Monday, December 26, 2011

December 26, 2011 letter

Dear Family,

Well it was sure nice to talk to you yesterday. After I got off the phone, the members had a couple of sandwiches and a plate of spagetti waiting for me. Rachel called on her cell phone, but the call didn`t go through, so she called about 15 minutes later from the house.

Tell grandpa Keith that we have interviews with the president every 3 months.  I'm still here in Kanasin with Elder Velasco. Elder Gubler got a new companion. I also got another area in my district. The former AP is there now with a new missionary. Its a village called Izamal.

Today I went to a clinic to get my feet checked out again because of the spots. I left my companion in Kanasin and took Elder Gubler with me. The medicine that I had been taking wasn`t really helping because of all of the walking we do. Tomorrow I'm going to get a blood and throat analysis to see if they can find the cause. If they do, I`ll get antibiotics and it should go away. If they don`t find the cause, I`ll have to stop walking. Afterwards I decided to invite Elder Gubler to lunch. We went to a nearby mall. With the Grandparents' christmas money I bought myself a nice tie that has the BYU colors of gold, blue, and white for 103 pesos. Then we went to Sears and I got myself another jumprope for 89 pesos. (my other jumprope never made it to Kanasin. I left it somewhere in Champoton.) After that we went to a food court and I got a giant platter of Chinese food to share with Elder Gubler. After that we got on a bus and got to see parts of Merida that I had never seen. Fortunately the bus passed right by the church where we have our district meeting and there is an internet cafe across the street. Elder Gubler liked your genealogy email. Bruce Gubler is teaching in Ivins. Elder Gubler told me that back when rat tail hair styles were popular, Bruce would cut them off and nail it to a board on the wall of his class. Did you get a chance to run the Honda 90 at the coast? Also, are you still remembering to put premium gasoline in the Z4.

Love,

Elder Gubler

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wedding day for David and Araceli Moreno family

Future star for Mexican soccer team

Heating water with iron?

December 19, 2011 letter

Dear Family,
 
Call me at 4:15 my time on Christmas day please.  Have you already set up the phone and everything you need to call?  In case you forgot, the number is 9991317053.  I highly recommend having a practice call.  You can call them between 8 and 4.  I´ll let them know that you will call.  Just start speaking English, or have Lora talk to them.  The zone baptisms fell through.  There was only 1 baptism that night, so the zone leaders said we might do it again this week.  We will be having 3-4 baptisms this week.  The 2 families that I have sent the pictures of in the last few emails will be getting baptized.  I´ll find out today if I get my package, and if not, next week it should be here.  What day did you send it? With my facebook, you can have Kimi and Lora put posts on my wall from their profiles.  Everyone will be able to read it.  They can also tag me in pictures and it will show up on my facebook. 

Well just in time for Christmas, our hot water heater (electrical cord with a heating coil) stopped working.  I found a temporary solution ( see attatched photo)  that was working pretty well, until it stopped working also.  I'm going to see if the other Elder Gubler can give us an extra iron in his house.  We got our investigatores married last Friday.  2 of the witnesses didn´t show up, so we went over to a nearby member and they helped us out last minute.  They signed the papers and it was official.  This Friday, assuming the husband doesn´t drink, we will have their baptisms.  The other family that we are teaching is doing really well.  They will also be getting baptized this Friday.  This last week they made us dinner to take home 3 times.  The first 2 times they made it really quickly after the lesson, and the 3rd time they had it all ready to go before we got there.  The husband gave me a nice soccer jersey.  I think I will give him my wrestling shirt for Christmas.  Elder Gubler and I have noticed quite a few things that our dad´s do the same.  They both say ´bed time for bonzos' and both put their elbows in our ribs and smack their hands. Well I´ll talk to you on Sunday.

Love,
Elder Gubler

Monday, December 12, 2011

New investigators Marcos Balam and Alma Pacheco, lunch

Elder Gubler and Elder Kitterman, former Champoton missionaries

December 12, 2011 letter

Dear Family,
 
We didn`t have any baptisms last week, but this Saturday we should be having 2 or 3.  This Saturday is a combined baptism with the entire zone.  The family that we dumped the beer out with should be ready for that day.  Today they are getting all of their paper work ready so that they can get married this week before their baptism.  Their names are David  Moreno and Araceli.  There is another family that we are teaching and we are going to see if we can baptize the husband this week and then have him baptize his wife next week. (they are the ones in the picture).  I also sent a picture of me and the Elder that took my place in Champoton.  We have about 130 baptisms a month.  That's about 2 per companionship.  We should be seeing the numbers increase soon because the entire mission is having training sessions as zones.  We have a mission newspaper every month that includes a few stories from the missionaries.  I didn`t feel anything of the earthquake.  Today I remembered it was Grandma`s birthday.  Wish her a happy birthday for me and I`ll see if I send a letter soon.  In response to mom`s questions, we got the standard works in spanish when I entered the MTC.  This family that you will call has a land line.  Any time you want to call between 4 and 8 is good.  I can talk up to 40 minutes.  You may want to consider doing a practice call to them, just tell me a time and I will tell them what time you will call.  You can just say `hola, somos la familia de Elder Gubler`and then hang up.  Yes, I got the news about only having sacrament meeting on Christmas day.  I am going to get my package as soon as it arrives.  The problem last time was that that week they didn`t have anybody send anything to the zones.  The hot chocolate here comes in a tablet, and is blended with sugar and hot water.  It isn`t as good as our hot chocolate.  But eating the tablet plain has a nice flavor.  We can go to the temple grounds whenever we want.  The picture I sent you was from pday.  Last Saturday we took a family to see the temple.  While we were there I bought myself another birthday present.  I got the movie `Special Witnesses of Christ` It's an hour long program from the First Presidency and Quorum of the12 from the year 2000. 
Well that's all for this week.

Love,
Elder Gubler

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5, 2011

Dear Family,

This year on the calling, I can`t call.  You have to call me between 4-8 my time.  There are some members that live close by and they said we could use their phone.  Their number is 9991317053.  Calling from out of state I think you have to put a 01 before the number, but I think that is only calling from Mex.  If you call internationally, I think you put 52 before the number.  You can check more into that, and may want to have a practice call before hand. 
We find investigators by talking to people in the street or in their houses.  We usually talk to between 30-50 people a week.  Send the jerky in the package please.  They don`t have it here.  Send lots please.  With the package, its not necessary to unrap and repackage and write not for sale.  Just send it how it is.  The packages of other missionaries get here fine.  But do put a picture of Jesus on it.  Also, could you throw in some fruit snacks and anything else you think I might like.  Transfers are on the 25th.  I`ll probably be going.  Right now I`m eating bananas every day, and every once in a while a few oranges when someone gives them to us. 
I`m glad to hear that Kimi is doing well on her projects at school.  I went to Carlsbad that weekend for wrestling.  I was able to do like 3 or 5 articles on the trip, and did the rest when I got home.  I was at dad`s office until about 2:30 am, and then stayed home all day working on it until 6th period, finished in the school library, and turned it in halfway through 7th. 
Last night I went to the First Presidency Christmas devotional with 2 families that we are teaching.  We should be having 4 baptisms this month.  One family is the one that we helped the husband stop drinking.  They should be getting married next week, and we are going to have their baptisms at a service for the entire zone in the stake center.  The other 2 we found 2 weeks ago.  We found them contacting in the street. 
While Amanda is there, can you download the pictures she took of me at the MTC onto our computer, and also send me a few of them?  Also, can you find out all of the information for getting a pilot's license.
Love,
Elder Gubler 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Merida Mexico temple

Naomi's Dad's baptism

November 28, 2011 letter

Dear Family,

We didn`t do anything for Thanksgiving, but tonight I am going to make that lasagna you sent me a few months ago.  I`d like another package.  A pair of black pants from Mr. Macs would be nice.  They should still have my record on file with my sizes and style.  Also, send all of the bags of jerky you can.  Before I didn`t care too much for it, but now it's what I'm craving.  Another Elder gave me a bag of pork jerky.  I ate 3 big pieces, but decided that I had better share it with my companion and a member from the ward (he was very happy to receive it).  Also, I sure could use about 4 nice ties.  Right now I have 4 ties that I use, and they are getting a little bit faded.  I talked to the assistants, and they said we can`t use skype.  I still haven`t had time to read the pages you sent me in portuguese, italian, and german.  
 
