Friday, December 26, 2014

The Miracle of a Mission

Well... the day has come. My last letter home. Can you guys believe it? There's so many things that i have to tell you guys, but i think i'll save all the details for christmas when we talk and just tell you guys the rest in 6 days:)

Really, in this letter i just want to express my gratitude and share with all of you my testimony.

From the moment i got to Mexico i could feel something different, from the second i got off the plane and the responsibility to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, the most important message that one could share, was put on me I felt the burning desire to share it with everyone that i could. I could feel that God truly was at my side with me helping me and guiding me towards His children. These last 2 years have meant absolutely everything to me, God has worked miracles with me and helped me become a stronger, more humble, more loving, happier person. I have learned that God is there for me every time I need Him. Even when i stray off the path, He always guides me back to the path of happiness with His arms wide open. I have seen that his promise of angels on my left and on my right to lift me up become a reality. Wearing the name of Jesus Christ on my nametag for the past 2 years has helped me realize the importance of always being worthy to represent His name. It's helped me truly discover my purpose not only as a missionary, but as a son of God. I don't know what God has waiting for me after i return home, but i have complete trust that what he DOES have waiting for me is lo mejor. I don't know why God has been so patient with me, why i've had so many chances to repent and become better, but all i know is that EVERY single time i have gotten on my knees to ask for forgiveness, and for the strength to continue, I always feel the comfort of a loving Heavenly father with His arms open waiting for me to humble myself and come to Him. I have truly felt the personal love God has for every single one of His children, I have seen countless miracles as i have served in His work and have seen His hand, not mine, change the lives, and the eternities of families. I know God lives. I know that Jesus Christ is His son and that He died for us and suffered all of our pains, our transgressions, sicknesses, so that we could one day live with God forever. I don't understand completely Christ's sacrifice still, and i don't think i ever will. That even knowing that so many of us weren't going to accept His great sacrifice, knowing that so many were going to reject Him, and being completely aware of the level of pain He was going to have to endure for ALL of God's imperfect children, He died for us. And because of this infinite atonement from an unconditional love He has, he gives us the incredible chance of reaching exaltation. His sacrifice is what has helped motivate me to be the best person i can be, and it wasn't until i truly accepted his love, until i came to him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, that i was able to love others. I still have so much to learn, but atleast now i feel ready to go home and face the challenges that life brings, with faith and with hope. I am ready to be the best father, husband, son, brother, friend, that i can be. And i am ready to have my entire life built upon the rock of Christ, and ready to continue being a witness of God in all times, and truly comfort those in need of comfort. I know that being a missionary won't stop here, just that i wont have the nametag, but the change in my heart, my testimony, and the desire to share the gospel to all of God's children is the most precious thing that i will bring home with me. And from the bottom of my soul i won't you all to know that i will be eternally grateful for this time i have had to be a missionary of Christ's true church here on the Earth. And i share these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Thank all of you for all of the support and love that you have given me over these past 2 years, i wouldn't have been able to do it without you. I know that sounds cliche but it is true. I love you guys and i can't wait to see you all in 6 days. And we'll finish the homecoming plans on the christmas call:) 

Merry Christmas!!!

con mucho amor y por la ultima vez,
Elder Bird

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hard to Grasp

Mi Familia!!!

Can i just say that my mind can not grasp the concept that i will be seeing you guys in 3 weeks? Ahh, things are getting real. Also i hope Dad is better by then! Sounds like he had a pretty miserable week:/ But other than that small detalle, sounds like you guys are doing great:)

So i'm kinda bummed my itinerary is so bad! i have no idea what i'm going to do in Mexico City for EIGHT hours. Haha, but i guess the only important thing is that i'm going to make it home. Even though it won't be until like 9:30 at night...

Things here in Acuña are just getting so weird. I payed my last rent in pesos, i just had my last christmas conference as a missionary, i'm sharing ''last'' testimonies all over the place, i only have TWO more Pdays left. It doesn't feel real! I always thought that the last few months of my mission would go by really slow, but it's been the exact opposite. The last 6 months have FLOWN by. It's just crazy. But i'm working hard to finish my mission strong and not have any regrets. Me and my comp have been doing this little game to make contacting a little funner where we each choose a word that the other one has to use in the contact. Few of the many that we have had to use are 'pokemon', 'ballena (whale)', 'alfarero peludo (hairy potter)' haha which was my personal favorite, and many more. It's been fun and really hard to find a way to fit those words in there but it's been pretty funny.

This Friday like i said we had our christmas conference down in Piedras Negras with the zone of Piedras Negras and the zone Acuña. It was cool to see a lot of Elders i hadn't seen in a while and the conference was good too! There were some short messages, a testimony meeting, a gift exchange and then A TONNN of food. It was awesome though!! Like i said really weird sharing my last testimony again, but all in all the conference was awesome. 

So it looks like this Sunday we will have 2 baptisms! woohhh! Jesus and Lizeth are just about ready for baptism and they have the fecha fija for this sunday. So we are going to review everything this week and make sure they're all ready for this sunday. The fecha meta we had for Jesus (another investigator) looks like it will have to be postponed until the 28th, which means i wont be here in Acuña to see it, but it's okay. I'm just happy to be a part of a couple more baptisms before i come home.

