Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hola todos, sorry for not writing last week, we didn't have much time. But these past two weeks have been pretty great.

We have been finding and teaching a lot of new people. The Lord really does help us out so much. Just this past week we found 4 people that speak perfect english and want us to teaching them in English. One of them, named Daniel, came to church on his own and asked us to teach him. He is from Minnesota or something, but he has sincere desires to learn about the church and we are really excited about him. The other 3 are a family that lived in Chicago for 8 years and they are really funny. We found them because when we were walking down the street one day, I said to my companion "I'm thirsty, lets go to this tienda and by some water." (that is also another bonus about mexico city, they have tiendas like every 10 feet so you never have to travel far for food.) I asked the guy if he had any water and said he didn't, so we were about to go on our way. Then he offered us just a glass of water because the tienda was also his house. We accepted and got talking with them. His wife came out and was super excited to see us and speak english. It turns out that they are all baptists and believe almost everything that we believe. They invited us to their church on Saturday and said if we go to theirs, they will come with us to our church on Sunday. We have to see if it is allowed to go to other churches first, but it sounds like a fun trade. They are an awesome family. 

Apart from that, it has been a little slower this last week with el Dia de los Reyes (day of the kings). It is like an extension to Christmas. The kids just get all their presents on the 6th of january. One lady we teach told her kids that neither Santa or the Reyes were going to bring them presents because Santa got in an accident in his workshop and died, and that the Reyes also had an accident and are in a coma. Her daughters were pretty upset.

The work is still going along though. This is the last week of the transfer, so it is possible that I finally get transferred out of Hidalgo. I really hope that doesn't happen though, this has to be the best area in the mission. 

Have a great week!

Elder May

We took a "family photo" with Fernanda and Naomi. Their family is basically like our family. The mom calls us her Hijos

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Merry Christmas everybody! (today is not my P day but all of the internet places were closed yesterday so we have permission to email today and then get back to work) I hope you all had a great Christmas yesterday and were able to spend it doing something fun. For us it was pretty great. First of all, I got to talk to and see my family and that was easily the highlight of my day. After that, we had nothing else to do, and it was P-day, so went back to our house and took a nap. Sidenote: I don't know if any of you watched those videos of when the earthquake hit us here about 3 months ago. If you did, I don't know if you noticed the siren in the background. They have a super loud siren that detects and goes off when an earthquake is going to come so we can run out of the house on time and survive. Well, I was sleeping all nice and peacfully when that alarm went off. Talk about a rude awakening. I honestly didn't have too much of a rush to get outside. I figured that if our house survived the last earthquake, it was going to survive whatever was coming yesterday. It was nothing too bad though, you could hardly even feel it. I guess they said that this time it was centered in Guerrero. That gave everyone a nice scare for Christmas.

The streets were pretty dead all day so it was pretty hard to get any work done. We had some appointments set but they weren't there. We ended up just going home about an hour early and did some comp study.

Today we had a good start to the day though. We taught a mom and her daughter at 7:00 this morning. We taught them the restauration and they both accepted to be baptized on January 27. We are pretty excited for them.

those are about the only stories I've got for this week, but next week I should have a lot more.

Christmas dinner with the Velazquez family

The sunrise this morning

Our christmas breakfast

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Well, last week was slow and this week was crazy!

We did a lot of exchanges this week with other missionaries and on Wednesday we went with Elder and Elder Gee. Elder Gee is just starting his mission and is super excited. We had some appointments and taught some people. Later though, like all missionaries have experienced, nobody was home. So I noticed that Elder Gee had a fat stack of about 150-200 "light the world" cards and I told him that I bet you couldn't give out all of his cards before the end of the day. Well he took the challenge and we just went crazy. We got to the point where almost everybody in the area we were at had a card. It was really fun actually and we found some awesome new people to teach as well. Now we have a bet with them this week to see who can find the most investigators. Whoever loses, buys the other companionship a pizza.

We also had been collecting clothes to give to the people in our area because it is really poor. Saturday had the theme of giving clothes to the poor so we thought it was a perfect fit. Well, thursday came and the ward had donated a lot of clothes and food. But then we realized that we hadn't really talked to anybody about giving them the clothes. So we had a lot of clothes and no specific people to give it too and we started to get pretty worried. So we went to an extra poor area of our area and asked a member to introduce us to more people who would like some clothes. Well she talked to just about the whole neighborhood, and later brought us to another neighborhood. In about 10 minutes our worry of not having anybody to give the clothes to turned into a worry of not having enough clothes. Well saturday came and the activity went super well. We also brought a a box of copies of the Book of Mormon and gave out every copy. My comp and I had to stand up in front of the crowd of about 30 people and we were almost preaching about the Book of Mormon. It was a pretty cool experience and now we are teaching a large majority of those people.

We are seeing so many miracles here and it is amazing. Elder Grimshaw and I are having a blast and enjoying every day. We had an interview with President together and he told us that he is expecting a lot out of us so we are a little overwhelmed with all that we have to do, but these have been some of the best weeks of my mission. I love you all, have a great week!

Elder May
Elder Grimshaw getting his ingrown toenail taken out by a lady in Itzapalapa (no anesthetic)

I found Elder Vargas again!

Dec. 12, 2017

This week was a little slower, I'll be honest. We only had one full day to actually work in our area due to a bunch of meetings and stuff. But we had transfers last week and I am staying at least one more transfer in Hidalgo and i couldn't be happier. This is seriously the best place I have ever lived. My new companion is Elder Grimshaw and he is awesome! I may have mentioned him before because when I was in Espartaco he was in my district and we had some awesome exchanges together. President knew we were really good friends and I just asked him a few weeks ago if he would send Elder Grimshaw to be my comp and he did! I honestly didn't think it was going to work but we are super excited.

