Sunday, February 9, 2014

doing our duty.

"If you do not magnify your calling. God will hold you responsible for those who you might have saved- had you done your duty."

President John Taylor



This week has been the shortest of my life!

This week we were able to do divisions with the brothers here in our ward 5 days out of 7! It was fantastic! They are a lot more excited and understanding more and more each day their role in the work of Salvation. Bishop "A" has changed so much. We are working on helping all the Leaders of our ward council be able to clearly and effectively teach and testify of principles from the lessons we teach. With each day and each week we are becoming more efficient and effective tools in the hands of the Lord. 

I feel great. I love my companion Elder ______ So much. He has been such an example to me of a good attitude and has taught me the attributes of a true leader. We are working really well together and are really striving to have a divine companionship and work here in the Lord's way. As we turn our minds and our will over him, we have been able to see more progress in every aspect of the work we do here. We have, "tightened the screws," so to speak and have worked on being more diligent and obedient in the little things, and have seen a huge difference in our happiness. No complaints at all!

So, District Leader? Honestly, I am just really excited for the opportunity to learn. That sounds so sappy and fake but honestly is how I feel. Elder "B" taught me and trained me very well, helping me understand what defines a real leader in the Lord's way. My perspective on leadership from day one in the mission up until now could not be more different. I am a bit nervous, but more than anything I know that the Lord qualifies who he calls and that he will help me bless the life's of the elders in my District, as well as serve them and learn from them. Man, Life is good. I am loving every second of this, something I could not say not too long ago...the Lord has changed me. The Atonement is so real. I am the living proof of its enabling power and hope that my doubts, struggles, problems with self-worth, and all other trials that I have experienced can help me understand, love, and lift others more like the Savior would. 

I love the Egberts, the Mexico Pachuca mission, and...just about everything else! God is Good!

Love, Elder S

Another great and busy week in the mission.


Our new arrivals from the Mexico MTC on Monday morning.

 L-R: Hermana Bermeo (Ecuador), Elder Ordonez (Guatemala),  

Elder Rubio (Guanajuato, Mexico), Elder Castano (Colombia),

 Hermana Tellez (Bolivia)

Our trusty assistants meet these new missionaries at the bus terminal and bring them to the mission home. After breakfast and interviews by President we meet back at the mission office where they spend the rest of the day with other sets of missionaries. We sure appreciate the missionaries who live close by and willingly come, pick them up and give them a great first day in the mission.


Then we head to Mexico City to pick up the new missionaries arriving from the Provo, Utah MTC. They usually arrive in the airport between 3:00-4:00 pm. They have been up since 2:00 am and so arrive tired and exhausted but ready for the new adventure. When room permits we take our assistants with us. Pictured below L-R: President Egbert, Elder Ceballos (Presidents Assistant who is going back out his last cycle to train), Elder Almaraz (Presidents assistant) and Elder Caballero (Newly called Assistant as of last night)

 They are HERE! 

I don't know who is more relieved when they arrive... Us or them? We also tried to steal two other Elders from another mission. But at the elevator realized we had 2 too many.... we needed them so we were willing to take them. However, their Mission President not quite so ready to share. How rude!!!

After arriving back to the mission office and then to the mission home we eat dinner and President has interviews with each one. We then take them to where they spend the night- its always late and everyone is exhausted! 

L-R: Sister Peterson (Arizona),   Elder Ellis (Utah),   Elder Tippetts (Utah),

 Elder Miles (Idaho),  Sister Cline (Ohio)


TUESDAY- Mission Wide Transfers (Cambios)

This was by far our biggest transfers in the mission. Many reasons played a part including the regular influx of new missionaries and departing missionaries. It was also time for many to change areas and companions. Sometimes specific circumstances or events call for special transfers related to new leadership or a change back to junior companion because of poor choices. President gives thoughtful prayer and hours of contemplation of whom would work best with whom, or who would benefit from who as a new companion. This process takes about two weeks and is sometimes very stressful; and of course when asked (or sometimes not) I throw my invaluable opinion in the mix. President on occasion does the last minute change minutes before transfers as he is guided to make quick changes. We had a few companionship's who didn't have changes, but some of them received new leadership assignments so came into the transfers for training. 

