Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 88

VIVA MEXICO Mexican flag at the temple:)

This week was a little bit of a struggle as I started back to working as many proselyting hours as possible and after a couple days I was super sore and tired. As the week went on, I have slowly gotten back into the rhythm and I hope to be able to keep a full schedule this week, if all goes well!

I had my bi-transfer interview with President Maucotel, which was a very enlightening experience. I felt truly loved and respected and was able to ask for his counsel as to what I can do for him and the Lord. He told me to prepare my companion to train when he finishes his training since there will be many new missionaries coming in and he feels Elder Polanco could be one of the prospective just finishing training trainers. I accepted and promised to do my best and that I will. This will mostly involve making sure he takes enough lead in the work to learn by personal experience. Elder Polanco is a wonderful missionary and I have confidence he will train like a champ if called upon :)

This week, we had many cool experiences, but one of my favorites was when looking for a young adult in the ward who's less active. We ended up meeting a young man named Irving and his girlfriend Nirira. Irvin told us to come on in and although he had just got back from training, he dropped everything, called a boy from the street to fetch a water bottle from the store and sat us in the living room. The boy quickly returned and Irving served us a fresh cold glass of water and his full attention. I thought Irving was the young man on the list, but we soon realized it must be his older brother we meant to find and Irving isn't a member of the church. We then had the most amazing lesson where the spirit was clearly present and moved upon these two young children of God. They both showed desires to repent and be baptized and were very truthful and sincere in their responses. I was so happy to have been guided by the spirit to find these two amazing people and we hope to see them learn and grow. They are around 18 years old with many dreams and desires that I know will we made possible through the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ :D

The weeks are zooming by! Next week marks a new transfer, halfway done with the training of Elder Polanco :O I am just happy to be here in the moment and hope to be the best companion, trainer, District Leader, and preacher possible. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful Halloween and week! TRIG or TREAT (shout out to the coolest Mom ever, you know who you are ;)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 87

These cards rock for making towers. This is the best one I've ever made! :D

This week was a little frustrating for me, not being able to give my all due to recovering from the minor surgery I had, but I will be seeing my doctor later today and hopefully I will be given the okay to get out more. I do feel a heck of a lot better than last week though, so I'm very hopeful. It never was too painful, but I got really sore easily and tired out quickly, which kept me from being able to work long hours.

I was able to get a lot of studying in though, which was a blessing, for sure. I spent much of my time reading the Book of Mormon and was able to see many stories of valiant warriors and missionaries suffering major afflictions, but never giving up and always trusting in the Lord with patience, as those of the people of Nephi in the days of Alma and his son Alma the Younger. One of my favorite scriptures I came across again was,

Alma 1:25 "Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith; nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and they bore with patience the persecution which was heaped upon them."

The Book of Mormon really does strengthen us in our afflictions as well as bring answers to our prayers. I have come to have a greater love for it through my studies and experiences and I know it will happen for ALL those who read it diligently with faith in the Lord.

With the little time we could get out to proselyte, we focused on a part-member family, the Sanchez Rodriguez Family. The mother, Juanita, is the only member in her family and we started teaching her husband. He has listened respectfully and asked some very interesting questions like why would the Lord command Nephi to kill Laban if he commands us that thou shalt not kill in the ten commandments. We helped him find the answer by directing him to 1 Nephi 4 and left him the homework to study it out and pray for guidance to discover the answer for himself. Also we were able to give them service by painting their living room walls. How fun!

I can't wait to be able to work more and more as I get my strength back this week! Love you all and thank you for your prayers and support, have a wonderful week!!

My little district at the Temple last week! (Top left to right Elder Cortez, Elder Rincon,
Elder Cerna, Elder Cornejo. Bottom left to right Elder Lightheart, Elder Polanco)

I taught the other missionaries in our ward how to play Wizard!
(We call it El MAGO in Spanish.) It's a little harder without wizard cards,
but I tried it with Aces like wizards and 2's like jokers and they loved it!
I won naturally :P

Oat+hot dog burgers! Looks nasty, but tasted great!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Weeks 85 & 86

Temple for the second to last time :,) With Elder Polanco ...
...and my Zone :)

Week 86

Well, it has been probably the longest week on the mission thus far!! So, I had another stay at the hospital. What happened is, I had been having some problems bugging me that weren't serious so I dealt with it, but finally my doctor said I should come in and get it checked out at the hospital. Thus, the third (and hopefully the last) visit to Doctors Hospital commenced last Tuesday. I don't think you want to know the details, but I needed to have a minor surgical procedure. It went well and I left the hospital on Thursday and have been resting as much as possible. The doctor said it was caused to too much walking in the hot sun and a variance of food styles. So I need to be extra careful I guess and not work myself too hard anymore...which will be hard since it´s instinct.

Funny story: Another missionary had contacted me before I went to the hospital to ask me some advice because I had a reputation of being the "hospital" guy, due to all my hospital stays here. He wanted to know what to expect, what to pack, that kind of thing. Then, I ran into him later at the hospital. He was slightly surprised to see me in the hospital - again!
Doctor´s Hospital round 3!

