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Raymondville, Texas

Raymondville, Texas

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Address in Raymondville!!

Hi Family!

Glad you got my packages I sent! You can do whatever you want with the ties. I dont want any of them. Give a nice or decent one to JT and Zac and Chase. Maybe some to Ian or Auddy or whoever else wants some. Ill probably send another box in the next month. At least hopefully I will. We're trying to get a 1000 lbs bail not a 10000 lb bail mom haha. If you didnt figure it out yet my new adress is
401 E McCharen Ave #8
Raymondville, TX 78580

The sisters stole our house and apperenly have been cleaning it since we left. I dont feel bad tho cus we did clean a lot. The sisters are pretty cool.  I can see them doing a lot of good in Raymondville. They should be having a baptism this Sunday, not really from their efforts tho. President Ramos was sooooo confused when he first saw them but it was funny. And on Sunday, the Sisters lost their keys and were 15 minutes late to Sacrament Meeting. One of the members, Brother Abbey, made a joke about thats why the men have the Priesthood keys and not the women.

Whats the deal with Jack!?! Is he going to UCLA? Im so excited for him!!! I love that kid. And he got a dunk!!! Wow that kids on top of the world. Send me a pic of his dunk if there is one. Was it a break away? Thats cool the Varsity manned up and beat Marina. Tyler good job and way to play hard the whole year. Keep growing and working hard and you'll be starting next year for sure. Justin isnt very good. Keep me posted on who they play and stuff.

Dad thats cool about that girl youre teaching at institute. Teach her about how the BOM is all that matters. When she knows its true, every other doubt about the church goes away. (Chapter 5 PMG) Thats cool that you are teaching her tho. Have you read PMG? Im sure you have but if for some crazy reason you never have, you should. It makes so much sense haha.

Anyway we had a terrrrible week this week. Not at all because of lack of effort. We worked our butts off but everything fell through. We didnt get anybody to church even though people promised us. We found this cool lady, Maria. We taught one of her daughters like 3 or 4 weeks ago and then have gone back and taught her other daughter, then taught her, then last night we taught the son. So we've taught the whole family now. She had a very solid comitment to church but didnt go for some reason. We gotta get members over there so she'll go to church. We also found this cool old guy. His name is Mr. Montezuma (like the ride at Knotts) and he wanted to come to church but Idk what happened with him either. We're going over to his house after this. THe cool thing about him is that we took Ramiro over to teach him. Ramiro is a guy that me and Elder Horton found my first weekend here and taught him and set a Bap Date with, but then he lived in the other Elders area. Anyway, he got baptized and came out with us for the first time. HEs a really shy guy but talked a ton in the lesson, like most of the lesson. It was pretty stinkin cool.
We played bball in Harlingen on Pday, it was actually really dumb and I cant jump anymore. Its really sad but whatever. On our way home Brother Lopez called us and told us to go help him and Pres Ramos cut the sisters lawn (our old house) so we went and did that and after that we went and helped Joe put some new roofing on his house. I guess CPS came by his house and told him he needed to redu the roof cus it was falling through. So we helped him do that. THat family has been faced with so much adversity lately. They stay faithful tho cus theyre legit. On their way down the Brownsville(the first south city in Texas) last night, Joes engine blew out! So im not sure what the deal is with that. We called him back last night but his phone was off. Im pretty sure he was sleeping cus he had to leave to take a load to Dallas or something today. He'll be back tomorrow tho I think.

Ive been praying for Aunt Mary my whole mission basicly. Hopfully she starts doing better. Tell them I love them. Cant wait to get a cassette back from you guys. Well I think thats about it. I love you all and cant wait to get those letters!
Elder Given

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February 8, 2010

Hey Everyone,

This was a pretty good week, kinda a tough week but it was good. So sorry again about last week, I felt bad not writing very much. I have been stressin out lately cus we haven't had any solid people. We have a bunch of decent people but no one who is really progressing a lot. We only had 1 investigator at church yesterday. It was this little 9 year old girl named Tess. Shes hilarious, reminds me a lot of Kallie. Her mom is an inactive member and her grandma is a less active, but both Tess and her Grandma came Sunday. It was nice to see them there, the members really love Sis Rosales (the Grandma) so hopefully they'll keep comin. We also have officailly re activated a in active member. Her name is Monica and we just randomly found her one night tracting and she told us she was a member. So we invited her to church and she came, and now has come 3 weeks in a row and is making friends with the members! Its pretty cool. Shes kinda crazy but thats okay.

