Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Guaymas, Mexico November 8

So this week has been crazy for us and it sounds like it was pretty crazy for you guys too! Rachelle sorry about not making the part but mrs. pott´s sounds sweet!!! but personally i would vote for disneyland because vacations with family are way cooler jaja your week has sounded way sweet though! its so weird that chase and tate are home now! but dad. make hunter leave. don´t let him go another semester at school. Reassign the mission cuz it really doesn´t matter where you´re at. jaja seriously. Hunter read this and go on a mission!!! you can get reassigned stateside or something and get a car, but do anything you can to go. The mission is amazing. Every day I see a miracle and the opportunity to see people change in their families is the best thing in the world. Don´t wait because we need to kick it when i get home. I don´t want to wait a year for you to come home because of you stupid ankle. I love you and go on a mission.
And tell Jarom too that I sent him a letter. But tell him if he doesn´t get it in the next couple weeks to write me something. Oh and the address to send stuff is
Elder Eric M Florence
Av. García Conde #301
Col. Pitic
Hermosillo, Sonora
C.P. 83150
That´s the address to send everything to always. But tell Jarom for now that i love him and then i´m having the best time ever here in Mexico!!!
Lets see what else??... Oh the baptism this weekend with Rosario was awesome. To answer your questions ya we have a font in the chapel here in Bahia. But its super small and its in the tiny kitchen. We do have members but usually only 4 or 5 including the bishop and the ward mission leader. The services are a lot different than Utah but it´s ok because its the same baptism!
  Andres and Irene were really sick this week. Everyone here has been getting super super sick!!! But so their baptism fell through and so did Angelica and her son Carlos. But they commited seguro last night with us and she said this week she was going to completely stop with coffee. She changed completely this week and is totally into working towards this baptism now. Also last night we invited her daughter to join in and she wants to start coming to church too. So sweet!!
We´re hoping we can visit andres and irene this week and have their baptism this saturday. so pray they get better!!
This week we also put a bunch of baptismal dates but all of them didn´t come to church yesterday!! But two other new people came and we´re going to go visit them this week! Miracles happen in different ways and not always in the way we think. We just have to trust the lord and find his children that are ready. We´ve really seen this week how the lord prepares people, especially with Angelica. This week she also gave us a reference of her friend. Wednesday we had exchanges and Elder Uribe went to another area and I stayed in ours with Elder Avila. I was super nervous because I had to be the senior companino and work our area the whole day with my little spanish. But the day went super good. We taught 3 lessons and contacted like 18 people!! That night I also felt prompted to stop by this reference Angelica gave us. We started talking to them for a while and I felt prompted to ask what she wanted most in her life right now. She started crying and told us and her problems in her family. I explained how the gospel could help and we committed them to baptism!!! It was so awesome. That´s probably been one of my favorite parts besides seeing people change. It´s being able to feel and see the guidance of the spirit. They didn´t come to church yesterday but it´s because they had to vistit her sick sister in Empalme. But they want to come and Angelica even told us she wants to come to the lessons with them after her baptism!! So sweet! Just little things like that, that happen all the time. The people the Lord leads us to everyday.
Last night we also found out the the daughter of Nohemy that we´ve been teaching, her husbandfinally came home. He´s a fisher and has been gone for like four weeks. But he´s finally home now and so we´re going to start teaching them too and they´re super interested in everything. Especially since their parents just got baptized. It´s been amazing to see all the changes in this area this week. It´s been hard and a lot of work but it´s totally worth it.
Well that was pretty much the week! My first experience having to work an area, lots of miracles, and a baptism!!! Shweet!!
Ok so about the other stuff. Sarah is engaged!¿?¿?!! i saw it comin but wow jaja. tell her congrats if you ever see her and tell her to shoot me a letter cuz i told her if she gets engaged while i´m gone i have to approve first. And tell Alex congrats too!! thats super awesome. It´s the season of love there in Utah right now i guess. jaja
We did hear about the earthquake butwe didn´t feel anything. Everyone thought a giant tsunami was going to come but nothing happened. jaja but ya it is getting a lot colder here!! during the day its pretty hot still but at night time it feels really good. Elder Uribe is really cold but it feels so good from all the hot always. I don´t think I´ll buy a sweater  unless I get really cold, but in the house we have a blanket so I´ll be good for a while.
I think thats everything... Spanish is coming along a lot better, i was able to understand about 74.3% of the junta,  and the work here is awesome. Have another awesome crazy fun week and I love you guys a whole bunch!!

Guaymas, Mexico November 1

Franciso got baptized!!! It was so awesome. I got to do the baptism and it was super super awesome! Noehmy went to the temple on Saturday too and did baptisms and confirmations. She has changed so much and is totally all in now. jaja she told us last night that she marks her ¨bible¨ which is actually the book of mormon, jaja but she reads it every day and marks it and shares her favorite parts with Francisco. Its been so awesome to see them progress and change. Francisco after his confirmation yesterday felt ´nervous´he said. We had a visit with him last night and he said he was nervous and sad because he didn´t feel super different. He said that afternoon he had a lot of problems with his moto and the water at their house and he asked us why he was having these hard things and difficulties. we explained that this time is a test of faith and it was a really sweet talk with him. He´s super solid and just needed some encouragement. He even paid his tithing yesterday. I´m so excited for them.
This saturday we should have the baptisms of Rosario, her daughter in law Angelica and her son Carlos! Also the baptisms of Andres and Irene. But they´re not super super solid. This weekend Rosario was really sick and so was Andres! So they weren´t able to come to church. We´re kinda nervous that they´ll tell us they want to wait when we see them Tomorrow. So pray hard for them that they will be able to recover from this sickness and be ready for their baptisms. It would be so sweet to have all of them together on Saturday. So pray hard por favor.
This week was really busy so we didn´t have a ton of success in lessons and putting fechas. We had the junta in Hermosillo on Thursday and this weekend all our appointments cancelled. But its ok because all this is in the Lord´s hands. We were able to put 4 baptismal dates so I´ll let you know how these people work out. But it happens a lot here how we´ll teach a lesson and the people are really into it and feel the spirit and accept their fecha, but then when we go back to meet with them they´re completely disinterested. We´re trying to figure out how to change this, but don´t worry because we´re still having a ton of success. These new people that we have seem pretty solid so pray for them too. Ramon, Santa and her husband, and Cesar. They´re really good people but we need the Lord´s help to have them progress.
The junta in Hermosillo was pretty fun. Elder Tenorio of the seventy came and taught us a lot about faith and teaching skills. This mission here in Sonora is the second to worst baptizing mission in all of Mexico. But we´re going to change a lot of things. We just need more faith and more prayers! Elder Uribe and I have seen our area change so much and we know the mission can change as well. They changed the assitants and now its two americans. One from Utah and I´m not sure about the other. But they´re super awesome guys and I think these next couple months are going to be awesome as we apply these things we´ve been learning and see the changes!!
Well that was pretty much it for the week. By the way i just sent a letter to you guys so let me know when you get it. I hope Mexico is nice to this letter. jaja
well to answer these questions:
yes Rachelle we have a shower. but its the worst, well second to worst shower I´ve seen in my whole life. jaja when it actually has running water, the water is all electrified because it flows through an electric water heater. but the water heater is broken and only pours out cold water thats all shocky. so you have to rinse off closer to the ground so you don´t get electrified! jaja and a lot of other times we don´t have water because our pump breaks a lot so we have to shower a bunch with jugs. But its actually nicer that way becuase we can heat the water up! jaja but the worst shower i´ve seen was in the house of the elders in guaymas centro. Theirs has all the same problems as ours but its disgusting. at least we´ve cleaned ours. jaja ay ay ay
exchanges. we have exchanges about once every month. we´re going to have them this next week.
the new people in the district are two Mexicans, a new hermana, and a new zone leader. The zone leaders are both Americans, but the rest are Mexicans and then me. So ya I do get to speak English with them but they don´t like to speak in english / can´t jaja so very little english.
As far as the success in the other districts. its not very much... so pray we can start working harder!
Yes I have had more blisters. A ton actually. You should see my feet right now. They look like hobbit feet. They´re like bricks. jaja it´ll be interesting to see how my feet turn out after two years.
I have been sick once more with a cold. The temperature keeps changing like crazy here. It´s all super hot again!
Things i lvoe about elder uribe.. Well he works hard, he loves being a missionary, he´s a little weird, but always helps me with the things that i need. he´s awesome!!
About those church forms dad. I´m pretty sure they read over all of them yesterday. i´m not sure though. but this ward needs so much help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I´ll ask elder uribe and we´ll figure it out because we have to do something to change this ward.
Christmas music. Yes i want cds to listen too. not piano music becuase we don´t have time every to play. But anything thats appropriate really... i also would love a lot of other church and efy and other music thats appropriate to listen to. A couple burned cds of random stuff would be awesome because there´s a member that can put them onto the ipod for me.
That´s insane for jordan!!! 250 dollars!!! sheesh. but yes i do have english scriptures and no i haven´t lsot anything. I´m super careful with all my stuff. But speaking of stolen. The Elders in Empalme got robbed 2 or 3 weeks ago in the middle of the night. One of the american elders there got his shoes, his camera, his watch, and a bunch of other stuff stolen. ay ay ay Mexico!!! jaja but i´ve been safe so far. Don´t worry at all. We only have one door and two windows and they´re covered with bars so no one can break in.
and.... oh!! no we can´t communicate live. I would like to but its against the rules here. It´s super strict with the rules right now becuase president wants to change the mission. it makes sense  and we are only going to receive more blessing if we´re obedient. so ya for now... we can only email.
well i think thats it... I love you guys! I´m glad Halloween was awesome and Shayla won the contest!! felicidades!!! jaja and Rachelle exito in your audition. You´ll do great!!! Let me know how it went. Les amo mucho y tengan una buena semana. Cuidense mucho. Elder Florence

