Wednesday, August 12, 2015

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

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