"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

First Area. . . .Tenosique

Heyy family!
How is everyone doing? I hear that things seem to be going well for you all. Lake Powell seems like it is going to be a lot of fun this week for Labor Day. Have fun with that! I am excited to hear how it goes! Life down here in Mexico is very different... Its kinda like a mixture of life back in the states. It smells a lot like Lake Powell, looks like a mixture of Star Valley and Skuzzville (white city) and then maybe a touch of the regular dump. The people down here are super nice and very intelligent. The children are awesome also. I had the chance this morning to go to the church and play soccer with a couple of them because today is our Pday. They all are pretty amazing. We´re talkin Chandler´s level or better and they are only 10-15 years old. Pretty crazy how quick they are and how fast they move their feet. It was still pretty fun to hang with them and play around with them. They love the piano and are completely amazed when I play Pirates for them. I have no idea why... But its still fun when they say ¡otra vez! ¡otra vez! Its fun to be with them. I am pretty popular because none of the kids here have ever seen an American before... Crazy. So im the fly in the mild here almost... not in a racist way but I hope you understand what I mean.
My companion is cool. Elder Ortiz. He is from Mexico and has been out 22 months. He´s pretty chill and laid back with everything. His spanish is great but he speaks really good English also. He is a huge help to me when we have to teach an investigator.
The area that I am in, Tenosique or Zapata is a really.... different kind of town. Like I said already, it is a mixutre of those areas. Smells like gas almost everywhere you go and you see statues of random people everywhere also. I see homeless people on every street corner also. It reminds me a lot of downtown SLC. Its scary to walk in the streets because cars and taxis dont stop down here... they just keep on going. Its ridiculous. You definitely need to look both ways before crossing any street. We don´t have bikes or cars so it is a lot of walking and we rely on these little three-wheeled cars called Pochiis to take us places. I will try to take a picture of one to send. They are really small and can only fit three people but they are fun to ride around in. I like them a lot. The place that I live is interesting too. Very different than what I am used to and the wheather is too. Its a lot worse than DC was. You can definitely feel the heat once you step outside but it does rain a lot so that is good to cool things down. The umbrella is coming in handy for sure. It was used a lot yesterday because it rained four times, each wave lasting about an hour.... Its crazy.
Thats about it. I am still trying to settle into the lifestyle and stuff because it came  so quickly and I am still adjusting. We dont have that many investigators yet but we are working with the ward to help us out with that. Anyways, I love you all and I hope you are all happy with what youre doing!
¡Te Amo!
Con Mi Amor,
Elder Alex Proctor

Friday, August 23, 2013

Letter from the President Gutierrez

Hola Mexico

Hey family! I have arrived in Villahermosa just fine. We got here late last night at around 9pm. The president is super nice and very fun to be around. It is very very humid, but its not that much warmer than Utah. I think I will survive. The food is.... different and will take some getting used to but other than that, things are alright. This is going to be very difficult.
I love you all and hope everything is well!
-Elder Proctor

We had the opportunity to talk with Alex twice; once at SLC airport and again in Houston where he had a 6 hour layover.  We learned that once they arrived in Villahermosa, the mission president was expecting 4 elders but there were 9 on the plane.  He stayed in the mission home for two nights.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

MTC Letter #6

Hola Familia!

Elder Proctor and Sister Warr (& comp.)
The move went well. It made for a long morning because we weren't the only zone that was moving. I had to make sure that everyone was good to go and ready to leave. I had to do room inspections for every single district in our zone.  Annie's zone stayed at the west campus so I don't see her as much any more. I did, however, get to go up to the west campus for "in-field orientation" yesterday. We ran into each other at lunch and at dinner when I had a break in between classes. She wrote me a goodbye note a couple of days before I left and I wrote her one back. She seems to be doing alright. She is doing good though from what she has told me. 
Elders on their way to get their VISA's

 I never got the opportunity to be a host because the week that we were eligible to sign up for it, we got moved to the other campus and they don't even have hosts down here. I have only run into Annie, Nate Lee, Mike Park (Hogan's buddy) and Jiffy. I have seen some people that I recognize with basketball, but I don't really know who they are. Other than that, I haven't really seen anyone that I know.  

