Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 9

A few words from mom...

I just wanted to give a little more info  on Tristin, he didn't have a ton of time to email. He is doing well and trying to keep his head up and stay positive. I asked about the crazy weather and tornado warnings because I have been wondering if he was dealing with any of that. He said they have just been experiencing rain and all of the big hail storms and scary weather wasn't happening where they are. His exchange this last week went well. He said he was in a small town that was pretty boring and not many people around. He got to meet a really nice family though and as always was able to take something back with him from working with a different companion for a day. He is looking forward to the coming week and is counting down the days until Mother's Day! Well we both are! That will be the next phone call! Yay! 

Thank you all so much for reading this blog and taking an interest in how Tristin is doing! We feel so blessed to have such an amazing kiddo! 

Look Mom...cows! :) haha
Hey guys!!

I’m so sorry this is going to be so fast! :P 

This week has been really good!! The language is always a struggle and kind of frustrating but I’m getting through it and getting better day by day!! Something that’s been really good this week has just been keeping the mission rules and just being happy no matter what! :) That’s something I’ve really been working on. Some people might not be ready for the message we have to share and that’s okay I can’t force them to listen or take it personally if they don't want to, that’s their own choice and we have to respect that. I love the district I’m in, they’re so funny and they have this certain spirit about them that I just love! 

Well I have to go play some bball! I’ll talk to you all next week and I should have a little more time! I love you all!


Elder Tidwell!
My companion for my exchange on Tuesday/Wednesday, Elder Jorquera. A family we visited found this baby rat in their house. We were out in some small country town. 

Our investigator! (With his permission to post his picture of course)

While helping someone move, we found this and they said I could have it. Guess we have some new apartment decor! haha

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Week 8 - Crazy weather, exchanges and down 30 lbs!

Hey Everyone!

Well, I am in my second week in the mission field! Things here in Texas have been great! It’s been really rainy and there have been QUITE a few thunder and lightning storms but I love it! The rain just reminds me of Oregon that much more! :)  

This week has been a little rough as far as when we’re knocking on doors. We are able teach people the restoration and the first lesson which seems to go so amazing but then when we go to meet up with them for a second time they never answer which is pretty hard. We have one investigator who has a baptism date of May 12th but has to head back to Mexico at the end of April to deal with some visa stuff. He says he is only going to be gone a week but he’s not sure. :/ We just have to have faith and pray as much as we can. Something else that I am trying to work on is the language. It can get frustrating at times trying to speak and understand Spanish!! I just keep trying, I know that with time and perseverance I will get it down!!

This last week, we did exchanges where we split up and got to work with a different companion in another area. That was a great experience. I was able to do some service and meet new people. I am told we will be doing this once a week! It's kind of nice to switch things up. I am doing pretty well budgeting my monthly money for food and personal items! I also have lost 30 lbs since leaving for my mission! The MTC food was very iffy at times haha, and I haven't been doing all the snacking that I was doing back at home! We have averaged about 2 dinners a week with church members and this last week one family cooked some amazing fajitas and ribs! Probably my favorite meal so far.

A good thing that has been happening is that when we do go finding and knocking on doors everyone is so nice and just humble even if they have another religion they’re still willing to listen which is so nice and everyone is Spanish speaking pretty much. :P We teach an English class here at the church, well of course for people to learn English and we had someone new come with her two kids.  She has been living here for about a month and her husband is a student at Texas A&M.  She had some questions about the church after the class and when we were talking to her she broke down and was saying she doesn't have any family here and doesn't really know English and she was just scared. Me and my companion were just there for her which was amazing and she was just able to talk to us, she asked about the church and her face was just illuminated. She wanted to go on Sunday so bad but she said she had to ask her husband first and he said yes! He was so excited for her and said he wanted her to do whatever is going to make her happy and if that’s it he told her to please do it. It was so amazing to hear about that so… she is coming next Sunday and we can’t wait to show her around!

I would love to bear my testimony in Spanish if that would be okay hah :)!

Yo say que Jesucristo es nuestros slalvidor, y yo say que dios pogar los personas en su vida por un moy grande rezon, y tambien dios ama nosoltros mucho en el nombre de Jesucristo, amen.

Well I love you all so much and I can’t wait to write you next week!

Love Elder Tidwell

Lots of rain! Notice it's almost 70 though! 

My companion for the exchange! Elder Christensen (Funny, same name as my trainer!)

My District after our meeting.

Me with Elder Bonzo.

If all else fails, I know how to make grilled cheese. (Which I learned from the best!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

1st Week in the Field! - Bryan/College Station...A hard but good week!

