Soldier in God's Army

Soldier in God's Army
Soldier in God's Army

Monday, October 29, 2012

Area Jardines

29 de Octubre, 2012

Well it's being going alright here in my new area. It's called
Jardines, which means "Gardens". We haven't been able to teach a lot
this week, because next week, 2 more missionaries are going to arrive
here, and we're on orders looking for a house to rent for 1,200 pesos
or less per month (which is pretty difficult, because all the houses
here cost about 5 times that much due to the richness of the area).
We've pretty much been walking all day, every day the past week
searching. So far nothing, and we've searched almost every street in
our area.

We had a baptism Saturday! His name is Pablo. He's awesome. He is only
16 years old, and is already taking care of his entire family, because
his dad left and his mom is severely ill (mentally). He is doing
great. I'm positive he is going to be a strong member of the church in
years to come.

So, when we got here, the sister missionaries that lived here before
us didn't leave anything for us in the house. To heat the water here,
you have to use a gas-fueled boiler. We left 2 large tanks full for
them back in Industrial (we switched areas with them). We got here,
and the tank was completely empty. We can't even fry anything, as the
stove is also fueled by gas. We can't exactly take showers with the
water as cold as it is here, so being as genius as we are, we figured
out another way to heat the water. We fill a bucket full of water, put
an electric iron in it, plug in the iron, and wait as the water boils.
It's pretty effective. Genius, I know.

Today, being preparation day, we exercised a ton. There's a pretty
huge park close to our house, and we go there every morning to run and
use the playground for pull-ups, tricep dips, abs, and tons of stuff.
Today we straight up RAN for 40 minutes, with 20 sets of 20 second
sprints/dashes. It was pretty tough, but we got through it like men.
After, we did the P90X ab ripper. And after that we went to the zone
activity to play basketball and soccer and other stuff for a few
hours. So I'm pretty beat. As of now, I weigh 87 kilograms, which is
like 192 pounds. I actually had to go to a sewing shop to get my white
shirts resized! So far I have lost a total of 39.5 pounds, and I can't
believe I got so fat after high school! I'm staying in gold's gym for
sure when I'm getting back! Right now I'm working on getting a 6 pack.
I've got a 4 pack now, so we're getting there. All this walking to the
appointments really helps out.

We found out a little bit of why we had emergency transfers and what's
going to be happening in the next transfer (1 week from now, starting
Monday). We are here to learn the area the first 2 weeks. When the new
missionaries get here, we're gonna split up, so that each
companionship has 1 person who knows the area. More than that, who
knows. I guess we'll all find out next week. Kinda weird though,
because usually they only do the emergency-transfers-2-weeks-before
thing for a good reason, usually big reasons. We'll see what happens.
I'm gonna miss him. Elder Olvera has been a great companion, and we
get along great. He has 22 months in the mission, so he's goin home
after next transfer (in December).

Also, Sunday was awesome! Here in Jardines, we share the same building
with Guadalupe, my first area! I got to see a lot of the members
there, and there were so surprised to see me. Best of all, I got to
see Juan Nájera, who was my first investigator to get baptized in my
mission! He came dressed in one of my white shirts I gave him, with
one of my silk ties around his neck, tied just like I showed him how.
He was walking down the hall and I yelled "¡Juan!". He turned around,
saw my face, and cracked a big ol' smile. He said "¡¡¡Hermano
Riggs!!!" and gave me a big hug. We got to talking, and he is doing
awesome. He is a strong member, and strives to be active for the rest
of his life. That pretty much made my day.

Well I gotta go now. Next week I'll tell you a bit about the
traditions around here. And about The Day of The Dead.
- Elder Riggs

Emergency Transfers.....Again!

22 de Octubre, 2012

We got a call last night around 11:30 telling us that we have
emergency transfers. Elder Olvera is going to the area Jardines, in
the same zone. I'm going to...... Jardines as well! They changed us
both by emergency to the same area, as the same companionship! Pretty
crazy. Who knows if we'll both be here for the next transfer. It's
gonna be a little hard at first, as neither of us knows the area at
all. So I'm still here in Durango. So far its the Mexico Durango
Mission for me haha.

We baptized Chuyin (son of Jesus and Maribel) on Saturday, and Jesus
is going to baptize Maribel on the 3rd of November!


Manuel de Jesus also accepted a baptismal date for the 3rd of
November, we just won't get to see it.

Yesterday in the district meeting, Elder Ragland (district leader and
good friend of mine since the beginning of the mission) brought me a
birthday cake. It ended up being a big surprise. You gotta see the
video.
video

Well due to having to move from house to house, I am out of time.
Sorry for the short letter.



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Resetting Baptismal Dates

15 de Octubre, 2012

Well we had a good week this week. We didn't have any baptisms
(Alfredo is going to be baptized this coming Saturday, due to falling
short), but we did set a few dates. We had to reschedule some dates,
and others are going to be rescheduled this coming week.

The little boy who was with us taking pictures by the water tower got
reactivated Sunday, along with his mom. His dad will finish the
reactivation process next sunday if he goes. It has been great working
with them.

So Hermana Gema always gives us free tamales whenever we ask, and they
are the best I've ever tried. She is giving me a ton of her recipes,
including 5 different types of tamales, Pomegranate juice, a pear
dessert, and tons of other stuff. I'm pretty excited, especially for
her special pomegranate juice. That stuff tastes amazing. Also, she
invited me over to show me how to make tamales, so what did I do? I
took a video of course! Only Elder Olvera kept rotating the camara the
whole time.

We also tried the whole "Mentos in Coke" experiment. We didn't get the
big results we were expecting, but we had a little fun. I took a video
of that too. So enjoy!

We have been teaching Mariam (Monica's daughter) and she has been
going pretty well. She already accepted a baptismal date for the 27th
of this month, so we are gonna help her prepare for that.

Fam. Rios (recent convert family we recently baptized) has a daughter
named Zayra who recently moved back in with them. We have been
teaching her and set a baptismal date for the 27th. In our mission
right now, the investigators have to got to church at least 2 times to
get baptized. She didn't go this last sunday, so we are going to have
to set another date further ahead so she can go 2 times to get
baptized.

Also, we recently had interviews with President Flores (or Pres.
Flowers, as some of us call him) and mine went really well. He has
been learning English lately, and in our interview he was floored by
my Spanish. He said my Spanish is really good, and that I almost sound
like a Mexican. He asked me how I achieved it, and I told him: I
study. He said I am doing really well in the mission and he's proud of
me. We pretty much talked for about 15 minutes.

Maribel and Chuyin are progressing really well. Jesus, their
Father/Husband (recently baptized by us) was going to perform the
baptism this Saturday. He met with the bishop and was supposed to be
ordained a Priest on sunday, but for some reason none of them when.
Hopefully we can figure it out so he can still do it this Saturday.

I recently discovered a crazy good pastry here called "Negritos". It's
kinda funny, because on the wrapper it shows a little black kid with a
giant afro, and Negritos literally translates to "Little Blacks" or
"Little Black People". Hilarious, racist, and most of all delicious.
It's like a Chocolate bar donut, but filled with Chocolate cream. Sold
everywhere here for about 6 or 7 pesos.

Well I got to go. You got a longer letter and 2 videos, so you can't
complain this week, right? Enjoy. Until next week!

Elder Tyler Riggs

P.S. My birthday is the 24th of this month, in case you want to write
a letter or anything lol

Videos

video
video


Monday, October 8, 2012

Conference Weekend

8 de Octubre, 2012

So this week has been pretty awesome! We set 6 baptismal dates, 1 for
this Saturday and 5 for next Saturday. This Saturday we're expecting
Alfredo. It was pretty tough setting the dates for the other 5. In the
end, we all knelt down and they individually prayed about whether they
should do it or not, and they ended up receiving an answer in the very
moment, and they will all get baptized on the 20th (Maribel wife of
Jesus, her son Chuyin, her sister Gabriela with her Husband and
Daughter Alejandro and Laura). Maribel is the one who asked us to
do something about her sick sister in law last week that was healed
 when we gave her a blessing.






We found a big water tower, climbed it, and had a little kid take a
picture of us (who we later found out is inactive and we are now
reactivating him and his family). I also took a picture of almost our
entire area, the mountains being at the edge (but still inside) of the
boundaries.

I also cut my own hair, and did a pretty good job. So far nobody has
said anything about bald patches, so I'm pretty sure I did all right.
I ended up using paper-cutting scissors on most of it.

We've started getting up at 6 to go to a park to exercise. It's pretty
much helping a lot. I'm now under the 200 pound mark, and I've got my
4 pack back. I'm going for 6 now, then I build up in strength again.

We had conference this weekend, and some of the announcements were
pretty crazy! 18 year requirement for male missionaries, 19 for
female! And my baby sister is gonna leave a month after I get back!
Crazy. I watched 2 sessions in Spanish, and the rest in English with
the rest of the Americans in my zone so we could practice our English
a little people. It was a little hard to speak English again, as it
was the first time I have done so in about 4 months. But it was fun.
One of the most powerful general conferences I have heard in my life.

Well that's pretty much it for this week. Sorry for the short letter.
No time now, but I'll make it longer next week. We should have a
baptism.

Monday, October 1, 2012

2 More Baptisms!!


1 de Octubre, 2012
  
This week has been awesome! It's also been a little hard. The program in the zone here requires that every lesson with investigators has a member present. The problem is that the members are rarely available or don't want to come with us. So that's hard. We've had to postpone a lot of appointments. But we had 2 baptisms! Isabel and her daughter, Gaby, both got baptized. Isabel asked me to do it, and Gaby asked Elder Jordan (another Elder in our district) to baptize her. The bishop also assigned me to confirm Gaby Sunday.


Honestly, there's not a whole lot more I can say about this last week. I recently bought a pirated Adidas shoulder bag for 90 pesos, so that was pretty awesome. It works pretty well for me. We only found about 6
cockroaches in our house during the entire week, so that is definitely an improvement.

I found out recently that Elder López (my trainer) is now District Leader. That's pretty awesome. He writes me in English to practice.
I recently recieved a birthday package which included a bunch of glow in the dark stickers. So I put them on our ceiling in our bedroom in the form a a baptismal symbol, to remind us of our goal of at least 11 more by the end of this transfer.
 
Our investigators are doing well. I have seen quite a few miracles here. Maribel (the wife of our recent convert, Jesus) has a sister who was sick. Elder Macedo and I went over and they asked us to do
something. This woman was sick beyond belief. They though she was going to die. That day, we went over and gave her an anniontment and sealing (blessing of the sick with olive oil). She went to bed, and
when she woke up the next morning she was completely healed, as if she hadn't been sick at all. That made Jesus's wife open up a ton, and she is now listening to us and is letting her son, Chuyin, get baptized in 2 weeks. She will probably get baptized as well. I am convinced that was an oportunity God gave us to teach a lesson and gain another great investigator. He works in mysterious ways.

Well that's pretty much it. I wish I had more. We're expecting to have another 11 baptisms in the next 5 weeks, if we work hard. We'll see how it goes.

Well that's pretty much it. Sorry the letter is so short. Hopefully I'll have more to say next week.