This week went pretty well.  We taught 21 lessons, and we had a baptism (the dad of the girl we baptized 2 weeks ago).  Now all of the family are members, but the other kids are all inactive.  We are going to try and help them get active again.  The family that we dumped out the beer with is doing great.  The husband has been to church twice and yesterday was the 5th or 6th time for the wife.  Her kids participated in the pirmary program.  She even went out and bought a tie for the son.  All we are waiting for is a birth certificate so that they can get married.  It should be coming soon.  This week we started teaching a 15 year old that we had taught a few weeks ago with his uncle.  All week he was really quiet and wasn`t answering too well when we asked him questions, but after going to church and the baptism, he really started talking a lot and I could see a big change in him.  He was even excited  about going to seminary, even though he didn`t go today.  I think we are going to have at least 4 baptisms before Christmas, and maybe more.  On Friday we had a great zone conference.  The 1st counselor in the mission talked to us.  I had no idea that mission presidents had counselors.  

Can you find out how many lessons and contacts Jared Hammer is having per week?  I`m curious about how it is in Europe.  Spencer Gubler says his dad taught 2 lessons in his entire mission.  And also, how often did you teach in Japan?
Well its time to go.

Love,
Elder Gubler

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One year accomplished

Lunch time with Elder Gubler

November 21, 2011 letter

Dear Family,

Well I`m glad to hear that mom and dad got back safely.  Elder Gubler was really jealous to hear that they went there.  Thanks for sending the chapters I asked for.  My feet don`t hurt at all, they just have spots on them.  It cost me 500 pesos to go to the hospital and another 700 for the medicine.  I paid with a little bit of my money and a little bit of the money the mission sends to me.  I sent in the reciepts and they are going to pay me back for everything.  

I got a card from mom`s parents wishing me a happy hump day.  I can`t believe how fast everything has gone by.  The members that we ate lunch with gave me a little piece of cheese cake to celebrate.  

Well this past week was pretty great.  I taught 22 lessons, more than I have taught in any other week.  We had 5 people go to church.  We should be having a baptism this week of the dad that was in the picture I sent 2 weeks ago.  We were going to have  his baptism on Saturday, but he had too much going on that day.  The other family, that I sent a picture of, all went to church.  Once they get married we can baptize them.  We also found 2 golden investigators.  The first one we found Tuesday.  He drinks, but he has read through 1st Nephi and went to church yesterday.  He works everyday 8am to 8pm except for Tuesday, so we teach him every night around 8:45 before we go back to the house.  He talked to his boss and is entering to work at 7 on Sundays so that he can go to sacrament meeting.  The other investigator lives in Telchaquillo.  Yesterday we taught her for the first time.  She has already been to church 4 times.  We almost got her to accpet to be baptized this Sunday, but she wants to wait because she wants a special white dress made for her for her baptism, so we are going to have it on the 18th.

About a week ago the weather had been nice and cool (to the point that I was using a sweater in the house), but these last few days have been really hot.  Yesterday we had what I hope to be the final rain for the year.  From December to June we shouldn`t be seeing much of anything.  My umbrella that supposedly has a life time guaranty doesn`t work anymore.    

Thanks.

Love,
Elder Gubler

November 14, 2011 letter

Dear Family,

Well I can`t believe its been a year now.  Only 1 more to go.  I got to go to the hospital last week that I went to with Elder Spencer Gubler, but this time I went with my companion and I was the patient.  Don`t worry, everything is fine.  I`ve had some little brown spots on my feet for a while and I went to get them checked out.  There is something going on with the micro veins on my feet and the red blood cells are causing the spots on my feet.  I got some pills and some cream and it should be gone within a month.  It came from all of the walking and the weather here.

Hopefully we will be seeing a baptism this week of the father of the girl that we baptized last week.  And I hope to see a few more in the future as well.  We went to Telchaquillo to visit someone that has already been to church 2 or 3 times, so we went all the way out there only to find that she wasn`t there.  Once we start the lessons, she should be baptized fairly quickly. 

While you`re in Europe, if you happen to be by a distribution center, could you get me a copy of the Book of Mormon in German?  We had some training 2 weeks ago and President Salinas talked to us about the great opportunity we have here in the field to learn another language.  It is now a rule that all Latin Americans study English every day.  He mentioned a native Elder that is learning English and now is learning Italian.  I figured that if I`m here, I might as well learn German.  Also, could you copy and paste 1 Nephi 1 and 2 (in German) in your next letter?  Thanks.

Love,
Elder Gubler

Monday, November 7, 2011

Naomi's baptism

November 7, 2011 letter

Dear Family,

I got to baptize Naomi on Saturday and confirm her on Sunday.  Her mom and siblings are members.  The only one left is her dad.  He told us that he didn`t feel ready.  Hopefully he will be ready soon.  We lost the best investigator I´ve had because she has to work on Sundays.  If she doesn`t work Sunday mornings, she can go to church and be baptized.  Of all the investigators we`ve had, we`ll probably get 2 more baptisms this month.  We are going to try and find more investigators.  I saw Elder Smith twice, and will be seeing him at the zone conferences.  He is in the zone right next to us, and his area includes part of Kanasin.  He doesn`t know Brother Watkins that well.  I think he is a nephew of Sister Watkins.  I`m almost done with a program so that I can go to the temple with President Salinas.  Elder Gubler already finished it, but still hasn`t gone, so maybe we can go together.  Has Braun Kimball already gotten back from his mission?  He is in New Zealand, but I can`t remember when he left. 

We had daylight savings last week.  Of course, I had no idea it had arrived.  On Saturday night, I decided we were going to leave the house a little bit earlier so we wouldn`t have to worry as much about being late to church.  One of the things that takes time in the morning is heating up water to bath with.  I decided that I would set an alarm for 6:17 so I could plug in the hot water heater, fall back asleep, and wake up with the cell phone alarm at 6:30, ready to get in the shower.  During the night the cell phone automatically set back an hour, but the alarm set for 6:17 didn`t.  I woke up at 5:02 (cell phone time) and was relieved that I still had over an hour before the alarm would go off.  I fell back asleep, and was suddenly woken up by the alarm set for 6:17.  I felt that the hour and fifteen minutes had gone by really quickly.  I plugged in the water heater, and went back to sleep.  I woke up again about 28 minutes later, and seeing the time on the phone at 5:45.  I got really worried because I thought I had woken up late (against the rules) and on top of that couldn`t figure out why the phone would change back an hour.  I rushed to get ready, and my companion and I got to church, exactly an hour early.  We figured out what happened when we saw that nobody else was there.  I won`t forget next year. 

