Sunday, September 15, 2013

...the power of God behind you.

15 September 2013

"Nothing ahead of you is bigger or stronger than the power of God behind you."

This weeks quote is dedicated to the few that are struggling- 
We appreciate the prayers in behalf of all our missionaries. 

We had the privilege of picking up Elder Ford Saturday afternoon, who has been waiting for his VISA in order to be able to arrive in the Mexico Pachuca Mission. He has been serving in the Boise Idaho area. We are so thrilled to finally get him here as we are in desperate need of every missionary assigned to our mission. He is from the Salt Lake City area and loves to play tennis. He has amazing examples in his family, as all his siblings have served missions. Love it! The 15th of September is a HUGE holiday for Mexico, similar to the 4th of July in the United States. Traffic was crazy in Mexico City and poor Elder Ford endured hours in the car with President at the wheel- and who for some unfortunate accident missed one turn which took us on a wild goose chase through the streets of Mexico City. Believe me I was praying in the back seat of the mini van for divine intervention to guide us to the nearest on ramp headed to Pachuca. I'm sure Elder Ford was so impressed with the unplanned tour...NOT... needless to say the highlight for him was picking up our assistants on our way home where we made "Mexican Tacos". Elder Ford hadn't eaten since yesterday.... needless to say the boy needed food and sleep. However, because of the holiday we are expecting fireworks and wild partying all night long. We have asked all our missionaries on Saturday and Sunday night to be in their homes by 7:00 pm related to safety concerns. Welcome to the mission Elder Ford!


This week to be honest was not one of our most stellar weeks- but like we have said before 
"If it doesn't challenge you doesn't change you" and President and I are here to be challenged and changed for the better just like all our missionaries.
We have been on our knees often and fasted for several of our struggling missionaries- I have had a few sleepless nights and two cold sores to prove I worry about these kids. But I have had confirmation that Heavenly Father knows who we are- and that he cares- even though some of our kids are trying to find their own testimonies and assurance of his love for them- I can speak from personal experience in just this week alone that he helps us when we come up short, want to quit, or encounter pure frustration-and that really "Nothing ahead of you is bigger or stronger than the power of God behind you."

A Touching Moment.....

This morning (Sunday) President was notified at 0230 through email by a stake president that one of our missionaries grandfather's passed away rather unexpectedly yesterday. President called the Elder this morning at 0830 who was in his sacrament meeting. He had a very strong relationship with his grandfather as they lived near each other. The Elder got teary and then with conviction he said, "It's OK President, we know where he is and we know he is well." President responded, " You're right Elder, he is just with his 'trainer' learning how the work is done on the other side of the veil."
This touched my heart, Love to their family from the Mexico Pachuca Mission.

District Meetings- Wednesdays

President and I traveled to Tulancingo where we participated in Elder Cardon's district meeting. President was so impressed with the preparation that Elder Cardon had put into this weekly assignment. Time ran short and so Elder Cardon was unable to share all that he had prepared, so we hope to take a rain-check! Elders from his district participated as well, sharing experiences and personal testimony that they were asked to present. Afterwards several companions split up for divisions (exchange of companions for 24 hrs) and off they went to scheduled appointments with brownies in hand.


Because we can't be everywhere, we sent Presidents Assistants Elder Poulsen and Elder Dove to the Mezquital area for two days to check on things there and to visit two district meetings. They did divisions with the zone leaders in that area and covered more ground. 
Elder Dove said that attending Elder Unamuno's district meeting was one of the most- if not "the most" spiritual district meeting he has ever been in- what a compliment! President was so proud of both districts as Elder Poulsen complimented the district leader Elder Camacho for his sheer enthusiasm. It was contagious to the whole district. During practice session Elder Camacho stated, "I am going to be the member, and you are going to teach me how to share the gospel with my friend. Then he said, actually I'm going to be an active member, no- I'm going to be a strong member... I'll be the Stake President! So during the practice Elder Gallegos refers to Elder Camacho as "hermano" which is brother, and he stops them and says NO! I am President Camacho!!! Oh funny!! Love the spirit these leaders can bring to training. Elder Poulsen was also impressed with one of our newest missionaries, Elder Pass, and what a great job he is doing with the language and teaching. He is passionate about the work and one can see it in the photos below! Elder Dove, assistant, commented that he was Zone Leader over this area in April and that Elder Barrios/Elder Fox's ward would not support the missionaries. However now these Elders have gained the trust and respect of their ward members/leaders. The ward is participating in activities to assist in the Work of Salvation- taking an interest in finding investigators for these two Elders. A testimony that with hard work, strict obedience, and humble hearts the Lord's work moves forward. We are so proud of their efforts in being representatives of Jesus Christ.
What a great group of missionaries!

Elder Dove used to serve in this area and so he has a secret favorite place to go for
"Shrimp Taco's"....
The owner of the fish stand was a convert of Elder Doves.
Elder Poulsen states that's the best homemade lemonade ever!
Obviously- now we know one of the real reasons Elder Dove loved this area so much!!!

