Elder Suavitel

Hey hey everyone
Everything is going pretty good here.
This last week was probably one of the stressful weeks in the mission.  We just had a bunch of problems to deal with with several elders in our zone, with a guy who got baptized on friday from other elders and then drank saturday before his confirmation, and some elders who didn´t want to work with their bishop.  i honestly had no idea being a zone leader could be so stressful.  I have learned very quickly that I do not have the power to make anyone do anything.  And I am also  learing very quickly that I need to learn how to choose to be happy even when times are hard or when I´m stressed out.  I´m sure it will be a great attribute to have, but it´s hard to get haha.  Elder Mcgary and I both get a little on edge sometimes with all the things going on, but I still enjoy him a lot as a companion.
But it was also super fun on thursday when we went to reynosa.  We were training for like 5 hours, and that was a little stressful and made me feel like we will never be able to live up to what they expect of us, but then after president took us all out to a brasilian house where they bring all the meat out to you on stakes.  It was cool.  I ate a chicken heart.  It wasn´t that great.  But it was a lot of fun to see a lot of friends I´ve made throughout the mission.  It´s weird that we´re all now leaders.  Oh and la hermana palmer went home today, that was exciting.
I finished 15 months this week!  i can´t believe I´m down to single digits before I get home.
This week we spot a lot of time out of our area, but we had two people who came to church.  A lady named claudia that we found a few weeks ago, and honestly we were totally surprised she showed up, we were about to drop her.  So we´ll go tomorrow to see what she thought.  Then another young guy named Omar, who was a reference from a girl in the ward who just got home from her mission.  Him and several other JAS from the ward had already taken him to institute a few times.  We met him on friday in a ward activity, taught him on saturday, and he showed up to church by himself on sunday.  He´s a mason and I learned several interesting things about being a mason.  But he´s an awesome, guy, I think he will progress very fast.
Our convert wendy, and her cousin karla (julianas sister) are going to the temple in december to do baptisms! Just if all converts and investigadors could be as faithful as these little girls!
It´s finally getting cold here.  We just bought a electic thingy that I don´t know what is called in english to stick in a bucket of water to heat it up so we can shower with hot water.
In the conference, la hermana regalado shared a talk that talked about how the little things we do, really affects who we are, and our relationship with heavenly father.  We really show love to him through the little things we do, that don´t seem like they matter that much.  Like in the mission, little things that don´t seem like they´re that important, like waking up on time or doing excercise or going to bed on time, are the things that we need to do to really show heavenly father that we are willing to dedicate our lives to him and serve him.  And then he will bless us.
Hope you´re all doing great!
Elder Suavitel

Halloween letter

Happy halloween!!! Hope you are all having a great day! It hasn´t really felt like halloween but oh well.  The good thing is I still have candy to eat from my last package I got.
This week went pretty good.
On sunday we baptized cesar and naidelyn.  They´re the grandkids of a member in the ward.  His daughter is also a member, and they´ve just been starting to come back to church again.  But, they live like an hour away, so we can only teach them on sundays.  So last sunday and this sunday we taught everything  during the meetings, and baptized them after church.  It was a cool baptism.  Also, the two other elders in our ward baptized a lady with a cast on each arm.  Funny story, well not that funny, about a month ago she was getting ready to come to church for the very first time, an activity friday night, and while getting ready she fell from the second story and broke both arms.  But ever since she has come to church several  times and loves it, and yesterday they wrapped her two arms in plastic and baptized her.  And she was so so so happy.  It was pretty cool.
Friday night we had a ward taco cook off, which was completely my idea (for those not from the palmyra ward, every year we have a ward chili cook off).  Everyone brought tacos, just like in our ward how we do it with chili, and it was a competition.  They put all the tacos in front where everyone could see, and then us the four missionaries were the judges and ranked all of them.  It was fun and it turned out really well.  The only problem was that we didn´t know we were going to be the judges, and I wasn´t even hungry when they told us, but oh well we ate lots of tacos.  And got super red in front of everyone from all the salsa.  But it was fun.
The work here is going a little slow here.  We´ve been blessed to have lot´s of references given by members who we have taught and baptized, but when we leave to try and find people ourselves, we don´t have that much success. No one that we invited to church this week came.   This week we´re going to think and try something new because we´re a little sick of knocking on doors.  We´ll see how it works out.
Hope everyone is doing great! I am.  I still love it here and my companion is awesome and we´re having a great time.
HAve a great week!
Elder Downey

