Monday, April 24, 2017

Not Everything That Counts Can Be Counted, And Not Everything That Can Be Counted Counts


This week was pretty awesome! To start, we had divisions and training with Elder Beeson and, well, it was super awesome to work with him and get to know him better. A lot of the leaders in the mission are senior missionaries who will be going home in the next few changes.  So it's cool to get a little seat time and training with such good missionaries.

We continued to see miracles this week.  One of the best parts about the mission is the frequency and recognition of miracles -- it's super cool to be honest!

For instance, one if our investigators we encouraged to pray about the church and the gospel message and everything, and we promised if he would do it, he would receive an answer.  And HE DID!!  His answer was the coolest thing in the world! He literally had a dream that not only answered his prayer but taught him things we hadn't even shared yet! :O  It's way cool to be a part of the conversion of people like him -- and moments like these really strengthen my testimony of this gospel! :) It's something super special.

AND SPEAKING OF MIRACLES this was the best, but you'll have to stay with me for a minute to get to it... Okay, so I also had splits with Elder Josse this week, (the same Elder Josse from my group at the CCM and the one that I lived with for my first cycle in Cerro Grande II). We ended up going on splits and well, we were in downtown Chihuahua, and we needed to take the bus to get back to our area in Girasoles.  So, Chihuahua is kind of set up like a big horseshoe... And inside the U of the horseshoe is a mountain called Cerro Grande -- and you can't cross it, you have to go around it. Girasoles is in one arm of the horseshoe, and my old area Cerro Grande was in the other.  So, we get on the bus... but didn't realize that we boarded the bus one road too soon, so instead of going toward Girasoles, we started heading in another direction.  We decided to wait to see if it would turn around or something, and pretty soon the roads started looking REALLY familiar.  We were back in Cerro Grande!!  Both of us, on the one day we were together on splits, we were both back where we were born (the area we started our mission)!  And so we road a little further, and eventually we were the only ones on the bus and the driver told us they were gonna stop to fix something.  So the bus stopped and we got off and right there we just so happen to find Elder Ramirez and Rodas, sitting in the shade!!  You know, the two missionaries I lived with for my last cycle in Cerro Grande!!!  So we had a little reunion and talked a bit, and Elder Ramirez and Rodas said they'd call us a taxi, but before they did, we realized we were standing just one street away from Adrian, the last baptism I had in Cerro Grande, and the first contact that Elder Josse had in Cerro Grande!!  So, we dropped in to visit him and he was home!! Usually he would be in classes during that time, so we were all super excited and it was an awesome experience!!  And all of us almost cried!!  And, well, Josse took a picture and I already sent him a reminder to email it to me, so maybe I'll have it to share next week!! :) But seriously, the sheer number of miracles that lined up so that could happen were REDICULOUSSSSSSSSSS! Moral of the story, God loves us, and works in really strange way sometimes to give us a better experience than we could imagine -- even though it seemed like it could be a reallyyyy questionable experience at the start!!

Oh, and then if that weren't cool enough, the taxi that picked us up just happened to remember me from ONE time I rode in his taxi when I was serving in Cerro Grande!!  And so we talked a bunch and the trip that normally costs 130 pesos, more or less, cost us 80 and let us reconnect with old friends and make a new one! God is perfect and He never makes mistakes!!  ;)

So, yea, definitely, this week has been awesome. We've been out here really working hard, and we've seen so many blessings, so many miracles here in Mexico. And I'm so grateful for it! :)

One final thought... we went to eat with a super awesome member and he had an awesome quote on his fridge in English :)

'Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.'

Sometimes it's nice to just be reminded that. :)


And now a sweet excerpt from Nick's personal email update to his father:

Each month we make covers for our agendas... 

This is what I will use this next cycle! :) I found these words in a Liahona:   

"I wouldn't be the man I am today if it was not for the righteous influence of my older sister"

Originally, I wanted to find 'if it was not for my family' or something, but the bottom line is - it's always been Lauren that has showed us how to be better, she's really helped our family, no? Yes!

I am grateful for each one of you! :) 
I love you very much!

Monday, April 17, 2017

No Trouble, But Getting Into a Little Hot Water!! Haha!!

Wow this week was awesommeeee yet again!! Haha! 

