Hola mi famila!! Thank you everyone for sending me emails and what not, I really love hearing from everyone!! The only thing is that I can only send 1 email a week here, but, I still would love to get emails from everyone so I can write you all back! The work here is seriously on fire, probably has something to do with our mission being the most baptizing mission in the world, last month there were over 400 baptisms in our mission alone, and this next month our goal is 500! Right when we got to the mission home, President said that it is a rule of diligence (there are rules of obedience, diligence, and desire, it is a really cool system) is to have a baptism per companionship per semana (week), and well, my companion and I are already way ahead of the schedual, but more of that later!
So first, I apologize for my spelling and what not, I have to use a spanish key board and it is a little weird at the moment. Anywho, so the flight to mexico went totally fine, really no problems at all. So when dad asked me if I had placed a book of mormon yet it really got me thinking. So when we got to mexico there were these two american teenagers that were going to Chile for ´´retirement´´ because his mom gave him 50,000 bucks for college but instead is going to live in chile with his cousin (a little crazy i know), and neither of them know a lick of spanish haha. Anyway, while we were waiting in line for custums in the mexican airport, me and a couple other missionaries got talkin with them about religion, and someone asked them if they had something to read in chile (since they had mentioned that they just wanted to live in the jungle and read, Im pretty sure they might have been crackheads haha) anyways, they said no, so i pulled out one of my extra BOM´s and said something to the effect of if you really want to know more about what we believe, here is a book that has no flaws and has the true doctrine of Christ, he seemed pretty interested because as soon as we left I saw him open it up and start to read Boo ya!
When we got to the mission home, it was already pretty late so we just had dinner at the mission home and slept there. They really dont believe in carpet here at all....it is kinda sad haha. anyways, they next day we had a mini devotional and then headed up to the mission office. Thet me tell you something, they said they walk with a purpose here, it is more like take a slight jog with a purpose! I have really never seen someone walk as fast as the a.p.s haha but when we finally did make it to the office, we had a quick interview witht the president and then got assigned to our companions (that is right when I called you and we had to leave quick so we could get to work). So my companion is elder bryce lefevre, he is from las vegas (so he is an american) and he has been here in mexico for only 4 months, but he also served in texas waiting for his visa for a month, but he speaks waaayy good spanish! we are already such good friends! we have a lot of the same characteristics, and we seriously have such a good time all of the time!! He is such a nice missionary, super spiritual, and I dont know if anyone knows the bible better than him.
So onto the work! It really is super crazy here! the ´´floor´´ of excellence, not the bar of excellence is 140 contacts a week, 10 new invesitgators a week, 4 people with a baptism date, 6 people at church, 30 lessons a week, and 1 baptism, and boy is it hard work! We the only one that we havent gotten is the contacts (only 100), but we have about 10 lessons a day, 4 new investigators a day, so we are açALWAYS teaching, it really is crazy! The way the lessons go are kinda different than in the mtc, cause we teach the third lesson, the doctrine of christ, a lot more than anything else, like so far we have only taught the restoration once. but it is because that is the common ground that we have with all the people here, because seriously everyone is catholic, it is nice sometimes because a lot of them arent devote catholics, but it is frustrating when you get someone who is just so stuck in their ways, like when this one guy said that he believes what we taught him is true, but there is no way he is every going to change. It really is quite sad.
So some really special families that we have been teaching, and ill end with the ones who got baptized. So my first family, one that we found one of my first days here, is the family of this mother by the name of Miriam. I cant really understand most of what people say what they do for work and what not, so i dont really know much backround about a lot of people, but i have been learning like nuts so i can know more about the people i am teaching. anyway, i really felt like we were directed to teach this family. she has a 12, 8, 7, 5 and 3 year old, and everytime we walk up this MASSIVE hill to get to their house, they all run down to say hi to us and try to race us back up, it really is so awesome! anyway, our first lesson with them was just soooo awesome, and we invited them to get baptized and they all said yes! our second lesson with them we taught the restoration, and when i gave the first vision, the spirit was just so strong, and you could see the spirit in her eyes, and you could just see a change in the whole family. That really is the most amazing feeling!! The next lesson they brought up that they didnt ´´baptize´´ some of their kids becasue they didnt have a lot of money and they didnt like how you have to pay for a catholic baptism, which was perfect! so we taught the law of tithing and you could tell that it was the answer that miriam and her mother were looking for a long time because they were just so happy and a weight was lifted from them!! soooo awesome!!
Ok now to the big news of the week! so yesterday (sunday) we had a total of 2 confirmations and 3 baptisms!! It was such an amazing day! one of the confirmations is part of the family that got baptized as well, but she had gotten baptized a couple weeks ago and was what started the process for the rest of the family. It was so cool to be able to stand in on my first confrimations, even though i didnt really know what was being said haha. So the baptisms were so amazing! I got to baptize the mother Irma and her second oldest evelin. I was really worried about messing up their names all day (because here in mexico everyone has like 4 or 5 names in their full name), but as soon as I stepped in the water with them a peace came over me (obviously the spirit) and I was able to say the baptismal prayer (in spanish mind you) without any problems, and the words just flowed!! When each one came out of the water, you really could see a change in them, and they were sooooo happy!! i will never forget their faces and smiles, they were just so filled with the spirit and soo happy!! This is what makes the mission a privilage, not a sacrafice. I love this work so much, and I love the people here already!!
So i dont have much more time, but here is my mission address so people can write me letters :) (if you could put this on fb that would be great)
Elder Chase Noel
Mexico, Mexico City West Mission
Sierra de Las Vertientes #310
Col. Lomas de Chapultepec
Del. Miguel Hildalgo
11010 Mexico, Distrito Federal, MEXICO
I am going to try to write letters as much as I can.
Again, I love you all so much and thank you all for your support and prayers! Remeber, I love to get emails from all of you, and escpecially hadn written letters! Love you
Love, Elder Noel