Saturday, June 25, 2016

108/162 !!! June 20, 2016

2/3 down. Don't worry, Mom, just one more and I'm home. 

This week we had a devotional with president Anaya. This is his last week here. Now he gets to go home after 3 years. It was great having him for President. Now we welcome Pres. Naumann. 
I have had problems, but President has helped us work out the kinks. I just keep working and everything works out. Working Hard or Hardly Working, eh?
This week we did service! Long time since I have done hard core gardening! Did my normal hard work of pulling roots and taking down trees. A machete! My arms hurt.

Nothing Much June 13, 2016

Nothing much happened this week. My companion's getting more into the leader thing but more in the D&C 121:39 type ๐Ÿ˜• I have learned many things in the mission, mostly in ways that I wouldn't like to learn, but it is the only way to learn patience..and humility.  I don't like time. It goes too fast. 

This week we had divisions two times. Some of you don't like divisions, but I love them. Getting to learn from someone else and being able to teach with someone else. Why can't I have a companion like the zone leaders? That's the only reason I would like to be a zone leader, to be able to be with someone who is really good. 

Don't pay attention to me murmuring. 

I believe in Christ. He is my King. With all my heart, I will honor Him. I believe in Christ, he ransomed me. He has set me free. I believe in Christ. And thanks to Him I will live again. He has heard my soul complain. And for thus, I believe. And I will serve 'til the end of my days.  

​Look what some members gave us because of their granddaughter's quinceรฑera. I'm pretty sure they tried to copy the wands of people. Anastazia, could you tell us whose they are? I know the first one and maybe another but I don't know. Slytherin House!

For you hipsters out there: I made bubble tea!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Rock and Roll! June 6, 2016

Mom. I know you don't like this phrase.... but... guys, I won again!  [Mom comment: I instantly cringed after reading this first line.]

So we were walking down one of the most crowded streets in our area. It was 3  o´clock. So we were contacting and a guy says to us, "Hey, preach to me about the Bible. I just got out of jail, and I want to be closer to God." So this guy had about 6 new tattoos, four crosses and two scriptures. (Hindsight: he didn't just get out of jail. He would have had older tattoos).  So he's talking out Donald Trump, a bunch of stuff, and then, "Give me all your stuff. Tengo mi cohete. (Saying he has a gun. Hindsight: his hand bag wasn't big enough for a gun, but better comply for doubt.)  Where's your cell phone?  What do you have in your bag?"  So, he takes our cell phone, rifles through our bags, and says to me give me your bible. Nooo... we can replace the cellphone, but I can't replace all the things I've marked in my scriptures. Elder Paz thought quickly and pulled out a Book of Mormon. "Here you go. Here's a Bible." (Everyone thinks it's a Bible.)  Then he went away. We jumped on a micro to the temple, so they wouldn't follow us and went to report that they stole our phone.  I was all shaky and stuff. But ya, it was over.  We went on with our day, got a new phone, but it wasn't activated yet. At 6:00, we were in a lesson, and beep.  "Was that your phone?" "No" "It came from your bag, Elder Paz."  And there in the bag was our cellphone! The only thing the mugger took, was a Book of Mormon. I hope it does him some good some day. HAHAHAHA!  It was still scary though...

Sad news... one of our investigators that was really progressing, told us the other day that she just wants to be apart from all the religions. ๐Ÿ˜ญ No! You were the chosen one!  Triste. 

And also one of our investigators died. He had cirrhosis. Now he isn't suffering anymore. We are now helping his wife, and we hope this helps his son get over his drug addiction.

This week was full of adventures! So someone wasn't in their house for an appointment, so we went contacting, normal day.  We knock on a door, and we are talking about stuff. They don't answer. I knock again. We are talking and Smack! OW! Something just hit me on the head!  Where'd it come from? I see pieces of a rock on the ground. Somebody threw a rock at me! Rude. Let's go. I'm looking all around for somebody who threw the rock. We are in the middle of the street and another rock lands where we were. Yep. Somebody is throwing rocks at us. Then my comp sees who was throwing them and yells, "There he is!"  and the person hides in his house.  So we go to a member's house that was close by, to check how bad it was.  Wasn't that bad, just left a bump and a scratch. So I cleaned it, and we went on our way. 

