This week went by really fast, but it went really well. It rained a lot. On Friday I was in divisions with Elder Sosa from Ixtapaluca and we saw some big ugly looking clouds start to come over. Then the heavens opened and poured out a blessing so big we weren´t ready to receive it. It caught us without umbrella or jackets or anything and we got so wet, it was awesome. We just kept working even though it was a monsoon and the streets were flooded. There weren´t many people in the street but we talked to those that were, we asked references and we actually taught 3 more lessons and found 3 or 4 more new investigators while it was raining. God blesses those who are righteously stubborn. My shoes got so wet that I had to put them in front of a fan for 2 days to dry them, but I shined them right up and they look like new right now. Everyday since then it has rained, usually starting about 4 or 5 and not stopping until the morning. I love it so much because there is always a lot of thunder. I love the way clouds look when it is going to rain and hearing the rolling thunder. It is just so majestic and awes me the way that God uses nature to inspire us. He truly is the Great Artist.
I am going to try and answer the questions:
Dad, I actually have been able to see all of the mission except for Molango and Tulancingo. I went to Nezahualcoyotl, La Perla, Los Reyes and Ixtapaluca to know where the stake centers are for Elder Cordova because those are the parts of the mission that are leaving this week. Those are the areas that are the most dangerous and the poorest. We also went there to give training this week for the new trainers. I would have loved to serve in these areas because there are soo many people. There are so many people and part of them live in “camping grounds” or houses made out of plywood and sheets of aluminum. We have some of that in our area, but most of them live in the Southeast. There are so many people that need the Gospel there. I would not recommend googling Nezahualcoyotl because there are always pictures on the front of newspapers of dead people in the streets in Neza. We don´t ever see stuff like that because we are always in the house before the action starts.
What you said about having a positive attitude is really the key to success, in whatever we do in life. I have a testimony of that because of Thursday Elder Bringhurst studied chapter 9 in PME about finding people. Before Thursday we had found 3 new investigators and were a little bit discouraged, so we just decided to pray for pure motives-to help and find people to teach not because we were going to have to report our numbers to President or because we needed more news, but because they are sons and daughters of God with a value greater than any sum of money. They are more than numbers, and we just want to help them to find what we have found and experience what we have experienced. We left the house super excited to go contact everthing that moved-un fuego en nuestros huesos if you will- and on the third contact we found Ofelia (50) who said we could accompany her to her house. We went and taught her and her sobrino and her grandchildren about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration and told her to pray. We left feeling super excited and just full of fuego and we ended the day with 8 lessons and 6 new investigators and ended the week with 20 new investigators. That is the power not caring about the numbers (funny how the result of not caring about numbers is more numbers). The next day we went back and she had read and prayed, and she had a dream where everything was white. She said it meant purity and she knew the Book was true and wanted to be baptized!! That is how we know that this is the work of God. We can´t make this stuff up.
I am learning a lot from him, (Elder Bringhurst). I hope he is learning something from me. He works really hard and is really excited, it is good because I like to work hard and have a tendency to be too serious so we are working well together. Elder Bringhurst has 14 months in the mission, so we are just two young´uns that don´t really know that much trying to do the best we can and work as hard as we know how to. To go grocery shopping we go to Walmart. Today Elder Cordova and I went to Walmart, and there happens to be a Krispy Kreme outside the Walmart….It tasted soooo good. Just a little taste of America.
Well, we are really close to the historical downtown of Mexico City, but I have already been there several times and the museums are closed lunes. But we haven´t had time to go even if we wanted to. We haven´t had any General Authorities yet.
This week we baptized a man named Antonio. He is the father of a family that was already members. They got baptized about 5 months ago, but he didn´t want to. Then there was a youth conference where Elder Oaks and some 70´s came and a 70 went to visit the family of Antonio, he felt the spirit so strongly and felt that God was calling him to the church. He had to stop smoking which was really hard for him. But the Book of Mormon replaced his addiction. Another convert for the Book of Mormon. What a good companion to have. They were so excited to see their dad baptized and his son got to baptize him. It was soo awesome. The mission is so awesome. Life is awesome. We have so many blessings, we simply have to see them.
Melissa thank you for your letter, I am glad to hear the you did not get kidnapped in our house while Mom and Dad were gone. I am glad you are having success, now you have to think about what purpose God has in giving you success, with whom you can share the gospel.
WHY DID YOU HAVE TO GO TO NAUVOO AND SEE DADS MISSION WITHOUUT ME??? I want to go too….maybe we will just have to go again when I get back. Don´t worry I´m not mad, I would rather be here, this is where God wants me.
