"No missionary can determine the lasting effects of his or her labors." Elder Richard G Scott
Leadership Council January 29th, 2014
These are currently the Zone Leaders and Sister Leader Trainers of the mission. Mission wide transfers are on Tuesday so there will be a few new faces at February's council. We had breakfast burritos for breakfast and a sandwich buffet for lunch... Yum! The topic of training this month was focused on getting investigators and converts to church and teachings about the "Sabbath" Day.
"Practice, practice, practice". Such an important part of making what you learn effective when you actually need to use it. These zone leaders go back from this training the following day and teach it all specifically to their zones. They update their USB drives with power-points, ideas, and teachings that President and the assistants (Elder Ceballos-Elder Almaraz) have prepared.
"If it is to be, it is up to me."
"Serve every day of your mission in such a way that when you get out of bed every morning, Satan says, 'Oh no... They're AWAKE!'" Elder Keel Boston Missionary
"There is no such thing as a homesick missionary in the baptismal font."
This week was another good week, we didn´t have fantastic numbers, but we had some really good progress in our investigators:) This week we baptized one of our investigators. She has had a difficult life. She was born out of wedlock with a single mother, never knowing who her father actually was. Her mom now lives with another man, but she has been abused by him for a good part of her life. She was mentally damaged by all of this. When we met her, she had run away from her home and was living with her grandma in already very difficult economic circumstances. For example on one side of their house the roof fell and so now they just have a soft plastic sheet over it. She couldn't even talk to us or look at us in the eyes she had been so damaged emotionally. It has been difficult to teach her because of this, but what great changes I have seen in her! As her heart and soul have been touched by the Love and Spirit of God she has opened up! Now when she sees us she smiles, I have heard her laugh many times, and she responds to all of the questions! What a great blessing the Gospel of Jesus Christ is in the lives of people! I can´t wait to bring that light to other people´s lives!
This week I focused a little more on understanding why Christ is so important to us in our lives, and why we focus our faith on Him. As I studied and pondered this topic I definitely feel like I have grown closer to Him:) When you realize how much we need Christ in our lives, and what he has done for us, you cannot deny that you love Him. He built our world for us. He showed us how we can be happy through obedience to His commandments. But most importantly, He performed the Atonement for all of us. I don´t think we can ever realize how important that single act was. Through the Atonement we are washed away from all of our sins, problems, and weaknesses. There is no other greater gift that we can get, except eternal life, which is also only made possible through the Atonement. I don´t think I can ever express my gratitude for what Christ has done for me! He is truly my Savior and I love Him!
Our area is doing very well. we are continuing to find new investigators through the members... we have found some that we think will progress very well:) I continue to love this area!
So we had another vary successful Ward Council! We were really able to talk about the needs of the ward, and I feel like we are really making progress! The best part is when we hear that some of the organizations have visited some of the people on our list! I love hearing what our ward needs and then filling out their assignments to us! I really feel like we are working together!
Well President thank you so much for being a fantastic leader for this mission!
Valle De Mezquital Zone Activity on Monday
Elder Vasquez and Elder Messick made great effort to provide a wonderful activity for their zone which had a purpose and fun all in one! Great job Elders! It was an obstacle course related to "Getting your investigators to church" and they competed as companions. One was the investigator and one the missionary... they had to clean, shine, and put on church shoes, put on a white church shirt, tie a tie.... and get them inside the church". Then the second activity was centered around games and competition related to "working together" as companions. It takes 2 working together to accomplish the task.
Hermana DeFanco (below right) and her companion Hermana Laguna so proud of the bow they tied with the Elders Tie!!! And Elder Park (bottom left) who tied your tie? A little long???
I love, love, love, these happy smiling faces.
President, i cant thank you enough for the interview this month. I feel so much better! I also have been thinking more about why people are afraid to say anything or why people don't feel the need to talk about things that they have done that are not to missionary standard, and i think it is because they don't understand the atonement. They don't understand the love of Christ, and the peace, joy and freedom that you feel when you repent.