So í've been saying it a lot this last few weeks and i feel like i should say it again because if something i have learned in the past 2 years is the power of the atonement. There's a really awesome talk by Elder Bednar i've been listening to over and over again called    . And it focuses on the enabling power of the atonement, most of us know and recognize the HEALING power of the atonement and we recognize that he died for our sins, but the enabling power of the atonement is what helps us to learn and grow and become better people. It talks about the difference between asking God to CHANGE our circumstances, and asking God to help give us the strength through Christ to overcome our circumstances. And there's a lot of examples in the scriptures of prophets asking God to give them the strength to overcome their problems instead of just asking God to get rid of the problem. And it's a truth that i've seen time and time again become a reality in my life as i've learned not only to depend completely on God, but allow the sacrifice of His son and the enabling power of His atonement give me the strength and ability to be better than my circumstances.

The church is true guys, and i'm so glad that Kendall now is having the impressions and desire to serve a mission. It will be the best decision she has ever made and i know that because it is the best decision I have ever made, and i can't imagine where i would be in my life if i wouldn't have made it. God lives and he is waiting with his arms wide open for us to come back to his presence, that after a life long of trials and sadness, along with the joy and happiness as well, we can return to a loving heavenly father and be with our family for time and all eternity.

Have a great week guys! Love you all and i guess we will be seeing each other in 3 weeks!:)

P.S if you guys haven't watched the new video 'He is the gift', go watch it! it's super bonito and it has really helped me feel the true christmas spirit more as i share it with the people we teach.

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird





Inline image 2

Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Hey guys!!!

Well, this week i don't have a lot of time to write but we got the transfers and... i'm staying. Haha, which came as no surprise. So here in Acuña is where i will finish my mission. Woohooo! Elder Lopez, who was in the branch, is leaving and Elder Norseth (my future roommate) is coming here to take his spot! So I'm super excited that we will be able to finish our mission together up here. 

Well i really don´t have time to tell you guys about most of what happened this week, but we met a kid this named Marcos this week contacting in the street. He´s 14 but he has already been in jail 2 times and is already super super addicted to a lot of hardcore drugs. As we have talked to him and had some lessons with him it really has just made me one really sad. I thought about Grant and Caden, they´re just about the same age as him but completely different lives. I've kind of felt a stronger determination with him to try to get him to see that the gospel can change his life around, i tell him all the time that he´s way too young to already be into all that stuff and he tells us he wants to change but it´s basically the only way of life he has ever known. Hopefully we will get him into church next sunday but it really has just made me grateful for the gospel. In preach my gospel it describes a lot of the time the purpose of the gospel, apart from making us happier, it tells us it helps us have a successful life. I've just seen the opportunities that being a member of the church gives us and a lot of the time we don´t really take advantage of all of them. 

We keep working with the family Zamaripa that i have been talking about but only 1 of them was able to go to church yesterday, but it's alright. They have accepted a baptismal date for the 21st of December, which would be my last Sunday here in this area, so we are going to work towards that date. 

Well, sorry i´m basically out of time. But i love you guys and have a great week! And have a great Thanksgiving!! Eat lots of honey ham and cream puffed potatoes for me:)

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird

























Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Few Photos

Mi Hijo and a member in Acuna

They warned me what would happened if I did this!



I almost made it home.
Saved by the water!

Seeing Miracles in the Small Town of Acuna

Heyyyy!!!

So I know i've been HORRIBLY slacking at writing you guys the last few weeks, but i've been on a big time crunch and then registering for classes was wayyyyy more stressful and time consuming then i thought it would be. But after much prayer and mexican candy, the task was complete! It really was weird setting everything up for BYU, it kinda makes everything feel more real. But don't worry, i'm not too trunky yet!!  

Well Audrey looked tooo pretty in her baptism pictures! I'm glad everybody was able to come down for it and i'm glad everything was great with that:)

Well this week has been pretty loca. But in a good way! From Tuesday to Friday it was raining pretty hard, so there was a lot of flooding and all of the houses had watter dropping in from the ceilings. So it gave us a lot of opportunities to offer service. But it made riding the bikes a little harder. It's getting kind of frustrating with the bikes because we ALWAYS have problems with them! Whether the tire pops or there is something wrong with the chain, we're thinking about just trying to look for a cheap one here. This guy in a junk yard offered us one for about 350 pesos, or 30 bucks, but it seems kinda sketchy... But nonetheless riding the bike in the giant puddles was tons of fun but we were just soaked for these 3 days straight, luckily we didn't get sick or anything though! There's a little ''river'' here called the rio fifi, and it got flooded pretty hardcore, i wish i could have taken pictures because it looked sweet! 

The work has been awesome in this area! Really this branch has been reaching crazy levels of success, a family of 4 was baptized last week by part of the other missionaries and yesterday in church we had 153 in assistance in sacrament meeting, which is more than double of what it was like 5 months ago. It's really cool to be a part of, we have over 15 investigators progressing right now which is super awesome! We found a GOLDEN family last week, there are 10 in the family but only 8 have been listening to us in all of the lessons, most of them have accepted already the baptism invitation, and they are coming to church with us this sunday! We're SUPER excited about them! We had 7 investigators in church yesterday apart from them as well, Eduardo (the mechanic i mentioned a few weeks ago) has completely dropped smoking and drinking and brought his entire family to church yesterday. We had a really really spiritual lesson with him last week when we commited him to drop drinking and smoking, and he has been progressing a ton. We are still hoping for his baptism the last sunday of the transfer, the 23rd, so we'll hope everything goes well!! Yesterday was also the primary program here, and their cd player broke last minute so they asked me and my companion to help with the piano music. the program itself was really powerful and the spirit was definitely there, and i don't think my piano playing took away TOO much from the spirit... haha but i think we did a pretty good job. One of the songs I was asked to play was 'Baptism', which i have NEVER been able to play before! And i totally got it down with the little time we had to practice before the program, but then as soon as they started singing they sang it like 12 times faster than what i had been practicing, so i was kinda bummed becuase it didn't turn out as good as i had practiced it! Haha, but it was really cool nonethless. The boys in all the primary sang the ''We are as the army of Helaman" song with their dads and i don't know why but everytime i hear that song the spirit touches me really strong, so i had to play it off cool and pretend i wasn't crying and just make it look like i was cutting onions or something... didn't really work too well. But I really love the area here and we are seeing miracles left and right here in the small town of Acuña.

