Monday, October 22, 2012

1 week of cambio 2

Mon 10/22/2012 9:38 AM

Well, I made it through transfers safe and sound, and I have some more information on my comp. So his name is Elder Ty Johnson, he is from a small town outside of Boise Idaho, and he has 10 months on his mission. He did swimming and running in High School, so he is pretty fit. I definitely miss Elder LeFevre, especially when members or investigators ask me if I miss him. I say yes of course, but then I always make sure to say something good about Elder Johnson so he doesn't feel bad, and I have found that it has really helped me stay positive and find all of the good things about him that are different from my last comp. 
So our teaching really hasn't suffered. He is really spiritual and he lets me teach a good amount just like my last comp, perhaps even more so, so my Spanish really has been improving quite a bit, especially since we talk almost all of the time in Spanish haha it is kinda funny, two querros that don't speak Spanish fluently are walking around talking Spanish to each other instead of English, I get a kick out of it. Along the lines of that, it is really funny to see people just stare at us because we are both really tall (I am just a little bit taller I'm sure) and both really guerros, or white. Sometimes people even say outloud ´´guerros´´ when we pass by them, all shocked haha and the best is little kids, because I'm pretty sure we are the first white people they have ever seen in their lives.
OK so before I forget, dad, if you can send me the 17 point talk (the 17 points of the true church) that would be great. I am starting to memorize a scripture a day, and I think it would be really useful to have those on mind. OK for Christmas. So there are these leather scripture cases that one of the hermanos does in the mission (i attached a picture so you can see) that I really want to get, along with some sneakers (because I have a feeling we are going to be playing a lot of soccer here in Mexico) so if you can just put some money in my account that would be great. Also, my pens are starting to run out, so if you could send some of the kind ´´pilot v5´´ pens that would be great. I am pretty sure grandpa Clark uses those pens, or used them, so he should know what they are.
So this was kind of a bitter sweet week. It is the first week when we didn´t have any baptisms, and it feels really weird. We had 10 people that could have been baptized this past week, but all of them feel through and didn't show up to church, and it was really difficult la verdad. I was able to rebound and I am back to normal, but I kinda understand the sorrow that the prophets in the BOM felt for the people that chose not to follow Christ. It truly is amazing how much you grow to love the people here and how badly I want these people to feel the love of the Savior more in their lives, and how sad it is to see them openly reject it when the have felt and known that this is true, that through the Gospel of Christ that the really can have a better life, which is what most of the people here are looking for, but they aren't willing to change their lives, their traditions, or their ways, to receive more happiness, and that really is the saddest part, but it truly is all worth it when there is just one person who accepts the light of Christ into their lives. 
One thing that I have learned this week with Elder Johnson is the power of music. I remember how Bishop asked me before I left how I was going to share my testimony of music here, and I wasn't really sure, but I have found it. We have started to sing before every lesson that we have in peoples houses, and it truly is amazing how strong hymns can bring the spirit into a house. The main experience I want to share with this is with the hymn ´´Oh how lovely was the morning´´. We were going to teach a part member family (the part of the family that are members are the ones who were baptized this past Sunday) about the restoration, so we obviously found it appropriate to start of with this song. As we sang the last verse, the spirit was seriously so strong, testifying of what we were singing about what we were about to teach was true. It was super easy after that to teach about the restoration of the gospel with the spirit already so strong, testifying of Joseph Smith and of Christ. It really helped strengthen my testimony that I know that God the Father and Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and through him restored their Church, Gospel, and authority again on this earth. I know that Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet of God, and that the evidence of this, The Book of Mormon, is the word of God and it really is the keystone to the church and do what we as representatives of Christ are doing throughout the world. I testify that there is a living prophet of God on this earth, Thomas S. Monson, that receives revelation for us in this day, and I know all of the words of the prophets of God are true, because I have felt the influence of their guidance in my life. I love this Gospel so much, and I am so glad that I have been given this opportunity to serve my God, my King, and I strongly encourage all of those that are thinking about serving a mission to start preparing now, to start the process of changing habits now, to be better prepared for what the Lord has in store for you. Thank you mom and dad, and the rest of the family, for supporting me in this decision to serve and for helping preparing me, even when it wasn't the easiest. I love you!!

