Monday, December 28, 2015

Candy and Cupcakes and Stuff (Week #43)

A couple of preemptive notes from Elder Hess's mom:
I ordered some things online. Last week, Elder Hess asked me if I meant to send onesies and overalls. I thought he was kidding, so this week, I asked him to clarify. Sure enough....someone made a boo boo.
Elder Hess is almost always wearing a backpack. He gives them names like Kevin, Russell, etc. I HAD to ask him what his current pack is named. Today, I got the answer.

Here is this week's email:


Christmas was good! We got to work like normal and went to eat at a member's house and then played risk for a while! Yeah I did get onesies and overralls. I'll give them to a family here. There's a lot of little babies. I just have to choose my favorite....

Christmas conference was really cool! We got to listen to some trainings from President and eat food and sing carols and all sorts of stuff. Usually Christmas is just with the zone but since it's President M's last Christmas, he had everybody there. I got to see everybody. Elder S, Elder A, Elder T and Elder E. It was pretty sweet.

I don't have a name for my backpack.....yet....

A Lot of members got us candy and cupcakes and stuff so that was pretty sweet.

Our area is bigger so we need the car to get places effectively. Everyone else can pretty easily go around their areas on bikes.

We went caroling all over the branch presidents neighborhood.

Things for this week were pretty awesome. We got to know a lot more of the members and some less actives showed up. We're going to have a week of Spanish only so I'm looking forward to that. 


What has been your biggest challenge this week?Planning. We've had a lot of district activities at members houses like dinners and stuff where we all have to be there. and as driver, I'm in charge of coordinating everything. So that's stressful but yeah!


What has been your biggest concern?Getting people to church. We don't really have a lot of prepared investigators right now...so we're trying to get people to show their desires to change by coming to church.

What has been your biggest success?We got some less actives to come to church that hadn't been in years so that was pretty sweet!

Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?The S's. They're a awesome young family. He works for the border patrol and they love having the missionaries over. We played a game called pieface that you guys would love.


What has been your most significant tender mercy?Having Elder P as a zone leader. He makes things a ton of fun and always has a great attitude. He's a really good example.

What are you looking forward to this coming week?New Years is nuts here. Mexicans love getting drunk as much as the love guns and I heard they shoot over the border around this time of year. So that'll be fun to hear safe in our apartment haha

Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it.Get someone prepared. We've been praying for a long time and I feel like we will this week.


Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?We've been reading the whole Book of Mormon in Spanish and we plan to finish by the end of the transfer. I'm reading about Abinadi right now and it was cool to see that even though his main plan of changing Noah didn't
work, he still touched someone that mattered.

Love you guys!
Elder Hess

Caroling

my nerds



my nerds


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Everyone is Rushing to Mexico (Week #42)

So right now I'm right next to the border and so this week everyone is rushing to Mexico. It takes us like an hour to get anywhere now.

I'm doing great. My new comp is Elder P who was born in Clackamas but right now lives in Utah. It's way different being in a big city (traffic for one) but I like it. It's a little more like home than George West was.

I had to open my Christmas package because I got it transfer night and it wouldn't fit otherwise...Thank you so much!! The sweaters and shirts are perfect! 

It's been a little stressful. Getting used to an area is always weird. It's good to experience new stuff. Sister B gave me her last Dr Peppers as a Christmas present though! It was so nice of her. Made my day.

My companion is a great guy and he knows all the area pretty well. I miss Elder E a lot. He
was a great dude. But I'll see him on Tuesday. We're having a mission-wide Christmas conference thing in McAllen.


What has been your biggest challenge this week?
Getting used to the area. Things here are way different than George West. There, if I made a wrong turn I could flip a u-ie pretty much wherever I wanted. Here, we'd die. So I gotta figure my crap out haha!

What has been your biggest concern?
We cover 3 branches and all Laredo is trying to become a stake.

What has been your biggest success?
We have an awesome district. 2 of my favorite missionaries, Elders A and G are here and this district is really close. We're the only ones with a car so we drive them all around.

Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?
President L. He's one of the branch presidents here, and he is a major go-getter. Like he's awesome. He's really driven to make this branch a ward. And we're going caroling with him and his family tonight!

What has been your most significant tender mercy?
Our district leader is awesome. His name is Elder Y and he's the kindest dude ever. He helps out with everything. Having a kind district leader makes the work a lot simpler.

What are you looking forward to this coming week?
Skyping and Christmas conference and all that good crap.

Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it.
Meet at least 5 less actives.

Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
Alma 37:6. By the small stuff we're doing now, Laredo can be a stake.

Love you guys! Have a great Christmas!!
Elder Hess
the picture I drew in primary!!

