"sabe bautizar? porque si no le corrijo" -Obispo Fuentes
WE BAPTIZED ON CHRISTMAS!!!!
Let me tell you this crazy story. We had a baptism planned for the 25th for like two weeks. We did the interview on Saturday and everything is ready. We show up early to church on Sunday to fill up the font. We get it on and everything ready and then 30 minutes before church when were about to go pick up our investigatior she calls. I answer the phone and shes says "my daughter has a fever so we can't come to church today and also I'm not going to be baptized today." I was like well just rip my heart out and tear it to pieces why don't you, I was didn't know what to do so I just gave the phone to my companion. I told him what happened and he as well could not convince her. We just were like "adios bautismo". We waited a bit and then Elder Sanchez had an idea. He called her again and asked her "what if we do have the baptism at 7 tonight?"...and she said yes. We waited all day and then we baptized her last night at 7. It was wonderful. This is a white Christmas in the mission.
I don't have a whole lot to say because I told everything to my parents yesterday when we talked on skype, There is one thing that I want to tell everyone. This Christmas I've really learned to value family. I was talking with someone about this, how before the mission there were traditions that I just despised sometimes. Like "hey were gonna drive around and look at Christmas lights!!" and I couldn't stand it! Or "hey were gonna go The Colony and watch the light show" and I'm like "we're willingly going to go to The Colony?" But this Christmas I would do almost anything to be able to watch Christmas lights with my family, I would give anything to be able to listen to Josh smack his cereal bright and early in the morning or hear Kate annoy the dog so that he starts barking. It's those small things that I never appreciated as much as I should have that I really, really miss. My invitation to everyone this Christmas is that we remember our families, and learn to love them a little more....because in the day that they're gone, you realize what you've lost. I'll be the first person to attest to the annoying-ness of families sometimes, but they're also those who we should love more than almost anyone else ever in the whole world. That's what I've really learned this Christmas.
I hope that everyone enjoyed their presents but more so I hope that everyone remembers Christ this Christmas. Here's something from President Grossen to end. It's called Mary's dream:
Mary's dream I had a dream Joseph. I don't understand it, not really, but I think it was about a birthday celebration for our Son. I think that was what it was all about. The people had been preparing for it for about six weeks. They had decorated the house and bought elaborate gifts. It was peculiar, though because the presents weren't for our Son. They wrapped them in beautiful paper and tied them with lovely bows and stacked them under a tree. Yes, a tree Joseph, right in their house. They'd decorated the tree also. The branches were full of glowing balls and sparkling ornaments. There was a figure on top of the tree. It looked like an Angel might look. Oh it was beautiful. Everyone was laughing and happy. They were all excited about the gifts. They gave the gifts to each other, Joseph, not to our Son. I don't think they even knew Him. They never mentioned His name. Doesn't it seem odd for people to go to all that trouble to celebrate someone's birthday if they don't know Him. I had the strangest feeling that if our Son had gone to this celebration, He would have been intruding. Everything was so beautiful, Joseph, and everyone so full of cheer, but it made me want to cry. How sad for Jesus not to be wanted at His own birthday celebration. I'm glad it was only a dream. How terrible, Joseph, if it had been real!
I love all of you guys and miss you so much!!! Have a great new year and make some resolutions!! Write me pouch mail...ask my mom how to do that.
Every now and then I get a special treat in a random text, email, or a Facebook post. This pic was posted on a page that is for parents of those serving in the Mexico City West mission. They just had there Christmas zone meeting. Looks like they had some fun racing cars made of veggies....
Christmas is already here and it doesn't feel like it at all. It's pretty weird to be here and when it's Christmas and I'm not asking for presents or anything. But it's casual, the mission is pretty cool.
I hope that everyone is enjoying their Christmas season and being out of school! We have half a day off and a conference...then we work the rest of the day. It's cool! I enjoy it. I'm not sad because I won't be getting presents or anything but I am just a little triste (sad) that the fam isn't here, ya feel??
