Monday, December 30, 2013

Birthday pictures!

December 28th, 2013





An awesome week!

December 30th, 2013

So we had a pretty good week this week. The work was a little slow because some of our investigators left on vacation but we could find some new investigators too! The most awesome of them is the family Sobrevillo. They´re a mom, dad, and 3 kids, 7, 5, and 1. They are super nice, very respectful and smart which to be honest is something a little difficult to find here. They were a reference from one of the youth who had talked with the dad when he worked on his roof. They are both accountants and work in the house so they are almost always home too. They have a ton of questions which is great but makes it a bit difficult to teach sometimes. We met them Saturday, and invited them to church on Sunday, and the went! which almost never happens.. We went to visit them again yesterday and shared a video about the birth of Christ and talks about whats happening in the book of Mormon in this time. Then they had a bunch of questions and made us some hot milk nut flavored I think, and some sweet bread. They are really awesome and I hope that they can really recieve an answer that all this that we teach is true!  

Oh yeah, so christmas wasn´t too special here. We had permision to be out until 10 but when we got to the dinner no one had arrived yet so the sister there made us some fried chicken real fast, we ate by ourselfs then went home. Merry christmas. But there´s a thing here called recalentado which basically means leftovers so they have another dinner of the leftovers and we actually ate better christmas day than christmas eve. Wow, I think I might have gained a little weight this month though from all the food. 

My birthday was wonderfull. The food anyway. The sister made us sirloin stakes wrapped in bacon with mashed potatoes and gravy and veggies with garlic bread. It was the most American thing I´ve eaten here in México! Also, the brother is a return missionary from New York! Awesome huh?? From the city, but still!

So thats basically what´s been happening here. Hope you are all having a wonderfull week and have a wonderfull New Years!!

With lots of love,
Elder Warren

Monday, December 23, 2013

Missionary Christmas Party!










Week one with Elder Cordoba

December 23rd, 2013

Well what I can say is that this week was much better than the other three weeks I was here with Elder Ayala. I don't like to say it, but I'm glad I have a new companion now. Elder Cordoba is pretty cool. We're working super hard here because there was almost no work from Elder Ayala. I felt bad that he had to come here to that but we are making some progress. Monday, and Tuesday had nothing. We were walking all day those days searching for less actives, old investigators, references, and anyone who would take a second to hear us and we found nothing.. Thursday we went to a reference of our ward mission leader and found a new investigator!! Finally haha. 

On Friday, we had our christmas party for the missionaries in the morning. We had a devotional and played a couple of games, one of them was pretty interesting where each zone got different colored balloons and you tied one to each leg, then you go and try to pop the balloons of the other zones. It was a balloon popping war and it got pretty intense in parts. Then we ate and president gave us each a present. I got a J. Garcia tie, which made me think a lot of my dad haha. Dad, I promise you can have the tie when I come home haha. 

Then my comanion had to do two baptismal interviews for the district then we went to the ward christmas party and when we got there the asked us to sing something so we sang silent night in three part harmonies because one of the Elders in the ward sings bass really well and I sung tenor. 

Then on Saturday. Oh pure power. We found three new investigators! One was an old investigator from other missionaries, another her niece, and the third, another reference from our ward mission leader. Ah what a great day. 

On Sunday we had an interesting lesson with the relative of the old investigator. We returned for our second visit and read 3 Nephi 11. Then we asked her if she believes in God. Just about everyone we talk to here in México, believes, even if it´s only a little, in God. She sat thinking and said, ´´hmm, no one has ever asked me that before. I´m not sure. I don´t know if he does exist or if he doesn´t.´´  When the missionaries went to her house before, she would sit in the lesson for maybe 5 minutes then go up to her room. But this time, she stayed for all of the lesson. I think she is reallizing that it´s a question that she needs to answer. We asked her how she felt after we had read and explained the chapter and she said, ´´I don´t know why but I feel like good. Peacefull like not stressed out.´´ The power of the Book of Mormon ladies and gentlemen. I am confident that she is going to be able to recieve her answer as to weather there is a God or no. Ahh It feels good to be a missionary haha. 
(If any of you haven´t read 3 Nephi 11 recently, or ever.. DO IT!! That includes you guys too. You know who I´m talking to.. And pay attention to how you feel when you read it. When the Holy Ghost testifies something to us, he does it through how we feel. So when you ask, Why do I feel so good when all I did was read a little part of this book?? Well there´s your answer. The holy ghost testifies of things that are true. Thats your homework for this weekend. To pay attention to how you are feeling after you read that chapter).

Well I hope that you all have a wonderfull christmas and are able to feel the christmas spirit! 

May God bless you all and have a wonderfull week!

Love,
Elder Warren

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Transfers!

