Saturday, November 22, 2014

Letter 52: Takis Yoga

Life as a secretary is a fast paced life.

Elder Webster and I had divisions with the missionaries in Ejido Benito Juarez on Monday. Elder Webster went to Benito Juarez and I stayed in Ciudad Juarez. I got to work with Elder Trejo. Elder Trejo has about 9 months in the field and is from Tequisquiapan, Queretaro...Or Tequis for short. (or, as I like to call it, Takis) He is also a total yogi. During our morning workout he just started doing all this crazy yoga stuff. Apparaently, yoga is a HUGE thing in his lil town, and it's what all the cool kids do. Elder Trejo is working in the Benito Juarez area right now, and since it is so far away from the rest of the mission (it is actually the last pueblito within the mission limits), he was pretty excited to be back in the City. 

We had a pretty cool experience teaching a less active family in the ward. Elder Trejo and I gave them a lesson on fortifying their testimonies through Jesus Christ. At the end of the lesson, we asked them for a reference (of course). And then, something amazing happened. It turns out that the Brother actually had non-member relatives living in....Ejido Benito Juarez! Elder Trejo couldn't believe it! They hadn't recieved a reference in FOREVER, and now, the Lord had put us right where he needed us.

Thursday we took a lilttle trip down to Janos, Chihuahua for some immigration stuff. It looked like another routine trip for Elder Velazquez & Webster. When we got out, the whole town went on strike and blocked off the main highway that leads to Ciudad Juarez. Apparrently they went on strike because of gas prices, and they were blocking off access to Ciudad Juarez. Needless to say, Elder Webster, Thorpe, Alba, and I were stuck in Janos. We (miracolously) got a ride to Casas Grandes, Chihuahua (the closest town to Janos) and then waited until about 4 PM for the roadblock manifestation to finish. We took a late bus back to Juarez, and arrived at around 8:30 back in the City. 

And that brings us to today.

Today we got a call from President telling us that a shipment of Flu vaccines are coming in today. He told us to come to the office and wait for them to arrive, so we have been wating ever since for them to get here.

Hasta luego familia 

Elder Velazquez
Kitty Kadavers (we found these in a house we were looking to rent)

Brownies and Ice Cream part I

Southpole XXL (a gift from our convert, Luz Elena)

 Hipsta Vision

Elder Trejo and I

Motörhead Cheeks

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Letter 51: Trunky...Psych!

Hello Familia!

We kicked off the week with our monthly Zone Reunion. If you guys want to know what goes on in a Zone Reunion, here's the link to the presentation I made:

Tuesday was travel day. Elder Webster and I headed down to Janos, Chihuahua to wrap up some immigration paperwork. 

Wednesday was a super busy day! We had to help 4 missionaries with some inter-cycle changes. We dropped off a missionary at the airport, and then picked up some sisters who were also being changed from Casas Grandes, Chihuahua to Ciudad Juarez. Inter-cycle changes are kinds common. They usually occur when there is companionship problems, a missionary is sick, or whatnot. Aside from that, we had to go check out and make a contract for a new house for some sister missionaries. I have been getting real good with making and settling contracts lately. If my whole computer engineering/ IT career doesn't work out, I think I'd make a good real estate attorney.

Wednesday was also my 1 year anniversary

I don't feel like time has made me distant. If anything, it has brought me closer to all of you dearest family, and especially to the Lord, my Saviour. I don't feel sad, I don't feel down. I feel happy and with an unexplicable amount of placidity and stillness. I am right were the Lord needs me to be, and I couldn't be happier. 

I am super happy, and I wish time time went by this fast back in High School! 

I love you all!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Letter 50: The 5th Fernando

Hello familia

Lately, Elder Webster and I have been doing house inspections for some of the missionaries here in Juarez. We have seen some of the craziest houses, but they all have one thing in common...They all kinda smell like stale farts and concrete. We have been checking to make sure they all have blankets and that their houses are ready for the long awaited winter. Things are starting to get cool over here in Juarez, but not as cool as the experiences we've been having with our investigators lately.

For the past few weeks we have been teaching some relatives of a member in our ward, Fernando Garcia. We have been preaching to his Uncle, Juan, and his dad, whose name is also Fernando. Quick tangent: This is the 5th Fernando we have taught here in the ward (Fernando Rodriguez, Edgar Fernando, Fernando Soto, and Alberto Fernando) and so far 3 of them have gotten baptized. Fernando Sr. Garcia is a very humble, quiet, and simple man who has known about the Church since he married his first wife 35 years ago. He has never had a single ounce of interest...until NOW! He's been coming to church every week since General Conference, and has been making significant progress. His brother, Juan, has also been listening to our message, and has accepted a baptismal date for the 22nd.

We had an awesome Mission Leadership Council with President Derbez this week! Part 1 of the Council kicked off on Thursday night. We did some exercises and ran laps around the chapel. Then, President Reyes (President Derbez's 1st Councilor) addressed us, and talked to us about the importance of establishing confidence with our investigators. On Friday, the meeting continued as we talked about the importance of the Book Of Mormon, and how it truly is the best tool we have for conversion. 

Elder Webster and Elder Birchett went to Casas Grandes, Chihuahua to help out with a meeting that they are having with all of the missionaries over there, so Elder Allen and I have been chilling together for the last 2 days here in Pradera.

Time is going and it doesn't come back. Everyday seems to go by faster than the last!

Love you all chavalos

Elder Velazquez

 Elder Webster Birthday Bash (Luz Elena, Hna. Ostos, Hna Jimenez, Webster, Me)

 Back to the Pop Era

Hermano Fernando Garcia Jr. on his sweet Bike

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Letter 49

Because Juarez is a Border state, daylight savings time doesn't end until tomorrow. That means that this whole last week, half of the mission was an hour ahead, and the other half actually got to fall back into the new time schedule. This has caused some pretty crazy confusion.

We had 18 new missionaries arrive on Monday. We did all of the usual meetings with the new missionaries on Monday, and ran around getting everything ready for Tuesday. We started the transfers at around 7 am and ended at around 2 pm. As you all know, I am in charge of making sure everyone arrives at the Mission Offices and departs to their new areas. This cycle's changes weren't too bad, and everything went (for the most part) according to plan.

President Derbez reunited all of the missionaries serving in Juarez on Friday for a special reunion. The meeting started at 10 am and ended at 5 pm. In the meeting President Derbez addressed some important points on safety, health, self-reliance, and a special Christmas program we are having in December (more on that later). We also got a speciel visit from the mission doctor, Elder Payan. He is the assigned doctor/specialist for many missions here in the North.

We had a great experience with our recent convert, Luz Elena this last week. During the Ward night on Thursday, We had some of our recent converts come to the church to set up their Familysearch account. As we helped these new members get started on their family history, we explained to them of its importance and the blessings it would bring to them as they discovered their ancestors. We all got hooked on Family History! Working on your geneology is actually pretty addicting! Later that night we got a call from Luz Elena. She was so happy and excited about all she had learned doing her Family History, that she over to her friends house after the activity and talked to her friend about the joy she felt in the Church, then she had her friend (Lupe) call us and set an appointment for us to visit her! Lupe, was so amazed to see Luz Elena so happy that she wanted to have the same happiness she saw in Luz. Lupe told us that she was eager to come to our Church on Sunday and see what it is all about! 

Everyone have a great week

Elder Velazquez
 Institute Fame
The Stewarts

President Derbez "capacitating" (that's not a real word)

President Derbez "capacitating" (that's not a real word)

All the Zone Leaders in Ciudad Juarez

 The Other Secretaries (Elder Birchett and Allen)