Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 17, 2017

I am doing good today, my stomach is messed up from something i ate yesterday i think. the heat isnt great, but theres nothing you can do. i do indeed have enough short sleeve shirts, my stretchy ones are a little smaller now, im getting fat from all this stinking rice and torillas. we dont really do any service ever which drives me crazy, i want to get my hands dirty and do stuff. its going fairly quick, the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days, its wild. its fun for the most part. the drunk people dont like us because were both american. I am getting to know the ward a lot better. Our mission leader is so cool and way solid. my spanish is functional, i think i have about maxed out for having a white companion, its like shooting yourself in the foot. i am fairly fluent, some things are still hard to say but i can say just about everything i want to. Easter?  Here it is called holy week and everyone just parties and shoots fireworks for a whole week and everyone doesnt eat meat and sunday was kinda just a ghost town, everything shuts down, all the stores and everything all weekend. they drink so much beer here it blows my mind. maria didnt come to church but we taught this guy florencio and he has some crazy stories, and we set a baptismal date in our first lesson with him, it was so cool. he seems way solid. We taught jose cruz to keep the sabbath day holy this week because his baptismal date is in like 2 weeks and he didnt come to church last week, and he doesnt have a job, he is a temp so he just goes whenever someone calls him with work, and last sunday he didnt have any food or any money and he got a call for a job so he went instead of coming to church, and elder stubbs was slamming him for it and i wasnt backing him up because i didnt know what to say. Jose asked about the ox in the mire and asked if no food and no money counts as an ox in the mire, and elder stubbs didnt understand and i didnt have enough faith to tell him he needs to go to church in that situation, but then he didnt come yesterday either. the book of mormon is written specifically for us. help them understand that. tell them to pray for a desire to read it (This last few sentences were written in response to what I should teach the young women about the importance of the Book of Mormon.)
Also this week, someone threw rocks at us from who knows where, they were hiding in the trees or something and it hit me in the head and it hurt, but i pretended like it didnt because i didnt want them to know they hit me. Also, i got a plant like 5 weeks ago and I put it in a planter outside our door and we named it abraham lincoln, or Abe for short, I watered him every day, and then this week someone stole him. I was so mad. Who steals a plant?



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

April 10, 2017

Hey momma, whats kickin? This week was pretty wild. sometimes the ants get in my azucaritas (that means little suggaries, advertising is different here, theyre like frosted flakes) which isnt a big deal, but the lizards are getting wise around here, and on thursday i went to pour myself some azucaritas and a lizard was in my bowl of milk, it was very sad. we taught some good lessons, jose cruz decided he wants to get baptized so that was pretty neat. Well see if he goes through. Maria went to church again this week which was way super awesome because we have been working with her forever, and the missionaries before us for almost 2 years. We still walk a lot. today we went to cerra de la cruz again and elder martinez led us through the jungle and we got lost again, he calls it extreme p day. the ward mission leader is way awesome and today we went to his house and ate pozole. idk what else happened, nothing really. Im doing good. im always way hungry at night.im healthy and getting swole from my half hour workout everymorning, i can do like 7 pushups now. I studied the allegory of the olive trree some more and read jesus the christ. we have this new investigator named karin and she has crazy ideas about religion, but everything she knows about religion she has just decided through logic, im excited to help her find the truth because she has tons of questions. in spanish cielo means heaven and sky, and she wants to know where in the sky god is, which is hard to answer. well see how it goes this week. were going to tepic this week for divisions wiht the APs, im not sure why. i think they think were disobedient because so much crazy stuff keeps happening to us (not really). we had some good lessons. my interview was good, we saw a kid that was like 9 trying to fight off a 17 year old, the kid had rocks in each hand trying to defend himself and i told the other kid to get out of here, because the little kid had some gnarly bruises on his ribs, it looked like he got kicked by a horse or something. and elder stubbs said we arent sposed toi get in the middle of stuff like that, so i asked president and president told me im not allowed to. which is stupid. we also got stopped by state police (here they put big turret guns in their trucks, theyre the people who mean business) and they talked to us and were way nice, but they all had their big guns out and were searching the hillside, so we left.
Heres some pics that really capture the ambiance of our room with mosquito nets and christmas lights. the other ones were when we got lost last week










