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.
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.
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.)
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. 
Elder Gubler