Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Call!

We just had our very best Christmas gift, the chance to see and talk to Jaymes.  He was able to skype with us this afternoon and we asked him all sorts of questions.  His answers are in RED

How is the food? good we eat a lot of beans and rice with tortillas, some chicken, which is fresh :), some shrimp.  I love the coconut milk, cantalop smoothies, but not the hot chocolate which is made with hot water poured over a stick of dark chocolate.  I like the leche but miss the real milk from home. What is the strangest thing you eat?  armadillo, and we had it for Christmas Eve, also Iguana is a delicacy.  What is your schedule?  We wake up about 6:30 and go running for 30 minutes, shower and dress and have a small breakfast.  From 8-9am we have personal study time, 9-10 is comp study time/prepare/practice, 10-11 language study, I study spanish and my comp studies English.  At 11-12 we watch District Training.  At noon we start walking and we walk a lot!  Once a week we have District planning and from 11:30-2.  2:00pm is lunch.  It is a large meal and we go to someones house each day for that.  They are very generous to feed us. Then we teach, make visits and walk till 8pm and head home.  We are home by 9pm for journal and prep time for the next day.  I'm alseep by 10pm, I'm tired after so much walking.    How are the bugs? mosquitos mostly.  I put on repellent each day, that helps.  They are thick sometime, lots of flies and small daddy long legs.  How do you get around?  We walk or take the moto ped.  That doesn't happen a lot because of cost, my feet are sore most nights.  What is the best part of your day? I love sharing a discussion and right now when someone understands what I am saying! :)  I also have really liked reading lately.  How is the spanish?  Well it is coming, but I wish people understood me.  My companion can understand me but not always others.  They talk very fast and I have to think a lot to figure out what they are saying to me.  You look tan!! I haven't burned but i have a huge watch line. (he showed us and he does!) I think now that I am not so white the kids talk to me more.   He told us about his quick showering... just dump and scrub, dump again.  How is money works... we get 1,300 pesos a month, not a lot if you have to pay to travel but otherwise it is fine.  where he does his laundry... we go to the Branch Pres. home, they have a washer and dryer.  It works well.   Tyler asked what he should do to prepare... read Preach My Gospel more.  If you get called to a foreign speaking mission buy it in that language and read it a lot and start to memorize the discussion points.  What he enjoys most...seeing the moon and stars at night, when it is cool and quiet. He gets a long with his companion and they have actually been able to talk in spanish and english together, his MTC companion is in his district and he has really enjoyed getting together with him once a week at meetings.  He told of being in the Branch Pres. home and him telling the story of his baptism in '96 and told about the missionary who baptised him and showed him a picture of the missionaries wedding announcement he received a few years ago...  Jaymes recognized the women in this picture as someone our families knows from Indiana.  What a small world!!  That made Jaymes feel so much closer to home too.

His smile melted my heart and I know he doing what he wants to do even when it is really hard.  He can't wait to have the language down which will help him not feel so lost at times.  Go Elder Monson.  Continue praying for him and all the missionaries as they learn and grow and teach and testify!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Week 13 Feliz Navidad

¡Feliz Navidad! or Merry Christmas either way its the same except that today here is noche bueno (night good) and well its just Christmas Eve and well what a great day it is!!!

