Sunday, January 19, 2014

...focused, dedicated, and disciplined.

"No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, and disciplined."

- Henry Emerson Fosdick


"The Tree of Life".... in Mexico with Elder Kearl (Wyoming)


Dear President:
In my short time as a missionary I've always regarded the time that we have to do physical exercise as sacred and I hate when I don't have the time to exercise. This attitude that I've given to my exercise taught me something this morning. Usually, when I do push-ups, I can achieve 60-65 before I give up and hit the floor. This morning, before I dropped down to do push-ups, I said to myself "This time I'm going to do 100", what happened next was something interesting. I gave it everything I had but I did not achieve the 100 I desired. I had done, however, 88 push-ups. Even though I did not achieve the goal, I had achieved a number of push-ups that I never had before. This experience also gave me a new vision and understanding of the goals that we set as missionaries, why we set them and the things we can accomplish by setting goals. If we set a goal that is easy to accomplish we achieve it every time but we don't grow much. If we set a goal that we know will be difficult but we can still do we might not reach it but we will do more than we were doing before. Just a little something my exercise taught me.

Yesterday we had the opportunity to talk in sacrament meeting, all four of the missionaries. I went last and talked about love. The bishop told us that we can't "planch" so I talked about love and why it's important in missionary work. In my talk I shared an experience before my mission when I invited a coworker to church. It was scary, I didn't know if she would accept or reject and hate me afterwards but because I love the Lord and desire her salvation I invited her to church. She came, liked it and invited her sister the next week. I told them that I know how it is to share the gospel, its scary, but if we love the people and the Lord, we'll have the courage to face our fears and share the gospel. I feel that the ward accepted it well because many gave me compliments afterwards. I studied about humility this morning.

My companion has progressed a lot in his Spanish and so I felt justified using English on rare occasion to make sure we understand each other. It helped a lot. He's great, he keeps trying and keeps going.

I did divisions last week. That Elder is a great Elder as well but he just lacks discipline. When we're in a lesson he focuses in more but outside of lessons he's easily distracted. He teaches well and has several great insights, if he could just impress in his mind the kind of missionary he could be if he dedicates himself I think he would explode as a missionary.

Well that's everything for this past week. We've kept working, kept trying to achieve more and now that the ward's been woken up from its stupor from the meeting with Elder Mendoza (area seventy) I'm excited what we will achieve together.

I love you, wish you well, rest assured that I'm still well and happy to be here. I pray for you every day and I'll talk to you next week. In the meantime....
 We've got a battle to fight!  Elder B     

"NEVER give up and never give in"


"Turning Every Day into a JOURNEY

of Service and Compassion"


"ATTITUDE": These two zone leaders are always maintaining a positive one!

Mexico Pachuca Statistics/Facts

  • Missionaries currently serving #127
  • End of March transfer we will have a minimum of #146
  • Anticipate great growth in the next 6 months with many coming and low numbers leaving.... yea!!!
  • Average monthly rent $2000.00 pesos ($153 US)
  • Average monthly power bill $ 200-800 pesos ( $15-62 US)
  • 8 Missionaries have returned home early in the last 6 months
    • 1 needing psychological assistance
    • 3 returned home at their own insistence (4 < wks in the mission)
    • 3 returned to set things straight with the Lord and Stake President- anticipate their return within the year. This doesn't bother us as their hearts and spirits are in the right place.
    • 1 sent home for willful disobedience to mission rules

