Monday, December 30, 2013

Almost a new year!

  December 30th    2013

Hola family and others,

I'm really happy I got to Skype you too!!! It really was weird at first. Sometimes it really feels like you guys don't exist hahaha. Sorry it didn't function in the end, I'm glad I got to hear your voices though! I'm glad that you all had a great Christmas and that you got to spend time with family! Hopefully you told everyone "hi" for me haha. I hope you had fun Skyping with Ethan too. I wish I could've Skped him a little bit. I need to be better about writing him. We spend a couple of hours with the Guttierez family for Christmas Eve. They were so nice we had a Christmas message and then a dinner. They gave us sweaters, ties, socks, and little blankets for Christmas. We were really surprised because we weren't expecting anything. It was super nice of them and it was perfect because on of my sweaters ripped on a bush when we were running to cross the street that exact same day. They invited us over for New Years Eve also! We get to stay out until 10:15 if they give us a ride home. Christmas was definitely different without you guys. We had 8 elders at our apartment. We all cooked a bunch of things for breakfast like waffles (one of the elders has a sesame street waffle maker which is definitely a rarity), French toast, etc. My package came and a letter from Lauren!!! Consequently the address is right. Thanks so much for the gifts! It was fun and delicious. My companion said to tell you thanks so much also. One of the elders in our apartment didn't get anything from his family. We all pitched in and gave him a little something. It was awesome because it made his day. We think that we found an apartment but we are going to wait to move until after transfers because we don't know if we are staying here or not. Hopefully, but we'll see. At least we'll have beds either way :) Maddie driving....sounds dangerous. I kid, I kid. I know she'll do great. We got to go tour the new visitors center this week and we receive a training so that we can bring investigators. We also got to do a temple session which is really rare. It was especially cool because the temple closes this week for a year and half. I'm not really sure why because it is really nice. Anyway though it was cool. I am having more fun. My companion and I changed a lot of things this week and I am having more fun and feel more confident. We have an investigator that is progressing really well. He has come to church 4 time, viewed a baptism, and he went to the visitors center of the temple yesterday with his family! His name is Brother G. Please pray for him. He has a smoking problem that he needs to give up before he can be baptized. He is a great man and is so humble. He wants to be baptized to set an example for his family. It's super awesome to see the changes that come into a persons life when they are living the gospel. Thanks for your love and counsel. I love you all. Talk to you soon. I think on Monday.

Adios, Elder Schow
Britton was going to send pictures but, his card would not work in the computer.  He said he would try again next week!  :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16th 2013

December 16th 2013

Hola everyone. Thanks for the advice support and prayers. I know that it´s normal for basically every missionary to struggle for a while so no worries. I actually had a better week this week in a lot of ways. I've been sick a lot of this week but I have medicine and I'm feeling better. I think I ate some bad street food. Stupid tacos haha. No worries though I am very upbeat for the most part. I have also been sleeping in my coat and have been warmer. My incision has been bugging me a lot so I'm going to watch it for another week or two and if it doesn´t improve I might go to the doctor. We'll see though. I might just have to grit my teeth and deal with it. I had companionship exchanges this week with our district leader. I went to his area for a day and a night. It's a lot rougher of an area than my area and I was a little bit nervous at first, but he really helped to reassure me that we are protected on our missions and that if we are obedient and follow the Spirit that we have nothing to worry about. He took time out of his personal study to study with me and to strengthen me. I really appreciated it. I think he is a good example of a leader. We're still looking for an apartment but with no success so please pray that we can find one. We really need one in our area because it wastes a lot of time to travel from where our apartment is now to our area. I know we'll find one eventually. The members are a big help and we always check with them to see if they have heard of any that are available.    Thanks for your advice dad. At times it's hard to remember that you have been through this exact same thing. I wish I would have asked you more about your mission before I left. We will have plenty of time to talk about it when I get home though. I look forward to it. We taught several great families this week. My spanish is getting a little better. I am learning that I need to just open my mouth and talk even if it is incorrect. All I can do is my best. We had a really good lesson with a member yesterday. He is very sick. I think that he might have Parkinsons disease. He shakes a ton and he can't talk. He really wants to go to church but he can't. We are trying to locate a wheelchair so that we can surprise him and bring him to sacrament meeting for Christmas. We are going to spend Christmas eve with a member family in our ward. They invited us to lunch and dinner. I think it will be a lot of fun. We have P-day on Christmas instead of Monday. Also, we cannot Skype in the homes of members so we will have to do it on the 23rd or 24th. I don´t know when yet for sure because it depends on when the internet cafes are open. I will let you know ASAP. I hope that that works for everyone because I really want to Skype with you all. I'm am grateful for the opportunity to be out here. It is hard but usually I love it and I know I will love it more with time. Love you all!

