Sunday, June 4, 2017

So much to tell you!

So much to tell you!
We had a lot more people come to church yesterday so we were really happy. People that are pretty much all preparing for a baptismal date. We found a few families and we´re gonna have to go back and get some of them to see the need to go to church. Tomorrow we have some appointments to go and talk to them. Our area is huge, so we have to travel a lot and it gets quite expensive and tough. I learned a valuable lesson this week too. I was looking at my running and causal shoes and they were filthy and disgusting. I was thinking about going and buying new ones. But then I got the idea (revelation as I now recognize it) to wash them. And good. I took a hard bristle brush, soap, water, and bleach, and a lot of muscle work. Now they look BRAND NEW. Then it hit me, "If I just take care of the things I have, they will last longer and I won’t need new things so often." I would have liked to learn this principle in life a lot sooner but it just kinda clicked the other day. I figured you would appreciate this experience being that you have told me that just about everyday of my life :)

I´ve also lost a lot of weight. There’s an Hermana that helped me out with my shirts. She took about 5 inches off on both sides so they fit me better. Now I don´t look like a balloon.

We went to Tajin again today and I bought some cool stuff with the money Uncle Mikey sent me. I also forgot to tell you before, I have a leadership meeting on Friday and President is coming so you could have sent your package before so it could have gotten here sooner. I never really thought about it until I was looking at my agenda the other day. I was like, "It’s already the 24th on Friday?????" Where did time go?? Alrighty, well it’s late and we gotta get to a noche de hogar we are in charge of. Love you! Talk to you in a week!


Well we got up, cleaned the house, washed our garments (we always wash garments by hand) Then we took our other clothes to a lavanderia. We have changes coming up this week and I have no idea whats gonna happen. So to prepare for whatever happens, I´m drawing pictures of the people I baptized here and then I´m gonna give them to them. I´ll take pictures once I´m done. My drawing skills are improving, they aren´t perfect. But they are improving. I´m also in the process of making a jewelry box (hand made, drawn, designed, etc. by me) with an Hermano who owns a carpenteria. Pretty fun. Then we went to a place where a lady owns a bunch of animals. She even has a crocodile, It’s pretty sweet.. I wanted to touch it but it was far away. I wanted to take pictures but I forgot my camera!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I returned home for it so I could send the other pictures I took this week so don’t worry mama :) Now I´m here.

I’ve been doing good. I haven’t been eating too much though... No money. We´ve pretty much been going day to day on the food the members give us at 2 o´clock

We had a cool week. Yesterday was kind of a bummer though. The other day the son of a member was killed in Mexico City. They had a viewing/rememberance/funeral Service on Saturday night then his burial on Sunday morning. They changed the hour of the church services and that messed a lot up with our investigators. They told us Saturday night at 9 o'clock that the services changed, so it didnt give us a whole lot of time to tell our investigators

We are gonna have a baptism coming up this Friday so thatll be pretty sweet. Changes are also coming up this Sunday again. So someone is gonna be leaving... I think.. Depends on what the Lord wants. I have no idea though.. I have 4 changes here and my companion is finishing up his training. So we´ll see what happens. I´m drawing pictures of all the converts in the area that I´ve baptized. My drawing skills are improving. They aren´t perfect, but they are improving.

Well, my personal account has officially been spent. Its tough.. The money we receive in the truth just isnt enough. And I dont have the option to look for another source of income. We travel a lot because we live so far away. And when we eat, we look for ways to keep it cheap and to have our money last but it doesn´t make it. I haven´t eaten breakfast in about a week, and we pretty much only eat dinner if a member invites us to something.

I´m not asking for money. You guys do enough as it is. Just wanted to let you be informed about my life experiences in "poverty" ;)

Homemade Orange Juice

A sister asked me to paint the Young Women's banner


My despedida was today from the members of Cazones :) I´m going to Papantla! I´m sad to leave Cazones and my son but it´ll be fun getting to know a new area. Besides, it´s super close to Cazones. The Brother of the Branch President of Cazones is the Bishop in my new ward!!! The BP and his family goes every Sunday to my new ward so I will see them a lot :) and they will come to visit me often :) My new companion is white! Super white! He´s got the same time as my son right now. so its gonna be pretty cool to have another companion from the states. His name is Elder Wallace. I already got to know him a little bit from when I picked up Elder Muñer from Presidents house 2 changes ago. The dude is an Albino white. I think he is from Washington.. I´ll let you know.. Or Utah... I can´t remember.

