Monday, November 26, 2012


Monday, November 26, 2012 5:02 PM

Well, just like I thought, I got changed this week, and low and behold, I have a Mexican companion! His name is Elder Alvarez and he is from here, D.F. He is waiting for his visa to go to Argentina  and well, I'm finishing up his training..... I'm not sure if I feel all that ready to be training someone when I just barely finished my training, like this last change, it has definitely made me realize how much more I need to learn and how much I am going to be relying on God to make sure I don't screw up training this elder, cause he really is tan bueno! I don't know how well our lessons are going to go and what not, but one thing I do know, we are going to change this area around (apparently they haven't had baptisms here for 2 changes, if anything, that gives me more drive to baptize!).
So we don't have a lot of time cause I took me a long time to get here, so I am going to keep it straight to the point this week. My new area is called Loma Hermosa and it is in D.F., so I am pretty excited about that, as well as we have a Costco here :) Our house is really nice, we have a fridge, a stove, a shower, everything but a washer, but our district leader has one so I'm not too worried about that.
So this last Sunday  well, it was definitely interesting. So we had 6 baptisms planned to do in the morning before church so they could get confirmed during church since it was the last Sunday of the change. Well, 4 of them fell through because 1 boy Luis is deathly afraid of water, and the other three, well that is a whole nother story. So this family of 3 is really amazing, but the parents weren't married (again), so we went to go marry them Friday (again). So we had the papers for them to sign in the chapel Sunday morning, but the youngest daughter got sick so the mom had to take her to the hospital  so she couldn't go to the church to sign the papers, so her husband couldn't get baptized either. Well, we talked to them and they said that they would come at 12 to do everything, and at 12:30 they finally showed up, we married them, and then baptized them right after church. So out of the 6 baptisms that we had planned, we were able to have 5 of them, which was an amazing way to end the change! (sorry i don't have any pictures, for some reason this computer is letting me see my pictures, but i know they are there cause i can see them on my camera, oh well next week I guess) To end the change, we went to the family Santiago (the really big family that we have now baptized 9 of) to share a scripture, the end of Alma 7, and to say goodbyes. I didn't expect it to be as hard as it was. I have really understood what it means to serve God with all our heart might mind and strength, but mostly heart, and I like to tie this scripture in with the one that says when we are in the service of our fellow men, we are in the service of our Lord. I never knew it was possible to love another family so much, in such a different way, than I do this family. As i have grown in that area, teaching them a ton, giving many blessings of comfort, health, and actually performing all the baptisms in their family, it was harder to say goodbye to them than any of my friends (yes, any of my friends, sorry guys), and almost harder than saying goodbye to my own family, mostly because I will probably never see them again, but, I definitely have gained a family here in Mexico, so I can now say i am part Mexican :) I will miss them dearly, but, I know I have too much to do here to focus on that, and the Lord has shown me that in a very quick manner by making me a trainer so flippin' fast.... Well I guess we will see if the phrase ´´The best way to learn is to teach´´ is true or not haha.
Bueno, pues no tengo mas tiempo, pero les amo muchísimo! Sí mama he recibido su carta con los ´´stamps´´ hace como 1 o 2 semanas, entonces mucho gracias por eso. Usted envio la regalo para navidad? Si sí, gracias, si no, gracias jaja. Les amo much!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Week 12!

On Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 3:46 PM, Chase Noel <> wrote:

