Monday, March 31, 2014

Got Sick ( had to see doctor)

Hello everybody,

This past week has been a great week. We have found new people to teach. Thanks Jeremy, Mom and Dad for helping me with those things and what to say.  The reason I asked is cause the people here just won't listen to you or what you say if you don't give a reason. It's like us, if someone said you Mormons are wrong, well, it would hurt but we would say "How would you know?" We would try and help them, right? Well we have proof but everything we have almost they have to fight and defend. I don't like it. So I'm always testifying and they say i don't care, you can't prove it, so you must be wrong.  I can't do anything without proving myself. My companion is really good cause he knows the Bible as if it was his own child. We don't Bible bash them in a bad or mean way. We're nice and we explain it in a sincere manner.  We had to leave a couple investigators because they just would not listen to us. They had their own thoughts and we let them go. Also we met a guy and were teaching him until he said "I can't get to sleep with out killing someone", so yea, we let him go right there. So its been hard and annoying sometimes. I am really turning to God for help. Our ward is helping a little. We are teaching the importance of the work of salvation.  We have ward missionaries and they are a big help. There are 5 girls and one guy. He's preparing to leave on a mission. His name is Noe, which is Noah. 

Speaking of Bible names I've noticed there are a lot of people here with Bible names.  My companion's name is Moroni!!!! Moroni Santiago, which is Moroni James, haha. 

It is getting hotter and hotter here. Dad, it might say 70 in El Paso but where I am there's no way. It's at least 90 something and walking all over in it is horrid. I know I'm gonna die in the summer. They call it at least two months of hell cause its a hottness thats is unbearable. Its really dry, too, which is wretched. And the winter supposedly is horrible, too, because it is soo dry and it does snow here, too. They don't have any problems like earthquakes or tornadoes. It's just the weather they say which is the worst. 

So a couple days ago I got sick!!! I had to go to the doctor to find out what it was. They think it was from food. I had everything, like everything from the D to throwing up. I threw up 11 times in 10 mins and I had a major head ache and the chills and my stomach killed and I couldn't walk. Everything was soo blurry. They said I had an infection. I still am sick right now as I am typing. It's hard walking. I'm dizzy a lot. I am drinking a lot of gatorade and other drinks to get my electrolytes up. And water. When I eat I throw it up. So I have some foods I can only eat. They gave me a lot of meds. Our mission leader is so nice. His name is, well we call him Hermano Beto and he and his family are so sweet.  He came by and brought me a bunch of drinks.  I fell asleep last night from 3 in the afternoon till this morning at about 11. My companion was like "Man, you was out dead!"  My companion has been the most patient, most nice, kind, helpful companion. He's been a great help to me. I am thankful for him. I have lost a lot of weight. I'm gonna come back skin and bones hahaha, nah jk. 

I pray for all of you family and friends. Time is short and there is much work to do. Let us keep working and finding those who need to hear the gospel. We know we're right down to the last spoon fulls of cookie dough ice cream until Jesus comes again. Let us be prepared and help others as well. Remember why we are here and how we need to help our fellow brethren and sisters.  But really, I never new how important this work is. I thought it is just like oh, yea, work. Like a job. But it's much much more than that. I testify that this is the work of God. We need to be the examples and be there for the people. We need to stay active and serve and bring others unto Christ like in Elder Holland's talk.  He needs someone to FEED HIS SHEEP. Let us go and feed his sheep. Let us be strong. FOR THE TIME IS SHORT HERE. For those of you, my friends and family, please stay active and find people. You will be blessed tremendously and if you are having a hard time look around and find someone that is in a worse situation. Good luck! Have a great week!! God Speed my friends! Let us not fail. 

Elder Castleton

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Teaching Challenges

Hey!! everybody how it be goin?  How you people be doin? GOOD? good.  I am very goooood. Nice to meet you. Happy birthday. I speak English.... righ? 

This week has been very good. We found lot of persons, and it's awesome! Lots of teaching. I am lovin it here. Although Juarez is sketchy sometimes, it's awesome. Lots of the houses are really poor, like poor, poor shack houses. 