  • Opening one new area this next transfer -Feb 4th
  • 8 Companionship's ride bikes (provided by the ward members)
  • 7 Stakes in our mission boundaries
  • 49 units-wards/branches with two more approved for total of 51
  • Last 5 weeks statistics of Mexico Pachuca Mission- 
      • AVERAGES per WEEK
    • 64 companionship's
    • 13 real converts (baptisms) 
    • 66 new investigators with baptismal  fechas (dates) 
    • 81 Investigators attending sacrament meeting 
    • 405 Lessons taught with Members present (President so proud)
    • 150 New Investigators
      • President is given statistics for all of Mexico that he is not allowed to share- that being said, our missionaries are effective teachers as they baptize 10.5% of every new investigator found. Our missionaries are exceptional and growing and developing daily. 
  • Standard of Excellence Growth
    • In July average of 17 lessons a week taught per companionship
    • Standard of Excellence changed to 30 lessons a week 8/1/2014
      • Companionship's thought this was impossible
      • Mission average increased to 27 lessons a week by Dec 2013
    • Standard of Excellence changed to 40 lessons a week 1/1/2014
      • This includes 25 lessons to investigators
      • This includes 15 to less actives or recent converts
      • 2 Baptisms per month per companionship
      • 2 New Investigators with a baptismal date weekly
    • We now have had in 3 weeks 6 companionship's teach 40 or more lessons in a week
    • We have had 3 companionship's teach >40 lessons, have 2 baptisms or more, and commit 2 or more people to baptism weekly for the month of January. It is the first time we have had companionship's achieve all of the "Standards of Excellence"! President and I are so proud of their increased vision of the work and faith in the Lord. 


Mexico Pachuca Home Show  

The last six months I have been able to inspect almost every companionship's home for safety and cleanliness, and some twice. The last few weeks I have taken advantage of the time before and after interviews to go take a peek. I only have a few left to see of the 64+ residences. Our Elders/Sisters are doing a marvelous job in taking personal pride in their homes. Most understand the concept that a clean and organized area brings the spirit of peace and harmony and provides a better study environment. Those who struggle in this area are willing to try harder and learn from companions who excel in this task. 

KUDOS to all our missionaries..

.. "wouldn't trade you for chocolate, diet coke, or all the money in the world!!!


Home # 1- Pachuca Mex  "Morelos"
This unique home is a very large and spacious two story with 4 bedrooms which makes it hard to keep warm. These darling sisters leave a heater in their bedroom and put one in their study area which is in a spare bedroom. They actually have kitchen cabinets which is unusual and they are located center in the heart of Pachuca Centro which is a busy crowded area of the city. 
Who wouldn't want to hear a lesson from these two cuties?!
Home # 2- Tulancingo Tulancingo II
This home sits in a little pueblo out of Tulancingo in a rural area. This home is a perfect size with two little bedrooms. One for sleeping and one for exercise/storage. Take note of the colorful mural on the ceiling. These Elders have an oven which is unusual, and they use their glass closet door as a white board to keep track of specifics in their district. Very creative Elders! Great job... everything in order!
Home # 3- Tulancingo Lucerna
This little apartment sits on the 3rd level in an older section of town. It is tiny but does the job for the needs of our missionaries. A new bookshelf to help organize their materials was a great help. I have been to this apartment before and it was much improved. Thank you Elder Rogel and Elder Cruz for your time and 100% effort. 
Home # 4- Tulancingo Zone Leaders Home
This little house is quite the surprise. Looking from the front of the blue metal entry one would never know what actually sits behind the white door. But a little courtyard leads to this colorful home where the Elders have taken great care. It actually has two bathrooms tiled (Never exists) and a kitchen with counters. It is a two story with the bedrooms upstairs. The Mexican culture loves bright colors inside on the walls- Elder Oliver is in his last cycle and has served as zone leader in three areas. He has gone the extra mile in making improvements in each home- so others may benefit. President is so grateful for his unique attitude of "Whatever and Where ever you need me to serve, President". We love you- Elder Oliver. 
Nice job Elders...thank you for being the perfect example to your zone.
Home # 5- Tulancingo- Tulancingo I
This little condo sits back behind closed gates in a cluster of units. It is the perfect size and setup. These Elders take great pride in the organization of their home.They were given new bedroom curtains which were blue. This home gets the best smelling award as one could tell that they had really cleaned/disinfected. They had a great supply of groceries and their fridge was clean and stocked. Elder Mansilla (glasses) is cycling home the first of Feb and we are so sad to have him go! He is serving as one of our priceless trainers on his last rotation. Thank you...
Home # 6- Valle de Mezquital- Mixquiahuala
This little second story apartment is such an improvement from what I've heard about their other place. We opened this area last cycle and had to find a place on short notice and so quality was not good. Hermana Rojas and Hermana Apolinar later found this cute little place which is awesome. Though it doesn't have a sink in the kitchen (which in not unusual) they use the outside laundry sink for dishes. It has great windows to bring the sunshine in and two little bedrooms. The owner wanted her curtains back so we left them with some to hang up, and left a table to put in their kitchen to keep things off the floor.
 They of course had everything clean and in perfect order. Nice job Sisters!
Home # 7- Valle De Mezquital- Tlahuelilpan
This unique home sits on a second level and has been used for quite some time by missionaries. It has windows almost all the way around which at sometime were painted with whitish paint. Oh my! So its half coming off but you can't see through it to get the view. Dirty curtains are permanently attached to the walls which drive the sisters crazy. They have a hard time keeping their home warm because of its large area and nothing is air tight in Mexico so the heat goes out the cracks. They have many broken windows that are drafty as well. So on Wednesday's visit with President's instructions they will be getting those three windows replaced as soon as possible. The neighbors are very kind and share their cute little yellow lab which nips at their skirts as they climb the stairs. These sisters had a very stocked fridge and things were clean through out the house. Nice job Hermana Diaz and Hermana Ramirez. On my return to the area on Saturday, I dropped off plastic drawers for their clothes, a long mirror, and new ironing board cover. 
Home # 8- "Valle De Mezquital- Actopan I"
This little apartment sits in the heart of downtown Actopan on the third level just above the busy hustle and bustle of the towns shopping area. The members who own the material/fabric shop on the bottom level keep an eye out for our missionaries. These two are "Two peas in a pod"! They get along great and Hermana Diaz is being an excellent trainer to Hermana Shaumkel who just arrived last cycle. She is originally from Tonga and so will know three languages! Hermana Diaz comes from the military and so is very organized in her housekeeping skills and daily regimen. The only help this little place needs is a water valve so getting water to the kitchen sink doesn't take an engineering degree. President asked Hermana Diaz to look into getting that fixed... We just love their smiling faces and work ethic!!!! 

