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? 

January 27, 2017

I am writing this each night, kinda like my journal, so it might be confusing and scatterbrained but here goes.
Today was really good, it was sunday and we had a super awesome lesson about the atonement.  Some of today's good quotes are "the gospel is simple but not easy" "Christ is the author of our salvation" we watched the feed my sheep video by Elder Holland and it was awesome.
 Today elder Francom sprained his ankle so we were way late to lunch and didn't get much food which was lame. We hung out with a lot of Latinos which was super fun because Latinos are a party and it's fun town to practice our Spanish. I ate cinco pieces of pizza today. It was pretty wild. We bonded super close with the Latinos at our table which was funtown. I had a pretty sweet practice lesson with elder andrus today. He's an elder from another district but I wish he was from my district because he's a stud (he wrote that part). There was also a devotional where the area seventy spoke. He asked us some deep provoking questions like how we're going to become more faithful and also how we are going to be blessed from our missions.
 I taught a book of Mormon lesson to our district and nobody said anything so it was kinda lame. I have the world's worst headache at the moment. Today we went to a broadcast to all the missionary that changed the schedule and there were a bunch of good quotes, we can now study whenever we want throughout the day, lunch is only half an hour now, and p day is longer. 
"You can't teach repentance until you practice repentance" "be humble enough to turn unto Christ and depend on him, don't be afraid to share the gospel, fear is the opposite of faith, and it is selfish" "our testimony is not what we say, it's what we are."
 I am a zone leader now so that's rad I guess. There's 6 Hermanas and only 4 elders so idk how to help them, but we'll see how it goes. Today we helped the new district learn Spanish and they are so so so lost, I feel bad and I don't really know what to teach them, but me and Elder Oldroyd taught them how to pray and some other basic stuff which was fun.  We ate dinner with the Latinos again, we've been doing it all week and we're getting pretty close which was awesome. We had a funny conversation trying to explain the difference between weed and wheat to the Latinos. They always teach us fun tongue twisters that ruin our lives. We did daily planning, next week is our last week in the CCM, so that's pretty cool, I feel like I'm going to get In the field and not know any Spanish, but right now I am trying my best to practice talking to Latinos to get ready. My p day is Wednesday next week so make sure you get on to chat, and then next Monday we roll out to guadalajara. We are flying instead of riding a bus, which means I have less time to sleep and I have to get my weight down on my bags because we have 90 pounds of books. 

What's going on around home momma? How's Owen? Totally potty trained? What are Kennedy and Andrew up to? Does Skye have a job yet? How's the addition looking? Does my truck work? Don't throw away my tannerite please. Do you know when my retainer is sposed to get here? My mouth hurts to eat and for no reason most of the time and it gives me headaches. How are you doing? Get any haircuts lately? How's dad? Tell him I think he's old, does he have Grey hair yet?  How's Andrew doing in school? Does he like working at dad's office? Did you and Kennedy make league of legends accounts yet? You should take all the cameras off my phone and put them on my computer or something please. Tell me whatever else is new.

Mom - "what happened to the elder's ankle?"
Elder francom landed wrong playing volleyball, that was on tuesday, but its always wrapped so the first time i saw it was yesterday, his foot is destroyed, his entire foot is purple and his ankle is the size of a softball. thats so dumb, you shouldve sent my retainer to ´puerta vallarta with kennedy and had her stop by a post office or something :p i was saying specific prayers that it would ship faster and get here, but i guess that wasnt working.
 I´m not sure what else you can do, 
  We eat a lot of chicken and rice in different sauces with different salsa, this morning i had some corn flower drink which was good. elder anderson is coming in a couple weeks, but we wont be here.I havent gotten any of your letters yet, I wonder if they lost the one you sent through email because they didnt see it and just did the package. 
Mom - "How is the mexican pizza?"
The pizza is from costco so its good and greasy and american. 
Mom - "give me info on living arrangements, how many missionaries arrived when you did, etc."
 There are 17 elders in my house, we came with like 26 people from the airport, and 50 new people got here the week i did. There was this random blonde lady at the airport that spoke perfect spanish and she helped us all get through customs and gave us a bunch of advice, then she asked our bus driver if she could hitch a ride, then she just got off the bus at the sketchiest part of the city by herself and walked off into the sunset, it was so weird but kind of cool. 4 ish per bedroom, its a party. yes, the first couple weeks i was too focused to pay attention, but two weeks ago 90 new kids came and this week 60 came. Our new district is all serving state side. 4 of them are going to provo