Blog Archive

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Catch up Post - Still in Barra

January 31, 2018
        Bueno this week has been really good lots of work and lots of heat as always!
        So this week we worked really hard to find new investigators. In this whole change we have been contacting like crazy and this week we saw some fruits of our work. We had quite a few new investigators, some of which can really progress. Sadly, NONE of them went to church, but we had various investigators apart from them anyway. It’s so humbling to see these people, some of which have almost nothing, do so much to help and serve. It certainly has changed my perspective. I can’t even imagine what things would be like in some countries in Africa or other poorer places. It truly is our responsibility to reach out and help these people. 
        On Monday we went to Guadalajara and MAN is it cold there!!! it probably didn’t drop below 45 degrees but I was dying from the cold. I think I slept with like 5 or 6 blankets... I don’t know if I was sick but I felt so bad. I don’t know whats happening to me. Also the air is so dry there.  I hope they never send me to Guadalajara because I’m too used to the beach environment/climate. Part of me really hopes that I never leave Barra.  We’ve seen so many miracles and in these last few months. There are many families that will be ready to be baptized. Its probably my favorite area. I think I’m finally sort of doing okay as a missionary. Who knows, all I know is that this is the greatest work in the world. Even when you “suffer" (and I really don’t think I’ve suffered at all here) it makes you feel good that in spite of your challenges that you’e doing what you need to do and doing the work of the Lord. The scriptures are true, all of the challenges and pains of life can be swallowed up in the joy of Christ, joy that comes from selfless service. I really don’t know much, and I don’t have many hugely miraculous experiences to tell, or some profound experience to share, all I can say is that I know that this work is true, that the church is true, and that we are guided by representatives called directly by the Lord. Let us all trust in God and reach out to our friends and all those around us to share this glorious message. Let us reach out and help others come unto to Christ who is the source of all light, hope, truth, and love. He who counsels and strengthens us. 
February 5, 2018
        I really don’t have much to say about this week, it was good, and slightly challenging at the same time. I’m super tired all the time. I think I need to get to bed on time. I’m not sure why I’m always tired, but I think the traveling kinda kills me. 
        We started off the week by going to Concilio!!! Always a blast and this month Presidente taught about the Holy Ghost. He taught us things I had never even thought about before. It was kind of mind blower for everyone honestly, but very cool. 
         Following mission council, we did a baptismal interview for a lady which she unfortunately did not pass. Hopefully she will be able to keep progressing later on. 
      Other than that, we had divisions in La Huerta and we able to get a lot of work done there! There is a lot of progress in La Huerta. Actually, the church is struggling in Barra and doing lots better in La Huerta, I think we might need to organize our efforts between the two areas a little better.
       Apart from that, nothing much else happened. Today we opted to take sort of half pday and half work day because basically half the week we are going to be outside of our area. We get to go to Jala for divisions with the assistants!!! its gonna be great, just a LOT of traveling. 
       Some miracles this week: coming back from Guadalajara we had to stay the night in Colima, then in the morning we had to go to Manzanillo. Unfortunately, the next bus didn’t leave until later, which would cut out our time to write home. Then we found out that one of the lineas had a bus that had gotten to the station about a half hour late and was about to leave, so we got back in Manzanillo in time to write and do everything we needed to do. Another miracle happened on Sunday when a girl (who I honestly don’t even remember her name and have talked to like twice) came to church! She is a niece of an investigator. Her aunt didn’t even go, she came alone, and afterwards asked for a hymn book so that she could learn the hymns! Later on that same Sunday, it was 8:30 and we were right by our house about to end the day, but our plans fell so we started contacting. Everyone rejected us, but something told me to keep going until the end of the day, then at 8:58 PM, the last person we had time to contact accepted and gave us his address. The miracles always seem to happen just when you start losing hope, after the trial of faith. And finally today, just a little while ago, we were contacting this one guy and another person walked past, we felt that we needed to talk with him so we caught up with the guy and turns out his uncle is a member that we didn’t even know existed and he lives in Barra! 
       It was a good week, though we need to work a lot lot more, Barra can progress and should be progressing more than it is. Hopefully we can start putting in the work that it needs. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

"In the Groove"

     Nothing much is new, this week has been really really good. Well just normal, but we’ve been able to work hard and that’s pretty much the best as a missionary. We had divisions and a zone conference this week and this week will be pretty much pure divisions, but I’m looking forward to it. We should be able to get a lot done. 

