"We have heard that we are all missionaries. Every member... is or ought to be a missionary; as members of the Church, having pledged ourselves to the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ we become missionaries. That is part of the responsibility of every member of the Church".
Sunday in Molango 20 April 2014
We traveled to Molango early Sunday morning for Church services in the branch and to check on our two great missionaries Elder Vique and Elder Zepeda. President downloaded a copy of General Conference on a USB drive for the branch to watch, as the internet in that area is slow and unreliable. Parents of missionaries might get a weekly email and then maybe not...We watched 3 hours of General Conference for the block of meetings. Thoroughly enjoyed by all. We then stopped by their house and all was in perfect order. This new location for them is in a great area and their home was spotlessly clean. Guess what? No bed bugs here either! SCORE! We are considering that a tender mercy....
Sunday in Zumango- 27th April 2014
President- so this week was good we had some really cool things happen that has really stregthened my testimony. I want to tell you about one thing. This day I was praying all day that we could find someone new to teach and as the day went on we couldn't find anyone. When the appointments fell through I said lets walk down this street. We walked down this street and felt no prompting, we came out close to a house of a less active family so we said lets go there- but they weren't home. At this point i felt kinda down, so i said lets go buy a candy. We entered into this little store and there wasn't anyone in there so we looked around, found some candy that we wanted to buy and then the lady came out of the back. We paid and I was very tempted not to say anything, but instead i said we would like to introduce ourselves. She said "no -i know who you are and I'd like to thank you. I just had a ton of things happen in my life. I was praying for help and came forward to see you two here in my store. The first thing I noticed is the name Jesuscristo and thought my prayers have been answered".. we talked with her afterwards about a lot of things and she shared more things with us. We put an appointment to return to talk with her and left. This experience really teaches me about the lords plan. We could have gone somewhere else, we could have walked down a different street, we could have not walked past this less active families house; but we did and we showed up in the exact moment that she needed help and that to me shows how much the Lord loves us. He is always listening and always wants to help. i thank you for everything you do i hope that you have a great week I love you- elder S
Mondays are full of fun memories...
Here are a few snapshots of various recent MONDAYS in the mission.
(Below) the Pachuca Sur Zone was involved in a service project of painting (actually this was an exception on a Saturday morning) a local primary school. The member/investigator parents were so appreciative of their time and efforts. I'm telling you these kids can return from the mission and be professional painters!
Without fail- service ALWAYS brings a smile...
This week was a lot better. My companion is doing good, and I'm trying to help him get bolder with his invitations. He is still to nervous to invite someone to be baptized. We will focus on that this week because that it kind of the most important invitation that we do, and need to do often. We are working on a spirit of obedience with exactness. I want him to be successful in his mission, and I want to be at peace that I did my part in that.
This week I had a lot more spiritual experiences than normal. The biggest one was with a new amazing family that we found and offered the prayer/blessing in their home. We followed the steps and they didn't accept a baptism date, but accepted to learn more. The next day, we returned for the appointment we had set with them and found out that the grandma who was living with them went to the hospital. We ended up going and gave a blessing to the sister. We talked a little after with the family about the plan of salvation and they were really interested and comforted. We had an appointment with them and it went really good, but didn't accept a date yet. The next lesson, they invited their whole family to come over and listen to us. The room was packed with more than 15 people, and everyone was listening. It was perhaps the first time in my mission where even the kids were reverent and attentive. We are seeing the blessings of trying to be obedient with exactness and looking for the children that are prepared to listen and act instead of just going with the same 10 people every time.
Im doing good, but there are a lot of things I want to get better at. My testimony is growing and Im excited to start to apply The Fourth Missionary letter. Thank you for all that you and Sister Egbert do for us. The Church is True! Elder F
Moving houses in the Mission
Our great zone leaders and district leaders are so willing to jump in an assist Hermana Diaz and Hermana Boone. They moved to a new location where the water actually does more than drip and hopefully turns warm for a shower... A sweet sister in the ward also donated her time and vehicle to help with the task. Moving in the mission is a lot easier than moving at home as the houses are equipped very simply. So proud of these two sisters as they took great care to leave the house spic and span for the home owner.