Elder Muñer and I are bummed that we´re getting split up. But it had to happen sooner or later, and we already had 2 changes together. Hey... Gotta go :P I love you lots and I´ll send pictures next week. wooo!!!!!! Papantla here I come. This is the area known for not only the heat, but also the huge hills. I´ve been told I´ll lose a lot of weight there.... We´ll see.


My new area is pretty sweet. Its pure hill. PURE HILL. I´m in barrio Xanath and its pronounced Shanat. My companion is Elder Wallace. He was born and raised in Utah up until a few months before he left on his mission the he moved to Texas. I feel like time always slows down when there are changes. This week has taken a bit longer than others. I´m still getting to know members and other people so its a process. Right now I have a super big headache. The night before I came over here I started to get a cold and I have had a stuffy nose for a while now. I MISS CAZONES. Oh man, that was definitely a challenge and something on my mind. I really miss Elder Muñer, he was a good buddy and probably my best friend in the mission. Something thats pretty cool is that the President of the Branch of Cazones, his brother is the Bishop here in Xanath, along with the rest of his 11 brothers and sisters. The WHOLE family is here in Papantla. De hecho I just saw the branch president and his family last night because every Sunday they come to my area. The weather has been alright, its been rainy but sometimes the sun comes out to cook me. The hills aren´t so bad. If you just focus on your goal and are thinking about things along the work, you forget that you´re walking up them. Some of the hills here are pretty steep though. Like, they aren´t too far from getting to a 90 degree angle with flat ground. Those ones are sometimes a little scary. Elder Wallace and I get a long good. He just finished his training so he´s got some stuff to learn. Spanish included. He speaks pretty good spanish for the time he has though. Better than I did when I finished my training. He has a positive attitude about a lot of stuff and he definitely wants to work. We just bought some food and other things for the house today, we played basketball with a couple of other Elders and a member today. ANd the mission bought AC´s for all the houses of the missionaries. They´re portable (I think) So when the missionaries change houses they can take it with them. We are gonna get ours tomorrow :)

When I saw my new companion again I thought he was more albino. So I was equivocado. He reminds me of Brendan quite a bit. He says funny little things like Brendan would say. But I think my comp is more of a dork than Brendan. Nothing against my companion they are just both pretty dorky. Hahahaha. Maybe dorky isn´t the right word. Goofy is better.

We have a Joven thats preparing to be baptized for the 1st of April, and we are gonna go visit his family tonight and try to teach his parents as well.

Well I gotta head outta here. I´m gonna write an email to Bishop Young then I´m gonna bolt. Love you mommy :)

I finished up my 2nd Journal! I´m on my 3rd and final one!

My new Zone! :D My companion is on the second level in the
middle wearing the tie with yellow flowers.


I asked him what he was up to that day:

We had a zone exercise activity that killed me, and now we are writing, then we are gonna go buy some stuff, then we are gonna go to an interview for an investigator we have :) I swear this dude is gonna be a general authority. He´s awesome. Other missionaries found him a long time ago. But they never did anything with him. I think they just kinda hung out, or taught random things. I got here and we went and put baptismal date with him, he´s come to church a few times with me, with 1 maybe 2 assistances before, and he´s ready! He has just needed someone to teach him the lessons, help him with goals, and basically reason to do everything!

New area is sweet. SO MANY HILLS. My area is pure hills. Mountainous hills. There is almost no flat ground. The ward is huge, beautiful and full of priesthood. Its so beautiful to go to priesthood class and see so much white. I come from a little branch where we had a good day with 30-40 people. Now there are close to 200 people or more on a good day. The members are awesome and I feel like every area I go to, I have to make a better name of the missionaries than what the missionaries before left it. So many stupid things have happened. Another 4 missionaries were sent home this last week and they were missionaries that served like 1-2 changes ago here. All the church leaders and other members know because there is so much gossip that goes around here. So that makes me have to live an even more animated and perfect life. Just so we can have a good trust and confidence with the members. But for the majority, everything is great and I have the trust of a lot of members.

