Monday, April 28, 2014

Denver Harbor - April 28, 2014

Elder Long is doing really well. Ever since he got his cast on he's been in less and less pain. We were driving in the car the other day and he put it up on the dashboard with the air conditioner going. We were sure that Elder Long was going to be going to a car area because of his foot but we found out that we are both staying for another transfer. There are also two sets of hermanas in our district and they are all staying too.

We had something interesting happen yesterday. We weren't able to set up an appointment for President Crawford and we had a no show for church. We went over to their house that night to see what was up. We asked them if anything was up and they told us that they were just busy. The mom seemed a little bit on edge though and we began to walk out after talking with them and she stopped us asking if we could say a prayer. Elder Long commented to me that a lot of people really feel the spirit when we are in there with them and that they miss it when we leave.

We didn't have any investigators come to church this week but we did have a less active member who was sick from cancer come. We also were asked to sing in the choir this week so that was a little bit scary. It was all right though we made it.

Yeah I have definitely found that we go through trials when spiritual experiences are about to occur or have just happened. President Crawford always tells us to ask the question, "Okay Heavenly Father what do want me to learn? What are you trying to tell me?" I've found that it helps a lot.

Yeah are you ready for Jacob to come home? I remember when he left. At first it feels like it was just yesterday but then I think about all of the things that I've done in between that time and I realize it really has been two years. It's weird because time goes by really fast here. There is a saying that a day feels like a week and a week feels like a day. It's really like that. Looking back I feel like I've been on my mission for about 5 or 6 months. I've actually been out for about 9. Kind of weird.

I just realized that today is the last time that I will email Starszy Ressler! Crazy to think that his mission is just about over. I know over here at the end of our mission we stay overnight at the mission home, have a testimony meeting with president and listen to a song called homeward bound. Then we go to the temple and then off to the airport. It's really going to be weird when it's time for me to go. Jacob must be in shock right now. You really get into a missionary mode out here and it must be pretty weird to think of what will happen. I bet you all are really excited! I'm excited for him. It's one great phase of his life ending and another one beginning. You get to love so many people out here on your mission. There are a lot of families that are great friends to me. It's sad just to leave an area let alone a mission.

We actually just had ward conference over here and it was fantastic! Our ward has really been struggling and we've been trying to get everything going. It's just because a lot of people get offended. That's interesting to hear that some members of the church are wanting the brethren to get with the times. I think that is pretty stupid. The last days are coming and they want to be with the world?

I feel like you get to a point that you don't get nervous doing something. For me it's lessons. Missionary work just comes naturally once you reach a certain point. It's kind of cool.

Yeah it's really hot today but lately it hasn't been too bad. I've heard from a lot of people how hot it gets and I'm really excited. It's going to be nuts though because our house doesn't have AC. It has really old coolers but that's it. I'll probably be here for a good part of the summer too. I bet I'm going to lose a lot of weight just from sweating it all out.

Thanks I love that star wars shirt. I've gotten a lot of compliments from it. That salsa was so hot! It really wrecked me yesterday when we had some leftovers. What kind of food are we eating? Been eating a lot of tamales, beans, rice, chicken, and tortillas. At home I've eaten a lot of spam and I've been getting into pineapple a lot. I know it's kind of weird but when I was with Elder Ek he got a fresh pineapple because it was so cheap and I tried a little and loved it. Now I get it every so often.

Answers to questions asked by his sister:

1. We NEVER get to sleep in. I really want to sometimes that is when I just need to get up and start thinking about other things. You do get to take naps during lunch time though. Usually for about 20 minutes to a half an hour. It keeps you going.

2. Some missionaries have to give tons of talks on a mission. So far I haven't. Elder Ek my trainer just barely gave his first talk and he's been out for almost 18 months. I have had to teach primary and gospel principles a couple of times though. Primary was tough because I had to explain it to little kids. They were really good for me though.

3. Wow that is really hard to choose a favorite dish. I really like papooses but I also love something called chile rellenos. They are usually bell peppers stuffed with meat or cheese. They are really hard to make and SUPER good. I like everything I eat though. Even menudo isn't too bad. It's pretty much soup with a lot of fat in it. The texture is really tough to get down and if you eat too much it is really hard to swallow the last bit.

