Friday, June 21, 2013

Week 15 - Can't wait for Conicula

Hello Parents.

¡Padre Feliz Día de Padres y Feliz Cumpleaños! I would like to say that it is really hot and going to get hotter. Down in this area of Mexico we have a thing called the conicula which is the hottest two months of the year (July and August). It will be about 40 degrees celious which means that it is about 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Anyway, its been another week of no water - so that's fun and all. Good news is, I'm still alive and al!  Awesome story - last P-Day we had my first shooting experience here in Matamoros!  I guess that some bad guys got caught or something.  There were shots and we all ran back to the house and hid. It's good, I'm still alive and whatnot.  It was a neat experience though!!  

Good news - we should have a baptism soon; the bad news, it won't be on the 22nd like we planned.  We are pushing it back one week since we don't have much time for teaching this week. Zone Conference and what not which means a nice 1 and one half hour bus ride! 

I also bought an American football, the old pigskin, and I'm teaching the Mexican Elders how to play, so it will be fun!  (Zach only out-weights them by about 100 pounds)  I'll  also send pictures of interchanges that I went on this week in a different area because it is so different being in the middle of the city rather then the outskirts!!!  That was my week.  Keep safe and stay awesome.

Love Elder Stohel
or in Spanish talk Estoél.

Week 14 - That Shirt isn't Wrinkled

Hello Family and Friends,

Well this week was a little disappointing.  We didn't get anybody we needed to church - which means out of the five baptism we had planned for the 22nd only 2 of them are still able to do so on that date.  One is fighting us hard on the commandments, don't know whats up with that.  It was also hard because it was a week of evaluation of our investigators and we decided to drop some of them because we are so busy with others that are really progressing and the others just stopped being interested.  I'm still doing good.   Our investigators, even though they are fighting us, are progressing and they know what we teach is true.  

We still didn't have any water this week.  I think i'll just have to live with this reality until I leave this area, not sure though.  The good news is that we had interchanges this week and I went with one of our Zone Leaders to his area and his showers have water.  I got to have a real shower!  

Well that is pretty much my week.  At the end of this month the mission is being split and i will officially be part of the Reynosa mission.  Yup, that's right.  That means my plaque will be incorrect. muhahahaha.  Oh yea, Dad, my shirt isn't wrinkly, it just hangs really loose. haha  (Insert by Dad:  No, it IS wrinkled.)   I think I'm down to about 215 pounds now - which is weird since i came out to Mexico about 250 pounds.  Don't worry about the clothes fitting because my Zone Leader gave me some of his that don't fit him anymore. YAY!   Anyway, love ya stay safe and awesome or whatever you want.  

Elder Stohel

Week 13 - Rico Sauce!


This week has been pretty interesting!  For one thing we have no water starting last Tuesday!  By this, I mean the water that comes out of the faucets.  So, cleaning dishes, flushing toilets, showering, and sometimes, washing clothes are with BUCKETS!!  It is a lot of fun... ah well, its a neat experience at least I'm sure Skylar is dealing with worse :)  Anyway, that is my cool experience this week.  Oh, another thing is, I am now a huge fan of habanero sauce!  I start my morning everyday with an egg sandwich with this Rico ( couldn't remember the English word :/) sauce.  I love it so much!  'Ah tasty' is a word that works in this situacion!    Anyway, that is pretty much the interesting stuff.

With our investigators, major progress is happening.  We have 5 baptisms planned for the 22 of this month and we are pretty sure at least 3 will be baptized then.  We will try to get all five, but, getting people married and to church is hard!  

Well, that is pretty much my week here in Mexico!!  Write me so you can bask in my awesomeness!  Have Fun!

With Love 
Elder Stohel

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Week 9 - What's the deal? Everyone Speaks English!

Dear Family

The Cinco de Mayo holiday in Mexico is actually celebrated in September.  So, this Sunday is Fast Sunday which means that I am hungry!

I am in a town called Matamoros, which is about a four hour drive from Monterrey.  We are right next to the Texan border and a lot of people speak English and offer to only speak English.  It is nice, but, not very good for practice sakes.

We had our baptisms on Saturday.  They are Marcos and Stephany.  They recently got married and are 22 and 25 years old. 

Happy Birthday to Grandpa!  I would send a card, but I don’t want to buy Mexican postage, so all of my correspondence will have to be through email. 

That was my week…mostly.  It was hard because we aren’t having very good luck finding good consistent investigators to teach, so we go to appointments and they aren’t there…

For Mother’s Day, you guys will call our Ward house.  That is how we can talk.  My time to talk is 5:00 pm.  Which is, I think, 4:00 pm your time.

Love ya,

Elder Stohel

Monday, April 29, 2013

Week 8 - Two Days and Still No Visa

Sup peeps!
How´s everyone doing?  I hope all is well in this coming week.  This week has been very rough.  For one, we weren´t able to get our investigator into the font of water yet; which means she will have to be rescheduled and we haven’t been able to do that yet.  This week we dedicated a lot of time to finding new people to teach, but had no success.  I think we have about 60 hours contacting and most people weren’t home.  So, all those hours and no new investigators made this week a long one.

