ELDER LOGAN CHASE VAN KATWYK
Sounds like everyone had quite the busy week! I had a pretty good week as well down here. Things are going good so far down here. Elder March and I counted all our members we have total in our area now and we have just around probably 100+ members. Quite a big jump to what I'm used to. I went from being the only set of missionaries in Alice, to having an area that had 15 active members in Laredo to now having over 80 members in my area. Way overwhelming. But it's doing ok. We've been working a lot with the members and getting to know as many as we can right now. As for finding, basically, San Benito is majority Spanish. No doubt, and then Harlingen is majority English. So it's kinda hard to find from receiving and contacting referrals and OYMing. And if we do find people to teach in Spanish we have to pass them off to "their" missionaries. So to be honest, it gets a little frustrating. As for rain, we get A LOT of it haha. It has thunderstormed quite a bit in my area.
On Tuesday, we started our studies in the morning and then we get a call from a member we visited the day before, asking if we can help them get their dog from under their house. So we go over to the members house, and we're basically digging holes to climb under the house to get the dog to come out. It was suuuuuuuuuper muddy! Elder March and I were COVERED. Well, basically everybody was. At the very end, I climbed down underneath the house in the mud to see if I could reach it since I was tall and slender. What an experience that was. There was a bunch of beams and not that much room to maneuver underneath. I was basically eating the mud lol and then I'd have to call under a beam in the mud to see the dog better and all I had was a super muddy flash light that I was holding. Luckily I was able to get down far enough to see the dog and check out how it was doing. Where the dog was was separated with a wood beam so I unfortunately wasn't able to reach it. So I started to shimmy out from under the house but I couldn't. I was stuck in the mud lol so Elder March came and grabbed my pants and pulled me out. unfortunately we had to leave to go to District Meeting. But later on the day I texted the member and they said the dog was out and doing well.
One door experience I had was that same day, March and I were just knocking doors and we go to this house and we talk to this super cool guy who was like a rapper but rapped Christian music. So, I asked him "Can you freestyle?" and he was like "Nawwww I don't freestyle." So then I asked "So if I dropped you a beat would you do it?" and he was like "yaaaa sure!". So you could say I got a guy to rap for me :) VANKatwyk = 1 point :) So that was something fun we did this week.
San Benito is suuuuuuper fun! I love it. It's sooooo ghetto. Theirs gang members like crazy down here called The Surenos, and then there's The Bloods. And you just see kids walking around in red and some in blue. And then people just drive around those colored cars. There will be kids we've taught that want to get out of the gangs and start a new life that we meet. All these drug addicts, just all around very poor. As well there's quite a bit of Satan Worshipers down here or people called the "Santisima Muerte" who they basically sell their souls to the Grim Reaper, Santa Maria, devil. But then when you go to the city of San Benito, it's not too bad. Than our area of Harlingen is pretty rich haha But I love being in the South part though. It's my homeland! :)
We usually don't drive too many miles. It actually depends on the day really. But we usually park somewhere and just walk around to save miles.
OH! check it out. So all the DL's and ZL's have to go down to McAllen today and they wont be back till tomorrow night most likely. So I'm taggin along with one of the Elders in my apartment and he said we're going to this house to bless it and basically cast out demons. So that should be fun! Remind me to tell you about that experience during Skype or next weeks email!
Anyways, Well that was my fun filled week. keep on keepin on and hope everything is everything! Love you all and pray for you all. Cuidense!
Hey howdie hey!
Sounds like everyone had a great, fun-filled-in-Hawaii week!
Well as for me I had a great fun week as well. So Tuesday, President came over for interviews. And in my interview he said that I'm doing very, very well in my mission again and then he gave me scriptures in Doctrine and Covenants about the Holy Ghost and it's purpose. I enjoyed reading about it because the Holy Ghost is something I've been consistently trying to understand. But as well there has been some big changes...........
So this man in the Stake Presidency in Harlingen down here came and spoke to us and told us basically that they're trying something new. Long story short, every single one of our area boundaries got changed and each companionship is assigned specifically to a unit (branch/ward) So....
Elder March and I got assigned to the English Branch in Harlingen, so that means.... we had to drop very single one of our investigators and we had to say good bye to all of our members because they were all in Spanish. We still do cover our old area but as well we cover the city of San Benito and a part of Harlingen. And then the sisters in our district are assigned to the YSA so they cover the whole zone. So Elder March made a comment saying that he doesn't have to ask permission to go anywhere because just our district cover every single area hahah What a great luxury.
So this past week has been hectic for us because he have no investigators, and we don't know any of our members in our area. To be honest, I was not happy at all with the change because I didn't wanna be or speak English and I wanted to teach in Spanish and do everything else in Spanish. But I just learned to get over it really.
Elder March and I have been getting along great. We've been having a lot of fun together and we hit it off pretty well from the start. I LOVE being in a car area!!! Oh my goodness. I wanna give a shout out to my boy Henry Ford for making the first car! It honestly so nice. Especially with murph and my back. Their both doing very well. As for the bike, usually you're suppose to take bike days at least once a week, But we haven't because our area is sooooooo spread out. it takes super super long to get to each little "colony" area. So the bikes are just chilling in our room lol
My district leaders name is Elder March :p and my zone leaders names are Elder Renshaw and Elder Pope (Elder Renshaw's the one that lives in Antioch) And yes I've came in the area in the middle of the teaching process but now that the change, I'm starting from scratch hahah
But that was my week! Nothing too much to write about since we're getting everything all situated in our "new" area now. But I hope everything is everything! keep on keepin on and I pray for you all always
Hahah mom you make me laugh. You can't wait till I send the email to find out where I'm at :p You guys are in Hawaii!?!?! Well...I guess that's what I get for going on the cruise hah. Sounds like everyone had a busy steller last week! Congrats on the graduation Ness!
