Monday, September 29, 2014

Cleveland, TX - September 29, 2014

This week was a really great week. We had a little miracle this week with one of our investigators. We stopped by randomly on Sunday night and she had just barely gotten home from work. She is one of the most most sincere investigators that I have ever taught and we had a really spiritual lesson. She isn't able to get Sundays off to go to church and her work calls her a day in advance. We know God will provide a way. She has a lot of faith though and I know she'll be all right. I know that she has so much faith and it's just up to her and Heavenly Father what happens. We'll just keep doing our best.

Things here have been going pretty smoothly. Cleveland is a really huge change of pace. In the city everything was fast and close together. Here it is spread apart and not a whole lot goes on. It is a little safer here though. It's a really nice pleasant town. We had to take a trip up to Beamont for a doctor's appointment with Elder Gamez too and I was so tired of driving by the end. I'm starting to get used to it though and I feel like I am becoming a much better driver though I am a lot more careful now. I drive on the freeway all of the time and I'm really getting used to finding my way around the area.

I really can't believe that it's conference again! I am so excited! For missionaries it is a huge thing just because it's something a little different and I feel like I pay attention a lot more. Not to make me sound trunky or anything but only 1 more after this. Crazy huh? I really want to learn how to make pie when I get back. I am starting to cook some things a lot more. I'm no pro but I've learned some things from members and past companions (and of course Mom).

Elder Gamez eats really healthy and he's inspiring me to eat better. I'm trying to cook more and I think it's helping a lot. Most of what I make include peppers but I think it counts right? Also I'm eating more frozen vegetables.

The thing I like best about people who work with the youth is how much of an influence they can have on the youth. I remember a lot of the scout leaders I had were great examples and I know that I'm a better person because I went to Mutual.

Here in Cleveland we have a good amount of support from members. They are really excited to help but there aren't very many of them. I really like it here in Cleveland and I think that I am adjusted. I'm getting along great with the people here and I know we are going to have a lot of success.

The words that we speak really do have a big effect on others. A lot of the time we don't realize it but the things we say really stick with people. We just have to decide what kind of attitude we want to have.


Elder Ressler

Monday, September 22, 2014

Cleveland, TX - September 22, 2014

Yeah I did get your letter! Thanks so much for sending it!

This week was really good. We were able to find a lot of people to teach. No he's not really in any pain because of cerebral palsy he just can't use his left arm and leg very well so he walks with a limp. We go a lot slower but it is to be expected. It's been a little stressful because it is hard for Elder Gamez to know where he is in an area (because he is in the passenger seat all the time) so I had to get to know the area really fast. Everything is starting to calm down now though. I have to admit I miss the bike a lot. I had a super huge blessing with that by the way. I took my bike in because the wheel was wobbling again which is a sign of a broken axel. I picked it up about 2 weeks ago at the shop where we originally bought it which offers deals for missionaries. Even with it though I was expecting all of the repairs to be around a hundred dollars because my bike needed a lot done. When I picked it up it looked like a brand new bike and they only charged me 21 dollars.

Yeah the weather has cooled down a ton for Houston! It is super nice right now and has been raining a little bit.

So this week I had a super spiritual experience. We listened to a talk about praying by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin and he talked a lot about putting more meaning in our prayers. Out here we pray so much that it's easy to be robotic about it. I tried to be more meaningful and not only ask for things but really listen too.

Love you,

Elder Ressler

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cleveland, TX - September 15, 2014

Our ward mission leader's wife has a sister who lives near you. I talked with him for a while and he described it really well. He remembers going up the canyon and that his sister in law lives next to Carl's Junior and the freeway. It was super cool to know. They said that sometime they want to go there and I was really excited because then they could stop by and see me too!

That's really interesting about the Hispanics in Utah and missionary work. I remember being back home and not really knowing anyone Hispanics and mostly it was because they didn't  know English. I really like being out here and being able to get to know people who don't even speak English. I had a funny experience the other day as a member was talking to me on the phone and he kept on switching back between English and Spanish. In my last area they didn't usually do things like that but here mostly everyone speaks both languages.

That's super neat that the stake has had three baptisms this year! That's awesome! I remember that it had been a while since we'd had any. It really just comes down to being friendly and asking if they have interest.

We are really close to English Elders who live in the apartment complex next to ours. There is also a senior missionary couple who lives over there. Then there are the sister missionaries in a nearby city and everyone else is pretty far away. It's different especially having a different look. Spanish missionaries are like they're own little click in my old area and it's a lot different seeing how English missionaries work.

Our ward is actually a Spanish branch. It used to be combined with the English ward but then they made their own separate branch. There aren't a ton of members but the people here are really strong. Right now we are working with building up our relationship with the ward because the missionary that just left had been there for a long time and the ward misses them a lot especially because Elder Gamez is really new. I know how it is though because I've been in both my areas a long time and I got really close to the people there.

