Sunday, December 2, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012 - Another week........

Hola Mi Familia! Another week has flown by....thank heavens! Sounds like you all had a nice Thanksgiving! Thanks dad, for sending the picture of the plate! (Geez! Why would you do that?!?! Make me feel even more jealous that I didn't feel up on that goodness!) I hope you all had a nice little break from school and work! Just a few more weeks and then you are out again for another break! How awesome is that?! I am supes jeally (super jealous) of the Black Friday shopping! Especially since Elise went out (well, the boys too!) I've always wanted to go, but never had gotten to. :( Any good deals?! This week was kind of rough, just reflecting on the time of year and what you all were doing...eating, putting up Christmas decor, etc. A few people here, not too many, have begun to put up decorations/trees as well. Not too many, but a few. And every once in a while there will be a house with lights. I have begun listening to my Christmas music though! But it still isn't the same. I thought I put more "Church Appropriate" Christmas music on my iPod, but I just have this one MOTAB album of lame "Old World" Christmas music...So that is depressing! This is my favorite time of year and kills me that I can't listen to holiday tunes...oh well! It is also weird that it gets to be like 80 degress in the day. This time of year for me shouldn't do that. Weird, but whatevs! I sort of had a little Thanksgiving celebration. I dressed myself in my cafe pants and wore a red tie. For me that was Thanksgiving colors and made me feel festive! Haha! I also drew a little something! I traced my hand a made a hand turkey and colored it and everything! And on the back I wrote all the things I was thankful for just within the past year.....let me tell you being in the mission in a new country, and away from family, it was a pretty long list! I bought instant mashed potatoes and instant gravy and made myself Mashed potatoes and gravy for a Thanksgiving feast! Haha! It wasn't the same as Mama's homemade, but it was something! Of course I thought of you all quite a bit this week. Just a few things I am thankful for this year being on the mish and all: Of course #1 My family and my parents that write me every week without fail. BOTH of them write me every week and I am thankful for that. I am also thankful for the wonderful commodities that we have back in the US including indoor heating and cooling systems and water heaters and just a ton of things! This experience has really made me thankful for soo much! This week, like the last was kind of dry. We did receive a few references from this one Sister (The one who worked in DIF and always gave us references. She does work there anymore unfortunately). She is a returned missionary got so excited giving a references of people to visit. I think it makes a difference to work with Returned Missionaries. They know what missionary work is like and what it is like to share the Gospel and bring people into the church and they are a lot of help. As for all the other members...still nothing! One reference that she gave us was a kid named Jesus. Yes, it is Jesus, but in Spanish it is "hezoos". He is a pretty neat kid. The sister was working with him in DIF. He was supposed to enter the same program that Hector was where he would go to seminary and church and all that, but since the sister has left, he never got into the program. So we went and visited with him and taught him lesson 3: "The Gopsel..." He accepted a baptismal date and so we will see where we get to with that. He was supposed to come to church with us yesterday, but when we went to his house to get him, his dad said he had left to go to work. So that was depressing. But maybe next week! We also received a reference from the Sister who has the cake shop (the above mentioned sister's mother). She has a worker there that loves us! She always greets us as if she was a member and is just so nice. When I first came to Nacozari, I thought she was a member the way she treated us, but after talking to her, found out that she wasn't. I also thought that she had listened to the missionary lessons before, but it turns out that one day I asked her for a reference and she said she would like to listen to us! And apparently her daughter and husband (I met this husband and he lived in Utah for some time. All over in Orem and Provo, and Lehi. It was neat talking to him!) and really interested. So hopefully we will be going with them and seeing what is up. So yesterday we talked in church and I decided to totally "planch" as we call it (I forgot what it is called in English) the members! I basically laid it all down! Haha! It was fun! I found a really awesome scripture in Doctrine and Covenants: 2 But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their amouths, but they hide the btalent which I have given unto them, because of the cfear of man. Wo unto such, for mine danger isekindled against them. 3 And it shall come to pass, if they are not more faithful unto me, it shall be ataken away, even that which they have. I basically told them that it is their responsibility and duty to preach the gospel and help in missionary work and since they don't help in missionary work and share the gospel with their friends that, like the scripture says: " it shall me taken away, even that which they have' and I said that is the reason the missionaries are leaving Nacozari. So I laid it down. Later on in Priesthood a Missionary Family Home Evening for the branch was organized for this Friday for everyone to bring non-members. Think I helped?....Maybe! Haha! So that happened...we will see what becomes of it! Nothing else too much has really happened this week. We just keep plugging along. We complete half a transfer this week. 3 weeks down and just 3 more to go. So we will so what we can get done in these next few weeks. Well, that is all I have this week! Sorry, I feel like it wasn't very much and was kind of boring, but oh well! Sorry! Ya, November has gone and we are just a few days from December! That is absolutely crazy! And in just 1 day less than a month, we will be talking on the phone together! How fantastic, no? It will come super fast I'm sure. Well, I hope you all are well! I love and miss you all dearly! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner
Making cookies from home
Elder Joyner with Elder Melchor (Trainer)
Happy Birthday - November 16th!
