Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Blessings from heaven are raining down! (and literal rain as well)

Hey!  So this week was so great!  There were so many things that happened this week, It's crazy!  First of all, it's starting to rain a lot.  It has been raining every single day for a while now.  We haven't had any super crazy downpours, like my first week here, but we do get wet...

But yeah, this week we finally found people to teach!  It's been crazy, we've been working a ton trying to contact and find new people to teach for the entire change, and it hasn't been working out.  But this week we've been blessed with a ton of new people to teach!!  I couldn't believe it!  It really made me realize the hand of God in this missionary work.  We found so many people who were so prepared to listen to the gospel message!  

We had divisions with the zone leaders on Thursday and we contacted a ton!  I went with Elder Weaver, who was my district leader before in Miahuatlan and now is my zone leader.  We found a good amount of people to teach, and had a good time as well.  He is a good friend in the mission.

That day Elder Rullan and my other zone leader found someone awesome!  His name is Hector, and he is 19.  He has a girlfriend who is leaving on her mission this month!  For that reason he is really interested in learning about the church.  We found him this week and he went to church on Sunday.  He has a ton of potential!  We are super pleased to have the opportunity to teach someone prepared by the lord.
We have an investigator named Elodia.  She has been taking lessons from the missionaries for a long time, but she has been really stubborn about getting baptized.  Her mom is catholic, so she's had a hard time adjusting from her catholic background and having the courage to say yes to baptism.  Last Monday we had a lesson with her, and everything changed!  She accepted baptism.  We are so happy, and we know that the Lord truly softened her heart.

So yeah, we've received many blessings this week.  I know that the Lord truly does bless us when we strive our hardest to do his work.  They don't usually come right away, we need to have patience, but we can have the faith that he will always support us and guide us.  I know that the lord has a plan for each and every one of us, and even if things don't look so great right now, everything will turn out in the end.

Now I have a story, and it's really funny.  The other day we were leaving a lesson, and it started to rain.  We took out our umbrellas and started walking home, when a man came up to my companion, grabbed the hand that was holding the umbrella, and started walking with him under the umbrella.  We didn't know him.  We think he might have been drunk.  We asked him where he was going and he said he just wanted to go with us.  Ok then.  So we went to a dead end and the member that was with us told him to knock on some doors to see if anybody there knew who he was.  He started knocking, and we casually started walking away, and when we got to the corner, we ran as fast as we could.  It was so weird!  But that's one of the reasons that I love my mission, there are a ton of weird experiences like this one!

That’s a little bit about this week.  Thanks for all your prayers and letters!  I love you all!  

Elder Lindsay

Monday, May 30, 2016

This place stinks, but it's awesome!

So this area is stinkin hard.  Just for you all to know.  You know how everyone says that going on a mission in Mexico is so wonderful because everyone opens the doors and you can baptize like 100 people and stuff like that?  It's a little bit different here.  The people are just plain uninterested.  It's okay, I know that I'm in this area for a reason, there are people here who are being prepared to receive the gospel, and I need to find them.  But for now, we're struggling a bit.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love it here.  The members are so kind, maybe a little too kind!  They give us so much food.  I'm always stuffed.  It’s great!  Also it's really beautiful, even though it’s the city.  There are flowery trees planted on the side of the road and we have mountains as part of our area.  
So right now we basically don't have any investigators.  We have a couple of eternal investigators who have done everything but they just don't want to get baptized, but that is about it.  We are contacting a ton but it isn't working so well.  But it's ok!  I know that I'm here for a reason, I just need to find it!
The mangos here are so good!  I've never had mangos so good in my life.  Apparently it is "Mango Season" here.  Why don't we have that in Utah?  I'm loving it.  The food here in the city in general is super good.  I'm really enjoying that aspect of the area.
My companion is a weird but awesome guy.  He is kind of serious.  He does Tai Kwan Do.  It’s pretty awesome.

This week I have had moments of frustration and impatience.  There were so many difficult circumstances that I really had no power to change.  But as I pondered and thought about it, I don't need to be discouraged.  As I read the scriptures I found the comfort that I needed:

Blessed art thou, Alma; therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God from the time which thou receivest thy first message from him. Behold, I am he that delivered it unto you.

