Tuesday, December 20, 2011

e-mail 12.19.2011

what a weeeeeek.

things are moving fast and now faster. we had a ton of work to do this week and got most of it taken care of.

Tuesday they called a capacitation and we were down half a day for it. it was presidents birthday so we got to eat cake and sing songs and all that. wednesday WAS going to be a normal day but the zone leaders called and told us about a new assignment we would have. they sent us out to a tiny little speck of a town named San Cristobal where we will be working 2 or 3 days a week to open a branch. i went out with one of the ZLs and got lost in the wilderness. haha. half of the people there live in mud huts with palm tree roofs. it is cool and definately a challenge working out there. the peopl are very simple and it is fun to teach them the "milk" of the gospel so that soon they will be able to take the "meat". they are all soooo humble and are open to the truth. there are usually about 20 mambers who attend Church in the house of prayer. we had to ride on boats and stuff to get there and back. ill try and get some pictures this week. its a beautiful place. thursday we worked in our area but were busy ALLL day cleaning up the chapel and preparing for our christmas activity. it went well and we were able to get everything together. we presented our ward choir and all were very impressed i played piano in concert for the first time in my life and i was definite not up for the task. haha. i practiced but not enough. we had 11 investigators there and should be seeing some baptisms soon. should means maybe if they want to get married. haha. we are in the process with a young couple who and working hard to help their testimonies grow. friday we went on splits with some elders of my zone here and the day went by SUPER fast. saturday i had baptism interviews which is always fun. i did one that helped me a lot spiritually. the cool part about interviews is that the interviewer represents the Lord. i could feel the spirit strong an i could promise her blessings and i felt the Lords forgiveness. such a great experience. the Lord Jesus Christ is the only Savior and Redeemer. Sunday i went to the services in San Cristobal and i got to help direct, bless and pass the sacrament, and i gave a talk. oh and i taught priesthood. haha. it was awesome to see the humble learnings of the people there. i am happy to be working in their area and to be working to open a branch there. i know that in the future it will be a ward. also we are in plans to go to the farther out groups of Los Robles and Hidalgotitlan. there will be a stake out there in 10 to 20. haha. i love the gospel and i love being a missionary

i want to have a barbeque when i get home.

dad. make it happen.


thanks for everything.

see you on skype SUNDAY



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

e-mail 12.12.2011

one more week...

it was a really fast one. the days are flying by and the weeks as well. as far as news goes... i will be able to skype for christmas... haha. not really much else. we are working hard and strive to complete with the goals we set for ourselves and we are finding it difficult to SEE the success. i think it that way because almost everything we do has apositive effect on somebody and it must always have results and successes its just that we are not there to see them. they happen, just not always in the way we expect to see it happen. i am learning a lot about diligence. my companion is the most diligent Elder i have ever met. He has told me a little about his youth and his was a lot like me. the kid that somehow ended up breaking or ruining almost everything. haha. he told me this week that that very reason is why he decided to be a super missionary. here no one know who he was in the past. here we have the oppourtunity to put our best foot forward for the Lord. He trusts soooo very much in is servant youth and hopes all of us can be like Him. Elder Castellanos is a lot like Him. loving and diligent humble and kind. i very much respect him and Him. My companion has helped me elevate the level of my service. when he arrived i realized that i had been vary selfish in my way of working. it was work and it gave results but i wasnt giving it ALL to the work. i have seen what it means to give it all and now i am trying to give it. i only have 8 weeks togo and i want to make the best out of these weeks.

