Monday, May 25, 2015

No Hay Luz, No Hay Luz

(the title is sung to the tune of Por Su Luz)

We haven't had electricity in our apartment for four days now.  All our food that was in the fridge is spoiled, and just yesterday i got a "candle" to work. (a glass dish, with a napkin in oil) I had been working with some rubbing alcohol to try and make a lamp or something, but it kept flaming out. Yesterday I remembered the scriptures and the parable of the ten virgins. They used oil in their lamps! That, boys and girls is the reason for reading the scriptures. ;) 

Disclaimer: That was sarcasm. The scriptures are a vital tool in our learning here on the earth, for spiritual things.  (and for making lamps and strategems for wars and such ;)

Since we don't have electricity, on the second day we ran out of water, because the pump wasn't working. On the third day we showered with buckets manually scooped from the place where the apartment holds water. And yes, it was cold.

We have a new investigator, who was raised a Jehovah´s Witness. There are only really two obstacles there. One: Jehovah´s Witnesses don't believe in revelation. Yeah, it's kind of a big obstacle, but since he was only raised Testigo de Jehova, he was able to think past that. Two: that Jehova is God our Heavenly Father, not Jesus Christ. That one is harder to overcome. But he is progressing well and is married to a member. We hope to baptize him within this cycle (4 weeks left in this cycle). 

The work is a bit slow for us right now because we aren't getting very many new investigators that progress. (They have one lesson with us then never answer the door after that, or are always busy)

(Mom comment:  How was your week?)
It was good except for losing my food that was in the fridge. I lost my yogurt which I don't usually buy because I don't have enough money.  And the work is a bit slow right now because we don't really have many investigators to fill our schedule with.  We have citas but we don't have anyone to visit when we don't have citas. I have moments when I think, "Wow, I'm understanding Spanish not just translating it to English."


This week we visited Hermana Esperanza and she pretty much talked the whole time.  She talked about how the Lord gives her everything. She really has a perfect faith and hope of God. She has just enough money to pay for her food and other necessities. She knows that it all comes from God, and that all the thanks goes to Him. She also talked about how the Lord has taken care of her through the many doctors that have given free service. And I mean MANY. She just kept talking about this doctor that gave her free service, and that doctor. And she also has a great understanding of God's plan for her and that soon He will say it's time, and she will go. and she has no fear but only hope.

We had an investigator that we found this week in the church building. We'll see how it turns out.  This week has been a bit slow for lack of appointments.  We now are the only set of missionaries in our building because the other set of elders do not like to obey rules and don't think at all before they act. They bothered the land lady too much and she called the president of our mission, and now they are gone. Life will be a bit more peaceful in our apartment now. 

I will send a pic of the bread recipe next week.  Also we made flan. it was more thick than normal but was good.

You sent the email just in time.  I was about to log off.  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BECCA!!!!  I ate some flan for your birthday.

1 Cycle Down

Last week a metro went off the rails about 6 stations away from us. I think 17 people were injured and none dead. It was a little stressful because we had just left another companionship who took that line back to their area. We called them, and they didn't even know about it.

So Cinco de Mayo. Yeah, nothing happened. But Mother's Day, they celebrate. Like big parties, and less people come to church. It was really nice to call home. Everybody asked if I cried. What am I? Human? I'm a robot. jk but it's only been three months.  I'm sure I could for Christmas.

Sunday I baptized Ariadne, and her mom, Adriana, was baptized by her brother (Ariadne's uncle). It was cool to do it. I was nervous I would mess it up because it was in Spanish, but it was fine. It was kind of weird to find them, because we found them in the sacrament meeting. We kinda just thought they were members and then Oscar (the uncle) said to us, "Hey, you guys should teach my sister and niece." One thing lead to another and they got baptized.

Exchanges were yesterday. (One cycle down (a cycle is six weeks))  In our zone, we lost Hemana Lovell and Elder Hernandez to the outside world, and Elder Rodriguez and Perez and Hermana Jones to different zones. We got Hermanas: Young and Chavez and Elders: Valencia and the cousin of Elder Medina.

Earlier in the week Elder Lopez came into our apartment and said we need to take out your couch. OK... they threw it away.  What?!  We don't know why.  We were sad for the whole week, everytime we came in and saw that our couch was not there. Good news: we got a new couch because a member was throwing out theirs. The new one looks cooler but is a bit smaller. But we have a couch :)

This week I baked bread in the microwave. I was suprised it worked. No, I didn't just think, "Hmmm, I wonder if this will work."  We got some recipes from Hermana Adriana.

