Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dec 17 2012

Dear Familia y amigos

Ok so right now im really tired. Transfers were today. On saturday night we got the call that both me and my companion were going to leave and that this ward was to recieve two other elders. A lot of strange movement of missionaries took place this transfer because 16 missionaries ended their mission and went home. Thats a lot in one transfer. We so me and my companion spent a whole bunch of time packing and cleaning the house for the new elders. We spoke in the ward, shared our testimony, told them how much i was going to miss them all and told them that they will have to help out these 2 new elders because they wont know anything about the area. We also went to certain members house and took pics with them, ate with them for the last time and talked with them for the last time. We went by one family imparticular. Oswaldos family. We spent a good amount of time with them yesterday and went we finally said our good byes, Emily (9yrs) got really sad and her mom said she even cried after they made the announcements in church. Well today we left for the church building in Paraiso to hear where we are going. The President said that he had to do some last minute changes this morning because some missionaries didnt get their visa and will not be making it this transfer. So when my name was finally called, he said - Elder Evans, your new companion will be Elder Perez and your sector will stay in Industrial - wow............. After doing alll that stuff and preping myself mentally to leave..... i stay. Im happy in that i will be able to be hear for Christmas but i am all mentally worn out and tired from packing, unpacking, cleaning and uncleaning. The ward still doesnt know that i will be staying here so we will see how they take it.
Well this week has been very eventfull or very busy. First off, we had the ward christmas dinner wednesday. It was really great. The food that was there was really different then the food we have at the burnsville ward dinner party. Here we had tamalis, beans, chicken, and some hot drink made from lots of fruits.
I dont have much time so sorry for lack of detail.
Well i will send you guys fotos.
And im glad to hear you enjoyed your birthday mom!
Love Elder Evans

At the ward Christmas dinner

THE BEST birthday present ever! A picture of a birthday greeting written in Spanish on a napkin and next to a half-eaten cake! He did this at the Christmas dinner.

EJ on the right, his companion on the left and a recently baptized family in the middle. The girl in the pink sweater is the one who cried. Look at how tall EJ is!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dec 10 2012

Dear Family!

Voy empezar con i miss you all and i heard that its starting to look a lot like christmas over there. Thats really cool! i will something would happen here to make make it look a little more like christmas. I guess the only difference between summer and winter here is that its not as hot and it gets darker earlyier. So being my first winter without snow, it doesnt yet feel like christmas is coming. There are a few houses here that have christmas lights and a christmas tree, but its still not something that the average person here has. Oh and i got the package today! thank you all! i havent quiet gotten a good look at the contense because i had to go to the offices to pick it up and i just put everything in my backpack and left. There at the offices i asked the assistent about whether he thinks i am going or staying. He says that the other assistent did a lot of the transfers and that i am probably staying. I do love this ward that i am so it wouldnt be disappointing if i stayed but i also would like to see a new area. Im a big fan on changes.
After my stay at the offices me and my companero left and went a little further into the center of tijuana to meet up with two other missioneries and eat at a place called Pampas. Its a pretty nice meat buffet. We went there becasue its Elder Bowers last week here on the mission. Its a pretty nice place. The have the normal set up that other buffets have, where you go and fill up your plate of food. But the also have people walking around with fresh meats of all kinds or just a few different kinds of meats cooked in different ways. With those guys walking around offering meat every minute i could hardly clean my plate, and you should all now thats saying something becaue i can eat pretty fast. But... Pampas is kind of a once or twice in a mission thing and i dont think i will be going back there again soon. Here we would say "es muy fresa"
Ok well that was basically what we have done so far today. And now about this week.
Early this week one of Oswaldos kids (Eder) who got baptized last week turned 11 and me and Elder Hernandez went over to have dinner with them. That family has spent time living in the states and so eating with them is a tiny bit more americanized. Like they grilled hamburgers, ofter meat [Mother's note: I have no idea what he means by "ofter meat." Anyone have a guess?], they had american chips, american sodas, applesauce (first time eating applesauce for my companero) and other stuff. So they live in an appartment so he dosnt really have a deck or place outside to grill the he did it in his living room. The whole appartment filled up with smoke. But thats ok.
Sunday was also pretty sweet, Oswalds family got confirmed and during the sacrament meeting we got to hear from the stake youth/a little older then youth chior. It was awesome. They put together a program kind of like those of the primery. They sing a Christmas song and then talk about it and the sing another song and so on. It was really great. I will send a pic of the chior. That day we also started talking to a family that went to watch a friend of theirs sing. This family has been to church a time or two but haved ever really talked with the missionaries. We talked to them about how they liked the services and they liked it a lot. We are going to go visit them this monday. I really hope all goes well with them.
This coming week we have the ward christmas dinner. So the next letter will probably have a little of that in it! :)
Well love you all and have a great week.
Elder Evans

PS Happy Birthday Mom! I would write you this on the 12th if i could but early will have to do. [Mother's note: he remembered my birthday on his own! Jim says he didn't remind Jimmy]
EJ at Pampas


The youth choir (No, EJ is not in this picture)