On sunday we had a family home evening with the Velazquez Guzman family that we baptized a while back and it was awesome. We wanted to do something with the Light the World initiative and we came up with the idea of bringing cookies to people's houses like we do back home. Nobody does that here and so it was going to be something new for them. Well it turned out really well. They told us that they have a lot of family that live close by but that they really don't get a long. We convinced them to let us bring them some cookies and it was a miracle. They invited us all in and we shared a little message about Christmas and said a prayer with them. We later invited them to have another Family home evening together next week and they all accepted! when we left, the mom (concepcion) told us that she had never seen her family smile like that before. We were able to testify to them about the power of Christ to heal families. Just like they were able to see changes in their immediate family, we promised them that if they keep showing little acts of love for their family, that they are going to see more miracles. It was a really cool experience for all of us.

those are kind of the highlights of this week. Like I said, we didn't do a whole lot of work this week due to a bunch of meetings. I also fogot my camera so I can't send any pictures. I will update you all next week. Adios!

Elder May

Dec. 4, 2017

Hola every body! This week has been fantastic and full of miracles.

 We were able to baptize Naomi, Fernanda and Berenice on saturday and they were confirmed yesterday. We were pretty scared that the baptisms weren't going to go through because of certain circumstances but it all worked out. Berenice is 17 and I explained a little bit about her situation last week. Well, during the week we went to visit her and plan her baptism more. We also needed her mom's signature because she isn't 18 yet. When we asked her mom for permission to sign the baptismal record she said "I won't be singing anything" and was pretty upset that her daughter was going to be baptized. That alone was pretty frustrating because her mom was with us in every lesson and knew perfectly well that we were planning a baptism. She said that her daughter has no respect for her and is really rude and that she wouldn't be supporting her in this decision. (side note: we were in exchanges and I was with Elder Ceja) Well, Elder Ceja and I magically turned into family counselors and tried to work with them. The mom said she wanted her daughter to change and show her some respect. Berenice shared that she wanted to take this step because she wants to change and start over. She said she feels really good about what she is learning and wants to improve. She also said that whether she signed the form or not, she would continue going to church and trying to improve. That really impressed us and brought the spirit into the room. We testified with all of our hearts that baptism and following Jesus Christ is the only way to really make a definite lasting change in our lives. The appointment lasted about an hour and a half and was really intense, but the spirit was really strong. By the end of all of it, her mom signed the form and we could all breathe again. We always try to get her mom to pray but she always refuses, but this time we invited her to say the last prayer and she accepted. That alone was a shocker. We all knelt down and she said the prayer and by the end, she was crying. It was a really spiritual experience for all of us. A little intense, but spiritual.

Being a missionary has given me many opportunities to help people make changes in their lives. That night with Berenice I was able to strengthen my testimony even more about the power of Christ that can heal all problems. It is because of him that we can all leave behind our difficulties and challenges and be changed. All of us have many faults and shortcomings, but we have all been placed here to be redeemed. This is God's great plan of redemption and all we have to do is follow Jesus Christ. President Ezra Taft Benson said "When you choose to follow Jesus Christ, you choose to be changed."

Have a great week!

Elder May

Cool bottle someone gave me

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Well, I don't have much time today because we hiked a volcano all day so this has to be fast...

We are still teaching some awesome families and should be having some baptisms in the next few weeks! We are pretty excited for all of them. We have actually been finding a lot of new investigators that we don't have enough time for all of them. My companion and I thought of an idea of passing a calendar around in the elders quorum and having people sign up to do splits with us to help us be able to teach all of these people. We were pretty nervous about if people were going to write their names but to our surprise, almost every day for the next 3 weeks has 2 names. There are some days where 3 people wrote down to come with us. We are really excited to see what kind of success we can see with this much support from the ward.

Have a great week!

some pictures of the volcano. It isn't active anymore so we hiked down in the crater and ate tostadas.

Elder May

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

First off, my mom told me that I sent a picture of a grasshopper instead of the death squad. I couldn't see what picture I was sending and I guess I guessed wrong. But the grasshopper is a different story. We found him in our house and caught him. We didn't know what he eats so we gave him some pancakes and juice. He died the next day. I guess he doesn't eat pancakes and juice.

We had another week full of miracles here in Los Hornos. We have been working with a lot of great investigators. We only have one worry though. Just about all of them need to get married. It looks like we are going to be planning about 4 or 5 weddings in the next month or so if all goes well.

We have been working with a family named the Torres Belmont family. They are so amazing. The mom is a less active and her boyfriend and their two daughters are investigators. They love the church and are progressing so well. They also love to give us food and that is an extra bonus. The mom works selling quesadillas and tacos so she cooks really well. The girls love church and even bought some new shoes to match some of their dresses. They are 9 and 8 years old. We are hoping to get them baptized by December 2.

We have been seeing the death squad more and more and they are doing okay... They are all men except for one. The one woman in the group is named Dominga. It is in front of her house that we meet with all of them every time. She is the only one who doesn't drink or do drugs. She is the one who always invites us because she wants all of them to change and stop drinking. She is really funny and so loving. She is one of the poorest people I have met out here but it is impossible to visit her without her giving us something to eat. She gets mad if we keep refusing. We invited her to church and honestly didn't really expect her to come because the church is about 30 minutes away from her house (walking). But she came all by herself and it made our day. I don't have any pictures of her but I will try to get one this week.

We are seeing so many miracles in this area and I come to love these people more and more every day. Mexico is really one of the most amazing places I have ever been.

Have a great week!

Elder May