Well I just wanted to apologize to everyone for not sending out a mass email in sometime. It's been a crazy ride as of late, but I am back on track and have learned a lot.
First, Thanks to Grandma Jeri for the great new years package and letter. You da best! Thanks for all of the cards and gifts that were sent by everyone for Christmas, in case I don't get a chance to respond to each of you separately. I really do appreciate it.
Being here in Weslaco with Elder Christensen has been a huge blessing. Such an awesome loving guy, that is teaching me a lot. I also enjoy the ward here a ton too. They are all very kind and caring and have really made me feel at home. Especially spending Christmas away from home for the first time. I am also very glad that the cooler weather came to town. It's been great getting to enjoy the weather out on the bikes.
We have been working with an awesome family named the Cuellars. The mother and daughter were baptized by Elder Christensen and his greenie Elder Moser the week before I got here and they are the strongest recent converts I have been around. Now we are just working on getting the husband and son on board. The son has been a struggle because he is a great guy, but because of past struggles has some bad addictions to drugs. So we are doing our best to help him beat it. We are also teaching to younger kids named Julio and Mauricio that basically live over there all the time. Their parents work out of state all of the time and the grandparents that watch them are pretty grumpy, so the Cuellar family has basically adopted them for the time being. They are the coolest little kids that are super good at dancing (They are obsessed with Michael Jackson and did the "Billy Jean" dance for us) and sports. It's been super fun to teach them. Julio reminds me so much of Koda from the movie Brother Bear. He literally has like the exact same voice and acts just like him too. He is a stud.
Anyways that's about all for right now. I will be better at writing good mass emails.
Have a fantastic week!
And this from his email to me....
This week was super interesting. Things have been super nuts ever since I came back to the McAllen area. Luckily the end of this week finally settled down.
The weather has been sooo nice here. A tiny bit chilly sometimes, but I love the cold so much more than the heat. I've gotten to really appreciate that since coming down here. I haven't had a reason yet to get a jacket, so at this point I don't think they will be necessary for this mission.
Yeah Elder Christensen's middle name is Jacob too, which is cool. I don't know how I am close to being like Jacob, but maybe someday I'll be a little more like him. I had mentioned how I picked his middle name of Jacob because of Jacob in the Book of Mormon and talked about the traits I thought Austin had that were similar to his. There was an article in the Mormon Times this week about the apostles favorite heroes from the Book of Mormon, and how Elder Holland had picked Jacob saying,
"The prophet Jacob's teachings are limited to a few dozen pages in the Book of Mormon, and many of those pages quote other prophets.
But Elder Holland wrote that all you need to know about Jacob comes in the last chapter of his book when he is confronted by Sherem the anti-Christ and "could not be shaken."
"Jacob, the believer. Jacob, the foe of the anti-Christ. Jacob, the unshakable. By definition, all Book of Mormon prophets had great faith and were unyielding in their convictions. All had a deep witness of the mission and divinity of Christ," Elder Holland wrote. "Although he considers his contribution to the Book of Mormon to be small (see Jacob 7:27), nevertheless this prophet comes to us in word and deed as absolutely rock-like, solid, invincible, and unshakable."
I apologize for not writing a mass email lately. I'll be honest it's been super hard to do these past few weeks and honestly I wouldn't know what I have been able to write about. I haven't had any unique experiences per say. The mission gets pretty much similar to any other day most of the time. This is a fantastic area though with a super great ward. So that has been nice. Right now I've just been super focused on the work and lost track of other things.
I really do feel your prayers and appreciate them a lot. It's helped me more than you will ever know on the tougher days. Thanks so much for that. I have also kept all the family in mine constantly.
Have a great week!
Love you so much!