I am in the same group as my entire district traveling to Mexico. Elder Enos and EchoHawk are leaving on Monday and the rest of us leave on Tuesday. The group that leaves on Tuesday is all on the same plane and same schedule. 
Elder Proctor's district
I am doing good! I think the reality of everything is starting to set in. We all got our travel plans the other day and everyone went quiet when we opened them up. I think it kinda hit everyone here that we will be in mexico really really soon. We all are paying a lot more attention in class now because we want to know everything that we possibly can to make it out alive. Its coming along well though. I am learning a lot of Spanish. Still am having some problems with the grammar and understanding some of the longer words, but overall I am doing alright with everything that has been taught. I am working hard to try to understand as much of everything as I can. Its difficult to focus so strongly on one subject and then switch over to something completely different for the same amount of time with the same amount of focus. We are done teaching investigators, and I believe that we did a good job finishing up with Ignacio and with Roberto. Hermano Stallings had a session with us where he told us all about the real Ignacio and how he really acted. It was funny to hear him talk about Ignacio because Stallings had to go through the same stuff that we did with Ignacio. It was pretty funny though. 

Elder Proctor and Elder Martin - same graduating class @ Alta

Things are going well for me here. I had a really busy week this week and it was kinda stressful. We had a lot of class time this week, which made everything feel slower but we are all looking forward to Tuesday when we leave.  We are doing good and getting packed all today so that we wont have to worry about it later on tomorrow or Monday night last minute. I am doing good and life is treating me well so far.  Yo quiero ustedes estan felice con todas cosas. Te amo y les quieres mucho!

-Elder Proctor

Smile and Keep your Heads up!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

MTC Letter #5

Hola Mi Familia!
Yo envio un carta a ustedes ayer, entonces usted debe la carta por proximo semana. Yeah, that's right. I know Spanish. I shared all of my experiences from this last week in that letter so I wont really email much this week.

Deep into Jesus the Christ, "most comfortable chair in the house"
Things are going well for me here. Being a Zone Leader is a lot of fun. I get a lot of privileges that you would never get while being just a regular member of the district. I can sit on the stand during sacrament meetings and I can make assignments for people to help out when I need them too. District 35A is now the oldest district in our zone! (District 35A is my district) Its crazy that we are the oldest now! Feels like just yesterday we were brand new to this whole thing. Sometimes I still feel like I just got here! Its insane how fast the days seem to fly by. I am staying busy and working hard at understanding the lessons and trying to focus my attention on the grammar of the language. I am picking things up really quickly. I am doing very well when it comes to teaching also. We teach at least once a day to either Roberto or Ignacio. Ignacio is my favorite because he is a single, 45 year old man who lives with his mom. He kinda reminds me of Grandpa Reese a little bit because his personality is almost the same. (Ignacio is really our teacher Hermano Stallings; the one who served in Bogota, Columbia.) Roberto is just really stubborn with things. He reads the bible every day and prays to God but doesn't fully understand the importance of el Libro de Mormon. We had a TRC experience on Wednesday. TRC is when you teach an actual member of the church that volunteers to come and help us out with the language. A lot of the time they're older people who went on missions to Spanish-speaking countries. Its nice because they speak so slowly and its easier to understand them. We have a lot of fun with that and we do our best to teach them what we know. 
The Zone
Elder Hagund, Bingham, Woodland, Petersen, and I all got called down to the travel office yesterday to find out that we are going into Salt Lake City to pick up our visas on Monday morning at 10AM. We are riding trax down there and will be having lunch down there too.  It should be fun to travel with these guys. They're a lot of fun to be around and hang out with. Elder Echo Hawk and Enos both got to go down to Vegas this last Friday because they're the only two in the entire MTC that are going to Puebla, North. They took lots of pictures and said that they had a great time. They flew down there and back in one day. Kinda insane! I can honestly say that I cannot wait to get on a plane again. Haven't been on one in a while. Elder Petersen has never been on a plane before so it should be interesting to see how he handles traveling down to Mexico for his first flight. HAHA. We are all praying for him. Can't wait though!

A favorite teacher Hermano Jaen
Other than that, I am happy to hear that you all are doing well and staying busy with everything that you're doing. Keep it that way. This last month has flown by because of that. Yeah, there were those days that seemed to drag on but its almost like school all over again. The only difference is that you have class from 8am to 9pm and you're only learning two subjects. Half of it is Spanish, and the other half is the Doctrinas de Cristo. Es muy divertido. 

Mom, you'll be happy to hear that I was able to play the piano for my district after lunch a little while ago. They loved hearing Pirates and then I played All of Me and they were amazed with it. I don't know why because its really not that hard to play. It just looks hard. The rest is all muscle memory. But, they liked it a lot. They want me to play in sacrament meeting, but because I'm a ZL, I am the one who gets to choose whether I want to or not =)  I am playing basketball and soccer with the zone too. Elder Kroll, is about six-four and can dunk without even jumping. His arm span is insane. I had he chance to guard him a couple of times... I don't want to talk about it. I still have the quickness though. Soccer is coming along. Occasionally I will get a goal or two a game. I just don't have the quickness with my feet yet that I have with my hands with basketball. 