April 3, 2017

 not a ton happened this week. we walked a lot and taught some. we had these investigators that we had to drop because they never came to church, we dropped em at the beginning of last week and then they showed up at conference yesterday which was way cool, the second talk of the afternboon session was talking directly to them..  i think things should start picking up here but who knows, i dont have tons to tell. On tuesday we rewatched the transition from when they changed the schedule so that was neat. i learned a lot more. i feel like in the mtc you dont even know what youre preparing for, if you sent me back to the mtc and told ne the same stuff i would learn so much more now. we are teaching english class so that was fun, we had 2 days this week where every single one of our citas fell, so that was frustrating. appointments i mean. there is this old guy that lives here and has lived here for 50 years and is a recent convert that helps us a lot, we are going to have him introduce us to his friends because he literally knows everyone. we decided he is the key to missionary work. conference was neat. thats about it. On friday and tuesday we had every single one of our citas fall, which was 10. 10 appointments fell. what thet heck. it was lame.  we got way lost in the jungle today and walked like 8 miles, that was fun, we were with our district leader. 

March 27, 2017

Hey momma, this week was wild. We hadnt had any new investigators in two weeks, and the week before that we had 2, so that was lame. We spent most the days walking around, looking through names on the ward list and the old investigators list, which isnt the funnest because its really hot here. so on friday after food elder stubbs said we should fast, he said he had never fasted besides fast sunday before on his mission because it is kinda discouraged because it is really hard to be a missionary without food and water, but we did it and prayed to find people. Saturday we got 4 new investigators, in one day, it was so awesome. Then sunday we got another one, and we asked if anyone else was home, and he said his daughter was but she wouldnt want to listen, then half way through our lesson she came and stuck her head around the corner and saw us so she came down and sat at the table with us and listened. it was so awesome, we got 6 new investigators in two days. That was way neat. but on sunday 0 of our investigators went to church which kind of sucked, but there were like 40 or 50 white people there because its sprinkbreakerthon around here right now. i dont really remember what else happened, elder stubbs left a pan of rice on the counter all week so it got way moldy and he didnt want to clean it so he just through it away, and he trhough away our only lid, which i didnt notice but im not thrilled about. I finished the book of mormon and am in 2nd nephi again. i also read the book "our search for happiness" be m russel ballard this week, thats pretty sweet. i also realized how much faith ishmael had in the book of mormon, four teenage kids came and told him to leave with his family and leave all his stuff to go into the wilderness for...ever, thats a lot of stinking faith, but nobody really ever notices that guy. not much happened this week

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March 20, 2017

Hey momma, whats going on. thanks for all teh updates. I got the package and the food is all super delicious, thanks so much. it was in decent shape. We had our follow up in guaDALAJARA and saw how are training is going and trained us some more. it was suuuuper good, our president is the man. we slept on cardboard so that was luxurious. i havent put up the mosquito net, we had to but a bunch of health stuff for a first aid kid type thing and now i am super poor, so i cant afford tape to put up a mosquito net, i have 200 pesos to live off until the end of the month, hopefully i can learn how to budget because that is like 10 dollars. i have a decent amount of bug bites, they get me in my sleep. the sun is hot, but i havent gotten too burned, theres a lot of shade in our area which is nice. i dont take any health pills. my allergies are fine but i got a head cold this week. we have a couple good investigators. the ward is way nice but i still dont know them super well, plus the ward is ginormous so its hard to get around everywhere. elder jimenez was fun. yesterday we ate with a guy that lived in fernley and knows english fluently and he knows things that dont translate the same from english to spanish and he taught me a ton. i wrote a whole page of notes. i really wish someone had told me some of that stuff 12 weeks ago. ill write you a longer one in a minute, but that should answer all your questions. I love you momma. and happy birthday, sorry i was a little late, last week was rushed, what did you do for your birthday?



