Monday, October 28, 2013

What's Up What's Up?-Week 11

OK everyone! What´s going on? I hope you are all doing fantastic. I know I am! Ok So this week has been pretty crazy! We haven't had too many appointments, and that kinda bums me out, but I do have quite a few funny stories to tell you about, and got a couple things to let you guys know about. First off, I am going to answer all the questions that everyone asks me different emails in an attempt to finish typing to everyone before I run out of either time or money (not sure which will happen first) yes, Nat I have been getting all of your emails, and the email  ".net" is the right one. Heck to the yes we celebrate Halloween, but I'm also a little nervous because some of the people down here are pretty creepy...  I also got the package, and I think that you guys will like the picture that I have to show you guys :) 

Ok, so first off, I am going to tell you gus a little more about the culture of mexico, and it is one word... FOOD! Oh my gosh, each day i just feel fat. I'm starting to get fat like a normal person, and I´'m not sure if that is good or not... But the good thing is that I don't know why but I have tons of energy, and so I have been going to the gym a lot and excercising a lot, and to answer the question that no one will ever ask me, YES, I am getting pretty buff, thank you for noticing haha totally kidding, that still will probably never happen. But anyways, they eat sooo much food here. I am literally forcing food down my throat to try to eat as much as possible so I don't affend the person that is feeding us. So we went and had pizza at a members house, and she made 30 7 inch pizzas and expected the whole army of us 6 missionaries to eat them ALL. ummm... I don't think so. So i only ate 4 pizzas, but hey, I tried. Also, we go to Sister Rosa Albas house, and after trying to eat as much as I can, I apologize for not eating enough. I only ate a huge plate of rice, two bowls of soup and 2 bowls of dessert... and after I apologize, she says to me "it's ok elder, but you need to start eating more, because you won't be able to find any girl that wants to marry you if you return home that thin" MAN! Woman please! I did not know how to respond, so I laughed and told her that I would eat more. 

ok, so we had another baptism this week, and and what's even more crazy is that I got the chance to confirm MICHAEL during sacrament meeting. I have given so many blessing already, and I think I have done like 7 this week, but each time, it gets easier for the spirit to guide my spanish to say the words that God wants me to, but still, it was nerve racking to give michael a blessing in front of the whole ward.

So we were having our weekly planning meeting on thursday at the stake center, and i was aobut to walk out in the hall, and all these WHITE PEOPLE WALK IN!! WHAT?! WHITE PEOPLE!? I politely greet them in spanish, and then I realize that they don't speak spanish! BLASPHEMY! Turns out they were all from utah, and they were part of some chruch resource division, and they all spoke ENGLISH! You guys really can't understand how incredible it was. It was like I just met Justin Bieber (yeah not really), but I did kinda freak out in front of all of them at how cool it was that they spoke english. They were all so nice, and it was awesome to speak english for a minute.  

So yesterday, I learned.... HOW TO MAKE TACOS from the best taco guy in our ward! he legitimately has the greatest tacos, and he showed us all of his ingredients and how much and how to make everything. Watch out america! When I get back, you won't know what hit you. BOOM! Nathan the Taco Man! I LIKE IT! I might just decide to have a career shift on my mission! PSYCH! But seriously, I am going to make you guys some awesome tacos! :)

Ok, so mom, it's funny that you told me that I should write a book, because that's what I did this week! Elder Holley is coming home on wednesday, and I always joked about making a Returning to Normal book. I decided that that was what I was going to do! So walker and I made 10 incredible, completely one-sided, incorrect comical pages at how an elder can return to the normal world. We included 10 topics: Music, Movies and TV, Driving, Dancing, Dating, Talking to women, How to dress, Dealing with PMCWS (Post-mission companion withdrawl syndrome) sociality, and social trends. It was awesome! I have a picture of it, and I will send it to you guys!

Well, that should be all the fun stuff for this week! Also, Day of the dead is this week, and that is oging to be CRAZY! I should have tons of pictures of that! Before I go, I would lik to talk about someone we taught this week! We taught michael's family, and we were oging to baptize them the 9th, but jordy's first comunion is that day. YEP! He is giong to become catholic and the week after, he will become mormon. He doesn't want to be catholic, but his mom is a little weird, and says he has to do it. But that's not what I wanted to talk about. We talked about the importance of reading and praying everyday. We bore our testimonies that as they continue to read and pray, they will know like us, that they are supposed to be baptized. I realized something. WE are nothing! The spirit teaches everything, and my big thing is staying diligent so that when the spirit needs to teach through me, I will be able to deliver the correct message. I have a testimony of testimonies. Each time we bear them, we are fortifying ourselves against the attacks and thoughts of the adversary. I know that if we read and pray each day, we will be able to overcome any and all problems that we will have! I love you all, and Hope that you have an incredible week! This church is most definitely true, and I have the opportunity to tell other people that  each and every day!

have a great week!

