Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hawkeye and Trapper (Week #13)

What has been your biggest challenge this week? 
Biggest challenge has been getting used to a new companion and really taking charge because he doesn't know the area yet. It's been an interesting change.

What has been your biggest concern? 
Miles. Elder P really botched the whole budgeting miles thing so we're pretty close to hitting our limit. #BikeDays!!

What has been your biggest success?
We had a stake activity and a ton of people showed up. It was a fitness based one so we ran and played ultimate frisbee (missionaries vs. members #notAContest) and basketball and stuff. It was a lot of fun and a lot of really cool members and investigators came. Not S tho. He'd have a hard time catching a frisbee...

Who has been your favorite person this week? Why? 
Elder S. We've decided we're like Hawkeye and Trapper from MASH. And we had out 3 month mark together so we bought cute pday shirts as a celebration (that's the picture)

What has been your most significant tender mercy?
Not being sick. That really sucked. If I'd had had to bike while being sick I would've died. From spontaneous combustion. Caused by excess of pukiness.

What are you looking forward to this coming week? 
Friday is a ward missionary event and we're playing volleyball. We're hoping a lot of people come (but not S. See above reason)

Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it. 
My goal is to be more humble. I don't have a big problem with it (haven't ever really(is that prideful?)) but it's always good to be more so.

Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
Abinadi. Such a cool guy. Dealt with being burnt and still testified. Cool guy.

Today we found a turtle and brought it to district meeting. Named it flamoorgathyn. Thats what the picture is. And found the first weed store i've seen since oregon. And 

This is where Elder Hess's email cuts off, so I will sign off in his behalf. What is it he usually says?....Oh, yah,
Love you guys,
Elder Gannon Hess

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Freestyle Email and a "Weed" Tie (Week #12)

I hope you caught my note about wildlife in the last email post because it will make you appreciate this photo (one of the two we received this week):

A possum we found while mowing the lawn
I made him promise, when he left, that he would send me at least one photo each week when he emailed. He has been true to his word, but so far, there have been spiders, crabs, zoo animals, and now this poor little critter. There have thankfully also been some photos of human life, but I must admit all of the animal pictures make me that much more thankful for a friendly human face from time to time.

I expect Elder Hess's emails to come in sometime just before noon on Mondays. That's been the trend so far. This week, I checked email at about 6:50am, and he'd already been there and gone....I thought I had a few hours of uninterrupted time in the morning to get a good email and the "photos of the week" off to him before he wrote, but I failed. He'd written to the kids (who had written on Sunday) at 6:11am. I missed the boat.

Typically his emails are just answers to my questions, but this time, there were no questions to answer. It's nice to see that he can freehand a letter once in awhile and actually share the things that are most important to him, so maybe it's a good thing I failed.

Here are the most important happenings of mission week #12 in the eyes of Elder Gannon Hess:

Ok! I have to write early today because it's Elder P's last pday and he has stuff to do! So I'm freestyling this email!

This week I got sick. Like couldn't sleep one night and threw up 3 times kinda sick..While i was in the trio..So i kept working but people kept wanting to feed us. Freakin nice people...The last time I threw up was after a member gave me chili's to help me...so I puked in their yard. 

"My weed tie"
Anyways I'm mostly better now. This was Elder P's last week and so we've been going by and saying goodbye to a lot of people. He gave me a tie (a tradition) that I had made fun of him for. He loves it cause it has flowers on it but they look like weed flowers...So he gave it to me for that and because I'm from Oregon...It's like a 200 dollar tie..

S promised to come to church for yesterday! But his ride flaked and so we had to go pick him up right after sacrament meeting. I had to lead him around while he hung onto my shoulder. It was a super cool experience. 

I also taught him the word of wisdom and he said he would quit coffee on monday but he didn't drink any yesterday!! Nobody does that!! He's so great.

Right now I'm in the mission office in McAllen for Elder P's exit interview. Apparently that's basically where the president tells you to get married and talks plans with you. I hope things change on my mission cause there's no way I'm ready for that right now. 

But today we're going to go "dig" for ties in bodega's (like ghetto Goodwill. Reminds me of the mailroom on "Elf" mixed with the garbage compactor on "Monster's Inc.")  and apparently there's some really nice ones. We're also going to play some soccer and say bye to some of Elder P's members.
Hope you had a great week!

Love you,
Elder Hess

The Surprise Post-Mother's Day Email (Week #11)

I had forgotten what protocol was. I guess Mother's Day took everything out of my mind. It wasn't until mid-Monday that I started to realize that it was still Elder Hess's P-day, so he was for sure doing his laundry and grocery shopping, but would he still be writing to us? Surely not what with just Skyping us the day before, but by the time I considered that he might, he had already written. YAY!!!