This week was definitely the most mexican week so far (in a good way). We went to guadalajara last monday night, and where we stayed didnt have beds but they were accommodating enough to give us cardboard to sleep on, all that did was slide across the ground when i moved during the night and woke me up, so that was neat. the owner didnt pay the water bill for our meter this week,(we think, he says its a problem with the pipes, because he has water, but whatever) so weve been out of water for a bit. the owner set out a hose though, so if we need to dishes or shower or go to the bathroom, you get the joy of going and filling a bucket. showering out of a bucket is fun. not. I ate cow tongue this week and it tasted like normal beef, but it looked like a tongue. i also ate pig brain tamales and those were way good, they wrap them in banana leaves here instead of corn husks. The people that made us the tamales also kill iguanas with a slingshot and eat them, so i got to hold an iguana at their house. (it was alive, they just caught it and let it go because they werent hungry). later on we learned killing iguanas is illegal, so shhhhh. we met with rocio a lot this week and she made us fried shrimp and it was sooo good, she works a lot, she is head chef and works from 10 am to 10 pm so we meet with her in the mornings and she usually makes us breakfast. there is a reason she is head chef. Maria and Marta didnt come to church again, and we spent all week trying to explain why they have to get baptized again, they still dont get it so its frustrating. we contacted all week long, just walking around talking to people, but that gets old. we have been really trying to be guided by the spirit while we contact. we are getting better i think. thats about it. oh, transfer calls were last night, me and elder stubbs are staying together. we also played this game at our follow ups with all the new missionaries and their companions and all the office missionaries so it was like 40 people and i thought it was going to be on the busquejos but it was actually on the reference questions, so i hadnt studied them a single time. they narrowed it down and so everyone got out slowly and everyone was crowded around to watch, then when it got to the final four hermana clayton (presidents wife) made the people clear out so she could see, and elder stubbs is short so he couldnt see who was still in, and when he saw i was still in he was dancing around and freaking out because he knew we hadnt studied them a single time, but i kinda just learned them as the game went and ended up winning 1st, it was so funny, elder stubbs was dying. and then on my trophy paper for winning my name was spelled wrong, i was so mad. but that was fun.








March 13, 20017

So this week was madness. tuesday we went from district class straight to divisions, and for divisions i went to a little pueblo called las varas up in nayarit with elder jimenez. we got to the house and nobody has lived there for a while, and the windows dont have glass or screens, so the pidgeons decided to live there. when they were flying around it knocked all the papers and everything everywhere, and then they pooped all over everything. we dropped our stuff off and went to work. the mattress were way nasty and there werent any sheets or blankets or pillows, but i layed down for a second and then woke up in the morning. oops. i was expecting to be exactly obedient and go by the schedule and do all our studies since i was on divisions with the zone leader, but instead we just cleaned up pidgeon poop all morning. i walked around on the roofs until i could find a couple stray nails and i used a brick to pound them into the cement to hang a poster over our window so the birds cant come in anymore. we didnt get back to our area in vallarta until 8 that night, wednesday was normal. thursday we had to leave at like 7:30 to go the district leaders house and we spent the night there which was fun. in the morning we got up at 4:30 to get to the bus stop because we chartered a bus to Tepic for our zone, but the bus never showed up, so we had to take a city bus to the central and all buy bus tickets to tepic. then we had a health conference in tepic and they gave us mosquito nets because i guess dengue is breaking out in some places. then we didnt get back to vallarta until 11:30 that night, and we slept in coapinole with the district leaders again because it was 11:30 and our area is an hour more south. so saturday morning we went back to our area and did some stuff, sunday was good, then this morning we were working out at like 11:00 and someone called us and said "hey, youre leaving to guadalajara in three hours so go get packed." we havent had any time in our area lately to teach our investigators, which drives me crazy, and we are going to be in guadaljara until wednesday. so that was my crazy week. hopefully this week we can teach some people and get some people at church. we have a kid that we tracted into, his mom is in jail and his dad works almost always so he never sees him, but his grandma is a member and i think were going to baptize him, hes been to church 3 times. we had a couple other investigators at church, and on monday we had FHE with a less active family and then they came to church so that was way awesome.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

