Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Pictures

Gabe sent us some more pictures.  Here they are.

Some gifts and treats I got

Elder Vital likes to barricade the door at night so people don't break in hahah. I think its funny. He doesn't but i do. So, yea, it makes me laugh every night cause some nights he rushes to the door and like BOOM plops the chair right up against the door. hahahahah it's so funny.

A Christmas party we had last week

Early Christmas Present!!!

Gabe got some great news last week - he finally has his visa to go to Mexico!  For reasons I don't understand, he had to fly to Boise with a bunch of other missionaries and go to the Mexican consulate there to get the visa.  Here is his story:

Hey! So I Got the Visa! I leave to Mexico Jan. 6! I am so excited!!! I flew out there (to Boise) Wednesday and we were supposed to come back in the evening, but our plane had electric issues and they couldn't get it fixed and it was the last flight back so we stayed over night at a hotel with a few other elders and sisters. They paid for us. And gave us money. It was fun. These elders and sisters came from the MTC. They had to go back but they were all excited lol. They tried to preach a lot in the airport. It didn't go well. They need more practice. I'll tell you guys about that later but we woke up, got ready and our flight was scheduled to leave at 1:00 but the Salt Lake Airport was closed. The runways were all ice and lots of snow so we waited forever and eventually made it home at 6:00. So yea, it was crazy but the plane ride was bumpy and scary and it was so hard to land. The man said everyone clapped when we landed cause it was so scary. Also it was all foggy. We couldn't see. But they have all the instrument stuff to help but still it was a bumpy ride. Pretty sketchy. But I made it. We were close to staying another night. But we had fun. I can't wait to call you all at 2! Christmas!

Elder Castleton

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Visa is Coming!!!

Gabe got some good news about his visa!  Here is his email from yesterday:

I am flying to Idaho Wednesday to see the Mexican consulate. Then I'm positively sure I leave the 5 of January!!! So I'm outta here! Jajaja I'm excited! I return from Idaho in the night time but I'm there all day from 7:15 to night. I'm really busy now. I have to go. We're working sooo hard we had to cut lunch. Love you all.  I'll email you sometime after Idaho! Love you all c'ya!
Elder Castleton

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

More Salt Lake Pictures

Our Apartment


Busy, Busy, Busy

This is my breakfast usually, besides cereal. Eggs, some Mexican sausage and this Mexican drink. Yummy! Oh, and cholula is the sauce.

Pictures from Salt Lake

Gabe also sent us some pictures from Salt Lake City.

Me, Elder Andino and Elder Contreras on the right. They left. They were here before transfers.
We got these flowers from a woman we did service for. This was a while ago cause now its all snowy.
Elder Vital (my companion)
Zone Conference
This little girl wanted to put Hello Kitty stickers on my name tag so I let her jajaja. She's so cute. Its funny.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pictures from MTC

Gabe sent us some pictures this week.  Some were older ones from the MTC.  Here are some of them.

Christmas Devotional

Last Sunday (Dec. 8) Kathy, Susannah, Daria, Michael and I attended the Christmas Devotional at the Conference Center. The next day I emailed Gabe and asked if he had attended the devotional.  Here is his response:

          Yea, I was there too! I was like wondering if you guys would be there. It was good. We took an investigator. He had lots of tattoos and piercings. Everybody was like "Where did you find him?" jajaja. He likes us because we are chill and not like REPENT!! We're taking it nice and slow. He doesn't like other missionaries because they just chuck so much info and they haven't made the connection to be his friend. We're his friend. I feel better now that I have came here. I CAN sound like a Mexican. Other than that I sound normal. I have enough clothing, thank you. I am keeping warm. :) I am having the time of my life! I will try to upload the new fotos from Salt Lake City now. Let's see how it goes. Love you all. 

