Monday, December 30, 2013

Houston - December 30, 2013

Yeah I loved talking with you guys. Sorry about the Skype. That would have been cool to see y'all but to tell you the truth I haven't changed a whole lot. I'm happy to hear that you guys are all doing okay.

I bet it is going to be pretty tough to go back to work and school. We had two whole days off so it was really strange trying to get back on track. We didn't have as many lessons as we would have liked but we had a great time. We pretty much have all of New Year's Eve off too so I don't know what I'll do with myself. Are y'all planning on making the German dinner? That is my favorite meal of the year!  Nothing like it. Hope you guys can eat all of that without me and Jacob. It will be fun playing those games when I get back. We were getting some really cool ones the months before I left.

Thank you for offering to pray for our investigators. If you could, pray that they will come to church. That is our biggest issue right now.

It's actually not too humid right now; kind of different from when I first got here. Before I could barely go outside it was so humid!

I'm happy that you guys got to try the pupusas! It is one of my favorite foods that I've had so far. That's pretty cool that you got to meet Elder Ek's brother too. He talks about him a lot. Elder Ek's brother went to El Salvador on his mission so he's had a lot probably. They really are great people and I love working with Elder Ek. We get along really well.

Love you guys a ton and enjoy these last few days of a break!


Elder Ressler

Monday, December 23, 2013

Houston - December 23, 2013

I'm doing great! I am so excited to be able to talk to you guys! Yeah it doesn't feel like Christmas! It's going by way fast!

The next couple of days will be pretty relaxed because we have two all day P-days. I know that it will be weird not having me there but I am doing the Lord's will. Don't worry at all about me I am doing great here.

I miss playing in the snow! The cold here is kind of hard to explain. There is a lot more moisture in the air the air gets super cold. You'd just have to experience it. We actually just got hit with a cold front. How cold has it been? TOO COLD!!! I think that Houston may just be making me weak. I'll get back to Utah and freeze to death.

How many treats do I have here? TOO many treats! I've pretty much eaten junk food for the past two weeks.

Mexicans celebrate Christmas pretty much the same way we do but with one difference... They are obsessed with Posole y Tamales during the season. I love it!

One of the greatest moments on my mission was at the Mexico City temple when me and Elder Woodruff were walking to meet the rest of the group. We walked past one of the workers who gave us a cheerful hola. We said hola back then kept walking. He went back to work then stopped and yelled back to us "Gracius por salvando me!" This means thank you for saving me! That is what this work is all about.

I really did like Ephraim’s Rescue and I want to be like that guy. He really knows what it is about to be a servant of God and holder of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

Thunderstorms get pretty bad here. Usually when it gets too bad we ride our bikes to safety. We've had some really close calls. An Elder Erickson got hit a couple of years ago and it was really sad. President has given us a list of things to do when they get bad. But don't worry I know that the Lord is protecting us. If we get hit then it is God's will!!! Mom, I was kidding, I haven't even seen any lightning here :)

Elder Strong got transferred and I now have two friends from the MTC with Elder Parker. One of them is Elder Birch who is from Idaho. He is obsessed with potatoes...Just so you know I am keeping up with the tradition of cheese and crackers.

Our investigators are doing awesome and we are having success. I know that there is a reason that I was supposed to stay here. I have been given the opportunity to continue to make the difference in these people's lives. I will let you know what happens and how this next transfer goes.

I know that Jesus is my Lord and Savior. Most people around here believe that but don't do anything about it. I know who He is and I know He knows me. Because of Him our family can be together forever.

Love you so much! Merry Christmas and can't wait to talk to you!

Elderito Ressler

Monday, December 16, 2013

Houston - December 16, 2013

We had a great week. Unfortunately, pretty much the only one who sings Feliz Navidad is  me... Yeah, Mexicans are big into Christmas just in their own way. We did have our Christmas Conference though and we had a talent show and watched Ephraim's rescue. The only bad thing was that Elder Ek got really sick. He felt better the next day but I know that was a rough day for him.

This week was the week that I got to lead in pretty much everything, so I was a little bit stressed out, but it was awesome. The biggest thing that happened this week was transfer calls. Me and Elder Ek walked over Saturday night to Elder Parker's and Strong's and listened to them when they came in. I and Elder Ek are staying!!!! We were so happy to hear that. I am officially Elder Ek's longest companion. I feel like there are so many cool things going on right now and I'm so happy that I get to see what happens. I found out that out of the nine other greenies that I came out with, I am the only one staying in my area. This is pretty much unheard of. Elder Strong and I are finally getting separated after being together since getting on the plane to Mexico. We're just waiting to be companions because obviously the names Strong and Ressler go together.

Well, today is actually the first day of my life as a fully trained missionary; kind of crazy to tell you the truth.

I think that I am good for Skype. La familia Martinez who are the people in charge of our dinner schedule are letting us use their computer. I got your package and thank you so much for it! I am super happy about the sweater and especially the shoes.

The weather was a lot nicer this week. I am starting to get used to the cold too. I actually am starting to like it.

Tell Harry not to worry too much I am sure that he did great on the ACT.

We attend church in the Broadway 2nd Ward which is the greatest Spanish ward known to mankind. There are four sets of missionaries in our ward, four Hermanas and four Elders.

Usually the meals that we have are tortillas and some kind of meat, beans, and rice. Sometimes we have some really crazy stuff like papusas, gorditas, or chile reno.

Thank you so much for being such an awesome family. I love you guys a ton and miss you. I hope that you will be able to put down all of that food that you'll have without me and Jacob there. Have a great Christmas and can't wait to talk to y'all!!!


Elder Ressler

Monday, December 9, 2013

Houston - December 9, 2013

I have been doing great. Here it is still green and completely flat but I like it for some strange reason. Texas is doing pretty good right now. To tell you the truth it is a whole new world and about the Alamo... They are pretty proud of that.

It's pretty cold here too, it is just a different kind of cold. The humidity really does make a difference.  It is only around 40 degrees but it is a bone chilling cold! Maybe it is just because I am used to it being hot but the humidity makes it absolutely frigid. I am keeping warm though. I usually wear my sweater and my coat with a hat and gloves. I keep pretty warm. Elder Ek laughs because he says when I ride my bike my coat flies out behind me and I look like Harry Potter. We're going to take a picture of it sometime this week. 