Here's what my inbox held:

What has been your biggest challenge this week? 
Making sure that I'm focused on the work and not skyping and seeing you guys again. This week was really slow..

What has been your biggest concern? 
We've been trying to have another baptism before Elder P goes home but all of the formers either don't want to hear it or are terrible at making decisions. Soooo frustrating.

What has been your biggest success?
S. He's the blind guy we found. He is super ready to be baptized and loves us and remembers everything we teach.

Who has been your favorite person this week? Why? 
S again. That guy makes my days.

What has been your most significant tender mercy?
The R family. We asked if we could Skype at their house and they said they were having a barbecue and we ended up getting invited to that too..So Skype and barbecue=happy Elder Hess

What are you looking forward to this coming week? 
Elder P leaves this week for some meetings in McAllen so for 4 days I'll be in a trio with Elder S and Elder T. It'll be good to learn from them too.

Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it. 
Find somebody who would like to be baptized. We have a guy who looks good to be baptized but he's afraid of what his parents will say. I'm tempted to tell him to cut the cord....he's 24...

Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
I've been reading a lot of the church history stuff and it's cool to see the first missionaries go out and have problems that we can't even imagine right now. Big example for me.

It was good to see you guys too! Love you all!
Elder Hess

There was a trip to the zoo sometime before this email....I'm thinking it had to be the previous P-day. This young man I've sent to Texas has a thing with animals. It is HILARIOUS! I seriously took the entire zoo tour with him through photographs--giraffes, camels, monkeys, you name it, he took a picture of it and sent it to me. Each week, there has been more Texas wildlife to celebrate through the camera lens of Elder Gannon Hess. I didn't know he loved insects and animals so much. Funny kid!

Oh, the photos of the chickens here must be related to the story he told us during our Skype session in which a chicken attacked him....She jumped up and grabbed onto his thumb with her beak. I believe he said her name was Gertrude.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day's Best Gift (Week #11)

It took us awhile to get things worked out in order to see and hear Elder Hess. When he first appeared, all we saw was his name tag. The vision expanded, and WOW! What a change….Actually, his companion was wearing his name tag--Good joke!

We talked about people, food, goals, everyday life, his area, etc.  Sounds like there's a future service project that just might include butchering some chickens….What an education for m'boy!

After last week's email, I began to wonder if he'd lost his humor. This week was a huge reassurance that he has definitely not.

In short, he's happy.

I had to snap a picture while he wasn't looking straight at us so he wouldn't make a serious face--that hasn't changed.

It was SO great to see his face and hear his voice!

We got to hear him speak a bit in Spanish. He and his dad talked back and forth a bit. THAT was super fun!

So, now we wait seven and a half months until we get to do this again….Christmas. CAN'T WAIT!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cut Off and Kicked Out (Week #10)

"This is where we taught the guy that died."

This week has been interesting....

What has been your biggest challenge this week? 
We taught this guy 2 weeks ago. A less active dude. His 40 year old son has a tumor and is basically like a child now and was going to have surgery this last weekend. So we gave the son a blessing and had a discussion with the dad about going to church and doing all the things he needs to. He basically had no faith at all.. So I was in the middle of a sentence about the Book of Mormon and he cut me off and basically kicked us out. This last week his son had surgery and the day after the guy we taught got bit by 500 bees and died.....So now it's his wife at home taking care of their son who has a tumor that will most likely kill him and is all alone now. I feel super guilty about it. Like I should have said more. so we've been going there.

What has been your biggest concern? 
Still finding people. We haven't really found anyone super exciting yet and only have like 3 investigators that are progressing.

What has been your biggest success?
We found S! he's this super old blind guy in a nursing home that wants to be baptized. We taught him about the resurrection and he started tearing up. Really excited for him but he has a tough time coming to church. 

Who has been your favorite person this week? Why? 
A. T. She's this old lady in a wheelchair that always wants us over and we've been teaching her granddaughter, Y. Y is a less active member who fell away from the church after her husband abused her. A. T. had the dude deported (so cool). So we've been teaching her and she came to church and to the movie night where we watched Meet the Mormons and now she's going to share the movie with her friends.

What has been your most significant tender mercy?
Meeting S. We'd been rejected by 20 people before that...

What are you looking forward to this coming week? 
A and N getting the holy ghost and their kids getting blessed. It's gonna be awesome. They were sick this Sunday so they couldn't get it...

Do you have a goal set for this coming week? Tell me about it. 
Just finding more people and asking better questions during lessons.

Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
 The stories of Jesus' miracles. We have the same power that he did when he did those and the same miracles can happen.

Hope you guys are doing great! Love you!!
Elder Hess