Monday, November 14, 2016

11/14/16 The Last Stretch

Well... what does one say? I really don't know how to start this letter. Two years of my life is coming to an end. It's bizarre. It honestly hasn't really hit me though, I'm not sure when it will, maybe on the airplane. 

A mission is the best two years for your eternity. A mission is kinda just like a boot camp that makes sure you are worthy enough for the big prize after this life. It kicks your butt, but at the same time you are content because you can see the progress you are making and how much you can really handle in life. You see how much potential you have when you really put your shoulder to the wheel, and you see how much you can help other people. I remember writing an email earlier this year, talking about how the mission isn't all sunshine and rainbows, it still isn't haha I've had the stomach flu for the last two weeks of my mission! There ain't nothing sunny or rainbowy about that haha. But, just because the sun isn't shining doesn't mean you can't be happy. A lot of life is about perspective, and the gospel puts everything into perspective for you, so let's just say the gospel makes life a lot easier. Sure you could be sad, you get rejected or something like that, or you could be happy that you tried and now you know that that person has had some sort of contact with the church and Christ... Planting seeds, I've done a lot of that. Might as well call me Johnny Appleseed. Believe me I wasn't great with the whole perspective thing all the time out here... a lot of the time I was just frustrated that I was in a predominantly catholic country full of old stubborn people and  rambunctious young teenagers. And there I was, somewhere in between. But I loved them. And I learned that a negative attitude gets you nowhere... if anything, you go backwards. So I tried my best to be positive and be the funny guy out here, to help myself mainly, but I hope along the way I was able to help some of my companions as well. If you ask the missionaries who know me well what my most used Spanish word is they probably would tell you, "Tranquiloooo" which you could translate to calm, relaxed or along those lines. I just used it to say "calm down" pretty much. That was me, and if you ask my parents they would say one of my signature catch phrases from before the mission is "Everyone just needs to calm down". I would say it if there were some rowdy arguments happening or something that just escalated emotions. I've tried to use that personality trait out here to help others and I honestly think I have, whether they actually relaxed because I told them to or they relaxed because they would laugh because it's typical Elder Rex telling everyone to calm down. Haha I'm not sure how I got to this topic but let's jump topics. 

The gospel, well, what can I say.. live the gospel and your life will be better. Easier said than done, I know. We aren't perfect. We mess up daily, and that's life. Try not to obsess over perfection... you'll never achieve it in this life. Sorry but it's true! I have so many faults I probably couldn't name them all. I haven't been a perfect missionary, I make mistakes. But what I think matters most is trying. Just keep on trying. Every day is a new day, so if yesterday you were a screw up and you did things you shouldn't have or made mistakes, you have tomorrow to try again and to be the best you can be that day. Hopefully you'll be better, and if you mess up again, which happens, that's okay. God knows we aren't perfect, but as long as we are REALLY trying our best he will continue to forgive us. Every time we sincerely repent we will be forgiven. The key is being sincere though, I don't wanna make it sound like I'm promoting sin and then just repenting or something along those lines. Sincerely repenting and sincerely trying. 

God loves you and me. He loves everyone, that is still something I'm trying to comprehend. The love God has for us. Imagine whatever thing or whoever in the world you love the most and pretty much multiply by the highest number you can create and that's Gods love for you. Hard for me to understand still... but I have begun to feel and get glimpses of that love on my mission. Two ways specifically; the first being attempting to see people as God sees them. Opening my heart to loving people I don't really know, you would be surprised how easy it is to care deeply about someone. Try it. The second was feeling his love for me during hardships. Feeling that he was there for me and knowing his hand was in my life everyday. That everyday he did something special just for Elder Rex. I truly believe he did. 

