Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Hey here's the letter that I promised to give to you! I'm sorry it's a bit late, being a missionary leaves little time for me to do things that I want to do, like writing letters to my loved ones. I wasn't able to get on and write a letter until, and even then I only have 30 minutes because we have an appointment at
So! This will be quick! This past week, it rained! And since us missionaries are persistent, and resistent, we dealt with it and continued to work through the rain. Honestly it felt nice, until it stopped. Then, it gets so so SO humid, like Washington D.C humid in the summer. It's supposed to rain this week again, so I'm really really excited. One nice thing about the rain, is well, the clouds. There has been some really really cool cloud...I don't know, formations? Here, and it's been really cool to look up in the sky and just see massive clouds all over. It's different than always being surrounded by mountains like in Utah.
Ah! So the story behind our baptism! So this guy Ramón, well young man, he's 18, has changed so much in this past month. When we first started teaching him, I was with my last companion Elder Flores. At first, he was cool, he read the Book of Mormon, he read the pamphlets we gave him, everything was fine. Then after a few weeks, after being with some..not so good friends...he changed for the worse. He acted differently, and he didn't pay attention and he wasn't doing any of the commitments that we gave him. He then went to another place somewhere else in Mexico, nearby, but that meant we couldn't teach him anymore. So, we reluctantly said goodbye and he left. We didn't see him until last week, last Friday when we ate with that family. We came in, and there was Ramón, sitting at the table, eating. We said hey, and he then told us, "Hey, I want to get baptized!" We were astonished!! The last time we saw him, he was acting as if he didn't want anything from the Church! We taught him the Word of Wisdom, because of reasons, and he was totally different! He was completely attentive, he would add comments, like he agreed with what we were saying or that what we were saying was for his benefit. He changed so much, and since we taught him in the past, and since he has been to Church enough times, we're able to baptize him. And of course he accepted the baptismal date for ! We're still teaching him, we have a few things left to teach him, it really is amazing to see someone change like that! I honestly don't know what happened with his time away, what he did over there in Huatabampo (where he went), but now he's like the perfect investigator.
Also, there's an activity for Father's day tonight that we're going to, so that should be fun., we have an activity with the youth, where they're going to accompany us on some appointments, so that they can see what missionary work is like.
One more thing, we're going to receive plenty of new missionaries this next transfer, so it's most likely that I'm going to train a new missionary! WOAH! Crazy, I know. We'll see what happens :)
Until next week! Love you!
Monday, June 29, 2015
So, today was a fun day. My companion had to go to a place called Guaymas, which is like an hour and a half away. He had to go there to renew his visa, so I had to tag along with my zone leaders for most of today, leaving me with little time to write to you.
However! Don't worry, I get makeup time tomorrow, where I'll have more time to write you my awesome experiences this week!
So...just a quick summary! It rained this week! Not much, but it sucks because it gets really humid afterwards. It's supposed to rain some more this week, and I'm not excited at all :(
Also! We're going to have another baptism! It was a bit of a surprise, and the story is great and I'll explain it tomorrow! His name is Ramón and his mom and his stepdad, and stepbrother are members. They live like 4 houses down from us. His family, the mom and his stepdad, and his stepbrother, are fully active. He's great. More to come !
I'm feeling better! Concerning my sickness, it's been a constant 103 degrees over here, so that's nice.
Love you! And i promise there'll be a longer letter!
Monday, June 22, 2015
Hey family!!! I have some good news for you! I'm feeling a lot better, I don't have Dengue or anything, I might have eaten something bad when I was in my last area, Rosales. Which is really possible because it was a little village type deal where they don't have the cleanest living areas. I talked with the mission president's wife, who helps us with health issues, and with doctors, and I might have parasites from food that I have eaten in the past. I'm improving, i'm recuperating from my sickness. Today I'm going to take some pills to kill whatever parasites and any bad stuff that I might have in my stomach.Anyways, more good news! This last saturday, we had baptisms! We baptized our two investigators, Alma and Anahy. The baptism was very nice, everything went smoothly, for the most part, there's a really interesting story what happened a couple hours before the baptism.
Monday, June 15, 2015
About the atonement? Well, let me tell ya.
For me, I feel like we all each have our own little personal atonement. Not that we bleed out from every pore, or we get crucified, but we each have our own trials and problems that give us tons of pain and make us so sad, that sort of thing. And thanks to what Christ did in the garden, because he literally poured out his soul, bled from every pore, he made it possible for us to be clean from sin. Yeah we can be freed from the chains of sin, but what I like a lot from the atonement is that Christ suffered all our sadness and sorrow as well, and I have felt the power of both of those things with my experience here in the mission. I have felt lifted from my sins, and I know without a doubt that He has taken away the feelings of sorrow, as well as embarassment from me, due to the Atonement.