With Love,
Elder Noel

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Monday, October 15, 2012 2:41 PM

So this biggest news of this week is cambios! I cant believe it has already been 6 weeks since I have been in Mexico, it has seriously flown by sooooo much! Elder LeFevre, my padre, was seriously a huge blessing in my mission and life, he taught me so much about being even more animated and helping those who we are teaching trusting us more, like you said mom, it is one of the most important part of teaching and communicating with people is gaining their trust, and he has taught me a lot about that. So my new companion is Elder Johnson, another gringo, from Idaho, somewhere by Boise. He has been in the Mission about 10 months, and he seems like a pretty cool guy. We haven't talked about each other a whole lot because I have been telling him about our area and all of the families that we are teaching that we just haven't had a lot of time to talk about life haha plus we have been speaking straight Spanish since he has gotten here, so it takes me a little bit longer to think of what I want to say. Any-who  life here has been going sooo good!! It is starting to warm up a little bit, except in the mornings, it is actually cold enough to wear that big jacket that grandpa got me almost most of the day, but with all of the walking that we do it gets warm pretty quick haha.
This week was a little bit different than most because we did not have a lot of time to teach because one, we had interviews with the Mission President, and we also had to do a ton of interviews for the 3 baptisms that we had this week. So first, the interviews with the President. So since we live like an hour and a half away from the Stake center, where the interviews and weekly district meetings are, we have to leave super early to get there. Well on our way there, we got a message that our interviews were moved to a later time, but we couldn't go back, so we spent alllll day at the stake center, from 10 until 4. But, it was really good because almost the whole time we had training from the APs and also got to talk to them about the mission and what not, but the interview with Pres. was actually really short, about 10 minutes.
Baptisms! So these three hermanas are seriously miracle baptisms again. The far left one, Martha, is the only one in her immediate family who wanted to get baptized this week. Her mom is really skeptical about the church, her dad doesn't want to even talk to us, and her brother has a novia (girlfriend) and doesnt feel like he is ready to follow the law of chastity yet, but we are working on him and slowly making progress, but their family is so awesome, so loving and welcoming. The other two are her cousin and aunt, Paulina and Marcela, They wanted to get baptized so bad, and they just absorbed everything we taught them. The mom, Marcela, said that after she came out of the water she felt a ´´tranquillo verdadero´´ or a true peace that she has been searching for her whole life. It truly is amazing the change you can see in people as they come up out of the water, even though I have only been here 6 weeks, I can still remember all of the peoples faces as they came out of the water, and the comments that they made afterward. It is truly amazing to see someone come unto Christ and enter into the gate of baptism. I cant believe how much time is flying by, I dont want it to end because of how amazing it is here!
Thank you for your letters and for letting me know how things are going back at home, it really is nice to hear from everyone in the family, brookie, tanner, dad, and of course you mom. It is really comforting to know that you are praying for me every night. I can tell the difference in the families here that do and those that don't  and the ones who do get baptized and stay strong. The retention rate is so so. We work a lot with the recent converts, trying to make sure that they come, but a lot of them have really bad economical problems, and it is said to not see them at the chapel, but again it is so amazing to see those who come for the first time that we have been working with for so long, like this one guy Ruben. He is a carpenter, and we go there often to see him and teach him (it reminds me a lot of our shop in the back and especially of three fountains, I love going there), and he isnt married to his ´´esposa´´.....yet. He finally came to church for the first time yesterday, and I seriously have never been so happy to see someone at church, I seriously jumped! He is such a kind hearted man, and he can speak a little English  and it was the coolest thing when we told him he could be with his family forever, he said ´´together forever, me like it´´, and it seriously was the coolest feeling ever. This really is why we are here, to bring families together forever. I love this work so much, and I love being able to be an instrument in God´s hands, and I am now the Lords missionary  to bring the world his truth.
So things I ´´need´´. one of my suitcases broke, ( the handle) and my umbrella broke as well. They should be covered by the 2 year guarantee at missionary mall, so that is why I am sending a picture of them, but I will have to do so in another email to you because it wont let me send more pictures.
I love you all so much, thank you for teaching me and helping me become who I am and who I need to be. haha i remember grandmas saying, who are now becoming who you need to be, yes I do pay attention ;)
With Much love,
Elder Noel
His house!