The cool thing about being on the border towns is that there is a ton of people that speak english, and most of them speak it pretty well. But there's this one guy we somehow end up passing 3 or 4 times a week who always yells to us in what he thinks is english, but really it just sounds like he's casting a spell on us. It's just great because he talks to us with so much confidence and then looks at us with a face of ''why aren't you understanding me?'' Haha but i'm sure that's how a lot of people feel here when i talked in spanish. Me and my companion have started this thing of translating english songs straight into spanish when we´re walking in the street. Haha, it sounds lame but it´s hilarious for some of the songs, but yeah needless to say we´ve gotten some pretty funny looks, but it definitely makes things more interesting.

Well the work here is progressing bastante and i'm really excited to give it my all these last month or so. I'm really grateful for this time i have and i hope to make my heavenly father proud.

I love you all and i hope you have a great week!!!:)

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ya no me recuerdo ingles

Haha its true, my english is awful. I realized it more this week because there is a new ´gringo´in our district here and i can´t communicate with him, my english is super weird and mexicanified now. (yeah that's a word) Hopefully it will get better before i arrive home because if not you guys are gonna get quick the laugh out of it. 

Its hard to believe that it was only a week ago that i wrote you guys. This week has been soooooo long! Not because its been a bad week or anything, but it´s just gone by really slow. I feel like that usually how it goes when i first get to an area or with a new companion, and then once we get more settled in time starts to fly again. 

Well my new, and most likely final area is in a city called Acuña, which is also a border town, and its the farthest point away from the mission home. So actually people tell me that im closer to Dallas than i am to Saltillo (where the mission offices are) haha. I might as well just take a bus home instead of a plane. Haha just kidding. But anywho, so we are in a little branch here called Industrial, and my new hijo´s name is Elder Muñoz!! He is from Arizona and he's bilingual which is cool. Spanish was actually his first language so he speaks it really well, obviously... Haha but he's awesome! He comes with a lot of excitement to do the work and he's a really hard worker. We´re opening area here so we are starting from scratch basically, the last elders left a few investigators but not much, they also left us the electricity bill and water bill... haha gotta love that. But the area is cool! it's also HUGE so we have bikes! It's my first area in my mision entire with bikes. And for one part it´s awesome because we get around a lot faster! And my legs are going to be rock solid by the time i leave here. But we've had a ton of problems with them already, my tire popped so i had to buy a new tire and a new tube, and it's really not that great of a bike either and it's really low to the ground so i hit the concrete a lot. But I guess it's better than walking!! 

This week has been A LOT of contacting and just talking to everyone to try to find people to teach, and we've found some really cool people! We found a señora named Gladyss, who was actually the sister of the initial guy we contacted and she just happened to be there the next time we went. She has been to church a couple times before and is passing through a trial right now with her mom who was just diagnosed with cancer. She is one of the most simple and humble people i have met on my mission and really has a true desire to be a good person and to follow Christ, so we have high hopes for her. 

But this week is going to filled with having follow up appointments for people we contacted this week so we've got a lot of work this week. And that's a good thing:)

So here there are 4 missionaries in our branch  and i have more time than all of them combined, and then doubled... haha. But something i've realized though is that no matter how long i've been in the mission, i keep learning new things. I keep getting put in new situations and learning new things all the time. It doesn't matter if you've been a missionary for 2 weeks, or 20 months or 20 years, i am always learning and being humbled and learning to depend more on the Lord instead of my own knowledge and abilities. There's no such thing as a perfect missionary or a missionary with all the answers, the progressing never stops as long as we put our trust in the Lord and let Him work with us and mold us into the person He wants us to be.

So now it's official, my return date will be the 29th of December, the plane ticket is already bought and everything. So they should be sending me the itinerary in a few weeks so as soon as i have it i will send it to you guys. Kinda crazy thinking i'm entering into my last 10 weeks in the field... 

Well the work is moving along here in Acuña, and hopefully next week i'll have more to tell about the investigators we have found this week. 

Hope you all have a great week!!! Love you all:)

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Conference Time

Hey guys!

Well, we worked really hard this week and found a few new awesome investigators. We basically started from scratch again to look for new investigators and tried to visit every member possible on the members list. So we met a ton of less active members and a lot of the families we found had non members there. We met a really cool guy named Alex through a less active member, he is from here from Piedras but had lived his entire life in Tyler before he was deported a few months ago. He met Claudia, who is a very less active member and they moved in together. She has gone through a really tough couple years, having lost her leg to a bone disease. But they have started a new life here and he is really cool! They told us they were going to come to conference this weekend so we'll keep our fingers crossed!!

