Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Zaragoza Saltillo week 7

WEll Im still here in Saltillo. My comp got transfered and I got another hijo, or child, or new missionary. Hes a gringo,but the good thing is he speaks spanish. He took 5 years before and just needs to localize it or speak like the Metsikans do.
This week was good. A little hard with Christmas and all. Everybody was going to go out of town, so we didnt have too many people to teach. Christmas eve we went and spent it with a family from 8:30 till 11. It was kinda akward haha. Their family was all ther and they were making the food till 1030 then we ate really fast and came home. They made fish. Those whoknow me know I hate fish. But luckily they made some chicken too so I was happy, but the fish I just had to gag down and all was well.
It was great talking to the fam! Im glad to know nothing has changed in Pubelo. It was also amazing to talk to Chris and Cathy! I love you guys and thank you so much for being there. and also... MASON! Man I hadnt heard from him in like 8 months but it was so great to talk to him. Glad to know the music situation is under control. 1 year man then back to jamming This Side!!!!
Anyways, its almost new year, which means its almost my new year in the mish. I complete a year the 1 of January. Its gone WAY too fast. And they say the second year goes even faster. Im not ready for that! I just hae to take advantage of it and not hold anything back.
Well all is well here folks. Except no letters, but I knew that was gonna come. They said after 10 months they stopped, but mine stopped when I left the MTC. Haha. Write me.
I love you all and hope Christmas was awesome for you. talk to you all next year HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry.

Much Love
JAmes

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Zaragoza, Saltillo Week 6

This week was great. We had the conference for this half of the
mission. It was so cool! I got to see Elder Andersen again. I cant
wait for everyone to meet him haha hes so awesome.
Elder Kioa, the Tongan elder in my district, decided we were going
to sing a song for the conference. HE decided and just told me haha.
they just asked if anyone had a musical presentation and he jumped up
and said Ya me and Elder Hawken. Haha we sang Brillan rayos de
Clemencia, or... Brightly beams our Fathers Mercy. haha I couldnt
remember there for a second.
We all did sketches. ours was really lame haha. my ZL and i were the
Asisstants to the Pres and it was all in slow motion when the new
missionaries arrived, to the tune of Chariots of Fire. Them my comp
gets a call and gets mad and slow mo punches me and then everyone jut
starts fighting slow mo to Chariots of Fire haha it was so silly.
Im pretty stoked to talk to you all on Christmas. Anyone who wants
to can go to my house to talk to me if you want to. ESPECIALLY MASON!
I havent heard from that guy in forever! Be there!
Well I dont really know what more to tell ya. Today we have
transfers. We find out at night. so well see whats up there.
I love you all and take care! ¡Feliz Navidad!

Much Love
JAmes

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Zaragoza, Saltillo Week 5






Thank you so much to my family, the Lindenmuths, the Nielsens,
Cathy, the Primary kids, and Cari for the letter I received! I was so
happy to get them! SEND MORE!!!!!
Man this week has been a crazy one. On tuesday we had interviews
with the Pres. de Misión. It was amazing as always. He told me he has
seen the growth in me since our first interview. That was great to
hear because at times we cant see our own personal growth. The rest of
the interview we talked about certain things that really will help me
become a better missionary.
Yesterday we had the baptism of Isabel, the mother of the girl we
baptized last week. It was amazing. She talked with President Romney
and decided she wanted him at the baptism. He came and gave a little
talk that was awesome. The Spirit was way strong there and I'm sure
they are going to be faithful members for life.
The other day at their house we were getting ready to leave and I
asked Jerica (the daughter) to say the prayer. It was one of the
sweetest prayers Ive ever heard. I dont think there was anything
special about it, but the Spirit just confirmed to me that there
really are people prepared for the true Gospel of Christ. I realized I
need to be more grateful for the people who are put in our path or in
whoms path we are placed. Its also kind of bitter-sweet, because Im
always on divisions in the areas of other missionaries, so I dont get
to know investigators very well. but its all in the positoin of being
a leader I guess.
I did a baptismal interview with a kid this week. He had the desire
to get baptized, but was always in school so he didnt have all the
lessons, but he had the desire so I went to interview him. As it went
on, I just got more and more of a feeling that he wasnt ready: Yes, he
didnt know all the doctrines, but he hadnt even prayed to know the
Church was true. So I said it would probably be better if my
companions teach you this week and you get baptised the next week.
When I said that the Spirit made me feel like Id made the right
decision. The next day he didnt even go to church. We are here to
baptize only the ones who are prepared, not just any ol person. They
must know,at least, why they are getting baptized and that this is the
true church. Its amazing how the spirit works.
To end, I had a cool dream last night. I dreamt that I was in the
MTC again, but I saw DJ there. when I hugged him I was so intensely
happy I cant even describe it. He was still headed to Kiev, Ukraine.
But then I turned around and saw Chris in the doorway. We both gave
him a hug and felt so happy I cant even begin to describe it. There we
were, 3 best friends united by the one true cause in all the Earth.
Chris was going to some European place, with really small letters on
his nametag, and a really hard language. It might have been Middle
Eastern. But it was so amazing to be there with them, even for a few
Much Love,
JAmes

Monday, November 30, 2009

Zaragosa, Saltillo

This week was crazy like always. I was on divisions with the other
Elders trying to help them. 2 of the 3 areas are having some
difficulties, so I have to keep them excited and working hard.
We had a great baptism yesterday. Jerica, the 19 year old girl. Her
parents went and were hoping to baptize her mom this next week, and if
we can find her dad, him too. At the baptism, 2 new converts gave
their testimonies. It was amazing. They are stronger than many members
ive seen. The husband recieved the Sacerdocio of Melchizedek
yesterday. It was so amazing to see someone so faithful and strong,
even though they arent people ive baptised. They are absolutely going
o have such a wonderful life.
Thanksgiving kinda just passed haha. Nothing here. I didnt even
realize it till a Mexican told me that today was Thanksgiving. I dont
even remember my own holidays haha. but it was an average day.
Wednesday I was on divisions with one of the areas here. We had to
go to the house of all the possible baptisms for that week, or people
who have gone to church before. They only had one, and he had made it
abundantly and rudely clear before that they want nothing to do with
the church, but we had to go anyways. The Elder I was with was kinda
afraid to go. He knew they were going to just run us out. So we got
there and knocked, and the 14 year old kid answered the door. He said,
" Hey, its great you guys came. Look, my moms told you she wants
nothing yo do with you..." we thought he was gong to tell us to leave
and never come back. but he said, " but I want to keep going and get
baptized." my comp was in shock. So right then and there, I filled out
the baptismal record and interviewed him. He got baptized yesterday.
It was an amazing experience that taught us to always confide in the
Lord, no matter how hard it seems.
Anyway thats all. Noviembre is gone and almost my first year in the
mish. Still feel like I just got here...its amazing!
I love you all and would like letter please!!!!!!!!!!!!!! from Mason
and Chris and Amy and Becca and everyone else!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Zaragosa, Saltillo

This week was amazing. Wednesday we went on divisions with the Zone Leaders, but one of them just came to our area and worked with both of us. I was super nervous at the beginning, but then we got to talking and I realized hes a way cool guy.
We found a 19 year old girl named Jerica this week. She is absolutely amazing. The first day we gave her the pamphlet of the Restoration, she read it and prayed about it, which almost none do the first time. The next day we went to her house and she told us about the things she felt after reading and praying. I was amazed. I was so happy that she actually understood the importance and purpose of the message. She and her mom came to church Sunday, and the mom isn't so sure she wants to get baptized, but this week we will resolve all her doubts and shell get baptized Sunday too.

It was kinda weird this week. I was only in my area 2 days and the rest I was on divisions, or in the other areas of the missionaries in my district. They are all really great guys. One is Elder Kioa, and hes Tongan. He actually grew up speaking Tongans and learned English in school. Hes so awesome and I often ask him to say stuff in Tongan. Its a beautiful language.
This week has been one of miracles, seeing the way the work goes on even when Im not in my area. I feel so good knowing I can trust my Companion to lead the area when Im not there. Its proof that its the work of the Lord, and not of man.
A few days ago we were eating with some members and all of a sudden the song Imagine comes on the radio. I almost started crying! not really, but I thought about Mason and what he was doing right then. It was great hearing the song and remembering some great times.
To the surprise of many, they celebrate Thanksgiving here. Its not that big, but some do. But for us its just another normal day of work haha.
Mason- check out the CD "a Nashville Tribute to Joseph Smith". Amy might have it. But its an amazing folk album dedicated to the Prophet Joseph Smith. It talks about his life and everything. The first song is my favorite.
I love you all and have fun mutilating turkeys!
Much Love
JAmes

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Zaragosa, Saltillo, Coahuila

Well as you can see i got transferred. Im now in Saltillo which is about an hour and a half left of Monterrey. Its pretty cool here. The coldest area in the mish. I went to the hottest for summer and the coldest for winter. Sweet.

