Monday, March 30, 2009

Monterrey Topo chico week 4 (i think) <-yay parenthesis!

Hola everybody. This week was good, except the 2 baptisms we had lined up fell through. One of them is 16 and doesnt have permission from his mom so were gonna try to resolve that this week, and the other is 13 and has the same problem. Im just hoping the Spirit will soften their hearts so theyll get baptized. We had exchanges again and I went with Elder Gatewood again. Haha man. This Elder is a good missionary but doesnt have very good social skills. But hey hes got the Spirit with him so thats all that matters. we taught some good lessons he and his new companion will do good with. He got a new companion becaise Elder Crowell went home. He was the first "going home" elder Ive seen out here. IT kinda made me realize how long 2 years is, and how Im only 3 months in. But that will get me down really fast if i think that. I have to think how SHORT 2 years really is and how Im ALREADY 3 months in. Satan wants me to be down and discouraged, because im spreading the most important message people will ever hear.So we taught a lady who cut hair the first lesson and it went really well. afterward she asked if we wanted free haircuts so my comp says Sure. So guess what, I now have the Mexi-cut. Way short on the sides and longer on top. Feissimo. Haha Im gonna find some way to fix it, its pretty bad. Ill just get some clippers and 2 all the way around. Yesterday we had an interesting experience, well I had an interesting experience. After we ate, my comp decided to take a nap. This is not bad if theres time left over from the alotted 1 hour for lunch, which there was. I didnt really want to so I studied. After about a half hour, It was pertty obvious he wasnt waking up. So I thought "he`ll make his decisions, ill make mine." So I grabbed a handful of Proclamation to the Family pamphlets, opened the front door, and decided to start contacting standing at the front door. Now missionaries cant be away from their companion, which I wasnt. We had taken out matresses into the front room where the air conditioner is and slept there so he was within sight and sound. Unfortunately, no one walked the street for the 40 some odd minutes I was out there but at least I was doing something. So ya, thats pretty much what happened this week. Love you all!
Much LoveJAmes

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monterrey, Topo Chico week 3

This week has been good. I noticed some interesting things about Mexico this week... First off, they have counterfeit movies, just like the US but they have like 4 in 1. I saw one with Bolt, HSM 3, and 2 other movies that are like still in theaters. Its crazy. Im sure they arent very good quality though. The other is the favorite alcohol. Every place has their favorites, Jamaica is probably Red Stripe, Detroit was probably... well, heroine. But here its Carta Balnca. Holy cow, literally almost every store has a carta blanca sign. Its so funny. Sorry that im not using exclamation points to emphasize my point the keyboards are different and no onbe knows how to do it haha [exclamation] Okay down to business. This sunday I have my first 2 baptisms [exclamation] Freida is 14 and the other elders before me had been working with her for a while and idk sh just decided she wanted to. The other is Hasael and hes 16 and awesome. Hes one of the sons of the family of 6 we are teaching. We watched Testaments at the church and after took them and showed them the font and explained about it. The E Quiñonez extended the invitation to them and Hasa immediately accepted. Im so excited for hin [exclamation] His sister and cousin are hopefuls and were trying to get them to be baptized sunday too. Its so cool to see what all of this is about, to finally see peoples lives changed. Its so rewarding. I went on exchanges with one of the Zone Leaders, Elder Gatewood. Hes... a good missionary. Hes a bit of a nerd haha but he is a good missionary and I learned a lot from him. While with him we were teaching almost the entire time and people would just let us into their homes to teach them which doesnt happen a lot in Topo. But it was good and I found many ways I can improve. Not a whole lot more happened this week. Im doing well and stayiong well fed. My comp spent all his money for the month o Im helping him a LITTLE but if we dont get transferred this next change Im telling him thats not happening again. But Christ would give his companion money if he ran out so Im being an example. BUt we also cant be saved in our ignorance so im gonna tell him whats up haha[exclamation]
I had one of the elders send a package home from the MTC with the clippers and my first planner, did you get it [question mark....goofy keyboard] And also on my Ex Hard drive are like 13 of my songs and some of the elders want a CD for after the mission. If you could please send like 10 or 15 so I can have some extras. My address is in the last post I think and if not my dad has it.
Anyway the obra misional is strong here in Mexico. Im being obedient and I can see it paying off. If theres any questions please write me [Exclamation]
Much LoveJAmes

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monterrey, Topo Chico Week 2