So transfers are going to be insane!!! We got a call 2 days ago telling us that there would we sisters coming to Raymondville West! (Im in East) So the Senior missionaries came down and looked for a place for them to live with Elder Hernandez and Cosper. They found this place right in the middle of our area, its pretty nice. So the next day Elder Herandez went on splits with the ZLs (edler Horton) and Elder Hortons comp, Elder Shields(from Gainsville, FL), came over here with Elder Cosper. So Elder Shields told us what is supposed to happen if Pres Miller doesnt change anything. Sister Fefitas area (San Benito) is going to get Elders, and some sisters, probably Sister Fefita and her comp or one of them and some other sister, are going to come to Westside Raymond. They are putting Elders in that area partly cus the Branch President doesnt respect the sisters at all, so thatll be good. It'll be fun to see how Pres Ramos reacts to the sisters haha. Oh yea and Elder Shields said me and Elder Guillen are probably staying :) Im actually excited about it, I like Raymondville. BUT, we found out that WE are going to have to move out, the sisters are going to get our house cus its nicer and in a safer place, and the other appartment is the the middle of our area. So thats whats probably gonna happen. I still might leave tho, nothing is official till this evening. I'll send out a letter tomorrow if I get moved.

Thats cool that Grammy Barbie came to visit. Tell her I love her and I say hi. Im glad Tyler is playing really well. Sounds like their team is really really good and Varsity is doing well too. I'll go to Alumni night at some point. I bet Kallie had a ton of fun at outdoor science school. I still remember when I went, that was a really long time ago. Tell her to write me a letter about it. I havnt heard from her or the twins or Hagen in FOREVER! You guys need to write me :) Thats awesome that the Sisters back home are doing so well. Make sure you do your best to fellowship the new members or they will fall away just as fast as they came. That is the biggest problem we have here. Like 3 or 4 of the recent converts since Ive been here arent coming to church. Its really sad, its cus nobody fellowships tho. So treat the new members like your friends or family, have the same mindset like they are Sister Ahlstrom or Shelley or someone. Be friends with them.

I finished reading the BOM last week. I started when I got to Raymondville so it took me like 4 months. My testimony has really grown a lot since Ive been out here. Testimony Meeting was so Powerful yesterday. First off, Pres Ramos asked this guy named Daniel Flores to give the opening prayer (he just calls on the spot as hes up there) and Danny has been in and out of activity since he got baptized over the summer. Anyway, President Ramos helped him say the prayer and it was awesome. Oh yea and the Quinteros showed up at church at like 815 but no one was there yet so they stopped by Joes moms house who lives right by the church, and then went back over at 830. So they got there before us, and I talk to Joe and Kurt about doing the Sacrament. Joe had called us on Friday and asked where the Sacrament prayers were in the BOM so we told him and he also found them in the Gospel Principles book and he studied them. So he was ready to say them, and I taught him and Kurt how to do everything, and I got this cool kid Erwin to help teach Kurt how to pass and stuff. I sat up there with Joe and helped him do it and it went really well. It was awesome to see them help do that. Then, it was testimony meeting and Joe shared his testimony and some of the members. It was really powerful. I bore my testimony on the BOM and i challenged all the memebrs who hadnt read it yet to read it. It was awesome. Then Junior, who got baptized back in November shared his testimony and I cried. He talked about missionary work and all this stuff. He's only 23 so hopefully he goes on a mission, he says he wants to. We try to take him out every week. Hes a good guy.

We also took Joe out for some lessons this week and it was AMAZING! We try to role play our lessons during comp study and we did one sarcasticly of Joe basicly teaching the whole lesson, and thats basicly what happend. Joe and the investigator did the talking for like 80% of the time there. THats exactly what we want. The spirit was really strong, and we set a baptismal date with the guy we were teaching. Joe is so cool.

Well I think thats about it. I saw a chick fight last week, dont know if I told you about that. It was pretty funny. Oh yea and Im sending a big package home today so look out for that. You guys will like it a lot. Cant wait to get the letters and memory cards this week.

I love you guys a ton.

-Elder Given

Monday, February 1, 2010

February 1, 2010

Hi Family!

Not a lot of time today. We didnt have anyone at church this week, but the Quinteros got baptized and Joe and Kurt got the priesthood. It was cool, they're an awesome family.