The crazy thing is that im a District Leader. That basically means Im in charge of 3 other companionships, and anything they dont do right, I get leveled for by my leaders haha. Its a pretty crazy position. Im going to be in my area a lot less now, but my companion will keep it rolling here.
I got the call monday, left and got here Tuesday, and Wednesday till Thursday i was in a training meeting for all the District Leaders in the mission. It was pretty cool. I got there at about 7, we had a devotional, and ate till about 9, then played soccer till about 11 haha. The funny part is that out President played too!! But he played basketball, so that doesnt really count.
We learned a ton in that meeting. I still have no idea what im doing, but im sure in time it will all come. I met 2 of the 3 companionships I have, and theyre really cool. One is Elder Kioa, and hes Tongan, but really from Nevada. All of a sudden he just busted all out singing,l soul style, it was amazing! I am confident that these Elders are hard workers.

The zone leaders (or the leaders above me) have set some really specific goals for us to reach. Theyre pretty difficult too. we usually ask 6 references every week, they want 10 every day. They only count new investigators if they know we are here to baptize them and accept to go to church. Having people at church only counts if they leave with a baptismal goal date or baptismal date. Its pretty specific, but I know it will help us be more effective. Im excited to see what we accomplish.
Anyway, thats about it here. Its pretty exciting. Ill see how it all turns out..
I love you all and would be really happy if people wrote me!!!! If you dont know where to send leters ask my Mom (because I really dont know the address either haha)

Much Love
JAmes

Monday, November 9, 2009

Piedras Negras, Coahuila última semana (the last week)

This week was good. And its probably my last here in Piedras Negras. We have transfers today and ive had 3 here, and thats usually the cutoff point. I really dont want to go, but the Lord needs me in some other part.
This week we had a special conference in Monclova (about 4 hours from here). Our Area Seventy came and talked to us, Elder de Hoyos. It was awesome. He gave some great pointers on how to get lessons with members, and a ton of other ideas to get real converts and not just baptisms. His wife, Pres and Hna. Romney spoke as well, and aiught wonderful lessons too. But one of my favorite parts of the meeting was seeing my MTC companion, Elder Andersen. This guy is one of my best friends. I saw him, and we gave each other a big hug and talked a little. He still wants me to go to BYU Idaho really bad haha and we're both really stoked for that. It was so awesome seeing him, and also 2 other Elders from my generation that started their missions with me. It was really great.
This week I got 2 comments on my Spanish. One guy said, " I have a question for you" I thought great, some bible-basher dude. He said "How do you speak Spanish so clearly? How many years did you study before?" hehe He was a bit suprised to know ive been speaking for 10 months. Another lady simply would not accept that I only had been speaking 10 months. She thought I was lying haha. The blessings of the Lod are real!!
It was such a good week. Im excited to see where I go.


Much Love
Elder Hawken

p.s. Congrats to Chrises GF for getting baptized. Stay strong!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Piedras Negras

This week was good. we found some good people and are workin hard as always!!
We had divisions again this week, and I went with one of my Zone leaders to see how they do things and what it is that I lack, or what I could better. But as the day went on, I found that I was doing almost everything that he did. Contacted, taught, everything. So i got to thinkin, what am I lacking? What does he do that I don't? then I realized, it was because I wasn't working with the love I should have. I was working just so the APs didn't say we weren't working again. And for that, I was working for "impure motives". Thus, the lack of success. But thankfully the Lord has given me the trials that I needed to be more humble and work with more love. In my planner I have 5 of the most basic and powerful words in the world, and they weren't even written by a prophet. "All You Need is Love".
We had a zone activity today. we made carne asada, played fútbol (the better one) and watched Johnny Lingo and Suits on the Run. It was great being here. I got to talk with my brother in the mission Elder Simpson, who's got almost 2 years of being a convert. Hes so awesome! I love just talking to him about gospel doctrines. And hes a Thrice fanatic :)
Transfers next week. I'm stoked, but don't want to leave here, but i have 3 transfers here, or in other words ya me voy. It will be hard but good to to get to a new place and start fresh.
Love you all and take care! LETTER LETTERS LETTERS!!!
Much Love
JAmes

Monday, October 26, 2009

Piedras Negras, Coahuila

This week was good, but the zone leaders got sick one right after the other so we spent 2 days in their area. One of us stayed with the sick one and the other went to their appointments.
We had 2 kids at church Sunday that are going to get baptized this next Sunday. They basically contacted us. We always ride by their house and they always want to go with us to see what we do. They came with us to church and liked it. We hope thay can be strongholds one for the other so they stay active and everything.
We had 8 new investigators this week, but none of them came to church except these two kids. Its kinda hard when that happens but we have to be thankful for the blessings we receive. I love making changes every week and seeing the results. Ive thought of some more that we are going to do this week.
We were in a supermarket the other day about ready to leave, when all of a sudden I hear a familiar voice over the radio. None other than good ol Billy Joe Armstrong (thats the lead singer of Green Day). I was so happy to hear a new song by them! But about a minute in I got tired of it. Something about One Twenty One Guns or something like that. We didnt even stay to hear the end of it. I was so disappointed. The old punk Green Day is dead, I believe. Then again I havent heard anything else from their new CD. Who knows haha.
Anyway I love you all and have a great week! Eat lots of candy for me!!! They dont really celebrate Halloween here. They do a little because its close to the border, but not a whole lot. Ill never forget my days as Optimus Prime and Chris as Cap`n Planet!!!!!!

Much Love
James

Monday, October 19, 2009



Piedras Negras, Coahuila week 15

This week was good. We had Zone conferrence. Its so awesome to hear from the Mission President. His words help me so much.
I got to talk to my MTC companion Elder Andersen Wednesday for a couple minutes. It was so good to hear from him. He asked me if I was going to BYU-Idaho or not (We had had had this conversation many times before and hes been trying to get me to go since January). I finally told him Sure. So, I guess in another year and a little bit Im going to BYU-Idaho haha. He tells me its heaven on earth and that theres a lot to do musically. So if you guys could get started on my papers that would be great. haha.

This next week we are going to put some new ideas into action. This week we lacked a little bit, but are going to explode this week. Sometimes its hard taking criticism from others, especially when its delivered in a less-than constructive form, but we have to rise above it and ourselves and just get to work.
Some bad news- Sister Rhules’ mom isnt in my mission. The town where she lives is in the Monterey East mission by practically nothing. It might even be a bordering colony. But one of my Zone Leaders was Zone Leader there, and told me that its not in our mish.:( O well. It happens.

Take care and pray for me!!!!!
p.s. Chris- Check out a band called Panda. They are a Mexican Punk band. Also one called Allison. Theyre more emo I think, but could still have a good tune or two.

Much Love
JAmes

Monday, October 12, 2009

Piedras Negras week 14

This week was awesome. We found some great people and improved our way of working.
We had a terrible-awesome experience this week. We had 4 groups of people that said they were going to go to church Sunday. But, when we went for them, one by one they all bit the dust. At the last house, the most sure, they werent home. I felt so terrible. It was the third week in a row we had people assure us they could go to church and didnt go. I didnt know what to do. I just sat and thought for a minute. I began to feel better inside, calmer, and that everything was gonna be okay. but at the same time my mind told me, "Dude, you dont have anyone at church! What are you feeling good for!" Then my comp and I went to a grove of trees in between a couple of houses, kneeled down in our suits, and said a prayer. We prayed that God would put someone in our path that we could contact and take to church so the hard work of the week wouldnt go to waste. Faith is demonstrated by accion, so we started contacting. Our third contact was an inactive kid of 18 I'd met a time or two before, and he was talking with some of his friends. We just asked them if they could go to church for an hour. They looked at each other and said, okay. So we went to church, had testimony meeting, and before we left we got his address and are going to visit him Martes. I learned that God really does bless us for our hard work, but, its not always in the way we expect it. Were hoping to teach him this week and baptize him Saturday.
One thing Im always going to remember about this place is the mosquitos. At about 730 they come storming out, basically. My face becomes like a windshield wiper. You cant see the little buggers, but you can sure feel em. I cant open my eyes too wide or breathe in too fast haha. Its so gross. I have no idea why Im telling you this haha.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRIS!!!! I miss you and love you and you better take care or ill come home and beat you then come back here. Probably on a P day. Dont make me do it!

Much Love
JAmes

Monday, October 5, 2009

Piedras Negras, Coahuila week 13

Yup, still here in Piedras. Thought I was leavin, but here I is! I really didnt want to leave though. This place is amazing.
Genereal Conferrence was great. We only got to watch the session in the morning on Sunday. But stilll it was amazing.
We were going to take some investigators to the afternoon session, but after about an hour of trying to track them down and after hearing every pretext and excuse, we had to give up. We went back to the house to change out of our suits and I sat on my bed and had no Idea what to do. The second week in a row we havent had anyone at church. I grabbed my Book of Mormon and just opened it and started to read. I opened to Alma 42: 26-31. I read it and thought about it, and realized people have every right to accept or reject the message. All I can do is give it to them. It lifted my spirits a little.
Not a whole lot to report on this week. Im still here in Piedras with my Comp. All is well. Were going to work differently this week and hopefully get some better results, and baptisms.