Well, to start, we had two baptisms as a District! One from our area and another from the Hermanas!! It was super awesome! :) But the first baptism, that of the Hermanas, was a little bit crazy, and a rather unique experience... We started to fill the font at like 11:00 because the baptism was scheduled at 4:00 Saturday afternoon.  So, it takes a while to fill and we wanted to be sure the font was full and the water was as comfortable a temperature as possible -- so we put it on hot and we left it (because the water never gets like hot hot if you know what I mean, usually barely warm at best). But yea, we went to eat and we came back and it was almost full, but seriously SUPER HOT -- like cook a human being HOT!! So we were with the Zone Leaders, and they we were a little worried about what we should do, and we suggested (almost joking) throwing in ice, but the Zone Leaders went with it!! We put together all our money, and bought 100 KILOS of ice (more than 200 lbs)!! I can honestly tell you I never thought that I'd ever have to throw ice into a baptismal font in the mission.. it was honestly one of the funniest, but high pressure moments ever! Hahaha!! But hermana Olga was baptized and she loved it and everything was super awesome! :) And then, Sunday afternoon we baptized Miguel Angel, the son of a recent convert! I did the ordinance, and it was super cool! :) He was so excited to get baptized and afterwards everyone asked him how he felt and all he could say was 'felize'! :) It was super adorable!! Hahaha! 

Also this week we went to Central as a Zone and we put on the Easter video of the church and we went around talking to people and passing out cards... It was a really cool experience and we met so many cool people!!  People from literally all over the world! Hahaha. It was super awesome. 

I learned a lot this week, again! But the one thing I learned that stuck out most to me was finally an example of what I've been trying to explain to myself for the past 6months! It has to do with answers to prayers. Something I've learned is that God always answers our prayers, but sometimes we need to humble ourselves to receive or rather perceive the answer. For example, when we pray, we often have requests right?... Like, we can plead 'Heavenly Father, I'm thirsty, please help me out here'... and we ask, expecting, or thinking,  about lets say a bottle of coke. And because we have an idea of how our prayer can be answered or how we'd like it to be answered, we can become preoccupied.  In this case by the thought of coke, and we can miss the glass of water that was sitting in front of us.

We need to make sure that we are humble enough, and willing enough, to receive His answer, what ever it is, and be grateful for the answers God gives us.  Because He always gives us answers, if that makes sense.

And also, worth mentioning,  Elder Marx and I are awesome. We realize that we each have strengths and gifts, and we've learned to trust each other with like 100 percent and so we have been working really really well. I think that we're gonna be seeing a lot of success here in these upcoming weeks! :) I'm super excited to be here and working with this District and my companion. We be killing it!! :)

Well until next week! Stay awesome, stay wonderful, I loveyou guys a bunchhhhh!! :) 

Monday, April 10, 2017

From Worry to Wonderful!! One of the BEST Weeks of the Mission!!

Woowwwww! Okay, real quick, this week has been, I think, the best week of the mission!

Not gonna lie, at first I was a little worried about being in a new area with my first gringo Elder and as District Leader.  But after this week holy cow!!

Okay well to start, ever since I arrived here in Girasoles and saw our investigators I realized we were just teaching individuals, none of us had families in lessons. So, I invited the District to start to pray and ask for families to teach, so that we could continue to change more lives, together.  After a week and half of praying and inviting and contacting a BUNCH of people, we didn't have any families -- until we left the home of one investigator... we here 'HEY BROTHERSSS!!!' in English!  We turned around and meet a man, Freddie, from Utah!  He grew up in the church, is currently less active, married to a Latina, with two sons of 9 and 14 years old. And, we proceeded to go to their house and start to teach them!  After the lesson elder Marx and I just about cried -- Holyyy Cow! We have so much hope and faith for this family!! The only thing is that they were busy this weekend hosting family from Utah, and so they weren't able to make it to church. So we randomly decided to visit them, just in case they were there. We stopped by, and they were there with ALL their family!  And it turns out, all their family is taking lessons too!!  The grandparents have a grandson on a mission in Argentina!! So we chatted, shared a good moment, and we ended up giving the grandparents a pass-along card with our names and the area on it so that they could show the missionaries that are teaching them back home. They asked us for it and they were all so excited to see missionaries here!! Hahahaha! It was awesome!!!

And then, we were headed to another lesson, and we were a little bit early, but we figured its all good, lets just go with it. So as we were walking, Elder Marx said, 'Hey, we should visit this other family'. At first, I thought 'but Dude we have this less...' and something told me naw, we should go. So we went. And yet again the family we were hoping to visit wasn't there, but the sister of the family was there with her other brother!! And it just so happens she told us that she was praying for spiritual guidance in her life just a few days ago!

AND FINALLY we were leaving an appointment, in an area super far from our house. Like 2 buses, 45 to an hour, far from the house. And the last bus leaves at like 8:45 o 9. We wrapped up our appointment at like 8:30 and as we were walking to the main road we saw the bus pass. The last bus!  And well, we had two options, we could sit around and wait or to get walking, and so we started walking. And we tried to call the members, but it was Thursday night and there's Relief Society and Mutual, so literally, no member was home. So we kept walking, and I said a super specific prayer, 'Heavenly Father, please bless us with a ride'. And like not even 5 minutes later a car pulled up next to us. 'Elderes! Vamos!'

