Hola from Laredo,
I have made it to Texas. I have been in Texas for about a week now!
I have already had my first taste of Tex-Mex. Both on the Tex end and on the Mex end. Last Monday when we arrived in McAllen we went to the President's house after a short meeting at the church first. There we had dinner, which consisted of BBQ ribs, brisket (still not a hundred percent sure what that is) and BBQ chicken, along with baked beans, cornbread, and pink lemonade. Now, really what sounds more Texan than that?
That night all the Elders spent the night at the apartments in McAllen and My companion and I spent the evening at the President's house. The next morning after breakfast the President sat us all down and presided to have us open a letter one at a time telling us where we were going and who was going to be our trainer. I am in Laredo with Hermana Sigler. She is a very efficient missionary, a well-seasoned missionary. I will actually be her last companion before she goes home. We are therefore, on opposite ends of the spectrum. However, the one thing we do have in common is that we are both new to Laredo.
There are many new things to learn, do, and apply in the mission field. I am trying to quickly use and apply all the new information I am receiving. Before my mission I thought I knew how to talk and relate with people but I am quickly learning how limited my people skills really are and trying to connect and ask good questions. A major question that we missionaries like to ask is what do the people need? The second question is what questions can we ask to help us find that information out. This is another concept that I thought I could do fairly well.
Nevertheless, I am learning just how difficult figuring out needs and asking inspired but direct questions really is. I also find it hard to remember everyone's names and directions that they give me!! If anyone has suggestions on these questions please feel free to share. Don't worry, I am already praying really hard to do all these things but more prayers could never hurt. :)
I am getting to know the people here in Laredo. Many people that we have met work with the Border Patrol. Also, we have a baptismal date with a new investigator that we are teaching. We talked with his mom on Saturday night and she seemed interested in church as well. We are hoping to begin teaching her on Tuesday night.
We are beginning to meet the branch in Laredo. On Saturday night the Relief Society had a dinner before the annual Relief Society Broadcast. For dinner I got to experience toastas with beans, chicken, and HOT Salsa. :)
English and Spanish are both very much used in our area. Lessons will go from English to Spanish and back again. It is hard to keep up but I am doing it. I had my first telephone conversation in Spanish. :) Everyone here is super nice and I see such strong examples of people searching for the gospel in their life. I love supporting the members in whatever it is that they need. I also love seeing an investigator understanding a gospel principle for the first time or when an investigator receives an answer to prayers.
I love you all and keep you all in my thoughts and in my prayers.