Love you all!
JAmes

Monday, September 28, 2009

Piedras Negras, Coahuila week 12

Great last week of the transfer. It was freezing the beginnig of the week , but then Mexico realized again that it was Mexico and today its soooooper hot. :)

Last week we had a great district meeting. The Zone Leaders asked all the senior comps that if they didnt baptise this week if we were willing to be lowered to junior comp. We all said yes. That freaked me out a bit haha. But thankfully we had a baptism lined up and baptised the son of a family that was inactive. But some of the other elders didnt baptise so Im interested to see what really happens there. But Im really glad we baptised haha.
Im sorry i dont have much time but thank you family for my birthday package!!!! The ties are hideous! I love them! But maybe in the next package you could send me some pretty ones? that would be great. I need some more professional ones for meetings and such haha.

Anyway we had interviews and they were awesome and the mission president really knows me and wants to help me. My comp got bit on his foot the other night but dot worry hes okay. Today we made tortillas and ate chorizo. One of the zone leaders fell and scraped his knee the other day. The bishops family gave me a real nice card about how i was a great missionary! Yesterday we didnt have anything to eat because the sister we were going to eat with wasnt home and we had literally nothing in the house so we had to break the sabbath and bought hamburgers and coke. I love coke and hamburgers. Today we have transfers and I dont want to leave but im sure my next trasfer will be great if I go, and my son is great and learning fast!

Much Love
JAmes

Monday, September 21, 2009

Piedras Negras, Coahuila week 11


This week was great! We had 2 baptisms. We worked hard, and got some great results.
This week, we found an inactive family named Guzmán. Well, everyone in our ward is named Guzmán, (kinda like the Hepworths and Shifflets) so we found one of the lost sheep. His wife and children aren't members. We went to their house and explained about a baptism in the Lord's Church, and what the scriptures say is a baptism. Here its a bautiso, and bautismo. We explained it and she seemed to understand well. She said that they needed to go to church. We were like, "ya, that's what I said" haha. Inside joke. But... she really did say that and they went this week. All their family was there and welcomed them. We're hoping to baptize... no were GOING to baptize them this week.
Mexican Independence Day was the 16th. the 15th in the night they all gathered together in different places and did whats called "el grito" or the scream. They yelled "¡Viva México..." and then all the names of national heroes. Upon hearing the names I realized they were almost all the street names here, and in my last area haha. How original, But...you gringos do the same.

I bought a jersey of my favorite team this week, América, for 20 pesos which is like 2 bucks. New originals are like 5-700 pesos. Not in my budget. When I go home maybe, but or right now I can handle a knock of haha.
CONGRATS TO CHRIS!!! Mister Elder now. Get them papers in as quick as you can. Get out here! ¡Ven por acá!
Anyway, my testimony continues to be strengthened of Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel. I love how people find it so hard to believe. But God does not see things the way we see them. Our minds cannot comprehend the things of God, UNLESS we ask him. That's why we have to obtain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, because if we try to comprehend it with our mortal minds, we will quickly be dumbfounded and reject it. Ask God. What better witness can we receive than one from the Creator, Our Father in Heaven? So simple, yet so many get lost in the doctrines of man that they don't even know who God is. We ask people all the time who God is and 99 percent of the time thy have no idea. NO idea. Its so sad. But for that exact reason we are here as missionaries to bring the world His truth. Going forth to all nations we preach the gospel of repentance and baptism unto the lost sheep of the Father. If a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. That's what we are doing. How great is our Call!

I thought up a quick poem the other day while riding my bike at sunset:

Only a Being with Infinite Wisdom,
Senses Perfected, a glorious state,
Could create such a beautiful Telestial Kingdom,
There never could be such a perfect "mistake."

I hope all is well and expect everyone who reads this to write me a letter :)

Love you all and take care!

Much Love
JAmes

Monday, September 14, 2009

Piedras NEgras, Coahuila week 10

Good week. Actually a pretty hard week. My comp is new so he doesnt really do a whole lot so I have to do it all. Bu this week Im gonna put him to work.
I have a great experience for you. We were looking for a house this week, and we stopped and asked a guy sitting in his house, which also appeared to be an electrician shop. It turns out that at 4 in the afternoon hes drunk. No offense haha. So were talking to him, and while were asking him hes playing with a current measurer. He grabs one end, then puts his hand on my shoulder and tells me to grab the other end. I do, and the meter barely goes up. So he grabs it alone. Still barely goes up. Then my comp, and barely still. Then I grab it, and it goes up almost al the way. I look at the man, and see an idea pop in his head. Silly drunkard. haha I lterally saw the grin come on his face, then chuckle to himself, sit up straight and compose himself as if nothinghad happened and states, "Oh, thats because this measures GAYS!" We all died laughing. I can officially say Ive been called gay by a drunk person in Mexico. My life is complete.
We had a surprise in the stake center this week that our leaders told us to go to. We had no Idea what it was. We arrived, and it was a homecoming of a missionary. My first thought was oh great, This is great motivation for someone who still has 16 months left. So we sat down in the crowd of people and watched a slideshow of photos. I started thinking abut how long I still had left, when all of a sudden I got the feeling that the time is so amazingly short, and that before I know it, Ill be there. IT was such a great feeling, knowing that for these last 16 months I have to work harder than ever and make my homecoming day, a great one where I have no regrets.
Anyway, Thats about all. I love you all and want you all to send me letters. Mason, Chris, Amy, Becca, Ashley B, Brooke B, Sarah G, burgermills, Dustin, Drew, Chris S, Riles, all my buddies. Just write something quick if you dont have much time but i really want to hear from you.
Love you all and have a great week!!!
Much Love
JAmes

Monday, September 7, 2009

Piedras Negras, Coahuila Week 9

This week was pretty good. Well, pretty hard actually. I went one day with the Zone Leaders to learn how to teach better, but I didnt get a whole lot out of it. but i did get a few things that are useful.
We had a baptism of a 14 year old girl yesterday. Her name is Argelia. It was a good baptism. Her mom was there too, and shes a little... well animated. I think ive wrIveen about her before. Haha sHa hand one of the zone leaders get along really well because they're both loud and dont sdinttalking haha bha haver all it was good.
Oh yeah, i almost forgot... Im 20. It was just another day at work haha. A few time I checked my watch to see the date and realized ti was my birthday. IT just suprised me haha. But ya, 20, I dont really have anymore freedom than when I was 19 so its pretty much the same.
I read the life stories of Pres. Uchtdorf and Pres. Bednar yesterday. What a contrast. It goes from Pres. Uchtdorf and his living in post war Germany, to being a pro pilot and taking over a hijacked plane and stuff, To Elder Bednar, who was president of BYU and has always been a quiet loving Dad. HAHA I kinda lost interest when I went from President Uchdorfs bio to his, but there were also many intersting things about him too.
Not a whole lot happened this week. Sorry for being a boring person haha. Ill try to make this week super exhilarating..

M
uch Love
JAmes

Monday, August 31, 2009

Piedras Negras, Coahuila Week 8

This week was pretty good. We baptized a lady named Claudia who the missionaries had been wanting to baptize for like 5 months. It was great.
So Saturday we started off the day working, contacting mainly, but with 0 success. I knew a half hour in the day was gonna be a bad one. Everyone seemed to be a devout supporter of their churches haha. Anyway, I contacted a lady and we FINALLY got into her house. So were talking and her granddaughter, like 4 or5, gives me a piece of paper. I just put it on the couch, cuz I was focused on owning her grandmas heart with the Spirit. Were talking and whatnot, and once again the whole idea of "having the true church of Jesus Christ" and "being the only church in all the world that god and Jesus Christ direct" held no desire for her. Sweet. So seeing this, we end the lesson and get ready to leave. Once outside, the grandkids all come out to tell us bye, and this girl hands me this paper again. Im pretty annoyed by this point at the lack of success, and this little girl wasnt really helping, but I still thanked her and everything. I took the paper, and opened it. There was only one word writen on it- "milagros". Miracles. It made me think about how Im a representative of Christ, and not just because I say it or because those who followed Christ in the bible were "representatives" or worthless stuff like that. Ive been called by a Prophet, the ONLY people in the world who can talk to God. He received revelation for where I should go. I was set apart as a missionary, one with the authority from God to do those miracles. I am His representative here. It also made me think about what my MTC treacher said: "The hardest times come right before the miracles." And that night, we interviewed Claudia, and Sunday baptized her. The Lord is caring for us out here, and not just because were "Christians" or "Children of God", but we act on the faith that we have. We're here preaching in his name. We are His messengers, literally. No one else, apart from the other 53000 missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints, can say that. Sure they preach the Bible and stuff, and that's all good. But they have not literally been given authority to do so. Many take the Bible too figuratively, that a "prophet" is someone who preaches the Gospel, an Apostle is a "servant", or the "true church" is ourselves or stuff like that. They just dont understand how to understand the bible. Once again, Ive been give the authority, and the Holy Ghost, to discern and literally receive revelation, for what the Prophets in the bible were saying, and not what the errored translation of man says. So many things have been lost, and that what Satan wants. "Just think youll be saved by faith. Oh no, you dont have to really DO anything, just believe in Christ." We know thats not the Plan of God. If all we had to do was believe in Christ, what is the point of coming to Earth?
Sorry if I just unloaded on you guys. I think Ive jsut hit the point to where I hear the same thing over and over and see how sure the people think of their answers, when really they've never even cracked open their grandmas bible sitting on their front table. But thats why were here, to help them to understand, to know the plan of God, where the real happiness and knowledge is.
I love being a missionary and know that this is the ONLY true church of God, and I have no problem saying it. I know because the Holy Ghost has told me. What better answer can you recieve than that?
I love you all and take care!!!