OK really quick before I forget, I am going to answer your questions mom haha.  So from what I understand we will be getting a conference issue of the ensign, but I am not really all that sure. I hope so because I really want to start studying those talks that I never got to hear haha. So we can listen to music, like motab and what not, but the player that we have in our house didn't play the types of cds that you sent, so I gave them to my last comp. when he left, so if you could send some cds and maybe a little cd player with small speakers that for sure play music that would be nice. So we walk almost every where except for when we have to go to another city, we take a taxi. This coming change all of the areas that have bikes aren't going to have them any more, I think this is a change that is happening in all the missions in mexico. I am pretty set with stuff here, all I really want is just some good old German candies, like ferrero rocher ;) Most of my clothes are holding up pretty well (just small holes in my pockets that I have been able to mend), and my shoes are doing really nice, I try to shine them 3 times a week so they still look really nice, and the bottoms are doing just fine as well. The weather is getting a little bit warmer during the day, but at night it is still pretty cold. haha we have recently found a small little hearte with a fan, so we have that going during our studies and planning at night so our room is really warm haha.
Well as you mentioned in your letter mom, this is the last week of this transfer, and boy has it gone by soooo fast! I cant believe that I will probably be leaving this area in one weeks time, and I really don´t want to leave. I have been blessed with success here, but more importantly, friends who I love here. As I was sitting with one of our new investigators during priesthood yesterday, I told him that I will probably be leaving this area next week, and he almost cried, along with this frito here haha. I have grown to love the people here sooo much, I honestly cant imagine leaving them knowing that I may just never see them again, but I guess we are going to find out this next week what will happen, so I am not going to focus on it any more.
¿Bueno, pues donde debo empezar? This last week has been a really good week! We had intercambios this week for 2 full days to try to interview all the people that we are going to baptize, so I got to spend quite a bit of time with our district leader Elder Ferrera, which was a really neat experience. This Elder has 22 months, so just one more change and this Elder is going home, and boy does he know his stuff. It was really fun to go contacting with him and to learn how he teaches and what not, I was definitely able to learn a lot of new ways to present us and to just start teaching about the restoration without asking if we can haha we have been able to teach a lot more that way and have gotten even more new investigators.
So the main highlight of this week (since all 5 of our baptisms got postponed till this coming Sunday  was we had a member of the 70, Elder Alonso, come speak to us about the new focus that we are going to have in our mission since he is in the area presidency for mexico, and about powerful. This zone conference was really something special and different than anything I have ever seen or experienced, ever. His main focus was tying in the plan of salvation in with Lehi´s dream, and it really is incredible how true this church is haha. The main part he focused on was the tree (árbol) and the fruit (fruta), which the tree represents the love of God, or Christ, and what is the fruit of Christ? The atonement. He said that if we really want to help our investigators come unto Christ, we first need to partake of the fruit, or be using the atonement in our own lives, tasting of the fruit that is most desirable above all others. If we wish to have converts stay in the church, we need to help them understand the importance of the Atonement, and how, when applied correctly and often in our lives, we will be the happiest that we possibly can, because we will be partaking of the love of God. After this he opened up for questions, but no one dared say anything to ruin the spirit, so he continued on and talked quite a bit about his calling as a seventy and what it meant. Like it is cool that they don't have any priesthood keys, but, under the direction of the apostles they have the authority to hold the whatever keys they need to do what they need to do. Also, he defined what it meant that they are a special witness of Christ. It means, he is a special witness of Christ haha, so who knows exactly what that means ;)
Well, here is a quote in Preach my Gospel that really hit me yesterday, ´´Regarding one´s testimony, that which one willingly shares he keeps, while that which he selfishly keeps he looses´´ President Monson. I have really learned this principle here for sure. When ever I learn something in the morning, like a scripture or what not, and I use it throughout the day and share it with either my comp. or investigators, I remember it much easier and I find that I can remember the scripture when I need to use it in a different day, but, if I don't use it and I just say to my self, wow, that's a cool scripture, I forget it when I need it the most. The same, just like what President Monson says, is with testimony. If we aren't sharing our testimony with someone EVERYDAY, we are going to loose it, and one way that we can share our testimony is in the way we act. I have seen it happen to several people where they fall away because they don't share their testimony, they don't act like they have one, so they loose it. But just like what Brookie said in her letter, when we have a testimony and know something is true, like the gospel, we want to act differently, we want to share with people what we know. I have been so blessed with the opportunity to share my testimony everyday, every hour, every minute, that I am here in Mexico, and I am learning how to strengthen this testimony daily as I help others do the same.
¡Bueno, pues yo creo que este es todo! Muchísimas por todo que ustedes hacen para mi, estoy muy agradecido por ustedes. Les amo muchísimo, y estoy bien animado para escuchar a ustedes en un mes sobre teléfono! Recuerden, les amo y ustedes son en mis oraciones!

Con amor,
Elder Noel
¿Yo se que vive mi Señor!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Big Week!

