Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Week 92

Thanksgiving Family Night Dinner!!

I am beyond contento y feliz (content and happy) because we finally had an investigator at church this week! 😊Her name is Tania, 16 years old, and she is one of the daughters of the Lopez Mendoza Family that I have been talking so much about. Sadly, the rest of her family couldn't be awakened, partly because the whole family celebrated the birthday of the mother, Nelly, at 12 am and continued eating cake, talking, and dancing until like 3 or 4...This family is cool, but they need to learn to plan things through. I mean if you have planned to go to church at 9, don`t stay up so late! You can celebrate after church (although they did that too...) The good news though is they talked about it after Tania got back in the afternoon and decided as a family that they would prepare better and go to church together from now on 😊.

Also something amazing that happened this week was a Family Night/ Thanksgiving Dinner πŸ˜‹. A family in our ward, who we are really close friends with, the Abrego Family, have lived in and out of Texas and so they know about Thanksgiving. I mentioned that it was coming up and asked if we could have a family night with their neighbors we are teaching that day. They agreed and we started making the plans in which I helped explain how to do a Thanksgiving dinner and they invited their neighbors. My companion and I promised to make apple pie for the dinner and so on Thursday morning we went over to their house to bake it. We used a mixture of suggestions from people we talked to in the store while buying the pans, a recipe from the internet and a how-to video on making one. It turned out great in appearance, but the only problem was it wouldn`t hold together when served and was more of an apple crisp 😏. The Thanksgiving Family Home Evening was a success as both families loved it and we all were filled. They even bought a turkey 😁.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Week 91

To start I`d like to update everyone on the Lopez Mendoza Family, who are learning and changing more every time we pass by to visit them. They didn't make it to church this week, due to problems getting to bed on time, but they are excited to try again next week and we won`t give up on them! We taught them about the Atonement and Baptism this week and showed them a video called Recovery, which talks about a garbage dump in Idaho that was converted into an Airport and a community park. It`s given to relate to our sins, which can be cleansed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, but often those sins come back to haunt us and make us feel weak and unworthy. We shouldn't let our past sins cause us to feel unworthy when we've truly repented. That`s Satan's influence discouraging us. They loved the idea, especially the father, Roberto, since he has made many deep mistakes and sins against his own family, but has the desire to turn his life around. I have faith this family will one day be made whole again thanks to the Atonement and will be happy as ever :)

Also this week my companion and I went to a dermatologist to have him checked. It was a clinic called Skin Group which specializes in skin and is found in San Pedro, close to where President Maucotel lives, in the other Mission. Wow that part of Monterrey is super fancy and modern!! The doctor examined my companion`s rashes and came to the conclusion that he has what`s called "Scabies", an infestation of the human itch mite. Luckily it`s fairly easy to treat, but does require a little bit of work. We had to go home and clean everything, especially our mattresses, sheets, and clothes and he has to apply various creams and a pair of medications as well. He has already improved greatly these past few days and is now able to sleep better and focus more during the day, not that he doesn't have the itching anymore. It took a while for us to figure out what he had after seeking medical help from several doctors, so it was a blessing to be given permission to go to a real skin professional who quickly discovered the culprit. Good story for him to tell his family :P.

Cleaning out the house of the "Scabies" infection, fun :D

Other than that, soon we will have our Zone Conference and also, I don`t know if I mentioned this, but this transfer was shortened a week due to Christmas and so it will be only 5 weeks and the next transfer will we 7 weeks and end on January 30. In my last interview, I talked with President Maucotel about my going away date and asked if I could have it extended 2 weeks, since I would be two weeks short of 2 years. He loved the idea, but has to confirm with Salt Lake. I`ll let you all know when I have more details. Don`t worry about it too much, either way it`s coming quick! Love you all and thanks for the Love and Support:)

A neighbor gave us "carne asada"! So I made a yummy
 steak, hot dog, egg, and corn blend, yum!!

Week 90

This week we had many wonderful experiences with families we are teaching and people we find and I`d like to share a couple experiences. First we were given a reference by a member named Sister Beltran who`s son is less active, but about a year ago had accompanied the missionaries to give a friend of his a lesson. She said she never heard what ended of the young man named Angel Ramirez and it would be nice to visit him ourselves to find out. We struggled to find the address for some reason, but the Lord has his plans. Only when we were accompanied by an ex-missionary named Moroni we "magically" (when I say magically I mean were led by the Spirit) ran into his street, long searched before, and also Angel just so happened to be home (which is rare since he studies and works all the time). I know there were no coincidences in this encounter as the Spirit led our lesson and moved upon Angel to accept baptism and even put a personal goal for a baptism in January! He`s just about to turn 20 and wants to turn his life around because he dropped out of school for a while and was a little lost, but now he just got back into school at a college and has high ambitions:)