Much Love
JAmes

Monday, August 24, 2009

Piedras NEgras, Coahuila Week 7

This week was pretty good. I got a new companion, his name is Elder Hernandez. Hes my son, or that means im his first companion in the mission. Hes a cool guy, and its been a little awkward this week because we dont have too much in common and he doesnt really know whats going on haha, but Im sure things will get more comfy.
This week I realized how much I really do know, and how much Ive grown. I always have the mindset of " I dont know how to do that very well" or "Im glad my companion knows what hes doing because I dont!" But this week I learned that God has taught me so much, and that I need to confide in myself more. NOT however, to the point of pride, but just recognizing how far Ive come and how I really do know how to do this stuff. Still, I may not be too good at it haha, but Im always bettering my skills as a missionary and learning to rely on the Spirit more and more. With my new comp, Ive had to do everything. Contact, teach, plan, everything. And before, that scared me a bit, but now I realize that I can do all those things, and for that reason ,the Lord has chosen to put me with a new missionary, so I can teach him all the things he needs to know.
We found some people who are really interested in the gospel this week. They had all the perfect questions, like, " How do I know which church is right? Why are there so many churches?" and questions like that. They told us they were just living in that house until her husband found work, so we knew we had to baptize them quick. They told us they were going to go to church, but didnt come. We passed by their house, and they told us they would meet us there, but never came. We went back that afternoon, and we were told that they went back to their old house, which is out of our area. But I think theyre still there so were going to go back and see them.
Sorry, but not a whole lot more happened this week. We just kinda got to work haha. We have Zone Conference this week so Ill tell ya all about that.
Much Love
JAmes

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mundo Nuevo, Coahuila Week 6

This week was good. We had 3 baptisms, and are ending the change with 5. These people are prepared.
We had interviews with the President of the Mission this past week. I know, without a doubt, that this man is truly inspired by God. The spirit was so strong there with us during the interview and while he answered some of my questions.
So before the interviews, all the missionaries in my district (or like 6 other missionaries) were all there together. Then Sister Romney came in and just started chatting with us for a second, and mentioned that she was going to Eagle pass, which is the town across the border from us, like 10 minutes away. My comps eyes got big and he asked her to buy us some peanut butter. Here it is rare, and super expensive, and yes I wanted some too, but I wasn't just going to blurt it out. so, we wait and wait and she comes back- with 2 HUGE containers of peanut butter. I almost cried. I asked her how much it cost and she just said "nothing... well nothing for you guys" I love that woman. She is always just doing random awesome stuff like that. She's always happy, smiling, and thinking of us in all things. But the next time I see her I'm going to pay her for the peanut butter haha.
The baptisms were good. All 3 are kids of families that WERE inactive but not anymore. My comp baptized one of the kids first, and when I went around to get in the font to baptize the other, that little kid of 9 years old, clapped his hands together and with a huge smile said, "¡Me bauticé!" ( I got baptized!) It was just such a sweet moment, seeing the joy on his face. Adults always think that they need to know more about the church or scriptures or whatever before they get baptized. But look at 9 year old Luis Angel. Do you think he is a doctrinal master, or knows the purpose of the quorums of the 70? No. And that's how it should be. After getting the Holy Ghost, then the learning comes. All one has to know is that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His Church, and that God and Jesus Christ direct it. Its all so simple, but everyone misses it!! But that's why we're here.
The zone leaders and i are, well, lets just say were tight. One of them asked me yesterday if Id like to be a Dad (or get a missionary fresh from the MTC). I said whatever the Lord wants of me I'll do. Why? He just said he was just wondering. So well see if im going to be a trainer. But its also very possible they're messing with me haha thats totally them. But well see.

Love you all and hope all is well with you Gringos up there.

Much Love
JAmes

p.s. I just found out that Larry King died like half a year ago. Or maybe I just forgot. Either way, that sucks. I'm sure he's getting taught by Pres. Hinckley right now!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mundo Nuevo, Coahuila Week 5

Well, I only have one week left (probably) with Elder Dearden, or deardles, as i call him. HAha no es cierto. But man its gonna be hard leaving this guy.
We had a baptism this week. She is the daughter of a family that was less active. This week we're hoping to have 4 more. No we WILL have 4 more hehe.
SO I go my scriptures back!!!!!!! We saw that same taxi that we took last Sunday, a few days later and we set up a time for him to take them to our house. It felt sooo good to hold them in my hands again. I hadn't marked them up a whole lot, but still, I had a little bit, and they are just so special to me. So thanks to the tender mercies of the Lord, I have them back. What are the chances of seeing hat same taxi again 3 days later?
We had kind of an interesting experience this week. We have an investigator who is going to get baptized this week who had just moved out from living with her boyfriend. We passed by each day just to see how she was doing and everything, but we passed for a couple of days and she hadn't been there. Her house was just all locked up. So we ask her neighbor if he knows anything. This where it gets good. A nasty man, with a lazy eye, begins telling us that the Mafia had come and killed her and her kids and that they were going to put the blame on us. Sweet. Well have a good day haha. We didn't really pay too much attention, but, we are in a border town, and we have come across some Mafia people before. There was always that thought in the back of our minds. So the next day, she doesn't go to church. Right after we eat, we go to her house and its open, and she's there. We told her what the guy said and she laughed and told us that guy is crazy. It was a good one! Anyway, shes alive, the kids are alive, and she's getting baptized! =)
So, all is well here. I love it here, but I miss Monterrey. It's super chill here, but there's not a whole lot of poeple, so its kinda hard to contact. It gets to like 105 here, but it should get to like 120. WOOO BRING IT!!!!!!!

Chris, quit being stupid. :)
I love you all and take care!!!!
Much Love
JAmes

Monday, August 3, 2009

Piedras Negras, Coahuila week 4


This week was okay. We had divisions with other missionaries and I got an Elder who, well, there was word that he was hard to get along with, and a little dead. Well he came and we got along just fine. However, I thought we did a lot, but then I looked back and realized not a whole lot got accomplished. Then, our zone leader called us, the one who goes home in 2 weeks, and told us we had to go to his area. So the whole afternoon we spent in the church while he prepared a 15 minute activity for mutual. We didn't get back home till 9, so that day was gone. I wish people would just leave us alone and let us work!! Haha no everythings okay, I just have to be more persistent on some things.
So something pretty bad happened this week. Our safety wasn't in danger, Mom, so were okay. We went yesterday to pick up investigators to go to church in a taxi, because none of the members could help us. so we got to one and we're waiting and waiting. The taxi driver recieved a gcall on the radio, and he was closest, so he told us hed send another taxi in like 5 minutes. We were just waiting so we were okay with it. Then about 10 minutes pass, and I realize something. My backpack was in the taxi with my scriptures. We didn't look at the taxi company, nor talk to the driver, so we had nothing to go on. That night we called some of the major companies but none reported a bag. I was pretty bummed. But I have another set that I'll just have to use. I'll keep my eyes out and try to find another taxi that looked the same and see the company and go from there. Yeah, it was pretty bad, but I have to just keep on going.
Other than that everything is okay. We have 2 weeks till transfers, and its almost certain that Elder Dearden is going to leave. I really want another transfer with this guy!!!! O well, whatever the Lord wants
I was recently updated on the massacre Mexico did to the US in soccer. 5 to 0. ¿Qué les pasó? But were gonna play again the 12th but its here in Mexico, so we're probably gonna lose again. Dang it. O well, thats what you get America for under-appreciating the best sport on the planet!!!!!!!

Much Love
JAmes

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mundo Nuevo, Piedras Negras, Coahuila week 3



This week was interesting. On Wednesday, we planned on sunday night to do some things that we'd seen that week that we could have done better, and we made plans to do them. But then our schedule got a little messed up. One of our Zone Leaders (other missionaries kinda in charge of us) came with us for a few days because his comp had to go to another part f the zone, which was 2 hours away. Well, this Elder has 3 weeks left in the mission, and was what we missionaries call " un póco muerte" or a little dead haha. He didn't really work the time that he was with us, which made it hard for us to work. Now I know that's no excuse, and sadly I see that, now that we COULD have kicked his tail into gear, but didn't. Anyway, ya it was a little hard....but this week is gonna rule.
Another setback (only to the numbers) this week was Zone Conference. Its the first we had with our new mission Pres. Hes so awesome!!!! His wife is just always happy and helpful and just awesome. I have a pic attached. Also this week , the zone leaders called us Monday night and asked if I could play a certain song for the conference. Luckily it was an easy one, and the zone leaders and asistantes to the President sang it. It was "How Can I Be" by some odd named somoan man haha.
Our companionship is absolutely outstanding. My first two companions were good, but this one, well it just feels like we're brothers. He reminds me a lot of Mason. Hes just always happy, always extremely courteous, and loves everyone. We just get lost talking about the scriptures and often times go over on our companionship study time haha. The only hard thing is that he has a guitar. At first it was a distraction, but now I've gotten a little more will power and can control myself :)

Everything is great here. Sweating like a... well a White Kid in Mexico, in the middle of summer. But other than that, the life is great.
One thing I read this week from an Ensign is a quote from Pres. Monson, "The Lord makes our supposed inefficiencies into obvious strengths." I dont know, I just really liked it haha.