Guaymas, Mexico October 25

Another super awesome week!!!! Thursday president came down to Guaymas to have interviews with us. It went really well and he also brought the packages you sent!!!!!! Thank you so much!! All the candy and toys and tatoos and the towels and the pillow cases (did you make them?), the socks, peanut butter, oatmeal, the pictures, everything was so awesome! It made me so happy opening those. thank you bunch a bunch a bunch a bunch!!!!
Phew! well this week has been awesome. Nohemy´s baptism was great and the start to a ton of success that we´re going to be having over the next couple weeks! We had a couple members there and it was a really good experience. After they invited us to their jungle to eat dinner. It was awesome. jaja This week has been really busy and we have walked i´m pretty sure a million miles. But its been really good. All our investigators are progressing and we´ve picked up some new ones again. But they´ve all been kind of flaky and none of them showed up to church yesterday. But its ok because there´s always more people who are ready to receive this message. Yesterday at church we had Nohemy and her husband Franisco. He´s getting baptized on Friday because Saturday the stake is all going to the temple in Hermosillo and Nohemy is going too!!!!! So sweet!!! But so she wanted the baptism Friday so she could be there since she´ll be gone all day saturday. At church we also had Rosario, her daugther in law Angelica, and her son Carlos. We didn´t have a ton of people, but its ok. We´re working and people are progressing so all is well. We should also be having Rosario´s baptism this Saturday and Angelica and Carlos´s the next saturday. But we´re not sure with them because Angelica´s husband Carlos wants to get baptized with them too but he has to work every sunday and can´t come to church. They have all been reading the book of mormon and praying together and are super ready for baptism but its the dumb chamba!!! Ah! We´re going to keep working with them though and pray for a miracle to be able to change his schedule.
This week we also got a referral of this lady named Karla and her daughter Rebecca. We went over Thursday and taught a short lesson. They were super into it and at the end we invited them to be baptized and they accepted!!! They´re on date for the 6th of Nov. They´ve already gone to church twice but in another ward. But they said this next week they´ll start coming to our ward since they now live in our area and then the week after is their baptism! So sweet!
Also remember Andres and Irene Ramirez?? Last night we decided to go have a short visit with them. We ended up teaching about baptism again and it was a super spiritual experience. We asked them what was holding them back from taking this step and they said nothing really. So we asked so why not take this step? And Andres told us he wanted to learn more about baptism. We told him we have taught him pretty much everything but decided to just show him a picture of someone getting baptized. When he saw it he said, oh thats how its done? jaja!!! we had explained before we get baptized like Jesus but for some reason when they saw that picture they weren´t as afraid of the commitment anymore. So we explained a little bit more how the service goes and then invited them to be baptized. They both said yes and they´re on date for the 6th of Nov as well!!!! So sweet!!!
We weren´t able to meet with Arturo at all this week. He´s always super busy with work and is gone. We feel so bad for him. It´s hard to be a single dad especially here in Mexico. His kids pretty much stay full time at their grandma´s and we can never find a time when they´re all home together. But we´re going to keep trying and hope things work out for the best.
We have a couple other investigators as well right now but they´re all the flaky ones. jaja but i´ll let you know when they start progressing. but that´s pretty much it as far as the work goes! It´s been so fun and we have been incredibly blessed!
Thank you so much your emails and all the picutres!!! and again for the packages!!! best day ever! i loved the the newsletter of all my friends and the pictures. Let me know the next time they do a newsletter so i can write something personal to all of them. but it was so awesome to read all their expierences.
Now. Really quick. This may or may not change you attitude about me as your son and brother but I have to ask a very horrible question. What is dad´s, mom´s, and Shayla´s birthdays?... I know the general days but not the exact date. You don´t have to write me anymore if you want. jaja
Well your week has been crazy!! Thanks for the email Matthew. Scout camp sounded super awesome! I´m way jealous. And of the Mayan restaurant and Maple Garden´s too. A lot of fun stuff happening this time of year!! I love hearing about your weeks and everything that you do. I feel kind of at home every time I read the emails. jaja
By the way tell Tate I love him and give him a big hug from me! How´s he doing? Is home weird for him?
To answer all you questions.. well real quick. I know jabon is soap mom... but everyone here talks about it like its a brand. jaja the real brand is called zote but everyone just calls it jabon. but its amazing. jaja but the questions. For breakfast and dinner I usually eat cereal and yogur. Sometimes tunafish, sometimes ramen, sometimes crackers. But usually stuff just really cheap and nice and plain and normal. For la comida always with members its really condimenty. Lots of weird stuff I´m not used to but it doesn´t taste bad so I can´t complain. The weirdest stuff I´ve had so far was probably minudo which is the cow stomach soup with so other weird vegetables and stuff. It was actually not bad but I´d never choose to eat it. jaja and the best thing i´ve had so far was probably la comida yesterday. We had cabeza tacos. Its the meat from a cow´s head and its super delicious. Kinda weird but its really tender and with onion and cilantro, salsa verde, and limón... AH!!! so delicious.
I only play piano in the primay. They have a youth that plays in sacrament, but I am teaching Elder Uribe music during the day. I have flash cards of notes and stuff and I quiz him during the day. jaja.
The english class yesterday was fun! Only 7 people showed up but we´re going to start having more. I taught me gusta. Things I like and how to say different verbs and stuff. It was really fun.
Halloween here is kind of the same as the united states. But its really different from the rest of Mexico, becuase Elder Uribe told me they celebrate day of the dead. But here its really American influenced. Real mexico has a holiday pretty much every month, but here they only celbrate a couple. So sad.
Our next conference is this Thursday! its with an area general authority. They´re always in Hermosillo though. I´m in the Guaymas zone, but conferences of any type are always in Hermosillo. So we´ll be traveling there again Thursday.
Well i think that was kind of everything. Oh one more thing real quick. With the christams present music, could you send some Christmas music too?
Thanks so much for the picutres and emails and packages and for all your love. Mexico is super awesome and its been so fun so far. The next couple weeks and months here are going to be even better. I love you guys super a lot. Keep having a fun week and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
love you be safe and I´ll talk to you next week.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Guaymas Oct. 18