We currently are progressing Jonathan. His baptismal interview will be today and he will be baptized Friday. This dude is gonna be a general authority, I know it. He´s just super consecrated already and on his own he just starts talking about how his mission is gonna be awesome. We have some other people we have been teaching but they haven´t progressed super well. We found quite a bit of new investigators last week but none of them came to church :P
My new apartment is awesome. The mission just gave all the missionaries portable air conditioners! **angelic music from the heavens** Its clean, and it has a lot of art work from Liahonas put up on the walls because there were Hermanas that lived here at a time until they changed it to an Elder area. I do exercise everyday. I was sitting on the toilet this morning and the light bulb for the bathroom burned out. I was pretty "bummed"... Ha... I have a picture of my creativeness to dry my clothes with a weird peace of exercise equipment I don’t use and a broken fan.

No I don’t have hot water... I never have hot water. I´ve barely been blessed with air conditioning. Let’s take one step at a time here. My companion had a breakdown this last week. We were in District class going through simulations and there was another Elder who cracked down pretty directly on us. I took it, but he´s just finishing his training and had a lot of pressure on him already. But we´re good, we talked it out.

I´m sorry to cut it short, but we have to go :P Nothing super special has happened this week. Just a lot of work. We´re gonna have zone conference and interviews this week so I´ll let you know if my package gets here. So, love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love you lots!!!!!!!!!!! Have a good week and keep up with your biking, thats a great activity. and yes, lots of fun stories. :) I was just talking with Hermana Parkin again. She´s been a little stressed. I shared with her something that helps me when

I´m stressed and down. Something quite personal actually. But we´ll see what the future holds.

Your first born in the wilderness.


I told him that Brendan decided to serve a mission and that his cousin Alyssa is getting married.

Yay! Brendan is going on a mission! And no! I was gonna depend on Alyssa to help me out with the dating game once I get back. Now she is gonna be all busy with her hubby :P

Look at these smiling faces. Bautidistrito!

Look at my beautiful area. You might think it is a large landscape, 
but it is not. It is a large hill with layers. One of the hundreds of hills here

My companion and I writing emails.

A couple of the other elders in my district.

Sneaky picture taken by my companion.


He told me that his companion and him were going to have special changes. I asked him “why, what’s happening?”. He said “Well we got into an argument and punches were thrown. He had to get stitches.” I was so shocked that Mama bear came out a little and I said “TYLER! What the heck??”. He came back with “No I´m just kidding. HA gotcha ;) We have special changes but its because they put me to train again.” I said Ha, Ha…Funny April Fools Joke! He said “How PERFECT! OH I completely forgot about that!! Hahaha I may be in Mexico but I´m an American at heart. :)” Big Stinker!

But hey, I need to leave to take a bus to Xalapa, so I need to head outta here right now. I imagine that I will get my package. So I´ll let you know in this next week. Alright. Love you! Take care!

Elder Koontz


I´ve seen quite a few miracles actually. There was once not too long ago when I gave a priesthood blessing to an hermana who had a problem with her hand. Years ago, she injured it and couldn´t close it all the way or get complete function out of it. She didn´t tell me that part, she just told me her hand hurt (She is a convert I baptized). She asked for a blessing and I told her that her hand would be ok and would be healed. The next day she (with a little excitement) came up to me and said, "look! look!" as she opened and closed her hand completely. I didn´t understand the completeness of the miracle until she explained to me that she had not been able to do that for around 2-3 years.

I did get my package, yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. :) My new companion is great. He looks like a future leader. He takes initiative and wants to work. Only thing is is his waking up on time in the morning and focusing on his 42 principles. Other than that he´s great. Our investigators are coming along. We found a couple cool ones this last week and we just need to help them understand THAT GOING TO CHURCH IS IMPORTANT. Ugh, I feel like we now have quite a few people who will progress, now they just need to come to church. We have a family of 3 that came yesterday. Their names are Brenda (mom) fernando (son) and zury (daughter). They are a great little family and really pay attention when we talk to them.

I had a pretty cool experience this week. One telling me that the Lord is conscious of His missionaries, and how He wants them to be working.