But the good news is that we are moving forward and pushing ahead. We also have two baptisms for this Saturday. I’m so excited because these people are the first lesson that I had here. Plus, we gave the sister a blessing on like day 2 of this area.  They also just got married, which hopefully the marriage plus the baptism will be the key factors in them staying active in the church.  In other news,  I had to go back to Monterrey for a couple of days.  It is about a 4 hour bus ride.  I then had to stay the night and then go get some paperwork for my permanent visa.  Then, another 4 hour bus ride back. Which means its 2 days that we were not productive and I didn´t even get my visa.  I have to go back again in a few weeks. Anyway, that was basically my week. I’m doing well. The church is true – yada, yada, yada....

With love 
Elder Stohel

Week 7 - Why are you hitting your little brother?

Hello Family!

It is I, the one in Mexico!  I did not write this week because of the fact that my P-day went from Thursday to Monday! Anywhozzile, I’m not going to send letters back home (snail mail) since I would have to buy Mexican stamps and I don’t want to. :)

So, it’s pretty hot down here; like really hot. On the day we left for Mexico, it was snowing in Utah.  We got down here and it was about 90-95 degrees with humidity.  Alas, the hotter months are yet to come. I’ve been told to expect around 110-120 degrees in the hottest months with humidity... yea.  I hope I get the language down by August or else I might be in trouble! 

Anyway, the work is good down here.  There are so many people to teach. As of right now we have four progressing investigators (people who have been taught twice and are keeping commitments) and five other investigators.  We have a baptism scheduled for this week that we are working hard to get her ready for. We have two baptisms scheduled for next week and two to three other people with dates for the 18th of May. My area is pretty big.  It takes about two hours to walk across the entire area from left to right and about the same up and down and we walk everywhere! 

My companion is Elder Moss (I know, not native!) and he is from Lehi Utah.  He is awesome. He is definitely the best companion I could have right now.  He is able and willing to explain and teach where I can’t because I still don’t understand everything.  On news with the language, it is better! Improvement is happening.  I can tell separate words now when people speak, but I still don’t know what it means in English.  Oh yea, so far in my mission I’ve given two blessings in Spanish. I only did the anointing of the oil but I did participate in the ordinance which was cool. I don’t think I’ve begged more in my life as when these blessings are taking place.  Anyway, that is pretty much my week. Cool news - Elder Holland is coming to my mission at the end of May!  BE JEALOUS!

Anyway, love ya, church is true, and yea...

Elder Stohel   

Oh, before I forget; did you know that the first question in the BoM is why do ye smite your younger brother with a rod?  Yea, awesome right!   

Anyway, Adios

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Week 6 - SPAF - German for April Fools?

Dear Family

This week has, and is, very interesting.  I got my visa last week, but, I didn’t get my travel plans until Wednesday.  So I didn’t know if I was actually leaving for Mexico until then.

As well as all that, this week we got a new district.  We got to host SPAF.  Now, I can’t remember what it actually stands for, but, when a new district comes in, the oldest district (my district) picks one Elder (me) to become a shy foreign kid who doesn’t speak any English.  So this week, I am a shy German kid who got called to a Spanish speaking mission – who doesn’t know English and won’t speak German because I want to go solo Spanish because that is where I was called.  Then on Saturday or Sunday night, if they haven’t caught on, I reveal my true nature and we all laugh.

The kid who did it to us is named Elder Heaps.  We had no clue he was actually from Utah.  It was hilarious.  Well, that’s all for this week.

With Love,
Elder Stohel

Week 5 - VISA, It's Just Not For Shopping

Hola Familia!,
Zach's Zone at the MTC

This week has been good.  I got all the ties, which are awesome, because I was really missing all the different ties that I have.  I did notice that my stuff had been cleaned thanks so much! 

That’s so cool about the Fisher boys!  Tell them that Spanish missionaries have more fun than English ones and that they shouldn't worry about any of the language barrier.   Because with the Spirit you gain at La CCM you can break down any barrier that languages create.  I hear one of them is going to Argentina?   Tell them to apply for their visas NOW.   I know a lot of missionaries that are now being reassigned for a few months or are stuck at the MTC for a longer amount of time because getting the visas for that country is very difficult. 

On the note about visas, here is my good news.  I got my visa and will be in Mexico on Monday at 3:30.  I am not sure if that is their time or ours, but, that is the time given.  I’ll be calling home from the airport that morning.  My flight is at 8:00 so I’ll hopefully be able to call around seven.  Maybe before - just have someone be awake and by the phone!  

That is awesome with Steph! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  You’re making me jealous with the pork salads; those are so good.  I guess I can't complain since I’m going to be eating the authentic stuff for the next 23 months! 

