Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Week 12 - Frias

Monday, December 30, 2013

I dont have a lot of time to write you today. Right now I am in the bus station waiting for our bus to head back to Frias with my new companion. We will be arriving back in my area at about 8 [pm] or so my time.

Next week I will be able to write to you a little more about transfers and your week. I really enjoyed talking to you for Christmas. I am excited for when I can talk to you again in May. 

But my new companion is from Mexico and his name is Elder Ramirez. He has about a year on his mission. I am excited to work with him and to be able to learn. 

I hope that you had a great week and that you will have a good one this week too. Happy New Years mom and Dad. I love you so Much!!! 

Elder Dawson

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Week 11 - Frias (Christmas)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Alec’s P-day was on Christmas this week. We waited all day and finally heard from Alec about 3:45 pm our time.  We were able to SKYPE with him for about 45 minutes.  The connection was not as good as we’d hoped, but we were SO glad to see him and talk to him. He was using a computer at a part-member’s house in a small room.  Alec and his companion, Elder Moreno, and a part-member was in the same room with him the whole time.  Alec looked thinner and his face was sunburned. He said that he gained 15+ pounds while he was in the MTC and was down to his normal weight, and he and his companion actually get to wear a straw cowboy hat to keep the sun off. 

Week 10 - Frias

Monday, December 16, 2013

So I will start off with my week.

Monday: That morning we went and played soccer with some youth. Some of Claudias kids, a few members, and friends. It was a lot of fun. I am okay at soccer. All the kids can do tricks and stuff but I cant. I still can do enough to be able to score some goals! It was a lot of fun and it was hot too. Afterwards we went to a Members house and had lunch. Empenadas! So good! I think it is my favorite food so far! I am going to make them all the time when I get home! Then later we went to the church and did emails, later bought our groceries and finished washing clothes! That night was slow. We had two lessons. One with an investigator, and one was a RC/LA lesson. 

Tuesday was good. We had 5 lessons with investigators. We found a couple new people to teach, received some referrals and all. 

Wednesday we traveled to Santiago for the conference with Presidente Levrino, Sis. Levrino, and Elder Ferreira from the 70 with Sis Ferreira! It was an awesome conference! We learned a lot about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, also of the role of the Holy Ghost. A lot of why recent converts are so important, just different things that we can do to help accelerate the work in our zone… members, church attendance, a lot. It was a great experience. Elder Ferreira was the first AP in the Salta mission and he also served in Santiago.

Thursday we had weekly planning morning and half of the afternoon, and that night we had 3 lessons with a member present. We hadnt been able to have a member come with us until this day. 

Friday and Saturday were also days with not a whole lots of lessons. We were able to go by a few more RC [recent converts] and LA [less active] members. Some were home and some were not which left us with a whole lot of walking. Contacted a lot of our referrals and received some more. They weren´t way bad days.

Sunday we had some lessons in the morning and committed them to church in the afternoon. We have church at 7pm now instead of 6 pm. Its a little bit better because everybody complains that its so hot and people come late most of the time anyway. There is literally like no one in the streets, and if they dont have to, people would rather not leave their houses. At church we had 31 people in Sacrament meeting. We had 3 investigators there. It was a pretty good meeting. 

And then now it is today and I am writing you. Now I will answer your questions.

We are making sure this week that the members have skype. But if not and I wont be able to use it I will be able to contact you one way or another. Our PDay will be on Christmas next week. I would have to just be able to send you an email to let you know about when.

So the package, the APs sent out an email talking about packages that are sent through DHL and all, and I thought that they probably sent it because of mom and dad. Then I read your email and Dad had called them. hahaha But I am sure he told you guys the same things he said in the email. That it is safer to send packages through normal mail. 

It sounds like you guys have had a pretty good week. I hope your Christmas program goes well! 

Its just going to be getting even more hotter. I hear that the province of Santiago is one of the hottest in Argentina, and I am going to be here all Summer long. Well for you all winter. 

Anyway it is time for me to go now! I hope that you have an awesome week! I love you guys!

Merry early Christmas!!! 