March 6, 2017

I wanted to bear my testimony but their wasnt time. lots of people bore their testimonies which was good, we had an investigator at church, he has now been 7 times but he doesnt think he is worthy yet, the mother of his kids hangs around and is bad news and i think he is trying to stop drinking. The teaching is going alright, nobody is progressing much, and we are having a hard time finding people. we have about 8. I am reading the book of mormon every transfer, i read as much as i can when we get home at night so that i can study other stuff during study time, i am learning about how to recognize the spirit, and just getting to know the book of mormon. its pretty much my only entertainment around here. we are in a ward, it is an hour and a half across our area in a bus, and their is another little pueblo in our area about 2 hours away in the jungle, we might go their some time, im not sure, we heard the luz del mundo is snatching em up. look up that church, idk what it is but it is way popular and wayyyy apostate. some stake president said he had personal revelation that he was supposed to be the prophet, and he told the church that and they said none of them had that revelation so he started his own church. their baptismal font is outside the temple and its on the back of 12 oxen. they have a temple here. we want to go out their and teach people the truth before they get into the wrong stuff, because this church is way contentions. me and elder stubbs are buds now, we got to know each other a lot, i still kind of want a latino companion, it would just help me so much to learn more spanish. you should look up a list of spanish words i can memorize because i already memorized the whole book that they gave us in the MTC. we went on divisions this week with the district leaders in their area and people are also way nicer when you are with a latino. this week we have to go to guadalajara which is 5 hours away and tepic which is 4 hours away, so that will be a lot of long bus rides. this last week we ate with a member that has a vacation home here and is american and we went to this suuuper nice restaurant overlooking the ocean. she brought her friend, he was 86 and from england, he told us about growing up in the bomb raids during world war two, and he was a spy for MI:6 in austria and russia during the cuban missile crisis, apparently england cared about that too. it was pretty cool. not that much crazy stuff happened this week, just the normal crazy that happens in mexico. One night while i was on the phone with our district leaders giving the report i saw a spider on my sleeve, and so i was trying to shoo it off of me and it ran up me sleeve into my shirt, it was super scary, i freaked out a bit. One night we got home and there was a note on our door from one of our investigators saying she wanted us to stop by, and the day before her 4year old son had stabbed someone in the eye at school so we thought it was going to be something about her having to pay a lot. we get there and her boyfriend that doesnt really like us answered the door and said "please give her something good tonight, shes crazy". so then she came out and was telling us how she thinks hes gay. she said she has caught him cheating 3 times and she has forgiven him but she cant have him being gay, cuz thats a sin. She proceeded to explain that he was out with the gays doing cocaine all night and all morning, and "what else would he be doing with they gays" (but in spanish). She doesnt want him being gay cuz thats dirty and could get her and her kids sick. She asked me what she should do and i couldnt find words. Elder stubbs handled it well, he said that he didnt care if it was gay straight or whatever, if someone cheated on him they could have a good life because he would leave them. I had no idea what to say. He said it was the weirdest situation of his mission. it is kind of bad because we want to teach her, but we arent her counselors. and her husband doesnt really like us anyways.  I love you.


the Chat:
I asked him what the most difficult and easiest part of missions were, and when he felt the spirit this week.
"it is easy to sleep, hard to do just about everything else, we walk up a lot of hills which is hard. probably harder than expected. waking up is hard. it was cool when one of our investigors said she knows the church is true because of us, the spirit just hit me really hard letting me know the church is true,because if two fools that dont speak the language can show someone its true than it has to be, right?"


Received this on Sunday March 5th:
Koenig family-

My sisters and I are here in Puerto Vallarta on vacation. We had the chance to quickly meet your son at church and wanted to send you a quick picture. He seems happy and is being trained by Elder Stubbs from Provo Utah. He already had some serious Spanish skills for just entering the field!

Happy Sunday!

Kind Regards,
Kate Barlow



February 27, 2017

 my feet and teeth are fine, im tough momma, remember :) its cuz you beat me so much growing up. This week was good,had some difficult days, but it was good. we do laundry by hands, which is why all the mexicans have strong forearms, its hard work. not even joking. we do it in a little wash basin. we met a little boy named edgar this week and he is like 10, his mom sells elotes, and then we saw him getting beat up the next day so we said "hey, stop beating up edgar", the kid was like 14, but were bffs with edgar now. Heis always in the street playing soccer so i kick it around with him for a minute, but we always have to get back to work, which sometimes mean continuing walking aimlessly on the streets because we dont have anything to do. the first 2 weeks combined we taught 2 lessons, but we are starting to get our investigators set which is really nice, more lessons means less walking. I also learned that the way the letters work here, when youre drunk "elder koenig" looks a lot like it says "if youre drunk come talk/argue/just be weird in general to me", thats not the direct translation, but you get the point. missionaries are like drunk/crazy people magnets, this week we had this guy that was talking about the godfather and like asking us if we were in the mafia and stuff, and we just sat there and talked to him because we were waiting for a member, then our member walked up in a fedora and the crazy man says "oh, so you got al capone on your team" i laughed a bit. another crazy drunk man told us he was from a family of witches, and that his whole family had just been killed by cartel hit men. and thats just a sample, there are 1000 more stories. Me and Elder stubbs made hielitos today, which are these little ice cream things, im excited to eat them later. We eat with members a lot and they always feed us really really well,  love the food here. yesterday was the weirdest day so far, i could write an entire email about yesterday, so i was sitting in ward council after church and a brother in the ward came up and whispered to me that there was someone that needed our help, so we left and there were these 2 american girls that had walked like 6 miles to find the church because their friends were sick and wanted priesthood blessings, so Hermano Saul came with us because we didnt want to be alone with a bunch of white women. So we go to find their friends and their friends had gotten kicked out of their hotel because their checkout time was noon, and we thought there was just going to be 2 more of them, so we walk up and see 6 american girls with gnarly food poinsoning just passed out on the works rockiest beach in vallarta, its not even really a beach, but the rocks are like the sizeof a loaf of bread and probably really uncomfortable to lay on, and we couldnt give them a blessing on the boardwalk with tourists everywhere, so we were trying to find out what to do and Saul says we could go to the house of his girlfriends parents, who were sposed to be feeding us anyways. so we take 6 sick american girls (they were all between 18 and 20) on a bus to this members house, and only one of these girls knew spanish, which was a nightmare. so we get to the house and give them all blessings, then saul and hermano lorenzo are going to the market to get enough food or everyone, and we couldnt stay in the house with all these girls so we went to the market on a sunday, then we went and got medicine for these girls, and they ate with us, and so we were all just in this familys house speaking english and eating their food which made me feel super bad, and i hope they didnt blame us for it because it wasnt our fault that these girls were fools, it was way random and cool to see they had so much faith, because my last thought in that situation would be to go find missionaries...and ya, that was my week. learning spanish is fun, its like playing catchphrase 24/7. The ward is way nice but we dont know them very well yet and still get lost all the time. Elder stubbs today said "show me your morning and ill show you your day, show me your day and ill show you your mission, show me your mission and ill show you your life" he was quoting someone but i thought it was pretty neat. if we study we have good days, good days equal a good mission, and if you learn everything youre supposed to on your mission youll have a good life. thats it from my side of the wall, keep me updated. 