Transfers are week from tomorrow. I think I'm gonna get transfered but we'll see. I'd be happy either way. We got a tie bail this week! 200 LBS worth. I got a ton of high quaulity ties, and I'm gonna send a box home. the best part is that it only cost me $11! How cool is that. I bought some more weights, another 35 LBS and a curl bar for only $5. I'm gonna get buff.

Found some cool people this week, none of them came to church tho. Hopefully they'll progress this week. Following the spirit is the most important thing in missionary work. I'm so sick of tracting my area though cus I've done EVERY street and EVERY house, but the spirit directs us to find the prepared people, just like the Quintero family.

Well I think thats about it. Sorry this letter is so short.

Love you guys a lot.


Elder Given

January 25, 2010

Hi Family,

This was such a cool week. Very stressful at times but very cool. Friday night was the wedding for Joe and Veronica. We spent most of the day helping them set up and clean and stuff. So it started at 6 and at like 559 one of the members asked us to give her a blessing, so we go in the house and give the blessing, and right as we are finishing we hear everyone clapping and stuff. We totally missed it! I was so mad. First of all Pres Ramos did it in like 3 minutes, and then we totally missed it. But whatever, they were happy and thats all that matters.

Everything went well that night. We ended up having 4 baptisms. Joe, his son Joe Joe, Ana and then Veronicas 13 year old brother Kurt all got baptized. I baptized 3 of them, a member, borther serrato, baptized Joe Joe. It was really cool. When I was baptizing Joe, he like didnt got all the way under, so I had to like push him down, it was kinda funny. Hes a big guy haha. I forgot my camera so I didnt take pictures, but Elder Guillen took pics so Ill send them to you this week and you can scan them or whatever. Oh yea and we had a lesson with them last night and broght them a picture of the San Antonio temple, so thats there goal for 1 year from now. THey are so cool. I hope I can go with them when they go.

Guess what. I got some sweet weights this week. I got 90 lbs worth for $10! Such as good deal. im stoked on it. I've been lifting kinda a lot now. Everything is great! The only thing I cant handle is the freeking Mosquitos. They are really bad now. We load ourselves down with bug spray haha.

Stinks that Varsity lost to Marina. Good to hear that Tyler is doing really good tho. Keep workin hard. Have you guys sold my car yet? It's been like 6 months for sale. Has there been any surf with this gnarly storm?

Oh yea and Mom about teaching the judge. Hes just a really cool guy we found. Hes not like a judge judge. He doesnt make a lot of money, I dont think he went to law school. I think you just run for it haha. Good to hear Tyler, Cassidy and Hagen are doing well in school. Tell all of them to write me! Well thats about it. Just a really good week and Im gonna keep working my butt off.

I love you guys!

Elder Given

January 20, 2010

January 20, 2010

Hi Family,

The library was closed for MLK day so that was lame. I'm already really low on time but I'll try to get everything in. Got the pictures and the letters. Loved it. Sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun. Its funny cus I sent out letters to all the kids the same day I got the package. Anyway Basketball sounds like a lot of fun. Dad I laughed at your letter, the part about Tim sucking it up but then draining 9 3s. He does that. He probably had crappy games away and then went of at Los Al. I stoked for Camerons dunk, I love that Kid. I already know what play they ran to get James the lob. Carolina, they tried running it for me, worked in practice. Im glad Boswell got hurt, he's really annoying and cocky. I just dont like Edison haha. Whats the deal with Dylan? He seems way happy in our emails, what kind of stuff is he going through. I feel so out of the loop haha.

The weather has been nice the last 2 days. Like 75-80. I hope it stays like this for a while. Church was awesome this week. The Quintero family all came. thats Joe and his wife Veronica (who is a member) and then their 5 kids, Joe Joe, Ana, Maria(?) Lezy and Diego, and then Veronicas sister Yesenia and brother Kurt. Joe, Joe Joe, and Ana already had their bap interviews last night and are ready to go, Kurts and Yesenias will be on Saturday. I would say Kurt will most likely get baptized and Yesenia is like a 70% chance. Shes knows its right shes just not ready. But they are so so so cool. Im in Raymondville for them. I had such a strong feeling that we had to go to their house the first time we taught them, and we just clicked. Joe wants me to baptize him, which Im really excited about. Maybe the kids too, not sure yet. So they will be getting married this Friday (already got the license) and then baptized Sunday inbetween and Spanish and English sessions of stake confrence.

