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