Monday, July 28, 2014

The New Area in Port Lavaca!

So this week we have been biking a ton because the last elder used a lot of miles before he left.  It was so hot and we would just be soaked in sweat after like 6 minutes!  And then a couple days ago, we noticed a little note on our miles record that 230 miles are excused for when he went to the temple.  So pretty much we just got 230 miles for free and we have been driving everywhere.  We are just blowing miles because if one goes over on monthly miles then they take them away from your next month’s total.  But even if you go under, they still take miles away and give them to other people to use next month.  So pretty much unless you hit it exactly, miles will be taken away.

Also this week, President did an atonement training for all of the new-ish missionaries.  And since my companion elder steed came in just 3 transfers ago, we got to go.  And boy does that man know a lot!  It was like 2 hours long and he shared a billion scriptures.  Pretty much, if I read any of the scriptures on my own I would be super confused, but through his prophesying he made everything make sense.  I don’t think I ever could have learned all that in a whole life of studying.  He taught us all about justice and mercy and why it cannot be any different and then everything that would cease to exist if the atonement never happened which is everything, even gravity. It was nutty.

And in our branch, there are two key characters.  One is brother B.  He is a 300 pound white football coach.  And the other, Presidente S, he is a middle aged Hispanic rolling around on his $15 million he won from the lottery. B speaks about 10 Spanish words and S speaks about 20 English words but somehow they are the best of pals in the branch.  They call each other Capitan and Angel Moroni and just make fun of each other all day.  Like at the pioneer activity we had on Saturday, they just stayed outside and bbq-ed all day together, I don’t know what they do.  

And the branch just wouldn’t be complete without either of them. Basset just knows a bunch of doctrine and scriptures and literally carries the branch.  S just has an "answer" for everything but has no references to back it up.  He just brings happiness to the branch, which is really good because B and his wife sometimes judge and cause contention with anyone they don’t like so it makes it hard for some people to enjoy parts of church like the classes and the Sacrament.  It’s a crazy branch but it’s a fun one for sure!

Elder Lund

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Good times in Port Lavaca!

Our little apartment

Me and my trusty Steed

Elder Steed

I’ve been banished to Port Lavaca.  Well that’s what everyone says. It’s where they put the people they just want to forget about. It’s the farthest place from the mission home, around 3 hours. To get here we had to drive through the biggest hickville I’ve ever seen, where every other car is a Ford truck and all the other ones are Chevy trucks!  On the main road people use cups to write in their cylone fences… things like "obama is ruining everything" and "wake up America!" And everything has a very basic name like “town store” and “restaurant”.  One of them even got a little wild and was called “restaurant and donut”.  It was pretty funny.  Then you get to port… i think it looks like the ghetto of a Nicholas Sparks movie.  Every house in the whole town is a trailer or a mobile home.  I think there are only 1 or 2 neighborhoods of actual homes. But I love it here!  Everybody is a little crazy and super cool. And everyone has either moved or grew up here and just seems to be stuck here.  Plus, we drive a Jeep Compass so it’s one of the best cars of the mission, haha!

And we went to Wal-Mart yesterday, and you know how in Wal-Mart it’s always a game to look for the crazy people?  Well here its a little different. Its a game to look for the normal people!  But we have been biking a ton because we have no miles this month. In fact, one day we got a combined total of 8 flat tires! It was so lame!  I’m pretty sure they line the road with thorns here!

My companion’s name is Elder Steed.  He is from Ogden and super new to the mission.  He is super cool!  He loves to skate, we listened to the same kind of music, and he is like a California kid just residing in Utah.

So this week, we built a deck Hispanic-style, just winging it the whole way.  It turned out pretty decent actually. It was sweet, he just handed me a skill saw or something and just told me to start cutting while he did other stuff. And we also found this little taco truck hidden in an alley, but it was so good. They were some of the best tacos I’ve ever had. And turns out people drive from all over to go to it. But they had a huge skillet-grill thing that he was just going to town on.  I’ve decided that any kitchen without one is just not complete.

Right after we met a guy named Bill and turns out he grew up in Dog town, like in the movie Lords of Dog Town.  He grew up skating and surfing with Tony Alva and Stacy and all of them.  He was so cool.  He just told us crazy stories of him charging 15-foot waves in Baja and how they almost surfed mavericks with Alva and now he is some old guy selling houses in south Texas for a living.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about just ask Hunter and he can fill you in.

And here we also have a bilingual branch with like 40 people so we have to translate all the meetings and teach half the classes. It’s pretty fun but the guy who teaches Elders Quorum never finishes his sentences so translating for him was impossible!  At least none of the Hispanics care too much.

But yeah, Port Lavaca is super fun.  The last guy was here for 14 months!  I hope I’m not like that though!  I want to go to the city and get super good at Spanish. We shall see…

Elder Lund 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bummed to be be transferred with so much good happening!

