Monday, December 23, 2013

Week 18 (12/23/2013)

FELIZ NAVIDAD!! First off im about 6 months into my mission! The time is flying by so fast!! If you can send me a copy of that movie. All is well here, it was really hot again this week. It is all good now because another cold front has moved in so it is raining again. This has been an amazing week!! First off I got a new companion and he is awesome!! We are like best friends! His name is Elder R and he is from Columbia we have been doing alot of good work here.


Yes I hung all of the christmas decorations in our house we are ready for christmas.



Im sorry about your presents, I am having a hard time sending them so they will be late. Ohh my gosh we had one of those days we are never going to forget. Friday we had to travel to Minatitlan for a mission christmas party, so we had all the zones that are in the state of Veracruz show up. We got there all right it was the coming home that got a little weird. It ended up being a really good devotional. First we sang then we had testimonies by a stake president then Hna Morales spoke to us, she is always so powerful in her talks. Then their 3 kids sung a song and Pres. Morales told us that we need to work harder and be better haha. Ya we didnt really expect that from him haha. Then we had dinner and left. We took a taxi to the bus station, our taxi driver was talking to me about the United States and how he loves the food their haha. When we got to the bus station there were no buses so we had to wait for about an hour. But we were with a missionary that once served in this area, so he called a member who came to pick us up in little like food truck haha we cramed about 12 Élderes in the back of this thing haha So we started traveling ohhh my word it was the worst trip of my life, BUT SO FUN. We were just dying of the heat back there but just having the time of our lives.


Now we are about halfway inbetween Minatitlan and Coatzacoalcos when one of the truck tires blow haha so now there are about 14 Elders stuck on the side of the highway haha we tried to hitchike but it didnt work. We eventually caught an cheap bus to Coatza. After all this we still beat the Zone leaders to Coatza haha Then we took a normal bus back home. It was a great day. 
As far as calling goes I am going to try to call on christmas later in the afternoon. I will email you before so keep an eye out for that. 
I am very excited to talk to you all this week!!!! until then 
Nos Vemos
Les quiero mucho!
Elder Parduhn

Monday, December 16, 2013

Week 17 (12/15/13)

Familia,
Another wonderful week!! We had our district activity this week. We ended up cooking some wonderful steaks and watching the best 2 years haha. It was acctually a pretty normal week. Me and Elder R caught the cold this week, well Elder R did, im all good. So we had some slow starts this week. It is still pretty cold! Two new cold fronts came in and the rain has been pretty cold.

Some fireworks that where given to him.  They do alot of fireworks around the holidays!!
 Hna J gave us more fireworks this week!!! In total she has given us about 100$ in fireworks free!!!! They are so much fun. Ya they are like homemade haha. We were supposed to travel to Minatitlan this week for some kind of Conference but it ended up getting canceled 2! ugh I was so mad because I was going to see Elder C there! 


We had a baptism this Saturday!! The 2 C boys!! They are awesome!! It was a great baptism! We were planning to have it after the ward party but at the last minute our bishop changed it so we had it before haha. So we ended up having the service in the sacrament hall then we all piled into the primary room for the ordinance then finished in the sacrament room again. 
Then we started the party! Christmas here is so cool they do some many different things! The party went great, for some reason they decided to have hamburgers haha so we made those for the ward. Then we broke some piñatas!! I was holding them and about got killed 2 times by the crazy children haha. 

Transfers came today. Elder R is headed to Villahermosa and I stay here for another transfer. I will now spend 1/4 of my mission in my first area. haha its alright though, alot of missionaries do. I really want to be somewhere new though. Its all good at least my best friend Elder A is still in my district haha. I will be getting another missionary that leaves home after this transfer haha.

Thanks for all! Love you all so much!!

-Elder Parduhn
Zone Conference!
I think his umbrella broke!!
The Primary Program!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 16

Weekly Letter (December 9, 2013)

This has been quite the week!!!! First off we had Zone Conference in Coatzacoalcos, but it wasnt just our zone, it was all the zones in Coatza!! So there were about 60 Élderes and 10 Sisters. Its funny because our zone is the only one in the mission that doesnt have any sisters. It went really well. Then our miracle investigator fell through this week! He cant be baptized, the family is scared to have him baptized without the dads permission, I don't blame them. Everything is ready, we are just waiting for the baptism. We do have a baptism for 2 boys this weekend! :) The Custodio Boys! They are great! Ohh my gosh remind me when I get home to tell you about there friend ''Amoroso'' he is probably the best investigator I have seen!! The zone leaders came this week haha. SURPRISE. Ya I was just sitting there trying to fix my hole puncher when we heard a knock on our window, and we were like ''Who on earth is knocking on our window at 8 in the morning??'' Ya it was them haha. We had Divisions that day. I was with and Elder named Elder A. He is awesome, he's just a mexican version of me haha we are so similar. 
 