The New Comp #5! Elder Alvarado

Monday, November 19, 2012 - Another Year Older...YIKES!!!!

Hola Mi Familia! My, my...what a busy week you all have had! Mine was....sort of the opposite unfortunately...dead! So, like I said, we left last Monday night for Agua Prieta for the interview with the President Tuesday. It was pretty fantastic! We got there and called our district leader and he assigned us a companionship in Agua Prieta to stay with. Arriving in Agua Prieta, it was FREEZING!!! It is much colder there than her in Nacozari! Oh it was chilly! When we arrived at the house, we knocked on the door and who answered, none other than my "pa": Elder Melchor! I mentioned a few weeks ago that during transfers he was put as Assistant and they were there in Agua Prieta with the President. They stayed in the house with the other companionship and us. It was so good to see him, finally and catch-up. I've wanted to see him for the longest time! We talked a bunch with them and after a while the companionship whose house we were at arrived with pizza. All 6 of us stayed that night and talked a good bit. It was fun to talk with the Assistants (Probably since one of them was Elder Melchor!)! The next day we got up and got ready and all for the interviews and left for the church. We had the interviews and all went well. I love interviewing with the President and tell him all my thoughts and everything that is going on. It was also nice to be with the whole zone and see everyone. One of the other missionaries told me that the Pres. said they want to make Agua Prieta a stake and to have that, they need to have wards obviously, and to have a ward, you need to have at least 20 Melchizedek priesthood holders, and well, we don't have that so what they may do to create a ward is combine Nacozari and Esqueda and either the members in Esqueda would have to come here, or the members here would go there. Interesting things happening. I also heard that for the small areas not to close this next transfer, the branches need to have a complete branch presidency with councilors, a mission leader, and a family history program. Well, we don't have ANY of that so I guess we're gonna be closing then...Afterwards we were on our way to the bus station, but I wanted to stop at a department store, Coppel. We stopped and I purchased myself a new tie for my birthday. It is a lovely various shades of blue and black, it is quite awesome and I wish I had more money with me to buy more presents for myself...oh well! Maybe we will have to go to Agua Prieta again sometime and I can stop by again. When we were in Agua Prieta, I picked up my other two packages! Thanks Cole for the paper figure of Darth Vader, My name plate, and card as well! Unfortunately, Mom, my Thanksgiving package wasn't there, so maybe the family didn't come to Agua Prieta this past week. Also, the District leader didn't go to Agua Prieta yesterday because they didn't have a meeting, so it could be there waiting for me. Btdubs, thanks for my cookies and brownies and ingredients for cookies, and cereal, and all the other goodies! I'm enjoying them! The day before my birthday, the 15th, was the birthday of Hector's sister, who we have been teaching for a while too. We were thinking of what we could get her for her birthday, but we couldn't think of anything. I then remembered the ingredients that mom sent me, and so Thursday I made cookies! My, was it a chore! Let's just say I don't like to make things without machines, like beaters, to help me. I didn't have any vanilla and so we went one street over to the cake shop to ask the sister for vanilla. I was hoping that she would offer us her kitchen to make the cookies and use her machines, but she wasn't there, just the house help. So we still got the vanilla, but I had to make the dough using my hands and cook the cookies in a cake pan. They turned out delicious of course! My comp LOVED them! Everyone else enjoyed them too! Thanks for sending the stuff, mom! Now we get to good ole Friday the 16th....I woke up and put on my favorite grey dress pants, a good looking long sleeve shirt (thinking it would be cold, but it wasn't...) and my beautiful brand new blue tie I bought for myself! During study time, I received a phone call from President and Hermana Hernandez wishing me a good day. Elder Graves in Esqueda also called and he wished me a happy birthday, and I wished him a happy one year in the mission! After studies, I opened my package! I had Elder Alvarado take a video and I tried