We had a lot of lessons. We challenged a couple of people to baptism and we've got a couple people coming up with a date!!! No, unfortunately we haven't even been able to see Jorge for a while. We have a meeting scheduled for this week it has just been a little difficult. Its okay he is one of those people who I know will get there. We are having a lot of people willing to hear our message! One of the Zone Leaders told me that people start getting really receptive about this time and he is definitely right! I love it. I've decided to get into Christmas by saying Feliz Navidad instead of Nos Vemos. I haven't had a lot of success with getting people to say it back but I keep trying.

I did get to see the Devotional and thought it was awesome. We've been seeing a lot of Christmas decorations. We always have a discussion about Christmas lights and Elder Ek is in shock that all we did were bush lights. I always just laugh at him and say that's just how it is. Elder Ek already opened his presents he got from home :).

Can't believe that the woodpecker came back, we've got some problems with birds here too. There is a street where a couple THOUSAND birds sit above us on a telephone line. I must be eating my Lucky Charms because I haven't been hit yet but Elder Ek has been "bombed from above" by them three times.

I've had a little bike trouble but I can't complain that is just how it goes. For me I can't believe that I have already been in the mission for almost four months. It is going by pretty fast. I've almost finished training and this week we find out what happens with transfers. I really hope that I am able to stay here with Elder Ek! There are a lot of really cool things that are happening here and I want to stay around to see what happens. The week before, we found a ton of new investigators and we even had the Zone Leaders call us and congratulate us (while giving us a subtle hint that we need to make sure they are turned into real investigators). The great thing is... it happened! We were able to meet with most of them and they are very interested in learning more. I can't even imagine leaving but I think that I might. It is really up in the air what happens.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the Savior. With Christmas coming around we are seeing more people open to hearing our message. The Savior paid the price for each one of us. I don't know if you saw the Christmas Devotional last night but I thought it was really cool about that little Cub Scout who was told that Jesus Christ died for him. It is true. He really did die for each one of us. It is very humbling to think of it like that. That someone would have that much love that they would give their own life so that we may return to live with God.

That is awesome that you guys are getting ready for Christmas! I am very excited to talk to you guys. It is great to be able to email y'all but it just isn't the same. There is way too much to tell. You just kind of have to live it. Just so you know, I have been living up to the family tradition of having cheese and crackers. Elder Ek was kind of wondering what was going on, but it was great. Nothing like it! I'm thinking about buying a cheese ball too. Our mission presidency challenged us to eat healthier which is funny because Elder Ek is pretty bad and I am starting to follow in his footsteps. Hey, I just like Cheezits. I am eating more fruits and vegetables and I do feel better, so I will probably start making some changes.

That's awesome about the stake goal to index a million names this year! I hope that you guys can do it! Family history work is a really big part of missionary work. We have actually had a lot of people talk to us and say that they know of our church through family history! I bet Mom would love to hear that.

It is very interesting about how God answers our prayers. I love how we always have him to turn to. No matter what question we have we can always turn to our Father in Heaven and he will answer us.

Love you so much! Feliz Navidad!!!!

Elder Ressler

Monday, December 2, 2013

Houston - December 2, 2013

Here it feels like September! The grass is still green and the leaves are just starting to fall off. Yeah, it really did fly by this week. We had a great week though and had a lot of success. Starting up a new area is hard, but when we first got to the area me and Elder Ek told each other that we want to get at least 20 lessons by the end of my training. The first week we got 4 and it was pretty rough for a while. Somehow this week we were able to find 13 new investigators and taught 20 lessons! The ZLs called us this morning to congratulate us. We feel like we have gotten the area started up and it has truly been a miracle that we have been able to do what we have so far.

This week was also interesting because we ran into a Bible basher. We were knocking some streets on Friday and this guy asked us which church we were from and we said LDS or Mormons. He then pulled out a whole bunch of points that he could only have gotten from anti-Mormon literature and threw it at us. He brought up some things about Joseph Smith and faith. We tried to reason with him but no matter what we said he wouldn't listen. My companion was doing most of the talking and was trying to get it so that we could leave, but the guy just kept on going. Finally, I got super fed up with him and interrupted him. I bore my testimony to him and Elder Ek said it was pretty powerful. I was just so fed up with him that I didn't want to listen anymore. Then, me and Elder Ek took turns answering his questions. We didn't attack him we just defended the things that we know to be true. We figure that they just do it to get us upset and get a thrill out of it.

For Thanksgiving we had a traditional meal which was really good! We went over to two families and had two meals right on top of the other. I ate three pieces of pie. My companion told me that I was crazy for eating that much but I just told him that my dad always makes a ton. We had some discussions about dessert and he claims that pie is not the greatest dessert in the world but I told him that there are only a few things that I like more than pie. Missed the homemade this year, but at least I got some.

Our investigators are doing great! We have one person getting baptized in two weeks and we just challenged this really nice lady to get baptized at the end of the month. The Lord has truly blessed this area.

I am so excited to hear from you guys on Christmas! We have been listening to non-stop Christmas music and I really can't wait; kind of interesting how it brings everyone one together. I was talking to an older missionary and he says that at Christmas everyone wants to hear a message about Christ so you get a lot of people to teach. I'm excited for that. This week was absolutely amazing and we were super blessed.

I absolutely love being out here on my mission. This is pretty much the greatest thing that I have done my whole life. I wouldn't be anywhere else right now. I miss ya'll but I know that I will see you guys again. This is where I belong.


Elder Ressler

Monday, November 25, 2013

Houston - November 25, 2013

We are doing great! And the Spanish is coming along! I was really happy because I had some really cool moments this week when I was able to understand everything they said and respond to their questions easily. It is a little hard sometimes, but we work at it. We do only Spanish study time from 6-9 every day and it helps me a lot. I love speaking Spanish. It is one of the coolest things in the world. Ahora, mi Español es no perfecto pero cada dia trato para aprender mas. Me encanta Español.

Thank you for praying for us! We really need it. We work hard and some people we think are listening, but aren't for real. We keep trying though and it doesn't bother us too bad.

Yeah I feel pretty bad for Jacob. That would be pretty rough not having Thanksgiving. Here they are giving us a half P-day today and a whole P-day on Thanksgiving. Plus, Thursday is Elder Ek's year mark and they sent him a package with a little Christmas tree. Wow, I was super excited!