The faces of change in the Mexico Pachuca Mission Feb-2014

After new assignments, the new arrivals with their trainers meet for training in the chapel; the new Zone Leaders meet in another room, and the new District Leaders and their companions meet in the third room. The training goes from 1030-1230 and then everyone takes off for their new areas. We then quickly had to run the new missionaries to get pictures taken to begin their "VISA" process. Changes in the mission are cause for lots of excitement and anxiety as people anticipate who they will be assigned to. They are notified on Monday after 100 pm if they will be having transfers so they know whether to pack their bag and come in on Tuesday. We had several areas where the companions were walking into a new area. (White washing) can cause extra stress as they learn the area but more often than not, it is a positive thing as they arrive with no history or knowledge of gossip or frustrations. We sure appreciate everyone who left their home clean and organized so these companionship's were able to arrive to things in perfect order with area books updated! Muchas Gracias!!!


So the day is only half over..... 

Tuesday afternoon the departing missionaries gather at the mission home at 2:00 pm for a BBQ and final interviews with President. We play a few games, take last minute English exams, and enjoy each others company. At 7:00 pm we have a final spaghetti dinner and a little ending devotional where feelings are pretty tender. Wrapping up with the hymn "God Be With You Til We Meet Again" set the tone for our closing prayer as we kneel together. My emotions run very close to the surface and this part is my least favorite part, as saying goodbyes is not easy for me.

 The Assistants are pretty competitive when it comes to ping-pong and actually the weather outside was beautiful. The warmest its been in Pachuca for a long time! Absolutely gorgeous.....

"Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end.
 They simply mean I'll miss you... until we meet again."



 The missionaries start leaving Wednesday morning for their departures to Mexico City via buses to catch flights to their homes. Our first group left about 4:30 am. President and I took the last 3 missionaries to Mexico City in the afternoon after we stopped in one of our areas on the way for a special interview and to retrieve some belongings that were still at the laundry and shoe repair shop. We dropped off these three missionaries at the airport who were all headed to Peru on an all night flight. Painful! But what a blessing to spend a few more more hours driving with them... oh how we love these kids! We only pray our paths will cross again sometime soon.

 Elder Loza, Elder Cachique, and Elder Moreyra all headed home to Peru

"Do you think our luggage is too heavy?"


Wednesday Night

President and I then headed to the Mexico City Airport Marriott where we checked in and had dinner at 7:00 pm with a large group for the beginning of our Mexico Area Mission President Seminar. We had meetings all day Thursday our day began at 630 am - until 900 pm. I ended back at the hotel at 630 pm with a pounding migraine (lack of diet coke) and called it a night. President finished with dinner/mtg with all the area seventy's. On Friday morning our day began earlier and back to the Stake Center at the Mexico City Temple grounds where we finished up our conference. But guess who was there?! That's right.... Elder Oaks and his sweet wife Kristen; and President Christensen and his wife Debbie one of the seven Presidents of the Seventy. What a privilege to be taught by an apostle of the Lord and get direction from our Area Presidency : President Johnson, President De- Hoyos, and President Valenzuela. Their beautiful and supportive wives in attendance as well. They have raised the bar even higher for us here in Mexico and so The Work of Salvation presses forward.

Here are a few of my notes if your interested:
  • Missionaries and members have got to work together
  • Our goal is to establish the preliminary goals that will lead to baptisms
  • Don't get lost or frustrated in the numbers..... but.....
  • Just do what's right, work hard, and the consequences will follow
  • Just do what we are called to do... and give it ALL we have got!
  • "Teach when you find, and find when you teach"  is vital
  • When missionaries teach, don't take too much for granted. Teaching the simple and basic things are key to their conversion. Easy to assume they understand the basics of how to read the Book of Mormon or how to pray.
  • There is a difference between a testimony and real conversion. A testimony is to know something is true, and real conversion is living it. Conversion is a process. When a missionary is really converted him/her self they teach with a more powerful testimony as they testify of the truth. Are your missionaries converted themselves?