And well, as I talked with this guy, turns out he's a member whose been less active for like 6 years. We started talking spiritually and I told him that I prayed for a ride like 5 minutes before he stopped for us, and he told us that he saw us, and something told him to stop and give us a ride home.  I'm way grateful he listened to the Holy Ghost!!!!

But Wow, yea, there's a lot of lessons in each of these stories, but Holy Cow! This week was full of stories and miracles just like this, I dont know, it made me reallyyyy grateful for so many things.

And well, the two gringos are killing it out here in Mexico!

And the district is pretty awesome! We Workkkkk!! :D

And welll thats kinda what happened this week!!!
So, till next time!!!

Monday, April 3, 2017

I Guess We Just Need to be Obedient, Have Faith, and Go For It !!

Hola Familia!

Well, yea, so this was my first week here in Girasoles as District Leader!! Our area is so big! Literally every day we have to take the bus to get to everywhere we need to go in our area!! But it's really cool, and a lot of fun. The area is awesome and we're already teaching a lot of people. The District is super awesome and we're all working reall hard!! 

My District is 2 Hermanas and us two Elders, and well everyone's super cool! Elder Marx and I get along good although he speaks hardly any Spanish, and the sisters, Hermana Garcia and Hermana De Avila are super rad too. Hermana Di Avila studied in BYU Hawaii so she speaks perfect English, which is very cool every once in a while!

This week was super busy and super awesome. We had a baptism and Wow this guy, Hermano Hipolito, is the most rad dude ever! HE'S 87 AND WALKS TO THE CHURCH EVERY SUNDAY!... and we take the bus!  Like this guy is such an inspiration, holy cow!  And he already has a huge testimony -- he said multiple times that even if we never show up to his house ever again, he's gonna keep going to church and keep on reading the Book of Mormon and sayinng his prayers and everything. And when he was baptized he said super happily that he's now a part of the family of God, and just Wow, I was super stoked to see that guy get baptized. Honestly, I can't describe how much of an inspiration he is for me!

And well, we have a lot of good people in the works right now. Hopefully we'll keep on teaching more and more, and if things continue the way they are, hopefully we'll have about 4 baptisms this month. We're really working hard and trying our best out here! :) 

Well, Conference was this weekend!! I had the option to watch it in Spanish and in English, and although it would have been great either way, I wanted to hear the voices of the Apostles, so I chose to watch it in English. :) and well, it's easier to understand! Hahaha! But yea, there were a lot of really good points and I hope that everyone was able to feel the same spirit that we felt from conference. I forgot my notebook at the house but I remember the emphasis on family, and that we're a family here on the Earth, and that when it really comes down to it, we need to do the small and simple things in order to have the testimony and the blessings that we need in this life, at this time right now.

One of the speakers I liked talked about the Holy Ghost, and how we need to act on the first prompting, and how we just need to go with it. And then He'll give us more promptings.
And then we see miracles.

I guess we just need to be obedient, have faith, and go for it. There are a lot of times I feel amazingly inadaquet here in the mission, but I always receive a lot of inspiration in the promises of God and also His Spirit. I dont know, maybe next week I'll be able to organize my thoughts out better.  Hahaha!

But, really this week I've felt the power of reading the Book of Mormon. We've had a few investigators tell us that they're reading it, and once they do, they always seem to have such a good testimony of the Book of Mormon. I pesonally have felt the power of the Book of Mormon so many times in my life, and especially here in the mission. 

And well, also I have a super strong testimony of a quote that Mom gave me. 

“God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability.” ― Neal A. Maxwell

Honestly, everything is awesome here, I love being here, and I love the people here! I've already seen so many miracles here in the mission, even here in this area after only one week! I'm way grateful for everything that has happened out here and I can't wait to continue onward. And hey, this next week I'll complete my first 6 months of the mission... A little crazy huh????? And I'm still 18! Hahahaha!

But, I love being here and I love God and His Son, Jesus Christ, and I hope that you guys can feel the love They have for you. Something I've learned is that we're all important to Them. They'll help us if we will only ask in faith.

And well, I guess that's more or less all I've got for this week, hopefully next week I'll have more specifics to share. And I'll send photos once my comp sends them to me, okay??
So, until next week, I love you guys a bunch!! 

Stay awesome!!

OH! Also, everyone, watch the Prince of Peace video on
Literally awesome.
Okay till next time :)