Woohoo! Week 7!
      Things seem to be going well for Elder Tidwell.  He emailed yesterday morning and although he had over an hour, the computer seemed to be running slow while he was downloading pictures so it took up a lot of his time.  I would like to share a little more info from some emails and letters he sent that he didn't have time to include in his email below. 
       After arriving on Wednesday, they were greeted at the airport by their Mission President and his wife. They all went back to the mission house for orientation and a, "real Texas BBQ" for dinner. The next day they met their trainers and left for the areas they would be serving in.  Tristin was sent to Bryan/College Station...which is funny because he was actually hoping to serve there. He is in a nice apartment (his words) and so far the weather has been pretty mild. He said it's actually been pretty rainy (which, coming from Oregon is not a big deal). At this point he is in a car mission, which can change depending on location of his next transfer.  He was able to have dinner with a couple of families on 2 different nights and said it was really nice.  He is helping teach English classes, which  seems like a really neat experience! Even though things are going well, he said that this has been one of the hardest weeks of his life. He knows that there will be ups and downs and is trying to focus on the positives and is looking forward to settling into the groove of things.
       He seems good and loves the people he is serving with! I am looking forward to continued letters and emails as he serves! I absolutely love this boy!!

On the phone with my family before leaving for Texas!
Heading for the mission home!
Just off the plane!

Some real Texas BBQ for dinner!

My trainer, Elder Christensen!

Hey family and friends!!
On our way! College Station here I come!

Well it’s the first week out in the field! A little bumpy at first, but now that it’s Monday, it’s a new week and time to let things smooth out! The first day me and my companion taught an English class at one of the churches and it was so amazing just to be there helping out! My favorite thing that’s happened this week was probably quoting Disney movies with my companion, he loves Disney movies hahah.  But also just talking to families and knocking on peoples’ doors has been fun. Everyone here is super nice for the most part which is always an emotion booster!

My new district! I think I fit right in here! haha
Sunday (yesterday), was so great! We got to help out in primary (it’s Sunday school for kids) and be honorary teachers for the day! It is a little funny having to switch from English to Spanish all the time hahah… sometimes people talk only Spanish or they talk both and rather talk in English so it’s just getting used to it. :)

Things here have been pretty good for the most part; my companion and I get along really well with each other.  We have the same kind of standards and he has really helped me out a lot with some things which is so cool! The district I’m in is just a bunch of dorks which is exactly why I love them already hahah!!  I’d love to keep writing but I sure have to go! Thank you all so much for always being there and I’ll keep you posted on what happens next week!!    
Love y’all!    

 ~Elder Tidwell  

                 ***Here are some random pictures from when Elder Tidwell left the MTC and arrived in Texas!***

Me and Elder Samson the night before I left the MTC.

Saying goodbye the morning we left...Me and Elder McCardle.

Me and Elder Wilson
Elder Pigott and I...ready to go!
The whole group of us leaving the MTC headed for Houston!
Breakfast the morning of meeting our trainers.

At the mission home with Elder Pigott.
Waiting to meet our trainers!
Saying goodbye to Elder Pigott as we strike out with our trainers!
My home for the next 12 weeks!
Not to shabby! 
Until next week!! (P.S. Don't mind the root beer bottles in the window, left by the last Elders! haha)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Travel Day! Texas, get ready for Elder Tidwell!

Called to Serve...Off to Houston!!

Well, Elder Tidwell left the MTC this morning and has arrived safely in Texas! Not only was I able to email with him Monday and Tuesday, I also got to talk to him on the phone before he left for Texas and after he landed and was waiting for transportation with his Mission President. What a blessing to have had this time to communicate with him! Funny thing, he already commented on the humidity and he hasn't even left the airport yet! The weather will be quite a change for him!! He is doing great and is excited to meet his trainer and get to work. When I got off the phone with him he was headed to the mission home for orientation where he will stay overnight and then will be off to his area where he will serve. It is amazing the changes that have already occurred in just 6 weeks in the MTC! He really is an amazing young man and I can't wait to hear about all of his experiences. As soon as I get his address, I will update you all. Below is his email from yesterday while he was preparing to leave. 

Hey guys! 
It’s great to be emailing you again! I leave the MTC tomorrow around 4:30 in the morning and it’s so crazy to think about leaving! This place has become almost like a home away from home and I have to leave it again. I'm really excited for Houston though and to meet my missionary trainer!! The past two days have by far been the most difficult while here. Seeing Elder Hess and all my other district members leave was so hard for me. I didn't think it was real until they were all gone. They all have had such an impact on my life and I love them all soo much! I wouldn't have ever wanted another district or in my words family. I can’t wait for us all to get back and tell our stories on how we took part in changing the world. :) I’m so thankful for the family and friends in my life who have supported me and I love you all so much! 

Next time you hear from me I’ll be in my  first week in Texas! So until then!!  I’ll talk to you guys soon!

~Elder Tidwell
Rockin my PDX gear!

Just us elders with Hermano Rowly!
Last week with these guys!
Last week with my district!

Last night all together.

Hermano Meek and Hermano Woodbury, my two other favorite teachers!

Entered the MTC as best friends...said goodbye as brothers.