Monday, November 12, 2012 12:57 PM

So to start off, thank you for all of your amazing emails this week, really, they all mean a lot and have helped ´´rekindled´´ my fire so to speak. So I don't really have a lot of time this week because there were so many really good emails (which is totally fine, I´ll still get the good stuff in, so don't worry about writing long emails).
So this week, as you can see by the pictures, was a really amazing week! The first picture is the family that just showed up to church this past Sunday, and boy are they a miracle and a half. So to start the story, we were contacting in this one Pueblo Xalaclaco, and we knocked on this little some-what old ladies door and taught her about the restoration. She seemed really interested, but the only problem was that she works on Sundays all day, so we dropped off a pamphlet (in Spanish folleto, i forgot how to spell it in English haha) with the information of the church and told her where it was and at what time, and then left without thinking that something was going to happen because of her job. Well it turns out that the sister who was baptized, Catolina, is the sister of this lady that we met, and the lady that we met told her about the church and so Catolina went with her son! So after that miracle  happened, finding their house was another one haha. They lived off a tiny little cerrada, or private lane like ours, but the entrance to this cerrada is smaller than the area in between our house and that the brick wall (where we back the boat up), its about the size of the concrete that we have and it winds around, so after looking for almost 45 mins, we finally found it. After we taught them one lesson, they wanted to be baptized, the only problem was that they weren't married......another couple in Xalaclaco that isn't married, what a surprise. So we taught them on Tuesday, then on Wednesday we had our district leader come and interview them, they still wanted to get baptized, so on Friday my district leader and I went to the one place, Tequisquiac, which is 6 hours from our house, but, they can marry people that same day, so obviously we went. We did all of the paper work, and got back in our area around 8:30 that night, and we baptized the mom and her son right after we had a ´´marriage ceremony´´ in a room in the chapel with all of their family and what not, it was so awesome!! They were both so happy, and it was so amazing to be a part of helping them one get married and 2 be baptized. We are going to hopefully baptize the dad this week or next, the only problem is he wasn't at church this last week and he has weird hours for work, but we are going to get him baptized with the other members of their family (a total of about 18 that all live in one house) baptized before I leave this area! :)
So the second picture with the three kids. So these three kids are family friends of the huge family that was baptized last week, which really is the reason why they were baptized. We are currently with their mom to get her baptized as well, but she had no problem with her 3 oldest kids getting baptized, we just need to talk to her to baptized her and one more kid that she has that is 8 years old. Cool story with them, the oldest one, Betzi, I got to confirm, and it was my first confirmation. The last change I didn't do any blessings or confirmations, pretty much because I just wasn't comfortable enough with my Spanish to give someone a blessing, but this change I have already given like 2 or 3 blessings, but the confirmation was totally different. The spirit seriously was so strong during it, and the words really just flowed out of my mouth. I didn't have to think about what I was going to say before hand or anything like that, I just talked, and I knew it was the spirit cause it was things personal to her that I would have never been able to think of on my own, so that was really really special. 
So some info on the missionary life. So today we had to go back to Tequisquiac to finalize this marriage, so that is where we are at now, making sure that we get our letters out before 6, because we probably aren't going to get back home until 8ish....yay, but at least I get a long nap :) We just had tortas, which are basically the equivalent of burgers here (but honestly probably better) and I had this HUGE one! Honestly, it would put tanner to shame ;) it was 1.1 kilos, which is about 2.5 lbs almost all meat, with eggs, pineapple, and goodness haha. Along with that I had a 1 litre coca-cola, so I am a happy missionary haha :) I honestly cant believe that this change is already over, we really only have 2 more weeks together, and time has seriously just flown by! I guess it is true, the harder you work as a missionary the faster the time goes by. ;) So to answer the questions, I shower just like a normal person Taylor, thank you very much. I use soap and shampoo, hopefully just like you  ;) haha jk, I know what you meant. So we have a ´´normal´´ shower head, it it basically a pipe with a shower head to disperse the water, so it really isn't much different, there just isn't as much water pressure. We also have really hot water, which is soooo nice haha. We also do have a cell phone, one for each companionship, but it is blocked so we can only call/text other mission phones, but, our investigators can call/text us, we just have to use a public phone to call them back. Also, today I am going to pick up my shoes for soccer, so next week you will be able to see them, I had to get them ordered cause they don't carry my size of shoe here haha, but they are sick! They are this bright blue with orange at the top, so I am pretty excited about that. Also with the scripture cases, the Brother who is making them is going to start on them, but it is going to take 3-4 changes to make them, so I will have those in a little bit (btw, thanks for putting in the Christmas gift). I still haven't gotten any letter from mom yet, we didn't get pouch for some reason last week, but I should get it tomorrow. I have found out that if you send it on a Tuesday, I will get it 2 weeks after that (if we get pouch), but if it is after that it will add on another Tuesday, so just an fyi.
Again, thank you for all of your support and letters, they really help out and are answers to prayers!! I wrote letters last week, but I totally forgot to send them off, so ya. I love you all so much, you really are the best family that anyone could ask for!! You have taught me so much, even if I didn't recognize it before, you really were meant to be my parents to teach me the things that I needed to learn to help these people here in Mexico. Thank you for all of the amazing letters that you sent me in the mtc tambien, I read them over last night and there were a lot that really touched me and were an answer to prayers, especially the hand written one from you mom and the poem that Siera Sudburry sent me, so thank you! 

