Monday, April 30, 2012


So another week is over with. This week has seemed to go by faster then the others.
So your question about where elder Alvarez lives... idk where he lives exactly but its a place in mexico that sounds like Tomo Lupis. And dinner... well apperently its not very common to have dinner here as a missionary. We have taught about 15 lessons this past week. So what Riley said about setting apointments with people and them they arnt there most of the time is true. We have to have a plan b and c to every appointment lol.
So we had one girl get baptized this week but her family are members and her dad was the one who baptized her so idk why it still counts as our baptizm but it does. Maybe it has something to do with them being recent converts or something...idk.
So you ask why is there a bucket in the shower. Well the hot water doesnt work and so we heat up water on the stove top and then pour it in the bucket and then use that water to bath. Its a very annoying process so i have just decided to take freezing cold showers. And now i never take too long in the shower :)
Well we havent had any conferences yet but we have a district meeting once every week. Its just the missionaries in the district getting together and descussing missionary stuff and reporting to the district leader. So i found out that our district leader is actually Elder Alvarez.
The ward here is really nice and i have grown to like a lot of them. I still dont know them all that well because its a bit difficult to convers with them but there are a select few we see more often then others.
My favorite lesson to teach is the Gospel Of Jesus Christ which includes faith, repentence, baptizm, recieveing the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
On of my favorite thing here is that street laws are kind of a joke. The driving here is crazy and u can just walk through the street inbetween cars and lanes and its compeletly normal. I am glad im not driving here.
So on wednesday i went on splits with Elder Erekson and went knocking doors in a sort of rich neighbor hood because we had a lunch appt there and we were early. Well just about all the people there that answered the door were either Chinese and didnt speek spanish or they were American and spoke some spanish. It was a blast talking with all them and then trying to talk to the chinese people.
Later that day we went teaching with a member, Angel, who is leaving on a mission in a few days to another place in Mex. At the end of the day we went to his house and next to his house i saw one of the fattest dogs i have ever seen. i will send a pic.
Well i love you all. Elder Evans
Ps i have the worst farmers/watch tan.

email to Dad:
I do like there the freedom in the outside world much more then the mtc lol
though i still like the mtc. yeah i am still having dificulty understanding
everyone but i think it is getting better or maybe i am just getting used
to not understanding lol.
I still need to use english scriptures to compare when i read is spanish.
The food here is a bit different then chipotle tacobell. Yeep i have had
their buritos and tacos and they are really good. I must say though i still
think i like chipotle a bit more.
The weather is great. its funny listening to people talk about how they are
freezing cold and its like 65degress out.
Love Jimmy
I wish i had more computer time.

The "worst farmers/watch tan"

the fattest dog he's ever seen

a baptism

Monday, April 23, 2012


My second week here is definitely better then the first. Its not like i am doing anything diferent but more that i am more used to eerything. Like the language is coming along, though it is still hard to understand most everything i can see some improvements. Like most of the time i can get the idea of what is being talked about. Lol and plus i guess i am a bit more used to not being able to understand people. And i most of my area pretty well, the areas we walk through all the time.
So you askedif i was getting to know people names.... i prettymuch just know missionarys name because they have a name tag. When i hear someones name i can only seem to remember it for a few mins because i am constently focus on understanding what they are saying and my brain can only work with soo much information haha.
My meal situation here is pretty much tortillas or cereal for breakfast and for lunch we just about always eat at a membors house, so soup, chicken, or noodles most the time and always tortillas. Its all pretty good here, i like the food.
Though there are a whole bunch of dogs here i havnt yet been chased by one. One dog started barking and growling at us and we wasnt channed up so i picked up a rock, not very big, but i guess all the dogs here are afraid of getting rocks thrown at them so when i grabbed the rock it sort of backed off. So far mostly i have taught about the Restoration and the imortance of the Book of Mormon and Praying in our lives. In lessions i really just say set parts or bear my testimony because just normal conversation in lessons is still difficult for my with my language skills.
So this week i got to go on exchanges with other elders in the district. It was me and Elder Gomez in his area. it was great because Elder Gomez is trying to learn english and acually probably knows a little more english then i know spanish so communicating between us was pretty easy.
So i have noticed that one of the biggest issues here for missionary work is that like no one here is married. They may have a family and may have been together for a really long time and call eachother husband and wife but arnt legally married. We have a family, Familia Gutierez, here that we have been teaching for a while and they are all set to be baptized and everything. they are like the ideal family a missionary could hope to find..... but they arnt married. And so we are trying to work with them on that, one thing that is holding them back is just fear of changing. So later today we are going to teach about faith, scriptures, movie, testimonies and everthing. while on my mission i hae really gained a greater appreciation for the scriptures. one of my fav Chapters is Moroni 7, its got a lot about faith. In that chp i am sharing verses 25,26,33 with them.
Well got to go.
Love you all, bye.
Btw this keyboard stinks so if any typing mistakes its because of the keyboard lol

