Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 25, 2015

The first thing to happen this week that was interesting was my birthday, we had divisions the day before so my companion was switched with a different one for the day.  I woke up so focused and worried about some of our investigators and less active members and I didn’t even realize that it was my birthday until like noon.  It was super weird once I realized, haha.  In the morning I had a really great experience that changed a lot of things.  So the elder I was with for that day didn’t bring his toiletries that he should have brought, like his hair gel. So he asked me for a ton of different things and I just gave them to him, but then he got to hair gel. And you all know how I love my hair and the American Crew stuff that I use--about to seem a little gay here--and I brought 3 that should have lasted me a really long time, and they don’t sell it here in Mexico.  Long story short, I lost the first 2 that I brought and I’m already on the third one, which has lasted me since the beginning of my stay here in Mexico. But other people don’t use it right, they use a lot, so I really didn’t want to share. So I didn’t. I told him that it was aftershave since he can’t read English. Then, I went to say a prayer to ask God how it is that I should teach a certain family.  Then, I got the overwhelming sensation and realization that I had just lied and brought myself to the presence of our Heavenly Father, the seer of all truth. So I started to think about what I should do, I knew I would not receive any revelation in this "dirty" state of my soul, so I said a prayer and opened my scriptures to know what it is that I should do, and I opened to Doctrine and Covenants 42:33. Pretty “spot on” about what I should do. So I gave it to him to use and I felt better.  Later we had a lesson with this family and after who knows how many years they came to church yesterday, after the revelation of how we should teach them was given. 
Oh and I got pizza for my birthday. So that was great. 
Then, more later on in the week, we had a great lesson with Hna Lupita, the Jehovah Witness that is now a member of the church, and she still has been rejecting the Book of Mormon as the word of God, but on the spot I got this feeling that we should change the lesson that we had planned for her about the Book of Mormon and simply read a chapter from the book of Mormon about Jesus Christ when he came to the Americas, 3 Nephi Ch 17. And after reading it I asked my companion to say a prayer so that we would all feel the love Jesus had and has for us and the people of the multitude in the chapter, as if we were there. And after the prayer she told us she had never felt that way before and I testified that it was the Holy Ghost, which only testifies through sacred scripture of God. She accepted it and we left, we have yet to see more results of that lesson in the next visit this week.

We also had a great lesson with the son of a less active, also a less active, who is an atheist and likes to read philosophy and loves the psychology of man.  His goal is transcendence.  So I guess according to what my companion told me, he never would even join their lessons before because he would just say, “nah I’ve heard it and I don’t want it.”  But this time I said a prayer in my heart to open his heart so that he would hear my words and I might be able to preach with the power Alma and Amulek had when teaching Zeezrom, And he did! Well, he explained his views and I told him how there's only two options, either God does or He does not exist. And none of the evidence of the world, with all the doctors and great minds that are in it, can prove or disprove one or the other.  So that leaves us with only one option, one instrument to be able to know one hundred percent: our hearts.  If all the minds of the world can’t figure it out, we need to figure this out for ourselves, and experiment on the words of the Bible and the Book of Mormon, the words of our God; who will testify of the truthfulness of his words through the power of the Holy Ghost, who works through the instrument of our hearts. So I testified of these things and told him if he spent one hour praying and reading he would know with the surety that I know, God is real, and He sent His son, and through Him all of us are saved by our obedience and perseverance in following in His example. And that this church He established is once again here today, restored through the prophet Joseph Smith, who was called of God.  And he physically started shaking and trembling and said that he needed to go to his room and think.  And that was the end of that, but we see him again on Tuesday, so we'll see what happens then.  Overall it was a pretty fantastic week. 

I love you all! Love you Mom and Dad! Love you family!
I picked a mango from a tree in the street so I'm waiting until it ripens to eat it.

Monday, May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015


Yeah, it was nuts! So the day before it rained I thought, "Hmmm I don’t need new shoes yet.  These shoes are pretty trashed, but we can do it next week when we have more time."   WRONG!  When it rained my shoes got completely wrecked.  So we had to go buy some new ones the very next day during our appointments... yeah, that stunk... But it's great now because I have some super comfy and durable shoes that should last me until the end of my mission, (hopefully). 

