Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mexico Pachuca - Week 67 - February 23, 2015

(Excerpts from his email)

hey sounds like a crazy but a good week. this week was a little crazy for me too. crazy but good. we had a great day yesterday. we had 7 investigators in church and 6 of them have baptismal dates for march. so we are really excited for march. The seven investigators we had were Blanca and Alberto who are normals. Rosa and her son Fernando. Joseline is 9 and her family is getting active in the church again. Joseline and her family are great. the dad was a little hesitant at first but now he is super excited again. haha he asked his daughter when she wants to get baptized and she was like right now haha. he was like no i need a little more time to prepare myself but yes soon. it’s awesome. Alberto also is amazing. he has diabetes and his body is just shutting down. he’s not super old but he just has had a hard life and doesn’t have what he needs to take care of himself the way he should. he could barely get out of his chair. he couldn’t breathe well cause he fell on his chest but he said i am going to church today. i want to be there and i will go. its was amazing to me. how when we are healthy and good we find every excuse to not do the things we need to do simple things like go to church. and then there are people who literally its a struggle to get up and walk and they are there in church. 

M: It's when life is good that we tend to slack, the BOM cycle! It's easy to remember the Lord when we are struggling and need help.  We know we are getting closer to being Christ-like when we remember the Lord during the good times as well as the bad.  People like Alberto are examples of how we need to be all the time.  I think the other thing you have learned on your mission is that we truly have a lot, we are not rich, but we have so much more than so many people around the world and we need to be more grateful than we are sometimes.  And we need to serve with all our heart, might, mind and strength because we are so blessed.  I think each time you tell me a story of one of your investigators and you tell me that they have had a hard life, it reminds me again to be grateful and how good the Lord is to us.

: that’s something an investigator said yesterday. i have seen people a thousand times worse than you economically but they are a million times happier than you right now. its so true. we don’t need material things to be happy. yes they are great and important but not the most important. yes we are really blessed and i am really blessed. its what i have noticed not just with the people here but with other missionaries and everything.  

M: What do you mean about the other missionaries?

EP: just the lives they have are so different from all that i have. a lot of them really have some hard stuff. when i see them its like what do i have to complain about. being on a mission without support from home is crazy. i don’t know how they can do it.

M: Yeah, sometimes I look at what other people are going through and I think to myself, how is it that I can complain about anything.  We are happy to support you on your mission and we assume because we are all members of this church, we are all the same and have equal support and love and that is just not true.  Sometimes it is not emotional support they lack but the physical things, or the monetary things, so much that makes our lives easy that we pass off as normal.  So we need to be aware and help where we can.

So tell me a story from this week.

EP: o haha ok i got one. so it was like 8 at night and we just went to the house we were gonna visit and they weren’t there. and i was just like no way they told us yesterday they were gonna be here and nothing but whatever, it happens. so we go walking to another house. same thing no one. we went and visited like literally 5 people and none of them were home or they didn’t answer us when we knocked. i was just like o man what are we gonna do. i am super tired we have been walking in circles for like half an hour and there is no one home. we cant go home yet cause its not time. so we end up in the same street where we started and were just like ok there’s no one else let’s go visit this family of less actives. we go and they answer and we go in and the mom just tells us. elders i have been praying for the last couple days that you guys would come here. i need a blessing. i am going to the hospital this Thursday because i have pain in my stomach and the doctors don’t know what it is. its super sore i can barely walk and i need a blessing and now you’re here. i was just like ok ya the Lord definitely knows where we need to be and when. it was humbling. i was a little frustrated and tired and everything and then it was just like ok i understand. it was Saturday night and we offered them a ride to church and came to church yesterday to take the sacrament before she had to go to the hospital.

M: Great story, the Lord sometimes tests us by putting road blocks and then sees if we are willing to listen when the odds are against it. You were an answer to her prayers and for some reason you needed to walk around a bit before you could go see her.   I'm glad they came to church and the price, a little frustrated and fatigue, a small price to pay for a family to come back to church. Awesome how the Lord works and humbles us to understand His ways.

You good son? You sound good.

EP: ya I’m good, excited for march. should be a great month for us. this week if everything goes good Blanca and Alberto are gonna get baptized. we just gotta double check. well i gotta go but i will talk to you guys in a week. love you guys. have a great week.

Elder Park

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mexico Pachuca - Week 66 - February 16, 2015

(Excerpts from his email)

right now everything is good. we only had one baptism this week Gibran but it was great. i will send some pictures. he was super happy and his family was there and also felt super good. we are hoping his parents could be the next couple baptisms. The sisters also had a baptism and it went really well. sounds like things are crazy but going great. i am really glad for ty i wish i was better about all that stuff when i was his age but its great and i am super glad he is way better than me. definitely the mission now is super different. we focus a lot more on us and what we have to learn and do as missionaries and sometimes its amazing the progress we have. i think i was super surprised yesterday. me and my companion were playing a game with questions from the scriptures. i played before when i started the mission and i sucked at it. i didn’t know anything and last night i knew pretty much all the answers. its crazy cause i really don’t think i know the scriptures super well but just for studying everyday and focusing a little more you get so much more out of it. i am reading the book of Mormon in Spanish again and i just finished all the little books in the middle, Omni, words of Mormon, Jarom, Enos all those and i learned so much. its crazy i never really paid much attention to those books before but now that i reread it i just noticed a bunch of little things i never noticed before not even in English haha

M: So what about your other investigators, where are they?

