November 7, 2011
Well, another one of those weeks that seemed like forever long but at the same time I can’t believe that it’s Monday again. This week I was in the areas of the, missionaries in my district for two days so I didn’t get to spend much time in my area.
In my area, there are two groups of people that are really exciting me. First is a sister named Claudia. I think I talked about her last week. If not, well oh well. She is going to be married to a member and meanwhile is talking to us. We had a super sweet lesson Tuesday about the plan of salvation and we got to explain some pretty cool things. One was she hasn’t been able to have kids until now. I showed her the picture of Brett’s family and explained how everything can work out. It was cool to feel it.
The other group that I’m about is still the family Jimenez. It’s taking a while, but it’s coming along. All of them have read the Book of Mormon. Now we are just trying to help them understand the importance of it all and recognize their answers. They give us food though so that’s nice. They really respect us a lot so that’s nice. Hopefully we can help them out a little more. They are going to take a lot of work because the three kids aren’t married but have “girlfriends” or “boyfriends”. But it would be a sweet family to see in the temple some day.
In the other areas it was fun. The first lesson was with a sister that had been waiting to receive her answer, but felt like she still hadn’t received her answer. To start the lesson off we sang “Come Come Ye Saints” and I shared why it was important for us. It really set the tone for us. It was a really cool lesson. After we went to a lady that they just hadn’t checked on in a while. We went there and we taught the plan of salvation and we came out with a baptismal form filled out Jthat made me pretty happy. In the other area there was a lady that wasn’t reading the Book of Mormon very much and we had a lesson with her. We said, “If Christ came here and you could ask him what ever question you wanted, what would you ask him?” She is already a member and asked, “why did Heavenly Father let me live without the gospel in my live for so long?” We talked about how she had to know the difference between the good and the bad. She understood but we felt like we hadn’t truly showed the power of the Book of Mormon. We asked for another question and answered it with the Book of Mormon too. It helped my testimony that everything can work out well.
This Sunday was stake conference and it was pretty crazy because the General President of the Young Women was in town and just stopped by to chit chat! She spoke with a translator and it was pretty cool. Other cool things were that we are in a very growing stake of the world. One of the speakers asked converts who had known the gospel through elders to raise their hands. About 75 percent raised their hands. Apart, if the work keeps up, in 2013 they are going to have Mission Mexico Cancun and Mission Mexico Merida divided; and also in 2014 they are looking at putting a temple in Cancun! That would be pretty cool. The fun part after though was translating for the President to a young man. I felt the power as I told that young man that he was going to lead his family and bless it. He was holding a new triple given to him with a special scripture from the President. It was super powerful.
For the spiritual thought, there is no doubt what it would be. This week, we got a call that someone needed a blessing so we hopped in a taxi and raced over there. Come to find out that it was a member that has had to pass through some hard things in life and felt abandoned so he left the church. I’m not talking about like he got dumped but really hard stuff and he has to carry a hard load for things he didn’t do. The coolest part was the end for me. I told him two things
1. I didn’t understand your pain and I can’t because I haven’t gone through these things. But I know someone who has. The Savior with his divine fathership had power over death. In other words, he could decide when and where he wanted to die. That is why he didn’t die in the garden of Gethsemane, because he chose to suffer more. He knows your pain because he suffered it and even more
2. You feel that there is no place where you can find rest from the cross that you are carrying, but there is a place where you can. It’s called the Celestial kingdom. There we are promised happiness and joy beyond description. Literally, there are no words to describe our happiness in this world because these worldly words can’t describe a spiritual experience of this magnitude. There at the door you can leave this weight. And really, this life isn’t that long. But in order to leave this load and feel this joy you have to get there.
He asked if I really believed it. I told him about ‘no empty chairs in heaven’ and about Aunt Laura and Grandma. Well ya. It was special.
November 15, 2011
Well, this week has seemed to pass by super super fast, but at the same time a ton has happened. The biggest change is in companions. This week was changes and I don’t know if you notice mom, I’m writing on Tuesday. That’s because… well I can’t say now that would ruin the rest of my letter!
I’ll start at the beginning of the week to be more organized. Wednesday we had a training that was super intense. President really let us have it. First we had a humbling experience. He talked about whining and how when a missionary does it he says to himself, “This Elder still just doesn’t get it.” Later he said, “Stepping foot on this earth should take away all our ability to whine.” He went along the lines of, “Being blessed with a body is something that many children of God didn’t get. And we get our bodies and we whine that we are tired. Many young men don’t get to go on a mission, yet all missionaries complain about how hard things are and how hard their companion is. Well I have news for you. There is no life without trials.” Later he talked about the Atonement and how important it is and was and will be. It grew my love for who I call my Savior.
One more thing that is really cool that I have to put in here really quick. I had a little chit chat with a less active and he said I was being tough on him. I felt the world go calm and I said, “I don’t care. I'm your doctor and I know what you need.” I saw him in church this week. Now everything that I tell him I say, “you need to do this,” then I look him in the eyes. It’s so cool to understand my role as a missionary.