The Chat :
"theres this investigator we are teaching named adrianna and her some is really cute, and whenever he sees us he yells "hermanos", he reminds me a lot of parker guisti, he is 4 and walks around with his mom all day while she sells donuts off her head, but her husband sells cocaine we think, he got deported and speaks english, and he said he didnt want to come to our lesson because he had to go to business stuff, then we saw some white powder and i think i figured out what his business is, but then sunday morning we were walking to church and we saw adrianne and his mom and he didnt want to talk to us, he was mad because his dad didnt come home the night before, and they didnt know where he was, his mom said he was probably out drinking. he said he might move to cancun because "she my girl but we aint married, i can do what i want". hopefully he moves out so we can baptize her, it makes me so sad that that is how adrianne is being raised, and thats what his mom subjects herself to. im glad you and dad love each other"

February 20, 2017
















This week was wild, i dont even know where to start. We found some good investigators this week, the problem is everybody is super open with their feelings about the gospel and everyone here supposedly loves god and loves to pray but nobody ever wants to apply his teachings in their lives, cuz that works. We convinced this one lady's husband to sit in on one of our and he used to go to bible camp as a kid, and he knows all this stuff, like he was telling us how important it is you hang out with good people because he would go to bible camp and be churchy while living with his sister during the summer but when he got back to his neighborhood he would start gang banging again. also our colonia (neighborhood) is deportee central, there are soo many people that speak english because they have been deported. We contacted this one guy in english (because he got deported of course) and it was sooo chill and so much easier. we found some of the dangerous areas in our area this week so we know not to go there anymore. we got this other family too that investigated the church for two years, the church helped him stop smoking, and the mom prayed and has a testimony of the book of mormon, they even have family home evening, hopefully we can get them baptized, because that is seriously the only thing they lack. We hung out with elder martinez and elder cangas today and that was fun. We had interviews with president this week so we had to go to ixtapa on saturday with takes over an hour both ways, and then we had stake conference saturday and sunday so we had to go up there again, i felt like we were wasting so much of the lords time. I dont understand how missionaries can be disobedient, we had to pay our water bill this week so we spent like 2 and a half hours trying to find somewhere to pay it because directions in mexico are a nightmare. we werent being disobedient, because we needed to pay the bill, but i still just felt like i was wasting time that i couldve spent helping people. We did service this week for a recent convert named Jorge, he is so awesome, his girlfriend wants him to do bad stuff but he doesnt want to because hes truly converted so the fight about it a lot i think. He got the melchizedek priesthood on sunday and it was awesome. I got the gift of tongues this week, not only to speak spanish but to speak mechanic in spanish, he needed help changing his carburator and tuning it and the spirit pretty much helped me remember everything ive ever heard johnny wadsworth say. it was way cool, and now his awesome truck runs even better, ill send pictures in a minute. I made the mistake of eating a few different chillys this week, i regretted it every single time. We ate some good food and are starting to get the hang of things. i wish stake conference wasnt this week because we need to get to know the members mnore, theyre all so awesome and friendly but we dont know them. In stake conference some people stood up and apposed the stake president which was weird, and then president clayton the mission president planched them. thats what we say here, planch means  iron, like you iron your clothes. and then the area seventy planched them too. We went to mismaloya which is a little pueblo a bit south of us, its in our area but its like an hour away, it was way pretty, and way touristy on the way there, but the pueblo is like out in the jungle, there are these peacock looking things that hop around in the trees, they fed us whole fishes, they cut the guts out but the eyes and head were still on and everything. They were caught in the ocean that morning, it was way good, the places people live here are psycho, but fun.  i am going to rant about that elder _______ guy for a minute, so we are supposed to email until 6 and then go back to work, so they were in our area and i said "k lets go" and he said "wait i still have to email president" then we waited for him to email president and continue messaging his friends until aboput 6:45, then they finally left so me and elder stubbs did our thing, then at like 7:50 we were walking to an appointment and we see elder ______ (still in ourt area, which is 45 minutes from his area) walking to go get tacos with some tourists he met. no idea. then that night at like 9:30  district leader calls us to ask if we know where they are because they werent home, and things are pretty dangerous here so we have to be in at 9, that is a way strict rule. so then on sunday one of the members mentions how they saw him in there, because thats exactly what we want our members to think, that the missionaries hang out with tourists at eat tacos all the time, i was fairly irritated. then he said they went ipod shopping (instead of missionary work [also not on pday) the dudes a fool. i was so irritated. here they call that "frito", it means you do whatever you want instead of following the rules. also we got a knife pulled on us last night, so that was neat, he wanted all of our money, but we didnt give him our money and were friends now, his name is james and he got deported so her knows english, and he knows a weird amount about the church, i wonder if he used to be a member, he told us he was going to go on a mission until he found out you have to pay for it yourself so now hes on the run.