December 16th, 2013

Soo My companion is going to die tomorrow. Which means he is going home. I am going to be recieving a new companion tomorrow. His name is Elder Cordova. He is going to be the district leader but I am also going to be senior comanion. It´s really weird but I´m just going with it. I guess it´s to like train me to be a district leader or something like that.
This week was alright. We didn´t really have too much success because my companion didn´t want to do anything his last week. We went to visit the one investigator that we had but he didn´t go to church again. I´m pretty sure he just is going to get baptised for his family and not because he really wants to. We are going to have to verify that. 
Something cool that happened this week was that we went into a little store to buy something and the chashier asked me ´´hey, do you guys preach the word of God?´´ and I was like, well, yeah haha. He asked us what we believe as a religeon because his boss, the owner of the store is really religeous so he has lots of questions. We´re going to visit him this week to see what happens. I´m pretty excited for that, hope everything works out well.
But yeah, that was basically all that happened this week. Hope you all have a wonderfull week and I´ll be writting you next Monday!
Love,
Elder Warren



Monday, December 9, 2013

This week..

December 9th, 2013

Soooo, this week wasn´t the best, but it ws alright. The only real investigator that we have couldn´t meet us this week but the good the good thing is that he got married on Friday! But this is the second Sunday that he hasn´t gone to church so we need to make sure that he understands the importance of going to church. We haven´t been finding too many new investigators this week so we need to improve that too. 

Oh yeah, something that I forgot to tell you I think is that there´s Hermanas in our district! Actually, the past transfer the first american sisters came into México! And they´re in our mission! And on of them is in our district! It´s pretty interesting. It´s the first time I´ve been able to be in a district with sisters. 

Oh yeah!! Story time. Soo, I got bit by a dog this week. Yup. It finally happened. So there´s like a million stray dogs here in México and all the street dogs are pretty much trained to leave you alone, because if a steet dog is mean, it doesn´t live very long. So I think these dogs were the kind that are usually tied up, but this day they weren´t. So they came at us, but I thought that they weren´t going to do anything, but my companion hit one with his backpack and the other bit me. Sooo yeah. Don´t worry, it was a little ankle bitter so It barely did anything but we still had to go to the hospital and get it looked at and I got a rabies shot I think it was. But they were making us pay for everything, like they didn´t understand that the insurance we have covers everything so President and Hermana Morales showed up and put them in line. Then took us out to eat at Carl´s Jr. which I think is Presidents favorite fast food restaurant because it´s the second time I´ve eaten there with him haha. We went back to where the dogs were, my companion and I to teach them a lesson, but they weren´t out. Next time. 

I hope you all are having a great week and are enjoying the Christmas season!!

Love,
Elder Warren

Monday, December 2, 2013

First Week in Reynosa!

December 2nd, 2013

Hello everyone! soo I´d love to tell you all about the awesome people that I´ve met here in the ward of Riveras but I´m really struggling on remembering everyone´s name but the people here are really awesome!! An awesome family invited us to a thanksgiving dinner on Saturday with a turkey and some Mexican food but it was good. W have someone that´s going to get baptised in like 2 weeks who´s name is Fernando. 

My companion is going to finish his mission is like 2 weeks so I have to learn this area pretty quick and who knows whats going to happen after that. My companion is a good missionary but he´s become a little lazy.. I´m trying to get him to work but it dosn´t help that his mission ends in 2 weeks. As they say in the mission, he´s dying.  But he´s a good guy, his name is Elder Ayala. 

Hope everything is going awesome over there! I heard there´s snow over there! It warmed up a bit here but yeah. I love you all, sorry I don´t really have more for you but I really barely remember anything because everything is new.. haha. 

Hope you all have a great week!!

With lots of love,
Elder Warren

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mas Pics

 Elder Flores and Angel!

Elder Flores and the Going Away Cake

When missionaries get hungry.... 

















Rio Bravo Zone!

                                                            Slick hair!


My last week in Monerreal!!

November 25th, 2013

Thats right folks! This missionary is finally leaving his native land of Monterreal, Rio Bravo to bigger and better things! We recieved the call Saturday. I'm going to Riveras 2 in Reynosa. I'm pretty sure it's the ward of the mission president haha. I will be going with Elder Ayala for three weeks when he finishes then who knows what will happen. He's the district leader right now so it's possible that I will be a district leader in 3 weeks! ahhhhhh!!! Or Training!!!! AHHHHH!!!! No But it's really exciting! I have to learn everything in 3 weeks though so that will be a little tough but I think I can do it! 

This week was pretty awesome! Angel is progressing fantastically. Actually I sent a photo of us so you know him. It's a little sad that I won't be here for his baptism but that's how the mission is. You always leave before a baptism. Also the couple we found last week, Karime and Edgar, are fantastic!! We got to there house last night, and it was super cold, oh yeah so it's been really really cold here these past few days it's pretty crazy. Anyway, we got there and Edgar left, went to the store bought some sweet bread, and some milk and invited us to coffee haha. Then he was like, What you don't drink coffee?? So we taught the word of wisdom and agreed to live it! He is actually really awesome. After church, he was given a gospels principles book and was studying it before we visited him on tuesday! We got there and he had a bunch of awesome questions! If you didn't know yet, questions are the best!!

