Monday, March 4, 2013

I love this Gospel so much and I love Joseph Smith

Hey everyone,
     So I got here in Houston last Tuesday  It was a good flight and everything went well. My mission president and his wife are really nice. I love it here in Houston, the weather is warm everyday, it smells like summer and I just wear a short sleeve everyday. The first thing we did when we got here was go with a temporary companion and do "running" (or talking to random people on the streets)--the hardest part was finding someone who spoke English; the companion I was with could have a Spanish conversation with people even though he was assigned English speaking. He said he just picked it up since so many people speak it. I don't know if I could ever to that but so far I can say "we are missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints," and "the book of Mormon." in spanish haha. 
     My comp's name is Elder Brown. He grew up in Clinton and Kaysville and went to Davis high. He's pretty cool, we get along well. He's a zone leader in this area so it's kind of an interesting companionship because he has a lot of "ZL business." This area I'm in is called the Herman Park West area. I've heard this is the most diverse area in the world, I fully believe it. I've yet to teach a white non-member family, I love it. We've taught a few Mexican families, some Russian, and quite a few Africans, also one from Serbia and many others I didn't know what they were. One of my favorite investigators name is Joseph. He's from South Sudan and speaks Arabic (and a little English). He's an awesome guy. There are some people with some awesome names that we teach, to name a few--Ebony, Evette, Shaniqua, Shaquisha, Rommy, Andro, Richawn... 
    We spent this morning (P-day) doing laundry and all that good stuff. Then went to china town for a little with the Chinese elders and the Vietnamese Elders. I figured out I have the best mission in the world, it's pretty much every mission and nationality combined into one. There are SO many different ethnicities. A lot of people have only lived here for a few years, before they lived in Africa or Vietnam or some crazy place. Which reminds me, in my ward there are a lot of 20 year old couples because they go to school down here. There is a medical center that's huge right by or in our area, I think one of the biggest in the world. Chinese people are awesome, my companion almost bought a Ti-chi sword at the Chinese equivalent of a dollar store this morning (it was pretty cool but I resisted buying anything). We have two Elders in our zone that are from Mainland China, they're way funny. One's name is Elder Cia (Fun-Fact--He was chosen as an "athlete" in China when he was in third grade because that's how they choose who are athletes in china, so his whole life was kinda centered around track and hurdles, he was going on to be professional but broke his back.) and the other is Elder Meng. Another Elder we're with a lot is from a Navajo Indian reservation and learned Vietnamese for his mission. Our Apartment is a pretty good size, I like it. Each day has just kind of meshed together since I got here. The People here in Houston are very nice. Not too many have the "hick" accent, But they do say "y'all" or "yu'all" a lot... I was talking to my comp this morning and said y'all on accident.. it was weird. 
   Our area is a car area so I haven't been doing a lot of biking, although I did do an exchange and go out with some biking missionaries on Friday. We went to a dinner appointment with this awesome family. They were the Hernandez family and had an "initiatory process" for the new missionaries which was eating this cycle of 7 hot sauces. I tried the first, second, third and so on... they weren't so bad. Then I got some confidence and tried the 2nd to last hottest one which was called "da-bomb"... My tongue and ears and nose and eyes felt like they were on fire. It was the hottest thing I've ever tasted. It felt like my tongue was burnt. so that was fun. He told me to try the hottest one but i decided not to. It had Bio-hazard logos on it and you had to sign a waver to buy it. It couldn't touch your skin because it's so crazy.  I think Brother Hernandez said the one i tried was 900,000 S on the "hottness scale." That day we also rode bikes in Sugarland trying to catch some nonmembers. There are some HUGE houses there. It's a really nice area. We mostly go to Apartment complexes to teach, people in our area. there are some pretty nice areas and then there are the Ghettos (which I like better). 
    Well now for the spiritually side of things. It's been great. I've been able to teach a lot of people that are so ready for the Gospel. We got 2 baptismal commitments last week. The field is white and ready to harvest. But it hasn't been easy. There have been a couple days that have been pretty tough but that's when I've learned the most. I've gained such a love for the scriptures and for prayer. Nothing feels better than sharing the Gospel with those you know will benefit from it. I love the people I teach and just want them to have the knowledge of the Gospel to bless their lives. I've shared the Restoration the most out of everything. We mostly just end up teaching the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation. We don't get into too much other stuff. I've learned that sometimes we focus too much on the deep doctrinal stuff, but the subjects that have helped my testimony the most are faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I've come so much closer to God through studying these and prayer and reading. I love this Gospel so much and I love Joseph Smith for restoring it.

This is my apt. address:

4615 No. Braeswood #213D
Houston, TX, 77096

This is the preferred address for mailing letters and packages:

Texas Houston South Mission
602 Eldridge RD
Sugar Land, TX 77478

Oh and thanks everyone for the letters and everything, I've loved hearing from y'all. If you want me to get fat, keep sending candy. I really like snacks but I could do with less sugar. Oh and we listen to a lot of EFY music...  my companion knows the words to every EFY song on every CD, it's kinda sad, i'm starting to be the same. We don't have the 2010 CD though, I think it's in my room. Mom can you send that please? Thanks. Love you all.

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