this week was actually very good!! started the week of like always P day was first and then well i got on a bus and went to tuxtla guterrez. well that was fun the  ride like usual was 4 hours long on two bus the  first one broke down and ya just a big mess got to arriaga and well then we ran and got on another one just In time, it was crazy. then in the morning i went to the temple in Tuxtla Guterrez Mexico and wow its small and it is really different because its so small. but it still is a house of the Lord. it is just as beautiful as temples all around the world but i still like the one on a hill in South Jordan haha, i went and did a session in the temple and while it is the same ordinances it was not the same language! ah!! haha all in Spanish and well you might think its hard to remember things in English its really hard to remember them in a language that well is pretty much that if you say something just a little off it means something else so thank goodness for kind temple workers! haha.  It was a good experience in probably the smallest temple i will ever be in! haha so anyways after that we had a Christmas party it was nice, just great! then we got on buses and went back. it was pretty great! we got a microwave for Christmas it is pretty awesome but we haven't used it yet so we will have to use it soon.  this week has been good except two days. Thursday and Friday were pretty crazy days! we had a lot and i mean a lot of wind!!!! it was crazy and my shirt turned a different color both days because of it! oh man we walked a lot in two days and man i wish i could send some pictures, it was crazy. one of the things here that is not really reliable is the power and well because of all the wind the power went out! and it was in the middle of daily planning at the end of the day!! so i was prepared thanks to my good neighbors the doritys and had a big old flash light, i took a picture and it is pretty sweet!!!!! but i cant send it so hopefully i will soon.

we had another  BAPTISM!!! oh ya two souls so far and as it says in D&C 18 15-16, how great my joy has been cause i have brought many souls unto him. Yesinea is her name and she is super Animal (excited, alive) and has devoured the gospel in one gulp. it just goes to show that there are people out there prepared for the true gospel. she is one awesome girl 17 years old has a little girl named guatalupe and knows that when she was 15 that having a kid was not the right thing to do so she has repented and is just going to do so well in the gospel i can just feel it and hopefully she can find a man that will think the same way. so ya its been a good week for sure.

it doesn't feel like Christmas eve at all. not when you are sitting in an Internet cafe sweating and looking at the blue sky. that's sort of not my view of a Christmas, me in my White shirt blue pants.  christmas goes like this...Study study study oh maybe a bit of Jesus the Christ then study then prepare a talk then well walk around and talk to people. that's my day! sounds pretty awesome. Thats because its not about me you see, its about a man and son and person who we all know. its all about my best friend that i am proud to wear on my white shirt. its about the only man the only person that no one can ever top. its about the son of god, the boy Jesus whom we all celebrate in our own way this time of year and for a lot of people today and tomorrow is about Jesus Christ or here Jesucristo. The boy that was born in a manger and that went around not thinking of himself and how awesome he was he thought of others and went around not with the top kings and priests but with fisherman. and those very men changed and shaped the world as we know it today. those very men once fisherman became disciples of the lord Jesus Christ! now if they could do that in three years who knows who a missionary will baptize haha. and well if you couldnt tell the usuall Elder Holland talk is still playung everyday!

Now let us have a great Christmas! its a White Christmas at home and that's good enough for me! Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and Wonderful week! i know I will! like always Spanish is coming and I am feeling more a part of the people as the people actually want to talk to a big and tall man...well not very big the branch presidents son is like 6' 2" and I'm only 6' 0" so ya, but now they talk to a white guy or greengo in a white shirt and tie. at least i can make sense of somethings they say at times! 

Merry Christmas!!!! 

Love you all!
Elder Jaymes Monson

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Week 12

Well Hello! It's a great time to be alive!! Isn't that what they say?

Well this week, let’s see, this week was pretty good I would say! No complaints, here except today it’s a bit dreary and there is a lot of humidity but it’s good. Just wish it could be a nice and cool during the day instead of just at night and in the morning but it’s all good! Now Christmas here in just a week will be a completely different experience instead of the nice fluffy white stuff or nieva (or snow in English) there is lots of dirt, lots of heat, lots of walking, a bit of a difference in my Christmas. What’s funny is I found a song on my ipod that says “I'm dreaming of a White Christmas” all I can see white here are the shirts I wear and even those get a little brown because of the dust. So I will dream it and my family will tell me it is in Utah but here I won’t believe the white Christmas in Mexico.

SO this week, Tuesday I got to go to the capital of Chiapas and where the mission is named after Tuxtla! It was interesting, Elder Van De Graaff and I, so two white boys, I mean Elders, got on a bus not knowing exactly where to go- because our companions spoke so fast, and put us in a taxi to  go to the bus stop and ride it to the end and get on another bus- with the help of our Zone leaders- to Tuxtla.  All in all a 4 hour and 25 minute ride to Tuxtla and with not a lot of Spanish in our heads we ended up in the OCC terminal in downtown Tuxtla with a backpack, a phone and no idea where to go- haha it was fun. We then proceeded to call an assistant to the president who can speak English (cause he is from Texas) but he spoke Spanish to us, as I tried to decipher the language I said “OK Elder Barrow now how do I get to the mission office?” haha he then said in English “Greengo huh?” yes Elder Monson the greengo. He then told me to get in a cab and to give the driver the phone and he would tell him where to take 3 Greengos, so that’s what we did. We ended up in the Mission office where we went to bed- haha just like that we went to bed and oh -we did watch the Christmas Devotional in English and what a great devotional it was! very good!! The next morning we ran first to Wal-Mart to get pictures then to the Immigration building and got all that stuff done for our green cards then we jumped in a taxi that took us back to the OCC terminal to go back the way we came. First we go to Arriaga then to the Reforma of Deminica and then a taxi to Ixuahtan. After a long ride we got back with our companions and started out teaching the true Gospel of Christ.  Oh the cool thing was it was    12-12-12 and at 12 pm we got on a bus for Arriaga so that was cool.

The next couple days just a lot of walking and talking and walking and talking and then teaching. We are teaching a girl named Yessena we mixed her name up haha we have been calling her Jessica which sounds sort of the same but not really. We teach her everyday every night and wow she is really coming unto Christ in all things. She says she feels something that has been our mission, which is awesome!!! Saturday she is planning to be baptized so yay!!! She is an awesome young 17 year old with a 2 year old that is great! It’s awesome to see how the Gospel changes lives! wow!! Oh and its pretty great when some random person comes up to you and says “um hi my name is so and so and um I live just up there and I really don't know why i am telling you this but um could you teach me about your church maybe?” haha ya that's happened a couple times and it was weird the first time but what’s even better is when they say -um what do i need to do to have that light you have, not because I'm white or our shirts are so bright but because we have something that protects us to the fullest the light of Christ. It’s pretty great to see how people just drop everything and talk to you because they see something in you that they don't really see that often. Being a Missionary is a blast!!! Not because of just those times it’s because this gospel really changes lives and once someone gets a hold of just a part of it they are hooked. It’s just like with the opposite- around here there are a lot of bars and they are always full on Friday and Saturday nights and a lot of times every night- for example one drink might get someone hooked on beer but and it’s the same with the church they see their friends come to Christ and they see us and they go crazy! Just one part of the church or one lesson makes sense they get hooked and they come to Christ and give up their sins and they change.

Just like in Alma 5 and 7 when it talks about the people coming to Christ and being perfected in him and giving up their whole self for the church. Or in Moroni 10:32-33 when it talks about coming unto Christ and being perfected in him. This is real when we come unto the Savior and give up our whole self it brings blessings and it’s amazing. Elder Picuasi likes to listen to one talk by Elder Holland last General Conference about becoming true Disciples of Christ. This is an awesome talk and why wouldn't we want to stand in the judgment day and say, “Lord though knowest that i love thee”, now let us come unto to Christ and give up our whole selves in the service of him! wow! This church is amazing!!! 

Another week down and in 8 Days its Navidad  it’s a great time to be alive!!! Merry Christmas!!!! Feliz Navidad!!! Spanish is coming! I can almost understand the people I am trying to talk to and my companion so the lord works in miraculous ways and as it says in Alma 37:6-7 little things make a big difference!

Have a wonderful Week!!!!
Love you All!!!
Elder Jaymes A Monson

Dinner!  Yumm!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Week 11

Well HI!!!!