Love,
Elder Gubler

Monday, October 31, 2011

October 31, 2011 letter

Dear Family,
I think this Monday I`ll be going to Costco to celebrate my birthday. Halloween here isn`t celebrated. Day of the Dead starts on the 2nd of November and I think it lasts about a week. The name of the girl we baptized is Pascualla (Pas). We have a father and a daughter from a part member family preparing for baptism this Saturday. The daughter will be ready, and if the husband can commit to stop drinking (he drinks once or twice a month), we will baptize him also. We found out that the couple in the picture I sent last week isn`t married, so we will have to wait on that. We`ve been asking the members in Telchaquillo to talk to our investigators, because we haven`t had any contact with them for over a week. Hopefully we can get a hold of them. All they need is 1 more lesson and an interview. We have another lady that we have planned for the 18th. I took out 1200 pesos from the birthday money and another 800 for extra expenditures that I have made (food, transport, more white clothing). Normally the mission money covers everything else. Every 2 weeks they pass around a list in R.S. and they sign up for the days that they want to give us lunch. I`ve been making a lot of pancakes for breakfast lately. This month I`ll be planning out what to do for breakfast and dinner. I only have $13 to spend, and I am going to try to find something that is inexpensive and sufficient. I`m not going to do anything about the glasses. The red lines have gone away and there isn`t as much sun this time of year. I`ll be in a different area by the time the sun gets stronger. To protect Elders from the hurricane, they took out all of the zones in Quintana Roo and sent them to live with us for a few days. We got 2 elders from a pueblo in Yucatan called Tizimin. 1 of them had served in Kanasin before and the other had done several divisions in this area. My companion and I divided with them and worked with them from Wednesday to Friday. There was a cold wind that came from the north, and I think that stopped the hurricane. I don`t think there was very much damage. It was supposed to be raining a lot here, but we hardly got anything.

Love,
Elder Gubler

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New baptism on right, Pascualla

Elder Velasco, Elder Gubler and new investigatores

Shared lunch

October 24, 2011 letter

Dear Family,

Today I didn`t get much of a chance to celebrate my 20th birthday.  I think I`ll go to Costco in a week or 2.  Today I went to the mission offices where I picked up my 3rd DVD player from them.  When I first got to Kanasin the DVD player worked, but after a week it stopped working.  After a month and a half I went to the offices to exchange it.  I opened up the new one, turned it on,  but of course it didn`t work.  It only worked if I put a Book of Mormon on top of the player.  After watching it 2 times, the Book of Mormon trick didn't work anymore, and so I asked the offices to send another.  I got it, turned it on, put in the DVD, and it doesn`t read the DVD.  Today I went back the the offices, gave them the 2 DVD players that don`t work, and finally got one that works.  When we finish writing today we are going to eat pizza and I'm going to watch Legacy.  After we got back from the offices I cleaned the bathroom while my companion washed his clothes in a bucket.  We have interviews this week so we are trying to get the house looking nice.  This morning my companion and I chopped down the weeds in the front yard with a machete.  I`m going to buy a new hammock for my birthday.  My companion from the MTC knows a member that has connections with the prison.  That's where the best hammocks are made.  I might even be able to get my name weaved into the hammock.  Elder Spencer Gubler is going to buy ice cream tonight for district meeting.  I bought myself a nice fry pan a few weeks ago as an early birthday present.  I think I might also buy a small extension cord to use in the house.  In the house we are in right now, all of the outlets only have 1 plug in.  Elder Gubler goes home in the first week of February.  I invited him to the house and told him about the deal that you can fly from Vegas to Visalia.  I also told him he could go to the beach house.  He got sick from drinking some water that wasn`t purified.  The loss of fluids while he was sick caused dehydration.  I sent a few pictures.  The picture at night is with our convert that we baptized in September.  She is on the right.  The indoor picture is of the family that we are teaching right now.  The husband is the one that we helped dump out his beer.  The other picture is of our lunch yesterday.  Chicken, pork, beef, lamb, chicken wings, and 3 types of sausages.  We had tons of food left over.  They were going to throw it out but I took it to some members that don`t have very much.  We aren't going to have our baptisms tomorrow.  We haven`t been able to teach our investigatores so they have to wait.  Hopefully it will be soon.  Can you check how much I have in my account?  I took out 2000 pesos, and I think the exchange rate is really good right now. 


Love,
Elder Gubler

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 17, 2011 letter

Dear Family,

There isn´t any course to be a trainer.  They just talked with us an hour before we got our companions and afterwards told us a little bit about the new training program.  The picture of the 4 of us in suits is from that day.  All of us started the mission at the same time.  The one farthest to my right is my companion from the MTC.  The picture of the 7 of us sitting on the floor was taken at a district meeting.  The district was taking pictures and I jumped in on one of them.  The majority of the people here sleep in hammocks, and I think we use them also because it's easier than having beds in all of the missionary houses. 

On Wednesday I called Elder Gubler in the morning.  He told me he wasn´t feeling good and wouldn´t be working that day.  Later on at around 5:00 p.m. I got a call from the President´s wife telling me to go take Elder Gubler to the hospital.  We went over to the church and met up with him and his companion.  We gave our companions the keys and a phone and sent them on their way while I waited with Elder Gubler for a taxi.  He had passed out twice that day and really wasn´t feeling well.  We got in a taxi and went to the hospital.  We got there around 7:00.  The doctor checked him out.  Elder Gubler had strep throat and was also dehydrated.  They hooked him up to an I.V. around 8:15.  They said he would be there for 6-8 hours.  I notified the President and his wife, and stayed there with Elder Gubler.  I asked the nurses if I could use the bed next to Elder Gubler.  They said it would be fine.  Around 10:30 the mission president and his wife came to visit.  They had just gotten back from some meetings in Cancun.  They visited with us for a little bit and then left.  I went to sleep in the hospital bed around 11:00.  It was the first time I had used a bed since the MTC.  At 12:45 they woke me up and told me to wait in the lobby.  Elder Gubler came out at about 1:20 a.m.  We called the financial secretary and he and the AP came, paid the bill (about $150), and drove us back to Kanasin where we dropped off Elder Gubler and picked up my companion from the other house, and then they drove us to our house.  We got back at 3:00 a.m.  Elder Gubler is fine now.  I asked him about Bruce Gubler, Dad's friend from Dixie College days.  He said he´s his great uncle. I don´t think you should mention the hospital story to Elder Gubler´s family because he doesn´t want them to worry. 

We have 2 baptisms planned for my birthday.  We also have 2 other families that we are working with.  The drunk guy I told you about last week is reading the Book of Mormon, but he has trouble with going to church because he is military.  Next Monday I´m going to Costco for my birthday and we are going to eat there.  Ask Brother Elmer how much Jordan weighs.  I bet we are about the same.

Love,
Elder Gubler

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Elder Gubler with new companion, Elder Velasco

Hanging out with another district

Old MTC district

October 10, 2011 letter

Dear Family,

The training is going pretty well. One of the pictures I'm sending is of 4 of us that came here at the same time (the one on the left was my companion from the MTC). He is also a DL and trainer. The red head was called as a sr. companion after 2 transferes and is training his 2nd missionary. His first trainee has less than 4 months in the mission and is already training. He`s one of the guinea pigs for this program. The goal is that after 12 weeks the new missionaries can be trainers. We have a booklet that tells us what to study as a companionship. We have 2 hours everyday of companionship study except Monday and Thursday. Elder Velasco is 18. He got baptized at age 9. His dad was a member. He studies the English booklet from the MTC everyday. Well, it was a little different for the first 2 days, but I`ve adjusted to being sr. companion. Now I can decide where to go and what to do. We should be having district exchanges every month. It's just me, my new companion, Elder Gubler, and his new companion. Pretty soon I am going to arrange things so I have more time on Pday. I bought more clothes so I only have to wash every 2 weeks, and there is a member close by that washes for us when we ask, so I`ll only have to wash about once a month. We can`t travel to the pueblos on pday. I only see the pyramid as we pass by on the bus to Telchaquillo. Well we should be seeing a few baptisms at the end of the month. We have 3 investigadores in Telchaquillo that want to get baptized and we have a few new families here in Kanasin. We got a reference from a member to go visit a part member family. The husband and daughter aren`t members. They went to church on Sunday and he had a great experience there. We also found a really great family. We contacted a guy that turned out to be drunk. We went with him back to his house, and after a little bit of talking, convinced him to pour out his beer. As we were leaving we noticed that the neighbors were watching. We went and contacted them and taught them. They liked what we did with their neighbor. The husband is reading the Book of Mormon but couldn`t go to church, but says that this Sunday he will go. Well thats it for this week.