Love Elder Nathan Norr
Pictures from last are just some random funny pictures we took last week! Schaap is smiling when I'm not and walker is in green! LOVE YOU GUYS!

 Love this one...the true him

 His 1st arrived safely and pretty timely sent Oct 3(so roughly 25 days to arrive)

 That's guy that we are holding is our bishop! He is so cool! and That guy standing next to me is Elder Holley (probably one of my best friends) oh, and mom, Holley would LOVE for you guys to come to his home coming! It is Nov. 10 in the Meadows 8th ward, but he doesn't know what time it starts. He should call you!

 The Book

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sleepless in Mexico Week 10

Ok, well this week really has been really quick, but it really hasn't been all that awesome. So, walking through the water of Mexico kinda made my stomach weird for a couple days, but after that, I felt fine. The only thing that I could use more of is sleep! OH MY GOSH! Elder Lugo snores like a darn mammoth! I swear! I wake up every single night probably 4 or 5 times just to say "lugo, sleep on your side please!", and I have literally got up in the middle of the night, pillow in hand, and just staight up walked over to his bed and just whack him in the face just so I can get a couple minute head start to try to fall asleep... I actually sometimes, when he won't wake up, I physically go over to his bed, grab his mattress, and flip him over so that he has to sleep on his side, at least long enough to fall asleep; the only problem is that most people, when they are forced to wake up will be super drowsy and not even know what's going on, not Lugo... He is instantly awake and saying "que paso" or "what's up" and I don't even have enough time to dive back to my bed to try to fall asleep! I need some military/ nuclear warefare-grade earplugs so I can get some sleep, and he will be my companion til christmas, so I would like quite a few of them, PLEASE!

Ok, so our investigator Michael FINALLY has a baptismal date! I am SO excited! He has been being taught for 6 months, and finally, Elder Walker and I (we were on divisions) just told him. "are you a medium or large?" and "Do you want to be baptized in the morning or at night?" And even though he was kinda having a fit that we were making him have a commitment, the next day, he is actually doing what we ask him. He is reading and praying, and we stop by EVERY SINGLE day for a little bit to answer any questions he has or problems. It is so great to finally get him to be baptized. He has wanted to be baptized for SOOOOO LONG, but he has done things that have made him feel like if he is baptized, he will simply fail, and fall back into those old habits and problems. We assured him that he won't, and that God, as well as the missionaries, would always be around for support, as well as the ward.

Ok, so now for the funny stuff. So, we went to a party, and I had to do the dougie, so they turned on the music for a second, and I did it. Since then, every missionary that was there, when they see me, they ask me to teach them how to dougie, or catdaddy, or whatever. So last tuesday night, we all dressed up different, and I had on my suit jacket, my white striped basketball pants, my yoda shirt, and my orange and yellow sunglasses. Lugo wore a pink shirt and his suit, walker was dressed like a jabbawokee, and paredes was dressed like a hipster, and we made a dougie video, it was SO SWEET! 

Ok, so Mom, I know you don't want me to eat weird stuff, but that just can't be prevented, I have not gotten sick, worms, or any other thing from the food so far, and you guys are probably going to think this next thing is gross, so just a heads up! So on wednesday, we went to lunch at a sister's house who doesn't come to church very often, and therefore, didn't know that I don't really eat hot food. So she served us two HUGE green chilis that were stuffed with cheese, and had lots of rice. I was STARVING, and everyone said that I had to eat chili eventually, so I just went hard. I ate every single bit of the chili, which is one of the hottest things they cook with in Mexico. My mouth was burning, and my lips were on fire, but I ate all of it. It was even SO HOT, that Lugo was about halfway done, stopped eating, apologized to the sister, and told her that it was just too hot for him to finish... I think I'm getting used to the spicy food! :) ok now for the gross part. I'm actually being serious, so prepare yourselves. So we had this stuff called mole, and I told you guys what treepa is (pig intestine). Well, Mole is what they clean out of the pig intestine before they sell it to be cooked. People buy what came out of the pig intestine and cook it in a type of spicy barbeque sauce, and it actually tastes really good! I had a few tacos of it, and it didn't but me.

