Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Elder Saunooke 12/28/15

So I think I will just start with Christmas Eve. We were in Mérida almost the entire week for training with the 8 fundamentals on how to begin teaching. It was so awesome. We were there for Christmas Eve and one of the elders that was leading one of the fundamental lessons had us all get up and sing Book of Mormn stories! Talk about a throwback. It felt really good to sing that song again. I got the chance to teach with Elder Acosta who is going home in 5 weeks. He said that once you get to his stage, you dont want to go home. I hope to one day feel as confident in the mission field as he does. He didnt speak very loudly but when he taught the spirit was so strong and as we were teaching I was able to speak more spanish because the spirit was present. I met an Elder who was born in my area of Tixkokob but is from Hermiston, Oregon! And thanks to Moises and volleyball tournaments I actually know where that is! His name is Elder Santos and he is fluent in English and Spanish... lucky. I really wanted to be taught by the senior AP Elder Ferreira to see how he teaches in action, and I got my wish granted... the very last practice haha! It is cool to see someone who has mastered the language, and the gospel. These guys are such great examples to me, and for what I want to one day become. President Garcia left his blessing upon us that we can become the most effective and best missionaries that we can become. So here´s to hoping for fluency... 
Best part... huge Christmas package! It was funny to see the pictures of the catholic virgin Mary taped on the side to protect it from the mail service. Good ol Catholics watching out for the Mormons.
Christmas was absolutely awesome! My mommy got me our own little tree to have with decorations! My companion made pancakes for breakfast and we got to eat ham and bread and jalapeños at Jose Vasques house! Jalapeños have actually become sweet to me... We couldnt skype or call in Tixkokob because almost no technology exists where we live, so we got permission to go to Mérida! We had the chance to skype and call at an investigator´s house and she is an angel. She served a mission for 23 years for her church, and has dedicated her life to God. Two years seemed like nothing after that. She is from Brazil but she knows Spanish and English, as well as Portugese! She fed us and even gave us an extra hammock to sleep in. We stayed at Elder Medina and Elder Quintanna´s house because they live like three houses down from their investigators house. Right across the street from them live 5 RMs!!! How cool is that!? At Elder Medina and Quintanna´s house there is a football and it felt so good to throw a football hahah! Even though we had to walk about 8 miles, take a bus standing with about 30 other people for 40 minutes, a taxi, and then walk some more to talk to our families... it was definitely a great Christmas.

The next best thing to talk about is Don Pich. We went to go pick him up in the morning for church, and we even had a shirt and tie to give him, but he was not home. He showed up to church second hour, and we gave him his shirt and tie. He had the biggest grin on his face. My companion told him that if he wore it, nobody would recognize him, and soon after he put them on, President Garcia (of the branch) walked up and called him Hermano. He was tickled pink because he thought he had fooled everyone there and doesn´t realize that we call everyone hermano. He has a baptismal date for this saturday because it is finally the new year! He has this weird mayan superstition that its bad luck to do things on odd number years! He wants me to baptize him, so if all goes well, after saturday I will have my first baptism! We taught him again last night, and while Elder Nolasco was coordinating things on the phone for his baptism, Don Pich kept leaning ovver to me and trying to discreetly ask what he was doing... I love him hahaha.
I also love you all, and I hope you have a great week!
Elder Saunooke

This is my favorite picture so far! Elders Saunooke & Nolasco & Don Pich 

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