I am really excited to be able to talk to you guys! I think Jacob will probably get to. It is in the mission handbook that you get to at least call home. For us we get to call on Mother's Day and Skype on Christmas.

We are allowed 1 hour a week to look at videos on and I watched a Mormon message that talked about gratitude. It was the talk that President Eyring gave about writing in a journal after asking the question, "Have I seen the hand of the Lord in our lives today?". I haven't started yet but I am going to do that. We have a lot of incredible experiences here that make me very grateful. A lot of times we don't see these until we sit down and think about them.

My companion Elder Ek is awesome! I am so blessed to be with him. We get along great even though we are different in a lot of ways. I have a lot of fun with him and I learn a lot. I still get to do a lot with Elder Strong. We see him practically every day and we go over to their place which is in the same apartment complex and play some games at night. I've met a ton of other missionaries and I learn a ton from each of them. Our zone covers part of what we call “Spanish Land” (I hope that I never leave). Here more than half of the people here speak Spanish. I get a lot of practice.

I believe that the thing I am most grateful for is my family. You guys are all my best friends. I miss ya'll a ton but I'm doing something very important here. I also notice a huge difference in my life when I go to the temple. We had a couple of opportunities to go to the temple in Mexico City and even though I didn't understand a whole lot I felt the spirit. It was a very neat experience.

About that young man you mentioned who has been struggling with finding a testimony, this is pretty much what we do. A couple of weeks ago someone asked me how I could know if I was raised in the church. I told him that every person needs to gain their own testimony. I can't believe what everyone tells me unless I know for myself. I've prayed many times to know if this church was true. The most powerful was when I was in Pennsylvania. We went to the Hill Cumorah with Grandma and Grandpa and I prayed in my head saying, "Heavenly Father I believe that this is true, but I need to know for sure. I am about to serve a mission and I can't bear witness unless I am absolutely sure." I got my answer in the Sacred Grove the next day. Me and Grandpa walked into that rainy grove and stood there for a couple of minutes as I prayed. I felt a powerful feeling inside me that filled me with the most joy that I have ever felt. Now, I can say for myself that I know that this church is true. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that all men will live again. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and God speaks to man today.

We've talked a lot as a mission about giving our whole hearts to God during our mission. I don't know if you have ever read the talk "The Fourth Missionary". It is about this. Right now I am focused on giving my whole heart to him and if I do this my mission will change me forever. I want you to know that I will not come home the same person if I can do this. I will be who I was designed to be.

As you lose yourself you will find out who you were always meant to be.

I love you guys so much and am so happy that I get to be a part of this family! Have a great week!

Elder Ressler

Monday, November 18, 2013

Houston - November 18, 2013

It's pretty nice here to tell you the truth. This week at the beginning it got SUPER cold. In the morning it hit high 30s! Now it is in the 70s. Our investigators are doing great. Still a little interesting because we are still trying to get this area started. You may think that people don't really say "How is you?" but last week we were in the Washateria and was listening to this lady and that was all that I could understand from her.

I am so excited for Thanksgiving! They are already giving us pie! They say we have an all day P Day on Thanksgiving! I am told that we will be able to Skype on Christmas. Looking forward to it! It will be great to hear from you guys.

Wow I'm sure proud of the girls for giving talks this week. Tell them not to be nervous, they'll do great! I'm proud Harrison is still going in Scouting. That really helped me to prepare to be out on my mission. Jacob’s release date is March 27th? That is pretty early to tell you the truth. I can't believe that it has gone by so fast. Pretty soon he's going to be home! I'm excited for him. He and I are able to email back and forth and just talk about all of the experiences we have. He gives me advice.

As far as getting sick...Mom, I am fine :) Don't worry about me. The Lord is taking care of us. As far as being tired, I have heard that that feeling never goes away on your mission. This is a ton of work. It is really getting me in shape. Not sure if I told you what happened to me but I was feeling absolutely exhausted one day and then I turned to the scriptures and it said how the Lord's servants will not be weary. I have not been terribly tired since. God is really watching over us.

I sometimes have some pretty glorious crashes on my bike that aren't really even bad, just funny. Just this week my companion and I were riding down the street when we hit what I call a "mountain biking spot". I didn't see it but there was a slab of cement and I went head over the handlebars. I wasn't at all hurt. In fact, I was laughing about it. The only bad thing was that I popped my tire. After sitting there laughing for a good while with my companion, we went to a nearby store to figure it out.

Dad, Mom told me that you gave a really good talk in stake conference! I'm happy that it went so well. We actually had the opportunity to go to stake conference here and pretty much all that they talked about was missionary work. We talk about how since we have this great knowledge it is our duty to share it. The crazy thing is that God gives us opportunities if we really want them. Our mission president said that either God will guide them to us or he will guide us to them. I have definitely found this to be true. We have had a lot of really cool experiences here with finding. Sometimes it is us going to them. Like how it is right now with this lady we met. Other times it is how it is with a young man we met. One night we were going to a Taqueria to eat with a member and our tire popped. So we called the member and he drove us there and then he dropped us off at our next appointment. We were just about to go in when we realized that Elder Ek had left his backpack in the restaurant. We started to walk back when a young man came by. He asked us if we were Mormon Elders and we said yes. He then gave us a ride there and told us that his uncle was a member and he really liked the things that we believe in. We just challenged him to be baptized last night and he accepted. I love this work with all of my heart. I hope that I can continue to share when I get back. There is a member here and he goes out with us all the time even though his is super busy. He came back from his mission like six years ago but is so enthusiastic that it feels like he's been home for a couple months. I hope that I can be like that.

I love you so much and I can feel your prayers. I had another flat a couple of days ago (me and Elder Ek think it just comes with the area) and was a little frustrated. At home the next day I was using the patches and I don't know why but I felt like someone at home was praying for me. It really was neat to be able to feel that. Don't know if it is true but I believe that it is. Thanks for all of your support and I hope you guys know how much I love you. Thanks for all of the things that you do for me.


Elder Ressler

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Houston - November 12, 2013

This week was great. The work is going really well. I quote Elder Morano from “The District” video who said, "I don't know why I'm so happy because I am tired all the time.”