Ok, so I was on divisions with Schaap, and we went to the Gonzales' Family to teach, and we had already eaten so much food that day, but when we were almost done, we see her starting to cook something, and we jsut lose all hope. She made us some hot oatmeal drink that is like a thick milk but with oatmeal in it, and it's hot. Then she puts 4 types of "pan" (bread) on a plate and gives it to us to eat, well, I went to the bathroom, come back, and she had went and bought 3 churros, and put four more pieces of toast smothered in frosting on the plate. Schaap and I look at each other, and I just say to him, "you ready to throw up? Cause there is no way that we are going to leave bread on this plate!" But then I realized "I really don't want to throw up..." hmmmm.... So that's when I thought of a genious Idea! I put my backpack in between us, and got out my water bottle, and schaap would watch the mom, and I would watch the rest of the family, and when they weren't looking, we would drop chunks of bread into my backpack, by the end of the visit, we had absolutely ZERO bread on the table, but it was really hard, in order to draw their attention, I told them that I knew Japanese! At this point, they were interested, and Schaap, even though he knew it was joke, tried to trip me up hard. I had to think of so many sounds that didn't sound anything like any language I had ever heard before. And they had me say some REALLY LONG SENTENCES. I was lucky that they never asked me to repeat anything, because there was absolutely know way I was going to be able to say anything I said a second time haha, but I think they eventually realized that I didn't know Japanese, but it was still really funny.

Another funny story.... My father-in-law!!!!!!!! Nobody freak out, nobody freak out! So we walk by this little tienda (little shops) every day, and this family is always outside visiting and everytime we walk by we say "afternoon" and "how are you guys doing?" But this one guy always replies "I'm doing good....... llierno" which interpreted means (son-in-law) and it's only funny because he says it to every white person that passes the tienda! So schaap and I were walking by, and we asked him how he was doing, he replies, "I'm good...... lliernos!" (sons in law!) So schaap and I look at him, point at him, and at the EXACT SAME TIME say "SUEGRO!!!!!" which means (father-in-law) He just started cracking up, and now he's really good friends with us, and we've explained, and he has explained to us, that it is a joke, and so now they are really good friends of ours. Don't freak out please, it really is a harmless joke!

USA! USA! USA! USA! Every time that I walk by drunk people at night, they all chant USA, and then attempt to speak english, so what elder Lugo and I do is each time they talk English, and it is directed at me, we stop walking, and I give them a really confused, blank look, and Lugo, in what very little english he knows, will say "what's up man? How you guys doing?" Then they all just get really confused and don't talk to us anymore haha But I did see this one guy, wearing an American Flag polo, with the stars on his right shoulder, and the stripes on every other part of the shirt! It was AWESOME! I would have taken a picture with him if it would have been safe. 

So lots of you guys are probably thinking that my mission is really crazy and dangerous because I've talked about how people have threatened to rob us, and it seems like I talk about drug lords ALL THE TIME, but let me put all of your guys worries to rest. All of our food is prepared very carefully, and even though I have not used my parasite drops or anything since the MTC, my stomach is actually doing awesome and I feel great. The members feed us weird stuff, but sometimes, we know that they are really giving us everything they have to feed us, and I am going to eat it. I really am careful with food, but as long as something won't give me a sickness (other than the bathroom), I am willing to try everything. I have got sick only once, yesterday.... but that was just because it was my first time eating pork, and they say that all the missionaries get sick the first time they eat pork ( i was not told this until I got sick... :/) But I really am careful with food, and how I take care of myself.

Time for the Tiangiis!! I LOVE tiangiis SO much, they are so awesome, and everything is super cheap! Today, I bought my first soccer Jersey! Oh yeah! It's official that I'm a Mexican Missionary! I bought a chivas jersey, and a pair of Puma shoes! What's funny is that all together, the Jersey and my shoes cost about $30! It is AWESOME!

I'm not sure what to really talk about, cause even though a lot of stuff has happened this week, I really just can't remember much of hit right now... :/ I guess I just want to let you all know that I love you all sooo much, and think about you often, and just a heads up, I got an AWESOME IDEA this week! So, everytime we eat something that tastes AWESOME, I ask the sister for her recipe, and starting next week, I am going to put a recipe in my email, so that if anyone wants to get a small taste of my week in mexico, they are welcome to!

