San Antonio

San Antonio

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy New Year!

Our family Christmas call was so sweet. We spoke for about an hour and Madison was exuberant, talkative and full of the missionary spirit. He bore a powerful testimony (in Spanish) which made for the perfect Christmas gift. Here a few more excerpts from recent letters.
"Elder Lindsay is definitely a lot of fun to be around. It was really cool to hear that you got in contact with his parents. This really is a small world. Elder Lindsay is a fiery red-head, stands at about 6 feet tall, and weighs about 175 lbs. He is one strong pup! I tell you what, it has been so nice having companions who are so willing to work out. In fact, I don't think I've had a single companion yet who isn't motivated to work out. Elder Lindsay is great, and what's funny is that his grandma is constantly sending him more protein, so we are downing it like crazy, haha. He loves working hard, and that is something that is definitely required for this area, because we share a car ith the other Elders in the district; so that means that we ride bikes every other day, plus this is a very hilly area, so we are constantly coming back to the apartment pooped after a long day of riding. What's more is that our apartment sits at the bottom of a hill so in order for us to get up into our area everyday, we have to ride our bikes up this nasty steep hill, sometimes twice a day. It does make for a nice ride home after a long day, though, man we fly down that hill!
This past week, we had a training meeting for a few days where all the Zone Leaders and District Leaders came together and received training from President Jones and his Assistants. Btw, one of our new Assistants to the President is Elder Seymour, who is the BYU volleyball player from California! It was great stuff, and instead of coming back to my area for the night, I went and worked with another District Leader in his area. I worked with a missionary named Elder Workman. His name goes well with his attitude. He is currently in the famous Barton Creek Ward outside of West Austin. The Barton Creek Ward is famous because it is the wealthiest ward in the mission. No joke, here are some crazy things about it: two names you might recognize live in the ward - Brother Jeff Kent, Professional Baseball Player from the San Francisco Giants, AND... Brother Ty Detmer!!! "

Since Saturday, we have had a few things happen. We were driving to dinner last night, and we had the other Elders' bikes on the bike rack on the back of our car (we drive a little Mazda3), and we were running a little late so I was going a little fast through a neighborhood and there was a speed bump coming up. Because we were late, I didn't think about slowing down or think about how we had two bikes on the back of our car. So sure enough, I take that bump real fast, and the bike rack actually breaks and the bikes go flying in the air, and I can see in my rear-view mirror the bikes bouncing up and down in the street behind us. I immediately slam on the brakes, we get out and go to inspect the damage. Thankfully, hardly any damage was done to the bikes; only a few scratches on each one. We had to have the bishop load up the bikes in his little pickup truck that he has, and then something really crazy happened. After dinner, Bishop took us to the church, where there was another totally random bike rack sitting in the field next to the church. Bishop told us that he had seen this bike rack a few days earlier and was wondering if it was ours. But sure enough, when the time came, that mysterious bike rack came in handy! So we're good to go! And I will definitely be making sure that I slow down over those bumps when we have bikes on the back of our cars."

Our New Year was great! We went over to the Medina Family's house and ate a super-super spicy meal that got our mouths flaming. And then to top it off, Brother Medina, an energetic, plump, mustached Mexican Man, brought out some full size Jalapeno peppers for us to eat.
It was a challenge, but every missionary got it down... well actually Sister Larsen's companion couldn't do it, but she still took a bite! And Sister Larsen put one down like a champ! Haha she was crying so hard at the end of it though. Man, those peppers are intense, they are so hot that even your ears hurt really bad because of the spice. We were all chugging milk and bread to absorb the heat, but I was still crying. Haha great stuff I'm a whimp.

So, yes, this past week was my first baptismal interview with Victor Mendez. Thankfully, Victor was super ready, so the interview went nice and smooth and quick. He was baptized by Elder Sherwood yesterday! Wahoo!

Elder Lindsay and I had 3 investigators at church yesterday! A cool little family who we've only taught once. The mother's name is Elizeth Sonora. Pronounced like 'elly-seth'. And she brought her two daughters Kelly and Alicia ages 8 and 14! The father was working when we taught them, and he wasn't able to make it to church yesterday, but Elizeth told us that he would be there the next time we went by. Cool stuff!"

Loving Austin

After spending more than 4 months in the same great ward in Buda, just south of Austin, Madison has been transferred to a Spanish ward, the Riverside ward, in Austin where he is currently serving as district leader. Here a few excerpts from recent letters.
"My new companion is Elder Ryan Lindsay, the missionary out of Meridian, Idaho!!! He, as is custom at least for me, is a jock of a sort. He plays college lacrosse for Boise State and played both lacrosse and football for Mountain View High School graduating in 2008, a year before me. "
"My area! I'm still in Austin, but I am now just a little further north than where I was in Buda, currently in the mighty Riverside Ward. Why is it so mighty? Why because it's one of four areas in the mission of PURE SPANISH BABY!!! Yep, pure Spanish, nothin but. If we come across an English person, we can teach them once, but after that, we turn them over to other missionaries who cover the English ward. So awesome!!! This is going to be such a great opportunity for me to improve in my speaking and understanding skills, I've already had a blast in just these past few days going out and speaking nothing but Spanish."
"Here in the Riverside Ward, there are three companionships that make up our district. There are two Elder companionships, and 1 Sister companionship. Who is in that sister companionship? Yep, Sister Emily Larsen!!! So...I am now Sister Larsen's district leader! hahaha it's so funny, and kinda weird at the same time. We eat dinner together just about every night, I make district calls every night to make sure they're home and to see how their day went, and we will be having district meeting every Wednesday, so I'll be seeing plenty of her over these next few weeks.
This is for Curtis and Denise Clifford! There is a missionary in my district here that knows you very well. His name is Elder Tyler Sherwood and he says he grew up knowing Regan and Cameron and the rest of you Clifford bunch. He says 'Hi' and I will let you know as well that he is a very hard working missionary. Crazy!"