Our newest convert’s father, who we are teaching, is doing great and he says that he feels like he got an answer!!! We are just going to keep teaching him until his baptism. We are also teaching a guy who is going to get married and then baptized on December 7th. We are also teaching another family who is awesome.

Sorry we weren't able to email you yesterday. It was because it was Veterans Day and the zone leaders thought that the libraries were closed. Speaking of that, tomorrow I lose my first ZL. His name is Elder Erickson and he played football for Bingham High School. He is a real nice guy and he gave me a lot of his ties (which I always need). Then, I also got to go on exchanges with my friends Elder Strong and Elder Parker. It was a blast.

I think that it's cool that you were able to have a bit of a missionary experience. I have learned out here that things start out small a lot of the times. Even just telling somebody about what we believe can make all of the difference. This last week we were talking to a guy who was working cutting down trees for his work. We went over to talk to him and he declined but said that out of all the years he has been doing this, every single missionary he has seen has asked him if they can help. He is definitely being prepared. We probably won't be there when it happens but one day he will have an opportunity to listen to the missionaries.

I remember that story that you told me in the temple. One of the things that I am going to love to do is to go to the temple with you guys once I get home. I loved going to the Mexico City temple with my friends from the MTC but I can't wait to go with you again.

I have probably told you this before but I am so happy here. This is the greatest mission ever and I love everything about it. It gets kind of tough some times and at first it was hard to ride my bike. It took some work but now my legs can handle the daily biking no problem. It was a couple of weeks ago, but I was praying really hard to be able to do the things that God needs me to do. I was pretty tired from my bike and from all the work we do, but then I read a verse in the D&C. It was God calling some men to go on missions and it said, "They shall not be weary, neither in mind or body". After that I put my faith in the Lord and decided that I was going to peddle the hardest I could. Since then I have literally not had a single problem with my bike.

I think that our investigators will be open to hearing about Christ more during Christmas, though I couldn't be too sure. Weird... they've already started to play Christmas music in Wal-Mart. 


1. My favorite thing to do on P day is to write you!!! My second is to play basketball. Basketball is pretty big down here. The area is Broadway so we call it Broadwayball.

2. The coolest thing that happened to me this week is when we taught a woman. She was super receptive to the gospel. It will be interesting to see what happens. We definitely felt the spirit when we were there.

3. The best food that I had here has been: Gorditas and Papuses. I haven't really had yucky food.

I love you so much. I pray for you guys and I hope that you are all doing well.

Elder Ressler

P.S. Wish happy birthday to Grandma Ressler for me! I loved being over there with them and really appreciated their willingness to let me visit.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Houston - November 4, 2013

I am doing great! We worked super hard this week and I am super tired, but I am like the one missionary on The District who said, “I don't know why I am so happy because I am tired all the time". Texas is awesome. It is still pretty hot but it has started to cool down. We actually had to wear our sweaters yesterday (notice I said HAD TO). Halloween was great. The other Elders in our complex Elder Strong and Elder Parker came over and we played some games. It was a lot of fun.

This week was really good and we are working really hard. We have had a little bit of bike trouble but we are doing all right (just a couple of flat tires). We've had to buy a couple of tubes and I've used the stuff you sent with me. We are doing really well over here and have some baptismal dates coming up next month.

It's been a little hard starting up this new area, but we keep trying. The Lord is preparing new people to teach we just have to go out and find them. It is very interesting to see how much that I have changed too. I feel like I know what I am doing a little more and I can feel a HUGE improvement in my Spanish. This makes me really happy to tell you the truth. Another thing is that I am starting to really love riding my bike! It used to be a little hard because we were riding so much but I am getting used to it and I don't get tired from riding anymore. I actually enjoy the feeling that I get when we bike a long ways. I had a really interesting thought the other day. It was that here on my mission I am going to be tailored into the person that God wants me to be. This mission will change my life.

We do have a ton of Mexican food down here. I love it. I was talking with Elder Ek and he says that in the English houses we get a lot of chicken, but since we're Spanish missionaries we get the good stuff.

Haha sorry about the pictures. . . I always forget to take them and then I forget to bring my camera. I promise that I will start taking some more. I adjusted the picture size on my camera so it should be good.

I love being out here on the mission. The people that I teach are always so nice and I feel lucky to be out here. Strange how fast time goes by out here.

I can't wait for Thanksgiving either. I am going to miss your pies Dad. I can imagine it will be really different. Does Mom still make the same amount of food even though me and Jake are gone? Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday so I am lucky that I am in the states so I can still celebrate it.

Yep, Elder Ek definitely doesn't like bugs. I can tell that he comes from a really good family and I am so happy that you guys had a great time going to dinner with his parents. He is a really nice guy and we get along really well.

Yeah his name is Elder Ek. It is funny because they look at our name tags and just frown because it is super hard to pronounce both of our names. They always ask Elder Ek if that is his entire name. I am starting to like the heat though it is getting a lot colder here (When I say cold I mean for Texas) I am told we missed the hottest time.

With doing missionary work, when I was in Utah I didn't think that I could do a whole lot with missionary work. It isn't easy to talk to others about your religion but I know that when you do the spirit takes over and testifies to them that what you are saying is true. I remember going out with the missionaries a lot but wish I could have gone more. It really prepared me to be here. 

I love you all so much and am happy that you are all doing well. I love hearing from you guys and am happy that everyone is having a good time. Please pray for my investigators and that I will be able to understand what they say and what their needs are. 


Elder Ressler

Monday, October 28, 2013

Houston - October 28, 2013

We had a super good week. Everything worked out with my bike and I was super blessed. It turns out that the back tire of my bike was a bit torn up and so it was wobbly which I think caused the axle to break. I was greatly blessed though because I thought I would need a new wheel which would cost a lot but I didn't.

I am doing great! This week was a very good one and we are beginning to get our area started up. We have been able to get more lessons in and are doing a better job at finding people. Our investigators are doing really well. Cezar is amazing and we are trying to work with him to get the Aaronic Priesthood and tonight we have an appointment with his dad. We are also teaching a man and he will be baptized sometime in the next month or two. We've had some pretty crazy stuff happen this week with finding. A couple of days ago we were riding down the street and felt like we should talk to this one guy who was leaning against his truck. We found out that he has been able to change his life around through Christ. He was in a gang before and almost went to jail but now he has gotten a job and is going to be able to take care of his little girl. We got a return appointment and right before we were about to leave he mentioned that he had been inside when he had felt prompted to go outside and wait. He had been waiting for over an hour by the time that we talked to him and he said that it wasn't luck we had met.