Monday, December 3, 2012

Dec 3 2012

 Dear Family and Friends

Ok well about the phone call, no i havnt heard anything yet. I am not even sure if i will be in this ward when i get to make the call so i dont know who i would do it will. So yeah, oh and skype is also an option. I guess it all just depends which is easier.
Y about the whole christmas here in mexico... they biggest change i have seen is with the store around here. A few of them have christmas music playing and are selling christmas stuff. But there is still not too big of a difference with the people. I think that could be due to the fact that a lot of people here dont have the means to decorate or do things very christmasy  around the house. I have actually seen one place here selling christmas trees but only a few people actually buy them. We will see if things change thoughtout the month.
Actually its interesting, they get more excited about soccer games then some of the holidays that have passed by already. Yesterday was the final game of some tournament here in mexico, Tijuana vs Toluca. The Tijuana Xolos won and you could here a bunch of people yelling with excitement from inside their houses. Also, a whole bunch of people drove their cars around honking horns or cheering or just driving around with the Xolos flag. It was pretty fun to see. But that night we all had to go home early because with the game there were bound to be a whole bunch of people in the streets getting drunk.
Another sweet thing that happened yesterday is that we got to baptize a family! I have talked about them before but jsut to recap. We baptized the dad about 2 months ago and now the rest of his family got baptized and it was really great! We had the baptismal service right after church and just about the whole ward went! ok so maybe not the whole ward but a lot of people went. 
Also this week i learned how to make arroz con leche! its really good! Its that white stuff that i am eating from the bowl. Its basically just rice with milk and suger and then heated up. I will be sure to make it when i get home!
ok well i really dont have too much time today but i love you all and will write back next week.
Elder Evans
Ps here is a nice 60 degress. I want snow!

[Mother's note: Apparently EJ failed to notice the several times Jim has made arroz con leche, a treat from his mission days in Argentina, here at home. Jim says he has even offered it to the kids and no one has ever shown any interest in it. Well, once EJ comes home (in 14 months) the two of them can eat jalapeno and avocado burgers and arroz con leche together]

Arroz con leche balanced on one knee. It takes talent to balance a full bowl on one's knee, while eating AND taking a self-portrait

a very applicable fortune, considering EJ's official missionary first name, "Elder"


la familia

food, glorious food and a half smile, and a titanium CTR ring on the ring finger of his fork-holding hand
Arroz con leche           

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nov 26 2012

Dear All,

Haha i thought youd all might like that about the Three Amigos. I really wanna see that movie now that i am hear in Mexico. But that can wait i guess. 
So it is great hearing that you all had a great thanksgiving. My thanksgiving i guys was kind of like a normal day. At the end of the day we went to a recent members house, Rosalva, and we made carne, beans, tortillas, and then for desert we ate Arroz con leche. Now i know beans and carne arnt really tipical thanksgiving food, but we were hungry and ate it all happily. 

This week went by really fast! I almost dont remember what i did this week becasue it feels like it just started and ended. The focus of the week has been on the familia that will get baptized this coming sunday. Julia (mom) and Emily y Eder (2 kids). This week among many of the things week talked to them about and taught, i really like the day we just went to watch a movie. The movie is called Finding Faith in Christ. Its a really great movie and shows many of the times that Jesus helped and healed others. My favorite thing about this movie is that when ever Jesus is about to heal someone he always askes if they believe that they can be healed or if they have faith. And after they answer and say they have faith, Jesus well heals them. I like it alot because it got me thinking. Jesus Christ can help everyone of us with everyone of our needs or problems, and not only that but he is willing and happy to help us. But we need to first have faith. If we dont believe that we can accomplish something or just dont show our faith by praying and asking for help well that we arnt doing our part and we may not quiet recieve the help that Christ was willing to give us if we had faith. Also, something i have seen here with the people or mexico (because here in mex is an extremely religious place) is that those that have a big belief in Christ and faith that he is there with them are just a generally more happy people. Well we showed that movie to the family and they really loved it and actually asked if they could barrow it from us. We lent it to them for a few more days and they watched it a few more times. Now this week will be focused on helping them get baptized this coming sunday.

Well what more can i say...... oh yes. So i got a haircut. I dont know if i have talked about this yet but the haircutting places are super cheap. Like today i spent 20pesos (1.50$) for a haircut. When walking around my area i see some other places offering to cut hair for 40pesos (3.25$) and all my mexican companions say thats really really expensive, and that its only that expensive because we are on the boarder. I then tell them that i would cut my hair for like 10$ (130pesos) or 15$ (165pesos) at some places and they look at me like i am crazy. I mean yeah the haircuts here arnt like super professional 4 yrs of college and 2 yrs of practicing quality but they actually give pretty good haircuts here. It will be hard for me to return and pay anything more that a few dollar for a haircut now. 