Elder Schow
(All of Britton's posts are edited and there are some experiences that are not included due to their personal or sacred nature)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December 9th 2013

December 9th 2013
  Well my area is one of the nicest in the mission. It´s several miles by several miles and it´s very easy to get lost or to not be able to find appointments because many of the appartments aren´t numbered. We missed like 10 appointments this week because of this. We finally got a cell phone so that helps. We still don´t have beds. It´s really warm during the day here but it gets really cold at night. I wear a coat in the appartment all morning to warm back up haha. I ate cactus covered with cheese this week. It was weird but good. Most all of the food here is good. Especially the tacos from street vendors. I´m sorry to say it but they put our tacos to shame. Dad would be in heaven. There are a lot of people on drugs here. The use household products to get high and it really messes with their minds. That´s why I say there are crazy people. I feel sorry for them. We encountered a group of teenagers doing this a few days ago and we tried to concince them to stop. All they did was offer us cigarettes and laugh at us. There are a lot of people like this. I really is sad. I guess it´s a lot worse in the poorer areas of our mission. We have to be in our apartment by 9 every night instead of 9:30. Rarely if ever does anything happen to missionaries but the president of the mission says that it is safer this way. I´m glad that Curtis is in the MTC. I hope he enjoys it and I´m glad that John and Jackie sold their house. I got an email from Aunt Becky this week, but I don´t know if I´ll have time to write back today. I will next week though. I´m sorry about Brother Wellard. That´s really sad. I don´t know how people can live without a knowledge of the afterlife either dad. I know for a fact I couldn´t handle it. My Spanish is not really progressing. I feel like it was better back at the mtc to be honest. I hardly ever get to say anything in lessons and that doesn´t give me much opportunity to practice. My companion and I are going to work on that though so that I can participate more. I love the members here. They are so kind. They would do anything for us. A lady that isn´t even in our ward wanted to do our laundry for us at here shop for free. People always give us food too. I feel bad because some of them have so little, but they do it because they believe that they will be blessed. We watched the Christmas Devo. last Spanish. Sooo...the only thing I understood was the songs. I´m glad I was able to understand them though because I love songs so much. I miss you all. I wish I could be home for Christmas with all of you. In two years I will be. Which I guess isn´t really all that long when you think about it. Thank you for praying for our investigators. They are hitting a lot of opposition so all the prayers in their behalf will help a lot. Sorry I kinda all scrambled. I tried to answer all of your questions but I may have missed some. BTW P-day is different a couple times in the next month or so. I´ll try to let you know more details next week. I love you all. Elder Schow

Monday, December 2, 2013

First letter from Mexico

December 2nd 2013     First letter from Mexico

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Sorry for my bad typing. This keyboard is Spanish and it is a lot different. I´m glad that you all are doing well and that you had a fun time for Thanksgiving. It was basically just a normal day for us. We had a training and some interviews at the chapel so we all ate there. It wasn't a traditional Thanksgiving, but it was still pretty good. Uncle Paul needs to send the package to the mission home if he hasn't sent it already. Everything needs to be sent to the mission home. Thanks for the pillowcases mom. My companion was thrilled to get a package. His name is Elder Patey. He's from Portugal, but his family lives in the United States right now. He speaks English, Portuguese, and Spanish. He´s been out for 4 months. He's lived in Portugal, Africa, the US, and Costa Rica. His dad was a negotiator. He's a good guy and a hard worker. He´s taught me a lot already. He's helped me feel a lot more at ease about being here. There are a lot of really really nice people that are very generous and then there are a lot of crazy people. Overall though I really like the food that I've had so far and the people that I have met. It is a little bit scary here at times though. I think that I´ll get used to it though. We have been tasked to reopen an area that has been closed for a while. It´s a big job and it's a big area so navigate on foot. We've been lost several times. There are a lot of great members that have been helpful though. They are so giving. Sometimes we ride around in these little crappy busses that are totally crammed with people. It´s kinda fun. They always blast American music. We currently don't have an apartment. We are sharing with another set of elders in the Culhuacan area. We work in Cafetales. We also don't have beds so we have been sleeping on the floor for the last week. It's a good thing that I'm so tired every night or I probably wouldn't sleep much.

