Monday, November 24, 2014

Crazy Pedro, Botched Weddings, Satan, And Baptism #1.

Hola Amigos!

Wow I am starting my second month this week and holy cow it has been going by so fast. This week was kind of crazy and not so good but it had its high points. Pdays here are good, we play soccer in the mornings, and today I taught a bunch of mexicans how to play basketball. it was the funniest thing. We had fried platanos this week that were way good! they take the greenest bananas they can find, cut them into like one inch slices, fry them, squish em into a  little pattie and but salt on them. it kinda tastes like fried mashed potatoes and is way good, my comp loves them like cocaine.

The laundry we gave to the member last week is still in altotonga so I am hoping we can get them tomorrow at our district meeting. we will not do that again. we have to have members do it here or wash it ourselves bc the president doesnt want any random person who washes at the lavandarias to be cleaning our g´s. so I will probably wash them in the sink tonight. We ate mole for the first time this week and man mole sucks. it is this spicy chocolate sauce that they dump over tortillas and fried cheese with some chicken it is pretty aweful but not too bad. I got dared to eat a habenero today and I did, and that was stupid, is sucked so bad. I was crying for an hour and it literally burned my tounge to the point that it hurts. I wont do that agian! we eat a ton of bread here and tortillas bc it is filing, its hard to taste bad, and it is hard to get sick from bread. OH and there was a parade here this week on tuesday, we watched from our balcony and it was kinda fun to see all the people.

This week was weird, we go to teziutlan, about 2 hours away on the bus to practice songs for a christmas devotional on the 7th and it is way funny. latins cannot sing! me and this elder from penslyvania are the only ones that can hold a tune out of like 25 of us so we have 3 solos in the devotional out of the 6 ish songs. I see some guys from the mtc at the practice and that is pretty fun.

Any way, this week we were suppoesed to have our investigators miguel and gina get married on friday morning so they could get baptized sunday but no dice because they didnt show up to get married! people here have no sense of being on time to something or even showing up. so they didnt get baptized. Our other investigators joel and lola and their family moved without telling us so we lost them wednesday and our other promising investigator juana dropped of the map today because of the following. We got her as a referal from this family gabby and ernesto, we go over there two or three times a week to visit with them and teach ernesto who isnt a member. well we couldnt find juana for nada this week and saturday we were over at gabby´s house and guess who was there? juana! it was great, we taught a lesson, and her little daughter sat there and talked to both of us during the lesson a ton. well today we talked to gabby and jauna told her that she didnt want to meet with us anymore because we had "knocked on her door at 1 in the morning and her daughter was scared of the guerro or white boy" which I will testify is a bunch of poopoo. so we arent teaching her anymore! Lastly, our investigator brandon doesn´t ever have time to be taught because he is more often than not, high as a kite on pot. so thats pretty cool

Saturday however, we talked to miguel and gina and set a new marriage date and they will be baptized next week. We called this number that was painted on the side of joel and lolas old house and asked their land lord about them and he told us where their new neighborhood was so we knocked doors and asked people in the calle about them for about an hour and found them! which is great. Then saturday night the elders in the area next to ours called and said that I would be baptizing a guy named victor the next day! Victor had been coming to church for 10 years but was never baptized so he met with the missionaries for a week, and I baptized him yesterday. Super cool! I am really loving it here and the work is going pretty well.

We are having right now a big problem with activity and getting investigators to church because the closest chapel is 45 minutes away and kinda expensive to take the bus that far for the people. so we have been working with the mission president a lot and the stake president and bishop to get a house of prayer here in altotonga where we can hold a sacrament meeting and teach sunday school. The stake president is fighting us on it because he thinks the members should sacrifice instead of the church paying to rent a building. SO, we are struggling with that a little, but I talked with president last night and he said if we cant have the stake pres help us out, he is gonna pull us out of perote. We´ll see what happens, and work hard in the meantime!

Now to address satan, and crazy pedro. Crazy pedro is this guy who walks around perote just kicking a corn cob. he is homeless, and yells grossero things all the time and man, it is pretty fun to see where we will find crazy pedro next. we see him every other day ish all in different places in perote, just kicking away at his corn cob.

 Next, there is this guy in our ward, who wont get baptized, meets with the jehovahs witnesses, and comes every week for one reason. at every single baptism, he sits front row and asks the person right before it starts "ya sure you want to do this? it is a big comitment...are you sure youre ready?" like 7 people have not gotten baptized because of this guy! he literally reminds me of satan. yesterday he did it to victor and the district leader grabs him, walks outside, and him and his comp basically told him in a cristian manner to shove it and quit being a korihor. I hate that guy.

Lastly, here is some scriptures I liked this week, go read Mosiah 2:22-25, Isaiah 35:3. they are super good! I came across a new personal mission scripture. It is in 1st corinthians 9:20 and it says "and unto the jew, I became as a jew, that I might gain the Jews" but I change the word jew to mexican as follows "and unto the mexicans, I became as a mexican, that I might gain the Mexicans" I am trying to dive in an be a mexican, but it is hard for a gringo! Everyone here just stares at me and looks like they have never seen a polar bear before! haha good times here in perote.

Anyway, that is it for this week, next week I will have 2 whole months in the mission! Love you guys, keep being gr8 people and God really will bless you. 

Your favorite Mexican,

-Elder Draper

Monday, November 17, 2014

FINALLY in Mexico!

WOW. Mexico is kinda crazy. This week has been super long, but so good! 

