Monday, November 24, 2014

Almost two months!

Hey everyone,

I have a really weird experience to share with you all. So it has rained 4 of the 7 days here last week. On one of the rainy days my companion and I  stopped under a shade thing in front of a store. Then this man walks up to us. My companion starts talking to him and gives him a card, and does all the normal contacting stuff. Then the man shakes our hand... this is where it gets weird. He shook our hand normally, and then slid his hand, down ours, to our fingers and gave our fingers a second handshake and then took his time removing his hand from ours. At this point I realized his mannerisms. He told us his name, and asked us to teach him lessons but it turns out he doesn't live in our area, so I don't think he is interested anymore. We proceeded to say bye to him and he molested our hands one more time and then we walked off in different directions. It was a creepy experience but we were nice to him. 

We have 15 investigators and they all basically live up hills. It's not fun but we don't complain when we do it. Yesterday we were supposed to have two of our investigators, Juan and Bernardett, come to church with us. We have 8 o'clock church and we were all going to meet at 7:30 and take a taxi to the church. They also live up a giant hill. So, yesterday morning we walked up the hill and no one answered. They just didn't answer the door.  We waited until about 7:45 for them to answer the door but they weren't coming. We then had to leave and go to church. It was disappointing but I try not to get depressed when things don't work out because that doesn't help any. However, when we got to church, one of our other investigators showed up!! So in the end, the Lord gave us a mood booster. 

Our ward has about 50 members and enough seats for about 350. haha. This was my first real Sunday in my ward and I was just trying to understand everything that was said. I am glad that there are only about 50 members in the ward because I had to get up and introduce myself and bear my testimony in Spanish. If the chapel had been full and there really was 350 members, I probably would of been more nervous. Everyone told me I did good but I know I made mistakes... but I don't care because I'm just a 'g├╝ero'. 

I need to tell you about my companion!! His name is Elder Amador, and he is from Mexico. He was a professional soccer player before his mission. He is 22 and did 2 years of college before his mission. He is studying some type of engineering, I don't really know because it's hard to understand each other correctly. 

The time is passing  faster and faster, I have been out for almost 2 months, which isn't a lot but it's more than it feels like. I love you all and I thank all of you for your support and influence in my life!!

Elder Berry

Monday, November 17, 2014

Finding my way


This has been a very hard week. I have been very homesick and depressed because I couldn't talk to anyone or understand them. I am doing better though. I am happy now and can understand about 50% of the conversations and try my hardest to talk to people. They are so loving here. La Familia de Rubio is an amazing family! They feed us a lot and we are over there about every other day. From what I gathered in Spanish, Hermano Rubbio is one of the Bishop's Counselors. 

They have a  lot of technology in the part of the city I am in. However, the houses and everything else here are pretty run down. They don't seem to care so much about what their homes look like but they put a lot into the way they dress. They are very loving people and care a lot about people, I feel very welcomed even though I can't talk to anyone very well. 

I really like this area, It has tons of hills and reminds me of all the movies I've seen that take place in Brazil. We have to hike gigantic hills that I hope I can sneak pictures of here in the future. I try not to look like a tourist so that I don't get beaten up and robbed. The houses are pretty humble mostly all concrete and they only have tile here, I have not seen carpet in any home that I've been in. Only the Stake center had carpet. The area I'm in is supposed to be the richer area...

We've taught quite a few lessons this week and spent a lot of time trying to contact people who were not home. Some of the weird experiences I've had this week: A drunk (buracho) guy called us over to talk to him and my companion didn't understand a word he said and he kept telling us to look up scriptures for him, we finally just said we had to go and then walked off. Next experience: We were teaching one of our investigators, Elizabeth, and she started breastfeeding her kid (not baby). She just whipped out her left breast and the kid started going to town. When I thought he was done she adjusted her shirt whipped it back out so her son could have seconds. It was one of those times when you just keep trying to find a way to make eye contact and act like everything is normal.  One last experience: We have an investigator with a son named Juan. Juan is getting into trouble and being a devil for his mom. I noticed that when we were teaching him, he was on YouTube the whole time. So I gave him two songs to listen to: David Archuleta-Glorious,and Pentatonix-Little Drummer Boy. Oh and I told him to watch the Mormon Messages. I was trying not to laugh when we left because, I thought it was super funny that I had given him some spiritual songs that were better than his Techno songs, and they were inviting to the spirit, and he has no idea what the songs are saying because they're in English. 