The first day I got here we did exchanges because our district leader needed to go with my companion to show him our area. I don't remember where I was.    My companion for the day had been out for like a month and then we had a ward misisonary. I got to ask a woman to be baptized and she said yes. It felt really, really good but it was still kind of a hard day due to all of the adjustments.

I guess our area is pretty nice compared to a lot of the other areas, and much of our area is very rundown. We have so much to be grateful for! It´s amazing how giving some of the people are considering how little they have. I'm also really glad that I didn't start my mission in one of the more sketchy areas of the city.

We met a really awesome family a couple of nights ago while we were walking around looking for someone to teach. They fed us and let us teach them. The wife is an inactive member and her husband is not a member they have 2 kids. I don't remember their names right now but please pray for them, the Gonzales family, and the PatiƱo family. We need to have 5 baptisms this month and they are all great people.

My Spanish is terrible. I understand basically nothing and I speak terribly but it will come with time. I just need to open my mouth. It´s already been a week. Before we all know it I´ll be back home. I really need to take advantage of my time out here.

Oh and the airplane was pretty cool. I liked looking at the window. I got to sit by Sister Robison, the temple girl, (This is s sister missionary that happened to go through the temple the same day as Britton in Idaho Falls) and another Elder both times. I´m glad it wasn't some random person. It so much faster than a car. Well, I need to go. Thanks for everything. I love you all so much.

Adios, Elder Schow

Thursday, November 28, 2013

5th P-day

November 19th 2013
I leave Monday. Holy crap!! I'm kinda nervous. The language is really hard so it's kind of daunting to go to a country that speaks only Spanish and get thrown right in.    I know it's normal to be pretty nervous though so we'll see. I'm going to try to not have to take anything if I can.) I'm glad that everyone is doing well and that Ethan is doing alright. I've tried to ask him how he's doing every week but he isn't very forthcoming with information. It sounds like you're really busy dad. Sorry to hear about brother Call and Wellard. I hope that their families are doing well. Sorry you're so busy with tithing settlement. At least there are only a few weeks of it though. Congrats on the early exercise too. I bet it will get easier with time to get up for it. Hopefully you can start to get to bed earlier or something. That's exciting about the tree mom. Hopefully they don't see this if they aren't aware you're making it. Wow that's crazy that Curtis has his farewell already. It does seem like time flew after he got his call. Wonder why mine didn't haha ;) That should be fun for you all to go to Idaho Falls for Cam's birthday. You should just make Maddie go anyway. Does she have her drivers license yet?   Thanks for the advice that Nathan Nelson gave. It is good advice to remember because I forgot to do that every night for a couple of nights and my Spanish started to decline. I got a package of cookies from Jane and Val which was really nice of them. I need to send them a quick letter today to say thank you and see how they are doing. I also need to write Aunt Becky and your Gr & Gr Redd back today. I have so many letters to write. We fly out at 8 ish on Monday. I'm not sure when exactly we can call but sometime before then. Their info is terrible. All I really know is that we leave for the airport at 4:30 am and that we fly to Atlanta and then down. I would image that we can call something between like 6 and 7:30. I really need someone to talk to ICCU about me leaving the country. I didn't let them know before I left because I didn't bring my card with me. Could you talk to them for me please? I can't call or I would. Also, do I have at least like $500 on one of my cards just in case for fees and stuff like that? I shouldn't need nearly that much, but it would be good just in case. I think it would be alright if you send the Christmas stuff. I'll make it work somehow. We can carry a lot of weigh in our carry on so I'll put all of my heavy stuff in there. Also, do you think it's possible for me to get another pair of slacks in Mexico pretty easily? 2 of the JC Penney ones are getting ruined really fast and I'm worried that all my other pants might do the same thing. If you don't think it would be easy to find them there do you suppose that you could maybe overnight an extra pair here before I leave or something? I know it's short notice so if not I will figure something out when I get there. Do whatever you think would be best and just let me know in a dear elder or something. You probably won't hear from me for a couple of weeks because we probably miss p day because I'm assuming it's on Monday like everywhere else. Thanks for all of your love and support! I wish I had more time to answer you all. Stay safe.

