Monday, February 28, 2011

Yes for Mexico!

           First, I miss Bentley. I want to squeeze him! Now, let me describe this LONG week. First let me say that we kicked butt! Except with people coming to church. We found 14 new investigators! Two of them dropped us on Thursday though because apparently their parents were "enojados" Darn. We met a kid named Moises who really had questions with the Catholic church, so we were teaching him about what we believe. Then it became super hard to find him! And his dad kept wanting to talk to us, but he's CRAZY. We gave him a pamphlet, and the next day he'd returned it to us with a bunch of antimormon questions and facts stapled inside. Geez! Turns out, Moises got kicked out of his house. So now he'll be even harder to find. We taught a lot of cool people this week, but their issue is that we can hardly see them. I hope it all works out though. OH, let me explain pouch mail real fast! If you're going to send me pouch mail, then don't send it to Mexico! Send it to the POB Salt Lake address. But if you're going to send me a normal, enveloped letter, then send it to Mexico. Dearelder is fastest and most effective though. Now, as for Max! DONT SEND ME A MEMORY CARD! It'll get stolen for SURE. Just send me the CDS bc then it doesn't matter. Anyway, this week was Elder Parry's birthday, so I treated him to churros, icecream, and cookies! Delicious. We're twenty! So strange. And that day we had a lot of success! We were talking about how it was your (mom and dad) anniversary, and I almost said "They've been married longer than I've been alive!" Well, duh. Twice this week I accidentally opened someone's door. The first was when I leaned on it. The second was when I was knocking. Luckily in each case, no one was home. This week I had another hypoglaecemic (how do you spell it?) attack. I had to buy peanuts. I ate them while we waited outside a girl's house. Her name was Saira and she was singing to the radio REALLY loudly, so we were waiting for the song to end. It was really sweet of us. We didn't want to embarrass her. But it turns out that it was Saira's mother. Who ..kindly.. let us know that their family is Catholic and she'll be returning Saira's Book of Mormon, which she did. We're not teaching 10 year olds here! They're at least 19 every time! But still the parents get so upset! And it's the persons' choice! We're not forcing them! Whatever. So we felt depressed and went to get icecream for the second time in the week. We had a delicious lunch a couple days ago! An hermana set up a table in the shade for us and gave us cream of mushroom soup and bread roles, then a plate of stuffed chicken breast (ham, corn, cheese, green peppers) spaghetti, and a shredded carrot (with apple, walnut, raisin, and orange juice) mix. DELICIOUS. We had flan for dessert! MMmm. It was so good! We were so giddy! She told us it was because if her daughter were to serve a mission, she'd want her to be fed very well. Yesterday Elder Parry made us french toast before church. So I'm being fed well. And last night we got free tacos and horchata from a guy who owns a taco place!
  Anyway, there are more letters going out today! Words of Elder Parry (put into my words), nobody is perfect and yet a commandment is "Be ye perfect." How? Because when we do our best, Heavenly Father does the rest. He lifts us. He finishes what we started. He really helps us to keep that commandment!
I love you all! Time's going by quickly! I love that I'm in Mexico. Isn't it weird that soon Max will be on a mission, and that will be part of our "normal" life.

Love, Elder Mitch Poirier
"Pop Rocks!"                                    

Monday, February 21, 2011

5 months later...


Dear Family,
  Another week in Mexico! Tomorrow marks my 5 month mark! Can you believe it's already been five months! Every month is so fast! This week we had a big, two-day conference with all the missionaries in the city of Guadalajara. We basically had a big training. I learned a lot and really felt motivated to go out and work really hard. Here in this mission we have what's called a Standard of Excellence, or certain goals to keep missionaries working hard and balanced. For example, we have to teach at least 20 lessons every week, bring 5 investigators to church, find 7 new investigators, contact 200 people, etc. But because this week we had this two day conference, it was extremely hard to complete the standard. We didn't end up doing it. Most people couldn't. It really stressed us out. We were walking really quickly every day, teaching everyone who was interested, and really focusing on the work. I finally realized how much more potential I have to work harder. And also, the words of Gordon B. Hinckley's dad came to my mind a lot. "Forget yourself and go to work". It actually works, which is great because this week I got TONS of letters. All the ones that arrived in Arizona after I got my visa, plus a bunch that had been sent to me or deareldered. Get this, Arizona told me "Please inform your correspondants that your address has changed. We cannot continue forwarding your mail." Really? Did they expect my mail to just automatically stop the random day I got my visa? Or that I wasn't telling people I'm in Mexico?! So dumb. Anyway, I loved the conference because in the morning we had to take a taxi, a subway, and a bus to get there. I felt like I was in Harry Potter for some reason. It was so cool! I really think I want to do a semester at the University of Guadalajara later. The city is such a neat place, but I really do look forward to being back in little Stuart Florida.
Anyway, my companion and I decided that we don't care about that standard of excellence. We're going to use it as our goal to keep us balanced and working with all our efforts, but I'm not going to let it stress me out anymore. I care more for the people and that we're actually finding and helping people who really are willing to do what we say will give them an answer that this really is God's one church. We lay it out so clearly. 1) Listen to the messages we share 2) Read from the Book of Mormon 3) Pray and ask God, "Is the Book of Mormon true?" or "Was Joseph Smith really called to be a prophet?" or "Are the things the missionaries are teaching me true?" We want to help people understand why it's SO important to know the answers to these questions. To you all, why IS it so important to know the answers to these questions. Anyway, we want to really focus on the people. And we are going to do all we can to make sure we are perfect teachers, perfect missionaries, so that it really only depends on the people.
This week I read John 21 again and really thought to myself, "Do I really love Christ?" It's hard to answer that question. I want to love Him. I know I love Heavenly Father- I see all the blessings He's given me. I feel Him when I pray. I know He loves me. But Christ? I understand all that Christ did for me and how it really affects me personally, but do I love Him? Do I know Him? It's hard to say. Anyway, I love being a missionary. This really is the hardest thing ever, but I think I must be naive to think that it will be easier after the mission. Because my work never ends.
I love you all! Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!
Elder Mitchell Poirier
PS Last Monday I sent letters out to some friends and family. Tomorrow I'll get to do the same, but I'm sending them all home in a yellow envelope. Please mail them to the people. I've addressed envelopes already. I didn't have time to write letters to you all though! I'm sorry! But next week for sure they'll be sent out. At least I get to email you, right?


 Elder Parry, Elder Miller, Elder Wallace, and me.


Tres Leches

random red truck from prior email

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm 20!!!

Dear Family,
 I promised a happier email, so here it goes:
1) We were talking to a guy who was in the bed of his truck unloading things. Then he was getting out and hopped over this rack thing (I've included a photo of the truck). But the whole metal contraption lifted up and fell on top of him. And he was alright, so it was super funny! Crazy guy.
2) We were walking back from lunch with the Bishop when this man starts yelling at us from a distant corner "Pueblo Catolico!" and in spanish basically telling us to get out! This is a catholic town! You're not welcome here!! And he was shooing us. So strange. Imagine if in Utah the mormons acted like that to people of other faiths. It just doesnt happen.
3) I started running again! Well, I went once and then I was so sore! Plus from soccer last monday. So I ran once! And I'm going to start again. Everyone here is worried about their weight (especially my new compy: more on that soon).
4) One thing Elder Marlow was told before going home was not to judge his family for not being perfect. It's funny because as missionaries, we can practically be perfect, so I could see how some would go home and go nuts over their family not keeping the Sabbath Day holy, or watching certain movies, etc.
5) We said "Buenos Dias" to a woman and she said "Callete!" or "shut up". Really? Ouch
6) Churros here are only three pesos!!! That's about a quarter! Can you imagine if Disney World sold churros for a quarter?!
7) This week I met a little kid who reminded me of myself (as a kid). He was really shy and talked like I did in that safety/kidnap video "Yes. No. Yes. Laura Gerics." And he LOVED Harry Potter, so I told him I'm going to call him Harry Potter. I love hearing kids say Harry Potter in a spanish accent.
8) I've seen two sleeping hobos in the sidewalk, completely collapsed like they don't care where. It reminded me of that episode of the show about "what would you do" or something. But everyone just walks around them.
9) Now, last Tuesday I got a surprise call saying that I needed to go for a week to another area to be with an Elder whose compy went home early. So here I am in a place called Libertad. My new companion is Elder Parry. Last night we got our transfer calls and now we're compys for the next 6 weeks.
10) Elder Parry and I were walking on the sidewalk past a bunch of doors. At one door a hand popped out from under and started scrambling as if it was trying to grab us. Strange. So we turned around and tried to see if it'd happen twice. Nothing. But on the time going back to where we were heading, it popped out again!
11) Elder Parry told me Friday morning that we had to speak in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. In Spanish of course. First time! But it went really well. I felt really good about it and even got two compliments, which is a lot b-c Elder Parry says people NEVER compliment talks.
12) Elder Parry is really cool. He's from Utah (will I ever get a compy not from Utah or Idaho?). He talks about home and life after the mission ALL the time, so that's kind of hard. And he considers himself a "health freak". He doesn't eat tortillas. But we get along. And his last companion didn't do anything! So he's used to working alone basically but is happy I'm a hard-worker. I like him a lot, except when he corrects my spanish while I'm teaching (SO distracting) or when he teaches deep doctrine to people! UGH. But anyway, this is a cool area! I just wish I got a chance to say goodbye to Miriam.
13) Have you heard of the Luz del Mundo church. I hadn't. But it's SO big here. Their main temple is right next to my area. After my birthday cake (hold on..) we went walking in that part of town. It was really strange. And nothing against other religions, it just was nothing I'd seen before. The woman all wear long skirts, and yet there are still all the styles of normal life: goth, rock, etc. And they still divide into couples and are really touchy/kissy. It's not like a Bible school group. Anyway..
14) BIRTHDAY!! In the morning Elder Parry wished me a Happy Birthday. I'd forgotten ahah. I'M TWENTY! So weird. Elder Parry treated me to icecream. Delicious! I got mamey and coconut in a cone! So good! And then we met up with two other elders and bought a big tres leches to eat at a member's house. They all sang a different happy bday song to me (it's recorded on my camera, but too big to send in email) and then they made me take a bite out of it--no hands! And of course, the mom squished my face into it more. It was so fun! I love being a missionary!

So family! I love you! Thanks for all your emails! I hope you all have great weeks! Especially you, mom and dad! Happy Anniversary!
Elder Poirier

Monday, February 7, 2011


Dear Family!
  Thanks for your emails this week. I love being in Mexico--we baptized another person, the father of a family of 5 kids. His wife and the kids old enough had all been baptized a few months ago. He had at first been seeking to destroy the church, and even wanted to attack the bishop, but his heart has totally changed. I'm so happy for their family! It's hot here! Today we played futbol as a zone. That and the baptism were really two of the few things that I enjoyed this week. As I said, I love Mexico. But being a missionary seems to just get harder and harder as you try to be the best you can be. I've been thinking a lot about the things I've learned so far in these 4 months, and even listed it all out in my journal to make it easy for reference. It's difficult being a missionary many reasons, but to me, especially this week, I have one. There is a lot of emotional stress, but the trouble is that you can't deal with it the way you used to. I can't go swimming. I can't go for a drive or listen to music or hang out with friends or read a book. You have to find some way to deal with and get over it. This really is a great work, I really am enjoying myself, and I really am learning and growing. But it's really hard. That's the one thing I want Max to be prepared for. There will be annoying companions. There will be rejection. You will be away from home. Communication is limited. I want Max to make sure he knows that before he goes on his mission so that right away he can know how to deal with it all. I'm sorry if this email isn't so cheery, but this week really was difficult.
   Something happy...I love getting everyone's dearelders!!! I wish I could reply to them, but I have no time!! It's so sad because I can see everyone just stop writing me :( But the dearelders really lift me up. Also, this week we got to eat lunch with Miriam. I love Miriam!! She's so happy ever since she got confirmed!! She feels such peace and spirit! I'm glad to hear all is well at home! Thanks for the birthday wishes!! I love you all!! and Dad, sorry my ties are too short! I love you!!! Just know that I am happy! This mission just is making my introspective personality or whatever go on a frenzy! My mind is constantly reviewing and pondering and learning and it's just really hard on me. I feel like I'll never be the best missionary I can be ahah, like it's impossible to go home without regrets!
   Love, Elder Mitchell Poirier