My companion and I were exercising as normal and we left to go run. As we were running, there was a pot hole in the field I didn´t see. I put a firm step into it and it rolled my ankle HARD. It popped a couple times when it went down. OOOOoo.. Ya, didn´t feel too good. I tried to walk it off but the pain was too much. I could tell it was going to swell up like a balloon and I wasn´t gonna be able to walk for a while. Especially in my area with all the hills. but I looked up as I got to the sidewalk and there was a lady walking her 2 grandkids to school. She came up to me and my companion and saw me in pain, leaning over trying to support my ankle and asked if I had rolled it. I said yes, and saying nothing, she then took me over to a concrete bench that was right next to where we were. She took off my shoe and sock, then started to feel around on my ankle. She felt where it hurt and was starting to swell and said, "Ooo its right here where it hurts isn´t it." Me, now cringing for the pressure she was putting on it, squeeked out a, "yes that’s where it is." Then she started to move my ankle around and around and around in different motions over and over again. I asked her if she was a nurse or a doctor, and she said, "ya, something like that." Then POP. It started to feel better. Then I said thank you and she left! Hopefully she wasn´t some sort of witch or something. But I pray, am worthy and have protection from my patriarchal blessing so I´m good. My ankle only got to the swollen level of a golf ball, I toughed it out and went about the work. But if she wouldn´t have been there in that exact moment, it would have been sooooo much worse. The Lord wants His missionaries working.

We also have changes coming up on this next Sunday. My companion and I just had these special changes, so I imagine I already know where I´ll be. But only the Big Guy upstairs knows it for sure.

I asked him if there was anything specific he’d like for his birthday:

Pictures, a bunch of pictures. of Dallas and Logan too. Even if you have to go over to their houses and take pictures.
ties, maybe a 3-6 month work out plan (I wanna look good for my homecoming pictures)

Protein for shakes (chocolate)

Pictures of my Big Baby Tank in paper form not electronic (washed, polished, rims shining, tires shining black, vacuumed) inside and out.

Fine point pens (0.38 or less if you can find them)

tie clasps.... man this is tough.

Another funny experience I had the other day was with my mission President. We had our normal interviews but he told me something I didn´t really expect. He said, "You are a great leader Elder Koontz. Don´t worry about the position you are in, you are meant for great things. Keep doing what you´re doing and keep giving support and being an example to others." and some other stuff along those lines but I can´t remember it all. It was kinda funny. As I was reflecting on it though... I told another Elder who is going home this next change who is a good friend of mine and said, "Dang it, I bet that was Presidents way of telling me he won´t put me as zone leader and not to get my hopes up." It was in a joking manner and we both laughed about it. :)


18 months!!!!

We cleaned up the house and played sports with other missionaries. One of my good friends in the mission is going home today. We also did laundry. (we have a cylinder in our house with a rotating pole in the middle for a washing machine) I think its the type of thing grandma used when she was a youngin' 😊😊😊

My companion and I are together for another change (Well he just got here 2 weeks ago). And I have some news.... I opened up my wallet to take my mission card out and realized that my personal card was gone. I´m thinking I may have forgotten it when I was in a rush a couple weeks ago to go to Xalapa and needed to take out money to buy a belt. I could have sworn I took it out though. I´m gonna look around for it just in case it may be in a bag, pocket, or something. So I´ll let you know next week on Monday if you should cancel the card.

Alrighty hey, I gotta boogie. Love you! Have a good week, and I´ll talk to you in a week :)

It is a custom for the elders to burn a pair of pants
 when they've been out for 18 months


We have normas of excelencia for the goals we put. They are tough to get, so I´ve been doing what I can to try and get those goals. This last week we got one of our goals which is 12 new investigators. Now is the part of just getting them to church. We had 1 person who we have been teaching come, and 3 other people whom I don´t know. So we are gonna see what we can do to get them baptized as well. But when I talked to someone who does know them, they said they pertain to another ward, so I have to pass the reference.

I did something else to my ankle again today while playing basketball. Its not the same but its been bugging me for a bit now. I had a funny experience with my companion this week. He is from Mexico City, so everything works a lot faster there. And he is used to walking a lot faster... I feel like I walk normal. But according to him, I look like the old guys doing their fast-walking-jog exercise when I walk. So walking a bit faster has been a goal.


