Thursday, June 2, 2016

Back to Houston 5 Week 5

Hello mom!

Wow, it sounds like you had a really fun week this week. Camping amongst other things, so that must have been really fun. It sounds rainy, just like over here. The only day it was really bad was on Friday, but the day after, basically everything was clear. Houston has such weird weather habits. No, we don't have any memorial day stuff planned, just a normal p-day, i forgot it was memorial day until someone told me about it yesterday. 

My week was a pretty normal week in the mission. Honestly there isn't too much of variation between the weeks. On Monday, we had an interview for Arnold, a kid that we baptized on Saturday. After that we went to do a little family home evening with Eduardo and his family. It went pretty well, everything was well understood and we had a great time there. Tuesday, just another normal Tuesday, we taught English class in the morning, and that is always fun to do. Then we went out and saw a bunch of people, less actives, potentials and what not. We had some time to go knocking doors. I find that it doesn't bother me near as much as it used to, like its not something that I don't really want to do. In fact there are times where I'm like, "Lets just go knocking". 

Wednesday we were out and about doing our thing all day long. Nothing too out of the ordinary happened, just some visits and knocking and what not. That day we dedicated a bit of time to trying to find the referrals we have received, sadly some of them weren't there, or weren't interested. Oh well, we did our best to help them. For dinner one of the members bought us these giant baked potatoes, they were delicious and huge! 
Thursday was another normal Thursday for us. We went and taught some good ole English class, nothing new about that, and then came home to plan for the upcoming week. After all the planning was done we went and ate some delicious fried fish with rice and tamales. Then came The ward missionary correlation, i made some Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, and everyone liked it.

Friday was a pretty good day. i went on an Exchange with Elder Aholelei, and we had a blast together. Honestly I have so much fun with him, i cant wait to hang out with him post mission. I made another loaf of banana bread for district meeting, and it was eaten up. That day we went to go and try to teach an investigator in the back of a trailer park, and we ended up wading through water up to about mid shin. it was a ton of water!

Saturday came, and i was back with Elder Tidwell, and we spent our time checking up on some investigators and less actives to make sure that they were coming to church. We also had the Baptism of Arnold, and it was awesome to be there. I was the one that actually got to baptize him, so that was fun. That evening we went to a graduation party of one of our recent converts, and had a fun time there.

Sunday came, and Sunday went. I spend over half my Sunday at church, and this week it touched the missionaries to give talks, YAY! I love talks! it wasn't too bad, and we all spoke on different aspects of the missionary work. After church we tried seeing some menos activos and other people that didn't come to church that day. At night we had dinner, just some good ole Mexican food, nachos, chicken, frijoles charros, and potato salad. It was a pretty fun day.

Today is just normal, nothing to interesting happening. We are going to go out to eat with a member, so that should be fun.

I love you So much! Keep on being great!

Elder Atkinson (Nic)

Back to Houston 5 Week 4

What up!

Wow, it sounds like you had a pretty busy week this week. Good to hear that everyone has been enjoying themselves and that Valerie made it home safely. Not gonna lie, was a little worried for her because we know how Europe is. But it sounds like everyone is having fun back at home. When do y'all get out of school, sometime in June? People here are getting out this week or he next. 

But anyway... I had a good week this week. It was weird, time flew by so fast, I can't believe that it is all just going by so fast. Last p-day was a chill day, and we chilled and did what we needed to do, laundry, grocery, haircut, etc. That night, we had the opportunity to go contacting, you know the good ole knocking on doors deal. It was pretty good, fun memories definitely come from knocking (more on that later). 

Tuesday was a bomb day. The first part and majority of the day I was in a zone conference. It was a bomb conference, and president taught us about more of the doctrine behind the plan of salvation. I definitely love how all those zone conferences open up my eyes more about the doctrine and what goes on there. Normally what we do at the end of zone conference is have the dying missionaries give there final testimony, so I was called to give mine that day. It was weird to do that because I still feel like I have forever, and because of all the
missionaries I've seen that have done that. It's weird to think that I'm an older missionary in the mission. 

Upon returning, I got to eat some delicious papusas, a salvadoreño food that is delicious. We visited a menos activo that night, one that I visited last time I was here. It was fun to seem them again, but not too much has changed with them. Wednesday we had an interesting lesson in the morning with a referral we got from Mormon.Org. He was an interesting guy, shared with us a lot of conspiracy theories that he has. It was an interesting lesson nonetheless, oh and the first time we saw him, he sung to us, so that gives an idea of who he is. 

The rest of the day was full of normal missionary work, nothing too overly exciting happened then. That night we ate some Whataburger, a fast food burger joint here that is a staple for Texas. I got a delicious burger called a Monterey Melt, don't know what it has on it, but it's good. Thursday was a pretty normal day as well. We taught English class that day which is always fun to do. It's fun to see how the people progress with their English. Then the Taco Thursday time, I got some delicious tacos de campechano, some meat mixture. I really want to learn how to cook the meat so I can make some really tacos. Then the weekly planning deal into eating with the Noreña family. So delicious carne con arroz. We almost got fed twice, but we asked if we could take the second food to go, don't worry we ate it later that night. At the end of the night we had Ward missionary correlation, and one of the hermanas brought star wars cookies, so we ate those. Friday was another normal day. District meeting in the morning and all the fun that comes from that. After district meeting we got Chick-Fil-A 😃, it is always so yummy. We taught some lessons later that night, you know just doing what missionaries usually do. We are teaching this girl named Deyrin, and she is doing pretty good. Hopefully she will be baptized within the next month or so. We had some spaghetti with meat balls for dinner that night, and they were yummy! 