I like the scriptures Alma 7, 11 to 13, which describes what Christ suffered in the Atonement. Very simple, yet powerful.
Yeah, this experience has taught me so much, and I´m so thankful for it, even though this was a bit difficult, but now I´m enjoying myself. I can say that I´m truly happy now, and that I´m cleansed from my sins
Hey family! Another week gone by, and this transfer is almost done! It´s almost been 6 weeks since I saw you guys! How weird is that? This week was a bit interesting, in both good ways and bad ways.
One side note, I finished my journal! This saturday filled the last entry in the little tan journal that Laijun gave me, I thought that was worthy of sharing to you guys.
Anyways! This week, was hot, almost hot enough to cook an egg on the street hahaha. It´ll get hot enough to do that in August, and then I´ll send you guys a picture or a video, I´ll figure out a way, it´s going to be great!
This tuesday we saw Meet the Mormons as a ward activity, that was fun! We planned for it to start at 7, but it actually started at around 8 due to technical difficulties with the sound, and people were coming late as well. However, I did enjoy seeing the movie again, for the......4th or 5th time I think hahaha.
Mom told me that she recieved the pictures from the member of the crickets! Yes! I ate some crickets with her and her husband, and another family. They were actually not that bad! They tasted like....protein. I can´t really describe their flavor, it´s distinct. That was a lot of fun, those members are just so great, they help the missionaries all the time.
Now, I have some unfortunate news. I´m sick. This past Thursday or Friday, I started to feel bad, I got a headache and I had no energy. I also got a lot of red dots all over my feet and a bit on my legs. So...on saturday, we went to the hospital to figure out what I might have. They drew some of my blood and ran some tests, and it could be something called Dengue or Riquetzia, both of which are not good things. I don´t really know what they are, I know they´re not fatal or anything, it´s just I´ll need to rest for a while. I´ve been resting these past few days, because if I walk out in the sun in my condition, that´ll make things a lot worse.
Today, we went to a different hospital to do the same thing, to see if they can figure out what I have, they drew blood again and now we´re waiting for them to send us the results.
So yeah, that´s my situation right now. Don´t worry I´m still alive and fighting, it´s really interesting actually. I feel fine, but my body isn´t doing very well, I don´t really realize it, if that makes sense.
Tons of love!
Monday, June 8, 2015
Hey family! Another week gone by in the mission, and a few interesting things have happened this week.
First, it´s hot here, above the 100´s every day, although today it´s cloudy. As Mom mentioned in her email there was a storm nearby the mission, i haven´t seen any rain yet, although it´s really nice to have a cloudy day for once. Haha even though it´s cloudy, we´re in the 90s I think. Don´t worry, I´m drinking tons and tons of water to stay alive haha.
This week was a bit discouraging for us, we didn´t have many lessons and we couldn´t visit with many of our investigators, they either didn´t have time or they weren´t home whenever we knocked on their doors. We were able to visit and teach two investigators, the ones that are progressing the most right now, Alma and Anahi. We taught them more about Baptism and Receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. I´m so positive that they´re going to be baptized this June 20th. Alma is doing everything she needs to be doing in order to gain a testimony of the church, and Anahi is...almost there. She doesn´t read the Book of Mormon, which is actually the most important thing you need to do in order to get a testimony of anything related to the Church. We committed her to reading the scriptures and she accepted the commitment. She´s progressing well, we just need to pray a little bit harder for her.
This week there was some drama in our district, concerning the obedience of certain missionaries. My companion, who is the district leader, who supervises over all the missionaries, had to lay down the law and contact the mission president. I think it was yesterday that one missionary called us and chewed out my companion because the missionary had some restrictions placed on him, it was a little bit intense. Thankfully he calmed down after a while and he called us back later and apologized. It´s all good now.
This week we´re going to watch Meet the Mormons! Again! This Tuesday in our chapel we´re going to present the movie on a screen and we invited a ton of people and it´s going to be a ton of fun! We´re hoping that we´ll meet more people to teach.
We also met this one lady, and she´s the definition of ´chosen to receive the Gospel´. She knows about the church, because her grandpa was a member and her cousin served in Utah! She told us she has a ton of memories of her grandpa and whenever she sees missionaries, she remembers her grandpa. At that moment she started to tear up, while we were shouting with joy on the inside. This week we´re going to visit with her and I sincerely hope that we´ll baptize her! Her name´s Leticia by the way
So that was my week, here´s to another one!
