The Strength to Endure
Our ability to endure to the end in righteousness will be in direct proportion to the strength of our testimony and the depth of our conversion.
Elder Richard J Maynes
SIDE NOTE :
-We have new missionaries arriving on Monday 16th December
- We have Transfers on Tuesday 17th December
-We have missionaries exiting on Wednesday 18th December
- On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we have our Christmas Devotionals through the mission 18-20th December
- Missionaries can call home on Christmas Day (25th December) for ONE hour ... They will still have District Meetings in the AM as regularly scheduled and we have encouraged them to find service to provide to help them make this Holiday memorable.
Sunday - 8 December 2013 in Apan
President and I went to the area of Apan to visit these two Elders that are situated in a very remote area of the mission. We had not had the opportunity to visit and check on their home and to visit the branch in which they are assigned. Elder Sic and Elder Castro are good young men whom President has a lot of trust in overseeing the work in this area. They have a great Branch President and outstanding High-councilman who travels a significant distant every other week to support the members. We attended their meetings in a "House of Prayer" which is a home that has been adjusted to be their "chapel" as appropriate. We were very impressed! It was so cold last Sunday- and of course no buildings or homes have heat or cooling in them so I was a frozen Popsicle by the time I got home. These Elders' home was "Freezing", too. When I asked them if they had a heater they said it wasn't working. Needless to say that went to the top of the "get'r done list!" These Elders never complained and would have never said a thing had I not visited and asked. Their house was absolutely spotless and in perfect order. I love these Elders for their attention to detail- and of course those smiles... they don't get any cuter!
In "The House of Prayer" they added a little baptismal font and I couldn't but help share this with you. When they have their next baptism they promised they would invite us... so I'll update you on that event. Also notice above how the door to the Elders home is all glass and so they creatively applied pictures all down the glass door! Who needs a curtain or blind?
Girls Road Trip
Tuesday Sister Ramos (Office couple) and I drove by ourselves (yep we felt all big!) to Apan to deliver two new portable heaters to Elder Sic and Elder Castro (left & middle)- and on our way we stopped to visit Elder Mijangos and Elder Sims (right) who needed the weed eater to trim their front yard since their goat died ! Just kidding.. but they could use a goat. I was so impressed with their white Christmas Tree. They mentioned they found it stored in their house and so they decorated it, put little presents around the bottom and hung up their stockings. Elder Mijangos will fly home on Wednesday (18th Dec) as his mission comes to an end. He has been such an amazing trainer to Elder Sims for the last 11 weeks. I suspect there might be a few tears in that departure.
Dear President Egbert,
This was a crazy week, starting out with divisions and
then getting sick right afterwards put a big dent in our plans for success, but
I did have moment that I really want to share.
One day my companion had a stress attack witch left him
feeling hopeless and wanting to cry. He couldn't concentrate and I knew that
with him feeling like this, he definitely wasn't feeling the spirit. There's a
scripture in D&C that states that if we know that the Holy Ghost is not
with us, then we mustn't teach. I felt stuck, and I knew that I had to think of
something to help my companion.
I prayed and then waited for an answer. I got a little
upset when after 5 minutes I still was at a loss of what direction to take.
Normally when I am feeling hopeless I like to work, that's what I learned when
I was with Elder Duran ( I'm still super greatful for him by the way. Thanks a
Ton!), but I didn't feel like that was what Elder _______ needed. I sat a while
longer, now not only pondering over what to do, but also wondering what was
impeding my revelation.
It wasn't long before my thoughts turned to the state of
our house and how messy it was. Not exactly pigsty, but still, I wouldn't feel
proud if Hermana Egbert came to check on it. I thought of how the disorganized dirtiness made me feel equally disorganized and dirty. In this moment the
static cleared and I felt a confirmation on what we should do: We were going to
clean the despair out of our house.
So that's what we did. We cleaned, and cleaned and
cleaned until the house sparkled. We reorganized the rooms, we threw away a
plethora of unnecessary things and made the house ours. A temple for the spirit
to reside in. The best part is that it also worked in raising our spirits. I
think in a big part it was because for the first time since I've been here, we
could see the fruits of our efforts. Its quite easy to get disparaged in the
long haul, when even when it's certain that good things will come to pass, the
chances of actually enjoying the outcome is not going to be something that is
enjoyed by the laborer. Our area is a lot like that. I know that what we're doing
here is good, but the treasure is still a long ways off and its easy to feel
like we're digging for nothing. With this deep clean project, the work was
hard, messy, and sometimes difficult, but the results were there, easy to be
seen and enjoyed.
My personal favorite part was that I helped- and not in a
way that I had yet felt. I needed to help my companion. I needed the help of
the lord. I was able to fulfill both of these. Honestly the answer felt a bit
unorthodox, but it worked. That I was able to take lead and be a servant to my
companion in improving his mood made me feel so much more capable.