Mari has been annoying lately. She doesnt want to do anything anymore. Idk whats gonna happen with her. Heres a funny stroy about your not so smart son, and being realy really really lucky. So on the 9th we were driving out to Sebastion, and I decided I wanted to drive a little fast for some reason, not gonna say how fast I was going but I got pulled over and got a ticket. On the ticket it says I need to go to court in front of the judge Juan Salinas Jr. Juan Salinas is one of our investigators who we had just set a bap date with earlier that week! So I feel lame, but after our lesson last saturday night I told him about the ticket and he told me to call him Tuesday morning about it. So I called him, he asks me what day I got the ticket on and then says, okay well dont worry about it anymore, its gone. Yea!!! Im so lucky. The Lord provides a way. Ive repented and dont drive fast anymore. Hahah

Hopefully we'll be getting a 1000 lb tie bail this week or next week!!! Im so excited! Its only gonna be 25 bucks for 4 of us. Thats 25 total! How legit is that! so hopefully I'll be sending a box full of sweet ties home soon. Oh yea and I bought this Creatine stuff at Walmart. Its kinda like proteain but helps you gain weight and get stronger. I was talking to Elder Yergensen about it at zone confrence. It was only 15 bucks and will last like 3 weeks. We'll see if it does anything.

Okay well Im totally out of time. I'll add more to my email next Monday cus we dont have a lot of time today. But mom dont worry, Im not Homesick at all. I'm happy to say I haven't been hit with anything yet so I'm glad. Hopefully I wont ever have to. Cassidy, I'll write you back this week. Tyler keep working hard and send me a letter haha. I love you guys a ton and love hearing from you.


Elder Given

January 11, 2010


Fue un buen semana y nuestros investigadores estan progresando mucho y estamos trabajando bien duro.

Yea so we had a decent week. Should have had a baptism but Mari decided she wants to be scared again. Hopefully we'll be having 5 baptisms on the 24th tho! 3 for sure and hopefully 2 more. I was happy to see my recent convert get out of jail haha. And I guess we're still closing meetings "en el nombre de nuestro Padre Celestial, Amen" hahah

Mari was just kinda retarded this week and decided she was going to avoid us for a couple days. Basicly she was converted to Elder Fowler and got offended when he left. But she totally knows that the church is true and that being baptized is what she needs to do but she’s not doing it. We took some really good members over this week and had some amazing lessons, but she decided to not show up to church. I still don’t know what’s up. She hasn’t answered her phone since yesterday. I talked to her Saturday night for like 25 minutes and told her that she didn’t have to be baptized yesterday, but to pray about it. She agreed and then wasn’t there to go to church and didn’t answer her phone. Idk its really annoying. But we do have an amazing family we are teaching! Im so happy about them. Joe and his soon to be wife Veronica are so cool.

So, Joe wasn’t at church cus he’s a truck driver and had to take a trip up to saint loius, but, Veronica came to church with her 5 kids, and her sister and brother. Her sister is like 15 or 16 and her brother is 13. They liked church and one of the members asked if they would be coming back next week and Veronica answered for them and said that they would be there every week! So we went over to there house a couple hours after church and set baptismal dates with those two for the 24th as well. Yesenia, the 16 year old, has been to church twice already, and Kurt, the 13 year old just went for his first time. So theyre way cool. They decided they are going to get married on the 22 of this month and then baptized on the 24th. They are so prepared its aweseome.

The 24th is stake conference so it is in Harlingen, when we told them about that Joe was like "Well Jesus walked 60 miles to get baptized, Im sure I can make a 25 mile drive to get baptized" He’s so awesome. And the other night we called him to talk to him, and it went straight to his voicemail which said "Hey this is Joe, leave me a message and Ill call you back, oh and if its the missionaries, sorry I couldn’t call you back today, but just know Im reading and staying strong, so Ill talk to you guys later" YEA! It was so funny/cool. Then I talked to him last night on the phone and he was all asking if we could give his wife a Book of Mormon of her own. Wow they’re cool. Oh yea and theyre 9 year old kid Jo Jo was hanging out at the Serratos house (who are members with 4 kids from 7 down) for like 3 hours after church! They’re so getting baptized. Im so happy for them.

