wants to be baptized really bad, has already felt a huge change in his life, especially through prayer, so it kinda bugged me that his mom didnt give him permision. But he said that he will be able to get it, he said he was just going to keep bugging her until she gives it to him, and we are going to try and meet with her this week and just explain to her what it is all about so its not something so new and different to her. In between sessions on Sunday we are going to baptize Tanía, that is going to be super special. We read 3 Nefi 11 with her this last week, (I have come to love that chapter even more after reading it with investigators) and she loved it. This past week she was reading the Isaías chapters in second Nefi, we told her she could skip those if she wanted, but we came back the next day and she said she had prayed so she could understand them and she basically explained them perfectly to us when we came back.... pretty amazing! She also told us that she has felt such a huge change in her life from the Book of mormon and from praying so much, she was tearing up as she was talking about it. I told her to imagine how happy she is going to feel when she has been baptized and has the holy ghost with her wherever she is, not only when she is with us and when she is reading and praying, but all the time! We also had a noche de Hogar with her with the relief society president, who lives like 5 minutes awasy. When we got to church on sunday, tania was sitting with their family, and was drawing and talking to their little 6 year old girl the whole time! It was great to see that she had already made some friends and felt really comfortable with them. Tania is also going to a young single adult activity for three days the week after she gets baptized, so shes basically on fire right now.

It has been a blessing to teach her, because we havent had a whole lot of success last change and It has been frustrating. Not because we havent had baptisms or all the big numbers and stuff, I just feel frustrated when I dont feel like Im helping as many people as possible. So It has been a blessing to have someone tell us how much we have helped them change their live through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Its hard for me when people dont accept us because we try to help them understand what they can have in their lives but sometimes they just dont want to accept it. I have been frustrated too because I feel like I have soooooo much to improve on in my teaching and as a misisonary in general, I just want to be better so I can help more people. You guys know how I am. I want to be perfect right away and I never feel like I should be satisfiied with where Im at, but Elder Thomson has helped me alot to just be patient and realized that I only half a month and a half here.
Wednesday night we made a mango smoothie...from what people told us the next day, one should never put mangos and milk together, they call it a milk bomb. So we woke up at 2 in the morning on friday, i want to say sicker than I have ever been before. We were throwing up and had diarreah soooooo bad, it was horrible. We were taking turns in the bathroom the whole night. It got to the point where we were literally laughing about it because we were so sick. We rested and went to the doctor that mornig, he gave us some pills that helped. We left the house at 2 and worked for the rest of day... I was a really long day. But ya, Just one of the adventures that happens in your stomach in Mexico. And know you know to NEVER put milk and mangos together. The best was that night at the family home evening with Tania, before we left the Hna at the house gave us some juice to take home... flavored mango, of course. We were laughing pretty hard about that... and we have yet to drink it. While we were sick we ate toast and drank gatorade, I told Elder Thomson that that is what my mom always gave me when I was sick,

Mucho Amor!!

Elder Eastmond Jr.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Jalil, Tania and Irving

Mi querida familia...

Como estan?

This has been a really interesting week. We should be baptizing the next two weeks, we have Jalil on the 24th and Tania and Irving on the 31, conference weekend, so we are pretty excited. The dates are pretty solid too, everyone has been to church enough times so we just have to teach them everything that they are missing. Jalil always hangs out with the members, and has been coming to church for a couple of weeks so we started teaching him this week. We challenged him to pray about joseph smith the first night we taught him, and then when we came back the next day and asked him how it went, he said that when he prayed he felt like he wanted to cry. he said that he just felt like he could let everything out, he wanted to cry from the spirit, because he felt so happy, he felt so good to talk to his heavenly father. He also said he wanted to cry just because of how hard his life had been lately, he has a tough life, but it felt so good to talk to god about it. He said that when he prayed he felt like somebody was standing behind him, how cool is that??? It was an amazing experience and  I´m really excited to teach him everything else this week! Jalil is like 15.

Tania (19) we found a few weeks ago, she has a book of mormon and was already in Second Nefi... Golden! She had already gone to church a bunch before she was 8 years old and she accepted a baptism date for conference weekend. (Which btw, we are going to watch in English, live, not sure where, but we wont be able to bring investigators because we are watching it in English) She told us that her family has told her some stuff and given her some grief but she told us that she really doesn´t care because she feels so comfortable when she thinks about it all, and said that she is always firm in her decisions and she doesn´t change them. Tania is golden, we wish eveybody was like her, haha.

Irving is 16, he is waaaay cool. He has been to church a couple of times and we are going to baptized him on the 31. He has an INCREDIBLE family tambien, so we are going to start to try and work with all of them! We are going to baptized all of them, if you ask me!

Im still working on pictures, my computer is having issues, as usual, and its not looking promising that im going to be able to send week!

We also went on splits with the zone leaders this week, I went to Totolapa with Elder Harmon, he is such a good missionary. I learned so much in just one day, im really excited to apply it to what me and Elder Thomson are doing. We have been getting alot of References from the Members, its just a matter of finding them at home. Pray for us to
be able to catch them in their houses this week!! We are going to set up a couple of noches de hogar this week too, it should be really good.