Until next week,
Wednesday District Meeting in Huachinango
President and I went to Huachinango and Xicotepec to visit our Elders in this area. It sits very remote and the trip was extra long as the traffic was intense on the mostly two lane road where people were having "Pilgrimages" celebrating the "Mother Mary"... People running relay style along side the road carrying torches to a Virgin Mary statue that sits in this remote area. The tallest one of her in the country from our understanding.
The Elders are so attentive & involved in district meeting...
This district of six Elders is the most amazing group. We were so touched by the spirit of the meeting under Elder Barrios' direction. What powerful spirits these six young men have; a certain unquestionable loyalty and obedience to this cause. We acknowledge the role they each play in their areas of the mission and are so grateful for the three trainers who are doing an incredible job teaching these three new Elders. After the meeting we went on a home tour.
(Below) Elder Beesley and Elder Rivera have a perfect upstairs apartment next to a bakery. It smelled delicious and reminded me of my grandmas homemade bread. I said "How is waking up to that smell every morning?" We have some areas where the sewer smell is so strong because of poor drainage that this was a welcome and pleasant tour! The Elders had their home in perfect order and of course now we see where the three boxes mailed to Elder Beesley went. He has the most supportive family and was so kind to include his companion.
Thanks parents for sending those much anticipated boxes....
(Below) Elder Barrios- Elder Ferrin's
Home away from Home
We were pleasantly impressed with the degree of "order" in this cute house. The organization and cleanliness receives mention and I can't help love the little tree they got for their home. There happened to be a box of lights in my car bouncing around (divine intervention) and so they were excited to decorate with those to add to the holiday spirit. What an amazing companionship these two are and I am so impressed with the level of power and confidence that Elder Ferrin speaks with in Spanish. It will be only five weeks this week that he has been in country. Hats off to Elder Ferrin and to his companion Elder Barrios because behind every successful Elder usually is a supportive and disciplined companion.
I know that President and I will tease Elder Segura about his recent house fire our entire mission and probably there after.... we were anxious to see their new home where they just moved. It is not very big, but perfect for two Elders. This residence looked safe and in order. I had to a laugh when I saw the fridge and microwave... on the outside the plastic casings to both had melted severely because of the intense heat of their other home fire. I'm so grateful no one was hurt... and that the only reminder is the melted appliances. So when I text them this weekend to see if they needed another table for their pamphlets and books they said "yes", and then President commented, "Tell them not to place the pamphlets near an outlet!" (Because that's where the last fire started) and this is the hilarious response I got back in text from these two Elders. "
"President says to keep the pamphlets away from the outlet! Bahaaaa!!"
"Well golly! You tell President that I said thanks for crushing my soul! Sometimes we teach with so much power and authority, that the spirit just starts setting a blaze our surroundings."
LOVE THEIR SENSE OF HUMOR
We have had several parents make and send these cutest Christmas Tree's with family pictures for the ornaments. So creative ... (CAUTION- Not so good for the homesick Elders though)... this tree specifically had ornaments of all his cousins who are currently serving missions. Actually inspiring for these Elders knowing they aren't alone in the "Work of Salvation" and of being away from their families over the holidays. Thanks to the wonderful parents of our missionaries for your efforts. They love you and miss you...but they know how proud you are of them!
This week was definitely one of my most memorable weeks, for so many things that happened and the experiences that we enjoyed. First of all, I love getting to know the elders in our zone. We had divisions with Elders ______ and Elder _____. I had the chance to be with Elder ____. They both are fantastic elders, and really contribute so much to their district and the zone. Elder _____ is doing great. He is teaching well, and from what I saw, has great relations with the members and their investigators. His studies are also great. He has a way of pulling things out of the scriptures and applying them in a manner that Ive only seen rarely with other elders in my mission. As I think back, if I were in his shoes at that point in my mission, I wouldnt have been able to pull out what he is learning. We love those two tons!
Secondly, the chance to go to leadership council and to give my first zone training. I spoke a lot with my companion about what I learned, and the blocks and walls that I was able to pull down, or at least to get started at it. In my mission, and I would think its the same for many missionaries, I always have seen the leaders as 'more than human/missionary'. Having the responsibility of being one now, I really see that that isnt the truth. They are great, but arent perfect. They do many things well, but at the same time, have so much to improve. I guess what I want to get at is that, with the Lord's help, anyone can reach their potencial in the mission and in life, and I dont mean in being a leader. We are normal, but are blessed to be able to help a little bit more with those around us. That was a great principle that I learned there.
