Sister Emily Mangum is a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission.

September 25, 2014

El Paso, YSA Ward

Hi Mom and Dad!

Wow!  That’s crazy!  You are moving to Pittsburg!
I think this change for the family will be really good.  It will be a lot of work and craziness, but that’s ok.

My new companion is Sister Thompson from Ketchikan Alaska.
She has been out about a year.  About a month longer than me.
She has been here in this area for a few months, which is nice.
Sister Thompson - New Companion in El Paso YSA Ward

So, there has been a lot of change here too. I’m in an area that I never even considered, and I’m still not quite sure how I feel about, but I think this could be my most favorite area of all.  It’s almost the exact opposite of my last two areas. Any guesses? :)

We can see Mexico from our house…border patrol is everywhere.

I haven’t decided about how I feel about my new area yet.  I think I’m still in the adjusting phase.  Everyone says that it takes a bit of adjusting time for these type of Wards, even the elders said it.  For some odd reason I ended up in the University of Texas El Paso YSA ward.  Not sure who thought I would be a good YSA missionary, but here I am.

It’s just so different.  And its super weird being in a Ward/branch when they are all the same age as you.  I have always been in Family wards.  I’ve spent a couple of days in a YSA ward, but not full time, which is different.

I’m not sure if we are allowed on Campus, I can’t really seem to find it, but I know it’s all over the area.  We do have quite a few people we are teaching.  The problem with YSA's though, is that they are Flaky.  It’s kind of annoying.  Super in and out. Off and on.  So we have a TON of people but almost all of them are only sort-of, some-of-the-time. 

Actively teaching?  About 5, but the former teaching section of our area book is massive and we are constantly getting referrals from other missionaries and picking up new people.  But we mostly work with recent converts and less actives. People in YSA wards are sometimes really hard to work with.

Tonight we have a lesson with a boy we met on the street. He lives in Juarez, Mexico and doesn’t speak much English, so that should be fun.  I do wish that I knew some Spanish. I think I will probably learn some because here, the people who speak Spanish, they SPEAK Spanish and they actually don’t speak any English at all.  Actually the UTEP students speak both, jus the locals who only speak one or the other.

Since the First Presidency has been pushing YSA wards. We have the records for every YSA in the stake and we cover the entire stake, but just attend the YSA ward.  It’s actually interesting and very different to what I have done in the past.  We don’t attend ward council for each ward, but we are trying to set up meetings with each of the bishops to get info and such.

We live very very downtown. The area is old apartments and residential areas. It’s actually kind of sketchy.  I feel perfectly safe but it is downtown El Paso. 

My address is;
1501 N Stanton #1
El Paso, TX 79902

Even though it is a YSA ward we do get fed, mostly fast food, but beggars can’t be choosers.  Also there is a senior couple over the institute who do a lot for us. They are CES missionaries. Our church is at the institute building.  I guess the regular building is under construction.  I think the institute is connected to UTEP, but it’s open to people all over the El Paso Stakes.  It’s right across the street from campus, it’s really nice.  We do a lot of lessons there and do a lot of stuff at the institute.

It’s a bit warmer, but not dryer here than White Rock.  Its monsoon season here.  It rains and rains and rains.  And El Paso has no drainage system so the roads just turn into rivers and when the water is gone, there are mountains of rocks and dirt all over the streets. 
It’s very muddy here.  Yeah, it’s fun, especially when it backs up traffic.  It takes us FOREVER to get across the City

Love you!

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