Love y´all so much,
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Carolina and Rubi with Elders Nelson, Gonzalez, Cordova,and Bringhurst
This week we were really busy, but I like it that way. My camera is a Kodak easy share m530. I really do not need anything right now, but thanks anyways. This week there was 2 missionaries hospitalized for health reasons and one who went home for his bad knees so we had a special changes meeting. Because we are getting close to the mission split they assigned my new companion, so right now we are 4 assistants, and it is a little crazy. His name is Elder Bringhurst from California. Elder Ostler played ultimate frisbee with him at BYU, and he is really awesome. He just loves the work so much and works really hard so I am really excited to work with him because I feel like we are going have a lot of success. I don´t know if I told you very much about my other companions. Elder Gonzalez is from Monterrey and finishes his mission in 3 weeks. He is the short one standing next to me in the picture. He is training me as an assistant, and is really good. He actually was a secretary before, and was one of the secretaries that picked me up from the airport. He loves the work and has very high expectations that he expects to complete. Elder Cordova is from Tobasco, he is a little more laid back and is the assistant that will go to the Southeast.
Ok, María and Diana. They are a mom and daughter that were baptized the week before. Maria doesn´t have work and they are barely getting along right now. Diana read the Book of Mormon and knew it was true. The story that is really cool is that they were thinking about being baptized and were leaning towards no because the hermana wanted to work Sundays and didn´t really want to pay tithing, so we just told them to read and pray. They did and when Elder Cordova and I went back to check how it went they said "We are going to be baptized." It made me so happy because that means that they prayed and read. The Book of Mormon is the best missionary, it is so powerful that when the hijos de lehi read it with a sincere heart, they know it is true. Their faith was so strong that they agree to change houses to be baptized because there was a situation in their house that didn´t allow them to keep some of the commandments, how awesome is this? I love this so much. I love it even when it´s not easy, it wasn´t supposed to be easy.
Through our faith in Christ we are waging war with Satan, and he has no power over us. It is such a simple concept-be obedient with exactness, work as hard and you know how, and always be looking for things to improve through Preach My Gospel and you will be happy. We are opening the doors to the Celestial Kingdom (PME). I love it so much.
I sent the picture of Carolina and Rubi who were baptized this week. They are really funny, the mom Carolina goes to a Neurotics Anonymous group. When we are even 2 minutes late to an appointment she leaves and she always wants to flip a coin to see who will say the prayer, so we had to teach her about the sacredness of prayer. They were really iffy about whether they were going to get baptized, but we told them to read and pray. Rubi had a dream that she got baptized in warm water, and Carolina knew it was true...and the Book of Mormon has another pair of converts.
We don´t have very much time to email because a new sister got here today and we were training her and taking her to her area, so I will write more next week. I love you all so much and am so glad that we are all in the same fight. I will answer the rest of the questions next week. I love you a bunch.
Posted by BAN Clan at 4:12 PM
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Maria and Diana
Well I will try to answer the questions primero. The whole area is concrete and there isn’t a single empty lot that I have seen. There are people everywhere because there are lots of apartment complexes. I finally got transferred to the "big city." But it isn’t the most dangerous part, it is pretty calm here.
I don´t know where you are seeing thunderstorms but we are in the northern part of DF and it hasn’t rained a single day since I got here. Everyone says that this is really weird and it should have already started to rain. Maybe we are going to have a drought here that will cause everyone to repent and be baptized like in the Book of Mormon. We will pray that it will happen. It actually has been pretty hot because it isn’t raining so I have been getting nice and tan. The goal is that people will stop thinking that I am guedo, but I´m going to have to get more tan and get better Spanish first.
The house we live in is really fresa (I know that that means strawberry, but in Mexico it also means that something is really nice). It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms and a big living room and a kitchen with a stove where we can make grilled cheese sandwiches. We also have a microwave which is the first time I have seen one in a mission apartment. We live in an apartment complex, and we have to use 4 keys to get into the house. I will try to take pictures and send them...but there is a little problem. I lost my charger in Pachuca, I searched everywhere for it but it´s gone. So I don´t know what I´m going to do. I think I´m going to try and find a charger here, but if you guys can find one let me know. My camara is a Kodak Easyshare...don´t remember the model number or anything so I will have to pass it to you next week. We wash our clothes in a lavandería, we leave it there Mondays and pick it up Wednesdays.
We still eat with members everyday. The food was better in Pachuca...but there was also more money there. We cook for ourselves breakfast and when we get back to the apartment at night. But I just make PBJ sandwiches and eat cereal and drink chocolate milk. Life is good.
We go to President´s house when the new missionaries get here and when we have to go to Pachuca or Tulancingo or somewhere far away for a zone conference or leadership training, or once or twice a month. We sleep there the night before and leave early with President and his wife in their van. I see Presidente Hicken once or twice a week, but it all depends on what we do in the month. If it is a month of Zone Conferences, two or 3 times a week. As for what an AP does, well, a lot of things. We receive the key indicator reports from all the zone leaders for their zone every Sunday in the night and report to President Monday morning. We help president train in the zone conferences and leadership trainings, we have a counsel with the zone leaders once a month. It will be easier to tell you about things as we do them. The quick summary is that we do a lot of training and administrative work of the mission, we have to be the examples of this mission. That is a very daunting thought, and sometimes I wonder why President chose a missionary with 10 months and very little experience to be his assistant, but I just have to think that the Lord is in control and knows what He is doing.