When we are teaching lessons I try to follow what is being taught so that I can bear my testimony on it when my companion looks over at me. That's about all I can do right now in Spanish. However, I do feel the spirit when I bear my testimony and I think it is because when I am finally able to contribute, my companion and I are working as a team and the Spirit testifies stronger than when it's just my companion alone. I am working hard on my Spanish and hope to able to contribute a lot more to the lessons very soon.

Being here has made me so thankful for everything that I have been given. The people here are so loving and I love them just as much. I thank all of you that have been praying for me and my safety.  I've had some odd experiences but have been safe none the less. I invite all of you to write down the things that God has blessed you with in your life and give Him thanks. I love you all!! 

 Elder Berry
 From our front porch

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Made it to Mexico!



I didn't get to write last night because we were stuck in the most horrible traffic I have ever seen. We got picked up from the airport at 5:30 and didn't get to the presidents home until about 9:00-9:30ish. They drive insane here. I didn't think we were going to  die but I worried a lot that our brakes were going to give out. On our adventure to the president's house I saw a dead dog on the highway, one car accident, and a lot of cutting off and road rage. My pday is Monday and I only get to send a quick email to let you know I got here. I have to go now but I want you all to know that I love you and send a picture of all of us that traveled and made it to the presidents house. The president's assistants are the elders on the very left and very right.


Elder Berry


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Last week in the MTC


So to start off I should tell you that I am now the new zone leader... for the last week I am here! The first district (District A) left yesterday and their district had the zone leaders. We would not have needed to assign new zone leaders if we didn't have 19 new missionaries coming to our zone tomorrow! The old zone leaders passed on the traditional 'zone ball' to me and Elder Aguirre (he is the other zone leader). The zone ball is only for zone leaders to play with and me and Elder Aguirre have some pretty intense wall ball games with it while we wait for our district to show up before classes. 

We are expecting to have a general authority come in to give a devotional tonight or this Sunday. We think this because at our last devotional, they gave us special instructions for when members of the 12 come to talk. Oh and Elder Nelson's wife talked to us this last Sunday. I enjoy listening to all the people they bring in to talk to us but I really kind of hate listening to people with wet mouths talk. The noise that their lips and spit make on their teeth every time they move their mouth  bugs the crap out of me. Despite this constant annoyance, Sister Nelson gave a great talk. 

Halloween was alright. We put everyone's name tags into Elder Jardon's pants (because they were the closest thing we had to a bag) and pulled out a name tag. The other Elder's name we got, is who we were for Halloween. I had to prove my identity when I picked up my Halloween package because I was wearing Elder Macinnes's name tag and the package was for an Elder Berry hahaha I got it and there were no more problems. 

We like our new rooms alright and I'll attach some pictures at the end of this email. We all really love being on the same floor as the Poly's. There is one Polynesian Elder who can sing really good and today he was singing Opera (but he usually sings just about anything). We all share two giant bathrooms per floor.  We gathered around his shower and waited for him to come out so we could applaud him because he didn't know we were outside his shower listening. He also plays the ukulele at night before bed. 

Elder Jardon and Elder Macinnes (our two Canadians) had to fly to Vegas yesterday to get their visa's at the Mexican Consulate there. I'm not sure why they had to fly all the way to Vegas for it, when there is one in Salt Lake. I was a little jealous because I would of been able to fly home for a day and then come back to the MTC :D. They loved seeing the Casinos but never went down Vegas Blvd. I think they were on the I-15. They showed me pictures they took and I told them what the Casino/Hotel was and told them if it was a dump or not. Elder Jardon ate some tacos from some restaurant down by the consulate and isn't feeling good today... he said he's never going back to Vegas. 

I am so excited to go to Mexico! I leave Monday at 3:30a.m. to head to the airport. It's going to be a long day but I am ready!!!!
Yo no espero!! Les amo!! 

-Elder Berry