Sooo Yup here I am in San Benito Texas. And my new companion is Elder March from Concord California. When I was "born" in the mission, he was in a different area than I was but we were in the same zone. So we saw each other at Zone Meetings and things like that. He actually served in Alice after I did so we reminisce on memories of Alice and the people there. I'm actually "killing" Elder March because this is his last transfer of his mission. My zone leader Elder Renshaw is from Antioch as well. I asked him if he knew the name Buccellato and he said he's definitely heard it before and that his mom most likely knows Aunt Brenda. So you can check with that mom! As for San Benito, I like it a lot. It's definitely different. Way more Spanish and Gangs and such. It funny, my area basically consists of like 3 "colonies" is what we call them. Basically like 3 small areas of flats. I enjoy it a lot. It's all flat land and very green. Last night it actually rained really really hard and there was thunder and lightning that unfortunately woke me up at like 5:30 in the morning because it sounded like gun shots were going off because it was super close to us.
And side note: I'm in a car again!!!! Woop woop!!!! I was so pumped that was Murph can be a happy camper and not fussy anymore and back and acne can heal up. Speaking of which, Mom so I found out what that rash is on my face. It's call Eczema. I found something about it in this Missionary Health Guide in our apartment.
3 things about Elder March: He was in band in high school, played trumpet in jazz and in symphonic, aaaaand his Spanish is super good
Yup we have 4 people to an apartment still. It super different though. It's a lot more quite and the other elders keep to themselves a lot. I was super super sad to leave Elder Blackman because of how close and how much fun we had together. We were always messing around and doing crazy things with each other and coming to this apartment was really different because it just about felt like there was no one I could hang out with. But, it's all good though
hahah So I was at church talking with Elder Riding (one of the Elders in my apartment) and Robert, or Brother Perez walks in and the first thing he says is "You must be Elder VanKatwyk!" And I was just like "uhhhh ya" and he was like "Your mom's been looking all over for you saying "does anybody know where my baby went!? I heard he got transferred!"" and I just laughed and he said "Well hold on let me take a picture" And so he did. Which you probably saw already hahah
Well that was my week. I'm gonna attach all the pictures of all the people I had to say good bye too that I took pictures with. But ya Glad everyone had a good week and I hope everyone continues to keep on keepin on.
Hope everything is everything!
Hey howdy hey all!
Glad everyone had a great Easter weekend! and yes I did get the easter box of goodies. You're the best mom! :) I always get super pumped when I see a package from you cuz it's always foods that I love :) I brought some of the food in my backpack to General Conference for Elder Blackman Rodriguez and I and other missionaries to share. They were a hit! hahah Hey hey! Congrats Tanner for breaking the trend of not winning any baskets! :p And some more news.........I'm getting transferred. Don't know where exactly but I am :( and they're white-washing Hilltop area because Blackman and Castillo are out as well. Every companion ship is splitting besides two other companionship and the Zone Leaders. I'll give you all an update on that later with addresses and everything!
So......my week......Craziest week and I'll tell you why right here........So on April Fools day we got word that a missionary from South Laredo ran away. At first, Blackman and I didn't believe it just because of it being April Fools Day but then we later realized that it wasn't a joke. So all the missionaries in North and South who had a car went down to the Los Presidentes chapel in the south to meet up and establish different groups to travel around. They called Elder Rodriguez and I to bike to the airport because it was in our area. So we did with Elder Blackman and Elder Castillo. Rodriguez and I went from the North direction and Blackman and Castillo biked from the south direction. All we knew was that he had a bike and what he was wearing. So all 4 of us headed to the airport when we got there the senior missionaries were talking to the airport police and so we were working with them. We found out that he has a lot of money so we then talked to all the car rental to see what we can find. Then that whole rest of the day, we were searching for him, talking to every hotel in the area to try to find information. And at that same time we'd get more information about the situation, like any of his cards being spent, where he spent them, and what he's doing. Elder Blackman and I went to a hotel and talked to the lady behind the desk and she showed us the bills that she had. We found his name in a bill and all his information fit the bill. So we asked if we could see any ID photos of him and she was able to let us see it and it was him that stayed there. So we had a good lead. I don't want to talk too much about it to freak anyone out but we continued to search for him all day on Thursday and Friday. President was able to talk to his parents and he was on his way to San Antonio for his parents to pick him up at the airport. SO he's fine and everything is ok. I'll talk more about it when we skype for Mother's Day if you'd like.
But with that whole experience, I learned a lot of principles. First, I was super pumped that this was all happening because it sparked my curiosity and it was like I was starting early to be a crime scene investigator :) Second, it was super cool how all of us missionaries from North and South worked together and we all followed our leaders without any questions. The AP's showed up and we were all basically telling them how they can help us. Third, it would be way cool to have that sense of urgency for investigators. The principle of "leaving the 99 and going after the 1" is a phrase I've gained a greater understanding of. And how we should all have that kind of urgency and faith to find those lost children on Heavenly Father.
Anyway, after that happened was General Conference and I liked it a lot. It's interesting 'cuz I remember when I was a kid, 2 hours seemed like foreverrrrrr! hahah but it goes by super super short. There was a lot of good talks that had been given. I always love hearing, Holland, Uchtdorf, and Bendar. The big guys hahah They're always great speakers and I learn a lot from them all the time.
Well, that was my week really. It's super sad leaving this area, because I've worked so hard and grew so much and I have good relationships with a lot of people. But it's time to grow other places and to grow in other places. So this should be fun. I love you all a lot and pray for you all a lot. Thanks for all you do and your encouraging words. Keep on keepin on and I hope everything is everything! ;)