Question: So maybe Jeremy knows this, idk.  So when we have people ask us why we can't have coffee or tea, we try the best we can to explain why, and praying, all that good stuff, but they just say "Yea, well, some coffee is good or tea is good for you."  And its just hard.  Any ideas to help me? 

Teaching is going good other than that. These people are insane. If you don't know your Bible they're just gonna, hmmm, idk how to say it in English. Well, they won't listen to just the Book of Mormon. So I'm still studying the Bible, and the Book of Mormon, obviously.  But the Jehovah Witnesses are the hardest to teach or convince. Catholics are hard, well, harder than the other Christians. but Jehovah Witnesses are the hardest. They will bash your face in with the Bible, haha, it's crazy. One lesson we had with a member and us three, we just got bashed by this investigator and my companion knows a lot and he was a tremendous help but still they have way different thinking styles.  I've noticed the Americans, or more specifically missionaries from Utah, haha, we kinda are bad teachers when it comes to the religions here because the Mexicans here know tons of the other religions and we're like ugh, idk... haha.  But it's hard if you come down here just to hit em with the Book of Mormon. Oh, they will destroy you, haha. So I'm in the middle of getting the Bible thrown at my face and learning how to basically counter what they're saying.  In a nice genuine manner.

I think I spelled that wrong, well many words wrong.  Speaking of, it's hard to type English because even though there is English here it's all mixed up. For example, "tengo sed" means I am thirsty but it really means "I have thirst." or tengo hambre - I have hunger. Things like that.  I'm starting to speak it like it's really like that. Well, I know it will get worse. They say all the missionaries go home and they understand English but can't speak it. That's gonna be me. 

Well, everything else is great! It's getting hotter. It's basically the middle of summer for us down here. And they say it's nothing - it's like the beginning of the beginning.  So basically I'm gonna die. They say also they lose soo much weight cause you want water more than food. haha   So if I come home skinny, just know that it's because I'm dying over here and drinking tons of water. Well, I hope everything over there is going great. I will try to send pics! Love you all! 

Elder Castleton

New Companion, New Adventures

Hey! We are finding more and more people every day! the boy's parents, Alejandro, we are teaching his mom and dad. His mom is very receptive, and is very curious. Maybe we will baptize her, too!

 I am doing great! It is pretty hot here! It will keep getting more hot. Also my companion is awesome!! He is a genius! He knows like every second that passed in the Bible and Book of Mormon, haha. He's helping me learn more.  He's very very smart. He's cool. and I'm learning more things fast.  He's probably my favorite companion, jajaja. So in lessons there are lots of people that try to Bible bash us and they just have tons of theories and he just well....BOOM! And they're like wow, OK. Hahaha, it's funny. 

We officially have been in a drug cartel house!  It was very creepy! We were walking and these two drunk guys came up to us and said they wanted to change so we're talking to them and stuff and we said we can come by and visit and he's like "No, come to my house and see". I'm like "We gotta go" though and he was starting to get mad so I'm like "OK, we will go see where it is". So we go and he says "Come, come see" and stuff. I'm like "Elder, I got a bad feeling."  He says "I know, but they're drunk and they can't chase us if we run."  So we go through the gate and we see his house and we're being all happy and stuff, getting his mind focused and talking about how we can help.  In his house is beer and marijuana and lots of drugs. It smelled so weird.  He even told us straight up he's addicted to drinking and drugs. We tried to help and he just kept saying "yo se, yo se, yo se" (I know, I know) and also "tengo todo!! yo tengo todo! haha" (I have everything! haha) and after a while we felt like OK, we need to leave, so we left. And were not going back again. There are lots of creepy people. But we're careful. We've got the Lord on our side.  Anyways, that was a creepy experience. haha 

Every p-day we play soccer in our zone. Oh, by the way my companion is a district leader. And we play soccer.  It's fun. We're trying to get more people to attend church and have the members help us with finding people, and having them have missionary opportunities. I hope all over there is going good! I miss Utah and you guys. but I need to be here. Well, I got to go. Love you all! Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Castleton

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Little Juarez History

A little more history about Juarez - It was worse like 2 years ago. The cartel fights with each other and now one cartel won. So they are just selling and stuff but now it's more calm so I feel so much better but it's still not too safe. The police are always driving around crazy and it's sad but it's strange. They basically send the police to their death. The cartel out numbers them and are more powerful but the police's job is to make sure it doesn't start like shooting the civilians. So the police aren't that much of a help. They help but the cartel is much more stronger. Anyways, yea, people don't do anything. Like we have neighbors that are growing stuff but nobody tells cause they die. And I found out how some of the cartel knows a lot. It's because some work for the police. 

