Monday, February 24, 2014

Week 16: The Florida, Ft. Lauderdale Experience!

This past week was rather interesting. I have been able to observe the effects of having a Mexican companion and have some weird occurrences happen.

So, I was driving down the street a couple days ago, and there are always scavengers and birds just chilling in the street and I drilled a bird. I was driving, the bird was in my pathway, it took off, and started flying away and I tapped it from behind. It was okay though. But really interesting and spiced the day up a little.

Also, I taught my first lesson in Spanish this past week too. It was a little rough, but I was able to get the message across. (my companion was on exchanges and I taught the lesson with a kreyol speaking elder) It was really interesting and cool. Hopefully I'll be able to go to Brazil sometime soon and have lessons in Portuguese soon.

Another interesting thing: there are some messed up names here in belle glade. Baby's dads don't want to give the baby's the last name and don't really want to be in their children's lives, but they definitely want to leave their mark on their life for a worse turn. There are some crazy names here, such as Glentasia (glen), and Thomassine (Thomas) and some other weird names that I've seen. So whenever people were naming their children Goodson or Thompson, they were doing the same thing. Crazy, right? But it became an accepted name. Maybe names like Glentasia will start becoming more mainstream and normal, just a scary thought to put out there. 

And finally, because I've had a Mexican companion, I have been able to gain more of an appreciation for spicy things. Now, say if I would go to taco bell, instead of using the green sauce, I would just use the fire sauce. It's only gaining a new perspective on the thing for spiciness. Spiciness is more like a flavor and not a discomfort if you look at it right. Also, I have had a few more things that are spicy also. It's a new step for me and it's not really that bad.

Also, all of the stuff that has been sent to me in the mail hasn't been sent to me. It's super weird. Hopefully they'll be able to find their way to me.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Week 15: The Flordia, Ft. Lauderdale Experience!

Yesterday was a proselyting Monday because of Presidents Day, so we pushed back P-day to today. (We proselyte on holiday Mondays because people are home). Yesterday was one of the most fulfilling "pros" Mondays that I've had, while I've been on the mission so far. We were able to stay busy and have really good experiences. Also, next Monday won't be a "pros" Monday, but the next week will be because we are having transfers on the 5th of March. It's weird, because this transfer is a 5 week transfer. It's kinda lame because that means I'll be leaving Belle Glade a week earlier than expected and I've only got a short time here. Apparently, there will be more of them throughout my mission and instead of going home around September 25ish, 2015 it'll be September 3, 2015. Who knows, maybe I'll be able to go to fall semester at BYU instead of doing a Block schedule when I get home, so that I can keep a lot of the good habits from being on a mission. I'll just have to make sure to fly to Utah probably the Sunday night after I get home. (like midnight) so Monday morning and then jump straight into school! It'll be even weirder doing that because I'll hopefully be going to South Carolina to Utah from Brazil and it'll be a crazy culture shock. But if it happens, it'll be an adventure and keep me on my toes!

This past week, Elder R. and I were able to make progress in our area with both investigators and less actives. This past week, we were able to help a less active lady go to church that had only been to the LDS church in America once before. She had moved to Belle Glade from Honduras and didn't know where the church was or how to find it. She was found by the missionaries in Belle Glade and only went to church once. We were able to work with her and help her to go to church this week. Elder R. was able to help translate for her this past Sunday and she loved it!

Also, it's really funny hearing about the snow, ice, and blizzards that are happening in places north of south Florida. It's bad, but also really good. I feel really lucky that I was able to come here and not have to suffer the freezing cold winters further north. It just sounds miserable. Thankfully, This month I've worn short sleeved shirts every day, and last month I only wore a jacket whenever it was raining. Let's just say that Florida is a marvelous place!

I was also able to have Mexican bread for the first time last month! It's suuuper good! It's very light bread (fluffy) and super sweet. Like cake, but less dense and less rich. So last week on p-day, my companion and I went to the local Mexican bakery that has bars on all of the windows and you have to ring a doorbell and they have to unlock the door for you because they don't want to get robbed by random people because it's so crazy down here. We bought roughly 15 dollars worth of Mexican bread. Needless to say, it was well worth it. I'm surprised that it's not as popular in the American culture because this bread is amazing!!
Also, I was told by a local member to tell y'all to check out a quick YouTube clip titled: "3rd world country Belle Glade" It was something along those lines. It was just someone driving down an average street down here and taking footage. However, it's super cool here and the people are really humble! I'm having lots of fun this transfer!