Love, Elder Schow

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Week 4 at the MTC

November 12th  2013

Hola everyone! Como estas?

If you can't tell I'm getting pretty good at Spanish. Okay I kid I kid. I am getting a little bit better though. I just need to get the hang of all the verb tenses and learn about a billion more words and I'll be set! Well not to much is different this week. The routine is usually basically the same. Get up, exercise, eat, go to class, eat, teach, class, eat, teach, study, study, study, bed. There have been some good devotionals and talks that we have gotten to listen to so that has been good. Elder L. Tom Perry is coming to give a devotional tonight and we get to go up to main campus for it so that should be pretty sweet! We also get to go to the temple today. (If you could dear elder me Jane and Val's address that might be good because I don't need my temple clothes and I might need to send them to their house.) I got called to be district leader on Sunday for the last couple of weeks here. There isn't really that much extra responsibility associated with it. I just have to be the example and correct the other missionaries if they are having a hard time being obedient. The only bad thing about this is I end up being the bad guy if I have to stop something that shouldn't be happening. Oh well though I'm glad for the opportunity to serve. That's about all that's new here. I'm really ready to get out of here. Everyone in our district is getting a little bit stir crazy to get down to Mexico. I'm glad that you all are doing well. Sorry about the letters mom. I ended up sending them a day late because I forgot them at our apartment and then they hold them for like a day or something so I think they should get there really soon. I promise they're coming and that they have more detail then my emails because I have more time to write them. That's good that the roof is coming along well. We've had a couple of really nice days here and have been able to study a little bit outside which has been nice. I'm glad you had fun at the dance thing.   You can forward me Preston's emails if you want to. I might not have time to read all of them but that would be fun to hear how he's doing. So I heard about the typhoon in the Philipines. I'm glad to hear that they found all of the missionaries because I know that Stu and Kase are both over there. That's terrible how many lives that it took though.  Thanks. I love you all.
Elder Schow

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

MTC Pictures

                                             Britton and his companion  Elder Cowley
                                                              The Map of the World

                                                           Elders in Britton's District
More District Pictures 
Our Elder Britton

2nd MTC Letter

October 28th  2013

Hola Uds.

Thanks for all of the letters and such! They all kinda run together a little bit cause you guys have sent so many (which has been nice, so thanks you) so I will do my best to remember everything that is going on and to reply etc. Wow that's really weird that the trees are gone. They were enormous so I can imagine it was probably quite a project for those workers. It's too bad that they can't take the stumps out. That's okay though. That's funny that the dogs are really confused about it. I can particularly see Grettle being confused,,,because she's always confused about something or other. I bet the back yard does look kinda strange now though. Hopefully you can find a decent bid for getting the roof done before the weather turns bad too.
That's awesome about your running mom!!!! Before you know it you'll be running a half marathon or something! Keep up the good work! I was really good and exercised every day for like a week...but then I missed like two days because we have gym before breakfast and I had absolutely no energy or I got lazy. I need to get back on it though. I've been trying to gain weight so I've been eating a ton but I've maybe gained one pound. Oh well.
That's cool that BYU won and that Taysom did well. We're kinda close to the stadium so we can see it and hear the crowd when the games are here. Everyone in our district really wished the we could go to a game because we all really need a little variety. The MTC isn't too bad but it gets really monotonous being stuck in a tiny classroom like all day every day. It still is a good experience though and P-day is nice because we get to relax a little bit.
I wish we got Thanksgiving. We might be in the mission home on Thanksgiving but because the mission president is from Mexico we don't think that we'll have a Thanksgiving meal. Maybe we'll have tacos or something instead ;) That's nice that some family is coming up for it.
That's cool that Curtis went through the temple. I wish I could've been there. You'll have to tell him congratulations for me. We got to go to the temple last week on P-day. When we came out of the front doors the sun was directly in front of us and it was shining off of the lake in the distance. It was really a beautiful sight. We get to go again later today. Hopefully we can still do the choir tonight because the times conflict a little bit.
One of the teachers at the MTC went to our mission (it might have been before the split) but he came and talked to us for a few minutes. I guess our mission is the second smallest mission in the entire world. He said you can get from one side to the other in about an hour. I guess a lot of it is in the actual city and it looks like you're in New York for a lot of it. He said that there are some really poor areas. Also, he said oftentimes you do shower with a bucket of water that you heat up guessed iron. I guess Raymond was right haha. He said to get used to bed bugs and to be careful because it is kind of a dangerous area. Not exactly words to inspire a lot of confidence, but we will be protected. He also did say that there were some more rural areas to so it's not all in the big city. Oh and he said that our mission president is amazing so I'm excited to meet him.
Well time is short and I want to try to figure out how to send you guys some pictures so I'd better go. I love you all and are so thankful for all of your prayers and support. I'll try to write you all personal letter soon.