 
ohh ya. One of the sisters in our ward sells fireworks (they use them for christmas) and she gave us this huge bag of them for free!! So we spent a good hour wednesday night playing with fireworks hahah soooo fun!!! Im really excited for Christmas! They do some crazy things down here and I cant wait to see it. I will try to take pictures of it all. 
This has been a very spiritual week! I wish I could write the experiences i'm having, but I cant. This really is the best 2 years. I cant wait to share them with you when I get home!! But until then, I love you all!!! Cant wait to talk to you in 2 weeks!!! Keep up the good work at home!!

Love Élder Parduhn
 
 
He bought himself a new sweater because it has been getting a little cold!


His Thanksgiving dinner!!!
 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 15 (12-2-13)

Familia,
That is so good to hear about Karli and her call!! Drew is a trooper and I know the Lord will bless him and his family because of the decision he is making. 

Well this week was just full of surprises! First of we had another cold front, which means alot of rain, but this time it was actually pretty cold! Monday-Thurday were really cold and wet. It really reminded me of home. It is like the fall weather here. Its all good though because I bought a really cool sweater! Everyone loves it! Including me haha Everyone here tells me that I dress so american hahah I love it. So to answer your question yes the weather does change, and yes I might need the sweaters. The newspapers have been saying that there are like 42 more cold fronts! It is a record in México haha. Its kinda fun being the only white person in this city. haha People just stare at me, and everyone knows who I am, and everyone loves my blue eyes haha, but it is also really hard because I am the outcast and many people treat me like that. Im glad I dont know the swear words down here yet, because my companion tells me that they yell a lot at me. hahah It is quite funny :). 
No they do not have anything close to Thanksgiving here, so it was just a normal day.
We did have a miracle happen this week though. We were sitting and studying when a member of our ward called and asked if we could give a blessing to her nephews, because the bishop wasnt able to come. So of course we said yes haha. That is where we found Jorge Angel, he is a little boy that recieved all the lessons from some other Élderes but couldnt be baptized because his parents said no, but after the blessing the mom wanted so bad for him to be baptized. So now we have a baptism next week. Also their family wants to hear the gospel as well. The Lord definately has his hand in the work in Agua Dulce México! 
Thanks for the update im really glad all is well at home! You all are also in my prayes. Les quiero muchisimo!! Ustedes siempre estan en mis oraciones. Siguen para hacer las cosas buenas y escuchan a la voz del Espirítu! Les quiero mucho. les voy a placticar en la proxima semana.

Élder Parduhn

I hope to be sending another package in the mail in the next few weeks. And im going to try to include presents for all so look for it. Tengan una buena semana!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 139 Pictures

The poster of the Plan of Salvation

Another Lesson help
The bread he brought 26 loafs for $2 ( no wonder he has gained weight)
They got new beds because they have been flooded out a few times!

Week 14

Familia:

Im glad to hear that all is well. I did get the package this week! thank you soo much. My friends here LOVED the american candy haha. ya the freeway is still broken haha all they do is put a tree in the hole and people will drive around it. The driving here is weird. There are little things in my mission that are like that. The showering is not bad it really isnt a trouble. Im sorry to hear about sis Oniki. I always loved the times that I was able to visit her. She always had the biggest smile on her face haha :D And no there is no Thanksgiving here haha it is an American holliday. All the holidays are different. For exampleChristmas. They dont give gifts or do much on Christmas, they wait until day of the kings. They celebrate the 3 kings that came and visited Jesus and they give gifts on that day. 

As far as my week goes it was a little interesting. First off we got our new beds!!! It has been about 3 weeks. haha It is so nice to have new beds. The one picture shows our matresses on Emmanuels car haha. It was a fun night. Teaching this week has been normal, just a normal week. I did teach a lesson solo, Lehis Dream, so we decided to draw a picture of it. (it is one of the pictures, the other is the plan of salvation I drew.) I did some contacting this week too. My mission has definately became more fun now that I can speak spanish. This week was Zone conference so once again we had to travel to coatza. But because of the problems with the road we had to travel friday night and sleep at some elders house. It was the same house as last time and we had a ton of missionaries again ahah. Class went good, I had to teach a 10 min lesson on virtue haha. Then we headed for home. But before we left we went to the big store next to the bus station and I bought 'Bolillos'. Bolillos are little loafs of bread and they only cost 1 peso!!!!! I can by 26 for 2 dollars!! I love mexico. Then we came home and went to church the next day. After church we visited a family with a investigator who lives there, we taught a powerful lesson! 

