Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Solidaridad, MTY Week 8

What has happened in the course of 4 days...
Well, Saturday, the Zone Leaders called and had us go to the bus station to pick up a new comp thats going to work with us. We are now in a trio. He's Elder Hernfandez, and hes a cool guy. Hes a bit of a cook (pronounced "kewk" like cooky) but cool nonetheless. Weve got to figure out how to teach and everything in a trio so that will be fun.
We had a guy that originally was going to get baptized Sunday, but we didnt feel to sure about that so he was just committed to go to church. Well, he didnt show, so we went to his house after the services to see what happened. his mom answered and said, "hes here, but I dont think youll be able to talk to him." She let us in, to the glorious view of him, sprawled out on the floor, completely blasted and passed out. I felt kinda bad, but at the same time it was kinda funny. I mean just sprawled out there haha. But yes I did feel bad haha.
Well not much else. not much in 4 days.

Till next week

Much Love
JAmes

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Solidaridad, Monterrey Week 7

This week was great. We didnt have Pday because today we went to the temple. Needless to say, a beautiful experience.
Sunday was great. The young men and young women did a special program, and my convert Daniel directed it all. And, he and another convert, Eric who's 16, blessed the sacrament for the first time. They were both dressed up in suits and everything. It was so amazing to see how much these kids have changed and how strong there testimony is. The program went on and was absolutely beautiful, but at the very end, Eric was chosen to give his testimony. He just said over and over how much he has changed and how much the church and Gospel have helped him in his life. IT was one of the best moments in my whole mission, simply seeing how through me, God works miracles and changes peoples hearts. Later, I went up to Eric, and told him in his suit he looked just like a missionary. He smiled and said, "only 2 years to go", because Mexicans leave at 18. I was so happy when he said that and told him when he went to the temple after getting his call I would come down to see him. He smiled and thanked me. HE then said, "te vamos a extra├▒ar cuando te vayas." Were going to miss you when you leave. Then he gave me a hug. Yeah, that wasn't a heart wrencher. I was so intensely happy, I just couldn't wait to get that letter saying he was going on a mission. That will be one of the ultimate rewards of my mission.
This area is phenomenal. There are so many people prepared here. The members jsut become their best friends instantly and make sure they stay active. The president said that many missionaries would be staying in each area for 4 transfers, or 6 months. I would have no problem staying here. I'm on my second transfer right now, and I could easily go 2 more. Then, one more area, then home.
Okay now for the good stuff... across the street we have 2 neighbors- a raging alcoholic, and teenagers. The alcoholic decides to absolutely blare his music at 11 at night. And its banda, which is basically polka in Spanish. The most annoying thing Ive ever heard (disculpenme Mexicanos). So I finally go gout and ask him to turn it off. HE says OK sure, but COMPLETELY blasted. so we go back in, I lay down and the music turns back on, so we decide we have to start thinking tactfully. So for about another 45 minutes, were talking, trying to reason with a man with the mentality of a 3 year old, while another elder tries to takeoff the stereo face and give it to his son to hide. Well, he catches on and doesn't let us. So, after some beat boxing, speaking Chinese, and hearing the word "tranquiqui" ( a drunk dirivative of "tranquilo" which means "calm down") He finally decides to turn it off. We got to bed at midnight. But it was great fun and Im sure not the last time it will happen. Man I love Mexico!
That's all. Jake, anything on the BYUI papers? I REALLY want to get going on those. Thanks.
Love you all and hope you ll flipping write me FRIENDS. Dang. Masons the only one who really loves me haha.

Till next week
JAmes

p.s.- I want to learn American Sign Language, so in the next package could you send me a book?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Solideridad, MTY Week 6

Well this week was great. I had some crazy experiences.
The Zone leaders needed a baptismal interview, so they called me to
do it. The lady who I was going to interview had little to no desire
to get baptized. I am uncomfortable when missionaries set up a miracle
baptismal interview, especially without telling me beforehand how the
person is. So, I begin the interview, and she starts unraveling her
life, and sharing completely irrelevant things. So quite a while
later, I realized she was really stubborn and easily offended. She
explained about a certain sin she committed in August that she thought
was the worst thing in the world. Id learned to not jump to
conclusions. She began crying because of the horribleness (sp?) of
what she had done, but she wouldnt tell me or even hint as to what it
was. So I told her that upon getting baptized, God would forgive her
of that sin ,and all the others. She said that that wasnt possible. I
said if it was, would you like to know? She said yes, but that its not
possible. So after a few minutes of trying to get her to ask God in a
prayer, she finally decided to do it. During her prayer, she poured
out her whole soul. It was the first indication that she had a desire
to get baptized. She asked God, then ended the prayer. During the
prayer, the Spirit came, and I knew she was feeling it and had
received her answer. When she finished the prayer, I told her to take
a few moments and focus on her feelings. Then I read Galatians 5:22,
and asked if those were the things she was feeling, knowing it was.
She thought for a moment and said, no. I told her I knew she was,
because I was feeling it, and the Spirit testifies to all who are
listening. She again said no. Immediately, the feeling I had left. A
dead lingering feeling entered. The Holy Ghost, that had testified to
us both, left. She had felt it, then upon denying the feeling, He
retired His presence. I knew it, she knew it, and God knew it, but she
had openly decided to put aside all the answers I had given her, the
various Spiritual confirmations and signs that God had given her,
because for some miniscule reason that she did not want to put the
time nor effort into to overcome. I knew God answered her prayer. I
FELT it. And that is why I also know, without a doubt, SHE felt it,
and that upon denying it, the Spirit of God wholly left the room. IT
was a very sad experience, but also very interesting. Id witnessed
many good Spiritual experiences, but this was my first bad experience.
I am so grateful that I could experience it though, and that God
trusted me enough to give me one as such. This has done so much to
strengthen my testimony, that this IS His church, The Church of Jesus
Christ, that He does live, that the Holy Ghost manifests to us, and
that God will not take away our personal agency.
On a lighter note, we had a baptism! Yay! We baptized a family of
four that came to church last week with some of their family. We
taught them the plan of Salvation Sunday night, they accepted the
baptismal date, we taught them, and yesterday, they got baptized. God
really is preparing people. Many are looking without even knowing it,
until they find it. President and sister Romney came to the service
which was also amazing. All the young men wanted to take pictures with
the "Mission President" haha, it was great to see them so excited
about missionary work.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Solideridad, MTY Week 5





This week was great. We had interviews with the President. They told us ours was at 1:30, the at 1:20 when we were on the bus, they called and told us they'd been changed to 4:30. Right in the middle of the day. So that kinda made me mad, but I knew they had to do it, and not just to be difficult. But my interview was great. We really didnt talk about much, but it was great to spend a few minutes with Pres. Romney. He is so amazing and intelligent. Just being around him makes me smarter haha.
We had the baptism of Daniel and Saul, 2 kids weve been teaching for 2 weeks. We just found them knocking doors. Missionaries are always complaining that they never have success knocking doors, but a lot of my baptisms have come from that. It by no means is my favorite thing, but it must be done, so why not do it good? These two kids are honestly prepared by the HEavens to recieve us. Each visit, they'd read the pamphlets at least once. They understood from the beginning Priesthood, and the Apostasy (which NOBODY understands), and were willing and excited from the first visit to be baptized. Daniel wanted me to baptize him, and Saul wanted Edler Whitney. So after we'd come out of the water, Daniel said to me, "Elder Hawken, thank you for coming to my house. Without you guys, I never would have made this decision." and gave me a big wet hug. Thats what a Mission is all about! Not contacts, or new investigators, but knowing that you have been a tool in the hands of God to bring someone such happiness, the best feeling in the world.
At church we met a family of four that came with a sister who is a member. we were sad at the beginning of church because nobody we'd taught in the week came. But, I knew that this was a blessing from God. So we went to their house that night, and taught them about the Plan of Salvation, because her brother had recently passed away. While we were teaching, she began crying, and I helped her recognize it was the Holy Ghost telling her that her brother is okay. She recognized it as well, and the whole family accepted a baptismal date for Sunday. There was another missionary who also had people at church they didn't plan for, but didn't even try to put a baptismal date because he said it was the first time he'd ever saw them. I got kinda frustrated because he knows he needs to baptize people, but at times doesn't want to put forth the effort, or is too afraid to do it. So they have 0 baptisms for this next week, and we have 4. The Lord really sees our efforts and blesses us accordingly.
So, one other insanely important note... Metallica came to Monterrey Wednesday! I so wnated to go haha but we had a couple members go and they said it was amazing. Haha they showed me some videos and I thought of Brandon Milburger! IT was the talk of the week here in Monterrey haha!
Mason, I GOT YOUR PACKAGE!!!!!! ThANK YOU SOoOO MUCH!!!!! The Thrice shirt is amazing!!!! And the set list!! How did you get that! were you front row? Man, I was so stioked for that, and even more for the letter. Keep writing me man. I love you!!

I love you all and till next week!!!
Much Love
JAmes

Monday, March 1, 2010

Solideridad, Monterrey week 4

Its crazy to think this transfer is almost over! ITs gone by so quick.
This week was amazing. On monday, we found a 17 year old kid named Daniel, and he accepted a baptismal date the first visit. Many do, but when we go back they either dont open the door or say their busy or cnat make it Sunday or some other excuse. But we went back and he was there. All this week we taught him, he read the pamphlets like 2 times over each, and when we gave him the Book of Mormon he basically gave us a verse by verse overview. He is excited for his baptism and is progressing very well. The lesson after giving him the Book of mormon, i commented to him about the challenge the Prophet made to read it before April. He just said, "okay, ill do it." I was jsut like, I was just telling you about it buddy! haha but thats just how he is, so hes reading the Book of Mormon before April. Im so excited that he and his brother are rady to be baptized and really have the desire to do it.
We had another guy come to church whose name is Juan Carlos, and hes a 23 year old who drinks and smokes on the weekends. He really wants to quit, and he understands that a baptism is the one thing that will help him more than any other thing he could do. Im excited for him because hes really the first person Ive ever taught who has an addiction and really wants to get over it. It will be a fun and interesting challenge for him and us.
Well, today I complete 14 months in the mission. A year ago tomorrow I got to the Mexico. Loking back i see hiw much IVe really grown and, even though I cant see it too much, I know ive grown so much. A few days ago I was imagining what it would be like if it were my last week in the mission. I hated it. Every missionary thinks about going home and doing this or that, but one thing they never realize is that they will be bored just like they were before the mission. For me at least. Ive only got 10 more months and I know theyll go by quick, so I have to treasure them.
Well, a great week. This week will be pretty great too I know it.
So hows Chris doing? and Mason? and my amplifier? haha I dont know where it is I juat wanna keep track of it. To all the dudes: WRITE ME. I havent heard from one of you guys! Brandon, Dustin, Riley, Drew, Chris S., all of you guys, I wnat to know how youre doing!
Take care!!!!!
Much Love
JAmes