Love you so much!

Elder Ressler

Monday, April 21, 2014

Denver Harbor - April 21, 2014

 Happy Easter to you too! Yeah I had a good time! It wasn't very different from any other Sunday though.

This Easter we did a mission fast and then after church and the baptism we went to the Obispo's house and ate some really good food. The day before we had a ward party in the park and they had a salsa competition. The Obispo said he was going to make salsa especially hot for the missionaries. He put in 2 tomatoes, 8 habaneras, and 8 jalapenos! It was super hot and we got a jar of it for home.

Me and a couple other missionaries decided to eat two spoonfuls plain and my mouth was on fire! I made fun of my companion a little because he was sweating from it hard core and one of the sisters shed a tear from it. It was really spicy but I took it pretty well.

Yeah we pretty much have to stay in the car for a while. Elder Long tore all of the tendons on the side of his foot and so he has a cast and a boot. It's been a little rough because I pretty much have to do everything but it's okay. My guess is that I'll stay here and he'll leave at transfers. Good thing too because I really miss the bike. Yeah you really just get used to riding a bike all day. After a while it's not that big of a deal. We drive a Toyota corolla just so you know.

Right now we are still teaching a family and they are doing well but we had to move their date back. I'm also kind of nervous because President texted us and said that he wanted to come with us to a lesson with them. He does it a lot but I've never had it happen yet. Wish me luck!

I did get to baptize someone this week though. It wasn't our baptism it was a little girl that the sister missionaries were teaching. It was really cool and I was grateful for the opportunity.

That's great that you guys are keeping up with the tradition and still doing Easter baskets. I always loved doing that. Thank you so much for the package that you guys sent me! I loved getting it. It made me super happy :)

Yeah it's kind of crazy to think that I've been out for so long. It's crazy to think too that Jacob will be coming home in a week or so. I'm excited to be able to talk to yall and him over the phone on Mother's Day. It's been really neat emailing him about mission stories and things that are going on. Yeah I think that you are always tired on a mission. I think that only when you go home are you really rested. A lot of the time I fall asleep and then it feels like seconds later I hear the alarm go off.

I always say that the most important person to make laugh is yourself. Especially when times get a little tough you just have to learn to laugh.

Missionary routine:
6:30 wake up and start exercising (pushups and stuff)
7:00 get showered and eat breakfast
8:00 study by myself for investigators
9:00 study with companion
10:00 language study
11:00 eat lunch
12:00 start seeing people
around 6 we have dinner with a member
9:00 we come back and plan for next day
10:30 we go to bed

Yeah next week is transfers and here is my prediction... Elder Long goes ZL (which means straight car area) and I stay here and take over the area. We are all pretty sure that that will happen. Good thing too because there is a lot of work that I want to do here. The ward struggles and I really want to reactivate some youth while I am here.

I went on exchanges twice last week with an Elder who goes home the same time that Jacob does. He said that it is really hard to stay focused.

God really does take care of us if we trust in him. When we try and do it our own way we fail but when we follow Christ we are going to be okay. There is a really good video about a drummer from neon trees. She says that before she had the impression that God wanted life to be hard and that's why she chose not to follow him at first. I think a lot of people think of it like that.

Love you! 

Elder Ressler

Monday, April 14, 2014

Denver Harbor - April 14, 2014

Houston is pretty much always green but it is really coming to life right now! It is really humid and there are tons of trees and rains a lot.

Wow I forgot that yesterday was Palm Sunday! I'm going to try and start studying that too now. It's kind of different with my studies because President Crawford started something new called investigator study which takes the place of personal study. Instead of doing a mission reading in that time we focus 100 percent of our time on our investigators. It's kind of hard because I love deep doctrine and am a little selfish with my studies but I just got to let that go. It ain't about me you know?

I love Hispanics so much and now that I actually understand what they are saying it makes me really want to get to know them. Dad you got to freshen up on your Spanish because you and I are going to be talking a lot! :)

That's awesome that Grandma and Grandpa Ressler are getting that close to their 50th anniversary! I really miss them and I loved spending that time with them. I hope that we can go there sometime after we are all back from our missions.