this last week was very normal. contacts and lessons. i got sick because of the rain and my comps lack of desire to hide from it. (yes i wanted to shelter myself and hide from the cold wetness) but good ol Castellanos wasnt having it and we walked around for the days soaking wet and cold. so now i HAVE a cold. i dont blame him. WHY AM I SOOO WEAAAK??? haha. i am now getting over my cold and we are getting back to work at full steam. today we went to go play at the stake center and i was about to mess myself so we stopped by some other missionaries house to ask for their bathhroom. while we were there we noticed that they were helping the members next door demolish a concrete wall and my comp almost messed HIMSELF: haha. before the mission he was a construction worker with his dad and its all cement and block here so he wanted to get in on the action. so i left him there with an elder and went to play with another the the comp of the other elder. we played soccer like always and i made a sweet goal like always and then we played basketball were i dominated under the hoop but still lost. it was fun but i couldnt hack it because of the sickness(and the fatness) and then we played MORE soccer. after i was destroyed and tired we went back to the house of the members where i had left my companion and they had made lots of progress. so IN my missionary clothes i decided to help a little. i grabbed the 12 pound sledge hammer and started swinging it around above my head to take out the upper part of the wall the these little guys cant reach with out a ladder and went until i couldnt feel my arms. haha. i was dying and now i can barely scratch my head. we got almost all of it taken care of and then we went to the supermarket to buy food which we didnt do.. peculiar... oh yes!!! an elder from my district from Wyoming invited us to Burger King for lunch. then we got home and started pulling weeds and washing clothes and that brings us to this very moment. when i came to the internet to write my dear family and friends.

quite the eventful day and now i am just ready to crash out and sleep but we have to go to work. its 3 til 6 and at 6 you know its time to get to crackin catholic skulls.



p.s. today is the day of the Virgen here in mexico and so everybody is freaking out and lightin fireworks and no one went to work and they cancelled school.



and she isnt even a virgen!

e-mail 11.28.2011

well i dont have much time because i am here in Villahermosa waiting for my bus to head back to Minatitlan. i had to come all the here to go to the migration office to get my green card and to figure out all of the details with my VISA and for the flights. the paperwork is all in and i will be getting hom the 6th of Feb 2012. i get on the flight at 6 am... who knows when ill get there... its been very stormy but not very rainy, for the first time in my mission i put ona sweater to go outside. haha. it actually got i a little cold last night. all is well... my comp is crazy diligent and is very straightforward with all who are in his path and so it is interesting to work with him. i am still learning everyday and progressing. i knowthat i have theLord's confidence to go and do all that He has commanded us. it seems i never have time anymore to get a good letter sent. but i will just get off my testimony.

i know that He lives and one day will walk among His children in peace. i hope to one day be among His elect. i know that the church is true and that by staying faithful to the covenants that we have made with the Lord we can be lifted from the dark past to a bright and loving future. DO NOT FEAR! HE prepared every step back to the presence of the Father. Trust in His redeeming love and we will prevail. Repent and make yourselves part of the divine hosts of the Kingdom of Heaven. By His Grace and our courage all shall be set in order. i believe in Christ. there is no doubt that He watches over me. if we are faithful to Him He is bound to us and the saving covenants made. i love you. HE loves you.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

e-mail 11.21.2011

well a week went by like a very slow whirlwind. haha. it seems that every transfer is like that. you get your comp and it is the longest week ever but when you get through it it seems like nothing. my comp is very hard working and very focused on the work. it has been cool to see his perspective andit has helped me with mine. it was like getting a little cold water splashed in my face. my last comp was really REALLY passive and calm and really didnt know how things needed to be done, but this Elder is a Beast. haha. he is always looking for oportunites to teach and edify the kingdom. we arent focusing so much in baptize baptize baptize but we are trying to establis the kingdom of God in Hidalgo. our ward is warming up to the work and we are seeing result in the attendance and in the referrals they are giving us and i know that we are going to have success. i suppose that He is going to be my last companion. strange that itr is all wrapping up... this week is tahnksgiving and then in a couple more weeks we are goig to be having our Christmas conference and then we will be at Christmas and then it will be done... unbelievable... but i know that we will take advantage of every moment. i am enjoying the work and with my comp we are pondering and opening channels of revelation. we are learning in everyday and we are looking to give God the glory for all that we do and say. i am feeling more and more love for the people and feeling that inside me God is making changes. it is hard sometimes to think that in the grand spectrum this mission and this life is just a blink of an eye... i know time is short. i really dont know what to say today because all this week me and my companion were singing hymns and teaching and contacting all day every day. haha. it all seems so normal. getting ready for christmas we are starting a ward choir and the only person who knows anything about music is me so i am the piano guy and the director haha. it is fun to direct and sing and play music. it is the first time in the mission that i have worked with my little talents. i hope for next week to have a little more exciting stories... this week was definitely a strange one but its going smooth. i am glad to see that the family is fine and that all is well at home. i would like more fotos and updates on family stuff and SPORTS!!!! especially u of a Bball. i love you all