Elder Dawson

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Week 9 - Frias

                                                                                                        Monday, December 9, 2013

So for the Mate tea...we can drink it but it depends on how we drink it. We cannot drink it in Bombia´s which are like a cup-type thing that the people put the herb in. They put water and sugar in it then drink it with a metal straw thing that has holes in the end to keep the herb out and only let the water through. We cannot drink it this way but we can drink it from tea bags. We can have the herb, but we have to filter it.

So this week has been hot and we worked hard. We have a lot of people that we are working with. Some are progressing and some are not. We are finding different people around our area. some are interested and some are not. This past Sunday we didnt have any investigators in the church. This is the first week that we havent had anybody. We dont know why. We had people committed for sure. At least 6 or so were supposed to come for sure but no one did. We set some goals last night so that we could work harder to do it. We feel that we are losing time trying to talk to those that arent chosen or prepared and arent ready for the gospel just yet. One of the goals that we set is we are going to try harder to find by the Spirit the people that are prepared and are willing to act on the message that we share, to be able to recognize with the people that we are working with in one way or another are ready and are willing to act and progress. Its hard work, but its necessary. 
Today we played Soccer with a couple members and some of Claudia´s kids and friends. I am alright, but all the kids are younger and can do all sorts of tricks. It was tiring. I am a little burnt in some of the places that are usually covered by my church clothes. It helps so that I wont be looking completely like a hillbilly when I get back. I have a tan line all the way up my neck. It looks weird when I wear a t-shirt. Afterwards we went and ate empanadas with a PM [part member] family. Also the family of Maxi. We are still trying to work with him. This last week was hard to be able to talk to him and really have a lesson. 
By the way today is Ben Hadlocks birthday! 
On Wednesday we are traveling to Santiago in the afternoon. We are having a conference with a member of the 70. I dont remember his name but he served in this mission a long time ago also. I am looking forward to this opportunity I have to learn more about the gospel and what the Lord needs of me right now. 
That is my week! Im happy that your week was good! Thank you for the recipes! [deviled eggs and egg nog]  I will see what I can do with them. Translate them first. ha 

I hope that you have great week with work and school. I dont remember if I told you but here they just got out of school. Its weird cause back home its winter and chilly, but here its hot and summer break. But anyway I love you all! Hi Jared!

Elder Dawson

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Week 8 - Frias

                                                                                                        Monday, December 2, 2013
So yes we still go by that family [the family in his last email where the boyfriend and girlfriend had a confrontation]. Its not awkward or anything. We go by that area a ton. This family is a part member family and the mom is probably going to be baptized this month. 
So your question on food. Hispanic food in Texas is spicy! They love things that are hot. Tortillas, meat, cooking out and all. Here in Argentina is more kind of like European style stuff. Noodles and meat. Almost everything has some sort of meat in it. Its hard to find something here that is spicy. They think something is hot if they eat a little ball of pepper. 
So today I was finally able to send a couple of letters that I had written like 3 or 4 weeks ago for Uncle Dale and Aunt Cheryl and Grandma Walker. Tomorrow they will be sent to Salta. Then from there I dont know where they will go. I also sent one for Grandma Dawson. 
Yesterday morning we were in Claudia´s house (Recent Convert) and we were all talking about different things. We started talking about halloween. They asked me what is the meaning of halloween. Why do we celebrate it. I didnt know why. haha 
So this week I was on exchanges with Elder Poettcker. I stayed in Frias. We traveled to Santiago on Tuesday, had District Meeting, I also exchanged $40 into Pesos. It was an exchange of 8.5 pesos for $1. So I got 340 pesos. That is a good rate. But then we traveled back to Frias and he stayed with me that day and all day Wednesday.

Also yesterday we were able to confirm Eliana. She wasnt able to come last week but this week yes.

