Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Week 96

Elder Winn!!!
(He was the missionary who had to go home for back problems and when I was
Zone Leader we made a poster to support him and he got back to the mission field
a couple months ago, he´s one of my District Leaders now and is training!)
Skyping with my family!

¡Feliz navidad a todos! Merry CHRISTmas to all! 😁 I had a wonderful CHRISTmas filled with spiritual lessons, contacts, and much more food and treats than I could handle. The best part of it was reading my family's CHRISTmas letters and talking to them over Skype. I miss them so much and join in with my Mom to say that I can´t wait to spend next CHRISTmas with the whole family including little Quincy (my niece to be born in May 😊)

On CHRISTmas Eve we were able to visit a part-member family who invited us over for their CHRISTmas dinner. They served us pulled pork, green spaghetti (sounds weird, but it´s delicious) and mashed potatoes. Afterwards we shared a message, held a prayer, and took pictures together. What a wonderful way to spend CHRISTmas eve sharing the gospel!

Christmas Eve with the Bautista family!

On Friday, we had our mission CHRISTmas get-together, where we sang hymns, President and Sister Maucotel shared messages, and we took pictures. I loved their messages, which focused not only on the fact that CHRISTmas is about the birth of CHRIST, but what that really means to us. President Maucotel shared a music video by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir that awed me. You should all watch it. It´s called "Infant Holy, Infant Lowely" and the video shows a man coming out of prison to his family, so beautiful 😊. The correlation it is explaining is how Jesus Christ´s birth and what he did can open the prisons and lets us free, if we let him do such. What joy that brings to my soul to know that with my Savior's help I can be freed from my mistakes and sins, which are many. I love this special season and hope you all were able to enjoy it, but mostly that you were able to remember the CHRIST in CHRISTmas 😀.

Love you all and hope you have an equally swell New Years!!! 

Christmas gifts from mi familia!
CHRISTmas present from Elder Gayosso.
He knows me so well 😋.
Elder Polanco and his new missionary he´s training from
Arizona, Elder Neumeyer. 2 generations of trainers 😄!
President and Sister Maucotel, Elder Sanders and I at the
Mission CHRISTmas get-together 😃.

Elder Sanders and I opening presents, Merry CHRISTmas!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Week 95

Missionary activity with the ward in the flea market, such a success!!

Alright so I can´t believe it´s almost Chirstmas!!! I am both excited and bummed. Excited because I get to Skype my family on Christmas and bummed because this time of the year is my favorite in the mission field since the people are so open and filled with the spirit of Christ like no other period of time, and this is my last time to experience it.

Big news...I have my first AMERICAN companion!!! His name is Elder Sanders from West Jordan Utah and he has about 13 months on the mission. It´s super weird not having a Mexican companion since that´s all I've had in the mission field. I feel like I´m just in a really long exchange because it´s the only time I would be with another Elder from the USA before now. He´s a really cool guy and super fun to work with. I love his dedication and willingness to work hard, despite the trials. One of which is riding a bike since he´s hardly ever ridden before! He´s working hard though and we are both super sore after these few days biking up and down hills (our area is full of them!)

On Sunday I ran into many of the members I knew so well from the Espigas Ward and it was funny to see their confused faces as they tried to figure out where they recognized me from. Several thought I had already finished the mission 😊. I was bummed to not see the family I taught when in Espigas, but hope they´ll come soon. I miss them!

We worked hard this week in our area despite many obstacles, including 2 trips back to the offices and Mission Leadership Council on Thursday. That meeting was probably my favorite yet since it was super spiritual and a little more close and personal since before there used to be like 26-30 present and now it was only 10 Zone Leaders, 4 Sister Leaders, 2 assistants and President and Sister Maucotel. That´s only 18. I enjoyed it though. 

On Friday we have our mission Christmas get together and I´ll be able to see many of the missionaries I adore, like elder Polanco and his new trainee (who´s also from the USA).

Saying goodbye to a wonderful family and a great man.
Familia Abrego.

I had a cool experience finding from a referral given in the internet yesterday. We found a Sister who´s daughter is an active member and sent the referral to talk to her. We showed up on Sunday and turned out that the whole family was there, including 3 members of the church! We taught 5 non-members and all 5 accepted baptismal dates thanks to the help of the members explaining their conversions and testimonies 😃. There were many other great experiences and I wish I could tell them all. I love the mission and can´t wait to talk about it when I get home 😄. Thanks for all your love and support. Have a wonderful week and a Merry CHRISTmas everyone  ðŸ˜€. Oh and a Happy New Year too!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Week 94

One of the posters we printed out and placed all over town!!