Monday, June 1, 2015
Hey family! Another week flown by! This week felt like it was only 3 days long, it was weird. This week....not a lot happened, just more work, keeping busy. As well as the heat, it´s getting up to 100´s everyday, and its getting worse. WOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Like I said, not a whole ton of exciting things happened this week, a few things worth mentioning though. This last saturday there was a baptism! A companionship in our district baptized a Ramona Zavala, that was fun. It was really nice to see a baptism, and it was great because some our invesigators came too! These two investigators are progressing very well! They have a baptismal date for June 20th, it's coming up soon! But my companion and I are so sure that they're going to be baptized on the 20th. Almost 100%, we just need to teach them a bit more. The baptism was nice, just how a normal baptism goes, hymn then a prayer, then the actual baptism. A member shared her testimony, as well as the person who got baptized.
This week I learned, well more like added to my knowledge, that the Book of Mormon really is the keystone of our religion. The Book of Mormon has the power to change lives. The great example of that is with our two investigators Anahi and Alma. The first day we met them, they were screaming at us, complaining about Anahi's husband (who was a member) and saying stuff about him, all loud. As we continued to teach them, and since they're reading the Book of Mormon, they completely changed. They're now just so....calm. They don't shout, they're really friendly and open. It's amazing! This book changed them! This week they told us that they're starting to realize that this church is true, which is really great!!!! I'm so sure that they're going to get baptized!
Last friday I witnessed my first bible bash, my companion and this one religious guy starting arguing about how the Law of Moses changed when Christ came, or that it didn't change according to this man. I don't remember what his religion is called, but basically they worship the 10 commandments. As they went on, my companion completely proved him wrong, but this guy kept going off on how the Law of Moses is perfect and how the 10 commandments are perfect. It got a bit heated, and once we realized that, we felt that we needed to get out of there before it got worse. The next day, my companion and I visited him really fast to apologize, he accepted it and he again shared with us that the 10 commandments are everything. We just went with it and left.
So, that's whats going on in my life over here, in hot hot mexico. Fun fact, it's going to be in the 100's this week. The highest is 110, this week is going to be fantastic.
Until next week!
June is finally here. The heat is on. It's starting to get hot. I know we don't have anything to complain about compared to you. I know it's going to get blazing down there if it hasn't already. Maybe you can go around town with a cold wet rag on your face. I just had another idea. Maybe you could market the idea down there. You could get one of those masks that mexican professional wrestlers wear over their head out of some kind of cooling cloth. Wouldn't that be cool? (no pun intended)
Can you believe another week has gone by? Before you know it we will be telling you about Ty's wedding. Time goes by when you are busy. I've been busy for many years very busy so the time seems to fly by way too fast. If you ever think the time is going by slow you can think of two things. You can think about why you are not busy for one thing. Secondly you can think about how fast life will be going by when you have a full time job and raising your kids. When you get to that point in your life you will be wondering where the time goes. You will then realize what a blessing it is to be young like you are right now. There is always so much to be thankful for.
Today we had stake conference. It was a great conference. The theme was hope. There was a guy that gave an excellent talk about what it takes to keep hope alive. He told a story of when he went on a camping trip down in Zion's in the early spring. They set up camp and built a huge camp fire that was very hot. It was so hot that it started to rain lightly but they didn't care because the fire still kept them warm. They didn't even feel like setting up tents. They went to sleep and woke up freezing to death. The fire had gone out and it kept raining on them so they got soaked and cold. They woke up but couldn't get the fire started because everything got wet including the wood. His point was that they simply should have kept the fire going and not gone to sleep. It was very profound to me. It's so easy to let the fire go out. If you stop your prayers, reading the scriptures, going to church, having family night or serving any way you can, your fire is going to go out. This hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm going to work a little harder on keeping my fire going. I can do better with all of the things I just told you. I tell you this because I remember how much prayers, reading scriptures, etc. are built into the mission life. There will never be another time in your life where doing those things is built into your life so much as it is on your mission. No one will be there to remind you and I tell you from experience it's easy to let it slide. I'm going to get a help with this because this week I start my temple assignement. I'm pretty excited about it. From now on for the next two years I will be at the temple from about 4pm to 10pm. That seems like quite a sacrifice so this month I went to the temple every Tuesday. I thought it would get to be a pain but it was kind of the opposite. I started looking forward to each Tuesday. I think that will continue. I think when we really dig in and serve, it becomes very fulfilling.
Your mission is a blessing to me. I've got you in my thoughts so much it gives me much more reason to pray. That's the way the Lord sets things up for us. When we really reach out and serve Him, He makes a way for us to have greater desire to be like Him.
Have a good week Josh. Keep working. Pray for the gifts you need to be a great missionary. We will to.