Saturday, June 25, 2016

Starting New and Finishing Off - June 20, 2016

Hey Everyone!! Well this week was a crazy week that was one of the gut checks that really makes you work to be a missionary. With all of the miracles that happened last week and all the happiness that we had and all of the success, it came time for us to buckle down and do find more ways to work and find success. With the baptism of Omar and Andres we realized that we had a lot of openings in our schedule each day but we didnt have péople to fill them with, and so all that we could do was go out and knock on doors for 2 or 3 hours each day. It was rough walking up and down the hills trying to find people to teach but each morning we found ways to really put our work in the hands of the Lord. I dont think that I have ever really prayed more fervently to have the Lord take over this work here and it was a great lesson every day to simply be guided by him in everything that we did. In each lesson it was with a new person that we didnt know and all we could do is listen to the promptings of the spirit to know how we could help that person. One of the greatest experiences that we had this week with one of the most powerful lessons that we have taught came with a lady named Marcella. She is 55 years old and has been through a ton of health problems. It eventually came to the point where the whole left side of her body became paralyzed and it has been hard for her to find a doctor here to help her. SHe started to lose hope until we got there. I dont remember what we said to her or what we did. At the end of the lesson we felt prompted to give her a priesthood blessing. She asked me to give it in that moment and normally it has been a challenge to give blessings in spanish. But this time it was something different, everything came out smoothly and what the Lord wanted her to be blessed with. All that I can remember about our experiences with her is that feeling of the sweet spirit of the Lord. It has been a conversion for me this week to be able to feel that as well in all of the other lessons that we taught. On Saturday Transfer calls came and I am going to be leaving for a mountain village called Nochixtlan as Zone Leader. I am excited for the experience that I will have there and for the opportunity to be able to find more people who I can meet and serve. I will be leaving at some time this week on a 13 hour bus ride to get there. But I wouldnt change anything about the experience that I have had in Huatulco, it has changed my life and my whole mission experience.
Eating an ant taco
The ants
The beach in Huatulco

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Fruits of our Labor - June 13, 2016

Hello Everyone!! This week I was able to have the greatest experience here in my time in Huatulco and all the events leading up to it. This week we had the baptism of Omar and Andres who had been listening to us for 4 months now. We were definatly able to see the hand of the Lord in this work and to see their true conversion in these past few days. Omar who is 14 years old had been listening before I got here. When I got here we talked about dropping him because he wasnt progressing. We kept giving him chances and he told us that he recieved his answer when he heard the District Choir in the conference we had 3 months ago. I remember when Elder Maldonado made a promise before the conference that someone would be converted through our efforts. It was really a special experience. Andres has been listening for 4 months as well and is the Grandpa of Omar. His daughter was baptized 10 years ago and is now living in Oaxaca. At first Andres accepted everything but a month into the lessons we found out that he had a 40 year habit of drinking. We battled hard against this habit and eventually he gave it all up. He is now teaching the message of the Restauration to all of the people that he works with. In the days leading up to the baptism we found a few problems that we had. The first was that we couldnt find white pants big enough for Omar. We looked everywhere and there was nothing. Eventually Omar went and bought white fabric and Elder Mora and I sewed pants for him, with the help of a few sisters in the branch. But it has been a huge story this week and everyone is asking where we learned to sew and we all have to tell them that we learned back in Jr. High Home Economics class. This past week we were also able to have our Zone Conference with President Madsen. It was one of the most special conferences that we have had. We listed off all of the challenges that we have as missionaries on the white board and then he told us that in order to correct them and use them as opportunities we have to use our time that we have to learn from the Lord and teach with the Lord to other people. We each identified our greatest challenge and were challenged to turn it into an opportunity. It was an extremely spiritual week to find the lessons of the Lord in our studies. I know that he is working with us and for us in this work, and we were able to see that this week with Omar and Andres. Overal, this week was an answer to many prayers, fasts, and efforts to see the hand of the Lord in all things.

