Monday, April 24, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 4/24/2017)

Hola Hola, Familia!

Wow, this past week was pretty difficult, but that´s the way it should be right?

The first half of the week actually went really well. In fact on Tuesday we were in Leon for a zone conference and that was cool to just be able to spend some time with some of the other missionaries! It turns out to that there is a Elder (Heywood) here and he is taller than me! Sister Williamson took a picture and I hope you guys received it from her.

Then Wednesday we had one of the assistants to the president spend the day with us and this is actually his last change. It was really cool to be with him and I learned a lot from him in just those short hours and he helped me a little with my Spanish as well! It turns out he knows Jake and Conner Anderson too, because he went to school with them! So just cool ties to people here.

The rest of the week is when it started getting interesting. We got two new investigators this week who are both 15 so that is really cool. They are actually very interested in our message and one already started attending church this week. Then with Maribel we set up a date for her baptismal, but we might have to move it a week bad, because she needs to start coming to church. But that is exciting for us. We are also still working with Francisco. We tried again for his baptism this last week, but he just wasn´t home when we went to confirm. But this week we are really pushing for it. But it´s a progress. We were very direct with him this last time, but man is he stubborn. But we are pretty sure we will have it this week, but we are trying to have patience but it´s difficult.

It was sad this last week because we had our days full with plans, but more than half of them fell through. So we are trying to figure out what we can do and we actually are implementing a few different methods.

Another thing this last week we had the chance to visit a woman who was baptized over 5 years ago and she actually hasn´t been to church in for 4 years and so we visited them and it turns out the husband is probably the problem. He believes in God, but he doesn´t believe he is here, and he doesn´t believe in life after death. Much of our conversation was spent teaching and trying to help him understand and he was like that´s great and I love this message, but I too have tried to get answers about this before, but I never receive and answer, then I stopped him and I took the opportunity to bare testimony and to share an experience in my life when I have felt what he is feeling and I really felt the spirit in the room. and what was cool is the entire time he kept eye contact with me and when I was finished he goes, wow I will be honest, with you two I felt something today, and that something is what I have been looking for. and so we are actually going back to teach this week as well, so we might have him as an investigator as well. But that was just a really cool special moment for us, and I know we couldn´t have done it without Gods help and with the spirit in the room.

But those are the moments we are here for right? To help people find out how they can find that good feeling inside! So I´m feeling grateful!  and I am excited to hear from you all. Please let me know if you have questions!

Oh and it´s my third month!!! WOOT WOOT!!!

Audio File

Monday, April 17, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 4/17/2017)

Can I just start by saying that I´m grateful that we live in Utah hahah!

I have seen some interesting traditions around the Easter holiday here. I woke up one morning to  a parade kind of thing outside where people were walking the streets shouting scriptures! I was like wow!!!

Anyways Hola Hola Familia!!!! Hope you´re all doing great and I´m so very excited to hear from you all to know how your weeks were! I´d like to share about mine a little if that´s okay haha!

So I will admit that the BYU orchestra concert was an amazing experience, and it was so cool to be able to talk to them in English and Spanish haha! Plus, just having the big BYU-I sign just brought a lot of home too me! Also, the orchestra was in the University of Guanajuato and is in this like castle looking building it was way cool!

Also, this week I got my first haircut, I think it looks pretty good and only 50 pesos which is like 2.50 so that´s sweet!

I will admit this week was tough. A lot of our investigators just aren´t progressing. We visit, we teach and you feel the spirit, but then they just don´t change and it´s so sad. But we are working and we are trying. I actually found out this week that our area used to be a dead zone in the mission and they actually took missionaries out of here for awhile. Also, when it was open before, they had four missionaries here. So we are here trying to get work started again. But I will tell you that every day this past week was very big here for the people here, and we were actually told to be careful about proselyting this week.

This week I had all sorts of encounters. I talked with many different types of people. I gave a  Book of Mormon to a Jehovah Witness, talked with a few people from the states who were actually high on drugs, got called racist because my companion isn´t black, got stopped by a man telling us the name Mormon is evil, talked with a man Freddie from the states who is a Jehovah Witness, and a few guys that are ex-convicts. Funny thing is, we are going to try to teach them this next week. It´s crazy all these people actually found me because I´m tall and white and they just love trying to see what I´m doing here and so that´s awesome!

Um this last week, we didn´t have Francisco's baptism because he had the excuse again that he needs to talk with his wife. We tried to help him understand that he needs to make a decision for himself. So, we are helping him and are plannning for this next week. We are praying and could use your prayers too.

We had a branch activity with the members here on Saturday and that was so fun. I will try to get some photos from that to you all. It was so fun and lots of laughter and bonding with the people here. It felt like a little family, because I´ll be honest it´s only about 25 people.

Also, on Sunday we had a lot of church attendance from the less active members we have been working with and that was awesome. In fact, fact almost all the people we have been visiting showed up! I´m so grateful!

Overall, i'm doing good. My Spanish is gettting better and I´m working on talking more and more everyday. Elder Paez and I had a few conflicts this week, but what can we say, we have been with each other 24x7 for 6 weeks :) Other than that, we are good.

