Thursday, May 28, 2015

Week 13 - Safe and sound!

A word from Mom...

This week I didn't hear from Tristin until Tuesday and it was pretty brief. Monday evening, I did get word that he was safe (thanks to a church member in the area he is serving), which was a huge relief. After seeing the news and what was going on there, I had definitely been a bit worried. In his email to me, he didn't give a ton of detail on the condition of his area he is living in, but did say the roads were clear now and that they are safe. He had said that there were nearby parks that were flooded really bad and that they had a tornado warning on Monday. Thanks so much to all of you who have been asking about and checking in on him! Here is his email...

Taken of the sky after we heard about the tornado warning.

I survived! 

This week has been great! Lots of service and just teaching the dickens out of the Gospel to people! We have this new family we've been teaching and they've been so prepared and we've just started talking to them about temples and family's being together forever and they just fell in love with it all!

The one thing that’s been hard this week, is we have to have these outlines done for our lessons and I have to do them in Spanish and English so it’s just really time consuming and kind of frustrating. Three of them have to be done by Tuesday and I have to have them all memorized …so yeah fun, fun, fun!

On a really good note…this week I have finally realized how far I’ve come in my life. It really doesn't help on just dwelling on what’s happened in the past but realizing where you came from and how much you've grown. Like yesterday my comp asked me to text a family and see if we could stop by later, we were doing a service project and I looked down and I had typed it all in Spanish and was about to press send. I kind of did a double take to see if I had really just typed it or not hahah. Favorite food I had this week that was just so good was this chicken I made at someone’s bbq, mmmm so good!! 

Something funny this week was well Elder C was in a little bit of a bad mood and I was able to cheer him up with some 101 Dalmatians quotes! Hahah The weather has been crazy, especially the thunder storms!! On our way to the mission conference we had on Tuesday, it was raining so hard I couldn’t see in front of me…well, I could but it was very hard and I had to stay focused and the lightning just lit up the sky it was so cool! Definitely one of my favorite parts about Texas by far(the thunder and lightning that is, not the crazy flood producing rains)! 

Thanks so much for checking in! Love you guys!

 ~ Elder Tidwell

These 2 pictures were just before we got the tornado warning...
These were pictures of the sky on our way home after we heard about the tornado warning...

Just me and the grill (I was put to work at the bday party we were invited to haha)

These lizards are everywhere!

Our new district.

Wow...I feel tall! haha

Just doing some service for a local teacher...

Elder C...hard at work ;)

Back in school again??...haha

A giant moth...

I got to see Elder P again!!
Bahama Bucks!
Just another day in Texas...
This guy is headed to the MTC...he is from a family we often have dinner with.
Haha...well this is a funny name for a road!!
My "dad"and two "brothers".

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Week 12 - Crazy Tree Dropping Weather and Prison...

Hey there family and friends!!

Well, this week I went on two exchanges. It feels like I barely saw my companion! hah. Things here in College Station have been awesome! We have been able to find a lot of new families! Especially this one family we recently met. They are a super young family and just bought their first house. As we went to teach them they were completely open with us and told us they need the gospel more in their life. So we were gladly able to help give them exactly

Weather…There has been some crazy lightning storms here lately and I've loved it!! I will be honest…I have stayed up a couple of nights just watching them!! During one of the storms while we were at a family’s home a huge tree came crashing down. We went over to lend a hand to cut the tree up and remove it but the chain that was being used on the saw didn't work so well.

Something that’s been awesome this week was me and my companion started reading scriptures
At the museum.
as a companionship like before we go to bed and it’s been really great! Also, we won a zone activity for cleanest apartment!! The prize was going to prison…Well not really prison, but a prison museum; it was really cool but kind of scary haha.

Something that’s been tough, was one of our investigators dropped us and we've been working with him for a long time so it was kind of hard. I know that he just wasn't ready for the message but the seed of the gospel has been planted in him and he'll just have to let it grow.

I would love to bare my testimony… 
I know this church is true! I know Heavenly Father loves us and knows us all personally. I know that He knows when we’re ready and knows what he wants us to be. I love this gospel and I know it blesses families and that they can be together forever, I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

~ Elder Tidwell
Crazy storm brought the G Family's tree down.
On our way to do some service...helping the G family with their downed tree.

Flood water marker...this isn't a good sign.
Maybe we will switch from a car mission to a boat mission ;).

Survival mode!...haha 
(don't worry, the frog was not actually eaten or harmed)
Gettin my workout on...
Elder C and I.

Me and Elder H...the AP (Assistant to the Mission President).
Hanging with Elder Olsen...Don't mind the precious owl hanging from the mirror...
that's just how we roll!
My go to snack...not much has changed in that department!
Photo booth pictures we took as a zone a little while back!
Best zone ever!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Week 11 - Mother's Day Skype

A screen shot from our Skype!
A word from Mom…
     What an amazing Mother’s Day. Getting to talk to Tristin was so great! He looked wonderful and seemed to be in really good spirits. It was so fun to hear that laugh of his and chat back and forth. We had Skype all set up with him on the big t.v. so that all of us would be able to see him. The kids really enjoyed seeing their big brother, he is such a wonderful example to them. He also had a piece of advice for the older 2 kiddos. He told them to always put family before friends…that he wished he would have done that a little more. It is amazing the changes we can already see in him, he seems more mature and his perspective on what’s important definitely seems to be a bit different. It was also nice to see that he was still himself, laughing and joking around.  What a blessing technology can be. I will be honest…ending that call was extremely difficult but I really feel so grateful to have had that time with him! I want to thank all of you for reading this blog and supporting Tristin through prayers, letters, emails, and thoughts.
A little Mother's Day selfie...

Hey guys!!! 

     Well just to start off, it’s raining outside, actually it’s pouring with thunder and lightning… my day’s just getting better and better! This week has been really good. We met a lot of new families and they are just so awesome!! 

     Something that’s been difficult has been just finding my own groove in the mission which is always hard. Something that I have been working on and is getting better has been having patience! This week I had to take a look at a lot of things for myself... when I would try to learn the language I’d just get so frustrated about not saying it right and it would bring me to tears. I would pray and pray to have patience and it just seemed like nothing happened. Until one day when the other elders had one of their investigators get baptized …and wow, when he came up out of the water it was like everything clicked. Things will come in their own time, God knows what He’s doing and He knows what He wants you to be. Something that really helped me see this was a Mormon message called The Will of God or the Parable of the Current Bush. It really changed my perspective so much. I began to see miracles like it was nothing… they all came with such power. I know difficult times will come but just hold on tight to that iron rod and you'll come out just the way he wants you too.

     We met with our mission president and our whole zone on Wednesday. It went so well! We had a training on some better ways to teach and then the people that are leaving bared their testimony and it was so heart touching. It really gave me a new motivation for it all.

      Favorite part of my week was Mother’s Day!  I got to talk to my family and that went so amazing! I miss them so much! They really are what keep me going through this. As well as all of you who are supporting me through this right now. 

     I know serving the Lord will bless my life and my family’s so much. I know this church is true and that families can be together forever. 

To all the moms that read this happy late Mother’s Day!! 

Love you so much! 

~Elder Tidwell

The Oregon crew in Tejas (Texas) Elder Grasse from Salem/Eugene and Elder Spragg from Salem!
They knew one another before they came out!! Crazy!

Two of the best sisters in the zone!
A group shot from Zone Conference
There is this family tree set up out here, it's kind of hard to explain...your trainer is your "Dad" and his trainer is your "grandpa" and so forth. This would be my "Nephew"  Elder Noreaga. 
This is Elder Pesci my "Uncle".

Me with Elder Spragg on the exchange.
A little service...Helping with Mother's Day flowers at the church.

One just for my Mom...well a picture of one at least. 

Happy Mother's Day Mom!
Look what came in my cereal box!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Week 10 - Football...Deep Fried Cheese...Patience

Well, this week I have just a little bit more time to write!! This past week has gone by so fast! Last Monday I got to play basketball for the first time since I was in the MTC. Man I’m out of shape! :P Tuesday, I went on an exchange in Huntsville and we got to play football with these college kids. The field was soaked with mud so we got a little dirty but it was a blast! Wednesday, was just a regular day but Thursday, we had interviews and training with our mission president!! That was really good to see him and learn some new ways for planning and such. Friday, yet again was just another day but we met this family and taught them the first lesson and it went so good we've gone back every day because they just want to know more and more! 

Something that’s been really hard this week is the language and patience... I need to have a lot more patience with myself when I’m learning the language because just getting frustrated isn't helping at all hahah. Something that has been going really well lately has been always staying positive.  Like I've just seemed to always have this smile on my face which seriously is so amazing I love it! My favorite food this week was probably these burritos we had with rice from this one family, seriously so good!! The weirdest and grossest thing was deep fried cheese..... Yeah it was really gross hahahah. My companion told me they were going to be super good, so I grabbed 2 not knowing what they were and I couldn't even finish one of them.... hahah !
            We are having a zone conference this week and one pair of companions will have to give a talk, I say it’s going to be me and my comp. but you never know! Also this week I’ll be doing my first exchange where I’m the first one in my area so that shall be fun! That means, I will stay and someone will come to my area. It will be with Elder Spragg! He’s from Salem, OR so he knows what’s up hahah!! Alright, I gots to go… so I’ll talk to you all next week!!

Love Elder Tidwell
Elder Sarono and Elder Corn...who I went on my exchange with!