Ok I can’t think of anything else really huge. Changes came in and well… I’m going to train! (In Mexico they say that I’m going to be a dad). Sunday after church I got the call and they told me to go to Merida to pick up my “son”. So I went and I got him at about noon on Monday. His name is Elder Garcia. He is really cool. His is the only member of his family. Not like the only active member, but the only member. He is super excited and really ready to learn. He really wants to learn English too. I’m excited to help him in all the changes. It’s going to push me to a new level because I want him to be a good missionary and I don’t want him to pick up bad habits from me. I want him to be the best.
In the investigator lines we have Pati. She is super cool and super ready to do what we ask. This week, we taught one principle every day about lesson three. We learned in our training that this is better than teaching all at once for retention. Also I’ts shorter lessons so we don’t waist so much time. Today in the morning we had our first lesson and my son (companion) did pretty well. We taught about the Holy Ghost and the importance of why we should always have him with us.
Then the second that’s really cool is Claudia. She is super cool and still going strong. We had a super hard core lesson on Saturday and it worked out well. The situation is she is living with a member, and learned and met the church through him. She’s been a golden investigator since then. The problem is they are flat broke. And we have to marry them. To fix the work problem, there are lots of options and the marriage is coming along. That is the only thing that we have to do so that she can get baptized. However, she also has had problems having children and lost a baby that she didn’t know she had. She has had a lot of doctor visits and things like that. The Saturday that we gave the lesson was a hard day for us too so it kind of changed into a lesson for all of us.
We started out singing, “Come Come ye Saints” and my eyes got wet. I felt my ancestors there. We talked about a lot of things that had affected us and why and things like that. It helped us both go through. We took picture. I’ve helped her remember something though. Mom remember a long time ago when I was home for the winter and I couldn’t find work and I tried so many times and I couldn’t find work? And I asked why and I started to wonder if anyone was even listening? And you told me, “Don’t stop believing.” I will forever remember your face and your eyes well up in tears. I know now why I had to pass this. Now I have a testimony that I can testify to the investigators that the help does come. That is what I cold Claudia. I gave her a little toy and I told her to take it with her and I told her the story. And when they tell me about the newest trial that is causing problems, I say, “Don’t forget what my mom said.” Thanks mom.
That’s the biggest thing. If it wasn’t for that trial that I passed so long ago, I wouldn’t have this testimony and I wouldn’t be able to help these people. And now I can’t stop believing either. None of us can stop believing.
November 21, 2011
Well… a crazy week; probably the craziest week that I have had in my whole mission. This whole week seems like it has taken forever but at the same time it feels like yesterday I was writing. There have been so many cool experiences, but at the same time, if there is a problem it seemed to happen. I feel stretched pretty thin but don’t worry. Next week I’ll write and…
To start off with I have a trivia question. What is black has four wheels, and is used for transportation? The answer is my companion’s wheelchair! In the MTC in Mexico City, he sprained his ankle really bad and walking all day Tuesday and Wednesday made it get worse. Thursday we went to a doctor he said a month of nothing but staying in bed. Then we went to another one and she gave us some medicine and told us about a week. A member family got us a wheelchair to use in the meantime (before we were shut in the house and I had to carry him or he had to hop. To give you an idea about how bad it is, it’s about the same class as when I did it when I was at Wes’s) We scrambled to get things done and we did divisions Friday. I had a crazy time trying to make sure that everyone got to where they needed to be and getting everything to work. Saturday more doctors. It was funny but sad how many trips they made us take. Then Saturday we had a really sweet lesson. Claudia still can’t get baptized but we took her to a lesson with the Jimenez family. We sat her and her soon to be husband down in front of them and we had them talked and we opened it up to questions. The son who is the hardest nut to crack so far asked, “How do you know that the Book of Mormon is true. It was super sweet to hear them both share testimonies of the Book of Mormon and now it has changed their lives. The son said he was going to dedicate himself more to read the Book of Mormon then when (more like if) he has questions, he’d talk to us but we could come by during the week. We’ll see what happens.
And right now I have to end because this pday was really stressful. The spiritual thought is that I can do it. Apart from that, a member that has about four months as a member asked me for advice. He wanted to know if he should take a higher paying job that would make things work out a lot better. He has a job right now but it pays very little. He needs more money, but he would have to lose his institute classes and not have Sundays off (in other words, he wouldn’t be very active in the church. We talked and he understood that he shouldn’t take the job for Sundays. He started with the whole thing that he didn’t understand and I didn’t say anything, I just put my hand over his eyes and I said, “Do you see?” and he said, “No”. I said, “don’t worry He does (aka the Lord knows what’s going on).” With all the trials of this week, it feels so good to know that there is someone that knows what’s going on. And there is someone that sees and someone that knows why these things need to happen.