This week we also had our interviews with President Rodriguez and it was good to see him again, it's been a little weird going from seeing him everyday in the offices to seeing him so little. But the interview went really well! And he told me that most likely i will leave my area this transfer to go train! So it looks like i will be finishing my mission as a trainer with my 3rd kid. I'm excited though! In a perfect world they would leave me here in Piedras Negras just in a different area or send me back to Saltillo. Pero adonde me mande el señor! 

But i'm really excited to train, new missionaries always have a really strong animo with them and i know it will rub of on me and help me finish my mission strong. Plus i'm excited to only have a companion and an area to worry about, instead of a whole zone. 

Well i know this is a super lame letter, but i don't have much time left. But here are some pictures from the week!

P.S. Be sure to all pay attention to conference!! This is a great opportunity to receive personal revelation! (And win at conference bingo) 

Haha, love you all and hope you guys have a great week!!! :)

P.P.S HAPPY 15TH BIRTHDAY GRANT!!!!:)

con mucho amor,
Elder Pajarito

Changes!!

Hey guys! Well we came in early to get the transfers from the assistants and i am going to be going to... ACUÑA!! Which is even FARTHER away from Saltillo than Piedras Negras, it's about an hour farther up north, and right on the border still. It's the farthest place away in the mission but i'm excited! Really really sad to leave my area actually. i didn't think i would be so sad about it but it was really hard saying goodbye to people yesterday (idk why it surprises me everytime how hard it is to leave an area). But anyways so i leave in about 2 hours to travel 8 hours to saltillo, and then tomorrow i'll be getting my kid and then leaving to travel the 9 hours in bus to Acuñatomorrow night, which will put me there at around 1 in the morning probably.. and i have no idea where the house is or anything about Acuña. Haha, so that should be fun!!!

Well i got to go finish packing guys but i will try to get on later tonight when im in the mission offices, just wanted to let you guys know what was up!!

I love you alll!! Have a great day at school and at work!!! :)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Finishing Strong

Hey guys!

So this week started off on a pretty bad note, last Pday when we came to write, i lent my companion my camera and cable so he could put his memory in my camera and send pictures to his family. So he took out my memory and set it by his camera. And after writing we had almost gotten to our appointment that we had planned when he realized he had left his camera and my memory card in the ciber. So we ran back to check if it was still there and unfortunately... it wasn't. They checked the cameras and they could see someone take the camera but it was too dark to be able to see clearly who it was. So there goes almost a years worth of pictures and videos. To say i was sad about that would be an understatement. My companion feels horrible about it but there's nothing we can do now. Ni modo... 

Before the week even started we had our agenda almost full of really great appointments set up with our investigators and a lot of them with a member present as well. So we were really excited! Unfortunately not everything went as planned and about half of the appointments ended up falling through, pretty frustrating but that's how things have been lately in our area! 

We found a new guy, Juan Antonio, who is the husband of a really active member here and he agreed to prepare himself to get baptized on the 12th of October, so hopefully we can make that happen. The only problem is that he works every day, including sundays sometimes so it's really hard to find him.

We also were invited by the stake president to a stake activity this past friday. It was a cultural event and then there was a volleyball tournament at the end. It was soooo fun! I'm horrible at volleyball but it was a ton of fun. Then there was a 5 on 5 basketball game between the missionaries and the stake dream team (they were super good), and we got destroyed. Haha, so there isn't too much basketball talent here in the zone. But either way it was a lot of fun.

So when people ask me if i miss home or if i'm ready to go home now that i have only a few months left, i usually just shrug my shoulders and tell them that no i'm not. But honestly, i feel like in a way i kind of am ready for what's next. I have loved every second of my mission, the good times and the bad, but i feel like i'm just kind of ready for what comes next. That and my body needs a rest, haha. I can definitely feel the 20 months now. But I know that i need to stay focused my last 3 months it's just kinda hard when all anyone ever talks about is how close i am to going home. Haha, but i'm excited. 

President told me today in his letter that i will probably finish my last change and a half as a trainer in another area here in the zone. And i'm super excited! As much as i like being a Zone Leader, it's kind of stressful having to worry about 16 other missionaries. Haha, and i'm ready to just be able to focus on an area with my companion. But we'll see what happens. Wherever the Lord needs me i'll go. But it looks as though i will finish my mission training! Woohoo! 

Well, i hope you guys have a great week. Miss you tons and love you all:)

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

''And no one can assist in this work except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope, and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to his care.''

BYU! BYU! BYU! 41-7 against Texas? that's awesome!!!!! That's way cool Dad got to go to the game as well. Also i'm glad i'm not the only one who went through some seriuos schedule balancing problems my first weeks at BYU (Kendall...). 

Well this week was very eventful but really great! On tuesday we had transfers so me and my companion had to be in the bus station basically the entire day waiting for the new elders to get here. There were a lot of changes in the zone and a lot of Elders i have been with before in my mission are here. Like Elder Lopez and Elder Martinez! So it's really cool to have them in the zone. On wednesday we had to leave to go to Saltillo for the leadership conference, and it's like an 8hour bus ride so we left at aruond 10 and got there at around 6. But we got there before the rest of the zone leaders so I was able to go visit one of my converts the Hermana Lety. But I would love for you guys to keep her in your prayers because about a week and a half ago she had something happen to her, they're not exactly sure what but she fainted and when she woke back up she couldn't remember almost anything. So she has forgotten almost everything from the past 10 years or so. So when i got there she didn't remember me at all, she didn't remember that I had baptized her, she couldn't remember how to pray,or any of the things that we had taught her. It was just a really sad thing to see. I've kept in touch with the missionaries there throughout the week and they say she is slowly starting to remember some things, but they can't figure out what is wrong or what exactly it was that happened to her. So your guys' prayers would be much appreciated.