Pizza for Lunch
It is so fun on occasion to have Pizza together as a district and shop at Walmart for the weeks necessities. The missionaries are so obedient in being up at 630 am and following the daily mission schedule with exercise and studying. Then they clean their house at 1000 am, take care of laundry needs, write President, write their families, shop for groceries and then have activities. At 600 pm they head out the door ready to work as a missionary.
One of the highlights of living in the Tecamac area is the privilege to go to the Teotihuacan pyramids on a Monday afternoon. What an amazing place to explore. The missionaries can go on activities after preparation criteria are met; including their $500 peso ($38 US) emergency fund in a special envelope at home. It takes a lot of self control not to spend the $500 peso emergency fund on other choices. Also going on excursions such a Teotihuacan is paid for with their personal money and not mission funds. We appreciate their attention to these simple details.
Elder Almaraz and Elder Ellis
These two Elders are amazing companions and sadly we anticipate some tears when we say good-bye to Elder Almaraz on Tuesday at the completion of mission wide transfers. We will be saying good-bye to four Elders... ugh!!!
Our missionaries are AMAZING!!!
Mexico Pachuca Mission Stripling Warriors
This last Monday I had the funnest day ever... I went to Tecamac 1 to pick up a load of "stuff" left over the years at the Zone Leaders House. They took at least three loads to the mini van of garbage and also good things to recycle including blankets, shirts, towels, sheets etc... I wash up the good stuff and take to the mission office 'tienda' for Elder Ramos to distribute as missionary needs arrive.
But... the fun part was I brought breakfast of juice, waffles and bacon. I made up the waffle batter and found that my waffle iron pulled too much power and the Zone Leaders house didn't have enough power to run the stinkin' waffle iron. Good ol Mexico! So I had to improvise- Elder Kearl and Elder Gomez had a little portable gas burner stove top sitting on a high shelf. So I used a little baby frying pan they had and stood on top of a box of Books of Mormon to reach the pan and made pancakes instead -one at a time. They were so patient and it was blast to listen to them talk up a storm and eat one huge package of bacon, two containers of juice, and pancakes until they were full. I grabbed Elder Ellis and Elder Almaraz from their house to show me where the zone leaders lived as I didn't have it saved in the GPS. Driving in Tecamac can be a little stressful but it was so fun... Love these kids!
... after breakfast I went to the Tecamac II Zone and delivered supplies to missionaries houses there. What a fun time to see them all cleaning their houses and prepping for the week.
Love these two Elders as they have the most calm demeanor. They never get uptight about anything and take everything in stride. When I am near them I can just take a deep breath and know that everything will be OK.
Tecamac II Zone Leaders House
Elder Stephens and Elder Apjop had their house in perfect order. Thank you so much for your efforts. Elder Ajpop is another amazing Elder wrapping up his mission here in Pachuca. He will be taking his English Exam on Tuesday before he flies home. We are truly going to miss him- he has given %150 effort right until the very end. We value his work ethic and influence here in the mission.
Oh Elders... I love the little swimming pool in your neighborhood. I know swimming is against mission rules... but that size? Would that be considered just a "wading" pool to soak the tired feet?
Buenas tardes Presidente!
Ya se acerca el final de este ciclo y de este mes y hemos tenido que esforzarnos mucho más para lograr las metas y promesas del Señor. Hemos puesto en práctica el consejo que me dio en las entrevistas. Hemos sido más valientes y persuasivos para comprometer a las personas y hemos obtenido buenos resultados, muchas de las personas han empezado a comprometerse y sabemos que con aquellas que no tenemos que seguir adelante, buscando a los hijos preparados de nuestro Padre Celestial.