Well, this week has been cold. Its Mexico. Mexico is not supposed to be cold dang it. It rained a little and its just been dark all week, but the sun came out today! I was way excited when I woke up this morning. :) So we were tracthing one day and this guy beckons us to come over. He and his friend are chewing, some naaaasty yellow stuff, and hes asking us about the church. This in itself is funny, because hes asking us the perfect questions like why there are so many churches and stuff. Then, another friend comes over and hands him a big ol' joint, and the guy takes a huge puff. So hes holding it in, gettin all the good outta it, and he asks us in this retarded im-holding-my-breath-but-still-trying-to-talk voice, "¿Ustedes no tienen problemas con las drugas?" "You don't have problems with drugs?" Me and my comp tried as hard a we could to not laugh while this guy kept asking us about Christ while smoking weed. It was so awesome! We are still teaching the Mendoza family, and the 3 jovenes (youth aged kids) went to mutual with us, and seemed to enjoy it. But they couldn't go to church because they had something else they had to do. But were hoping next week they can come. This family is awesome, but I'm not so sure how serious they are about the gospel. I would talk to them more, but my Spanish is limited and I wouldn't even know where to start. I do talk to them, but at this point I'm still trying to just understand what everyones saying, which is becoming easier. I told mom to see about sending me my zune with church music and stuff on it. Well we cant have them, only CDs. So if you really wanted to you could just send me some church CDs (instrumentals, acoustic, and other stuff you think id like :]) . But no rush. My comp has Cd´s that we listen to. The Spanish is coming along okay, I guess. I just gotta keep studying and studying. I can speak a little, and I do contacts, but not a whole lot more, but I am practicing. Its so awesome being out here. The people rock. The food is AWESOME. To all you gringos who think the California Burrito from Adolfos is Mexican food, its NOT! The actual Mexican food is so much better! Its my favorite food of all :) Man, I never EVER thought Id like Mexican food, only that Id have to get used to it over like 8 months, but its sooo good! They have soda that's mango flavored and pineapple flavored and every other flavor! And its actually good, not some cheap rip off. Estan bien ricos. I know I m really bad at answering questions, but if you have any send them to me and Ill do my best to actually answer them. Hehe. I love you all and be good!
Much Love

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monterrey, Topo Chico week 1

Monterrey: WOW! Quite a cultural shock from Pueblo. I saw a sticker on a VW beetle that said "DEVRY ALUMNI". Way to go, man, way to go.Haha but seriously this place is crazy! It reminds me of pueblo, mixed withSouthern California. The traffic is insane, no one uses blinkers andtheres no courtesy, but then again no one gets mad. There's dogs on the roofs ofall the houses. Its really... off-putting. I dont know why they are up there,but they always bark as we walk by.My companion is Elder Quiñonez. Hes anative of Tijuana. Hes awesome and only knows spanish so its gonna be way funthe next 5 weeks. So the first day I take my stuff to our place, which isnt too too bad,(but the shower is just a pipe with a shower head, meaning the entire bathroomgets wet when you shower, so we then have to squeegie it to make it walkable)and we begin walking. So like 3 minutes in, Im walking the streets of Topo Chicoin Monterrey and i think, Holy Crud, Im walking the streets of Monterrey. Anyonewhose served a mission has to have done that.Matt in Jamaica and Jake in Detroit.Its just awesome to finally be DOING what ive been waiting and learnng for. Hangin there DJ, It wont bee too long now!! Anything that anyone has ever thought about Mexicans, forget it right now(except for Amy, she fits the stereotype pretty well :) ). They are EXACTLY like Americans, except more friendly. They have the same mannerism's and views onstuff, they just arent as rich as us. For example, we tracted into la familia Mendoza, who are 4 kids about my age, a mom, and her sister. So we teach thefirst lesson, and get a return appt. We come back, and were waiting and Sylvia(the mom) feeds us. Out of nowhere. We're just these 2 kids who they talked tothe day before for an hour and now they are feeding us. They talk as if theyveknown us forever. Well, i cant understand them really, but the way they speakand tones and gestures are just like ours and I could tell they were quitecomfortable with us. So... were taching the Mendozas, Well Elder Quiñonez is teaching, Im justlistening. At the end E. Quiñonez asks if theres any questions. One of thesons, whos wearing a rosary with a picture of Christ on it, and by the looks ofit has been wearing it for a while, waits a second then asks, "¿Quíen esJesucristo?". Who is Jesus Christ? IT just kinda struck me how unlearnedthese people are about Jesus Christ and their own religious beliefs and how muchwe have to offer them. At the end I bore my testimony, it was simple, butpowerful. They had to have felt the Spirit like I did. Before we taught thatlesson, the prev. 2 days were pretty hard. No lessons and no interested people.But one of my teachers at the MTC taught that when times are the hardest, thatmeans miracles are about to happen. I know the Spirit was with me when I borethat testimony. They had to have felt it. We teach them again Martes and I knowit will be a good lesson. Oh By the way, Chris, DBZ is huge here. I got sooo excited when I saw posters and game cards and a guy with the shirt!! But yeah, anyway, thats Mexico. I really want Sister Rhule to please tell me the colony where she lived and where her mom lives and if its more west in the city. Almost half the mission is in the city of Monterrey, which I didnt know. But yeah, Thanks for your prayers and support! ¡Les amo!
P.S.- The food isnt bad at all.
Much Love

Thursday, March 5, 2009

James new address! Please write!!!

For letters:
Elder James Hawken
Mexico Monterrey West Mission
P.O.B. 30150
SLC, UT 84130-0150 USA

In order for James to get your letters, you will need to fold your paper 3times and tape the sides. Do not put in an envelope! Write the address on the outside of the letter, as well as the stamp. This will allow him to receive you letters without any problems!

For Packages:
Elder James Hawken
Mexico Monterrey West Mission
64700 Monterrey, NUEVO LEON