     Yesterday Church was really good. In La Huerta we didn’t have many investigators, though it was a pretty good turnout. However in Barra, we had 10, and it was really really cool because, apart from speaking in sacrament, the gospel principles just talked about the whole organization of the church/priesthood and I think that the investigators could really see how well the church is organized. I just really think its important for people here in such a tiny branch (it’s really actually a group) to see the church as a whole. The whole two hours were just really good (we only meet for two hours) and I really am starting to feel a genuine love for these people. It makes me want to share the gospel with all of them and help them through their challenges. It makes me want to labor in this great work. Best of all, the familia De Dios (yes thats their last name) went to church!!!!! They hadn’t gone in forever and we had told them that we had to keep going on, looking for more people if they couldn’t progress. But they came and are trying to settle out their problems with paperwork to get married.

 This Tuesday we went to Santiago to watch the broadcast from the church from the first presidency. I can truly see how the Lord guides His church. I really hadn’t paid much attention to President Nelson before this last year, but in the last two conferences I could really see the power and authority of his words. I know he is called of God and that he is the new president of the church. I could also see it in the most recent broadcast. Those men testify of Christ and teach His pure doctrine. As much as the world changes and wants everything else to adapt to its standards, the Lord has set His standards and His true servants are teaching and testifying of those standards to all the world. They are true.

I really am loving it out here in Barra de Navidad. I finally feel like if found "my groove" for the lack of a better word. I just feel more comfortable and happy with my personal efforts. I think its because Im simply trying to think about myself less and just do my duty. Its great out here, and we are finding so many humble people to teach. I just hope that they can feel the urgency of Gods call to them.

January Leadership Conference Plus New Companion

     Hola todos! Elder Angulo officially ended his mission and now I’m with Elder Schank, a gringo from Nevada! The Americans are stormin Barra de Navidad. Everything’s good, nothing much to say, just trying to keep on keepin on. Next week I’ll send a real email! 
His name is Carlos and he’s one of the best young people
in the world. He was prepared before we even taught him;
he pays close attention to everything and shares it with others.
His baptism was very difficult because there was a lot of
opposition, but a miracle took place. He was baptized and
it was a feeling of great joy for his family, especially for his
grandmother. Their desire to live the gospel is being fulfilled
more and more.
Here are some other memories with Elder Angulo:

     Firstly, I’m sorry for basically not writing anything at all. We’ve been absolutely crazy busy, last week we had no time to write because of changes, and the week before that I don’t know what happened, the week before that was Christmas, and during all this time I haven’t written in my journal ONCE.... pero ay vamos. 
     The mission has been going really well. Some investigators are progressing a lot and others no. One investigator put a marriage date so that they can be later baptized and it just so happens to be on the 25th of January, pretty good birthday present. But they haven’t gone to church in a month because they still don’t want to stop working on Sunday. The past few weeks they haven’t been able to go to church because they have had too many clients. Strangely, they’re super happy about that because. “God is sending them more business on Sundays".... My patience is running thin with their theory. 
     Other than that, my companion and I have been working a lot to find new investigators and use our time wisely. President has just given us permission to sleep in the casa de oración in la Huerta, so we can de a TON more work there. Unfortunately we have to sleep on the floor and its super cold in the mornings. Elder Schank is very cool, just kinda weird but we’re all weird! Even though he’s going home in 4 short months, he doesn’t want to die so we are kind of motivating each other to work harder and talk to everyone. It’s pretty great with him. 
     I wish I could tell you about everything that’s happened, but I really don’t think I would have the time to write everything down. But what’s incredible to me is how God organizes his work. It’s incredible the amount of "coincidences" that happen every day, but they aren’t coincidences. God is guiding people to us, and us to the people who need to hear part of our message. It’s incredible the amount of patience He has for us, for me honestly. I feel like I’ve wasted so much of my time trying to do things my way and am just barely figuring out what it really means to have an eye single to His glory and do His will. I’m still a long ways away from where I would like to be, but I find myself receiving more and more joy in missionary work as the days go by. It is the work of angels, yet He lets His imperfect children take part in this great and marvelous work. How great a blessing we have.
     As a run down of the last few weeks, we had a mission council and noche de hogar with the leaders in the mission, other meetings with certain church leaders, and just yesterday, President Clayton told all the missionaries to come to a meeting with the leaders of the Manzanillo district that he was inspired by the spirit to have. It was a really special experience and I feel like that Manzanillo can really progress if we follow what we learned. The whole district is kind of suffering. The adversary is honestly fighting really hard for Manzanillo, But now is the time for miracles here. 
Manzanillo Branch Conference
From Sister Clayton's blog
"January 2018 Mission Council!!
We had a beautiful morning as we began our mission council for this new year! Much to talk about, fresh goals and new commitments to make.  It was a great day!
First and foremost, our beloved Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson has passed away.  We love him and honored him today as President Clayton talked about him, and all that lies before us as a new prophet is sustained and continues forth in these latter days."