Saturday we were suppose to have a baptism but we didnt. His name is Maxi. This last week he had some doubts and then there was elections and so things got complicated. He isnt sure about baptism anymore but he also knows that things we have taught and that he has learned are true. We are going to talk to him today. He is a great kid and really has great desires. He will be baptized. We just need a little help from the Lord and the Holy Ghost! 
So thats about all I have for this week. I dont have anymore time left for today. I hope that you guys all have a great week! I love you tons!
Elder Dawson

Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 7 - Frias

This week was a good week. Pretty interesting too. 7 months gone and 17 more to go. Its going to go by fast. I feel like it wont be enough time. haha
The [Youth] Activity sounded fun. All the sandwiches and food. I miss a lot of the food back home but I like the food here also. I am glad Sean knew the answer.[Editor's Note:  At last week's mutual activity, the youth had a cooking competition. There was a tie for first place and a member from each team had to answer a tie-breaking question which was, "How many cups are in a pint?"].  The other day I was making some Jello and I needed to know that too. I had to translate from spanish, figure out what it was in english then put it back in spanish. It took like 5-10 minutes. 
We havent talked to anybody about the Skype. I am sure we will find out a little later. I will be able to let you know before though. 
The highlight for this week happened yesterday morning. We were walking to a Part Members house to have a lesson with them. We came up to the street and the PM´s son was on the corner with his GF [girl friend], the neighbor. We said hey and shook hands and told him we were going to his house and to join us. He said okay. Things didnt look to good between him and his GF when we walked up. We went to their house sat down and talked for a little then pulled out scriptures and were about to have a prayer when there was a bunch of commotion and yelling outside. Come to find out that BF and GF were fighting. I guess they were hitting each other. About 5 min later the whole family walked in and started to sit down but then the GF comes storming into the house. This girl is a big girl. She is as tall as me and big. The BF was in the hallway and she was trying to get back there. The Dad was at work. It was only the mom and the kids. The Mom is pretty small and the kids are about 13, 12, and 8. The BF is about 17. But it took the whole family to stop her from getting in the hallway without the help of BF. As missionaries we really couldnt do anything and get involved. After about 10 mintues the GF left and went around the house to get in the window but then she came back around. The GF´s mom came and was trying to hold her back from going into the house but couldnt do it. She got back in and everybody was at the entrance to the hallway. The mom was sick and it was hot and the whole struggle made her feel worse. She almost passed out but they got her into a chair. For this everybody was crying and freaking out. Then the GF went outside and grabbed a rock, about the length and half the 3/4 the width of the computer in the computer room, and threatened to throw it. Then I finally stepped in and stood in the way. I wasnt going to let her throw that thing. She was relentless. She finally put it down but tried to go in the hallway again.

Finally the cops came, about 5 or 6 of them and everybody went outside and talked. Apparently the BF stole about 50 pesos or something which is I think around 6 dollars or so. The cops took the BF away to take him to his uncles house across town so they wouldnt fight anymore. When the cops were leaving the GF was trying to get at the BF again. The cops were covering him up and pushing her away. After about 30-45 minutes or so it was all over.

We finally sat down, shared a quick scripture, gave the Mom a blessing and then went to the neighbors house and gave the other mom a Blessing of health also. Then we left back to our appartment. Itwas a crazy situation. I hadnt experienced anything like that before at least from what I can remember. 
But anyway thats mainly about my week. I am going to try to send a couple pictures. I hope you have a great week!!! I love you!
Elder Dawson

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 6 - Frias

I have heard that we could use skype but with permission from presidente. But a phone card would probably be good. You would have to make sure that I would be able to call from outside of the US into the US. But yes, when the mission recieves a package they have to pay for stuff. They send emails out that tells who has a package and the amount that it costs. 
My Spanish is improving little by little. There is so much to learn. I dont remember the last time I had a dream. Really I just lay down to go to bed at night and them I am gone. I think the last time I had a dream was back in Texas.
On Saturday we baptized Eliana. The daughter of Claudia who we baptized the week before. We talked to her and she was excited to be baptized on Saturday. It was a huge miracle. But unfortunately she didnt come to church yesterday and wasnt able to be confirmed.
Saturday and Sunday were stressful days just working to get everything to happen correctly. We think something might have changed. We dont know what or why. We are going to find out. We have to rely on the Lord to help us overcome all challenges and problems! We will see how this week goes.
Today is the first day of my 5th transfer in the field. On this coming sunday I am going to hit 7 months in the field. It has gone by fast.
We dont know if we will be able to have a baptism this week because the majority of our investigators didnt come to church. We have been able to get somebody to church every Sunday. But we need to do a lot better. We know we can do a lot better but we dont know how. We are still trying to figure out what we need to do and what the Lord wants us do to. This last transfer we taught 141 lessons.  This last week we taught 21 and the week before we taught 29 lessons. We are working hard and trying to work harder.
I havent been able to send pictures yet because I keep forgetting the cord to connect to the computer. I realized that I forgot it again today also. I am sorry. I will make sure that I bring it next week. I will send pictures. Promise.  I hope that you guys have a great week. I love You!!!!
Elder Dawson

