Saturday, May 15, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
OK, well I thought about it a little more and it would be cool to have everyone there when I get home off the plane so invite them all! It’ll be fun! It was great talking to you all and realizing how different I talk. Cuz of the Spanish, I talk a lot faster and thanks to forgetting English the words get all crashed up in my mouth and I stutter and try to remember the word... what a mess. I’m sure you all will have a blast listening to me.
Ok well this week I’m gonna do it right. Go out with honor. I’m gonna work for that title of unprofitable servant. In Spanish they use the word “inutil” which means like useless, I like that translation too. Lately I learned an important lesson from the three Nephites. The ward here and a lot of people I know wanted to throw a farewell party for me and I was thinking, “whatever, that’s cool”. But then in the zone leader council we were reading about Christ’s ministry here in the America’s and I read the parts about the three Nephites. All the 12 disciples were incredibly spiritual and powerful men, in fact when Christ was with them in 3 Nephi 28, he asked them what they wanted of him. Nine said that they wished to serve him to the end of their days and then speedily come to Him in His kingdom. Another important lesson is that desire. They wanted to work till the end of their days. They knew they couldn’t take a relax here in this life. We shouldn’t think that because we’ve been serving the Lord that we can take a break. We have to keep working till the end of our days. Completing a mission doesn’t mean I can take the easy road for a year or so like a lot of Elders here think. Ok, but then he turned to the other 3 asked. And it’s interesting what they did. In verse 5 it says that they sorrowed and durst not speak the thing that they desired. Surely this request they had was not a bad thing. They were not asking for anything wrong or selfish. In fact their request was very unselfish and very sacred. They must have been really humble and faithful men. They loved the Lord and desired to be His true disciples and instruments in His hands. Christ read their thoughts and told them " more blessed are ye" hmm more blessed? Why more blessed? They stuck around to see the works of God here in the earth and are still performing in their very special mission. It seems to me that their request was more of an offer than a request. More of a sacrifice than an easy way out. Look at all the things they went through: thrown in furnaces, and with lions, buried in great pits, stoned and thrown in prison etc. Not easy stuff despite their changed state. They continue to this day. The work continues but one of the most important parts for me is this. In verse 25 Mormon says that he was about to write their names but was forbidden of the Lord. Now why would the Lord forbid that? He has a reason for everything He does so what is it? Maybe it’s easier this way. Why would Mormon write down their names? In the scriptures a lot they write names for geneology but this wasn’t the case, Mormon usually didn’t worry too much about geneology unless they were prophets or chief judges. Writing their names down would be in recognition of what they did and are doing. But the humbleness and nobleness of these men is much more. They don’t need that recognition. It’s the blank face, it’s the mantle, the calling and the message not the individual person. What is the most important part here? Their glory is the glory of God and His success in the Work. I wish I could explain better these thoughts and impressions the Spirit has given me on this subject. Anyway, let us all continue in this great work. I hope we can all become worthy of that great title of unprofitable servant by at least doing what He asks of us. Take care, love you all and will see you soon... in fact Saturday.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Hey everyone, still here, late but still here. We had a fun day, finally got permission to go to the famous “centro” and check it out. We went to a huge market of artisan stuff and I bought a lot. Got most of my souvenir shopping done. But it was exhausting. In Mexico shopping means battling over the price a lot. Some times they see that you are white and hike the price up. Some of them even got mad today when they realized I speak better Spanish than they and I told them they were just trying to rip me off. Who are the racist ones? But it was fun. After that we went in the big cathedral and saw a bunch of apostasy. It is a super gloomy feeling there, nothing like a chapel or less the temple. We had some fun encounters with drunks and people are starting to get a little crazy when they learn I’m from Arizona. They say, “Oh so your a racist”. I just say practice what you preach. All my white buddies are saying Arizona is gonna start world war 3. Sounds pretty crazy over there, I just hope they don’t cancel any flights!
This last week was hard. On Wednesday and Thursday we had to return to the house so I could take a quick nap and recover energy to keep going and on Thursday I got sick. In fact I threw up at about 11 at night. To my memory, that’s the first on my mission. A half hour later we got a call from a family in the ward to go to the hospital to give a blessing... there is a R[ecent} C[onvert] family in the church that the mom and the daughter got baptized about 9 months ago but the dad was a very intelligent man and fought with the missionaries over doctrine and never really accepted a lot of things. But he was sick, had a lot of serious ills that the doctors never could really take care of. His name was Abdon and when I knew him for the first time he was bed ridden. I only saw him standing once. We always visited with him and did little passbys. On Monday I was informed that he fell in a slight coma and that they had taken him to the Ticoman Hospital. He had become a dear friend but we couldn’t get time to go see him but visited his daughter in their house Thursday. So on Thursday night when they asked us to come to the hospital even though I was sick we went. He was pretty bad, not very responsive but not in a coma. We gave him a quick blessing and his breathing slowed and he seemed more calm. We left and returned to the house to sleep. They then informed us that he passed away at about 3 am. The next day was hard because we had ZL council. The GA[general authority] didn’t show up cuz he was sick too, but it was good anyway. The next day we had a small service for Abdon with some members and took him to his burial place. I learned many many things from Abdon. I will miss him even though I knew him so little time it seemed like. I’m glad we followed those spiritual impressions to visit with him. Today even though it was p-day we visited with his wife and daughter for a while, it was peaceful and rewarding for me. It’s a good thing they have the gospel. They both are ok and calm with a hope that he will accept the gospel on the other side. I told them that he won’t escape Elder Solomon cuz there´s one over there too, not just that... but a Sister Solomon [London]! The good thing was the last people he wanted to see on his deathbed was his family and the Elders.