I hope you all have an incredible week, and I hope you know that the church really is true, and it will not only change our lives, but the lives of the people that we know and love! This week we have talked a lot about becoming truly converted like the anti-nephi-lehites, and I know that know matter how strong we are, we can always keeps growing, and become ever-more converted to the gospel! I encourage you all to share your testimonies often because I find, that as I bear my testimony to people, that I actually learn from what I say, and my testimony only grows stronger! The book of mormon is true, and we have the difficulties that we have because they are meant to make us stronger, and the spirit will ALWAYS TELL US when we are headed in the direction of trials that we can not overcome. Listen to those promptings, and your lives will be blessed more than you can possibly imagine!!

Love you all, and I hope you have an incredible week! God has special blessings for each one of you! Live in a way so that you may truly receive ALL of them!!!!  I LOVE YOU ALL AGAIN!

Elder Nathan Bill Norr

Oh, and before I forget, mom, before you freak out because I ate pig crap, it's not really pig crap. Mole is really just like barbecue chicken! haha ¡VIVA MEXICO!

Hey, there aren't going to be many pictures this week because I left my camera and SD card at the house, but I'm using Walker's camera. My jersey is for the Chivas and walkers is from Germany

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

1st Month in Mexico

You won't believe this week!

What up, what up!? I hope this letter all finds you currently safe and sound wherever you may be! I hope you all know that this week was crazy, and I won't just type on and on about stuff, but this week a lot of cool stuff happened!

Ok, so I realized that I haven't really told you guys a lot about the culture of Mexico, so i figured that I would let you know! First off, their cleaning supplies: a broom. That's is... a broom, and a 10 liter container of all purpose cleaner. they use a broom to clean EVERYTHING. Cars, their streets, their floors, their walls, their side walks. They don't use mops or anything, but not gonna lie, a broom works pretty good. Well, I'll tell you one a week so you guys have something interesting to read each week.

Ok, first off, my stomachs most uncomfortable feeling in my entire life. We went to do service, which means that we went to a ladies house and she then took us out to eat carnitas, which are just tacos for breakfast. So I had already eaten a lot that morning, and I didn't know we were going to eat, but I ate a taco, again, out of cow intestines and who knows what else... i saw this bowl of onions, and I thought "i love onions" so I put A LOT of them on it. I then proceeded to go to town on this taco. Right before I put the last bite in my mouth, it hit me.... I didn't know what it was, but I felt like I just got ran over by a spice truck, and then i realized what I had just eaten, they weren't really onions. I had just eaten onion salsa, which is really sliced jabaneros and a little bit of unions. I had literally just jammed lit 2 jabanero peppers down my throat. I started sweating soo bad, and i started to black out because it was soooooo hot. So they gave me this other thing. It was like a deep-fried half quesadilla with meat inside. I ate it. After I ate it, my companions asked me if i wanted to know what I had just eaten. I told them to give me 5 minutes. Five minutes later, they tell me the thing that I definitely didn't want to hear. I had just eaten SESO. What they really were telling me, was that I just ate A PIG'S BRAIN! it had the texture of like thick soup, but didn't have any real meat to it, but what's werd is that I kinda liked it :) haha 

next story... A BAPTISM! of my companion :/ We were visiting one of our investigators, and it started to pour, and we walked out, and the water was probably 6 inched deep in the street, so instead of heading back to our house right then like I wanted to, Lugo decided he would like to wait a little bit to see if the rain stopped. We waited 2 hours... it didn't... :( so the next time we went out, it was about 14 inches deep, and was covering the huge speed bumps they call topes. I saw that the other sidewalk was a lot higher, so i jumped off the car onto the tope, and walked over to the other side walk. I told lugo to come on, and i told him that he should step off the car, but he didn't. He jumped. Instead of landing on the top of the tope, he landed about 6 inches to right of the top, and his foot went under, and he lost it. Both legs whip up in the air like two people were running with a rope and tripped him, and then i lost him! He goes completely under, and then he comes up, soaked, with a now broken umbrella and more angry than I have ever seen him before. So then, after he changes into some of Michael ( our investigator) clothes, I got an idea! I thought of Paul Blart mall cop, and I asked Isabel (his mom) if she had garbage bags we could use? She did! I then put bags on my shoes, and put the large bags up to my thighs. Instead of trying to tape or tight the bags to my pants, I rolled my slacks up into booty shorts, and we taped the bags to my thighs! not my best idea... haha We then started the trudge home. About halfway down the street, the water is about halfway up my shin, and I feel my right foot go titanic! I just feel water rushing into my sock, shoe, and all over my legs. There was no point in stopping then, so we kept going. We didn't realize that the street we had to cross to got to our house was half way up our thigh... I thought that both my shoes and feet were soaked by this point, so I walked right out into the deepest part of the street, and asked Lugo to take a picture. it was then that i realized that my left shoe USED TO BE DRY! I felt that aweful feeling of nasty water running into my shoe and sock. We made it home, but I didn't feel good the next day. Culture fact number 2! The sewage and draining systems here suck, so when we were walking home, we were literally walking through thigh deep sewer. Their was trash and "other stuff" all over, but i wanted to get home SOOO bad! I got in the shower as soon as we got home, so I didn't get an infection or anything, but I hope it doesn't rain that much again. My shoes still haven't dried, and it's been 5 days! :/