aqui todas personas usan el modismo ¨bien suave¨. Significa como.. really cool, pero en ingles significa literalmente ¨really soft¨ jaja. Pero ellos usan bien suave con casi todas cosas. ¨bien suave este familia¨ ¨Bien suave la comida¨ ¨bien suave este semana¨ jaja its really funny. pero este semana estuvo biiieeeennn suuuaaavvveeee otra vez!! Mucho exito y muchas investigadores con fechas bautismales y ayer en la iglesia. Ok thats enough spanish. Most of it is probably wrong too. jaja but its coming along pretty nicely. Í can pretty much understand most of what people say in lessons and can respond to questions and teach full principles and everything!!! Its so awesome. The Lord has blessed me so much in this area plus in a bunch of other ways too!
All our investigators are all still really strong. Rosario, Angelica, and Carlos were´nt able to make it to church yesterday, but they promised this next Sunday they would go. We were able to also teach the husband of Angelica who is the son of Rosario. He was really disinterested at first but after we taught a little he was all into it and wants to get baptized too but he has to work practically every sunday so he can´t come to church.... But we´re praying for this family that they´ll be able to keep their testimonies and commitments and all get baptized soon. We´re hoping Rosario gets baptized on Sunday and Angelica and her son Carlos the following week, and then hopefully Carlos the son of Rosario and Angelica´s husband the week after that. So pray for these people. They´re having a lot of problems right now and need prayers to keep them going.
Nohemy is getting baptized on Saturday!!!! She is so strong. She had a bad addiction to coffee, she drank 10 cups a day but after we taught the palabra de sabaduria she´s cut down to one cup a day as of yesterday!!! so this week we´re going to get it down to zero!! But she came to all three hours of church yesterday, and our activity on Saturday!! She´s super strong and Saturday is going to be awesome! Her husband Franciso is pretty strong too but has to go to church one more time before he can get baptized. He has his doubts and everything but we´re hoping he´ll be baptized the following week. They also have a daughter too named Janet. We´ve taught her a little and she came to church yesterday. She missed sacrament but its ok. Two more weeks of church and she should get baptized the week after Franciso!!
We were only able to teach Arturo once this week and he wasn´t able to come to church yesterday but we´re going to meet with him more this week and he said he´ll be able to come to church this next sunday!! He´s pretty strong too and we´re hoping his baptism will be in two weeks!
This week we also found a new family. A lady named Martha and her kids who are all grown up. But we invited them to be baptized this week and they said yes. They came to church yesterday too!!! They showed up way late but its the actions of faith that count. We´re going to meet with them a bunch this week too and get them to sacrament on Sunday. So awesome!!!
Also yesterday at church Andres y Irene Ramirez came! We´re going to meet with them this week and hopefully be able to do something to get them to have a desire to be baptized. They´ve come to church 3 times now and are completely ready but something is holding them back. Pray for them too and us to be able to know how to help them.
We also have like 4 other potentials right now that all seem pretty solid. It´s insane how much success we are having right now. It´s almost overwhelming. jaja we barely have time to tract, but i like this way more. It´s so awesome!!!
This week has been really great! We´ve had a lot of problems with people in the ward and our investigators but we´re working things out and we´re going to turn this place around. The activity Saturday was so awesome! Each group like Relief Society, primary, family history, missionary work, etc had their own exhibit with pictures and crafts and everything and it was awesome. Our whole district came with their investigators and we had about 15 or more investigators between all of us. It was really cool and then after the tour of the exhibits we had some skits by the youth in the ward, our district sang, other people in the ward sang, and it was really awesome!
Saturday I´m going to start the english classes and we´re going to get even more success from that!!! So many incredible blessings that sometimes I don´t know why we have all this. jaja
Well I´m glad your week has been good. Thanks for the picture too! You should do that more often. Well to answer your million questions...
we actually got denied for the washing machine. but its ok because this morning we just took a bus to the house and are in the process of washing right now. We were able to have studies and everything and we actually are going to finish laundry quicker than we did with Enrique the guy we used to wash with. So it all works out.
1. I don´t really need memory cards. I have a bunch of space still on mine and i figure when it gets full I´ll put the pictures onto a disc for only 50 pesos and just delete the memory card. but who knows, i´ll figure something out when it gets full
2. No we don´t get to go to the temple as far as I know. Only when we have converts that go after a year (which we´re going to be able to do probably next month because of a convert Elder Uribe has!!) and other special occasions that I don´t know of. But we were able to see the temple and walk around it. It´s right next to the mission office. It´s really small! but pretty
3. No I don´t really need piano music. We don´t have time ever to play or practice, only on Sundays for primary. jaja but thanks though
4. I´m all set on supplies. I have everything I need and all is well
5. Yes my pants are super loose. I´ve lost so much weight and all my pants are pretty big on me now but its ok! They don´t look too bad
6. Video... hmm... I´ll try to send something, but I don´t think it´ll work. The computers here are super slow and it takes 10 min just to send pictures so a video would be really hard but i´ll see what i can do.
7. i´ve used bleach once. but here they actually have something better called jabon. Its this super magic bar that you scrub your shirts with and it takes out all the sweat and dirt. My shirts are all white now. they need jabon in the US!!!! jaja
8. Elder Uribe... well. jaja his first name is Christian. He´s from Mexico City. I don´t know the whole story but its only his mom, him, and his brother in his family. His dad left I think.. But they´re all converts to the church five years ago. His mom doesn´t have an email, but he emails his neighbor or aunt or something and she then prints it out for his mom. He said he should also be receving a package this next month too. From what he tells me his mom is a really good person. But he never talks about his family at all. I´ll have to ask him more questions or something.
9. ya escribí algo jaja
10. i don´t think i´m going to use the debit card at all here. have people been stealing from my account or what. i checked the balance the other day and i have like 30 something dollars. but i´m going to save that only for emergencies. i have about 80 extra dollars that i saved from utah for emergencies and other stuff too so i should be set for a while.
well i hope that answers your questions. I´ll send some more pictures. Oh and dad asked last week what i wanted for christmas. All i can really think of is pictures, food slash candy, and some more music like a cd or something of the new EFY stuff or other church music. But mostly pictures of everything at home. Snow, family, mountains, the house, activities, things like that.
Well thanks for email the picture. Have a good week and stay safe. Mexico is awesome and keep asking questions so I can tell you more stuff.
I´ve decided I want to move here when I´m older. To San Carlos. Once I´m retired and everything, move down here and teach piano or something. Everyone here wants to learn music and english. All the time people ask me to teach them jaja. But its so nice here. Welp... i love you guys! and I´ll see you next week.

Guaymas pics

 Guaymas Bay
 Guaymas district
 Guaymas house (notice the air conditioner)
Guaymas Ward Open House

Guaymas, Mexico October 11

This week has been so incredibly awesome. Andres y Irene have kind of fallen through though.... Tuesday night we had a noche de hogar with them and it went really well. They have testimonies and everything but for some reason just don´t want to get baptized. We read scriptures, told them of the Holy Ghost, everything we could think of. but they´re jsut not ready. But its ok! We´re going to keep visiting them. No more baptism pushing because thats annoying, but hopefully we can help them in other ways until they´re ready for the baptism. But that was the only disappointment of the week. The rest of it was incredible. On Mondays we just do wash, write emails, get groceries, and hurry back home to shower and prepare for district meeting. It´s at 6 every monday in the stake center en el centro. So we have to take the bus to get there and it takes a long time. So p days we never have time to do anything besides write, wash, and buy. BUT! we found out we´re getting a washer in our house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They´re closing an area here and the Elder´s that lived there had a washer and since Elder Uribe is the district leader, we get the washer!!!!! It´ll save so much time for us and we´re super happy about that. But so that´s pretty much pday. Since we´re going to have a lot more time now we´re going to start doing activites with the district. Transfers were today and we´re getting 3 new missionaries so our district will now have 8! 2 hermanas, the zone leaders who are going to both be americans now, Elder Uribe and I, and then two other Mexican companions. So awesome. So we´re going to do activites now that we have time like play soccer or something!! I haven´t played since I´ve been here at all! So that´ll be fun.
But for the rest of the week. Tuesday morning we decided randomly to stop by this guy named Francisco who we just contacted my first week here. We didn´t want to go back because he said he worked every Sunday and wouldn´t ever be able to come to church, but we just decided to go see him randomly. So we went over he invited us into his yard. (He has the sweetest place ever! A little cement box for the beds and one for the bathroom, but they´re back in this jungle. He has banana trees, mangos, peaches, tons of stuff. There´s no actual house but we teach outside in this awesome jungle! so sweet!) but so his wife was there too and so we just started talking with them and decided to teach lesson 3. the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we taught baptism we invited them to be baptized and they both said yes!!! Francisco is getting his work schedule changed and he was able to come to church yesterday with his wife Nohemi. It was so awesome. We have them on date for the 23rd!!! they´re super awesome and super solid.
Then Wednesday we had zone conference. We took a shuttle to Hermosillo and had to wake up at 4. we showered and had to walk an hour to the station because there aren´t any buses that early in the morning. But it was ok because its about 2 hours by shuttle to Hermosillo so I got to sleep. I finally got legalized in Hermosillo and zone conference was awesome for all that i could understand. So much fun! oh by the way, we get our mail every month. the zone leaders have meetings there every month and bring back our stuff. I´ll let you know next month if I get the package. But ya virgin mary stickers, or just wrap and tape it well. That´s what everyone else does. And send it to the address I emailed you not the one you gave me. If you´re going to be sending any packages sometime soon I would like to have conference on CD. You can just download it from and burn it onto a CD. We´re not allowed to go on so it´d be awesome if you could do that in spanish and english so we can listen to them at night and in the morning. Also I left a red book I got from the MTC for learning spanish. There´s two of them and I need the bigger one. I brought a yellow one but apparently it teaches spanish from Spain, with different everything. Elder Uribe was reading it and it didn´t make sense to him jaja!! I brought it because I thought it was better but I actually need the large red one I left with you guys. So the next time you send something if you could throw the CD´s and and then book in I´d appreciate it. As far as Christmas lists go... I have no idea. I have everything I need. jaja what else could I use as a missionary? um..... I´ll think. But ya mostly I´d just say candy and stuff. We get very little money here and so we have to stick to bread, cereal, tuna, and ramen. jaja so sweets and other stuff would be sweet!!!
Ok back to the important stuff. So Thursday we had a pretty normal day, just taught and tried to find some people. Then Friday was pretty normal too except that night we went to the tianguis. They´re little tents people set up in one place and people just walk around and look at stuff. People sell everything!!! bootlegged dvd´s, tv´s, pots and pans, clothes, anything you´d ever need they have in the tianguis! It´s so awesome. But so we set up a table there of district and handed out pamphlets, pictures, cards, dvds, books of mormon, and it was awesome. we got so many references!!! i have pictures I´ll send
Then saturday was pretty normal too. We went to the end of our area to return a pot to one of the members that live out there. We talked to his son for a bit and he told us about this friend of his who lived by him who´s wife died a year ago. We decided to go over and see him. We talked a little about the plan of salvation and then the doctrine of Christ, invited him to be baptized and ya! Hes on date and he came to church yesterday. So sweet! Yesterday we had 6 people at Church. That guy named Arturo and his son Gonzalo, Franciso and Nohemi, and Rosario the other lady we put on date last week!!! and she brought her daughter in law!!. Last night we visited Rosario and her daughter in law and her son. Their names are Angelica and Carlos. We taught them and put them on date too!!!! As of now we have 6 people on date!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This week has been so amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Next saturday we´re having that activity and its going ot be awesome and get even more investigators. We´re set to baptize every week for a while. So awesome. The members are all in on this activity and we´re going to have an open house and a skit and music program and everything! We got the members all excited and we have like 8 people helping us right now. So sweet. After this activity we´re going to start doing weekly activities reading the book of mormon and I´m going to teach english!!! a lot of good things coming up!!!
Well i gotta my times up. Sorry I forgot to mention I saw mom in conference!!!! It was awesome and I was so happy. 
I´m glad to hear everything is good with you guys and thanks Rachelle for you email. That´s so awesome!!! I´m really proud of you. Bah ya I gotta go. My times up. but i love you guys. have a good week.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Guaymas, Mexico October 4