Home # 9- Valle De Mezquital- Santiago
This second story house sits in a rural part of the mission. It has a beautiful kitchen and has lots of room. We could house a dozen Elders here; but these two seem right at home and are so busy working that they don't have time to kick their feet up. Two of the windows are broken and need replacing ... so they promised President they would put that at the top of their "To Do List" for P-Day. Their district leader told me quote "You won't find two harder working missionaries in all of Mexico" as we watched them take off down the street after our home visit.
 Love all our missionaries!

Home # 10- Valle De Mezquital- Panuaya
This amazing "DUO" are one of those 6 companionship's I mentioned earlier. They work so hard and are seeing the fruits of their labors. Their house looked great and I heard that in high-school Elder Vique (left) was called the perfectionist. I can see why. They needed plastic drawers for their clothes and a bookshelf- but if I wouldn't have visited they would have never asked. Love this non-complaining, hard working, fun loving, baptizing duo!


Home # 11- Valle De Mezquital- Guerrero 

This cute little "Mother-In-Law" apartment at the side of a members house is in a perfect location; a stones throw from the church. It is in a well protected and safe area. The only problem is that it is open to the outside in part of the house so is "FREEZING" cold inside. These Elders are troopers and never complained... we got another heater and set up a few curtains to block off part of the house to keep the heat more in a central location. Hopefully it helps.... You won't find a friendlier and more kind pair of missionaries... thanks for being on the Lords Team here in Pachuca!

Home # 12- Valle De Mezquital- Tezontepec
This little ray of sunshine house with the yellow paint is a new find for these two Elders. They found this humble abode that suits their needs much better and is in a great location. They needed a new microwave, burner to cook on and heaters as the electricity surge at their last house blew up everything electronic. They organized their new place nicely with the addition of a new bookshelf. Nice job ...

Home #13 - Pachuca Sur- Las Torres 
This newer condo is so much nicer for these two Elders. The sewer stink doesn't exist like in the other house and sits in a gated neighborhood. They just received two used bikes from their ward to make it easier to get around and we finally found two noggin' buckets (Helmets) which are hard to find in Mexico. Elder Smith and Elder Sanders love the members of their ward and feel right at home. Their biggest challenge is finding somewhere to dispose of their garbage. They are never home when the garbage collection truck comes by... they reassure me they will figure it out! I love Elders who are problem solvers... you go guys!