As far as the wild life in mexico, this week we held an iguana that some kid was walking around with on his head, saw a snake that some kids dad cut the head off, and watched a lady cut the head off of aturkey...AWESOME. It was pretty cool.

Im out of time, i wish i had more!! I love you all so much, and I love hearing about everything thats going on at home, even if I dont have time to respond to it all in my emails, Sorry!! Thank you for the prayers, they help more than anything, I miss you and love you all muchisimus!!

Elder Eastmond

Monday, March 12, 2012

First baptism

Hola Familia! 

Well, we finally did it! We baptized Alfredo!! We baptized him on Saturday at 7 in the night, it was great!! I got to baptized him, I was no nervous that I was going to mess up the prayer in Spanish or mess something up but everything went well! (He only had three names too, and they were easy, so that helped alot!) It was the best feeling in the whole world to help someone take that step in their lives, I dont think I have ever felt anything that compares to that, besides when Im in the temple, it was incredible. When we were changing back into our regular clothes in the bathroom, I asked him "como se siente, Alfredo?" and he told me, "Me siento bien chilo" which means, "I feel so cool!" haha it was great. He told me that he felt this was something really special and that he felt it was really emotional, and asked me if I felt like that. I told him it was my first baptism ever and that I would always remember him as the first one. That made him smile pretty big.

We have baptisms set up for the next three weeks, but the problem is people wont come to church. Last week had been a good week, especially with the baptism, but at the same time super hard, because we were supposed to have (again) like 7 or 8 people in church, and had one. (Two more but they have been more than twice, one has gone through like 4 sets of missionaries, and the other is getting baptized in april, the same day he is getting married) so It has been kinda hard. I dont know how to discern if its us that needs to be better teachers or if theyre just using their free agency (ps sorry I never use the little apostraphy things anymore, the spanish keyboards dont have them, haha) The spirit is always so strong when we teach a lesson about Dia de Reposo and the Santa Cena and we commit someone to go to church, but come sunday, they never show. This pass week we found this really good family of 4, we taught the whole first lesson, invited them to church, and got baptism dates for everyone, and on Sunday morning the alarm went off and after I turned it off i saw that we had a text from the family that basically said we dont want to change religions, sorry for wasting you time, we are cancelling for this morning, good luck in you path... kind of a depressing way to wake up. They seemed sooooo good... I dunno. I understand that not everyone is going to accept but we have alot of people who do everything, but no matter what we do we cant get them to go to church! Well figure it out. I know for sure that this is just a time where the Lord is going to challenge us and if we work hard and try everything we can it will work out eventually.

I went on Divisions with our District leader this week on Friday, it was awesome! He came to our area the night before and was my companion for the whole day, I was a little nervous because I had to lead us around everywhere and he didnt know any of the members or investigators, so I had to do alot of the talking, but It worked out super good! We didnt have any problems and I learned alot from Elder DeFreese, it was a good experience. He showed me this thing where when we go to la comida (lunch) with a member (we eat with a member everyday at 2 pm, and then do our own breakfast and dinner) we read algunos versiculos de Doctrinas y convenios 18, and then ask the member to think of like 2 or 3 people they know who arent members whom we could go and talk to. We then ask the member to offer a prayer and ask Heavenly Father to give them the name of who we should go visit, and we have gotten a name every time, It has been incredible. Before the prayer they always tell us that they cant think of anyone we can go visit but after the prayer they can always think of someone.

We had a meeting with our mission president, his wife, and a member of the 1st quorum of the 70 come and meet with us on wednesday morning. It was Elder De Hoyas and his wife, they were amazing! The meeting was like 4 hours but if didnt feel that long at all, and I understood close to everything. (or at least the just of it, the overall message) They talked about how we should apply the atonement alot more in our lessons, and whatever principle we are teaching, we should tie it into the atonement. We are excited to try it because Elder De Hoyos told us that if we do it right we will start to have alot more success.

I also gave my first talk in church! (Technically two talks because we spoke in both wards, but I gave the same talk) I didnt even read straight off my notes, and for some reason I dont feel as scared to give a talk in spanish as I do in English.... Dont know why... maybe its beacause I already know that nobody will be able to understand me, so thats already out of the way and i can stumble through the rest without problemas! Haha but everyone said  I did really good, and that they could understand everything just fine, so I was pretty happy about that! I hope that everything is going well, sounds like it is from the emails!! I love you all sooooo much, right now Im off to learn how to make mexican beans with our mission president!

Que Tengan una buena Semana!!!        

Elder Eastmond Jr.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pyramids and hairless dogs

¿Que tal mi familia?

La semana pasada fue excelente! I printed your letters off earlier today and read them in the morning, sounds like everything is going well, good to hear! I went to Tajín for P day today, its about 40 minutes away from our area, its the place with all the ruins and pyramids and what not, it was soooo cool, I hope you enjoy the pictures! I have a ton more, I will send a couple each week!