Relief in the Rain - June 6, 2016

Hello Everyone, Well as you could see in the title it has been raining hard this week and it has been such a relief for us to be able to have some calmer weather. We have been wet but it is better than burning up in the heat everyday. Anyways this week was awesome for our work. When we were in our leadership conference last week President Madsen put in place some goals for us that we needed to complete. He said that they came from the Seventy that was over Southern Mexico. Anyways it was a huge stretch for us to be able to complete them. This week me and my companion decided that we needed to be extra obedient. The extra was that we needed to be 5 minutes early in everything that we did and to do more in the time that we had. With the extra obedience that we were able to do we were able to see the extra blessings as well as we exceeded the goals that President Madsen told us we needed to do. The only way that we could do it was to rely on the Lord through what we were doing. We gave it our all and he did the rest to be able to elevate us to what we needed to be as missionaries. Yesterday in church we had the most spiritual meetings that I have felt while I have been here in Oaxaca. Yesterday was testimony meeting and the first 5 people to get up and bear their testimony bore witness that they were there because of the way that the missionaries had helped them and testified to them, helping them to find their testimony as well. The branch had been going through a really hard time, with only about 50 members attending each Sunday. The branch president started getting discouraged and in the branch council told us that he was putting the load on us to get everyone to church now. We went out and visited a ton and yesterday there was 100 in sacrament meeting. Everyone said that it was a different feeling that was there yesterday. We even heard that our investegator Omar, who is going to be baptized this week, stood up and bore his testimony in Sunday School to all of the youth. The Lord has blessed us so much and those around us even more. I am so blessed to be able to be an insturment to help others recieve those blessings that can come through the gospel. The mission is the greatest experience to see that and I love being a representative of Jesus Christ. I know that he lives and that this is his work that I am a part of.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Traveling Everywhere - May 30, 2016

Hello Everyone! Well this week was a week for traveling all over this side of Oaxaca! We started out this week by doing splits with Elder Forsyth and Elder Madrid in Puerto Angel. This place is where everyone says is the most beautiful in all of Oaxaca. It is a small fishing town on the coast that has hardly been touched by any of the tourism and I got to go work there for a day. It was a really hard day because we were basically walking up hills everyday and the phrase Uphill Both Ways really applied to this day. But we were able to find this awesome guy named Jugo that accepted us right off the bat and we had a really spiritual lesson with him. He accepted everything that we gave to him and said that he wanted to learn all that he could about the gospel. It was a super awesome experience to find him and see that it takes time and a lot of effort to find the chosen ones of the Lord. Before we found him we had been contacting for 2 hours trying to find someone to teach. It was an awesome experience to be with Elder Forsyth for the day and to be able to learn from him and see his excitement for the work. The next day we got back and had to take a 4 hour bus ride to Juchitan for our Leadership Council with President Madsen. We were able to learn about how we can Minister to those that are in need of our help. President Madsen did something different and told us to go look for scriptures that can uplift someone in need. We took 20 minutes and afterwards we shared what we had learned. It was a time where we learned by the spirit and only by the spirit. It was one of the greatest learning experiences of my mission and it made me so grateful that I am here to teach to learn and learn to teach. My scripture that I was able to find to help someone in need and to help us as well to minister to those in need was Doctrine and Covenants 121:45-46. This learning experience gave us a whole new level of what we need to be in hard times, that we need to focus on how we can improve ourselves to come closer to the savior. We were able to apply this priciple more to our investegators Omar and Andres. They continue to learn so much and grow in the gospel. They are being prepared by the spirit and they too have been chosen ones for us to have the blessing to prepare. And I know it is because we have found teachings to apply to ourselves through them. I am so thankful that we have the chance to draw near unto Christ through Virtue and Charity towards others. Thank you all for your prayers and support. Elder Peterson
Contacting with Elder Forsyth in Puerto Angel
Leadership Council in Juchitan