 The Temple was awesome and I've been preparing all week and trying to "study it out in my mind", about an important life decision. I didn't receive any great revelation or anything, but I did receive a gentle confirmation that tells me what I had thought out is correct. The decision was whether to enter BYU in the Spring or Summer term and I decided on Summer, to be able to better plan and prepare as well as work and save money. (Note from Mom: and to spend more time with the family before leaving for college.) This was my decision in part because of a scripture I found in Mosiah 4:27, which tells us we shouldn't run faster than we have strength and do all things in order. 

Sorry I didn't have much time to write, the bus took forever after the Temple and we got back late. Have a great week, love you all!!

Week 85

Second week in the Pedregal Ward and I am truly loving this area and spending time with my companion Elder Polanco. He's the best companion I could ever ask for :). This week it finally cooled down a little bit and even rained some, but it still gets hot at night, so it's a good thing we have air conditioning! We met a ton of new people, including members we hadn't met before and less active members. 

My companion Elder Polanco taught me how to make Oat-Burgers!
I love them and they taste like a hamburger :O

Elder Polanco turned 19 yesterday and the members bought him a cake, which was a relief because I tried to ask the other missionaries in our ward to buy a cake, but they forgot to buy one on Saturday and since it was on Sunday I couldn't buy one...I did give him a Minion candy pop I had saved and a new tie :D. He was happy, but told me it was a weird feeling have a birthday on the mission and that it felt almost like a normal day. I remember that feeling, but I'm used to it now. To me it's a blessing living this way because it helps us realize that there are more important things in life than birthdays and holidays sometimes and it´s nice to live as a humble servant of the Lord :). 

We were let down on Sunday when Laura didn't make it to church since she had her baptism interview planned after church. We had a member commit to take her and he passed by for her, but no one came out. We aren't sure what happened, but we will try to find out and motivate her to keep trying! 

We had an amazing experience with Javier and Antonia (two investigators we found on our first day here) when they both accepted a baptismal date for the 20th of November, but what was so amazing was the spirit felt and the power it took on them as they cried for joy :D. I know that the spirit is our true teacher and who brings about such wonderful experiences in my life!

I can't believe how fast time is flying, but I am just happy to be here and will enjoy every minute of it, no matter how many trials come! Thank you all for your love and support and I especially thank my Heavenly Father for this wonderful call he sent me. Have a wonderful week everyone!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 84

Gotta love the first night with a new missionary Campechanas! He loved them!

I´m training again!!!! My new trainee is Elder Polanco, who is from Yucatan, Merida, which is close to Cancun. He is so full of energy and positive about everything, which I am loving. Also, he is super humble and always asking me how he can improve or what he should do that would make it easy to teach him and help him progress faster, unlike me, who was very unpersuasive at the beginning of my mission...Anyways, we are now in the Pedregal Ward, which congregates where I met together with my first Zone while in Apodaca, a chapel on top of a hill. Also our Zone meets together in Bosques de San Miguel, which is where my second Zone met together while in my last 3 transfers in Apodaca! Small world!

New companion Elder Polanco, whom I am training!!

So another crazy experience happened this week. First of all, my new house is great and has AIR CONDITIONING!! I sleep like a baby here! But that came to be my doom when I woke up Saturday morning. I got up to use the bathroom at like 5:30 am and I had heard it raining outside super hard for hours. When I opened our room door I realized that it wasn't rain...the pipe running to the toilet had busted and had been spurting out water for hours!! I followed the water and saw that it had went down the stairs and flooded the downstairs bathroom and part of the kitchen. Luckily Elder Polanco is a great guy and got up with me at 5:30 and we swept, mopped, and bucketed the house dry, which took hours...and then we continued on with our studies and later went to the conference sessions. Needless to say, we were done once we got home that night. An experience neither my companion nor I will forget!

We had many experiences in our area and were able to find people, but no one ended up attending the general conference, but we won´t lose hope! Our most prominent investigator is named Laura Elena, who is the girlfriend of a recent convert named Manuel Delgado. They are both pretty old and it´s super cute that they are in love and wanting to get married, but they want her to get baptized first. We set a baptism date for the 15th of October, but she didn't end up making it to conference, so we might have to extend that date. Let´s hope she can make it to church this week!

Conference was amazing, as always, and I am sad that it was my last one while on the mission. It covered many of the topics we have been focusing on as a mission like repentance, baptism, families, the atonement and much more. I especially liked the talks given by D. Todd Christofferson and Henry B. Eyring, who talked about lifting others up and helping them become as our Father in Heaven wants and knows they can become. I hope to follow their counsel and encourage those I can to lift themselves up through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed the Conference as much as I did, and if you haven´t seen it yet, make time to watch or read at least one talk a day and I promise you that God will bless you more than he ever has and you will be able to see his hand in your lives more abundantly. Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Last morning with Elder Gayosso...gonna miss him!!