Monday, March 31, 2014

Denver Harbor - March 31, 2014

We're doing great and so are our investigators! We didn't have anyone at church yesterday but the week before we had una familia. It is a mom and her three kids. They all have a really solid date for the 20th of April and I'm really excited for them. When we set the date she was like "yeah let's do it on the 20th. Every important thing that's happened to me has happened on the 20th". I'm really excited to see what happens.

This fast Sunday was really rough for me. I had forgotten about it until the night before and I was starving! But I made it through!

This week I am super excited for General Conference. My first week in the mission was General Conference and now I'm going on my second. It's kind of hard to believe that so much time has gone by. It's been over half a year since I've left on my mission. I can imagine that there are a lot of thing different about home but I can't imagine that it would change too much.

We've been having a great time here in Denver Harbor. The people are really humble. A lot of them don't have a whole lot but what they do have they are willing to share with us. It's amazing how cool these people are! I've been trying to learn how I can best serve them. It's a little bit different over here. In my last companionship I was the one leading in pretty much everything because I knew the area. Now I'm just along for the ride, but I am learning quickly and I've been having a really great time.

I'm happy that you guys watched Darby O'Gill on St. Patrick's Day. That is a tradition that definitely has to stay. Yeah my companion Elder Long is writing down all of the music and movies that he's going to check out when he gets back. I think that I might do the same.

I will let you know if I see anymore cockroaches. There are a lot of mosquitoes that are coming out. I've heard it gets really bad but I haven't gotten bit yet (knock on wood).

My clothing is doing great. A lot of it is a little too big for me. The shoes are doing great and I'm trying to switch off. The weather was really nice at the beginning of the week and we had a SUPER cool lightning storm on Friday. We weren't in any danger and was amazing to watch. I hope we have a lot more like that.

That's cool that yall were able to go together to the General Women's Conference. I'm SO excited for General Conference! It's going to be so great. It'll be weird not doing anything for all day Saturday but I'll be able to have some time to relax and watch conference. Hopefully we can have a lot of people come too.

Thanks for all of your help and support. I love you so much and I know that God is helping me here. I really am learning a lot about life and religion. I miss you guys but I am having such a good time here.


Elder Ressler

Monday, March 24, 2014

Denver Harbor - March 24, 2014

It was a great week but I am really tired. I'm happy it is P-day. I think that I'm going to take a nap or something.

It's been pretty nuts around here. It's a lot different than my last area but I like that because we have more people to teach.

My companion has something to scare dogs away and they aren't too bad. You just have to be careful but you learn a few tricks to get them to leave. Yeah they usually travel in packs over here. They aren't too bad you just have to out run them on your bike.

Time really is going by super fast! I can't believe that I'm at 7 months! I feel like I just barely left. I've been emailing Jacob and he seems to be doing great! Are you guys ready for him to come home? I don't see Elder Ek a whole lot but now that I'm in a different ward his ward meets in the same building so I get to see him every Sunday.

Yeah it definitely is a different world here but there are a lot of really good people here. It's interesting to be able to see the difference.

This weekend was pretty crazy. We got a call from a member who said that they needed some help breaking down some of the walls in the inside of the house they bought. The house was pretty old so they were doing some remodeling. We spent a couple of hours over there helping them and it was a lot of fun. I'm SUPER tired now though. It was a lot of work. I didn't feel tired at all when I was there but when I woke up I was pretty soar. I guess that's just the way that it goes.

I'm pretty sure that this conference we will just head over to the church and watch it. That's what we did last time. I'm excited for it but it feels like we just barely had it. I always loved General Conference though. I have liked listening to the things that they say, especially as a missionary. You really get to see that their words are profound.

I love the Chronicles of Narnia! I remember you reading them to us when I was a little kid. I remember most of them except I can't remember the last one. You should read some of his other books too. There was one called the Screwtape Letters that was really good. It's about a devil down on earth writing to his uncle in Hell and he's talking about the ways that men are tempted. It's a really good book. I loved watching the Chronicles of Narnia movies and I really liked the third one how they tied it all in to Christ.

