Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Land of the Lamanites March 21, 2016

This week went by so fast. I don't even know what happened. These days have gone better than the other weeks have gone. Now I think we are going to have some investigators that will progress.

Just want to share the Easter video this year. www.mormon.org/easter This video, like always, is really a great video. It talks about how we can find new life. Through Jesus, we can find happier life, and we can find ourselves with our loved ones again. It's great to know of this hope we can have. D&C 18:11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.

Today we went to the ruins of Tlatelolco again. This time we had a tour of the archeological site. It's so much better with a guide, instead of just looking at the things.  We talked about the Mexica story and this time we talked more about how it connects with the Book of Mormon. We all learned on this trip, the guide and us. At the end of the tour, we gave our guide a Book of Mormon.  It was cool because we also talked about why we are here in Mexico City.

Some photo art. It's a little weird, but you guys know me...

Oh and this is my companion, Elder Cadena.

​Since it was the spring equinox, there was a celebratory ritual dance, and it was pretty cool. And then some of the other dancers came up behind us and one of them said, "I am a Lamanite" (the one with the yellow shield). We took a picture with him, but Elder Villanueva hasn't passed it to me yet. He is a member from a ward close to us, but I'm not sure where.

March 14, 2016

Woo. This week. Well, I don't know how some people write so much about their week.  We are definitely working a lot more in the area now. It really helps when your companion wants to work. This week we had 62 lessons. Only 15 were with investigators, but I hope that many of the people we taught will soon be investigators.

Always be prepared. Some time ago I lost my chapstick. As i thought that it would soon be the rainy season, I thought I wouldn't need it for some time. You were wrong, buddy!  This week there was a freak wind storm. A warm air mass and a cold air mass collided and caused a Santa Ana winds type of winds (except it wasn't warm) but since that isn't common here, it caused quite a bit of damage.. to trees, buildings, and my lips. My lips look like a dry lake bed, so remember, be prepared.  Becca would have been prepared.. with her seven chapsticks.

I don't know what more to write. I could write all the responses we get when we try to talk to people. Some are pretty funny. Most of them are: We are catholic./! or some just: no... no. others like: Nobody is home.(answering the door)  or:  The Señora isn't home.  (literal translation is Mrs, but it sounded weird) and others. It's funny that now I don't get sad at rejections. I kind of laugh at their responses.

Oh and I miss bagels. I tried to find some today, but I just couldn't find any.

It's already March?! March 7, 2016

Happy birthdays! TO Connor and Ethan! and also to Mom and Dad. I realize that I didn't say it in my emails, but I thought about it. Happy Birthday!

The other day we talked with a preacher´s daughter. She said, "I thought when you knocked, 'Father, should I go talk to them?'" and she talked with us. She talked a lot with us, asking us questions but just saying why what we said wasn't true. This kind of thing happens quite frequently, that someone says, I'm open to what you have to say, but then don't accept anything new. But she is open to the spirit, so I just hope she can feel the spirit when she reads the Book of Mormon. When we got home after talking to her, my companion said, "Do you know what? This kind of thing doesn't make me doubt what I'm teaching. It actually makes my testimony stronger, that the Book of Mormon is true, and we have a prophet in these days that is our guide from God." And we had a little testimony meeting thing just talking about stuff that we know is true.

I'm excited for the Easter video this year. It will be on followhim.mormon.org  Right now it still has the video from last year if you haven't seen it, but next week it will have the new one. It is an excellent video to watch with family, and to share.

Just want to say that I love you all!  And so does your Father in Heaven. Trust in Him. He knows what is best even though we may not see the reasons. Ask Him if the church is true, even if you've already done it. The Christian lady we talked to asked us to ask God if we were doing the right thing. I thought, 'Do you know how many times I have done that? but ok, I'll do it again.' The more we ask, search, ponder, and pray, the more the spirit will confirm it. 

Hi March 2, 2016


This week we had transfers. I am still in Joyas, but now I am with Elder Cadena from Colombia. We´ll see how it goes. I haven't seen much progress in this area, but I'm here to learn something at least. 