Chris, I love you so stop being stupid.

Much Love
JAmes

Monday, July 20, 2009

Coahuila, Mundo Nuevo week 2

Good week. We had interviews with our new President of the mission, Pres. Romney. He is so COOL!! We had a really good talk and got to know each other a little better. Turns out hes a former CEO of some real estate company in Texas, and also helped franchise a chiropractic chain. So basically, hes retired and we'll leave it at that haha.
Saturday we baptized a guy named Hector. hes a friend of a member who got off his mission like less than a month ago. Everyone calls him "La Mole" because he looks exactly like the giant from the Princess Bride haha. Hes just a huge guy and my comp had trouble baptizing him haha but he did it.
We worked hard this week and found a couple of cool people. Im starting to get a hold of the Senior comp thing. ITs pretty difficult at times, trying to be a perfect example haha but Im making it. We came up with some really good ideas this week to be more effective and get some more numbers. Our numbers havent been the highest, but were going to try and do better this week.
Sat night our zone leader called us to see who we were going to bring to church. Theres one investigator, Angel, who the Zone leaders went to interview for baptism, but he didnt want to talk to us and told his neighbor to tell us he wasnt here. I knew he was there, I saw him, but when the Zone leader called, he told us to go to the impossible to get him to church. I chuckled and said okay. So the next day, we go to his house to pick him up for church, and of course hes sleeping. But they told us he was asleep on the roof of his house. I still have no Idea why. haha but here in good ol Mexico the roofs are all flat, so it was a bit easier for him haha. So what do we do? Two white kids start climbing a tree in suitcoats and everything to wake him up. It was a great sight Im sure. So we got him up and said Lets go! but, he decided to take a shower and everything so we got to church a half hour late, but he was there. The zone leaders told us to call when he was there, so they came and interviewed him and we put his baptismal date for next Sunday. It was a really cool experience of how we have to get out of our comfort zone and just do it. Climb up that tree!!. But ya a good week.
I have come to have a deep and abiding love for oatmeal. we found some packs in our house and made them the express way: water til it looks like good enough, then nuke it for 2 minutes, then another minute and so on until its oatmeal-y. We put peanut butter in it and it was SO good, but peanut butter is expensive here, which reallly makes me mad :( But oatmeal is so immensely delicious and easy and i think its cheap. Even if its not Im loading up on it haha.
I want DJs email and also Elder Andrews's (Andrewses? i dont know which is right haha) I really want to write them. im pretty sure E Andrews is still in our ward haha.

Much Love
JAmes

Monday, July 13, 2009

Coahuila, Mundo Nuevo, week 1

Well I got transfered from good ol Topo Chico/Hidalgo. Im now in Coahuila, which is the state next to Nuevo Leon, where Monterrey is . Im about 8 hours from Monterrey. Its a lot less busy here. Theres no mountains and the people are way chill. We are right now in a time period called the Canicula, which is about 60 days where the heat peaks, and since i sweat more tan 95% of humans, its a pretty nasty sight. But after a certain point its so much I cant even see the difference. Haha its great.
Well I was made Senior companion this transfer. They give a lot fewer senior callings than junior callings. Its not a grade they like to give out, I'll tell you that right now, hehe but ya im pretty overwhelmed. Apparently someone thinks I can teach good and speak good, which I have my doubts. But it comes from God, so apparently He knows something I don't.
Anyway, we met our new misión President. He's White and he's way cool. He speaks spanish about as good as me, haha. His wife knows no spanish so the Assistants had to translate for her. The Pres and his wife are so cool. I'm excited to see how they work here.
Sooo… we had an interesting experience this week. We were contacting and a 16 year old kid called us over ( but he had a mustache like thy all do so he looked 20-22) anyway he wanted us to say a prayer for him. We asked what was up, and he said that he wanted to kill someone. Sweet. He was on the verge of tears because he felt so bad, so i knew we weren't in danger. So we went into his house (a little shack) and gave him a blessing. He said he felt the desire go away. He felt really tranquil. It was really cool. Then he proceeded to tell us that someone else wanted to kill him too, and that he was from the mafia. Now i got a little worried. He said he was looking for him right then and he was walking the streets. So we immediately left and called the Leaders. They told us to stay away from him at all costs. Haha it was pretty intense but cool that the Spirit made him feel good. And don't worry, we're not in danger or anything. All is good.
Anyway Thank you all for your support and sorry I haven't been able to write home the past 2 weeks. Freak, but everything is good now.



Much Love
JAmes

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Monterrey, Hildalgo, Week 18





Well I wrote a ton but the page closed on me so all is well. Im pretty mad but theres not really anything I can do. Next week Ill write.

Much Love
JAmes

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Monterrey HIdalgo week17

Elder Hawken sent a note saying he is doing well but very busy!. He didn't have time to write this week.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monterrey HIdalgo week16

Good week.
So we were in a bike shop the other day, well not a bike shop, but a little bike repair hole-in-the-wall, and we're just waiting for the guy to fix my bike. so we're waiting and waiting and all of a sudden i hear something random. On the radio, in the middle of the day in Mexico, "Come on Eileen" starts playing. I start freaking out haha! IT was so awesome! but it was a little hard to focus after, so I had to start singing hymns haha.
A lady named Karla came to church with us. We had like 4 people who said they would come and only she did. Well it was good. she felt comfortable and is going to get baptized this sunday.
We had Zone conference this week. It was the last of our President of the Mission, and e get a new one the 30th. I hope he's awesome. I'm sure he will be.
Well everything is good here. Its been pretty hot but I sweat no matter what so I don't even care anymore haha. Thank heavens for handkerchiefs!!!!! they make me look like i'm at least not deep frying haha.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Elder Hawken Monterrey, Hidalgo, week 15

Better week this week. 5 people said they were going to go to church. Guess how many showed up? zero. Yup, thats how it is here. They tell you "God first" when we ask them to go, and they assure us theyll go. Then when we go to visit them, they have their 3 year old tell us no ones home. Well, you're either home or a negligent parent for leaving a 3 year old at home!!! Haha My wonderful people..
Well we started using bikes this week. Because our area is pretty big, we thought it necessary. My comp is using the bishops till his comes from another area, and im using the one gear "mountain bike" thats been in the house for like a year. Its wonderful. But it really is a lot easier getting from one side of our area to another.
So here's a story for ya: we were out contacting lie usual, at around 6 or 7. We start talking to this lady and everything's going fine when all of a sudden a swat looking police van pulls up with 3 fully armored cops on the back. Some guy was walking by us with a bottle of beer in a plastic bag, and the cops basically attacked him. One grabbed the bottle and threw it; the other two threw him on the side of the van and asked him "¿andas borracho?" or Are you Drunk? Well it was more of just a statement because they didn't give him a chance to answer. They opened the back and literally threw him in. This all happened 3 feet away from us, in about 10 seconds. The funny part is that after when the three cops hopped back on the van, one looked at me and nodded like saying hi. i nodded back and they drove off. I'm pretty sure they weren't doing that as an assignment. I think they just didn't have anything else to do so they got 5 friends together and went drunk-hunting haha. It was great. After that like 10 seconds later a group of people gathered and watched the van pull away. I just said "Its okay, the Gringo is legal!" My comp laughed haha.
While we were teaching a lady, I learned something about humility. At the end of the lesson my comp told her to ask God specifically if these things are true and that Gods not going to help us if we just ask Him to give us what we need and end the prayer. We have to be humble and realize that we are imperfect and that we cannot do anything without the help of God. That is why we have to ask specifically for things we need, specifically for things to better ourselves. This shows God that we are aware of our imperfections and want to do better. God's not going to help us with things that we haven't realized we need help with. I thought of Ether 12:27. We have weaknesses to make us stronger, and only by God's help can we be made stronger, if we realize we are weak.
Anyway, thats about all here. Tomorrow we have our last zone conference with Pres. Toris, then we get the Gringo. haha but ya all is good here. :)

Much Love
JAmes

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Monterrey, Hildalgo, Week 14

Good week. our 2 baptisms fell out, straight up told us they didnt want to get baptized. Wonderful! Well thats the mission life. Never stop trying though.

