Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 70


Another week in the service of the Lord and I am loving the opportunity to keep serving. Today our new mission president, President Maucotel, arrives and tomorrow morning President Bird heads home after his 3 year service as mission president. I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet such a wonderful man and will never forget all his love and support for the mission as well as for me personally. It'll be exciting to meet our new president this week when we have a meeting with him on Thursday. You can look up his profile online to find out more about him, I just know he lives in Washington and served in various church callings.

This week we had amazing experiences! We visited Francisco who was sent to the hospital last week for what we think was a stroke, but the doctors never confirmed what it was. The second counselor of the bishopric accompanied us and we got to know him a little better. He hasn't been a member very long and so he',s still learning a lot, but we invited him to give Francisco a blessing when he asked for one. He hesitated saying it's better if we do it since he doesn't know how too very well. My companion explained to him how to give a blessing and encouraged him until he eventually accepted. He gave a wonderful blessing, but it's what he told us later on that touched me. Sunday, he pulled us aside and told us he wanted to share something with us and thank us for giving him the opportunity to give a priesthood blessing. He explained how during the blessing he felt his whole body tremble and a warm sensation filled him entirely. Sharing this experience with the Bishop previously, he was explained and now knows that that experience was him being filled with the spirit of God and becoming an instrument in his hands. I loved hearing that! :)

Also this week, we didn't have investigators in the church, but Vicente, who is a recent convert recovering from a surgery, arrived for the first time in the ward since he is living with his daughter now and how great was my joy to see him there!! Thinking about it in the Lord's perspective, it's just as marvelous or important as a baptism, because every soul is great in His sight.

A scripture I found while reading helped me see a way to explain to investigators that this church isn't the church of Joseph Smith, but of Jesus Christ. In 3 Nephi 27:7-8 it says,

" 7 Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.

8 And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel."

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church of Christ. I know that my Savior Jesus Christ lives and guides the church through the prophet Thomas S. Monson and all church leaders who seek revelation. I love you all and thank you for your support! :D

I've worn out my shoes pretty well.

New shoes! Thanks, Mom!!

Breakfast that I made!

My companion and I eating breakfast :)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 69

Helado Sultana, a super yummy ice cream parlor, had a 2 for 1 deal for Father's
Day Weekend, so my companion and I bought 2 liters, it's the best!!

This week was AMAZING!! My favorite part was our Zone Conference on Thursday, which was the last of the Zone Conferences of President Bird since we were the last group to have it. They combined Zones this time since President is leaving soon and had super Zone Conference (as I liked to call it) since it was 2 Zones rather than one. It was our Zone Fe, together with another Zone Paciencia. President Bird gave a wonderful discussion on becoming consecrated disciples of Christ, using a talk by Neil A. Maxwell called "Settle it in Your Hearts". I highly recommend the talk since it helps us to know how to become even more dedicated to Christ our Savior. :)

Later, my companion and I gave a instructions on "Did we have success today?"or "¡Tuvimos exito hoy?" as it's called in Spanish. We made cool cards with questions of reflection to help them measure their success, not only based on their daily numbers or experiences, but their dedication, service, and much more. I must say it turned out really well, although we struggled to make the cards since we are out of practice using computers...It was a good experience though!!

This week, it got up to about 100 degrees, which actually didn't feel too hot, I guess because I'm accustomed to it. This week it'll be a little cooler, around 90 degrees, all week. 

It's gotten so hot at night, we moved our beds outside,
super nice having the night breeze, reminds me of camping :D

Finally used up the sunscreen I've had since the time Dad bought me
some at a track meet. Rremember that Dad? It was well used. :P

We've been continuing to find new people in hopes of finding someone truly ready to make changes in their life and come unto Christ. The other companion in our Ward had a baptism of a sweet lady and a recent convert from our area did the ordinance, which was a super cool experience for him, as well as for us too. The sad news is that we visited him a couple days after and found him in distress. He told us how he lost feeling in his leg and hasn't been able to move all day, so he couldn't take his diabetes medicine. Also, half his face was paralyzed and so he struggled to talk and his lip was drooping. We ran for his family who live down the street and they took him to the hospital saying he might have had a stroke. We have been in contact with his daughter and she told us they still don't know what caused it, but they stabilized his sugar level, which is hopeful.

Today we had an activity in our Zone where we ordered "tacos de canasta" which are like little tacos cooked with steam and oil and they were delicious! Also a member in our ward gifted us "gelatinas", which are like freeze pops, but WAY better since they are huge and made with milk and real fruits. We were going to play spoons...but the other missionaries forgot their spoons so we played soccer and go fish instead. It was a lot of work to organize the activity with the food and drinks and everything, but definitely worth it. :D 

Love you all and hope you are enjoying your summer!!! Oh and Happy Father's Day Dad!! I kept trying to ask around when the date was and no one knew...otherwise I would have told you last week, hope you had a wonderful day!!!

