Elder Liljenquist's first area in Mexico was Paraiso!
Email from 3-18-13
Wow! Mexico is amazing!! I don't even know where to start! So we got in last Monday night and right as you got off the plane it was like someone dumped a bucket of water on your head! So humid! We slept at the ap's house and the next day we went and found out where we were going and who our companions are! So, my companion is Elder Rosales! He is from Guatamala! and guess who is the only one that got a native companion that doesnt speak a lick of english! ME! OHHH! It has been so hard the past couple of days haha but has already improved my spanish so much! Our area is the city of Paraiso. It's like 1 1/2 hours outside of Villahermosa. Like 20 minutes away from the coast! It is so pretty here! Such a big city with a ton of history! But if you dont like being watched everywhere you go and people always eyeing your pockets, than I wouldnt come here haha. no... it is reallly cool! Soo green! Palm trees and really heavy forest surround the city. Our apartment is alright. haha. Nothing like the one I had in Salt Lake but its nicer than a lot of the peoples houses that are here. So in the city there are just a lot of shops. The streets and blocks are all shops of little taco stands, clothes stores, and just alot of random things. So, the first thing that I saw when we came into town was a pick up truck full of guys in military uniforms all holding these big rifles. Kinda freaked me out a little haha. So my first week in our area has been so good! The weather the first few days was raining on and off all day. Then thursday the sun came out! And it has been about 95 degrees ever since and probably hotter because of the humidity!, And we walk everywhere. haha I already have the best farmers tan! but its good! Probably the hardest thing has been the language and like knowing where I am. Now I kind of have a idea of where I am at and all of my sorroundings, but my companion and I still kind of have a hard time communicating. During our language study time in the morning, he teachers me spanish and I teach him english. Haha. He is doing pretty good! Our ward here is unreal! They love the missionaries! They all take really good care of us! We got to do our laundry today in a members house that has a washer! So thankful for that haha cause it was going to be the kitchen sink! But probably the best part of the week was when we went to have a meeting with this family that was supposed to get babtized this past saturday. Just the mom was going to be baptized. But the other missionaries left and the ward did not know who was going to preform the baptism. So we asked her, "who would you like to baptize you?" and out of all the male members, the bishop and my companion, she chose me to do it!! I couldnt believe it!! So on Saturday I had my first baptism!! I was so nervous. haha but it went so good, and I was so thankful that she chose me to do it! So like a hour ago we were walking back into the city from a members house and I had my first run in with someone trying to get money from me. haha. This old bum on the street saw me and ran right to me pulling on my clothes and on my tie asking me for money and food. I just kept saying I dont have anything. haha No tengo no tengo. He wouldnt leave. Then I felt his hand start to go down my back and knew he was going for my wallet!. Haha that's when I jerked away haha. He acted like nothing was happening. well what do ya do, I guess. But I really do love it here. We have 4 progressing investigators and 2 are on date! We receive lots of referrals everyday! I am so thankful to be here and working with this people! I love this Gospel and I am so thankful that I get to see the happiness that it brings to people! I love you all!
Oh...One of my Best Friends, Brody, just got his call to Villahermosa! Can't wait to serve with him. So stoked!!!
Email from 3-25-13Week 2 in Mexico down! Haha. It was such a good week! I don't think that I have been hotter in my life though! It was in the 100s all week! With freakin humidity! Uh.. I was dying! haha. But it's all good! The work this past week was so good. We found 5 new investigators! I was so happy! They all have so much potential too. Everyone of them have the desire to be better in life and to feel a change! It makes me so happy when I hear them say those things! We have found a couple of families also that are intrested. I love talking to the families! haha. It's always easy to know where to go with the lesson when your with families. Always ask the mom or dad what the most important thing in there life is! haha. Then they'ree cornered! This Gospel is centered around families! Which has made me so grateful for my family! Some of our progressing investigators: One is Carlos Lopez. He is an older man who is very religious and is looking for the gospel. His daughter is a member. He is progressing really well. Another that we just met the other day, is a lady named Carla. She is having troubles in her family and such and know that religion can help. She just is not sure which religion. plus 4 or 5 more! It's awesome being able to work with these people. I love it! So one of the weird things here is that they eat at 2 o' clock in the afternoon! So all of our dinner appointments are at 2! And it is the same thing every day. haha. Some sort of meat, tortilla and rice! Gotta love it! But for some reason, the 3 hottest days of the week this past week, we have had some sort of boiling hot soup!!! I dont know why! But we have! When it is 115 degrees outside, the last thing that I want to have is a bowl of hot soup! haha So this Saturday we have a baptism!! Her name is Fildencia, We met her last week and she was so ready to be babtized that she asked us if she could! I about fell out of my chair! I was so happy. Everything is going so good here!, The language is coming. Gets better and better everyday! I love and miss all of you! and I am so grateful for this Gospel! I know that it is true and I love it so much! Brody, hurry up and get down here already!! I love you guys!