What is it with people hitting me on the head? The other day we were walking down the street, and an old guy comes up to shake my hand, then switch grip, fist bump, tap up, down, side, side, fist bump, and backwards handshake thing. Then hits me on my forehead "for good luck." OK.

27 February 2016 04:20 hours

*Crash rumble* I jolt awake, heart pounding. Was there an earthquake? "Earthquake?" I ask? "No, look at the window."  I dont see anything, looking for movement. "What?" "Look at the window." I look closer for something...  then a cat pokes his head through the curtains. "Ahhh!" I shoo it away.  Freaking cat, trying to sleep with me, without even going on a date first.

Now a little poem: 

The Book is Blue
The Church is true
If you were a Pokemon
I would choose you.

Tenga una buena semana y que puede tener la guía de Dios.

We ate ribs for Elder Lopez´ BIrthday. like 5 dollars.  I get jealous when you guys send nature pictures, so I send Food pictures.

Hows that for a mug?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

One Man, One City, One Year

This week we had a zone conference and, like always, I liked it. We talked about the Missionary Conference: Teach repentance, and baptize converts, and also about the Sacrament. One thing was about how investigators shouldn't take the sacrament. But not just saying in the sacrament meeting, oh, you can't take that because you aren't a member. But that we need to explain that the sacrament is a renewing of the covenants we make at baptism, and being that they haven't made those covenants, they shouldn't take the sacrament. That way investigators understand that it's not just a thing we do, not just a snack, but that it is something very important that we do to keep ourselves clean before the eyes of God.

Then there is the big news. I AM ONE YEAR OLD.  In the mission that is.   I don't really know what more to say about it. I had my first and last Valentine's Day in the mission. 

Speaking of Valentine's Day... These are the Tlatelolco Lovers.  We went to the Ruins of Tlatelolco today. These bones were found hugging, one is male, the other female.

The Ruins

The Potato Came to Mexico

Okay, I sent this last week, but it didn't get to people apparently.  So I'm sending it again.

This week was interesting. El Papa (the Pope, or literally in english, the potato) came to Mexico City.  It's really something that a lot of people were asking, "and what do you think about the Pope coming here?"  I never really gave my true answer, but depending on the person I said, "It's cool," or I said, "Well, it's just like a celebrity coming to the city to me.  But really his visit was scripted and hypocritical.  One of the things he said this time was, "el mas intimo deseo es saludar la morenita" meaning his greatest desire was to see the Virgin Guadalupe. One of the times he has spoken in the Vatican, he has talked about how the Virgin of Guadalupe is fake, and who is not a person we should worship, but only God. I personally think that Pope Francis is a really good person, but how he can get paid to say these things, I don't know.

This week Martin accepted a baptismal date! We are seeing the fruits of the promise we received that if we brought people to the Visitors Center, they will get baptized.  We were talking to him about how he can receive an answer to his prayer if the Book of Mormon is true. Then he asked, "Could it be like if I feel those feelings (referring to the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians) while I'm reading the Book of Mormon?"   "Yes. Yes, it could." "Okay, what do I need to do now that I know it's true?" *cue baptismal invitation* He will get baptized March 20th if all goes well. I've always wanted a response like that and finally I got it.

Now for the weird story of the week. So it's very common to see drunk and/or high people in the street, and commonly act weird and talk to us. The other day we saw a drunk guy that we didn't recognize. When he sees us he stops in his path and salutes us. My companion says, "We aren't generals, why is he saluting us?" I jokingly respond, "He recognizes our authority."  We keep walking. Later in the day, we see him again, and this time he bows. OK, weird. Even later in the day he was with a group of drunk people, one of which we have talked with before, and she says," Gûero, come here" (Gûero is the name I heard said a lot, it means white person.)  So we go and talk to them, and they ask for a prayer. So I pray, asking for blessings and strength. It is sad talking with drunk people because they want to leave these things, but they don't know how. One of them started crying and I gave him a hug. Then we kept walking to where we were going. Then going back to the apartment, we saw him again. This time he came up to us and said, " Señor, solo debo traer los que tiene la estrella de David." Then he hit me on the forehead as if he were stamping me, and walked away. That kind of freaked me out, because he only did it to me. How would he know that I'm from the House of Israel? I'm white! 

