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