When it rained the streets turned to rivers, literally!  The sewers exploded the caps off the street sewer holes, and the lagoon in our area overflowed into the street releasing all the crocodiles to the general public. Coolest day ever!  ….hahahaha!  Nah, we didn't get to see any crocodiles, but there were tons in the other areas of Tampico.  None of the missionaries saw any though.  So sad. 

But anyways, this week was just a bunch of the same, nothing really super duper extraordinary in terms of events, but with one of our patients (from now on if we visit them I will just refer to them as a patient, this one happens to be a less active member) she thought I was judging her or something I think, so mid-sentence she stopped and asked me what I thought about her.  And so I told her, from the bottom of my heart, how much I cared for her, and loved her, and wished nothing more for her than exaltation with our Heavenly Father.  But also that I knew the only way for her to do that is to go through the temple, and for that to ever happen she needs to recognize the Book of Mormon as the word of God.  She believes everything about the church now, but she has a really hard time accepting the Book of Mormon as scripture because she feels the Bible is all she will ever need and that it is complete. So that's been a struggle.  

Rocío is doing fantastic.  Funny as usual.  She is the less active member that has schizophrenia. Every time we visit her it's like we start from a completely new point than the last visit, as opposed to everyone else we see, where we pick up where we left off kinda at our previous meeting.  She tells us all the time about how different people tell her that they are Moroni and stuff like that.  Yesterday she told us that one of the recently returned missionaries told her at church that he is Jesus Christ.  And the worst part is that she just automatically believes this stuff!  But it's all good, because we always sort out the confusion, since she believes us too.  I love her, she's so fantastic, definitely one of my favorite people to visit.  The rest of this week was basically normal.  Nothing too exciting.  But I still loved every minute of it!

Thanks mom for the birthday attempts!  Haha, we'll have to see when I get it all. For my birthday we are probably gonna order pizza or something since we can do that here in civilization, unlike Huejutla.   I still loved it there though.  But seriously, I have learned to appreciate all the stuff we have at home, and how you can be barefoot in the house, or actually ever.  I'm having a great time though!  Thanks for your love and thanks for that picture of the clock!  Hahaha, that cracked me up!  Also, no we didn’t get to see the Q&A from Elder Bednar.  I heard about it though.  Nothing more than that however.

I love you guys! You’re all awesome! Have a great week!

Time is going by so fast! After my next transfer, I'll be a fourth of the way done with my mission! It's so crazy! And on top of that, we're already halfway through this transfer, and at the end of this transfer I'll have a new Mission President!  So things are gonna really shake up around here. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015


Ok, so butterflies aren't all that uncommon here… they are actually everywhere, but I found one on our front door when we got home one night so I had some fun with it J. My companion was just shaking his head.  It was great!

This week I found my favorite scripture, and I wrote it on my scripture case! Woo! It took like 30 mins to triple coat it and put it in deep enough not to rub off. But it's 2 Nephi 4:31.  I really took that scripture to heart and I’ve been studying the life and teachings of Jesus to figure out how I can do it. It's made the work so much larger, but at the same time so much easier.  I love it!  It's hard to describe. But I'll try to relate to you the feelings through an experience we had with some Jehovah Witnesses the other day.  We were teaching a street contact and some Jehovah Witnesses just interrupted our conversation and started trying to teach all of us. It was really odd. And then they started trying to bible bash and stuff, which we don’t do, so Elder Stringer kept trying to get out of there, like mid-sentence just saying “bye.”  It was really obvious he was trying to run.  I followed him as he left, but I just kept thinking the whole time about how Jesus looks at these women. They are our sisters, with good hearts, simply confused by the trickery of Satan.  I kept thinking for the rest of the day about what I could have done better. And what Jesus would have done. They kept trying to ask us all these questions about the bible to try and catch us in the doctrines that they interpret to be correct, versus our restored truths. And I thought of Jesus and how when the Pharisees and others did that type of thing to him, he just said, "let he without sin cast the first stone." And I kept trying to think of something I could have said like that, but I'm not that wise yet. YET, haha. But I realized what I should have done is simply bear my testimony of the truth, and let the power of God that is in my faith do the rest.  And since that thought, I have begun to recognize the true power and the sacredness of our calling as missionaries.  Basically, my spiritual plane has been lifted to yet another level. The wisdom of God is just so so so much higher than all of ours.  The best thing we can do is trust in him, and listen to the spirit.  