Week of November 7, 2016

This week flew by.  It started out tuesday and wednesday with Elder McGary getting sick so we hardly did anything.  Then thursday one of the assistents came and worked with me, and McGary went and worked in their area and did a bunch of interviews for their baptisms.  It´s Elder Guitierrez who is from Idaho and super super cool.  It´s always super fun to work with him and we had a good day and found lots of people.  But sadly none of them came out of their house when we went back for the second lesson.
All of friday morning we had a training with president and the assistents, and it went well, but we didn´t get to the food until 5 oclock, and then at six we had to go to church to help the other two elders in our ward get ready for their baptism.
Last week at the tacos, and girl in the ward michel brought her friend, and on saturday we went to teach a lesson to her friend, and it turns out her friend, yadira, has a twin, erika.  So we went, and we didn´t really teach anything, but we gained their confidence and they both said they would come to church.  But only Yadira came, but it´s better than nothing.  Also michel´s family has a giant pig, and elder mcgary sat and rode on it and almost fell off.  In the moment it was hilarious.
On wednesday we´re going to have a baptism, if everything works out good.  A lady in our ward, yazmin, is getting married to an american guy from pennsylvania.  She doesn´t speak english and he doesn´t speak spanish, so who knows how their relationship works.  But anyways, he got her to mexico today and is going to be here until thursday, and all last week she was telling us how he wants to get baptized and how she wanted us to talk to the bishop to see if we could get permission to do it with these interesting circumstances.  And so on sunday with her we went and talked with the bishop and he gave us the green light, so tomorrow we are going to teach him everything, and on wednesday we´re going to bring the assistents to do the interview (because there are no other leaders in matamoros who speak english) and he´s going to get baptized wednesday night if there are no problems.
Elder Vicioso got moved up to assistent which is exciting, he´s my old companion for those who don´t remember.
But anyways everything is great.  Hope you are all doing well!
Elder downey

Fun Week

Fun week.
Wednesday morning as soon as we left the house we went to the closest gas station to look at the news paper to see who won, and it was trump.  Everyone here is surprised and angry.  They all hate him.  And the dollar is at 21 pesos here, which is crazy high.  Members ask us about what we think, but no one yet has said something bad to us becauwse of  him.  We just tell everyone that we didn´t vote and we weren´t there to get enough information to see who we would vote for.  But from what I´ve heard and seen in the gas stations, everyone was super surprised and there are a lot of upset people.  It will be an interesting year when he gets into office.
This week we went up the the river border.  It was the closest I had ever been to the other side haha.
This week was pretty fun and interesting.  It started on tuesday, when we met kelly from pennsylvania,, the fiance of la hermana yasmin.  We went to her house early tuesday morning to start teaching.  We got to know him a bit, and then taught the 5 lessons in about two hours, all in english.  It was honestly super super weird teaching in english.  I got the hold of it pretty fast, but elder mcgary was struggling and it was funny.  He kept saying things in spanish.  But it was pretty cool, we taught the book of mormon and told him he could pray to know if it was true and recieve his own testimony, and he says, I think that already happened.  And he told us he´s been reading it a little, and that he did pray to ask if it was t rue, and then the next destination he went to (he´s a truck driver in the US) was on mormon blvd.  It was awesome.  There were a lot of things he hadn´t heard about, like joseph smith, and some of the commandments, but he accepted everything in a heart beat and has been trying to repent of a lot of things from the past, and is in a great process of change.  Honestly he was one of the most ready ¨¨¨chosen¨people I have ever met.  It was honestly so fun.  So wednesday an american assistent came and did the interview, and wednesday night was the baptism.  It was awesome, but one of the most interesting baptisms I´ve been too.  I conducted it, and gave the talk, and it was a mix of english and spanish.  Then some of Yasmin´s family members wanted to share their testimonies for him, and I translated it all.  It was cool.  The ward members all thought it was really cool too.  Then they took us for hamburgers which was awesome.
Another interesting experience, here in the state of tamaulipus, to get married, the couple has to go to a presentation about violence-abuse against women.  And so yasmin and kelly had to go, but they told yasmin they had to bring a translator for kelly (becaquse he honestly does not speak spanish, less than a missionary in the ccm, it´s kind of funny to see them try and talk) so they asked us to come translate.  So we went with them to a presentation with a bunch of other couples and translated an hour presentation about women abuse.  It was pretty funny, and a little awkward.  Then after we went and ate again.  They are very good with us.
Other than all of the kelly stuff, the week went pretty slow.  We did some splits and I went to another area for a day.  An american lady stopped and gave us 500 pesos so we went and bought 12 sausage egg mcmuffins from mcdonalds for 6 elders.  That was cool.
This week we´re going to reynosa for the leadership conference, so it will be fun to see other friends from other parts of the mission.
We´re slowly finding more people to teach, but this week was stake conference and it was hard to get people to church.  But poco a poco.
Hope you are all doing good!
Elder Downey