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 5 - Frias

Sorry that I wont get your email this week. I will print it next week and be able to read it. Being behind two hours now makes things harder.
Saturday we had the baptism of Claudia and on Sunday she was confirmed. She is super awesome and she will be a great part of the church here. She will also be a great example for her family and others that we are teaching in her neighborhood.
This last week I went on exchanges. I forgot to tell you but I went on exchanges the week before also. For exchanges we have to go to Santiago also. The two times I went in the other area. The District Leaders name is Elder Poettcker (Potcker) and he is from Canada. His companions name is Elder Santa Maria and he is from Chile. They are a lot of fun. In our district it is just us four elders and there are two sisters. We go on exchanges two times a transfer after district meeting. From Tuesday afternoon to usually about Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Sometimes we will travel back Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. It depends.
This week we are going to be mainly working with one of Claudias kids. Her name is Eliana. She can be baptized this Saturday. We dont know if it will happen or not. We are going to try the very best we can to overcome her doubts and needs. She is a great girl, just needs to have a little excitement.
I dont have to much time. Sorry that I wasnt able to send pictures last week. I wont be able to either this week. Next week I am going to try and put some in a folder and send the folder.
I hope you guys have a great week! I love you!

Elder Dawson

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 4 - Frias

This week was a pretty alright week. Halloween isnt a thing that people do here. For Halloween we had a big storm. All morning and early afternoon it was super super windy. The sky was dark in places because of giant dust and dirt clouds. Later when we went out to work it started to rain. All the rain mixed in with the dirt in the air. We were out walking with a member going to some of the lessons that we had. Luckily we were at a gas station to get some shelter. We got pretty wet but we were good. After we got to the gas station it started hailing. The day before it was a pretty warm day. But this day it was pretty chilly. It rained all night and all morning Friday. When we went out to work in the morning there was stuff all over the place that had been blown around. Pretty much on every street trees had split and fallen or just fallen period. A lot of people had fear because the wind was super strong. We saw part of a house that collapsed because a tree fell on it. It was a outside edge of a house, more like a shed. There was a radio antenna that collapsed. It was a radio antenna that a Evangelical church had. By Friday afternoon it had all cleared up.
This weekend we are going to have a baptism for a lady named Claudia. We have been teaching her and her family for the last three weeks. She has just been soaking everything up. She really enjoys the church and she participates a lot. Gets along great with the members here too. Its great when there is a lot of activity between the members and investigators. I think next week we are going to have the baptism of one or two of her daughters. I dont remember. But we are super excited for her and she is super excited also. She is so great!
I will try to send some of the pictures I have taken. I do get fed good still. We have some members that feed us on certain days. Really every once in a while we have to cook one or two times during the week. But we are doing pretty good on food.  Our apartment is a pretty good size for the two of us...kitchen, dining room, a living space, room with our clothes, room where we study and we sleep, and the bathroom. The bathroom is pretty small. We have two toilets. One to use the bathroom, and the other is to clean your butt....haha. They use the toilets that spray water here. Its pretty interesting. I like it......hahah. I will have to take pictures this next week of the apartment. We have a washer type thing. Its like a miniature version of the kind at home. Also a thing to put our clothes in to spin and get most of the water out, then we hang dry our clothes. The grocery stores here are definitely a lot smaller than what we have back home. They dont have a lot of things that we have but they have all the things that I need.
Thats about all for me. I hope that you guys have a great week and have a lot of fun!! I will see you next week. I love you!!!