And behold, I am sent to command thee that thou return to the city of Ammonihah, and preach again unto the people of the city; yea, preach unto them. Yea, say unto them, except they repent the Lord God will destroy them.
Alma 8:15-16

Now, seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?
Alma 29:6

Even though many times I feel inadequate and imperfect, I can say with confidence that I am keeping the commandments that have been given to me.  Like Alma I can rejoice and return to the city and preach the gospel again.  I should be happy with the calling that I have received, and not wish to change the circumstances that are before me.  The only thing I need to decide is how I react to the circumstances here.
I have faith that God will never give us a commandment that we are not able to complete.  I testify that he helps us in our trials if we will but open our hearts and come unto him.  
I love you all and I'm thankful for your support and your letters.  Have a wonderful week!
Love, Elder Lindsay

1. The family that we share a house with.  They are super fun!  It was the mom's birthday this Tuesday so we ate cake.
2.  My companion and I eating tacos in a park.  :)
3.  This is part of our area!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Huh, i'm not in Miahuatlan anymore.

Hello!  So I don't have a lot of time to write and I have so much to talk about, but oh well...  I'll write what I can!  This week was so very different!  My area is totally different than Miahuatlan, It's like a different country!  I came from a tiny town in the middle of nowhere and nowI'm in the middle of a big city, which happens to be the richest area here.  I love the area so far, the ward is great and it is so beautiful here!  It is definitely difficult, it is really hard to have lessons here.  People aren't that interested.  But it's fine, such is the mission life!

So on Tuesday it rained SUPER hard!!  It was crazy, the streets were basically rivers!  There were literally logs floating down the street.  It was cool, but we got completely soaked.  The water was almost up to our knees as we trudged down the street!

On Friday we helped a member in the ward next to our ward move her store.  We gathered together as the Elders of the district and carried big fridges and racks.  It was great, I really like to give service as a missionary.

We live in an apartment above the house of some members, and they are really nice!  They are always inviting us to dinner and to drink hot chocolate in the nights.  It is really fun to have members so close.  They are super fun.

I wish I could write more, but I'm out of time!  I love you all!  Have a great week!

Elder Lindsay

Thursday, May 19, 2016

New Area!

So yeah, I'm sorry, I don't have a lot of time to write today, and I have a ton to say, but oh well, such is the mission life. 

So yeah, transfers were today and I left Miahuatlan for the city of Oaxaca!  It is so different here!  In miahuatlan it was so old school.  Here it is really modernized.  My área is one of the richest parts of Oaxaca.  Its really pretty here, I'm right by the mountains and there are a lot of trees here.  I missed trees so much!  Miahuatlan doesn't really have many trees.  But yeah, I just got here today, so I don't know a lot.  We'll see how it goes!

We live in an appartment that is part of the house of some members, named the family perez, they are really awesome!  They already invited us to eat there haha.  It will be fun to be so close to members!  They seem like great people.
My new companion seems really cool!  He is a newer missionary, he only has 3 months here, but he seems to know his stuff.  He is really motivated to work hard here, I'm really glad to have someone who will push me to do my best.  I think we are going to make a great team!
It was sad to leave Miahuatlan, but I'm glad for this opportunity to start fresh with a new área.  I have high hopes for my time here.  I love the mission and I know that the church is true! 
Love you all!
Elder Lindsay

Monday, May 2, 2016

Its starting to get hot!!

So I don't know if you guys knew, but it gets hot here in mexico.  We walked a ton this week and now that summer is approaching, the weather is brutal.  But oh well!  I'll survive.  

This week was a pretty difficult week.  Once again a ton of our appointments are falling through.  We went to a ton of houses and we didn't find hardly anyone!  It was sometimes very frustrating.  To make things worse, we found out that our investigator Genaro who recieved an answer to the book of mormon went back to the university, so he moved away to Oaxaca.  He was progressing more than any of our investigators!  And finally, even though we are working our very hardest, our investigators who were progressing very well just a week ago are starting to lose interest.  It's kind of a disaster at the moment.
But not everything is so bad!  Yesterday we found 2 new investigators (a middle aged couple) who are really interested!  It turns out that they have 3 sons who are members of the church!  When they told us, we were super pleased!  We've only had 1 lesson with them, so we'll see how it goes.  But I have high hopes.