Con amor,
Elder Noel

Monday, November 5, 2012

4 Months

Monday, November 05, 2012 10:56 AM

¿Pues, pues, pues, que tenemos aquí? 
haha 4 months have already gone by since I have left for my mission, and I honestly cant believe it, time has just flown by. I've been blessed to have learned so much from my 2 companions here already, been blessed to have met so many amazing people here, and so blessed to have been the Lords instrument (i like that word especially, and instrument in the Lords hands, because sometimes we have to go through ´´ pressure ´´ to be tuned exactly right to be used how HE wants, not how we want) to proclaim His gospel to so many people here. A lot of families have asked me this week if I miss my family, especially this family that was baptized last week because there are sooooo many more of them and so many of their friends that want to here the gospel, so we are with them quite a bit. Any-who  of course I miss everyone, especially you mom, but, there is honestly no other place that I would rather be than here. I have made life long friends here, and they have had an impact on my life as I hope I have on theirs. I'm sure some of you RMs can relate to how I feel, but then again you cant haha I love these people so much, 2 years is not going to be enough, so I have been praying that there is going to be another change while Im out here (hey, if you think about it our family has really good luck with major changes of missionary work). 
So this week has been a really interesting week. We found a lot of families contacting this past week that we thought were really good, but one dropped us Saturday night and the other dropped us when we went to there house to pick them up for church, so you can imagine that it was pretty ruff. So we started off Sunday with no baptisms planned and all of but 1 family drop us. But, the Lord works miracles for those who are diligent. When we got to church, a ward member told us that a family of three just showed up to church completely on their own, and that this other single mother brought all 5 of her kids along with a cousin. I was seriously so relieved and just so happy to see 9 new people show up to church, along with a lot of in-actives  This really is the biggest news about this week in Mexico.
So I feel like sharing my insights on what has been happening at home as well with all of you haha. Brookie and Tanner, you are at huge stages at your life's to where you will be making decisions that will have an impact on the rest of your life. I have been thinking about you two lately, especially yesterday. In church we had a lesson about patriarchal blessings, and I thought about you two the whole time. I want to testify to you two that this will guide you more specifically in your life's more than anything else will, because it is a blessing straight from God specifically for you. I STRONGLY encourage you to think about receiving one, as it has been a guide for me  ever since I received it, and it has been a ´´ shoulder to lean on´´ here in Mexico when I feel like I need to change something. I remember when I was both of your ages and the decisions that I had to make, and I promise that with this guide, along with regular temple attendance, you will be comforted in your decisions and will receive a confirmation of why.
Along with the whole missionary change and the presidential elections, think about this for a moment. The Lord is extremely concerned with His work, missionary work, that is why HE changed the age limit. Just like dad said, having a Melchizedek priesthood holder in such a high office could help soften those hearts of the leaders of China and other countries where missionary proselyting is not allowed. We have an opportunity to make a difference in the history of the world, and more importantly help the Lord move HIS work along. If voting hasn't already happened  I would strongly suggest going to the temple before anyone makes this decision and think about it there :) That is all I have to say about that haha :)
Also, it is really really good to hear that all of the family in NY y NJ are ok, I heard about the hurricane yesterday at lunch with members, and I have been concerned about them, so I am glad to hear that they are doing ok.
So Halloween here is kinda the same, but not as big. The kids go around all dressed up also, but they don't really go house to house, they just run around the town square were EVERYONE is at haha but something different, they don't ask for just candy, they ask for money too. Funny stories with that haha but in general, whenever kids would see us, 2 tall gueros, even if they were 100 yards away, they would run up to us and ask us for money haha of course we cant give them anything, which the first couple times really broke my heart, but it got funnier and funnier because we were able to call it if we saw a group of kids if they were going to come over to us or not.
Oh, so I guess something big did happen this week that I almost forgot,  we had zone conference!!! That was seriously soooo amazing! We are going to be having a new focus in all of the missions in Mexico, with in due time we will not be contacting door to door anymore and we will be working solely with members and references, and honestly I am super stoked about it! We also had some super powerful talks about watching out  for your companion, and what we can do to watch after them. Also, I got to see my old comp. Elder Lefevre, so that was really special :)
Well, thank you all again for all of your letters, and mom I haven't gotten your letter yet but I might tomorrow because that is when we get the mail, but we are going to have some extra time to write today because one, my comp has strep, and 2 I have a cold, so we are just going to rest today and write letters, so 3 lucky people will be getting a letter soon because I only have 3 stamps left haha :) by the way, I want to say thank you to all of my amazing ym leaders over the years, especially those who wrote me in the mtc and forgot to put a return address on theirs...... anywho, all of your lessons and words have really helped me refocus and find new things to do while  I am here. One phrase that stuck out to me in a letter from this one leader that forgot their address (*cough* mark), ´´You have so many people praying for you, how could you slack off with so many prayers behind you? This week I have really been trying to focus on working diligently, and I just wanted to share how much of an impact this has had on me.

