Monday, July 28, 2014

Denver Harbor - July 28, 2014

I'm really in a little Spanish bubble here which is nice because that is where I belong. A lot of times I meet English elders who have been out for a really long time but I've never met them because they've been out in Louisiana or something. Hey I don't know if I've told you yet but Jake Wright went home last transfer. Crazy how fast time is going by. A lot of really great missionaries have left and the mission definitely isn't the same without them. I'm really happy that y'all got to talk to a missionary who served here! It's hard to explain how awesome this mission is. You just have to be here. As a mission we all really miss the Crawfords. They were super cool but the Drakes are awesome too! The saying is that we traded our mom and dad for a grandma and grandpa because that is how it feels like. They are a little older but the feeling is really cool. I know president Drake worked a lot with youth so that made us all happy because a lot of people are really young.

I'd like to do a better job at listening and testifying with the spirit. A lot of times we can be in a lesson and I come out wondering if they even felt the spirit. There are SO MANY other churches who go around doing the same thing that we are doing. I've seen TONS of Jehovah's witnesses and I feel like a lot of the time we are mistaken as them. The sad thing is that people see so many churches and they all think that all of them must be true. It's pretty difficult but we keep going. It really makes us appreciative of the spirit. It's really interesting how important the temple is. There is a branch here that was made into a ward because the branch presidency made a goal to focus on getting everyone to the temple.

I don't know if I'll ever get used to the humidity but I think that I'm at least adapting. This last week was really hot and we've heard that it is only going to get worse. It was a really fun week though and we spent a good part of it walking just because.

Yeah there were a lot of times this week when we walked back into our house at the end of the day just drenched in sweat. We don't feel too bad though because that's the way that everyone is. There's just a point where you don't really care anymore and as long as you don't smell too bad you'll be fine.

Right now we are teaching a couple of people but we're focusing a lot on finding right now. We've had to drop a lot of people because they weren't really progressing but that's part of life. As far as less actives go we are having a bit of success. We had this family all of the sudden stop going for a couple of weeks and then start going again so that was really good.

I really think that being grateful is super important. Sometimes we can't change our circumstances so we just have to make the best of them.

Yeah I'm super happy that I'm with Elder Woodruff again. We're having a really great time and every day is a blast. I think what is going to happen next is that I'll leave and he'll train here and there is a possibility that I will too. We'll see what happens.

Yeah I can't believe that it's already been a year. It's going by so fast and it's kind of funny that I'll be spending my year mark with Elder Woodruff. We both can't believe how fast time has gone by. Really makes me want to slow everything down a bit and focus on what matters most.


Elder Ressler

Monday, July 21, 2014

Denver Harbor - July 21, 2014

Yeah it really was exactly like any other day. Woke up and didn't feel anything different. A couple people wished me happy birthday and Elder Woodruff bought me a German Chocolate cake that we ate that night but besides that it was just a regular Sunday. I had a lot of fun though!

So we found out that both of us are staying together another transfer. I'm really excited about that. It's going to be a lot of fun! A couple people that I know are getting moved but Spanish missionaries pretty much always stay in the same place. The most Spanish missionaries are around Broadway in Houston. We also have a couple up in Kingwood but I would say that the next biggest place for Spanish is in Pasadena TX which is right around the corner. We do have some missionaries that cover a lot of area in the country though. We have one companionship in Cleveland and another in Beaumont who cover all of Louisiana.

I really like that section of the talk that you sent to me! I have definitely found how important it is to have a deep relationship with the savior. I have learned a lot on my mission so far. The most important thing is how important it is to come to know for yourself and to find your drive to doing things. I've heard a lot of stories of missionaries who have gone out on their missions just because their parents wanted them too. It's weird but sometimes there can be a lot of drama both with missionaries and with members of the church. Here a lot of the problems that people have come from gossip. When I left on my mission, the stake president blessed me with the gift of charity. That is something that I'm trying really hard to get and implement. It's really easy for people to judge from just what they see on the outside. What I've come to see is how special people and for only one reason. Because they are children of our Heavenly Father.

As far as who's life have I blessed I like to think that I'm blessing everyone's life. We only have a few moments sometimes to talk to people and we have to bless their lives in a very short amount of time. No matter what I do I want to help anyone and everyone. I'm also learning how to have fun with things. How to not worry about things that will take care of themselves. To be diligent. How to get along with different personalities. It's all a really great experience and even though I'm here to change the lives of others I feel like Heavenly Father is changing me. As far as stories go we had a really cool experience with service. We went to go try someone and after they told us that they couldn't talk we started walking back. Their neighbor was cutting down a huge tree and they only had about 3 people helping clear everything away. Elder Woodruff and I offered to help and we spent the last little while helping them in our white shirts and ties. It was really good Spanish practice and it's cool because I had contacted them a couple of months ago and they weren't interested. Now we're going to go over there for dinner and we're super excited to see what happens. Love, Elder Ressler

Monday, July 14, 2014

Denver Harbor - July 14, 2014

This week was really good! It was a little different because we decided to help blitz the hermanas' area in Galena Park and then we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders. It was fun but just different. There is a possibility that this could be my last week with Elder Woodruff and that makes me really sad but the cool thing is that even if it is I'll still see him around. This week as far as stories go I don't have too much when we were blitzing the hermanas' area we got caught in this crazy rainstorm. It went from clear skies to pouring rain in minutes. Elder Woodruff was laughing because I kept on saying "oh this is going to pass over in like 2 minutes" then it rained for about an hour. I wasn't too surprised though because that's really how Texas is.

Weird because right now there are more hermanas than Spanish speaking Elders. We are pretty much a dying bred. I am really hoping that we can get some new Elders in here so we can have a change of people.