We left the MTC last week and that was great. We flew through mexico city and wow glad I´m not there, a city of 50 million it was nuts. It was kind of hard in mexico city. We changed airlines and had to print new boarding passes from the lady in broken Spanish but we made it! 

We spent the first two days at the secretaries house and in the mission office training. our mission pres and his wife are the best, she made like cafe rio for us the night before we left to our areas, way good. I got my comp! His name is Elder Abreu and is from the Dominican Republic, His Spanish is impossible to understand, he speaks sooooo fast. way faster than the Mexicans and he doesn't say his s´s which makes it even harder but I am learning really fast. 

I am in Perote, the coldest area in the mission. it is kinda like Utah in October all of the time. It is either too hot for a sweater or too cold for anything but a sweater and a coat, never just nice. and it changes four times a day between hot and cold. I like it a lot, the Mexicans hate the cold but it is like 45 degrees, so even at the coldest when it is misty, it isn't too bad. Oh here it doesn't rain, it just gets so foggy that you are just damp, its called Chipi chipi! 

Anyway, Cool Story! Our first day here we dropped my bags off at the apartment and went out to work, and literally 100 yards or less from our house this family of four stops us, says they have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, they just moved but were taking discussions, and want to be baptized, they are getting married this week and baptized on Sunday, also we do baptisms on Sunday here, kinda different. 

Perote is super poor and the people are willing to be taught but our biggest problem is the word of wisdom and law of chastity. We also have a hard time getting people to church because we meet in Altotonga, a 40 minute bus ride that costs about 35 pesos each way which is a lot for these people (about 3 dollars.) but we are going to have a casa de oracione where people will take the sacrament and learn. we start that in the second week in December, I also start teaching English classes then as well, that should be interesting. right now we are teaching five new investigators and a bunch of less actives, the biggest problem is less actives here. Our ward has 800 people in it but about 45 come to church. We are focusing our Missionary efforts on getting people to the temple and enduring to the end rather than just baptisms.  Speaking of baptisms, Elder Abreu, my comp has baptized 72 people here. He leaves in February! Crazy. 

The work is good here. Another fun thing the Mexicanos cannot drive, they drive like mercielagos fuerra de infierno here. like 70 miles an hour, pass on a one way, no stop lights, we are lucky to be alive after a week. 

Church was good, I had to talk which was fun, the bishop just came up and was like hey can you give a 6 ish minute talk "Sure Bishop con gusto seria un plesur! haha I talked on faith, bread and butter of missionaries. anyway, sorry this was kind of all over, we don´t have a ton of time! 

Miss you guys, love you all, stay safe, read the book of mormon! Hasta la vista!

(edited by Jason Draper - something about the computers all being in Spanish(jajaja))

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Last Week in America

Hello everyone! This week has gone by so quick and has been pretty similar to every other week here at the MTC. It's pretty repetitive here but its good, we learn so much every day. My spanish is getting a lot better, we teach about 20-30 minute lessons three times a day to random "investigators" from all over. We did have halloween here last week and that was fun, I said bye to elder horton and elder ashman the other day because they got their visas and are headed off to the brazil MTC. We got flight plans saturday! We leave monday morning at 6:00 and fly from here to dallas, to Mexico City, to veracruz. We are so excited to get out of here, as great as the MTC is, it's time to get out of here and teach the people in Mexico that are waiting for us! Tonight is our last lesson with Hermano Argyle, we are having a tie trade with him and listening to mission stories, I'm way excited. He is an awesome guy and cares about our district a lot, we will miss him for sure. My main man Elder Schaeffer left this week and got to Peru before I even left the MTC, what a spaz. I saw Sorella Puzey a ton this week and took a picture with her this morning as she was heading up to the consulate for visa stuff. 

My companion and I went to the temple and did initiatories this morning, we had the opportunity to meet the temple president, he was such a nice guy and talked with us for a few minutes. If you have a temple near you which is every person who reads this with the exception of a few missionaries, GO TO THE TEMPLE. It is the best way for any person to receive the personal revelation they need in their life, if they know they need it or not. 

Elder Horton and I talked for about 15 minutes last week about Portuguese and Spanish, and they are almost the exact same. He taught me basically how to bear my testimony in portuguese and that was neat. The coolest part of the MTC for me has been hearing the different languages. In the last six weeks I have heard testimonies in the following languages. Russian, Ukranian, Albanian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Spanish, Finnish, Portuguese, Swedish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Tahitian, Samoan, Dutch, Tagalog, Cebuano, and German. Talk about the gift of tongues. This place is amazing, missionary work is crazy cool, and to quote President Monson "No force in the world can halt the Work of the Lord". 

If you want to read a cool section of scripture go read in Joseph Smith History...I think it's verse 31....not for sure, but it is the angel Moroni appearing to Joseph Smith. He quotes scriptures from Malachi, Isiah, and others. Go read those because they are prophesyings of the prophet Joseph Smith bringing in the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Lastly, I want to leave you all my testimony that I know that this Gospel is the only true gospel on the earth. I know that you can learn more from studying the Book of Mormon than by studying any other thing. I know that Christ came, He died, and on the third day, He rose again. I know that we will live with our Father in Heaven again. I know that families are eternal. I know that through the atonement, all weak things can be made strengths. I know that Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet and Jesus Christ is the leader of this church. I love you guys, I miss you.

Next time you here from me I'll be a regular Mexicano!

Hasta luego!

-Elder Draper

                                                        Elder Martin and Elder Draper

                                                                  MTC District