I've been wondering what Peruvians eat! Mostly what we get here is Mexican food and El Salvadorian food. I tried something this last week that was really interesting. It's called menudo. Basically what it is pig fat in a soup. Kind of interesting. Not a lot of people really like it but I tried it and it wasn't too bad. Usually what I cook is top ramen, pasta, or a sandwich. We also get a lot of leftovers. We've gotten tons of tamales!


Elder Ressler

Monday, March 17, 2014

Denver Harbor - March 17, 2014

So this week was really crazy. I went on exchanges with two of the Elders who came out with me Elder Petersen and Elder Birch. It was a ton of fun. It was great to be around those guys again. Then when we got home the other Elders came in and our District Leader told us that Elder Strong hit a dog on his bike and crashed tearing his ACL. He's home for about 6 months because he has to get surgery and everything. The next night I got a call from President Crawford saying that I was getting an emergency transfer to take Elder Strong's spot. So right now I'm in Denver Harbor which, as far as investigators go, "the streets are paved with gold". It's taking some getting used to but I love it here. There are a lot of solid people. My new companion is Elder Long and he's from Las Vegas and has been out for about 15 months. We're going to have a lot of fun here and I'm already loving my new area!

There are a ton of dogs in this place! I don't think that I've ever seen so many dogs before in my life! There is this one HUGE dog and it's the meanest looking dog ever. Just imagine a huge black dog with big teeth... Her name is Lola. You have to be careful not to crash into the dogs or anything, but besides that it is a blast.

We didn't really have anyone come to church this week but we will have some next week probably. Everything was just really crazy with Elder Strong so we've just been working on getting things settled. We had a ton of lessons and everything though! We focus a lot on less active members. It's super exciting when they come back to church.

I would definitely make Preach My Gospel part of your study! There are so many great things in there. I remember just looking through it before my mission and I didn't see it as a really big deal but it's super important. Everything about being a missionary is in there.

That's great that things are starting to warm up in Utah! Here things have been pretty warm but for some reason today was a little cold. It's also been raining for the past few days. With being in a bike area I really don't like the rain but I'm not complaining too much.

I love you so much and I hope that you know I'm doing well. I'm working really hard and am pretty tired but I love being out here and serving these people.


Elder Ressler

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Houston - March 10, 2014

This week was great! We finally had somebody show up for church. It was the first person besides Oscar Linares. His name is Rafael and we've been teaching him for a while. He said that he would be able to go so me and a member swung by his apartment and gave him a ride. He said it was interesting but I think he enjoyed it! It was a great week and one of the most exciting parts was that Oscar was ordained a priest by his son Cesar! I'm super excited about all of the things happening in our area but the scary thing is that transfers are coming up! Next Saturday I find out whether I go or stay. I have a feeling that I might be leaving but I will let you know next week.

Everyone is doing great that we are teaching! We've had to drop some people which was sad but we know that God is going to help us find those who are waiting for us. I will never regret serving a mission. One of the APs who was going home said that before his mission he would ask RMs what they learned and they would just stare at him blankly. He now understands why and it's because there are not words to describe it. The mission really teaches you so much. I've learned a ton about myself, people, and God. Nothing at home could compare to serving a mission. I have loved every moment so far... even the tough times. I wouldn't trade this for anything that the world had to offer.

I've had a lot of times when I've tried to shy away from sharing the First Vision. I'd eventually share it but I would focus a lot on what they wanted to hear because I really wanted a return appointment. Then we had a visit from Elder Aidukitis of the Seventy and pretty much he told us that if they are offended by our message or by something someone said at church, then they obviously aren't prepared by the Lord and it's time to move on to find those that are. It's really changed the way that I think about missionary work. Instead of trying to brush over Joseph Smith I go right into him. If somebody says they are not interested then I say, "All right well we're looking for people who are prepared to hear our message. Do you know anyone who is looking for the truth?" I have to admit I've gotten a lot bolder on my mission. I am maybe a little too anxious to defend the truth. We were in a contact the other day and this lady said that she knows our church is not true. I bore my testimony, but she brushed it off.