Elder Dawson

Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 3 - Frias

Frias is pronounced the same way. Nothing special. Our area is pretty big. It would take more than 30 minutes to cross the entire area from one corner to the other walking at a pretty good speed. My companion can speak very very little English. It is pretty much just straight Spanish.

This last week we found 17 new investigators but we are really working with about 8 or 9 progressing investigators. The people here I think are a little more accepting and it is a lot easier to get into a house and teach something. Even if they dont get what we are doing as missionaries. But yes the days have been getting pretty warm. It just going to be getting hotter and hotter. 

They do celebrate Halloween here. They have been selling some stuff for it. It will be pretty interesting to see how it goes here. This year I will be dressing up as a missionary!!  About time huh? 

When I mail a letter back to the U.S. I still use American stamps. I am pretty sure that I will be staying here for a while past Christmas. But we will see.  

I have to go. Thanks for your email. I love you guys. See you next week!

Elder Dawson

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 2 - Frias

I guess on normal days we are able to email early. Last week we couldnt because the normal places they go to were closed so we went to a members house later and email. It was the presidents house...President of the branch we are in. But my time here is actually only one hour ahead of you guys so not that much of a change. I wasnt going to say everything I did this week but still just inform you guys of different things that you would like to know.
So I am in a branch. It is smaller than the Texas one. Yesterday there were about 25 people there. Me and my companion are actually the counselors in the branch. Really weird for me. Next week I am going to be conducting sacrament meeting...first time conducting sacrament meeting in my life...in Spanish. Yesterday was actually Dia de la Madre (Mothers day). I guess this is the only other place in the world that doesnt have it in May.
This is my normal schedule here. It changes in different places in the mission. But this is it for me.
7:30 AM: Wake-up
7:30-8: Exercise
8-9: Prepare and eat breakfast
9-10: Personal Study
10-1: Out working
1: Lunch (usually with a member, sometimes not)
2-5: Siesta (It is a custom that everything pretty much closes and they go home, and sleep or do whatever at home but we do more studies during this time).
5-10: We work more, then come home (at least be home by 10:30)
10-10:30 planning
10:30-11:30: Do whatever we need to do, prepare for bed
In my missionary call packet it shows the addresses where you can send packages and letters. They are two different addresses. One for letters, one for packages. We have been told that really its best to not put a whole lot in a letter. Really just paper and like pictures or something. Not anything that is bulky or chunky. With packages, an Elder from the office goes to a place to check for packages every two weeks. Then they stick them in a black bag that they send with people around the mission. We receive the black bag I think about every two weeks.
I just got your email.

11:49 am
I have to go soon but I will just answer your questions.
Yes the mission paid for travels to our areas. We receive money every month for travels that we will be doing. We have district meeting every other week. We have a training from the zone leaders once a month, and I think there are a few others things we would travel for. But for these meetings we have to travel up to Santiago. It is a three hour or so bus ride...3 hours there and 3 hours back. We are also the only missionaries in Frias. I have no idea how far away we are from other missionaries. Our district leaders area is in Santiago. I didnt have any problems with passport or baggage. Right now I am at our church building emailing. The president has a computer we can use. Apparently the internet use to be really slow but now they just got a new thing and the internet is a lot faster. But yeah it is really starting to warm up.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 1 - Frias

So yeah things have been nuts this last week. I will answer your questions.
It took 2 hours from McAllen to Dallas, a 3 hour layover, 10 and a half hours from Dallas to Buenos Aires. We got there and had to wait for other missionaries to arrive that were going to Salta also. We waited for about 3 hours. It took all day Monday and Tuesday morning to get there. We went around to some places and then had to take a flight from Buenos Aires to Salta...2 more hours. It was crazy. There was a giant group of about 20-30 missionaries running [through] the airport because the plane was going to leave soon. We got to Salta late.
Coming off plane in Salta. Greeted by Presidente Lavrino.

On bus at Salta airport headed to ? 
We did a few things and stayed at a tiny hotel and slept. Wednesday we did stuff at the church all day.

Alec with Presidente and Sister Lavrino
At about 8 pm we got our new companions. My companions name is Elder Morena and he is from Peru. He is awesome. I like him a lot.