So this week has been pretty crazy too. Not so crazy as the last one but still crazy... jaja On Wednesday we had exchanges and that was really cool. I went with one of the zone leaders and we did some serious work. Thursday we had a meeting all morning, and this weekend was conference. It was so good!!! We were able to watch all the sessions except Saturday afternoon. We had a lesson to go to but its ok! The talks were so good and I learned a ton of awesome things. So sweet!!! Thursday and Friday we picked up two new investigators we just found and put both of them on date. It was so awesome! First lesson they both accepted the baptismal interview. One is this older lady named Rosario, she´s having problems in her family and with her husband and was really interested in our message. President has asked us to start teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ first and put fechas (dates) the first lesson. So we did that, she felt the spirit, and accepted. We were hoping she´d come to conference this weekend but she wasn´t able to since she went out of town. But the other one is this mother named Nohelia who just got divorced and is living with her mom with her two kids. She was really interested too and again, gospel of Jesus Christ, invitation, and she accepted. It was super awesome!!! She wasn´t able to come to conference either but we´re hoping to get them to church Sunday. I´m starting to be able to teach and talk a lot. Spanish is really difficult but I feel little improvements every day. Learning a language is one of the biggest lessons in patience ever!!! But so Saturday we weren´t able to bring anyone to conference and Sunday morning Nohelia didn´t show up. But the afternoon session by a miracle the two people we were teaching before. Andres y Irene showed up!!! We had a baptism set up with him and everythin but it fell through. We were almost ready to drop them but they showed a little interest when we visited them this week and endede up showing up to conference. He´s been having health problems and his son is sick too. But he still came by bus to the stake center with his wife to watch conference. Afterwards we gave him a blessing and it was awesome! The afternoon session was perfect for them too. We´re hoping to baptize them this Saturday! The work is really picking up. We´re getting members to help us to put together a huge activity the 16th. We´re getting a lot of support and we´re hoping this picks up the members and some new investigadors too. jaja The first couple weeks of Mexico have been really hard but we´re starting to see success now and the Lord is really blessing us.
So this week has been great! More success, better health, a lot of good lessons learned and I´ve met a lot of cool people. We´ve set some good goals and everything just keeps on improving. The Lord knows exactly what we need and when we need it.
So on Tuesday we ate with this family for la comida. We have it every day at 2 with a different member family. But so Tuesday we had minudo. I don´t know how to spell it but basically its cow stomach with weird plants and stuff and lots of chile. It was the most interesting lunch ever but I loved it! jaja We actually get a lot of good food here. It´s amazing how diverse the city is though. You can walk 15 min from a house with 5 children, one room, no beds, and dirt floors, to a house with 3 stories, 3 cars, flat screen tv´s, and everything else. Guaymas is a really rich area but also a really poor area. It´s cool coming to downtown though because its completely modern with sushi restaurants, papa johns, Burger bars, Abercrombie and Fitch, malls, wal marts, everything! But I like it better in our area. The people are more humble and willing to listen to our message. We sweat a lot more and are a lot more dirty but I like it.
So what else? Life here is just crazy and it seems normal so I don´t know what else to say. The work is going better, Mexico is cooling down kinda, conference was awesome...!! jaja by the way we do get the Liahona and we´re hoping to have a member burn us some CD´s of the sessions to listen to in the morning. Tell Spencer thanks for the article. Missionary work is a lot of work, but it´s not just being faithful and obedient. We have to actually be organized and figure out ways to do things better. That´s hard for a lot of the people here but we´re working on it! Thanks for email and for the rest of the articles. Listen to conference over and over and over again! I loved what... um... I forgot his name but he said how the living prophet is more important than the dead prophet. The messages this weekend have so many applications and have helped me a ton already. Also if you have time study 2 Nephi 31. Almost every talk was focused around that. The straight and narrow, repentence, faith, following Christ. It´s probably one of my favorite scriptures.
Well thats it for this week. Love you guys. Elder Florence

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Guaymas pictures

Eric's district

Some of the views of his area

Can you say Ouch!

Guaymas, Mexico September 27

no tiempo otra vez!!!! today we´re going to some marine museum and we still have a bunch of laundry to do. It takes forever!!!! The place we do emails is a little cafe pretty close to the guys house that we do our laundry at. So at least we´ll be able to hurry but I don´t have much time for email because we still have to finish laundry, shower, change into our missionary clothes and then take a bus to the meseum in only 1 30 hr. Bah! we never have time here since we have to walk miles every where. But its ok. To answer your questions papa... I´ll take pics of our house next week to send you. But for now we actually have our own house!!! It has a little kitchen with a walk in area, then a bedroom seperated by a curtain and then a door from the bedroom part into the bathroom. When I first got here it was disgusting!!! Dirt and hair and food everywhere. But these last 2 weeks we got it all cleaned up pretty much. It´s great now. Elder Uribe is new to the area so we´re pretty much doing this blind. This area has been dead for a looooonnngggg time. Only a few converts and the ones that were baptized have gone innactive. The ward is really sketchy. Good people, but not very good at the whole church and living the gospel stuff. jaja but its ok!! We made a lot of good plans, like book of mormon reading nights, movie night, a night of skits about the book of mormon, stuff like that. We need to strengthen the ward and we´re hoping that will bring more investigators and more baptisms and more people that stay. Cuz right now we really kinda only have one investigator. We had one person with a date but that fell through. We really have nothing. It´s been hard because we just have to walk miles and miles everyday looking in the heat and we sometimes teach lessons but no one ever pays attention or nothing. This last week has been full of really hard stuff. Tuesday night we had a hurricane hit and we got stuck in it. Elder Uribe was in Hermosillo for the day at a leadership meeting and when I met up with him in the centro that night the hurricane hit. The streets were rivers in five minutes and we couldn´t make it home. So we ran to the nearest elder´s house and we had to stay the night there. The next morning we had to leave because all our clothes were still at Enrique´s house. The guy we do laundry at because last Monday we didn´t have time to finish. Luckily he had put our stuff inside but we had to run with all of it back home that morning a couple miles in the rain. It wasn´t as hard the Wednesday morning but we still got soaked again. We both got sick from all the rain and not having any dry clothes. Then on top of that from all the wetness and running a bunch I got huge blisters on my feet. Wednesday afternoon I couldn´t even walk but Elder Uribe gave me a blessing and I gave him one and by Friday I was able to walk fine and we both mostly got over our sicknesses. But it´s been really rough. My clothes were all muddy and ruined but we worked this morning to clean everything up and now our house looks really good and my clothes are mostly clean except for the stuff that I still ahve to do. It was really hard during all of this, but I´m grateful now. I´ve learned trials are good because we learn stuff and it also means the Lord loves us enough that he wants us to grow. We fasted yesterday to start having success but no one showed up to church. We litterally have nothing right now. But we´re praying for success, and I´m praying to know spanish. Crazy crazy Mexico... jaja but I´m glad to hear everything has been good with you guys. I didn´t ahve much time to read all of your emails but I will next week if we have time. Always going here!!! never time for anything. jaja
So this week has been hard. Mexico is still hot but definitely cooling down. In a couple more weeks it should be to the point where we only sweat a little bit. jaja spanish is coming along better now. I can talk to people a little more and can teach a couple principles in the lesson. It´ll come though. The next couple weeks are going to be good. We´re going to start having more success, I´m going to know more spanish, it won´t be so hot anymore.. jaja but I´m happy now and am grateful for the opportunity to be here.
So the address here is
Elder Eric M Florence
Av. García Conde #301
Col. Pitic
Hermosillo, Sonora
C.P. 83150
I don´t know when any meetings are but thats the address to send packages and letters, but I don´t know when I´d be able to pick them up.
Also I don´t know if I´ll be able to watch conference. President made it a rule only the Priesthood session and Sunday morning, but if we have investigators to go we can go to the other ones. So pray we ahve success this week so I can watch them. He made it a rule cuz Elders used the 2 days not to watch, but just waste time. But I want to see you sing, so pray we get to go!!!!!!!
That´s about it for this week I guess. We have to go but I´ll attach some pictures. I love you guys.
Elder Florence