Shortest email yet!

Hey!

Don´t have much time but everything is going well!
Three of our investigators got baptized on friday! Hector and Naomi, two nine year old twins, and Wendy, the cousin of Juliana and Carla.  It was a really special day!
Elder McGary and I get on along great and its honestly super fun and we´re having a great time working our tails off!
Have a great week!
Elder Downey

CRAZY WEEK

Hey Hey Hey
This week has been pretty fun. My new companion elder McGary is fantastic.  Like I said he´s one of my best friends in the mission, and we get along great.  I bet he´ll probably be one of my best friends after the mission too.   And works super hard to and we´re both in it to be the best we can be and we´re both super excited.
This week was probably one of the most stressful weeks of the entire mission.  There were a bunch of crazy transfers in which elders were left without companions and the week was full of calling different bishops members and missionaries to make sure everyone had a companion for  the day and someone to sleep with at night.
I also gave a talk in spanish, only my second one so I was stil pretty nervous.  I think it went well.
We also had to visit a bunch of people for the bishop to find members who don´t live in the ward anymore to take them off the member lists.
And then we had to do the zone training today too because the two district leaders are getting new elders and went to reynosa in the morning.
basically Its been a crazy week.  And kind of a humbling experience as well because truthfully looking back I´ve been so preocupied with all the things that need to be done that I haven´t really thought about or focused much in our savior or the people we are helping to come unto christ.  And I think its a lesson we all learn sometime in our life.  Because it gets busy, and sometimes we forget the important things.  Even if we are doing all the right things, sometimes we forget why we are doing them and honestly the results aren´t the same.  So we´ve always got to remember and put our savior first, and after everything will work out.  It´s funny, sometimes when I have problems and don´t know what to do, I ask myself what would I tell an investigator if they had the same problem, and then the answer comes super easy.
But anways, hope you´re all doing well!  Thanks for everything!
Elder Downey

Changes

big news this week! We had transfers.  Friday morning, Elder Vicioso and I left the house, talked with two people, and then got a call from the assistents telling us there were transfers.  So they told us the transfers, and Elder Vicioso was going to reynosa and Elder McGary was coming here with me!
So saturday morning we had to be at the bus center at 5 to drop of all the elders, and then wait for all the new elders coming to the zone.  I was a little sad that elder vicioso left, but I´m super good friends with elder mcGary so I´m super happy.  I´ve sent several pictures with him, he´s from highland utah and he´s shorter than me.  He´s about to finish a year in the mission.
This last week we hardly worked in our own area.  Tuesday and Wednesday we went and worked with elders from our zone it their areas to help them get more investigadors and also verify the people they had.  Then thurday we worked normally in our area.  Friday, we got the changes, and vicioso had a bunch of stuff to pack, had to wash his clothes, and then we went to say good bye to all the people he wanted to say good bye.  So we didn´t work normally.  And then saturday, Elder McGary and I had to make sure everyone got to their area, so we didn´t get back to our area until lunch, and after lunch we had a lesson, and then elder McGary had a baptism in his old area (on the other side of matamoros) so we went and didn´t get back until late at night.
So basically we didn´t have that much time to do a lot this week, but this week everything should get back to normal.
I´m super excited to work with Elder McGary, so everything should go great!
Thanks for everything!
Elder downey