I have a lot of people from the MTC in my district. I actually had the opportunity to go on the first ever heard of "Greeny Exchange" and I was put with my old MTC companion Elder Woodruff. It was a lot of fun and really interesting to see what both of us have learned. All but two missionaries from my district, besides the two in Nicaragua, are really close to me. It is awesome! My buddy Elder Strong is also in the same apartment complex with us. One night we were playing a little game of soccer and I was going up against him. I got the ball and as soon as I walked away I saw him fall back into the window. It was a very interesting night. Luckily the window is only $25, so it isn't two bad. I don't think we will be playing soccer inside much anymore. It was quite a funny experience. "We can laugh about it now we're okay".

We haven't been able to read the General Conference talks too much but I do sometimes when I have time. I love Elder Uchtdorf's talk in Priesthood Session. It was absolutely amazing and all of the other one's are great.

To tell you the truth it still seems like summer, but we are starting to get into fall. It gets just a little colder at night and is not quite so hot or humid during the day. If I didn't know better though I would say that it was early August.

I love Mexican food now, but I have to tell you that I had no idea what it was before I came out here. Burritos are just the tip of the iceberg. My two favorite things here are Tortes which are like a sandwich and Papusas which are really cool El Salvadorian bread. I also like Pan de Dulce.

It doesn't matter how long I have been out, I can still have an effect on the work. If I try to do my best then everything will be all right and the Lord will bless me with success. I found a really good quote by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin that says, "Come what may and love it... Trust in the Lord. Do your best and leave the rest to him". Everything will be all right because I am here trying to do what is right.

I love you guys so much and I want you to know that I am doing fine. I got your letter in the mail and will be sending one to you in a week or two.

Good luck with Halloween!

Love Elder Ressler

Monday, October 21, 2013

Houston - October 21, 2013

This week was very interesting. We worked super hard but we are having a hard time getting everything up and running.

We have had a little bit of bike trouble (mostly my companion) but I am super optimistic and I will tell you why. Friday we were riding to our appointment when all of the sudden the back axle on my bike broke in half. We both decided that the Lord was trying to tell us something so we called the ZLs for a ride and while we were waiting we knocked doors to see if there was somebody he wanted us to teach. After a long time we got to the end of the street and felt like we should talk to this family who was just about to leave. It was great and we really felt that they had a desire to listen. They seem like an awesome family and we will start teaching them soon. Sometimes we wonder why things happen but we have to realize that a lot of the times it is because God has a bigger picture in mind.

I have always heard that the first transfer or so is always the hardest just because it takes a while to get used to everything. I watched a really good Mormon message this week by Joseph B. Wirthlin which was taken from his "Come what may and love it" talk. In it he says "Come what may and love it. Trust in the Lord. Do your best and leave the rest to him". Though some days may be hard out here I just need to have faith. God will always help me through.

That is great that you guys were able to try to do some missionary work! It is interesting how people are surprised when we start talking with them. I feel like the art of conversation is becoming a lost art. Please keep going on it! By small and simple means great things are brought to pass.  I don't know if I have told you this but there is a very slim chance that I will go to Louisiana... At first I was a little heartbroken but Elder Ek says that here (Broadway or the suburb of Houston) is where we Spanish missionaries belong. There are a ton of people who don't speak English and I love it! I thought that I knew Mexican food before I came out here but I had no idea. We have had amazing food and I think that my favorite is El Salvadorian Papusas. You will have to look them up but they are pretty much this circular bread stuff with meat inside and something like sour coleslaw on top.

We are teaching our new convert the new member lessons and are working with some other great people, too. We were talking about tithing with one of our investigators and I told him that my family has been really blessed for paying tithing even when it was hard. Thank you for teaching me the importance of it. I love you all so much and appreciate the support that you have given me.

It has been a little hard here because I don't know if I told you but we got whitewashed and put into a brand new area (they split one of them and made them two different ones). Pray for us that we will be able to get real solid people to teach. We are doing great here, but are really tired. We work really hard and bike a ton. My companion has had a lot of bike problems (at least eight flat tires!) and I had a couple of weird things happen too but I put the green strips in and they seem to be working fine; besides some of the weird stuff that has happened my bike is working fine. I decided that it needed a name so I have begun to call it Thor (long story). I did hear that Jake is training!

Elder Ek turned 20 yesterday and has been out for 10 months.  He is a Spanish speaker which is great because I need the help. I'm glad that Harrison had his first date! Dating can be kind of weird sometimes. Let him know that you have good ones and bad ones. I definitely had some awkward experiences but I had a couple that were a blast.

I have not had cow tongue or chicken feet yet, though my friend Elder Strong told me that he had cow tongue a couple of days ago. Mexican food is absolutely amazing and we get a variety. Mostly people are from Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador.

I love you all so much and I am glad that you are doing well. I know that what I am doing is what God wants. Pray for us that we will have success and for our investigators too.


Elder Ressler

P.S. I am pretty sure we can't even go out of our apartment during Halloween. It is against mission rules so I might end up watching the “Finding Faith in Christ” or something. Love that movie!!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Houston - October 14, 2013

This week has been really interesting. I absolutely love it here in Broadway which is part of Houston. It is part of the suburbs out here and is the training ground for Spanish missionaries. Pretty much everyone we talk to only speaks Spanish. I love it here. Yesterday I was able to baptize our investigator.  He's fifteen years old and named Cezar. He is an awesome young man who plays the exact same positions in high school football as I did. I am starting to get a hang of everything here. Pretty much everyone who was in my district in the CCM is here with us in Broadway or Pasadena. This place really is great and I feel like I am still in Mexico. My companion is from West Valley, Utah. He likes hip hop and is really awesome. I got super lucky.

We've had some crazy stuff happen to us this last week. My companion has had a total of six flat tires because there are so many broken bottles and rusty nails around here. I am going to put in those liners today. The cool thing is that we have a lot of people that have respect for us just because we're "church people". We will be riding down the street and they will yell "I'll pray for you!" It is really cool. A lot of people around here seem like Si Robertson. Another cool thing happened. Saturday we had the biggest rain storm I have ever seen. It wasn't technically a hurricane, but it sure seemed like it. My companion and I were out there and it was really like biking through a lake. It is so flat and rains so much that there is pretty much nowhere else for the water to go after the drains fill up. It was totally awesome. I felt like an adrenaline junky biking through it all.

