Sunday, April 15, 2012

First email from Texas!

April 9, 2012

Hello everyone! Let's see if I can start by answering everyone's questions!!!

First, it doesn't matter what side you wear your name tag, (at least that is what Sis. Earl told me in the MTC.) But because the elders wear them in their shirt pockets, most people just usually put them there. So if I've got something on the side of my shirt I'll switch it! I had also put my hair up for the humidity and the tracting we did, and then forgot about it, so by the time pictures rolled around, I had to wear it up.

The official name of the area is Houston 4 South. There are two sets of missionaries in our ward, (Houston 4) so we've split the area - it's not like Madrid where the two companionships share the whole area. It's a pretty great ward, and they have some good members who are willing to help us out! I guess I never realized just how bilingual these wards can be. The members who grew up here have learned English in school and whatnot, so there are a ton of members who can, and do, speak in English with ust. Not like Spain where if we found a member who did speak English, they would just speak in Spanish. There are also a lot of Hispanics who live in the area. The ward boundaries are actually kinda big, so it helps that we don't have to worry about a lot of travel time. I guess the biggest difference I notice is in the contacts. It's almost like a whole different mentality. We are definitely in the suburbs, and not the city, so we do a lot of riding around and looking for people who are out and about. We also do a lot of contacts in English, and then pass those names over to the English missionaries nearby.

The humidity hit me at first, but now I don't really notice it, although I might just be getting used to it.

I did get to meet the other missionaries. We all flew in together, and we sat right by each other, so we had some time to talk and to get to know one another.
My companion is Hna. Alsup, she's from San Diego. We actually had a few weeks in the MTC together, so she has just a few transfers left. I think she's going home in June. The schedule hasn't been too hard to adjust to. I got so tired after the first few days that my body just sort of reset itself. The first night we stayed with the Senior Couple working in the office. Then they drove us over to the mission office where we had some breakfast, some more training, and got to sit in on transfer meeting. They had my bike already to go, they picked it up with all of the other ones. We actually use our bikes quite a bit!

I know that Erianne Avery is here, it sounds like she's in another zone kinda far away, so maybe I'll get to see her when we all go to the temple in a couple weeks. They have temple trips a few weeks after conference, and you get to go again on your last day, so I'll still get to go, even if it's not as often.

For now, the mission office is a good enough place to send it. The office is actually in our area, so we get the mail frequently here, and packages should always go to the office.

It sounds like everyone is doing great! I hope everyone did have a good Easter! We had a good Easter program, and ate with some members, and then a devotional, so it was a pretty good Sunday.

It has been a little weird to adjust the way we do the missionary work. It's a different place, and the people here respond differently to different things, so the way we do contacts are different, and the way we commit people to stuff is different as well. So while I've had to change some things, there are still some things, like teaching techniques, that I learned in Spain, so I've been able to bring a new set of eyes to lessons. We spent a lot of time looking for people to teach this week. There was a family who got baptized over conference weekend, so they did the confirmations yesterday. We are planning a big missionary activity for next week, so hopefully we will have some more references from the members. We got a few good investigators right now, but not too many. So we are mostly working on finding people to teach. They had a devotional last night for investigators. They had several recent converts speak about their experience, and share their testimonies. They had asked me to play, so we got to go even though we didn't have any investigators.

I think that is about all for this week!

Love you lots!

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