"Mexico Pachuca Mission Home Show Tour" 

Home # 1 - " Mezquital- Santiago"
This lovely little home probably has one of the "sweetest" kitchens. It's obvious these two Elders keep things in order and clean. These pictures were taken with an unannounced visit- Kudos to Elder Pass and Elder Gallegos. Check out that wild kitchen floor..... 
I couldn't have been prouder!


Home #2- "Pachuca Sur- Las Torres"

This little home is the one we talked about last week
that has occasional flooding when it rains hard. Elder Barber and Elder Duran
are working on finding a new place in the neighborhood to move.
They requested one more table for their kitchen area. They get the award for the most potential for improvement in this cycle of home checks. I will be returning on Monday to see the progress they have made on defrosting and wiping out their refrigerator and organizing their family room. 
They even have a cute new wipe-able table cloth to brighten up the place, a new mop, and new table- improvement is imminent. 
I know this last flooding incident dampened their spirits- but they keep grinning and have committed to keeping their place clean and in order.
They are being good sports.... Love them both!


Home #3-" Pachuca Sur - Pitahayas II"

This cute little neighborhood fits these two just perfect. They have a few cabinets in their kitchen which is really unusual- they have a little wood floor which makes the place feel "ritzy"! Elder Bickley and Elder Vique had everything in order. I love how they had their study tables right by the window so the morning sun can inspire and enlighten. Even though they have four leaks in their family room (which I'm going to get figured out, and an earlier rash of insects coming through the holes)... they take personal pride in their place. They have fixed the leaks the best they can and have sprayed for insects themselves. They stated, "No more bugs, that stuff we used will take your skin right off". Kudos Elders- The assistants who were with me as my guides in finding these homes commented when we got to the car that they have whipped this home into shape. They have never seen it look so good! These two will be amazing husbands some day... 
Elder Bickley commented that when he ate the banana bread we left that he got a little emotional as it reminded him of his amazing Mom and Grandma.
He sends his love to all you at home.


Home # 4- "Pachuca Sur- Valle Verde" 

This cute home nestled in the "Green Valley" area was darling. It would have sold if up for sale-ONLY because these two amazing zone leaders are the perfect example of taking care of your home. They had everything spic and span- with not a thing out of place. And you can tell this is how they have their home daily- not because I was coming.
They had pictures hanging in appropriate places, and a Mexican hat to add color and culture to their home. Every shoe lined up, every shirt ... see for yourself! And their bathroom, well their mothers could have used it without batting an eye.... because this bathroom had been scrubbed!!! 
Their floor was clean even behind the fridge and under their beds.
Oh what a pleasure to come here. The owners of this home had returned and ripped all the kitchen cabinets out, but that wasn't an excuse for Elder Almaraz and Elder Bowles. They still had their kitchen organized and in order.  When I asked them if they needed anything they reluctantly asked for a frying pan- the least we could get them!
A+ or a #12 on a scale of 1-10.  TOP RATINGS! 
Thanks for your daily efforts Elders!


Home # 5- "Mezquital- Tepatepec II"

Elder Barrios an Elder Fox live in this little abode. They get extra credit because this visit was unannounced. Our assistants even commented that the last time they were in this house they didn't even know a stove existed. It was so dirty and covered with some much "stuff". It really makes the mother instinct in me so proud when Elders take the initiative and make things better, and not assume that things stay status-quo because that's how it's been. Most of these homes have no hot water in the kitchen sink so it's pertinent that they use good soap, water, and "scrub" behind every cleaning task. President is so proud of these two Elders and the efforts they are making in their area as missionaries. 

Home #6- "Pachuca Sur- Valle Dorado"
This little "condo" is nestled off a busy road on a quiet little street. They have the perfect tree in their front yard to hang Christmas light on... Do they do that here in Mexico?
Elder Zamudio and Elder Gastelum had there home in order and also have a leaky ceiling and problem plumbing. Look in the picture and see how their kitchen sink is plumbed? Yep, that right- a 5 gallon bucket is the drainage system. Another one of those items on the "Get it fixed, figured out, or move" list. They don't even complain just deal with the inconveniences like troopers. They got a new mop and mop bucket along with banana bread! They acted like they had just won the million dollar lottery in Pachuca Mex.

This is how Noah must have felt when it started to rain....
We have had some rain all week... but this rain storm was crazy and flooded inside peoples homes and businesses, into taxi's, and was basically wild rivers down the streets.

Sister Leader Trainers Hard at Work

Our cute Sister Leader Trainers, Sister Perez and Sister Cortes, with one of their investigators. This mother was the last hold out on joining the church and has such a special spirit.
Her husband was the first to join and then her three daughters. She has committed to invite us to their family sealing in the temple in just over a year! We will keep her to that promise!

Check out this artists talents! And our missionaries even make that wall more eye catching!

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