Well i got to go. 
Sorry i didnt take any pictures this week.
Elder Evans

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nov 19 2012

Mis amados familia y amigos
So i will first answer or talk about a few of the questions you sent me. Here the weather is definitely cooling down a whole bunch. Its like 60 out and maybe 55 at night. I am still just fine wearing tshirt but everone else needs to have their sweaters. Ok so speaking of sweaters... I remember in the movie 3 Amigos (older movie, with those 3 funny guys who acters in the movie but the little town thinks that all their movies are real and so they think that they can save them from that one dude) well in the movie the bad guy has is given a big ugly sweater for his birthday from some of his friends. Well i used to think it was funny because, well why would you wear a sweater in mexico! its crazy hot in mexico! Well now i think its funny because they actually use sweaters here... all year around. Even when i think its super hot out i will still find a few people wearing a sweater or jacket. Ok.. now back on track... you asked about Thanksgiving, here in Tijuana there are still people who celebrate thanksgiving. Just about all the members atleast. I believe  my ward has had thanksgiving pot-lucks in past years. Idk about this year though. 
OH yeah i did get the packege a little while ago, muchísimos gracias! i forgot to inform u of that the week i got it. 
In this ward, yeah there are members that do family home evening regularly but not too many. I had more FHEs with the members in my last ward. 
The elders in my District are: Hernandez, Toledo (LD), Bowers from NJ,USA, Judd from San Jose Cali (he went to Leigh High),  and some other Elder (forgot his name, hes from Panama)
Now to talk about the borritos here. Ok so rarely ever do i eat a real burritos here. I guess here is more of a Taco place. When people do sell burritos they are usually pretty small, there are some places that sell really big burritos too, but not as many. And the burritos are not a whole lot like chipotle and nothing like tacobell. Generally if i want burritos i have to make my own. When eating at a persons house they usually put all the stuff seperatly on our plates (beans, chicken, carne, rice,.. ect) and then have the tortillas off to the side. The right way too eat this kind of a meal is roll up your tortilla and then us it to push the food onto the fork and then eat the food and then take a bite out of your tortilla. Its not all that common to put the food into your tortilla and then eat it like a taco or barrito. I personally think its tastier when you but the food in the tortilla like a burrito. Oh and speaking of tortillas, people eat there tortillas like crazy here. When we arrive at someones house to eat and they dont have tortillas the first appologise to us for not having tortillas and then they send there kid to go get some. 
We will see how this holiday season goes here, its wierd, this will be the first one where i wont be home for. But i am sure i will have a good time. 
So today we had a ward activity that we actually just got back from. (thats why i am writing late) It was really fun. We played a whole lot of soccer (by the way, i am not that bad at the sport, i remember i was horrible before the mision), then we played basketball and then volleyball. I remember in burnsville that just about all the young men played basketball (maybe not in a league but for fun atleast) here its pretty different. I dont think a single one of them plays much at all, and they all thought that because i am american i am really good at basketball. Not true! They were surprised when i told that i hardly ever played before the mission, and hardly know the rules haha. Well not only did we play sports but we were also served lunch there. Hamburgers! there were delicious. Oh yeah and i have really come to love putting jalapeño chilis and avacato in my burgers allong with the normal stuff. Its really good, i cant remember anyone at home doing it but you should all try it. 

So i feel that this email was very food centered...well i hope it gets you all hunger for thanksgiving!

Now i will share with you my favorite escritura:
2 Nephi 31:19-20
 19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
 20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
In 19 it talks about a strait and narrow path and at the end of that path, where we all want to get to, is Eternal Life living with our Father in Heaven. Well now to back track a little bit, before one can fallow down the path and gain Eternal Life, one first needs to find the path or get on the path. Earlier in this chapter it talks about just how we can do that. First we need faith, repentence, baptism, and recieve the Holy Ghost and then we find our selves on the path. 

I love teaching about this stuff, the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Ok well i got to go
Love you all
ELder Evans
eating (possibly working the grill) at a P-day/ward activity

He still gets hamburgers in Mexico

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nov 12 2012

Queridos Familia y amigos

Its good hearing all about the wedding. I guess its still pretty hard to imagine the changes that are going on while i am here so the wedding being a really big change in all is a little harder to imagine. But i am really happy for you Katie and i wish you two the best! Wish i could have been there with ya guys. That must have been really cool to have soo much family over and to be able to see everyone again.

So the week went pretty normal. I really enjoy Elder Hernandez as a companion. He really chill and easy to get along with. A lot of this week seemed to be spent with meetings with other missionaries. They are usually focused on what we have been struggling with whether its Bautismos, lecciones, lecciones con miembros,...ect and how we can get improve. They are pretty fun actually, its just they take up a lot of time. But its cool listing to what our Mission President has to say to all of us, idk if i have mentioned it be hes a pretty funny guy. These meeting that we had was focused on our use of time in the mornings. We have a little schedule in the mornings of when we get up, excersise, and when we should be studying. This was on how we can more effectivily use our time set asside to studying for our investigaters and their needs.

Besides our little meetings scattered all about the week the other highlight of the week was this saturday. We had a baptism for the girl Katia. Normally we hold baptisms sundays because its more difficult for the members to attend any other day. But so that the family could go we had to hold it on saturday. Saturday was a pretty cool day, apperently, or atleasts thats what what everyone was saying. I of course felt fine with the normal tshirt that i wear. It took place at night (6:00pm), maybe not quite night but it was pretty dark out. Everyone was cold, except me.