This email is gonna be short, but a few things: we knocked an entire building this week. I read fourth floor last door one morning and felt inspired to go knock a building, so we did. First floor of 10 doors, nothing. Second floor of 10 doors, nothing, Third floor of 10 doors, nothing. Fourth floor, andddd....another 10 doors of nothing. Finally, the fifth floor, the promised land, where we would find the answer to our prayers, and 10 doors of nothing. I was just there thinking why in the world did I spend an hour knocking 5 floors, 50 doors in total, for nothing?....There's a principle here that I think I've already shared in other emails, but to me, there's faith, and then there's true faith. I think a lot of us have faith, we pray and we have the faith that things can happen. We know that Heavenly Father can answer our prayers, but that really isn't faith. It's easy to believe he can answer our prayers, give us what we want, but true faith, is that we trust that he gives us what we need. It's that faith that says "I know that you can save my child, heal my sister, fix this relationship, but if not....."it's the faith that says but if not, I still trust you. I still love you. I still know that you have a plan for me that's perfect. It's really hard, but there really is a plan that's perfect for all of us. We just need to trust in him.
The final thing is that I feel like I've learned the true meaning of Christmas. It's not about the presents, it's not about the food, the fun...I mean those things are all great and I miss them, but it's not about that. We all know that, but do we understand it? I'm not really getting any presents, not having a ton of the typical fun, I'm still eating lots of food though....but with those things that I don't have this Christmas I understand why. Go watch He is the Gift, I think it's from two Christmas's ago. It's super great and helps us to understand what the true gift of Christmas is.
I love Christmas SO MUCH!!! I miss you guys lots! This Christmas is really weird without everyone, but I know Heavenly Father doesn't want me in any other place, and that I'm exactly where he needs me to be. Have a fun Christmas and write me a nice Christmas email!!! Be safe, relax, and drink white hot chocolate because I cant find it in Mexico :( I love you guys! Remember what Christmas is really about!!
Hello family and friends, Christmas is approaching and I sweated to death today.
First I want to tell you guys what toreo is. You should google it, type "toreo naucalpan molino" or something like that and find the huge mall. Basically it's a mall, but it's 5 stories and super legit. We go sometimes on pday to look around and I think we're gonna go bowling sometime soon there. (yeah missionaries can bowl. I didn't know that either). But it's pretty legit.
In Mexico, for the most part stop signs and stop lights don't exist. At bigger intersections they do but mainly it's just slow down a little and whoever has more confidence sticks their neck out and goes. It's pretty funny to watch the traffic sometimes.
This week I got asked if I was Brazilian. I just kinda sat there for a minute and contemplated the question and what I was going to say. It really caught me off guard. but I'll take the honor that apparently my Spanish is good enough to be considered Brazilian. For those of you who don't know, Brazilians speak Portuguese. So I'll just leave that here.
I got sick, yet again. There's no more to say, besides the fact that even though I love Mexican food, Mexican food doesn't love me.
I got to paint! We painted a roof for an Hermana. It was pretty cool. We went to her house and I brought jeans to change into. I'd never worn these jeans before because I bought them right before I left. I put them on and I actually couldn't do the button. I'm not joking. I struggled for about 10 minutes....and after a lot of sucking and sucking and more sucking I finally buttoned it and suffered through painting with tight jeans for about 2 hours.
I tried "jugo verde" this week and let me tell you....probably the worst thing I've ever had in my life. It's a mixture of cactus, oranges, apple, banana, and some other green bitter thing. I almost cried drinking it, but I hope it makes me like super man or something with all that healthiness.