Next story! Lions, Tigers, and Bears? OH MY! That's right, the neighbor of one the members that we ate with last Tuesday own a freaking LION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CRAZY! It looks just like scar off the lion king! Also, they have horse dogs. These things are ginormous! they are easily up past my belly button, and they probably weigh 3 hundred pounds, and there are 3 of them! This house also had peacocks and parrots. We're pretty sure that they are drug lords, but we didn't care because they were super nice and let us take pictures and play with their "dogs". So, this one time, I was standing with my back up to cage, and all of a sudden I just here like the sound of jumping. I look back to see the lion flying at my, and it attacks and bites the cage right when my butt is touching it! Scared my soo bad! I mean honestly, why would it want my butt, it would only hurt its teeth on bone! haha It was seriously the coolest thing, especially because I touched it!!!! Yes. I touched it! It was such a cool experience! ok, so these are the pictures of the Lion, and we were invited to a party, and if you lost the game, you had to have something drawn on. Luckily I already hadn't shaved for a couple days! haha

Ok, so this part, I really am talking about a baptism, and not just a baptism, but I got the opportunity to baptize him!!!!!!!! We have such an incredible investigator named Hugo Olimpo, he has always had problems that we could never find the answers to, and therefore, we couldn't ever baptize him. He also had a stoke and lost all motion in his right half of his body, but he has made tremendous progress, and he can walk now! anyways, I was on divisions with Elder Holley (the one with dark hair that's white) and when I got back home yesterday morning to grab my suit for church, Lugo told my that all of the problems had been figured out for Lugo, and we were going to have his baptism yesterday! I was SO excited because Hugo Olimpo is one of my favorite people. I love him so much more than I thought I would love people here! I baptized him, and it was such an INCREDIBLE experience, because even though he still has his physical problems, when I brought him out of the water, I grabbed his shoulder and told him that he was perfect :) I have never felt so much joy from me or from someone else. He was SO READY to get baptized, and I know he will be such a great member of the church. Also, we had SO much support from the ward; we didn't have enough room for everyone in the baptismal font room! There were incredible testimonies, and I am really starting to understand a lot more of the language. It truly is a blessing, and I can't wait for the other baptisms that we will have in the future!

Elder Holley. He's from Vegas, and he is probably my favorite person here. Sadly, but exciting, he goes home in 2 weeks, and he is the first person and maybe one of the only people that I told he could take ANY ONE OF MY TIES! It was so hard to watch him take my bright blue,white, and gray tie, but memories and friends are worth more than a tie :) I also got a wool tie from him, he has one, and I have one, and both other the tie's names are rachel, and they have a scripture on them that says Genesis 29:17. Look it up! :) 

Ok, so my scriptural story for the week is Mosiah 9:14- the end. It describes how when the people of Mosiah were prospering in the lands, they were out watering their flocks and working with their flocks to provide, when Lamanites come from the borders of the lands and started to kill them and take their flocks and food. They asked for protection from king Mosiah. He armed all of his people, and they went up with their might, "crying mightily unto the lord". Each day, especially when we are "prospering in the land" Satan has the desire to come into our land and attempt to take away our freedoms and blessings. It is so important that we constantly cry to lord to give us the strength we need, after we are already going forth with our might, that we may be able to conquer our temptations and attacks from the adversary. Everyday is different, but we should always pray for the Lord to help strengthen us and give us the assistance we need to come off conquerors! 

