"I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; and if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no home-sickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work- there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work." President Ezra Taft Benson
So several of our areas were fortunate enough to have a room in their church buildings set aside for them to watch conference in English. The pouty faces above represent "We can't get the connection to work!"
Success! They were able to listen to conference in English. What a group of silly boys.... but they thoroughly enjoyed conference.
"Our spiritual buckets are full!"
Elder Hernandez our "Chicken Pox Kid!" He broke out with them the day after mission wide transfers. He had visited a family several weeks before where their children broke out with them. He was quarantined with his new companion, in his new area, and new house for 8 days. He was a trooper! And we were blessed to not have it spread to any additional Elders or his previous companion as of yet! Tender mercies.
The following weekly letters were sent to President. With permission I share them with you. Hope it touches your heart or makes you smile.
President Egbert! its another week down the drain only because it just flew by! i have been more thorough this week and i have been waking up at 6 and it has made a huge difference! i feel more productive. and have a little extra time to exercise and study so that's been helpful. I'm very excited about the people we are teaching. we have been teaching 4 Christians and they are already reading in Alma 30 and ____ is a pastor in his church or some leader of the Christian church, and after teaching him you wanna know what he said? he said "i know this your church is true, and i know the Book of Mormon is true". I'm so excited for them and he and his wife have baptismal dates for the 27th of October;) ...wanna hear how we found them? a member had been sharing about the Book of Mormon. After some discussion with this member, they decided to fast. They fasted for 3 whole days, and when they ended their fast we walked by and we found and met them. Totally unexpected! We have been teaching them every Saturday for one month or so.. and they attended general conference broadcast this last Sunday. i have hope for them and i know that the Lord answered their prayers by allowing us to find them. also conference was amazing and just the extra spiritual boost that i needed;) thank you for all you do. -elder I
Hola, presidente Egbert,
yo quiero escribir en espanol, pero yo no puedo escribir mucho. haha
In the future letters for sure though! I have been loving it here! the people are so nice, the food is so good, and the spirit is so strong. I don´t know all of the names of the investigators yet but i love all of them. A few seem very close to baptism! At one of the houses i was able to bare my testimony of the plan of salvation and how sweet the fruit will be when we are able to return to live with our heavenly father again. I think that whole family felt the spirit very strong as i shared my experience with my mom (this Elders mom passed away from cancer) and the plan of salvation. we have been visiting the menos activos tambien, and they are all wonderful too! I aspire to be able to speak more Spanish that way i can be my normal self with people but in Spanish. It kills me not being able to be as personable and talkative. I miss that for sure, but it is good motivation to learn the language even faster. This week i have been working on learning the baptism invitation, first vision, and alphabet with perfect pronunciation. I am close to perfect on all of them, but i still have a little bit of work to do. It was a good challenge that elder Dove (Presidents Assistant) gave me. I also have been reading, studying, and saying my words with a wide open mouth that way i can pronounce them easier. I have full faith that with the power of the lord i will be able to learn all of this language. Elder Santos is great, I have loved being able to learn mucho from him. Our Christ like attribute for this week has been patience, i haven´t studied it much because of the preimer doce semanas y the things i have been trying to memorize, but i have been experiencing it everyday with not being able to communicate fully. I am excited to be here, i love the area, and things are going great! Thanks for being such a wonderful president, we can feel the love that you and sister Egbert have for us!
-Elder C (one of our newest Elders- President said "He's a ROCK Star!")
Quarterly Interviews in the Mezquital Zone
I love Elder Russell's smile.....
Check out those shoes (above)... our missionaries are workin' hard!
(Below)... reaping the benefits of their hard work!
Checking out the Zone Leaders "Homestead". Elder Oliver and Elder Terry are working on getting a fresh coat of paint through out the house and then we will hang a few curtains and it will be an even more "home sweet home." This little apartment is right, I mean right across the street from the church. You couldn't find a better location if you tried.
Elder Fox and Elder Hernandez have the cutest little home. They keep it spotless! They are going to see about maybe painting the main section of the house. So proud of their efforts. They have little chickens that run around their yard.
Sister Ramirez and Sister Diaz live in the perfect part of Actopan. They are close to the center of town, and live in a protected cluster of apartments with a middle court yard. These sisters were missing an entire window. I said "Where's your window?" They reply "Oh the previous Elders broke it out." So President says "Let's get that fixed and the mission will reimburse you." "OK", they say. Never a complaint before now... they just deal with what-ever. The concerning thing is that it rains so much and there is no roof overhang where the missing window is... so nothing to prevent the rain from coming in their cute little abode." Love these sisters!
Elder Pass ate at a members home with this spoon and then she ended up letting him keep the spoon because she knew how much he liked it. First real Mexican souvenir...I'm not sure if the chicken on the table by the window is a pet or tomorrows dinner.
District Meeting In Pachuca Mx
Elder Dove getting carried away with that fancy fast picture snapping camera!