This is from our chat :
"we go to district class every tuesday, with our whole district and usually another district, there are 18 people in our zone i think, 22 with the people who got emergency transfered down from nayarit. updfate there, they were having a limpieza, which means cleansing, they pretty much just bring in the military to kill everyone in the pacific cartel, but i think they killed most of them and things are settling down now. they cartel has so much power its a mini war for a little bit. those missionaries get to go home to santiago soon. today we hiked a cross thing, ill send pics. we havent played any soccer yet which is sad. we arent allowed to eatr the street food, but the members usually feed us out of the pots that they take to the centro to sell on the street haha, the mebers feed us sooo good. i might buy quesadillas this week, we eat tortillas with everything. one of our investigators, adrianna sells donuts, and she carries the tray of donuts on her head, has the tray holder in one hand, and beats her 4 year old with the other hand, she walks up and down these hills selling donuts off her head, its way cool."

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February 13, 2017

Received this fun surprise this morning.  A phone call from BYU softball coach saying he saw Elder Koenig at church, and then this text...

He is an incredible young man! He has a great spirit about him. He is healthy and couldn't stop smiling.

Gordon Eakin
BYU Softball coach


February 13, 2017

Ya, this week was psycho. so me and my companion are opening an area, so we get here, neither of us know the area at all, we dont have a map, we dont have a list of the members, we dont know any of the members, we dont have a food calendar, which wouldnt be a big deal, except people are planning on us coming to their house and we dont know who they are or where they live. there are a ton of tourists here, and since me and my companion are both white its really hard not to look like tourists, its like we are rich americans in our nice clothes invading their country, i dont think the majority of the population thinks that, but the drunk old men do, and they sure like to let us know it. people tell me my spanish is better than my trainers, which is flattering, but problematic since he's my trainer, sometimes i feel like im training myself. also, our phone stopped charging so we couldnt contact anyone, while our phone was dead we were trying to find the stake center, which is like 2 hours away, on a bus, we werent sure if it was the right bus, and there was a huge detour so we ended up out in ¨Nam and there were cows and jungle and no people and it was scary, but we ended up getting where we needed to go, just a couple hours late. another time we got on a bus going up the hill instead of down the hill, and he gets to the top of this hill, in the middle of the jungle, and tells us to get off because its the end of his route and its his lunch time, so we ended up chilling with him while he ate his lunch and then he took us back down the hill. We have only taught two people so far, we spend most of our time trying to find where investigators live, which is hard because our area is ginormous, i think its the biggest area in the mission. We walk up and down cobblestone hills all day which is awesome (not) and we street contact people, it has been hard, but it will get better. the food is good. my favorite part is these rope bridges in the jungle going over the river, i jump and it makes the whole bridge swing, its kinda like in shrek, my companion is donkey, he doesnt like it very much when i do that. We dont eat dinner in mexico, just like cereal for breakfast and a big lunch with the members and thats it, so im hungry a lot. Im not sure if thats normal for mexico or if my companion just likes to work hard, but its whatever.  My comp is named elder stubbs. he is kinda short, thick built, not super thick, just thicker than me, his spanish is ...functional, i like him, this week has been really really hard so i havent been super talkative, we dont know each other super well yet, hes from provo, he played football and i actually dont really know anything about him. I will send pictures of my apartment next week, its pretty junky, but we have hot water and thats all i need. Let me know whats going on up north. cya


