November 9, 2015
Okay! So I have a lot to write about and finally have a little time.
I got transfered to Veracruz, the port! Right in the middle of the city. It’s a whole new world. I’ve worked in the south my whole mission. Okay emergency gotta go bye!!
November 16, 2015
Okay, finally Im going to take a little time to write to you guys. I’m sorry its been a while. This week was a ball!! I loved it so much!! Where do I start.. well I’ll just start with whats on my brain, this is not in any specific order.
This week we had a really fun ward activity! This ward is so big and high functioning. I honestly don’t know how to work with a ward because in my old areas, I was the ward mission leader, the elders quorum president, gospel principles teacher, executive secretary, and sometimes like a half bishop. But here, everyone knows what they need to do and how to do it. Back to the activity. So like 100 people show up more or less, and like 10 people invited by members. It was a big hit. We prepared a skit which was really fun. It was like a slow motion fight. Its hard to explain. But we practiced it a couple days before with some other elders in the zone and we nailed it in the talent night. Also I sang in a baptismal service of Hna Ortega and Hna Howells. My comp and I and them 2… we all sang together. It was fun. I hope I didn’t sound like a goat. We got it filmed.
Later that night, on the bus ride home, I stood up on the bus in the aisle way and we contacted every person on that bus. I announced who we were and what we do, while my companion went around passing around cards. It was really exhilarating. It was my companion’s idea. It was really cool though. I felt like an old day missionary teaching the pueblo the gospel. Nah, it wasn’t that cool. We just told them we have a living prophet and their families can be together forever, and if they wanted, we would write down their address.
My companion and I have been able to talk to president in his office more frequently. It’s really… surprising. This man is such a powerhouse in all the zone conferences and stuff. He teaches with such… almost visible power. But when you get with him and sit down in his office, he lightens up. We talked about trading ties and stuff. It was really enjoyable.
My companion is great. He taught me how to do a Rubix cube and then when I learned, he gave one to me. He’s the most unique, but I think one of the best companions I’ve had. Lots of personality but in a good way. We are having a ball.
I went on divisions with Elder Sanchez the other day. He’s a fantastic missionary. We had a really good experience. We received a reference from a member and went and contacted it with her. The person was named Maria. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and how it could satisfy her spiritual needs in life, and then taught her that, just as cool as the BOM, we also have a living prophet. Her eyes lit up. She then began to express that she truly felt something different as we taught her. When she said that, we looked at her and told her that she was feeling the Holy Ghost, the messenger of Heavenly Father to what is good and true. We then showed her Galatians 5:22 so she could verbalize a little bit of what she was feeling. When the dots in her head connected and she understood that Heavenly Father was reaching out to her in that very moment leading her to the truth, she started bawling saying “I know its true! I know its true! What do I do?” It was such a precious moment I will never forget. We almost didn’t talk the whole lesson. We were just asking her questions to help her understand, and helping the member share personal experiences and testimony. It was just… man I’ve practiced asking good questions and working with members and helping people understand for SO LONG and I think that was the first time when it all fit together so beautifully, and I know the spirit is what did that. It’s just nice to know that we are refining ourselves as instruments every once in a while.
AH! Okay one last thing. I knew I was missing something.
Okay, so after the talent show in our ward, this one hermano came up to us and expressed that he had a really good time watching me and my companion have so much fun in our sketch and directing the activity and such. We thanked him, and then offered to help him clean up the chapel. He then told us the following “No Elders don’t worry about that. You guys are in a different world and need to enjoy this time, because it won’t last forever. We will take care of it. Once you get home you’ll realize what reality is.”
I know that he said that with the intent of being kind, but that really itched my brain and didn’t sit well with me, for the following 2 reasons:
1. Elder Holland in some talk (i forgot which) said that there is no reality more real than being a full time missionary.
2. People my whole life have been telling me “Enjoy this time of your life because you’ll never have this time again and the next step isn’t as fun.” They told me that in middle school, saying how hard high school would be. They told me that in high school, telling me what a pain in the pants college would be, and they told me that in college about my mission. Now, in the mission, they are telling me that “real life” will be hard and not fun. Granted, every step is hard. Theres lots of learning involved. Thats called life.
But I don’t know about everyone else, but I had an incredible time in high school. Sure it was hard, but I loved it so much. Same with college. And SAME WITH THE MISSION! I think it just gets a little better every step of the way. Maybe it gets more fun every time because every new step is harder… maybe. But I don’t worry about that! I’ve truly loved every step of the way! And if it just gets better and better, I have no fear of being a return missionary, or being a husband, or a father, or a grandpa, or living in a nursing home!! I think every step will be more and more fun!! Then we die and go live with God! It truly gets more fun every time. It really just depends on the attitude of the person. We can’t live in the past. Because every step of our life is meant to me a blessing, a learning experience, and even fun!! 2 Nefi 2:25 is the motto!! We have to enjoy this life. Obviously it’s hard. But instead of worrying so much about our problems, lets use the Atonement, pray for strength, and change our attitude!
Anyway, that was my little rant.
PS I hope you guys are saving this emails. I heard that we only get our mission email for 1 week after the mission and I promise I don’t have any time to save these emails in a USB or anything. If you could that’d be fantastic because sometimes I don’t have a lot of time to write the same things in my journal that I write here. They’re a team: my email and my journal. So please save these. I want to remember the joy Im having.
Also, we bought ice cream this Friday the 13th to remember Craig. Gotta love it.
I love you all!!
November 25, 2015
Well, this week was good. It was a really normal week. Three missionaries from our zone went home. 3 really good missionaries so we are a little bummed… but thats the way of life. Besides that, honestly it was just a really normal, but tough week. I don’t know why. We were running around all over the place all week with other missionaries and with transfers and such, so we really didn’t get to study the whole week. Well, at nights I like to read Jesus the Christ. I’m actually almost finished. But we didn’t get to read the Book of Mormon very much at all. The difference was… astounding. We weren’t being disobedient or anything, we probably just could’ve organized all our activities a little better to be able to fit everything in. But sometimes I felt unfocused in the lessons and my words didn’t come out as easily. People would ask me questions to clarify what I was teaching which… doesn’t happen as much when we read the book of mormon!! I love that book. Reading is so important. We cant walk the straight and narrow if we don’t even know what that path consists of. We can know these things by reading.
One thing we are putting really special emphasis on, is working with the members. After all the foods, we train and do practices with the members teaching them how to bear their testimony, give a pamphlet to a friend, extend a commitment. They LOVE IT! Actually, one guy got so excited that he told me I wasn’t doing it as good as he could and he started “teaching me”, and then had me practice with him again. It was hilarious!! He was actually a less active member. But we saw him in church on Sunday. Also we took out a couple members and we taught them how to contact in the street. I did the first couple, explaining to the member, Quetza, how do do it, and then I told him to do it. He got rejected pretty good the first couple tries. We laughed it off. Then, one of his invitations finally stuck and we put an appointment and he got so excited!! Sometimes as missionaries we get so used to rejection and acceptance that we don’t even feel it… but it was a cool thing to see. I invite all of you to participate with the ward missionaries. Ask them to teach you! Study Preach my Gospel. It’s scripture. And never tell them you don’t have a referral. Always always have someone in mind that can receive the gospel. There’s a quote from Howard W Hunter that I love. I know it in spanish. But basically it says that the best indicator of how deep of a conversion we have is measured by our efforts to share the gospel. Are you converted? Share the gospel!! Woohoo! Sorry.. I’ll think of more stories for next week. Love you! Bye!