I cant remember what apostle it was but i remember them talking about how understanding the atonement will help us more in our life than any other thing. And how he, an apostle was just barley starting to understand it. Once i heard this talk in general conference i always thought of how important it is for me to learn more about it. I don't have a perfect understanding of it, but the mission has definitely taught me more! The atonement was done out of pure love, Christ suffered for us, because he loved us. It wasn't easy for him to suffer in Gethsemane, or on the cross, but he made it through it, and he made it through it because of his love and his ability to suffer more than the natural man. Then when he came back after his resurrection he was just full of more love, happiness, and wanting to help even more people than before draw closer to him and choose the right.
I think that when we repent we feel some of the same feelings.
At first it is painful and it takes a lot of courage and might to confess or talk to somebody about the things that you have done, but then in the end the feelings are the same as Christ felt when he was resurrected, free, happy, wanting to help others feel the same love for God, wanting to help others with the same process, to return to the path of God and keep living life. I never made this comparison before. how we feel and suffer some of the same feelings as he does. I know that we will never suffer the same pain or feel the same emotions that he felt, but like Jeffery R Holland says in the video of missionary work and the Atonement that sometimes we need to experience just a token of what he felt.
I guess this last week it was my turn to feel just a token of what he felt. I also was thinking about the other missionaries in the mission, and how we teach the atonement everyday, but i don't think we have a good enough understanding of it, when many are afraid to use it.
This week we also had some wonderful lessons with our investigators. We have also been working a lot with the less actives in our ward, and i think the work is paying off!!! this week we had 79 people in the chapel, this is more than i have ever seen, it even topped the primary program Sunday, and i thought everybody had showed up for that one!!!! The work is progressing onward and it is great. We have gained much more confidence with the members and with the investigators that we have.
I also wanted to share with you that i had the chance to be on divisions this week. it was a great experience, he taught me a lot about how to ask better questions and find the need of the people. It was a good experience.
I hope all is well with you, your family, and the other missionaries in the mission! Thanks a ton for all of your help, advice, comfort, and love. It is very much appreciated!!!
Happy Birthday Elder Santos!!!
Its been a little chilly in our part of the world... our Elders decided that freezing their ice cube tray at the same time was being efficient! And the little scorpion they found in their casa was just trying to find a warm place.... NOT WELCOME... was the reception he received!
esta semana fue de mucho éxito y también de dos experiencias super increíbles la primera fue sorprendente mi compañera y yo estábamos pasando enfrente de la casa de una hermana y en eso me pare y le dije hermana hay que entrar a la casa de la hermana ella con una cara de no quieres trabajar o que ella preguntándome para que hermana y yo le respondí no lo se solo se que tenemos que entrar ella viéndome aun más extraña no dijo nada regresamos a la casa de la hermana y enfrente de su casa nos paramos y me dijo mi compañera hermana que vamos a decir le dije no se solo toque la puerta al abrirnos la puerta la hermana nos dijo que estaba su papá que no es miembro de la iglesia al dar la lección y terminar la hermana nos compartió que ella había orado días antes para que su papá escuchara el evangelio y aceptara fecha bautismal lo cual el hermano se bautiza el 22 de febrero y lo que es aun más especial es que es el cumpleaños de la hermana.
mi segunda experiencia fue la llegada de hermana cortes fue increíble al ver que la hermana pudiera estar con nosotras nos ayudo muchísimo y lo más increíble es que de 2 lecciones con miembro que teníamos ella nos dijo hermanas vamos ustedes van a poder conseguir su meta y bueno si no alcanzamos la meta pero el trabajo que mi compañera y yo realizamos fue increíble y por ultimo mi discurso del domingo solo tengo algo que escribir no se lo que dije pero lo que si se es que el espíritu estaba conmigo y hable con poder tanto así que los hermanos me felicitaron y me dijeron gracias hermana lo que dijo fue tan hermoso y fue lo que necesita el barrio otros me dijeron hermana ____ en 4 meses hemos podido ver su crecimiento espiritual gracias me quede sorprendida pero muy feliz me encanta las cosas que hemos podido lograr y eso no es todo el trabajo sigue y yo también no me rendiré y seguiré adelante en lo que me mande el señor
"A ship in the harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for."
I love and respect our missionaries for having the courage to leave the "harbors" of their homes and come to the Mexico Pachuca Mission to share the "Good News" of the Gospel.
Office Meeting? Hmmmm?
So on Monday during office meeting while I'm working on paperwork of sick missionaries and getting ready to help administer English Tests for those almost ready to go home; all I hear from behind the closed office door is laughing and all sorts of carrying on! I swing open the door... and yup this is what I find!