Elder Castleton

Friday, November 29, 2013

First Transfer Day and Thanksgiving

This week Gabe's sister Eva got the best email.  Gabe's first transfer day in the Salt Lake City East Mission is coming up.  Here's what he said:

"Ah, my wonderful big sister,

Do you need help with those non members!!?!? I wanna help haha. I'm sorry you were sick.  I'll pray for you. I am still waiting for my visa... But the work is awesome! It's transfers Tuesday ... Idk what's gonna happen. The kids here are so funny! They're cute.

We have a new investigator.  his name is _______. He is sooo curious and interested. We have an appointment with him tomorrow at 11:00.

We are teaching this man and he knows it all and has felt the spirit and everything!, But his only problem is drinking before he is baptized. We got close one night to making him stop and other people have taught him for like a year, so he has everything down. His only problem is drinking. That's what's stopping him from baptism. So we thought he was fine these past few weeks but last night we went to visit him and he was completely wasted... It's sad. So that sucked.

Oh, I'm emailing like parts of family and friends today cause we don't have p-day tomorrow. It's on Thursday  (Thanksgiving) and its short so I'm gonna mail Mom and Dad and my other ma, then spend more time mailing them, but yea, I gtg. Love you all! Ill keep you all in my prayers! Bye sis!

Elder Castleton"

Today (the day after Thanksgiving) we got another quick email from Gabe.  The night before Thanksgiving we left a little treat for Gabe and his companion on their doorstep.

"Hey, sorry! We didn't have p-day Monday and it was supposed to be yesterday but it was so busy. We found 3 new investigators! Our p-day wasn't supposed to be all day anyways. I am trying to find a time where we can email. Were busy now but just wanted to say hi and was that you that brought me and Vital the candy and card!?!?!? He says thanks. I'm doing good - real, real busy!  I got to go but I'll find when I can email u. We will email you for sure on p-day. It's just things are crazy cause of Thanksgiving. Lots of people didn't get to email too. Well hope u had a fun Thanksgiving! 

Elder Castleton"

Monday, November 18, 2013

Early Thanksgiving Celebration

This week we had thanksgiving dinner with the ward and it was good. They had like turkey in wing sauce kinda thing.  It was so good and spaghetti and lots of desserts. They had so many kids!!! It was crazy! We had another 2 sets of missionaries and us bring non members and it was awesome. We blocked off the hallways with tables on both sides so kids wouldn't run around the whole church, but..... they are too smart. They found another door that connected to both sides and it was chaos. They are so funny but there was well over a hundred of them! They all like ran as a pack and they would chase us and grab our legs so we couldn't go. Haha. It's sweet how when we visit the non members the little girls always give us hugs and the boys like to act tough and do stones. The kids are so sweet and so funny.  Their is one boy HE LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE ME! when I was a kid. Its creeping me out. He is so cute though. 

So Elder Vital, my companion, tells me a lot about Juarez and Mexico.  I am so excited. So apparently there's no such thing as a smothered burrito! He says the burritos here are like what?! Like we went to Cafe Rio and he's like "What is this? They're destroying them." haha. So Cafe Rio is totally 100% American. Same with a lot of other Mexican restaurants I thought were kinda Mexican. He says burritos are small and skinny and they don't put like everything in it, like how Cafe Rio puts like rice, beans, meat, more meat, salad and all this stuff - Vital's like "WHA???.. What is this?"  hahah Its funny. People are like "Hey, so you're from Mexico?" and he's like "ya". They're like "Oh, yea, Juarez, cool, so do you guys eat tacos all the time?" He's like "No, I like pizza and hamburgers and other food."  The other person is like "Wow, you guys have American food?" hahahahhaah Also people ask him stuff like "Do you guys have bowling? and movies and restaurants?" It's like "What the.... we don't live in a third world country!" haha. Its funny, but kinda racist. People tell ME that I'm gonna eat lots of tacos and my companion is like "No, no, your not." hahaha. They all just assume that. He says there's lots of normal food but the Mexican food is better and not like Taco Bell and Cafe Rio. Oh, also, people say I'm gonna die still but he says it's not bad. He says people pay people and they make the internet stuff look like Juarez is all about death but it's not.  It is really dangerous but it's not like they run around killing people hah. Its like they have their own buisness, ya know? So I'm fine. 

