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Raymondville, Texas

Raymondville, Texas

Saturday, June 26, 2010

June 21, 2010

Hey everybody!

I got the package this week. It was awesome. I loved the pictures, its crazy how everyone is growing up so fast, everyone is so tall haha. The protein is great, I love it. I wouldnt buy it again tho. Elder Sibbett was telling me about this sweet mass builder stuff that they have online for like 30 bucks and it is way more and way better. So maybe I'll get that next time. I've learned how to budget my money so I can buy protein. 

Anyway, we had a pretty cool week this week. I think I told you about our investigators Carlos, he is doing really well. He came to church yesterday and had his baptismal interview, he's way set. The only thing that might have been holding him back was that he hadnt recieved an answer about the BOM yet, so on Friday we decided to fast with him. So Saturday Elder Graham me and Carlos all started fasting and we fasting all Sat afternoon till Sunday after church. After church he prayer and then we went by later that night and he told us he had recived an answer and that he knew the BOM is true and all that stuff, so hes set on getting baptized this Sunday, at Stake Confrence in Harlingen. So that will be 2 stake confrence baptisms in a row for me. Last confrence the Quinteros got baptized. Either I'm gonna baptized Carlos or one of the members probably, havnt asked him yet. We'll see. Hes a really cool guy, I hope he goes on a mission. Ohhh I dont remember if I told you, Junior, who is a recent convert from Raymondville, who we helped baptize and stuff, me and Guillen kept him active, anyway, hes been a member for 6 months now and he just got put in as 1st councilor in the branch presidency over there in raymondville, so thats way cool. Im hoping Joe Quintero gets a calling soon, I guess hes had to work on Sundays occationally tho, but Elder Guillen said the whole family is doing really awesome and making a huge impact on the area. Elder Guillen was super close to baptizing the Quinteros neibors before he left so they'll probably be baptized soon.

Cool well mom I had a question, is it cool if I send a package to Dylan for his bday? I would like to but idk how much it is going to cost. Let me know what you think. Oh yea and there is a book I'd like for my bday, its called 1001 pitfalls of spanish or something like that. Elder Sibbett has it and he says it amazing so if you could find a cheap one on amazon or something that would be cool. Oh yea and if you could send me a Rubix Cube that would be cool. I can totally do it in under a minute, I have a video on my camera of me doing it in 40 somethin seconds. 

OK, well Idk anything esle thats is going on in my life. A bunch of good ball players got trasfered down here so we are about to go ball it up and its gonna be fun. Whats going on back home? Anything exciting? I feel like nobody lets me know. 

Alright well I love you guys.
Elder Given

I'm Staying in Brownsville!

June 14, 2010
Hi Everyone!

Yep Im stayin down here for another transfer which is cool.  Im staying with Graham for another one. Elder Sibbett is also staying, but Elder Holden is leaving which is sad. He is a cool kid, we get along really well. Elder Guillen and Horton are both getting transfered down to brownsville, so my two favorite comps are gonna be in my zone now. Horton is our ZL, hes taking Elder Reillys spot, and Elder Reillys going to Raymondville which is way cool.
Anyway, life is good. This is gonna be a really good transfer, I have a feeling its gonna fly by. Im pretty sure im gonna get transfered next transfer, we'll see tho. I like it down here, Im gonna try to get my spanish super good this transfer. I had a super cool experience this week. We found this guy who invited us in and just started crying. He told us about how he got a DUI and went to jail and how his family, home, job and basicly everything was gone when he got out. He is living with his mom now and his life sucks. He says he doesnt believe in God anymore, so it was kinda crazy. We were teaching him and as we were teaching him I had this thought come to my head like I dont know how to explain it, basicly it was just the spirit. It said, Tell him he'll get his family back if he keeps the comandments. Or something along those lines. And I thought about it again, cus thats kinda crazy to promise him that, but I felt the spirit as I thought about it again, so I promised him and told him what he had to do. And so we taught him and had a good lesson, but he didnt go to church. But we are going to keep teaching him and I know that as he starts keeping the commandments, there will be a change in his life, and he will get his family back.