A sister in our ward who gave us food gifted us with a few things she thought we would need.
How sweet of her!:D Her name is Sister Moran and she lives in Dallas, Texas,
but is living here to sell her house she owns here. Nicest lady ever! :)

We are going to be changing houses soon so we started cleaning out the house.
It's quite the project with all the materials we have as Zone Leaders!!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 68

Gave my first hair cut!! It turned out pretty well,
oh and I cut my trainer's hair during exchanges as well :)

I can´t believe the school year is already ending, that means it´s been 2 years since I graduated. What?!?1! :O Time sure flies.

This week was AMAZING! Although no, we didn't have anyone in church this week. We tried our best and have several planning to go this week. My favorite part about this week was how we were able to give away several Books of Mormon to people who will truly benefit from it. One was Francisco, who went to church last week, and he read a ton and yesterday, when we visited him, he told us all about the nefitas y lamanitas (Nephites and Lamanites) and their wars and contention. He asked us how it all started and I asked him how he doesn't know because it explains it in the beginning of the Book of Mormon. He just replied that one doesn't just read from front to back. He reads where he finds interest. Turns out he started from Moroni and worked backwards! Works for me because he read Moroni 10:4-5 which is probably the most important scripture for him. The sad part is we said goodbye to him since he leaves Wednesday for Merida, where he´ll be working for the next few months or so. I hope he´ll be able to follow our invitation to find the missionaries and church where he goes. Also we showed him the church website and how to find talks from general conference and showed him President Monson's last talk. He loved it :) 

We may not have been able to have investigators in church, but I see the difference the Lord is making in these peoples' lives through my dedicated service and that is all the motivation I need. I love this work!

Something I loved this week in the lesson from the "Teachings of the Presidents: Howard W. Hunter" talks about true greatness and it says,

“Those things which we call extraordinary, remarkable, or unusual may make history, but they do not make real life."

“After all, to do well those things which God ordained to be the common lot of all mankind, is the truest greatness. To be a successful father or a successful mother is greater than to be a successful general or a successful statesman.”

I learned a lot from the lesson in Chapter 11 and recommend it to you to study as well because it helps us understand that we don´t need to be great in the eyes of the world in order to have true greatness. If we follow God´s plans for us, as simple as they may be, we can know we are achieving that true greatness. 

Love you all and thanks for taking the time to read a humble servant's letters :D

Oh and shout out to my best friend Benjamin Quesada! Thanks for all the good times we've had and hope we´ll continue to have, and for reading my blog posts, it means a lot!! 

Decided to make a nice little breakfast for me and my companion today!!

We finally got organized with a whiteboard we found hid away:D

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 67

A couple pics back when I went to Fundidora :D

This week has been amazing because we had an investigator in church for the first time in over 4 months!!! His name is Francisco Fernandez and we found him about a week and a half ago in a colony called Valle del Contry (country valley). We met him on a park bench where he was sitting with an athiest and a catholic who are friends of his, but the other two quickly left saying they had things to do, so we focused on Francisco. He is a very intellectual man and doesn't profess any religion in specific, but is open to learn. We have been helping him learn about the restored gospel and invited him to church and he came!! The best part though was it was fast and testimony meeting and some of the testimonies really touched his heart. Afterwards, we asked him how he felt and he explained how much he loved one of the testimonies and started tearing up a little. The spirit was super strong and I know he was touched by it. The only bummer is soon he is leaving on a business trip for 2 months...but we are trying to get him progressed as much as possible before that happens!

Other than that we have found quite a few new investigators, but we go through them so fast it´s better to just mention them if they start progressing. I am loving being here with Elder Gayosso. He is a wonderful missionary, companion, and leader, and has taught me a lot:) We have a Zone Training tomorrow and our Zone Conference next Tuesday so we are pretty occupied. It´ll be nice once it´s over though because we don´t have anything else until next transfer:)

Just a couple of scriptures that stood out to me this week in Moroni 7:33

"And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me."

I know with all my heart that we can do anything with the sufficient faith and approval of our savior. Although at times it can be hard and we think we´ll never have enough faith, if we will just 

"awake and arouse (our) faculties, even to an experiment upon (his) words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if (we) can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in (us), even until (we) believe..." (Alma 32:27).

I share this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.
Love you all and thanks for all your love and support!!!

Tostadas!!! Am I Mexican enough yet? XD