Sister B's present
some
random baby crawled into the middle of a missionary conversation at
church.




Sunday, December 20, 2015

Help the Members While Fixing Our Attitudes (Week #41)

Elder B is now in McAllen waiting until Wednesday to go home and it's just been me and Elder E for the last few days.


J and Y came to church. Y got confirmed and J brought her son and his girlfriend.

I haven't set up a Skype because we'll find out about transfers today, so I don't know if I'll even be here. But I'll let you know when I do.

What has been your biggest challenge this week?Staying focused. With Elder B going home, we had to try really hard to focus and get work done. We were pretty successful I think.

What has been your biggest concern?
Improving our relationship with the members. So we went everywhere and called everyone doing service on Saturday. We mowed lawns, we scrubbed walls, we dug a bike out of a muddy basement, we sang songs, and we cleaned the church. 

What has been your biggest success?
Saturday, me and Elder E had a really bad attitude...So my plan with the service, was to help the members while fixing our attitudes. And it worked super well. We were way happier at the end of the day. Crazy tired though.

Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?
Sister H. She invited us to join in the Primary program and she appreciated it A LOT. There were only like 6 Primary kids there so the youth had to join in but there's only 5 of them. It was small but a lot of fun.

What has been your most significant tender mercy?
Having J's kids come. 

What are you looking forward to this coming week?
Seeing what happens with transfers. It'll be different I'm sure.

Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
The story of Alma the younger and his conversion. The prayers of his Father and the members led him to his revelation and change

Love you guys so much!
Have a great week!
Love,
Elder Hess

Pictures of the week!

Last district picture


An Egyptian burial procession for Santa that I made at a Relief Society activity (that's why you don't invite men to make candy sleighs with women...)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

I'm a Flippin Champion (Week #40)

Me and enriquez in the competition
How has my week been?...It started out really well! Me and Elder E had a push-up competition with some kids in the projects and had a bunch of fun! 

Y and J wanted to go to church but couldn't due to lack of car...But they're doing great. 

I'm not really sure what size pants i wear...I'll have a member send it to you or something. My socks and shoes are good. I'm craving jerky like crazy...and this lotion called Hempz. One of the members has it and it's really good!


What has been your biggest challenge this week?
Getting people to come to church. Not through lack of desire. Just tricky stuff with rides and everything that has me feeling some type of way.

What has been your biggest concern?
Miles. We couldn't find a ride to Corpus so we've used about a third of our limit in the first 6 days...Also transfers. I really want to stay with Elder E. Love working with that guy.

What has been your biggest success?
That push up competitiong. Firstly, because I won. (65. I'm a flippin champion) and secondly because the kids we did it against said we're the nicest church people they've met. So that got me feeling pretty good.

Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?
My favorite person is probably the F family. The dad had a brain tumor and still has a ton of health issues but the wife works really hard to support them and they're the funniest couple ever. And have great jokes. Like the ones back home haha

What has been your most significant tender mercy?
President Maluenda spoke at the adult session of stake conference and said a lot of things that we needed to hear. Lots of things about happiness and missionary work.

What are you looking forward to this coming week?
Transfers. I
trio power!

Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it.
Have a more positive attitude. I'm going to look for the bright side more.

Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
Ether 12:27 especially for myself and the ward.

Love you guys! Have a great week!
Thanks for telling me about the timbers.......ruined my life....
Elder Hess



Heeby Jeebies Galore (Week #39)

Transfers are on Dec. 16th, I think. Elder E is going to stay in the mission now! CB is awesome! I love that lady! D is a great kid. He came to church for the first time in forever yesterday which was cool!

Cockroaches are everywhere down here. We've only seen 2 in our place but they were humongous. I volunteered to kill them because I didn't want to be the ones working on the floor having them crawl all over me...Heeby jeebies galore.


Y and J are sick right now. Hopefully they start feeling better soon. Y was perfectly calm. No problems at all. Their font was really small but Elder E did the prayer and Elder B just helped get her under. It was great.


Nobody really plays basketball here. I've only played it once while I've been here.


Thanksgiving was good. It was just weird because usually I get a nice, long Thanksgiving nap but instead we went out and worked all day.


My shirts are good. I have a pretty good number of longsleeved ones. I don't have many pants though. I have to wash them a bunch.

What has been your biggest challenge this week?
My biggest challenge this week has been getting good investigators again. We just can't seem to find anyone prepared who owns a car...

What has been your biggest concern?We got asked to give a lesson on whatever we felt like for a combined lesson in Relief Society and priesthood... 

What has been your biggest success?Hopefully the lesson...we'll see.

Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?The L's. They're a great family. They help us out with anything we need even if it's a sacrifice.

What has been your most significant tender mercy?So last night we were working in Mathis and the L's dropped us off. But not 2 minutes into biking and Elder B got a flat. A bad one. And we had no way to get home. So we called a member who loves the missionaries and he said he would bring his "work truck". Turns out his "work truck" was a Jeep Cherokee with only the drivers seat and front passenger seat in. Soooo we squeezed 3 bikes and Elder B in the back and me and Elder E got in the front seat. Everything was going really great despite crazy discomfort. and then we went around a corner and this big truck going 95 miles an hour pulling a trailer swerved into our lane. The member pulled off really fast and the other guy swerved out of the way but the trailer came within inches of killing us. The whole thing was one big miracle.

What are you looking forward to this coming week?We have stake conference on Sunday! I've grown to appreciate conferences a lot more than I used to.

Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it.Get some people to church....

Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?Nephi building his boat. We've been called to build the boat of B. Ward. And we have no idea what we're going to do but it's going to get done.

Love you guys! Have a great week!
Elder Hess


If you can see the black blob in the back of the picture, that's Elder B in the back


Sunday, November 29, 2015

I'm Not Afraid of Bugs (Week #38)

PREFACE from Elder Hess's Mom:
This week's email seems to be a bit more personal in nature. I think I've FINALLY figured out how to write to this young man. He's typically an answer only kind of guy, so I think I've figured out which questions to pose. Hey, it's only taken me nine months, but I'm getting there...SHEESH! Normal people probably already do this, but I guess I'm a bit slow on the uptake....

For this email, I went to his past emails and just built questions off of nearly everything he shared. Some of the things he's written here might not make any sense at all.

In his second paragraph, for example, he is responding to something I'd written to him:
"
So Elder E didn't have his visa by the time he left the MTC, so they just said, 'Bag it! Let's just send him to Texas because we have the BEST trainer in the ENTIRE WORLD in that mission, so he'll be better off there anyway.'? Was that it?" Thus his funny paragraph...

I need to share something else....Little do we, as parents, know how we're preparing our kids before they leave us and head out on their own...When Gannon was about two (maybe even younger), I dubbed him the family "spider killer." It was his job to kill the spiders around the house. I figured my husband was gone most of the day, and he was the only guy at home, so why not train him up young? Well, I guess that paid off this week for someone else. YAY!!! I love that he says, "You know I'm not afraid of bugs." Yes, that's where that began...."Train up a child in the way he should go...." HeeHee!

I asked about some specific people in the ward where he's serving. It is clear that there are some people who have found their way into my son's heart. This is what every missionary mom wants for her kid.

With that all said, I hope it all helps in understanding week 38's email:


So first off, Elder B was gone for the first half of this week at a meeting in McAllen, so me and Elder E got to work together for a while. And we decided to visit a former investigator who is a single mom of 4. Her oldest daughter (6) has a kidney problem where she could die and her son is 4 and has autism and can't speak. And she was outside smoking a cigarrette and told us she was about to give up and everything. So we shared some scriptures with her and we both realized at the same time as we were walking away "Holy Crap...Mom's go through a bunch of junk!". So this thanksgiving I'm thankful for the poop that you've gone through to get your kids where they're at.

Anyways....Elder E was originally called to Costa Rica and I'm sure they were like "Well let's go give Elder Hess a butt ton of responsibility, just to screw over his life on nonresponsibility, that'll be fun!" Thanks a lot universe....But honestly I love him. He's awesome. He might be leaving now because he just got his passport...but we're not sure. 

Elder B is from Far West, Utah and Elder E was born in Puerto Rico but moved to Cali when he was 3 and lives in San Jose. And yes his name is really Randazzle. And his sisters name is unique. Like literally her name is Unique.

J was the 2nd ever baptism in this area. 

Brother T is like an old version of me...Super sarcastic guy. 

Our ward dinner went really well. Lots of people showed up. I think we have a dinner set up with Sister S this Thursday...

What has been your biggest challenge this week?Probably finding time for everything. This week was really busy with helping members and such. This morning we helped replace a floor and I was on cockroach killing duty. There were hundreds... as you know, I'm not afraid of bugs. But something about cockroaches is just nasty as heck...

What has been your biggest concern?
Getting Y baptized. She's really afraid of water....and the water heater in our building was broken. So like she literally could have died if we baptized her.

What has been your biggest success?
Baptized her anyway...We had to have Elder B and E in the font to help her out and had to drive 45 minutes to the nearest church but it happened. 

Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?Sister K. That woman is an angel. She helps us out allll the time. 