Also, we dug a grave this week.  For a dog.  It was fun.  We were knocking doors and the Father of a part member family told us to come over.  He seemed pretty sad, because his favorite dog had died.  He had started digging a hole, and we offered to help him dig the grave.  Its harder work than I thought.  But I was glad to offer service and help someone out in a hard time.

Speaking of giving service, on Friday when we were eating at a member's home, sister norma told me that the young woman were expecting me to play piano for them that night for new beginnings.  Oh.  Thanks for the heads up.  Turns out they had chosen 2 fairly difficult piano pieces for the program.  When I arrived to practice a bit, they only had one of the piano scores.  They gave me the other 5 minutes before the program started.  So yeah, I struggled a bit.  But hey, I did what I could.  It turned out better than I thought it would.  Yeah, I don't think they understand the concept of practice here in Oaxaca.  But oh well, I was glad to use my talent in music to serve others, even though I'm not the very best.

This week we found a young mother who seemed fairly interested in our message.  We walked it and started talking with her and everything was going well.  But everything changed when we mentioned the Doctrine of Jesus Christ.  Turns out she is very anti church.  She believes all the churches on the earth today are evil.  She has a very... interesting concept of the bible.  She says we should all be perfect.  She believes that the only purpose Jesus Christ had is to show us that in reality it is possible to be perfect.  But she believes that we have to do it ourselves.  Basically we weren't able to get a word in.  She bashed on our church and us personally, relentlessly.  It was a pretty rough lesson.  In the end Elder Velazquez was so worked up that he couldn't talk.  So I interrupted her and told her that when she wanted to actually listen to our message, we would be happy to return.  And then we said a prayer and left.  Even though it was a rough lesson, I felt a peace afterwards.  I knew that I did all that I could to bring her the truth.  She had excersized her agency to reject us.  I felt sad for her.  But such is the mission I suppose.

Well, this week was a little rocky.  But I'm trying.  I know that the Lord supports us and gives us peace even when life is hard.  I learned that sometimes we just need to be grateful, and everything feels a little better.  I know that this church is true.  I am thankful to have this testimony, and that even when attacked, it stands firm.

I love you all!  Have a great week!

Elder Lindsay

Monday, April 25, 2016

A week in the life of Miahutilan

Hello!  So this week we had a pretty good week.  We didn't have a ton of lessons, but we found a good amount of people and the investigators we have are really starting to progress.  It's exciting.  Even though it is going slow, we are having more and more success every day and have a good amount of people who have a lot of potential for baptism.  Its sad to think that I won't be able to attend any of their baptisms, because I'm almost positive that this is my last transfer here in Miahuatlan.  But the important thing is that they are progressing and they're recieving the blessings of the gospel.

We found an investigator last week who is really awesome.  His name is Genardo and he's a young man of about 22 years.  He had an accident about a month ago and broke his knee.  When we found him, he still couldn't walk, and we taught him beside his bed.  He is very humble and really willing to learn about the church.  We gave him a book of mormon, and he's been reading it.  The last lesson we had with him we asked him if he had prayed it the book is true, and he said yes.  He said that he recieved an answer that it is true!!  We are very excited for him, and he is excited about the church as well.

This week I had an awesome experience while contacting.  We were knocking on doors all the morning without much success.  It was really hot, so we decided to go to one of the little shops to buy a drink.  I don't usually contact the store owners, but this time I felt prompted to contact them.  We started talking to them about the gospel, and we found that they were very interested.  They happily let us in to share our message.  Their names are Juan, Rosita, and Bartolo., and we visited them 3 times in this week alone, and they are hungry to find more.  They read the entire pamphlet of the restauration, and asked for the next pamphlet on our second visit.  They truely were prepared to recieve the gospel.  I am so thankful to have been made into an instrument in the lord's hands to help find and teach these people.  It makes me think, what would have happened if I didn't contact them, if i couldn't recognize the spiritual prompting?  The experience really humbled me.  As a missionary, I should talk to everybody, because who knows who is being prepared to recieve the gospel?  I want to do my best to give as many people as possible the opportunity to recieve this message.