Home # 14- Pachuca Sur- Plazas
This house I have spot lighted before- as I now know where ever Elder Hixon is the house will ALWAYS be in order. I needed an excuse to drop off treats... and once again Elder Hixon and Elder Vazquez had their home in perfect order and not a thing out of place. I think they actually win the award of "cleanest" house in town. I could eat off any surface in their house including the toilet seat or entry floor. We had a fun little chat and I brought home their Christmas decorations to store in the mission home until next year. Remind me Elders to get that out and to you in November!

Home # 15- Pachuca Sur- Pitahayas II
This cozy little condo sits in a gated neighborhood... it had ants that kept crawling through a hole in the ceiling big enough to haul one off in the night. But with lots of "Raid" spray and colder weather I think they are finally contained. These two Elders are trying to get their area under control after a set of two "special transfers" and the area closed for sometime. Elder Contreras is training this new Elder and doing a marvelous job. President is aware of the challenges and so proud of their efforts and determination to get things up and running.
They had their home in perfect order... mothers you would have been so proud!


Dear President Egbert
This week has been a pretty good week. We were able to help some inactives return to church and we saw that the inactives that have gone to church at least once with us are starting to be active members. This week was also pretty good because we went to a part of our area that we haven't ever been to before and were working to try and find the few members that lived in that part. It was a good experience because we had a lot of opportunities to knock doors trying to find the members. Most of the people were not interested but we did find a couple of families that accepted for us to come back and talk with them a bit more. We also saw in that pueblo that when we are really trying to do the Lord's work, he will help us. We saw that he guided us to into several situations were we needed help or we asked for him to show us a house that he wanted us to knock. One of these experiences was that we had tried for quite a bit to find the house of the member, the house didn't have the number, and had knocked all the houses that we thought would possibly be it. No answered the doors at those houses. During the day we had been using the name of one of the families that are members to start talking to people, but at one house I said the name of a different member that we hadn't been able to find even though she supposedly lived pretty close. The father said that he didn't recognize the name and wasn't interested in hearing our message. So we started walking and a minute later he comes running and calling for us. When he got to us he told us that he had asked his mother in law about the name and she knew who it was. He then told us that he would show us the house. Thanks to his help we were able to actually find that member after hours of searching. I know that God gave him the desires to run after us to help a couple of gringos find someone they were looking for. That member that we found is the only member of her family and so we could have a bunch of new investigators. Also the really good thing is that before it was hard for these members and investigators to go to church because it was so far away, but when we have the new chapel shortly that will not be such a problem for them. I know that our Heavenly Father really does love us and gives us the help that we need when we are trying to do his will.   Elder R

"A little bit of Africa in Mexico"

In one of our areas they have a zoo like attraction called "Tuzoofari" and the missionaries on occasion have been able to see all the many many animals on display. We got word that they will be closing it the end of January. Here is a sneak peek at our little zoo......

 "Lions, Bears, and Hippos.... Oh My!"

 "Sweet little kitty...."

 "I think Elder Stewart is pondering about asking President for the little donkey to take home to ride to get from one lesson to the next quicker"...

Elder Medina (upper left) practicing his "approaches" to anyone he passes by...

"VALUE every moment"

"Develop a new ZEST for doing the Lord's work!"

"Be READY and willing to go the extra mile."


 "Bring PEACE and comfort to everyone you meet."

"Be HAPPY knowing you are engaged in a marvelous work!"

 "DISCOVER the best in yourself and others."


"MAKE your MISSION the best"

More faces of the week...

"Our CRAZY zone leaders... where did we find these two?!"


"Hermana (sister) Power"....


Remember when?

Sometimes extreme circumstances call for extreme measures... What President won't do to keep them here in the mission! Usually only takes a few days...

"YEARN to be the best that you can be"

Many of the quotes provided by writings of: Doug Fairbourn
" ABC's of Missionary Work"

1 comment:

  1. So so Awesome! I love all the statistics of the mission! It puts a great perspective on the mission! Their apartments are so cute, but I'm pretty sure the yellow one beats the rest! Love you!!!!