Monday, September 20, 2010

Letter from Mission office

Hello, or Hola!!
      This is Elder Jackson from the Mision Mexico Hermosillo!  I would like to say that your son has gotten here and is assigned to Bahia Guaymas!  I was in this area before its so amazing! the people will love your son so much!  I wish i could say i had a picture of all the new elders and presidente but i wont be able to have it intell monday.  Your son will be able to email you this monday.  Thank you so much, this mision is blessed to have your son.
Misión México Hermosillo

Guaymas, Mexico September 20

Eric ran into Barry Daniels at the Salt Lake Airport before he left for Mexico

The new elders and their new companions outside the mission home.
Eric and his first companion Elder Uribe
Eric and a 6 year old girl in the back of a member's truck in Guaymas

The spider Eric found in his apartment
So I don´t even know where to start. First if you could forward this to Ann Gilbert for the newsletter thing I´d appreciate it. But phew. Mexico is insane!!!!! We got here Monday and met with president and his wife. We had lunch ( which was lasagna!?! jaja!) but it was great. Then they talked to us for a couple hours. In spanish. So I only understood about nothing because I was so tired. jaja but its ok! Then we each had our interviews and did a lot of other things. THen we each had interviews with president which were in spanish too because no one speaks english. Then we slept in the mission house. Not the home but its some other place where the assitants live. It was so nice!!!!! Hermosillo is a huge city. A lot of nice house, rich people, tons of restaurants, stores, malls, and tons of crazy nice stuff. The next day, Tuesday, we did all our stuff for immigration. It took forever, but then that afternoon we got our companions and left for our areas. My companion is Elder Uribe from Mexico City. He´s so awesome!!! But he doesn´t speak more than 5 words in English. So its rough. But fun. We took a bus from Hermosillo to Guaymas and then got a ride from a member to our house. I rode in the bed of her truck with her daughter who´s as old as Shayla. She was so cute. I showed her my camera and she took pictures of everything. It was a lot of fun. Then that night we went out tracting. It wasn´t too hot since there was no sun but the next day was insane. Our area is called Bahia and we´re over the ward here. Our area is all dirt roads and it´s huge!!!!!!! To get from colonia to colonia we hitch hike. It´s so funny. We´ll just wait at a corner for a truck and then just jump in the back and then jump out when we´re closer to our area. Our area is about the size of south ogden and it wraps around a peninsula of the ocean. It´s so cool!!! But so hot!!!! I imagened hot but not this much hot. Its around 108 or so everyday and we walk from 11 to 9 with an hour break for lunch. I´m soaked at the end of everyday from my sweat and my shirts are already all yellow and brown. Its disgusting. But its one of those mission things i guess. jaja at least our house has a little a/c unit that keeps it cool at night. One night it didn´t work and I thought I was going to die. All the houses are cement so inside is hotter than outside because it acts as an oven. Teaching lessons is sometimes really hard if the poorer people don´t have fans becuase the whole lesson I have sweat pooring down my face and I don´t know what anyone is saying. But it´s ok!!! The language will come and it should cool down here in a couple weeks. Hopefully. Mexico is just how I thought it would be. Well at least this area. It´s all dirt roads with dogs roaming around everywhere, trash, weird smells, street vendors selling tacos, burritos, and even hot dogs mexican style with chilis and bacon. jaja so crazy!!! Some areas are richer than others. Some people have nice cars, driveways, a/c´s, couches, but other colonias are broken down cement houses. It´s crazy! But so much fun. I don´t have much time to explain everything because we have to go wash our clothes. We have to take a bus to a member´s home because they have a washer!!!! no dryer but at least we´re blessed that way. It´s way nice.
Mexico is way fun, really hot, crazy, smelly, but awesome!!! We teach so much and talk to so many people and the work is going great. I got the flu this weeked from the crazy atmosphere change so yesterday was really bad. It was super hot, I didn´t know what anyone was saying in church or in our lessons, and I was really sick. But its just one of those mission things. I don´t know what else to tell you. It already seems like home here. Just pray that I can start being able to speak. I´ve taught a little but I want to be fluent. It´ll talk time but pray that it´ll come sooner than later.
Oh last night I was getting ready for bed and I saw a huge spider on my wall!!! It was bigger than my tag. So we spent a couple minutes trying to kill. Just crazy stuff like that happens all the time. It´s a lot of fun here but everything is going good. I´m kind of getting used to the hot now and I¨m getting over the flu so next on the list is to learn spanish. jaja I´ll send some pictures. I wish I had more time to explain but we have to do a lot on pday because everything is far away and we have to walk or take buses. But I love you all. Mexico is awesome and crazy hot. I´ll talk to you next week.

Monday, September 13, 2010

West Jordan September 7

4-6 more weeks!?!? well 3-5 now i guess... oh well.... that's what I pretty much figured. I feel more bad for the missionaries in Mexico. They're probably having to shut down areas all over the place if there is 500 visa waiters!!!!! That's so insane!!!! But once we eventually all make it there we're basically going to baptize everyone in Mexico. So make sure you look out for that on the news. "MISSIONARIES BAPTIZE MILLIONS!!!" jaja. well things are going so much better now.  We're going about 100% now. This week has been amazingly succesful!!! We put 3 new people on date for baptism, we taught 7 lessons with a member present, 5 other ones, and picked up 5 new investigators!!!!!! It was a really good week and everyone seems pretty solid. the Lord really does bless according to our worthiness. it's been so much fun! We taught this family, a mom, dad, and their 7 year old son on Monday. They were really interested and their son was too! We told him he had to make sure they read the book of mormon and prayed and he was really excited about that and promised us. What a cool kid! We also taught this other family. They live with a bunch of people but everyone there is pretty much anti except a mom and her daughter. They stayed interested even with a million kids running and screaming and some guy coming in and acting disgusted with us. jaja it was an interesting lesson but they said they wanted to try and continue having us come over. SWEET!! The other investigator was this African guy named Bol or Ben. jaja he speaks in a super thick accent so its hard to understand him but he seemed pretty interested. His wife is a member I guess but she doesn't really know anything about the church but she said she had been baptized so either she's confused or her missionaries a year ago did a bad job. Either way Ben/Bol is now interested and we're meeting with him again today! Nice eh?
So we had a ton of success this week, a ton of new potential, we taught a mutual and got like 10 referrals, and now we're working on trying to find all these new people. jaja but at least we're busy now!
So on Thursday I was doing language study when all of a sudden we got a knock on the door. We never get knocks so I was a little confused, but the other two weren't dressed so they had me answer the door. I opened it and it was two nice ladies and they started reading to me from the bible. I quickly figured out they were Jehovah's witnesses and they quickly figured out I was a missionary. It was pretty awkward. jaja but she handed me their magazine and we actually talked a bit, not about religion though, just about where she was from and stuff. But ya, I thought that was pretty funny.
Then this weeked was super crazy! One of the spanish elders got surgery on his knee on Friday so Saturday night I had to go over to be the companion of the other one while he sat at home and recovered. So I slept over there Saturday night and then Sunday found out that the other spanish elder was doing some tests and had to stay dorment the whole day. BAH! But they prepared well and so all day Sunday while they were sleeping I just read and read, and then when they were awake we had permission to watch movies and play Monopoly and stuff. It was actually really fun. Super lazy but you gotta do what you gotta do. It was a nice break but I was definitely ready to go out and work yesterday. We did go to sacrament in the spanish branch again which was fun, but for the whole day we just read, watched movies, and played games. And I just found out today that I'm going on exchanges again! Me and the other visa waiter in this zone have to go today so one can stay home with the suregeried one while the other goes and does work with the other. So I don't know which one of us was assigned to stay home yet but I really hope it's not me. Sunday was good, but it was too much.
Well I have to go. They said we only get 30 min of email today since it's not pday.  I'm sorry to hear about grandpa. I'll be praying for him. Keep being safe and having a good week. Oh real quick can you get the address for the mission office in Mexico so I can tell people where to write me at? And then when you bring down the medicine and stuff could you bring me a sweater?? Its getting so cold!! Last night we were riding our bikes home and I only have short sleeve shirts and it was ridiculous amounts of cold. I prepped myself for Mexico and now I'm getting Utah autumn. brr..... hopefully I'll leave in the 3 weeks instead of the - 5 weeks. jaja but all in the Lord's time. We're having fun here and focusing on what's really important. A little prayer for the visa wouldn't hurt though. jaja love you guys. Tell Rachelle I'll write her next week when I have more time.