I recieved the package!!!!!! It was like opening a Christmas present. Ugly ties, hymns, other awesome music, RSVP fine point pens, tiny PMG and 600 packages of airheads. I love you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!
We went to the temple again this week. I cant tell you how amazing those places are. They are truly the House of God. There is no other place like them on earth. The abundance of the Holy Ghost thats there is overwhelmingly peaceful. Even as soon as you walk in the doors, everything is just an intense silence. I noticed that today. I walked in, and its a literal sensation in the body, as if weve been transfigured into beings more tuned to the Holy Ghost. Somehow the noise of the cars right outside abut 10 feet is completely blocked out. Absolutely incredible.
I had a cool experience this week. Weve been teaching a 45 year old lady who wanted to know if there were prophets still on th earth. How perfect! anyway we taught her about Joseph Smith, and about Thomas S. Monson. she`d read and stuff, but would not pray to know if its true. She thinks all she has to do is read the bible to get the answer. Yes, it is good to read the bible, but which will be more effective: a self-interpreted answer from the bible, or a revelation from God, the Creator, who knows our souls? Each man interprets the scriptures differently, and that's why we need a prophet to iterpret them the way they are meant to be interperted; However, an answer from God can only be interpreted one way. What she doesn't grasp yet, is that she has to HUMBLE herself, realize that she needs an answer, and that only through God can she receive her answer. Then it popped into my head. If this is a 45 year old woman with so much wisdom, why can she not realize she needs an answer directly from God? That, my friends, is why God appeared to Joseph Smith at 14. He was not corrupted by his own ideas. He was in a spiritual confusion, and he knew it. So, what does he do? Asks God directly. He then saw God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ, who directed him in what he should do. He did not become a prophet at 14, but received the knowledge to be prepared to be. He was humble, and trusted in his Heavenly Father. It makes perfect sense. If only she would pray, she would receive the answer. Like Moses and the staff of the bronze serpent, the people were too proud to think that by looking at a staff that they could be saved, and they died. But those who trusted in the prophet Moses, and in God, looked, and were saved. It's not difficult, and doens't even appear difficult. But for some reason we make it so.

Anyways, DJ is in the MTC. Hes gonna love it! The Rat, Matrix pictures, listening firsthand to Apostles of God, man I miss it!
I love you all and am becoming more and more Mexican native every day. :)

Much Love
JAmes

p.s. write me : )

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Monterrey, Hidalgo, week 13

Good week. We had transfers and yes, i got a new companion. Elder Sabaleta, and hes from Torreòn, which is just outside mission boundaries. Hes awesome. We actually planned and I feel like Im a part of the companionship now, not just trailing along. Were definately going to get work done here in Topo.
This week was the first week of the ward Hidalgo. We had about 120 assisting, which was way more than what it used to be. some of the members from Topo chico ward were mad that the name didnt stay as the ward Tpop Chico, because the Topo ward is older. Wow people. Its a flipping name. The church building is in the Hidalgo colony, so its only logical. But everyones fine now, and we got a lot of new cool members.
An interesting event happened in sacrament yesterday. The passers finished giving the sacrament and walked back up to the table, but there was only one cup left, and 3 of them. So one of the blessers pulls out 2 more little cups, puts them in the tray, takes out a glass of water and pours it right in. The Bishop looked over at the Stake Pres but he didn't say anything so apparently it was okay haha. I just thought of my ward at home...

One of the members took us to a Carls Jr for lunch one day, and as we were getting ready to leave, I heard above me a familiar voice, looking up, I see Billy Joe Armstrong in front of a column of fire or something. It was the new Green Day song. Thankfully it was the very end and I didnt catch any of it, but for the next like hour I was just wondering what the song could possibly be, but then I made myself forget abuot it haha. It was way funny.
Well DJ is heading to the MTC. "Own" at four-square, DJ, take tons of notes at the Devotionals, and Sundays at 930 before the church meetings they have in the Gym "Music in the Spoken Word" Where MoTab sings some awesome songs. I was fortunate enough to be there to see a bunch of white folks singing (well, trying to sing) gospel tunes, like African American slave tunes. When your singing something like that, you dont perfectly pronounce every word!! It was way way funny seeing MoTab get down haha!!!!!

Much Love
JAmes

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monterrey, Topo Chico (which next week will be Hidalgo) week 12

My ward, Topo Chico, is joining with another ward called Hidalgo, because Hidalgo ward doesnt have too strong of an attendance, but the name is being changed to Hidalgo, because thats the colony where the building is. Also my area boundaries are combining with that of the Hidalgo missionaries area, also being called Hidalgo. As of next week (if im still here) Ill be in the Hidalgo area, and the Hidalgo ward. Sorry to those non-Mormons reading this. The area Im assigned got bigger, in normal terms, haha.
This week was a little hard. Good, but hard. We had 5 people with a baptismal date goal of the 24th, but 0 made it. 4 wanted more time, and 1 was "sick". But, they've told us they want to so we just have to keep teaching and encouraging them.
The 3 sisters we are teaching got interviewed by the Zone Leaders on Friday. Me and my comp went on divisions with the ZLs, so they could interview the 2 others we had. The mom of the 3 other young kids we baptized was one of the ones who was going to get interviewed, but when the Zone Leader went to their house the one time before, to interview the 3 kids, he was very pushy and made a really bad impression, so she didn't want him to come. Well, she actually said He will never again step foot in her house. Hes a very fast talker, impatient, and thinks he knows it all. So ya, not a very good impression on people who have only known me, haha. So I went with this Elder to interview the 3 sisters. Well, he made the exact same impression with them. At the end of the interview, 2 accepted baptism, but one didnt, for one reason or another, but I could tell they were'nt secure. The next day they told us that they didnt feel ready and that 2 weeks was too short a time to just change everything, especially when they have to focus on their mom who has cancer. They told us this Elder was very pushy and everytime they said they didnt feel ready he just kept repeating the same thing over and over, that they need to just have faith and do it. We told them not to worry, and that we're not mad by any means and that were going to talk to him. What makes me mad is Im sure that if there was a compassionate missionary who interviewed them they probably would have accepted. But whats done is done, and they said they want to keep learning, so we're going to keep talking to them and helping them along.

Anyways thats about it here in Topo Chico/Hidalgo.
Amèrica (not the US, but the Mexican team, azul y crema) isnt in the finals for fùt (or what you white people call soccer), so Im not too interested in it. Okay, I am. Im pretty sure the Pumas are gonna take it. Fútbol totally and completely owns every other sport. And for anyone who calls them "field fairies," like Ive heard, lets see you take off your pads, and play, or extend the court about 4 times, or run for about 2 hours straight. Ya, that's what I thought. ¡El Juego de los Hombres Compa!

Much Love
JAmes

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Monterrey, Topo Chico week 11

This week has been tons better. My companion and I talked about all our differences, and everything is going along smoothly. Our last interviews with Pres.Toris were this week. I asked him what's one thing that he's seen in his 3 years as a Mission President that missionaries fail at that would be easy to avoid or easy to do. He told me that was a very good question haha. Then, he said, Never confide in your own knowledge, and remember that two years pass very quickly. He went into a little more detail but that was the jist of it. I promised him I would always be aware of these things and be the best missionary I could. After that he gave me a blessing, as he did with all of us. While he gave it, the Spirit manifested once more that this man is called of God, and has the authority to be a Mission President. I'm going to miss him, but the new Pres will be awesome, I'm sure. We had our first bible bash session this week!!!! Some guy, who seemed interested, began talking to us, but eventually, the situation got heated and odd tangents began to come up. The base question was, "How do you know your church is the true church of God?". After about 45 minutes, he began saying that all Masons were homosexuals, and that the governors of Mexico and Barak Obama were in a Mafia. Congratulations, you just proved the Mormon religion wrong with that one. Then I remembered what they told us in the MTC: Always bear testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith. So I asked him if I could speak, because he wouldn't stop talking, and I began. I said,"Hermano, yo se que la Iglesia-" the he cut me off saying stuff like "you dont know anything" or, "prove it!" If he would have listened, we gave him clear instruction on how to know, but he cut me off and so I said, "okay,gracias" and walked away. My comp was having a great time with it and all the dates and Popes and everything else he was throwing out, and stayed. I went to the corner and just started reading in the Book of Mormon, and eventually my comp came. The Spirit was not there, nor was it a little bit after. These situations are spiritual murderers. There's no way in situations like this that we could have changed his mind. Even if there was a scripture in the bible that said "The Mormon religion is totally right, join it, thus saith the Lord thy God" The guy would have had some other point or date or something that he thought proved that its a different Mormon religion or something. It takes no faith to read the bible, but faith to understand it. Faith comes BEFORE the miracles, and those who seek signs will never know the truth. Anyway, it was a good learning experience :) We went to the temple again this week. I got to do a session, and its a lot harder to understand everything in Spanish haha, but I made it through. One of the members here, Hermano Pablo, is a temple worker and was there. Even though I've only been here 2 times, this is the temple I want to get married in. The Celestial Room is the most beautiful I've ever seen. The whole temple is beautiful. While I was in there, a thought came to my mind while looking at 20-30 other missionaries. "God is putting the growth of His one true church in the hands of 19 year-old boys. What is He thinking!?" Haha then I thought, we are here to do only Gods will, and learn for ourselves why God has put the growth of His church in the hands of 19 year old boys. When we are set apart to become official missionaries, we become 19 year old men, angels, soldiers, fighting in the one battle that's going on around the world. Its become apparent to me that this battle is very real. Satan is grabbing the hearts of man and is not letting go. But, with the authority of God, working in the name of His son, his grasp is loosened and the hearts of the lost are reclaimed. Only His True Word, turns the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Anyway that's that. We have transfers Monday and I'm positive I'm getting another companion. Im ready to learn more from a different companion. So ya. I love you all!!!Much LoveJAmes

