Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Missionary Life

Hola everycuerpo!

This one might be a bit short, not much happened this week!

We had some schedule changes which gives us more free time at nights and on P-day, and lets us have a bit more agency in terms of planning. Exciting!

We have been working hard and seeing the benefits. We might have a couple young brothers getting baptized soon, but nothing is set yet.

Our Vietnam veteran Johnny in South Lake Tahoe showed us a sign he has... Its pretty interesting. 

Johnny, one of our more colorful characters with his homemade KKK/Rebel flag sign.

He is apparently an "honorary KKK member," so that's nice. He is quite an interesting man, Johnny. But he is getting prepared to be baptized soon as well, so thats exciting.

Me and Elder Guzman have a little competition to see who can hold the biggest icicle. I am currently winning with this beaut' 

My current entry in the largest icicle contest. We have to look for ways to entertain ourselves.

Been a little down earlier this week because we did not have enough miles left on our vehicle allotment to go to Tahoe on Tuesday to teach this certain investigator that we haven't been able to teach for a long time. Will have to make sure to budget our miles better next week.

Out here I always say my prayers, but recently while I was adjusting to our new schedule and we had some conflicts, I had to skip personal study a few days. I noticed I felt kind of "off" since I hadn't been reading, so I made it a point to wake up a bit earlier and read my scriptures a bit extra and make sure that I got some scripture reading time during personal study. I noticed a huge difference! I felt more refreshed and even closer to God. It also might have been because I had sacrament for the first time in two weeks (because church was canceled last week), but I felt so refreshed and great since yesterday. I have felt the spirit stronger in lessons and all sorts of stuff.

Also been on the watch for the influx of bald eagles because, according to my mom, they make an annual trip to the Carson Valley this time of the year. Would like to say its because of the perfect mix of mountains and lakes but the real reason is a bit more disturbing. Dad found out they show up for calving season where the can feed on the abundance of cow placenta dotting the ground at area ranches.

The area is becoming more inundated with bald eagles, who travel to the Carson Valley each year at this time.
There has been a ton of snow up here still, and it is really making me miss the Texas warmth. I'm sure when I get sent to Winnemucca in the Summer I will be missing this though.

The views are great but I am starting to miss the warmth!

Thats it for now. Hope everyone is doing great! 

Adios, hasta luego.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Baptisms and Lactose

Howdy everyone!

Hope you all had a great week. Elder Guzman and I have been having a grand old time up here in Nevada.

We finally baptised ol' Peth Batterson (names changed for legal reasons). She has been investigating for a very long time, and she is happy to finally have come into the fold of God.

Me and the Soon-to-be-Dunked
I'm here to clean baptismal fonts and chew bubblegum... and I'm all out of bubblegum.
Elder Guzman - Matador de Aranas (Spider Killer)

Her husband baptized her and it was pretty sweet. And we got some great snacks after the service, which leads me into my next point.

I'm lactose intolerant, so that sucks. I have been pretty sick since I got out here to Nevada, and I wasn't sure why. I narrowed it down to food, then to either milk or hot sauce. Then, the morning of the baptism I drank like 4 cups of chocolate milk and nothing else and proceeded to feel extremely poorly for the rest of the day. So I think I figured it out. It's ok, Sister Chesnut - the Mission President's wife - told me almond milk is pretty lit so I got some today, and its not too bad. Now I just need to figure out how to convince Sonic to start using almond milk in their milkshakes so I can resume my consumption of those.

South Lake Ta-snow
Poquito Hombre de Nieve  (Little Snow Man)

Not much else happened here this week. Except there are unearthly amounts of snow in South Lake Tahoe, and our recent convert who is on fire got a sweet calling. Alaud Czelton (names also changed for legal reasons), an incredible man who was baptized about a month ago, was given the calling of Assistant Ward Mission Leader. He has no idea what that means but he excels at everything he does so he will probably help us baptize this entire county soon.

A day without chile is like a day without sun" #retweet​

Anyway, I hope everything is going well for everyone.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Mucho Precipitation-o

Hola everycuerpo!

Hope everything is well wherever it is that you are. Things up here are pretty great. It's quite cold, and quite wet. Last Monday, we went into Carson City for some p-day bargain hunting, and while we were there the highway back to Gardnerville flooded. Like with water. So we went ahead and gave the ol' Mission President a ring and he suggested we spend the night with our Zone Leaders in Carson City. So yeah, after an impromptu exchange with our ZL's, we spent the night at their apartment, which was pretty cool. Also I got to play volleyball in a YSA ward for an activity, since the ZL's cover that ward. Fun! I got to show all those gabachos my spicy volleyball moves I learned in the MTC. We did some more stuff with them the next day since the roads weren't clear yet, which included us getting to go to a breakfast at a members house they had set up, as well as lunch as a zone to say goodbye to Elder Peterson, the zone leader getting transferred. Also, on Elder Peterson and I's little mini-exchange, we did a ton of lessons and even committed someone named Mr. Pineapple Man to baptism. They didn't know his name yet so even in the phone his name is Mr. Pineapple Man. (Pineapple basically means a "perfect" investigator). So yeah, that was a pretty fun day.

