Monday, 24 April 2017
We had changes today! I'm still here in Totolac but now with Elder P from Monterrey, the second one from there! He is another very good missionary haha. He has 19 months in the mission and is super humble and obedient and diligent from what I have heard. Super excited to be here with him! I don't know why I have been so blessed with good companions, but this time I think it's because we have a lot of work to do in the zone. The 3 district leaders here all have less than 6 months and are all Americans that don't speak much Spanish and 2 of them are district leader for the first time haha so we had a lot of questions from them today. Also like 15 of the 22 missionaries in the zone are arriving today, 4 areas opening their area. I know a lot of people won't get what that all means but just trust that it's crazy.
This week was hard but we also learned a lot. We had to travel a ton (6 hours one day) so we weren't in our area much but we started our project that we are going to do with our new ward mission leader. He just got back from his mission so its kinda like having another companion. We are going to visit EVERY member of the ward and teach a lesson with 1 Nephi 8 that we prepared that includes praying on our knees and singing hymns and really, really invite the spirit. Then we are going to invite them to think about the blessings they have received through the gospel in their lives using this story and invite them to a missionary activity that is gonna be like an MTC for members (CCMM). It will cost us a bit of work and we might not see the results right away but we are confident that it will work and we basically plan to assign members as district leadesr that we will call every night and they will work to complete goals of how many friends they will invite to church in their "District". There are people who haven't found the truth just because they don't know where to find it, and others who haven't shared the truth just because they don't know how. So we're gonna teach them! I sent a bit of this plan to Bro Velazquez so I hope they can do something similar in our ward. The members have to help and I know they are willing in the Tuscany Ward, we just have to learn how.
READ PREACH MY GOSPEL!
I have been very tired but I feel the spirit pushing me on. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that he love us so much! This is His work and if we don't embark in it, we are missing out on so many blessings. Help the missionaries, trust in them, pray for references to give them. That is how we have been able to have success here, and I know we will have more soon!
Love you so much!
So, did you get your box of treats? Take a picture so I can get a deal!
still no :(
How’s the rain…still wet? Does that mean your area actually has a spring, with trees blooming and flowers coming up?
If you had to make a list of qualities you want to improve on, what would they be?
Have you listened to the conference talks and then taken action on anything? What?
Who have you observed exhibiting kindness this week? What was it? What did you learn?
No isn't raining much and its pretty brown with dead dogs a lot but its also kinda pretty
Being friendly, being less serious, being more humble, studying better, and seeing people like God sees them.
The talk that you sent me a quote I think about acting on the first impression, gotta do it or God won't trust you
A sister woke up at 6:30 to cut our hair this morning because we had to go to Puebla for the changes and Elder N had really long hair hahaha
Where are you reading in the Book of Mormon right now?
I am reading in Alma 45 or something around there. Bien power
Who is your favourite person right now and why?
Well Jesus Christ but that is always so I will give you a more temporary answer. Elder N! Because he honestly taught me so much about why we do this work. I understood before that we had to do it and that we had to work hard, but he taught me to do it for the right reasons and that is something that I really needed that will change my life.
Did you get special Easter dinners…new traditional foods?
*Semana Santa dinners* because Easter isn't really a thing here. But no not really honestly haha the food was the same.
Have you had Mole yet?
Yes we eat mole a lot!
Elder Barfuss got here today (cousin of Ben) :) Now I am not the only Canadian and he has a very good trainer.
Monday, 17 April 2017
April 10, 2017
Ugh so sorry for being bad at emailing, its the second most stressful part of the week (next to waiting for the investigators to arrive at church).
Ugh so sorry for being bad at emailing, its the second most stressful part of the week (next to waiting for the investigators to arrive at church).
