Monday, May 30, 2016

Week 66

New companion Elder Gayosso!!

Alright so I first want to say I'm super proud of my little sis and little bro, they are rocking it in choir and theater! Kayla I loved your solo :)! And Kasey I still can't believe how handsome you are! I'm sorry you haven't been feeling well Mom, I'm glad you are getting better little by little! Speaking of health, I have been feeling better this week and I think it's been in part due to the medication I started taking and also because I've been able to take time to unload stress and not be so worried all the time. I am so grateful for all the help and support I have had and hope to continue improving!

Aww thanks Casley, if you read this I miss you too!

I was raised to Zone Leader 1 and am training Elder Gayosso as my Zone Leader 2! He is a super cool guy and I am actually learning a lot from him. He is from Mexico City, but lived in Chiuaua for a few years attending a high school of the church which focus on teaching them English a lot, and finally lived in Utah for 2 years before leaving on the mission. He's a super humble and friendly guy and very knowledgeable as well. I love how he's always listening to conference talks or reading them and shares cool things he finds with me.

This week we were able to work hard and had so much hope someone would make it to church since 8 people told us they were going and even two were committed to going with a member who would pass by for them. Despite our efforts, as well as the members help, we were still left with none. We won't give up though. I have faith they can make it this week:)

My new Zone is AWESOME. The best part is my "dad" is in the Zone with me :D (Elder Toledano). He's finishing up his mission here the next two transfers, which is crazy because he had only been out for 6 months when I started with him! Also there are 4 ex-Zone leaders in our zone, which helps keep things under control easier and I have help from all around:) I can't wait to have another great week!

Adios mis queridos amigos:') (They finished their missions.)

Made my new companion pancakes so he knows how much I love him:D

Also made spaghetti for the first time in my life, super easy actually:P Yum!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Week 65

Temple visit with President, Sister Bird and my companion Elder Azuara!

Alright, I have a ton to say this time so I´ll try to write it all up. Tomorrow is transfer day and I´m staying here as Zone Leader but my companion Elder Azuara is going to be transferred, which means I´ll probably be bumped up to Zone Leader 1 and have to train a new Zone Leader as my Zone Leader 2, so that should be fun! My Zone is going to be completely different again since 5 missionaries are finishing the mission this week and another 3 are transferring. I can´t wait to meet my new zone!

Zone picture at the temple!!

This last week has been crazy busy with interviews, trainers, a valiant meeting, and some obstacles that kept us from being able to work as much as we would've liked. I have been learning to be patient and happy with whatever comes because a lot of times it doesn't work out the way I hope, but that´s part of life! We still haven´t had any investigators come to church, but we've worked hard to invite everyone we could. This Wednesday, we have a Ward mission activity where we are going to play human foosball with PVC pipes!! I sure hope we have a good turn out of members and investigators:)

The BBQ activity last week, as I explained, turned out to have a few problems, but it wasn't anyone's fault so we just had to be patient and do our best to get it all done. The food was great though and we played basketball and soccer, and I got to play the piano for a little while, which is always better than practicing on my keyboard in the house. The Zone seemed to have a great time, which I´m glad about because I was a pretty stressed because of the problems with the food arriving late. I have realized how the planning and leadership behind activities, regardless of the level or type, is harder than it appears.

¡¡Carne Asada!! BBQ:P

To comment about my health, I finished taking the antibiotics and I do feel a huge difference, but I continue to have pain and I have come to the conclusion that it´s because of my over-stressing and perfectionist thinking. I have been talking with Elder Packard, as well as President Bird, and am striving to learn how to control my emotions better and change some of the way I think. I have seen progress, but it´s been difficult at times. President Bird helped me realize in my interview with him how the fact that I feel it´s been hard here as a Zone Leader is good. It means I´m learning and growing and what a blessing it is to be here on the mission and to have the opportunity to serve. How right he is! I am so grateful to be here on the mission and all that I have learned and am learning:) 

I have been studying about certain questions my investigators have or I have had or just a theme and it has helped me to enjoy my studies more and get more out of it. Just something I loved when I read it was a quote be Joseph Smith in his Teachings Book, which says, "mi vida no tiene valor para mi excepte para hacer su voluntad (la de Dios)" I only have the book in Spanish so sorry, but it basically says "My life has no value to me except to do his will (of the Lord)" I love Joseph´s dedication to the Lord and hope to be able to obtain that kind of faithfulness to the Lord!

Oh and it´s been HOT here lately and will continue to increase as these months go by, but it´ll go quick! Thank you for all the love, prayers, and support!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Weeks 63 and 64

Meeting brother-in-law, Ryan, for first time on Skype :)

It was AMAZING to talk to the family on Mothers Day and crazy to see how much things are changing. I loved being able to meet Ryan finally and that´s so cool he got a job at the MTC. That´s my goal after the mission! Mothers Day was yesterday (5/10) here and my companion and I were able to visit many of the sisters of the ward to wish them happy mothers day and share a message with them. It had to do with the Preexistence and a story my companion had once read. It´s about a spirit who is about to enter into his body as a new baby in the world, but seeing all the problems and wickedness in the world is afraid of going. God then begins to explain to the spirit that he has no need to fear because he will have someone who will love, nurture, and protect him and that person he will call Mom. I didn't do a very good job of explaining it, but it went something like that and we shared a scripture in Abraham 3:22:

22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;

and then explained the story. It was really special for us and I hope it was for them too. It is the least we could do for all they do to help and support us on the mission.