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monterrey- Topo Chico week 10

This week was good, and pretty hectic. We had zone conference Friday because it was cancelled the week before because of the flu thing. But we had it and it was awesome, as usual. We contacted a kid who's 17, married, and has a kid. We've been giving him the lessons and hes seeming to understand pretty well, and were hoping to baptize him. Were also teaching the mother of the 3 kids we baptized, and she seems pretty secure about getting baptized too. We contacted a lady who's 26 and got a return visit the next day. When we went back, her sister of 16 joined us. After the lesson, they informed us that their mother had cancer, and we asked if we could give her a blessing the next day. We returned the next day and their sister of 23 joined the lesson. They all seem pretty interested and remembered a lot perfectly that what we had taught them the day before. Its pretty interesting how that the past 2-3 weeks we haven't had much success with lessons, and I got really discouraged, with my comp and everything. But, I didn't lose faith in my God. I knew that's what Satan wanted of me, to think that there's no one out there. But, I kept on going. I kept on walking, talking, sweating, and believing, and now, we have 5 people we're teaching. Now that doesn't mean were going to baptize them all, but it shows they are out there, and that the hardest times come right before the miracles. We got to talk to our families on the phone yesterday. DJ and Chris were there, and haven't changed a bit!!! HAha Chris still loves dinosaurs and has no life haha, and Dj´s.. still DJ..haha.They haven't changed, and I wouldn't want it any other way. The family is doing good, and we just shot the breeze for an hour which was fun. It just proves that nothing changes in Pueblo. The only cool thing that happened was when that building blew up, which was in like November haha. Since then, not much... If anyone wants to send me a letter or something, you can, but put a picture of the virgin Mary on it. that way when it goes through Mexican customs, they will think its "holy" and wont open it.... it works, trust me.
I love you all!Much Love

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monterrey, Topo Chico week 9
















This week was good. Ended it with 2 baptisms. Yeah. Haha. But all is good here. Im being challenged daily wtih my patience and faith which is pretty hard, but Im learning valuable life lessons. First of all- Don't worry about the flu. There are elections going on right now and im sure its just a cover up for something. Sure 150 have died, but in all of Mexico. And its been going on since December, so 150 deaths in 4 months isnt too bad. But still were taking some basic precautions, so all is well here. No one in our zone or even area has had it. I learned something great this week. Jsut say nice things and be helpful. Wow! Elder Hawken apparently you didnt pay attention in kindergarden. Haha but Ive been having struggles with my comp, but by applying these principles where I can, It helps immensely. Sure, at times im just gonna be super perturbed (haha thats a funny word) and Im not gonna want to help him or anything, but that's when I have to the most. Also this week I learned, or had my testimony added upon, by the application of hard work, obedience, and working smart. At times, I just have to do it. And I know thats what my Heavenly Father wants of me is to jstu go to work. Many Elders are perplexed (another funny word) at how disobedient missionaries baptize. My theory, and this is jsut a conjecture, that God is not going to let some goofy elder who is disobedient hinder the work because overall, he is worthy. Maybe not worthy of the Holy Ghost 100% like he would be if he was obedient, but baptisms are not what defines a successful missionary. It is how much you grow, and how you deal with the trials, and how you enlighten other people lives with the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. At the end of the mission, many times, the elder with 5 baptisms has had a more rewarding experience than the elder with 85, 90, 100, simply because he was obedient and God put 5 chosen, prepared, spiritually softened individuals for him to find. Baptisms are not just for numbers, they are solely to bring people to Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. MAny elders never realize this. Im so thankful that Ive gotten a hold of it so early so I can apply it for the next 20 short months. I almost got bitten by a dog this week, which was pretty cool. But almost. My MTC teacher told me that to be a real missionary you have to be bitten by a dog and "go" in your pants. #2. Well, Im in Mexico so Im not too worried about either. But, to date, neither. Haha. Tell DJ and Cris to email me, or, email sally and she'll email me. I really want to hear whats going on with ma budz. Anyway thats about it. I get to call my fam Sunday which will be pretty exciting. be ready with questions and whatnot!!!! Love you all, and be good. and dont worry about the flu. If I get it and die, its a Gold Card to the Celestial Kindom. Woot Woot.Much LoveJAmes






PS. oh yeah, if you guys ever watch soccer again, and the team playing says AME, thats América, my favorite team (its not the US, but a team of MExico). And the goalie, Guillermo Ochoa, is my favorite player :) ¡Vamos vamos azul y crema vamos a ganar!
Much Love

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monterrey, Topo Chico week 8

This week was pretty good. We got a lot of contacts, but only like 5 of them were home or wanted anything to do with us, but thats missionary work haha. Elder Quiñonez got 2 wisdom teeth pulled this morning and cant work till wednesday. Im not exactly sure what Im gonna do, either go with another companionship or a yoth from the ward, but well see. I was reading in Alma this week in chapter 44. Whe I read verses 12-15, they struck me really hard. This lone soldier, whos a literal nobody, strikes down the sword of the opposing leader, scalps him, and screams to the army to give up or die. Ownage. Haha hes only got these 4 verses and is never heard from again. Thats kind of the same as missionary work. Ive only got 2 years and afer that, I will be rememberedonly by those I baptized and maybe a select few others. This is my 4 verses. Im just a soldier, a nobody, but I have the right, the power, the authority from God, to scream to the enemy, give up or die. Okay, not literally, but I can fight in the cause of bringing salvation to the children of our Heavenly Father, with a voice that will shake heaven and earth, and a testimony that nothing can kill, and a desire that none can take away. Every day I think to myself, "Elder Hawken, youve only got 4 verses. What are they going to say?" Theres no time for them to say, "he didnt get up on time everyday", or, "he went back to the house because it was too hot". No, no time at all. Ive only got 20 more months to scream and fight, and I will scream and fight everyday. Okay, whew. now that thats over haha. We are going to have 2 more baptisms this sunday. Ones a girl of about 12 whose family was inactive, but comes now. The other is the boyfriend of a girl in a family that also was inactive but comes now. Hes 24 and had a lot of questions, which is awesome because that shows that he really wants to know. Were way excited and ready to work in May. I hope everyone is doing good. The swine flu hasnt struck me yet haha. Were gonna have to start wearing masks, as if people werent afraid enough of missionaries before haha. but ya thank you for your prayers and God bless!!!
Much LoveJAmes

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monterrey Topo Chico week 7

Yup, im still here. Neither me nor my Comp got transferred. But its all good. This week was a little hard. We didnt do a whole lot of contacts because Im still a little skittish to initiate a conversation in a language ive been speaking for 4 months, and Quiñonez... well, you know. So yesterday we had to do 56, which we did, and it wasnt hard at all. It makes doing 30 a day seem like nothing. We didnt teach a whole lot of lessons either. we taught 12 with a member present because this awesome member that has 17 years goes out with us almost every day. I try to be a perfect example, Like the elders in Pueblo were, but Quiñones makes it hard sometimes. But hopefully he’ll look back and see that at least I was a good example. We had Stake conference this week which was cool. I didnt get to see all of it because all the Elders had to help fill the font with water from a well outside because the drain wasnt plugged right and the water wasnt staying. so we were creative and put a plastic bag and a rock over it. Hey, it worked haha. Pres. and Sis. Toris (the mission President and his wife spoke. Pres Toris is a lot like Jake. For the Priesthood session sat. night he didnt stand at the pulpit and talk at us, he had a mic and was walking up in front, to keep our minds busy i think. But ya hes so awesome. His time is up at the end of this transfer the 24 of MAy and we get someone from Texas. Im kinda happy that well have a gringo so I can talk to him better haha.
Everything else is going good. THANKS TO MASON FOR WRITING ME!!!!! DJ and Chris are still no-shows. ¡Gracias a mis amigos fieles! haha. But hey all is well here in Topo Chico. do they have Topo Chico mineral water in the US? its got a yellow label. I live 3 blocks from where its made. Topo Chico. Siempre Cae bien. haha.
Much LoveJAmes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monterrey, Topo Chico Week 6