One family that we were thinking about dropping at the beginning of the week had a super powerful spiritual experience and the one sister was literal on her knees crying begging her Father for forgiveness after just a super simple Book of Mormon story. This book is so powerful, if I have learned one thing in the mission it is just how true that book is. She didn't make it to church but she talked to her boss and he's gonna let her take Sundays off now so that she can go to church! And her mom and 2 kids went to church! One of the kids was super bored and hungry in sacrament meeting but then he left primary HYPED! So I think they will keep coming haha. Every time we teach them, more keep coming. Honestly we felt the spirit carrying us from lesson to lesson, guiding us so much this week, and I feel that its because we (I) am learning so much about humility, something that I never knew I had so little of until I got to this area.
A super weirdly large number of people died this week here, like every excuse we heard for why they couldn't go to church or why they had to change the appointment was that someone died, so I get to testify of the plan of salvation this week lots!
I have been helping my comp with his English a lot this week haha trying to get him to teach me in English with the Book of Mormon and he normally just says, "Book of Mormon, I love you!" But really that's all they need to know!
I love my Saviour so much, and I am so grateful for the opportunity He gives us to progress and change and repent in this life. He has helped me progress so much with the language (by the way that really was a miracle how real the gift of tongues is), with my teaching, with my diligence, with my patience, with my ability to stop judging others, with my ability to use the scriptures. I have so far to go, but I really have now seen His hand in bringing me to where I am today. I know He has a perfect plan, even if the experiences we have are super horrible, we can learn so much from them. I know that God answers prayers, that the authority of the priesthood is real and on the earth today, and that we can literally become like Jesus Christ one day all thanks to His atonement. I love my Father so much!
Loving the mission because I am learning and progressing a lot, but Elder N is also helping me learn to enjoy every moment of it too!
Love you all!
April 17, 2017
Hey how are you!
This week was kinda weird because its semana santa and that means everyone leaves so there was nobody home and they have some super different traditions.
We were in our beds at 11 at night and a parade passed by and they had a guy dressed up as Jesus and other dressed up as the saints and they walk them down the street whipping them and kicking them and stuff, pretty violent, but also an exciting surprise before sleeping.
We were kinda bummed because it was hard to teach and find, but then on Sunday a ton of people got to church and we got 2 new investigators who we grabbed them both to teach them after and they both accepted baptismal dates! One who used to go with his grandparents when he was a kid and he remembered it and liked it so he decided to go back this week.
We learned a really good lesson this week on splits with another missionary from Peru. He had the goal of 4 new investigators in the day and it was 8:40 at night and he was almost gonna go back home but I told him we had to go keep looking even though it was super late. We said a prayer and then we started walking really fast and the first door we knocked we found a family that they had contacted before but couldn't find them again and we taught them and found his investigators even though we had to run super fast to get home by 9:30. Prayer works!
We also baptised the 9 year old boy of the less active family we have been working with this week and his older brother brought a nonmember friend to church on Sunday that we started teaching! Super powerful experience in the baptism, his aunt was there giving a talk and I don't know what she said but everyone was crying hahaha he's gonna serve a mission.
We got a new ward mission leader too that is a recent rm(returned missionary) and he's super excited. I love him so much! We have a plan that I'm gonna send to bro V of how we can basically turn the ward into a zone and get all the members helping us. The members of the church are SO important. We have to read D & C 4 every day I think to understand really how important it is. I have been serving with all my mind and strength but now I'm learning the need to serve with my might and heart too! :) Love feeling the spirit, and plan to do it as much as possible this week.
- Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
- Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
- Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
- For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
- And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
- Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
- Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.
Love you all.
How goes the Prince of Peace initiative for Easter?
Haven't heard about it! Easter isn't really a thing here haaha its "Semana Santa" and they are more into worshipping images and I think some people get nailed to crosses and stuff, so stay tuned, could be an exciting week.
Busy Catholic holiday all week…any special rules for you missionaries?
As of now haven't heard anything, most people leave the little towns, so I think it should be pretty quiet.
How’s your blue-house family doing? Hopefully they recognised the Spirit when they felt it again.
Ugh they feel it but they weren't there when they said they would be and when we looked for them again we just found one son and had a super spiritual lesson and he just said the feeling is like vibrations from the universe or something
Do you ever get to use FamilySearch as a missionary tool? Invite people to the church to do family history? Of course I asked this!