We usually get fed at a member's house every day so yeah we eat a lot. It's really hard to lose weight here because of all the food we eat. I really need to cut down but I feel like I'm in better shape than when I left. Usually I eat a peanut butter sandwich or two for lunch. We try a lot of different things on the mission.

It's a little bit tough sometimes to take pictures but I'm definitely getting better at it. Elder Woodruff and I have been taking a lot of pictures this transfer and it's been really cool.

I actually really like the humidity but sometimes it takes some getting used to. Over here it rains a lot. I remember the first day that I got to the mission it started to rain a lot and I was a little shocked about how much. I asked Elder Ek what we usually do when it rains and he told me that I should grab a jacket and we were going . At first I had no idea that we worked even when it pours. For the first little while I really didn't like the rain. It was hard especially in the winter but in the summer it is super nice because it helps us to cool off.

This week Elder Woodruff and I found a scripture that we liked a lot. It is D & C 25:10. It talks about laying aside the things of this world and seek for something better. A lot of the people out here are so focused on things of this world. It's hard sometimes to not do the same. We've got to learn that we are just passing through this life.

I feel as missionaries we sometimes start to slack off in our relationship with God and then we wonder why things get hard. A lot of the times it is because we are beginning to rely a lot more on ourselves than on God.

We get our packages delivered to the door and usually we are out working when they come so we just have to leave them there until we come back at night. We haven't had too much of a problem with fire ants but last package that Elder Woodruff got there were a few but we took care of it and were able to save the stuff inside. It's not too bad. The cockroaches aren't terrible. Usually we find them somewhere dead so it's pretty nice.

As missionaries you really get used to doing stuff every day. I've had to walk for a couple of weeks at a time on my mission and after a while I got used to it. I remember being way behind Elder Ek when I was being trained but then after a while I got used to riding a lot and I turned out fine.

Yeah I really can't believe how fast time has flown by either! I believe that I would have done just as well if I had gone out at 19 because here you just learn so much and it doesn't matter how old you are. Everyone here grows at their own pace. Advice for Harrison? Just be yourself. Before I left Dad told me to just go and have fun with it and that's what it is. Obviously read your scriptures and say your prayers but God calls us to places because of the person that we are and who he wants us to become. The most important thing is to just be the best you that you can be.

Love you!

Elder Ressler

Monday, July 7, 2014

Denver Harbor - July 7, 2014

Yeah it has been really hot here. It's nice though because people are always offering to give you a bottle of water. They are all super nice and I really feel like God takes care of us in that way.

This fourth of July we didn't do a whole lot. We had a ward party in the morning and the entire time people were talking about the world cup. Have you guys been watching it at all? It's not so big for us Utahans but it's huge in the Latino culture. Everyone was super bummed when Mexico lost. It was really interesting. We saw a couple fireworks but it rained a little so there weren't a ton. Kind of hard to believe right? We all had to be inside at 8 anyways but before that we had some time to work. Plus everyone here is Mexican so they aren't too huge into the fourth :)

Here is an entirely different world than Utah. There are good things about it and bad things. Something that I've noticed here is how many problems people have. I feel like everyone here is going through a hard time. It's sad but we really do see how the choices we make have an effect on us.

Yeah it's my companions birthday He's not too big into celebrating a whole lot so he didn't want me to say anything but people found out anyways. It's pretty much just a regular day. I'll go and buy him something at the store probably but for the most part he wants it to be a pretty normal day. I'm kind of the same way too so it's kind of interesting. The one thing that he really wants is a nap so we are probably going to crash in the chapel during Pday.

I really can't believe how fast this year has gone. It's hard to believe. I'm trying to slow things down but it's really hard. Everything just mushes together and it's hard to really step back. We're trying hard to though and it has helped a little.

It is still pretty crazy in our house right now. We have gotten rid of most of the old stuff. Now we have bunk beds and I'm on the top bunk! It's like going back to my childhood. Besides that it looks like a regular apartment. Before it was trashed because it's been a missionary apartment for so long and the last couple of guys hadn't cleaned up very much. Now we call it "the crib". We did get another AC unit in our house (which we installed) and so it's pretty cool. It still does get really hot though. Before we'd wake up super hot but now it's super nice.

I remember you telling me about that story before. I really like that and I will make sure to remember it. I remember when I was back home one of my favorite movies was The Bucket List. At the beginning Morgan Freeman talks about how to measure a life. He then says his theory that he believes a life is measured by those he leaves behind. At the end of someone's mission most people won't remember you. So what am I going to do to be one of those people who makes an impression on someone else. I could be known as the apostate missionary, or the lazy missionary. I would rather be known as someone who listened and was kind to everyone. A missionary who has now left once told me that the mission will change you into the person you want to be. You just have to let it.

Right now in our ward we have two sets of hermanas. Hermanas Munoz and Seumanu in Galena Park. Then we have Morales and Walsh in Jacinto City. Hermana Munoz was a visa waiter who was supposed to go to a mission in Brazil but then she ended up staying here and becoming a Spanish missionary. I think she's from Nicaragua but she grew up in Houston. Hermana Seumanu is a really good friend of mine. She lived in Kerns UT but her family is from Samoa. Hermana Morales is from Peru but lived in Provo most of her life. Hermana Walsh grew up in Idaho and California. They are great hermanas! As for the ward our best friends are the Vargas family and Obispo. The son in the Vargas family is pretty much our bro. He served a mission about fifteen years ago in Las Vegas. He sort of speaks English but not to us. He REALLY likes transformers.

It's interesting to see how different people speak. People from South America have a very different accent from the Mexicanos.

President Drake is from St. George Utah. He used to be a coach for a whole bunch of different sports and then he went to be a business man. It's a different feel but it's a really good feel. I like him a ton.

Love you!

Elder Ressler