Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It gets worse before it gets better! 2/8/16

Ok the mission is so flipping hard how do people do it for two years. Every moment I am awake I am working til my body aches my mind breaks and I can barely stand. Then we start to plan. I love my area actually and we have two. We have Peto and Tzucacab. Tzucacab reminds me of a mexican cherokee. We eat in huts and its so freaking cool. The branch president is fluent in mayan as is the entire branch and the casa de oracion is pretty cool. i love the people here. I miss my last companion and I realized we didnt work nearly as hard as we should have. My new companion is a freaking pharisee and loves rules more than he loves life itself. Today on pday all we did was clean because he only likes to clean profoundly because its a rule. There was a lot I wanted to write but since I am with mr. strict I dont have that much time. I am glad to be senior companion but I have zero idea what I am doing...This transfer is 7 weeks long and its gonna be the longest time of my life.I need some serious help because I dont know what I am doing. I am supposed to be in training still...

Monday, February 1, 2016

2/1/15 - Week 7 - CRAZY WEEK!

Ok So wow... I dont even know what to say.
This was the last week in the transfer and it was interesting. On
Wednesday we ate relleno negro for the first time, and in case you
arent familiar with what that is... it is black meat pork insides with
black water... My companion got sick after.. We went to the hospital
but like the main hospital in all of Yucatan on thursday and we found
ourselves in an area called Alta Brisas. Wow it is like a different
country there. I saw many a mercedes benz and we went to ihop... there
is a pf changs, a dairy queen, and man I was in heaven.
This week in Tixkokob its Carnaval, and so we barely had any lessons
because nobody was home. Carnaval in Tixko is small, but its like the
pride of the people there. On saturday, we went to a baptism for the
hermanas in our district and they sang How Great Thou Art and they
sounded like angels hahaha!
Sunday I gave my first talk, and we had a branch missionary activity
and I went to visit Don Pich with the branch President Garcia. It was
a great experience and he teaches with power.
Ok so I am now in another area, 4 hours away from Tixkokob and life as
I knew it. I am with a companion who just finished his training, and
apparently I am not going to finish my training because I am the
District Leader of Peto. To say I am stressed would be a slight
understatement, and I have so much to learn I am either gonna come out
super strong, or have a nervous breakdown.. not quite sure which...
I genuinely loved my first area and the people there, and I miss Elder
Nolasco. He is really one of my favorite people and one of my best
friends. My new companion is Elder Aguilar and he is a good kid, and
young. He likes to work hard and I know we will have success, but I
can already tell we are going to have a different kind of
relationship. I really hope I grow up quick, and I am excited for who
I can become if I survive. Also, There is a ton of Mayan in Peto...
wish me luck.
Elder Jordan Saunooke

P.S. Also I forgot to mention that on Friday night, we had a surprise visit
from a less active at midnight who doesnt like gringos. he kept asking
me why they send sickness to yucatan, and he must have asked about 20
times. he finally liked my answer when I responded that its because
like we read about satan tempting the savior, they want the glory of
the world. He had scissors that he said were a gift, but I think he
originally wanted to stab us. He ended up being nice, and left as my
friend because he found out I want to be a surgeon which is his dream,
and so he thinks I have a good heart.

Elder Jordan Saunooke - Week 6 - 1/25/15

MMMMMaaaarrrreee I cant believe that I can title this email week 6! This week seemed to go by pretty slow and there were definitely a few days of missing the US. Dont get me wrong I LOVE to travel and experience culture but one of the days where we didnt even eat the food because it was so bad, and had to find a way to dispose of it discreetly, I found myself really missing American food. Definitely gonna pull an RDJ and ask for an American cheeseburger at the end of 2017. 

Tuesday we had a district meeting, and for some reason AP elder Calmes, and future AP Elder Bahr were there, and I had the opportunity to teach with both of them! They are both such great examples to me because they are both about as white as you can get, and they know everything there is to know about how to survive here. I cant wait until that is me. We also have a different hma in our district because one of our hermanas who had 16 months or so had to go home for an illness.... this new hermana... is 72! Wow is she a beast! Her companion normally is 80 and they both sleep in hammocks! Wow I literally have no room to complain about my life.

Weds we had the world missionary conference. All the missionaries in Yucatan got together, and was awesome to see the guys from my district in the CCM, especially Elder Lambert. Elder Ferreira leaves after this transfer and so he had the chance to share some thoughts with us which I would like to in turn share with you. He shared the scriptures where Jesus was tempted by Satan and how both of them were able to respond with scripture, indicating that both know the word of God perfectly well. However just like in the Pre Existence, Jesus is the one who not only has knowledge, but understanding. He also kind of jokingly, kind of not, said that in one more transfer I am going to go to Peto... please no that is a tiny mayan pueblo btws...
The conference was called Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts. There is a great focus on working more with members, and teaching when we find, and finding when we teach. I could understand almost everything, but my problem is that I have to actively pay attention with all my might, and after a while it is exhausting. The mission is literally exhausting because not only is it a lot of physical and spiritual activity, but also mentally draining to focus on every little word that people say. Poor President Garcia tried to exercise for the first time in a while,and in his excitement, fell and broke his foot! He told me that he is ok, and nothing more happened because he has the Cherokee spirit. He also has told me that I have the spirit of a Lamanite, and a strong testimony, hahah I love him so much. When We got back to Tixko, we taught a lesson to the trizy taxista who literally knows every religion and has practically memorized the bible. He also knows our religion and is currently reading the BOM and has already read the D and C.

The next day we met with Liset again, and we watched Meet the Air Conditioning!! A highlight of my life for sure. There is not an 18 year old male in her house, and we were not sure exactly how it was going to work out, but she invited her 20 year old friend Carlos, and not only did we watch the movie but we have a new investigator! I love how as a missionary I can see miracles that I dont necessarily ask for, but that I most definitely need. They didnt really understand that we are normal people too, and that our service is for 2 years and voluntary and so it was great for them to see the movie.

The next day, I went to the dentist to try and fix my fractured tooth in my mouth and it is currently a lot better! I have another appointment next week, and it will be all fixed after that and the lady is a member and did at least the first part for free. The challenge of speaking spanish with a numb tongue was quite the thing to see though...

The next day we had our lesson with Jorge the taxista and it was a miracle because we couldnt find his house, and somehow he drive by us! We went to his house, and taught with him for a good two hours. He believes the BOM is true, and says the Book of Alma is practically perfect, but he does not believe that Joseph Smith received the revelation found in D and C 132. He also doesnt believe that Abraham received similar instruction in the book of Genesis. He likes to try and teach us, but I have been studying the bible and Jesus the Christ like crazy to be able to with hold my own, and teach the things the spirit would have me teach. He likes to be direct and ask questions like will I not be saved if I dont believe in Joseph Smith, or the BOM, or am not baptized in your church? I decided to be direct too, and asked him why did John the beloved recieve the book of revelations if he was in exile and not the head of the church at the time? I then told him, that this is because he was the last living apostle with the authority of God, and that we believe that this authority was lost until restored by Joseph Smith, along with the ordinance of baptism. 

Today I splurged and after our interviews in Mérida, we went to Los Trompos.. oh my goodness is that pizza straight from heaven hahaaha! 

Love you all and hope you have a great week!!!
Elder Saunooke