Tuesday, May 28, 2013

week 6 in Mexico

May 27th, 2013

Hey all! Hows it going!? Didn´t get an email from you guys this week =( It´s okay though. This week was a tad frustrating, but I guess that happens in all missions. It was our first week back in my area and it was a little difficult because we didn´t have any appointments to go off of. Also, it seemed like all of our investigators were never at home when we went to visit. Also, we looked in our area book for inactive members that were baptised here and for old investigators. Almost no one was home. I don´t think we got an actual lesson off of any of these. So there were a lot of days this week where we had 1 maybe  2 lessons and the rest was walking. All day. 

Oh, something exciting did happen though after I wrote you last week, but you have to promise to not freak out. We were robbed in Soriana, which is kind of like a Walmart where there are groceries then stuff. It was like the most peacefull robbing I´ve ever experience, (the only one at that) But we´re fine, just short of 250 pesoes, which is about 20 american dollars. So yeah. We are going to be going to the Soriana with a member family from now on. Also, there´s a guy who is a friend of the missionaries, he isn´t interested in hearing the gospel, but he´s cool with us, and yeah, he had some guys go beat up the people that robbed us haha. Don´t worry we´re fine. I guess that has happened like 5 other times. Yeah, that was kind of the most exciting part of my week. 

Other than that, we found Mario who was the husband of Berenice, the lady that we gave a blessing to in the first time we met her. She went to the hospital shortly after that and found out when we walked past his house that she had died. He didn´t really seem that sad, he was pretty old so he had probably been ready for it. But yeah, hopefully we can teach him now. 

Also, a member family brought a family of 4 and one kid to a church activity on Thursday and yesterday to church. We were able to teach them and yeah, they´re a good family hopefully they accept our message! 

So I´ve made it through my first transfer! Lots of crazyness has happened haha. I´ve had 4 different companions in these 6 weeks, heard Elder Holland, was robbed, had a baptism. Mostly good things haha. 

Well I hope everything is going well at home! I love you all!! Hope you have a good week!!


Elder Warren

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

First Baptism Pictures!

Week 5 in Mexico!

May 21st, 2013

This week has been ridiculous! Okay, first of all, I have my Companion! He came on Friday night and our first day together was Saturday. He´s a native of México and lets just say that he speaks a lot less English than my First companion did but he is really cool. He is also really patient with me when I still don´t understand what he says after he repeats it 3 times, which I am very grateful for but I think I am going to learn the language a lot faster this way. His name is Elder Parra, which is hard for me to say because when there are double r´s you are supposed to roll them and I can´t really do it that well yet. I´m working on it though. You would laugh so hard, I'm just walking down the street making these grrr/gargling noises haha. 

This Sunday I had my first mission baptism!!!!! AHHHHH!!!! His name is Ivan, and is 17 years old and married to I think a 16 year old member who is now pregnant. Well, yeah. But he´s super good and wants to do the right thing. I was helping teach him when I was with the zone leaders this past week and they let me baptise him! It was aweseome haha. I really hope he stays active in the church. We had 3 baptisms in our district that day! How cool huh?? There are always people that are prepared to accept the gospel, you just have to find them! And a lot of that comes from the help of the members. We can´t knock on doors. The only way missionaries find people is by contacts in the street, which is about as usefull as trackting, and references from members. So they play a huge role here. It would be awesome, and I know every missionary in our ward would agree, if missionaries didn´t have to tract because they get references from the members. And think, there are only 30 something active members in our branch. I know that Brockport can help the missionaries enough so that they don´t have to tract and I also know it will be much more successful and there will be many more baptisms! So make a goal maybe to think of someone you can give a reference to the missionaries. And don´t be worried about offending people. Just imagine what  Christ would do in your position. He shared the gospel with everyone. He was also rejected a lot. We have been COMANDED in the scriptures to live a Christ-like life. That is why we have a record of his life, because it is an example of how we need to live. Which brings me to something super,awesome,wonderfull, amazing!!