I will be in training for about 11 weeks. We found out that President shortened the transfer. This means that we will be coming home about a week earlier. Our scheduled date for coming home was August 3, 2015, but now my friend whose birthday is on the 26th of July might be coming home when he is only 19! Crazy huh?

The food here is absolutely amazing. The members feed us all of the time and every person is from a different part of Central and South America so we get a variety. We have had a lot of crazy stuff happen here but we are used to it. This mission is absolutely amazing and I love every moment of it. The greatest part of this place is the people.

I am happy that you got to see Arches National Park. That is one of my favorite places. I absolutely love it there. I’m happy to hear about the great time you had with the Pinkneys.

I saw my first big cockroach today. The apartment that we have is pretty much new so we haven't seen many, but last night we were talking on the way back to our apartment about my companion's fear of them. Then this morning, I had a bad run in with one. I was sitting on the bed putting my socks on when I looked down and saw one the size of a quarter on my leg. I sort of freaked but (which just plain isn't me because bugs don't bother me at all) but was successful in killing it.

I love you all so much,

Elder Ressler

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Houston - October 7, 2013

Texas is great! I love it here though it is a lot different from the MTC. I am already missing Mexico. I sort of feel like this place is just another part of Mexico. Most of the people here are actually Hispanic though a lot of them speak English. They are really nice and the food is great. My area called Broadway 2 Central is pretty much the training ground for Spanish missionaries.

My trainer's name is Elder Ek and he is a great guy from Salt Lake City and has been in THE mission for about 10 months.

We have had a lot of rain in Houston lately which made it really interesting biking. Our area is kind of far away so we are on our bikes for most of the day. I have lost a bit of weight from it. The bike is awesome though it has gotten a little muddy with all of the rain but that is just how it goes. It is taking some getting used to. I am taking President Uchtdorf's advice when he said, "It is not how many times we fall down that determines our destiny, it is how many times we get back up".

It has been a little interesting these last couple of days because we got whitewashed into a brand new area that has been taken from a couple of different areas. We didn't have an area book for the first couple of days so we did a lot of tracting. Then we got in touch with some sister missionaries who worked a lot in our area before and we have a couple of baptismal dates coming up. One of them is named Cezar and he is getting baptized on Friday and.......... He has asked me to baptize him! I am super nervous but so excited. He is a great kid who is about 16 years old and plays the exact same positions in football that I did (right guard and nose guard). He really has been prepared for this.

Houston is very humid but I am getting used to it. Actually, it is starting to get a little cold in the mornings but probably not as cold as it is in Utah.

Our apartment is brand new so when we came in everything was in boxes. It has been a truly interesting experience. By the way, we have had a lot of weird and unfortunate things happen. One of these things is that I lost my helmet and lock on the first day when we were driving on the freeway with a member and it flew out of the back. It was a bit of a rough first week but it is getting better.

I absolutely loved General Conference! My favorite talk was President Uchtdorfs Priesthood session talk. You should look it up.

We had four of our investigators show up though we can't really take credit. The sister missionaries did a lot of the work. We have been working really hard though and are trying our best. We have a great area to work with and I think we will have a lot of success. It is just taking a long time to figure everything out here.

Spanish is a little interesting here and I am worried that I am losing a lot of what I have. There are a lot of Mexicans here but they only want to speak English with you. I have to ask them if I can practice. Now I know how Jacob feels. I feel Heavenly Father guiding me a lot. He is definitely watching out for us and I can feel his presence here with us.

We haven't had too many bugs here though my companion says that we are in the Ghetto and cockroaches are many. Two years will go by super fast.


Elder Ressler

Thursday, September 26, 2013

CCM - September 26, 2013

I am going to be sad to leave this place. I have had a lot of fun here but now I am ready to go and serve. I am going to really miss Mexico. I wonder how it would be to go on a mission here but I know that there is a reason that I was called to Houston. Sometimes I wonder how it would be to go to South America, but then I stop myself because I know that there is someone in Houston that only speaks Spanish who only my future companion and I can teach. This work is not about me. It is about Him.

My Spanish is not even close to perfect, but I know that that really doesn’t matter. In a talk by Elder Bednar to the MTC that he gave just after the October general conference he said that we need to not pray for power, but instead pray that we can act and receive power. We act and then we receive.

I think that I will be okay with the bike. Don’t worry about me I am sure that I can figure it out.

I am going to miss the snow. No snow for two years! By the time I get back I will probably be so used to the heat that I will freeze in the winter. That will be an experience.

Hey, I heard that Utah won the BYU game. One thing that I have learned is that God has his own time to bring about his purposes. We must continue in faith.

I think that is awesome that Jake is in a big city. We have been speaking with Hermana Thorsen and we don’t think we will be going into very populated areas. I am praying for an encounter with Si Robertson. The language has been coming along fine. One of the elders ahead of us told me that you hit a wall about the fifth week, but then you are able to pick it back up. That definitely happened to me. I have noticed that when I have the spirit with me I do well in the lessons, but when I try to do it myself I struggle. If you have the spirit with you then you can do anything.

I am pretty sure that I have lost weight, but not a whole lot. What can I say, the food got better the last couple of weeks. We think that we are just used to it so when we get to Texas the food will taste amazing. I do know that when we get to Texas it will be Monday when we have our P-day. I am happy that Kelly and everyone are all doing okay. That would be hard taking care of triplets.

Today in the temple I had an incredible experience. I am now able to understand what they say and when I was in the Celestial Room I said a prayer and sang in my head Army of Helaman, but this time I put "I" instead of we. I felt the spirit so strong and I knew that this is where I am supposed to be. Some other cool stuff happened this week. I played soccer on an all Latino team against my district and we massacred! They even thought that I did really good and was made an honorary Mexican (just joking).

Yo quiero compartir mi testimonio con usted. Yo se que mi Redentor vivir. Yo se que nuestro Padre Celestial ama Sus hijos. El llama todos los pueblos venir a El. Y yo se que si soy guidar los mandimientos, un dia yo puedo volver a El.