Our visit with our Zone Leaders after the road back to Carson City flooded.

We went up to Lake Tahoe a few times this week, even though our Bishop up there advised us not to because of how much snow they had. But we have 4-wheel drive on this little pseudo-jeep so #YOLO. We drove up the Mt. Rose highway and I kid you not there was 30-40 feet of snow on the side of the road, from all the plows and what not just piling it on through the storm. Obviously the snow on the road wasn't as bad, but it was there. It was quite fun though, especially since my Mexican companion has no clue how to drive in snow. It makes it interesting, however, and we have many close calls, or as I call them, "learning experiences."

Some random cars stranded on the Mt. Rose Highway after this past weeks snowstorms.

We got to do some great work up there, and even shovelled a guys driveway for him just to be nice. He, however, is a Vietnam veteran, and we were doing it as a surprise; so halfway through he came out cursing at us with a bowie knife in his hand. Of course, as soon as he realized we are just a couple dopes in less clothing than is necessary for Lake Tahoe in January, he calmed down and started helping.

Our 4 x 4 Jeep near our driveway shoveling experience.

And for the best thing that has happened to me this week; all of our mission got together on Saturday to listen to none other than Elder D. Todd Christofferson rebuke us! No, I'm kidding, he was great and very encouraging. When I shook his hand, however, I kind of stumbled over my words and instead of saying something dignified like "Nice to meet you Elder Christofferson" I said "H.. hii.. how's it goin." It's ok, he's chill, he told me it was going very well. Anyway, not only was there a soul-gripping talk, but I also got to see all of my buds from the MTC. It was quite a fun time. I got to use all of my paisano-slang on them, which they didn't understand probably because they are learning real Spanish and not just ridiculous Mexican slang.

Our Mission was honored with a visit from Elder D. Todd Christofferson from the Quorum of the Twelve. I am in the middle row of this pic, slightly right of center.

In closing news, we are going to baptize a lady who has been investigating the church for 5 years this Saturday, so I'm very excited. And she's pregnant too so that basically counts as two baptisms right? Anyway, sorry for the mega long blog and I hope you all have a great week. Adios.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Shaking and Flooding

The Rains came down and the Floods came up!

Hey everyone, I hope you all had a Feliz Neuvo Año! I have to remember to put the tilde (˜) over the n because without it, it means "Happy New Anus." So yeah.
Anyway hope it was great because it was pretty nice up here in G-Ville. 

Weather has been cold the past two weeks, with temperatures in the teens and a decent amount of snow.

This past week we performed "service" by helping an Hispanic family make close to 500 tamales in one day. Don't worry, we got some.

As well, I just finished organizing my scriptures like a total try-hard missionary, and I bought a new study journal as well. I'm going to conquer Satan one scripture reference at a time. I continue to have the opportunity to teach both English and Spanish speaking lessons.

Results of my Scripture references.

On an inspirational note, Elder Guzman and I have had the opportunity to teach an older African-American gentleman up in South Lake Tahoe. We have committed him for Baptism soon. That's right, we are preparing for a Black-tism. He is a veteran that is experiencing some mental health issues and PTSD, so hopefully the Lord will throw him a bone. I have faith and I know he does. He has told us that our talks help him to feel much better mentally so that is encouraging.

Apparently all heck is breaking loose or something in Nevada because last week we had a number of fairly large earthquakes just a few miles south of us (that I slept through) and now this week we are having some mad floodage down here in the Valley. Yesterday we performed community service for approximately 9 hours helping people with the flood. That included filling and placing sandbags, and digging trenches in the rain (it was 40 degrees with wind). I'm not complaining-it builds character. 

Heavy downpours over the past week or so has caused a large amount of flooding.

No, I don't I don't have a rain jacket, and no, I do not have rain boots. My mesh Nike running shoes which I duct-taped somehow let my feet get wet (who woulda thunk) and my fleece sweater with a vest didn't really keep me too dry in the torrential downpour either. The trenches we were digging were on a farm, immediately surrounding a barn, so most of what I was shoveling was, in fact, manure. Also it was fast Sunday so my stomach was very vocal during that time. It's ok. I will see the blessings of these trials most-likely in the form of a beautiful wife in a few years (I mean that's kind of a given, but this probably helps). 

Celebrating with a meal at the end of a long day of filling sandbags.

Our quick visit to Mormon Station, the site of Nevada's first permanent non-native settlement, located in the small town of Genoa, 12 miles south of Carson City.

Anyway, things have been going really well here, and I'm really loving the people and the culture (both white and brown). The Lord blesses us in funny ways, but its ok, I have a sense of humor. 

Adios everyone. Hasta luego.