Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mexico Pachuca - Week 23 - April 21, 2014

(Excerpts from his email)

Today we had a zone activity and two sisters shared something really similar. They shared how bamboo takes 7 years and 6 weeks to fully grow. The first 7 years the roots are growing strong under the ground but nothing at all happens above ground. You don’t see any progress for 7 years but it really is growing. After the 7 years in 6 weeks the whole top part of the plant grows tall. They said at times we don’t see the progress but we really are making a difference in investigators, members, and ourselves even if we don’t see results immediately. After they shared Alma 31:31 

31 O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfortmy soul ain Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me, because of the iniquity of this people. 
 32 O Lord, wilt thou comfort my soul, and give unto me success, and also my fellow laborers who are with me—yea, Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner, and also Amulek and Zeezrom, and also my two sons—yea, even all these wilt thou comfort, O Lord. Yea, wilt thou comfort their souls in Christ. 

 They shared how Alma prayed for comfort and patience in his afflictions not that god would change his situation. It was really good. Also i got some stuff for this week. So we have a new investigator and he might get baptized this week or the next. When we first met him he knew some about the church cuz his girlfriend is a member and her family was talking to him about it. He said what he noticed is that this is a church of work. Every one works. Right now the young men and women are having like bake sales to raise money so they can go to the temple. The Mexico City temple is closed so they have to go to Oaxaca. It’s pretty far and it’s not super cheap, but it’s important so they are selling pizzas and pastes and that kind of stuff so that more of them can go its pretty cool. 

 M: That's super cool about your investigator. I am excited for you and more so for him. It will be an amazing feeling for you to be the harvester, but for his girlfriend and her family too. But, like dad, my hope is that he has found his own testimony cause that is when you get members that are strong and committed. Exciting times.

 I wish we could help with the bake sale or something; we take for granted that the temple is so near and that we can go whenever. These people need to work and save and work and save to be able to participate in saving ordinances. We need to take advantage of our closeness and go. We will keep them in our prayers.

EP: The ward they have almost 30 young men and women going i think so that’s super good. The last time the ward went to the temple like 5 went from the whole ward. This week was interesting. Here Easter is called semana santa or holy week and they celebrate a lot Friday Saturday and Sunday. No one has school these two weeks and almost no one works. Friday is crazy, they do like a bunch of reenactments of the crucifixion of Christ. In the morning a bunch of dudes dressed up as romans on horses walked past our house with a bunch of other people in purple. In the afternoon they were all in a big field and they had three huge crosses set up and they were like acting out the whole story with microphones and everything. Here they don’t whip and hurt people i don’t think but in other parts of Mexico they do. They said sometimes they even nail people to the cross. It’s a little crazy. Saturday is sabado de gloria and everyone like has pool parties haha its weird. They like fill water balloons and just whatever they have and try to get everyone wet. The members were saying before they would stand in the streets and just throw water on everyone cars, people, anything that passed by but now they turn off the water all day so it’s a little mellower. It was an interesting week. 

 M: That is very interesting. I would not like to see them nailing a person to the cross; you have to wonder what they are getting out of it! So there is no Easter bunny huh!?!?!? Is there a lot of food? What kind of food? What is the symbolism of water, renewal?

 EP: No not a lot of food well not for us. I don’t know about the catholic traditions and all that. We asked about the water and no one knows. It’s just something they do they don’t know why. It’s just called sabado de gloria and they all get wet its weird. 

Also i was talking to a member and he shared the history of Mexico i don’t know why but it was super interesting. So apparently the ancient people (i don’t know who Mayans Aztecs whoever) who were here when the Spanish came believed in a great white god. And they believed he was going to come back and visit them again. With the book of Mormon we assume it’s Jesus Christ but they always had that belief and so when Hernan Cortez came they thought it was him because he was a white man in huge boats and all that stuff. So they gave him everything riches, food, everything they had and that’s why they were conquered so easily. I was just thinking about how similar it is to captain cook and what happened in Hawaii its interesting. 

 M: Wow, did you know all of that before or do you guys do history lessons there too? That's cool. Is there a place called the Book of Mormon, stone or something like that, someone asked me if you had heard about it. Well it's an interesting time to learn and observe, but i would guess that is part of why they are stuck in their traditions and have a hard time excepting the gospel, it's just what they do. It will be very interesting when they finally realized that all of their history is recorded in the Book of Mormon.

 What else happened this week?

 How is Chris, we ran into his sister at youth conference and she was saying that they were gonna go to Mexico soon.

EP: Haha no the guy was talking to us about all the history of what happened and stuff i don’t know why. We were talking about the movie the testaments and he started talking about all that stuff. 

No i haven’t heard of that but my comp was in Teotihuacan before he came here. That’s the area with the pyramids and he said the members there give tours based in the book of Mormon like they use the book of Mormon to explain some stuff, it sounds pretty interesting. 