Here are some pictures:

8 fundamentals!

1. Doctrine of Christ - The Missionary Purpose
2. The Role of the Holy Ghost in conversion
3. Revelation through Prayer
4. Revelation through the Book of Mormon
5. Revelation through Church Attendance
6. Teach People, Not lessons
7. We Invite, They Commit, We Follow Up
8. How to Begin Teaching

****Elder  Boyd K. Packer tells a story about his visit to a country fair.
Country fairs are opportunities for farmers to come together to demonstrate
their expertise with livestock. (Farm animals)
He tells the story about a contest where pairs of oxen pulled enormous
loads while they were joined together with heavy wooden yoke bound
tightly around their necks.

He observed that the oxen that could pull the heaviest loads,
were not always those that were the largest or strongest animals.
Rather, those that won the contest were those oxen that, regardless
of their size and strength, were 'equally yoked'.
This means that when the signal was given, they worked with,
not against, each other. Their unity was the key to their success.*Harmony - agreement, peace, friendship, accord, getting along,
enjoyment of each other’s company.
*Unity - oneness in purpose and motive.

****When missionary’s work together in harmony and unity...
1.the Lord magnifies their efforts
2.helps them to accomplish much more than they otherwise could

Taco’s for lunch!
And everyone ate outside on this gorgeous 
Assistants, Elder Dehesa and
Elder Long taught about 
*Setting goals
*The Standard of Excellence
*Effective practicing
Let us move forward with faith! 

     This week we have focused on the less actives quite a bit, not so much teaching them (they usually know anyway) but trying to show love towards them and inviting them to come back. What’s really cool is that in la Huerta, we had 29 people in Church and in Barra we had 20. The Elders in Cihuatlan are working super hard, and had like 24 people as well which means to say that in the whole branch of Barra de Navidad, the attendance was at 73ish. Miracles!  All I know is that if we show love and concern to others, they can feel the love of God in their lives, which motivates all people to act. We just have a lot more to do now!!! 

     Les amo a todos ustedes, perdon por no decir nada en sí pero...... Ya me arrepentí 

Que tengan una excelente semana! 

December Rush

      Let me just start out by saying we are literally snowed in with work, and not the kind of work you would like as a missionary. Instead of being able to get out and find all the new investigators that we wanted, or have the baptisms that we wanted, I spent most of my time on buses. And the little time that I had off of buses, was spent waiting for more buses, and all other time was in the house planning all of the Christmas parties and things we have to do. We did have several divisions, Even then, with the little time I do have we aren’t using it very efficiently. I really have to get back into contacting people personally. I find myself making excuses and avoiding contacting and I’m not sure why. It’s something I really need to improve. I feel as though I’ve walked right by many many people who need to hear the gospel and they didn’t because I didn’t open my mouth. So that’s my goal this week, really get out there and preach to all the world the gospel. 
     This week is going to be even more crazy! We have a zone activity, a Christmas party, divisions with the assistants, a Christmas dinner with the branch, a baptism and other divisions! lots and lots and lots of things to do!
     I want to make a challenge to all of you this week, that we can each of us pray and ask Heavenly Father to help us be the answer to someone else’s prayer. We should strive a little bit more this week to be prone to the promptings of the spirit to know what the Lord would have us do to help someone else in this Christmas season. I’m going to try my best to do it as well this week, and I know that each of us can see miracles if we do! I’m certainly going to be praying for miracles for here in Barra!

