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!