Love,
Elder Gubler

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 4, 2011 letter

Dear Family,

The pictures from last week were from Telchaquillo.  The blurry picture was of a Mayan pyramid in one of the pueblos along the way.   The bus passed by and I got a picture.  I´ll have to get a better picture next time.  The picture of the house is the chapel in Telchaquillo.  Its still not officially a branch, but I think it's in the process.  When we were going to visit the references there, I had a member take pictures of us as we were walking.  And the other picture is of a cebu (from veggie tales).  We are still in the same house here.  The owner came by and replaced some pipes, but we still don´t have water.  I think the problem now is that the water isn´t making it to the tank on the roof.  I'm going to check it today.  We got to see the Sunday morning session.  Our investigators from Telchaquillo went to the session also.  We could have gone to priesthood session also, but we were in Telchaquillo that day.  We start all of the lessons with hymns, unless we are in a hurry.  We also start companion study with a hymn.  Well as I said yesterday, I'm now a trainer.  I would have gotten my companion yesterday, but they had Americans arriving in the evening so they held off the new missionary training until both groups were together.  Yesterday we got a tempory Elder from Mexico.  Today we dropped him off at the offices, and later got our permanent companions.  I got a companion from Veracruz, and the other Elder Gubler got a companion from Monterey that was with me yesterday.  I´m also a district leader, and our district has been shrunk to just the 4 of us in Kanasin.

Love, Elder Gubler

Monday, September 26, 2011

Visiting the pueblo of Telchaquillo

LDS Chapel in Telchaquillo

Zebu/Cebu

Water tanks on roof tops

September 26, 2011 letter

Dear Family,

I´ll explain the water here.  All of the houses have toilets, showers, and sinks.  The difference here is that the water isn`t pressurized.  On top of every house there is a watertank.  When there is enough pressure the water can go up from the ground line into the tank on the roof.  All of the water sources inside the house come from tank.  If there isn`t water in the tank, there isn`t water in the house. There is a ground line and all of the houses have faucets outside that almost always have water.  When there isn`t enough water pressure to fill the tank, we go outside and fill up buckets from the faucet to bathe and flush the toilet.  We just dump the water directly in the toilet to flush and stand in the shower with a bucket to shower.  Some people buy electric water pumps so that they can fill their tank when there isn`t enough pressure.  In Champoton we didn't have any pressure for a few weeks so our tank never filled.  The owner installed a pump, and after that we always had water.  Here in Kanasin, the problem is that there is water in the tank on top, but somewhere along the way the water isn`t making it to the toilet, shower, and sink.  The owner is coming by to check out the pipes.  The houses here don`t have washing machine hookups.  All you need is an outlet and a hose to use your washingmachine.  

We haven`t had any investigatores that are progressing.  We went to a pueblo last week.  There is an extension of our ward in that pueblo (Telchaquillo).  There are a few people that have gone a couple of times.  We have 3 investigatores there right now and there are several more references that we are going to find.  We only go there when there are references.  There is a rule here that we can't use sunglasses.  If I could, I would.  I found a nice pair of polarized glasses for about $20.  They normally start around $100 in the United States.  
Every month the RS president makes a list of families for us to eat with.  I like it a lot better because it gives us some variety.  There is a lady that has a little restaurante in her house.  When a family doesn`t want to cook for us, they pay the lady and she makes us lunch.  It's really good.  We usually get to go with her 4 or 5 times a month.  My companion and I make our own food. All he eats is cereal.  This month I`ve been eating cereal, yogurt, and mandarines.  I`d like to start cooking better breakfasts.  This next month Im going to start waking up 10 minutes early to give me more time.  I can get 2 lbs of bacon for $10 from the store close by.  

We are going to be seeing the Sunday morning session of conference, and if we bring investigatores we can watch the other sessions with them.  Hopefully they have a room to broadcast in English for us.  
I hope everyone had a good time in St. George.  Grandma and Grandpa look pretty good. 

Don`t forget to pay tithing on my birthday money.  And can you put another $200 in my Wells Fargo account.  It's getting low and I don`t want them to close it.  

Love, 
Elder Gubler

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Recent picture

September 19, 2011 letter

Dear Family,
Sorry, my first letter didn´t go through and it didn´t get saved.  I'm not having the best of luck with the weekly letters.  I´ll explain next week about the water.  There aren´t very many apartments as far as I have seen.  I think most if not all of the missionaries have houses here.  We had our baptism last week.  Her name is Pascuala.  We found her family one day while we were lost.  Some of her siblings were baptized about a year and a half ago, but she didn´t get baptized.  We taught her, and yesterday her brother and sister in law went to church.  Hopefully we can get the rest of them active again.  We have been finding lots of investigatores, but none of them are progressing.  I´ve sent some pictures that you can use for the christmas card.  I also sent one with Elder Gubler, but I don´t think it turned out as good.  I think it would be better to use the picture of us that I sent about 5 weeks ago, and you can include one of the pictures of just me.  I also sent a picture of my eye.  Can you have one of the optomotrists in the stake take a look at it?  Elder Abarca and a member here said that it looks like I have ptirigion (carnosity)  that results from too much glare from the reflection of the sun.  They recommended that I get some type of polycarbonate put on my glasses.  They said it would prevent the sun from harming my eyes.  Can you see what their opinion is on this? 
Love,
Elder Gubler

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 12, 2011 letter

Dear Family,
 
Elder Abarca goes home first week of October.  He's 21 and is from Morelos, about 2 hours south of Mexico City.  We have been getting tons of investigators.  The people here are a lot more accepting.  We have a baptism planned for Thursday.  We have 1 other investigator that went to church on Sunday, but we`ll see what happens with her.  I haven`t been to any of the English classes yet.  I don´t even know if anybody goes.  I don`t know which other Elders have Costco cards.  Mine doesn`t work here because they have a different system, but they said I can get a guest pass when I come.  There´s a member that took us to Sam`s Club.  I'm still using the magic tricks.  The kids in the ward really like them and are always soliciting.  We have been bathing with buckets since I`ve gotten here.  All of the houses have an outside water source that they can use.  We get about 1500 pesos a month, the equivilant of about $140.  Of that, we can spend 600 for food, 300 in transport, and 600 for cleaning and bathing supplies.  I weighed myself 2 weeks ago.  I'm down to 163, 28 lbs. more than mom.  I was about 188 in the MTC.  The food in Kanasin is a lot better, and my face doesn`t look as thin now.  Sorry I have to go.  We lost a lot of time today.  I`ll send a longer letter next week. 
Love,
Elder Gubler

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Letter from Elder Ballard

August 31,2011

Dear Brother and Sister Gubler:

Thank you so much for your letter of August 17 reminding me of meeting you years ago at the Fresno Temple Dedication.  I must admit that Elder Gubler still "looks like a great missionary." What a wonderful experience for him to be able to work with another handsome Elder Gubler as they serve the people in the Mexico Merida Mission.

The next time you write to him, please let him know I am proud of him.  There is nothing he could be doing right now that is more important for him than this service as a missionary.