The other Elders had a disaster baptism yesterday. I can laugh now cus she got baptized but man it was bad. First, one of the speakers couldnt show up, then, they forgot to fill the font, then, the bap clothes didnt fit, then, no members showed up for the baptism, then, the worst part, when he went to baptize her she threw her foot up and swallowed water, so they had to do it again and she was laughin really hard, and then they did it again, and her foot came up again, and all the memebrs were like trying to tell her what to do, it was soo funny, then he finally got her all the way under the third time. It was stinkin funny.
I figured out what car I want when I get home. I saw it and I loved it, and it should be cheap. It was just like my old one but better. Its a 1993 Mercedes 190 E 2.6, black. So if you can find me one of those that would be way cool. This guy had one and it was way nice. So yea, you got a year to find that haha.
Heres part of my letter to Prez that I dont feel like typing,

I am happy to be able to stay in Brownsville for another transfer. Elder Graham and I have a lot of people on the brink of being baptized so we just need to help them make those steps. We had 150 contacts and 12 new investigators this week. Satan really got to one of our investigators this weekend. We are teaching this awesome guy named Carlos who is really doing great and really progressing. He was scheduled to have his baptismal interview yesterday, but he didn't get to sleep until 7AM Saturday night, or Sunday morning because his cousin and friends randomly showed up and decided to stay up and drink and whatnot. Luckily Carlos told us he didn't drink, but he didn't wake up for church, and didn't get interviewed. We went by Sunday night and he felt bad, so we taught him repentance and invited him to repent and that is exactly what he plans on doing. I have no doubt he will be baptized this month. 

I forgot to email you last week about 2 of our investigators, named Arody and Angie Gonzalez. They are from Matamoros, but live with their Aunt(who is a members) here in Brownsville. Their father is a less active member. His name is Tomas Gonzalez and their mother is Marisa Garcia Rosas. They are not married by law. They live at 320 Calle Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez en la colonia Los Ebanos, Matamoros. They told me the missionaries already go by sometimes. Arody actually came to church for the third time yesterday which was exciting, and we are going over to his Aunt's house to eat tonight and we will be talking about baptism with him.

My testimony of faith grew this week. So we went to watch this movie, Jospen Smith, Prophet of the Restoration, with Carlos on Saturday, and we get to the church and I realize that we dont have keys to the library so we couldnt get out the TV. So we're trying to figure out how we can card into the door or something but we couldnt. Elder Graham had given up but I told him to have faith, that God would help us do it. I really was just bluffing, but it worked out. I went out to the car to grab my wallet to try to card in our something. And Elder Graham was like, Elder, its not possible we already looked, but I said to have faith, cus I was doing my works now, cus faith without works is dead. And just as I said that a member pulled up and helped us get the keys and we watched the movie. It was pretty sweet. Carlos is totally getting baptized in a couple weeks. Hes a way cool kid.

Anyway thats crazy about Hagens party. Thats like more than I had at my last 5 parties combined. haha wow time is totally flying by. It hit me today, we were at the grocery store and I saw some magazine that said its been 1 year since Michael Jackson died, which is crazy cus I totally remember that happening like a few weeks ago haha. I'll keep the Risenmays in my prayers. Is Tiff married yet? I feel like I have no idea about whats going on in the real world haha, nobody ever writes me back, its kinda funny. People stoped carring after a few months. I'll start getting more letters in like 8 months tho haha. Is Ryan Ricks gonna go back out on his misison soon? Has anybody left since Dylan left? Anyway I think thats all I got for today. I love you guys a lot, cant wait to get that package. Tell Grammy Barbie and Papa thanks for the package, I'll get a letter in the mail for them this week.

Elder Given

Ten Months

June 7, 2010

Hey Everyone,

Heres part of my letter to Prez Miller today,

Hey President,

We had a really great experience this week. So are we are teaching this 19 year old guy named Carlos. He is very outgoing and has been receiving us really well. We have been teaching him for a little over a month and he has really been progressing a lot, with the exception of church, until this week. He has been reading the Book of Mormon a lot and told us he believes it is true. We had some really awesome lessons with him and finally got him to church this week. It amazes me how Satan tries to stop people from getting to church, there is always something they have to overcome to get there, for Carlos, he had a flat tire when he went to leave for church and had to go fill up his tire with air. Luckily he was leaving really early and still got to church before it even started. I kept telling him to pay attention to how he was feeling while he was at church, and he really loved it. Even though there was some crazy stuff said in Elders Quorum, he definitely still felt the spirit. So we went over Sunday evening and we were talking about church and about baptism, and as we were leading up to set a baptismal date with him, his 16 year old brother walked in and was like "So are you going to be a Mormon?" and Carlos said "Well yea, probably". So we ended up setting the baptismal date for the 20th of this month. He is doing great and is truly becoming converted to this gospel.
So yea Carlos is doing super well. Im really excited to see him get baptized here pretty soon. Oh yea and idk if I told you but the other elders are teaching this guy from Nigeria who is super super prepared. He was at church yesterday and when we were waiting for his ride with him we were teaching him spanish. It was funny hearing him speak spanish in an african accent. Hes was cool. Man if everyone was as prepared as him life would be so much easier. Im guessing there are a lot of people like him over there in Kenya, Dylans lucky haha.

