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 ├írea 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 ├írea.  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