 And you know what the best part is?  I'm still happy.  Many people would think we were crazy.  Nope. I just have a testimony that everything in time will be OK. Really it makes me happy to know that my Savior lives and guides each one of us. It is something that, no matter the circumstances, whether refugees, or missionaries, problems in the family, with work, economy, everything will be all right. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

[Mom comment: Is he done yet?  I'm about ready for the end of the "I won again" emails.  I wish he were in a safer place.  I'm glad he is being smart.  I'm so thankful Father is watching over him.  We keep reminding him and it looks like he is heeding...Always follow the rules and always stay with your companion.]

​I told him no. He said it was fine, the dangerous ones have black stripes on their legs. ๐Ÿ˜“

​Wouldn't think this guy got hit on the head with a rock, right? 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hi May 30, 2016

 Conferencia de zona Vergel

La verdad es que olvidรฉ mi diario. But anyways... this week we had a zone conference, and it was pretty cool and also stake conference with Elder Valenzuela (area presidency of Mexico).  I have notes and I will share them next week. 

Happy Birthday Becca! hace dos semanas... MI HERMANITA SE VA A LA MISION! still have a few weeks but I'm excited.  Sorry for those of you who don't speak Spanish. I am excited. I testify of the words of my cousin Anastazia. 

Another cycle and I am here in Casas Aleman. This cycle we are going to baptize six people!

Rainy season has started. Good thing is that my shoes don't have holes, so they don't get soaked... so fast.

OK sorry for the short email. 

Casas Aleman May 23, 2016

I'm living it up here in Casas Aleman. Hahaha, I just realized that mostly other missionaries, in different areas, go to different cities. But all the areas in my mission are in the same city. Besides the point. Here in Casas Aleman. We, in the last two weeks, have put six baptismal dates for June.  [note from mom: You can hear Ryan translating into English from his Spanish brain.."put" six baptismal dates instead of the English set 6 dates.]  WOOOO! I'm excited. You know what's even better?  We just met five of those people. GOLDEN!  A missionary told me once: Really, tracting/finding/contacting is not effective. Really, it isn't. But the LORD  sees our diligence and when we are trying to find new people, He puts people in our path. Of these six people, three came up to us. We were contacting. knocking doors, for hours, when somebody practically comes up and says, teach me. it's really awesome and worth the walking under the sun, rejection, and everything else. 

And besides the real reason I'm here, there's more that is awesome about this area. The members (and investigators too) give us food. I know, you're thinking, don't they normally do that?  But more than feeding us lunch, (lunch is the big meal here, not dinner, when we eat with members) it doesn't matter what time it is, they give us food. On Friday, we ate at 12, 2, 6, then our neighbor gave us fruit when we got to our apartment. Many missionaries fatten in this area. That's why I'm doing Insanity. And we also ate in the temple on Wednesday, because it's much more healthy than anything else we could find, and the temple is almost in our area, so why not?

Also in the aspect of food, we have an oven. I am in heaven. Do you know that it has been over 15 months since I have tried chocolate chip cookies?!  Well,

now it has been two days. ๐Ÿ’†๐Ÿ˜Š

​mmm... *jabba noise* tastes like merica

Healing May 16, 2016

I want to talk about Priesthood healing. I have had a few experiences giving blessings in the mission. None of them were that I gave the blessing and then they stood up and were completely healed. But, they were cool experiences. First was my first convert, Daniel. He had a problem with his intestines. The first surgery was done wrong and that caused problems. He couldn't eat for about a month. A good thing was that he was fat. He lost about 130 lbs during the complications. Every surgery he had had something that went wrong. Then when we met him we gave him a blessing, and his next surgery didn't have complications. He now is completely healed, and gaining weight again. ๐Ÿ˜ The second person was another convert, Jorge. He was attacked by a serial attacker, by knife. His throat was slit, and received another five stabs. He was in a coma for a week. His neighbor, who was our investigator, asked for us to go visit him to give a blessing. Even though we couldn't go, because the hospital was out of the limits of the mission, that day he woke up.  Then when he got back to his house, we gave him a blessing. His recovery was fast. When the doctors checked on him, to see if in a few weeks they could move on with the process, he was ready to move on, faster than they expected. (It also helped him get baptized faster.) Then on Friday, we gave a blessing to a man that has a fluids problem. He retains liquid and can't get rid of it. The doctors have to drain manually from his stomach. His stomach is swollen really big. We haven't seen the results yet, But I believe he will be healed. 

