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