Its shocking we keep this mission "rolling" along.....
Oh how President and I love each of these unique and talented personalities. We couldn't do this job without each of their contributions. L to R: Elder/Sister Ramos (Office couple), President Egbert (Chief- who has lost all control!) Elder Almaraz and Elder Ceballos (Presidents Assistants) and front right are our two secretaries Elder Pena (VISA's) and Elder Stucki (finances).
FRISBEE is the game today!
Lookin' sharp with those fresh haircuts Elder Smith and Elder Sanders!!!
I am so proud of all our missionaries who work so hard at English Language study each morning with their companions. It takes self discipline when Spanish is your native language and you are serving in a Spanish Country. They are highly encouraged to take an English Exam (one attempt 30-40 min.) on-line provided by the church. They are required to answer 15 questions and some quite in depth, which are recorded and graded. A certificate of English Proficiency is provided within 3 days and is a great addition for job/school applications.
A little field trip as a "district" to visit this humongous statue of Christ.
Well another week has gone by and i am not going to lie. it was a little difficult because we definitely did not gain the success we were hoping for. well i was hoping for anyway. and i guess i allowed myself to get a little discouraged because we had been working so hard and now no one was in there house and i know at times i was not working my hardest and i justified for the lack of success. i knew it wasn't right but it wasn't until i started reading Abinadi that it really hit me.
Abinadi worked right up until the end of his life being burned by fire! they gave him a chance to take back his words and so they weren't true or they were going to kill him and burn him; first part, he did the work of the lord and never denied what he said because he knew that the lord was protecting him and sent him on this mission to try and help these poor misguided people, as well as king Noah, and help bring them to salvation. we have this mission that we need to fight and stand true in our words and works and trust that the lord will help us a long the way. say what needs to be said and follow the guidance of the spirit and be a strong representative of Jesus Christ.
Second point; They put him in the place to be burned and he was still preaching. all he wanted was to do the will of the lord and help these people change, repent and not be destroyed by their enemies. even as he was getting burned by the flames he was still crying repentance, even after they had not listened. this is a true example of being true to your calling and pushing until the end. His absolute last words were words of warning and danger that would happen if they did not change, and then after he completed Prophesying of their destruction, still in the process of being burned, cried: Oh God Receive my Soul!
i have realized that even if we are not getting the most success we need to press forward until the end, leaving nothing back and putting everything into the will of the Lord. i now know that i really have to put everything into each lesson we have, even if sometimes they are few. and when we are having difficulty finding people in their homes, we keep walking until we find someone. also we cant complain about the lack of success that sometimes cant happen, because we cannot chnage the agency of the people we teach, we can only teach with power and authority until the end of our missions and leave nothing behind.
Basically Abinadi is a TRUE PROPHET OF GOD! Until the Very End of His Life!
I know now what i have to change and i am working on changing it.
Love Elder H
Home Tour 2014 continues...
So our assistants Elder Almaraz and Elder Ceballos lead by example. House in perfect order. They have extra bunks in their house as this is where incoming and departing missionaries stay for the night. They are so good about all the traffic coming in and out every 6 weeks. I owe you cookies!
We as a mission were so blessed to find this house to rent in a great location and four doors down from the secretaires house. Perfect for our missions needs.
So I realize the colors of some of these houses are really NOT "manly" but we don't care and either do they. This cute little home is just doors away from the assistants house and has extra beds as well for missionaries coming in/out and especially those with VISA issues. These Elders are always willing to give up their beds for the night and slumber party with the assistants if we need it for a group of sisters coming in ... President and I so appreciate their willingness to do what ever is needed and what ever is best for everyone involved; even at the expense of their comfort or convenience. Priceless!!!
Look Mom... closet is all clean!
Valle De Mezquital- Zone Leaders House
So this cute little house looks great with a new coat of paint and great effort in keeping things clean and organized. Yep.... only on the "Blog" would we highlight the "Awesome clean toilet!" Its those little specifics that make my day... and by the way Elders, "I owe you a toilet seat!"
Pachuca Centro Zone Leaders House
We came to drop off "Pouch" for this zone and inspected this cute house and found it in appropriate shape. The leaders in our mission are held at a higher standard most times and expected to be an example at all time in how they organize their home, their life, their schedules, and how obedient, efficient and effective they are as missionaries. They are willing to do what is asked... and for this we are so grateful.