We found another family that is very interested in the last couple of weeks.  We are teaching the married couple right now, and their names are Marta and Severiano.  (something like that.  I don't know how to spell it.)  They let us in without having to explain anything more than "we are missionaries."  There aren't very many people like that, haha...  They are fairly interested and are progressing well at the moment.  We had an awesome moment with them in our last lesson.  Marta has a little restaurant in her home.  As we were teaching them, a soda vender came to the door.  Marta placed her orders for the soda for the restaruant, and afterwards asked "When are you going to take Bible lessons from these missionaries?"  He said "I'm catholic."  "It doesn't matter!  Do you know what days we are in?"  She asked.  He said no.  "We are in the days of the beast!  We need to prepare for the end of the world!  Did you know that?"  Once again he said no.  "Well, sir, you need to study the bible more."  Then she invited him to church, our church!  She hadn't even been to church yet, and she was willing to invite someone to church!  It was hilarious!  The poor man looked really scared.  But yeah, our investagators are awesome.  :)

Well, thats just a couple of the stories that happened this week.  It was a very successful week overall.  I am so glad to be here in the mission, and for the opportunity to have a bunch of cool experiences like these. 

I love you all!  Until next week!

Monday, April 18, 2016

6 months!!! :D

I've been here in the mission for 6 months now!!  Its crazy how fast the time goes, I'm already 1/4 done with my mission!  As I reflected over the time I've had, I realized how much I have learned in such a short time period.  The mission is really hard and I've had plenty of trials, but the experiences and the lessons I've had were so amazing.  I'm excited to keep moving forward, and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to serve for another 18 months!

So yeah, the beginning of this week was fairly normal, we're working really hard to help our investigators improve and progress, but it's kind of a struggle.  We haven't had any investigators in church for 2 weeks in a row now...  It's frustrating, because we are working really hard and doing our best, but they just don't seem to have a desire to really do their part.  Although its really sad for me and frustrating, I know that we have done everything we could to help them, and that they have their own agency.

This weekend was kind of a disaster...  On Saturday we only had 1 lesson all day.  It was terrible.  We probably went to the houses of 15 investigators, and all of them were "busy."  Sometimes I just want to shake them and say "this message is more important that whatever else you are doing now.  You're going to sit down and we are going to teach and you're going to be happy."  But ya know, I can't do that.

We had a nasty experience with our former investigator Nataly.  We returned to teach her another time this transfer with Elder Velazquez and it appeared that she was really ready to recieve the message this time and progress to baptism.  But it came to our attention that she has been lying to us.  When we went to her house on Saturday, we were about to teach her a lesson when someone knocked on the door.  She came back and said that we needed to leave.  When we were leaving, we saw that there was a scruffy looking teenager at the door.  He looked mean.  I offered him my hand for a handshake, and he slapped my hand away.  When Elder Velazquez told him have a nice day, he told us to get out of the house and other nasty things.  Turns out that he is her boyfriend.  I don't think we'll be going back with Nataly for a while.  

And then on Sunday... I was sick.  It stuck, I wanted to work really hard to make up for only having 1 lesson on Saturday, but I couldn't.  I had to rest for a bit at the house.  And then we went out again, even though I still felt sick.  Luckily we were able to have some good lessons, but it was a rough weekend overall.  Thankfully I woke up this morning better from my sickness.

Sometimes it is so hard to keep going forward.  Some days are just plain crazy.  But the good thing is that these times will never last.  I was so tired and frustrated, but I wasn't discouraged.  I was able to remember that these trials would only last for a small moment.  I remembered Jesus Christ and the many things he suffered.  He suffered infinitely more than I have suffered.  And because he loves me, he provided a way for these trials to just be for a small moment.  I was able to wake up today feeling good and hopeful, and I am so very thankful for the opportunity to start this week fresh.

Thats all I've got for this week, I love you all!

Elder Lindsay

Monday, April 4, 2016

Habanero peppers, General Conference, and a new companion!

Hello!  So this week was really crazy actually.  We didn't have a lot of time to go out and teach because of general conference and other crazy stuff.  But still, it was a good week!  