This week was sort of short, not a lot of things happening so I'll just put
it in the way it was.

so since coming to this great city and on my grand adventure i have been
trying, note trying, to learn a language that is as foreign as i feel
sometimes. haha but on this journey i have had a key or a main gift with me
the whole time well more than one gift. I have the gift each person gets
after baptism, the holy ghost, which one of our investigators Yahir got on
Sunday after Elder Picuasi baptized him on Saturday. Another gift is the
person who's name is always on me, well so is my name, but its the name
Jesucristo (Jesus Christ) at this time of the season we like to remember
the greatest gift the world has ever been given, the Son of God. Now here it
doesn't feel/look like Christmas but it sure is around us. even through there is
no snow the date tells us.  other people are putting on sweaters or
jackets cause they are cold at 62 degrees or something like that. What a
great time of the year!!!! and for missionaries everywhere what a great
time to just go crazy!!!! haha so we are or have been trying to bring the
whole town unto Christ but i don't think that's going to happen for
sometime but i won't stop trying that's for sure!!!. there is actually
a couple of songs that at this time of the year i like to listen and sing
to and thanks to my dad for putting them on my ipod i can. one is Edwin's tal
1862 by Peter Brianholt. this is a great song cause when missionaries miss
home they look up to heaven or to a picture or two of the family back home
and then they see on high an angel choir 8 million voices singing, and then
they look to the one man who's birthday we celebrate even Jesus Christ.
What a great thing to remember the birth of the one who we all look up to
and can rely on. another gift is the gift of tongues. which I have!! and I
have seen it turn me from a full English speaker into a person who has learned a
lot and has listened to what people are saying and can almost comprehend what
they are saying to the fullest but I cant speak it yet. keyword yet. Its
taken a lot and a lot of just focus time but i am going to do it in 3
months or so i will be able to speak a language which 3 months ago i had no idea
how to comprehend. i have a social gift and i thank God everyday for it.
Another gift is the gift of a wonderful family that supports me in all
things i do!! it helps on missions, let me tell ya. another gift is prayer.
through prayer we can all feel close to the ones we love its sort of like a
phone call to the heart of your mom. its pretty nice i feel everyone's 
prayers and when they say bless all the missionaries well we are blessed
and because we have so many people looking out for us when we feel like
being shy a thought comes out and says well maybe the person right next to
you, as you are riding in a taxi with six people and the car is the size of
the little red car at home and you are maxed out in space, the thought comes-
to talk to the person right next to you and well you do it in the best
language you know. Its when you don't know how far you can push yourself or
how many more steps you can take. Its when your back is aching cause your
companion makes you carry the weight because you are new. by the way i make
a good pack mule. haha who knew haha oh wait i did. Its when your companion
complains cause in the morning you ran five miles and he doesn't run. its
when you have all the stuff and your legs hurt and then they don't- its been
a great week!!! its been really trying sometimes and its been good and its just
been new. fun in deed!!! i love this work. Now during this season or
remembering loved ones who are gone or remembering the person who's
birthday we celebrate. let us, like last year and in years past, do as
President Monson says. Help others before ourselves. Its not a day to
remember the presents we get, which thats always nice, but its a day and a
season to be like Christ and to act like him and to think of others before
ourselves. so let us do that. not just because that's what I'm going to do here
in Ixuathan but lets all be a little more like the Savior and help others out
in anyway possible in fact why not do it all year round not just during
this season. i will be out here for two years serving in place of the
Savior and after i am released its not over then it goes on and on for the
rest of my life. its a daily thing that makes us all a little better
inside. so let us be the one who is an example of the believers in all
things! we are all one in the Lords eyes. it has taken a week and a half for
me to figure it out and well here everyone serves each other and they have
nothing. they have bearley enough to support themselves sometimes but i
tell you i have never seen a happier people that take in whatever you say.
We walk up to a person that is the poorest man around and he says hello,
would you like to come and eat at my house. and we say no that's OK but he
insists. its when we walk into a house that has 4 kids and not a lot of
food or drink and they give you some and you just say thank you and share a
message about God. its when they don't have enough money to pay tithing
but they still do and they then have a flat tire or need to get
somewhere but just gave the money they had to their kids so they cant pay
for the mototaxi and they walk to church. God blesses us all i can tell you
that and i have so much to be thankful for and you know what i will
forever be thankful and just the thought of how happy a people such as these
are its amazing!!! this is my week all into one!!!

