Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August 17, 2015

Howdy, Ya'll!

  Yes, I do say 'ya'll', now. And at this point, I am not even forcing it. I just wish I could say I had a Texan accent to accompany my new slang. Since I speak Spanish for most of the day, I am gonna have to work on my accent. It has been another week! Wow, time is starting to speed up, and days mesh together. But yeah, How is everyone? I have been doing well, I can't complain. Ive been out with my companions, working hard on spreading the word of God. :) Ive slowly gotten use to OYM in Spanish, specially on splits. But with lessons, I tend to rock it. Sometimes I mix lessons though haha The good news is that I have gotten use to the routine here, and my companionship is working together and harder than ever.

   This last week we lost two members that were progressing. Their husbands are forcing them to stop meeting with us. We were really close to setting a baptismal date for one of them, too. I honestly don't understand why people want to get in the way of others when they have a desire for knowledge of God. Each sad phone all we got from them made us furious. There really isn't anything we can do... :/

   We have had investigators who are difficult to contact once they progress so far. Also, one of our investigators named Judith, the one we did service for, is having a difficult time with her health. Her condition was already previously so hard to work around, with teaching her. 

   The scripture that has helped me get through these times is 2 Nephi, 31 : 16 -17, about enduring forward, moving the Saviour's message along! And with that faith and perseverance, we ahve been able to find two new investigators while we were oyming. Two have been prepared to hear the message. We are happy with these investigators! This reminded me of Alma 26 : 27, 27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success. 
   I can't wait to see how this goes.
    I have seen a few storms here! They are awesome! The lightning shows are so stunning.
    Interesting updates:
I was in a car crash! We were rear ended really hard. But we are fine, with minor damage to our actual car. Our bike rack took the blunt of it, but you should see the other car lol.

   I feel as though through the course of my mission, we are in the process of changing to way that missionaries do work. I don't think this is how it was. It is interesting, and I will have more information on that later!

   Oh! I tried Whataburgers... I wasn't impressed. I still prefer Tootsies!

   Favorite quotes:
"Grow along with thee, the best is yet to be."

"You are the first sermon that investigators will hear!" - Elder Holland

   Well, that's all for this week! Until next week,

Elder Herrera signing out :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August 10, 2015

Hola Y'all!

   How is every one doing? I'm doing fine. The heat hasn't killed me yet! But the mosquitos are getting close to! I'm glad to get your messages, it's good to know I have a good support back home.

   So, an update from last week. After Comp Inventory (companion) we were able to get everything off our mind and come to terms with everything. And after that, Elder Alfonso and I have actually gotten along better. But my trainer Elder Tittle didn't even know so much was being held back. He knew there was tension, but not not that WWIII was on the brink, lol. But after we talked, we knew what areas we had to change, and what to improve on. Every one here is really strictly obedient to the mission rules! It kind of makes the elders back home look really free-willed. But those were my only examples of missionaries. But yeah, that would be a bad idea here. That was most of the problem between Elder Alfonso and I, he felt I was not following them well enough. But I have been here a week! He couldn't grasp that. So we talked and agreed that it would be in my best interest to get on their level. It will take time, and he is fine with that. But now we are good pals, and we have some stuff in common! So we are smooth sailing in the companion area. My prayers were answered, and my patience paid off.

   All last week we were running around, trying to get in contact with less active members to bring them back. It is hard, because when they're doing well, they come across something that breaks them. It is sad to hear. But being a convert, I know there's things online that will sway the minds of strong people. But if you have a testimony that you can hold on to, nothing can sway you. My testimony has blessed me with the strength to overcome the same waves that breaks other people. It is difficult to convey that to others. But I have faith that if I keep at it, I will be able to get people back towards the light once more. :) With my trio companionship, we rock each lesson and bring the Spirit. I think another group described the three of us as the Bump, Set, Spike companionship, haha!

   So we have four potential investigators: Felipe, Baltasar, Elio, and Maricela. They have all had difficulty in life, but they are learning that through Christ, everything is possible. It is just hard sometimes, because they have a weird schedule. It makes it difficult to set times for lessons. But we won't give up!

   Judith, the lady we helped plant roses for, has been taking lessons. She knows the church is true, but it is hard to get her to go to church with her bedridden condition. We keep teaching her, though, and she loves our company. We showed her talks on lds.org, and she got sucked into them! Once we get her to church, we will set a date for a baptism.

   I SAW AN ARMADILLO! Well... Half of one on the side of the road. But I wanna see a full one now!

   I went to a meeting on how Ward Missionaries and Missionaries should be working together. Sorry, Kendall, for not understanding that until now!

Elder Herrera, over and out

August 3, 2015

Howdy Ya'll!

   So, I made it to Texas safely! It was a long morning, but somehow all 100 missionaries made it out onto the bus on time at 3:25 am! I was so exhausted, but my day had just begun. I hopped on a train to the Salt Lake airport, and made it to the gate. I was able to call my parents which made me really happy. I could hear the joy in their voice to get to hear from me. Now I have to endure all the way until Christmas to call them again. That's only a few months from now, right?! But I got to Houston around 1:30 pm with the 18 missionaries heading there with me. Amongst all of them, I was the only native Spanish speaker. So we were rounded up by our new Mission President and his wife. His name is President Hall. When we got to our first stop, we were split into three groups: One, Interviews with President Hall, two, pictures, and three, first contact. Any guesses on which one I was in? Yep, first contact! I didn't mind using my imperfect teaching methods from the MTC to talk to complete strangers. That wasn't the problem. It was the HEAT! I would stand for ten seconds and I could feel my feet on fire! When I started walking, I was already sweating. I am pretty sure I just jumped into a furnace. That was bad. 0.o

   But I finally got to talk to my Mission President. He was kind, energetic, and I could already feel his love for me, even though we just barely met. It was a good first impression.