West Jordan August 30

Another crazy speedy fast week here so salt lake!! I didn't get transferred and neither did my companions so that was nice. This week wasn't very successful either like last week but I appreciate it because I learned so many things. I've been praying so hard for a change of heart because missionary work takes complete focus and really becoming a new person. I hate how cliche it is but I really have started gaining my real testimony here. It's nowhere near a solid testimony or anything of that sort but its coming. I feel new desires every day to try and do things better and give up little things here and there. I realized if I'm going to be here for two years I mine as well do it right jaja. But really the Lord deserves all of his children to do their best especially on missions. Because we're given a lot more rules here but its just more opportunities to receive promised blessings and to grow in the gospel. That's where testimony comes from is living the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's not just another church or religion, its really the principles of life. Everything we do is bigger than just the LDS church, it's literally the steps that God follows and wants us to follow to receive eternal happiness. Its so cool and the more we live by it the stronger we become converted and the more we realize how much better we have to do. That's why we are constantly growing. The more we know the more we realize we need to improve!!! jaja so I've been praying about all these things and kind of having a hard time because as a companionship we're not very motivated or converted I guess to the work. It's really been discouraging for me but I've really just wanted to improve anywhere I can. I started reading through Preach My Gospel to find answers every morning before personal study and found something I really like. So Saturday night after getting home from another rough day I asked if we could talk about some things as a companionship. So instead of being a jerk and just preaching to them I though it'd be good if we read through this part in PMG. It's on page 5 I think and its how to know you've been a successful missionary. And it lists like 8 things. We read through all of those things and just talked about them and about how we can improve and set a bunch of goals. It was cool how you said that dad in the email because we took about an hour and just set goals of ways we can improve. It was so good!!! We've been doing pretty well so far and we're really trying to be exactly obedient and being more diligent. I hope that motivation will stay in the companionship and so we can continue to improve and work harder and harder every day. So I'm praying things won't fall back and we can continue to support each other and make an awesome companionship!
That was pretty much the week. Nothing happened, just a lot of dropped appointments and knocking doors. Things will get better though!!! The Lord will give us opportunities to help his children as long as we're praying for them and are worthy of the opportunity. So soon! We've got a ton of pontential especially in one ward. So if things work out then they're going to have to split the ward!!!!! jaja so we're excited for this week.
So I was reading through the ensign this month and read through an article about the MOTAB!! It was really cool and they said they have this new cd out of the past 100 years of recordings and stuff. Mom do you get the hook ups on that? cuz if you do I really want it. I've been listening to MOTAB pretty much all the time now and I love it now. Probably just cuz you're in it but its actually really good music especially for missionary work. I used to hate it but its cool how your desires change as your focus changes. PAOW!
jaja so ya that'd be cool if you could get that.
Oh one thing I forgot to mention this week. Yesterday as we were leaving one ward (because since we cover a whole stake we go to 3 wards every Sunday. I'm never complaing about 3 hours of church again!) the spanish branch was starting sacrament. I saw the spanish elders in there and wanted to attend the meeting so we did a quick exchange and I went to the spanish branch sacrament and meetings!!! First one ever!!! It was so cool. I was surprised how much I actually understood and it was just a really good time. I had a huge headache after but I didn't care cuz it was nice to get some spanish. I miss the MTC having spanish ALL THE TIME. So that was nice. I also found out this week that I'm now 165 lbs!!!! holy sheesh. I went to the MTC at like 178 I think... I'd probably be even more skinny if I didn't eat so much here. Just being out riding bikes all day is good for you I guess. jaja so I wonder how much more I'll lose in Mexico eating less and getting parasites... jaja
speaking of Mexico... Dad you really heard that people are leaving from the MTC now!?!??!?!?!??!?!??!?!??!?!??!?!?!?!?! thats so sweet!!!!!!!!!!!! We haven't heard anything at all but thats really good news. I want to go so bad!!!! Especially after the spanish branch yesterday. I don't know how soon we'll be able to get out of here though. There's 60 visa waiters in this mission and about the same in every other mission. That is so crazy!!! So I don't know how fast they'll be able to ship us out with there being almost 200 Elders waiting to go to Mexico. Poor Mexico not having any missionaries come down. Joe said they had to shut an area down because they had visa problems so I bet in Mexico they're having to shut down areas all over the place. But we'll get there in good time. Just gotta keep being patient. But so if I'm here next week still I'll email Tues since monday is labor day and the library will be closed.
Well congrats on you anniversary!!! Sorry I'm a bad son and forgot Dad's birthday and your anniversary!!! Sheesh... You don't have to pick me up at the airport if you don't want.. jaja but that sounded like an awesome weekend! And I did get the package. thanks so much for dropping that off. That thing from Tate was awesome! I can't believe he comes home in like a month!!! so weird!!! time flies. So 21 years eh!?!?! gracious... that's a long time.... you've been married longer than I've been alive! naturally... but still. Crazy! jaja
Sorry Dad you lost your golf tournament but those are a couple cool prizes.. Thats way sweet! One of our potential investiagtors is a big italian golfer and he told me to tell you to look out for some new golf bags coming out soon. He's getting into this business with his brother making really nice golf bags called black clover I think. The prototype he showed me looked really sweet so keep your eye out for them.
Also congrats on your calling. The new duty to god stuff sounds sweet! There's a big problem out here with young men not getting through high school and all the bad influences and everyone is going innactive. HUGE PROBLEM. like its more than 50%. So it's important that we have good leaders and influence to go out of their way to help the youth in the ward and be there for them when other people aren't.
I'm sorry Rachelle that you didn't get to sing. But you'll get chances, especially if you keep trying to develop your talents. Voice lessons sound like an awesome idea!! Hopefully they'll be able to change the musical week so you can try out. That'd be super sweet! Dang vacations getting in the way of everything... jaja
Mom I have been able to play piano since I've been here a lot. I play for district meetings and zone meetings and for the baptisms we've had and that's I think. But ya a lot of opportunites since I've been here. I love knowing music and being able to just play whenever. So yes. Thank you. =)
Well thats the email for today. I'm having a really good time and learning so many good lessons here. I'm glad we haven't been succesful and I'm glad we haven't been a perfect companionship because its through those trials that we learn the most if we don't have a bad attitude. I would like to have some success eventually but it'll come in good time... all part of the plan.
Well have another awesome week at school and being busy and everything again! Tell Hunter and Jordan I love them and then Tate too when he gets home.
I was going to try and send some pics today on the email but it didn't work again so I think I'll just send home my memory card. But when you send it back make sure its not in an envelope because they go through some scanner thing and they get ripped out I guess. A lot of missionaries have lost their memory cards doing that. So I think I'll send it home in some package or possibly a cd. I'm not sure yet. I'll figure something out today. Maybe I'll just put everything onto a cd and leave the cd here at the house because I have a couple other things I'm going to leave here. Then maybe you could pick them up or something. It'd probably be cheaper than mailing it home. So ya that's what I'll do. I've heard when I finally get to go to Mexico they'll call me and give me less than 24 hr heads up so I won't have time to make any plans. So when I leave I'll put everything in a box by the side door where you left the bag. Yup that'll work! It's like we're mobsters or something making plans and leaving packages in secret spots. jaja
Oh and by the way the house is gross not because of me. It was disgusting the first day I walked in and I've been slowly trying to make improvements. But I pretty much figure it'll be worse in Mexico so I'm just trying to get used to uncomfortable houses and dirty bathrooms and stuff. jaja missions are fun...
Welp! I'll talk to you next Tues or perhaps at the airport if I get the special phone call this week. jaja have fun this week, be safe, work hard at school, read your scriptures, don't talk to strangers, and listen to your parents. You too mom and dad.
Love you guys!!!!!
Elder Florence