: we got some good ones. Blanca is good. she says she’s not ready for her baptism yet but soon. she keeps coming to church and loves it just has some family problems. Joseline a 9 year old girl is awesome. she planched her dad and now he’s coming to church to get ready to baptize her. Rosa is another sister who is awesome. she had some problems but everything is working out great for her to keep progressing. Alberto is super ready for his baptism on the 28th. and the Mendoza family. thank you mom. i was kinda giving up on them but we talked to the mom and things are a little better. she told why she hasn’t been going to church and she said for the first time in a couple weeks she prayed and asked for a sign about what to do and that same day we went to go visit them. she said that was the sign she was waiting for. she was all ready to go to church and everything but her husband wouldn’t let her go. i wanted to punch him in the face but at least the mom is a little better. we just gotta keep helping them and hopefully in march. 

M: Yes, those are great prospects.  What happen to the ones that needed to be married? Not sure why you are thanking me. All I can do is pray and encourage from a far.  I am especially praying for the Mendoza family.  I too believe that if they will take the leap of faith, their lives will change.  Dad and I are hoping to get to the temple this week Friday, i will add their names to the temple prayer list.  Don't give up on them, not that my feelings mean anything, but I feel good about them and I know there is a miracle waiting for them at the end of this very difficult struggle.  It's kind of like Laman and Lemuel, even with all the signs they fight it and rebel.  But that's okay, i believe Lehi prayed for them till the very end of his life and then more when he returned to the Father.

EP: they are still waiting to get married but she’s pretty sure for march if they get married. thank you for telling me to not give up on them cause i was pretty ready to give up on them. no i didn’t get anything but hopefully Wednesday. there are changes tomorrow so someone will go to the offices and bring mail. me and my companion don’t have changes though

M: Has it been six weeks since the last changes.  It really is going by pretty quickly.  
 Yes, don't give up.  Maybe you don't have to concentrate so much on them, but don't forget them, keep them on your radar and let them know you will be there when they are ready or when they need to talk or whatever.  

So what does planched mean? You said Joseline planched her dad?

EP: : it is flying. why what did you send? planched is like grilled. so there family was super inactive but last week joseline and her mom and brother came to church but the dad didn’t want to. she told him when you want to come you can always come with us but if not were going come on mom lets go. and this week we told her to pressure him to baptize her cause that's what she really wanted and she did. we went Saturday and he said the prayer to start and told us he was gonna come to church to prepare to baptize his daughter and it was super cool. and her dad gave me two suits haha. 

M: Kind of like you and dad.  I truly believe that baptizing you was what finally got dad to join the church.  Hopefully being able to baptize his daughter will bring him joy and closeness in his relationship with her and the family and then  they will not turn back.  It is amazing what children can do for their families. Sometimes they are the key to the home.  So how come he gave you those suits?

EP: hopefully, he seemed super happy after church and his wife was super excited when we went on Saturday to talk to them. i love that family a lot they are super cool. for his work he has a lot of suits and they give him suits super cheap so he had 4 that he doesn’t use. he gave me two and my companion 2. 

ok story of the week mom. so after the baptism we had food. its called cochinita. its pretty much like pulled pork its was super good but the hermano that made it also made a salsa but it was insanely hot. It was so funny everyone was dying. todos nos enchilamos bien gacho. i don’t know how to say that in English. we all were like dying cause it was so hot. so after we invited two other missionaries to come and try it and i was the bad guy and told them all to try to salsa cause it was super good and not too hot. they all started dying and we were all laughing super hard. one elder was like o ya that was pretty hot i almost cried but i didn’t i had to be a man. and the other was like nah it wasn’t super hot and then when he was leaving he was like ya I’m gonna cry now.  it was awesome. 

M: Have I told you lately how happy you look in the pictures I see.  That is fabulous and we are grateful everyday to the Lord that you are happy and enjoying this experience to the fullest.  I am sure you are only sharing parts of your mission with us and there are so many other experiences that you have had and will have that will direct your future.  I am just so grateful to the Lord that this experience has been so good for you, hard as it is at times, I know you are happy and well.

EP: ya i am super happy right now.  its been a little tough but its been amazing. i have changed and grown in so many ways. i am excited to come home and see everyone again but i don’t want to leave yet haha so many other things to do. i am excited for another cycle here. hopefully things go as planned and it should be an amazing month in march. 