I use the bug spray everyday to go to sleep. The other day we left the window open because it is really hot at night because the sun hits our apartment the whole afternoon. I also forgot to put on bug spray and I woke up with 30 or 40 bites all up and down my arms and face. We still send our emails from an internet cafe, and I still print them off most of the time.
For the scripture for the plaque I have two that I would like...so you can choose between the two. Moroni 10:22-23, or Moroni 10:32. You could also put the quote from the introduction, “I told the Bretheren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct....I would like that too.
I sent the picture of María and Diana that were baptized this week and also the periodico de la misión. Lo siento pero no tengo tiempo para platicarles de María y Diana. Van a tener que recordarme para la proxima semana. Ellas son tan especiales and they have changed so much. The Book of Mormon, like Mom said, changes lives. I love this so much. I love the Book of Mormon, and I love my Savior.
Cameron did you send my letters? Love ya´ll.
Posted by BAN Clan at 4:00 PM
Monday, June 6, 2011
Happy Birthday Elder Nelson
Good Bye Pachuca
Tacos al pastor!
Gonsalo, Ingrid and their son Jason
Well, what a week I’ve had. I had my birthday and so now I’m old. Also, I had changes and so now I’m not in Pachuca anymore...I suppose you all want to know where I am and what I am doing. I think I will wait to tell you until the end of the letter. No, just kidding, but Tuesday in the changes meeting I was super nervous. I got so nervous and stressed out that I got sick to my stomach. That always happens when I have cambios. I am going to miss Pachuca a lot, but the Lord has a new area for me to work. I am now assigned to labor in Campestre Aragon in the Vergel Stake. It is in about 3 minutes from the temple so it is in DF. Quite the change from Pachuca to here but I love it. There are a ton of people.
I am in a trio with Elder Gonzalez from Monterrey and Elder Cordova from Tobasco. I have been assigned to be an assistant to Presidente, and that was most definitely a shock. There are 3 assistants right now because Mission Mexico Este has to proportion an assistant for the new mission, and Elder Cordova is going to the new mission. Elder Gonzalez is going home at the end of this cycle of cambios and the mission will split the 1st of July, so I have about a month to learn everything that I need to do as assistant. I am just going with it and trying to learn all I can. My companions are really great and I am learning tons from them.
We are really busy. We had a baptism this week of a family of three that are soo awesome. It is Gonsalo and Ingrid and their son Jason. I baptized Gonsalo. They found them about 3 weeks ago, they contacted them and asked if they could teach them a message, Gonsalo said yes. They told Gonsalo he had to stop smoking and he said ok, they challenged him and his family to get baptized the 5 of June and he said yes. They have changed a lot, and after the baptism Sunday, they were all crying. The Spirit makes powerful changes in the lives of people and it is just so fun to watch. The Lord blesses us so much. We worked hard all week but we didn’t find very many good new investigators. I was kind of worried for Sunday but the Lord blessed us a lot and brought new investigators to the chapel with a member. The member said "this is my cousin, he is ready to listen to the lessons, aren’t you?" and his cousin said "yeah, I’m ready." How cool!!!
Saturday night President called us and told us that a new Bolivian elder, Elder Vildoso, was going to get here Sunday at 6 in the morning. The Secretaries went and got him and he stayed with us Sunday. So his first Sunday in the field he got to see a family get baptized, he was pretty excited to get to work afterwards. Yesterday in the night we took him to the house of Presidente and today we spent the morning training and informing him about different things in the mission. Afterwards (in keeping with mission tradition) the president and his wife and the assistants and the secretaries went with the new elder to "The Onda." It is a restaurant of tacos al pastor and alambres. It is soo good. I had to drive (no we don’t have a car, we just use the mission car when the new elders get here.) so that I could learn the way for the next group of new elders. Imagine that for a second, my first time driving in 10 months, and in México just like the crazy bus we took in Mazatlan where we thought we were going to die. That´s how they drive here. But we didn’t finish until about 2:30, so we haven’t had much time to do anything on P Day. That’s ok though because there are more important things to do.
Oh yeah and the new mission. We are losing 5 stakes, and gaining 1. We are losing Neza, La Perla, Pantitlan, Los Reyes, Ixtapaluca, and we are gaining Ecatepec. I will be part of the Misión Mexico Este, el mejor misión en el mundo.
Well, my time is up for this week, I welcome questions if I haven’t said everything you want to hear. I love you all so much. Do what the prophets tell us to do, they know what they are talking about. Practice your piano and read the scriptures everyday, and pray. I love you all soo much.
Posted by BAN Clan at 8:16 PM