So Elder Love, the zone leader, told me something really special today. He told me that people have come up to him from my branch and have told him how good of a missionary I am. How I have been able to change a lot of things in this branch simply by my attitude or the way that I am. It really helped me because I guess I didn't realize I had that much of an impact here but it was really nice to hear that. So really if you like a missionary, tell him how awesome he is! And maybe not in front of his companion haha. 

Well I hope everything has gone fantastic for you people this week. Keep me in your thoughts, as I keep you in mine. Love you all!

With much love,
Elder Warren

Monday, November 18, 2013

A week of new investigators!

November 18th, 2013

This week we were able to find 5 new investigators!! This has really been a challenge for us lately. We are now recieving more references from people and went back and found some old investigators. Angel is still doing great. Went to church yesterday and we moved his baptism date up to november 30 so that he can go to the temple one week later on December 7th! He´s super ready and prepared, he just needs to go to church a couple more times. 

Cool story time. Okay, so about a week ago, we recieved a call from a missionary in Reynosa that had a reference for us, just the name and phone number. So we called her that night, didn´t answer. We waited about a week, I think we forgot about it, and called her again. She answered, this was Saturday, and said, well is it alright if we meet at church? Sure! we said. Didn´t show up to church when it started at 9. But she showed up at 11! We went in another sacrament meeting for a branch that starts at 11 and then they went in the classes of that Branch for that day. She brought her boyfriend with her. We planned to visit her at 6:30 that night. we started a lesson at 5:30 and it went on, and on, and on, and on. We didn´t leave till 7ish and I was a little ticked off that we wasted so much time. Sure this sister needed our help, but it was a lot of time. We quickly went to the house of Karime is her name, and found her boyfriend outside the house because he was locked out. He had left the house then Karime went to go buy some groceries I guess and took the keys with her. We talked with him for like 2 minutes and then Karime showed up. Later in the lesson she was talking about how they had talked about prayer in gospel principles class andshe was praying really hard that she would be able to get home before we showed up because she was running late and missed one of the busses. It´s really amazing how the lord directs and guides us in our lives. Lots of times, we feel frustrated when God starts to guide us, like I was after the hour and a half lesson, but we need to realize that he knows everything. And if he´s planning something for us, we need to accept it. Also, lots of times, we don´t realize we are being, or have been guided by God, until after it has happened! I really learned a lot from that. Trust in the will of the Lord. Now, we just have to work out a few kinks between them because they are living together but aren´t married. Karime is an inactive and her boyfriend, Edgar is an investigator, but the both of them are really ready to learn!

I hope that all of you are having, and had a wonderful week!! Until next week!!

Love,
Elder Warren

Monday, November 11, 2013

Two Ho Ho's

This is what happens when you finish 8 months in the mission.. Two ho ho´s in the mouth at the same time. Yup. We´re mature. 







Nallely's Baptism





Baptism!

November 11th, 2013

Umm yeah.. you probably received a few extra emails but yeah.. 

This week we had a baptism!! wooo We were able to finally baptise Nallely! In the pictures are her mom and her nephew that is two years older that her. It´s kind of weird but hey. I was really excited for her! I just really hope that they will keep going to church because the other six daughters of her mom were baptised too but now all are inactive. We´re going to have to keep visiting them for a while to make sure that they don´t fall away. 

We also visited Angle a lot this week. He´s so awesome haha. He´s progressing very well also. He couldn´t go to church this week for an emergency in the family but he is really excited about the church. He was actually asking us when the next temple trip is because he wants to go and do temple work! So we might be baptising him in november 30th!! 

The problem that we have now is that we aren´t finding many new investigators.. We have recieved some references but when we go to visit them, they aren´t at home or something happens that we can´t find people in their home. We´re really going to focus on finding new investigators this week. Hopefully the members will be able to help us out. 

Oh yesterday in church, President Morales and his wife suprised us with a visit to our Branch. They gave some really great talks in Sacrament meeting and then in the sunday school class, the topic was every member a missionary. It was so perfect, I still don´t believe it. But sister Morales was in the class and a question was asked, How can we help the full time missionaries? And there were things like, Oh give them food! Give them a ride somewhere! Then the teacher asked Sister Morales and she was like, Well that´s easy, give them a reference! Go and teach with them! Basically told them that if the Branch isn´t growing, it isn´t the fault of the missionaries, it´s the fault of the members. All the people in the class were just like ... oh... haha. I hope it helps though. 

Everything is going good here though, I got a little runny nose the other day but I´m recovering. The weather has actually gotten pretty cold lately, but I love it!

Hope everything is going great for all of you on ´´the other side´´ as they call it here haha. Love you all!