i know that loving God and honoring Him give Him power in our lives. i am learning a lot about His nature and it is helping me to look toward Him for guidance and for inspiration.

Grow with His love and His vision in your lives.

Monday, November 14, 2011

e-mail 11.14.2011

First letter in two weeks! He could be home between anwhere from 73 to 84 days. Like he says in the letter, we'll know more soon! I'm sooo excited I can hardly stand it!

long time no write. haha.
things have been good here in Mina. long days cold rain and finally a baptism. it has been interesting getting to know such a place as this but i am settling in. the members like me and i kinda like them haha. i really do like them. we are getting their love and support as the days go by. as far as news goes... i got sick and bled from places that i had never bled before... i got better... i miss you... and we had a baptism. we had not had anything all transfer but this week our investigator Doris who has been progressing throughout these last three weeks. we found her last months knocking doors and she seemed to be the normal contact. o sure im busy right now but come by later... same ol story. but we put an appointment and went for it. at first we listened a LOT about tv and radio preachers and her whole Christian history and i started to wonder... haha. but we taught the lessons one by one and she was always home and always ready for the appointments. she was very aprehensive in accepting commitments for her busy schedule and because of that wasnt progressing. when we introduced the book of mormon she acepted it like she had everything else... and we tried to leave her a chapter to study... for the next appointment she had read half and that was major progress. we went over it with her but she still didnt want to accept a date for the waters. we kept on with the lessons and then left her the homework of reading Alma 32 about Faith and the seed analogy. for the next appointment she had read and was excited to go over what she had learned. we didnt even talk about seeds... haha. we got as far and verse 16 and she said she wanted to be baptized... SATURDAY. haha. it was amazing. i had forgotten a very important part of the work... the Spirit is always working in the investigator and always in me. i didnt even think about what chapter to leave her. just a common "nice" one... and turns out that it was exactly what she needed. she accepted her baptism and has learned and progressed so very much in these weeks. a transformation. today we will be having a "noche de hogar" or family home evening in her house with a few members. should be a great building block for her testimony.

aside from that we have transfers.. my comp elder Miller is going to Villa to my old zone but a different area. and i am gonna get an elder named elder Castellanos. he is great. he was in my district when i was in comalcalco. a great elder. i know we are gonna do great together. just the normal... work work work.. there is no other i am all but finished so there is much to do. i am hearing rumors that our generation is gonna be heading out anywhere from jan 26th to feb 6th. ill keep you posted. they should call the house when the plans are set.

i love you all a lot and i know that the work is true. i know that the driving force of this is Christ Himself.