Monday, April 16, 2012

A real email 4/16

Elder Alvarez speaks a little bit of English but not that much. Yeah he has mentioned Elder Johnson. I have been meeting a lot of different kinds of people but idk if i can really say i am meeting them cause i dont know too much about them because i find that it is a lot harder to understand the people here then in the MTC lol but it is still fun. Its a lot of hard work and by the end of the day i think my head hurts more then my feet, because i can handle lots of walking trying to understand what people are saying is very new to me. We walk everywhere we go btw. And Elder Alvarez is a hard worker and so along with that he pushes me to learn, which is good but dificult, like during lessions he will teach a bit and then just look at my and then i have to think of what to say next, i am doing most of the introducing in the door approches, and then yesterday we were eating at a members house and they are talking and all of the sudden E. Alvarez takes out his oil and gets ready to bless someone...thats when i know we are giving a blessing. Luckaly they were find with my doing the blessing in english. 
The food here is good, or the food the members cook. Mostly soup, noodles, and like chicken or beef... and there are always tortillas. And i havnt gotten sick yet and i really hope not to. I was also surprised to see how many dogs there are. They just walk around or sleep on the sidewalks.
So yesterday was church and we had a family of now new investigators that we meet yesterday attend. Its funny cause we meet then there was a lot of kids and one of the kids had on a BYU shirt. Apperently 2 kids out of the 10 people lived in Cali and were visiting that family and the 2 kids were LDS. But the rest of the extended family was not.
But about church: It was fun becuase it is something that is the same everywhere you go. I mean there were little differences like everyone was speaking spanish but it was structured the same. I like my ward "Los Pinos" and the people are nice i just wish i could understand them all. But i know the language will come, i am already beginning to be able to pick peices out of what people are saying and understand bits and peices.
Well i think i have answered most of the questions...
oh and there is an Elder in my District that i see once and a while from Colorado, Elder Erikson, and i got to speak english with him. It felt really good to be able to speak english and have someone understand my completely lol. 
Ok well bye. Love you all!


[the very brief emails received today, and then pictures]

To Mom: hey mom im on. And yeah the mision pres is nice and so is his wife. we ate a home made meal for once lol
To Dad:  I have about an hr here. Things are going well here. But it is really hard because i cant really understand anyone. The language is getting better but i still have a long ways to go. The food is pretty good too. Oh and the Church building for los Pinos is in
my area btw.
Love Jimmy


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Last batch of pics from MTC

Proof that the MTC overlords do let the elders outside once in a while.

Elder Giblette (from home ward) and EJ

EJ and his district leader


Successful acquisition of visas!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

First communication from Mexico!

(This will be rendered conversation style.  EJ and I had a very short back-and-forth via email)

From EJ:  I made it!

Mom: Yay! Where is your first area?

EJ:   My companion is Elder Alvarez and my area is Los Pinos / Insurgentes / tijuana

Mom:   Are you there now?

EJ:   i am in the mission office in tijuana

Mom:   Will you stay there tonight?
Have you met your companion?
How's the weather?
Did it take long to cross the border?

EJ:   doubt it
[seriously? Those are his answers? DETAIL, boy! Mother needs detail!]

The end.

