Monday, April 13, 2015

"I'm a Big Boy" (Week #7)

I need to begin this email with a preface.....
First of all, this lovely photo! It's almost obligatory that missionaries take a photo by the big wall map.....Okay, maybe not obligatory, but it's a huge tradition. I'm so glad to see that Elder Hess took advantage of this for posterity's sake.
With Elder Tidwell before leaving the MTC.

Well, I learned that Elder Hess is about as far south in Texas as you can go. He's 20 miles north of the Mexican border, so my guess is he's going to be using his Spanish a whole bunch. This is sharpen his skills.

Gannon says that his companion was AP. For those who might not know, that stands for Assistant to the President. He has been acting as the Mission President's assistant for the past six months. In the past it seemed that once a missionary is called to that position, he stays until the end of his mission. It used to be unusual to have them move back into the field. This must be QUITE the missionary. He is training for his last six weeks. I am beyond THRILLED that my son gets to spend these weeks with him. What an experience this will be!

I LOVE that soccer will be a HUGE part of Elder Hess's life in this first area. He has played soccer since he was five. I know he's going to be so happy here.

Most of what he writes is in answer to my questions. You can easily guess what I've asked by what he says here in the first few paragraphs.

It's been a long week wondering where my boy is and what he's been doing. Such a huge relief to get this email and to hear that he's doing so well. Typically, the first few months of a mission are TOUGH (understatement) for most missionaries--yours truly included.


I'm doing good! My companion is Elder P. from Indiana. This is his last transfer, and before he was an AP for 6 months. So he's an amazing missionary. Super dedicated and experienced. Really spiritual guy.

He played soccer at SVU so he's pretty good. We played soccer with the ward this last Saturday and apparently it's a tradition. It's a fairly big area but we have 4 missionaries in the ward so it's cool. 

I got both my bike and bedding and I'm well equipped. I eat almost every night with members and the food is amazing. Like tastes better than home. Had menudo yesterday I found out...(lining of cow stomach soup..) not too bad actually. 

The president and his wife are both awesome people. Amazing cooks too! 

The members are amazingly helpful(more on that later). We whitewashed this area so we spend a lot of time finding but also a ton teaching. 

It's really humid but really green. Tons of mosquitos....they're the worst. 

Thanks for the pictures! T. looks like a baller! 

I'd love to get my cleats and more shorts and t shirts for exercise. Maybe some snacks that aren't candy...I've still got a whole shoebox full...

What has been your biggest challenge this week? Our biggest challenge has been P. She's one of our investigators and she has a tough life. She lives in a trailer home (most people here do) and had an accident while crossing the border, so she can't move super well. We had her committed to baptism but at the very end she backed out. She literally said "I know what you've taught me is true and I know God wants me to be baptized but I don't know.." UGH WHAT THE FLIP!!!

What has been your biggest concern? Biggest concern is not looking like a fool, but that's been a life long goal, and we've all seen how well that's worked out...

What has been your biggest success? Biggest success is I taught this guy J., and he committed to baptism. Taught him all on my own. I'm a big boy.

Who has been your favorite person this week? Why? Favorite person...IDK they're all amazing here.

What has been your most significant tender mercy? Ugh! This was great but also not...We have these investigators named A. and N., and they've been going to church for 6 months but can't be baptized because they're not married and they don't have enough money to buy the documents they need (they need 105 dollars). SO we're going to have a cake auction to raise money for them. But as we were at a dinner appointment we told the family about that and they said they couldn't make it but they wanted to contribute so they handed us some money. And we didn't want to take it but they made us basically...So we got in the car and looked at it and it was 100 there is no way that family could afford's amazing that prayers are answered but also we didn't really want it to happen that way..

What are you looking forward to this coming week? I'm looking forward to getting A. and N.'s documents to get married and teaching a bunch

Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it. We have a goal to get a lot of new investigators. It's tough cause we're new but we ask for referrals from everybody.

Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week? "Faith without works is dead."

Love you!
Elder Hess

My comp.
We were teaching a lesson when a dumptruck dumped a ton of dirt on their driveway to redo it. so We paused the lesson and started helping out....

Joe! Our car's mascot and dancing king

Our sacrament building

It walks like a dinosaur and is really weird

There's a community of trailer houses, and they have weird animals like grackles (crows but sound like whoooooOOOOOOPPPP), alligator gar (picture an evil fish had a baby with an alligator that doesn't like people) and peacocks (in this picture but it's tough to see)

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