So funny story Tuesday night with Elder Macias and Elder Sanders. About 3 am a huge loud crash which startled them both awake. Elder Sanders has been here just over a week and stated "I am NOT getting out of bed!" Elder Macias stumbles out into the middle of the house to find that their kitchen ceiling had collapsed. (picture above) Needless to say.. must have been a small leak that caused the ceiling to give way. The home owner did come and help them clean up the mess. And then on to District meeting they went. TROOPERS! Oh look at how effective their bathroom mirror is?
Above: District Meeting with Elder Hixon as the new District Leader in Pachuca Sur- Plazas. He did a great job and they meet in a very nice chapel. We then went to check out both companion-ships' houses.
Elder Beck and Elder Jimenez have a "sweet" arrangement. They actually have a washing machine (Very unusual) and a kitchen with a stove top and big fridge (very unusual). They had their place in "tip top" shape. I loved the huge map of their area that they had made- Elder Beck is being a great trainer and example to his new companion in the field. So proud of them both!
Then onto Elder Hixon and Elder Rogel's house for inspection. I have checked Elder Hixon's house twice before and always found things in order and extremely clean. So I have no worries where ever he is stationed. However, I had not been to this specific house and so wanted to check the status of quality and safety. Kudos to these two Elders! Mom Hixon and Mom Rogel job well done on preparing these two for the mission...... See for yourselves!
Quarterly Interviews in Pachuca Centro Zone
(Above) Yep... that's me (Hermana Egbert) practicing language study with Elder Gomez' help. (Below) The agenda books for our missionaries... the one on the (left) of a Sister missionary and the one on the (right) of an Elder. Need I say more? Makes me smile... you did too, huh?
Elder Heninger got his package from home... he loved the mini family photo album. Thanks Mom Heninger! Elder Caballero received his medication shipment from his Dad. Thanks so much! Elder Segura and Elder Gomez excited about their plate of banana bread!
I have to share the story of these two sisters. Hermana Contreras and Hermana Cebreros.On Wednesday night we get a call from these two scared to death sisters that they thought someone was in their house. Its like 930 pm and they had run down to the little corner market and a "hombre" (man-not a member) had offered to come back and check their home. They were asking permission to have him go in their home while they waited outside. They also informed President that they hadn't had power for 4 days. I guess the house next door had the power turned off and they had turned off the wrong house. They thought it was resolved but still did not have power. The very kind man got their power turned on and checked out their home reassuring them no one was inside. So fast forward to the next morning...at interviews they tell President they are doing "Bueno". I get talking to them with the help of Elder Arnett (translating some.. though these two sisters speak some English) and come to find out they had no power for 4 days, no hot water still (9 days) and no ward members feeding them lunch (Here in Mexico ward members feed missionaries lunch daily). I felt horrible! These two 19 yrs old girls bathing with a bucket of cold water and a cup in the dark with one candle- and no food offered on a daily basis. To say the least I got a little emotional as I watched these sisters "buck up" and be "so tough". Never complaining or calling until the night before because they were literally scared to death. I thought of Tahlia Mae my own 19 yr old daughter and how I would want her to be taken care of and the simply necessities available here in Mexico at their disposal. Needless to say when they saw I was emotional they got emotional and started to cry. Elder Arnett as their zone leader felt equally responsible as I did. We arranged to have Elder Arnett and Elder Cordova go to their house the following morning to assess the situation of the water boiler and gas. At 9:15pm the same night as interviews, these cute sisters call again saying they don't have any power. I was thinking "OH MY HEAVENS!" President told me not to panic and he called Elder Gomez and Elder Segura who lived the closest to them to run quickly and help them. They must have run the entire way because 5 minutes later they call saying there must be a short in the switch and after wiggling it the power came on. Yeah!! President asked them to check the hot water situation while they were there and they reported the Sisters did have a broiler but two empty gas tanks. So the following morning the Zone Leaders got the two tanks filled and then Presidents two assistants and Elder Campuzo (construction experience) the VISA secretary went and trouble shot the boiler and finally got it functioning! HEROES! All these boys saving the day as a group of concerned Elders taking care of their own. President and I so grateful. What touched my heart was the sincere toughness of these two sisters whom you can imagine were carrying on with their responsibilities never complaining, and never planning on saying anything about their situation... rather just moving forward. I have Elders who won't go one day with out hot water...I don't blame them by any means.. but these sisters situation totally touched my soul.
Quarterly Interviews in Tecamac II Zone
This was such a great day of interviews... The flow of Elders coming in and out was perfect. The Spirit of the day was perfect and they ate sugar cookies like they were going out of style which always makes Hermana Egbert feel good! How cute is this group???
Elder Stewart is the English Companionship guru and has committed to help his new companion Elder Lopez study and test before he leaves for home in December. These two Elders are doing amazing together... President is so proud of them!
After Interviews President and I delivered a "working"' fridge to Elder Smith (trainer) and Elder Smith (New missionary). They have a house with lots of character. Look a pretend fireplace to hang their Christmas stockings on! Hope Santa can fit down through there! We have a few leaks in two sinks to remedy but other than that this little humble home sits in a gated area that has I believe 4 families who are members. Makes me feel good to have members close to watch over our boys.