Love,
Elder Warren

Monday, November 4, 2013

Progress

November 4th, 2013

Slowly but surely we are seeing progress. Still the only real investigators that we have are Angle and Nayeli. We are still working with them and they were both able to go to church today! Nayeli has me a bit worried though. She is only going for the first hour then she leaves with her mom. Her mom started a buisness very recently that´s like a food stand thing. So she leaves church after the first hour to run that. We need to be able to explain very well the sabath day and we are trying to find someone her age that has kids around her age too to be her friend and visit them during the week but it´s pretty difficult. Also we had a lesson with her yesterday and it was sooo dificult! She was not focusing at all and it took more than half an hour to understand that tithing is 10% of all that we earn... My companion was trying to help her and eventually was like, you ask her Elder. haha. 

We had a zone conference this week that was really awesome. The wife of the president, Hermana Morales, told us that if at any time we need to feel better or like have someone tell us they love us, basically a mom, we can call her haha. It was really sweet. 

We are still visiting Angle and he was able to go to church this week! He probably left right after work and didn´t sleep at all but it really shows the commitment that he has. It´s really awesome. We just have to really check his motives haha, because he´s good friends with one of the young women. 

Something that we did this week was we fasted. We fasted specifically that every family that we asked if they know someone that can benifit from our message, can give us a family that is prepared to recieve us and the gospel. We are starting to see the fruits of it already. We haven´t recieved many but we have many pending references!! Hopefully this will really help us. 

Also, we were able to get our Elders quorum president to go to church yesterday for like the first time in almost 3 months! haha. But he really does want to work, it´s just that there is a lot of criticism sometimes against the leaders. It kind of annoys me. But hey. 

Hope you all are having a great day and continue to have a marvolous week! Que tengan una buena semana! Hasta Luego!

Con amor,
Elder Warren

Monday, October 28, 2013

Never stop learning!

October 28th, 2013

This week was... interesting.. It had it´s good moments and it´s bad. But we´re going to talk about the good moments!!

We have an amazing investigator, his name is Angel. He is very good.. Very good.. friends with one of the young women. He is super amazing. We were able to visit him in his house this week and my companion was like, Wow, He´s awesome! And I was like, Yeah I know!! He is really responsible and is really searching this religeon for himself. He is making honest efforts to assist sacrament meeting, only that his work is saturday night in another city. But he´s been able to go once and he loved it. I really hope I stay here long enough to see his baptism. I know, one moment I want to leave and now that I´ve been here 7 months, I don´t want to go haha. 
But something that I admired in him was his interest really in learning. Something that we as missionaries have to focus on is leaving commitments with people. Members, inactives, or investigators. We don´t progress, unless we keep commitments. There´s a magic formula that we use as missionaries to make a commitment with someone. First, ask if they will do something, in the most dirrect way possible, such as ¨will you go to church this Sunday?¨ or ¨will you read the book of Mormon and pray  to ask if it is true?¨ Ask questions that require yes or no, and don´t accept any other answer. Then, make a promise with them. This part is a little different with missionaries that with normal members because we have been set apart to be able to make promises to people. Saying things such as, ´´as representatives of Jesus Christ, we can promise you that if you pray for an answer....´´ like that. Then we bear our testimony about the thing that we are commiting them to do. Then we verify when they are going to do it. Jesus Christ taught with commitments. The New Testament is filled with commitments. But because Jesus Christ isn´t here to make commitments in person with our investigators, we have been sent as his representatives to help people grow spiritually. 

Angel demostrated this perfectly. We asked him to read 3 Nephi 11 for our next visit. When we returned, he we verified his commitment to read that chapter. He said, ´´oh yeah, I read it. Actually I read it like 3 times so I could understand it better. It was actually really cool how Jesus Christ came down and all the people went to him.....´´ And explained the whole chapter to us. We asked him questions to help him focus on the parts that were most important to him in this moment, like Baptism, and it went very well. 

When we keep commitments, wheather they come from our home/visiting teachers, the prophet or other leaders of the church, the scriptures, or from ourselves, when we keep these commitments is when we grow spiritually. I can promise to all of you, as a representative of Jesus Christ, that as we keep our commitments that we have made with our Heavenly Father, keep the commitments that the Prophet has asked us, and keep the commitments that the prophets of old, including Jesus Christ have asked of us in the scriptures, that your relationship will grow closer to God. That you will feel the spirit more abundantly in your life. That you will be able to experience real joy and peace that only come through living the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I hope everything is going well at home and that you all have a wonderfull, spiritually uplifting week!

With much love,
Elder Warren

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pictures!



Buena Semana!

October 21st, 2013

This week was pretty great actually! I was a little upset earlier that I was still in my first area, and that I´m going to be here for a while, who knows how long, but I feel much better now. My new companion is Elder Flores, yeah Elder Flowers. He is really awesome though. Really spiritual and I feel like I can be myself with him. 