Yesterday, all the missionaries in our mission gathered at the mission offices and heard our mission president and his wife speak, the area seventy and his wife speak, and the Elder Jeffrey R. Holland!! Elder Holland was just an hour of pure Spiritual edification. He is my favorite apostle, he really is. He is so powerfull when he speaks that there is no way you can question what he says. He started talking about what we need to do as missionaries (and this can apply to everyone by the way). We need to bring people to Bedrock, or the doctrine of Christ, Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. But more fundamental than teaching them these things, is for them to live it. And how do we get investigators to live the doctrine we teach them?? Thats a question that I´ve had too. Well Elder Holland said that your investigators will live the Doctrine when you live the doctrine! Follow the rules. The first law of heaven is obedience. We need to live as Christ. When we introduce ourselves, we say we are representatives of Jesus Christ, so we need to live like the person we are representing. Then we will have power when we teach. In fact, we don´t teach, the holy spirit does. And if the spirit is not present, WE CANNOT TEACH! There is no way. We need to be worthy of the Spirit and have him with us allways if we are going to be successfull. Also, he made a point, ´´you have your investigators, well you are God´s investigators. Do what you are teaching your investigators. You want your investigators to pray a little more sincerely, well God wants you to pray a little more sincerely. You want your investigators to get a little more out of their studies, well God wants you to try a little harder and get a little more out of your studies.´´  Tan poderoso. Also, he talked about i think was Ammon and also Nephi in 3 Nephi that when after they taught, the people were Astonished. The he asked, how often are your investigators astonished after you teach them? or for you guys, how often are the people you home teach astonished after your lesson? We need to teach with the aim of astonishing them!  The best way to astonish people is to live the Life of Christ: Also, he said, ´´you have not taught wth power of authority unless your investigators are Astonished.´´ 

He then went on to ask a question that I think everyone asks. ´´Why is this so hard? Why is it so hard to do missionary work, to live like Christ? Why is it so hard to do the right thing, to gain salvation.´´  He then said, ´´I´ve thought about that question for about half a century. And I´ve come up with an answer. It isn´t easy for us because it was NEVER easy for him.´´ boom. And if you think about it, Christ was the perfect example of a missionary and how much success did he have? Well he did convert thousands. But there were even more who saw every miracle, heard every sermon, that still didn´t believe. And eventually, he was put to death by his own people, the Jews. Betrayed by his own apostle. There is nothing we have to go through that Christ has not experienced. Salvation is not cheap neither is mercy or grace. It came at the price of the Blood of Christ. A quote he said that I love is ´´the road to Salvation always goes through Gethsemany.´´ 

So yeah, I love Elder Holland. It was so wonderful to hear him talk and I got to shake his Hand!!! ahhhhhhhh!  I will always remember that talk. I know without a doubt that this work is true. That this church is the church of Christ. That the missionaries are representatives of him and we need to live his life as does every one. Endure to the end, in 2 Nephi 31 is defined as Living a Christlike life after the example that we have of him. 

Thats cool about your calling! You´ll be able to bless many lives, just remember to teach with power and authority! Astonish the people you teach! I know you can, because I´ve been astonished by things you´ve taught before. It doesn´t have to be complicated at all. It can be just about baptism, but if you have the spirit, and teach with power and authority, you will astonish the people that hear you! 

I´m glad you are recieving even more blessings! Continue to live in faith and you will continue to recieve them! I love you all and hope you have a great week. Picture to come!!

Elder Warren

Monday, May 13, 2013

Week 4 in Mexico!

May 13th, 2013

This was a crazy past couple of days. I haven't slept in my house since Tuesday night. On Wednesday, I was on a split with another Elder that came to México the same time as me. It was... interesting haha. We had to do two lessons on our own and we did the rest with a member who is a return missionary and got back three weeks ago. It was really helpful to have him because when we didn't know what to say, he would help us out. The two lessons we had by ourselves though actually went really well! I felt the spirit in them and I could also understand a whole lot more than I do usually. I prayed super hard for the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues and it really helped a lot. We were able to teach two pretty solid lessons with not even a month in México!

Then that night, I got a call from the Zone leaders that Elder Pagaza was going home and I need to start packing his things. We met up later that night, I slept in the house he was in in another area then we walked back to our house at about 3am. There were no problems, we only saw one person and said Buenas Noches, and he replies, buenas noches, and that was it. We then finished packing his things and went to the bus station around 530. We then took the 5 hour bus ride to Monterrey and arrived there. He then had an interview with the President and I had a short one with the president after which is always cool. Its a privilege to have an interview with a mission president because they really are powerful people. Then I said goodbye to Elder Pagaza and he went home. I then spent the rest of the day with the Secretaries. So I helped with some paper work then we went out and taught some people. I then slept there and some other people had arrived because we were going to do some Visa stuff the next morning. So friday morning we went out to the international offices and all we ended up doing was finger prints and we have to come back in a couple weeks. So now México has all of my finger prints. 
Then we went home and I got back and went out with the Zone Leaders. Friday is Mothers day here so we didn't end up teaching anyone because no one was home. We went out Saturday and taught a bit. Its really cool to be with the Zone leaders because they are like the veterans of the mission and have a lot of experience and are very good at teaching. 
Then yesterday I called you guys! Which was great, I'm glad I got to hear from you and that you are all doing good and receiving much Bendiciones!! (blessings)  Les Amo Mucho!! I'm getting a little better at the whole Spanish thing. I guess by the end of the first two transfers you pretty much got it if you really work at it and Speak the language with your companion. 
But yeah, I don't really remember what happened tuesday but I'm pretty sure it was just a regular day. So yeah, crazyness. 