Warm personal regards,

M. Russell Ballard

(editor's note: Elder Ballard's kind note was written in response to a letter from a proud missionary mother)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kanasin District missionaries

Speargun shopping at the mall

Buffet heaven

Other Elder Gubler's spaghetti trick

September 6, 2011 letter

Dear Family,
Sorry this letter is late.  Our day was packed yesterday.  We woke up at 5:00, got ready, cleaned the house, went to a member's home to wash, took a bus to Merida, walked to the temple, and there met up with the bishop and a member who took us to Costco.  At Costco we met up with Elder Gubler and Elder Aguirre and we shopped around for an hour.  I bought a huge bag of pancake mix, and a box of Frosted mini wheats.  From there we went to Sam's club, and then to a huge mall, and then to a buffet.  We got back, unloaded everything from the trip, and went to write.  The place where we went to write was full, and we didn`t have time to find another place, so we headed off to Merida and planned to write before the district meeting.  We got there, but they didn`t have any internet service.  It was pouring rain, so we couldn`t find another place.  We waited there until our meeting started. 
We are in the process of finding a new house to live in.  We have to find 3, and the secretaries decide which one we live in.  So far we have only found 1.  Elder Abarca is the one with glasses in the group photo.  The one with the short brown hair is Elder Morgan.  He was in Champoton for 9 months and he was my companion here for a week before he went home.  I got the packages yesterday.  The zone leaders had picked them up last Tuesday.  The powdered drinks were damp, so I threw them out, and there were some ants in the bars with peanuts, but I ate them anyway.  Thankyou for the CDs.  How were you able to get all of those songs?  Did you find them all on iTunes?  The backpack is perfect.  Its so much better than a shoulder bag.  I would love to have some spending money for Costco for my birthday.  They have tons of great stuff there.  Elder Gubler is just a regular senior companion now. I think he`ll stay here until he finishes.  Our district is the 4 of us in Kanasin and 2 in Merida.  The district leader is in Merida.  Well that's all I have time for this week.  I sent some photos.  ( the last picture is Elder Gubler putting spagetti up his nose and out his mouth)
Love,
Elder Gubler

Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29, 2011 letter

Dear Family,

To me the house is so much better than in Champotón.  It's actually possible to walk around in it.  It's got a main room with a kitchen and a bedroom.  My companion says its the worst of all the houses he has been in.  It makes me appreciate my time in Champotón   because its all uphill from there.  But we will probably be changing houses because there are a lot of insects and spiders and ants and worms in the house, and there
isn´t any water.    Its just the 2 of us in the house.  The neighbor has a washer, and there are members nearby that have washers too.  Kanasin has 2 areas, and a little bit of it is covered in an area from Mérida.  There is one ward in Kanasin.  The investigadores here were really good, but they weren´t progressing when I got here.  My new companion is Elder Abarca from Cuernavaca.  He goes home this transfer.  He was companions in the MTC with an Elder from Champoton.  The transfer was a result of an Elder going home.  He was sick a lot  and had other problems.   All transfers are notified the night before.  The call usually comes around 10:00 p.m. and the next day they leave.  This one was more difficult because I had to leave so early.  The next time I transfer, I´ll only be up until around 12, and I'll be able to sleep until 6:30.  There are 2 new missionaries in Champoton.  I got a call from one of them asking what to do.  I passed some information over to them.  I got my shirts on Monday.  The AP´s were in Campeche for a conference, and they brought them to the office, and I got them in a district meeting.  I should be getting the packages today.  The Zone covers Kanasin and some of Merida.  Elder Higginson got transfered, but he´s still in the same zone.  He's from Huntington Beach.  We can go anywhere we want in Merida, all we have to do is notify the district leader and get approval.  There is a member that can take us to Costco in his car if we buy him soda.
Well this last week has been great.  It started off slow because Elder Abarca had to have his pday.  We found 7 people this week, but only 1 went to church.  The rest we´ll get to go next week.  The other Elder Gubler got transfered to Kanasin also.  I´ll be seeing him on Sundays and Mondays and during the week if a family signs up to feed the 4 of us.  I am really going to enjoy this area.  Tell Kimi and Lora that I saw a zebu, and I ate some of it for lunch.  How are Felipe Garza and Jared Rodriguez doing?  Thats all for this week.

Love,
Elder Gubler

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 23, 2011 letter


Dear Family,

There was a small storm a week from last Saturday, but I don´t think it was Harvey.  Its the same Elder Gubler.  I´m taller than him.  He goes home in Feb.  They changed secretaries in the office.  The old secretary said I had a package, but when someone went to pick up everything, they didn´t find one for me.  I´ll call the new secretary tomorrow and see what he says.  The DVD player isn´t allowed outside of the house.  I didn´t like avocados and guacamole, I think that was Rachel. 

I don´t know if you saw my letter from yesterday, but I got transfered.  I got moved last Tuesday.  We entered into our house on Tuesday at 9:55 after having 2 FHEs.  I was ready to get in and sleep, because we didn´t sleep very much the night before because the Escarcega elders stayed with us.  As soon as we stepped in the door, the ZLs called.  They asked Elder Portillo to put it on speaker.  They told me I was going to Kanasin, and that I had to be in Merida (almost 4 hours away) at 8:00 the following morning.  It was kind of some bad timing because my white shirts were at the cleaners, and they were already closed.  We left the house and walked to the house of the owner to see if she could open up the shop for us.  She told us to talk to the people that lived next door.  We walked to the shop, knocked on the house next door, but nobody was there.  We then got back to the house, and I got a Book of Mormon and gave it to a guy that lived arround the corner from us that we never got to teach.  We then went to the bus station and checked what time they left for Merida.  The bus would leave at 3:00 in the morning.  We then had to find a priest in the branch to accompany Elder Portillo until I was gone and he could shut himself up in the house.  We called one, but he didn´t want to go.  We said we´d call him back, and then after that our phone ran out of credit.  We started walking across town to get to his house.  About halfway there we found a taxi and he took us the rest of the way.  We got to his house and started talking with him, and finally convinced him to go with us. We then walked to the church to get our suit coats which we had left there.  From there we walked back to the house.  We got back at 12:30 in the morning and I had 2 hours to pack.  I got everything packed and finished right at 2:30.  I put on my white shirt, and we left for the bus station.  It was a good thing that I didn´t have all of my white shirts, because I didn´t have any room in my suitcases.  The bus arrived at 3:30.  I think the other bus broke down and they had to switch buses, but it was ok because they brought a more luxurious, faster bus.  I tried to sleep, but I only got about 1.5 hours of sleep on the bus. 

I got into Merida at 7:45ish, and at 8:00 a.m. a couple of mission secretaries came and took me directly to a zone conference.  I'm in the same zone as Elder Higginson, my companion from the MTC that I really liked.  After the conference I got to the area of Kanasin 1.  Kanasin is a city right next to Merida, divided by the 180 freeway.  It is a great area.  The house is so much more livable than in Champoton.  The church house is really nice, and I'm pretty sure it will be a great ward.  We had stake conference on Sunday so I don´t know very much about the ward.  There is a store right arround the corner that has all of the basics I need.  I can now buy fresh bananas daily instead of buying a week at a time.  I can also travel to Merida, so I plan to go to Costco.  There are lots of investigators.

My time is up.  I'll let you know more next week.  Love, Elder Gubler

Monday, August 15, 2011

Elder Gubler and another Elder Gubler?!


Guacamole anyone?


Welcome to my Home!


Cleanliness is Next to . . . .?


So busy, didn't have time for Spring Cleaning!