Mmm not much but one sister asked us to organise a stake wide missionary and family history activity this week so we are planning on getting on it
Have a wonderful, dry (?!) week!
not raining too too much, just a lil
Art we won in the ward activity because we helped with a game of gospel trivia.
The beginnings of Semana Santa from the roof of our house in Totolac
"Las casas azules"
Saturday, 8 April 2017
Super powerful friends I have. (after reading a few blurbs mom sent him last email from all his friends on missions)
Also I don't really know the Philippines very well but they're getting another temple so that will get some people hyped!
Honestly a pretty big turn around week, things are looking up! We found so many new investigators this week, a family that got baptised 12 years ago that lost contact with everything about the church because they moved to these blue houses in the far corner of our area but yeee pretty cool stuff. Lots of people accepting baptismal dates, now we just gotta work with the members so they can get to church. We trained in the zone conference about using the book of Mormon to teach with people's needs using the example of a doctor (Elder Navas) who gave pills for every part of the body BUT the part the patient actually needs. We do that a lot when we just teach the same lesson from the same pamphlet to every investigator. It turned out very powerful, and I almost cried from the spirit which was cool. Learned so much in the divisions with the assistants too, this Elder and my companion both have the gift of discernment and I didn't understand how important that it, because so often when we leave from the lesson, they will tell me something key about the person we were teaching and I will say "How do you know?" and they just say they can feel it, even with things like "He was sweating in the lesson because he has to pay his lawyer money this weekend or he's not going to be able to keep seeing his kids." Like things super specific that we later find out are true. When we know everything about these people, we love them and can teach them better, but lots of times they don't want to tell us things like that because its personal. We first have to listen with the intencion to understand and then listen to what the spirit will tell us. I have started to apply this and it is so cool. Loving Totolac.
I might not remember who said everything because I left my notes in the house, but what I learn overall is that we have to be humble. President Monson taught me that without saying it because he literally has more power and authority that any other person on the earth right now but he spoke so little and he spoke about things so simple like the book of Mormon and loving one another. That can be applied in the mission too because we shouldn't speak about deep doctrine or argue with them, we should teach doctrine that saves. I also learned a lot from Elder Bednar- I think when he talked about how it doesn't matter where we serve (calling in the church, assignment in the mission, kind of mission that we are serving, companion, area, in the street, in the store, in the house, in our quorums, etc.) it just matters that we are serving. I had always heard that before, but hit me hard this time. I'm so sure these men are called of God. I heard in the zone conference that if we feel the need to repent after a talk or lesson or experience, it was a good one, and I feel the need to repent now so that's good!
That's it for now, I am so grateful to be serving the Lord in this area, I love him so much and am so grateful for the guide of his spirit in my life.
Do you have rubber shoes you can wear in the rain?
No, might buy some soon.
Have you asked yourself, “How am I doing?” And….?
That was a question I wrote in the conference, "Is the Lord happy with me right now?" And the answer I found was in another question, "Are you progressing?" I think this week I really did progress lots, focusing a lot on developing gifts of God right now and I think it's helping, gift of discernment is super real and powerful and my companion has it a lot.
Do you keep your promises?
Good question, guessing it was inspired by the primary presidents talk? Honestly not like I should. Even if it's a small promise like "We will arrive at 4:00" and we arrive at 4:05, it's through these small promises that we learn to make bigger promises and covenants with God.
Who is someone who inspired you this week?
We had splits with the assistants this week and Elder D inspired me a lot. We went to look for a contact from the day before and they gave a false address and I felt a bit bummed out because we had climbed a really long steep hill to find this woman, and I started walking to the next lesson kind of slowly, but this Elder started knocking doors before I even turned my head and the third door we found a father and his 3 kids who are going through some hard times and we taught a super spiritual lesson and they all accepted baptismal dates because he didn't let something like that get him down. Pretty cool.