POUCH Arrived!

On our way home Friday afternoon after training we stopped back in Tecamac I and dropped off two boxes that arrived for Elder Ford and Elder Carlson; that in the mist of everything going on Wednesday never left our mini van due to my brain malfunction.  Never the less, the smiles when receiving mail from home is the same... "Priceless"! Thanks MOM.... though Elder Carlson is acting all cool and calm about the box, just know he sent texts several times asking when we would be dropping off the box. Yeah- a little excited - and understandably. 


Hey President!
So I'm doing good. Learning tons. The mission is incredible. The work is progressing, and the members are starting to work a little bit. Not as much as we are hoping and trying for but, they are making progress. This ward has a ton of potential but they are divided in half with the two areas. In sacrament meeting, they sit separate and in activities they always have their own little groups and never mingle. Kind of sad for a small ward, but we are helping them and they are having noches de hermanamiento (night of fellow-shipping) every Friday now so its getting better in that regard.
Miracle of the week
Hermana "M" was a recent convert, and her husband did not like the missionaries at all. But about a week or two ago we taught a lesson to them and I stumbled on a scripture I had totally forgot about in Moroni about miracles (Moroni 7:27-29). The spirit is incredible. I would have never shared that scripture without it. We taught about how the same God who could perform miracles in days of old, who could part the red sea, heal the blind, and raise the dead, could soften the heart of her husband. Obviously he has agency, but we both felt inspired to testify of that. Right now, "P" (her husband) is one of our most incredible investigators. We were actually teaching his mom in his house, and because he works nights, he was sleeping in the other room. When we started teaching, he woke up in the other room and laid there listening to us and thinking a lot about what we were saying. He started to pray daily and read the bible when no one was watching. He told us this in front of his whole family. He said if someone walked in the house he would shut it real fast and act like he wasn't reading because he was to prideful to admit that he wanted to learn more. Then he told us, Elders, you have my full attention. I want you to re explain to me what you taught my mom. He is incredible. He doesn't do things half way. He worked all night Saturday and two hours after he got off work showed up to church with his family. So many miracles here in our area.
Thank you for all you do for us President! The church is true!
Elder F

Yes- we claim everyone of these amazing Elders!!!

 Last week in the mission- and it doesn't get any sweeter than this last baptism! Great job Elder Mansilla and Elder Caamal...

Elder Rogel and Elder Cruz ... proud of your efforts Elders!



So this district has been such a sweet experience for all involved. Elder Barrios (Middle kneeling) is an unbelievable leader. All three Elders kneeling have been training all three Elders standing. I don't want to spoil the news... so I'll let all the missionaries relay to you back home on Monday if they had changes in leadership assignments.

 Anyone care for a Cheese Puff? How about several hundred of them? It is so funny at times the things you find and can't find in the little local stores. Makes for a good chuckle! Also I love the hats to keep everyone warm... we have had a cold spell the last several months... does that count as a cold spell? Or is that called Winter? 

Anyways- I love this picture!

 Sometimes you just have to take a "selfie" ... 

 Facial Hair? It's not allowed? 

What page would that be on in the missionary manual?



Oh- we are SERIOUS about our SERVICE... 

...just look at our expressions! It's the aprons that makes us even more of a professional crew.

1 comment:

  1. nunca se rindan elderes.... recuerden que el tiempo pasar rápido y cuando menos se lo esperen ya estarán en sus hogares junto a sus amadas familias disfrutando de las bendiciones que sembraron en su mision.......elder caamal si se puede no te rindas te quiero y te estare esperando ...