This is a cool story. We had a lesson with a new person this week and we had our second lesson with him on Sunday, The first time we met on his patio because we couldn't enter his house. His family is super catholic and testigo de jehovah. At the end of the lesson he was really interested and told us he wanted to make us feel a little more at home the next time we meet. So on Sunday (our 2nd lesson) we met in his workshop where he paints cars. We started to teach and stuff and he was like "uh sorry, but I'll be right back" and runs out. We were a little confused to what just happened and wondered if we had said something wrong. We wait a bit and he comes back with two bottles of water and apples for us and said "I just wanted to get you guys something, sorry". We then continued teaching and he was like "wait we're gonna do something". At this point I was thinking what's about to happen, and he grabs the keys to an Audi Q4 in his shop. He opens the drivers side door for me and I get in and Elder Sanchez gets in the passenger seat, and he gets in the back. So we have a whole entire lesson in an Audi....and at the end we committed him to be baptized on New Years day. That's pretty legit.
The last worldy thing is the saying "haga patria y mate un chilango." The concept of chilango is hilarious. Basically, no one wants to be a chilango, but the debate is that a chilango is either the people who live here in the ciudad, or the people who aren't from here but come to live in the ciudad (like me). The saying is basically "be a patriot and kill a chilango" because everyone hates chilangos. I just thought that was funny. Elder Sanchez taught me that..
Okay everyone, here is some homework for you...First there's a talk called "This Day" by President Eyring. Read it! It says we need to act TODAY. Don't wait for tomorrow, for the new year, or a new week. Start today! If we procrastinate the day of really anything, it could be too late. If we really want to change, we should do it today!I invite all of you to apply this...really try to change today. If you want something different, make it different right now. There's no need to wait. Second,
look up the talk "In Times of Affliction" it's not a talk but youtube it. It's super good. A lot of times we claim to be followers of Christ, but what do we do? Nothing. If we claim to be followers of Christ, WE MUST FOLLOW HIM! And where did he go? To suffer in the garden of Gethsemane, to die on the cross. If we say we follow Him, we too need to go to those places. It's tough. Believe me, I know it's tough. But it's worth it. If we really want to carry his name, we need to do what he did, say what he said, act as he acted, and feel a little of what he felt. Then we can say that we stand shoulder to shoulder with him. I can't think of a greater honor than that.
I love you guys a lot! I hope everyone is enjoying your Christmas season. I love this time of year. I hope you're all safe and happy because you all have a million reasons to be happy! Count your blessings please. I'm still praying for Texas and please pray for me! The mission is great, but it sure is tough. I hope you all have a great week! I love all your emails...keep them up.
PS Happy late Birthday to the one and only Granpda Jones!!! He's pretty cool :)
Our really good friends, the Fores family (they are actually more like family) have cousins in Mexico City. They met up with Braeden and plan on taking him to lunch on Wednesday. I recieved the nicest message and this pic yesterday. Oh, how it made my day and made my heart extrememly happy. Tender mercies are real....
We already agreed with Elder Jones and his companion, this week he will change his preparation day to Wednesday. They are going to the temple, so we agreed to take them to eat next week, we asked them if they needed anything even if it's money. I already gave them my cel and we will be in contact to come for them, it has to be in their area since they can not get out of it, but it is a very large area, we saw him very happy, tell his parents that we already talked to his bishop so he can make sure he is very well cared for. We will send more photos when we see him again. Greetings and keep in touch
This week, not a lot happened. I didn't get robbed. We didn't baptize anyone. People tried to speak English to me. I ate a lot of Mexican food. I ate another torta, like 4 times. That's all. Thanks guys, love you, have a good week!!
Nah, just kidding....a little more happened. This week I received a package from my lovely family with chocolate covered Oreo's, Chips Ahoy, and hot chocolate. All of you need to right now try these white chocolate covered Oreo's. They're magnificent. If any of you want to send me a package of Oreo's I wouldn't mind. Just ask mom how. :)
We have two newbies in our zone so I am no longer the greenie. Hermana Skagerberg from Utah and Elder Hassard from Idaho. They're both even whiter than I am so that's good. It was nice to speak English again.
I spent a night in the most dangerous area in the mission and I survived without a scratch. La ciudad (the city) is basically just a bunch of rolling hills. I'm in the two areas (actually 5, I'll explain that in a bit) that have no hills. In Molinito 2 you are pretty much always walking straight up a hill or straight down. If you don't believe me google maps Molino or Juarez Cadete and street view around. It's crazy.