West Jordan August 23

I loved your emails!!!!!!! That sounded like the bestest most craziest funnest week ever! jaja Mom you tried a gainer!?!?!??! or at least thought about it... jaja that's insane! What a great mom. That's so cool. Just don't die, or break your back. Your week sounded so fun though! Lagoon, sleepovers, cabins, rivers, and all sorts of fun stuff! Awesome! That's so cool. I'm glad you got to have a lot of fun before school started again. I can't believe it starts Wednesday!!! Time goes by so quick. Thanks for all the info too. It's really fun to hear about everything and all the news and stuff. It sounds like things are going to be really different when I get home with mom becoming a gymnast and dad redoing the cabin all the little childs going on big roller coasters, Savannah becoming a bow hunter, Matthem getting the priesthood, Rachelle getting jobs and driving in a year and a half... Holy gracious!!!! but that's what life is. Change. So hooray! jaja
I ended up finding the brownies and stuff. Thanks so much for the picture savannah. I hung it up on the wall. The brownies were... yummy....   ........ jaja. But ya I got all that stuff and the rest of the letters too. We get mail every monday. the zone leaders pick it up so I did get your letters and stuff last week which was really nice. But anything you send during the week I'll usually get by Monday. I have no idea how it'll work in Mexico but at least for here thats how it goes. 
Thanks for getting the medicine mom. I really don't need anything. just the pills too I guess.
Alright so now for the week!!! This week was insane. Friday we had zone conference which went from 8 to 4. ALLLLL DAAAAYYYY.... but it was really good so I can't complain. They're teaching a lot of cool new things and really making the missionary work bar go up even more. It's getting really intense but really cool at the same time. It's all about just teaching by the spirit and nothing else. Because even though we don't have discussions anymore a lot of missionaries get into the same habit of just teaching lessons the same way. So they're teaching us the doctrine in depth, but then teaching us that we take all that knowledge and simplify it and teach it to investigators as the spirit directs. It's so crazy!!!! But Friday night we had the opportunity to start applying that. We taught Frank the guy who just got out of prison. We didn't plan anything so we just went over and started talking. Just by listening to what he was saying I felt like we should just teach him about a change of heart and what that means. It was a really good discussion and we ended up teaching him the gospel of Jesus Christ and committed him to baptism. We couldn't set a date though because he's probably going to be on parole after the pretrial thing he was talking about. We're not allowed to baptize people on parole but I like it better because now our goal isn't a baptism, it's keeping this guy strong. So we really emphasized a change of heart and becoming a new person and told him the importance of church and scripture. He said he didn't feel comfortable at church because he had no clothing. So I let him borrow some of my stuff and he showed up yesterday!!!! He only stayed for sacrament but it was awesome! So that was fun but the rest of the week was straight awful. Tuesday afternoon we were out working and Elder Herrera and I got a flat tire. So we went around to members houses trying to fix them but to no success. So we had to go all the way which is way out of our area which took up a lot of time. Then we couldn't get anything to work. We wasted an hour trying to fix these stupid bikes because everything kept going wrong. So we didn't end up getting out till 5!!!!!! So we went to dinner and after dinner our other lesson feel through, so that night we had nothing. But So Wednesday we had hopes for though cuz we had potential for like six lessons that day!!!! So the day started and our 1st appointment dropped. Then our second. Then we got two more flat tires but no time to fix them. So we just walked our bikes. Then it started to rain. Then pour. We were soaking wet, my pants got all muddy and ruined, our tires were flat and then our next appointment fell through. We then had time to fix our bikes and have a quick correlation with a ward mission leader. After we went to our dinner which was a nice dry break, but during dinner got 2 phone calls informing us that 2 other appointments we had scheduled for that night cancelled. So we had hopes for 1 left. After dinner we went over there and he wasn't home. So we just did some tracting and went home. Then thursday, the same thing happened basically. All appointment except one dropped and more tires popped. All in all we had 7 flat tires and 9 dropped appointments over three days. Awful. But it was one of those expeirences that you learn a ton from. I can't explain everything I learned but even though we had no success and a ton of other things go wrong, it was still a good week. I learned so much of the value of missionary work plus like a thousand other things. After zone confernce Friday we ended up having a decent end of the week. We were really able to apply the principles and things started improving. But we still didn't have a lot of success. Most of our potential is gone but it's ok becauss now we're going to work even harder to try and get it back. This weekend also ended nice with some service that we did. We ended up finishing off the cement stuff Sister Brown sent you pictures of and we got to wax a bus!!!! jaja this guy in one of the wards owns a day care and so we helped him wax one of the buses. That was really fun. Then to thank us he took us to Wendy's. In the bus!!! jaja it was a lot of fun. We were out there for two hours rubbing turtle wax into this big yellow bus. That was some good times. Then that night we stopped by this members house and she loaded us up with stuff from their garden. We have a fridge full of cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, eggs, plus a ton of chicken they gave us too. So sweet!! That's one nice thing about a mission in Utah. Members hook you up. jaja I love vegetables now. I used to hate all that stuff but now I can eat tomatoes straight. I love it.
Also this week the zone leaders house flooded so they and their visa waiter are staying in our house too. Its crazy. We have 6 of us in there now sharing one shower and a washer. It's been fun though. They keep us straight and they speak spanish so I'm doing language study with them now which makes it so much easier. After a certain point you just have to hear how people talk because especially in Mexican spanish its all idioms, manners of speech, and just the style of talking. You just have to hear it and get used to it. So thats hard right now but it'll come quickly when I get to Mexico, one day when I go there. jaja I saw James again at zone conference. He's still here!!! He's been here 8 or 9 weeks now. sheesh... but he said a bunch of people from his district have gotten visas and things are picking up. So hopefully sometime soon. But we heard there's been a lot more killings in Chihuahua and Tijuana and stuff so that could possible hold it back. I'm not sure. Transfers are this week so I might get put somewhere else. Hopefully Mexico but we'll see. jaja
So I've officially been on my mission over 3 months now!!! My 3 month mark was Thursday. Sweet! then to celebrate we got asked to speak in church yesterday. jaja it was actually really fun. My first talk as a missionary. I spoke on receiving forgiveness and I think it went pretty good. It ended up being a really good expierence.
Well that was it pretty much for the week. I'm glad you guys are having a lot of fun at camps and all the other crazy stuff you've been doing. Have a fun time starting school this week!!! Be safe and don't be lazy and do all your homework and work hard on the piano. jaja (good job mom not being a nazi anymore jaja chiste) but thats awesome. A lot of cool things coming up! I love you guys and miss you a ton. Be safe and read your scriptures every day =)
Love Elder Florence

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mission address

For those who would like to write Elder Florence his mission address is:

Utah Salt Lake City South Mission
8060 South 615 East
Sandy, Utah 84070

I had given some of you his home address, but he does not get mail at his home, so it needs to be sent to the mission home or go through Dear I will update the blog to reflect his new areas when I get his master password.