Oh yea guess what, I learned how to do a Rubix Cube this transfer. I can do it super fast. Like in a 1 minute 20 seconds. Elder Holden, one of the other missionaries I live with taught me, hes pretty baller at them. I totally met a guy with Lepercy this week. He was just sitting in his car and I went to talk to him and I said how are you doing, and he said, pretty crappy (all this was in spanish of course) anyway he told me about how he just got this crazy skin disease and he doesnt know what it is and all his skin is falling off and stuff. Its super gross and super sad. Were gonna go teach him which will help. So then yesterday I was driving to church and there was a dead cat in the road and I was noticing that there was tons and tons of roadkill here in brownsville. Like a new one everyday. Any was right as I say, man theres a lot of roadkill, BOOM. I drilled a bird. This bird swooped down and hit the hood of the car and died in the road. It was kinda crazy. Oh yea and I'm gonna send you a pic of this HUGE triantula that I found in the middle of the road. I almost ran it over, but then I took a picture, and then I ran it over haha.

Oh yea so this kid we are teaching named Osmar, he has been doing alright, but we went over saturday and he was trying to drop us cus he likes being catholic. So I said "So you like being catholic cus you dont want to go to church?" Just totally called him out that hes lazy. And we went from getting an attempted drop, to a really good church commitment, and then he actually went. It was cool.

Mom that was a crazy story about almost getting you car jacked. That sucks. Just dont go to the mall for a while haha. Nobody here worries about that. They just worry about if they go to mexico in a nice car they will get jacked. Its funny. Alright well I think thats all I got for today. My email is out kinda late cus we got another 1000 lb tie bail today. It was kinda fun, only cost me $3 cus there were like 10 missionaries there. Cool well I love you guys a lot. Cant wait to get that package with the protein and pics and stuff.

Elder Given

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Baptism

Whats up everyone,

We had a pretty awesome week this week. Jocelyn got baptized on Sunday which was really cool to see. We went by Saturday to find out who would be baptizing her and they she didnt know who she wanted to do it so we said to think about it and tell us at church. So I asked Jocelyns mom at church who she wanted to do it and she said they still hadnt picked, but she wants me to do it, but I asked her if Elder Graham could do it. And she was cool with that, so Elder Graham got to do the baptism. It was a really good baptism cus a ton of the members were there. Basicly the branch mission leader got up during 3rd hour cus it was combined and told everyone that they need to support us as missionaries and basicly told them they arent doing their job unless they support us, so then everyone came to the baptism. It was pretty cool.

Guess who Im sitting next to right now. Marcus, our way cool black guy we're teaching. Hes in the library right now just chillin. We're about to go teach him later today. He didnt come to church yet tho cus hes not ready to make the commitment. Hes way cool tho. Rubin and Christian came to church again this week. Its freekin weird, Im trying to find their motivation for going to church, there is something that makes them go, I mean theyve gone 4 times, but they dont want to get baptized. Were still working with them trying to help them keep the commandments. Oh yea Happy Birthday to Sydney and Lauren! Thats exciting that you are gonna get baptized this week! Send me some pics :) Sorry I forgot to get a card out.

Thats exciting that school is almost over, they finish on thursday down here, so everyone is gonna be out and about a lot more, it will be cool. Its definently hot, like average 95, sometimes more. We have a really good AC unit our house and the car one works pretty well. I've been carying around a lot of water with me. I dont always use my camel back, it would work best on bike I think. That would be way cool if you got that Muscle Milk to me. Im staying away from raw eggs, I was just curious.

My comp is doing pretty well. He just is uptight about a lot of stuff but Im getting over it. Oh yea and as for the masks, those are like mexican wrestiling masks. I didnt buy one but on of the other elder bought two so we were bored and taking pics with them. We got them downtown right by the border. We got rid of all those ties by filling them up in the back of our car and emptying them into a dumpster by our house. The other elders want to get another 1000 lb one next week. Oh yea I played ball for like 3 hours yesterday! It was pretty fun, a bunch of the youth from our branch played with us cus they didnt have school. they were alright. We did they big 2 on 2 tournament and I was with this 14 year old kid who wasnt very good, and we won it all. It was fun. I had a couple really good dunks, but I cant jump any more. I am getting stronger tho, we've been working out pretty good.

Oh yea and we set a baptismal goal for 4 baptisms in July. Thats the highest Ive ever set, but it was under the direction of the spirit so we're gonna get it. We are just gonna have to work super hard to do it. Well I think thats all I got for this week. It would be cool if I got some letters every once and a while, I didnt get any at all last week. Anyway, love you guys a lot,
Con mucho amor
Elder Given