I talk to Chris every week now he sounds really good. He said this week in Guatemala was crazy and they had to stay in the chapel at times and be super careful cause people kill missionaries at this time. Ya they go to Mexico a lot Chris said. 

Transfers are in a week. I kind of want to change but i really don’t haha. this month of may president promised elder oaks i think that every companionship in the mission is going to baptize two people so I want to be here to make sure this area i have been in for the past 4 months does that but we will see. 

Elder Park

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mexico Pachuca - Week 22 - April 14, 2014

(Excerpts from email)

Q: How are things?
A: I had an interview with president that was good pretty much the same but he said some cool stuff. he said to never take anything for granted: my parents, growing up in the church, and also the special spirit and gifts that my heavenly father has given to me. me and my companion are doing really good. investigators are going ok. the girls we are pushing their baptism back one week because this sunday they didnt go to church. everyone just started spring break so they left like the whole weekend with their family. Darinel, we are still talking to him and i think his mom is going to get baptized so hopefully that will help him but im not sure.

Q: Did you pass home inspection, I saw some glimpses of your home on the missin blog.
A: Yeah we passed with flying colors, she said it was awesome. it should be, we cleaned like crazy before they came!

Q: Story?
A: Well something cool did happened this week. so every friday theres mutual but obviously the young men donʻt do scouts so they just play soccer. itʻs an awesome oppurtunity to invite people to the chapel. so this week we had like 10 young men come to the chapel and play soccer with us. it was really cool and hopefully will lead to more. they all live on the same street and are always outside playing so whenever we walk by now they always say hi and ask when we are going to play again. the next step is teaching them and their families and getting them to come on sundays too which is insanely hard cuz no one wants to go to church its ridiculous. but its a great way for us to build a relationship and hopefully they will open up and all of them can come to church together with us and they can help each other out
     M: Wow, that is awesome.  Do you wish you played soccer now?!?!?! I never realized that they did not do scouts in Mexico, you just assumed everyone does it! How old are these boys?  Do you find that teaching the kids is easier and does that eventually lead to families?
     EP: yes i do, its actually,itʻs super fun here cuz they play on the basketball court, like under all the hoops they just have a small goal so its small and fast and fun. 
Haha i just assumed too but it is called boy scouts of america i think itʻs a USA thing. 
They are young, 9 to like 13 i think. its easier and harder. they listen but their parents, not always. actually usually not at all and even if the kids want to learn and go to church and get baptized if their parents say no its no and we cant do anything.
     M: Well then planting is what you will continue to do for now.  If the hoops are there, do you ever play basketball?
 I always wondered why missionaries end up teaching the children and not so much the adults, but children are so much more open to new things, where like Darinel, adults have a harder time giving up what's always been.  
     EP: Yeah we play sometimes but its not the same.
Yes families make everything or ruin everything. so many people just donʻt want to change because of their families and traditions and all that. its hard cuz they know its true but they just dont want toaccept it.
      M: Well, like President said, we need to be grateful and not take for granted what we have.

Q: So you good?
A: Yes I am good. Thank you.

Elder Park

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mexico Pachuca - Week 21 - April 7, 2014

(Excerpts from his email)

Conference was great and its definitely different seeing all 10 hours but the time really flew by this time. life continues to change and i have been thinking about that a lot the past couple days. i have interviews with president again tomorrow and last time he asked how has my personal conversion been going so i have been thinking about that so if he asks the same thing i have an answer for him. I have been thinking a lot about the priorities thing and how much i have been learning from investigators, members, and every one that i teach. in the beginning i feel i grew a lot from my companions and studying every day and just learning more about the gospel and building my testimony that way. based in the scriptures and all that. but now i feel i am learning more from the people. what really matters. things i have seen that i want in life and things i have seen that i don’t. Other than that I’m doing good. the same old same old. 

Q: How have your lessons been going? Did you get to talk to the boys parents, Mesi?
A: No we didn’t talk to them yet but we have a family home evening with the dad of the two girls we are teaching tonight so hopefully that goes good, he seems pretty cool. we are just gonna do everything we can for them cuz they are the ones most likely to get baptized this month. at times its difficult especially when things just aren’t going how you want them too but that’s life. just gotta keep going keep working and keep getting better every day 

Q: Anything new this week?
A: It’s so hard i don’t remember anything. but today we went to a Chinese food buffet it was alright not the best but they did have ice cream so that was good. it was funny next to the ice cream they have Little tiny bowls but like at home for dessert you cant just have a small bowl so we grabbed the soup bowls and put like 6 scoops of ice cream. i thought they were gonna get mad at us but they didn’t say anything so that was good. 
     M: Well, take notes in your agenda during the week, something to write to mom!!! That way you remember. But with you it's always food or animals, too funny. Is the ice cream the same as here. We just had manager's specials for Gma Kitashima's bday, thought of you!
     EP: that sucks, thanks mom. the ice cream usually isn’t the same its like frozen juice pretty much but its ok. thank you, love you guys, talk to you guys next week. 

Elder Park