Well i love you all! Got to go!
Elder Evans

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Nov 5 2012

Hello again.
So i know i didnt quiet finish the other letter but its because i ran out of time and thought that i would have a little bit more time to finish it... i was wrong.
I cant remember if i was even going to say much more other then, i am doing great ( not sick) but yeah that was like a few weeks ago.
Ok so mission update, we just had transfers and i am now suriving in........ the same place haha :) but im good with that. Though my companions changed. E Zuniga went to work in the offices, and i am now with E. Hernandez from Veracruz. He is a great guy, very fun. I have actually worked with him before, but that was when i had just arrived to TJ and i went on changes. I remember i had the hardest time understanding a single word he said because he slurrrs his words like crazy, and now i actually understand him.... most of the time haha.
Oh and to answer your question about the P in spanish, my shirt ripped.
So this week went by really fast. One reason being that it was the last of this transfer and that there was a lot of things to do before the change, like clean the house, say goodbye, eat at certain members tacostands haha.
Another reason being that halloween and day of the dead happened during the week. Guess what! They celabrate halloweeen here more then day of the dead! Halloween day we went to visit some members and some recent converts to eat with them. Starting at like 6 we started to see kids dressed up in costumes and they started going around asking for candy. Where we say "trick or treat" they say either "Truco o dulce" which is the translation or they say "tricky tricky" which i am guessing is them attemting to say "trick or treat". We Tried visiting some investagaters but they wer all out with their kids asking for candy. Ok now i will talk about what happened  on Dia del Muerte... no pasó nada! Well maybe some people may have had a few parties or something but nothing really seemed to be different about the night, that we saw.
Now this past week in teaching. Nothing to exciting happened but that is this one girl who we are helping prepare for baptism. Her mom is member but has been inactive for quiet a long while. I believe i have talked about them before. The mom (Tana) has a ton of problems both health wise and finanially but she wants the best for her daughter (Katia) and she knows that part of that means geting her active in the church and for her to learn of the Gospel of Christ. So we are teaching here, well the basics haha. Like who is Jesus Christ, what he did, what we must do, whos Jose Smith, why is it important to read the scriptures, and how we have a prophet in these days. It really reminds me of my days teaching Primery, i miss those days. I wouldnt mind coming back from the mission to the same calling again ;) She is going to be baptised this saturday.
Other then that, we are also working with the family of Hno Oswaldo. They went to church this past sunday, i was really happy. I really want the best for the family! I will tell you more of them later.
So this saturday we did two things. Eat fish and helped build a roof. Ok so we didnt alot more then just those two things that whole day but i only have pics of those two things. The fish as you can see in the pic was really tasty! It was given to us by some neighbors of the Otay missionaries. I really had to be careful, it was the first time i had eaten fish like that with all the bones and everthing. The fish had a lot of little tiny pointy bones that i almost swallowed and would have surely been the death of me but luckally i didnt swallow any :)
Now about the roof. That is like a multi day service project and are probably going to return next sat to work on it again. The roof is for a sister in the ward that has only been a member for 1 yr. I actually know that missionaries that taught her. She is really strong in the church and goes ever sunday. She is an amazing lady and cooks just as amazing too! Just about all of the members love her. So what i have learned here is that building a house, roof or something of the sort is quite different then in the states. Here i have not seen a single blueprint, plans, or anything. They just start building with what they got, cut everything and make the mesurements on the spot, and use all the resources that they can. It was really fun.

Well got to go, but before i go... I hope all goes well for you all! Felizidades Katie! Wish i could be there soooo bad! Its actually had to believe that i am really missing the wedding.
Love you all!

the fish

EJ ate the fish

EJ on the roof

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oct 29 2012

Hola familia
Ok pues, mi mama me pedio que yo escriba una parafo en espanol y lo voy hacer. Hoy fue bien suave. Hoy es nuestro dia de preparacion, y nosotros fuimos a al Parque Amistad a jugar futbal americana y a ver el perque. Esta muy bonito por alli. Hay un lago, muchas patos, arboles, y HAY PASTO VERDE EN EL PARQUE. Me parece como un parque en Minnesota. Cuando estuvimos alli, jugabamos futbal americana con los elderes del Barrio Otay y con dos otro miembros. Estuvo muy divertido. Quando estabamos jugando, algien la rumpio mi camisa negra porque la agarro y se cayo.

Ok back to english. I hope most of you can find some means of figuring out what i just said.
So this week we had a few notable things of them being that me and my companion E Zuniga are starting to go running in the mornings. There is this really nice park in our sector. Its something you would expect in like MN or something. Its go a pond in the middle and there are a bunch of ducks there. The grass is green and there are lots of trees. When i am there i honestly dont feel like i am here in TJ anymore, its that different to what i am used to. I have a few pics of the park.
We have also started contacting more. Our list of people to teach is dwindaling a bit and we need more people. We are going to areas that we havent really been to and we try to find little things that keep us interested or keep us from feeling a little tired of cantacking or tracking (samething), like look for interesting houses, cars, or even people. And we have actually been finding more people.
Another little thing that happened this week is that me and my companion grossed out a family from the ward when we ate the eyes of the fish that they had just cooked. It was really funny when one of the daughters tried eating the fish eye and just had the most dissected look on her face. Like she was going to throw up, luckaly she didnt. :)

So i dont know if you remember Oswaldo from the other emails and i may have even wrote about his family already, but we finally started teaching the rest of his family! They are all really cool. Up until now there hasnt been much of a chance to talk to them. Me and my companion thought they were all really shy or somthing. But now that we were able to talk to them all we found out that they arnt shy at all but really cool. The wife had a lot of questions for us based on things she has either heard about us or things that she believes to see our views on those same things. It just so happens that we were in agreement with just about everything, especially her believes on baptism. She told us that she believes that one should get baptised when they feel they want to change there live to a more JesusChrist centered life. Meaning she thinks one should try there best to be the best they can after baptism and not just go back to their old ways.....
to be continued..