Alec and Elder Morena
Alec and Elder Morena

[All the pictures above were posted on Sister Lavrino's face book Wednesday morning, October 9]
At 9 or 9:30 we were at the bus waiting to go to our areas. We were on the bus all night. We arrived at our apartment at about 8 in the morning on Thursday. Super tired. But now I am still getting situated a bit and all.
But in Dallas there were a ton of missionaries. Landon did show up. I just got off the phone with you and got up and turned around when he was walking up. I just saw missionaries then took a double take and we recognized each other at the same time. It was super cool. He does look different. [Editor's Note:  Landon (Elder Cobb) is from our Stake and was temporarily serving in California while waiting for his visa to Buenos Aires South Mission. It was fun to know he and Alec were on the same flight together to Argentina].
So my area is called "Frias." It is the last area in the mission. Very bottom. From what my companion tells me it gets super hot here too.

I already miss the United States. Things are really different here, but I still like it. I already miss peanut butter and for some reason maple syrup.
The language is also different. People use the sound "shh" for all the words that have double L and double R, on y´s, and depending on the person they use it on almost all r´s double or not. It helps that I have learned some Spanish in the other mission.
It did rain on Friday and Saturday. It rained a lot. Like some of the streets were completely flooded and we could not cross. There were a lot of kids playing in it and sometimes adults would walk through it and it would be up to their knees. At one point some kids grabbed big rocks and made a path for us to cross. I didnt use my boots. I used the rockport waterproof shoes. They worked good.

[General] Conference was awesome. Missionary work is something absolutely great. Missionaries do have lots of success but if it comes through the members also there is so much more success that comes. A missionary's job is to help someone get through the gate of baptism. We are the only ones that hold those keys in the entire world. With members and missionaries together more people are able to go through. The members also help with the period after entering into the gate. The enduring to the end part. This is something I learned through Pres. Trayner. The gate and everything is in 2 Nephi 31. It is something super important and awesome.
I think that it was Elder Ballard in conference that gave a promise. He said that if you talk to and share the gospel with the people you know millions will come to know of the truth. That is paraphrasing but it is something real. I encourage you to look for that talk. I think it was him but anyways to think of something that you guys can do. Even with the entire family.
Well I got to go. I will send some pictures. I love you guys a lot. I will see you next week. I love you!
Elder Dawson

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week 18 - Last Week in Texas. Argentina or Bust!

We didn't get an email this afternoon, but we received a phone call from Alec early evening from the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport in Texas. We were so excited to know he was on his way to Argentina! Luckily both Neil and I were at home, and it was so good to hear his voice. We were very blessed to have been able to speak with Alec for about 45 minutes. He said that he received a call late the night before (October 6) to tell him to get packed and that he was leaving early the next morning (today). He got to McAllen and then flew from McAllen to Dallas where he had a couple of hours until his plane left about 8 pm to Buenos Aires Argentina.  He said there were a lot of other missionaries at the airport that came from other missions on temporary assignments that would be on the same flight. He said he was very nervous but also excited.  He also got to talk with Andrew, Sean, and Jared.  He couldn't believe he was talking to Sean because his voice had changed so much. We talked mostly about family and news. He had heard about the government shut down and wanted to know what that was all about.

Since he was not able to send an email, he told me over the phone a few things that he wrote down of his last week in Brownsville (which I wasn't able to catch everything he said), but here is the jest of it:

On Pday - got more ties. They went to the Downtown house where they played Nerf wars and capture the flag.

Tuesday, they had district meeting and then went to a restaurant called Rutledge and had hamburgers, chips, and soda. They had district companion study about prayer. 

Wednesday, they went to Chiles with the Castillos and had chocolate lava cake.

Thursday, they had a two-hour lesson with Miguel, who was a policeman in Mexico.  He talked about how he use to torture people and some of the bad things he’d done.

Friday morning, he went to Harlingen (30 minutes north of Brownsville) to get more fingerprints. Later went to Marquez home (branch primary president) for dinner.