Martha, Paulina, Marcela

Monday, October 8, 2012

Conference Weekend/Bautizona!!!/Mon 10/8/2012 3:59 PM

Oh boy was this week a good one. So to start off, we didn't go to the pyramids. Since we had a baptism at like 4 last week, we didn't have enough time to go to the pyramids, so instead we spent the day around here in Santiago actually preparing for the week, so we got our shoes shined, and man did I feel like a boss haha. So the baptism was way awesome! Their names are Alberto, the father, Emilio, the son, and Elizet, the mom. Elder LeFevre and his old companion found them about 8 or 9 weeks ago now, so we have been working with them since the first day I got here, and boy was it a lot of work. First, we had to get them married, which is what took so long. His mom wanted to keep waiting and waiting, finally Alberto said this is enough, we are getting married this week, which was awesome! So we had their baptism date set for last Sunday and everything, and low and behold they don't show. So we go over to his house and like 6 to go talk to him and bring him to the church to be baptized, but he wasn't there, and my comp. wasn't about to just let him go, so we spent the next 2 hours trying to find them,and it turned out they were in the house the whole time, but just couldn't come to the door because his son was super sick. So he let us in, and he had some weird dudas (doubts),like why are there 12 oxen under the baptismal fount in the temple and what not, so we spent 2 hours almost resolving everything and trying to get him to go to the church, but he said that the next day would be best. Well, we go to pick him up the next day (last p day), bring his family to the church, and get the cloths for them, and then he thought it would be funny to pull a prank on my comp. (because honestly he is such a worry wort, it is kinda funny at times) and said that he didn't want to get baptized. Ya that, I'm pretty sure, scared the poop out of Elder Lefevre. Anyways, we were able to finally baptize him, and it was so awesome for him. Bishop gave the talk at the beginning, and he talked about all of the doubts that he had the night before, and you could just see in Alberto´s eyes that everything made sense to him. It was so awesome!

So the bautizona thing....well our zone was the most baptizing zone in the entire mission for the month of September, with a total of 57 baptisms and 58 confirmations,and i guess this is the second month in a row. It really is amazing to see how much the Lord has been blessing us because of our hard work, seriously I'm pretty sure we work harder than any other mission that I know of. It truly is so awesome to be apart of this amazing work here, for all of you that are thinking about going out that can now go (*cough* Siera and Mackenzie*), it is the most amazing thing you can do in your life and for your life.
Now on to general conference! Well so first off, since we have so much work to do, we weren't able to watch any of the sessions on Saturday, including priesthood, but I did find out about the big news from one of the members, and I was totally blown away, you should have seen my face! It is SO amazing!! On Sunday we brought a family to the  morning session that hopefully are going to get baptized this next Sunday, but we had to watch the session in Spanish so I didn't get a whole lot out of it, but the second session we got to in English, so i got to watch Bednars talk. anywho, my main question and request at this time is if you can have some one, like you or grandma, send me a different talk through dearelder, because it costs me 1 peso per sheet to print, once a week so I can read them and study them, that wuld be great.

Well, that is all for this week, I love you all so much!! Thank you for writting me emails letters, and remember the promptings you recieved during conference, they will bless your life beyond conprehension, only if you follow them.

