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!