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oct 22 2012

Hola que tal a todos!

So i promised i would have more things to write and pictures. Well i definitely have picks, now lets see how much i can write.
You asked the question about how those interviews normally go. With me it is something more of a "how are you". We talked about how i am doing in my area and with my companion that i have had sense the last interview and about how the family at home is. At the time i had a pretty sore throat and so we talked about that, it didnt really affect me much other then the fact that a lot of people couldnt understand my spanish with my quiet scratchy voice. Oh and yes the sore throat has passed. Then talked about the goals we but in the last interview and how i am doin with them. Everything was good. That was my 3rd interview with him. He does them every 3 months or so i think.

Thats awesome to hear all the missionary work that is happening in the ward. The Elders there must be really content. I hope we can arrive at that point with the ward. We are starting to a little bit of help from the ward though so i am happy.

So this week we meet this met this woman named Tana. She is member and so is her mom, they just have been away from the church about 3 yrs due to a series of unfortunate events. When she was younger and in the church she was very active. Apperently she even recieved a mission call but she declined it and moved to TJ. She stayed strong for a while longer but then she had an accident and lost one of her legs. More things happened and all and all she fell inactive. Right now she has a little girl (Katia, 9yrs old), no job, another child on the way, and is sepereted from the kids dad. Her mom works in Las Angeles and pays for their living expenses. Though she hadnt actually gone too church this past 3yrs she has kepted a pretty good testamony in the Gospel. She went to church with us this past week and she bore her testamony, and it was cool to see how much it made her happy to have finally been able to go back to church. She and the Grandma really want her daughter, Katia, to get baptized so we talked to her about it and found out she really doesnt know much about Jesus Christ. We are excited to be about to help this family out in the best way possible, helping them live the Gospel. My experience with them has also helped me remember how much i have and how greatful i am for those blessings in my life.

Oh and i dont know if you remeber Oswaldo, he got baptised about a month ago. Right now we have started talking with his wife. We have talked to her in the past a little but nothing much because she never seems to be there during the lession appointments. But! She actually went to church she week. Only for the last hr (Relief.S) because of work hours but hey its a start. I really hope all go's well with her, we put a time to meet with her to talk about the church. They have a family of 5 kids and i would love to see ever single one of them grow up with the Gospel.

Ok so a little update on our pet spider. Its dead. It got really boring becuase it doesnt like eating cockroaches and thats the only thing we can catch. So we let it go. E. Zuniga let it go close to the door, idk why, and it just walked right back inside the house on the door so i tried to catch it again and fell to the ground and Elder Zuniga freaked out and quickly stepped on it. Poor thing.

Oh one more thing, yesterday we were walking and some lady quickly walked up the us and asked if we had seen a young man run down the street. We hadnt. Apparently the man had robbed her from her bag or purse. That has been like the closest i have been to a crime inncidant (sp?) here in TJ. Apperently a lot of bad stuff happens here in TJ, but i guess it all happens behind my back.

Now i will talk about and make little comments about my pictures:
First of the coconut. So i had never bought a coco before and have never tried to open it either. So this week i did just that. It was very dificult, the knife didnt do a single thing.

 I decided i needed something a little stronger, like a 20 pound weight. I put the coco on the ground and hit it with the weight. The thing opened easily and i lost all the water from the coco.

Cellphone. That is our really old cell phone that we had. Its a Nokia and it Broke! I hope you get the joke. Now we have a better phone.

The two buildings. Well there is nothing interesting about the 2 buildings but the fence farther behind them is the line. Other side is Cal.

My area.

Gum wrapper thing. Learned that from Uncle Mike.

Opening the beans with a knife (E. Perez) because i forgot the can opener at the house. I am never going to eat beans again!

Love you all!
Elder Evans

Monday, October 15, 2012

Oct 15 2012

Dear Family,
It was great seeing the pictures of Matt and his friends. 
So this week wasnt too much different then the past. We still have the pet spider and we are feeding it the cochroaches that we find in the house. It ate one of them but i dont think it liked it very much because it hasnt touched the other 2. Its kind of a boring pet, doesnt do much more then sit on its web. 
Well this week we have started working a lot with the members. Going to their houses, sharing a message, and then seeing if they know anyone who would be interested to hear about the Gospel. We are trying to transition from knocking on doors to recieving references. The diference is that when we teach someone who has a friend in the church already they are more likely to stick around and progress and stay active in the church. Those that we meet knocking on doors dont know any one except the mssionaries and its the missionaries that come and go and when the missionaries stop visiting them they fall away.  So that has been our focus this week. 
We also had our interviews with our mission president this week. At the interview i recieved our package! Thanks for all the stuff! I actually wore a few of the ties haha. But we had the interviews this week and they went by pretty well. Our President is a really great guy, Presidente Carreon. He can be really funny and very serious at times. And he is very active with the missionaries. He was interested to see what we got in our packages and galdy accepted a little share of everyones candy sent from home haha.
Truth being we didnt really do a whole lot his week. Lot of time spent in missionary meetings or in going from one place to another.
I promise to have more to write about next week and i will remember to bring my connector so that i can sent photos.
Well i love you all!
Elder Evans