We had a pretty alright week this week. The little Nalleli went to church again and was in the primary program! She also brought two of her cousins and her Aunt with her! We are also still teaching Angel and he didn´t have to go to work this weekend so he went to church and said that it was cool! So that was great. Also there are families and members bringing family members and friends to church. The work, slowly, is starting to move forward! 

The most important part about this week is that I feel like I should be here right now. There were times in the last transfer when I really felt like going home, or thought a lot about how nice it would be to be home, and it distracted me a lot. I feel like I am much more focused now on the people here and on what I need to do here in Rio Bravo. My companion and I in our weekly planning session were thinking of new ideas to find new investigators, one of them being starting an English clase in the church and maybe a music clase! =) Also we are making family mission plans with the member families when we go to eat. It´s like a ward mission plan, but for the family. What can the do specifically to share the gospel, and make goals. Then we will check up on them when we eat with them again in 2 weeks. I´m excited to start to see the work move forward and see success here. 

It´s great to hear from all of you back home. I really do miss you but I´m trying really hard to focus an what I need to do here. 

thanks for all of the support and love!

With much love,
Elder Warren

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Another transfer in Monterreal!

October 14th, 2013

Thats right folks! I will be spending at least 6 more weeks in Rio Bravo! My companion, Elder Amador is officially going home tomorrow so I will have a new companion, Elder Flores, who is going to finish his mission in one transfer and 2 weeks. So I will be transferred after this one and he will have to teach the area in 2 weeks, or I will just be here for the rest of my mission. 

I was really feeling a little upset about being here so long. I'm now the oldest missionary in this zone, or I've been here longer than any other missionary. The good part is that I know the people here really well. And they've seen me grow because really, I grew up as a missionary here in Rio Bravo. I went from almost not speaking any spanish, to giving talks in sacrament meeting. In this week, I've really had to reflect on why I'm still here. God has a reason for me that I'm still here. I guess there's something that I still need to do in this area of the vinyard that I haven't done yet. 

This past week really helped me feel better about staying here. We found some new investigators that look very promising. We just happened to run into a bunch of people that seemed really prepared to hear the gospel, which was fantastic! We had a lesson with a 16 year old kid, a friend of a young girl  that lives below us. His name is Angel. We were able to have our first lesson in the chapel and the spirit was super strong. He has had a lot of problems in his life. I'm not going to say all of them for his privacy and such but his father has passed away, and when he was here, was abusive to his mom. Him and his sister are pretty sick, but he has to travel to Reynosa every weekend to work so that his family has money. We talked with him about the love that God has for all of his children. How we can all repent of the bad things we have done and that really God forgets the things we have done when we repent. We talked also about the power of prayer. The comfort that we recieve when we talk with our Heavenly Father on a daily basis. There really is power in prayer. I've experienced the feelings of peace when Heavenly Father forgave me of sins I have commited and I've felt answers to my questions and doubts. I'm really excited for Angel. 

Nalleli also is progressing well. She's a little 10 year old girl who is part of a less active family. Her and her mom have gone to church now 2 times and we're going to keep encouraging them to go. 

We were able to have a success with a less active who went to church for the first time since I've been here. It's really interesting to see that there are people that really are ready to go to church, they just need an invitation. We only visited her twice and she's gone to church two times now. It really makes me happy to see things like that happen. 

We went to visit Luis Lopez, the brother that we re-activated and baptised his kids. This guy is amazing. Like, he's going to be the next branch president. He's making visits with less actives, even though he doesn't have any assignments. He is also preaching the gospel to some people at work. He is really excited about the work of salvation. I really do love them and their family, it's one of the happiest things I've experienced is with them. 

So yeah, I'm ready to be in this area again, to teach it again, and to have some more success here! Hope everythings is going well at home, I pray for you guys daily, and I'll make sure to pray more specifically for Dad. I love you!

Love,
Elder Warren

Monday, October 7, 2013

General Conference!

October 7th, 2013

Well this week started out pretty interesting. This Monday started out with getting sick. Don´t worry I´m totally fine now, but I had a temperature going so we went and bought medicine and I went and slept almost all of tuesday and wednesday. Thursday we worked a little but still didn´t feel great and worked all day Friday and by the end of the day didn´t feel to great. I´ve realized how important being in good health is for missionaries. I really did not feel like being a missionary when I was sick. I hated feeling that way too. But now I feel better! On to more happy news.

The family I told you about last week where the kids speak English went to church on Sunday! It was awesome! I´m not sure how much they liked it, I think they were a little bored because It was two hours of sitting listening to old guys talking and if you don´t really have an invested interest in who they are or what they are saying I could see how it could be pretty boring. We didn´t have the chance to teach them again that day to really ask them how it went so we have to wait until next Saturday. 