I hope you all know that this church is true, and through prayers, we can continually receive the strength we need to keep fighting, and keep pushing each day to conquer the temptations and weaknesses that we may have. I know God loves each of us, and wants to help us. I also know that we are far more capable than we may think at times, and if we are willing to put our strength and faith in the Lord, he will show us our true potential. 

I love you all, and hope you have a super-duper fantastical week!... ok that sounded weird, but for real! Have a good week!  I love you all again and wish you the best wherever and in whatever you may be!

Elder Nathan Norr
That giant red thing is the "coyote" it's an 80 foot tall metal sculpture in our area! it's sweet!

Later this afternoon I received this email from Nate I thought it was to sweet not to include
Hey nat, 
My companion for the day wanted to go back to the computers for a minute, so I thought I would tell you something. Mom told me that you guys visited. She also told me that when roar came on the radio, that Hallie knew every word of it. I had never heard it, so I put it on youtube (we can listen to music, as long as it doesn't talk about things that are inappropriate and super intense), as the song started, and katy perry started to sing, especially the chorus, I could almost hear Hallie singing it. I almost started to cry because I know that i will miss a lot over the next two years, I'm actually almost crying now while I type. Just make sure that Hallie and Gracie know that I love them SO MUCH, and I wish I could be there to see them. Please, keep me updated with pictures and stories. And tell Hallie she has to show me her singing and dancing when i get back! :)
ok, now I'm crying...
But I love you guys, and wish you guys the best, especially since Matts back to work!!!

Love Your brother, Uncle, and missionary
Elder Nathan Norr :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

2 Months Out!!!!

well, this week has been a really good week! I can't believe how excited I was to get to my email and check to see if I had emails from all of you incredible people :) This week really has been a really quick week, and I can't believe that I have been out 2 months TODAY! My district is awesome, and we have such a good time all the time. It's funny because we have 4 white elders and only 2 natives, and when we walk anywhere together everyone looks at us. Today, Elder Lugo (my companion), and Elder Paredes (walker, my white american homie's companion) wanted to sleep so elder walker and I went to the bodega (grocery store) to buy food. It was like everyone was stunned when we were in the store. Everyone stared us down; it's like they've never seen 2 good looking white people in their whole life haha just kidding, but seriously. EVERYONE STARED AT US! Mom, what you said about that guy saying that we just have to buy stuff down here. I have a budget, and no matter how hard I try, I can never afford PEANUT BUTTER. its 50 pesos, and I only spend 200 pesos a week on food! That's all I really want. Peanut butter, and I love getting pictures from you guys! I get so much motivation from that pictures that i see of you guys on my wall, and each week on my email. When I get enough pictures, I'm going to get them developed at the photo center down the street, but until then, and please after, keep sending me pictures! 

We have lots of investigators, but it's really hard because they just don't have the desire to do our commitments. We check up with them all the time, but it's just that they are too lazy to have the desire to do what they need to. I refuse to let people who are soooooo close to having the gospel in their lives just give up on it. Im going to do everything in my power to help these people understand the magnitude of this decision in their lives, but at the same time, we need to take the advice from general conference "we can't force others to have the spirit, we can only give them the opportunity to see and feel it through the way that we live our lives". 

No mom, I have not gotten parasites from eating cow intestines, but I prefer to have the sausage tacos. I actually haven't had stomach troubles. The only stomach problem that I've had is that I can feel mine growing... I started last monday exercising every morning up on the roof for either 30-45 minutes, and I started back into the 1000 crunch challenge. i got to about 250, and I swear I was about to cry. My stomach was sooooooo sore, but I refuse to get fat on my mission. I am only going to gain good weight on my mission, both spiritually and physically. I've been reading my scriptures a lot, and I've truly gained a stronger testimony of the scriptures. Even if we feel like we are not reading anything that we can apply to our lives, we will still be blessed with comfort and peace as we continue to read. I know that the stronger our testimonies are, and the more we strive to strengthen our spiritual side, we will be able to overcome or endure whatever challenges that we will encounter in our lives. But we must also remember President Maynes talk that in order to get in shape takes effort, self-discipline, and time. We must continually be working to become stronger. 