So this week I had a really cool spiritual experience with personal revelation in one of my personal studies.  I was feeling a little down on myself for various reasons the days before, and I prayed to heavenly father to know what I should study and what I needed to know in that moment.  I felt prompted to study preach my gospel, and I opened up to the Christlike attribute page where it talked about hope.  I read the passage, and it really stood out to me.  I realized that Satan was trying his best to distiguish my hope.  He wanted me to think that I could never improve as a missionary, and that I would always be stuck how I am.  I realized that my progress was slow because I didn't have the hope in Jesus Christ and his atonement like I need to have.  I was so thankful to heavenly father for guiding me exactly where I needed to go.  I was also inspired in general conference as I heard many speakers talk about hope and related subjects.  (Like Elder Holland!  That talk was just what I needed.)

Speaking of General conference, we went to Ocotlan to watch conference, because they were watching it in english there, and I wanted to get as much out of conference as possible.  (I knew I would miss a lot if I watched it in spanish.)  We went to Ocotlan on Friday and stayed there until Sunday afternoon.  It was really great to be able to watch it in English, and it was also fun to see it with my friends Elder Weaver and Elder Merrill.  Elder Silvestre had the idea to eat habanero peppers together, and I reluctantly participated.  It was really really hot!!  We all suffered.  I got a bit in my eye, and that hurt, but it distracted me from the spiciness, so it was all good.  Thats why my eye looks the way it does in the picture below.  But it was also fun, in a painful kind of way, ha...

General conference was really, really good!  I really liked how so many people talked about how this gospel changes people, and that we are all children of heavenly father.  I think that often times we get so caught up in what we have to do and other parts of church life that we forget this wonderful idea.  We are literally children of a God, and he loves us so very much.  We will all someday live in a kingdom of glory, and If we live well, we will be able to live with our heavenly father and our families for forever.  If we fall, we can always get back up.  He wants to save us and restore us.  I'm going to try to slow down a little more and try to keep this eternal perspective.

So today was the start of a new transfer and I got a new companion!  His name is Elder Valazquez, and he's from northern mexico.  I've only been with him for a bit, but I'll let you know more about him later!  I'm still here in Miahuatlan (by the end of this transfer I'll have 6 months here...) but it's fine!  There is still a lot to do here!  I'm excited to learn how to work with a new companion and I hope that we will be able to do our very best together.

Thats all I've got for this week!  Adios!

Monday, March 28, 2016

The one and only "Semana Santa" ("Holy week" for all you english speakers)

Hola!  So, in the United States we have Easter, right?  Just Easter.  Nothing else.  But here in Mexico, they celebrate for an entire week.  They call it the holy week.  And yeah, it's cool.  They remember the last week of Christ's life, including his death, time in the tomb, and resurrection.  But they have a bunch of weird traditions that don't really fit with the whole Jesus theme.  For example, on Saturday they all throw water at each other.  I don't get it... but, its good, I guess!

The bad thing about Semana Santa is that it is very hard to do missionary work in this week.  Everyone is on vacations or celebrating, so there aren't a lot of people at home.  We knocked on a ton of doors this week, and didn't find many people at all...  So it was kind of a rough week.  Its frustrating to not have anything to do.  But this week should be a better week for missionary work.  Cross your fingers for me!

So while I remember, I'm going to write some of my funny mistakes with spanish, for your enjoyment.  One time Elder Silvestre wanted to cut his hair, and one of the members here has a barber shop.  So he asked me to call her to ask if she would cut his hair.  So I called and said, "Elder Silvestre wants to know if you will cut his horse."  So yeah, that was embarrassing.  Another time we were doing practices in the house for our companionship study and I was being the investigator.  I took the role of a drinker.  And I proceeded to explain that I have an addiction to cherries.  I meant to say beers.  But ya know, I'm trying my best, and I'm glad I have mistakes like this every once in a while.  They're funny, haha.

For easter, I bought myself some Kinder Eggs.  :)  And then I hard boiled some real eggs and we colored them with crayons.  It was simple, but fun, and overall it turned out to be a good easter.

But the real joy of Easter is knowing that we have a Savior, who lived again after 3 days in the tomb.  Because of him, we can always have hope in our lives.  Any weakness, sin, or problem can be healed because of him.  I know that he lives and that he loves each and every one of you with a perfect love.

Thats all for this week!  Have a great day!   -Elder Lindsay

Friday, March 25, 2016

Ha! I can speak Spanish in my sleep!

