Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Last Letter...It Has Been An Adventure!!!

Well what can I say.... It has been an adventure beyond believe, I have always considered that my strength is not in writing or in sharing my thoughts for that manner. I feel like in my emails over these two years I have focused more on the physical stuff then on the spiritual stuff or how I'm feeling for that same reason that it is hard for me to express exactly how I'm feeling. And now that all this is coming to an end I am full of emotions, and I am going to try to express those feelings. But nothing I write can express what I truly feel. I am going to try to take 2 years of experiences, good ones, and ones that make you grow, and write about it... Ya well here I go.

First off a couple physical things, The Spanish culture Is something i will never forget, I have fallen in love with it, it is something so chill, and so relaxed I love it. I have grown so attached to this country. It is such a blessed land so abundant in everything, truly a promise land, The beauty and majesty I will miss. The food.. Even though you won't believe me I will miss my beans and eggs with cream Every morning and night time. It will be weird not to eat beans or rice every meal, and even weirder not eating tortillas. I miss how the animals are incorporated into the daily living here. How having a pig following you around in the street is normal, or while teaching having baby chicks and ducks running in between your legs. Or the tin houses here, they are something you would never seen in the USA but they are now so normal to me. And not just the tin shacks but the people that live inside of them. They are so humbled, I have grown attached to the people here. They have such a grand love, they are so open and loving. Even if they don't want anything to do with the church they will invite you in and give you something to drink, and ask how your doing. Their heart is bigger then their whole house! Just so loving. Some people that I have met here are not focused on the material side of things, but instead on that they are spiritual sons and daughters of God and have a divine potential. You don't need need much material things to enjoy this life.

While out here I have passed through some great times and also some terrible times. The great ones are ones i will always remember as well as the not so great. I have learned to rely on the Lord and his promises to us. The peace he can offer us in times of trials is comforting and fills one with hope when everything seems dark and empty. The terrible times make you cherish the great ones. One thing I have always known but confirmed countless times out here was attitude. Attitude is everything, It can make the difference between failing and succeeding, the difference is everything. I have been in areas and with comps that were super hard for me, I don't expect anyone to understand nor do I ask them too, but I feel it was my attitude that made the difference. And made me turn to the Lord to depend on him to understand me, when I felt alone I could turn to him, and he helped me learn the things I had to learn there and prepare me for future experiences I would have later on.

The best part of being a missionary is helping other people change and come unto Christ. This gospel changes lives, I testify of that. It will change behavior faster then whatever textbook or science proven test. A testimony in our Savior Jesus Christ gives us hope, a sense of belonging and direction in our lives. When we know who we are where we came from and where we are heading and that helps us distinguish the things that are of true value in this world. I am so grateful for the opportunity to help people come unto Christ and change their lives. There is a huge difference when people apply the principles of the gospel and that is probably the most rewarding thing is seeing that difference and seeing them more happy. I wouldn't trade that for anything. The gospel changes lives, I know that is true. And That change is possible through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Everything in the church is possible through the atonement. It is the center point of the church, if it wasn't for that infinite sacrifice we would have nothing in his world. We wouldn't have any hope or anything to believe in. It is that act that offers us the way to return back to God, to be one clean enough to make it back to Gods presence. I testify that forgiveness is available to all of us. No matter what we have done there is always a way out and that is through the atonement. That is the greatest promise to us that forgiveness is available if we are willing to do our part and repent.

The atonement not only gives us the way but it is also available to carry us through our hardest trials in life. The Lord will never abandon us. He is our older brother that has passed through everything we have ever or will ever pass through. He knows exactly how we will feel and knows what we need, and we can turn to him in whatever moment we find ourselves in. It is the greatest gift available.

For these two years I have been a true representative of Jesus Christ and his church. And these last couple weeks I think I have finally started to understand just exactly what that means, to represent him, to say what he would say, to bless the people, to love and serve them. I have seen his hand in my life so many times throughout my mission, and have witnessed his hand bless the life of others, he has done miracles in their lives, with his power and through other people. He knows us and loves us and wants to help us, but we have to 1. Do our part, and 2. Obey his commandments when we do these things he will bless us.

I know that this church is true, that God lives, and has his church here on the earth today. That he has his prophet guiding us, and he has a divine plan for each of us. I always believed but now I can truly say that I know. I know with all my heart, wehn i return i want to maintain these things, i know it is going to be hard, but i want to keep it up. " we are not humans having spiritual experiences, we are spirits haveing human experiences" i love that quote, spiritaul experiences shouldnt be rare, or once every now and then... but we should always be having them. that is my goal.. we wil lsee how it goes...

All this is easily told but who can tell the full story of the spiritual and mental battles, the inner struggles that took place. and more importantly the changes that have taken place... i love you all, thank you for the love, support, letters, and prayers over the years, they were truly felt. i will always cherish these last two years... i know i was on the Lords errand, and still am, we are to be a light to the world! i love you all!
Elder Call

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Second To The Last Letter!!!

Second to the last week and I’m still going strong! This week we did three divisions! The 2 we had planned and then the Assistants called us to do a surprise division….supposedly they were planned forever ago but we had forgotten. I stayed in the area and Elder Urmstrom came. We are good mission friends going back to San Jorge. I did divisions with him back when I had a week and he had 3 weeks. Do you remember that? I probably didn’t mention that. But we go back, so it was a fun division and everything fell into place. There was never a moment when we didn’t have something to do and these are the days you just cherish and love!

Wednesday I did divisions with Elder Cox from LaVerkin who is also in the same ward with us. That was probably one of the hardest days I’ve had in a while…EVERYTHING literally everything fell from plan A to plan F. It all fell….we didn’t teach at all. We found a less active though and took a sister out to go contact her neighbors. It was one of those days where you learn diligence…
Friday was back on the road for me and I went to Neuva Florida with an Elder Flores from Mexico. He is so chill, reminds me kind of like Jamison, but even bigger. He is huge! So all in all with divisions we went from having an amazing day down to a horrible day then back up…it was like a roller coaster day. However we did have a really good/cool experience…we weren’t in our area (our ward but not our area) and we got to drop something’s off and a family member is there, the sister and she isn’t a member and she started asking some questions until it comes to the subject about baptism and how can one know if they’ve received a true baptism and that led us into teach the restoration, and it was a great lesson! The spirit was there and we challenged her to be baptized (it’s weird challenging people to be baptized for dates that I won’t be here for). But that just goes to show you that there are always people waiting and ready to hear the gospel. That’s why we always have to be ready.
OK this next story I feel bad…Sunday, yesterday, was the birthday of Elder Cox, who we share the ward with…well we live like 2 blocks away in the same residencial. So we woke up at 4 and snuck into their house (his companion gave us his keys) so we go to surprise him to wish him a happy birthday, we run in and turn on the lights and he was truly scared, literally I have never seen someone yell so loud and so long until he finally realized it was us…we scared him really badly!!! But hey happy birthday Elder Cox…
Another thing that happened yesterday we were teaching a contact about Joseph Smith and the restoration and they are an older couple, now around 60’s, and they were listening so intently but it was one of those times when I stopped and thought what are you doing???!!! You are just a 20 year old!!! And people older are listening to me; this gospel is amazing and is for people of all ages. I love being a missionary and sharing this message of Joy and Glad tidings. And the fact that the Lord would trust a bunch of 20 year olds to share it…it is amazing and I’m happy to be a part of it all…