Laredo South, Large Vista

Hola Familia!

What a crazy week! I’ll explain it from the top.

We left the MTC at about 3:35 in the morning last Monday! A super early start to the day. We got loaded on some buses and they took us to the front-runner. That was awesome because I got to see South Jordan one last time for two years! We got to the airport and flew from SLC to Houston International. We had about a two hour layover in Houston, then we flew directly to McAllen. The AP’s picked us up at the airport and we drove to the church right there in McAllen. We got some training, and then went to dinner at President’s house. What a cool family! They were really nice and Sister Maluenda had some lasagna there for us! Really good. That night we stayed at the AP’s house with them. It was awesome getting to know those guys. The next morning, we went to President’s house again for breakfast. We then were told where we were going. I got assigned to Laredo South, Larga Vista. Awesome area and about everyone speaks Spanish here. Next, we got to the actual transfer meeting and I met my first comp, Elder Hickman. He is an awesome guy! He is from good old Provo, Utah. Right after that, we went straight up to Laredo. It was about a 3 hour drive from McAllen. We got to our apartment and got settled in and then we started working! Oh, and a cool fact, we are about 1/2 mile from Mexico in our apartment. We see a baseball stadium through our window that’s actually in Mexico and can see the lights in the stadium at night.

O.K….so some thoughts on Laredo and some first impressions thus far. EVERYONE has a dog. My comp says its because alarm systems are really expensive and having a dog is cheaper. With that being said, there is a lot of wild dogs here too. It’s kind of sad but there is a lot of dead dogs here because they get hit and/or starve. Being a dog lover, it breaks my heart. Most of the dogs are like pit bulls, or big dogs like that that are good guard dogs. Sometimes they keep Mormon missionaries out of their owners yards…haha. Everyone has a gate that can afford one here. Not sure why that is yet, probably to prevent theft. If they can’t afford a gate like that they buy a smaller one to go over their door. The people here are SUPER cool. Most are super humble. Almost EVERYONE here is catholic. Not kidding. About every door we knock that’s what they say. Actually quick funny story. After we knocked this one door, this guy comes out yelling in Spanish. Didn’t understand a ton but after I picked up what he was trying to say, I started telling him that God’s words don’t cease just because you have another book of scripture. Turns out the guy was a preacher. Kind of funny….I debated with a preacher!

Another thing here that is super unique is when we proselyte, we basically say we’re missionaries and ask them to be baptized. Really weird! We get about 3 a day that accept….haha! Weird stuff. Usually the best investigators that we get are referrals. Running out of time but we got a super cool opportunity to teach seminary this week and we have about 4 progressing investigators right now. Ill try to tell you more about their story’s next week.

Love all of you guys! Pray for me, but mainly for my Spanish!

Elder Russell





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