Gracias a eso, esta semana fue excelente, buscamos a más personas nuevas y encontramos a muchos que están preparados. En especial, pusimos en práctica el mandamiento de la última carta, dar bendiciones a esas personas que contactamos y también lo extendimos a aquellas que recibimos como referencia o apenas estamos conociendo y quedamos sorprendidos por los resultados. En uno de los casos, fuimos con una hermana que habíamos recibido como referencia y apenas abrió la puerta empezamos a presentarnos como representantes de Jesucristo y a hablar sobre la bendición. La hermana que nos pasó su referencia, nos había dicho que ella era muy creyente de otra religión y que dificilmente nos recibiría, sin embargo, al mencionar las palabras relacionadas con nuestro llamamiento y sobre la bendición como usted nos enseñó, ella abrió completamente las puestas de su casa y nos hizo entrar. Fue una experiencia maravillosa y aunque era la primera vez que lo hacíamos y no teníamos nada de práctica y recordábamos muy bien los "pasos a seguir" nos dejamos guiar por el Espíritu, dimos la bendición incluyendo a todas las personas de la familia con su nombre y al terminar hablamos sobre el bautismo y la invitamos a ser bautizada. Ella dijo que sí y que se había sentido muy bien. Finalmente, luego de enseñar algo muy corto para reforzar el compromiso del bautismo, ella hizo la oración y sentimos el Espíritu fuertemente.
Estamos muy felices por esta bendición y aunque la hermana no fue el domingo a la Iglesia, sabemos que el Señor seguirá bendiciéndonos si cumplimos con toda nuestra diligencia.
Sé que para eso, tenemos que enfocarnos cada vez más y es algo por lo que me estoy esforzando, dejar absolutamente todo atrás y solo pensar, sentir y actuar para la gloria de Dios por medio de esta obra y ayer fue un día que me ayudó muchísimo a sentir que realmente si puedo hacerlo....Ahora estamos empezando a recoger los frutos del trabajo que hemos podido hacer aquí, obviamente con la guía y ayuda de Dios y tenemos plena confianza en Él de que si seguimos esforzándonos más podremos bautizar a mínimo dos personas en Mayo y que superaremos esa meta. No tengo duda en mi corazón de que esta obra es dirigida por el Señor y me siento feliz de que hasta ahora mi compañero y yo hemos podido poner en práctica todas Sus instrucciones para lograr el éxito. El hablar con todos, el leer el Libro de Mormón, bendecir los hogares y las familias con este Evangelio, los estudios más eficaces y los planeamientos guiados por el Espíritu me han ayudado a ser un mejor misionero y sé que aunque a veces los resultados se hacen esperar un poco más, ellos van a llegar porque estamos obligando a Dios por medio de nuestra obediencia y diligencia.
Estoy agradecido por toda su guía y consejo cada semana por medio de las cartas y siempre que tengo la oportunidad de escucharlo. Ahora sé que soy un mejor misionero que cuando llegué pero que tengo que ser mucho mejor y espero lograrlo para dar gozo a mi Padre Celestial.
Un abrazo fuerte,
Dinosaur Park in Pachuca
This is a fun and inexpensive P-Day activity right here in Pachuca. You can't beat the weather here in Pachuca lately. Some days you experience several seasons in one day. Cold, wind, rain, sun, and hot... Pachuca is AWESOME!
Tecamac I Zone Interviews on Tuesday
What a fun time to get to know these fun missionaries. This is #7 zone out of #8. We started the day with leadership training for zone and district leaders. I ran and checked houses for cleanliness and safety and did English Exams in between. It is so fun to get to know them better as I drive in the mini van with them- I treasure the time I get to spend with each missionary. Maybe it's the near death experiences we have in the Mexico traffic that bonds us together.... Bahaha...I would never trade one of these kids for all the diet coke in the WORLD!!!
House Inspection in Pradera...
I love this house because every time I see it I think in my mind "If you don't like blue, this house is not for YOU!" It is such a unique little house on the second story and though it's just a simple abode it is a place of safety and refuge. Notice below the map of their area... and yes, we fixed the curtain falling into the kitchen sink.
Elder Katich and Elder Galo are rock stars.
Consistently baptizing up a storm in their area. Elder Katich stated, "I know why I have been in this area so long. There were people hereI needed to find and baptize and some of them have almost taken almost a full year to convert." They had four baptisms last night. (26th April 2014) Changes are this next week. Will he stay or will he transfer? We will update you next week.