Elder Noel :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

The first month!/Monday, October 01, 2012 9:02 AM

Hola!! I cant believe that it has already been a full month since I have been in Mexico, it honestly does not feel like I have have been here that long. We are just constantly so busy that it is hard to keep track of time here, but luckily I have been writing in my journal everyday so I will be able to remember what actually happened here haha because time is just flying by!! Thank you all for your emails again, even though I cant reply to them, they mean a lot and I will eventually respond by mail :)

So this week was a very sweet but a little bitter week. To start off, we really worked our butts off this week. We had more lessons then my companion has ever gotten before, something like 52, and then we finally were able to get the standard of contacts with 140, so we were super busy all of the time, and we really learned how to make the best of all of the taxi riding that we do haha. Last week for pday we went to San Mateo Atenco because they sell pretty good shoes there for super cheap, and my companion needed new shoes. Well long story short, I got some super good looking brown shoes (for Sundays only mom, don't you worry) for like only 300 pesos, which is mas o menos 20 bucks. Today we are going to go to some pyramids, so I should have some pretty cool pictures for next week.

Now on to the good stuff. So why this week was only a little bitter was because we had 7 baptisms fall through for yesterday, but three of those 7 are going to be baptized a little later tonight, but the 4 that were baptized this week seriously are another miracle. So they have taken the lessons from missionaries before, and their grandma is a member, but they never wanted to get baptized. Well last week they moved into our area and went to church, and so we went to go talk to them. The oldest child, Tanya (far left), told us that she really wanted to get baptized, and so we set up a time to go meet up with them. When we got their, the mom, Virginia, Tanya, and the son Jose had just barely left, so it was only the grandma, who was already a member, and Cynthia, so we decided to teach her about baptism and then come back later that night. Well during the lesson, the spirit was super strong, and by the end she really really wanted to get baptized. On our way back to the taxis, the one that we were going to get into had the family that we were looking for and they were just coming home, so we went back to go teach the rest of them. After we taught the whole family, we asked them if they wanted to get baptized, and Cynthia was nodding her head like nuts, it was so awesome to see! They all said yes, except the mom, because she was in the middle of a divorce because her husband was not good at all, and wanted to wait until the baptism, so we asked her to pray about it and we would ask her what she thought when we had our district leader interview them for baptism. Well, low and behold, 2 days later after he interviewed her kids, she got the answer that she couldn't wait, and she wanted to be baptized with her kids. Fast forward to Sunday, as we are sitting there and the services are about to begin, I look over and see their whole family in white. It helped me remember why I am here, to help families become an eternal family, to help those who are looking for more unity in their family find it, and to help bring the same happiness that I have felt in my own family. It touched me so much to see them all sitting there all with smiles on their faces!!! Even though we had 7bail on us for lots of different reasons, I was thinking this morning how God knew that was going to happen, and yet again since we have been diligent and working hard He has blessed us  yet another week with success and another miracle baptism. I love this service so much, and it is seriously so amazing to see families enter into the gate to become an eternal family, there really is no greater feeling than to see the change in people, no wonder why it is God´s work and His glory, ´´to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man´´, and He has blessed me to be a part of it. Remember, you never know what kind of an effect our actions have on others, because our strongest investigators that have been baptized have all been friends or family members of members of the church, so we need to share the light that we have given! My comp. has a good analogy, if you had a huge cake, you would want to share it with all of your friends and family, well the gospel is even better than a cake!! 

Answer time: The most common food here is the cereal. They pretty much have everything here, cereal wise, as we do in the states. That is about it, oh, and the chicken, i have chicken about every day here haha

In our ward we have about 100 people that come, yet everyone comes late, around 30 mins late haha and we are the only missionaries in our ward. There is a pair of missionaries for every ward here, and there are 11 wards in our stake, and that is our zone. Our area is seriously so huge, it takes about 2 hours to go from one end to the other.


I love you, thank you for your support and prayers!!

Elder Noel