Yeah so that was my week. How was your Valentine's Day? I didn't really notice all the couples in the street with flowers and kissing. Really it was more like, why do all these people have flowers? Oh, it's Valentine's Day. Or as they say here, day of love and friendship. How sad is that? Day of love. And what about the people who don't have a Valentine? OK, we´ll name it day of love and friendship.  

Monday, March 7, 2016

A blizzard in Mexico??

Our ward is so great.  From the little I saw from our ward, we work well with the missionaries. I wish every ward was like ours. I have to tell the ward council to assign visiting teachers. And they just started a plan of action. I hope they continue with it.

This week there was a special training on using the Visitors Center. We have a great resource that only a few other missions have.  We got a promise that if we took investigators to the VC this week, they will get baptized. Then we planned to get people there every day. It didn't turn out that way, but we got two families to go.  It was a really great experience.  There are great things that happen through the spirit. There is a key phrase that the Varela family have heard through their lessons. It's interesting because a few missionaries have said this phrase: It's not coincidence that the missionaries have come, that you are here. And all without knowing that this is a key phrase for them because they said it on the day we met them. I feel really great with them. They will be a great family.

This week I went to Polanco. When I went to the offices, one elder asked, "You're going to Polanco? You aren't that old, are you?" Polanco is where immigration offices are. I went to renew my visa. That means I am about to complete one year in the mission. (I know that's not right, but I don't know how to say it in English.)   The cool thing about Polanco is that it is a really rich area. So, it has a bunch of Americans, and American stuff. So, of course, we went to Dairy Queen. And being Mexico, its cheaper. 😎 So I bought a large Blizzard for 3 dollars. Swag. Ahahha, get the title now? And there was an American store called: Super Americano.  I didn't buy anything because I can find pretty much everything in Walmart. Except powdered ranch mix and brown sugar. But seriously when would I use those? (I don't have an oven.)

https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/archive/missionary-broadcast/2016/01?lang=eng).   The missionary broadcast if you want to see it.

Grandma Haggard passed away this week

This week we met a lady named Esperanza, while she was cleaning her garage. When we came to visit and talk with her, she was carrying a bucket around the park in front of her house, watering the trees. She is a perfect, cute grandma. And even more surprising is that is she is 91 years old. 91. And she sees better than my companion. Walks around, lifts stuff, and is very active. She is just pretty cool in general. And she accepted our message very well. Saying that she is Catholic, but not like most Catholics, because she doesn't believe certain things (the things that are changed).   

Also I contacted a lady with a lot of tattoos, and she was very accepting of a visit from us. Elder Lopez said he didn't think she would accept, but it shows that we shouldn't look on the outside, but for the spirit of people. 

On Sunday, we talked about making the Sabbath day a delight, like in the leader general conference from last October. I really liked it. Like when Elder Bednar talked about Sunday should be like a refreshing drink on a hot day. And Elder Cook talked about after the church services, talking with the family about what they learned during the sacrament meeting and Sunday School. And sing.

​One reason why I miss dryers. It fell from the line.

​Instead of going to buy lunch today, we made hamburgers, with a Mexican twist of course. 🌶😁

And there is a wonderful part of what we teach as missionaries, and what we know as members. Sometimes I see funerals where people are completely broken down and crying. Some people think they will never see them again. But we know that we can see our loved ones again. Seeing a funeral in the church this week, and knowing that my grandma died this week, it wasn't like that. Sure it's sad, but we have hope. We know it isn't that sad, because now they are resting. Like my dad said, [She] is in a beautiful place and is comforted and is of clear mind and probably doing cartwheels in heaven with a new found physical ability and freedom. It's just beautiful in that way that we know The Plan of Salvation.