In the corner of my desk
A senior missionary said something that was pretty awesome, and that every missionary needs to know: Preach the word, save some souls, be celestial! It's pretty sweet and there's a handshake that goes along with it.

I hope all of y'all have a good week and that y'all have great lives!

Live long and prosper and become the best people y'all can become!

~Elder White~
Interesting tidbit: I'm even fatter than I was before at the MTC. I can say again that I am the fattest that I've ever been in my life. It's bad.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 14: The Fort Lauderdale, FL Experience!

The branch building!
Sweet! So I have Elder R. as my companion. International companions are wayy sweet! He's super obedient in a good way and is super easy to get along with! So this transfer is going by way faster than the last two and I don't like it. And I hear that it keeps snowballing. (It just passes by faster and faster) So it'll seem even faster in a few months. The time that I've had on my mission so far has passed by wayy faster than the 8 weeks I spent in summer term at college. It's ridiculous and awesome!

I'm pretty sure that if I receive my visa that I'll be sent out on the next Monday. So I may have 1 p-day where I might not be able to e-mail. But I might be allowed to do it on the Sunday or Saturday before.

We were talking to somebody that wanted to get in contact with the Orlando missionaries, and we had no idea how to do it. We decided on three different ways to go about doing it. First off, you could refer yourself on and say that you've read the Book of Mormon and know the church is true. And put a fake address 'orlando' and then write your phone number down in the correct locations and make sure that they call you. Then they should call really fast. Or, you could call the temple in Orlando and they could patch you through to some missionaries. Or, lastly we could call our mission president and ask him for a way to be able to contact them. It was an interesting conversation.

The new planner for this transfer!
Also, instead of being really terrible at basketball, I'm only average now. Big improvement there! I can actually make shots and can drive down to the basket. It's just because we've been playing basketball every p-day.

The first week and a half of this transfer, Elder R. and I were on bikes. The reason why is because we didn't have a tiwi card. Tiwi is something that helps keep the missionaries from speeding and driving too agressively. It's also tied into the car computer. So you have to have a tiwi card and log in with it into the tiwi to be able to drive the car. This past week we were able to get the tiwi card from the mission office. The card had been ready since Tuesday and had never been picked up by the mailman. We find out Friday that the card was still at the mission office and had never left. So I think to myself, well, I guess we'll be biking until Tuesday. But Elder R. says that we should see if anyone in the branch can get it. We talk about who can get it for a while, and then think of our branch president, President Ponce. He travels around a lot for his job and thankfully he was traveling down to Fort Lauderdale on Friday. He is a super good guy and was able to stop by the mission office for us and drop it off where we were biking and take us to where our car was so that we could finally drive. You can do so much more with a car than with biking!

The back yard!

This past week, I was able to read all over the Book of Mormon about the Atonement.  It was all super interesting and focused on the Atonement. So I then decided to read my farewell talk which was based on the atonement and was able to get a fresh view of why I came on a mission and what the atonement meant to me then and what it means now. I would have to say that the big difference from now and then is my testimony of repentance. That if you try and truly repent  or change that everything is going to be okay and that the past is behind, and that there is no baggage.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 13 of the Fort Lauderdale, FL Experience!

So I still haven't gotten my visa yet, as you can tell from my e-mail subject. I'm still waiting and hoping that it'll come through sometime. I dinked around a little bit during e-mail time, so I don't have much time. But...
So my new companion is Elder R., he's way cool. He's from Mexico! Sonora, Mexico. It's really weird that I'm a month older than him. He likes to work and is very cool. He likes to play soccer and has a really good personality. Basically it's super fun working with him.

Last Wednesday and Thursday it rained. All day. And neither of us are certified to drive the area car, so we had to bike through the cold, wet, freezing rain. It was bad but fun at the same time because we were able to bike through the cane fields that the car couldn't make it through. It's super fun being able to go through and bike everywhere and get into better shape. Hopefully I'll be able to get the certification thing by this Thursday or Friday so that I can drive and become far more efficient with our time.

Also, earlier today I showed my apartment the trick with hangers to find electrical and water lines. They didn't believe me, but it was super fun doing it and finding random sewer and where water was.

Well, I don't remember anything else that happened, so I hope everyone has a cool and great week!