The picture is of Yahir and Elder Picuasi and I with Yahirs mom and brother
in front of the church. Now Yahirs family doesn't have a lot but he is the
first convert in his family and plans to bring them all unto Christ. What a
great kid!!! he is 10 years old and has a testimony of this gospel like you
have never seen he knows it is true and that's all he needs. we are
actually in like 40 minutes going to go see him and teach him more. he is
what we call an example of the believers!!! he will be an awesome
Missionary some day. oh and Elder Picuasi is wearing my pants Yahir my tie
and my shirt. and the rest is Elder Picuasi's

til next week!!! love you all!!!!

Elder Jaymes A Monson

Monday, December 3, 2012

Week 9 and 10

Hola!!! hope all is well where you are!
Well Hello All,
The past couple weeks have been very very interesting I'll just skim through the days but its been super interesting to see what i have done in just 12 days! wow!
So Thanksgiving we did a service project with the humanitarian part of the church for the people of Mali Africa. we as a whole mtc put together kits for them. It was very good for sure. Elder Holland came and talked to us as well it was good I have been adopted into his family now.
That Friday was a whole day in field orientation it was good and i learned a lot about how to deal with ward members, so that was good.
Saturday was a lazy day did laundry packed and then said goodbye to Bro. Welch it was good nothing much happened besides that.
Sunday Well last day in the US and ya it was good for sure nothing much except finishing packing and making sure everything was ready for the next day and took the sacrament Last couple days in the US quite laid back and nice.
Monday the 26th, well this day was super fun let me tell ya about it!!! so at 4 am after going to bed at about like midnight i got up made sure I had everything and then picked up my bags and walked out of 5m at 5 in the morning to load up a bus to the airport.  the nerves were going for sure i really liked the MTC. so we got to the airport checked my bags and then picked up the phone to talk to my FAMILY!!! ya it was pretty awesome to hear 5 familiar voices talking to me. then at 8:20 got on an airplane said goodbye for a bit and flew out to AZ. then got there sat on the tarmacs for like 30 minutes cause we were 20 minutes early. then finally got to the gate ran out called mom again and grabbed my carry on and ran to a plane that would take me out of the land i love. so i said goodbye which was hard very hard and talked to a man from Oregon who is a member of the church and he is very nice for sure. then i found myself asleep like 20 minutes later and then waking up to fill out a immigration card. then we were there!!! holy cow and i was so tired. so we all ran off the plane to immigration. which um took a very long time i might say because there was only a few people working. so our plane was supposed to leave at 5 we got in line at 330 no big deal but then it was, by the time we got to the front of the line our plane had left 15 minutes before. it was not good at all nothing we could do! then a man who is a member speaking English told us to follow him and he would get us a flight in the morning! haha so it was like 6 pm and all of us were tired he got us a room at a hotel across the street and told us to be early the next day. so we went there got a bit to eat cause we hadn't had time to eat at all and we went to bed very early like at 8 when i finally fell asleep. so ya very busy day and my nerves were not good.
Tuesday still not in Tuxtla yet. we woke up at 4 am again and ran to the bus that would take us to another terminal. so we ran very fast to the terminal and the people did not help at all they sent us on a wild goose chase to who knows where. then we finally got the right counter which we had been at about 10 times. we got up to it and they said, sorry the plane is full no bags can come through so we said wait a second it leaves in like an hour! can we please get on and they said nope you cant sorry. so then we went and talked to the aeromexico airline people to try and get on another flight. they said that we could and so we got on one at 1030 which was alright. so we told president the night before that we would be there the next morning and we couldn't get ahold of him so we just went for it and we flew out to tuxtla at 1030 we landed at 1130 got our bags a few didn't have theirs. then we waited and called president still not answer and then we called church headquarters and they said they are sending someone right now so we