August 15, 2011 letter


Dear Family,
My exchanges with Elder Gubler were great.  He is my ZL (zone leader).  I got to work with him because our companions went to Escarcega to work with the Elders there.  He taught me about the power of goal setting, and how easy it is to develop talents.  It really changed my perspective on life.  We`ve offered to help the rancher, but its never happened.  On Saturday we went to check to see if he would go to church.  His family is so funny.  They had just gotten back from the ranch.  They were covered in blood (including the mom) from a bull that they butchered.  On Sunday he didn`t go to his ranch, with plans of going to church, and he got called into work because of a robbery the night before so he didn`t get to go.  The weather reports are accurate, but the weather is the same every week.  Don´t worry about sending them anymore.  We hold English class every week, but nobody shows up.  On Saturday we got notified that we were eating with our branch president instead of the family we normally go to, so we had to walk way far to get there, thus not being able to go to the English class.  As we were walking I said that today would be the one day that people show up and...I was right.  After lunch we ran into the guy that went to the class.  He had brought 2 friends with him also.  We told him what happened and said that we would be having class the following week.  We participate in all of the ward activities.  On saturday we had an activity for all of the youth.  We were outside playing arround before the activity.  We got to watch a really cool storm roll in.  The wind was the strongest I had ever seen, and it knocked me over as I ran to get  inside.  Don´t worry, I'm fine.  We have a baptism planned for this weekend, and another one planned for the 10th.  We have a couple that wants to get baptized, but we have to wait until they get married.   Thank you again for getting the packages sent.  We have a zone conference this week so hopefully I`ll get them. 
Love,
Elder Gubler

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8, 2011 letter


Dear Family,
Our Pdays seem to never allow any time to do anything.  It feels like we are always rushed, and email time usually gets cut short.  When I get my new companion in 2 weeks, we are going to get a good system down for Pday.  Hopefully in my next area I´ll get members that wash the clothes and a store nearby. 
Thank you for getting the package mailed.  Did you use US mail?  Did you get the second email I sent last week?  I hope the chocolate makes it.  I´ve seen other Elders get chocolate in good condition.  Well this past week has been just about the same.  We had a few more lessons and contacts though.  We have a baptism planned for the 20th, and there is another couple that wants to be baptized, but we still haven´t been able to get an appointment to teach them.  There is another guy that we have been teaching since March.  He has never gone to church because he always goes to his ranch in the morning on Sunday.  Last week he was at his ranch riding his horse, and he got attacked by bees.  He fell off the horse, and the horse ran away.  He looked behind him and saw all of the bees coming, said a quick prayer, looked again and said that they all disappeared.  He said that he has to go to church now becuase of this.  He said he would go yesterday, but he ended up going to his ranch again.  We´ll see what happens with him.   Just now this guy next to me on the computer asked how he could attend church.  He lives about 20 minutes away from Champoton.  We took down his address and gave him the address to the church. 
I´ve been the pianist in church for the last 2 weeks.  I may not know very much, but I´m the only one that can read the notes.  I make a few mistakes, but it turns out pretty good.  There is one other person that can play the top notes, but he only goes about once a month because of work.  Today and tomorrow I am going to be doing divisions with the other Elder Gubler.  This is the only time in the history of the world that 2 Elder Gublers will be companions.  A few weeks ago we got a portable DVD player.  Every companionship has one now.  They are using it to help in companionship study by watching segments from "The District 2"  The district leaders also have "The Restoration" "The Testaments" and "To this end was I born."  We are allowed to watch the movies in the evenings.  In response to dad´s question from a few weeks ago, the avocados here are huge.  Yesterday there was one about the size of a grapefruit.  In Escarcega, they eat avocado with almost every meal because there are so many trees.  The Elders there are really putting on some weight.  I´m staying about the same.  I was about 175 last time I weighed myself, but that was in April.  In the MTC I was 188.  When I go to Mérida to drop Elder Portillo off, I´ll see if I can weigh myself again.  I haven´t had too good of luck with my health for the last few weeks.  3 weeks ago I got sick from some food, 2 weeks ago I got strep throat again, but it went away.  I also had diarrea for a week and a half, but thats gone too.  While I was on divisions with Elder Calvert, he got sick and then got me sick, but its just a sore throat and mucus, and it should be gone by tomorrow.  Any news on mission calls for David Younie and Derek Hayashi?  Can you check my Wells Fargo balance?  And can you call Adrian´s in St. George to see if I can wash my CTR clothing suit pants.
Love,
Elder Gubler

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1, 2011 letter

Dear Family,
The house is fine.  It has all tile floors, just like every other single house here.  We were using a washingmachine, the bucket was to rinse the clothes after going through the soapy water.  The President didn't come to our house.  We went to Campeche instead.  We have interviews every 3 months.  Sometimes in the house, sometimes the entire zone in the church.  There are internet cafes all over.  That's where we go.  The library only has 1 functioning computer, so we can´t write there anymore.  Very few people have internet in their house, but it doesn´t matter because we aren´t allowed to use member´s computers.  These past few weeks haven´t been too good.  We walk all over, visiting lots of people, but they aren´t there, or they can´t have a lesson at the moment.  We were stuck in this exact same cycle the first few weeks Elder Portillo and I were together.  Hopefully we break out of it soon.  Sorry to cut this letter short.  Next week we are going to write 1st thing in the morning, and I am going to make sure we get our entire hour. 
Love,
Elder Gubler

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 26, 2011 letter

Dear Family,
Sorry about yesterday.  We got up to go do laudry at a members house.  I left a hose filling up a bucket in the house.  Elder Portillo wanted to go get food so we left.  We came back 15 minutes later to find the house flooded.  I got to clean that up for about an hour, and I was finishing just as the mom walked in.  She wasn´t mad.  We got back, dropped off our white shirts at the cleaners, and left for Escarcega.  We got there and I wanted to go write, but Elder Portillo wanted to eat.  We only had time to do one option.  We started walking to go write and Elder Portillo looked upset.  The Elders from Escarcga called and said that they had told the family that 4 Elders were coming to eat, and didn´t want to go back on what they had said.  Not wanting to make Elder Portillo and this family mad, I decided that we could write after the meeting.  We went to eat, and then went to the church to have our meeting.  As we were walking, there was a horse tied up to a fence.  It kicked, but I didn´t see it.  I was right behind it and it kicked again.  Its leg shot right infront of my face.  I was fine, but it really shook me up.  One more step closer and it would have taken off my head.  We had our meeting, and then Elder Calvert and I caught the last combi back to Champotón.  We got back, I bought some groceries, and then went to write.  I called Elder Portillo to ask him if he had already written President Salinas.  I asked if I could write today, but he said that we wouldn´t write until next week.  I was pretty mad, and today I called him several times to see if we could write.  He didn´t know that I didn´t write the family, and when he found out, he said I could write. 
Well our numbers have been pretty low last week, and we didn´t have a baptism, but we had 7 nonmembers go to church.  The problem is that we have hardly been able to teach them.  Once we get the lessons going, we will see more baptisms.  This Saturday we might have one.  She has been going to church and her husband is a member, but with his work he is gone every 2 weeks.  He´s back this week, and we want to teach every day with them and have her baptism Saturday.  With the rest, we´ll see what happens.  Here are some things I would like in the care package: A couple of MRE lasanguas from Sport Chalet, powerade/cristal light packets that you pour into water bottles, a few hot chocolate packages, 4 things of dental floss, some cinnamon toothpaste (crest), if you can find a nice black backpack that would be great.  Something that looks somewhat durable and with waterbottle holders or those outside mesh pockets, jerky, some good granola bars, oatmeal packets(apple cinnamon, brown sugar, peaches and cream) freeze dried icecream, snickers with almonds, Reeses, payday, a few Koolaide packets (blue, green and yellow are best), and a few $1 bills and coins.  Don´t worry about deodorant or popcorn,  they have it here.  Also see if you can download some individual mtab songs from itunes, you should be able to buy each one for 99 cents.  I like Spirit of God, Called to serve, Battle hymn of the republic (version with drums and trumpets is really good), come thou fount, Praise to the Lord the Almighty (if you can get the version that has the fanfare at the beginning it would be great), the morning breaks, all creatures of our God and King, Organ music, all of the christmas songs (especially I saw 3 ships).  See what you can find.  Thanks.
Love,
Elder Gubler

Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25, 2011 letter

Dear Family,
Sorry, This is all I can write today.  We had to go to Escarcega and I didnt have the opportunity to write.  I'll write next week. Love, Elder Gubler