While working in our area this week, we passed a mother in the street, and her 3 children. I felt that she was different, and that we should speak to her, and afterwards, talking to my companion, he said he felt the same. I am ashamed to say that I didnt do anything about it. But how prepared the people are here! After walking about 10 feet, we hear the call of 'señor' from one of her children. We backtracked and started talking to her. She told us that she has been looking for a while for the church that really feels right, and something that can truly help her. We felt such a strong spirit from her, and are excited for the appointment that we have with her this week. I know that the Lord has prepared the people of Mexico, maybe more than any other place. This week, Im going to try harder to follow and seek the Spirit, in every situation that I can.
Thanks for everything President,
Tulancingo District Class
Our wonderful assistants took two days and spent in this zone visiting their district meeting and studying for two mornings with different companionship's. They had lots of great comments and compliments regarding this specific group.
(Below) This is the home of the Tulancingo Zone Leaders.
I love the accent wall in red! The only help these Elders need is to the front door. They have such a big gap under their front door that little critters come visit... or big (rats) on a daily basis. This jumped second on the "Get'r fixed list" of mine. Check out their exercise corner... LOVE it!
Elder Cachique and Elder Cruz look sharp in their missionary attire. To their defense they didn't get a heads up about pictures... because guess who didn't make their beds? They were good sports and promised this P-Day to get their home in tip top shape for me to come visit. Thanks Elders....
So funny story:
I realized that I couldn't get a response back from two of our Elders (not pictured) in Tulancingo. After some research I discovered that their phone had been stolen and so I felt an urgency to get a phone to them as they live quiet a ways out; but are also district leaders. I retrieved another phone from Elder Campuzano (Visa Secretary) who actually gave up his phone voluntarily because a batch of phones wouldn't be in for one more week- that is how our Elders roll around here! They sacrifice for each other.... you would never understand unless you witnessed it yourself. Anyways, I didn't know where these specific Elders lived and couldn't of course talk with them (no phone), so I called neighboring Elders who agreed to be my guide. When I picked up Elder Iverson and Elder Pena they were concerned as they had only been to the house on one occasion and thought they knew where they lived but then again didn't know for sure. With faith in our pocket and a prayer in our heart we searched and searched. When we finally located the home... of course the Elders were gone working like they should have been. We had missed our window of opportunity to catch them... but, never fear! These two Elders got the cell phone to slide under the door with two copies of the conference Ensign and the charger they were able to fit through the slot pictured. Elder Iverson commented, "I just hope they don't step on the cell phone tonight coming through the door and break it !"
I never tire of seeing our good Elders through the mission going about their work with a smile on their face... even when I know how difficult it can be most days. This mission adventure is NOT for the weak of heart!
Elder Vazquez/Elder Hixon excited about their ward Christmas Party where they had four investigating families in attendance. (Left)
And (Right) Elder Macias/Elder Barber dressed for a painting service project. Elder Barber stated by the time the mission was over they should be mere professional painters.
deseo que esta semana sea de éxitos para toda nuestra familia la misión mexico Pachuca!!! esta semana fue de grandes éxitos me gustaría compartirle una experiencia que viví la semana pasada junto a mi compañero... llegamos a la casa de una futura conversa y ella estaba algo triste y nos contó que tuvo un sueño y nos contó mas o menos el sueño y la verdad no pudimos discernir que enseñar... pero en el sueño mas o menos todos se burlaban de ella por sus deseos y convicción a bautizarse.. cuando ella termino de contarnos su sueño la verdad como lo he dicho anteriormente no sabíamos que enseñarle pero recordé la promesa del salvador que el pondrá las palabra en nuestra boca y le comentamos... hermana queremos hacer una oración para que el espíritu santo sea el que le enseñe y le dije la verdad no se que decirle pero le testifico que el nos ayudara, hicimos la oración y al hacerla (ella pidió que yo la hiciera) y pedimos que el espíritu santo nos pudiera iluminar la mente y nos ayudara y cuando terminamos de orar sentí en mi mente 1 de nefi 8.... pero dije D: el sueño de lehi ?? naa eso no le va ayudar y volví a sentir 1 de nefi 8 y le dije a la hermana vamos a 1 de nefi 8 no se porque no se que enseñar pero lo he sentido... presidente dimos una lección muy hermosa ella sintió el espíritu santo mi compañero fue un campeón al hablar y pude ver como la unidad nos ayuda a ser dignos de ser inspirados... dimos una lección casi podría decir que fue planeada en algún estudio pero nunca habíamos enseñado ello o planeado y ella nos dijo ahora se nuevamente que son enviados de dios porque han podido ayudarme y esta lectura la he aplicado total a mi sueño y seque tengo que hacer... tomare mi bautismo... realmente pude sentir como el espíritu santo nos instruía y ponía las palabras en nuestra boca y ahora confió aun mas en mi salvador.
le amo presidente le deseo una semana de exito!!!
atentamente elder c