Monday, May 27, 2013

5/27/2013


Ya its definitely still hot as fire. This week actually wasn't too bad though. It was like 105 more or less. But the problem is it never cools down! I woke up at 2 in the morning and it was 95 degrees in our kitchen. Thank goodness I have a huge fan blowing on me all night!! But ya I feel normal in the heat now. And the supermarket is super cold to me now, and it's like 80 degrees! My backpack is doing fine! We used to bike like 10 miles a day, more or less, but one night we were biking and my pedal broke off in the middle of riding, so we haven't biked in like 2 weeks. And I feel like I lose weight, then we go and eat at a member's house, and they won't let you stop eating for like 3 HUGE plates, then I feel fat!  I feel like I'll be the exact same at the end.

This Wednesday I got SUPER sick with an infection or something in my stomach. And we don't have any money for this month because my companion had to come from the farthest south part of the mission and hasn't been reimbursed yet, so I had to take money from my card from home for a shot and pills, but they will put the money back onto my mission card. I also had to buy a taxi to take people to church yesterday. There is a member every week who takes us the 30 miles to pick up investigators and bring them to church. But yesterday he wanted to sleep, so we had to pay. And, yes, here that is a legitimate excuse. Its ridiculous how lazy this branch is. They complain every week that they don't have a chapel. And that we don't have baptisms. But they don't realize, missionaries get people ready for baptism, but they won't get baptized if they don't feel welcome in the ward. And they do nothing to welcome anybody because they're lazy. And they never do home teaching or visiting teaching, so all the baptisms go inactive.  In total I took 400 pesos from my card. But my watch somehow flew off when we were in the back of a truck, so if you could put one in that envelope that would be cool!

So we have this one investigator, Rosario, and he was super promising. Had a baptismal date for 2 weeks from now, and was all ready to be baptized. But one night his wife lost 1500 pesos. And they couldn't find it anywhere. So we told him to have faith and that everything would be alright. Then we shared Matthew 17 where it says with little faith people can move mountains. He said the closing prayer and said that he just wanted to be alright, and if he didn't find the money that it was ok. Anyway we came back like 4 days later, and he had found the money, but he now thinks with faith he is literally as powerful as God... He told us that he has enough faith that he changed the rules for himself so that he doesn't have to go to church or pay tithing. And that he doesn't need the blessings from those things because he can get anything he wants with faith. And he wont believe us that it doesn't work like that because he has faith, so he can change the rules so it does work like that.. So we had to drop him this week. 

We had a baptism set for this Saturday with a kid named Wilber. He has a testimony and is all ready to go. But he doesn't have money, so he can't pay tithing. so we're giving him a job at the church this weekend so he can earn a couple dollars and pay tithing on that. So looks like it will have to wait until next week. In our mission we have super strict rules for baptism. They have to go to church 2 times on their own (we can't even call them to remind them), never have a problem with word of wisdom or law of chastity for a month, and have to fast, and pay tithing before baptism.

O I found out that up in the new mission it's 10 degrees hotter in Celsius, so like 20 degrees hotter in Fahrenheit. So now I kinda want to stay in Culican mission!

This week we had a goal for 100 street contacts. We only got 74, but we met a ton of new investigators that are really potential.

Love you guys! have a great week!
Love Elder Lund

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Visit from an Apostle


In one week with my new Mexican companion I learned more Spanish than all my time in the MTC and with Elder Goates. His name's Elder Lopez, he's from the D.F. en Mexico, and his family moved to Provo when he was in the mission. So I guess that's where he's going to go back to after he's done. He has 21 months out in the field. At the beginning of the week he would tell me a lot of stories, but I never understood anything! But now we can communicate basically normally. Pretty cool because now I can talk with real Mexicans! 
  He said he came on his mission without a testimony, and hadn't read the Book of Mormon. He just came because his girlfriend made him. But after a couple transfers he got a testimony of his own and started working hard. Then after a year in the mission his girlfriend got married. But he stayed out. Elder Goates was a super hard worker, but Elder Lopez KILLS him. He's our district leader, and is always working hard. President told me if he would have worked hard his whole mission he would have been AP for sure. But I'm glad he's not cause he's teaching me a ton.
  We got to go to Culiac├án on Friday for Elder Holland which was pretty cool. But seriously, it was super frustrating to not be able to see our investigators for 3 straight days. Plus today, because it's P-day. It was cool to shake his hand too. He said when he shakes the hands of missionaries he can look them in the eye and tell how they're doing, and he said our mission is the best he's seen in years, in terms of how the missionaries are feeling. Unfortunately that doesn't mean we're getting baptisms! 
  All Elder Holland talked about is keeping us active after our missions. He said how can we count on the flock to stay active if we can't count on the shepherds. I'll bring my notes with me next week. I got a TON of good quotes and stuff. haha He kept saying stupid, which is like the worst swear word here because he didn't know it was bad, haha it was super funny. And he kept saying that as missionaries we are apostles, and that the word Elder is significa of a special witness, and that the Quorum of the twelve uses that title because, besides president for the prophets, its the most important calling in the church. And that the only difference between him and missionaries is that he has keys we don't have, and that we give all day everyday to the work, he gets to go to Jazz games and stuff.
  He also talked a lot about Sister Monson. And how she never once complained about how her husband would drag her all over the world, and how he goes into hospitals to give a friend or family a blessing, then gets asked by basically the whole hospital for blessings, and forgets that she's out in the car waiting for 5 or 6 hours! He said he called him right when he heard, and that President Monson wouldn't talk about himself or accept his pity, and instead asked where he was going, and said "Tell the missionaries in Culiacan that I love them and wish I could be with them right now." Elder Holland said that President Monson would go to the hospital all the time and sit in the room when she was sick in a coma, and just talk with her, and cry with her and laugh with her, even though she didn't know he was there, and that he's super super bummed and we need to all pray for him to have strength to get through it. Kinda weird to think that he's a real person with real feelings huh.
  The last thing he talked about is his typical missionary talk about why this is so hard, not just the mission but living as a strong member of this church. And he said that "Any joy or freedom that we feel from the church had to go through Gethsamane and the cross on Calvary to get to us." Those occasions weren't easy for Jesus, so why should we think in turn that this would be easy for us to live the gospel, to stay in the church, and to keep a family in the church. And that we owe it to Christ to at least bring him one convert, so he doesn't have to worry about us. And that we don't have the right to damage the image of the church for his grandchildren by not living the gospel in all things. And forever we will have the title "Returned Missionary" We can't get away from that.