(editor's note: It appears that Elder Gubler traveled to Escarcega with his senior companion, Elder Portillo, who is also the district leader, for missionary exchanges for a couple of days.  Escarcega is approximately 1-2 hours by bus south of Champoton, traveling inland.  It is a town of 27,500, and is next to the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve.  This reserve consists of 1.8 million acres of tropical forest, with extensive Mayan archeaological sites and 350 species of birds.  It is considered the second most important tropical forest in the continent next to the Amazon.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Manuel Cardona baptism

The eensy, weensy spider

July 18, 2011 letter

Dear Family,
Yesterday we had the baptism of the other Manuel.  His last name is Cardona and the Manuel I baptized last week is Vela.  We won´t be seeing a baptism this week because the husband (less active) of the investigator wants to be present for the lessons so he can learn also.  He works for 2 weeks straight and gets back on Friday, so hopefully we will get them ready for the following Sunday before he heads off to work again.  The other investigator hasn´t been going to church, and isn´t at home when we pass by.  Last Tuesday we passed by a family that hasn´t been to church since Elder Portillo has been here.  They came to church yesterday, and tonight we are going to have a FHE with them.  They have a little restaurant in their house, so hopefully we should be getting some good food.  Can you hold off a week for the care packages?  I´ll send a list next week of what I need.  Sorry, I have to cut this letter short.  We spent a lot of time cleaning the house becuase the Mission President is coming.  It´s time for the district meeting.
Love,
Elder Gubler

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Manuel Vela's baptism, with Elder Portillo and Elder Gubler

Elder Calvert and Elder Gubler

July 11, 2011 letter

Dear family,

It looks like you had a great trip to Washington.  I wish I could have gone.
Transfers were yesterday.  Right now I'm writing from...Champotón. (Ed didn't get transferred, although he has been in Champoton for 6 months. He is still with his 2nd senior companion, Elder Portillo who goes home next transfer).  Yesterday we had the baptism of Manuel.  We forgot to fill up the font on Saturday, so we woke up at 4:30am to go fill it up on Sunday.  We slept on the chairs in the church for a little while.  We had the baptism before sacrament meeting.  I got to baptize him.  I was still changing out of my wet clothes when sacrament meeting started.  I got changed and walked in right when they were going up to the stand to confirm him.  I walked up and then the branch president had me confirm him.  The following Sunday we have another baptism for a different Manuel.  Both of the Manuels are in their early 20´s and look a lot alike.  We have a few more investigators that we are going to try to prepare for the last 2 weekends in July. 
The chalk board picture I sent last week was from our activity we had in June.  I thought I had talked about it in another email.  We did an activity where we are flying a plane and it crashes and everyone dies and gets to see the 3 kingdoms.    Pablo´s last name is Hernandez Espinosa (last week's baptism).  The girl is his neighbor.  She was baptized about 3 years ago.  She just happened to be wearing all white that day.  We haven´t taught any of his family yet.  I don´t know if they want to listen or not.  The zone conference was held in the stake center in Campeche.  President Salinas talked, and then the wife of Elder Tonorio, and then Elder Tonorio.  We didn´t interview with any of them.  You only interview in conferences if you make an appointment.  I´ve included a picture of the baptism yesterday and Elder Calvert and I. (Manuel is wearing a girls blouse because it was all we had.  There used to be lots of white clothes, including jump suits, but it magically disappears from time to time.)
Love,
Elder Gubler

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pablo Hernandez Espinosa's baptism, Elder Portillo, Elder Gubler

Zone conference June 2011

Class instruction

July 4, 2011 letter

Dear Family,
 
Last Monday the rain can down super hard in the evening.  The other Elders in our district didn´t have time to take a bus, so they would have to spend the night with us.  In the evening we divided and Elder Calvert and I went to pick up some hammacks from a member so they would have a place to sleep.  Its a little more than 1 mile from the church to the members´ house.  It was sprinkling a little bit as we left.  Of course it was the only time that week that I didn´t have my umbrella with me, but Elder Calvert and I shared his little umbrella.  We got about half way there when it started to rain a little bit harder.  About 4/5 of the way there, it got superhard.  There wasn't any cover.  We got really soaked.  We made it to the taxi stop to get a little break before making it the last half block to the house.  We decided to make a run for it.  The street had tons of water in it and my shoes got wet.  We made it to the gate, but it had a chain arround it.  I was trying to open it, but I had my bag in one hand and couldn´t put it down.  Their overhang was directly above us and all of the water was cascading over us.  Finally the son ran out and opened the gate and we got inside.  We took a taxi back to the house and everything was fine.   Because there was so much water in the air, everything in the house (books, clothes, hammack) got slightly damp for a few days.
Yesterday we had the baptism and confirmation of Pablo.  On Saturday we went to drain the font and refill it for the baptism.  To drain it, we use a motorized pump.  The pump didn´t work, so we had to scoop it out with buckets.  To make things more fun, it was water that came up the drain from the toilets (similar to what came up in the bathtub when our septic tank backed up).  We got the water down to about 6 inches and figured that was good enough.  The next day we filled it back up.  We have baptisms planned for the following 3 weekends.  Transfers are next week, and normally 4 transfers is the most we will have in an area, so we'll see what happens. 
 
Love,
Elder Gubler

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011 letter

Dear Family,

The rain is really starting to come down.  Before, it would rain for a few minutes in one spot and that would be it.  Saturday, the cloulds all gathered together and it really came down hard.  There was also lightning.  One bolt was so loud that I had to cover my ears.  On Sunday, it rained all afternoon and evening.  It rained for about an hour this morning.  This past week was great.  On Monday the Elders from Escarcega were able to spend the night with us because the next evening we traveled to Campeche, and there wasn´t any point in them returning to the area the next day and then coming back in the evening.  Even though we had cut our hair the week before, we had to cut it again because they told us that we needed it short for the conference with a GA.  We borrowed clippers from a member, and Elder Calvert from Utah cut my hair.  It was by far the best hair cut I have ever had.  After that we fried some chips and bananas.  I mixed together fresh honey and hot sauce.  It was a great combination.  The next day we did divisions.  That evening we traveled to Campeche to spend the night with the zone leaders.  They live on the other extreme of Campeche, and it was a 20 minute taxi ride.   About 12 minutes in, Elder Calvert asked me if we were almost there.  He looked pretty sick.  When we arrived he ran into the bathroom and started throwing up all of the chips and oreos he had eaten.  We ordered pizza that night, but Elder Calvert didn´t want any.  The next day we got up and went to the stake center.  Elder Octaviano Tenorio spoke to us.  On Thursday we got a call from the 2nd counselor saying that he had a reference for us.  The next day we went to his house and taught one of his daughter´s high school friends.  He accepted a baptismal date for the 10th next month.  We gave him a Book of Mormon.  The next day we taught him again.  He did his reading, and yesterday he went with us to stake conference.  It was a great conference.  For the month of July we should be having a baptism every weekend.  We already have planned for the 3rd and the 10th, and if we can get some other investigators to commit, we will baptize the following weeks also.
 
I like things a lot better without bikes.  It's a lot easier to stop and talk to people.  Between the 2 of us, we have enough money for 30-40 taxi rides each month, which is more than enough.  And with all of the rain, we wouldn't be able to ride bikes anyway.  I still haven´t used the jump rope yet because there isn't enough room in the house or the patio.  I don´t remember if I told you, but an Elder in the MTC snapped 2 of the bands, so it doesn´t give me enough resistence.  When I get to my next area, Im going to buy some weights.  I still haven´t written other missionaries yet, but I will if I have time today.  I still have a little bit of deodorant and toothpaste that I brought with me, but you can send more in the next package.  I have only used my glasses once to protect my eyes while frying.  Sorry, I have to go now.  I´ll answer the rest of the questions next week.
 