Saturday was an awesome day for me, pues, for the companionship. We had a pretty good lesson with some investigators about church and the blessings that come from that. Sadly they were not able to make it to church on Sunday. But after them, we started up the font at the church to get ready for a baptism! Always so much fun to have those. A women named Viri Rodriguez was baptized, and this has been something she has been waiting for for a while, so we were happy to see her take this awesome step. After the baptism we ate some tortas that an hermana gave us. That night we went contacting and had a lesson with a recent convert named Raymundo. Everything went pretty well that day. Sunday was a pretty fun day. Church is always a fun time and today it touched me to play the piano, yay! I promise I'm getting better at it, I have more than my normal songs that I play.

I was able to give an interview for someone who will be baptized this Saturday. I love doing this because I get to see their excitement and feel their fire burning, so that's a special experience for me. Also at church, I saw John Marin (the old bishop from the ward I'm serving in), I've missed him a ton, he is a great guy. He is the one that sent you the photo. After church I had some funny contacting experiences, one was we were contacting and on one of the doors, at the end of our schpiel, the lady gave us a hug goodbye, it was funny because not everyone does that. Also later that night some drunk Mexicans invited us over to their tailgate. They
tried really hard to get us to drink, but we didn't. They did however make us eat some tostadas and drink some Coke  during the day we ate some sopes, another Mexican meal, and they were delicious. We taught Rocio, a recent convert, about patriarchal blessings. She is awesome because she wants to serve a mission real bad, and that's always fun to see hat desire. We also talked with a kid that should be getting baptized this Saturday, so I've been blessed to come into this area when I did. So yeah, I love y'all so much, keep up the good work and stay safe!

Elder Atkinson (Nic)

Back to Houston 5 Week 3

What's up mom?

My week was good, and I'm really sorry about my lack of pictures, I've been taking them, but I just haven't been sending them. I am so sorry. But the picture you mentioned I thought I looked bored. It sounds like people are having a great time at home, everyone seems content, so that's awesome. I think it's awesome that your trying to finish the BoM this year, I should finish right before I get home. Would that qualify me for the pin? Lol, I don't need it. 

So, I had a really fun week. Well, kinda normal week, but there were some really fun parts about it. Last week I went to the Zoo! I had a blast going there. I saw some really cool animals. My favorites were the naked mole rats, the chimps and the orangutan. I also saw a llama(shout out to Kiley!), I wanted it to spit on me, but I couldn't
make it do that :(. That night we had a fun lesson with one of the recent converts. His name is Raymundo, and he is a really funny guy, he was busting up jokes during the lesson. Tuesday came and it was just like any other Tuesday here in Little York. The cha began with English class, just a Tuesday type deal. After that we had some time to knock doors. It was a fun time, kinda, sorta, but we talked with some really cool people and found some
potentials from there. That night we had splits, I went with an Hermano Se llama Orozco. We visited one of the less active families that I hadn't seen since my last time here. It was a fun to see them, and they were happy to see me again. Then Wednesday came rolling around like the thug that it is. #humpday! I'm actually not too big a fan of Wednesday's. It's harder to find things to do during the dead hours, or the time during the day. Fortunately we had some pretty good things set up. We visited a potential, I don't know where he will go, but we taught him in his machine shop. The rest of the day was kinda tougher. We taught the Rodriguez family, a family that will be baptized this week, and they are doing awesome. But apart from them, the day was full of canceled lessons, and no one being home. Just another one of those days. 

Thursday was normal, nothing really changed from any other Thursday. We had English class in the morning, the only different thing about that was that someone came to watch us, and then they gave us cookies. Taco Thursday is a little thing we do every now and then, so we got tacos after English class. After that we had the lovely weekly planing. After that we went and ate some bomb empanadas de pollo. That night we had Ward missionary correlation. 

Friday was a pretty fun day. We had district meeting, then we went to Speedy Burger for lunch. I think that has become a regular thing as a district, just going to speedy burger to eat. After that I begun an exchange with elder Barrus, another elder in the district. I was down in the more hood area of town, so that was fun. We had an interesting lesson with a guy who was basically bashing on what we believed. That night we went to a yummy snow cone place. Saturday I was still in the more ghetto area for the majority of the day. Oh it was raining a lot Friday and Saturday, so I got pretty wet. And Sunday as well, but that's another side point. Saturday I ate half a chicken, which was really delicious. Then we went to go get tortas from an hermana in the other ward. That night we met up at the church to trade back and also give hermana Rodriguez a tour of the church. It went well, and she is super excited for her baptism this Saturday. After that went went contacting in the rain. I didn't have a jacket, and got very wet. 

Sunday was a normal day. We had church in the morning and into the early afternoon, which was pretty good. I almost had to translate again, but narrowly got out of that. One of the ex missionaries is here visiting, so it was really fun to see him, his name is Paschal. We went contacting in the rain, yay, again very wet I was. Later that evening, we had a home lesson with Rocio, a recent convert, and she is awesome. She told us how she explained the plan of salvation to her friend. Then we had dinner, fried fish, and it was delicious. Then we went to teach this one guy who has some potential, the problem is he just works a lot.

Thanks for everything mom, you are da best. I love you so much!

Elder Atkinson (Nic)