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

February 8, 2017

I have been on a bus all day, then we went to the store and tried to settle in, i still havent had a chance to change my american dollars to pesos which is a pain in the butt. Im going to start from sunday night, because its been quite the week. So sunday night everyone in my casita was being crazy because it was the last time most of us were going to see each other, so everyone was saying goodbye and staying up talking and stuff, and we had to leave the CCM at 1:30, so i didnt even go to sleep that night because everyone was being crazy, we got to guadalajara and president clayton and his wife picked us up and we went to the stake center next to the temple, they said they knew we were tired, and they knew we wouldnt stay awake, so they sent us on splits. I went to an area called primavera which was on the outskirts of Guadalajara city. I will send you pictures next week maybe because this computer doesnt have a USB. but anyways, Primavera was dirt streets with giant pieces of obsidian all over the place in the road, i wanted to take some and make some arrowheads, but it is probably against mission rules, and i would probably hurt myself. It was maybe the most ghetto place i have ever been, my companion said we were going to a place so hood it wasnt on the map, I thought he was joking, he wasnt. We tried to talk to this one member but the back wall of his house had just collapsed so he was busy fixing it. It was way hot, the dust was like volcanic ash so i was sweating mud. We went into this neighborhood/shanty town where the houses were made of scrap wood, on a lot of the houses the walls were just piles of rocks, the ceilings were all tarp and old cloth, some of them had cloth walls, it was crazy. The companion i was with hadnt been in his area for a week because of changes and training and stuff, so we didnt have any plans. for lunch i got some bread from this guy on the street for 3 pesos, and thats it. We didnt have any appointments so we just walked around and street contacted all day, if i had a fitbit i woulda got all kinds of trophies, I street contacted some people, which went alright, spanish is hard. For dinner we had pizza which was good, then we went back out. Being in mexico at night isnt that scary, because theres a lot of night people, but at like 7:30 after the sun goes down but before the night people come out it is really scary because everybody on the street, which is hardly anyone, looks really scary. I saw nathan schank that morning and we talked a bit, he is training and i was hoping he would train me, but hes not. Also, in our house in primavera there is this thing you plug in to get you hot water, but it kinda points toward the wall, and if youre a short mexican its not a problem, but when youre as tall as me you have to put your face on the wall to get any water. because of this i wondered if i could turn the shower head, so i grabbed the pipe, to which the electric heater was taped, and since my whole body was wet, my whole body got freaking electrocuted, so that was neat. Then the next morning we went to president claytons house and he fed us breakfast which was yummy, and then had some trainings, president claytons wife kinda reminds me of mom. After the trainings we went to the stake center and did more trainings, like safety stuff. There is a lot of wierd rules here because of the cartel, our taxi driver was telling us scary cartel stories. We arent allowed to have more than 4 missionaries together at a time because that looks like the cartel i guess. there are certain ways we answer the phone if we have been kidnapped and stuff. and if we get kidnapped, we still have to wake up at 6:30, excercise, and study as best we can, because apparently exact obedience gives you power, even when youre being held hostage. We got our assignments and i am currently in Puerta Vallarta with Elder Stubbs. we just call it vallarta here. We are opening an area, so neither of us know where we are or whats going on, which is neat, and my spanish is almost as good as his, he understands better than me, but teaching might be hard. It is hot and way humid here, i sweat a lot, and we havent even done much work yet. This week will definitely be an adventure. We met this member earlier that spoke english and she used to live in our area but she moved, but she was telling us to teach her people well and stuff, it was really cool, and she gave us some good advice. We dont have much time so i am just typing one email and copying and pasting it, so spread the love and show people. does mom have an email list? if she does i have people for her to add. I will email you each individually next P day, i love you all. take care and stuff.