I am getting too attached to Salt Lake. I love the people here. They're so fun and cool! They do everything as a ward. Like everything!! We have had soo many birthday parties at the church with everyone. Its definitely not like our little American parties. They get the whole ward and music and big speakers and the light things and tons of food and they go wild. hahaha Same with baptisms.  They party hard after baptisms. haha Oh, also the music is not like what everyone thinks. Its just normal music like our music, but in Spanish. Most of it is actually cooler than the bands I know. haha  The ward knows me and they love talking to us and it is so fun here. I don't wanna leave hahah but I do. We played x box kinnect last night at a member's house. The games where you use your body to like play the games. They made us dinner, too. It is fun teaching the people too. 

Well, I hope you guys have a great week! my Spanish is improving a lot. I am making probably lots of mistakes cause when we speak English it's Spanglish so yea. I committed to only speak English when it's American people I talk to or come in contact with. I speak Spanish 24/7 -pray, sleep and everything is Spanish. When my companions speak English it's like idk they say it backwards, kinda, so I'm starting to do the same. It's a habit now, hahaha. I can't help it, but when you hear it so much you just do it too. haha. Well I am leaving now. Love you all! Have a good week! 

Elder Castleton/Po

Happy Birthday!

Gabe celebrated his 19th birthday on November 5 in the mission field.  Here's the letter we got from him the week after his birthday.

Ok Hello! This is ELDER CASTLETON reporting live.... It is NOV 11 2013. It is approximately 12:10 that I am starting this report. The weather forecast today is sunny with a chance of  some gospel preaching. Hey family and friends... probably because I know what I post goes to the gabeinjuarez thingie haha. So hello everyone! This past week has been good! I had a great birthday! I went to this member's house and they had a surprise birthday thing fiesta. So we had cake and goodies. It was fun. We took some pictures of us and they had haha some cervesa corona haha. It was a joke for my 19th birthday. It was a funny JOKE. So I will upload those fotos asap. I am having a blast out here. The work is awesome and the people are so nice and they feed us really good.

My companions are awesome and chill. So idk if you guys know them all. It goes - Me, my companion Elder Vital, then Elder Andino, then Elder Contreras. So here for some reason I am known as Elder Po like Kung Fu Panda Po. So on that cake the family gave me it said Happy Birthday Elder Po. Everyone calls me that now.  It's funny.  So like the movie "Best Two Years" - that's basically what it's like out here. but better. and a better apartment. I feel like I'm the nerd that's like "C'mon elder lets go place some Books of Mormons!" hehe. I like it out here. It is really fun to be a missionary and feel the spirit all the time.

Thanks, guys, for all the gifts and things you have sent me. It makes me feel better. Thanks for the other cake, too. I still have it. There's so much cake! How are you all doing? Thanks everyone for sending me letters and nice things to me. My testimony out here has grown so much. I know how much you need to rely on the Lord for help. I know this is the best thing I need to be doing right now with my life. It helps to just be yourself and not pretend to be someone else. With my humor it helps to get along with people and to just be me. The missionaries say I'm super chill and funny so they say they love being with me. They say it makes them all wanna be with me and it makes their mission more exciting and fun. I am glad and grateful to be here. Well, I got to go. We're going to play soccer. I love you all. Have a wonderful week! This is Elder Castleton signing out!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