So this week I don’t really remember much of what I did. I usually copy down from my journal what I do, but I forgot.  I’ll try my best.  I am getting transferred on Wednesday. Ugh, its the worst!  I don’t want to leave here, and we are about to have 3 baptisms hopefully in the next two weeks, but oh well.  I’ll probably get transferred to the boonies or something and get eaten by dogs everyday! 

We also had an investigator devotional last night.  It was my first one and the coolest things ever!  A bunch of people that got baptized in the last 6 months got up and shared their testimony of their conversion story and overcoming certain trials and the spirit was so strong!  Too bad we couldn’t get any of our current investigators to come. Yesterday was rough, we invited so many to the devotional and to church and only one family came, which is still super good and amazing, but most of the people who we’re teaching didn’t come.

So as of right now Christen is super strong and just got the priesthood, so hopefully he will go to the temple next week.  Also his sister, Lizette, has taken all the lessons and loved church yesterday so she will probably get baptized on Sunday.  And Rapha is starting to get his answer and he has noticed his life has changed a lot for the better. The only problem is his date dropped and he said he will just tell us when he is ready to get baptized.  That’s the worst because then you never know how much to talk about baptism and help him progress without him getting mad because we don’t respect his decisions... But we still see him and are good friends.  He could get baptized by next week too.  

Also, I don’t know if I ever talked about Diego.  He is related to Floris and we finally got permission to baptize him.  So he will either get baptized next week with Lizette or the week after with some other cub scouts.  This is the worst part about missionary work: We get all this success and so many people ready… and now I have to leave it all.  It’s rough but hopefully I don’t go too far and I can come back for their baptisms...

So recently I have started all my studies with a conference talk from the Ensign dad gave me.  It is super nice.  Today I read the one about our 4 minutes by the Presiding Bishop.  Man, it was so cool!  I must have dazed during that whole talk because I learned so much this morning!  It talks about how life on earth compared to eternity is like an athletes 4 minutes in the Olympics compared to a lifetime of practice.  And I like the comparisons it makes between the "checkpoints" and "practice" and how we should always compete our best but at the same time help others to compete their best. 

I also like Monson’s talk on love. That is something I have been trying to improve on my mission, always being kind and compassionate and forgiving.  Also helping others to succeed and grow.  And it helped me to understand a lot about how far one little compliment can go or how easy for us, but how much that little act means to someone.  You know, if you ever have nothing to do, now you have two talks you can read.

Love you guys!

Elder Lund

Monday, July 7, 2014

Temple, Rain, and Defensive Driving!

# Temple Pic with Mirna
Our rain gear this week
A cookie we made for the Bishop's son who is going to Peru

So this week I decided I’m going to be an MMA fighter!  I had a dream about the movie Warrior and it was pretty sweet.  Also, my comp told me about the 4 Hour Work Week, a book he read, and the guy in his time off trained to be a MMA fighter and was the champ... so that’s my destiny, I decided, haha!  

But seriously, a couple days ago, I was driving and pulled out into a median, but I guess the lady thought I was going into traffic so she slammed on her brakes and honked her horn and freaked out!  Then I thought she was nice and let me in, but I soon realized she wanted to take a picture of my license plate!  So I swooped off into some side neighborhood and she followed me.  I drove around casually for a little, but she was still behind me so I got all "Italian Job" on her and made my get away.  In the end she got stuck in a dead end while I casually drove behind her.  She flipped me off, but that will teach her what happens when she fights God's army!

And there was a bunch of rain... like a bunch!  One minute was sunny and the next was dumping in a split second.  We got stuck under an awning outside and the lady left us to go inside, so she gave us trash bags to put over us and run to our car.  I’ll show you a picture.  It was like that half the week.  And the lighting was intense!  It would flash for almost a full second in one spot so we could see it really well.  And it was crazy colors, white, blue, purple and even red.

And I saw an armadillo today!  first time ever!  They look so weird.  They look like robot animals, almost like something in universal studios. But it scampered away before I could snap a pic.

Also this week, Floris taught me how to make Honduranian pineapple drink and Honduranian enchiladas (really they are just tostadas, but I’ll keep that secret). They were super good though.  She slow roasted meat with vegetables, then put fresh lettuce and cucumber and tomatoes and stuff on top.  BTW, tomatoes are still the grossest things... ugh.

We also went to the temple with Mirna.  She got baptized in March and she was able to be baptized for her grandma!  It was really powerful for her.  It was a good week.

And thanks for the advice.  That’s what I’m trying to focus on, just enjoying everything the most I can and just being a friend to everyone.  I still have a lot of work, but the mission goes a lot smoother that way.  And to me being a leader doesn’t have any extra perks, just more responsibilities. But it’s good for me.  I have to always be an example, think about what the people in my district need, plan effective district meetings and a bunch of other stuff.  I guess it’s good because I can’t just fly under the radar anymore ;)

love you dad,

elder lund