Devotional set up - "exact and the same every week".
 The letter that I am going to send has everything in it that has happened and what my plans are for everything. Anyways, I hope all is well at the house and the puppies are doing well. I wish Rider the best with his leg. Give him a big squeeze for me. I miss the dogs so much. More than I though I would. I hear Zoey got shaved and is looking more like babe every day! Love ya Girl! Love ya Bubba! They're the best dogs ever. Stay busy and know that I love all of you and I am praying for all of you each day. Stay strong with everything. I am a big boy and I can handle things on my own so don't worry about anything. I know the Lord will keep me safe in Mexico. Thank you for all of the amazing support that you have given me and for all that you have done to get me here. I love you Keat, Sadie, Mom, Dad and the puppies! You guys are the best!
Con Mi Amor,
-Elder Alex Proctor
Smile and Keep your Head up! 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

MTC Letter #4

Hola Mi Familia!

Mi vida en le MTC es muy bien y mi companeros son muy muy gran! (My life in the MTC is very good and my companions are very very great!) I have been doing a lot of new stuff this week. We had the chance to start doing contacts which is where you talk to random people on the street and ask if you could meet with them another time. It was really awkward because we could only meet with other missionaries at the MTC. Also, it was all in Spanish. That made things pretty interesting.

Yesterday was probably one of the most spiritual moments I have ever had in my life. We had a substitute teacher for our night class last night because Hermano Jaen wasn't able to be there. Our sub's name was Hermano Avila. He also looks like a big teddy bear but he is native Mexican and has lived in LA most of his life. Anyways, his lesson was great. Two hours of Spanish practice and then an hour of coaching at the end. The hour of coaching was incredible. He told us all about his life and how rough it was because he was a convert to the church when he was young. His family didn't want him to go on his mission because he was called to serve in Mongolia, speaking Hmong. His lesson about his life and difficult it was for him when he got back was amazing. Everyone in the district was listening and paying attention. He talked about when he came back and how tough it was for him to see that his family wasn't the same when he got back. He felt that Satan had taken over his family while he was gone. Eventually, we got onto the topic of repentance. I have no idea how, but we did. He asked all of us to think of someone that we thought needed to go through the repentance process in our own lives. Immediately, my companion broke down into tears. I did the same. I had no idea why, because normally, that type of stuff wouldn't really bother me. But I completely broke down. Imagine that feeling that we had at that moment. It took him a solid 5 minutes to even start talking to Avila. I eventually looked up and noticed that the other Elders were all crying also. The spirit was amazingly strong in that room last night.  By the end of that little lesson shared with everyone, everyone in the room was crying. It was the most touching moment that I have ever witnessed up until this point. Avila offered a closing prayer and asked Heavenly Father to bless each of our family’s individually. It was amazing.
Alex's room for the next 2.5 weeks
I don't need any more candy though haha... my desk drawers are filled with candy that hasn't even been touched yet. I don't really need any more DP either. It’s hard to keep it refrigerated because we don't have a refrigerator. So we just cover it with a sheet on the AC vents in our rooms. It works pretty well. =)

Alright, well things are going well and the experiences here, if you can't tell already, are getting better every day. It’s getting easier and easier. Teaching is still a little difficult because they speak so quickly, especially Hermano Stallings. Sometimes I wonder if he is even pronouncing words. It’s ridiculous. Jaen is really busy with his new job and is a little stressed out, but he is the happiest guy I know. I hope to get some pictures of the both of them to send to you next week. You'll see what I mean when I say that Jaen is a big teddy bear... =)  

"This is my sanctuary"  Alex gets the top bunk.
So, I'll log off for now. I want you all to know that I love you and that I think about each of you every day. Mi familia es muy muy muy importante y yo querio saber te amo. Thank you for all that you have sent me while I've been here; the shoes, camera, the candy and shirts. I love hearing from you guys each night when those DearElders come in. The always come right after dinner time at around 5:30. That is the best part of my day. Keep sending stuff! Whatever you feel I will need or want to have... send it! I love getting things from you guys. Keep your eyes on the mailbox, cuz I will be sending some letters this week at some point, probably Tuesday is when I will write them, so be expecting them by Friday at the latest. Te Amo!

Con Mi Amor,
Elder Alex Nelson Proctor

Smile and Keep your Head Up!