Well I love you all and hope everyone of you is doing well! I know without any doubt that this church is true! That this is where I'm supposed to be right know, with the people of México. I also know that everything happens for a reason. You may not know why something is happening, but the Lord does. He has his reasons and Every thing that happens to you you can learn from. 

Hope you all have a fantastic week!!

Elder Warren 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Tres Semanas en Mexico!


May 6th, 2013

Well It was another interesting week in México! Cinco de Mayo wasn't too crazy. There was a lot of music and people walking around. Apparently its kind of a dangerous day for Americans because 5 de Mayo was a battle between Mexico and America. But the worst that happened was this little kid on a bike called me Gringo. haha. We just kind of laugh at things like that.  

Don't worry about my feet they are just fine. No infections or anything. Also my eczema is way better. My skin is really clear right now. I also barely use my inhaler, don't really need it much. 

That's cool that Kirk is really excited for Washington! I don't think you will have to worry about him, he will be just fine. I hope he has a good adventure out there in our capital!

There was a pretty cool thing that happened this week. Unfortunately, it happened while I was on a split with the zone leaders so I didn't get to experience it, but my companion and the elder he was on a split with were walking down the street and an old lady started yelling for them to pray for her. Naturally, they took the opportunity and gave her a priesthood blessing. She was very sick, like couldn't move much and was coughing a lot and had trouble breathing. Me and my companion visited her on Saturday and taught her the restoration with her, her husband, and her daughter. The older lady and her husband seemed to believe every thing we were saying, just nodding their heads with every thing we said, her daughter not as much but yeah. But she was saying, the older lady, that she has really felt the spirit and she felt much better that day than the day before. The blessing and power of the priesthood are so real! And because of that, they both have a baptism date for the 25 of May. The daughter was a little apprehensive but was participating in the lesson at least.

 Also, yesterday, we were walking down the street with nothing to do. We had no appointments made for yesterday so planned on contacting addresses that were given to us from other missionaries and we had contacted all of the people that were in the area we were in and didn't get any lessons in. Surprise, surprise. But we were then walking down the street and ran into a girl that my companion and the other elder had taught that day that they were on splits! When they had taught them, they talked to like 9 people or so, not teaching a lesson but just getting to know them and their experiences with religion so that we can teach to their needs. But one of the kids ran up to us, he is probably 6 or 7 and told us that his parents and sister are home! haha so we went in and taught a young woman named Yulisa and I think her younger sister. We found her through a street contact by the way haha and I think I did that one actually. But yeah, they both have a baptism date after we taught them the restoration! 

Miracles happen every day whether we realize them or not. My Spanish is getting much better. I think just practice really is what's happening. I can tell the Joseph Smith story like a champ now because I've taught it like 30 times by now. I feel bad for the first few people that had to hear me teach and I still feel bad for people that have to listen to me because I stumble a lot over some words but my companion is helpful and we just try to laugh it off when I make a mistake and that helps the bond between us and the people we are teaching. 

I've thought a lot about how do I know if I am receiving revelation from God? It's an important question and a really good answer from one of my teachers in the MTC was, if you are keeping the commandments and doing what you should be, when you have a good thought enter into your mind, it's revelation. If you are being obedient, and a thought comes into your mind to do something, it's revelation from God and you must do it. I also remember a talk by Elder Bednar that I only watched like 1 minute of because it was playing in another classroom, but he said, 95 percent of the time, you won't realize you received revelation until after you did it. Sometimes you just do something and don't think anything of it. It is very rare for us to realize that we are receiving revelation in the moment so we just have to trust that when we receive impressions or feelings or thoughts, that they are revelation. 

Oh, I can't remember if I told you or not, but Elder Holland is going to talk to our mission in 2 weeks! Its so awesome because he is like my favorite apostle!!

I'm so glad to be here. I hope you don't worry too much about my safety, etc. because I really am safe here. Nothing bad has happened to me and if I follow the rules and stay obedient, I won't have to worry. 

I love you all so very much and hope you have a great week in the good old USA! 

OH! So, I'm going to be calling you this next Sunday! I will be calling from the church and I will call between 550 and 630 my time. I think you are an hour after me so it will be like 650 to 730 but you should check just to make sure. I can't wait to talk to you!!

Elder Warren