So Thursday we had the leadership conference and it was really good! We brought back some really good ideas on how to help our zone. Our zone was actually the zone of the transfer last change as far as baptisms. Woohoo!! But we had a really great conference and then left Saltillo at around 4:30ish to come back here to Piedras. So we got here at around midnight and when we got home our neighbors were having a hugeeee party, so as soon as we got out of the taxi 2 drunk guys and their girlfriends ran over to us and started talking to us in ''english'' and were inviting us to the party. We told them no thanks but they kept insisting, it was actually pretty funny because one of them was just talking in broken english the whole time, the other one was saying ''please don't judge us'' the whole time, and the other one was behind them throwing up from all the beer she had drunk. Haha, needless to say there is never a dull moment here in Piedras. 

So we were only able to be in our area FridaySaturday, and Sunday this past week and we had some awesome lessons! We got Carlos´mom to come to church and she really liked it, that family is super cool and i know they are going to get baptized before i leave this area. We are also preparing an 8 year old in the ward to get baptized as well, his name is Rodrigo, and he is the coolest kid ever! Everytime we get to their house he attacks us with light sabers so we have a light saber battle before every lesson. Haha, and yesterday he got up to bear his testimony in sacrament meeting and said that he wants to be a missionary because he wants to be like us. So cool, no? But i'll send some pictures of him at the end of the email.

Haha we also pulled a litte prank on the relief society president yesterday... it wasn't mean don't worry. But yesterday we ran into her husband waiting in his van outside of a member's house. So he told us to get in the back of the van and when his wife got there we were going to scare her. Haha, so we waited about 5 minutes until she got into the car and then he started to drive off, and she didn't realize we were back there. After about a minute we finally both yelled ''HERMANA'' at the same time and her reaction was priceless! Haha, i got it on video so i'll have to show you guys when i get back. But she thought it was pretty funny:)  

So being Zone Leader has had it's ups and downs, it's a lot more stressful than i thought it would be but mostly because our missionaries just aren't that obedient, so we have had lots of problems with them. They're all good missionaries and have had a lot of success in their mission but they have just stopped being obedient. We have had to confescate a couple iphones from missionaries in the zone and President is always calling us to remind us to constantly be checking the obedience of the missionaries. I feel like sometimes i'm a babysitter more than a msisionary. Okay, not really but things did get pretty bad last transfer. So i really am learning a lot as Zone Leader, but i feel like i would really like to finish my mission training. So i think i'm going to ask president to put me as a trainer for next transfer. But of course wherever the Lord needs me i will go. 

Something i have been studying all week is about humility, and i've said it before (i think) but really humility is the key to everything. In the scriptures it often talks about humility leading to the realization of our dependance on God and our complete submission to His will.  If we are Humble we will understand that His ways are better than our ways and obedience to his commandments will be second nature. It also describes someone who is humble as someone being teachable and willing to recognize their own defects in order to become more like Christ. If we are humble we will be able to recognize our own weakness and through that be able to see the good in other people and we will be able to develop love for others. I came upon a scripture this last week that i had read before but it kind of had new meaning to me this time that i read it. It comes in D&C 12:8, it's awesome. 

Well guys, know that i love you all and that i will finish these last 3 months strong! I hope you all have a great week and hope to hear from y'all next Monday:)

con mucho amor,
Elder Pajarito

Battling with Rodrigo
























The Award

The Scared Relief Society President

Looking Sharp for Church

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Otro Cambio en Piedras Negras

Well this week is the week of changes, and there are a lot of changes in the zone. Me and my companion are staying the same and about half of the zone is going to be new, and a new area is opening up so we will have 16 elders instead of 14. And Elder Lopez (my old companion) is going to come up to our zone and train for his last change! It's going to be awesome! We also had to change up the districts because of the new area so we now will have our meetings in a different church, and we had to make a lot of changes to the way the districts were set up which was kind of a pain but we got it all figured out now. I'm pretty excited to stay here another change and hopefully we will start being able to see the results from all of our work! It's kind of been a little frustrating, i feel like i'm working as hard as i ever have in my mission but we haven't been seeing very many results, but i'm sure it's just a trial of our faith and we gotta keep on at it and we'll get the results. We had some really cool lessons this week with the Familia Rocha, who is the family of Carlos, a kid who just got baptized in the ward. We were expecting all 4 of them to come to church yesterday but they couldn't come, and then Juanita and her husband both got sick so they couldn't go, and our other investigator Josefina slept in too late so she didn't go to church. So we were kinda bummed because we were hoping for 8 or 9 investigators in church and no one showed up! But it's okay, we just gotta be patient! 

We also had some problems with the missionaries in our zone this week, about 6 of them were caught walking around at about midnight. So we had a meeting with the stake president about it, and fortunately the only thing they had been doing was eating dinner and the food just took too long to get there, but it was just not a good situation at all and we had to deal with that all weekend which was not fun at all... but así es.