I have some CRAZY NEWS!!! Yesterday President Maucotel called me in the evening and asked me "are you sitting down or standing up?" and I replied "standing up, why?" to which he responded "well you might want to sit down after I tell you the revelation we received for your transfer" and I was thinking what the heck is going on....when he told me " we are sending you to Cadereyta!" Not only that but "you are going to moved up to Zone Leader 1 again and are going to train a new Zone Leader for your last full transfer in the mission field. How`s that for unexpected?" Yeah I was stunned to say the least...but excited too! I`m headed back to the countryside in good ol`Cadereyta and with a bike again!😊

It`s going to be a challenge taking on this calling, especially since the Zone`s have grown, as there are only 5 Zones in the mission now and that means I am going to be in charge of like 30 missionaries in a wide-stretched area. The good news is it`ll keep me preoccupied for the next 7 weeks, that`s for sure!!

Other big news is the missionary I trained, Elder Polanco, is going to remain here in this Ward as a new trainer!! I`m so happy for him and I know he`s going to do great. 😄

On Saturday we had a big activity in a flea market that is in the main street close to the Chapel every Saturday evening. We struggled a little to get everything together since many members offered to help, but we had to gather everything together. In the end, it turned out even better than I had hoped!! We had a large speaker where we played Christmas music, gave out hot chocolate (yes it got super cold that night thank goodness because no one wants hot chocolate when it`s hot) and two sisters and many young men/women accompanied us for a couple hours where we gave out cards to announce the #ILUMINAelMUNDO video, missionary pamphlets, and gift wrapped Books of Mormon that the young men/woman and other members helped wrap and write their testimonies with a few favorite scriptures in them. We gave out over 50!!! It was a huge success and I have faith that many will be influenced by what we shared. 😊

An example of the Books of Mormon we gifted Saturday, the people loved it!

As far as our investigators, the Lopez Mendoza Family didn't make it to church again, which was a bummer, but we were happy to see that the Grandpa of the baby that was blessed last week was there with two of his granddaughters. 😃

I heard Ethan Stokes is going on a mission! Good job Ethan!! I can`t wait to hear where you are to serve!!! I definitely plan on seeing you before you leave, man. 😁 

I was super impressed with my family's song they sang in the Christmas concert and will sing on Christmas day. Be sure to make it to sacrament meeting that day to hear!! Anyways love you all, thanks for everything!!

Week 93

(See pictures below.)

Well, it`s DECEMBER already! That means it`s that special time of the year when Christ`s spirit fills the Earth and the people are desirous to learn of Him!! The Church know`s that and has put out a new campaign to help spread the gospel called #ILUMINAelMUNDO or #LIGHTtheWORLD, which is a call to follow in Christ`s footsteps in service to our fellow men. I invite you all to go to mormon.org and watch the video as well as to download the app to find out how to give service in 25 ways in 25 days this Christmas season.😀 Let`s LIGHTtheWORLD everyone!! 😃

My companion and I have already had many wonderful experiences sharing this call to serve, including with our investigators who are participating as well. Also this Saturday we are going to do an event in a flea market to spread the message, giving out free hot chocolate and we are going to wrap Books of Mormon on Wednesday with the young men/women with testimonies written inside to give out as gifts! We are super excited and hope to see miracles through this campaign.

Yesterday we had a part-member family at church who had their new baby blessed and given a name! The father, Kevin, (I know funny right, even in Mexico the famous Lightheart name exists 😋) isn`t a member but came to accompany his wife, father-in-law, and niece who are members. It was a very special sacrament/baby blessing/fast and testimony meeting for sure. 😊

The Lopez Mendoza family didn't make it to church even though they promised they would...but we invited them to the Christmas Devotional in the afternoon and Tania and Casandra made it! It`s progress since now two of them are familiar with the church building. 😄

I`d just like the share the two scriptures used in the campaign and invite you to join in.

"I am the LIGHT of the world." John 8:12
"Ye are the LIGHT of the world" Matthew 5:14

Let us let that light shine before men and no longer hide it under a bushel #LIGHTtheWORLD!!!

Two new pamphlets to help teach lesson 5 about laws and ordinances,
as well as a booklet to help missionaries use technology wisely and safely!!
These are great tools and although our mission doesn't use much technology,
I feel it`s teachings will definitely help me
after the mission when technology abides once again

To prove that I am more Mexican than my companion, let`s compare our average breakfasts....tostadas with beans, lettuce and salsa, jugo de piña...vs....
sugar cereal....YOU DECIDE haha!! 😁