Love,
Elder Gubler

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20, 2011 letter

Dear Family

Rainy season has finally started (it was supposed to start in May).  There is more humidity now.  The weather reports are pretty accurate.  We only wear our suits during church.  Usually when it rains, it doesn´t last very long.  The umbrella I have works great.  Almost all of our contacting is done in the street as we walk by people.  My companion has mentioned doing an activity with our district where we set something up and talk to people.  Taxis cost usually 15 or 20 pesos.  If it's really far, it's 25.  We´ve only taken the bus one time.  Taxis are a lot more efficient and not much more expensive.  We don´t go to the restaurantes because we have members make us food every day.  On Fridays we go to a member's that has a restaurant, but it's basically the same thing as the food the members give us.  This last week we had a great activity.  It starts out just like the trip to Hawaii activity we did for mutual, but instead of getting hijacked, you crash and get to see the three kingdoms of glory.  We finished the activity by watching the end of  The Testaments.  Several people were crying at the end.  I´m glad my letter got to Grandma and Grandpa.  Did you ever get my nice jeans and sweatshirt from Amanda?  Sorry to cut this letter short.  My times up.  Happy Father's day
Love,
Elder Gubler

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13, 2011 letter

Dear Family,
Thursday was our last day to use bikes.  Our number of contacts has really dropped because we use bikes all of the time.  We got a call from the zone leaders and an AP and are no longer using the bikes.  It was good timing because we left them in the house of our mission leader the night before.  Since then our contacts have significantly increased.  On friday we got positive responses from almost all of the contacts.  We now travel in taxi more often, which is a great opportunity to talk with the drivers.  Most of the drivers accept a return visit.  The humidity is fairly high at times.  Not very many houses have AC.  Our house has a great cooler.  It helps a lot, especially because our house is hotter inside than outside.  Some people have citrus trees, and usually its lime.  My first converts have  a lot of citrus trees.  I think they are mostly orange.  A family told me that in an area in Yucatan, they have tons of orange trees.  It haven´t paid any attention to the avacados, but I´ll take a look next time.  Efforts improving means that the numbers of lessons, contacts, baptismal dates, church attendees are improving.  Every pday we email our president with the numbers and a message.  I finally got the pictures today from Rachel, Kimi, and Lora after nearly a month.  I sent a package of Elder Vickery´s to his family and threw in some letters to Grandma and Grandpa Gubler and Lisa Mann.  Could you check if they ever got them?  I got the addresses for the other missions today.  Thanks.  If you run into Elder Wiscombe from Davis, CA in Budapest, tell him I say high.  We were in the same group at Fresno EFY.  He left the MTC the week before I got there.  With Mike Lane gone, I think dad is going to be appointed the next Mayor.  I forwarded an email to you that I sent to Lora regarding an important chapter in Gubler Family history.  Make sure you read it to the family. 
Love,
Elder Gubler

Monday, June 6, 2011

Elder Gubler with Branch Mission Leader

Bump on Elder Gubler's leg

June 6, 2011 letter

Dear Family,
Elder Portillo has been on his mission for 21 months.  He has 11 weeks left.  The new Elder in my district is Elder Calvert from Salt Lake.  He is really nice.  He left the MTC the week after I got there.  Hopefully we'll get to do some exchanges soon.  As far as listening, my Spanish is improving.  I'm not sure about pronunciation.  I've included a picture of the ward mission leader and I.  His family is really nice.  He should be getting his mission call in a month or 2.  There is also a picture of the nice little bump on my leg from when I fell off my bike.  This last week our efforts have improved, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.  We have an investigator that is almost ready for baptism, but she leaves on sundays to buy more inventory for her store, so we still haven't baptized her.  I learned a good lesson this last week about why we should obey the word of wisdom.  We had an investigator that we were teaching about 2 months ago.  He had a testimony of the Book of Mormon, started praying with his family, stopped doing drugs, and had the desire to repent.  A few days later he got drunk, and he and his wife separated.  He moved in with his parents, but we could never get an appointment with him because he was hardly there.  My guess is that he got involved in drugs again.  We passed by last week, and found out that he is now in prison with a 15 year sentance.  He could have had all the blessings of the gospel, but he decided to drink one night and now has lost his family and is in jail.  I hope the missionaries find him again.  Tell Kimi happy birthday for me.
Love,
Elder Gubler

Monday, May 30, 2011

May 30, 2011 letter

Dear Family,
I´m still in Champotón.  Elder Portillo is still my companion.  We are getting a new Elder in our district.   I think he´s American, but he still hasn´t arrived yet so I don´t know.  Right now we are waiting in Escarcega for him to arrive.  The boy we baptized 2 weeks ago is named Eduardo.  He works with the 1st counselor, former branch president, and mission leader.  They brought him to church, we taught him, and he was baptized.  The other converts are doing ok.  The older lady that I baptized is going to church with her 2 grandchildren.  Her daughter got a job and works on sunday, so we are going to see if she can get sundays off.  The other boy that we baptized 2 months ago goes to church for the most part.  We are teaching his mom and hopefully we´ll baptize her a week from Saturday.  Also, we are going to start teaching his brother. 
This last week hasn´t been too good.  My companion and I have gotten a little lazy.  We are going to work harder this week.  We didn´t visit the tourist place 2 weeks ago.  It closed before we got there.  We´ll see if we can go next week.  Last Monday we mailed a huge box to my companion´s house so he wouldn´t have to travel with as many things when he finishes his mission.  I rode with the box on my handlebars.  While we were riding, I hit a little bit of sand, lost control, and fell off.  I got a nice little bump on my leg.  Suprisingly, my shirt wasn´t the least bit dirty.  While I was brushing off, a drunk rode up in his bike.  Just as I was about to tell him we didn´t have time to talk, he asked where we were taking the box and then strapped it to his bike.  We rode with him there and I visited with him while my companion shipped it.  He didn´t ask for any money.  I wrote down the address of the church and gave it to him.  Hopefully we´ll see him again when he´s sober.
 
Love, Elder Gubler

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 23, 2011 letter

Dear family,
 
How is everyone?  I hope everyone is ready for summer.  The weather here is getting hotter and more humid.  We traveled to Campeche for a zone conference this past week.  It was really great.  We watched a talk from Elder Holland that he gave in the MTC when I was there.  He talked about the things that missionaries don´t do very well, why we have Preach My Gospel, the importance of his and our mission, and that we need to love the people.  This past week we didn't have any baptisms, but we are going to see if we can have a baptism on the 31st.  The goal for the mission this month is to baptize in 2 of the 4 weeks of May. 
I forgot to write in last week's letter about my companion´s ipod getting stolen.  On Sundays we study after lunch.  We arrived at the house, opened the door and put our bikes away.  There were a lot of ants in the other room of the house so I started sweeping them out.  My companion was in the bathroom, so the front room was empty with the door open.  While I was sweeping I could feel that the wind shifted.  I walked into the front room to check what happened.  Everything appeared normal.  I looked out the front door and saw someone running about 2 blocks away.  I looked around, checked that my wallet was there, and figured it had shifted as the person was running by.  I went back to sweeping, and then went to the bathroom.  While I was in the bathroom I remembered that my companion's ipod was on the table in the front room.  It all clicked.  I finished in the bathroom, went and asked my companion where his ipod was.  He looked at the table, under a book, and then said he didn't know.  We got on our bikes and rode for a couple of blocks to see if we could find the person.  We were unsuccessful.  Well, I hope that whoever buys the ipod listens to the hymns and becomes converted. 
I figured out how you can get a fair exchange with your money when you come to get me.  The first counselor and his brother want tents and water purifiers.  You can bring them with you when you come and they can buy them from you here.  Could you also check into some hunting supplies?  They want a whistle that attracts peacocks, and also one that attracts wild pigs.  I´m not sure if these exist or not.  I do know that they make these for ducks.  Maybe dad can ask Steve Koch if they sell those.  Well, that's it for this week.
Love,
Elder Gubler