So I don´t think I told you last week but my companion is probably going home early at the end of this transfer. He has some back problems and he can chose to go home on time and wait for a surgury and they church won´t pay for it, or he can go home 2 months early and the church insurance will cover the cost of the surgury so he´s going home now. Soo that means that I am most likely going to be in Rio Bravo again. It seems like I´ve been here forever haha. Well now about 1/4 of my mission so it has been a while but I´d like to get to see some other places. Maybe President Morales will send some new missionaries in, who knows. 

Something pretty cool today is that there are a ton of butterflies here! Because all the butterflies go to México for the winter so there´s literally thousands of them flying around! It´s pretty awesome. 

So the General Conference was pretty cool! On Sunday we got to watch it in English but on Saturday it was in Spanish. I´m pretty sure I got mostly all of it but it was a little easier to zone out at times (I was still a little sick to my credit.) But there were many great messages in this session and the spirit was felt very strongly. Saturday was really focused on the work of salvation which I love, I just hope everyone was able to hear and apply it. 

I hope all of you have a great week this week! Enjoy the changing leaves and such! It was pretty cool here yesterday, like I was comfortable with my Jacket. 

With love,
Elder Warren

Monday, September 30, 2013

One more week

September 30th, 2013

Well this week went pretty well. The three kids of the Lopez Castillo family were confirmed in church yesterday and there were a good number of Less actives that showed up! The mom of one of our investigators, who is less active, went to church with her daughter! I was so happy because the three weeks before there was a different excuse for why they didn´t go but this week they finally went! Also a less active named Hugo that we found this week went to church! Miracles really are happening! Yesterday, we decided to visit a teenager that has talked to me in the street a couple times because she speaks almost pure English but visits México on the weekends. We went to teach her and her family and it turns out that her mom is an inactive member! haha and the kids didn´t even know. They are super prepared. The have a lot of experiences with God, mostly the parents, but like the father is an alcoholic and went to AA and was telling us how we have to accept that there is a God more powerfull than us and that when you have an addiction like that, you have to rely on his help. The only bad part is that we can only visit them on Saturday and Sunday. But the good part is that when we invited them to church, they usually go to a catholic church, but the father was like, Sure we´ll go to their church next week, why not? Which was awesome! I just hope he ment it. Oh yeah, and the whole lesson was in English! My poor companion barely talked but it was fun to do almost a whole lesson by myself haha. 

For those of you worried about safety, health, or whatnot, don´t worry! I´m absolutly fine. It rained pretty good for about two weeks but it dries up pretty quick here. It´s been pretty calm here to in terms of like violence so don´t worry about that either. Missionaries are always protected from things like that if they are being obedient. (which I am, don´t worry)

We had some pretty spiritualy lessons this week. Actually, I think the most spiritual lessons that we did have were those where a member acompanied us (ahem.) But I really did learn something from that. The members sometimes, actually almost all the time, can relate better with the people we´re teaching than us missionaries can. 

Well I hope you are all doing well at home, enjoying weather that doesn´t make you sweat every day and watching the leaves turn all pretty. Could you maybe send me a picture of our house? Every time I say I´m from New York, people freak out because they think I´m from the city haha. 

I love you all very much and pray for you daily! Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Warren

Monday, September 23, 2013

Baptisms!

September 23rd, 2013

Well, we had three baptisms this week! It was really awesome! It was so nice to see the dad baptise three of his children. It really is a miracle that they have come back so strong. The program was great, there was even a special number by the children of the primary that almost made me cry. They sang, well I don`t remember the name, but it`s the one that goes, I like to look for rainbows, whenever there is rain. Really awesome. I`ll be sending pictures to you of that family. If I ever come back to Mèxico, I`m definitaly going to go visit them. I could tell also that the father felt really great and the kids also haha.
 
Other than that this week wasn`t too fantastic. We have a less active family that has a lot of non members and we`ve been trying to get them to come to church now for 3 weeks. Every week they said that they would come, but they haven`t assisted since then. Satan is working very hard with the people here to keep people from coming to church.
 
I`ve been thinking a lot about how I can improve as a missionary and just as a person in general. Chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel is a wonderfull tool for this. there`s a person test you can take at the very end of the chapter to help your evaluate yourself and then each topic more in depth to help you improve in the areas in which you are weak.
 
Something I`ve realized this week, or re-realized, is that we are always improving. There isn`t a point in the which we have become as good as we can be. This is also true to our conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. As we grow stronger in the gospel, we become firmer in our faith and conviction to ``do good continually.`` The people of King Benjamin experienced this type of conversion in Mosiah 5:2-5. They believed through the holy ghost on the words of their King and desired to do good so much that they made a covenant with God to remember him always and always keep the commandments, which happens to be the same covenant we make in baptism. I think we all need to work on improving ourselves so much that we have a desire to do good, not only the obligation. I`m still working on that in certain areas, and I think we all are, but I know that we can improve continually if we remember our Lord, who we need daily as a sustinence.
 
I hope you all had  a great week and continue to grow spiritually!
 
With much love,
Elder Warren

Monday, September 16, 2013

The work goes on!