Umm.. other news... i'm officially going to be at BYU in winter semester!!!!:) They accepted my deferral change request, and so now i'm officially enrolled for winter semester. It was actually the mission president who gave me the idea in the first place and he is very encouraging for me to make it back for school on time. Now I just have to get the ecclesiastical endorsement from President and then register for classes and housing and stuff! i still don't know what my new official release date will be, but the most likely is probably either the 17th or 24th of December. Which is less than 4 stinkin months away!! So basically i have 2 transfers and then a couple weeks left. Which is soooo weird. But yeah as soon as i know more details on my release date i will let you guys know:)

Well i ran out of time but i will send you guys all the pictures from the temple that i didn't send last week, hope yall have a great week!! Love you!:)

con mucho amor,
Elder Pajarito

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Taco Bell

Que onda familia!

This week has been a pretty good one, with it's ups and downs of course though. We  worked really hard and were planning to have 7 investigators and about 9 less active members in church yesterday, and only ONE out of all of them showed up. BUT her name is Juanita and she should be getting baptized next sunday. Woooh! But still we were a little bummed to not have as much success as we were hoping for. 

Ever since i've gotten here to Piedras i've been feeling kinda sick, and this week it got pretty bad so we went with an hermana in our ward who is a nurse and she told me i have bronchitis and so she gave me this NASTY cough medicine, so i've been taking that for a few days but my cough is getting worse, so i'll probably have to go to the doctor to see what's up. But it's not like i feel horrible or anything, i just get coughing attacks and it's just annoying because i'll have to get up and leave lessons to drink water. Any home made remedies i could use? a member here recommended warm lime water with honey, but i'm up for anything! so i could use your ideas! 

So i'm still waiting for the news on the familia Nieto to see if they are going to get sealed in 3 weeks, but as far as i know that is a yes! So we will probably be making another trip to Monterrey in a couple saturdays, i'm stoked! 

A scary moment happened this past week with the family De La Cruz Flores (the 2 kids who we baptized in Saltillo a month ago). On Wednesday night i got a call at 11:00 at night from Elder Lopez telling me that he was in the hospital with the family because Ruben (the 10 year old kid) had fallen and hit his head and was unconscious in the hospital. Apparently he had swelling in his brain and was in and out of consciousness and couldn't remember any of his family. Luckily on Friday he was released from the hospital but is still pretty out of it, so if you guys could keep him and that family in your prayers it would be greatly appreciated. 

Well i love you guys and thanks for all the support, and i hope you have a great week!:)

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird

P.S. Guess what!!! A family is bringing us TACO STINKIN BELL for dinner tonight! a ton of people here go across the border to eagle pass, texas to buy things and so we asked them to bring us taco bell. I'm so excited!!! Next week they're bringing us Wendy's. So... life is good:)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Temple Time

Hey guys!!

Well, i don't have much time to write to you guys today because i'm going to Monterrey!!! Woohoo! we are leaving in a few hours and Elder Diarte is going to take me and Elder Ashby and Elder Lopez, and we are going to drop off his grandkids at the airport and then stay at the hotel overnight. And then in the morning i'm going to be the guide of the Hno. Jose to get his endowments, and then their family is getting sealed at 12:00 tomorrow. So i'm SUPER excited and i'll send you guys lots of pictures. 

And other good news of the week is that the Hno. Ruiz got baptized on Sunday! And it was so cool, you guys should have seen his face when he came out of the water, i have never seen anyone have a bigger smile on their face after their baptism. It was a really really cool baptism. I'll send you guys the picture of the baptism.

But sorry this is a lame letter, but next week's will be better! It's 98% sure that i will be leaving the offices, but the president still isn't completely sure, but either way i will let you guys know on Monday, because my p-days will start to be on Mondays again, but i hope you guys have a great week and i love you all!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Missionary: someone who leaves their familiy for a short time, so that OTHER famiIies may be together for eternity



FAMILIA!!!

San Diego looks AMAZING!!!! i'm a little upset this vacation wasn't postponed a year, but i'll get over it. Haha, you guys look like you're having a blast. And the San Diego Temple is soooooo pretty. I decided i'm going to get married in that temple. If i ever get married... haha. 

Well this week has been awesome!!! I have soooooo much to tell you guys. First off, we're going to have another baptism tomorrow! We're really excited, it's the husband of a family that got baptized a few years ago but just barely has started going to church again. But it really has just been a gift from God to find this hermano because i almost feel as if we didn't need to do anything, he basically tought himself everything and got prepared all on his own. And it's been really cool to be able to see the 360 degree turn in his family since we first met them. So we're really excited about that! BUT.. i have even more exciting news. 

This saturday guess where i will be going... 

THE TEMPLE!!!

The Familia Gonzalez (the first family we baptized in Zaragoza with Elder Peralta) are going to get sealed on Saturday! And the hermano asked me to be his acompañante (i don't remember what it's called in English) but i will be the one going with him and kind of explaining to him everything when he goes through to get his endowments before they get sealed. I'm a little nervous because i haven't been for a year and a half and i've never been in spanish. But i'm soooo excited. He is now the elder's quorum president in his ward and they have progressed sooo much. They have even baptized over 6 members of their family apart from just them. I'm soo excited to be able to be a part of their sealing to see them be united together as a family for time and all eternity. I will be sure to send lots of pictures of the Monterrey temple. 

But it's going to be cool as well because Elder Ashby, one of the other elders in my ward here baptized 2 of the daughters of the family the change after i left, so he is going to be going as well. But we are going to drive up friday night with Elder Diarte and his wife (the other mission secretaries) because they have to drive there anyways to drop off a few grandkids, so they are renting us a stinking hotel room for the night! So they are saving us tons of money because we won't have to pay for the bus to get there or to get back. Plus i'm just really excited to stay in a hotel for a night:) 

And I also got word from the Familia Nieto (the other family we baptized in my first area) that they started the temple prep classes and will be entering in August! So i'll get to go 2 months in a row! how cool is that?? I MIGHTTT need a little help money wise though, because i will probably be sent to the edge of the mission so the bus ticket might be expensive, but i will talk to you guys more about that once it gets closer.