Prayer... madre mía. This is something so small but I have come to realize it is so crucial. Prayer opens the doors of heaven, it unlocks the powers of heaven. Prayer saves the day pretty much. At least it saved a lot of mine. Yet, it can be something so easy to push aside or take for granted. What a blessing it is, we literally have the chance to talk to the most powerful loving being and the creator of worlds and ask for help, tell him our concerns, thank him. That's crazy! And he listens! God wants to hear you, he is just waiting for you to "call" him... just do it. It will bless your life, your year, your month, your week and your day. This is a good quote I like about prayer from Richard G. Scott: 

“He is our perfect Father. He loves us beyond our capacity to understand. He knows what is best for us. He sees the end from the beginning. He wants us to act to gain needed experience:
When He answers yes, it is to give us confidence.
When He answers no, it is to prevent error.
When He withholds an answer, it is to have us grow through faith in Him, obedience to His commandments, and a willingness to act on truth” 

Well, again I'm struggling to find words or know what to say. A mission is something you just have to experience to get a full understanding of it. I'm extremely grateful for these last two years of my life. I wouldn't trade them away for anything. I have made memories and friends that will last a lifetime. For that I am grateful. I have grown in my testimony of Jesus Christ and his mission which was to save us from a fallen state. He suffered every single pain and ache that we feel in this life, every single one. He knows how to succor us and all we have to do is open the door. He is there waiting. I was far from perfect before I came out here, I am far from perfect now, and I will be far from perfect 30 years from now when I look back and read this. But, I know I have a savior who has paid a price for me and if I do all that I can, and I never give up, one day I will be perfect alongside him. I testify of him and his love. I testify of this church and it's teachings, this is how you find happiness. Or at least that's how I did...

Elder Rex out ✌🏼


Sorry I'm so terrible at keeping up with my weekly letters. Sometimes I just don't know what to write, but I'll try to make this one a decent one. I've never been a man of many words. 

So Elder Alexander will finish his mission next Wednesday, meaning I'll be getting a new, and my last, companion in just over a week. Should be interesting. Doesn't really feel real though... not gunna lie. Maybe I'll be home one day haha we've been trying to teach over here but it's hard. It's a tiny little branch full of interesting people to say the least. But I love it. I bless the sacrament every week and sometimes I bless the bread and water while my companion passes. We have even led the meeting before. We don't have a branch president but we do have a counselor... so we got something going for us! Haha he's a good guy and keeps the branch afloat. There is a really nice Finnish family who attends church here so that's fun. My companion and I are the primary/nursery "teachers" so pretty much we teach two four years olds hahaha they are more interested in stealing our name tags or lying on the floor than learning. It's interesting. 

Our number one investigator is named Ana. She's a nice lady from Ecuador. She loves the Book of Mormon and the church but can't find the motivation to come to church on Sundays. She's lives in a different town than the building and she would have to take the bus but she's not really down for that. Plus, her kids say that they are "Catholics"... so she won't come alone but the kids won't come with her. It's a pickle. I guess we will see what happens. We also have been helping a less active member, his name is Geronimo. Good guy but a lifetime of drugs and alcohol have fried him a little. He came to church last Sunday for the first time in a year and hasn't consumed alcohol or drugs in 4 weeks. That's so good!! The first time I saw him I also saw cocaine and heroine for the first time is my life. Haha 

This area is probably the hardest of my mission teaching wise... few members, we mainly have to find people to teach outside of the town we live in which requires 45 minutes of bus time there and then again back. Haha anyways, idk what else to say, I'm excited for conference! Glad we have a prophet and apostles to guide us through our lives! Love you all.

Hermana Gentry!! The Carter's cousin and friend of Courtney

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Welp, I'm in Nerja, the most touristy place in our entire mission! Like holy cow...I don't think anyone actually lives here, everyone is from various countries in Europe... it's crazy. You walk down the street and you hear English, German, Finnish, and a whole bunch of other languages. Half of the time I don't even know what country I am in. As you can imagine this all makes the work very difficult, for multiple reasons:
1. Language barrier
2. They don't live here so they wont be here for a long period of time
3. They are on vacation and don't want us bothering them

It really is beautiful place though! It's somewhere I hope to return to when I'm not a missionary so I can take advantage of the beaches. Haha It's really a crazy place to be. We do have a few other cities that we take a bus to, and they aren't as touristy. 

Right now we are working with a lady named Anna. She's from Ecuador, and she loves the Book of Mormon and is honestly read to be baptized! It's great. But she hasn't come to church! She says her family needs her on Sundays... so we will work on that.