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 4 2012

Hola Como estan? Esta may be a short letter porque no tengo mucho tiempo escribir. So this past weekend I got to watch General Conference. They had us all sit in the Gym to watch it. Same place we have devotional. They were really good. The MTC choir got to sing for Saterday afternoon session. If you watch when they sing "Praise to the Man" you will see Elder Archuleta. He's in the front row and at the end of the song he gets a little close up and you can see his name tag pretty well. It was funny when they showed him because you could hear all the missionaries wisper to the person beside them.

Then Sunday night we had a fireside and the guy who spoke was Vai Sikahema. You should google him and then maybe youtube him. A few of the videos he showed us were of him doing a news report on the MTC and their language program during the SLC Winter Olympics. Another video was of a commercial moto for this adoption agency,l the moto is "Forever Families" and then a few other videos. He then talked about his mission to South Dakota. It was really great.

On Monday I got to go to Boise ID to sign for my visa. We flew from SLC to Boise at like 8 in the morning. Me, Elder Bryce, Elder Fjelstrom got to fly first class. There were a few other elders who went with us and they got Coach. haha. So we got to eat regular food when we got there. We all went to Panda Express. Then got droped off at an apptment that all 7 of us were going to stay the night. We basically just chilled there for a day and a half and then flew to AZ and then back to SLC. It was a really fun trip. And now I am back at the MTC awaiting my leave to Mexico.

Love Elder Jimmy (scribble) <-- I was tired

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A phone call!

This post is written by mom--not by EJ.

I got a call from him today! He called out of the blue! I had been wondering what happened to him because we haven't heard much from him lately. There was the short email on Friday night about a Boise trip for his visa, but other than that, it's been a couple of weeks. He spent his March 27th P-day at the doctor's and so we were hoping to hear from him yesterday, but we waited by our gmails in vain.

So the phone call was a nice surprise. He called to tell me his travel plans. YES, he is officially scheduled to leave the MTC and head out to Mexico!

He arrives at the SLC airport at 9 a.m. Tuesday April 10th, and his flight to San Diego leaves at 11 a.m.  He will be picked up and driven across the border and he will start his REAL mission! He is very very excited to be going "outside."

Jim and I were nervous about the visa because for the last several months, we've heard rumblings about delayed visas to Mexico. So I was telling myself there might be a delay. But not so! EJ will be leaving on the date he was originally scheduled to go.

He will quickly discover that what he has learned in the MTC is not nearly enough to be fluent. He might be able to teach lessons, but conversations will be difficult, at least for a while.

And then just now, I got an email from EJ. He answered some of my latest questions. First I'll post my questions, and then I'll post his answers.

Dear Jimmy,
I'm writing in hopes that you still get your Pday today. This could be your last P day in the MTC. Ethan should have left yesterday and you will be leaving next Tuesday!
Any last requests? Dad is sending some pictures in the mail today.
I want to hear all about your trip to Boise:
1. who went
2. how long were you gone
3. what time you had to get up
4. what time you got back
5. was it just a quick signing of the visa
6. did you do anything else in Boise
7. was it nice to do something different?
8. also, is the medicine working?
Dad says you've seen Elder Archuleta. Where did you see him?
I hope you enjoy your last week at the MTC. Study hard, pray hard, and remember to be grateful for all you have been blessed with. We are grateful to have been blessed with such a wonderful son.
EJ's answers: 
ummm i  cant think of anything. and thank you
1. Me, Elder Bryce, Elder Fjelstrom and a few other missionaries from another district.
2. We were gone for 2 days
3.monday morning at 4 and tuesday the flight was at 2 so we got to sleep in a bit.
4. got back at about 9 at night
5. nope. took about 2 hrs of waiting and then sign at the very end
6. nope just sat around really
7. yes very nice to get out in the real world
8. yes it is and it helped to be able to just not sit in class for the last few days.
i have seen him at lunch, walking from class to class, and 2nd session of gen conference on sat he sang in the chior got a close up at the end of the song Praise to the Man.
He is really short. about katies height.
i am really excited to leave for mexico!
Love jimmy