Elder Liljenquist watching General Conference on a member's laptop to he could read the English subtitles:)
Email from 4-15-13
The weeks are flying by! It was the end of the transfer here. Luckily, I am staying here in Paraiso! So happy about that! I love this area! So this past week has been really good! Besides being one of the hottest weeks of my life! One of the worst thing that could have possible happened to me this week though.... haha so we got back to the house for the day and it was probably the hottest day of my life! As I was getting ready to go to bed, I went to turn on my fan and it wasnt working!!! I was dying!! I woke up like ten times within the hour! haha. Around 12am, I couldn't take it anymore and I aimed my companions fan in my direction haha. I was fine after that! I'm sure he hates my guts sometimes:) Haha. He's pretty cool but when you're around someone ALL the time, you can get on eachothers nerves. He had a right to be mad I guess...
The work has been really good. We put another 2 people on date this week and we have a baptism this Saturday!! I hope that I have explained the process a little better than last time and he won't think I'm trying to kill him off and drown him.haha. This area is doing so good! The one that is on date is Jose Juan. He lives alone and is around 33 years old. Last week we brought him to listen to conference. He told us after that when he heard the Prophet speak that he knew that this is true! He has been in the area book for a long time and he has finally commited to be baptized! We are way excited about that! We had fast sunday here yesterday and haha pretty much the whole ward bore there testimonies! So I went up there to bare mine. Of course I am the last one. So right as I get up to the mic, the dang power goes out!! haha So I had to pretty much shout my bad spanish at all these confused members. It was awesome! It has been another really good week! Our planners are getting more and more full of people everyday! So happy for this Gospel in my life and all that it has given me! Love and miss you all!!
Email from 5-6-13
Well there has been alot of things that have happend this past week! The week started off just as a normal week. Everything was goin' so good in Paraiso! The work there was really progressing and everything was going really well!. Wednesday, we went to Villahermosa because my comp, Elder Rosales' foot had been bugging him for the past few weeks and it was getting to the point that he could not walk very well. So the President met us in Villa and took us to this so called doctor haha. This man worked out of his house and had never been through school to become a doctor or anything! haha. But I guess he doesn't want any money and he just takes donations from people! So crazy! All the people said if you go to a hospital to see a doctor, you'recrazy! I guess he's the best guy around to go see! And whatever he did to my comp worked haha!
So Thursday, we had a zone meeting in Cardenas. It went really well! There were new missionaries there from the states! It made me feel like I wasn't so bad at spanish! I also got my package! I was so pumped! I guess it took about 2 and half weeks to get down here. Thx for the Insanity dvds mom! So Thursday, we were visiting this family that is less active. The mom is active and her son is less active. His wife is not a member but has been saying that she wants to be baptized! We have been trying to work with them as much as we can but they're always busy running their resturaunt that they have. There was no one in their place and we were just talking with the mom about things. The wife, Nyibelli, she came out and laid in the hammock because she was so tired from work and taking care of her baby. Around 10 minutes later ,the baby started to cry in the house and the husband came out (who I guess had been drinking all night) and flipped the hammock and told her to take care of her kid!! It took everything in me not to get up from my seat!! I could not believe it! Gosh it was so hard to have to watch that happen and not do anything about it!!! I am grateful for my dad and how good he treats my mom. That night, we had a family night with a family who is really less active. We talked about the Atonment and the sacrament. It went so good! The dad, who has been a member since he was 8, really felt the spirit strong and he said he knows what he needs to do! It felt so good to walk out of that lesson! So... we get back to the house around 9 and around 10 at night we get a phone call from our zone leaders. They say Elders, "tiene cambios"!!! You have a transfer! What?? I could not believe it!! "|You need to be in the office at 9 tomorrow morning!!" It was the worst feeling ever! I had no time to do anything! So that night I packed everything up and the next day, we were in the office at 9 in the morning! So, the reason that we had these emergency transfers was because an elder here can't be in a area for too long because he starts to get comfortable and flirts with the girls!! So, they chose me out of all the elders in the mission to move! I promise I'm not the flirting elder! haha. I was so mad! I did not get to say goodbye to anyone!! I felt like I was leaving home all over again! So, my new area is La Venta! It's really small. The ward is a branch with around 65 members! The area is really cool though! And the people are all really nice! My comp is Elder Frazier, He is from St. George. I thought I got weird looks when I was the only white kid! haha ...People are stunned to see 2 of us! But the area is really good. They have no progressing investigators and the area book is shot! So it looks like were gonna have to start over in this area! I'm excited though! We will build it up!! Everything is going really good now! The past few days have just been a little crazy! but We will just see how the work goes this week!! Love and miss you all!!