We are going to marry some people tomorrow so hopefully we will have some baptisms this week. To end one funny story. We were waiting with Elder Vary and his comp to do an interview one morning (him and his whole district baptized by the way) and we were sitting on a curb by a chapel and we saw a huge pile of pigeons going crazy in a group, obviously fighting over some food. There were a lot. So what is the natural reaction of a boy? Me and Elder Tuft took off towards them and they all took off... spectacular. Then we see and hear some one running towards us yelling. A crazy lady was yelling, “How could you do that?! You guys come from the church and you are scaring God’s creation!!” ...Sorry my halo kinda slipped... by the way I hate when they pull out that church crap when it has nothing to do with anything. So we sat there while she yelled some more and I gave some smart alec responses and Tuft tried to explain us out. After we walked back to Elder Vary and Elder Guttierrez they were laughing and we had a good laugh about it for a while. We then decided not to scare birds cuz if you do the pigeon guard will get ya! Anyway 11 days left... can’t believe it. Ok pray hard, see you soon!
Love you all,
Monday, April 26, 2010
Wow, [we've got] quite the plans [for when I get home]. I was hoping to get home and reelax. haha no! I'm glad Jon [Arnett] is waiting for me; I was worried about not having friends but I'll have to make them all over again. It just keeps sinking in to me little by little that I'm really going home and that this is ending. I only have 2 pdays left!! I've even had a little hard time lately going to sleep, not cuz I'm not tired but cuz I've got a million things going through my heart and mind. This last week was as normal work, I've been trying hard to keep my head out of the water but as I keep telling people, 2 years of this is hard. I fall asleep in lessons and my eyelids are always heavy. I keep telling my comp that I haven’t always been this way, that I used to have a lot of energy. We haven’t had the success desired lately in the area and the zone. I have a district that hasn’t even baptized yet! Please pray for them its Elder Vary and District Arbollilo. Poor Elder Vary; it’s his first change as a district leader and he is trying so hard but is a bit frustrated.
This week will be exciting, we have Zone Leader council which, apart from being my last, will be accompanied by President De Hoyos. The 1st counselor of the Presidency of area Mexico. That’s gonna be intense, with a General Authority up close. There are only 20 Zls, the 2 assistentes and the mission president. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully he doesn’t chew us out too bad. I'm excited to hear some sweet doctrine though.
Other than that I'm out of news. I talked on Sunday and talked of charity and a little about humility. I analyzed the verse in Moroni 7:45. It was a sweet talk and the Bishop asked me to give it 5 minutes before sacrament meeting. Now I'm worried about the homecoming. I'm sure Brighton will leave me like a half hour and I can't talk in English anymore! We'll see how it goes. Ok well that’s all I got. Take care and have a nice week. Love ya!!
Monday, April 19, 2010
What are the plans when I get home and what are we talking about on that Sunday?
Ok. So Elder Lopez finally got his new comp. Its weird seeing newbie’s and thinking about all they have to figure out and go through. But the good thing is the zone is at 100 percent now and we will be going on all gears. I'm praying for a lot of success and my prayers have been heard lately. So when the change started we had very few investigators and the past 2 weeks we have been working pretty hard trying to get some new people. We found some but not the usual golden people I love working with so by the time Sunday came around and we had very few people in sacrament I was a bit out of it, trying to see who we could work on to get baptized at least this next week. I have been praying a lot and pleading for new "Chosen" people but they just weren’t coming around. I've also been praying to be able to work strong to the end and I've been receiving that blessing.
But Sunday, Armando (Brenda’s husband not the other one) and his brother in law Israel came and talked to me and asked what was the plan and the deal with Veronica, Brenda’s mom. She, Veronica, has been coming to church every Sunday since Armando and Brenda got baptized but lives really far away so I never really worked with her. Well, by divine intervention we ate with them. We got there at about 2 and ate with them, Armando, Brenda, Veronica, and Israel and Susana (Veronicas sister and Israel’s wife). So after eating and a cat nap in my chair we started sharing a message and it was all over the place. She asked why we didn’t talk about the virgin and we used that to start talking about what real faith is and went into repentance and baptism and the difference between Catholic baptism and the real baptism. That took us to the message of the restoration. The good thing was that she had been to church so many times she didn’t have a hard time understanding everything. At about 5:30 we were getting ready to wrap it up and Brenda pulled out this precious testimony of all that has happened to her since she got baptized; the prayers that have been answered, etc. It was way cool and then we started talking about some more stuff and Veronica said out of nowhere "I want to gat baptized". It caught me a bit off guard and I started thinking about when. I suggested next Sunday and then Armando and Brenda said the weren’t going to be there and some one suggested the possibility of that same day. After another 5 minutes of " negotiation" it was a done deal. My comp stayed with Armando to do the interview and I ran to the chapel with Israel to start filling the font. The Bishop was a bit bothered but didn’t say anything and we were able to get a few members there. We started at like 9 and I was a simple beautiful service. Elder Tuft and me even sang a special musical number "did you think to pray". He sings really well so it turned out nice. The look on Veronicas face was worth everything as she left. She had been asking for it and so had I.
Sometimes the Lord lets us almost smack right into the wall before saving us. He has such incredible control on everything and really does hear our earnest prayers. He knows exactly what going on. Always. The person that puts his trust in Him will be truly free. I know the Lord was hearing my prayers and her prayers and probably Elder Tufts prayers and her whole family. He waits for the perfect moment to save us, just when he knows we can best learn. I am grateful for His help and to be in His service. There is no greater call and no greater glory than to be at His service. Pray. Trust. Be diligent and patient. That’s my advice. --