Friday, November 11, 2016

Another Start to Another Change - November 5, 2016

Hello Everyone! Well this week was a week of changes and we were working hard to make sure that everyone was where they needed to be. Elder Caballero has been awesome to work with this week and we have been able to squeeze a few lessons in to everything that we have been doing. So the week started out with all of the new missionaries coming here. There were 13 this change and that day we trained them about all the mission rules and expectations. On Tuesday we got them all to their areas and got everyone settled in. Then it was just a huge day of updating all the computer systems and planning for this change. From the planning session that we had with President we are going to be super busy with everything for this change. On Thursday we had a training again with the new missionaries and their trainers helping them to know how to train and learn everything that they can. This group that just came down is one of the best groups that we have received in a long time, they are all really excited to be able to get out and work. It was an awesome training with them. On Friday we had an awesome meeting with President Madsen and all of the Zone/District leaders in the city. It was such an inspired meeting that we were able to have. We talked about how the Savior in all of his leadership that he did never once does it mention all of the administrative stuff that there might have been when he established his church. All that is written and remembered is when he ministered to people. We learned this difference, to administer and minister as leaders and it helped me so much to realize that the purpose of ministering is to help others to feel the spirit in their work and remember their purpose as missionaries. With all of the goals that have been set here in the mission it is something that will help us to be able to meet those requirements and be able to feel the spirit while we are doing so. As for the update on our area, we continue to have our investigators progress and grow in the gospel. Although we didn't get to see them as much in each of the lessons we have had so far this week each investigator has asked when they can be baptized and what more they need to do to prepare for it. That for sure was a huge highlight. Each time we got to work in our area it was hard to find very many people to teach because everyone was out in their fiestas for the Day of the Dead. But something that I have learned in these past few weeks is that this is a work of happiness and joy. The happiest missionaries are the ones that realize what blessings they have and how the Lord continues to bless them. Especially this time of year it has helped me to see the hand of the Lord in all that we do. One of our investigators Angel has been working towards being baptized. This week when we talked with him and his mom (who is a less active) Angel said that he wanted to be baptized after the lesson we had about the Grades of Glory. Angel said that he wanted to be able to enter in the Celestial Kingdom and that he understood that he needed to be baptized for that. Then we asked him what is keeping him from doing that and he said his mom. That seemed like it was the dagger to her heart to understand that she was keeping her son from Salvation. She said she would do all that she could to support her son in being baptized and so we are hoping that she gets reactivated in the church and can support Angel. Although it was few times we got to teach this week, the Lord was with us in each occasion and we know that this is his work. This week we will be traveling to Juchitan and Huatulco again so I am hoping to see a lot of the members and converts again. This is the greatest joy on Earth, to be able to share the gospel with other people and see them receive the same fullness of joy.
Eating at the Pasillo de Carne (Walkway of Meat) Basically there is hanging all kinds of meat, you pick it, they grill it and bring it to you. Then while you are walking to your table you pick what sauce and veggies you want with it. It was pretty cool.
Day of the Dead Parade

Zone Activity - Monte Alban - October 24, 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Nearing the End of Another Change - October 29, 2016

Hello Everyone! Well this week was a very busy week that was somewhat unusual just because of the end of the change that we have. Sadly Elder Valenzuela has completed his time here in the offices and is now getting transfered to go train down in the Itsmo so this week I will be getting a new companion, Elder Caballero from Monterrey. I am pretty excited and I know that he will be awesome. But anyways this week has been crazy. On Wednesday we had to take the Elders going home to the airport at 5 in the morning, then we came back and we started getting ready for the changes for this Monday. For the past 3 days we have been buying tickets, planning where everyone needs to be and at what time, and then communicating to the zone leaders everything that needs to happen. It has taken us about 2 days to do all of that and then trying to get back to our area to make sure that our investigators keep progressing. It has been pretty stressful and it has been hard because as we have made the effort to go back to our area a lot of the times we havent found them there. But it has been an opportunity to excersize our faith that the Lord is watching out for them and helping them to prepare for baptism. On Monday I finally got the opportunity to go to the famous Monte Alban here in Oaxaca. That was pretty cool to see all of the ruins and basically a whole city still intact and standing. We roamed everywhere seeing where they had built all of their temples and buildings. It was fun to go with all of the missionaries in the city. We had about 70 missionaries that were there with us. I will attach some pictures at the end here for all of you to see. This week we were able to continue to teach Madai a few times. One of the experiences that we had with her was that she continues to try to share the gospel with everyone. It is still really hard for her to find someone that will go with her to church and she is looking so hard to be able to find a friend or family member that wants to learn too. This week she gave us 2 more referrals. When we went to teach her the other day we asked her to go get her Book of Mormon and she told us "Well I actually was telling my friend about it and he wanted to read it" So she let her friend borrow it to read!! She isnt even baptized but she is sharing the gospel with everyone she knows. We are hoping and praying that she can be baptized this coming Saturday. She has told us over and over that she is 100% sure that she wants to do this because she has been able to see the changes in her life. Anyways sorry for the shorter email this week, there wasnt a lot that has happened just because of the busy office schedule that we have had. But like I said before, it has been such a faith builder for us to put all that we can forth and then depend on the Lord to do the rest for us. Something that really stuck out to me this week is just the way that I have needed to focus my faith on the Lord. A lot of the teachings and studies that I have had have really helped me to understand that the best way to ask the Lord for something we need is to give thanks for the blessings and miracles that we already have. I know that we are coming to November and it is a time to give thanks for all that we have. We are so blessed and we have the opportunity to always give thanks by how we live and use the blessings we have. Just to finish off this email I want to share a quote by President Monson that has helped me to give thanks for what we have instead of ask for what we need. Heavenly Father knows what we need, we just need to see what we have. Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love. -Thomas S. Monson I am so thankful to be a part of this work especially during this time of the year when we can realize just how much God has given us. I know that it is all true.
With Elder Ringle (Logan) and Elder Sosa (Las Vegas)
Monte Alban
Going away breakfast for Elder Valenzuela with the Office Staff