I hit my 5 month mark earlier this week. That’s pretty stinking crazy huh. Dad I got your letter that you wrote on Saturday, and Cassidy I didn't write you back yet for the 2nd letter I got, you just write me back and Ill write back for the 2 letters that I get from you, if that makes sense. I love my speedometer thing I have. I hit 30 MPH on my bike the other day! haha it was cus I had the wind behind me tho. I love riding bikes. Just not when its 34 degrees!!! Holy cow it was cold this week. It was in the low 30s all thursday and friday! I froze my butt off but I think the cold is gone now. It was bad tho. We had to ride our bikes to a lesson and and it was literally like 30 degrees, and we were riding against the wind. I was light headed when I got to the persons house hahaha. But I tough it out, life goes on I guess haha. And it hailed for like 5 minutes so that was cool. Almost snow.

So yea Derick got out of jail.I saw him right after he got out and I told him that if he does anything stupid im gonna slap him....hahah. He agreed and said he’d stay out of trouble. I really hope he does. They didnt come to church tho cus Angela was sick. I hate excuses.

I had some really good tacos the other day. We helped some members fix some things at their house, and then after they made us some tacos. There were like 3 HUGE platters of them. I had like 10 tacos, I got so sick that night, but they were so good hahahah. Ive been eating pretty good lately, I made myself tacos 2X this week and I made some burgers and stuff like that. Its pretty easy.

So I think that about it. I’m really really excited for the next two weeks. I get to see Elder Yergensen and Elder Sibbet and Thursday at Zone Confrence. Thatll be fun. And Im getting along really well with my companion. Hes just a funny guy. We work really well together. Well I love you all and cant wait to get some pictures or letters from you.

Con mucho mucho amor para siempre,

Elder Jefferson L Given

January 4, 2010

Hola Everybody,

Happy New Year and Yea I’m still in Raymondville!!! It was almost the best case sinario. I got a new comp, Elder Hernandez stayed, but Elder Brandley is gone :( Hes gonna do really well tho in his new area, hes white washing. My new comp is Elder Guillen (you pronounce is Geeyen). Hes from El Salvador origionaly. He only lived there till he was 5 tho. Hes way cool. So he was origionaly called to serve in Washington, Spanish speaking, but after 9 months he had to come home cus he was sick, he just like never got better I guess, so he was home for 7 months and then came here. Only a transfer ahead of me. So Ive been out on a mission longer than him this time counting the MTC haha. But hes an awesome guy, we get along great. We're always laughing and stuff. Check this out, we had 191 contacts this week, we usually go for 140 haha.

Mari didnt get baptized yeterday :( Basicly she was nervous and avoided us all day Saturday and Sunday morning. We finally got ahold of her sunday during 3rd hour. She is gonna get baptized this Sunday tho, we just need to have daily reading with her. Oh yea and she want me to baptize her :) So that family that I was telling you about last week that came to church came to church again :) They're way cool. We went over later last night and we were teaching them and Joe was like, well my wife thinks she was baptized in your guys church when she was in junior high. So we looked her up on the computer after that and sure enough, she was! Pretty funny, so now we just have to get them married and then baptized. They really want to get married so it works out pretty good. Theyre awesome so far, I hope they keep stayin awesome.

So how was that 24 hr BOM reading thing? Sounds way cool. Wish we would have done it. I'm gonna write Cassidy back today. Tyler how'd you lose to Woodbridge? They suck! haha just dont lose in leauge thats all that matters. Go undefeated. Really sad to hear about Michelle Carlton, shes not suffering any more tho. Thats so crazy that Laci is married. Anybody else my age got engaged yet? New years was alright. We went out to Harlingen to the Senior Missionaries house. I dont think of them as senior missionaries tho cus theyre so cool. We screwed around. I talked to Sister Fefita for a while. Shes way cool. Did you know she is the Violetties cousin? Pretty cool. Mom dont get your hopes up for Mothers day. It will be the same. 45 Minutes. the only way it could be different is if I use a members phone, but we'll see. I doubt Ill use skype.

Oh yea I just remembered. whos that huge black kid on Tylers team? And is that giant freshman any good? how tall is he? Guess what. Im about to play basketball today! Yea we're going out to Harlingen to play. Im so excited. Im gonna dunk on people.

Dont get scared but somebody got shot in Raymondville 2 days ago haha. I guesss what happend was he was beating his wife and came out with a bat and a BB gun and the cops shot him 3 times in the chest. pretty crazy. He was mike lopez's uncles brother in law

Well thats about it in Raymondville. It was an awesome week. Cant wait to get some letters from my friends soon. Love you guys a ton!

Con Amor

Elder Given