Dad, Im not sure what street we live on, I will find out and let you know next week, Elder Thomson isnt sure either. The two wards that we are in are Tepeyac and Cinco de Mayo, its kinda cool having two wards. I have to say that im not jealous at all of the snow and cold weather. It has been soooo nice here lately, i love it so much. I already have a prett sweet tan, the one we get on our necks from the collars of our shirts are pretty awesome, not gonna lie! The other day we were knocking doors, and this really old lady answered. She was pretty crazy, she went off about how the missionaries are just a business and how the mormon church marries people like cattle, it was really funny. Then she said something about how Elder Thomson was american and how I was Mexican (I didnt really catch what she was talking about) but we were trying to convince her that I was from America, I told her, "Senora, soy gringo, mi español es horible" but we couldnt convince her it was funny, granted she was pretty crazy but it made me feel pretty good the rest of the day.

This letters gonna be all over the place, by the way, just so you all know! So we didnt baptized again this week, we were going to baptized Alfredo but he had to work one of the days we had a cita with him and didnt show, but this week FOR SURE, we are going to. We are already planning it and he has been to church enough times and we just have to teach him one more lesson, and Elder Thomson told me he is going to let me do the baptism, Im so excited! We aso found another family that was a reference, the mother is inactive but she wants to start coming to church, and she is married with two kids, one has 14 years and the other has 10. So we have started teaching their son but we are going to ask if we can start teaching the whole family. Vanesa and her family comitted to for sure coming to church yesterday and didnt show, it was frustrating. We went to their house afterwards and asked what happened... they went to buy groceries. En serio? We have so many posibilities for baptisms in the month of march, we just need to get them to church, it is hard for people to come sometimes. It is hard to know when it is our fault, like when we need to teach better or help them understand the importancia, or when they are just exercising their free agency. Sunday was really hard after an amazing week because we only had one investigator in church and like 7 or 8 committed, I know we can always be better teachers, its just frustrating when people dont realize the blessing that coming to church can be in their upcoming week. We are also almost for sure going to baptized a man named Rogelio, he wants to be baptized super bad and we just have to teach him the law of titheing, chasitty, and palabra de salbiduria and he should be good to go. But other than people not coming to church, the week was awesome. We got 140 contacts, which is super hard to do, we worked really hard. We received 8 references from members, and found a couple of people who could be really good. I started to feel for the first time that our lessons were really smooth and unified, because I can speak a little better and my accent has improved a little so people can understand me more. We are hoping to have an amazing month, Elder Thomson has been really excited, he says he has been working harder than in a lng time. This week we are going to have some family nights with members and investigators, we feel like we have improved all of our numbers except for lessons with members so that is going to be our focus this week. We are hoping that if the investigators can get to know some of the members, it will be easier for them to go to church.

Funny story about why I am grateful to be in the true church. Before our second ward on sunday, we were waiting outside for an investigator and there is a catolico church right across the street from us. We could hear the pastore inside the church, the door was open, and he had a microphone. They were about to do a baptism, and so he said (literally, im not joking, this is for reals) "People, I want silience, we are going to baptize! SHUT UP!!" and said it in both english and spanish. I couldnt believe my ears, I was like "is this really how the presiding authority should act?" We were almost dying from laughter, it was hilarious!

Nobody can say my name very well, its pretty funny. Most of the people say Eatsmond. One family of investigators that I have always call me Elder Cena (pronounced Cina) he is a pro wrestler who is really popular here and in the USA (that fake WWE stuff, haha) But everyone here says I look kinda like him, its really funny. And that is easier to say than Eastmond so they just call me Elder Cena. I struggle with some of the names here, there are some crazy ones. I gave a blessing the other day (Elder Thomson helped me with the Spanish) But the lady had like 4 names and I wasnt even close to saying them right...oh well. God knows!

Mom, the dogs here are out of control! There are some of the nastiest dogs I have ever seen, like the kind that you told me about: "If that thing bites me Im gonna die!" Most of the dogs are really lazy and sad and lonely, but there are a ton who just want something to eat and if you get to close its no bueno... so many without hair and they look like they are gonna drop dead any second!

The drivers here are absolutely insane, im surprised i havent died yet, but Im getting used to it. We were in a bus today to get to Tajín, the bus driver was passin semis left and right across the double yellow, it was pretty intense. There are taxis EVERYWHERE. It was way weird to me when i first go here because that just doesnt happen in Utah.

Im still so proud that parker made the tennis team. I was in a taxi when i read it and just had the biggest grin on my face (the lady next to me kept giving me this weird look because I was reading with this huge smile the whole time. I love that you hustled and kept your cool the whole time, and It helped you make the team, its all in the mental toughness! And who taught you how to play so good?? Must be some really cool dude...

Well im out of time but i love you and Im sorry this letter was all over the place!! I want you all to know that this church is so true, and Im so grateful to have the church in my life, especially out here where not very many people have that knowledge. Heavenly father answers prayers and is so willing to help us as long as we are obedient and righteous! Jesus Christ lives and Im so greatful for his presence in my life! I love you all more than you can know, thank you for the prayers and emails!!!

Mucho Amor, tenga un buena semana!

Elder Eastmond