On another note, I cook like a Mexican now with hot sauce on everything and I use too much oil to cook eggs.

Also I got to call my family yesterday for Mother's Day! Which was awesome! I have been having the best time over here and then I got to talk to my family! And they weren’t even ready because they miscalculated the time difference, but they were still there! What a miracle! HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MOM!

I can’t think of anything else to write this week. See yah all later! Have a great week!

I love you Mom and Dad!

I love you Dallin, Eliza, Bethany, Harrison!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

May 4, 2015

My sad bed without a hammock... I cant figure out how to put it up yet...
At the start of this week I had to relearn everything about everyone, relearn a map of a new city, and I have to admit I got a little homesick again (for like 5 min), but I quickly combated that with working on learning all that I could about where I was.  I got straight down to it, even though it was P-day, I spent the day studying and I learned all about the people, the members, the bishop, and what our goals here are and stuff like that.  It really helped! So much so, that I didn't even realize it had been a week yet until last night! The mission is gonna go by so quick if I keep up working hard like this!

We have the craziest investigators/less actives! One is a schizophrenic, one is a Jehovah’s Witness that lied at her baptismal interview to receive the ordinances of the gospel, but really doesn't believe in institutions, just Jehovah.  She thinks churches are only useful for doing these ordinances.  But!  Guess what?!  After a visit from the bishop, and several visits from the elders during the last change, when I got there (I've been really working on learning exactly what each investigator needs and listening to the spirit with what I can personally do to help them), I was able to help her to accept that this is Christ’s restored church on the earth today, and to commit to coming to church to prepare to be worthy to receive and participate in temple ordinances!  It was so awesome!  

My Spanish is getting really great! Well, it's only really great when I’m working with the spirit. Otherwise it's garbage.  But I really have never felt the spirit so strong in my life.  I work everywhere on becoming more Christ like. My goal by the end of my mission is to be exactly like Christ, but we know I'll have faults still.  But one can hope and try! haahha :)  

Other things to happen this week… OH! I've finally figured out how to use my ability of making friends like it's no big deal!  It really is a talent given to me by the Lord.  I have learned to really listen to others and find exactly what they need to hear, in terms of the gospel, for them to have a desire to continue in the lessons.  So we've been getting new investigators like crazy!  Not all thanks to me of course, but I actually have seen my own efforts pay off in our increase of new investigators.  It's been awesome.  Also after Huejutla, this area is way easy to walk through.  Even though my area now is probably about 8 times larger, it’s all super flat. So compared to the mountains in Huejutla its super duper easy. Also Elder Stringer and I are like a power duo here.  I learn a lot from his example, and it's great because it doesn't feel like he's training me.  Just at times I’ll say something that doesn't make total sense in Spanish, so he'll correct me and help me to remember.  It's great!  He told me it doesn't feel like he's training me either because I’m already super duper obedient and I pick up on everything really quick.  Also this area is awesome because I've already had cheesecake, which I have learned to love, and ice cream like 4 times!  Don’t worry though.  I'm not getting fat.  I actually have lost weight from all those parasites, and now I’m just gaining muscle back.  I also ran a mile and a half in about 8 mins.  I didn't even feel tired afterwards! I am in such good shape right now!

But really, the people here are so kind and the ward is amazing.  I've just been slamming it with the work.  Every moment I have I’m trying to figure out a way we can touch the heart of an investigator.  It's been a truly amazing experience.  Also, a phrase that people use to say something is cool or awesome is "Oh! Esta cosa está bien padre!"  I don’t know why really.  It literally means “Oh, this thing is good/well father!”  So I don’t know, hahaa.  I just thought dad might appreciate that!  To say something is cool you totally just say “it’s dad.”  Oh, also I had the biggest hamburger I've ever eaten in my life this week.  It was bigger than two of my faces put together. I tried to take a picture, but I don’t think I did the size justice.  Also I ate the hardest thing to eat on my mission so far this week: an apple with the skin on it.... I hated it!  But I ate it.... I hate the skin of apples.... Yep but overall this week was awesome!

Thanks mom for everything! Thanks Dad! I love you guys!
Thanks Dallin, Eliza, Bethany, Harrison!
I love you!

Also I forgot! I found a post-it in my bible that I think was from Bethany, if that was you Bethany, thanks! I loved it!  I'll take a picture of it and send it next week.