It was a good week! E continues to buy me different things that have to do with the despicable me minions haha I have a ton of stuff haha. So dont be surprised when you receive another package with all that stuff next week. He wants to send it because i cant fit it in my suitcase. I will also be sending DVD cases, but dont be surprised when there are no disks in them, they will be with me. 

I love you all! thanks for all you do! 

Love Elder Parduhn

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pictures -- (132 days)

In their rain gear!!
The shower situation!!

A Story he sent home!!! -- Week 13 .


Story  -- Week  13

This is a story that I encourage you to print off and share with people! Let Kaden and Shelby take a copy to church and share it with their quorums. It is really good. Dad and Kaden can use it to home teach.

I Wanted to share this special story with you.... Like a lot of things in life, it's much easier said than done but this is where faith and perseverance comes in.

Once there were three trees on a hill in a woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said "Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty."

Then the second tree said "Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."

Finally the third tree said. "I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me.."

After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said, "This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter." and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.

At the second tree a woodsman said, "This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard." The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.

When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of the woodsman said, "I don't need anything special from my tree so I'll take this one" and he cut it down.

When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for. The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark.

The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams. Then one day, a man and women came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.

Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and he stood and said "peace" and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the king of kings in it's boat.

Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.

The moral of this story is that when things don't seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts. Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined.


Week 13

11/18/2013
Weekly Letter:
Well cold front 11 and 12 came monday, tuesday, and wednesday. It was acctually pretty cold, not for me of course, but everyone else here was dying haha. We really didnt get to do much work those days because it rained so hard. We had all our stuff packed up for a week. It was hard to sleep because the river was at the top and it continued to rain hard. We were lucky though because it only flooded in our street :) 2 of the bigger cities down here, Coatzacoalcos and Minatitlan, completely flooded out. Like over their cars!! It was so bad that the main freeway acctually fell. Like there is a crater in our sweet little I-15 here. So we will see if we can make it to Zone class this week. It was kinda fun though, other than we were soaking wet all the time. This week has also been a historical week because I decided that the cold showers are done (now remember our water is a large tank that sits on our house). So I took 2 nice buckets of freezing cold rain water and boiled them on our little betty crocker stove thing until they were nice and warm, then I got a little cereal bowl and BOOM a nice warm shower. BUT things then got alot better. E gave me this magic stick thing called a 'Resesistencia' which i put in the bucket of water and plug it in and it makes the water hot in about 5 min. So that was a week maker :). Now its really hot :P I want the cold back! We had a good week though. We had the biggest church attendence since I have been here!! 75 people!!! I am very happy. We are continuing to find wonderful people that love to hear what we have to say. The only problem is that they dont really want to go to church :P Not much really happed this week other than that. Other than this week is BUEN FUN! It is the mexican version of black friday but it lasts for 3 days!! Thanks for your letter! I am glad all is well at home! I love you all so very much! 

Con Cariño 
Élder Parduhn

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pictures!! Yay!! (126 days)

Some puzzles he is doing with the families

 
Zack made some bracelets for Hunter to take to the kids in Mexico with his picture to show!!