So on a little update, my companion hurt his ankle this week playing soccer with some investigators that we were trying to befriend. He's doing all right but we're driving around a lot (yeah it's just me behind the wheel, scary I know) but we're going to the doctor tomorrow and we'll see what's up. I think it's just dislocated.

We don't know how much good we do. We really make an impact on the people that we meet and we probably don't even realize it. We just need to make sure that the impact we make is for the better.

Thank you so much for all of your love and support for me. I love you all so much.

Elderito Ressler

Monday, April 7, 2014

Denver Harbor - April 7, 2014

Yeah it was super crazy this General Conference! We made food every session and then right before priesthood three wards combined together to provide a dinner. Of course pretty much all of it was meat. We had a lot of fun as a district. Elder Long really likes to cook and we have four hermanas in our district so during every break we were cooking something. We made cinnamon rolls and pizza and this stuff which is kind of like sushi but with spam. One of the hermanas in our district is from Samoa and she showed us how. I ate a ton and was super stuffed for the rest of the day.

It was really cool too because I got to talk with Elder Ek and his companion Elder Johnson. I came out of the MTC with Elder Johnson but haven't seen him very much because he's been in West Lake Houston for a long time. It was really great.

I remember that talk by Elder Oaks. It makes me a little frustrated that people don't really understand why woman don't have the priesthood. They really just have a different calling in life. It also makes me frustrated that people don't really understand the will of God. You know how it says "My ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts" People just need to accept that.

Yeah it's been pretty crazy here but we've had a lot of fun. The sad thing is that we didn't have any investigators show up but the good news is that we have this one family who has a baptism date for the 20th. I'm pretty sure that they'll make it but pray for them!

Yeah Elder Long is a really nice guy. We've had a lot of fun so far. It's a lot different from what I'm used to because I've always had at least two other Elders with us really close by. Now it's pretty much just me and him. A little bit different but it is still really cool.

I heard that Jacob was helping train another Polish Elder! That's so crazy! It's every missionaries' dream to death train! It's kind of helping your legacy carry on. Are you guys excited for him to come home? I bet it's pretty crazy. He's only got a couple of weeks left. Mom you are probably freaking out with excitement. I would be too :)

Preach My Gospel is a really great tool. I never really understood all of it before I became a missionary. I always saw it as something that I would probably look into while on a mission but it really is a huge help to all that we do here. Super important stuff. I liked what you said about learning from the spirit and not necessarily the speakers during conference. During President Monson's talk I learned a ton and then the last line that he said really had a huge impact on me and I felt the spirit SUPER strong. It's cool how God works like that.

Yep the mosquitoes are definitely coming out. For some reason I haven't had too many problems so far but everyone else has. I've heard that in the summer you pretty much wear mosquito repellant. I'll be okay though. I'm not too worried.

I'm doing great here! Safe? Yeah we're fine. It's a scary area but I'm not worried at all. I know that we'll be all right.

Hey sometimes it is good to feel lazy right! General Conference was awesome but I felt really lazy too. Imagine 12 hours sitting at the chapel. I was going crazy!

Really I think that it depends on the people you are teaching. What really matters is to teach to their needs while covering all of the points of the lesson. A lot of times we just want to listen to their problems and help them but what will really help them is receiving the restored gospel.

I'm doing great! Really I've learned to come to rely on God. In D&C 6 it says "look unto me in every thought. Doubt not, fear not." I'm really learning to do that.

That dog Lola is super mean! That's why I gave her that name! There are a lot of mean dogs here too. I almost got eaten by a pit bull my first day here. It was pretty crazy. There was another time that a German Shepherd was barking at us through a fence and Elder Long stuck out his Book of Mormon and the dog bit it! They're crazy! But after a while you know what to do.

Yeah I really have been blessed with great companions and people around me. Elder Ek is pretty much my role model in the mission and each companion I have I learn something new that will help me in life and in the mission. Elder Jensen really taught me how to get along with companions and we had a whole lot of fun together. Elder Long has taught me about having faith and expecting the Lord to bless us if we are faithful.

I am sort of keeping a journal. It's really tough to write in it every day. I try to write in it at least a couple times a week but even that is hard. If I have something really cool happen then I make sure to write but it can be a struggle. I am determined to do better though.

Anyways I hope yall know that I love you so much. I hope that everything is going well!


Elder Ressler