September 16th, 2013

Well we had a pretty nice week this week. It wasn't quite as awesome as the first week but it was pretty good. We found a new investigator who is awesome! His name is Rey and we were walking down the street and he started talking to us and then started talking in English! haha. He was born here in Mexico but moved to Texas a while ago like in 1970 something and just came back here like 6 months ago. We met him and agreed to have us over the next day to talk to him. Later that same night we saw him again and started asking us all these questions so we answered some of the questions and gave him a book of Mormon. So we left him with that and  with some questions because he had a bunch. We found him in his house the next day and he said he had been reading the Book of Mormon that night and was really attentitive to what we were saying. He had lots of questions which is really awesome because that means they actually want to hear what you´re saying. Its a custom here to be nice to people, even if you don´t want what they have to offer. It like people here can´t say no. They´ll say that they´ll go to church but then won´t go. They´ll listen to the whole lession pretending to be paying attention but they really aren´t paying any attention. But Rey, obviously, was different. We explained lesson 1 which answered his questions about what the book of mormon is, why we have it, things like that. He also said that he was now really curious about what the book says and that he´s gonna start reading it like crazy. He has been looking for a church his whole life. He was baptised catholic as a baby but he doesn´t like that he didn´t have any choice in what church he was baptised in so we explained that we don´t baptise infants and that you should chose for yourself where you get baptised and he liked that. I think he´s studied whith every church except ours because he hadn´t really hear about us haha. But.. there´s bad news to this story. We found out that he went to Houston to work and his family doesn´t know for how long he will be gone. The good part is that he´ll come back. 

Also, we had a zone conference with a member of the first quorom of the seventy. It was a pretty awesome conference. There were some changes in how we will be working as missionaries. The focus on the conference was how to work with the members, because as I´m sure you know by now, the work of salvation is for all members not just missionaries. Also earlier, missionaries focused mostly on missionary work, but now it´s the work of Salvation. One of the changes, is that now members have to assist sacrament meeting 5 times before they can be baptised, when before it was 2. I think this is a really great idea because now we can take our time teaching the people the lessons and we can be sure that they are ready for baptism. 

The three children of the family that is now officially active again, is going to be baptised this Sunday at 5 and their father will be baptising them! How exciting haha. Also, President Morales was talking to me this week and told me pretty much that I´m leaving the area after this transfer, so I gotta enjoy my time here while I can!

We had lots of people that we are teaching that didn´t go to church this sunday. It makes me a little sad when that happens but There isn´t much more that we can do than invite then and ask if they want a ride and pray. 

In other news, it´s been raining like crazy here. I think it´s like a hurricane or something that decided to go into Mexico instead of Florida haha. Lots of mud. Not really what I imagined Mexico as. 

Well I hope you all had a good week and have a great week to come!

Love,
Elder Warren

Monday, September 9, 2013

New Companion!

September 9th, 2013

Well this week was actually really awesome, probably one of the best weeks I´ve ever had here in the mission. Well my new companion is Elder Amador. And he is awesome. He is so loving and kind to everyone. He is also really good at talking to people, which is something that I still struggle with. I think I´ve been making the excuse that it´s because I still don´t talk spanish very well, which I think maybe is partly true, but before I was also not very good at talking to people, especially people that I met for the first time, but I´m working on it. 

We found lots of new people this week, 9! A lot of the investigators are whats called a partial family, where part of the family members are members of the church and others aren´t. Most of these partial familes are less active at the moment, but we´re working with them. The three kids that I told you about that are in the family that is re-activating are still on for the baptism. We´re going to wait another two weeks so that the dad can be ready to perform the baptisms! I´m really excited for it!

I don´t really understand how or why it happened, but the work began to explode this week! I´m really excited for this transfer. 

Now I´m trying to think of a funny story for you..Oh well it did rain this week. A lot. Oh well firstly, we were walking in the morning on Friday, like we do every morning, and there was a little walled in garden and the wall reached up to about mid thigh. Oh, and it´s in the middle of a sidewalk. Mexico. but on this wall they have some like barb like things to keep birds from making nests there. But yeah, we were walking and all of a sudden, I hear RRRRIIIIIIIIIIPPPPPP. I look down, and my pants are ripped from my pocket down below my knee. It was horrible. But we kept going because we had an appointment with the kids of the family that´s re-activating. So we kept going over there, my companion shielding my right leg as we walked. I had hoped that the mom of the kids there could give me some safety pins or something, but she was asleep when we got to the house. Long story short, we didn´t find anyone that could fix my pants until we arrived at the house of the member that was feeding us that day. Oh yeah, and it rained a lot. The equivalent of if I was under that big barrel of water at Sea Breeze when it tips over. So the hermana gave me some pants of her son and she is fixing my pants at the moment. So it ended well but it was interesting. 