First Report from Salt Lake City

Finally got an email from Gabe after his arrival in Salt Lake City.  He's so happy and busy and loves the work.Here's what he said:
Hey so I am here in Salt Lake City doing the work till I go to Mexico!! So we left the MTC so good and we sang "Til We Meet"- that song in Spanish - its a tradition. So we got our companions the first day and guess what!!!!!!!!!!! My companion is FROM Mexico Cuidad Juarez! It is such a blessing. I think I came here so he can help me! He is a great teacher. His name is Elder Vital and he's soooo glad I'm going to his city. He leaves in four months back to Cuidad Juarez. WE get a long great. He's awesome. I love serving with him. I have taught some people and it's all real life now. haha So I gave a woman today a blessing of comfort. Also we had a baptism Saturday and it was so nice and very spiritual. These people like party after their baptisms haha. They have a big party - it's crazy. Also every day we eat with people and its hard to stay fit but this other elder from Honduras is helping me and I'm loosing weight. I love being with these guys. I love being with everyone. The Mexican babies are so cute. haha Going to church is fun with them. Its weird here cause the parents don't know much English but the kids do so its like Spanglish. Well I don't have much time.. We had p-day today but we had dinner appointments and service we did. So I can't say everything I wanna say - I am summing it all up. This is awesome work. Well I got to go. Tell everyone I love them. Bye I love you guys! This is the Lord's work. Nos vemos!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Leaving the MTC for Salt Lake City

Yesterday I got a text from a neighbor saying he had seen Gabe with a group of missionaries on the FrontRunner train.  Last night we got this email and photos from the Salt Lake East mission president:

Dear Parents
Your missionary arrived safe and sound in the Utah Salt Lake City East Mission.  They take the Front Runner in from the MTC.  We welcome them, photograph them and get their luggage.  After breakfast and orientation we had a wonderful transfer meeting and training.  Please know that we will take care of your child as if they were our own.  We are excited for this new adventure in their lives and want it to be positive for them.  Please write to them weekly and encourage them to be obedient.
Thank you

President and Sister Eberhardt

Good luck in Salt Lake, Gabe! You are so close but so far.  I hope your few weeks in the Salt Lake East Mission will be a great learning experience.

The Frontrunner train arriving in Salt Lake

The new arrivals - Gabe is right behind the mission mom on the right

Monday, October 14, 2013

Gabe and His Mom

Gabe and His Mom
Gabe and Kathy Castleton
Gabe sent us a letter and I wanted to share it with you all.

"Hey, how is everyone? I am so happy here. I am doing so good. Lots of Spanish! I pray in Spanish and bear my testimony in Spanish. I have felt the spirit more than I've ever felt in my entire life. I feel the Gift of Tongues and it helps. I pray like 20 times a day. It's weird. Also wearing church shirts is so normal. Wearing my p-day clothes is weird. 
Family... I have a testimony that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I testify of it. He did translate the Book of Mormon. He went through so much. I'm so grateful for what he did. This is truly the true church. I can never deny. I will take the truth and preach unto every soul. I feel the Savior's love for me. I LOVE all you guys!!! Jesus loves you!
Take care. The church is true! I testify of it. I am a representative of Jesus Christ. I am so blessed and proud.
My belt broke. I'll buy a new one. Love you all!!!!!!!!!
Elder Castleton

