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