Thanks for your thoughts on your personal study. It really is true what you said. I had a really interesting experience yesterday. We've been feeling a little overwhelmed with finding new investigators and teaching more people. Right before we left I opened up my scriptures to that part in Helaman I think where God says to Nephi that he will give him the sealing keys and power to move mountains. It said in there that he gave him power over this people and I thought it was really cool to think that God has really chosen us to be in this area. I really know that I'm here for a purpose.

Yeah it was actually really cool (almost cold in the mornings) these last couple of days which was super weird. I liked it though but we'll see if it keeps up. Yeah the apartment is really nice and there are a ton of trees. I really am out in the sticks now. It's a bit of a change. The biggest difference between this area and my others is how few Hispanics there are but we do our best. My companion has been out on his mission for 16 months. 


Elder Ressler

Monday, September 8, 2014

Cleveland, TX - September 8, 2014

Here it's pretty cool because there a lot of trees so I feel like I'm camping but instead I'm living here!

Yeah it's really cool being with Elder Gamez. He does speak fluent English but I get to listen to how he would word everything. The Cleveland area has been around for a little more than a year so it is still pretty new. It's really hard finding our way around and we have to stress a lot about saving miles. The guy who was here before me was Elder Thomas who just went to Orange as an English ZL. I knew him when he was in Broadway.

Yeah it is a pretty neat town. I miss my old area a lot but at least there are more Hispanics than I thought there would be. I wouldn't say that people are friendlier here. It's about the same. Hispanics are super giving people.

Right now we are teaching this lady named Andrea who is super cool. She lives in a really humble home out in the middle of the sticks. I think she will progress super well. There is also this really cool guy named Michael who is cool.

I really like learning about family history. It's always cool to be contacting someone and they say that they know about our church through family history. It hasn't happened too often but it's happened.

Cleveland is SO different from Broadway. I have to admit it has been a little rough adjusting and I could really use some prayers. I think that I am going to like this place a lot though. It will just take some getting used to. It's a complete change of setting and I'm away from a lot of the friends that I have made. I'll make a lot of new friends though so we'll be okay. The weather is a little cooler but you can feel the humidity a lot more because there are more trees.

It's so true about the rock and the church. We don't realize how a lot of things are while living in Utah. Here it is super different. Houston is one of the biggest places for things like porn and things like that. It's been crazy to see how much of an effect it really does have on someone's life. What we do really does matter and we may not realize it until it is too late.

I haven't had to play the piano in a sacrament meeting but I have during a baptismal service and District Meeting. My area is full of a lot of Caucasian people which is something different from what I'm used to. Before it was super common to walk into Wal-Mart or something like that and hear Spanish. Yeah before I was serving in wards but now I'm in a branch. That's a bit of a change for me too. There are a lot of really good people here though and I already think they're great.

Yeah we still go to the temple every couple of months. I really look forward to going. I can't wait to go with you guys to the temple. I want to go a lot.

Love you so much!

Elder Ressler

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cleveland, TX - September 3, 2014

I had a really good but crazy week. On Friday we got the call that both Elder Woodruff and I were getting transferred and it was a huge surprise! I wasn't sure what to expect because there were so many crazy things that were going on this transfer. For Spanish missionaries, we had two elders go home and seven come in, so there wasn't enough space so a lot of people had to go English. I got lucky to stay Spanish but I got transferred away from the promised land in Broadway and right now I'm in Cleveland, TX. It is really cool though. Here it is really like being in Louisiana, but a lot more Hispanics. Now I feel like I am actually in Duck Dynasty. I'm really used to the city though so the sticks are a bit of a change.

I am with Elder Gamez and we are getting along really well. He was raised in the US in Washington, DC; I think, but his family is from Guatemala. I'm excited that I get someone who speaks Spanish fluently. He's a great guy and Elder Ek was companions with him for a while before he trained me. It's going to be a fun transfer. We are in a car the whole time because Elder Gamez has cerebral palsy and can't get around too well.

We had a lot of fun in Denver Harbor and I was sad that it had to come to an end but it is all for the best. Right now Elder Woodruff is in Baytown.

For us usually we go up to people and start talking about them. We ask them what they like to do and if they have a family. Then we could ask them if they are going to church and what are their views on religion. Then we tell them why we are there and invite them. That's really what it all comes down to is just inviting others to act.

I ate a HUGE potato stuffed with a lot of meat and barbecue sauce. Cool, huh?

Here are some pictures from my last ward. The first one is of us and a family who are super cool and then the second one is us and a Hermano who is a returned missionary and is pretty much our bro.

Love you!

Elder Ressler