What have I found successful? What we focus on is the family and simply saying we have a message that is about the restored gospel which can bless your life. I had a little bit of inspiration this week though with instead of saying would you have time to listen to a brief message, saying would you take time or make time to listen to this message. Most people don't really realize how important this message is. Preach My Gospel is so important in missionary work. If you follow what it says you will have success. If not then you will struggle. What I usually focus on is knowing the lessons and finding. There is some really inspired things in there.

I really do love the people here, especially the Hispanics. For awhile I will probably go to a Spanish Ward and I really want to go to Mexico and to South America. I love speaking Spanish and I love the culture. I am not so much involved in the Texas culture as I am the Mexican. I really feel like I'm serving down in Mexico and I love it!

Yeah it was super hard getting up in the morning on Sunday but we made it through the time change. It takes a few days to adjust but we just have to push through.

I haven't used the hydration pack yet but I probably will end up using it in the summer. The nice thing is that people feel sorry for us and give us a lot of bottles of water to drink so I'm not too worried.

I did get the hair clippers and I'll be using them in a couple weeks probably. This time I'll be using a mirror. When I was with Elder Ek we just set up chairs in the kitchen which worked okay but the last time I did that I lost my sideburns.

I've made a lot of really good friends out here so far. There are a lot of people who came out at the same time with me so we all know each other really well. I'll probably be companions with a lot of them.

I could never get tired of the food! I love everything that I eat but I mostly get Mexican food. We have barbeque but what it is is really a slab of fajita with some tortillas.

I love you all so much and I hope that you are all doing well. I'm fine out here and I am really blessed by Heavenly Father. I really rely on him. I miss you guys but I love serving!


Elder Ressler

Monday, March 3, 2014

Houston - March 3, 2014

This week was a great week! Nothing really out of the ordinary happened except yesterday it dropped 30 degrees in a matter of two hours. It went from being super warm to freezing cold... This place is weird. Elder Jensen is doing great here! We're both a little quieter but we have a lot of fun.

Yeah I heard about Elder Ek’s spill. Every once in a while we talk on the phone with Elder Ek and Elder Johnson because Elder Johnson used to be with my companion Elder Jensen. Apparently it was pretty nuts. I was always crashing my first part of training but then I stopped. Elder Ek would crash too but somehow he always landed on his feet. He's doing good though and he says it wasn't that bad. I still love biking but sometimes it's a little old. I think it's because I bike down the same streets every day.

I'm super bad at taking pictures! I'll try and take some more. Really it's just a town like anywhere, nothing too special. What's really great are the people! I do miss the mountains a lot though. Everything is super flat here. We don't even have very many trees because we are close to the city.

On P-day I usually play some basketball with the other Elders. Broadway (where I'm at) is known for Broadway Ball. Elder Jensen really likes it too and so we play it a lot. Sometimes we just bro out and talk about stuff with the other Elders. Other times I try to juggle with my friend Elder Birch. He is really good at soccer and so was Elder Ek so I've been trying to learn how to play it. I'm too lazy usually to respond to letters but I do it once a month or so. Whenever I pick up the pen someone comes and talks with me and then I lose my desire to write and go play ball.

We just started teaching this guy. He's an 18 year old who we met because of his mom who we used to teach. He's got a lot of interest and says that he believes what we are teaching! He's got a date now and I will keep you posted. He's been feeling the Holy Ghost a lot.

I have a lot of favorite times on my mission and I can't choose all of them. Sometimes I am just sitting there and I think "man I really feel good right now! I love being on a mission!" One of my favorites is this last week when we taught Marco and shared with him the Restoration. When we recited the Joseph Smith story the spirit was SO strong and you could tell he felt it. Then he prayed the next day to know if it was true and he did!

Thanks for all of your love and support! I love you guys so much and I want you to know that I've really come to realize the difference that each one of you have made in my life! I miss hanging out with you but I love so much being out here.

Love you!

Elder Ressler