He sent this letter in a box with his broken belt and his cell phone.
       Yes estoy recibiendo todos. It is hard to mail all the time cause im busy. I get them and they make me feel better. Dane??!!!! if you see dane soon tell him to email me and give him my email address. No one emails me.....:( only you and dad and suzy and eva. It is quite sad actually. People say ill write you and stuff but no one has. I like get pumped to email on friday and I love it but I wish I new how my friends are doing. ya know? its kinda sad. But mom I miss you! I will write to graham and eva. I hope you are all doing well. I know you will be blessed because I am here. I have wanted to come home a few times but I am staying strong. I am learning so much spanish. like I am forgetting how to say some words. They tell us to like take out english words and replace it with spanish. also like out side of class we speak spanish. We speak spanish all day 24/7. I am understanding the gospel so well. when my companion and i teach we dont use books or anything we just practice and we learn how to say it. we pray in spanish and testify in spanish. Also tell jed if you see him that his cousin I think its his cousin is here and hes a stud. we have talked. Also I have seen russell and I have talked to him a lot before he left. It was so good to talk to him again before he left. It really feels wierd here like this is all a dream or something. i dont know. Its a wierd feeling. I am learning so much and I am ready to go. I have been assigned to be leader of the trip thing leader where like when we leave and we head to mexico I am in charge of a few districts and help them and make sure everything is ok. no one knows anything about the air ports and their scared of them haha I told them I new how it all works and their like yay good! haha. So we bus to salt lake and then fly to phenix arizona and then ALL THE WAY DOWN TO Guadalajara!!!!!!! hahaha its crazy why we are going all the way down their then from their we go to Cuidad Juarez. My birth grandma is in guadalajara. haha :) awesome. well I got to go. I love you mom!

Last week Gabe sent us some worried letters. He found out he will be serving in Salt Lake instead of Juarez for a little while. He was afraid he'd done something wrong. Not so. He just didn't get his visa in time. Since he won't be going to Juarez he needed a coat. We didn't know when he would be transferred so we grabbed his coat and a sweater and a new tie and put them in a box and dropped it off at the MTC.

Mom and Dad the people here said I do not have my visa yet. and even though I am a duel citizen I had to have a passport from Mexico. So i guess we turned the passport I have here in a little late, but they didnt tell me anything. I didn't know what to do so one day they called me and took it and didn't say what they were doing with it. I went in again and asked hey whats up and they said it won't be in on time. So NOW I have been assigned to serve in the Salt Lake City East mission UNTIL that comes through. and also incase I need to be there with the Mexican consul it I have to be there in person and sign stuff and all the fun stuff. They said i will be here in SL for a transfer. I am just notifying you. Soon I will be in Mexico. Other than that I feel nervous and scared. I feel ready and happy but It is hard teaching people and stuff. This is pretty hard work. I am excited though. I also saw keith and his two daughters at the Provo temple. It was nice to see them and some one of my family I miss you guys. i was happy. I dont know when I can email you next I think our p-day is gonna be different but Idk. I will be sure to email you when I can. Also I am in need of winter cloths. I have nothing to put over my suit. it is getting cold too. I only have warm cloths. I have one sweater but its like what I wear on p-day and I have a rain coat but it doesnt fit over my suit. ill figure something out. If I need to buy some warm things could you put money on my card? I love you guys and miss everyone. It is a strange feeling being aways this long. The lord is taking care of me. Thanks for everything. Love you Mom and Dad 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Visa Troubles

Gabe got some bad news today - his Mexican visa hasn't come through and he will be assigned to the Salt Lake North Mission until it arrives.  But he also got some good news - he ran into Keith and his daughters at the Provo Temple this morning.  Here is some of his email:

Mom and Dad,

The people here said I do not have my visa yet. So I guess we turned the passport I have here in a little late, but they didn't tell me anything. I didn't know what to do so one day they called me and took it and didn't say what they were doing with it. I went in again and asked "Hey, whats up?" and they said it won't be in on time. So NOW I have been assigned to serve in the Salt Lake City East mission UNTIL that comes through. and also in case I need to be there with the Mexican consul if I have to be there in person and sign stuff and all the fun stuff. They said I will be here in SL for a transfer. I am just notifying you. Soon I will be in Mexico. Other than that I feel nervous and scared. I feel ready and happy but It is hard teaching people and stuff. This is pretty hard work. I am excited though. I also saw Keith and his two daughters at the Provo temple. It was nice to see them and some one of my family. I miss you guys.. I was happy. I don't know when I can email you next. I think our p-day is gonna be different but Idk. I will be sure to email you when I can.. I love you guys and miss everyone. It is a strange feeling being away this long. The Lord is taking care of me. Thanks for everything. Love you, Mom and Dad

(Note from Chuck: I called the missionary travel department.  They said there are no problems with Gabe's passport and paperwork.  There were several missionaries in his group who just didn't get their invitation letters from the Mexican government in time.  Apparently they are just a little slow sometimes.  So they will be temporarily assigned to stateside missions until their visas are completed.)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Life in the MTC

What's Gabe doing every day in the Missionary Training Center?  Here is a link to an article and video from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about life at the MTC.