Love you all,

Elder Ressler

P.S. One of these pictures is of me and my companion and the other is of me and all of the missionaries from AF.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

CCM - September 19, 2013

To tell you the truth I have not really been able to tell (see a difference in the weather with the storms that have hit Mexico). We are just so used to having it rain here. The last couple of days it has been very sunny and I have been realizing that each day I get whiter and whiter because we are inside all of the time.

The CCM is really an island in the middle of a storm. Even I would probably be afraid to be out there alone. We also celebrated Mexican Independence Day so it has been absolutely crazy here! We heard some gunshots because they shoot their pistols up in the air. We watched some festive dancing on Saturday which was awesome because one of my teachers was in it. Then on Sunday we all went into the auditorium and watched the Grito! This is the Mexican cry for independence that they do every year.

Yeah I cannot believe how fast it has gone. I am happy to get out but I really like this place. I am actually going to miss speaking Spanish to all of the natives. Some really cool stuff happened this week. In one of the pictures that I am sending you is a group with a bunch of missionaries. The one in the middle is Elder Rivera who is a matador! Yeah that was a highlight. Another highlight is that I and my companero were able to give two of the Hermanas a blessing. I feel pretty good about my Spanish but that may change pretty soon. Me and Elder Woodruff have been having some really good lessons lately and I have had the opportunity to be an investigator to practice on. The world religions class I took in High School has really helped me already. I am able to understand where the "investigadores" are coming from because I know about the Catholic and Baptist religions.

Being here places a whole different perspective on life. Elder Holland said that you should never want to go back to the way you were. He really loved his mission and says that everything good in his life since has come because he went on a mission. I can already see it happening. I am the happiest that I have ever been out here and I have not even gone to Houston. I feel so close to mi Padre Celestial that it is unlike anything that I have ever experienced. Last night me, Elder Woodruff, Elder Strong, and Elder Birch sat around preparing for "Christmas" and I asked them if we could sing the "Army of Helaman." I felt the spirit so unbelievably strong. Already I would say that this last month has been one of the best in my life.

Love you all and miss you,

Elder Ressler

Thursday, September 12, 2013

CCM - September 12, 2013

It has been pretty crazy here the last couple of days because Mexico is celebrating its Independence Day. We get a little fiesta on Saturday.

Down here they still have the old temple film and it is all in Spanish! I am getting to the point where I can understand a lot though and am now able to use decent Spanish. It helps when I talk with the natives. The thing that I miss most is listening to music. We are not allowed to listen to it here so the best we got is to sing Hymns.

Actually the food is mostly American food that the cooks make into something that we have no idea what to make of it. I have to admit though it is beginning to grow on me. Yeah, it is pretty nice in the CCM. I was talking to my teacher and he said that he attended it as a high school. What is really cool is that I am happy here all of the time. For some reason I can feel the spirit so strong. La Ciudad de Mexico is really crazy though. We go outside the CCM in order to get to the temple and the drivers are LOCO EN LA CABEZA!!! This place is a whole new world down here. There are a lot of interesting things that we get to see. I do not know if Mom would be able to handle this place. We see some pretty crazy stuff.

Haha, yeah go BYU! Hermana Thorsen in our district comes from Texas and she was horrified to hear that BYU beat Texas.  She and Hermana Warren (Mexican Heritage but doesn’t speak Spanish) are the only two out of twelve people who are not going to Houston. They are heading off to Nicaragua instead. That is pretty crazy to hear about how much rain you guys got. Here it rains for about three hours every day at 4 o’clock. Today I had a really cool experience. At the temple me and Elder Woodruff were walking in the parking lot when the guy on the bike in the picture that I sent to you said the usually, “Buenos Dias Elderes”. We said good morning back to him and then we went to go catch up to our group. Then all of the sudden he called to us saying "Thank you for saving me!" in Spanish. It was really cool to know that his life was changed and that he now is a member of the Church.

This week me and my companion had a couple of absolutely amazing lessons and my teacher Hermano Valdez said that he has been impressed with how fast we have been progressing. He says he know that it is because we are working hard and have the spirit with us because of it. I know that that is true, too. My district is awesome. Most of us are from Utah. Elder Decker who is with the DL Elder Dye is from Pleasant Grove. We have four Hermanas who are awesome and I think they are all 19. Elder Birch is Elder Strong’s companion and the other Elder who is in the same dorm. I have been having a lot fun here even though most of the time is just studying. Something cool that me and my companion are doing is building a pyramid out of Arizona cans from la tienda. We all get about 100 pesos a week, so I was able to get some nice Krapatas. We get about an hour of gym time each day where we go and play basketball, play soccer, or ultimate Frisbee. I have had some really cool experiences here and I have felt the spirit pretty much 24/7. Me, my companion, Elder Strong, and Elder Birch make on average at least one inside joke a day. Now that I have reached the half way point time is going by way fast. It seems like we have been here forever. There is a saying here that says "A week feels like a day and a day feels like a week".

Love you a ton,

Elder Ressler

Thursday, September 5, 2013

CCM - September 5, 2013

I just barely got your letters in the mail yesterday and I thought it was awesome. I noticed that you wrote down some of my blessing when I was set apart as a missionary. On the airplane ride here I sat next to a very sweet lady around forty who served a mission and is now a seminary teacher in Florida. She told me that I should write some of my blessing down but when I did I missed a few things. I have already noticed some things coming true. Yesterday, one of the Hermanas was really stressed and frustrated about learning Spanish. I felt like I should go talk to her and so I sat down and told her the things that the spirit has been telling me. It was like the spirit was working through me in order to tell her and myself that as long as we have faith we will be able to make it. I am so happy to be out here. Mexico is a lot different than I thought it would be. It rains every day here at five o’clock and it rains hard. Everything is very green. Outside the walls it seems rather... interesting. I miss everyone too. I am going to try to send some of the pictures. Life in the CCM is different. The food is not the best. There are a lot of rice and beans so sometimes we have issues.

Elder Strong (Fuerte) was the first missionary that I talked to at the Salt Lake City airport terminal and ended up rooming with us. Elder Woodruff is the tall, skinny guy in the pictures. Elder Fuerte is the big guy and Elder Birch is the guy with glasses. My Spanish is a little better. I can feel Heavenly Father helping me. One thing that helps is talking with the natives in our dorm. I think that it is crazy that Jacob got transferred. He is going to do awesome no matter where he goes, but it must be a big change. It has to be that there is someone that he needs to teach.