  I swear down here you're just sick all the time.. You kind of learn to love it! Last night was the first night I've gotten more than 5 hours of sleep since Thursday, and I feel like I'm running out of energy, but a talk by Henry B Eyring keeps jumping in my head. He reads the last 2 verses D&C 107, where it says we have to work in all diligence, never being lazy or slothful. And that when his body begs for rest he gives himself this rallying cry "Remember Him" he says "Christ showed us a powerful example in what he did in his 3 days in the spirit world before his resurrection" His work here was complete but he was determined to keep going. He said "this is something I consider whenever I feel I have done some hard task in his service" It's crazy how hard this work is, And I definitely have asked for an easier way, but its nice to remember that I'm not the first person to ask that, Christ did a long time ago. And for him there wasn't an easier way, so for us there can't be an easy way either. I find that when Im tired, or our investigators frustrate us, or we feel like giving up, when we remember him and push onward, we receive the most blessings, and are able to bless the lives of our investigators the most. It says in DyC that if we put on the whole armor of God we will be protected from those fiery darts of the adversary. I picture that like a bulletproof vest. When you get shot with a vest on it hurts like heck, but you don't die. Thats how it is with the Gospel, when we are wearing the the full armor of god, those fiery darts from satan can hurt us, can push us to our limits, but they can not break us. Thats a promise from the lord. 

This week was great! loved every part of it!

Hope everythings going well at home! Tell Mommer thanks for her letter!
Love Elder Lund

Monday, May 6, 2013

Exciting Times in Mexico




So, this week was the most frustrating week ever because we had the lider de misional (I don't know the word in English.. Ward mission guy) scheduled to work with us every day. But in the mornings he would always bail! So we had to work with no plans, and walk for HOURS to get to the pueblos he was supposed to take us to. So we felt like we weren't accomplishing anything. But the Lord blesses us if we work hard. And we worked HARD. So we didn't get down or let ourselves be mad, we just worked and did the best we could. And when we got our numbers for the week it was one of our best weeks. I don't know how, but it was amazing! 

I wasn't going to tell you this story because I didn't want you to worry but it ended up being pretty cool so ill tell you anyway!

We have an investigator named Norma. She lives with 7 kids in a tiny house with no water or electricity. They also have her daughter in law, Marie Cruz. who's like 25, living with her. So Norma is really interested and would be baptized if she would attend church. But Marie Cruz is dating a drug lord (I'm not kidding) and she is addicted to cocaine and meth. I really felt like we needed to teach Marie Cruz, like a super strong feeling. But It was weird because I felt like we needed to wait a little bit because she wasn't ready yet. So we kind of forgot about her for about a month and just taught Norma. Anyway on Friday night there was a shooting at a gas station like 4 blocks away from our house and 3 people were killed. (That's what I didn't want to tell you) I was super excited because thats the first crazy thing I've heard of happening since I've been here. Last night we went and visited Norma because she has had crazy work this last week and couldn't attend church. She works all day picking tomatoes, and only gets 5 hours off until she has to go back the next day. So we visited her and she told us that one of the guys that was killed was the boyfriend of Marie Cruz! And that she decided she wanted to stop doing drugs, change her life, and talk to us!! HOW CRAZY!!! It's so awesome how God prepares people. Even when drug lords kill other drug lords here it's God preparing his children! Coolest thing ever. That's how protected we are down here, too. When something crazy happens it's because God's giving us something to work with.

We also have an investigator who speaks English, which is awesome for me! He is 13, and his whole family are investigators, but they were gone for this lesson. We taught him the plan de salvacion and he said he felt good and peace. And we told him it was the spirit. He kinda was like cool, whatever, when we told him. But later in the lesson he said he'd been praying for more than a year for God to send him a sign, or a direction to take his life. And he hadn't connected the dots yet. So I told him, do you think maybe us being here is the sign from God? And he started crying and said he couldn't deny the church was true. That was awesome too.

This week was great! I´m honestly loving Mexico. Everything about it is awesome! Even the 110 degree heat!

Love Elder Lund