What has been your most significant tender mercy?We got D B to come to the ward party. We're getting super close to getting him to church.

What are you looking forward to this coming week?
Thanksgiving dinner. I freaking love mashed potatoes and turkey!!!

Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it.
Find the next person to be baptized.

Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
The story of Jesus being baptized. We shared that a ton with Y, and I'm sure it helped. The Holy Ghost was really working on her keeping her calm.

As far as Christmas goes...I'd like a new harmonica. Like a b flat or something.
Thanks again for everything!
Love you!
Elder Hess


Knocking Every Door in Our Area (Week #37)

My week has been really fun. My comps are awesome! Elder E (my greenie) is awesome! He was originally going to the D.R but his passport didn't go through so he got a permanent reassignment here. He's a really great kid. Love him a lot. Elder B is great as well. He goes home after this transfer and works really hard. We had a really successful week. Found a lot of people that could possibly move forward.

Y is doing great. She came to church and is planning on getting baptized next Sunday!! 

We give a lot of service all the time. Elder E is always looking for ways to help, even if we don't know how to do it haha like repairing a roof...luckily someone else volunteered for that one.

Actually E really wants to learn Spanish and asked me to teach him on the first day. So we practice together every day.

What has been your biggest challenge this week?Teaching stuff to a brand new missionary. I have no idea what i'm doing!! But E is really humble and loves to learn. So I just follow the spirit and hope it sticks. 

What has been your biggest concern?Getting Y to church. She's had some recent health issues so we were worried about it but she's really putting God first.

What has been your biggest success?
Finding. Elder E wants to knock every door we have in our area. which I was hesitant about. But it seems like every door we knock is a prepared person who wants to learn. It's amazing. Like it won't happen a lot but it's super cool

Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?
Elder E. Kid's amazing. I like him a ton.

What has been your most significant tender mercy?
Y passed her baptismal interview. We are going to get the 3rd baptism in this area's history.

What are you looking forward to this coming week?We're having a ward Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday (I love Thanksgiving) and baptizing Y.

Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it.
Teach my greenie better planning. He's going to be able to plan for our area by the end of the week.

Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
I've been reading a lot about Elijah and Elisha. Every moment of their lives seemed to be miracles. And that happens in our lives too. We just have to notice them. 

Hope y'all have a great week! Love you guys! 
Elder Hess




Looking Forward to Getting Randazzle (Week #36)

Life is super weird now. I only found out my greenie wasn't coming on transfer day until the night before. He comes on Wednesday apparently and the only thing I know about him is that his first name is Randazzle. My comp right now is Elder B. He's a good dude from Far West, Utah. He likes to have a good time. I like him a lot.

President Maluenda is one of the most inspired individuals I've ever met. We have interviews with him like every couple months or so. He's just a goofy guy who loves to joke around but is really down to business when he needs to be. He always says exactly what you need to hear in interviews and stuff.

Y, J's mom, is actually looking really good to be baptized. Most of the members are doing really good at supporting us. We get along with them really well.

We didn't really get a lot of missionary opportunities from the funeral cause they all lived in like Arkansas and places far away, but the member felt loved and came to church so that was a plus.

The bike is good and the miles are doing ok. We spend a fair amount of time in the car just driving to the places where we'll bike. It takes at least 20 minutes to get to anywhere we can work.

Elder P ended up going to the Laredo North zone to be a zone leader.

What has been your biggest challenge this week?Leading the area now. I'm the only one that knows where stuff is and how to get there and everything. So making sure we're being effective and visiting the right people.

What has been your biggest concern?
Miles. We've had to go all over the place so we have to be really careful with them...

What has been your biggest success?
We got Y to come to church!! We had a regional conference a ways away and she wants to come to church but stuff comes up. So this week we finally got them to come!

Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?
The M family and the Fs. They're pretty much one of the few young families around here and they're awesome. They love to joke around and they're going to help prank the greenie when he comes!

What has been your most significant tender mercy?
Having a week to prep for the greenie. Getting used to leading an area and everything like that. I'm sure it'll come in handy.

What are you looking forward to this coming week?
Getting Randazzle!!! and seeing if we can get Y to come to church again with the rest of her family.

Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it.
I'm working on showing love for people still. So I'm going to look for service a lot.

Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
I heard a talk by Tad R. Callihan or something like that that talks about the "blueprint" and why Christ's church has been restored to what it is. It was pretty amazing and gave me some good ideas of what to teach to people.