In another case, not mine, our ward mission leader´s son is on his mission in the north of Mexico, on the other side of Texas. The cartel is big there, and really are the people who are best towards the missionaries. Sometimes they come up to the missionaries, say, "get in."  The missionaries get in, drive for a while then drop off the missionaries. They believe it brings them goodness (not exactly good luck, but...)  So one day, to the companion of our ward mission leader´s son, the cartel comes straight up to them, "Get in." They get in but they drive to a house, say "Follow us" so they follow and are led to a man covered in blood.  "Heal him." (I imagine like Ephraim´s Rescue.)  They check his pulse; he´s dead. "Heal him," they repeat. The missionary tells them, "I'm going to need you to do everything I tell you."  Everyone kneels and crosses their arms. "Do you have faith he can be healed?" "Yes," they respond.  At this point, the other missionary is thinking what if he doesn't get healed?  They bless him. The first missionary having complete faith that he will be healed. They finish the blessing, and everyone stands up. Including the cartel member that was dead. "Let's go," say the cartel. They get in the car and go. 

Maybe I will never have that type of experience. But it is sufficient that I know that miracles still exist, and that it is by the same power that I hold. Elder Oaks told us that it isn't necessary for us to have all the spiritual gifts. Some are given to us and we need to find out how to use the ones we have been given. Maybe I don't have the gift of healing, but I have what God has given me. In D&C when it describes the gifts of the spirit, it says to some it is given to know, to others it is given to believe on their words (paraphrased).  Elder Oaks said he has the gift to know, but it doesn't mean that we can't gain the same exaltation that he can. I testify of the reality of God and His son. Maybe I don't have a perfect knowledge that they exist, But then it wouldn´t be faith would it?  But I believe in the words of our prophet and apostles, that He lives!

Virgensota May 9, 2016

This week many things happened, of that I'm sure, but not many were memorable. So I'll see what I remember...

One cool experience was a new investigator we found. We were knocking doors for about 2 and a half hours, when we knocked on a door, and the normal thing happened, " Who is it?" "We are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ, we want to give you an invitation." "Not today." Then my companion says, "When can we visit then?" "Oh, you are persistent, are you?  I'm coming." *we look at each other like weird/uh oh*.  At this moment I'm thinking she wants to bible bash. Let's see how well she knows the Bible. She comes to the door and says, "Come in!" uh OK. Entering her house, there is a tapestry of the Virgen of Guadalupe that covers the whole wall... ay no "Sit down, You must be thirsty from all that walking and sun. Do you want a glass of water?" OK. Then when she sits down, "So what's the message you have for me?" She doesn`t want to fight? She doesn`t want to fight.  Oh. "Our message...(you know the rest)."   She told us the first time she saw missionaries, she looked at the American and he turned around and looked at her, she felt that they were missionaries sent from God. The missionaries contacted her, and shared a card, but nothing else happened in that moment. When we knocked on her door, she knew we were from the same church and we had a message from God. She was catholic de hueso colorado, (really devout) going every day to church. That same day that we knocked on her door, she was in misa (catholic church service), and left in the middle because she felt uncomfortable and that she had to go. She accepted everything well that we had to say. She prayed the first time and it was a really sincere prayer. Those are one of the favorite moments in my mission: when an investigator says a really sincere prayer. It's like fourth on the list of favorite things on the mission: Seeing converts getting sealed (haven't gotten there yet, but I will in July), seeing converts that are faithful, baptisms, then sincere prayers. She wanted to go church this same week but she got sick... so I think she will be our next baptism.  

In other news I called home yesterday. I wish i could have seen everyone, but just my family was in the call. The next one is Christmas. It's not that far. ๐Ÿ˜œ

​My companion was sick so I made him a health pack.

​Elder Misterio and the Devourer. Tag team Lucha Libre.

​Look how close the Temple is!!! and you can also see how bad the pollution is... No, it's not cloudy. If you look towards the top, you can see a cloud.

Oh, yeah, 5 de mayo! Here 5 de mayo is full of gunshots. all. day. long. It's really quite annoying. Some people even have cannons. It's part of a reenactment of the Battle of Puebla, Cinco de Mayo isn't Independance Day. It's the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, when they kicked out the French from Mexico.  

This was how people were dressed on cinco de mayo. Those are the rifles that they fire off all day long. They just fire off gunpowder.