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Oct 8 2012

Querido familia
Como esta todo? Me da gusto escuchar a todo que esta pasando a la casa!
Yeah i heard when the Profeta announced the new age requierments to go on a mision. I think that is soo awesome! I cant wait to see the jump in numbers of misionaries. And when they said that i actually thought spacifically of Paul and Morgan and how they could be out on the field really soon. I know both of them would enjoy and benifit a ton from going on a mision. 
Spacifically to Morgan: There are two sister misioneras in my district and it is really a blessing to have them in the district. This is my first transfer with sisters in my district and they are really cool. They often have really good ideas that non of the Elders think of, they plan better activities on PDays then the Elders, and last and Most Importantly... They are full of the Spirit and pure love for everyone (investigators, members, and all the other misioneros). So if you go, i know you will be a blessing to all in you mission.
Spacifically to Paul: Whether you go as soon as possible or work a little before hand, that is your choice to make. But as a Priesthood holder, you are given the opportunity/responcibility/blessing to go on a mission. And let me tell you, to go on a mission will be one of the biggest blessings in your life. You grow so much on a mission, spiritually and character-wise. You learn how to relay on the Lord to help you and you learn how to take challanges head-on. Oh and the mission is really fun too :)
Ok so now back to me :) I did enjoy Conference a lot! I did thougth have watch it in spanish which isnt as fun because you dont hear their actual voices, but me and my companion are going to download the talks in English to listen to.
Most of this week seemed focused toward Conference, we taught a lot about the Prophet and his role as Prophet and how we have the chance to listen to him this week. And then we ended up spending the whole weekend at the Stake Center for all the sessions. 
But other things happened to this week. First starting with tuesday. So this new convert brought us to this house of a girl that needed a blessing. The girl origanally couldnt hear or talk and because of that she didnt hear the car coming and was hit. Amazingly enough she only really broke here Femer (biggest bone in leg). Shes quite an amazing girl. Shes like 12 yrs old and when we came to see her she was all smiling and laughing. We gave her a blessing and letter started teaching her and the mom. It felt really great helping the familia in our priesthood service. Now to lighten the mood a little, when we left the house we were walking away and then say a chicken jump into a tree. I didnt know that chickens could jump/fly so high. I sent you a pic of the chicken.
Oh and another thing that happened. One morning we were about to leave the house and my comp walked through the doorway and then freaked out a little. So happened that he walked through a nasty little spider web. We then looked for the spider that made the web and there it was a nice big fat juicy viuda negra or black widow. Mom do you remember when us kids caught a spider and put it in a jar and tried to feed it? Well of course thats just what we did here. No worries we were very carefull, im actually really scared of spiders and so i took ever precausion availible and was ready to drop everything and step on it if anything went wrong. But all was good and now he is in a sandwich box. It was actually the first black widow i have ever seen.
We that is what i have to say today.
Love you all!
ELder Evans
There are chickens in the trees, yes, there are chickens in the trees...(a song from Sesame Street)
*scream*  *faint*
Can you see the red hourglass marking?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Oct 1 2012

Ok so i have sent you 5 or so pictures and it just so happens that they all have to be of birds, but thats just how it is. About the hummingbirds, we were given an address to someones house and so when we went to meet them they wernt there but there was a house right next to it that had about 6 hummingbird feeders and so me and Elder Zuniga went over to there to see if we could get one of the birds to land on our fingers. Elder Zuniga is the one in the photo. We didnt have any success with the birds but it was still really cool because there were a ton of hummingbirds! All those birds on the telefone wires are humming birds. We also got to talk to them man who puts out those feeders and he says that in the morning and evening there are a lot more that come to feed. We set up a time to comeback to see the hummingbirds and of course talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
About the duck, there is a family in my ward that we went to visit because they wanted to set up a time for us to meet some friends of theirs. We went to the house and found that they had a pet duck. Well me and my companion just had to chase it done until we cought it, it was really fun. The family said it was ok and even thougth the duck tried to run away from us i dont think it minded too much either lol. Tonight we are going back to meet their friends and hopefully teach them!
Time is going by really fast here too. I was really surprised to find that it is already october too. I am also really excited for General Conference, i wonder if i will be allowed to see all sessions or just sunday. I also wonder if they will offer it in english. I know there is one guy in the ward who doesnt speak spanish and one of our converts (Tatiana) speaks english too. If they want me to watch it in spanish i will but I and my Companion would prefer english becuase its much cooler to hear their actual voices.
I am also looking forward for halloween or day of the dead to see what they do here in mexico for it.
This week has also been pretty great. Elder Zuniga and I are getting along really well and i am feeling a lot more confident in being the more expirienced one in this area. With Elder Pena, he knew all the members and were they all live and i felt like i was still learning all that. But now i feel fine and thougth i dont know where every member lives we will get by just fine i believe. I find that Elder Z likes to read and has actually read quiet a lot of the same books as me and we both like a lot of the same things. This transfer should be a lot of fun.
So this past week visited those that were just baptised to see how things are going and we are going to start to find that some Visiting Teachers or Home teacher and go with them to show them were they live.We also spent a lot of time trying to find new people to teach, not too much success there this past week but i believe this coming week will be a lot better. Update, Tatiana is now starting Alma already. It always amazes me to find out how far she is in the Book of Mormon and to talk about it with here and see that she is marking her favorite scriptures and getting a lot out of it. So she told us about the life she had as a child. [Mother's note: next few sentences are redacted because of sensitivity and privacy issues. I wouldn't even mention the fact that I edited, but I really liked the next sentence and I wanted to include it but it would seem out of place if I just put it in by itself. Suffice to say, the woman's childhood was not ideal. Now for the sentence I like a lot---->] I am just expecially greatfull for the time we got to spend together as a family.