Hello!  This week went well!  The beginning was a little hard because we walked a ton and almost nobody was there for our appointments.  We are a little frustrated because our investigators aren't progressing as much as before.  We are finding people to listen to us, but very few are sincere and are acting upon their commitments.  The investigators who are acting often have problems that prevent them from coming to church, so for the moment they can't progress towards baptism.  But we are still trying hard to find new people to teach and to help our current investigators progress.

So according to Elder Silvestre, I talk in my sleep.  When I first arrived he said that I talk in english in my sleep.  But this week he said that I've been talking in spanish in my sleep..!  Thats super weird to me.  When I get home, I very well could forget how to speak english!  Haha, just kidding, I'm good with english.  I think.  He says that my pronunciation is better in my sleep than when I'm awake.  So I guess I just need to sleep in my lessons and everyone will understand me!!  Ha...

So in case you were wondering, they don't celebrate St. Patrick's day here.  It surprised me, cause they seem to celebrate every little thing here!  But don't worry, I still wore green.

The members here are really cool, I enjoy spending time with them.  They love to celebrate and have fun, like pretty much everyone here.  They are also really nice to us missionaries and help us out when we have a need. 

Today for P-day we climbed a really big hill in the outskirts of Miahuatlan!  It was hard, the trail was really hard to find so we often lost our way and had to climb over all sorts of cacti and stuff like that.  It was painful.  But it was really cool when we made it to the top!  We could see in all directions.  We took some pretty cool pictures on some rocks on the hill.

So yeah, I'm enjoying my time here on the mission.  It is hard, but very much worth it.  Thats all I have for this week, Adios!!

Elder Lindsay

Thursday, March 17, 2016

I've been here for 5 months now! I'm pretty much an expert! (ha... just kidding)

Hello!  So to be honest, this week was pretty normal, not a lot happened out of the ordinary.  We really focused on finding new people to teach this week, because we have been falling short of investigators a bit.  So we knocked a whole bunch of doors, and we found a good amount of people to teach!  Some of them don't really seem that interested, but we found 3 or 4 people who have a lot of potential!  So yeah, we have a lot of people to teach again!

I really felt the spirit guide me this week in finding people and teaching lessons.  Lots of times it is through small and subtle things, but I know that I couldn't do it without his help.  I really enjoy being here in the mission.

I know that when we have the spirit with us, we can do all things.  Life is so much easier when we have his support and help.  When we are living in the way that he would have us live we will always be guided towards the light.  

I really enjoy teaching my class of music to the branch here.  They are so thankful, and I realize how precious my gift in music is.  God has given each of us talents and gifts.  As we share them, we realize how special they really are, and in turn, we realize how blessed we are.  We are here on this earth to have joy, so why not share your gifts and receive this joy?  

That's all I have for this week, I love you all and I hope you are all doing well.

Elder Lindsay

The Bugs here in Oaxaca are a little different than in Utah!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

So, The Gospel is pretty Great!

So yeah, this week was pretty basic!  We had lessons, looked for new investigators, the usual.  Now that the baptism of Ema is over, we don't have any baptisms that are coming up real soon.  So we're doing our best to help our investigators progress towards baptism.  Osbaldo is doing alright, he is having some doubts about the gospel and he says he wants to study more and learn more before he is baptized, even though we taught him all the lessons and he says he doesn't have any doubts or anything.  He didn't come to church yesterday, so we're a little nervous.  We are praying for him a lot and hoping that he receives an answer from heaven that this is the place that he should be in.

The family that we found a while back who is going through a hard time is progressing, but it is hard for them to get to church right now, because their daughter is recovering still and needs to stay in her bed, and she needs somebody with her at all times.  We are hoping that everything goes well with her and her entire family, and we hope when the circumstances calm down a little more they will continue to investigate and progress in the gospel.  We had the opportunity to give their daughter a priesthood blessing the other day, and it was a really cool experience.  I could tell the faith of the family was very strong, even though they were just introduced to the gospel a couple weeks back.  I am thankful for the priesthood power on the earth today, and I am really thankful for the opportunity to teach a family that was truly prepared and ready to receive this gospel. 

This week we had divisions again, and I went with our district leader for a day.  His name is Elder Weaver, and he's really cool.  I learned a lot from him, and had a great time speaking English with somebody for a day, haha...  And we made an Oreo shake too.  So that was pretty exciting.