Today I went to the temple for the first time in over 8 months and it was AMAZING. First of all, I understood the Spanish with a higher clarity which showed how much I've progressed in that time. Also, I was able to receive comfort and peace as I conversed with my Heavenly Father in the Celestial room. In fact, I lost myself in prayer so much that when I finally opened my eyes, I was the only one left in the room. The most incredible feeling of peace and happiness overcame me as I walked around the beautiful room one last time. I LOVE the temple!!! I received answers to my prayers as well and was motivated to keep working hard and serving with all my might mind and strength.

Kasey and Kayla look so awesome in the musical, I wish I could see it. Hope I can someday if Dad records it again:)

Later today I went to the park Fundidora again with Elder Eduardo and Elder Clark (my MTC companion), which was super fun since we got to enter a Mexican history museum. I wasn't able to stop by the house for my adapter so I´ll send pictures of both the temple and the park next Monday. 

Anyways I love you all and enjoy the reception in Arizona Saturday!!!

Week 64 (Sorry - no pictures yet.)

This has been another crazy fast week on the mission. I have been learning so much as I am put into rough situations and also through my mistakes. I am so grateful for the atonement of my savior and the comfort it brings. I want to share a scripture that has helped me a lot in times of trial.

28 ¶Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Everything is going well and I´ll be sure to arrange my time better next time so I can write more and send pictures, but we had a Zone Activity, which was a barbecue, and the member we had talked with to bring the grill, meat, and everything showed up super late. We should have called it off as soon as we knew it was running late, but the person said he was on the way. Anyways, I´m so grateful for the experiences I have on the mission and the progress I can see through following my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am learning to put him above everything else, including other people because the first law is to love the Lord thy God, the second is to love others. It´s easy to confuse the two in their order if we aren't careful. Love you all and I must ask for forgiveness for not having acted more boldly today so I'd have more time to write. The good news is the Lord already paid for my mistakes and so I can use the strength he gives me to press onward. I love my God and my mission he has blessed me with. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 62

Monopoly travel-size with my companion!!:D

Wow! I have so much to say with so little time, but here goes.

Sorry. I forgot my appointment wasn't until Monday after I wrote last week, but there`s good news! If you can call it that:P The bacteria that caused my gastritis came back, it wasn´t completely killed off with the first set of antibiotics so he prescribed me to take them more frequently and for a longer period of time this time. He says I should be back to normal soon, I sure hope so! But if not, I`m just grateful to be able to serve the Lord still:D

You know what, I totally forgot about my presents! I still have them hidden away in my luggage so I`ll get to that tonight. Time sure flies here. I had a wonderful birthday filled with cake and singing "las maƱanitas", which is the Mexican version of Happy Birthday and it`s pretty hilarious. I bought a cheesecake on Tuesday to celebrate the birthday of Elder Shakespeare and me - his was on the 25th. My companion bought me a cake on my birthday in the morning and later the sister that gave us lunch surprised me with another cake!!

Cheesecake with Elder Shakespeare, Elder Dominguez, and Elder Azuara!!!

My companion bought me a cake:D Oh and also Elder Clark, my companion from the
MTC is here in my zone. In fact, he lives just down the street!!

Mom went to a Duck game!? That`s awesome, hope you enjoyed it. I miss those moments with Dad!

I can`t believe how much Kasey has grown, and he looks super handsome in the pictures:O

This week I had some of the most amazing experiences of my mission. In a super rich area of mine, I met a semi-famous rapper hip hop artist who`s toured Mexico and has videos on youtube with over 1.5 million views. He`s named Maury Anaya if you want to look him up. Also, we met another 19-year old who works for Microsoft Mexico, but he's an atheist. We were able to answer all his questions and he even prayed at the end! Later, we found a recent convert knocking doors that had been forced to move in with his daughter for health problems and hadn´t been able to tell his ward where he went. So we were the first to visit him in a couple months. He was super happy and cried of joy. I know God led us to him and will never forgot the sweet experience we had. Lately I have been trying to be more and more obedient in even smaller rules because I want to have all the spirit I can. It has brought some challenges in my companionship, but ultimately I feel I am helping us to see more growth in ourselves and in our area. I have come to love obedience because I have seen the blessings it brings and know that even though we can`t always see the blessings, all things will be rewarded in the end:) 

In my studies, I came across a scripture in Mathew 5:23-24 which says,

"23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift."

After reading this passage, I realized I needed to talk with my companion since he`s been frustrated with me at times for being strict with him. I stopped what I was doing and talked with him, even though he didn`t want to at first. It helped us to express ourselves and come to terms and now we are getting along better. We still haven`t had anyone attend church, but we are being diligent in continuing to search. 

Ugh I wish I could say more but there`s never enough time. Love you all and I am so grateful for all the experiences my mission brings!!

I totally ripped my sleeve this week. Luckily I`ve got more coming soon:P