Friday, April 29, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
well this week was another learning experience. this week there wasnt quite as much heat which was nice. but it was definitely still very hot. I am doing well here and working hard and trying to find people to be baptized. we had an earthquake here, but i barely felt it. we were studying and there was a little shaking for about a minute and then it stopped, but if id been up walking around i dont think i would have felt it. also another story this week is that i ate turtle. it was funny because the sister served the head to my companion. we also ate some of the eggs that were not fully developed. i didnt like it a ton, but it wasnt bad. it tasted a lot like beef really.
this week we had another baptism fall through, which was probably that hardest one ive had so far. We´ve had a lot of opposition here. In my three and a half months here 4 baptisms have fallen through the day of or the day before and 8 people have not been baptized. THis week the lopez centeno family wasnt baptized which consists of 4 people. a mom and her three kids ages 18, 17 and 9. It was really hard. We taught them everything and they were all ready and excited for their date. we had their baptismal interviews this thursday and they all passed and knew everything and were ready. we then went over another night quickly and then saturday morning a few hours before the baptism we went by and the dad who we have only talked to once came out, set up three chairs and said he wanted to talk with us. he told us that he wasnt going to let his family be baptized because they were catholic. He told us when we first started teaching the family that he didnt want anything to do with us, but that his family could do what they wanted and didnt say anything else and then left the room. up until this day we hadnt talked with him more or really seen him. he told us that though he was not active in the church at all he was going to be better and go to church and that his family wasnt going to be baptized. we talked for a long time with him, and by the end he was very confused with himself and wasnt saying anything. we then asked if we could talk to the family and when we talked with them we asked if they wanted to be baptized and they responded with basically they knew they needed to but that their dad/husband wouldnt let them... 45 min before the baptism we had to cancel and told the president of the branch and he told everyone else. i was pretty down for the rest of the day, and was rough. just a culmination of all of the experiences like this are really the thing that is the hardest. i prayed a lot before our last lesson with them. i did a personal fast and fasted again sunday for them, but idk.
i have learned a lot from these experiences and am always reminded of the words of elder holland when talking about the trials of a mission. he posed the question. why does the mission have to be so hard? He then said, the atonement was not easy, and salvation was never a cheap experience. why would we expect or want it the mission to be easy. we as missionaries are representatives of jesus christ. if we are his representatives we have to walk in his footsteps, we must cry some of the tears that he shed and bear some of the trials that he suffered and in this manner we learn and appreciate and develop more faith in him, and truly become his servants. I am grateful for my experiences here, and for what i have learned. only in a mission would i have the opportunity to have these experiences. know these people, and feel a love for them and desire their salvation. i understand my purpose and am fulfilling it to the best of my ability but will be better and work harder and will find the success when the lord gives it to me. The field is white, and there are people here who are ready, we just have to find them, help them to feel the spirit so that they can be taught, so that they can accept this restored gospel and receive the blessings that the lord has prepared for them.
i am doing well, no worries. love you and miss you and hope that all is well.
Monday, April 4, 2011
hello all. i had another great week, and not much time. today was pday and we had a zone activity. we have one overy fith pday of the of the transfer. It was a lot of fun. we watched monsters vs aliens that was really good and funny and then played some basketball outside. This week the heat came even more. It is really really hot. and super humid. even when there isnt sun its hot because it is so humid. Hopefully i´ll adjuest more, but its really hot. Normally pday we wake up, study for an hour, wash clothes. lately me and elder sanchez have paid a lady 30 pesos more or less to wash our clothes and it saves us like 3 hours of pday haha. we wash our garments in like 30 min. and then play cards, guitar, eat, sometimes go to coatza or villa benito with other elders and usually is really low key.
this week conference was amazing. i learned a lot, even though it was in spanish. one member has internet in their house and so we watched it on the presidents tv. it was really hot and in spanish so not the easiest to understand. but i focused really hard and learned a lot. a cool experience that i had this week with conference was the this past week president asked us to pray to know if thomas monson was a prophet. this is something that i haven't ever done. ive received answers about the book of mormon and therefore joseph smith, but never about a modern leader. id prayed all week for an answer and then the saturday morning session, as soon as president monson began to speak i felt the spirit very powerfully and let go a few tears. a little kid was looking at me and i dont know if he could tell if they were tears because i was sweating a lot as well and ya. but it was a very powerful experience that i had and i know that president monson is a prophet of god and through him, jesus christ leads and guides his church. this is really the greatest blessing we have with the true church. many churches teach people to be good and be like christ. but this is the only church that is truly led by prophets of god and jesus christ. we recieve what we need now in our day to follow our savior and receive the blessings. in the book our heritage, there were many quotes of people who followed the prophets and how the chruch was saved because the prophet prayed for guidance and received an answer of how he should direct the people. we are led by jesus christ.