Elder Park

Happy Birthday Elder Park

Gibran's Baptism - 2/14/2015


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mexico Pachuca - Week 65 - February 9, 2015

(Excerpts from his email)

sounds like a great week for you guys. full of ups and downs but overall good. i think for us too. ups and downs but overall a good week. struggling with some people but others are progressing really well.

M: So I am waiting for you to give me a little more than that!  How was your birthday?

: birthday was normal. i didn’t want any one to know about it this year and we just worked. nothing special but a good day. the sister missionaries bought cupcakes and we ate cupcakes but nothing super crazy. 

M: Okay, so what's up, are you okay?  

EP: ya i am great. this week hopefully we got some baptisms. one is super sure. we got 3 maybes haha. we gotta go talk to the Mendoza family. they didn’t go again but were gonna talk to them about just letting the daughters go cause they want to. we will see what happens. I got another Gibran story haha. so we went to go visit him last night. he couldn’t go to church cause every third Sunday he works. so we get there and he’s like guess what. my boss told me if i cant work Sundays there’s no problems just let him know. Gibran was like super surprised he said it was something he wasn’t expecting at all but was super happy. Now he can go to church every Sunday and he is just super happy and so are we. it was a crazy experience. he has really had miracles in his life. its crazy how the lord just gives us these little miracles when we are really doing what we gotta do like you said.

M: Yes, the Lord is good to us.  Gibran sounds like a gem and the Lord is true to His promise that the signs will follow!  So is Gibran the super sure baptism?  How is Blanca? 

EP: Gibran is super sure. Blanca is like 50/50. we just need to talk to her super good. i think she will cause she likes going to church and everything is good. we just need to confirm with her.

M: So how do you spend your p-days now that you are back in the city?

EP: p days normally we just go play soccer somewhere. last week we played in the chapel with a bunch of elders and today we just went to a park and played with some kids. it was good but its kinda boring. haha i gotta find where to play soccer when i get home haha. gotta go love you guys have a great week.

Elder Park
Elder Park’s Zone – Tecamac II

Monday, February 2, 2015

Mexico Pachuca - Week 64 - February 2, 2015

(Excerpts from his email)

this week was amazing. we had a great week. we worked super hard finally got more than 40 lessons here but the best part was we had 8 people in church this week and they are progressing really well. Gibran had an amazing experience. Monday at work he was kinda relaxing and he said a prayer. he just asked to know if it was true and if this was what God wanted for him in his life. He said he felt super peaceful and just forgot about everything and just stood there in front of one of the machines in his work and felt an overwhelming feeling of peace. We had a lesson with him Wednesday and he came late. we were like aw man that sucks and we started walking away. He comes running literally running and sweating and like no Hermanos don’t go I’m here. haha so we start walking back to the house and he just puts his arm around me super happy with a huge smile and was like Hermano i got my testimony. I almost cried it was awesome. that was probably the best moment of the week but it was a really good week. About your eternal perspective thing its something i have really noticed in the mission. in 2 Nephi 2:27 it says there are only two choices the path of god and happiness or the path of the devil and death. Whenever i share this scripture we talk about how there are only two choices. and when we think about it this way its an obvious choice. we always will choose life and happiness with god but most times we don’t think about it that way. we just think its only one Sunday I’m not gonna go to church next week i will go. or i can pray tomorrow. but when we choose not to do those simple things we are really choosing the other path. 

M: Wow, son, what an awesome experience.  I know that the spirit is aiding you in your efforts. I also know that the spirit is working cause you feel like crying, I know the spirit is working in me when I can't stop crying.  What happen with the others?

: Blanca came to church again with her grandson and i think she really loves it. the family of a less active sister(her husband son and nephew) who is getting reactivated came with her and it was super awesome. her husband is super cool. we met a guy this week who is super prepared and ready to accept the gospel. we are seeing some amazing things happen right now in the area. we are super happy. February and march should be great months. 

M: So what happened to the Mendoza family, they didn't make it.  I'm a little confused.  Blanca and her grandson (2), the less active and her husband and son and nephew (4) and then another guy (1), and Gibran (1) so eight people came to church!  That's amazing.  Tell me about the other guy and a story please!

EP: i told you a story about Gibran haha. nah they didn’t make it i really don’t know what else we can do. i think we are gonna try baptize the kids cause the two daughters are super ready. the oldest one got an answer super cool. she said a prayer and was really looking for her answer and then she opened her book of Mormon to ether it just opened there and she started reading. i think at the end of chapter 4 it talks about baptism and how you need to be baptized to be saved. she just said in that moment she felt the need to be baptized cause she knows that God wants her to be saved. she just felt that in her heart and she wants to be baptized but for economic problems the parents are like no. the mom wants to but doesn’t trust in the lord enough to go to church and not work. and its hard cause like i know exactly what they need. i know they are struggling but if they just go to church and get baptized i know they will have what they need but they just don’t do it. 

Elder Park

Pictures from the mission blog