My first Baptism. The Family Urgel.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Zocalo on May the Fourth

Last week on Pday, (mom comment: 1 day a week they have time to write emails, do laundry and maybe spend a little free time playing) we went to Zocalo.  Zocalo is like the historical center of Mexico City.  We took a turibus and saw historical buildings, monuments, cathedrals. I saw about 8 times as many white people as the rest of the time in my mission. (32)  After the bus we went inside the big cathedral. It was weird and interesting. We met some members in the cathedral from Utah; it was funny because the father came up to us and asked, "Do you want to confess anything?" and we were like, "Um thanks but we have been pardoned from our sins."  Then he introduced himself and his family.
On the way back in the metro we stopped for ice cream and when we went to pay, someone stepped in front and paid for us and walked away. We looked at each other and then went to catch up with them and ask if they were members. They were and we asked where they were going, then we said we were going the same way. They replied, "No you have to take line C to observatorio, not B to Quatro Caminos."  It's interesting how the Spirit works, because if they were not to think, "Let's pay for the elders' icecream," we wouldn´t have known we were going the wrong way.

That isn't the first time we have been paid for. Once in a tortilleria and once in a ciber (internet cafe) the owner didn't have us pay. And then there was the time God paid for us. We were on our way to the Centro para Visitantes (visitors center for the temple) and I found a 20 peso bill. At the end of the day we had 2 pesos left from the taxis and metro costs. He knew that we didn't have enough and He gave us just enough. And yes Billy, Jesus did pay for our sins, so we can live with Heavenly Father and our families again.

Our second person that committed to baptism was unexpected. We went to teach the Plan of Salvation as a first lesson to one of our contacts on the street. Turns out she has a brother who is a member and half way through the lesson I knew she was ready and I was going to ask her to be baptized.

I hate mosquitos. I don't know how they get in my shoes but they do.

I went on splits with Elder Te the other day. What? Two new Elders with less than a month, teaching and being in Mexico speaking Spanish. But it made me think I have been living in Mexico for a month, speaking Spanish, and I can do it. 

We realized that the reason we are in this area is to correct the previous elders' mistakes. It sounds kinda harsh but it's true. They were teaching to baptism, not for baptism. Like they said, to learn more about Joseph Smith you have to get baptized. WHAT?! It's crazy, and we are trying to correct it.

It's amazing how people trust us. People confess their sins and tell us their deepest problems, sometimes even in the first time we talk with them. We are two young guys, and people trust us because people see us and recognize us as representatives of Christ, and ministers of God. I still think of myself as Ryan.

Elder Hernandez and an art museum

​View of the city from our apartment 

​This is the scene of the opening of the new James Bond movie that will be coming out. In the back is the cathedral we visited. Inside it was very big and had tall ceilings, very spacious. 

I wanted Reeses Puffs so I put peanut butter on Cocoa Puffs. It was better than Reeses Puffs.

Oh and May the Fourth be with you! In Spanish: ¡Que la fuerza los acompaƱe!

For the baptisms, one is a long time investigator and the other three we have taught for less than 3 lessons. The long time investigator is slightly confused so I think that's what took her so long.  We just helped her understand baptism is the only way to return to live with God. The other three were just prepared to hear the gospel.

The family we will be with on Mother's Day just really likes the missionaries and so we eat with them a lot, and have Family Home evening with them.


Sending me photos by mail sounds good and I'll hope it gets here. It's weird to think about Zak, Graham, Cody and Max already coming home. In no time it will be me.

Yeah we had a baptismal date set last week and now we have four. YAY!  (Mom comment:  Wow, he must be in Mexico.)

(Mom sent a letter about the parable of the sower, Matthew 13)
Exactly. We here are the sowers and we just throw as many seeds as we can, those seeds are faith, and we can only give so much fertilizer, and even with that the soil could still be hard.

Yes, enjoying the gym. We try to go every day but sometimes we want to sleep. There is a companionship in our zone of sisters but for one of them it is her last cycle, so either we will get a new sister or lose one. (Mom comment: Every 6 weeks is a cycle.  Then some elders and sisters are transferred to new areas to work.)