I love you and hope to hear for you, let me know if there is something you want to know!

Summary Audio File

Monday, April 10, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 4/10/2017)

I named the title of this email Romita because a lot of time was spent there this last week!

Just to give a gist of what happened this last week! Okay so this whole last week I was pretty sick, but I didn´t let that stop me. I received a blessing from my zone leader on Monday night and the next day I was feeling even worse, but I was able to make it through the day! On Tuesday was my first divisions with the zone leaders and that was really cool. I stayed in my area and the other Elder Harmon came here with me. He was actually in Silao for his first 6 months and so he knows the area really well and is very close with the members and I learned a lot from him and the cool thing is that when we arrived he says, hey this is your area now so you´re leading everything. Hahah I was like wow alrighty then! That day we were able to get 16 contacts and 9 future investigators and 2 new investigators, and that was all within 3 hours and also we able to teach a few less active members and to get some to come back to church, so we had a very successful day!

Um however, for the rest of the week we didn´t have too much success! I changed back with Elder Paez the next day and we had a full week filled up, but most of our appointments fell through and we didn´t have anyone to teach and we tried to contact, but one example is that we were at one house and the lady was very interested and she was like I want my husband to hear this and so she goes in to grab him and he came out and basically said, we are catholic and we don´t need your help or you bible and gave us back the BOM and then asked us not to come back. So just lots of fun, so that was interesting.

Also, that same day we were walking through the courtyard just about to go to Franciscos house and a family of Testigos de Jehova were there and they came up to me and were like are you from the states and do you speak english and I was like yeah I am, and it turns out they are from Detroit and have been living here in Romita for a year and they don´t speak a lick of Spanish, but they had a translator and so they tried inviting Paez and I to and event which was hilarious. Elder Paez right after tried inviting them to an event that is today, and the man was like we don´t speak Spanish, so I translated haha. But yeah just kind of random moments and other religions we talk with everyday.

Also, this week we set up Franciscos baptism date for this Saturday so we are praying a lot for him! So that is very exciting! Also, we have a new investigator who is another Francisco and I think that he´s really going to progress, he has a tough life and I know we are going to be able to help him and I think he could really use what we have to say!

As for how I´m feeling, I´m no longer sick as a dog, and I´m struggling a little bit with just the emotions of the mission, but I´m doing good and excited for these next 6 weeks! I can understand pretty much what everyone says, but I have realized I need to expand my vocabulary with foods and with everyday activities hahah! But I´m doing good and I love you all!

OH also today I´m going to a BYU-Idaho orchestra concert tonight with our ward and an investigator and her family so that´s why I´m on a little earlier!

Other e-mail replies from today

I love that about being the tools for God, because when I was in the CCM we had Elder Nelson come and he shared how Christ uses the unlikely instruments in his army.

Oh that is soo good to hear about Elder Rubio and thanks for checking in with my package. Um I just took some money out of my account to be worried its because I need a haircut and I also needed money for the orchestra tonight!

Yes I agree our family is so very blessed and I feel grateful every single day, my eyes have been opened!

Language is still hard, but its coming and I see it coming!

I love you too dad!

Monday, April 3, 2017

E-mail (Dated: 4/3/2017)

Hello My Beautiful Family and Friends!

Another week passes in the mission field with many great memories made!

This last week was really good and definitely had its moments. A little earlier in the week we visited with Francisco and talked with him and he was supposed to be baptized this weekend, but he again said that he wasn't ready and that was difficult, in fact afterwards I was filled with a lot of uneasiness. However, he has promised that on the 15 of April he will choose a date for his baptism. So we will pray for that.

The rest of the week until about Thursday was a little rough because Elder Paez and I were a little sick. Elder Paez was more sick that I was but we had to stay in for half the day. On Friday we went to Los Rodriguez which is a ranch that is about half an hour away to visit an investigator of ours and his name is Jaime! We planned for his baptism for this past Saturday and I was asked to do the baptizing! Wow! It was so amazing and ah just the look on his face. He is only 9 years old but the joy and the light he had was so amazing! If you want to hear more, I did a voice message about it that I will send to all of you. Also, I will send some pictures from the baptism!

When we were at the ranch we also stopped by a house which is the house of a two members. I didn´t exactly know why, but Elder Paez had a feeling to stop by and we were invited in. I didn´t understand all, but I did start to understand that this man was suffering with a drug addiction and he humbled himself before us and asked us for help. I want to say more, but I´d rather you hear from my voice, so please listen to my voice messages they are for all of you.

I´m not writing too much in my big email today because I have the worst headache and feel a little sick! I still have many voice messages that I made last night and within the week that I´d love for you all to listen to and I hope you can feel what I was feeling in those spécial remarkable moments!

I love you all!

Audio Recordings
Weekly Summary (27 min) - Tender Experiences at 8 min, 17 min
First Baptism (4 min)
Food and Francesco (5 min)
Tender Experience with Inactive Member (6 min)
March 18, 2017 Letter - Audio (6 min)
Message to Family (7 min)
Elder Paez Testimony in Spanish (4 min)