Love you all, and may God be with you!
Elder Noel

p.s. if you haven't sent off the package yet, I could use another tide to go pen, and again if someone could send me a conference talk weekly through dearelder (if it doesn't cost anything),that would be great :) oh, and here are the pictures that you said you didn't get, hopefully you do this time.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Un Semana Bueno!

Monday, October 29, 2012 11:20 AM

So this week really was such an amazing week!! I love getting so many emails from everyone and I really love getting those letters through pouch, they really are such a help throughout the week!! So the main thing about this week was getting this huge family ready for baptism, and boy has it been a long process with them, but one that I never will forget in my entire life.
So to start off, this is part of the same family that was baptized 2 weeks ago, Martha, Paulina, and Marcela. I cant remember how much background I gave about them, but they have been seeing the missionaries on and off for about 8 years now. They really loved all of the other Elders, but for one reason or another they just didn't get baptized, and then I guess they ´´white washed´´ the area about 3 years ago and this family got lost. Well thanks to the daughter of our bishop, they were found again. When we first talked to them, 2 of the three that got baptized, Paulina (the closest girl to me) and Marcela (the lady in the back looking down haha), 2 weeks ago said that they wanted to get baptized after the first lesson, but no one else did. As we kept working with them, Martha (the teenager with in the front with a brown jacket) realized that she didn't need to have the faith of a prophet to get baptized, so those three were baptized, but the brother of Martha Santiago (the girl right next to me) didn't want to get baptized, neither did the mom of these two Martha (the mom in white to the far right), and they were both really stubborn about not getting baptized. Throughout this week we talked a lot with them, and on Friday and Saturday we had one of our zone leaders come, Elder Ascencio, to interview everyone in their family. Well, this really was what they needed. 
The mom Martha and her sister Consuelo (the other mom in white) were very sure that they weren't going to get baptized, but just like you said mom, people don't do things because they don't understand or have questions, and this was there case. After talking with Elder Ascencio, both of them when they came out of the room just had lit up faces and were sooo happy, and they both committed to be baptized. What really helped Consuelo is that a little bit before that her son, Edgar (the other boy in white, the younger one) said he wanted to get baptized and was interviewed as well, so what helped with her is the idea of getting baptized with her son. Now onto Santiago. 
To be completely honest, I feel like he is the reason why I am here in this mission, at this time, in this area. After his interview with Elder Ascencio, me and him had some time alone to talk, and I had an amazing opportunity to share with him my testimony. I know that all of the experiences that I have had in my life, the good and bad, the good decisions and bad decisions, have all tailored my testimony to help him. He is a 16 year old guy who is very similar to me, and it was very easy for me to look back and see those decisions that I made in my life that helped me get to where I am now. As I shared scriptures that helped me make the good decisions in my life, it helped strengthen my own testimony as well as I know helped him with what he needed. That night I saw a change in his eyes that I will never forget. This is really why us missionaries are here, to help people change to live with God and their families forever. I almost never want to leave here solely because of this change that I have seen in his life.
Going along with change, there has been a major change, if not more so than Santiago  in the father Juan (the one who is super serious in the back) At first he didn't want anything to do with us, but he started slowly listening to our lessons. When Elder Ascencio came, before he started talking with people, we first taught a lesson about the plan of salvation, and that was definitely one of the most amazing lessons ever. Right after that, E. Ascencio talked to this Juan in an interview for about almost 2 hours, and when he came out, he came out a completely different person, he was actually happy! Ever since then, he has greeted us with the biggest smile and a hug, and there has been a new found light. He will be eligible to be baptized in around 3 months, and I cant wait for that day for him, and most of all, to see this family in front of the temple, after being sealed for time and eternity!!!! 
Again, this family is why I am here, to help them experience the hope and joy that I have felt in my own family. Thank you mom for teaching me correct principles in the gospel and for truly always being there for me, it really makes a difference in the lives of the children, I´ve noticed that more than anything here (thank you dad too). Thank you for supporting me and letting me have this opportunity to be the instrument in the Lord´s hands to bring these people the same happiness that we have as a family. I hope all is well, I love you all, and tell Pres. O and Pres. Duffin ´´congrats´´ and that they will be in my prayers for the next little bit haha

With love,
Elder Noel

p.s. This is what we did for pday last week, we had 1.2 kilogram tortas, and boy were they good, and today we are going to eat with this family so I am pretty excited about that :)