waited for another hour and then they finally came at 345. it was a very long time in the airport. then we got in the presidents secretary's van and raced to President Cardinas's house where we had food! first time in about 2 days! it was good then we got talked to by the Assistence and then ran to see where we would be going. I got assigned a companion ELder Picuasi from Ecuador. he has only been out since july so ya he is brand new as well. we got assigned to labor in my first area Ixhuatan Chiapas Mexico. its all the way at the top of chiapas. then we were told to get on a bus and to stay over at the zone leaders house and get back on in the morning. Ixuatan is 4 hours away from tuxtla so that's what we did.
Wendesday we got on a bus and then 2 hours later we got off and got in a taxi that took us to our house. then we planed the day and went out and taught some families all while I was like um where am i? i can't understand them why am I here? AH!!!!! so ya here we cant, well in my mission, we cant knock on doors. we have to have referrals to talk to people. so ya oh also this day we had a district meeting and ya it was good all in Spanish which i need to learn pronto!!!!
Thurday woke up did study and packed a bag cause Elder Picuasi going to Tuxtla for a meeting so OK I didn't understand him but ok. Oh by the way Elder PIcuasi Doesn't speak English well only a few words but thats it. so we loaded on the bus and I got off and had a new compaion for two days. His name is Elder Cano. he is from Guatemala. He doesn't speak English either but I Taught a whole lesson in Spanish hah jk I have yet to do that here. but we finally got to the town I totally forgot the name and we talked to one person and went home at 9 haha it was a weird day for sure.
Friday all day with elder Cano. it was good we went and talked to many people and we talked with some members for a while it was good just not a big day just two jr comps out doing some missionary work or at least trying. then We spoke to a man named gorge. he is nice. We taught him about the plan of salvation. it was good nothing much did i understand. then that night I got on a bus with Elder PIcuasi and we went back home and went to bed very quickly.
Saturday ok this day was the first day that was actually a full day!!! it was a good day as welll. so we started our studying and then went out and did some missionary work. we went and talked to many people and taught a young women and her sister their names are Diana and Dianica. we went and talked about the restoration. We showed them a movie on our portable movie player it was about the restoration. then we watched it and their Little sister came up took my pencil and well it was closed and she acted like she was coloring in my scriptures. it kept her busy at least! haha we walked a lot and talked a lot and I have no idea what we did execpt we drank a drink called holcheta it is very good. other than that i didn't understand anything!!! so ya
Sunday well yesterday was good. we went to two churches and in between we went out to find people to come to the afternoon church. it was good but very very very very hot cause I didn't have anything to drink or eat because it was fast sunday. so it was a long day probably because we ate at 8 pm that night so ya. but in church I shared my temtimony to both branches it was good we meet in a chapel its a very small chapel and well it had AC!!! oh ya aren't we so lucky!! well at least here we are!!! so ya we went and talked to a lot of people that day.
today just a normal p day well not really we had to go get our money for the month and so we did that studied went to the stake presidents house and did our laundry and ya its been a good day now im just sitting in a little computer station and writing this.
well thats been my busy days here!!!! I can not get mail well at least not for 7 weeks cause thats how long it takes to send a letter to utah! so ya its been quite different its been good the food is very different and its a different sort of place like daybrake close houses but a lot smaller. everyone has hammocks and everyone has one big room and a porch or another room to sleep. It is very good to be out here exept for when i study cause i miss home when i study because i feel like i am so far away but that goes away after we start so ya. its a good good place and its going to be a good mission i just need to settle in but its hard cause i have to keep all my clothes in my bags cause there is no dresser so ya its going to be great! I just need to know the language.
I love you all!!!
Elder Monson