Monday, August 16, 2010

West Jordan August 16

brownies???? I must have missed them. When we go back home I'll look for them, but probably someone stole them. jaja people...(editor's note: The children and I took brownies and cards to him on Saturday and left them on his doorstep).
So gracious where to start? Dad I'm sorry you were been deathly sick! that's no fun! your week sounds a lot of fun and I'm definitely jealous of lion king and the real game. That sounds so sweet!!!!
Well I only have 15 min. dumb library. so I'll just tell a few quick things that happened this week.
On wednesday we had a way sweet meeting for everyone learning a language in this mission and all the visa waiters got to go to. I haven't been studying spanish at all but that meeting really motivated me to work harder. not just at spanish but at everything. I was getting kind of lazy but that day with the meeting and then after we went to the temple I had a lot of cool revelations that have really helped me here. I figured out part of the reason I'm here waiting in Salt Lake and a bunch of other cool things too. The gospel is amazing that way, how if you have problems all you need to do is ask and listen. Heavenly Father knows EXACTLY what we need and we just need to be worthy of those things and follow his plan. It's so sweet. At the meeting I got to see all the Elders from the MTC which was fun and I saw James!!! He's been here 8 weeks now about! that's insane!!!! but there's a reason for it. He gave me his mom's number so you can call her if you want. its 210 896 3734. But ya that meeting was just really good and I learned a lot of good things this week.
Thursday I went on exchanges with the spanish elders in our district. It was way fun. It was just me and Elder Mueller going around. I was suprised at how much I actually understood and could communicate. It's amazing that even though I'm getting less spanish here than the MTC, as long as I keep giving a good effort to my studies, even if I can only get 30 min, the Lord still blesses me incredibly. I was able to talk to this mexican lady for like 8 min. not a long time i know, but it was still cool. jaja I taught her about keeping the commandments and the importance of reading the book of mormon to gain a testimony. It was way fun. The rest of the day we got a lot of other cool contacts and taught a lot of lessons. Then for dinner we went over to this Colombian peoples house. They fed us this giant plate of rice and noodles with spicy meat and potatoes. It was pretty good but ridiculously filling. We talked soccer with them for a while and then played ping pong! It was so much fun. Then right after I we went to another dinner. That's what spanish people do I guess. Just feed you. jaja so I was already full going over to this Mexican family and she gives us each a giant bowl of mexican stew stuff. It was spicy and had bananas and stuff in it, it wasn't that bad for the first couple bites but then my stomach realized it wasn't hungry. But Elder Mueller is telling me in English that I have to eat it so she won't get offended. Literally the last couple bites I was praying not to barf. jaja it was so bad! But i made it through!!! When we got home I was dying all night, but the next morning I was fine and it was just a funny story.
So that exchange was neat. It's so different than english!!! Everyone will talk to you in spanish but when you ask them to read or pray or come to church they kind of back off. You say so will you?? and they're like, ya.... claro que si.... and then you go back and you say so did you read? and they say lo que pasa.... and then the rest is this giant excuse and lie. jaja its so funny! everyone will talk to you, so the hard part is getting people to keep commitments. So that'll be fun in Mexico. I'm excited.
So remember Tyler the Bible guy!? we went back this week to just stop by and he came out and just told us he'd been praying a lot but just can't believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet!!!! no!!!!!!!!! he said he cared for us a lot but couldn't continue to read the book of mormon and meet with us. So he gave me back the giant book of mormon I got for him and that was it. It was so sad.... The that was the bummer for the week but the rest of it was really good.
Over the last three days we've received like 6 really good referrals!!! One is this hernandez family. They speak english and spanish but they decided to have us teach so i can get practice with some spanish. They're super golden though! So it'll be really fun starting to teach them. We haven't been able to contach any of the referrals yet but we're praying this week it goes well and we have sucess with those. so sweet!
Then this week we picked up three new investigators too!!! Frank, Bessy, and Al. Frank is the guy who just got out of prison. He's super cool and we're meeting with him regularly now. He's having a lot of problems trying to keep his life straight, but he says and believes that this church is the only thing that will help. We're having a hard time getting him to come to church and keep commitments but we'll get there.
Then Bessy is this black lady from new orleans, we've taught her once and are going back on tues. She needed support from the bishop since she has a huge family, no husband, and came here as a hurricane survivor. So the bishop said she had to meet with us first. She's baptist so we thought it would be bad, but she was actually really interested and was excited to read the book of mormon. AWESOME!!!
Then Al is this guy from Croatia. Super funny. He didn't understand much of what we taught but we had a pretty good understanding and he felt the spirit and wants to get baptized. So we put him on date for Sep 18!!!! SUPER SWEET!!!!
Then to end the week we had the baptism of Daniel the 17 year old tatoo artist kid on Saturday. All the youth and people from the ward were there and it was just sooooo awesome and spiritual. He's going to be so great and we're actually going to have him come teach with us this week! Such an amazing kid.
So that was it for the week pretty much. Oh last night we talked to this straight up Jamaican. He was so cool. He talked about god and his beliefs and we helped him wash his car and we listened to reggae. It was so much fun. we didn't teach anything. just listened, but we're going back on thursday so that'll be sweet!!
But so for p days we just do anything really. We always go to wal mart and then the afternoon we spend doing whatever. We do our laundry of course, but then like 2 pdays ago we went bowling. Today we're playing soccer and frisbee... just lots of fun stuff. We got out at 6 so the day is spent just getting groceries, emailing, and playing some kind of sport of something. it's a pretty good day.
Well there was a lot of other things I wanted to say but there's a bajillion children here that take up all the computers. Once school starts I'll have more time to email. Have fun this last week of summer!!!! I love you guys!!!!
Tell hunter and jordan I love them too. I can't believe they're going to be leaving in two weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! holy canolis time flies!!! that's so cool though. I can't wait until we're all in our missions. Jarom's email was so cool!!!! tell him i love him too. Give me his address too if you can.
Oh and if you could get my medicine one more time before I leave that would be great. I just want to stock up so I don't have to worry about it in Mexico. Thanks so much!!
I love you guys!!! Talk to you next week!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

West Jordan August 9, 2010

holy sweet letter from Jarom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That sounds like the most awesomest craziest coolest missionariest expierences ever! I want to do that! Coming to Utah was just like, "Alright get off the bus, have fun". jaja so I'm definitely excited to get to Mexico and actually meet the mission president and speak spanish and stuff!! The consolate takes all of July off!!??!! in this economy!?!?! sheesh. jaja but thats ok, It should only be a couple more weeks here.
Then on Friday.... we didn't have any members to come on 3 lessons with us that day so I said in my brain, "hm. Jordan is a member, he's really close to here, I have his phone number...." So I called president (which was awkward because I don't even know who he is) and explained the situation and he said, "..... sure." thats it. jaja so Jordan was able to come down which was awesome!!! That morning we spent at a members home helping them clean out their basement. That's a whole notha story... holy goodness. Its a lady from peru married to this white guy who I think is crazy and it was just a very interesting expierence that morning. But then we ended up meeting with Jordan and started doing work. Two of our lessons that day fell through!! but we got one with Daniel, which was great. I don't know if I've told you about him but he's a Mexican 17 year old tattoo artist, and what they call here a 'dry mormon', 'just add water'. wow. jaja but he really is. he's super golden and he's getting baptized saturday! it's been so cool to see him progress and make decisions in his life that are constantly getting him closer to Heavenly Father. He's changed so much and he constantly has a these awesome questions that we'll sit there and answer for hours. jaja we love him.
So it sounds like your weeks have been great!!!! Rachelle EFY sounds amazing. I remember going the couple times and it was a lot of fun but the thing I regret is I never continued that expiernce. The purpose of EFY is to change how you do things in regular life. They probably told you that but keep studying hard and reading the book of mormon everyday. You can feel the spirit just as strong as you did at EFY everyday when you make sure you are trying to live as close to Jesus Christ as you can. Dad's told me how you've been doing an awesome job at the office too! keep it up! that's so awesome. One thing I never learned either is how to save money. Learn that now because its super important.
I loved all the stories about the cabin. I can't believe you caught so many fish!!!!! that's crazy! and shayla's was a foot long! holy gracious! I'm glad you all had a lot of fun and were safe there and didn't get smashed by a tree!
So did you ever get that package from John that I left at the MTC? that's what had all the shirts and books and stuff. i hope that didn't get lost.
Also I don't have my passport yet. The MTC or whoever still has it so I won't even get it until I go to Mexico.
I have all my bed stuff. Pillow cover, mattress cover, and a sheet. It works just fine and they're easy to wash thanks
So we're here at the west jordan library and its so dumb! They have all these computers and it kicks you off after 30 min now cuz so many people sign up to use them during the summer so we have to spend over an hour and a half just to do email!!!! its ridiculous!!! oh well...
So this week has been pretty good. We got a referral from the senior missionaries of this guy who just got out of prison. He read the book of mormon there and his mom is an innactive member so it was perfect. All our appointments have fallen through with him though so we're hoping this next week we'll be able to start teaching him and put him on date.
Then Tyler who is the really knowledgeable guy about the bible is really interesting too. Friday our appointment fell through with him but we ended up catching him on saturday. We talked for over an hour and a half!!!! all his beliefs come from the bible and so every doctrine is right in line with ours except authority. I don't know how, but when we were talking we started talking about authority and he doesn't believe we need people with authority. He believes his authority comes from Jesus Christ through his faith, which is true kinda... but I don't know. Its hard to talk to him because he knows so much and he doesn't want to accept anything besides his beliefs. So we ended with just bearing our testimonies and told him to specifically pray about the book of mormon and so we're hoping that'll work. We'll go by again sometime this week and see but after that meeting things didn't look good with him. He was so golden but I don't know. So pray for him I guess and us to be able to know what to say or do.
Then we're also working with this lady named Tanaya. She's super great and has had all the lessons but was dropped because she didn't want to do anything without her husband who is just a stubborn redneck. We met with her on Wednesday and had a really good discussion and told her that she doesn't need to worry about the book of mormon, or going to church, the only thing she needs to do right now is find out for herself if the book of mormon is true. I don't even think she had a testimony of it from the last elders!!! The work here is dumb in some ways because everyone cares about the numbers and so right after the baptisms they won't do any lessons with recent converts because it doesn't count towards the weekly progress. Its so dumb!!! They're not trying to help people, they're just trying to get numbers. That's probably why there are so many innactives here! They don't teach so people can get testimonies, they only teach so they can pass baptismal interview questions. Not all the elders do this, but a lot of them do. But anyways, so we have an appointment with Tanaya again Wednesday so pray for her too that she'll get that testimony she needs to make a decision.
Then we're also working with Lily still. She's the 10 year old with innactive parents. She's really good and reads the book of mormon kids version and everything but her parents don't take her to church! We've been working with members trying to get her to come but the members are kind of lazy too. One of the ladies in the primary presidency is good about it but she can't do it every week because she takes like 5 other kids too. so that's kind of rough. We had to move her baptism to september because she has to go to church 3 times or something like that.
We're working with a couple other people but nothing is really happening. Our work is pretty much stopped right now and besides Daniel no one is progressing. There just doesn't seem to be a ton of obedience and motivation here. I mean the elders are good and I shouldn't be talking bad about anyone but it could be so much better!!!!!! so we'll see.
The bike has been great though! thanks a lot for that. So you did get the pictures!?? It was funny that day. We offered to help earlier in the week and that morning we were busy with stuff and didn't have time to change so we went and helped poor cement in their yard in our missionary clothes. jaja it was fun.
Thanks again for the package and all the letters. It makes being on a mission easier when you have people supporting you. pray that i'll get my visa soon though! I want to get there so bad! Well have a good week! stay safe and everyone feel better. we've been here since 10 so I should probably get going. I love you guys keep having a good rest of the summer. I'll talk to you next week.