         As we approach Christmas Christmas, I invite all of us to think about what we have because of Him. We have so much, He has given us everything. Because of Him we have a purpose to life, we have a hope of better things, we have light and love, we have new beginnings and fresh starts. We can leave all of our pains and shame because of Him. He is the Christ, the Son of God. Because of Him, we have Christmas! So in this time I hope that each of us can think about what we have because of Him. Then, what we should do because of Him. 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

December leadership conference

December 12, 2017
       Man this week, so we had our December leadership conference yesterday.  We had to travel to Guadalajara the day before that of course.  We stayed the night in Indepencia which is my companion’s old area. So we got free food and we got rides all over town because the people there just loved my comp.  He had lots of success there and everyone wanted to see him again.  The training was awesome as usual, though it was very long.  We watched video about Zion’s camp and learned from the leadership fo Joseph Smith. Later we learned about the purpose of trials and how the Lord shapes us through our experiences.  Lots of stuff, but I liked how Sister Clayton used the example of ships/barges of the Jaredites. They would have never reached the promised lands if it wasn't for the strong waves and furious storms. Likewise, we will never arrive where the Lord wants us to go if we don’t pass through our own storms and the waves don’t crash against us sometimes. 
     We had to spend the night again in Guadalajara.  All of the Elders from my generation were there, a mix of zone leaders, district leaders, and secretary.  It was cool to see everyone there, but also kind of strange.  It’s weird because we’re starting to get old in the mission.  After we made it home, we visited a family and that wrapped up a long couple of day.
December 8, 2017
       Today we spent pretty much all day in Atlas looking for a house. The best part of the day was driving through the mountains and looking at the spectacular views. We found several different options, but they ended up choosing a tiny, rather pricey (but nice) apartment that Elder D and I found.  My companion isn’t happy about it, but I think that he just doesn’t like small houses.  I’m not sure why they chose that house, but at least it is fully furnished. 
Later on, we came home and visited an investigator who was celebrating her birthday.  Unfortunately, she was celebrating with a lot of alcohol. 
December 9, 2017
       Long day!  We worked and walked without a ton of success, and to cap it off, we had no time to cook or eat today.  Sounds bad, but I actually feel pretty okay with today because we worked hard.
December 10, 2017
      Today, like all Sundays, we went to La Huerta for church.  The area is suffering a little because we haven’t been able to visit in two weeks.  But we’re going to have a baptism there this coming week.  Later on we ate two lunches, so that made up big time for yesterday, and our investigator stood us up again.  One of our investigators brought her boyfriend to church and the gospel principles class turned out rather interesting.  We were learning about prophets and he first tried to prove that there are no prophets and that we are saved by faith alone, and that churches don’t matter, bot only our interpretation of the scriptures matters.  Then he tried to explain how we can all be prophets.  Unfortunately he talked for most of the time.  After church, we went home and stopped by some other people on the way home.  The parties for the Day of the Virgin are in full swing now, with fireworks and everything.  Overall it was a good day.  We never have any time to proselyte on Sundays sadly, but what can you do?  
       With all the travel expenses of the past few months, and also all the rents we have had to pay, we are officially broke. We haven’t been able to take out money, and apart from that, the offices are having problems with sending money to the missionaries, asi que we are scraping by. But that’s just part of the mission I suppose! It doesn’t worry me too much, somehow things have a way of working out. And it’s really humbling how many people, even of different faiths, are willing to help us as missionaries. It really fulfills the scriptures "carry neither purse, nor scrip.” 

      As we approach Christmas Christmas, I invite all of us to think about what we have because of him. We have so much, he has given us everything. Because of him we have a purpose to life, we have a hope of better things, we have light and love, we have new beginnings and fresh starts. We can leave all of our pains and shame because of him. He is the Christ, the Son of God. Because of him, we have Christmas! So in this season I hope that each of us can think about what we have because of him. Then, what we should do because of him.