Hope y'all have a great week!
Love you guys!
Elder Hess

Monday, November 2, 2015

I'm Having a Son!!! (Week #35)

I'm going to be training a greenie starting tomorrow....what the flip......My life of nonresponsibility as a junior comp is over....dang itttttt!!!!!! Anyways this has been a crazy week so I hope I remember everything..

What has been your biggest challenge this week?
Finding prepared people. We've decided we have the people interested but they're not acting. So we have to find the people who are interested and willing to act as well. Buuuuuut we couldn't really find anybody like that..

What has been your biggest concern?
Welllllll They call the new trainers and district leaders like 5 days before transfers and you go down to a big meeting in McAllen. So we got a call at like 10:20 saying I had to be there the next day. And McAllen is 3 hours away..So I woke up at 4 and we drove down..And now I've known for 4 days that I'm gonna be a trainer, and there's no way I'm ready for that...My Missionary IQ still matches my age....

What has been your biggest success?
We got asked to be pallbearers at a funeral by a less active member that I'd never met. Her mom died and hated the church and so does most of her family.. So we went and got asked (the night before) to sing at her service. And then they told us we needed to sing 2...So we sang "Nearer, My God, to Thee" and "God Be with You Till We Meet Again" (tried to keep them religiously neutral). And they loved it! Thanked us so much for our service and told us to keep doing what we're doing and that it was amazing and we're so gifted and all that other..So that was pretty sweet!

Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?
Elder S!!! I ran into him at the training meeting!! He's training too. I missed that little nerd! It was great to hang out with him for a couple hours.

What has been your most significant tender mercy?
We've been super tight on miles this last week since it's the end of the month. And we really needed rides to places. And people helped out whenever we needed it which was awesome.

What are you looking forward to this coming week?
Finding out who the little punk I'm training is. I'm going to convince him we're not allowed to talk in the cars. And see how long I can keep it up for...

Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it.
Well I'm most likely whitewashing an area so getting to know everybody and figure out what the heck I'm supposed to do as a senior companion...

Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
I can't remember the exact scripture...but it's the one where Joshua is commanded to do something crazy and his reply is Give me this mountain. And I'm ready for my mountain now.

Hope you have a great week!!
Love you guys!
Elder Hess

Pictures!!!


driving in missionary cars 3 hours makes you become closer friends
toilets in the church! (I Blessed the rains in Africa)
I'm having a son!!!(what they call having a greenie)



Monday, October 26, 2015

He Smells Freakin Amazing (week #34)

This week has been insaaaaane....Yeah I had to sing a solo..the zone leaders made sure I did it ALONE...I sang Lead, Kindly Light." Everyone says it was good so like...I guess it went well? 

I'm not really sure what M's deal is. He's pretty much given up and we obviously aren't going anywhere without a member, so we're asking everybody to at least call him. So we'll see what happens. 

Me and Elder P speak Spanish every so often. I learn a lot of new words from him. Chupacabra literally means "sucks goats" in spanish....

What has been your biggest challenge this week?
Well we had the big storm this week and there was literally nothing to do all day...Like you hope one day during your 2 years you can have a day off and then you realize the days off absolutely SUCK!!!

What has been your biggest concern?
Helping people get to church again...but because of the storm, church was cancelled. Which felt really weird. In missionary life, without church, there's not really any difference between Saturday and Sunday...

What has been your biggest success?
Having Elder Dube come to the mission was awesome!! He answered some of the questions we had for our area directly and it was amazing! Elder Dube gave a training on using scriptures to teach and did a roleplay about our situation exactly. And he used the "worth of souls is great" scripture. 

Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?
Elder Dube. For one, he talked about some amazing things. And for 2, he called me up to do a roleplay with him (I didn't volunteer...that's what i get for sitting so close to the front.) and he's just the nicest guy with a ton of energy and a huge testimony. And he smells freakin amazing. It's not weird it's just the truth...
What has been your most significant tender mercy?We helped the S's prep for the huge storm just before it hit, and it was pouring rain and we had to get some metal panels to cover a hole in their house and it was impossible. Like we had to drag it through mud about a foot deep, up a big hill. And the tractor couldn't even pull it...so we had to tie ropes to it and pull it manually. And there is no way we should have been able to get it up there before the weather started getting crazy, but we did. Like I tied it to my waist and pulled it up the hill while the other 2 pushed....most messy service ever given...


What are you looking forward to this coming week?
We have a ward Halloween party on Friday with a chili cookoff! We aren't allowed to dress up but we'll find some way around that rule..., just kidding.

Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it.
To actually have church so we can baptize people....could be a nice change...just a thought.

Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
Helaman 5:12. My ponderizing scripture of the week. It's kind of ironic...

Anyways hope you all have a great week!
Love you guys!
Elder Hess