Random mexico thing:  This week there was a holiday where they celebrated the samaritan who Jesus taught at the well from the Bible.  They have a holiday for everything here.  Basically it's a day where you can get free water.  ¡Si!  ¡Agua gratis!  ¡Estoy emocionado!!!  So yeah, that's random.

We found a new investigator named Tino a couple weeks back.  He is the cousin of one of the members here in the branch, and he is a drunk.  He said he has been drinking for about 20 years and can't seem to stop.  When we found him, he seemed to have lost all hope.  He said that he is lost.  We taught him about the gospel and the power that it has to help us through all sorts of problems, no matter how big.  We testified of the holy spirit, and did everything we could to help him.  As we taught him over the next couple days, we could tell that we was not making any progress.  We as well lost hope that he would progress.  But the other day we came across him in the street, and he looked like a completely different person.  His hair was combed and he wore clean clothes and everything.  We were super surprised.  We taught him a lesson, and he was hopeful.  He said that he had been reading the Book of Mormon, and that he isn't going to drink anymore.  He promised that he will go to church next week, and the spirit was really strong.

I was very humbled by this experience.  I realized that this missionary work isn't just us teaching lessons to people.  The lord is also working, and he never rests.  I should have had more faith in what he does, because he is the one who changes and converts the people.  I realized that Tino recieved the miraculous help of the Lord.  It truly was a miracle.  I don't have to do much as a missionary, I'm just the messenger.  The lord is the one who converts the people and works the miracles necessary to help the people.  It reminded me of a scripture that I like a lot:

D&C 123:7
Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

I know that this church is true and that the gospel truly can change lives.  I have high hopes for Tino, for I know that with the help of the Lord, he can do all things.

That's all for this week, I love you all!

Elder Lindsay

Monday, February 29, 2016

Wherever there is water, we baptize!!

Hello friends and family!  So this week was really awesome, for the first couple of days or so everything was pretty normal.  We taught lessons, contacted, the usual.  Its pretty great, I enjoy the "normal" missionary life.  Every day I have the opportunity to teach and serve.  It's pretty much the greatest, despite the trials and difficulties that pop up every now and then.  

So this Saturday we had 2 baptisms!  The first was an 8 year old who lives in Ejutla named S.  Her dad isn't around, so I had the opportunity to baptize her.  It was my first every baptism!  Originaly we were going to go down to a river or something to baptize her, but it was really cold that day.*  So they decided that I would baptize her in her front yard, in a little well for washing clothes.  It was tiny!  If she wasn't so small, I wouldn't be able to get her under the water.  But it turned out fine, and it was a great experience.  She came out of the water laughing, and I could tell it was a good experience for her.

The second baptism was our investigator E!  It was so great!  I am so glad she got baptized!  She is an amazing person, and has such a pure spirit.  She decided before that she wanted to be baptized in the river, so we all headed up there in the afternoon.  It is such a cool place!!  I was really glad when she decided to be baptized there, haha.  I had the opportunity to baptize her, and it was a great experience.  The water actually was really cold, but it was awesome!  She looked so happy afterwards!  

It is such a great feeling to help people come unto christ through baptism!  I really do love it.  I can see how happy they are, and how happy they can become if they continue on in the church!  I know that this church is true, and I am so proud to be a missionary.

So here in Miahuatlan there aren't a lot of people who have experience with music.  So even though I can't play all of the hymns on piano right now, I volunteered to be the pianist in sacrament meeting.  There are times when I can only play with one hand, but I'm glad to contribute to the branch!  I guess the members here were pretty excited to have a pianist, so the wife of the branch president asked if I would teach a music class.  I accepted, and I taught the first class yesterday.  It was really cool to share my talent with them!  I think that many times we think that we aren't good enough to share our talents, but I see now that this is never true.  This experience reminded me of the parable of the talents.  The man who recieved 1 talent was expected to share it and increase it, just as the man who recieved 5 talents.  We should do everything we can to use our talents to bless others, even if we are embarassed or think that we aren't good enough.  

Welp, thats all for this week.  Adios!!