Life in a Mormon MTC

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Father's Musings

Throughout Gabe's life, and especially since he received his mission call, I've had powerful feelings that Gabe has an important role to play in fulfilling the purpose of the Book of Mormon.  The title page of the Book of Mormon says it is written "to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ..."

When Gabe was set apart as a missionary his blessing said he was called to take the Book of Mormon to his brothers and sisters who are, like him, the children of Father Lehi.  Teaching the gospel to the descendants of the Book of Mormon people is one of the primary preparations that must occur before the second coming of the Savior, and Gabe has a very personal part to play in this preparation.  Here are some of the scriptures that have come to my mind as I have pondered this:

Enos 12-18 - The Lord covenanted with Enos and his fathers that their record would be preserved and brought forth to their descendants when the time was right.

1 Nephi 15:13-14 - Nephi saw in vision that the fulness of the Gospel would be brought by the Gentiles to the remnant of his seed.

3 Nephi 16 - Christ tells how the gospel will be brought to the descendants of the Nephites and Lamanites.

Mormon chapter 7 - Mormon testifies directly to the latter-day Lamanites.

Gabe, the work you are doing has been foretold for centuries.  It is a critical part of the history of the world.  Be strong and courageous.  God is on your side.


Half Way Through the MTC

Here is the email we got from Gabe this week.  The  frightened boy we dropped off at the MTC  has become  a confident, articulate and spiritually powerful man.

Hey, Dad!

        So I have had a great week. You are welcome. Thanks. I got the cookies. Thanks! They were good. I am actually trying to get fit and loose weight. One of the elders in my district is good with personal training and hes pretty buff. haha. So yea I am actually sore from last night and this morning. My body is a temple and I really need to take care of it and attend to it. So also we had a companion switch in our district. I switched companions and I have Elder Misalucha from the Philippians! he is so cool. We work so well together. So basically if I were to have really taught some people the gospel I would have baptized 2 already. My old companion is with our district leader. He is cool and he went to AF.  He knows a lot of my friends like Brad and Kimball. and Braden.

Tell our ward they're awesome. tell them the MTC is fun and its not what most people expect it to be like. When we really study the book of mormon and really dig in. It makes so much more sense. So I am so glad to be here. It is hard. I miss friends and seeing everybody and I MISS my FAMILYs! but its what is right. One of Brynn's friends works here at the wyview campus in the creamery and I get to say hi. Also today we went to the temple and I saw old friends and they are friends with Brynn.

Dad I love you and I miss you. You are the best dad. I know a lot more about the church here and it is making me grow a stronger testimony. This church is true. I don't know how a young uneducated boy can make up all that stuff. or even like a dream and he saw all that cause thats one heck of a dream. haha. I know this church is true. It is so much easier to teach and stuff. I can teach really good without a book. I am apparently the best one in our zone in Spanish so everyone asks for help. Haha its a good feeling. Well Time to go.I will talk to you next week. Tell mom I love her. Shes the best mom. She has been their for me. I love you all. Keep suzy going get her reading and praying every day. Satan will do all he can to stop here. She is at  a hard time especially at school and trying to fit in. I can't email everyone now cause we got a busy schedule so sorry! I love you all. Adios! 

Elder Castleton 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Backing up.....

I need to back up today and post some pictures from before Gabe left.  The weekend before Gabe went to the MTC, his birth mother, Maria, came to visit for a few days.  We had a great time, and enjoyed getting to know her.  Maria, thanks for coming.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Actual letters this week!