The next experience is of a family I think I mentioned before, the Lopez Mendoza Family. We had a struggle and test when we were let down for the highly anticipated family night on Tuesday where we had planned a member family to accompany us and everything, but upon arrival, no one answered the door, although the lights were on and we heard voices... Discouraged but diligent, we decided to try again the next night on Wednesday and this time had better luck, but only found the father and his daughter Tania (16) home. We had a nice lesson with them two, but in contrast to the family night we had planned and hopes to teach all 7 of them, it was hard to be filled with the same enthusiasm. They agreed to come to conference and said we could find all 7 of them on Sunday night. So we continued with our week. until Saturday night we were close by and decided to stop by to remind them of the conference on Sunday. We were welcomed in by the mother and here 5 kids this time and they gave us hot chocolate and hamburgers (I know weird combination). We had a very open conversation with them about their family and they expressed their struggles as the father of the family has never been there for them in their lives and the oldest daughter, Cassandra, filled his role as father. Their father, Roberto, has always had a drinking problem, but has a high paying job, which has allowed him to lose himself in the pleasures of the world and only be with the family when it`s convenient to him. He recently came back to them asking forgiveness and they are trying to forgive, but it`s hard after so many years of neglect. We explained to them that his sincere desire, we could feel in our first lesson with him, shows us that he can change, if he lets the Gospel of Jesus Christ work upon him. Also the son Roberto Jr. (19) asked if he could serve a mission too because he wants to learn English. I love it when that happens! They didn't make it to conference yesterday, but we visited them in the evening and they are still very excited to know more and will strive to make it next week. Also the father arrived mid-lesson and we tried our best to incorporate him in the conversation, in hopes to bring the family together. We have been teaching the Plan of Salvation and watched a video on it with them, which they loved, and they are learning so fast. I know God has chosen this family and we were blessed to be led to them while contacting one night. I love the mission and hope to continue to have experiences like this in the time I have left.

The weather is sooo nice lately, with cloudy skies and cool nights (finally!) I love the cold! Have a wonderful week everyone, love you all!:)

The Temple, when we arrived super early last time I went :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Week 89

My favorite secretary (sorry other secretaries, Elder Clark lived through my Zone Leader days serving and will always be my favorite :P) what a Missionary! Love ya Elder :D

It felt GREAT to be able to work the full week with little complications! We had tons of wonderful experiences with many different people and families. First of all, we had a Family Night with the Aguirre Family, in which the Abrego Family who live next to them accompanied us. It was super fun and their son Luis has a very special interest that I feel will be the determining factor of their conversion as a family. He is the only one who read the homework we left them and explained it to us and even asked to say the prayer :) At the end of the lesson, we played Colored Pencils (Spoons, but with colored pencils :P), which the kids loved, and in fact we had to leave after one round, but the parents told us they kept playing for hours after we left! Oh how I miss board game nights with my own family, but it gives me even greater satisfaction sharing that special time with another family and teach them they can have fun together!

We also were guided by the Spirit to find 2 new families this week. First, we met two young woman who seemed fairly interested, but on the second visit they weren't there. After a few days more, my companion insisted we go by again and this time we found the whole family of 7 together (which they say is a miracle in of itself to find them all at once) and taught one of my favorite lessons of my mission. The father of the Lopez Mendosa Family, Roberto, expressed his concerns that the family isn't ever together and they don`t listen to him. The kids explained the same desire to be more united as a family, but that they felt their dad needs to be more tolerant of their differences and patient, since he is easily provoked into anger and yelling. We explained how the Gospel blesses families and can help them be more united and loving towards one another. They were very hopeful and happy we passed by and said it can`t be a coincidence. We also explained what a Family Night is and asked if we could have one with them and they accepted for this Tuesday. We have the perfect family already lined up to accompany us so it should be great!

The other Family, Ricardo, his wife, and two kids, Evaline (9) and Damian (5) we found while looking for a reference received from the internet. We couldn't find a street so we stopped to ask someone for help. They told us where it`s at and we invited them to receive a lesson as well and they accepted, so we did a short lesson outside, in which they got their kids to come out to hear. Then yesterday, we visited them again and this time they invited us into their house and we got to know them better. Ricardo was very straightforward that he has a drinking problem, but wants to quit since his kids tell him to often. He was humble enough to accept that he hasn't been able to give it up and needs help. We promised him if he does the simple things we invite him to do, he will be able to not only give up alcohol, but change his life completely. The wife and kids were thrilled to have this discussion and Evaline said the last prayer. What a little angel she is :)

Needless to say, we've been super busy and will hopefully stay that way. This weekend, we had our Stake Conference, which was also amazing, and I wish I had time to talk about it. Next week we will be having a multi-stake broadcast, which should be good, and in a couple weeks there`s a transmission by Elder Holland on How to Teach as the Savior did. It actually already happened, but was postponed to be shown here because of the conference. 

I'm so happy to be in the Lord's service and to have so much love and support. Have an amazing week everyone :D 

APPLE SANDWICH - yes that`s a thing :)

Card Bridge! Fun times :)