   The next day, we were going to meet our trainers and half of the missionaries were being transferred to new areas. Everyone was called one at a time to be paired up. I was last, and my trainer was going to be placed in a trio companionship with Elder Tittle and Elder Alfonso. Elder Alfonso is my trainer, and he is also the Assistant to the President (AP), and Elder Alfonso is a District Leader. Only Elder Tittle was there. I had a kind of off feeling about that. But, who cares, right? So we continued to orientation of cars, phones, living spaces, etc. Elder Alfonso eventually showed up. He was studying and he didn't know about the meeting. He had to come because Tittle had to run off and do AP stuff. So, I was with Alfonso until later. Oh, so I am able to drive here, and I am getting a truck! (HA, Emily! I am driving right off the bat! XP)

    The first day of proselyting went okay. People avoided us, but I had small, rushed conversations with a few people. We had dinner with a member around 6 pm, and what she fed us really reminded of how my mom cooks. I got some emotions there for a second, but don't worry, I kicked those out quickly. The rest of the day went by slowly, and Elder Alfonso wasn't happy with how little we did. The next day, I went out with Elder Tittle, and we had more contacts with people than I had the day before. More people were wanting lessons later! He's been out for about a year and a half, now. I could see his experience. We visited a disabled woman named Judith. She was bedridden and couldn't really speak/ We gave her a lesson and she absorbed it like a sponge! We asked if we could do anything for her, and she asked us to plant three rose bushed for her. We gladly accepted. Elder Tittle and I had ours planted within minutes, but Elder Alfonso was taking his sweet time. He didn't want to get his suit dirty, and it was quite a sight to watch him do that. That actually told me a lot about him. We named the roses after us and told Judith about it, and she smile with a thumbs up. We are going back next week to do more!

   So, the first couple of days, I had some questions about the rules. I asked Elder Alfonso about if they were strict or kind of laid back they were about a few of them. Yeah... That was a bad decision. He thought I was questioning the rules! 0.o The next morning, he made the AP have me read the "White Bible", and now I have to read it every other morning. I have felt a lot of tension from him for a while, just in the way he would act around me. When he was with Elder Tittle and I, he would act a lot different from if it were just him and I. He eventually just came out and said that he was 'babysitting me' when Elder Tittle is gone. I already had the impression of him, and this on top of that, I didn't even know what to think. But instead of me making a scene, I went to Heavenly Father, and asked that he would help Alfonso to soften his heart, and also to give me patience with him. Things have not really gotten any better, and I feel like I am just such a burden to him. Since he is so much more experienced than I am, and in char, I don't have any say in anything. All of my ideas are shot down. We haven't had much progress with finding new people, recently. The only time we seem to have any success is when Elder Tittle is with us. I am just hoping and praying for a miracle.

   So, the heat isn't so bad. Especially if you have an air conditioned truck!

   I have seen black widows and massive wasps every day and I don't know if this place is going to be good for my health!

   I have been losing weight here, due to all of my profuse sweating. I drink so much water now, it is crazy!

   I went to the baptism of President Hall's daughter, and it was wonderful. I am so glad she invited us!

   I hope everyone is doing well. I miss you all so much, and I am keeping ya'll in my prayers. Even though I am having a rough time at the moment with this debbie downer, I am still going strong. I am looking forward to the work.

   That's all for now! So...

Elder Herrera, over and out

July 27, 2015

Hi, outside world!
    I'll soon be joining you again!
    The MTC is like a college and prison combined... Just kidding! It's more like... Celestial Jail. But yeah, I am still alive! Today is my last full day here. I will be waking up at 3:30 in the morning, and heading out to catch a flight at 8 am. I should be in Texas by about 2 in the afternoon! My time here has been amazing. I could not have asked for a better experience. When I first arrived, I was worried I would get stuck with a random, annoying partner. I was told to stop worrying, but I just couldn't. So God decided to place me not only in a group of three, but as the District Leader! I was left in charge of a bunch of oddballs, all of them set out on testing me. Because of that, I've been blessed, and I have learned to love my district. Also, during my time here and reading my scriptures, I've really come to love a certain passage. In Doctrine and Covenants 50:13-14 and 22, these verses have become really close to my heart. It gave me an extra push to make it through my days here at the MTC.

   One of the things that I didn't count on, was that I would end up so spiritually drained. It's so different, because I can feel physically energized, but I am running on spiritual fumes! Lol. Since I have had to use that part of me every single day, I am growing stronger. I have been able to really get in touch with the Spirit, but I never expected to be tired.

   So, I got to see Elder Weller this week! I was so excited, because everyone in my district seemed to know each other, and I didn't know anyone! I am the only one from the PNW. But, seeing him gave me a total surge of excitement. I am so glad I saw him.

   It's been a full week now, and we aren't getting any newbies here. I had a lot of fun saying "Welcome to the MTC!" when we had new people, as revenge for when I went through that my first day. But wow, what a full week!

   So, the 24th of July is apparently Pioneer Day here in Utah... Is that even a thing? I think everyone is crazy! But my companion says he finds it funny.

  Tonight is when I leave the MTC and head out to the field! I am so excited. I have had a great experience here. But, it is time for me to go! We were about to get someone to come to a baptism, and it was a great feeling. I am both happy and sad we have to leave. I am not there to see the baptism, but I am happy too, because I know I will get this feeling every time I am in the field. So, until next week!

-Elder Herrera OUT