Thursday, October 27, 2011

e-mail 10.24.2011

what frustration... i cant seem to stay away from the bathroom and the left click on my mouse doesnt seem to function.. AAAAAAAARRRGGG.. . well another week went by here in mina and the sun finally came out.. once. haha. thanks for the letters. i know that you all love and i feeel your prayer vibes entering my body. haha. i dont think that is doctrine the whole prayer vibes but i do recognize that i am greatly blessed by your efforts. this week we saw a few miracles. we havent had any one in church on sundays despite all of our work but this sunday 3 investgators and a few less actives rooled in on their own. makes a missionary proud to see their progress. also because of the whole no investigators in church thing we didnt have any solid baptism dates. so this week we went to talk with the secretary about the ACTION LIST i usually say like it comes out of a comic. its a list that is all non baptized members and futere priesthood holders and stuff. so we had a meeting with the ward mission leader to see if he knew anybody from the list. he said that half the people disappeared a long time ago but he could direct us to a few houses. and at the very bottom of the list there was a little girls name that he recognized... she is active and they baptized her at 8 years old but the goofed up ward here didnt fill out the paperwork on it. so to fill in all the gaps and be sure that she is baptized we are going to have to baptize here over again. haha. its funny. because we werent going to baptize this month and our Zone leader was all sorts of mad and i kept telling him to have faith and he got all mad and i told him to just ait and see... so this weekend we are gonna baptize her and i am gonna love it. haha. she is a sweet little girl and already know basically all of the missionary lessons. its just a little mercy from God. and we are seeing a lot of progress aside from all that. new investigators and people in church. we are going to be able to put dates this week and help a lot more people. its always hardest when you get to an area and there is nothing there. just getting the first baptism takes a while sometimes. the elder that was here before me finished his mission here and left me with 0 in every category. haha

today was the first monday in months that it didnt rain a ton so we got together as a zone to play some volleyball and futbol. even though i am gorgeusly fat i could still crush it on some ffooools. haha. made some sweet goals and we had some fun. got about 100 days left and so its gonna start picking up. pray for our success. send me money. haha. it seems every end of the month i am hungry and i walk a lot. i have enough to get by though... just cant have enough at this point. gotta start keepin my eyes peeled for sweet stuff for my family and pals.

i love you all so much. i know that the church is true and that God has a place for all of His children. we are all sons and daughters of God.

act like it.

i gotta go to the bathroom.


so be good and to count the days too hard.

if you want something specific from down here hammocks jerseys bootleg music etc..

gotta tell me.

and send me money through my mom.

ya huuurrrrrrde



Friday, October 21, 2011

e-mail 10.17.2011

Mina is a rainy place... it has rained almost everyday since i got here. not constant but sunday it DUMPED... and our house has a tin roof so when it rains it sounds like the devil is on the roof and he wants in. at night it wakes me up and i just lay there. its not just noise but its deafening... you cant think straight. but its cool because ill never have this again. in tucson it doesnt rain like this. also when it rains i like to walk by the forest where the sound of the rain on the leaves get really loud. here ther are lots of almond tree (i never knew almonds grew on trees) and the are skinny trunks with long tall branches that give lots of shade. and it is always cool to hear the rain on them... i like my area but things are a little stiiff. turns out that a few years a go a crazy lady killed her children and was screaming about how she had had a vision and Jesus told her to do it.. she was a member and said to have recieved such a revalation in the temple. haha. so basically i listen to that everytime a find a new investigator. but we are starting to make some progress with a few. my comp and i are getting along great. we basically make eachother laugh all day long WHILE we are working.

aaaannnd oh yeah

on sunday i had a nice experience. we went to church and it has been poring here so we had 50 people and NO investgators. lame. but in sac meeting the bishop anounced that a sister had passed away and that the was to be a service for her at 5 a clock that same day. then after the meeting the leader of high preists came up and asked me to give a talk at the service... WHHHhhhat? isnt that the bishops job??? he persisted and i accepted. so odd. anyway so i had no idea who this lady is. i have 2 weeks in the area and she was inactive. we show up in the pooring rain to a tiny little shack made with cinderblock and a tin roof and cram packed full of like 100 crying mexicans. i dont know if you know but pooring rain on a tin roof makes deafening noise. we couldnt hear the director or the opening prayer but when they made the motion for me to take the word i stod up and anounced myself as a representantive of Jesus Christ and the rain slowed to a sprinkle... i gave my talk with devotion and bore what was to me a powerful testimony of the redemption of Christ and said amen... and the rain came stronger then ever. couldnt here another word that was said. it was rad... i still dont know who she is but i got to testify to a whole neighborhood of no members about the divinity of our Savior and i felt as if the very winds were listening to my words.
this helped a lot to reaffirm my testimony of my mission as HIS representative.