We have more investigators! So we are gonna ask this boy, he is 15, to be baptized this week! Please pray for him to accept!! Maybe other investigators. We have about 42 active members in our ward. Our ward in Utah has half that many missionaries out! There are so many less actives. It's crazy. We learned most people in Mexico fall away because they don't understand God. or Jesus. It's true. We have been talking and teaching about it and the people still get confused. They don't understand. We are working so hard here trying to find more people and to teach more. We had our investigator Alejandro come to church. He loved it and wants to keep coming.

It is very hot here. It's like Utah in the end of spring almost mid summer. They say hell comes in April and ends in September. They say it literally is like hell here. I am kinda scared. I'm so hot and sweaty now I can't even imagine it in 2 months. It's crazy. I'm like drowning my self in water and electrolytes. 

Anyways I'm learning lots of stuff. New gospel things. My companion is a computer and just a genius in general with the Bible and the Book of Mormon. He knows like every detail. It's awesome. I found out why I'm brown or dark skinned. It's a curse!!! ahhhhh!! hehehe Read 2 Nefi chap 5 I believe or 4. It's cool. anyways....

I love it out here. Lots of work, lots of work. I also didn't know that you have to be married to be a god, like to create your own world. Anyways keep studying and praying. Pray for missionary opportunities. Love you all! Bye!

Elder Castleton

Sunday, March 2, 2014

New Companion

Hey, sorry it's late in email but we had transfers!!!!!! I have a new companion. His name is Elder Santiago. he is from Puebla (near Mexico City) like Hector Merino. My other companion is in Casas Grandes now. I am showing my companion the area here and everything. He is funny. He is shorter than me. I think I'm taller now anyways but.... All is good. We are getting to know each other. I was talking to some new Elders and they don't speak Spanish and It was sooooo hard to speak English....I'll speak like Spanglish. It was hard to talk. Cause I think in Spanish first before English. 

Sunday was at least 90 something degrees!!! I about died. I'm like "Elder, carry me, I can't go on....It's so hot!!"  Summer, I know for fact I am going to die. I just know. I drink a lot of water. The problem is the water down here isn't that good so we have filters in our water bottles and it takes forever to drink enough water to get you goin. 

I think were gonna baptize a few families.  We are so close, well my other companion and I were, but my companion now is really good. He has 18 months in his mission. OH, GUESS WHAT!!! I met Elder HALLSTEAD!!! Brynn's brother!!!! He's here. He was in Casas Grandes, I think. Then he moved up here and he's a zone leader. It was awesome!! 

DAD how's it like working with the missionaries? What ideas do you have to help missionaries that I could benefit from? Since you were ward mission leader. I am praying for everyone over there. I hope you are all doing well. Oh, my companion speaks English so its pretty chill. How is the promised land(Utah)?? I miss the green green. Or there now I guess snow. Nobody has grass or lots of trees here, it's just rocks and dirt. The new Elders are like freaking out. They're like "Where am I?"  hahaha I'm like "Your home for the next two years. This is yo home, buddy." 

Dad, how many lecciones do the Elders there teach every week? We're teaching about 60 lecciones. (Note from Dad: The missionaries here are happy to teach 6 lessons in a week.)  That's pretty grand. I feel so weird that I speak Spanish.... like I'm not completely perfect or fluent, but I understand and speak it 24/7.  It's weird. I dream and think in Spanish.  I miss home but I'm happy here. I love working.  It's fun. I love speaking Spanish to people everywhere. It's fun. 

How is Daria? Doin better? How's Suzy? She doin good in her play? idk what you even call it. How's Ma? I love mom. She is the best. She is a great example. I forgot to mention I think that Elder Hoyos of the Seventy came and taught us in a reunion for missionaries. He's grand. Anybody have questions or comments?????? Love you all. have a great week!