Well, most of the stuff I have talked about this week is spiritual stuff, and while I'm still talking, I'll talk about conference. You can NEVER REALLY UNDERSTAND how INCREDIBLE conference is until you get the opportunity to watch it as a full-time missionary. I have never felt the spirit SOOOO STRONG by watching conference. I was finding that my pen could not move quickly enough to catch all the incredible revelation that we were recieving that we can apply to our lives. I found myself antsy waiting for the next session because I couldn't wait to hear what else they had to tell us. i would definitely say my favorite talk was by... well, I don't know which one to choose, but I loved all of them sooooo much, and I was soo sad when president Monson said the fairwell at the end of the last session. I was soooo motivated to just go out and baptize someone, even if that meant just carrying a huge 5 gallon bucket, of course I didn't do that because that's incorrect baptism, but if someone really wanted to be baptized, I would have fit them in a five gallon bucket of water right then!  :) haha

I'm soo glad to hear that all of you are doing well, and I hope you all know how much I look forward to getting your emails each week. The language is definitely coming, and I find that a lot of the time, that I am saying things that I was never thinking, and in reality, wasn't processing as thoughts at all; my mouth was just moving, and the people had a face that I was actually making sense. Nat, you said you wanted to hear the story about the deaf woman that I felt prompted to pray for her hearing. Sadly... I neglected that prompting and simply said a normal prayer. I truly wish I would have had enough faith and courage to say what I thought, even if there was the chance that it didn't happen. I know that we will always miss all of the shots we don't take, and to everyone that reads this: PLEASE, do not brush off the promptings or thoughts that you may have. If you are truly trying to live the best way that you can, you will be guided by the spirit, even if you don't clearly identify something as a prompting. 

I truly know that we are guided by the Lord, even when we are not thinking such. I know that... i'll do it in spanish and you can plug it into google translate. Yo sé con todo mi corazon que estamos guiados por Díos, aunque no realizemos. Yo sé que podemos hacer mucho mucho mas que pensamos y podemos ser herramientas en las manos de Díos si estamos dignos. yo sé mas que todo que Díos nos ama mas que podemos imaginar y que podemos mejorar nuestras vidas cada dia se estamos esforzandonos a lograr to las personas en nuestras vidas que están teniendo problemas y desafíos. Yo sé que esta iglesia es verdadera y cada de nosotros, no importa donde moramos, podemos ser misioneros a las otras personas que conocemos. Por favor, no se impida de tener las bendiciones en sus vidas que pueden ayudarles en qualquíer aspecto que necesitemos. 

I love you all with all my heart, and look forward to hearing about your next week and all of the incredible things that you guys will do. 

Elder Nathan Bill Norr

Ok, so the story behind the dress is that dia de los muertos is coming up, and one of our member friends has a store, and everyone had already tried to put the dress on, and so when i tried, I didn't think it would fit, it did... 

The picture of the 3 of us is the first presidency picture that is everywhere with monson sitting and eyring and uchtdorf standing behind him
This is my district. The guy in the back is holley, and the guy next to him in the back is Schaap. Paredes and walker are the other two guys, and Lugo and I. plus the sisters in our district

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

semana numero 2!!!-Week 2 in Mexico

Well everyone, I am happy to announce that this week was awesome, and I already cant believe how quickly the days and weeks go by. We are helping lots of less actives, and now have 9 investigators with a baptimal date. SWEET! The only weird thing is that almost all of their baptismal dates are on the same day, October 19th. if they all go through, we'll have 7 baptisms at one service! CRAZY! 

First off, i want to thank ALL of you guys for writing me. Even though I really enjoy being here now, I still cry a little when I get all of your emails and I get to hear about how you are all doing. You guys are all such incredible people, and I am so lucky to have the opportunity to know you guys! I truly do love you all, and think about you often, but not too often, cause I'm busy with stuff :P haha

but this week truly has been a lot of fun! I am getting to know the people a lot, and I don't even care if i can't understand some of the stuff they say. I just walk up and say "hola! Soy Gringo Norr", and usually they are nice enough to repeat themselves if I don't catch everything they say. Here's an interesting fact. WE DO NOT PLAY SOCCER. WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PLAY SOCCER. but we still play every saturday with investigators and less actives because its the best way to fellowship them. The language is growing, but i have a really hard time understanding when  people get really excited, especially my companion elder Lugo, because we will just go off, rambling at who knows how many mexican words per minute, but I truly do love the people, and look forward to seeing them everyday. 