We were in the metro the other day and just walking down the corridor and BOOM out of no where we see a ginormous church ad that says #ILUMINAelMUNDO (#LightTheWorld). It was LIT! It was this huge sign and I was proud to be a missionary preaching that every day.
I ate Little Caesars. We went to a members home to eat and they had an entire pizza for us. It was great. Also Jarritos orange soda....good stuff guys. Little Caesars tastes better here than in the US.
TMI so beware of this paragraph:
I clogged my first toilet in a members home and had to ask for a plunger. It was
quite embarrassing. Then I unclogged it and realized that it wasn't clogged...there was just not enough water. So I flushed it a few times and with the little bit of
water there was most of it went down. Then I was like, oh well, I tried.... and then we
learned that pooping is sketchy in Mexico because ya never know if the toilet
is gonna flush.
I threw up yet again everyone. These paragraphs are gross, huh?
I have learned to beware of street food. You think you're gonna be okay and you can do anything and then you try it and you throw it all up the next morning. Then you sleep for an hour and then you work the entire day because that's what missionaries do.
We contacted this lady one day and as we were talking to her she said, "uhhh I'm from a......different.....religion" and we were like that's okay. So we persisted a little and were getting no where so we left. As she closed the door Elder Sanchez said, "did you see her necklace?" and I said no, but apparently is was of the Santa Muerte (if you guys remember what that is...the saint of death) I was like "oh, that is a different religion." We then knocked a few more doors and found her friend dealing drugs. Weird but I felt perfectly safe. It's amazing how the spirit can influence someone in situations like that.
We now cover half of a zone. We cover 5 different areas now, Tezozomoc, Armas, Aquiles Serdan, Culturas, y Haciendas. This means we have the opportunity to baptize more, but it also means that I'm going to die of exhaustion. Totally worth it. There's this area in Culturas that"s called "las brujas". I don't know what that means but I know that they say if you go in after dark, you don't come out. So we're definitely gonna avoid that area.
This part is just for you mom....This morning we had to leave the house at 6:45am to leave our clothes with an Hermana to wash them. As we were walking I saw a mom and her son on a tandem bike on the way to school. Que lindo (How Beautiful).
To finish on a good note: I want to share my own quote I wrote while in Molinito 2. It was despues de la comida (after lunch). I was waiting for my companero while he used the bathroom. I saw a backyard for the first time since I've been here in mexico. I went and sat in the playground there. Remember there are lots of hills and I was looking out over the area. This thought came to my mind, "I'm sitting in a backyard in Mexico, on a seesaw, overlooking Molinito 2. I just ate guisado...and it's because I love Jesus." This may not mean anything for you but for me it meant a lot. I've experienced what it means to be in Mexico, in the most dangerous area in the mission. It's pretty hard at times. A lot of times in life we're asked to do a lot of really hard things....especially as members of the church. It's hard, I know. I've learned so much in the past 3 months, probably more than the last 18 years of my life. I'm here because of the love I have for Christ. I think that's what motivates us to do these hard things. When we really love Jesus Christ and understand what he's done for us and the blessings we have, it doesn't matter how hard the life is. It doesn't matter if, like I've said before, if we fail that test, lose that job, get robbed, lose a loved one, because we understand Jesus Christ, and his love. I invite all of you to search for his love in your lives. If you don't feel it, search a little harder, because I promise you it's there. Maybe you think "nah, it's because he's Elder Jones and he's in Mexico and he needs it more" but no. We both sleep under the same moon. We're both children of God....and the love of Christ will always be available if we search for it.
Thanks for reading guys, I love you all lots!! Pray for Elder Sanchez and our investigators, and the members, and the profeta and apostles, and me too please.
I hope you all have a good week and are enjoying the Christmas season!! Watch the Christmas video from the church this week, I don't know how its called in English but go to mormon.org and you can see it there!!! You'll feel Christ's love if you do. I love you guys!! Have a great week and be safe