Conference was fantastic!  I've never before learned so much in such a short amount of time!  I've loved every minute of conference this time around.  It's amazing how much of the talks talked about missionary work.  It's like the Lord said let this conference be for the missionaries; the rest of the church will have to wait 6 months!  
It's been a long but good week here. I’m pretty tired since my roommates like to get up at 4:00 AM  on P-Day to do laundry...... yea it’s fun.....  Anyway let me know about Elder Saville and say congrats to those other 3 new missionaries for me!

With Love
Elder Stohel

Week 4 - Where am I going?

Hey Mom!

Easter was really good!  We had two devotionals during the day; one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  I can't remember the names of the speakers because I don't have my notes here with me.  We also watched a broadcast of Elder Bednar's talk Character of Christ.  That man really knows how to throw down.  We decided that it will be awesome if Elder Bednar and Elder Holland got into a Bible Bash and really throw down. 

     Actually I’m quite nervous about going to Mexico because I’m not even sure if I’ll be allowed in!.  We are supposed to go to the Mexican Consulate today, but they told me that I might not even be able to go there - Either way, I just want to know for sure where I’m going. Hopefully I don't have to stay at the MTC longer. 

     Sorry i keep forgetting to send the scripture its D&C 4:5-7.  Hope you guys have a good week. I'll probably write more after my visit to the Consulate and what not and tell you where I might be going!


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Week 3 - Pictures and Letters Please

Dearest Family
I write you this letter after two hours of translation.  (Dad sent his last letter entirely in Spanish)  Also, thanks for sending that General Conference Survival Kit.  I really could use a lot of the things that were inside.
To answer some of your questions; my Spanish is coming along great.  I think if I tried, I could speak 80% in Spanish.  Although, I would take forever trying to speak most of the words.  Also, Ian and I have been exchanging emails.  We only get off a small paragraph each week.  So send me some of his letters; that would be great.
If I understand right, Dad’s job at UDOT is coming up.  That’s great to hear!  It’s good to hear that you got to talk to Spencer.  How is he doing?  Is he still going strong with church?
In other words, things here are great.  Only three more weeks and I’m in the field.  Studying is a lot easier.  The days don’t seem so long anymore.  Waking up still sucks, but, I’m able to recover faster.
In things that I would like sent.  If you can, tell my friends to write.  Send pictures so I can have them; that would be awesome.  Also, I would like updated pictures of Jace, Elsie, and Jagger, if you can get them.  Lastly, if you could send a couple of photos of Benny and Nessie (mostly Benny) I would be so grateful!
Anyway, Hasta la luego, con amor,
Elder Zach Stohel

Friday, March 22, 2013

Week 2 - Testimonies and War

Well things here are pretty much the same - studying and all that.  I can give a decent prayer in Spanish as well as a pretty good testimony and I have been teaching investigators in Spanish since day 3.  This week has been such a spiritual one.  So many priesthood blessings were given - it's like you can feel the power of all of these Elders, its amazing.  I mentioned Mom in a district meeting on Sunday.  We were talking about 'Enduring to the End' and I told the story of Mom's amazing weight loss.  I don't know if you know this,  here in El CCM (Spanish for MTC)  there is a holy war going on between the Spanish elders and the English ones.  I think it is because the English can only have parties but the Spanish can have FIESTAS!!!  We are also starting a war with the Russians because they stole one of our zone leader's chairs. 
In closing I want to share my testimony (Spanish of course :)
Yo se que Jose Smith es a la profeta de Dios. yo se que el libro de mormon es el palabra de Dios. yo se que Jesucristo es nuestro Salvador.  yo se que mi mision es muy importante por las personas de Mexico.  yo se que Dios ama todos las personas y serve todos las personas con todo su corazon. 
Well, that's all the Spanish my mind has for today.  Ignore the fact that there is no accents on any of those words.  You'll have to imagine them.
With love
Elder Zach Stohel

P.S. i got the card and the rolls they were amazing!!!  Did you get the letters and deliver them to the appropriate people yet?  Did you find my ring?  If you see my friends tell them to write me already!! haha have a good week.  I'll write you guys again soon.
Again with love,
Elder Zach Stohel

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Week 1 - Will Studying Kill Me?

Well the first week has come and gone.  I can't figure out which is going to kill me first all this studying or the withdrawals from video games.  It was quite a surprise when I figured out that on my third day here I had to teach an "investigator" in Spanish.  You think that teaching in English is hard, try teaching while learning another language.  Anyway I’ll tell you about my district and zone.   My companion is Elder Adams who is basically just as big as me.  My district companions are Elders: Henderson, Groll, Coulteryawn, Ostler, Beesley, Robertson, and Ault and Hermanas: Miller, Bishop and Larson. My zone leaders are Elders: Heal and England.  We are all really tight! I just got back from the temple which makes three temples I’ve done an Endowment session in.  Well that was basically my week there really isn't much to say since every day includes about eleven hours of studying. 
With love
Zach Stohel

Oh P.S. I'll be sending a letter to the Epeneters and to Kyle and they will be sent to the house and then delivered that way.  For Kyle just message him on FB and tell him to come pick them up.