to send it, but it is too big of a file...sorry :(Thanks a ton for everything! I especially like my new watch and my CD. Unfortunately the DVD player we have just broke and so I haven't had a chance to listen to it until this very second while writing. I brought all the cake ingredients that you sent me to the lunch on Friday to have the family that we were eating with make the cake for me....MISTAKE!!!! Haha! I should have just made it myself! Supposedly this sister makes cakes to sell, but she is nowhere as good as the sister who has the cake shop. I gave her all my ingredients and the recipe and went to do something and when I came back she had put everything in her kitchen aid was mixing it all. I was a little surprised. I was going to make it all and since the recipe was in English...she didn't exactly follow the recipe exactly. I was getting quite excited to eat my favorite chocolate cake that my mom makes on my birthday, but when she took it out of the oven, it deflated a little and the edges rolled in a little. That was a little depressing. We put the candles on and I blew them out (again, another video, but again, too big to send...sorry!). It is Mexican tradition to bite the cake before cutting it. When I took a bite, it was good, but I thought I could taste a bit of egg or something and it didn't seem like the ingredients were mixed up well. So it was a little depressing. It was still good and a little reminder of home...but just not as good as mom! We later went with Hector and his family and they all gave me presents: cupcakes, mini hostess snacks, etc. It was cute and a nice gesture. Afterwards, we to the branch president's house and shared the left over cake with them. That was really it as far as birthday activities go...kind of lame, but hey, what can you do? But, I am freaking 20 years old!!!! That was the weirdest feeling! Telling myself that morning, "Dayne, you're 20 years old today! 2 whole Decades!" Geez! That is just the weirdest think to think of! I am no longer a teenager! Mind blowing I tell you! Whatever! Life goes on... and is WAY TOO short! As far as missionary work, this week kind of sucked! We really had nothing to do. It is the hardest thing when we don't have investigators and people to visit and your work depends on the members and references, but when they don't give you references, you don't have anything to do....We just visit the same small number of people every other day. There were WAY too many times where we just asked ourselves "what do we do?" So that has been hard. I fear for these remaining 4 weeks of this transfer. Luckily we had a branch council meeting planned for last night. We showed up with the President and waited for like 20 minutes for people to show, but no one was coming. Right when we were about to leave and cancel it, everyone showed up. Only the Elder's Quorum Pres., Relief Society Pres. and Primary Pres. showed, but we had it. I was hoping to talk about a branch mission plan we could implement to get more support and help from the members. We began and the meeting with the Pres. saying that they are going to close the branch and I thought it would lead into how we can prevent that (by helping the missionaries!), but then people started talking and it shifted more into helping reactivate non-members instead of how the members can help the missionaries so the area won't close. We BARELY touched on that subject. So I was a little disappointed in that. Oh well, their choice. But we are still left without work. Just 4 more weeks I guess. So everyone is asking about my nutting comp. Well, we sort of broke the ice and are getting friendlier. He is a hoot. To give you an idea: he reminds me of Urkle from Family Matters, just a tad bit less nerdy, but not too much less. He makes me laugh really hard. Tomorrow is the day to celebrate the Mexican revolution, but today they celebrated it with a parade and all and we went and watched it. I felt a little bit out of place being big, white, and gringo, but it was cool. I got a whole lot of Mexican culture thrown at me, but it was enjoyable! Well, that is about all I got about this week. Hopefully something exciting will happen this week. I will be thinking of you Thursday while you are stuffing your faces! HA! Thanks for all the birthday stuff! I appreciated it a lot! I love and miss you all tons! Have a nice week! Just think...ONE MONTH from this next Sunday we will be chatting on the tele! Woah! How fast! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner