Caught on the Streets of Monterrey

Caught on the Streets of Monterrey
Watching...always Watching!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bonus Tender Mercy Email & Pictures

 We got a surprise email yesterday from Stetson. They were not able to email on Monday.  As for Wayne, blood tests have been taken and the doctors feel like they know what is going on. We will wait to confirm their diagnosis until it is firm but we appreciate your prayers, thoughts and concerns. Your phone calls and texts mean so much. This is a very treatable thing and will take some time but as Bridger's blessing stated it us just a bump in the road and we are surviving. Thanks again. We have awesome family and friends.
This is a little gal that the are reactivating their family.  Isn't she the cutest thing ever!
Branch President and family.  They have three boys just like his own, he loves that!
Said this river was dry a few weeks ago and now is double the size due to rain and hurricanes, crazy.

He got his package!!!  I tell him I pray for them to get to him, which may sound silly, but so glad when they arrive and unharmed.

I don't have much time but I will write more on Monday to tell all of it. It was a crazy week, Tuesday we went to the mission office to practice teaching lessons and me and my comp practiced with Mission President! how scary but it was good. Then I got my package! What a blessing! haha. It came pretty fast. I was so excited when I opened it up. Sooo many stickers! The Mormon ads are awesome too. Love those and remind me of a being a kid,. The butterfingers didn't melt and were amazing. cookies were good too!! They are better out of the oven though. On Thursday I was having a pretty hard day, and I read a letter from Bridger that he sent to me on his mission and its where exactly I am. I will explain more Monday!! Love you all. don't tease dad!! Give dad a hug for me. Love you all.

He also wrote a little note to reply to my personal email. One of the things I had written him was of my dear friend who had lost her battle with cancer.  She had a son that was a year younger than Stetson.  We prayed for her for many years at every prayer.   I will include it as well.  He is such a sweet and tender boy.  I so love and miss him. And these emails make it hard to not pick up the phone and call and talk to him and let him know it will all be ok.  It's times like these we have to put our faith to the test.  It sure is easier to teach it sometimes than practice it, that is for sure.  But, I'm learning.  Enjoy...

 hey mom!! just read your letter. I actually saw your facebook a few days ago and saw that about your friend.  (Chanda Ivie George)  I am sorry to hear that. It is hard to go through something like that. There is a sister here who is slowly dying of cancer. It is terribly sad. She has a teenager daughter and a 9 month old. She honestly has one of the most strongest testimonies I have ever heard. She is content she isn't going to live that long, as strange as that sounds, but its still is sad. She is somewhat content because she has the gospel. She knows where she is going and it will all be well. I didn't like reading about dad though. I am sad now. I don't want anything to be wrong with him and I want him to work without any hassle. I will pray for him mom. Love all of you. thanks so much for the package. It meant so much. love you.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Flooding in the Streets/Zone Activity & Still the Best Smile in Mexico

This week's email is so slow in forwarding due to a busy week trying to figure out what in the world is going on with Wayne's voice, throat, palate and such.  Right now, it is said to be a virus and we are waiting it out.  An MRI came out negative with signs of his palate not closing with some sounds.  So for now, prayers, oils and good diet and speech therapy is what he is working on.  We are hoping this is just a good ole fashion lesson in patience.  But, it's not fun.  He is a good sport, (or trying to be) but it's difficult, especially for him as his job relies heavily on his speaking ability.  But, as for Elder Clayton, he is doing awesome and as you will see in the many pictures he has sent his smile is showing that nothing is getting him down.  I will include some in this email, but for all of them, check out his blog.  He is so great at sending them, for that I have to be grateful, because his emails are oh so short.  Enjoy...

hey family! This week was pretty sweet. On Wednesday we had a seventy of the area come and talk to us. We had two meetings with him and Elder Randall and I stayed with our Zone Leaders for the night. but the Seventy was awesome. He emphasized that the obra mission needs the help of the members and it was good. On Friday, we had Noche Mexicana. A ton of people showed up. More people than church....odd. haha. but it was fun. There was typical Mexican food and lots of coke! What a party. On Sunday we had talks and we talked about the obra misional and 50 people were there!! most people I have ever seen! it was good. Oh and also a hurricane is coming. so hide yo kids. lots of rain and its not here yet. streets are already flooded! other than that, same old same old. Love all of you! 

Elder Clayton
 Hurricane is on it's way, looks like it's already started.

 His Zone!
 Their Zone Activity for the day...bowling!  Man, he is so tan!
 He found someone with braces, and told me to make sure I sent this picture to Dr. Feller
 Cooking tortillas
 Downtown Monterrey
 Hey mom. will you tell fitts thank for dear elder and cindy too. thanks!
 This Elder served in Vegas with him.  He was excited to see his picture in the Stake Center.
 He loves this crazy Elder!
 Can't help but wonder what shoes he is wearing???
 He says he loves these "sick" Elders.

 His Zone, He's in the back, I'm certain you can spot his smile.
Someone asked me if he was I knew he was working on his mission with all the smiling pictures he sends.  I just said he's just such a happy kid, but I'm sure if you turned him around in this picture, he would have that same awesome smile on his face.  He's loving it there.  I'm sure he has his hard days, too.  He just doesn't dwell on them or let's us know of them.  And that's exactly what he was taught to do.  Forget himself and go to work.  Well down pal, you're doing exactly what you were told.  We couldn't be more proud.  Keep smiling Elder, keep smiling!!!

oh and look up the scriputure 3 nephi 18 verse 21. It's about family prayer and I use it all the time- love you

Elder Clayton

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A New Companion and an Investigator at Church

The past couple of weeks we didn't get much of an email from Stetson as his companion and trainer was preparing to finish his mission and return home. So this weeks was a little better. However he always sends such great pictures I can never complain. He's never been one to grumble or complain and you will see he just seems to take it all in stride. Love and miss him but of course no place I'd rather have him. Enjoy...

Hello Clayton Family! So this week hasn't been much change, but a few! So Elder Erwin went home and now My companion is Elder Randall. He is from Mesa Arizona. He is pretty cool, and I am showing him around Sabinas. It has been kind of a challenge to get this area going but we have a solid investigator, she came to church on Sunday and last Saturday was her birthday! We had a bbq with her family and that was way sick. We fixed the bikes up so now we get everywhere faster. The pedal kept falling off the one bike and I had to fix it every 5 minutes. but its all good now. We have zone conference coming up this week which we are excited for, an Area Presidency will be there. Other than that, all is well down here in Sabinas Hidalgo! We ate pancakes today for lunch and washed clothes by hand. Life doesn't get better than that! Love and miss you all!! 
Elder Clayton

He also replied to my weekly email, I will include that as well.

hello mom!! sounds like a good week on sider drive! Yeah so Elder Erwin went home Wednesday and I picked up my new comp in Monterrey! Elder Randall, he is from Arizona and is way cool. I will tell you more in the week letter. it has been raining here a lot too. there was some kind of storm off the coast of Mexico and it came through here and rained pretty hard. I am glad Caleb is the teachers quorum president. that is so cool! oh and packages take about 3 weeks to get here I guess. Sooner here than Honduras. I miss all of you guys, but I know I am out here to help these people. It is hard at times, but its all good. we had our investigator show up to church. It was probably the first investigator to come in 24 weeks or so. because there hasn't been missionaries up here for a while. love you so much mom! 

He is doing so well.  Even when you can see that times can be a little tough, he never gets too down.  Thank you so much for your continued prayers and thoughts in his behalf.  As always, it is very much felt and appreciated by us, but especially by that dear Elder!

New companion:  Elder Randall

Finally an investigator after 24 weeks. This is awesome!

Stetson and a tractor no explanation sent. Wish there was one. I guess we could have fun making one up!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sending His Trainer Home...

This week we didn't get much in an email as he is sending his trainer/companion home.  Elder Erwin lives in Provo so we are excited to actually meet him at his homecoming whenever that will be.  I spoke with his dad on Monday and he didn't know when it was.  Strange, but we will anxiously wait for the word.  Stetson said he sent something home with him for us which is even more exciting.  He looks so good and happy.  I have told him as we chatted a little back and forth through email that I pray for his safety and happiness as he finds souls to teach.  That is all I can ask.  As he sends pictures, it seems as if my prayers are answered.  He didn't say much so again I will include my email and then his response, feel free to skip to the end to read his, or see the pictures...I'm not offended.

Here is what he said to me last week...

On Sun, Sep 1, 2013 at 11:53 PM, <> wrote:
Hello Pal.  As I am typing this, I am sitting on the couch in the TV room, listening to Sounds of Sunday, listening to the wind blow as a cool breeze is blowing and I find myself wondering, what you must be doing at this exact moment.  It's been a pretty quiet weekend.  Dad, Bridger and Caleb all left for Bear Lake on Friday to go Dove, Grouse and Chucker hunting.  I believe they will go fishing, too.  I, didn't want to sit at the cabin all weekend and be bored so I opted to stay here.  And, it's been a great, productive weekend.  On Friday, I went to Berven's pool with Joanie and Lynette to try and get in some last Summer sun and try to keep the tan as long as I can.  Saturday, I caught up on laundry, cleaning and just stuff.  But, it was good.  Then Ann Woodbury had a game night that brought a few couples together to play games.  It was really fun.  We laughed hard.  I even bought a couple of them and we will try them at FHE this week.

I did go shopping and get a couple of fun chairs for the front porch.  I will send you a picture of them and see what you think.  I have actually watched them at the beginning of the season and they were a little higher priced than I would have liked to pay.  So, with it being Labor Day, they put them on sale and I had an additional 10% off, so Bonus, I picked them up.  They are so much fun.  They are bright and cheery, I think and add a lot to the front porch. 

Church today was good.  It is fun when so many ask about you.  I love being able to tell them you are doing so well.  Colin said he follows the blog faithfully.  I was so glad.  I get up every Sunday morning and update with your weekly email and pictures.  And funny thing, today I had to help Doug with Natalie's blog.  I seriously should teach a class.  I helped his update hers, but then added pictures, and backgrounds and color, fonts and it looks fantastic.  They are so much fun.  I feel like it's more fun to go look at them if they are updated and change often. 

How's the work progressing.  Made me sad last week when you said what you said about people and talking about people and being faithful and such.  Today in YW's we had a lesson on Keeping the Commandments and we talked about how many there are.  And there are several, too many to list.  But, if you keep the commandments, you are happy.  It's just as simple as that.  And really they are not that hard to keep.  But, so many times you start breaking one small commandment and then it's easier to break more and more.  So, I hope you can find those people looking for true happiness.  They will listen to you when they see how happy you are.  That smile, will do the first talking for you.  I just know it. 

Well, I hope you have a wonderful week.  Your package is on it's way.  It will be interesting to see how long it takes to get to you.  Hopefully, not too long.  Silly, as it is, I pray for those darn packages when they leave and until I hear you get them.  Oh, and what's the arrival of Elder Erwin.  Do you know when his Welcome Home is?  We definitely want to be there to hear him report his mission.

It's Labor Day tomorrow so it's a no work day, so we most likely will be able to chat with you when you're on.  I look forward to that. 

Love you so much son.  Be obedient, prayerful and diligent and you will find those looking for the light of the gospel...guaranteed.

Love and miss you...MOM
Here's his reply:

hello mom! Loved your letter. Cant wait to see the new chairs for the house. Yeah it all comes down to the commandments. but also just three things. pray read and go to church. this branch is super hard. all of the past presidents are inactive and so many are inactive. It is hard but we are still working. he goes home on Wednesday, I am not sure. you could talk to his mom. I bet it would be next week. There is a package for you guys as well with him. thanks for all you do for me! I just looked at the blog and it is awesome. there are actually a lot of pictures I have never seen! like the mtc ones and ones from trina.  Love Elder Clayton

Short but sweet, right?  But the pictures make up for it for sure.

 With the Deacon's and Teacher's Quorum
 The Deacon's Quorum
Cutting Elder Erwin's tie for his two year mark!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Answering a Girl's Prayer & Playing in the Rain

Stetson is so good at writing back to whomever writes him.  Each week we get a family email, but also I get a personal one, too.  I am including my letter to him and his reply.  I always miss him, but some weeks are worse than others.  This week for some reason seemed particularly hard for some reason.  Maybe it's because it's his three month mark, I'm not sure.  But, I missed little things, his coming in and telling me he loves me, the sound of his pulling his emergency break on his car, or his YAY, as he charges up the stairs from his morning shower.  Mostly I just miss his big smile.  I am ever so grateful he sends pictures each week.  I have said more than once, I can't be too sad when I see the pictures he sends.  He beams!  His smiles is so contagious and it still melts my heart, just like it did whenever he was in trouble.  You never could get too mad at him with that smile.  So, here you go enjoy.  I know that this week will bring changes his way as his companion will return home and a new comp and maybe even a new area.  It will be fun to go and attend Elder Erwin's homecoming.  To see the Elder who was just with Stetson is always a treat.  Enjoy, and as always, thank you for following his journey...

Well, as you are reading this, Caleb is back to school.  A freshman.  Big man on campus at South Davis Jr. High.  I think he is excited.  I am hoping he wrote you an email.  He seemed like he was a little anxious and yet ready to go.  It's hard with me working, so being home and having not much to do going to school is good for him.  He is excited about Seminary, especially since returning from Quest.  He has been diligently reading the Book of Mormon and writing in a journal.  I'm so proud of him, he is turning into a great young man.  He spoke in church today as the youth speaker and wrote his talk by himself.  Which was very impressive.  He talked of service and read from Mosiah 2:17.  Perfect scripture for that subject.  Bridger also spoke today in the 7th ward on marriage, which was an interesting subject for him.  I'm hoping with him starting school this week things will settle down for him.  Wow, he is needing some new friends and things.  His job schedule changed and he is working 6:00 am. - 12:00 and I think it's going to be better for him, but for now I'm hoping he figures things out and finds that SLCC is a good school and things will be just fine.  I am encouraging him to listen to good music and put things in this mind that are uplifting.  I think coming from me he gets upset sometimes, so if you could just drop him an email and encourage him and let him know you love him and what he is doing is a good thing he would appreciate it.  Even though you are the younger one, he looks up to you so much.  Thanks pal.

I have to tell you.  I LOVE your pictures.  I show them to everyone.  I love your smile.  You look so happy.  You radiate what a true, happy missionary should be.  My aunt Vickie's sister, Debbie said to me that you should be the poster kid for missionaries.  I hope all is well.  I pray that people are listening to you.  That perhaps they see that smile of yours and the radiance of that smile is something they want to know more about.  I love that you are working hard.  I am sure that you are, looks like you are eating well.  I showed the picture of the taco like thing you were eating to the Brother Calquin and he said it looked yummy.  He is such a great guy and said to tell you hello.  As well, as Riley Johnson.  We sent his mom a card with some $$$ in it for his mission.  He sent a really nice thank you back and said to make sure we said hello and that what a great friend you were to him.  I'm so proud of the example you were to so many.  Thanks son, for always being such a great kid. 

I am finishing the package and will get it on it's way.  So, if there is anything else you need.  I had to wait for the Mary Kay stuff to get here, but it did and I will send you four tubes of it now and in your Christmas package.  Just try and wash your face as often as you can, the humidity makes it hard, but you'll be just fine. 

I did get a new calling today, Young Women's.  Didn't last too long without a calling.  1 week!  I am excited.  I love YW's.  I've been in Primary almost the entire time I was in this ward with the exception of a 6 month missionary calling.  So, we will see how that goes.  Only bummer is it's one week too late as they just returned from girl's camp at Lake Powell.  Dang!  Oh well, may be they will go again.

I guess I will let you go and hope that you have time to write and let us know all that is happening in Monterrey.  I love you and pray for you everyday.  Many times.!!!  You are a great son, and missionary.  Be safe, be obedient, prayerful and as always...follow the rules.

I love you and miss you.  MOM

Love you mom! What a great letter! Sounds like everyone is doing well. Caleb is awesome for giving a talk and talking about service. you should get him a preach my gospel. service is the quickest way to someones heart. I think school will settle Bridger down and keep him busy. Just tell him from me to keep up on his emails from his professors and always do his work. he should be fine but I am just looking out for him. The pictures looked fun for the walk for Gavin. We have such a strong family. families are different here, people aren't faithful to their spouse and it is sad., two active families have been kind of ruined because of this in our area. they had an affair or something. and it is such a small town everyone knows. ask Bridger what Chizmus is. Mexicans love talking. thanks for everything and thanks for the package. I may not get it for a while but it is all good! Good things come to those who wait. 

And here is his weekly email of what's happening in Hildalgo:

Hello everyone! This week was a good week, we went into Monterrey last week twice and will go twice this week. The bus rides are relaxing except when people are in your seat and you have to stand for 2 hours! but its all good. On Tuesday we had district meeting an after we got ice cream! That was the highlight of that day haha. not much happened wed and Thursday. on Saturday it was Elder Erwins 2 year mark! We had a pretty awesome lesson with a girl and she has been praying to know the right church., Boom we answered her prayers. She actually works at a tool shop and we went in to buy some tire patches and started talking to her and she invited us back. she is actually reading and she is awesome. After that, we went to get some campechanas for Elder Erwin! They are soo good. It is beef and spicy pork, and we got come coke at oxxo to drink. a mexican meal for sure. Then sunday we had stake conference and it was broadcast to us, and 10 people showed up haha. Lots of work for us! but we are loving it. Sounds like everyone is doing well. The walk for Gavin looked awesome and sounds like both Caleb and Bridger did a great job on their talks. love you all. Love from Sabinas Hidalgo! 
Elder Clayton