Well Love you all!
Elder Evans

Elder Z tries to get a hummingbird to sit on his finger

all those birds are hummingbirds

EJ and a dirty duck

Monday, September 24, 2012

The pictures he talked about which didn't get sent at first

baptism day!


the ants before the incineration
EJ, the ward mission leader, EJ's companion

Sept 24 2012

[Mother's note: all spelling is his. Also, the pictures he talks about at the end were never sent. So just pretend you're looking at what he is describing]

Thank you for those pictures!
This was the last week of transfers and so there was a lot of saying goodbyes to the members, investigetors, otro misioneros, and not to mention we still work a full week. With such a busy week it went by really fast. The news about transfers is that Elder Pena is leaving for some other place in Tijuana and i am staying. I am going to pick my companion up at the Center de Transportation at 11:15. Its been a great transfer and we have worked really hard. 

Ok so early this week we had an ant infestation! It was rediculous how fast these ants find food. What happened is i was at my desk when i saw a cockroach moving accross the ground and so i steped on it and sweeped it aside towards the trash can to get rid of it when i am done studying. Like 10 mins later i look back and see that there are hundreds of ants in like a 2 foot circle of where the dead cockroach was and the cockroach was completely covered. So me and my companion sprayed down some axe deoderant spray and light the floor on fire to kill the ants. Dont worry it wasnt a big fire or anything and there was nothing around us that would catch on fire, so i would say we were being pretty save.
Basically this week was spent running from appointment to appointment with not much time to spare, it was a good week in terms of teaching and everthing and it ended pretty sweet too! We had 4 baptism this sunday! Rosalva, who has been listing to us elders for about 4 months, got baptised before the church survice. She is the tallest of the 3 woman to get baptized, the one whos not in the photo with the rest of the 3. To prepare and do everything for her baptism was crazy, me and my comp were running around like crazy because we had to do it before our church service while the other ward was having their classes. Not to mention Rosalva and her family showed up a little late too haha but all in all it all turn out pretty good. 
Then after our church survices we had 3 more baptisms, that was a lot less stressfull because we actually felt like we had time to think set it up without rushing. Those other 3 who got baptised are Tatiana, Oswaldo, and Jocelyn. Tatiana is the short Puerto Rican with the curly hair. Jocelyn is the woman in the dress. And well Oswaldo is the guy...of course :) I had the oportunity of baptizing them! 
The other foto is of us with our ward mission leader. He is pretty awesome, and he knows a ton about the scriptures. Hes also the guy that gives the classes ever sunday those investigators and recent converts.
The other pic that i am sending is those of us playing football in the rain for pday activity.
Ok Love you all!
Elder Evans

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sept 17 2012

Its really cool hearing all about those in Minnesota!
So this week went by really fast! Losts of important appointments and lots of missionary meetings and stuff, so i got to see those thoer missionaries in the zone a whole lot. 
First off, my mission president with the stake pres. held a meeting with us missionaries in the zone and with our ward bishops and their counsalors. He talked about how the missionaries and the wards could work better together. They talked about how it is very important that the membors help with references and how it is actually a responsibility of the ward members to help find people for the missionaries to teach. There are actaully places out there where the missionaries dont knock on doors, or they only knock on the doors of members. A few of the wards in my stake accepted to take on that plan. I find that would be really interesting and fun to be in an area where i dont have to knock on doors.
Secondly, the 15th was the day of independence here and there was an activity held at the stake center with food and activities and all that. oh and the missionaries in my district werent allowed to go. At first they said that it was fine if we went and then they said no. I think they just didnt want a whole bunch of missionaries spending alot of time at activities. So all the missionaries in my district got together at the house of the district leader to have tacos and stuff. 
It was pretty fun to spend time with them. All of us in the district are pretty great friends. It will be interesting to see who stays and who will go for transfers this coming monday. I am probably going to stay seeing how i only have one transfer here.
So dia de independencia here is pretty different then ours. I am pretty sure that fireworks are illegal here because no one was setting them off. Instead every just drinks and watches wrestling or boxing. 
This sunday was really great! We had one of our old investagators go to church. His name is Oswald and he is pretty awesome. He love talking about the Plan that God has for his children and the atonement of Christ and how he can be cleansed from sin. The only problem is that he never actaully went to church and now this sunday he went!
Oswald and a few others have plans to get baptised this week. Hope all goes right this week. We will see what happens.
Love you all Bye!
Elder Evans

Ps Any pictures would be welcomed. Like maybe the last holiday family picture we took with everyone there :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sept 10 2012