Elder Lindsay

*Note:  When mexicans say that it is "really cold," its like 55 degrees.  So they have their big coats and everything and I'm doing fine in my short sleeved shirt.  A while back I was sick, and they all said that I was sick because I never wear a sweater.  Nope.  Thats not how it works.  So yeah, basically the temperature is fine here.  :)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Visit from the Mission President

On the way to Huatulco, we passed through Miahutlan to give Elder Silvestre and Elder Lindsay a blender for their house. The family providing them dinner invited us to eat with them as well. We very much appreciate those who care for our missionaries. (Feb. 26, 2016)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Oaxaca's a pretty sweet place

Hello!  So this week was pretty good, we had some rough moments in the beginning, but everything is good now.  It's still really hard to live with someone so different from me.  Elder Silvestre is a great guy, but he and I have very different beliefs, habits, strengths, weaknesses, and so on.  I'm a little more quiet, and I don't have as much iniciative as some people.  This really bothers Elder Silvestre, even though I'm trying my best to get out of my comfort zone to be a good missionary.  Change takes time, so I'm improving little by little.  We talked things over, and things are better now.  It's hard to have a companion who is difficult to get along with, especially when you're with him for 3 transfers, (18 weeks) but I'm learning a lot from my experiences with him.

So we have a really awesome investigator who we have been teaching for about a month now.  His name is O.  He is a great guy, he's 27 and he is a teacher here in Miahuatlan.  He is somewhat shy, but very sincere and willing to do what we tell him to do.  (that is very rare here, usually the people say they are going to do something and then they never do it.)  He is reading the book of mormon, and he said that he recieved an answer that it is true!  He constantly wants to know more, and he asks a lot of questions, which is awesome.  We set his baptism for the 26th of march and we're working hard to prepare him for that day.  He has a small problem with alcohol, but he seems willing to change.  He also is interested in learning english, so we often stay at his house a little longer after lessons and I teach him a bit of English!  I'm so happy for the opportunity to teach him and help him find the happiness that the gospel brings.

We had to drop our investigator N...  I was super sad about that, because she was progressing so well and everything.  She wasn't making the changes in her life that are required for baptism.  Elder Silvestre made the final decision, and even though I wanted to continue teaching her to help her change, he wouldn't budge.  It's really sad, but I still believe in her.  Her progress record is in our area book, and after a time maybe other missionaries will have the opportunity to teach her.  Maybe then she will be ready to make the required changes in her life.

But the baptism of E is going to be this Saturday!  I am so excited for her!  She is an amazing person.  I am also happy for her son, L, who is 6 years old.  He is super cute, and because his mother now has the gospel, he will also have the opportunity to have the gospel in his life.  This missionary work really is amazing, I am so happy to be here helping people recieve these wonderful blessings.

Yesterday for P-day we had a multi-zone activity!  It was great, our district went up to Oaxaca on Sunday night to sleep there in the mission offices.  Then in the morning when everyone arrived we headed to "Àrbol del Tule," a really big tree that is more than 2000 years old!  It was pretty cool, and yes, it was really big.  Then we went to the ruins of Mitla.  They were awesome!  They are the ruins of the Zapotec people that lived here in Oaxaca before the spanish came.  It was way cool, and I am really glad I got to go!  It was fun to be with mission friends and make new mission friends.  We don't have a lot of opportunities as missionaries to just have fun, so it was very much needed.

Yesterday in the night we found a new family to teach, and we had a very spiritual lesson.  They are going through an extremely hard time, their daughter is in the hospital, their son started drinking, and a loved one reciently died.  When we knocked on their door, they were super ready to let us in, to listen to the word of God.  I felt the spirit guide me in that lesson so much.  I said things in spanish that I didn't know that I knew.  Elder Silvestre and I worked extremely well together as a companionship.  My favorite part of the lesson is when we gave them the book of mormon.  I was testifying of the book of mormon, and I said something like this. "I testify of this book.  I know that this book is your answer.  It can change your lives.  I came all the way from the United States to bring this book to you, because I know that it can help you more than anything else."  After testifying of the book, the Grandma looked up at me, and said thank you in such a sweet and sincere manner.  I felt the spirit so strong, because I knew that my words were given to me by the holy ghost, and that their hearts were open to recieve the holy spirit's testimony.  I knew that they would read the book of mormon.

Welp, thats my life in the mission this week.  It really is amazing to be here.  I love you all!

Elder Lindsay