SURPRISE WE MOVED!!!
So this was a funny house visit after interviews with Elder Panigua and Elder Hernandez. I went to their house and realized they had moved houses. Not the house I had previously been in. The Elders before them a few cycles back moved houses without anyone knowing. Silly boys! No new contract- no details- no nada. And I have to admit the location is so much safer and the house overall better; other than the moderate leak from the bathroom upstairs running down to the second floor. Hopefully we can get that figured out and fixed soon... New toilet seat in my mobile store (mini van) and they were excited!
So Elder De Leon and Elder Ortega officially think I have lost my mind... we are driving to their house for inspections and I asked them "How is your area? Do you like having bikes and is it working well?" They both looked at me puzzled and said "We don't have bikes?" I said, "I swear we had bikes in this area!" "Where did they go?" They still looking puzzled shrugged their shoulders. A quick phone call to a Zone Leader who used to serve in this area confirmed that they never had bikes though we discussed it at one time of how well it would work here!" Oh heavens... got their hopes up only to be broken in tiny pieces!
And then to top off the visit with these two cute Elders we found their house in perfect shape. I mean "PERFECT". Not a pamphlet out of place or a dish in the sink. It makes me grin ear to ear when they take such personal interest and care in the place they live. This house has such a great spirit of order...
Pachuca Sur Interviews- Thursday
This is #8 out of 8 zones to wrap up the interviews for this quarter. What a great day and President really enjoyed this round of interviews this month of April. We talk each night about each missionary specifically and he often shares something about each one and how they are doing. He rotates each quarter with him praying first before each interview and then the next time they pray before their interview. I noticed this whole month that many wet eyes emerged out of the interviews and I have a feeling it all started at the prayer. As I know President prays for them specifically and I know his sincere love for each one of them. He commented when interviews come and it is their turn to pray he can gain a lot of insight about them as they verbally communicate the feelings of their hearts.
Sister Boone and Sister Daines are going to help their neighboring district with weekly English exams- they were oriented to the program and will weekly report in on the individual missionary, module exam number and scores. Our mission is working so hard to advance the English Study Program for the Spanish speaking missionaries. Kudos goes out to the companions who study daily with their companions during language study time. It is paying big dividends!!!
Most things work out for the better...
This little house of Hermana Daines and Hermana is such a great improvement. Just a few cycles back the Elders that lived in this area moved to better quality home and then we found out that the neighborhood never has water! Ugh!!!! The sisters had then moved in the area instead and would go 4-5 days with no water week after week. So we were able to terminate our contract in that house and move to this cute house that is so PERFECT. It has water all the time, on a great street with many members of the ward as neighbors. Actually full credit has to be given to the home owner who is a member, lives across the street, and makes great effort to watch over our missionaries and their needs. What a blessing...
Slumber Party Potential
I dropped off a set of bunk-beds to put in a tiny extra room they have and the beds fit perfectly with only inches to spare. So now they are able to house overnight incoming sisters coming from the Mexico or Provo MTC. Thank you for being such great hostesses.
The Sister Leader Trainers (right) were their studying with this companionship during study time. I love how they support, help, and check on each other. We currently have 3 sets of Sister Leader Trainers in the Mission with a total of 36 sisters; but in June anticipate more of those assignments as we have many more sisters arriving. This week we have 7 new sister missionary's arriving, and 3 new elders.
Look what the wind blew in? Friday I worked all day at the front counter on medical billing/insurance submissions and looked up to find these two Elders stopping by for a minute. Warms my heart to know that safety comes first when riding bikes and they wear their helmets without fail. These two Elders are a ray of sunshine...
Saturday- 26th April 2014
... a little chocolate makes all things right!
I caught up with these four Elders, to drop off two bikes from the repair shop, at the Pachuca Sur Stake Center prior to their baptism of 3 investigators. Saturday nights don't get any better than baptisms throughout the mission. Great job Elders!
Anyone ever feel like you're up a creek without a paddle?
Elder Gomez comes out of the church after the rain storm and needs to cross the street. The water is deep and he's gotta save the shoes!