Week 12

Weekly Letter:
Its really weird to think that I am almost 1/4 done with my mission. E. Craven sent me a nice little email saying that we have been out for 4 months. The time here is flying by extremely fast!! 
Another normal week. We are continuing to find wonderful people that seem to be interested in the gospel. I had my first splits this week!! I ended up going with Emmanuel and E. Rivera went with the brother of Emmanuel (Ivan). The lesson went very well! The spirit was so strong. We taught about faith in Jesus Christ, but first we watched the movie ´How to Find Faith In Christ´. There were about 12 of us there. We ended up having a less active boy show up with 2 of his friends, then 2 more less active members. They were all very interested and bore strong testimonies at the end of the lesson. This was the first time that I was in charge of leading a discussion! and also to teach the whole thing. It went extremely well. 
My Mission has become alot more fun now that I can speak the language. Im still not fluent but I have plenty of time to learn. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to joke with people after months of not understanding anything. I have also had some other touching moments with people here. I have this little friend, his name is Fabian, the other night (night with the movie) he asked me if I wanted to be his hermancito (which translates to a super, super close friend, a brother) well I didnt hear him because I had 800 people trying to talk to me haha, but a few mins. later Emmanuel heard him say ´´He definately wants to be my hermancito´´ I got a little emotional when I heard this. The people here are so loving. They truly have a genuine love for everyone. 
The transfers were today, and no I didnt get transfered haha. So I will have my 3rd transfer here in the beautiful city of Agua Dulce. I am now the Oldest one in this district! 3 transfers old. Emmanuel bought me some new pants this week ;) they have the pattern of the junior high here haha (it is really cool). They are a little tight so im hoping to drop a few pounds here in the next few weeks. It is hard though because I eat so much!! It has been raining here for 3 days strait all of our stuff is put up high because the flooding is off and on. There is supposed to be a Hurricane that hits here tommorrow, but we will see what happens. It has been really windy and reminds me alot of home. 
Lastly, Zack has made quite a bit of friends here in Agua Dulce. Since I thought I was leaving I gave out some bracelets. I took pictures with all of them so Zack could see them. Just let him know he is loved. ;)

I love hearing from you all. Keep up the good work at home! Yall are in my heart always. Miss yall tons!!

Love, Élder Parduhn

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hunter's favorite bread dipped in hot chocolate!!

The Cemetary!!
He stayed with these Elders while at Stake Conference in the City!

The museum he visited!


Look closely another badge picture!! he is so funny!




Week 11 (11/04/13)



Familia, 
Wow alot is going on at home! I cant believe our stake split! Do we meet in the same building?  To answer your questions. The rainy season is all year. Because my mission is so close to the beach I have rain like this all year long, its just worse around this time of year.   The 1st and 2nd days of November are Dia De Los Muertos. It is a really cool holliday! They believe that these are the days where God allows the dead to visit there families, so they go to the cemetary and clean their graves, place candles, sing, and put their dead family members favorite food on there grave. I love learning about the culture here because it is so different, but always very cool. They also have halloween haha, but it is not as big and the children don't dress up and ask for candy. They just walk around asking for money.

Weekly Letter:
This was quite the week. First of all it was Halloween, so HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! We had a good halloween. Me and my mission leader exchanged gifts :). Then there was Dia de los Muertos. Our mission president announced that we would be spending our days at the Cemetary helping people clean their graves. The graves here are so elaborate! They are all above ground and have all this detail. So we helped them clean. We met a whole bunch of new people. It was a great opportunity to teach about the plan of salvation! Everyone was so receptive! I definately know now why our president wanted us to go and do this. We also had our stake conference this week! So we traveled to the city of Coatzacoalcos to our stake center. I got to eat Pizza Hut and Dairy Queen!!!! ;D It tasted so good haha. Then we arrived for the priesthood session. Our mission president was there! It was so good to talk with him. I am in his first group of missionaries. Him and his wife talked alot about the members in our ward working together with the missionaries, a big team. It really got everyone excited. We had a good asistencia saturday. There were about 100 people. After conference we went to sleep at the house of some elders in our zone. (The elders I was with at the begining of this month.) There were 16 of us there!! It was quite the party. Then we woke up sunday morning and fought for showers haha. Then we went to the second half of stake conference. There were about 600 at this one haha A little difference :). It went really well, it was alot like the first day haha. Then we went home with Emmanuel. And had a very powerful lesson with the Familia Ocaña. They are the family with the missionary who just left. The mom is a IPS (Investigator for ever) the other kids who are members and their dad who is a drunk. It is really hard for the mom because she wants to be baptized so bad but cant because she is not married and her husband doesnt want to get married (it is a problem here). The family is really faithful. We are trying to teach the father but he only likes to listen some of the days. We taught a a very powerful lesson on the plan of salvation and made plans to teach the father. This family really needs the priesthood in there home. 

It was a really good week. I miss you all a ton, I wish I could write more but I have to go! I never get enough time. I love yall mucho!!

Con cariño,
Élder Parduhn  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Week 10 -- Pictures(112 days)


THE FLOODING!! The time they had to pack up!! In the middle of the night....

OOOOOOH so gross!!!  This is how high the water got into there house!!


Cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning, he said he used a cocktail of chemicals to clean with !!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 10 -- Letter

Family,

Ya I tried to Email as many as I could, but I only have about an hour and a half. No Mondays are fun! We do something new every week. Usually with Emmanuel (Mission Leader). I dont want to risk anything getting stolen, so just money will be fine. I want to but a hammock. I cant believe Trevor is home! That is not good! I know how it is, half the roads here are like that. I hope Brody gets well! 

Weekly Letter, 

I cant believe Kaden got a Deer! That is so awesome!!! I am so happy for him! The food here is great. I really didnt like any of it the first few weeks, but it has really grown on me because now I love it!!! There is alot of soup here! And its bad because it is really hot outside and then when we go to eat they slap down a huge bowl of flamming hot soup, and then like hot chocolate. But all is well I really like it. Im so excited for Halloween! Me and Emmanuel are going to exchange presents! Down here they dont have halloween, its just for us and him jeje. They do have Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) the first and second days of november. They have this stuff called Pan de los Muertos (Bread of the Dead) It is unreal!! The bread here is awesome. I definately got sent to the right place. It is rolls with a sugar like stuff on top and then you dunk it in hot chocolate!! :) I cant wait to make this food for yall when I get home. By the way. The Rollups are a hit in mexico!
Now more about my week. It was a different week. We didnt get the chance to procylite much becasue wednesday night flooded again, but this time it entered our house! And this isnt normal water. It is the river water, which all the drains and sewer dump into the river, entonces we had poo in our house. So we woke up at 2:30 packed up our stuff again and put it in ourt neighbors house, good thing they have 2 levels. So, wednesday was spent cleaning our house. It took all day. The water was up to my waste!!! We did take a break and go to an activity at the church though. We played soccer with all the youth, but no one showed up because of the flooding. So, we ended up throwing dead coconuts at a tree with new coconuts, waiting for them to fall cut them open with a machete and then drinking the water. It is really good for you, and also tastes pretty good. I love all the fruit here. There is nothing like walking down the street and seeing and bannana tree, then just take some fruit and eating it. ;) But back to the story. Then we went home and cleaned some more. Finally it was time for bed. We got ready for bed but the river was still really high. Then it started to rain really hard again. The police Drove by with their lights on which means it is time to pack up again. So we slept at the house of Emmanuel. But that night our house never flooded so that is a good thing. :). After all this we were greatly blessed. Even though we had not hit our goals and our numbers were really low, we had the highest assistencia at church!! We had 3 of the less active families show up (that we had been teaching that week) and a bunch of investigators. We are doing some good work in this area!! The transfers are in 2 weeks and I am nervous because I dont want to leave here.
Pero, all is well here! I am glad to hear about the things back home. I love you all very much!

Con Cariño, 
Èlder Parduhn

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 9


Familia,
Nothing like logging on to my email and having 23 new messages! So this week will be a little shorter, I am going to try to email as many people as I can. First off, I love the pictures!!! I love Shelbys idea!! hahaha I was laughing so hard in this little internet café. I hope the boys had fun! Thanks for letting me know how my friends are! Poor Josh!  
I am eating too much here haha everywhere I go people offer us food, even if we dont know them. I have gained 15 pounds since the MTC. I am now a solid 200 pounds! haha I cant fit in my homecoming pants anymore hahah but my suit fits great! ;) I am loving it here. Many people here are so nice. I have made life long friends and I am so happy. Hno Emmanuel has become one of my grandest friends! The people here are amazing. They are so faithful! I cant even tell you how bad the poverty is in parts of the city. There are houses the size of our living room, made out of soda can metal! Yet I doesnt bug them, they are some of the happiest people I know. If there is one thing I have learned this week is TO RECOGNIZE THE BLESSINGS IN YOUR LIFE. I cant tell you how blessed I am to know of the correct gospel since birth! I am so greatful to have a church house close to where I live. We have so many families that have to walk 10 miles to get to church every Sunday, AND THEY DO IT EVERY SUNDAY. I have seen the blessings that come from diligent, faithful saints. This week has been a very tender, special week for me. I have had things happen to me spiritually that I cant describe to you now. I just want you guys, and everyone else, to know that I know that we have the correct church on the earth. Through my diligent study on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I know that there is a way in which we can become perfect like our brother Jesus Christ. I have been reading the book The Infinite Atonement, it is unreal good. I recomend it to read. Thanks for your love and support. I can feel it all the way here in mexico! Continue to keep me updated on whats happening (including Elder Berry).

I love you all very much. Les amo muchisimo.
Hunter