So this week has just been a lot of running around and getting to know the members here, since we are white washing. A family I have already grown to love a lot is the Peavlers. Brother Peavler is from Wyoming and loves to hunt and fish all over. He has cooked us up some delicious trout and given us some of the most delicious jerky I have ever had that he smokes himself. It is from wild boar of all things! I definitely will have to come back down here to hunt some pigs someday. I've been very impressed with the members here so far. They have all overcome a lot in their lives and all are converts to the church. This area, though not far from Harlingen, has a very good country feel to it and the members are all very humble, down to earth to fit the vibe. It's been a great time so far.
Elder Rosaschi continues to impress me with how knowledgeable and how hardworking he is for being so new in the mission. I feel like I've been blessed with the most pre-trained missionary I've ever heard of. It's been enjoyable to learn more about mechanics, as he is very knowledgeable and love to work on diesel trucks. We also have loved sharing stories of hunts and some crazy bear and mountain lion stories since he is living right near the sierra Nevada mountains.
Last week we had the fun opportunity to serve a member up in Rio Hondo on her farm as a zone. It reminded me a lot of Grandma and Grandpa Anderton's back in the day when they had all their animals. These members had ducks, chickens, goats, peacocks, turkeys, guinea fowl, donkeys, a potbelly pig, and a huge pig named Salsa that looked like a giant log out wallowing in her mud pit. The giant pig was super friendly and would let us all go up and pet her. The little potbelly pig cracked me up because it seemed to think it was a donkey and would follow them around wherever they went. I had a fun time out in their wooded section behind the house chopping down dead limbs and moving brush into a pile to be burned later. Reminded me a lot of the work out on the Missouri farm. Unfortunately I forgot my camera for pictures that day, but we are planning on going back sometime so I will get some pictures then.
It's been such an honor and privilege to be out here serving the Lord every day. I have witnessed so many miracles and seen so much growth in others and within myself. Stay strong in the gospel and center Christ in your lives. I can't even begin to explain how much your lives will benefit as you strive to do this more and more. He loves you more than you will ever be able to fathom in this life.
Have a great week everyone! I appreciate all the support and prayers back home. I can definitely feel them.
If any of you would like to write to me my new address is:
201 Lions Villa Ave. Apartment #6
La Feria, Texas 78559
The mail is quite safe here and we have a lockbox so feel free to send letters directly here.
He also sent me this in his personal letter today...
Hola mama! Como lo fue su semana!?
I am glad that you enjoyed the letters and pics. I am trying to do better with those. It was such a cool experience with Elder Holland. I absolutely will never forget it. Here is an excerpt from his talk that the A.P's just sent us about how he never wants us to turn away after the mission. It's pretty strong, but very cool:
I can just hear Elder Hollands voice in my head when I read this... :)
"I’m really quite easy to get along with and I’m especially partial to missionaries but there is one thing I cannot live with. I’m warning you now. There is one thing I can’t live with. And that is a missionary I find who has forgotten, or dismissed, or walked away or was failing devotion, and belief, or commitment. I can’t live somehow, emotionally, with a return missionary who doesn’t keep the faith, I would rather find somebody who never knew it. I would rather find somebody who never had it. As sad as I am about anybody who wouldn’t go on a mission, I would rather find somebody who didn’t serve a mission and was struggling or disbelieving, or unfaithful, but for a missionary to come and do what you do, and to say what you say, and feel what you feel, And it’s all true. The gospel is true, and they’re true, and you’re true, and the lessons are true, and the scriptures are true, for you to come and have that, and say that, and do that, and believe it, and then to walk away, I can’t live with that. So look I’m warning you now, if you’re gonna go home and crash and burn, don’t meet me. If you’re walking down the street somebody better cross over. Because I go ballistic at that. I’ve gone ballistic in a missionary meeting where I thought the missionaries weren’t getting anything out of the meeting.
We don’t make any u turns in this church this isn’t something that you do for a couple years and somehow you just check it of your list and then you’re gonna go back to real life.. listen right now, listen, this is real life. This is closer to real life that you are ever going to come. Capital R capital L. This is the way the truth and the life. We are not the church that believes that you go out and have this moment this divine confrontation with the spirit of the Lord and power from heaven and then walk away from it. We do not move from the celestial kingdom to the telestial, this is the church that believes in eternal progression. And were on this angle and this route and this progression and you do different things you are gonna go home and you’re gonna get married and you’re going to have children and you’re going to have great experiences, yes. But those will seem to be progressive steps in your exaltation and you cannot walk away and turn aside and forget and disregard and demean what got you there, what gave you the opportunity to even talk progression to even talk about the celestial kingdom a celestial experience. "
He then continued to talk about how important his mission was for him and that how it shaped who he is today.
I'm really enjoying my companion more and more and the people here. They are all very down to earth, loving people in this area. One of my favorite missionaries here and who is currently one of our AP's is Elder Ivey. When I was called here he told me how it was probably his favorite area to serve in the mission and that I would love training here. He is absolutely right so far. I do miss the people in Weslaco at times though. Especially Bishop Jess and his wife.
I found my new home every p-day :D
A couple of the members in his area posted these pictures on Facebook...
I love that they are holding supplies to teach a primary class!
That is one huge pig!! :)