Saturday for General Conference – he went to Sis. Izziguirre’s house and ate chicken and beans. They are the best . . . super good chili! After next session, they ate with ? and had homemade fried chicken, rice and salad.

Sunday, Jaine sent them with food:  Two 12-packs of soda, box of 24 crescent rolls, box of Texas cinnamon rolls, two bags of chips, two gallon ice cream, a container of chicken salad.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 17 - Brownsville, TX

I will start with my week and try and answer all of your questions.

Monday: We went to go play Conch Soccer! The whole zone went to go play. It was so much fun! We took some sick action pictures. I will send them to you. Soccer is really fun even though I am not super good a it. But that was actually about all that happened that day.

We were late to working because we had to get a Elders bike but we got mixed up on where it was and was pretty much lost so there was a lot of time that was lost.

Tuesday: After District meeting we went to Pizza Patron. A pizza place where we got a Large pizza for $3.99. It was pretty good, I downed the whole thing. We got it on our way to Downtowns house to check out their 1,000 lbs of ties that they got on Monday. I took pictures of their house and of the ties. That was more ties than I have ever seen in my life!!!! We went out and worked on Bikes. It was a hot and sweaty day. But never the less I actually enjoy riding a bike. When I got home I am going to get one. But that night we ate with the Garza family for dinner. They gave me two giant plates that each had chicken wing and thigh. Not like KFC stuff but like cooked at home. Also like spaghetti with a green sauce and a bunch of vegetables. I was absolutely stuffed. Also an ice cream cone which almost made me go over the top and throw up. Good thing I didnt.

Wednesday: We went out on bikes again. It was also a hot and sweaty day. Usually it is always humid too. But we went to lunch with the Castillos. I had floutas with like pickled pig skin. Then I also had two tacos of bisteak (just steak) and also two tacos of barbacoa (which is like a mixture of cow cheek, tongue, and brain). It is good though, I like it. But later that night we were walking down the street to get our bikes when a lady asked for our help. She asked if we could help her get rid of some of her couches. There were three of them. What we did was picked them up and threw them over the fence to the side of the street. It was pretty cool. I have never thrown couches before! I wasnt able to get a picture though. We set up a return appointment with the lady but she wasnt there when we went back another day.

Thursday: That day I went on exchange with Elder Bawden. He is the district leader and also one of the Elders that is in our apartment. Almost absolutely nothing happened that day. We had a super crazy contact where we got in someones door and started teaching in like 30 seconds. We walked up and they were getting groceries from their car. They dropped something and so Elder Bawden just took stuff from her and followed the lady into her house. Then like their daughter came out and we just started talking. Seriously it took like 30 seconds. After it was over we just got back to the car and started laughing about it. Then when we were at our apartment for lunch a dude came to our door and asked if he could use our phone so he could call some people to come get him. He told us that he had just hopped over the fence that morning. He showed us a cut that he got on his hand from climbing the fence. He asked for a little food so we gave him some then he was on his way. It was pretty cool and interesting.

Friday: We went out and worked on bikes again. As usual it was hot and all. But for lunch we went to Sis Izaguierres house. I got a picture of what we ate. In the meat was green slices. That was actually cactus. Yummy!!! Yep...thats all. haha

Saturday and Sunday:........nothing. Nothing was just happening and we couldnt really find or talk to a lot of people.

 Alright so now I will try to answer your questions.
- Yes I got those two packages.
- Mission rules.
  6:30 - arise
  6:30-7:00 - work out
  7:00-8:00 - eat, shower, and prepare for day
  8:00-11:00 - studies, including personal, companion, and Spanish studies.
  11:00-9:00 pm is working.
  We take a lunch hour but not a dinner. Usually people will give us something
  or sometimes we are just stuffed from having lunch or dinner with some
  9:00-9:30 - planning
  9:30-10:30 - do whatever and prepare for bed.
- I am still living on Chaparral Street. This next coming week is transfers and so
  next Monday   I will be able to let you know if I am staying here or going
  somewhere else in the mission.
- On Sundays I go to the Spanish branch and also the English ward every week. 
  The English ward has all of the missionaries in Brownsville because thats
  the only English ward in the Brownsville area. Everyone here just covers
  the Brownsville area.
I am super super excited for Allison and Steven!!!! ITs just super cool. haha that is so awesome that Josh is back. I cant wait to see him again in just a little over 18 months.

