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

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