So, we had kind of a scary/funny/interesting experience this week. So in our house we have a little balcony in the front, and me and my companion were talking outside while i was cooking eggs inside, and out of nowhere a giant gust of wind came and shut the front door open, and the keys were inside!! So we had no way of getting inside and the stove was on, so we tried to climb on the roof, open the window, call the assistants to have them bring us the extra pair of keys to our house, but nothing worked! So we started to freak out because we saw smoke coming up from the stove and it smelt really really burnt, so we went to our last resort and we... kicked down the door! How crazy is that? We completely destroyed the lock but now i can cross ''Kick down a door'' off of my bucket list:)

But really this week it's been really cool to be able to see the fruits of the work i had put in in past areas, and even this area with the baptism this Sunday. I love in Mosiah 7 when it talks about God ''delivering us out of bondage'' if we are diligent and faithful. There are many promises in the scriptures of the blessing that come from being diligent in His work and these past few weeks i have been able to see that more than ever. Seeing all the pictures of the trip has made me miss you guys a lot, but in getting ready to see the family Gonzalez get sealed it has helped me remember the importance of the work that i have been able to been a part of. There is a quote i heard in the MTC that has motivated me ever since... it says ''a missionary is someone who leaves their familiy for a short time so that OTHER families may be together for eternity.'' 

Well i hope you guys enjoy the rest of your trip in San Diego, thanks for sending all the pictures, i like pretending i'm there with you guys:)

I love you all!!!!:)

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird





Elders Bird and Mossley


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Happy Anniversary Mission Mexico Saltillo!!

Que onda familia!!!

Que dicen?? Que me cuentan??

Well, today marks the one year mark that President Rodriguez and his wife arrived here to Saltillo to begin the best mission in the world!! (sorry to any serving or ex missionaries) So to celebrate, President is having a carne asada at his house with the 4 secretaries and the 2 assistants. So that is why i am on earlier than normal. But it's going to be awesome!! I'll be sure to send you guys lots of pictures. We're also planning on making t-shirts for the office.  It's crazy how fast the time goes by, i feel like it wasn't too long ago i was in the house with Elder Peralta waiting for the changes to see which mission i would end up staying in. 

Well, i have a couple exciting news for you guys. First off, we had a baptism on Saturday!!!! Everything went really well, and the service was very very spiritual. I will send you guys the pictures later, but we're just working with the dad now so that he can make the decision as well. And HOPEFULLY before i leave the area... 

President has already told me i am leaving this transfer (in 3 weeks) to go to a new area. He also told me where i'm going and as what, but i'll wait a few weeks to tell you guys to let it be a surprise:)  But i'm excited, because the office life is a stressful life and i'm excited to just be a normal field missionary again. And i will NEVER touch the cell phone once i'm not secretary anymore, i'll let my companion be in charge of that. Haha, but i'm still not sure who my replacement will be, but President will probably let me know next week to be able to bring him in a few days early so i can train him. 

Well this week was great because we had a ton of lessons with members in the ward, they have really been such a great support to us and even more so as of late. I think the visit of Elder Johnson motivated all of them to be more involved in the missionary work. Almost every day of the week we had a member accompany us to more than 1 or 2 appointments with either investigators or less active members, which really helps so much because as missionaries we can only do so much. And thanks to our combined efforts we should have 4 or 5 investigadors in church again this week, which will be awesome! because this week is ward conference! So the service should be really nice, and we were asked to be a part of the ward choir (mainly because no on else would do it), but to say the choir sounds a little bad would be an understatement... haha so let's just hope the spirit is strong enough so they don't realize how bad we sound. But we're working really hard and hopefully we can have 1 or 2 more baptisms before I leave the area. So we'll keep working hard to bring more souls to Christ!!! 

I love the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians, where Paul talks about the importance of having charity, the pure love of christ, in all that we do, because if not he tells us that it doesn't serve for anything. (just ignore my horrible english grammar) And the REASON we do things is just as important, if not more, then the fact that we actually do them. God knows our heart and it's important that we do things because we love God and because we love the people.  Haha, but i love studying about charity and i invite you guys to do the same:)

Well, hopefully i'll be able to get on later to hear from some of you guys, but if not just know that i love you all and i miss you! But i hope you have a greatttttt week:)

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird

Thursday, June 19, 2014

One More Month in the Office then Back to Full Time Proselyting

Well this week was the week of transfers here in the mission, which means i slept probably about 20 hours this entire week. So i'm a LITTLE tired. But president told me this will be my last change here in the offices which means no more transfer weeks for me here in the offices! Which is good because the next transfer, 10 missionaries go home and 11 missionaries get here so it's going to be crazyyyy! President told me to start thinking in a replacement but i really have no one in mind! So i gotta start looking into who is going to take my place here in the offices. I'm pretty excited to be able to go out into the field again, I think Taylor can atest to the fact that being secretary is A LOT of work and i'm ready to just be able to focus on my area again! And not have to receive 87 phone calls a day... 

This Wednesday Elder Rosa went home, and we went to the airport to drop him off and it always feels really weird to see someone go home, especially someone I know really well. Can you guys believe that will be me in less than 7 months?! But it was cracking me up all of the stuff he took home, he brought tamales, mexican soda, dulces, and over 80 pounds of other random little memories. Haha but it was a pain packing it all because we had to cover everything up in bubble wrap and then cover it in tape. So we didn't finish packing his stuff until almost 1 in the morning, and then we had to wake up at 4:30 to get to the airport by 5:45.

Well the familia De La Cruz went to church again this sunday but the sister had a pretty bad diabetes attack at the end of the sunday school, which was kinda scary, so we had everyone get out to give her some space and then we gave her a blessing. Luckily though there is a doctor in our ward who was able to help her out, and so we got her to the car and her husband drove them home, but then about an hour later they called us again to tell us that the hermano de la cruz had been fixing the car and that something broke and gasoline fell all over his face and into his ears and his skin was burning really really bad. So talk about opposition?! But after a few days of recovering we were able to go with them again last night and luckily they are both doing better, and the family still says they're ready for their baptism in 2 weeks. We also had an awesome lesson with the familiy Muñoz Rodriguez yesterday, and we taught them more in depth about the book of mormon and they were SUPER interested! And they said they are coming to church on Sunday, but on Monday the hermana has an appointment in monterrey to see if her cancer is completely gone, and if it's not she is going to have to start chemotherapy treatment again:/ so we are going to fast for her tomorrow and pray for the best. 

Well today was super crazy because mexico played in the world cup, and the entire city basically just shut down to watch it. The mall/plaza here by the offices converted into a giant arena basically and they had big screens up everywhere with the game on and there were thousands of people in the streets and inside watching the game. And it was soooo cool when they scored the goal because everyone just went crazy! Haha, we were in the offices and we heard them so we went to see what was going on. I was going to take pictures but i forgot my camera,but i'll take some on Tuesday when they play Brazil because i'm assuming that will be even crazier.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Not the best week :(

Hey guys!!!!

This week has been superrrrrrrrrrr long. I've actually been in kind of a funk lately, and been feeling a little bummed, not for any reason in specific, just been in kind of a bad mood and i couldn't seem to snap out of it, BUT something awesome happened yesterday! Which i will tell you guys about shortly...

But first off, i didn't get many emails from you guys this week so i'm guessing it was a crazy week finishing up school! Now you guys are all gradumakated and stuff. When is Kendall's graduation ceremony? You guys gotta send me pictures!!!!! I also heard from Kendall that the house was flooded? Someone has GOT to explain that story to me! 

Well on saturday we had a special conference with Elder Johnson on his last day here just with the mission leaders, so it was about 15 missionaries, the mission president and his wife, and then elder johnson and his wife. And it was seriously one of the most incredible meetings i have ever been in. The spirit was SOOOO strong. I won't try to describe some of the things he taught to us in the meeting, because it won't be nearly as powerful as the way he taught us. But a cool thing that he taught us is something that comes in D&C 68, and says that anything said under the influence of the spirit, is scripture, and has just as much power as the scriptures we find in the bible and book of mormon, even though we almost always just think of those books to be the only scripture, and forget the power of the spirit revealing new scripture through his servants here in the earth.
(i'm just apologizing for my HORRIBLE english grammar by the way)
Haha, but the meeting was just really really special. It was the closest and most personal meeting that i've had with a general authority and the spirit he has is incredible. It definitely motivated all of us to be better.

But back to what i was saying earlier, i'm not exactly why i was stuck in this funk, i was just a little frustrated with some elders in my district being dumb and a little frustrated with my companion and then just overwhelmed with all the work i have in the offices and then the work in our area on top of that and i was just ready to explode yesterday. We had a HORRIBLE lesson with the family of Lalo, and his grandma (who has promised us the last 3 weeks she will come to church but hasn't) had a huge breakdown and expressed to us how she doesn't even believe in God anymore and how she doesn't believe that He is there and that He knows her, because she is still emotionally scarred from the loss of her daughter about 6 months ago. And she told us she doesn't want anything anymore and basically just kicked us out of our house. And so when we left their house, i was about ready to just lose it. I was just beyond frustrated and just wanted to go home for the night, but we still had one more appointment with the familia de la cruz before we were going to go home. So when we got to their house me and my companion were both in a horrible mood and just not in a good spirit to teach. But we taught the lesson anyways, and it went pretty well but nothing great. Then we said the closing prayer and just out of habit asked them if they had any questions or something we could do for them before leaving. And that's when things started to get AWESOME! They told us that they have been praying together as a family and reading the book of mormon together and have decided that they want to get baptized. And they asked us how many more lessons we needed to teach them before they get baptized or when was the soonest they could get baptized. Then they told us that they have been studying baptism in the scriptures (something that we still hadn't left for them to do) and that the daughter has already read the ENTIRE book of mormon! So cool!!! So they will get baptized on June 22!!! (or maybe the 15th if we get permission from president). But they are seriously the most prepared and gospel ready family i have ever met on my mission. It was just so cool, and then right as we left the house i got a call from the family i baptized in my first area telling me that they have already started taking the temple prep classes and that within a month will be going to the temple to get sealed as a family. So i am SUPER excited to be able to go with them soon! And then the other family (Nieto) from my first area also wrote me saying that soon they will start the classes as well because they are about to complete a year as well. So i'm super excited to go to the temple with them!! 

Well i love you guys and i hope you have a great week!! But write me this week becaue i didn't hear from you guys much this week! But i love you all:))

con mucho amor,
Elder Bird