Tried my first street taco from one of our less active members Roberto (but we call him Hermano Mike) no idea why though. I had 2 tacos de some time of sausage (I think, I'm not really quite sure), and then I had one taco of, mom prepare yourself, COW INTESTINE!!! Oh Yeah! what do you know about that life?! Whats even better is that I got a really fatty part that was practically unchewable, so I was practically swallowing 3 inch long chunks of fatty cow intestine. It was good, but i think I like the "sausage". Also, while we were hanging out with Roberto, a HUGE group of probably 50 people walked by us, and a bunch of them were talking about robbing us... but they didn't. Then another guy walked by, and I swear he was going to rob us, but he didn't, he just flipped us off and walked away. It was really funny though because Roberto's taco shack (the REAL roberto's tacos) is in the middle of the casitas. It is a super dangerous part of our area that is ran by a drug cartel... but they like us too so we're good! But roberto was telling us that if that huge group of people had tried to rob or mug us, all he would have to do was whistle and we would see what would really go down. haha we have some CRAZY PEOPLE that we know, but Roberto is super chill, and gives us free tacos, so he's cool. 

That ENORMOUS piece of pan that I have in my hand is a concha. It is practically a giant sweetbread thing with some type of sugar deliciousness all over it, and what's better... IT COST 10 PESOS (for those of you who don't know, that's approximately 80 cents in american money) They sell them out of a super sketch store that looks empty, and they run them out in waves and put them in a car to sell, and then run back inside; when they are all in the car, they dip (leave really quickly)! it's funny because we think it's illegal, but we don't care because they give us awesome bread for dirt cheap! :) 

Oh, you guys probably want to know some information. It has rained EVERYDAY since I have been here, the temperature is never above 90 degrees, Im pretty sure my skin is almost darker than my companions, and sometimes the water is so deep, you can't even see the sidewalks. The deepest water I've stepped in was about a foot! it was practically a lake in the street, and I did't know how deep it was. We walk a lot, and Im not gonna lie, my legs are looking pretty good :D haha We also get around by these things called micros; they are literally stop, get on with 5 pesos, ring the bell to get off farther down the road, the driver won't stop all the way so you gotta make sure your feet are going, and gotta watch out for parked cars and mail things that you might jump into. Also, they have a BILLION bicitaxis. They are motorcycles with makeship carts attached to the back by little more than a large, unfastened screw, and they cruise. I have riden them a couple of times, but not too often.

From what I hear, I can get mail in about 2-3 weeks here, and about a month for packages. But, they do have to have international stamps. Also, just to make sure that no one at the post office decides to see what my lovely friends and family are sending me, it is also a good idea to draw or put pictures of a couple crosses, or a st. mary on the packages or letters. 

Yes, we do have a ward, and it is in a chapel, and, again, Mom, you were right... Just a little fun fact. The people here cannot sing. I sang the bass part in a song the first week, and about everyone in the congregation gave me a look. So, I have now become the ward pianist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's actually really cool. I love being able to help out in a way that the people can always understand me. I have never wanted to play the piano SOOOOO BADLY in my entire life. It felt so amazing to sit down on the seat and play again. 

This week, although lots of fun, has also had some upsets. We have had a lot of people that haven't been home when we stopped by to teach, and I want to help them sooo badly. Sometimes I'm not sure why they can't just be home, including members. I'll send a picture of the tacos I ate last night next week because Elder Walker has the picture on his camera. 

It seems like the big thing I am hearing from people is that they are struggling; struggling to read especially and to find time to grow closer to God. The only advice I can give you guys... is read. pray. I know with all of my heart that you will be blessed, and even though sometimes it seems IMPOSSIBLE to read, especially when you are tired, read at least one verse. I promised our investigator michael, that if he would be willing to read one verse, ONE VERSE each night and pray, that he would be able to see his life changing, and I make the same promise to all of you. Please, don't starve yourselves of the blessings. I get this question a lot. Why tithing? I need that extra bit of money. Here's the answer. Can you do more with 90 percent of your money in addition to the blessings of God, or can you do more with 100 percent of your money. It's the exact same way for time. You will see yourself accomplishing SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more if you are willing to give a little bit of that time to God each day to read, to pray. I definitely know this church is true, and I know the blessings that we can receive are far great than any of us can possibly imagine. I love the joy that this Gospel brings to us and the people we know. We will always have challenges, temptations, but if we are focused on the right things, we will always, ALWAYS be able to overcome them and press on in this life. 

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH, AND I HOPE THE BEST FOR YOU! I've already had some struggles, but you will all be glad to know that we bought more toilet paper this week, and I think I'm getting fat! :) Hope you all have a great week! I look forward to your emails each week, and again. I'm sorry if I can't respond to most of them. I really do try!

Love Elder Norr (really, please do :)