I really am learning a lot here about what life really means. Sometimes when I think about it, being on a mission still feels like a dream. I´m really used to doing this but it feels surreal when I really think about what I´m doing and how I only have these two years, now 18 months to do it. When I come back home, I will come back with all of the knowledge I´ve gained, but I won´t have the same authority or responsibilities that I have now. Thats why I have to do everything I can now and enjoy the time that I´m a missionary. 

Thanks for all of your love and support. And It´s great that you took the missionaries to the beach, but I ment more like go with them in a lesson of an investigator or less actives. Miracles in the work of salvation don´t happen without the help of the members! 

Hope you all have a wonderful week back at home!

Love,
Elder Warren  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cambios!

September 2nd, 2013

Yup that´s right, there´s.... dang I forgot how you say it in English.. Hold on.. TRANSFERS! thats the word. Well are you ready? Someone from my area is leaving and.. it´s... NOT ME! haha. My companion, Elder Millán, will be going to a place called Valle Hermosa, which here in the mission at least is called the city of three lies. It´s not a city, it´s not in a vally, and it´s not lovely haha. But yeah, thats how it is. I´m still here in good old Monterreal. Kind of sad because I wanted to leave a little bit but good because I get to be here for the baptism of the kids of the family that is reactivating. 

So I found out that they haven´t been to church in about 6 years. Now, because of us, the whole family is going and their kids are getting baptised!! How awesome huh? 

This week not much happened. We found two new people but when we went back for out appointment with them, they didn´t answer the door. It´s a bit frustrating but it´s how it is here. We were talking with a return missionary that lives below us and was telling us how in his mission, they had baptisms almost every week. Down in the south by Veracruz. The people here have much harder hearts, like Americans haha. I think it´s because we´re so close to the United States that the people here are actually a lot like people over there. 

Okay, story time. This is one of those stories that I will always remember because it was something crazy haha. Okay so my companion had to go to Matamoros for his last visit to the doctor. So we go to the bus station, now usually we have these little papers that let us get free tickets, but we ran out. So we had to buy our own tickets and get reimbursed later. Now remember this is at the very end of the month, so we didn´t have too much money. So we arrive in Matamoros, go to the doctor, everythings fine, we go to leave, but the last bus for Rio Brava, where we live, had already left. Because my companion didn´t want to sleep with the elders we were told to sleep with if we had to stay the night in Matamoros, he wanted to leave. So we decided to buy a bus dirrect to Reynosa, which passes by Rio Bravo. But we had to buy the tickets. The tickets were 100 pesos each. We pulled out all of the money that we had with us, and it equalled 200.70 pesos! Whew. So we bought the tickets with the plan to get off the bus on the highway outside Rio Bravo then walk home, which we weren´t sure could happen because they said it depends on the driver if he´ll let you off on the highway, but he did! So thats our crazy travel story. We went on a dirrect from Matamoros to Reynosa with 70 cents of pesos which is about 5 cents in American money, then walked about 5 Kilometros to our house. There are some pictures to come.

Well that was about my week right there. I hope you are all having a wonderfull week at home and don´t forget to support the missionaries!! They will love you for it! =)

With much love,
Elder Warren

Monday, August 26, 2013

starting to work again!



August 26th, 2013

Well we finally got out of the house again this Saturday and Sunday! It felt so great to go out and teach people! I think the most exciting thing that is happening that I am really excited for is that there is a less active family, that really isn´t less active anymore, (because of us) the family has been to church three weeks in a row now and they are planning on continuing. We found them when I was with Elder Parra and I´m pretty sure they haven´t been to church for 8 or 10 years. They went to the temple together, the husband and wife, but they fell away little by little. We found them using the list of members of the ward and went to visit him. We´ve had many powerfull lessons with him, Luis Humberto I think I´ve mentioned some of our past lessons in other emails, and now he and his family are going to church. He now has 5 children. Thats a reactivation of 7 people. Just thinking about that makes me so happy. It´s a joy that I´ve only experienced one or two other times, and these times where when Becki told me about her testimony and desire to follow Christ. It is so powerfull and beautiful. And best of all, three of the 5 kids are old enough to get baptised. 8, 10, and 12. We passed by yesterday and all three want to get baptised! They are planned to get baptised on the 7th of September. So exciting!!

Now, in regards to transfers. This is the last week of the transfer and I´m not sure if I´m going to change. It´s possible but I kind of doubt it because my companion still doesn´t know the area very well. I do want to leave and get to know new people and new missionaries, the only problem is the baptism is one week after the transfers. So I´m kind of hoping that I don´t leave but at the same time I want to leave. It seems like it´s always like that, when you start to have success in an area, you get transfered. 

The weather here is actually pretty nice. The canicula (not sure if thats how you spell it) is over and it´s been cloudy and overcast with a nice breeze for the past few days. Reminds me of home a bit haha. 

Yup well thats about all I got for this week. I love all of you and pray for all of you that are back home daily. Hope you all have a great week!

Love,
Elder Warren