Our apartment is very small, probably half the size of my last one. We have a kitchen/living room combo, a bedroom, and bathroom. It's really weird. Everything here is just kind of weird. We went to visit someone the other day and he had some cocaine out on his table. He then pulled out a syringe with some heroine. So that was super strange. 

Anyways, I'm doing well. My comp is a good guy, like i said, he's finishing his mission this transfer and I finish the next one so we are old men out here in the mission field. We are tied with the assistants to be the oldest companionship in the mission.

Anyways love you all
Elder Rex



Dear family,
This is Elder Rex speaking! I just wanted to let you guys know you guys know that I am being transferred! I will be heading to a little city called Nerja. That's where all the tourists go to go to the beach and have fun during the summertime. It's a branch and not a ward, so it should be pretty small and spread out from what I've heard. Also, we are in charge of all the fast offerings over there. Should be interesting. I'll be with Elder Alexander, he's the old assistant to president. Should be cool, he ends his mission this transfer and me the next. I hear the work is pretty hard there because nobody really lives there, they just go to visit for the summer and all leave in the end of August. Soooo I'll get there just in time for everyone to leave haha. I'll try to send some photos!


So last week after emailing at the church we had a interesting experience with a 50 year old Spanish man. 3 other elders and I were pulling out of the church parking lot in a car, and you have to lock a gate after you leave, so we were kinda on the sidewalk for like 10 seconds as my comp hopped out and locked the gate. So this guy on the sidewalk just starts kicking our car so i hopped out and told him to calm down and asked what his problem was and asked him to stop. Then he started getting mad and said he was going to cut my throat and blah blah blah and then he took all this trash and threw it all over the church property, so I started clapping for him sarcastically (maybe not the best thing to do) and my comp wasn't looking because he was locking the gate. And then this guy just slaps my comp hard on the face so I grabbed him in a bear hug and told him that we will call the police if he doesn't stop. Then he proceded to fall out of my arms on to the floor and yelled "police police help me!" and said HE was going to call the police, so he faked called them and said 4 of us attacked him and his arm was hurt. At this point we think we are waiting for the police, so drove the car back to the church parking lot to wait for them, and I was by this guy and the other elders were like 10 feet away just having parked the car. And the man asked me what I was doing and I said I'm a missionary and then he goes on to tell me very bad things which I cannot write, and the punches me in the chin and I was upset but the other missionaries told me to walk away. So i did because of course it wasn't worth it to continue to argue with him, and as I left he called us more bad things. It was probably the most frustrating experience of my mission because there was nothing I could do...probably a good thing. 

Anyways  Elder Sant got transferred on Wednesday and I got a new companion, Elder Blasi, he's a good kid. He's from Missouri. Then we were in a trio from Thursday to Saturday because another elder was alone because his companion was traveling to the mission home. I'm back with Elder Harvey in my district so that's sweet! I've been with him pretty much half my mission! Also, thanks to all the people who wished me a happy birthday! You're all the best! I hope you have a great week! You're all in my prayers :) 



Well, what can I tell you about Cartagena... it's hot and I sweat a lot. I have to shower three times a day sometimes. Pretty nasty. We just do a lot of walking as of now..trying to find people to teach. That's pretty much what we have done the last two weeks, knock on doors and knock on some more! That's life for me as of now! We eat Burger King every Monday even though we really don't want to, it's just the closest to the church, so we get forced to pretty much haha. The other day we were contacting and some guy told us he has 4 toes and took his shoe off to show us! That was interesting, the most exciting thing that has happened in awhile. I wish I could tell you about investigators but we don't really have anything! We are finding...hopefully haha. I hope everyone is doing well. You're in my prayers!

Elder Rex


Hey there world, well I'm now serving in the city of Cartagena with a former companion so that's kind of weird! I'm with Elder Sant, who I trained. It's hot here, real hot. And humid! Today we hiked to the top of a mountain to this castle and I'm feeling pretty roasted. I didn't wear any sunscreen...whoops. Maybe I'll get a nice tan though! Or my skin will just fall off...anyways. I don't really know much about the area or anything but it's pretty much my first time being in a big city so that's pretty cool! You see lots of missionaries on pdays compared to my last area where it was just me and my companion. I'll probably be able to tell you more next week!

Love Elder Rex