Love Elder Schow

P.S. Maddie thanks for you letter! It was really good to hear from you. I'm glad that you're doing some things with friends and I hope that you are adjusting more to being the only kid at home. Mom and Dad are awesome though so I think you'll have a fun time. I'll try to write you a letter soon.

Love your brother

The Very First letter

Ocotber 22nd  2013  First letter from the MTC

Thanks for the letters this week mom and everyone! It´s been good to hear from everyone. P.S. Ethan´s letter came a couple days ago. They only gave us like 2 seconds to write a letter the first night and I did, but promptly forgot to send it the next day. Sorry! Oh and thanks for the pictures of the cats dad. They´re always so funny. It´s weird that they´re being so nice to everyone all of a sudden. My companions name is Elder Cowley. He´s from Salt Lake. We get along pretty well for the most part and we laugh quite a bit.    He´s really strong and I´m really small so we make kind of a funny companionship. He keeps making me do pushups and stuff which is probably a good thing. We´re in the West Campus MTC so we don´t get to go to the main campus very much. We did get to go to a devotional there on Sunday though that was really good. It helped me to realize that I´m not the only one here that might be having a tough time adjusting. Almost every missionary goes through it. We´re living in an apartment with 4 other Elders. We are all going to the same mission. It´s just us six in our district but they´re all great guys and we have a ton of fun together. I saw sister Robison i.e. the temple girl on the bus the first day but she isn´t in our zone or district but I talked to her yesterday when some of us went to Salt Lake to get our visa pictures and she seemed nice. When we went to Salt Lake I went with another Elder from our district because we were the only two from our district that could go at this time. His name is Elder Kelson. He is hilarious. He´s very very similar to Scott which is pretty cool.
The MTC is weird. I kinda hated it the first couple days but I´m starting to get more used to it and to feel the spirit more and more. The spirit is very strong here. Elder Cowley and I both had a good experience in recognizing the spirit when we were practicing teaching with one of our teachers. The language is kinda hard for all of us but we are all trying to improve and rely on the spirit to help us learn as much as we can. It feels like we´ve already been here for weeks. We´ve had to teach 3 lessons in Spanish to a Spanish speaking investigator. She is a very good actor and it is like a real lesson. I´ve learned that if we have love for our investigators and if we can invite the spirit that we can still have a decent lesson even if we can hardly speak the language. We all really like to talk so it makes studying hard sometimes. Ethan was right about the food here. It is definitely not stuff your face good. We have had a couple of good meals though. It´s probably a lot better than some of the things that we will be eating in Mexico though. I´m glad to hear that everyone is doing well. Oh and thank you for the letters. Getting letters is gold. It can make the day a lot better. So thanks! Thanks for all of your love and all of your advice. I love you all and hope to hear from you soon!

Elder Schow

P.S. Mom or Madeline could you try to get me Kyle´s email adress_ He sent me a letter this week and I´ll probably send a paper letter back but I would like to have it for the future if possible. Oh and I didn´t really get a chance to take many pictures this week so I will send some as soon as possible. Oh and I don´t know where the question mark is on a Spanish Keyboard so question marks are _ until further notice haha.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Britton's MTC Address:  Elder Britton Edward Schow
                                         NOV25 MEX-MEXS
                                         2023 N 900 E Unit 800
                                         Provo UT  84602