Monday, August 4, 2014

Hello Hidalgo!!

Today, we learned Ethan is now serving in Hidalgo, which is right across from Reynosa, Mexico, and right by Brownsville. He's as far south as you can get in his mission area. He's back in the "Valley" as it's known (near his first area, in Donna, TX in McAllen), and he's excited about that. And, he's working in the same Zone with Elder Renshaw (his very first companion in the Missionary Training Center), so he's very excited about that! He's experiencing life on the border and seeing lots hardship, yet joy as well. Here's his news:


Ok, so here is the big news: I was transferred to...Reynosa, Mexico!!!!! Haha, no jkjk, but I was transferred pretty close to it. I am in Hidalgo now! I think it is a little south and west of McAllen, but I’m really not sure. It's crazy being back in the valley, too, like I was here a year ago, just 30 minutes over, in Donna. Oh, ok, here is the best part: so my Zone Leaders are Elder Casteel (I’ve served with him almost my entire mission and I love that big guy, he's is so cool and just a baller) and Elder Renshaw!!!!!! So when I found that out I was like freaking out, I was so happy!!! But yea, it was super hard leaving Laredo; man I just love those people so much it's crazy. And it was hard because I was up packing until 12:30 a.m., and then we had to get up at 4:15 a.m. in order to get to McAllen on time for transfers. It was good though. Yea so being a District Leader is cool, it's just a new way to serve but it's fun. Oh, and my new companion is Elder Thornton from Grand Junction, Colorado. He is cool and we get along fine – he was up in my Zone in Laredo so I already knew him fairly well. Our area touches the border and we have one of the bridges to Mexico in our area as well. We live with two other elders, too: que se llaman Elder Latu, he is from Tonga but moved to the USA in 2011 and he started playing football. So, he is still learning English as well as Spanish, haha. He got a scholarship to play football anywhere in the country, USC, UCLA, Ohio State, Michigan...and he was going to go to Oregon but then he decided to go on a mission – he is super cool and we get a long great. And he is training a brand new greenie missionary named Elder Lindsay, who also is a cool dude.

It’s definitely not as hot here in Hidalgo than it is up in Laredo, that's one thing I’ve noticed. It’s for sure more humid though. Ok, so District Leaders and Zone Leaders can interview people to get baptized, so I had my first baptismal interview on Saturday and it was cool! It was with a woman from Honduras who came across like a month ago, and she came across with absolutely nothing (oh yea, and for eight days she lived in the Monte – which is like the dessert/brush area of Mexico). So one day she was walking around and didn’t know what to do and she told me she said a prayer in her heart that God would send her an angel. And later that day one of the sisters in the ward saw her on the street, took her to get something to eat, bought her clothes, and took her to her house so she would have a place to live. She then brought her to church and then the lady from Honduras took all the lessons, absolutely loved them, and then got baptized!!! It was pretty cool. God knows each of us personally, and He loves us so much. He wants us to be happy. He already suffered everything so that way we don't have to. It just all depends on our faithfulness to keeping the commandments of the Gospel. I know it's true and after she got baptized yesterday she was so happy. She was SO, SO happy. She truly had a fullness of joy. I'm grateful to be a missionary and represent our Savior each and every day.

Con Amor,
Elder Christiansen
P.S. I’m still in a car area and we get fed almost everyday as well...hahaha

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