February 7, 2017

Dear Families,
We are delighted to have met Elder Koenig. He began today with us here at the mission home
with breakfast and an interview with President Clayton. This second day here in the mission included a full day of training and meeting his new companion,
his trainer, Elder Stubbs.  
His first area will be in Vallarta, in the district of Campestre 2.
We are grateful for your son's willingness of heart and positive attitude. We are grateful for this valiant son of our Father in Heaven as he joins us here in the Guadalajara Mission.

with love,
Sister Clayton



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

February 6, 2017

Dear families,

I thought I would send just a quick note letting you know that your missionary has arrived safe and sound!
We picked our new missionaries up at the airport this morning, and arranged for them to join a threesome companionship from right here in Guadalajara for their first day of missionary service.  
We begin our first full day of training tomorrow.  
I will send another update with pictures of them with their new trainers, and will let you know of their first assignment in the next few days.

Thank you for your faith and prayers in their behalf.  These first few days will be an adjustment, but we know that Lord will strengthen and bless them as they begin their service.

much love,
Sister Clayton



Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February 1, 2017

We went to the temple this week, I don't remember what I already told you about that but it was way cool. It was cool to walk into the celestial room and see all the worthy missionaries asking for guidance from the Lord. Plus I did it in all Spanish and saw a video I've never seen before which was cool. Today was Sunday, and Sundays in the CCM are the best. We met with presidente machado (branch president) and he is so loving and awesome. Here's my favorite quotes from church today "the sin of omission, you can lock yourself in a box and say you lived a perfect life but you are committing the sin of omission, we are called to be in the world and to lift and serve and edify those around us. By doing nothing we might as well be doing wrong 'to whom much is given, much is required'" and "we don't magnify the priesthood, the priesthood is already magnificent, we magnify the service, we magnify the work, and the priesthood will magnify us." Also, a spiderman quote applied to the sin of omission, "when you can do what we can, it's our fault when people get hurt" and it's talking about superheroes, but knowing what we know, it is on our heads when we don't share the gospel. We have to have faith and not be afraid because fear is selfish and prideful and fear is the opposite of faith. Also, "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass", we are small and simple things. Sorry for being all weird and spiritual, I also ate like 5 corn dogs and instant mashed potatoes for dinner. I ate lunch with Presidente Bennette (CCM president) on Saturday and he hit me with all bunches of knowledge, we're getting to know each other because he really likes our district and we always ask him questions about how to be better missionaries, Saturdayy I asked him how to hit the ground running out of the MTC and he said  "The MTC isn't a landing pad, it's a launch pad into our missions which is a launch pad for our lives, the moon is 284000 miles from Earth, but they use 75% of their fuel in the first 25 miles, we need to go balls to the wall until we break out of the atmosphere and defy gravity." And then keep going hard because you are not saved until you have stayed faithful your whole life. Our mission doesn't end until we are dead and safely buried in our coffins. That last part is an elder eves quote, he's a senior missionary that works here. I also asked Presidente Bennette on Saturday what good missionaries have in common and he says they don't just believe the principle, they internalize it. He said "do you believe in Christ or do you believe Christ. It's easy to believe hell died on the cross and Yada Yada, but do you truly believe in your heart the words of Christ and that he came to the earth to save you specifically. Do you believe that in and through only Christ that your investigators change their lives and endure to the end. Today was good, I don't know anything noteworthy that happened, we went and helped some random new district and they were really obnoxious and didn't want us to teach them, every time we would try to correct them they would argue with us so we left. Hermano BarroterĂ¡n left today to go to tijuana to be with his fiance, it was pretty sad and we sang "para siempre dios este con voz". We are about to put 16 people on elder starnes bed so that's cool. We played beach volleyball today and that was fun I guess, and then elder Schmidts kicked the volleyball on the roof. Today I played soccer with Latinos FINALLY and it was the most fun I've had since I've been here, it was awesome. They were so good but not way better so it was perfect. I can't wait to get in the field and play all the time with guadalajarensos  (that's not actually what they're called) we had pizza tonight and that was neat but I only got 3 pieces because we ran out.
 Also, I finished my lesson with one of our investigators and walked outside because it was raining and I saw these Hermanas with luggage so me and Elder koyle started talking to them and next thing you know she says "hey I have your retainer" we were the first people they talked to when they got here, it was awesome. Tender mercies :D Our district had a really good discussion today about how to internalize commandments and how to teach it to our kids and internalize it and be converted to Christ and not to the church. We started meditating last night and its weird but refreshing. What's going on in your neck of the woods?