Buenos Dias
Another week has past... pretty fast actually. This week wasnt as crazy as last week with plans and all but we managed to keep busy. Oh and its finally starting to cool down here. This last week was probably averaged in the high 60s or low 70s and i am starting to see clouds here. I miss the random changes in weather soo much and the different seasons in general! Here it is always perfect and sunny.... :/ haha 
So this ward i am in is really small but yes they have semenary for the youth but i wouldnt doubt it if it was combined with another ward.
So this we tried really hard to marry people. Ok i will explain. So first of all to be baptized you have to beliving the Law of Chastity, and here in Tijuana no one is married. Everyone here just gets together and either after a year or after they have kids they just call themselfs husband and wife but because its expensive and difficult to get married legally here in TJ they just dont. I think its like 600 pesos or 50 dollars and you have to go to a judge to do it, religious leaders cant do it here like they can in the states. But anyways, everyonce and a while Tijuana does this marrige collective thing. Were they marry a whole bunch of people all at once. Its a lot cheaper, 150 pesos (12$), and you only need to bring you ACT of Nacimiento (i think its like a Birth Cert.). We had two families that we were planning on marrying there but everthing fell apart last second. We planned to met one of the families at their place but when we went they wernt there and then later told us they couldnt find their ACT of Nacimiento and decided to go somewhere for a little while. The other family, the mom really wants to get married and baptized and everything was working out great until the dad said...yeah i dont want to get married yet, i need more time to get to know her first. haha funny thing is they have 6 years together and 3 kids. So yeah, no one got married, but oh well :/
So on a more happy note :) Tatiana (who i mention in the last letter) is pretty awesome. Tatiana has been reading the Book of Mormon faster then any of my past investigators, i think shes in Alma right now. Shes doing everything she can to be baptised. Oh and even more, so she crosses over to San Diego about 2 times a week and this week she surprised us with a big bag of Peanut Butter M&MS! Oh yeah there selection of MMs here is very pathetic and they only have the 1doller size bags. It was the first time my companion had ever tried those mms, he loved them. 
Tatianas son and interesting wall art
Well love you all!
Elder Evans

Monday, September 3, 2012

September 3 2012

Dear Home

To answere your question mom, yes Elder Mayo is my Zone Leader and no Elder Bryce isnt in my ward but is in my district. 
Ok so i forgot to mention this about my appartment......we have a cochroach problem. They live in our walls.... and in one of our kitchen drawers. They are pretty gross, i havent seen any giant ones yet, they are all about the size of a nickel.
This week was pretty sweet and pretty hectic at the end. We were teaching this man Enrigue, and he had a baptizmal date set for yesterday (sunday). I believe i have mentioned him a little bit in my past letter. Anyways he is a really awesome guy who believe in the Book of Mormon and that God has given us a Prophet in this day and that he needs to be baptized but everytime we talked to him about baptizm he would tell us that he still doesnt feel repented of his sins and that he needs a little more time to mejorar su vida (better his life) before baptizm. We told him that if he really has a desire to change his life and live the gospel then he is ready. But we also told him to pray about it and ask Heavenly Father if he is ready and if he sould be baptized this week. Well we came back the next day and his whole personality seemed to have changed, he seemed a lot more lively, happy, and pleased with life. He then told us that he prayed and feels completely ready for baptizm and wants to be baptized this week. 

Well sunday (day of his baptizm) came around and we all showed up at the church at the same time to find that someone had drained the baptizmal font of all the water.....Nooooooo!!!!! We had one hour to fill the font and hold the baptizmal serivice before our sacrament meeting. We (4 of us missionaries, 2  of which were from the ward before us) did everything we could to fill it as fast as possible. Idk if you know what a Garrafont is, but its like a giant water bucket/thing that holds there DRINKABLE water. Well we even filling those up with an outside hose and then dumping it in the font. Well 45 mins after we had it filled and i directed the baptizmal service and my companion baptized him. He was then later confirmed and recieve the Espiritu Santo in sacrament meeting. He was really happy that day :) and so was I. In the picture he is the guy right next to me. The guy next to my companion is his step-son who is a member.
Now about Tatiana who I also mentioned in my before letter. She went to the baptizmal service and she said she would like to be baptized and asked me would she needs to do to be baptized and well like it says in the Bible (Acts 8:36-39) all you need is to believe in Jesus Christ as our savior and have a desire to be baptized. Tatiana is really awesome, we are going back to teach her tomorrow and we are going to make this lesson really sweet!

Well Love you all!
Elder Evans

Oh yeah ps i have collected 2 club cards of the 3 major stores around here... I have Calimax, Comercial Mexicana, and all i need is Soriana.
[From email to his dad]
Im doing really well.
No i havent seen that movie but hey if the twins dont have a chance welll i hope the best for the As this year. And thats awesome that you get to go down to Cali and visit Granddad, tell him hello for me and tell me how hes doing.
My spanish is pretty good, my biggest problem is when people talk quietly or dont speak clearly. But yeah i can hold conversation with just about anyone and i can keep up with conversations too. Its not a whole lot different as senor companion but i do like it. And the ward is pretty cool, i dont know the members all too well still but those that i do know seem pretty cool. As a smaller ward i find that me and my companion are the only ones that wear suit coats to church haha. I have been to the boarder wall once but the other side doesnt look too interesting, i can only really see open area and then hills. But yeah we are still using lots off taxis.
It feels wierd that it was a whole year ago that its been more then a year sence ive been to Rex.
Well Love you
Elder Evans