this week i have felt an increased love for the people here and for my savior. i have tried very hard to be more humble and have this sprit of love in all of my lessons. I have felt the guidance of the sprit as i have strived to do this, and the lack of the spirit when i forget and focus on how hot i am or some other thing. The gospel is very simple. when we obay the commandments, we are happy and are blessed. when we dont we work with our own power, and are weak. I have learned a lot here in the mission but it is the simple things that i constantly have to work on like this that are the most important.
this week, we put a few more people on date to be baptized. we will baptize the family lopez centeno this saturday (fransica (mom 45), carlos (18) anel (17) and alfredo (9)) and also we will baptize a boy named josue (10) who i told you about before whose mom left him with his baby brother for 4 days when she went to villahermosa. i learned more about the situation of him and his mom and it is not vey pretty and is very sad. despite all of his problems i have never talked to a more cheerful or happy kid. he is always excited to see us and talks to everyone. There was a theme in conference about becoming as a child. i think that he is a good example to me of this. Trust in the lord and be happy no matter what. he has a plan for us that often includes many trials and challenges but as we live worthily we will be guided in this path that will lead to happiness and eventually eternal life.
i have seen a great change in the family lopez centeno. they have come to church and shown interest and studied the book of mormon and have prayed to god for the hlep and support they need. they are not an exception to the scriptue that there is opposition in all things, but they are ready and have trusted in the lord and will be blessed for their sacrifices and faith.
i love my mission and am grateful for this opportunity i have to be busy in the service of god. i am trying my hardest to be a loyal servant of him and hav been very blessed for my labors thus far.
love you and miss you
Things for me have been going very well, and i am learning a lot in my time here in mexico. i think i´d trade you weather right now haha. it is really hot here, and we are out walking all day and we luckily have
an air conditioner in the room but hardly anyone else does, so theres
no way to escape the heat during the day. I am more accostumed to the heat, but it is still really really hot haha.
things here this week went really well except that i got a little
sick. Thursday morning about 10 i started having a pain in my stomach. i kept going about the day as normal exceppt that i didnt eat much at lunch, but it was fine, just hurt, but at about 530 i threw up, and then again at 7. i feel fine now though and everything is better.
the president of the branch here is a paramedic and his wife works in
the hospital here as well. They gave me the medicine and everything
that i needed and helped me out. one thing they gave me is called
suro. its saline fluid and you drink it, but it tastes horrible.
I had a great experience this week teaching the family lopez centeno.
We have been teaching them for some time now, but they have had a few problems and for these problems their progress has been kind of slow.This week we went over to teach them a lot more, and things are going a lot better with them. this whole week we had been planning on
watching the joseph smith movie with them (we have it here, i think it
was elder tanner´s but not sure, possible ill use this one) but there
was always something that happened. one night the power went out.
another night carlos (18 year old boy) had to work, another night i
threw up before we went over, and just lots of things. We went by with them one day a little earlier during the day and taught them a quick lesson. we read with them 3 nephi 27. we read 2 verses each person and me and elder sanchez took turns explaining the parts. It went really well though Anel (17 daughter) and Fransica (mom) were the only ones there. They both are reading the book of mormon outside of our lessons and are praying. It went really well and they understood everything and were excited to learn. chapter 27 talks about the gospel of jesus christ and the 5 things we have to do in this life to have eternal life. faith, repentace, baptism, recieve the gift of the holy ghost, and endure to the end. We talked about how they needed to be baptized and they understood everything perfectly and when we challenged them to be baptized they accepted a date for april 9th. It was a great experience and i´m really excited for them.
also this week, well more yesterday and today I have been praying a
lot to know what i need to do to be a better missionary and how we can have more success in the area. last night specifically i was praying
and felt that i needed to be more humble. I need to focus more on
others and what they need instead of focusing on myself or anything
else. I am learning a lot and trying my hardest and am trying to have
more love for all of the people around me. Also this morning elder
sanchez and i prayed and felt like we needed to be more humble, have a more powerful spirit in the lessons, not have excuses, have more faith and more desire to help this people and that they can be baptized. Also i liked something that grandpa said in his letter today. he said "missed opportunities are the story of life, except for those who learn and apply that lesson early on." I am going to try to not miss a thing in my mission and work as hard as i can so that i can help these people here.
I love you all and miss you very much and hope that everything is going great for you all at hme. things with me here are going great. i
love my mission and am grateful for the opportunity i have to be here.
Ill talk to you all in another week,