Tuesday, February 23, 2016

New area, new companion, stories that warm a Mother's heart

Hi Family,

I forgot my camera... I’m sorry, I’ll send you some pictures next week. . I love Tuxpan!!!! Its sooooo cool. The missionaries are cool and it’s fun to get to know them more. My companion Elder Peza is awesome! He’s really funny and works in a companionship well. I take advice from him and he takes advice from me. When I got here, I met him and we went home to drop off my things and our house is awesome. We live in a small condo. It has a kitchen, living room area for studies, an upstairs with two bedrooms and a bathroom. But... we don’t have any hot water.... our boiler is broken and from the looks of it, it’s been broken for a long time. Being missionaries, we can’t really afford to get it fixed and none of us know who to talk to to get it fixed. (I told him he needs to talk to the Mission office about it) I believe some missionaries tried to figure these things out before but didn’t have any luck. So, our showers consist of either an ice shower, or we heat water up in the microwave to slowly fill a bucket, then we take the bucket and a cup of water and clean ourselves in the shower area. I tried doing the ice shower a couple times but it takes a toll on you. So now I shower with a bucket.

Tuxpan is beautiful. The river connects to the ocean so it’s all salt water. I loooooove that ocean air. I have some pictures that I wish I could send but my camera is at home. We get good work done every day. It’s like looking at a blank piece of paper and saying, ok... let’s get to work. I love it. When I got here, the area was dead. No baptisms, no help, a couple of investigators that didn’t do anything, nothing... I was talking to my companion about some of the things they had been doing to contact and find new people and it was very little. All of their stats for the past couple weeks were basically pure 0s. But we’re changing that. They never talked to anyone in the street and they were trying to work with the references that they had, but they didn’t have any references! My companion is a little shy when it comes to talking to people in the street but it’s getting a lot better. We have come up with steps for a contacting system that we use. This last week we talked to over 105 people in the street, and gained a little more than 20 references. We have contacted around half of them, and we are slowly getting more and more lessons to teach. We have barely had any help from the members, and when I asked my companion when our ward counsel was, he told me that we don’t go to ward council. He said when they asked the bishop when they had it before, the bishop told them that they didn’t need to worry about it, and only the mission leader needed to be there. This was completely and utterly wrong. There is even a specific chapter in preach my gospel that says how we need to use ward council to strengthen the area. I have come to learn why the area was dead before, but my companion and I are going to change that.

Tuxpan used to be a really good and lively area, It’s a slow process to get more lessons every day, but we average about 3 lessons everyday right now, contact about 40+ people in the street every day, ask everyone for references, and we found 6 new investigators in 3 days. This was our first week, and it will be better this next week. Like I said before, my companion is a little timid when it comes to talking to people in the street, so for a little while I was the only one really talking. Then I would start the contact, and he would add something, now he finds people and just starts talking too!! Its sooo much fun to progress. Both of us are continually learning more from each other and the more we learn, the more success we find. We are both working hard.

I love my companion, he is too awesome. We were getting ready the other day and he was ironing his shirt, then he came into our room and put his shirt on his bed. I saw what he was doing out of the corner of my eye, but he sneakily grabbed my shirt and scurried out of the room. I could hear him ironing my shirt in the other room, and it made me happy that I have such a cool companion. So I hurried and made both of our beds before he came back in the room to give me my shirt.

Today for P-day, we woke up, cleaned our condo, took our clothes to get washed, and then we went and played basketball with the other Elders. It is so cool here in Tuxpan, the weather makes it feel like Im back in California. The river, ocean and everything are awesome. My area is Centro, so I’m in the city quite a bit. Our address for our house is (Colony) Jesus Reyes Heroles, (Street)Guillermo Dominguez Pena. The house is number 18, just in case Mom wants to look it up on Google maps. It is the very last door in the line of condos on the more north end. The chapel is on the street Cuauhtemoc. You should be able to google the capilla (chapel).

People have told me that my Spanish is fluent, and they are surprised when I tell them I only have 4 months in the mission. I’m not trying to brag, but that’s how my Spanish is going. I always make sure that when someone compliments me I say, “we believe in the gift of tongues”.

Love, Elder Koontz

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