So I think that was it. But one more thing I wanted to ask for was more family pictures. But like fun things that the family did and like places we went. Thats about all I have for this week. I am looking forward to conference this week. Hopefully I can see it in English and get the most out of it. But its all good. So I will put pictures in another email. I will hear from you next week. I love you!!!

-Elder Dawson

                                             House pictures:  two study rooms.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week 16 - Brownsville, TX

Well another week has gone by. They go by pretty fast. It seems like I was just here the other day emailing you guys. But so here is my latest week in the mission. Week 4 of my third transfer.

Monday: We had to take the car to Pep-Boys in the morning. Went for a oil change and getting a tire fixed. But while there they found another problem. Long story short we went at 7 am and didnt get our car back until about 12 pm. It was horrible. We were not able to get any ties because everyone else got to them first. We are always the first to get them because we are the closest. We mainly just went and played basketball at the church. That was my P-Day.

Tuesday: We had district meeting at about 12:30. After we went to a little restaurant that an investigator, of the other Elders we live with, works at. It is a super tiny place but it was super good. They just make hamburgers, sell drinks, and chips. Thats it. Super small place. So skip to that night. Elder Guillette and I were walking back to our car. It had been raining all day and so it had been wet and stuff. He went to go jump over a puddle to get to the car and his feet slipped when he jumped and so he fell in the mud. It splashed up on his tie, his pants, and his face. A couple spots got on his shirt. It wasnt super bad but it was super funny! Oh man, I was dying laughing. After that he cleaned up at the church and then had a lesson with one of our investigators Miguel. He is a boss guy! All he needs is a spiritual confirmation and he would be done for. Afterwards we went to Bro. Bocanegras house and ate dinner. I dont remember what it was but it was pretty good. I dont think there is a hispanic food that I dont like!

Wednesday: Castillo's!!!!! They took us to Rudy's again this week. I had another brisket sandwich, coleslaw, and peach cobbler. Really yummy! I like Rudy's a lot. The only other thing that happened on Wednesday was that we had a lesson with an Investigator. They are JR and Fatima. Super cool couple. Love having us over and teaching them. They just need an answer about the Restoration mainly. So great!

Thursday: We went over to Sis. Izzaguirres house that morning and ate Tamales. She made TONS of them. We didnt have a whole lot of time so we downed them. They are super good. You guys need to learn how to make Mexican food because I know that you would love it. The tacos they make here and so much better than tacos at home. haha I just absolutely love the food. That night we got more food from some members. They made hamburgers and gave it all to us to bring home and eat. So we did. They were yummy! Also that night we had had another lesson with Miguel. He told us that he was going to start bringing his granddaughter to church with him. Super Excited!

Friday: That afternoon for weekly planning the power went out. Later when we left the apartment (to pick up more food from a member) we saw that they were working on it down the street. The member was Jaine! She got us KiKi's again. I was going to take a picture of all the food but I forgot. She also got us a 12 pack of Root Beer a 12 pack of Coke, and two gallons of Blue Bell ice cream! Heaven!!! And that was Friday.

Saturday and Sunday: We sat down with a Dad and his two sons. They were really cool and they like us a lot. We invited them to be baptized and they accepted. They are excited to do it and come to church. We also made Biscuits and Gravy in the apartment from scratch. Well the biscuits from scratch but not the gravy. It was pretty yummy. We also had a district comp study. We all got together and watched the Elder Holland talk called "The First Great Commandment". Also read the talk “Becoming a Consecrated Missionary.” I want to invite you guys to watch the Elder Holland Talk, as a family. I also would like to invite you guys to read the Consecrated Missionary talk by Tad R Callister. You can do that separately or together as a family. This can also be for everyone else in the family. Like Grandma, grandpa, and everyone else. I think that they are super great talks and really inspiring.

So that was my week. But Its all good.

But I hope that you guys all have a good week! I hope work and school is all good. I love you a lot!

-Elder Dawson