"The breadth and depth of a missionary's experience are defined by his or her purpose: to invite others to come unto Christ."
Valle De Mezquital Zone
This group having a good time on Preparation Day... And I trust that this was after their houses were cleaned thoroughly, groceries purchased, and laundry taken care of...
Elder Oliver you are grounded from ever playing soccer..... remember?!
"High risk for Injury"
Noah wasn't the only one having to deal with flooding waters. Poor Elder Barber and Elder Duran had to endure the torture previously together and then after transfers Elder Smith was allowed to share the pain. When the floods come it runs to their house... and up through the shower drain it flows. They have found a new place to move and hopefully this next week will be in a dryer environment, but they make the most of the inconvenience, teaching me that when you want to cry just laugh... it makes you feel better. Why cry over things you can't control! I love how creative Elder Smith is to decrease the level of the smell......
Story of Service: " It All Started With a Canceled Appointment"
On a recent Thursday as we were walking down a suburban street, we were presented with an unexpected opportunity to serve. We were coming back from an appointment that had fallen through and since we had been fairly confident that we would be occupied, we were momentarily lost in what to do next. We must have been pretty sad looking because an older fellow with a machete noticed. Now normally when some one approaches you with a large sword sized knife and starts staring you down its understandable to take a little caution, Personally I was getting geared up to start running! The man smiled however and jokingly said, "You boys are just walking around... why don't you help me cut my grass?" Though he was just teasing us I figured "Why not?". After all, service is an important part of being a member of the church. To this man's surprise, I put down my shoulder bag, took his machete and started hacking at the lawn in front of his house. He let me take a few dozen swings, then said his thanks and asked for his machete back. Obviously my cutting style was a little lacking in grace and precision. But he smiled as I handed him back the blade. From inside the house came a woman who asked, "You guys are Mormons, right?" You help the community? Come help us move our furniture!" By serving this random man, a door was opened, friends were made, and a potential investigator found.
The mission office on Monday is a fun place to be- with an English Test being taken today by Elder Zumudio who did excellent and got a very high rating. Also we love to see the Elders who live closer and those assigned to come in and get "pouch" for their areas. President has special interviews and works on finances/visas with our amazing secretaries.
Then off I went to do a home tour......
Home # 1- "Pachuca Mex Tecnologico II"
This quaint little home sits in a perfect place for these missionaries area. They have a large area like everyone else... however, they have the most beautiful new chapel with the most amazing ward. Elder Felsted and Elder Carlson keep their place "spotless and in order". They have made it so inviting and it looks clean, smells clean and is clean. Score of 9.97 Thank you so much Elders!!!
P.S. President- They would love bikes for their area.....
Here they are with their "area book" and new "shower curtain rod"- Don't they look serious?!" And then off they head to take their laundry to be washed for $ 50 pesos which is about $ 4.00 U.S.
(Below) President and I were able to attend their baptismal service tonight (Sunday) for 6 of their investigators. It was awesome! So proud of these boys and what impressed me the most was the total support they had from all the ward auxiliary. They had the Relief Society President, Elders Quorum President, Young Men's President, Primary President, Bishop, and Ward Mission Leader. They all introduced themselves and welcomed each specific individual into their area of responsibility. The primary kids got their "Faith in God" books, and the Home-teacher was there to introduce himself to the new brother who was baptized. The Relief Society President verbalized by name who the sisters' new visiting teachers would be and the young man got his manuals to help him learn more about the youth program and his Savior Jesus Christ. I have never seen anything like it before... so impressed. With a ward that surrounds, supports, strengthens and welcomes how can these newest converts fall through the cracks? Oh... and that rambunctious little two year old boy in the front... its a good thing the nursery leader stayed home to rest! She is going to need every bit of energy to keep up with him..... Oh my!!!
Our cute Elder Ford (Center cut out) had his sibling get married last weekend and when I asked how it went he said he was in attendance! I wanted proof.... and this is the proof. Between the bride and groom there are three missionary siblings out in the field. All three full size cut-outs of them were standing to represent how important family feels their service is to the Lord and to let them know that no one has been forgotten. Congratulations to the new couple from all of us here in the Mexico Pachuca Mission.
We really do have the most obedient, cutest personalities, and spiritual giants of any mission in the World! I might be a little biased, but I'm being honest. I trust them explicitly.
Pachuca Mex Zone Activity Day
If this group doesn't look like trouble then I am not sure how trouble is defined... and as for the geese ... well- they should have known better when they saw these Elders coming!
Elder Chavez going dippin' with this happy young man.
Those smiles say it all!
Home # 2- "Pachuca Mex Loreto"
This home tour had two purposes... First, to replace the sink with the professional help of Elder Campuzano (who did plumbing professionally before his mission) and to bring a couple of other necessities to these two great Elders. Elder Macias and Elder Sanders have the most luscious green garden courtyard as you enter their home. It has a locked gate out front which makes it feel protected and safe. And the simple new mirror, clothes iron, and kitchen table made these two Elders happier than peacocks!
Kudos to Elder Sanders who is working so hard to learn the language and adjust to Mexico. He doesn't let the challenge of the mission ruin his spirits... instead he becomes more determined to learn the language, to love the people, and to leave "homesickness" in the gutter! So proud of both these Elders for having their place in order for my visit.
Quitting is not an option here... and everyone chips in to lift spirits when the going gets tough... because
we are all family here in the Pachuca Mision.
Special thanks to Elder Campuzano... what would we do without you?
Home # 3- "Pachuca Centro -Pachuca"
Hermana Cerbreros and Hermana Contreras are so cute and totally let us stop by their home unannounced. They were busy studying at their study tables and everything else was clean and in order. Elders "take note"..
These two are a ray of sunshine and never complain... they giggled that they have hot water now... thanks to their big brothers (Zone Leaders) who are watching out for them!
Elder Loza (AP) visiting the Actopan District for Wednesdays Meeting.
Elder Loza on "splits" with Elder Vique and visiting with Elder Zepeda and Elder Niro.
Home # 4- "Pachuca Centro- Real De Minas"
This cute "Town-home" is neat and in order and these two 'Spirited Elders' are just a perfect companionship to serve their area. They have great members that live close by and also our Area Seventy Elder Mendoza lives in their neighborhood. They have a good sized ward and sit about 20 minutes outside of Pachuca.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Mexico Area Mission President/Wife Training
President and I were invited for a 3 day training to Huatulco which is a beautiful part of Mexico. It was very hot and humid... no long johns needed there! All 34 missions Presidents in Mexico gathered to be trained by the Area Seventy and their sweet wives. Also in Attendance were the Mexico MTC President/Spouse, and Area Legal Council/Spouse both amazing couples whom have served as previous mission presidents.
President and I are in the 3-4th row back slightly left of middle.
What was our instruction, what did I learn, and what are we going to do better?
- Concerns of : Lower baptismal numbers in Mexico overall
- Concerns of : Are the missionaries being taught doctrine to help them be better teachers?
- We are going to : Teach our missionaries more doctrine
- We are going to : Go out with companionship's while they teach to assess their teaching styles, then teach and assist in helping them grow in that area.
- We are going to: Direct teaching opportunities on the "how to"....
- We are going to: Find additional planned meetings for teaching doctrine
- I am going to lead by example : of finding references where ever I go
- I am going to lead by example: of being aware of those I can serve
- I am going to lead by example: of Obedience with Exactness
- I am going to be more involved with the success of English language study
- I am going to lead by example: an attitude of enthusiasm, support, courage and hard work in all aspects of the mission
- I am going to lead by example: that I am an instrument in the Work of Salvation and be sensitive to promptings of how I can be his tool for good