Well lots of stress. We finally got money, we have had pretty much nothing until the other day. I´ve done lots of divisions with my district and have had a few interviews to do. We´re in the process of looking for a new house more central to our area and closer to the capilla. Its kinda stressful because I´ve been trying to find more progressable investigators, meet goals, help my district reach their goals, train my companion, get paperwork ready and done for the house and to get our ZLs to check the house, divisions with the ZLs, and get people to church. I am tired. Working hard anyways, but tired. We had 4 random people come to church yesterday, we set appointments with them and we are gonna put goals with them. Then we started teaching another family of 3 that lives close to us and we have known for a little while, now that we have their confidence, they accepted Books of Mormon and we put an appointment to teach them. So yesterday alone we found 7 new investigators to start off the week! Woo!
And our mission President just notified us that he wants us to Skype on the 7th of May.....instead of the 14th :P I sent him a message verifying the day, asking if there was something we could do given that it’s my birthday and Mother’s Day, but we also have to take into consideration if he makes an exception for me, he has to make an exception for everyone. And I´m happy talking on the 7th anyways. :)

Klint asked him if he wanted him to email the Mission President to aske for an exception since Klint and I will be out of town on the 7th.
If you want to that’s fine, but I already know how he is. We make sacrifices in the mission, and if there is exception for 1 person, there must be exceptions for everyone. Its a fair mission. Just like the heavens are set up, the mission is set up. If God makes exception for 1 he must for all. So it’s the same principle here. God gives commandments and we must fulfill to his demands, when our situation changes, we need to adjust ourselves even when sacrifices are necessary. So, I believe its the same with the mission, the day given and specified is the 7th. Just because or situation doesn´t go according to how we would like it to, sacrifice is necessary.

Well, the investigators we found last week didn´t come, they weren´t too sure. We had 4 people come yesterday. A family of 3 that came randomly and the mother of a member. We put appointments down to teach them this coming week, and then later on in the day yesterday there is a family that lives close to us that just started to accept us yesterday. We have built a confidence with them and they accepted Books of Mormon and another appointment in the week to discuss more about what they read. So a total yesterday of 7 new investigators!!! And we just started the week! 4 have already come to church!!!!! Pretty sweet :) I´ve been kinda stressed because we have had a lot going on. Divisions with my district and then the zone leaders, interviews for baptisms, looking for a new house, training my companion, having no money, needing to find more investigators, trying to progress the ones we have.... Ya it was quite a bit on my plate. But I´m all good, working hard.

Hey I gotta get outta here. Love you!

5/7 - SKYPE!!

Usually the missionaries get to Skype on Mother's day but Elder Koontz' mission president decided he wanted them to Skype a week earlier instead. Well, since Klint and I were out of town we did a 3 way call. It was so nice to see his face and hear his voice. Less than 5 months to go!

From the moment Ty entered the MTC he planned on playing this song for us on his last SKYPE:

I'll be home for Christmas



To be honest. I felt pretty bad last night when we got home. We (in the video call with you guys) talked a lot about how I´m coming home soon. I felt pretty sad and down about it. I don´t really want to go home...

It just feels weird. When I just arrived in the mission it felt like I was going to be here forever, but I was ok with that. Now I feel bad cause I don´t really want to go home. Well, I do want to go home and continue with my life, I would be lying if I said I didn´t... But, I just don´t really want to leave the mission at the same time.


I don't have a whole lot of time to write right now.. We went to play and then ate with a family then came back home to shower and change. My comp takes SOOOOO LONG in the shower. I´ve talked to him about it before but Its like it had no effect. So I just had to talk to him about it again today. 1 hour he spent in the shower. I was reading and then fell asleep so I never really noticed until I woke up again...

My Birthday cake (chocoflan) 

A gift my companion gave me :) A Book of Mormon in Mayan


Adrianna, Hugo, and I think some of the other people from Cazones are gonna come visit me today :) Im pretty stoked about that :)

We have 3 baptisms this Sunday. They are the children of a reactivating member. She just got out of a divorce and is so happy she can come back to chruch. She has 3 kids and none of them are baptized. So that's where I came in. They are twins that are 10 and a girl that is 16. I'll send you the pictures from the baptism soon.

Hey but I gotta get outta here :P I miss and love you! :) 19 more Mondays left!

My shoes have seen better days,

Some of these are random pictures my companion 
took when I wasn't looking.

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