"There is great purpose here in Pachuca"...
and I think these two Elders can tell you all about it.
Elder Lainhart and Elder Panigua. These missionaries are troopers. They have gone the extra mile and have endured our visit three times in two weeks. Their house amazingly improved... So so proud of them both! They have taken personal interest in "their home away from home" and it has made all the difference. Mom's you would be so proud! And to top it all off a baptism yesterday with one of the best programs I have attended. Nicely done! President is so proud ... and the Elders promise more baptisms to come this month.
"Go out and preach the gospel. If necessary--- use words."
Elder Neal A Maxwell
So this house located in the Real De Minas area is kinda cute. The mission hasn't been renting this home very long and I haven't had a chance to see it myself. So I zoomed over and took a look. The Elders had it looking and smelling so nice. They still had their holiday decor up (outside windows) and it was so fitting as Elder Niro's holiday package arrived! Perfect. He was so excited... with a new pair of shoes he's been waiting for. The challenge of this home is the owners have left a lot of their personal things boxed up which takes up extra space these missionaries could use; but they just smile and are grateful for the safe and friendly neighborhood and close location to the church.
Thanks Elders for your efforts!
Wall of Inspiration
So what do you do with a pile of Ensigns/Liahonnas from 2008? You make a wall of inspirational pictures and quotes. I love the work that Elder Carlson has put into this little home that has sometimes more issues than positive characteristics. He has cleaned it from top to bottom which his companion Elder Smith admits makes it a nicer atmosphere for living in. He even committed to me that no matter where he serves in the mission that he will take his companions great example and take personal pride in the place he calls "home". I was thoroughly impressed with Elder Smith and Elder Carlson's use of their white board.. which tracks the needs and progress of their investigators. They were going to go buy a toilet seat and see about getting a broken window fixed- which helps me so much keeping up on the needs of each home. Thanks Elders for your time and efforts spent in taking care of your home.
"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks! Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle--- you shall be the miracle."
Well this week was a great one! We not only reached the 40 lessons but ended up teaching 42!! I never ever thought it would be possible to reach that goal until I honestly put my trust in the Lord and I just did what I had to do with my companion and just let the Lord work through me. It feels so great to finally be able to expand the vision! I am so grateful for my companion, he is a good sport. I know sometimes it is hard for him to give up a little time especially with some of the stuff I get to do as a District Leader. He would rather be working or studying on his own but he always helps me and supports me 100 percent! The reason this week we were able to keep going and keep walking was because we helped lift each other up. I gotta tell you something President, I have never felt so tired in my entire life, but then I think back on it, I have never been so happy or so focused in my entire life. It feels really great!
I did a study with the other Elders in my district and it really helps to be able to know my sheep a little better and they gain confidence in me and I hope they try to follow my example. I always try to put a good example becuase I know that if I am not obedient or I dont try to work 100 percent, they wont either. One of the Elder's called me one night and told me that he was grateful for the studies and that I asked him if he needed anything. We talked and he was just a little frustrated for not finding people in their houses and he said he feels that he sometimes beats himself up. I did what I could to try to get him excited to work for this week. I honestly dont remember what I said. But I am confident that he will have success this week along with his companion!
We only taught 23 with investigators this week, so we will work even harder this week to be able to reach the 25. I am so excited to be part of the best mission in the whole world! As a mission we are seeing miracles and we are really progressing. Thanks for being such an example for all of us and for recieving revelation for the mission. I love my Savior and I love you.
Talk to you next week!
Stake Conference on Sunday in Tepatepec... I'm missing 6 other missionaries in this picture. So grateful for all of them and their obedience and work ethic. President Egbert gave a great talk in conference.. his 4th talk this weekend!
Ok... so our sisters in Mexico Pachuca are the CUTEST and HARDEST WORKING in the WORLD! They also get the award for cutest decor on the walls...
"We have got to be watchful, for I tell you God has sent us here to test us and to prove us...."
George Q Cannon
"The Book of Mormon was written for us today. God is the author of the book. It is a record of a fallen people, compiled by inspired men for our blessing today. Those people never had the book. It was meant for us."
President Ezra Taft Benson
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved."