Friday, August 3, 2012

August 3rd, 2012

Buenos Dias Todos!  Espero que esten bien. (Good Morning Everyone! Hope you're well.)
Yes, I got my visa!  I'm quite impressed with how well you stalked me to figure that out.  Speaking of which, Austin got his visa yesterday, so all is well.  He leaves Monday.
So anyways, the story goes like this.  I got this nice little purple slip in the mail Monday that said come to the travel office.  So I did, and they told me I was going to the consolate on Wednesday at 1:45 to sign my visa.  So I did.  We went up there (There were about 25 of us, all going to random missions in Mexico.  Kevin Schvaneveldt was part of the party as well) and all I had to do was sign three papers, get my picture taken and give my fingerprints.  Guess how long that took?  Yep, 3 and a half hours.  Woof.  But it's ok, because I get to leave on time!  Vale la pena! (Worth it!)  But poor Elder Ringer doesn't have his visa yet.  His twin brother was also part of my trip up there.  He's starting to get a little antsy, and it doesn't help that Elder Plowman and Elder Woodward (and Hermano Miller) keep teasing him that he's going to end up in Ogden with them.  He doesn't like that.  So pray for his visa to get here on time, ok? 
So going back in time a little bit, I finally saw Andrew last Saturday.  He's doing really well.  Loves his district, his companion, the MTC, lo que sea.  So that was good.  Breton and I were both kind of worried.  All three of us had a nice little chat at lunch on Sunday, so that was fun. 
Rex Pinegar gave the devotional on Tuesday.  So awesome!
You know you've been in the MTC too long when:
1.  You know which juices to avoid and which are safe.
2.  Can't English anymore write in.
3.  Puns start actually being funny.
4.  You can eat two FiberOne bars in ten minutes without it making a significant change in your day.
5.  We all sit and watch Elder Ringer do random addition problems on his calculator-watch.
6.  You feel naked without your companion or your nametag.
The lessons are going well.  Just when we thought we were going to baptize Nicolas, he decides to move to a different ward, so he has to go to church there at least twice before we can do it.  So hopefully this Saturday.  He's doing really well.  The Vasquez family is also doing really well.  Gabriela asked us what she had to do to be baptized--what?!--after going to church on Sunday, so it's all going really well with her.  Her sons are coming along.  Luis is just really curious and wants to know the why about everything instead of just the basics.  Mario is interested for different reasons.  We challenged them to read the first chapter of the Book of Mormon on Monday, and on Tuesday he told us he had read the first 4!  So we were pretty pumped, until he told us he loved the story of Nephi cutting of Laban's head and asked us if all our prophets kill bad guys.  So we just need to find a way to tie these awesome stories he likes into gospel principles that can help him have the desire to come unto Christ.  It's kind of fun.
This Wednesday we were asked to be hosts for the new Elders coming in.  So we did that from about 11:00 until I had to go to Salt Lake.  I kind of didn't enjoy it to be honest.  I felt like I wasted away that whole day--kind of funny, because that kind of used to be the goal each day.  But yeah.  It was kind of fun.  I hosted an Elder who actually is now in our zone and lives right next door, so that was cool.  He's from Missouri and he's going to Pocatello, Idaho Spanish speaking. 
The gym's open again.  Hallelujah.  I missed basketball. 
Speaking of basketball, thanks Dad for the updates on the Olympics.  I heard Carmello broke an Olympic record in their last game, so it sounds like all is going well.  That's a pretty lame new rule for gymnastics, though.  Also, who cursed all the tennis rackets you've been using? 
Izak, Micah, and Zane, I can only imagine how much you loved the Avengers!  That was nice of Teresa to take you to it.  What was your favorite part?  Tell me!
Speaking of Teresa, I met her friend Georgette's son.  He remembered me somehow.  Very impressive.  I guess he's going to Texas, speaking Spanish, I think. 
Emily, I hope you had fun at the plays with Granny.  Tell me about it, ok?  Thanks for letting me use your camera!
Timo, that's awesome that you got to go out with the missionaries.  It really is so important to follow the Spirit, bear testimony, and personalize the lesson specifically to the person you're teaching.  So you're already pretty well prepared for your mission.  Good work!
I forgot!  We got our travel plans yesterday!  I leave Monday very early in the morning.  I fly from SLC to Dallas, then wait there for two hours before getting to Guadalajara at about 3:00.  Not bad! 
Ok, well I need to go!  I'll give you more details later!  Love you all!
-Elder Taran Pew