We received an actual pen-and-paper letter from Gabe this week.  It arrived with a package of things he sent home.  Here is a transcript:

Mom & Dad,
I can't tell you how much I am happy & blessed to be here.  I know I've been here for 2 weeks and I love it.  I have never felt the spirit so strong....I'm so happy.  Love you both.  Thanks a ton!

Love, Elder Castleton

And then another letter written to the whole family:


Hey, how is everyone?  I am so happy here.  I am doing so good.  Lots of Spanish!  I pray in Spanish and bear my testimony in Spanish.  I have felt the spirit more than I have ever felt in my entire life.  I feel the gift of tongues and it helps.  I pray like 20 times a day.  It's weird.  Like wearing church shirts is so normal.  Wearing my p-day clothes is weird.  Family... I have a testimony that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and his son Jesus Christ.  I testify of it.  He did translate the Book of Mormon.  He went through so much.  I'm so grateful for what he did.  This is truly the true church.  I can never deny.  I will take the truth and preach unto every soul.  I feel the Savior's love for me.  I love all you guys.  Jesus loves you!  Take care.  The church is true!  I testify of it.  I am a representative of Jesus Christ.  I am so blessed and proud.

Love you all!!
Elder Castleton

Gabe, I want to stand beside you and testify that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith is his prophet, and that the Book of Mormon is true!  I am so proud of you.  I feel the power of your testimony in your letters.  I love you!

Love, Dad

Sunday, September 15, 2013

MTC, Week 2

A new email and some pictures from Gabe this week:

Hi, Dad. It is going great! I am so happy and having the time of my life. So we stayed here in the main MTC campus, but then we moved to the west view campus where the family housing is. It is so much nicer. It feels like I'm in college. There's a lot more things we can do and freedom. I have P day every Friday so every Friday I can Email you guys. We had 8 people in our district and now their are 6. We had two get sent off to the Spain MTC. We are all such good friends. They say they are so glad to have me because I can make them feel good and happy when they are down. My companion's name is Elder Hall, then we have Elder Pilkington, Elder Misalucha, Elder Ray, Elder Webster. They are so kind and nice.  I have been assigned to be the Senior Companion. My spanish is getting so good. It is taking me a while to type cause I type in Spanish haha. Well dad I love you and I miss you. Thank you for getting me up so early to get to mission prep. It has been so helpful to know and be prepared. Like what the scouts say " BE PREPARED". I have grown a big testimony and I have learned a lot in just a week. I have practiced a lot teaching investigators and I am so excited to go teach the people of Mexico. I will try to upload fotos so you can see. I will talk to you soon. Te amo mucho. habla en una semana. 

First email!!!

On Friday, Sept. 6, we received a brief email from Gabe.  He is doing very well and loves the MTC.  This went a long way towards easing his parents fears and stopping our tears :)  Here is what he said:

 I am having a great time here. I got to meet all my elders I'm rooming with. My zone. I have a pretty cool companion he is cool and nice. We all get a long great. I have seen a lot of people I know. Everyone is so nice to me and I am doing great. I have learned a lot of Spanish already. I also have felt the spirit so strong here. It is amazing to see all these missionaries. The food is really really good here. The Chocolate Milk! It is to die for. I am afraid I will get too fat because I eat a lot. I need to loose weight. I am having a really good time. Getting up is actually easier than I thought but it's staying awake that's tough. My companion is struggling with spanish and I am helping him. He is very cool and I am glad to have a good companion like him.  I am glad I am not the only one having a hard time studying. Lots of people struggle and its hard for them to concentrate. Some people never have studied for more than 5 mins so it can be hard for them. I am trying hard to do the best I can. I remember Stake Pres telling me that quote. which is..." All I want, Is all you've got" I am so glad to experience all of this. I need to be more effective on my studying. Thanks for everything you have helped me with. 

Elder Castleton