Cereal is the only thing that is really close to food back home. The food has gotten much better though. We have had a lot of very interesting experiences here. Usually it is meat with some kind of peach sauce and a bean tortilla thing with three things of bread. We have fish and other things like that too. Pizza night is on Tuesday.  We spend about six hours in the classroom being taught and about three to four hours we are in there studying. I really like it here though it rains every day. I am so happy that Grandpa Jacob has been doing missionary work; he is definitely not an ordinary man! It makes me very happy. If they want to I think they should serve a mission. There is nothing like it. We go to the temple about once every other week I hear. Each day we have about an hour of gym time where we play soccer. I have been so blessed as well to have such a great family. I love you guys so much. I think everyone has their p-days on Tuesday through Thursday just to divide it up.

Hey Sadie this week has been pretty crazy. I have done a lot studying. If you think that school is hard you should try the CCM. I have been truly blessed and I know that you will to if you constantly follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Stay close to your family because they are the ones that you will be writing to most when you are on your mission. I love you so much sis and I know that you are a daughter of God.

Harrison, me and my compañero are very different, but we use our differences to make us better. For instance I am a total gringo when it comes to Spanish while he speaks pretty well. Sometimes he does not know where to take the lesson and I discern what the investigator needs to hear. Together we are awesome. I love you man and I want you to know that.

Addie, I am so happy that you are going to the temple and to Young Womens! That makes me so happy to hear. It was interesting because last week we were able to go to the temple and even though I did not understand anything it was still good to just sit and feel the spirit. What I would do is if I have a question, I would go to the temple and read while I waited for them to call me and I would always find the answer that I am looking for. I miss you a ton but I feel that I must go and serve. I will tell you now that I will not be the same when I get back but I believe that I will be the person that I was designed to be.


Elder Ressler (Luchador as I tell the natives)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

CCM - August 29, 2013

This week was absolutely crazy. I don’t know how they do things in the Provo MTC, but here they speak pretty much only Spanish and it is very hard to understand. I think that I am doing well though. At first I had a hard time, but now I am getting the hang of it. Guess what! I started teaching my first pretend investigator in Spanish two days after I got here! Wow that was hard, but my companion spoke a little Spanish and I tried my best. I noticed that whenever we say a prayer before we go in there everything goes better. This last lesson I was able to have a full on conversation with him. It was not me though. It was definitely the spirit. I feel that after a few more weeks I will be able to get Spanish down for the most part. I think that I have studied harder than pretty much ever and it has helped being completely immersed in the language.

 My companion is named Elder Sterling Woodruff from West Jordan and is only a couple of days older than me. He is directly related to President Wilford Woodruff. A lot of people ask him about it and every time I say "elder you are big around here". He is a really great guy. I am also with an Elder Birch and Elder Strong "Fuerte". Elder Strong is probably one of the funniest guys that I have ever met. Everyone is really nice here and I am starting to get the hang of it. Ciudad Mexico is absolutely crazy. Just going to the temple on p-day was an adventure. Everything is different and it just makes me happier that I am an American. I love being on a mission.

I must admit mom that I miss your cooking here. The food is okay and I am starting to get used to it; we have to make sure to bless it before we eat it. It has gotten a lot better from how it was when we first got here. One of the elders who were just leaving told us that a lot of people lose weight here. I have had more frijoles (beans) than I care to admit.

I have had a lot of fun though too. It has been great to be with such great Elders and Hermanas. My district is just plain awesome. I love everyone in my district though I am one of the few that did not take Spanish (4 years of German). Go figure.10 out of the 12 of us are going to Houston Texas East. Only two Hermanas are going to Nicaragua. One of them is from Texas and so she has been giving us all a lot of pointers. I have two guys in my district who did improve comedy so it can be hard sometimes to keep from laughing too much. I feel like we are all great friends. My Spanish is not too bad though my companion laughs because he says I talk like a gringo. Sunday was kind of weird though. Our branch president is a terrific guy. He is always smiling and we have a lot of fun. Sunday in an interview I accidentally told him I have a word of wisdom problem though. It is just one of those things. I guess my Spanish was not as good as I thought.

We could not really feel the earthquake. I actually thought it was just a drill. It was fine though. They have a lot of earthquakes here.

I am excited to be able to understand Spanish completely. I wish I could tell you all of the stuff that has happened but there is way too much. Sunday we were shown an amazing talk by Elder Holland which he gave on February 28, 2012. He gave it to the Provo MTC and I highly recommend that you look it up. Even watch it as a family. It was kind of a little wake-up call that let me know I am really here and that it is time for me to start serving the Lord. It was absolutely amazing. I feel like I will change over the next few years but I know I will just be a better me.

This place is a lot of work. I thought school was hard but I had no idea. This is a whole new world and I am just starting to get used to it. But with God’s help I can do anything. Hey my time is up but I want you to know how much that I love all of you. You and dad have been such a great example to me. You guys have been the best parents ever and because of that I will be able to go out and teach with power.

By the way, the new address for the CCM is:

Carr. Tenayuca-Chalmita No. 828,
Col. Zona Escolar, Deleg. G.A. Madero,
C.P. 07230, Mexico, D.F.ñ Mexico


Elder Brendon Ressler

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

CCM - August 21, 2013

I had a great flight to the MTC! No problems whatsoever. I am with a group of about twenty missionaries. They are already speaking Spanish to me and I feel a little overwhelmed. My first companion's name is Elder Woodruff and he seems like a great guy. He is going to Houston East with me as well as two other elders and one sister. I am really happy to be here and hopefully I can get going on my Spanish, though I feel a little bit behind. It is kind of frustrating, the keyboard is only in Spanish which does not seem like it would be a problem, but it kind of is.

Mexico City is very different. I am not sure how it would be to be here for two years. I will let you guys know when my P-day is. It may be Monday like Jake. I am happy to be here and I know that it is where I am supposed to be. I know that this work that I am a part of is truly to build Heavenly Father's kingdom. It will be terrific. I am here so that other families can be with their families for eternity. I love you guys a lot and am already starting to miss you guys. Thanks for teaching me that the gospel is true. I feel like what I have learned will be a great strength to me. Do not worry about me at all. I am totally fine.


Elder Brendon Ressler