Well, my first transfer is done here in Monterrey. Tad bit rough, but hey, the work goes on. Not a whole lot happened since my last post. Except the baptisms. Remember the 3 young kids that we were teaching? They finally decided that its what they wanted and we baptized them saturday. I did one and E. Quiñonez did the other 2. It was a way cool experience to baptize someone... in Spanish! Haha it was great. Then on sunday we baptized another lady whos like 75. Her son baptized her but it wasnt like a deathbed repenntance thing, she really wanted to do it and was excited. It was very cool too. The other day we were teaching a man and at the end I was to say the prayer. He was wanting to learn english, so he asked me to pray in english. Wow. That was hard. (twss :) ) haha man! I couldnt remember how to do it! well I could but it wasnt as easy as before. I mean i did it but I kinda had to think about how to do it. Im approaching that point where I can neither speak english or spanish, and Ill be in real trouble then!! We were contacting in a Pulga, which is a flea market, and ther was a tent with movies. I just glanced in, amd saw Dragonball: Evolution. I asked my comp, how do they have it when its not even in theaters? but then I realized were in Mexico and its pirated. I really wanted to send one to Chris but then I realized it was in spanish haha. They also had Fast & the Furious 4 and seriously any other movie thats supposed to come out in the next like 3 months. Oh, Mexico. After we went to the temple wednesday, we went to the plaza in the city and ate. Thats what those pictures with triton and the water and stuff are. Then that night we played soccer right before our District Meeting. The ZL's asked what we did today and I told them we went with another companionship and ate at the plaza. His eyes got wide and immediately went and talked to my companion. I asked the other if we did something wrong. Apparently this place is really bad and theres like prostitutes and drugs and stuff and its forbidden for missionaries. I felt like crud, but I didnt know. My comp didnt really care and still believes he was justified in doing it. Haha some things never change. But transfers are tonight at like 9 and I have my fingers crossed. But whatever the Lord gives me Ill take gladly. ¡Les amo y gracias por todos de sus oraciones!Much LoveJAmes

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Monterey, Topo Chico week 5

Disculpeme I dont have a lot of time to write, so I gotta be quick. This week was good. We had divisions again haha. Every week. and guess what I m doing on friday haha. But this week I had a cool experience. My compa and I ate on Monday with our investigator youthfriends right before our district meetng. when we finished we had 10 minutes till the meeting, so I conjectured that the church wasnt too far away. When I aske my comp said that it was 20 to 30 minutes away. and I asked why we didnt leave earlier and that we were gonna be late. He just said in broken english I Dont Care. I jut felt really depressed because hed been showing a pattern of behavior like this and I just couldnt take it. I said a deep weeping prayer in my heart for help. Thats all I said, help me please Father. That night, while planning he basically repented to me. He said he was sorry for being a bad example and that he was going to change. This took me by suprise big time because I hadnt told anyone this. Now this might be because we had interviews with the Mission President the next day and he didnt want me to spill the beans haha, but yesterday and today we worked way hard and theres been a chage in him. ITs amaizing the power of God and its so true that the hardest times come right before the mirales. Today we went o the temple in Monterrey, thatswhy I didnt write Monday because our Preparation day was switched to toay. I didnt get to go through and do a session but I did get to do baptisms. This temple is the most beautiful Ive ever seen. Definitely at the top for marriage haha...
Anyway more stuff Monday. Love you all.
Much LoveJAmes

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monterrey Topo chico week 4 (i think) <-yay parenthesis!

Hola everybody. This week was good, except the 2 baptisms we had lined up fell through. One of them is 16 and doesnt have permission from his mom so were gonna try to resolve that this week, and the other is 13 and has the same problem. Im just hoping the Spirit will soften their hearts so theyll get baptized. We had exchanges again and I went with Elder Gatewood again. Haha man. This Elder is a good missionary but doesnt have very good social skills. But hey hes got the Spirit with him so thats all that matters. we taught some good lessons he and his new companion will do good with. He got a new companion becaise Elder Crowell went home. He was the first "going home" elder Ive seen out here. IT kinda made me realize how long 2 years is, and how Im only 3 months in. But that will get me down really fast if i think that. I have to think how SHORT 2 years really is and how Im ALREADY 3 months in. Satan wants me to be down and discouraged, because im spreading the most important message people will ever hear.So we taught a lady who cut hair the first lesson and it went really well. afterward she asked if we wanted free haircuts so my comp says Sure. So guess what, I now have the Mexi-cut. Way short on the sides and longer on top. Feissimo. Haha Im gonna find some way to fix it, its pretty bad. Ill just get some clippers and 2 all the way around. Yesterday we had an interesting experience, well I had an interesting experience. After we ate, my comp decided to take a nap. This is not bad if theres time left over from the alotted 1 hour for lunch, which there was. I didnt really want to so I studied. After about a half hour, It was pertty obvious he wasnt waking up. So I thought "he`ll make his decisions, ill make mine." So I grabbed a handful of Proclamation to the Family pamphlets, opened the front door, and decided to start contacting standing at the front door. Now missionaries cant be away from their companion, which I wasnt. We had taken out matresses into the front room where the air conditioner is and slept there so he was within sight and sound. Unfortunately, no one walked the street for the 40 some odd minutes I was out there but at least I was doing something. So ya, thats pretty much what happened this week. Love you all!
Much LoveJAmes

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monterrey, Topo Chico week 3

This week has been good. I noticed some interesting things about Mexico this week... First off, they have counterfeit movies, just like the US but they have like 4 in 1. I saw one with Bolt, HSM 3, and 2 other movies that are like still in theaters. Its crazy. Im sure they arent very good quality though. The other is the favorite alcohol. Every place has their favorites, Jamaica is probably Red Stripe, Detroit was probably... well, heroine. But here its Carta Balnca. Holy cow, literally almost every store has a carta blanca sign. Its so funny. Sorry that im not using exclamation points to emphasize my point the keyboards are different and no onbe knows how to do it haha [exclamation] Okay down to business. This sunday I have my first 2 baptisms [exclamation] Freida is 14 and the other elders before me had been working with her for a while and idk sh just decided she wanted to. The other is Hasael and hes 16 and awesome. Hes one of the sons of the family of 6 we are teaching. We watched Testaments at the church and after took them and showed them the font and explained about it. The E Quiñonez extended the invitation to them and Hasa immediately accepted. Im so excited for hin [exclamation] His sister and cousin are hopefuls and were trying to get them to be baptized sunday too. Its so cool to see what all of this is about, to finally see peoples lives changed. Its so rewarding. I went on exchanges with one of the Zone Leaders, Elder Gatewood. Hes... a good missionary. Hes a bit of a nerd haha but he is a good missionary and I learned a lot from him. While with him we were teaching almost the entire time and people would just let us into their homes to teach them which doesnt happen a lot in Topo. But it was good and I found many ways I can improve. Not a whole lot more happened this week. Im doing well and stayiong well fed. My comp spent all his money for the month o Im helping him a LITTLE but if we dont get transferred this next change Im telling him thats not happening again. But Christ would give his companion money if he ran out so Im being an example. BUt we also cant be saved in our ignorance so im gonna tell him whats up haha[exclamation]
I had one of the elders send a package home from the MTC with the clippers and my first planner, did you get it [question mark....goofy keyboard] And also on my Ex Hard drive are like 13 of my songs and some of the elders want a CD for after the mission. If you could please send like 10 or 15 so I can have some extras. My address is in the last post I think and if not my dad has it.
Anyway the obra misional is strong here in Mexico. Im being obedient and I can see it paying off. If theres any questions please write me [Exclamation]
Much LoveJAmes

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monterrey, Topo Chico Week 2

Well, this week has been cold. Its Mexico. Mexico is not supposed to be cold dang it. It rained a little and its just been dark all week, but the sun came out today! I was way excited when I woke up this morning. :) So we were tracthing one day and this guy beckons us to come over. He and his friend are chewing, some naaaasty yellow stuff, and hes asking us about the church. This in itself is funny, because hes asking us the perfect questions like why there are so many churches and stuff. Then, another friend comes over and hands him a big ol' joint, and the guy takes a huge puff. So hes holding it in, gettin all the good outta it, and he asks us in this retarded im-holding-my-breath-but-still-trying-to-talk voice, "¿Ustedes no tienen problemas con las drugas?" "You don't have problems with drugs?" Me and my comp tried as hard a we could to not laugh while this guy kept asking us about Christ while smoking weed. It was so awesome! We are still teaching the Mendoza family, and the 3 jovenes (youth aged kids) went to mutual with us, and seemed to enjoy it. But they couldn't go to church because they had something else they had to do. But were hoping next week they can come. This family is awesome, but I'm not so sure how serious they are about the gospel. I would talk to them more, but my Spanish is limited and I wouldn't even know where to start. I do talk to them, but at this point I'm still trying to just understand what everyones saying, which is becoming easier. I told mom to see about sending me my zune with church music and stuff on it. Well we cant have them, only CDs. So if you really wanted to you could just send me some church CDs (instrumentals, acoustic, and other stuff you think id like :]) . But no rush. My comp has Cd´s that we listen to. The Spanish is coming along okay, I guess. I just gotta keep studying and studying. I can speak a little, and I do contacts, but not a whole lot more, but I am practicing. Its so awesome being out here. The people rock. The food is AWESOME. To all you gringos who think the California Burrito from Adolfos is Mexican food, its NOT! The actual Mexican food is so much better! Its my favorite food of all :) Man, I never EVER thought Id like Mexican food, only that Id have to get used to it over like 8 months, but its sooo good! They have soda that's mango flavored and pineapple flavored and every other flavor! And its actually good, not some cheap rip off. Estan bien ricos. I know I m really bad at answering questions, but if you have any send them to me and Ill do my best to actually answer them. Hehe. I love you all and be good!
Much Love
JAmes